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Postcards from the Planet

Published by Rosalind on 11 Jan 2011

Glaciers are shrinking

A new study has shown that glaciers all over the world are still shrinking, and the projections predict some real effects on ocean levels worldwide. Interestingly, though, the glaciers are shrinking unevenly, and it looks like European glaciers will melt the fastest. Read about it: Sea levels and Glaciers.

Published by Rosalind on 20 Nov 2010

Scientists study ice for clues to future

Is it possible that global climate change could cause sea levels to rise as much as six feet? Researchers are studying glacial ice and hoping to find the answer to the question. Even much smaller sea level rises would be a huge problem for people worldwide, as cities built by the ocean or by rivers would see flooding and damage to infrastructure like ports. Some low-lying coastal communities would be obliterated unless they could find ways to protect themselves from the rising waters.

Scientists all over the world are trying to find ways to predict the effects of climate change and specifically the rising average earth temperature. Glacial ice is being affected by rising sea temperatures in places like Greenland, where sea water temperatures of 40 degrees can melt the ice from beneath while air temperatures impact it from above.  You can read about some of this work here: Reading Earth’s Future in Glacial Ice.

Published by Rosalind on 11 Oct 2010

Global Work Party Successful!

With participants from all over the world, 350.org celebrated  10/10/10 with a climate work day — involving tree planting, lightbulb changing and solar panel installation. Read more about plans to follow up with political actions: What’s Next.

Published by Rosalind on 05 Oct 2010

At last, a census for the ocean

An amazing sea creature! (photo from nytimes.com)

After ten years of research and more than 540 ocean expeditions, more than 2700 scientists presented the world with the first-ever census of marine life on Monday. The census made direct observation of 120,000 marine species, including some 6,000 newly discovered species. Marine Census.

“There are no ocean deserts,” Jesse Ausubel, a co-founder of the census, says. “Everywhere we looked we found life.” Check out the amazing photos: Marine Species.

Published by Rosalind on 30 Sep 2010

Coral Reefs Affected by Rising Water Temperatures

Coral Reefs worldwide have been showing signs of bleaching — losing their color due to warmer ocean temperatures. Computer forecasts suggest that corals in the Caribbean may undergo drastic bleaching in the next few weeks, and many may die.

The New York Times reports that, “What is unfolding this year is only the second known global bleaching of coral reefs. Scientists are holding out hope that this year will not be as bad, over all, as 1998, the hottest year in the historical record, when an estimated 16 percent of the world’s shallow-water reefs died. But in some places, including Thailand, the situation is looking worse than in 1998.”

The NRDC has an appeal by Sigourney Weaver which you can read here: Coral Reefs.

Published by Rosalind on 27 Jul 2010

Plastiki Arrives!

After 130 days at sea (and 8300 miles) the Plastiki arrived yesterday in Australia. The boat, made of more than 12,000 plastic bottles, sailed across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco. The voyage was partly inspired by Thor Heyerdahl’s epic voyage on the raft Kon Tiki, when Heyerdahl tried to prove that ancient mariners could have traveled long distances without motors. Read about Plastiki’s arrival and visit the Plastiki site: The Plastiki.

Arriving in Sydney, Australia on July 26.

Published by Diana on 08 Jun 2010

Oil Spill ticker

Published by Rosalind on 07 Jun 2010

Birds and the Gulf Oil Spill

As the Gulf Oil Spill from the BP well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon continues, things are getting worse and worse for local wildlife. Here are a few places where you can find out more about what’s happening and how to help!

How Bad is the Gulf Oil Spill? Ask the Pelicans.

Bird Rescue
US Fish and Wildlife Service’s info on what you can do
Cornell Ornithology Lab oil spill bird tracker

(photo by IBBRC)

Published by Rosalind on 27 May 2010

NASA Shuttle mission ends

Another shuttle mission ended today — but this one was the last for Space Shuttle Atlantis. Its final planned mission was to deliver an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian-built Mini Research Module to the International Space Station. STS-132 was the 32nd mission for Atlantis. Despite the success of the shuttle missions in helping to build and re-supply the International Space Station, there are no new shuttles planned by NASA, due to changes in US government plans for NASA. You can read more about Atlantis’ final mission: Atlantis.

Published by Rosalind on 29 Apr 2010

Oil from Gulf Oil Spill hits the coastline

As oil continues to flow from the leaking oil well located a mile underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, some of the oil is washing up on beaches. Unfortunately, this looks like the early stages of a massive, tragic ecological disaster. Fishermen, wildlife, tourism, and the environmental health and  beauty of the Gulf Coast will all be affected by the magnitude of this spill. For more on the spill and the US government response: Oil Spill.

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