Winter Storm Grayson’s Bombogenesis Brought Whiteout Conditions From Virginia to New England, Record Coastal Flooding at Boston Harbor


Millions of people along the East Coast of the United States faced snow and ice, gusty winds, power outages, travel delays, school closings, and flooding as a rapidly-intensifying Nor’easter plowed northward during the first week of 2018. Captions and image source: NASA/NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens

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Winter Storm Grayson was one of the most intense western Atlantic winter storms in decades, clobbering the East Coast with blizzard conditions and major coastal flooding.

Tidal levels at Boston Harbor topped an all-time record…

Read Full Article, Weather Channel (01-05-2018)

The window for saving the world’s coral reefs is rapidly closing


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

For the first time, an international team of researchers has measured the escalating rate of coral bleaching at locations throughout the tropics over the past four decades. The study documents a dramatic shortening of the gap between pairs of bleaching events, threatening the future existence of these iconic ecosystems and the livelihoods of many millions of people…

Read Full Article, Science daily (01-04-2018)

A Close-Up Look at the Catastrophic Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef; Yale E360 (04-10-2017)
Scientists are reporting the second mass bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef in the last year. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, researcher Terry Hughes says these events have damaged two-thirds of the world’s largest coral reef and are directly caused by global warming…

Greenpeace images show Great Barrier Reef suffering coral bleaching for second year in a row; Greenpeace (03-09-2017)
Greenpeace Australia Pacific today releases shocking photos and footage documenting the Great Barrier Reef’s first severe coral bleaching to happen two years in a row. The bleaching is the result of 12 months of above-average sea temperatures, which is “cooking the reef alive”…

Video Captures the Violent Act of Coral Bleaching, LiveScience (08-17-2016)

Coral bleaching hits 93% of Great Barrier Reef, Video, Science Daily (04-21-2016)
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering its worst coral bleaching in recorded history with 93 percent of the World Heritage site affected, scientists say as they reveal the phenomenon is also hitting the other side of the country…

Great Barrier Reef suffered worst bleaching on record in 2016, BBC News (11-28-2016)

The Great Barrier Reef: a catastrophe laid bare; Guardian UK (06-07-2016)
Australia’s natural wonder is in mortal danger. Bleaching caused by climate change has killed almost a quarter of its coral this year and many scientists believe it could be too late for the rest. Using photographs and new data, a Guardian special report investigates how the reef has been devastated – and what can be done to save it…

Great Barrier Reef: the scale of bleaching has the most sober scientists worried, Guardian UK (04-16-2016)
I have dived hundreds of times, with different teams of scientists, along the reef. Yet the scale of this bleaching event has even the most sober and senior coral reef scientists worried. If the rhetoric from marine biologists is to be believed, then the Great Barrier Reef is now in the grip of a “bommie apocalypse”…

Scientists: Major Coral Bleaching Crisis Spreads Worldwide, AP / US News & World Report (10-08-2015)
The bleaching of colorful coral is spreading into a worldwide, devastating crisis, scientists say, and they predict it will likely get worse…

Human impact has pushed Earth into the Anthropocene, scientists say; Guardian UK (01-08-2016)
There is now compelling evidence to show that humanity’s impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife has pushed the world into a new geological epoch, an “Anthropocene” – ending the current Holocene which began around 12,000 years ago…

War on global warming only way to save world’s coral, study says; CBS News (03-15-2017)
Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won’t prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world’s coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming…

Trump Spares NO Coast, Every State at Risk: A Call To Take Action, By NRDC

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Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

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Secretary Ryan Zinke released the proposal which is the most extreme offshore drilling plan that any administration has proposed, designed to exploit every last U.S. coast for the benefit of the oil industry. Essentially every state—from California to Washington and Alaska, and from Florida to Maine—is a potential industrial zone in this plan.

TAKE ACTION:Tell Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to keep our coasts permanently off-limits to oil and gas drilling – NRDC

Read Full Article And Learn More, NRDC

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling; The New York Times (01-04-2018)

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling


Oil platforms, Summerlamd, Santa Barbara County. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care.
Old wells, new problems: Once upon a time, Summerland, California, was the offshore oil drilling capital of the county. And while the wells were abandoned nearly a century ago, many Summerland residents feel that the unprecedented amounts of oil washing up on their beaches in recent months may be the result of these old petroleum-harvesting spots. Santa Barbara historical museum.

