A Comparison of Magnitudes: ‘Some reports in the media attempt to downplay the significance of the release of oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident by arguing that natural oil seeps release large volumes of oil to the ocean, so why worry? Lets look at the numbers.’ (The Oil Drum via /.)
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, believes that eco-catastrophists are wrong about humans and our impact on the planet. (spiked) Do you find this argument believable? I think that arguing from precedent that we can be sanguine about global warming is a straw man argument. Spiked‘s ‘don’t worry be happy’ polemics are tiresomely undiscriminating.
“The collision in early February of the 60-mile-long B-9B iceberg with the protruding tongue of the Mertz Glacier in East Antarctica is captured here in a series of satellite radar images.
The crash created a second massive iceberg nearly 50 miles long and 25 miles wide, named C-28. The name means that it’s the 28th glacier since 1976 that has broken off from the quadrant of Antarctica that faces Australia.
The two icebergs have since drifted into a polynya, which is an area of open water that’s surrounded by sea ice but stays unfrozen for much or all of the year. The bergs are obstructing the ocean circulation created by the polynya, and could deprive local marine life of oxygen if they don’t move.
The images were taken by the synthetic-aperture-radar instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s Envisat satellite.” (Wired)
‘Billions of bits of plastic are accumulating in a massive garbage patch in the Atlantic Ocean—a lesser known cousin to the Texas-size trash vortex in the Pacific, scientists say.
“Many people have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” said Kara Lavender Law, an oceanographer at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. “But this issue has essentially been ignored in the Atlantic.”
The newly described garbage patch sits hundreds of miles off the North American coast. Although its east-west span is unknown, the patch covers a region between 22 and 38 degrees north latitude—roughly the distance from Cuba to Virginia…’ (National Geographic)
- A Sea of Plastics (usnews.com)
- New floating garbage patch found in Atlantic Ocean (telegraph.co.uk)
- Ocean Garbage Patch Found in the Atlantic Ocean (grantlawrence.blogspot.com)
- Study finds plastic trash collection in Atlantic (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- ‘Rubbish patch’ blights Atlantic (news.bbc.co.uk)
Anyone who has ever visited San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf has probably hung out with the sea lions of Pier 39, who first appeared after the 1989 earthquake. You should have heard by now about their recent mysterious mass departure, which had left some speculating that they had some sixth sense about an impending disaster such as another major quake. Now, it appears, it has been determined that there is a simpler explanation. In this El Nino season, they have simply gone after their shifting food source. (SFist) This is not to say, it seems to me, that they are not canaries in a coalmine with respect to a different sort of impending disaster, climate change.