Category Archives: Celebrate

Earth Hour: Dare the World to Save the Planet

Photo courtesy of: © PAYC


We only have one planet.

You can help protect it.

Participate in the world’s largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour. It starts by turning off your lights for an hour at 8:30 pm on March 31, 2012 in a collective display of commitment to a better future for the planet.

Think what can be achieved when we all come together for a common cause.

Millions of participants all over the globe, from Egypt’s Tahrir Square to Washington D.C.’s National Cathedral are expected to turn their lights off for an hour in honor of Earth Hour…

Read More: Dare the World to Save the Planet, WWF
The Earth Hour City Challenge encourages cities to prepare for the costly impacts of climate-related extreme weather and to reduce their carbon footprint. You can be an integral part in this challenge.

Earth Hour observed all over the world

Earth Hour

Earth Hour 2012 : In pictures, BBC

How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach

How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach:

A Guide to Shadow Dunes, Ghost Forests, and Other Telltale Clues from an Ever-Changing Coast.

A book by Tonya Clayton

Published by The University of North Carolina Press

“Come explore the geology of Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches, from a bird’s-eye view down to a crab’s-eye view. You’ll journey from Panhandle sugar-sand beaches to southwestern shell beaches, taking a fresh look at the ever-changing landscape.

With Tonya Clayton as your guide, you’ll learn how to recognize the stories and read the clues of these dynamic shores, reshaped daily by winds, waves, and sometimes bulldozers or dump trucks.

This dynamic tour begins with a broad description of Florida’s Gulf Coast, roaming from popular Perdido Key in the northwest to remote Cape Sable in the south.

You’ll first fly over large-scale coastal features such as the barrier islands, learning to spot signs of the many processes that shape the shores. In subsequent chapters you’ll visit dunes and beaches to check out sand ripples, tracings, and other markings that show the handiwork of beach breezes, ocean waves, animal life, and even raindrops and air bubbles. You’ll also encounter signs of human shaping, including massive boulder structures and sand megatransfers.

With a conversational style and more than a hundred illustrations, How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach makes coastal science accessible, carrying vacationers and Florida natives alike on a lively, informative tour of local beach features.”

About the authors:
Tonya Clayton is a freelance science writer and editor.

Order available now at: UNC Press


“An excellent guide to Florida’s Gulf Coast environment. As well as being a primer on coastal processes, the book conveys some important environmental messages. It will not only fill a niche in beach-goers’ reading, but will also spark a greater sense of concern about the future of these beaches.” —William J. Neal, Grand Valley State University.

“Tonya Clayton has written a comprehensive, eminently readable interpretation of the beaches of Floridas Gulf of Mexico. She has a knack for using clever metaphors to explain key elements of beaches. Claytons knowledge and observations greatly enhance a visit to the shore. Open your eyes!” —Albert Hine, University of South Florida.

“In her fun and engaging book, Tonya Clayton leads the uninitiated beach lover through an explanation of how the Florida Gulf Coast beaches work. With her original voice and clear explanations, Clayton brings visitors, homeowners, and voters to a nuanced understanding of the processes that shape this stretch of coastline.”—Joseph T. Kelley, University of Maine.

“Tonya Clayton shows you how to read the natural and man-made shapes and textures of Florida’s Gulf beaches, dunes, and islands like a tracker reads animal signs in the wild. You’ll be eager to go straight to the nearest beach to immerse yourself in your new, richer understanding of your favorite beaches. This is the book I’ve been waiting for!” —David McRee, “the BeachHunter,” Florida beach expert and blogger.

Mission Blue: Coiba, Panama

Isla Granito de Oro, Parque Nacional Coiba. Photo source: ©© Seibert


Coiba National Park, located off the southwest coast of Panama, is made up of Coiba Island, 38 smaller islands and the surrounding marine areas within the Gulf of Chiriqui.

Considered a precious jewel of the Pacific, Coiba is a critical part of the Eastern Pacific Seascape, a broad ocean area within the waters of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador.

The Mission Blue team—including oceanographer Sylvia Earle and Smithsonian senior scientists Hector Guzman—embarked on an expedition to draw attention to the importance of Coiba’s protection and explore its waters…

Read Full Article, The Huffington Post

Mission Blue
The Mission Blue team—including oceanographer Sylvia Earle and Smithsonian senior scientists Hector Guzman—embarked on an expedition to the national park to draw attention to the importance of Coiba’s protection and explore its waters. The researchers collected corals, tube worms, black coral, a sea pen, bryozoans, pink stylaster coral, brittle stars, and black solitary cup coral from the ocean floor about 200 meters below the surface. The crew said they felt “as if we were discovering a new planet . . . our own mysterious ocean.”

