Showing posts with label pollution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pollution. Show all posts

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Skeletons in the planetary closet

Chemical Archive

As the world's glaciers melt, they've begun to release an archive of banned industrial substances back into the environment, chemicals that have been locked, frozen, inside the glacial ice for up to thirty years.

[. . .]

The idea of a poisonous atmospheric archive being unintentionally released -- on a global scale -- makes me wonder what sorts of news reports we might read in several thousand years' time, when carbon tombs start to leak their quarantined contents back into the atmosphere. The buried skies of an industrial era, put to pharaonic rest beneath the earth's surface, will make their operatic reappearance in future human history.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Arctic goo is coming!

Huge blob of Arctic goo floats past Slope communities

Hunters from Wainwright first started noticing the stuff sometime probably early last week. It's thick and dark and "gooey" and is drifting for miles in the cold Arctic waters, according to Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough's Planning and Community Services Department.

Brower and other borough officials, joined by the U.S. Coast Guard, flew out to Wainwright to investigate. The agencies found "globs" of the stuff floating miles offshore Friday and collected samples for testing.

I'm not even going to bother making H.P. Lovecraft references.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

You can run, but you can't hide.

Estrogen in Waterways Worse Than Thought

The report, published in the current issue of Fish & Shellfish Immunology, adds to a growing body of research pointing to problems with estrogen in the nation's waterways.

Other research has found evidence of estrogen exposure in freshwater and some marine fish populations. In a previous report, USGS scientists found widespread occurrences of fish in the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers with "intersex" characteristics -- male fish carrying immature female egg cells in their testes. Other scientists observed similar problems in fish in Southern California and in labs in Canada and the United States.

Scientists have not targeted the source of estrogen, but many suspect it stems from certain pollutants and drugs in waterways.

(Via The Keyhoe Report.)

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Friday, May 22, 2009

You haven't seen pollution . . .

. . . until you've gawked at these photos. People literally swimming in detritus. Stirring and genuinely terrifying.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Out of sight, out of mind

An essential photo-essay by National Geographic.

(Thanks: Next Nature.)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Sour seas

Oceans Are the New Atmosphere

What we mean is, that concern for the state of the oceans and the potential impacts of the on-going catastrophic collapse of ocean ecosystems is reaching a pitch that we haven't seen on any other environmental issue other than the build-up of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. We don't live in them -- many of us have never even seen them -- but we're handily trashing them. And the state of the oceans is inextricably linked to the state of the planet as a whole.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Memories of blue

Rising Acidity Is Threatening Food Web of Oceans, Science Panel Says

The oceans have long buffered the effects of climate change by absorbing a substantial portion of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But this benefit has a catch: as the gas dissolves, it makes seawater more acidic. Now an international panel of marine scientists says this acidity is accelerating so fast it threatens the survival of coral reefs, shellfish and the marine food web generally.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nuage Vert "Green Cloud" Illuminates Emissions

We are seeing some significant achievements in environmental change -- and we hope that with public art works like this large-scale environmental art installation by French art duo HeHe (Helen Evans and Heiki Hansen) that greater eco-consciousness will characterize 2009.


Sky TV

Photographer Blake Gordon has been documenting the geometric effects of light pollution in Austin, Texas, capturing thinly defined shapes in the clouds, projected upward from the tops of buildings.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

UN: Clouds of pollution threaten glaciers, health

A dirty brown haze sometimes more than a mile thick is darkening skies not only over vast areas of Asia, but also in the Middle East, southern Africa and the Amazon Basin, changing weather patterns around the world and threatening health and food supplies, the U.N. reported Thursday.

The huge smog-like plumes, caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and firewood, are known as "atmospheric brown clouds."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Urban Tumbleweed - Next Nature's Trash

This Urban Tumbleweed creates a footprint of a city. To illustrate this footprint, Urban Tumbleweeds were constructed using genuine trash from the streets of both Düsseldorf and Eindhoven. Though the results appear similar, they offer a lot of detail when being observed from a closer perspective.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Nuclear Nightmares: Twenty Years Since Chernobyl

Friday, September 26, 2008

Carbon dioxide output jumps to record level in 2007

The world pumped up its pollution of the chief man-made global warming gas last year, setting a course that could push beyond leading scientists' projected worst-case scenario, international researchers said Thursday.

