Peggy’s data were a bit of a shock.From an anchored vantage point in an expanse of the southeastern Bering Sea west of Alaska, Peggy, or mooring M2, had monitored conditions in the water for 25 years. A line of sensors extended down more than 70 meters to where Peggy was tethered to the seafloor, collecting information on temperature, salinity and other properties of the water.Most years, the waxing and waning of floating sea ice follows a consistent seasonal pattern that is reflected in Peggy’s data. By November, sea ice migrates in through the Bering Strait or forms in some parts of the Bering Sea. As a by-product of the sea ice formation, a large mass of cold, salty water begins to pool near the seafloor. In the spring, phytoplankton bloom, and by early summer, the sea ice begins to melt away. The cold pool, however, lingers through the summer. With an average temperature just below zero degrees Celsius — a few degrees colder than the surrounding water — … [Read more...] about What happens when the Bering Sea’s ice disappears?
If polar bears become extinct
Published 4:52 pm CST, Friday, March 1, 2019 Activists gather in front of the White House to denounce President Donald Trump's environmental policies on March 28, 2017. Climate change is real, but with such consensus surrounding that assertion, why chance that it isn’t? less Activists gather in front of the White House to denounce President Donald Trump's environmental policies on March 28, 2017. Climate change is real, but with such consensus surrounding that assertion, why chance ... more Photo: STEPHEN CROWLEY /NYT Photo: STEPHEN CROWLEY /NYT Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close Image 1 of 1 Activists gather in front of the White House to denounce President Donald Trump's environmental policies on March 28, 2017. Climate change is real, but with such consensus surrounding that … [Read more...] about Gov. Abbott: Save the planet
On May 30, 2008, a research team armed with GPS units, notebooks, and binoculars set out into a dense patch of jungle in Indonesian Borneo. An oil palm company had commissioned them to survey the area for important environmental and cultural assets that might be impacted should the forest be converted into a plantation. They had no idea, however, that an “exceptional herpetofaunal discovery” awaited them that morning, they later wrote. As midday approached, the sweating group decided to take a break from their uphill trek to have lunch next to a shallow, rocky stream bed. Glancing at the creek between bites, one of the local team members spotted something of note: a brownish-yellow reptile, about a foot long, that he referred to simply as kadal—the generic Indonesian word for “lizard.” The partially submerged creature had the elongated, snakelike body of a Chinese dragon, the facial features of a cartoon dinosaur, and the pronounced scales of a … [Read more...] about How a Reclusive Lizard Became a Prize Find for Wildlife Smugglers
U.S. Environment Climate Change The Guam broadbill, a small, iridescent black flycatcher with a brown chest and a fluffy head, once flourished in the secluded limestone ravines on the Pacific island of Guam, a territory that belongs to the United States. By 1973, development had destroyed two-thirds of its habitat and introduced a snake that preyed on the bird’s young.That same year, President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) into law. The act, which sets restrictions on the destruction of specific animal species and their habitat, seemed purpose-built for Guam’s broadbill. But conservation rarely moves at the speed of destruction. It took Guam’s governor six years to petition to have the bird protected. Studies took another five. By the time the broadbill made the endangered species list, in the summer of 1984, it was nearly gone—the last sighting occurred a few weeks later, on a golf course.The ESA is widely credited with preventing … [Read more...] about Why Environmentalists and Hunters are United in Saying The Endangered Species Act is Failing and Needs to Be Fixed
Much of the deep sea has never been explored close-up by humans. Some submarines have plumbed its depths, but reaching the ocean bottom is a complicated and expensive journey, challenging because the seabed lies under more than three miles of water, which exerts huge amounts of pressure. “We know more about space than about the bottom of the oceans in our own planet, even though more than two-thirds of the surface of the Earth is covered by marine sediments,” said Olivier Sulpis, a researcher and doctoral student at McGill University’s department of earth and planetary sciences.Thus, “we hear less about the effects of human activity at the seafloor than on corals, for instance, simply because coral bleaching sounds more appealing than mud dissolving at the bottom of the sea,” he added. “When you think that before Google maps arrived, it took humans several centuries to map the continents, it’s easy to understand why exploring the deep sea is so … [Read more...] about As oceans grow more acidic, they’re eating away at their protective floors