In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a plume of organic peroxides has been moving through the air and water after two explosions at a chemical plant. As the temperature and waters rise, and cooling facilities lose electrical power, toxic substances are more likely to escape into the environment. Read more here, and here.
Those of you who know my colleague Rob Greenberg also know his passion for the earth. He recently linked to this image of the Osborne Reef Project, an attempt in the 1970s to find a use for used tires, combined with a desire to improve underwater habitats for fish populations. Storms and strong currents, however, have different motivations, and the tires have subsequently been shifted and moved to the point where they threaten existing natural reefs. The problem became compounded by the logistics of removing the tires.
Artificial reefs are not always well planned. Attempts in New Zealand and England to "improve" habitats or bring in tourism have met the full strength of Mother Nature, which doesn't always agree with an engineer's intentions. If you're looking for a research project, read about the Osborne Reef Project here. What makes an artificial reef successful? What makes it an epic FAIL? - LINK
Today, NASA and the Space Agency of Argentina launched the Aquarius Spacecraft, a mission to map salinity patterns in the ocean. If all goes well, it will quickly surpass the amount of data gathered from ships over the past century in mere months.
Salinity data will enhance the understanding of ocean circulation and how it responds to freshwater inputs (like massive glacial melting) and global climate changes. Good stuff - Link
Grading the last remaining papers for the year is so much fun, especially when students are trickling in with their late work (some handing in assignments that were due in October). As I perform this wonderful task, I'm listening to WUNC's Dick Gordon interview Cary Fowler, who is storing seeds inside a mountain. This massive biodiversity project is located above the Arctic Circle, and is apparently designed to withstand earthquakes, tsunamis, and climate change. Safer than a nuclear reactor? We touch on the topic in APES. Scroll to the bottom at the link to play the audio. - Link
It's good to occasionally get a new, thought-provoking perspective on things.
A brief glance at these two maps indicates that just because there is a higher frequency of tornadoes doesn't mean that's where all the death and destruction occurs. Read the post from a geologist at the University of Chicago to find out what may drive the discrepancy. - Link
Article from Scientific American: Seafood at risk: Dispersed oil poses a long-term threat
Who is Riss?
"No one warned me that life would involve science, except my science teacher. But, of course, he's going to say that. He's got a job to protect."
- Stephen Colbert, I Am America (And So Can You)
E - The Environmental Magazine
Environmental News Network
Environment News Service
Information is Beautiful
NASA Goddard Institute
National Science Foundation
WUNC NPR News
WUNC The State of Things