From the National Snow and Ice Data Center
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
A science brief by James E. Hansen and Makiko Sato can be found at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies website. Models, they say, can be a tool for understanding climate change, but paleoclimate studies are necessary to evaluate the impact of human-imposed warming. And, as we learn in APES, as the ice sheets melt, the surface albedo decreases, the surface warms, which makes the ice sheets melt, and the surface albedo decreases, the surface warms, and...well, you get the point. A nice positive feedback loop. But what does it mean for us right now?
Some Pacific Ocean species are crossing the Arctic now that the ice has dwindled. A gray whale was found in the Mediterranean, and a Pacific algae called Neodenticula seminae has been found as far south as New York. With fisheries declining, the species competition adds another variable to the mix. - Link
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