The new numbers, called "scary" by some, were a surprise because scientists thought an economic downturn would slow energy use. Instead, carbon dioxide output jumped 3 percent from 2006 to 2007.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Planet is running out of clean water, new film warns

Water-related problems aren't restricted to the developing world. A harmful pesticide, banned by many European countries, remains widely used in the United States, where it runs into rivers and streams.

And one expert estimates California's water supply will run out in 20 years.

These sobering statistics come from "FLOW," a new documentary film about the world's dwindling water supply. The filmmakers and their sources argue a combination of factors, including drought and skyrocketing demand, have created a looming global crisis that threatens the long-term survival of the human race.

(Via The Keyhoe Report.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Electronic smog 'is disrupting nature on a massive scale'

Dr Ulrich Warnke – who has been researching the effects of man-made electrical fields on wildlife for more than 30 years – will tell the conference, organised by the Radiation Research Trust at the Royal Society in London, that "an unprecedented dense mesh of artificial magnetic, electrical and electromagnetic fields" has been generated, overwhelming the "natural system of information" on which the species rely.

He believes this could be responsible for the disappearance of bees in Europe and the US in what is known as colony collapse disorder, for the decline of the house sparrow, whose numbers have fallen by half in Britain over the past 30 years, and that it could also interfere with bird migration.

For more, click here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Plague of Angels (or, Rorschach in your living room!) (Peter Watts)

Yes, the technology will improve over time; yes, efficiency will increase. But we're still talking about an omnidirectional broadcast here; even if the bulk of the signal strength passes in one direction, there's still going to be at least some wasted energy going out along the whole 360.

More to the point though, is Smith's confident assertions that "the human body is not affected by magnetic fields". Maybe he's talking about a different model of human body. Maybe the model he's talking about comes with a Faraday cage built into the skull, and is not susceptible to the induction of religious rapture, selective blindness, or the impaired speech and memory effects that transcranial magnetic stimulation can provoke in our obsolete ol' baseline brains.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Men find dolphin in inland garden

Mystery surrounds the discovery of a dead dolphin in the garden of two sailors in Dorset who live on a steep hill half a mile (0.8km) from the sea.

Mike Elliott, 28, and housemate Gary Harvey, woke to find the 3ft (0.9m) dolphin in Portland on Thursday.

The mammal appeared to have two puncture wounds in its stomach as if it had been speared.


Hundreds of baby penguins found dead in Brazil

Monday, July 07, 2008

Chinese Air Bars

In a short post on MadRegale, Wired correspondent Alexis Madrigal suggests that we should open a series of "Chinese air bars" so that people around the world can temporarily experience what it's like to breathe the polluted city air of China.

China, home to some of the most polluted cities in the world, could thus capitalize on its newest export: vials of urban atmosphere. They'll simply export the sky.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Melting glaciers release toxic chemical cocktail

Decades after most countries stopped spraying DDT, frozen stores of the insecticide are now trickling out of melting Antarctic glaciers. The change means Adélie penguins have recently been exposed to the chemical, according to a new study.

The trace levels found will not harm the birds, but the presence of the chemical could be an indication that other frozen pollutants will be released because of climate change, says Heidi Geisz, a marine biologist at Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester in the US. She led a team that sampled DDT levels in the penguins.

She worries that glaciers could release an alphabet soup of chemical pollutants into the ocean, including PCBs and PBDEs -- industrial chemicals that have been linked to health problems in humans.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lest you underestimate our species' ability to pollute . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bees under threat as pollution means flowers are losing their natural scent

Researchers claim pollution is dramatically cutting the distance travelled by the scent molecules of plants.

This is preventing flowers from attracting bees and other insects needed to pollinate them.

As a consequence, the numbers of insects are dramatically dwindling as they struggle to located the nectar off which they feed.

(Thanks: Nick Redfern.)