Ocean of plastic


Click to enlarge

❝ Globally, public awareness is growing about the harm being done by plastic, which hurts marine life and instead of biodegrading breaks down into ubiquitous micro-plastics. According to science writer Mike Berners-Lee, of the 9 billion tons of plastic ever produced, 5.4 billion has been dumped onto land or into the sea — enough to shrink-wrap the entire planet.

Please RTFA. Look at these photos. Heartbreaking to an old geek like me who grew up subsistence fishing the New England coast.

A pocket-size addition to Shark Week

❝ Sharks are known to stalk and sniff out prey before they attack. But all this newly discovered shark species has to do is glow in the dark, and the prey comes to them.

The 5 1/2-inch American Pocket Shark is the first of its kind to be discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new Tulane University study. It’s less fearsome than it is wondrous…

❝ According to the paper, the shark secretes a glowing fluid from a tiny pocket gland near its front fins. It’s thought to help attract prey, who are drawn to the glow while the tiny predator, practically invisible from below, stealthily attacks.

Looks more like bait than predator. Though – come to think of it – ever been bitten by a New England coastal sandworm? Flatfish always loved ’em. I don’t know why.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Only you in the future will know if we saved glaciers


Rice University

❝ The first of Iceland’s 400 glaciers to be lost to the climate crisis will be remembered with a memorial plaque – and a sombre warning for the future – to be unveiled by scientists and local people next month.

❝ The former Okjökull glacier, which a century ago covered 15 sq km (5.8 sq miles) of mountainside in western Iceland and measured 50 metres thick, has shrunk to barely 1 sq km of ice less than 15 metres deep and lost its status as a glacier.

❝ “In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path,” the plaque reads, in Icelandic and English. “This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”…

❝ Cymene Howe, an associate professor of anthropology at Rice, said the plaque “would be the first to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world”. Marking the moment should draw attention to what is being lost, she said.

Notice will be taken – and understood – by that small number of human beings who comprehend what is happening. And that even smaller number of politicians who care.

Lower emissions standards for global shipping start at year-end


Arterra/Universal Images Group

❝ Tens of thousands of ships sailing the world’s oceans burn more than 3 million barrels of sludge-like high-sulfur fuel every single day. But, starting next year, the shipping industry will have to comply with rules that should dramatically reduce sulfur emissions.

“It is the biggest change in oil market history,” Steve Sawyer, senior analyst at energy consultant Facts Global Energy, told CNBC.

“It is going to affect crude oil producers, traders, ship owners, refiners, equity investors, insurance companies, logistical businesses, banks… Who’s left? I’m struggling to think of anyone it might not affect. That’s why it is a huge transition,” Sawyer said.

RTFA. Take a good look. Creeps still owned by the fossil fuel industries – like the dolt in the White House – will whine louder than ever about how unfair this all is to the shipping industry.

Just after sunset…


Click to enlarge

That time of summer when a late afternoon walk can’t catch any clouds to filter the sun’s heat. So, I wait till just after sunset. Down past the back meadow and into my fenceline laps. Top off steps and a few miles for the day.

A very peaceful time.

Ancient tree recorded Earth reversing magnetic field


Nelson Parker

An ancient tree that contains a record of a reversal of Earth’s magnetic field has been discovered in New Zealand. The tree—an Agathis australis, better known as its Māori name kauri—was found in Ngawha, on New Zealand’s North Island, during excavation work for the expansion of a geothermal power plant…

The tree, which had been buried in 26 feet of soil, measures eight feet in diameter and 65 feet in length. Carbon dating revealed it lived for 1,500 years, between 41,000 and 42,500 years ago…

❝ The lifespan of the kauri tree covers a point in Earth’s history when the magnetic field almost reversed. At this time, the magnetic north and south went on an excursion but did not quite complete a full reversal.

Looking forward to a polished picture of the tree rings.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia