Bay of Life – Frans Lanting and Christine Eckstrom – MAH

Excerpt:
The Bay of Life is a unique confluence of land and sea, energized by the sun, shaped by the forces of fog and fire, and influenced by the actions of people.

“We know of no other place in the world where land and sea connect
in such an extraordinary way.”
–Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom

Bay of Life: From Wind to Whales is a new exhibition from renowned National Geographic photographer-writer team Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom that brings land and sea together for a unified view of Monterey Bay and its natural abundance.

The exhibition is on view at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) from January 19, 2023 to April 30, 2023.  The exhibition supports Lanting and Eckstrom’s new book, Bay of Life: From Wind to Whales, which documents how the region has recovered, telling a hopeful story of how damaged ecosystems can be restored when people care and take action together. Numerous organizations and institutions have played key roles in the region’s ecological comeback. Bay of Life celebrates their achievements and ties together the work of scientists and conservationists in both marine and terrestrial fields.

‘Bay of Life’ enlarges the vision of what we all call ‘home’ – Lookout Santa Cruz

The Bay of Life Exhibit at MAH, January 21, 2023 (by D Shrestha Ross CC BY-SA)

Excerpt: A project from Bonny Doon photographer Frans Lanting and writer Chris Eckstrom, is on display at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History…Bay of Life gives equal weight to land and sea…It gives respect, even love, to the coastal fog that so many of us curse…It acknowledges the vulnerability of the region to wildfire and drought. It also recognizes the native cultures that existed in this region for centuries before European settlement…

Even at the Bottom of the World, the Ocean is Belching Plastic – EOS Magazine

Aukland from Rangitoto (by Georgie Sharp CC BY-NC 2.0 via Flickr).

Plastic fills the air above Auckland, New Zealand.

With its small population and remote location, New Zealand might hope to be sheltered from the world’s plastic pollution. But new research shows that’s far from the case. In a recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology, researchers report a mist of microplastics is constantly drifting across the country’s largest city.

“We don’t produce large amounts of plastics here in New Zealand,” said Joel Rindelaub, a research fellow at the University of Auckland in New Zealand who led the study. “But we did see large amounts of plastics falling out of the sky in Auckland.”

In 2020, Rindelaub and his colleagues installed two simple devices fashioned from glass bottles to capture plastic as it fell from the air—one in a suburban garden and the other on top of a six-story building in the heart of the city. They then used fluorescence microscopes to count the particles of plastic they collected in the contraption’s filter. The team was able to detect fragments as small as 10 microns (0.01 millimeter)—far smaller than previous studies could see.

“What got us to 10 microns,” said Rindelaub, “was mostly just the amount of time and effort that was devoted to this. A graduate student was working for months to scan the entire filter…”

Global Weather Patterns and Coastlines

Coasts are sensitive to sea level rise, changes in the frequency and intensity of storms, increases in precipitation, and warmer ocean temperatures. In addition, rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing the oceans to absorb more of the gas and become more acidic. This rising acidity can have significant impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems.

The impacts of climate change are likely to worsen problems that coastal areas already face. Confronting existing challenges that affect man-made infrastructure and coastal ecosystems, such as shoreline erosion, coastal flooding, and water pollution, is already a concern in many areas. Addressing the additional stress of climate change may require new approaches to managing land, water, waste, and ecosystems…

Rivers in the Sky

A powerful storm formed above the Pacific Ocean battering the U.S. West Coast seen by a weather satellite in January 2023. (image courtesy of Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere - CIRA - between Colorado State University and NOAA via Space.com).

Atmospheric rivers are relatively long, narrow regions in the atmosphere – like rivers in the sky – that transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics. These columns of vapor move with the weather, carrying an amount of water vapor roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River. When the atmospheric rivers make landfall, they often release this water vapor in the form of rain or snow…