Excerpts;

The Trump administration said Thursday it would allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, giving energy companies access to leases off California for the first time in decades and opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard…

Read Full Article, The New York Times (01-04-2018)

Business View: ‘No Good Reason For Drilling’; Coastal review (05-31-2017)
Every aspect of offshore drilling, from exploration to transporting the product from the drilling site, has implications for marine life and coastal communities…

The ‘Job-Killing’ Fiction Behind Trump’s Retreat on Fuel Economy Standards; Yale E360 (04-20-2017)

Why U.S. East Coast Should Stay Off-Limits to Oil Drilling, Yale E360 (02-28-2015)
It’s not just the potential for a catastrophic spill that makes the new proposal to open Atlantic Ocean waters to oil exploration such a bad idea. What’s worse is the cumulative impact on coastal ecosystems that an active oil industry would bring…

Estimates of offshore drilling’s benefits exaggerated, report says, The Virginian Pilot (12-15-2015)

Trump, reversing Obama, will push to expand drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic, The Washington Post (04-28-2017)

When You Drill, You Spill; Huffington Green (05-27-2015)
The Santa Barbara County spill, one of the largest in California history, reiterates what we already know: We can’t extract oil and transport it without putting our beaches, wildlife, and coastal communities at risk. The sad fact is, when you drill, you spill.

The Ocean Is Boiling’: The Complete Oral History of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill; By Kate Wheeling & Max Ufberg; Pacific Standard Magazine – 33 min read (04-18-2017)

Deadly winter storm pummels South, targets Northeast

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Hudson river, ice and snow. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Forecasters have extended a winter storm warning from the Gulf Coast in Florida’s “Big Bend” region all the way up the Atlantic coast. Forecasters said hurricane-force winds blowing offshore on Thursday could generate 24-foot seas. Coastal flooding, downed trees and power lines were possible along the East Coast…

Read Full Article, CBS News (01-03-2018)

These Birds Decorate Their Nests With Trash—Here’s Why

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“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death. Indeed, it is found that debris often accumulates in the animals’ gut and give a false sense of fullness, causing the animal to stop eating and slowly starve to death.” —Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

As scientists study the makeup of birds’ nests, they’re looking for signs of human influence…

Read Full Article, National Geographic (01-01-2018)

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Stomachs, Newsweek (09-01-2015)
By 2050, nearly all seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs. Already, 9 out of 10 of the birds have some of the substance in their digestive tracts. Such are the sobering conclusions of a study published August 31 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…

Toxins From Plastic Pollution Impacting Health Of Seabirds; ABC News Australia (09-25-2014)
Plastic pollution is having a greater impact on seabirds than previously thought, scientists say…

Lobster found with Pepsi logo ‘tattoo’ fuels fears over ocean litter; Guardian UK (11-29-2017)
Concerns over debris littering the world’s oceans are back in the spotlight after a Canadian fishing crew found a lobster with the blue and red Pepsi logo imprinted on its claw…

Taste, not appearance, drives corals to eat plastics; Duke University (10-24-2017)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
Marine debris is negatively affecting more than 800 animal species and causing serious losses to many countries’ economies, according to a United Nations report launched December 5th, 2016…

From entanglement to invasions of alien species: the harm caused by marine litter; Europa (03-17-2017)

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves. The footage shows one way that plastic waste could be entering the marine and global food chain…

Brain damage in fish from plastic nanoparticles in water, Science Daily (09-25-2017)
A new study shows that plastic particles in water may end up inside fish brains. The plastic can cause brain damage, which is the likely cause of behavioral disorders observed in the fish…

People may be breathing in microplastics, health expert warns; Guardian UK (05-10-2016)
People could be breathing in microparticles of plastic, according to a leading environmental health expert, with as yet unknown consequences on health…

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

Plastic Pollution / When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care ©-2009.
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry, The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…

UN Declares War on Ocean Plastic, UNEP (02-23-2017)

The Texas Coastline Is Slowly Disappearing. Here’s How One Community Is Coping

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Coastal restoration. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The Lone Star State’s shoreline is experiencing one of the highest rates of land loss of any coastal area in the country due to a combination of subsidence, sea level rise and storm surges…

Read Full Article, Houston Public Media (01-02-2018)

Looking to Holland to find more sand for Galveston Island, Texas; HPM University of Houston (08-30-2016)

County meets with state for coastal erosion plan, Texas; PaNews (11-26-2016)
A coastline that is resilient in response to coastal hazards is one that maintains a strong ecological foundation, according to the Preview of the Texas General Land Office’s Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan. The estimated cost for the restoration of beaches and dunes for Region 1 that runs from Orange County to Brazoria County, would be for a total of $540 million to $1.4 billion…

“Living Shorelines” Will Get Fast Track to Combat Sea Level Rise, Scientific American (07-06-2016)

Living shorelines a more natural approach to preventing coastal erosion, WNCT (05-18-2016)
For centuries, large bulkheads have been used to help control erosion along coastlines. More recent research suggests that a natural approach may be a better alternative. Having nature on your side, especially during a storm or hurricane, is proven to provide better protection from coastal erosion…

Living Shorelines: Better Than Bulkheads, Coastal Review Online (02-08-2016)
More than 14,000 miles – 14 percent of continental U.S. coastline — has been armored with hardened structures. Hardened structures cause elevated rates of erosion on the shoreward side of the structure…

Rethinking Living Shorelines, By Orrin H. Pilkey, Rob Young, Norma Longo, and Andy Coburn;Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines / Western Carolina University, March 1, 2012, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
In response to the detrimental environmental impacts caused by traditional erosion control structures, environmental groups, state and federal resource management agencies, now advocate an approach known as “Living Shorelines”that embraces the use of natural habitat elements such as indigenous vegetation, to stabilize and protect eroding shorelines.

