Cape Cod needs to clean up its water. The solutions could cost billions – WBUR Boston | Scientific American

The northern tip of Cape Cod, Masschusetts from the air (Courtesy of NASA Johnson CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

It’s a critical moment for Cape Cod. The Cape has more than 550 miles of coastline, at least 890 freshwater ponds and 53 small saltwater bays bordering the ocean. That water is the Cape’s raison d’être: residents and visitors use it for swimming, boating and fishing, and it forms the backbone of the region’s $1.4 billion tourism industry. Now Cape Cod communities are scrambling for solutions before their ecosystems, economies and property values collapse….

How to Crochet a Coral Reef – and Why – Scientific American

Evolution of a hyperbolic pseudosphere in crochet (by Cheryl, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

In 2005, Los Angeles-based twin sisters, Margaret and Christine Wertheim tried a different approach to communications by starting the Crochet Coral Reef project. The idea was born from their love of the Great Barrier Reef, their oceanic neighbor, and their appreciation for handiwork and the community it can create, simply by participation…

Earth Just Had the Hottest 12-Month Span in Recorded History – Scientific American

"The Earth in 2100" Edited NASA visualization of climate change (specifically temperature) will probably look like by the year 2100 (by Stuart Rankin CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

As this past October came to a close, it marked the hottest 12-month period ever recorded, a new analysis finds. This stark milestone is the latest in a string of superlatives to emerge this year that show how much carbon pollution has warmed the planet—and how that trend is accelerating. It also comes just weeks before international negotiators are set to meet and hash out issues around achieving the Paris climate accord’s fundamental goal: limiting global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial temperatures…

DeSantis’s Florida Approves Climate-Denial Videos in Schools – Scientific American

Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida (by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr).

Florida’s Department of Education has approved classroom use of videos that spout climate disinformation and distort climate science

Climate activists are like Nazis.

Wind and solar power pollute the Earth and make life miserable.

Recent global and local heat records reflect natural temperature cycles.
These are some of the themes of children’s videos produced by an influential conservative advocacy group…

El Niño May Break a Record and Reshape Weather around the Globe – Scientific American

Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean from mid-January through February 2022 compared to the long-term average. East of the International Dateline (180˚), waters remained cooler than average, a sign of La Niña (Graphic courtesy of Climate.gov, based on data from NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Lab)

Seven years ago an exceptionally strong El Niño took hold in the Pacific Ocean, triggering a cascade of damaging changes to the world’s weather. Indonesia was plunged into a deep drought that fueled exceptional wildfires, while heavy rains inundated villages and farmers’ fields in parts of the Horn of Africa. The event also helped make 2016 the planet’s hottest year on record. Now El Niño is back…

Fossil-Fuel Interests Try to Weaken Global Plastics Treaty – Scientific American

Microplastics On The Beach (by Petr Kratochvil CC0 Public Domain).

An international effort to rein in plastic pollution is running into resistance from China, Saudi Arabia and other nations that see a future in plastics amid declining demand for oil, gas and coal. That debate is playing out over the terms of a prospective global treaty that could set limits on plastic production and consumption. Environmentalists last year scored a landmark victory when 175 countries agreed to write a treaty designed to address the problems with plastic…

Surprising Creatures Lurk in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – Scientific American

Polyethylene heat welded sculpture made to demonstrate the great Oceanic Gyres created by waste. This artwork is part of a collection titled "The creation of Plastikos" (by Simon MAX Bannister, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia).

Scientists have long known that critters such as worms, crustaceans and mollusks could make their home on plastic debris. Animals have even crossed the Pacific Ocean on these makeshift rafts after a devastating tsunami struck Japan in 2011. But new research published on April 17 in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution adds two details that could be concerning for existing ecosystems. First, it finds that plastic is providing a home for coastal species to thrive in the open ocean thousands of miles from shore. Second, some of these species are reproducing despite the alien environment…

Why California Is Being Deluged by Atmospheric Rivers – Scientific American

California has been hit by repeated storms fueled by torrents of moisture called atmospheric rivers that will only intensify in a warming climate

California is taking a beating from what the National Weather Service has called a “seemingly never ending parade” of strong storm systems, which started late last December and are still coming. Called atmospheric rivers, they are long, narrow currents of exceptionally wet air that shoot across the ocean, capable of dumping massive volumes of rain or snow on landfall. Although these storms deliver much of the West’s precipitation, they also cause most of the region’s flooding, with associated economic damages as high as $1 billion a year…