14 December 2015

This Week in Water

As we've been anticipating, nearly 200 nations signed an agreement to work to reduce the man-made sources of global warming. Details here. Many felt it did not go far enough because it specifies no specific actions and provides no mandatory sanctions, but it represents a step in the right direction and, by setting frameworks, goals, and intentions going forward, is far better than no agreement at all.

Meanwhile, in the real world:

Scientists are piecing together the data respecting ocean temperatures over the last 5 million years and their correlation with global climate.

Falling oxygen levels caused by warming oceans may prove to be a greater threat to the survival of life on Earth than flooding from rising seas. About two-thirds of the Earth's oxygen is produced by the process of photosynthesis in ocean phytoplankton, and this process is disrupted by warming seas. Scientists elsewhere, however, are at a loss to explain an unprecedented rise in the number of phytoplankton in the Northern Atlantic but believe it may result from increased acidification due to high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Stay tuned.

View a remarkable set of photographs documenting rapid coral bleaching caused by warming oceans here.

Rising oceans are threatening the Marshall Islands (among others) threatening a way of life. (Some brilliant photography from the The New York Times!)

Abnormally high tides in the Florida Keys have been flooding low-lying areas for months, threatening property values.

Southern India has been hit by floods caused by the heaviest rainfall in more than a century.

China's largest glacier is now retreating at a record pace.

Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated as Typhoon Melor struck the Eastern Philippines.

As a record-breaking Pacific cyclone season wraps up, Hawaii proved remarkably lucky in dodging no less than 15 major storms.

Scientists discovered a 100+ million year old underground ocean under the Chesapeake Bay.

Scientists have developed a new class of superhydrophobic nanomaterials to protect surfaces from water.

04 December 2015

For Zappadan

There really can be only one Zappa/Mothers tune fit to kick off this Zappadan season:

"The rest of their lives in San Ber'dino."