Mission Blue : Photo Gallery, National Geographic

Coiba National Park
Identified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2005, Coiba National Park offers rich and well preserved natural resources. Because Isla Coiba served Panama as a penal colony, access to the island was very restricted. Almost by accident, 80% of the islands natural resources have survived untouched and flourished through limited human contact.

Artists and Scientists to Study L’Île de la Passion

Clipperton Island or, Île de la Passion, is an uninhabited nine-square-kilometre coral atoll in the eastern Pacific Ocean, southwest of Mexico and west of Central America. It is an overseas possession of France under direct authority of the Minister of Overseas France.
Clipperton’s name comes from John Clipperton, an English pirate and privateer who fought the Spanish during the early 18th century, and is said to have passed by the island. Some others say he used the island as a hidden base for his raids on shipping, yet there is no documentary evidence for this.The name Île de la Passion (English: Passion Island) was officially given in 1711 by French discoverers Martin de Chassiron and Michel Du Bocage, commanding the French ships La Princesse and La Découverte, who reached the island, drew the first map, and annexed it to France. Captions: Wikipedia. Photo source: Shannon Rankin, NOAA


Twenty artists and scientists from eight countries set sail Thursday for Clipperton Island, an isolated French atoll off Mexico’s Pacific coast, to investigate effects of climate change and the island’s history.

Named after British pirate John Clipperton, also known as the “Island of Passion,” Clipperton Island is some 2.3 square miles (six square kilometers) in size, and is unhabitated.

“The Clipperton Project aims to create a new kind of discourse and presentation of climate change, using Clipperton Island as a prism through which this broad theme can be seen,” said Jonathan Bonfliglio, the British project leader, on Monday in Mexico City…

Read Full Article, AFP

Île de la Passion ou Île de Clipperton
L’atoll ne comporte aucune population humaine permanente.

Byron Bay, Australia; By Hubert Cecil



By © Hubert Cecil

“Watego’s Bay, Late Afternoon.’ Nikon D700 February 2011.”

Byron Bay is a beachside town located in the far-northeastern corner of the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 772 kilometres (480 mi) north of Sydney and 165 kilometres (103 mi) south of Brisbane. Cape Byron, a headland adjacent to the town, is the easternmost point of mainland Australia. The local aboriginal name for the area is Cavvanbah.

Cradle of Flames

Photo source: ©© Zoutedrop

Fire in Mediterranean Ecosystems

A Book by Professor Jon E. Keeley / USGS. Cambridge University Press.


We may tend to view fires as the bane of cities and wilderness areas, but they actually play an integral part in the evolution and ecology of the world’s “Mediterranean-type climate” regions: dry, temperate coastlands that cradle and nurture world cities such as Los Angeles, Santiago, Cape Town, Perth and Athens.

Exploring the impact of fire on Mediterranean-type ecosystems and plant communities is the focus of a new book, “Fire in Mediterranean Ecosystems,” published by Cambridge University Press. The book’s host of international authors is led by fire ecologist Jon Keeley of the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Understanding the relationship between wildland fire and healthy ecosystems is an essential ingredient in being able to effectively manage wilderness areas,” said USGS director Marcia McNutt. “Similarly, understanding what steps communities and homeowners can take to provide a safety buffer from these frequent fires should be the responsibility of all those who live in these very desirable regions.

“We are providing in-depth reviews of the role fire plays in each of the geographically separate regions, like Chile and southern California,” says Keeley, who is also an adjunct professor at University of California-Los Angeles. “These form the basis for a synthesis of how fire has shaped these environments.

The book provides new perspective on the global importance of fire, and a unique view of how fire has shaped Earth’s ecosystems. The five Mediterranean-climate regions of the world provide a framework for understanding a diversity of fire regimes and how those regimes have affected the evolution of plant traits and plant communities.

Binding these Mediterranean-climate regions together is the pattern of mild, wet winters alternating with hot, dry summers, Keeley says.