NOAA Study Finds Marshes, Reefs, Beaches Can Enhance Coastal Resilience, NOAA (04-29-2015)

Coastal erosion needs our attention, South Coast Today (01-04-2016)

NOAA study finds ‘living shorelines’ can lessen climate change’s effects, NOAA (12-22-2015)

World’s largest plastics plant rings alarm bells on Texas coast


Plastic pollution. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Communities fear impact on environment, as fossil fuel companies target region in multi-billion dollar push to increase global plastic production.

Gas giant ExxonMobil seal a $10bn agreement with the state-owned Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) to build the world’s largest plastics facility on the Texas coast. The Exxon-Sabic project will fuel an anticipated 40% rise in global plastic production over the next decade.

The new plants are likely to have consequences for the climate and the air breathed in by people living on the US Gulf coast. An analysis of 184 planned chemical plants, many of them strung along the coast of Texas and Louisiana, showed they would collectively emit around 216m tons of greenhouse gases a year once complete…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK (12-26-2017)

U.N. environment chief warns “we’re facing an ocean Armageddon”; CBS News (12-04-2017)
Every year, we’re dumping at least 8 million tons of plastics into our oceans…

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

Plastic Waste Causes $13 Billion In Annual Damage To Marine Ecosystems, UN
Concern is growing over widespread plastic waste that is threatening marine life – with conservative yearly estimates of $13 billion in financial damage to marine ecosystems, according to two reports issued at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly.

People may be breathing in microplastics, health expert warns; Guardian UK (05-10-2016)
People could be breathing in microparticles of plastic, according to a leading environmental health expert, with as yet unknown consequences on health…

Plastic Pollution: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care ©-2009.
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”

Curbing climate change: Study finds strong rationale for the human factor


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Humans may be the dominant cause of global temperature rise, but they may also be a crucial factor in helping to reduce it, according to a new study that for the first time builds a novel model to measure the effects of behavior on climate…

Read Full Article, Science daily (01-01-2018)

Humans causing climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces, Guardian UK (02-12-2017)
For the first time, researchers have developed a mathematical equation to describe the impact of human activity on the earth, finding people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces…

Climate change report says humans “extremely likely” to blame for warming; CBS news (11-04-2017)
A new Trump administration report on climate change paints an apocalyptic portrait of global climate trends, saying the last three years have been the “warmest years on record for the globe” and that humans are almost certainly causing the climate to change…

Scale of human impact on planet has changed course of Earth’s history, scientists suggest; Science Daily (10-02-2017)
The significant scale of human impact on our planet has changed the course of Earth history, an international team of scientists led by the University of Leicester has suggested…

The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age; Guardian UK (08-29-2016)
Experts say human impact on Earth so profound that Holocene must give way to epoch defined by the radioactive elements dispersed across the planet by nuclear bomb tests, although an array of other signals, including plastic pollution, soot from power stations, concrete were now under consideration…

Anthropocene Period Would Recognize Humanity’s Impact on Earth, Science Daily (07-11-2013)
The Anthropocene is the name of a proposed new geological time period that may soon enter the official Geologic Time Scale. The Anthropocene is defined by the human influence on Earth, where we have become a geological force shaping the global landscape and evolution of our planet…

Trump to planet: Drop dead, CNN (06-01-2017)
“America First” is becoming increasingly America alone. Somehow, Donald Trump has managed, with a single, desperate and ill-conceived stroke, to sever the United States from the rest of the world…

The US President Doesn’t Care to Understand Global Warming; The Atlantic (12-29-2017)

Make our Planet Great Again! Youtube Video (06-01-2017)
Speech of the French President Emmanuel Macron – Reaction to Donald Trump decision to leave the Paris Agreement…

Companies to keep promise to Obama on reducing carbon use; Bloomberg (03-28-2017)
Many of America’s biggest corporations including Apple Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are sticking by their pledges to fight climate change even as President Donald Trump guts his predecessor’s environmental policies. Companies say their promises, coordinated by the Obama administration, reflect their push to cut energy costs, head off activist pressure and address a risk to their bottom line in the decades to come.

As Trump Retreats, States Are Joining Forces on Climate Action; Yale E360 (10-09-2017)

Climate Progress, With or Without Trump; The New York Times (03-31-2017)