We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well - for we will not fight to save what we do not love.
Fig. 2.5 in Polar Research Board. Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. NAP (2011): Cartoon of Southern Ocean circulation and glaciological processes occurring on the coast of Antarctica.
Great example how science becomes life saving environmental policy. This fantastically produced piece shows the history of how the Antarctic Ozone Hole was discovered by a graduate student, then reported in a few newspapers. Chemicals dumped into the environment were the cause.
The public picked up the story of the Ozone Hole and got really, really worried that corporations were putting too much pollution into the air. They formed partnerships with environmental groups, universities, and certain governments, and lobbied other world leaders to help fill in the Ozone Hole.
Eventually, leaders agreed on the Montreal Protocol - a system of cap and trade that limited the amounts of pollution companies could dump into the environment. A must watch for budding environmentalists, policies wonks, and science-types.
Today, the Montreal Protocol loosely serves as the model for cap-and-trade system of the Kyoto Protocol, European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, California’s AB 32, and many other systems around the world.
Today is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. Take a deep breath.
Have a look at the UNDEP’s ozone website for more information.
Layers upon layers. Somewhere around 4,500 feet above sea level. This stack (and the mountain as a whole) used to live at the bottom of the sea.
from MW Observatory (Click image for full text)
The geology of the [Presidential] Range holds interest for amateur and professional geologists alike. The Range is formed mostly of gneiss and mica schist, metamorphic rocks that began as sediments in a shallow sea, several hundred million years ago. The sediments subsequently suffered compression miles within the earth, uplift, and erosion. In the last million to two million years, glacial activity scoured the peaks, and carved great cirques forming the major ravines. Erosion, including freezing and thawing cycles, led to the shattered rock which covers so much of the area above treeline.
To understand what tar sands are and why they have a slippery reputation with environmentalists, here’s a cheat sheet on these unconventional oil fields:
WHAT: Tar sands, also known as oil sands, are a mixture of roughly 90 percent sand, clay and water and 10 percent bitumen, a thick hydrocarbon liquid. After extracting that 10 percent of bitumen from the tar-sand mixture, the bitumen can be purified and refined into synthetic crude oil.
While on a recent trip to the Canadian Rockies, we could not pass up a trip on the snowcoach, the bus that takes tourists out onto a safe bit of Athabasca Glacier, part of the larger Columbia Icefields. I was hugely impressed with the extent of the glacier’s retreat since my first visit in 1962. When we arrived at the safe spot (…) I found this lovely bit of otherwise undistinguished lateral moraine. The light couldn’t have been more dramatic as it highlighted the erosion on the loosely packed till. The surface of the glacier itself is seen at the bottom of the photo. Photo taken September 24, 2009. Credit: Stu Witmer. (via EPOD)
In westernmost China lies the Tarim Basin, home to the Taklimakan Desert—the biggest, hottest, driest desert in China. Sand dunes cover about 85 percent of the Taklimakan, often feeding massive dust storms. Isolated from the Asian monsoon and from Arctic storms, the central basin receives less than 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) of precipitation per year. In such a parched environment, plants are rare, and yet they exist. In the summertime, they appear to thrive. Runoff from the Tien Shan mountains and the Kunlun Shan mountains feed rivers, which in turn support vegetation. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the Tarim Basin on August 6, 2011. (via NASA Earth Observatory)
The sea ice atop the Arctic Ocean can—as shown in this photograph from July 12, 2011—look more like swiss cheese or a bright coastal wetland. As ice melts, the liquid water collects in depressions on the surface and deepens them, forming melt ponds. These fresh water ponds are separated from the salty sea below and around it, until breaks in the ice merge the two. (via NASA Earth Observatory)
The Story of Us: Symphony of Science - “Children of Africa” (by melodysheep)
http://symphonyofscience.com A musical celebration of humanity, its origins, and achievements, contrasted with a somber look at our environmentally destructive tendencies and deep similarities with other primates. Featuring Jacob Bronowski, Alice Roberts, Carolyn Porco, Jane Goodall, Robert Sapolsky, Neil deGrasse Tyson and David Attenborough.
Projecte de restauració del paratge de Tudela-Culip (Club Med) al Parc Natural del Cap de Creus. Ton Ardèvol n’és una de les ments pensants i executores d’aquesta meravella i hauràs de veure el video varies vegades perquè hi ha alguns detalls sensiblements brutals.
Restoration project of the Tudela Culip landscape (Club Med) in the Cap de Creus Natural Park. Ton Ardèvol is one of the thinking and executive minds behind this wonder, and you’ll need to watch the video several times because some details are simply brutal.