Such conditions lead to dense fuels — comprising highly flammable plant leaves and twigs — that are conducive to severe wildfires on an annual basis. Subtle differences in climates and geology of each region provide a framework for understanding how diverse fire environments shaped the evolution of plants and plant community assemblages. The authors also challenge the belief that climate and soils alone can explain the convergent characteristics of these ecosystems.

No less important is the discussion of humans, who have long been attracted to Mediterranean climate regions, but have not always successfully adapted to these fire-prone landscapes.

“Urban populations have been highly vulnerable to wildfires in some Mediterranean-type climate regions, with differences in vulnerability between regions being due largely to innate differences in fuel loads of indigenous vegetation types and profound differences in population density,” says Keeley. “This book explores how innate differences in vegetation and patterns of human development have molded fire management responses.”

Original Article, USGS

Fire in Mediterranean Ecosystems, Cambridge University

Australian Open Of Surfing: 2012

Day 1 Australian Open Of Surf, 2012. Photo source: ©© AussieGold. Widely known as the birthplace of Australian surfing, Manly beach was the location for the first World Surfing Championships held in 1964. Member for Manly, Mike Baird said the Australian Open of Surfing will reaffirm Manly’s position on the global surfing circuit. Captions: ASP


Pro surfing fans have much to look forward to this weekend as the Australian Open, making its debut on the shores of Sydney, is currently taking place until February 19th, 2012 at the revered Manly Beach, widely known as the birthplace of Australian surfing. The Australian Open of Surfing is an extension of the world’s largest action sports festival, the US Open of Surfing.

Tomorrow the Australian Open Of Surfing will see both Men’s and Women’s ASP 6-Star action and will also feature skating competitions and demos, music concerts, athlete signing sessions and much more. The event is free for the public to view in person and live on the internet via Australia Open Of Surfing

manly beach
Manly Beach, Australia. Photo source: ©© Simon Varwell

Read Full Article; ASP Announces the Australian Open of Surfing for 2012
The Australian Open of Surfing, takes place at Sydney’s iconic Manly Beach 11 – 19 February 2012, and is a global, multifaceted youth and sporting event that will showcase the best in surfing, skate, music, fashion and art with an expected spectator audience of 125,000…

Australian Open Of Surfing: Day 4 Highlights, TransWorldSurf

World’s Best Female Surfers Light Up Manly beach, ASP

Australian Open of Surfing Kicks Off Feb. 11th at Manly Beach in Sydney, Yahoo Sports News

Socotra: The Isle of The Dragonsblood

Socotra Photo Gallery by: ©© Stefan Geens


Situated 250 miles off the coast of Yemen, Socotra is the largest member of an archipelago of the same name, a four-island ellipsis that trails off the Horn of Africa into the Gulf of Aden.

Some 250 million years or more ago, when all the planet’s major landmasses were joined and most major life-forms were just a gleam in some evolutionary eye, Socotra already stood as an island apart…

The Wonder Land of Socotra, Yemen, New York Times

Socotra, UNESCO
Socotra Archipelago, in the northwest Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden, is 250 km long and comprises four islands and two rocky islets which appear as a prolongation of the Horn of Africa. The site is of universal importance because of its biodiversity with rich and distinct flora and fauna: 37% of Socotra’s 825 plant species, 90% of its reptile species and 95% of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world. The site also supports globally significant populations of land and sea birds (192 bird species, 44 of which breed on the islands while 85 are regular migrants), including a number of threatened species. The marine life of Socotra is also very diverse, with 253 species of reef-building corals, 730 species of coastal fish and 300 species of crab, lobster and shrimp.

Socotra, Wikipedia
Socotra is very isolated and through the process of speciation, a third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. It has been described as the most alien-looking place on Earth. The island measures 132 kilometres (82 mi) in length and 49.7 kilometres (30.9 mi) in width.
Socotra is part of the Republic of Yemen. It had long been a part of the ‘Adan Governorate, but in 2004 it became attached to the Hadhramaut Governorate, which is much closer to the island than ‘Adan (although the nearest governorate is Al Mahrah).

The Socotra Archipelago Conservation and Development Programme (SCDP)
The Socotra Archipelago Conservation and Development Programme (SCDP), is an effort of the Republic of Yemen to conserve and develop in a sustainable way the island of Socotra and its neighboring smaller islands.

Socotra: Isle of the Dragonsblood; A Youtube Video (7mn)
Uploaded by iridiumetric1