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Toxic Atmosphere – Toxic Landscapes – Aerosol pollution

Month: February, 2015

Starving Sea Lion Pups and Liquified Starfish — How We’ve Turned the Eastern Pacific into A Death Trap for Marine Species

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As of late January, the news reports were coming in hot and heavy. Baby sea lions were dying in droves. More than 15,000 of the pups were already lost due to starvation. And with each passing week, more than 100 of the emaciated, beleaguered, hopeless animals were washing up on California shores.

The pups staggered across beaches, wandered into vacant lots, or tottered, disoriented, along roadways. Refugees all to some unspeakable disaster. Orphans lost or abandoned by parents unable to provide them with even the most basic of sustenance.

Starving Sea Lion Pups

(Starving sea lion pups taken in by the Marine Mammal Center in San Francisco. Image source: WTSP.)

Marine rescue centers, volunteer centers, and even animal shelters were inundated by a flood of desperate, dying animals. Their organs were shutting down. They could barely breathe or walk. The future generation of the more than 300,000 sea lions living along the US…

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Mangled Jet Stream + Global Warming + Hot Atlantic Water = Boston Buried Under 8 Feet of Snow

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If you deny that warmer ocean temps -> greater snowfall w/ coastal winter storms, you are not a climate denier. You are a physics denier. — from the Twitter feed of Dr Michael E. Mann, Climate Scientist

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Boston just experienced its snowiest month on record and, yes, it really is climate change, stupid. In essence, as Michael Mann notes above, it’s a matter of oceanic and atmospheric physics.

Consider the fact that the ocean surface is warming at an unprecedented rate. Consider also the fact that this observed warming is resulting in a number of powerful south to north flows of air over ocean regions and toward the polar zone.

Over the past month, these powerful warm air flows pushed strongly into both Alaska and Svalbard — causing 20-30 C above average temperatures in regions of the Arctic along the 70 to 80 degree…

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Nitrogen Deposition As Atmospheric Precipitation and It’s effects on Trees on the Portland State University Campus — Feb, 2015

This slideshow video is of trees on the Portland State University campus Feb. 9, 2015. It shows the effects of growing in a nitrogen rich atmosphere where rampant growth takes place because of nourishment from the anthropogenic deposition of nitrogen caused mainly from the burning of fossil fuels.
These photos were taken immediately after the 13th annual Urban Ecology & Conservation Symposium. – DT Lange