Category Archives: Celebrate

Rising Seas: Past, Present, Future

A book by Vivien Gornitz

Published by Columbia University Press

The Earth’s climate is already warming due to increased concentrations of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the specter of rising sea level is one of global warming’s most far-reaching threats. Sea level will keep rising long after greenhouse gas emissions have ceased, because of the delay in penetration of surface warming to the ocean depths and because of the slow dissipation of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Adopting a long perspective that interprets sea level changes both underway and expected in the near future, Vivien Gornitz completes a highly relevant and necessary study of an unprecedented age in Earth’s history.

Gornitz consults past climate archives to help better anticipate future developments and prepare for them more effectively. She focuses on several understudied historical events, including the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Anomaly, the Messinian salinity crisis, the rapid filling of the Black Sea (which may have inspired the story of Noah’s flood), and the Storrega submarine slide, an incident possibly connected to a sea level occurrence roughly 8,000 years old.

By examining dramatic variations in past sea level and climate, Gornitz concretizes the potential consequences of rapid, human-induced warming. She builds historical precedent for coastal hazards associated with a higher ocean level, such as increased damage from storm surge flooding, even if storm characteristics remain unchanged. Citing the examples of Rotterdam, London, New York City, and other forward-looking urban centers that are effectively preparing for higher sea level, Gornitz also delineates the difficult economic and political choices of curbing carbon emissions while underscoring, through past geological analysis, the urgent need to do so.

About the Author:
Vivien Gornitz is a geologist and special research scientist with the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. She has written numerous articles on sea level rise and the impacts of climate change on the coastal zone. She was a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 and to the New York City Panel on Climate Change and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority ClimAID in 2010 and 2011.

Order available now at: University Of Columbia Press

Horned Ghost Crabs Change Camouflage From Day To Night

Horned Ghost Crab, Kailua Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. Captions and Photo source: ©© XJchief


Horned ghost crabs change their appearance from day to night for camouflage, a study has revealed.

“They can even match the colours of particular grains of sand found on the beach where they occur.”

Read Full Article, BBC Nature

Sand Color Palette
Most beach sand color ranges from pale cream to golden to caramel, but in select places around the world, sand can be red, pink, orange, chocolate, gold, purple, green, or black…

Building a Sustainable Lobster Fishery Off Honduras

Moskitia coast. Photo source: ©© Garavis
La Mosquitia refers to the northeastern part of Honduras along the Mosquito Coast. It is an underdeveloped region of tropical rainforest accessible primarily by water and air. Its population include indigenous groups such as the Miskito, the Pech, Rama, Sumo, and Tawakha. The Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage site, is a part of La Mosquitia. La Mosquitia has the largest wilderness area in Central America. In La Mosquitia there are mangrove swamps, lagoons, rivers, savannas and tropical rain forests. Captions: Wikipedia


The eastern coast of Honduras is a rugged, largely undeveloped place called the Moskitia. Draped in wetland forest and punctuated by saltwater lagoons, it is home to four indigenous groups, including the Miskitos. For four decades, the Miskito people have worked in a fishery off their coast, scuba diving to pick up lobster and conch from the seafloor to supply industrial boats from more developed parts of the country…

Read Full Article, National Geographic

Blue Whale Encounters in the Sea of Cortez, In Pictures

Blue Whale – Sea of Cortez. Captions And Photo source: ©© Michael McCullough


Seeing a blue whale is an overwhelming experience, whether it’s your first, tenth or twentieth time. At first, your eyes wander near and far in an attempt to take in the enormity of the creature. Then, a voice in your head screams, having realized that you’re in the presence of the largest animal that’s ever lived. Suddenly, you feel somehow connected to this mysterious being, hoping it would stay with you for just one more breath…

Read Full Article, Huffington Post

San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival, 2013

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


The mission of the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival is to inspire people to appreciate and care for the ocean by revealing its wonders through independent films…

WATCH: The 2013 San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival Trailer.

The Film Festival Opens March-8-10, 2013: All films screen at the Bay Theater, on Pier 39, adjacent to the Aquarium of the Bay.

Must see films: 2013 Program

Filmaker Q & A: Angela Sun: Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The Battle of Midway Island in 1942 marked the turn of the tide in the Pacific War. Now, that island, home to thousands of Laysan Albatross, is at the center of a war against discarded plastic. Plastic Paradise is an exploration into the history of plastic: where it comes from, what it is used for, where it ends up. We talked with filmmaker Angela Sun about her experience creating Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which screens on Saturday, March 9, at 10:00 am, at the 2013 San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival.

Read Full Article and Learn More, Ocean Film Festival

Duke of Lancaster Graffiti Art Ship, In Pictures

The Duke of Lancaster, now concreted in a drydock. It was a railway steamer passenger ship that operated in Europe from 1956 to 1979, and is currently beached near Mostyn Docks, on the River Dee, north-east Wales. Photo source: ©© Nick Cummins


The ship has been docked in Flintshire, north Wales since 1979. Now local art collective DuDug want to transform it into a floating gallery…

View Photo Gallery and Read Full Article, Guardian UK

Tony Plant’s Ethereal Sand Drawing Art

Photograph: © SAF


Sand is a versatile material in art, seen in work such as intricately coloured Tibetan Buddhist sand mandalas.

On another approach is British artist Tony Plant, a sand-painter and photographer who borrows his canvas from nature by using the wet sand of low-lying coastal lands of England as his working surface. His art is deceptively simple but impressive, employing simple tools like garden rakes to create large-scale sand artworks…

Read Full Article, Tree Hugger

WATCH: Tony Plant, Drawings and Videos
“Tony Plant is a time based, environmental artist, photographer and surf creature whose imagination stretches to the far and hidden corners of the coastline” – Surfers Path