"Odile Madden knows a lot about plastic. A materials scientist with the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, she has spent the past eight years studying plastics artifacts in the Smithsonian collections. Plastics are found in all the collections of the Smithsonian’s museums now, and the long-term stability of many of these artifacts is questionable and uncertain. Madden’s job is to study that instability in an attempt to extend the lifetimes of these objects."
News and Updates
Via The Stranger
"[NASA] will still have to cut four specific missions: the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite (which monitors the health of our oceans, and expands upon atmospheric studies); the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) experiment, which collects precise space-based measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to assess its growth (or decline) over an annual cycle; the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Pathfinder, which can produce accurate climate records to test climate projections, improve models and enable sound policy decisions; and the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), which maintains the nation's real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, critical to the accuracy and lead time of NOAA's space weather alerts and forecasts."
"Hawaiian custom recognizes a connection between the watershed and the ocean, mauka and makai; and experts are also looking to the mountains to explain the declining health of coral reefs."
"A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has found via genetic analysis that tool use by sea otters appears to go back hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the team describes how they looked for genetic differences between groups of otters and compared their findings with tool use in bottlenose dolphins to learn more about the history of tool use in marine animals."
"The Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP) is a collaboration between British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and First Nations representing the Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative, the North Coast-Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society, and the Nanwakolas Council. EcoAdapt partnered with MaPP in 2012-2015 to facilitate the integration of climate change into marine use plans for the four subregions: Haida Gwaii, North Coast, Central Coast, and North Vancouver Island. Activities included (1) integrating climate change into subregional marine use plans, (2) creating vulnerability and resilience maps to inform decision-making, and (3) reviewing a draft list of ecosystem-based indicators to identify climate-informed opportunities."
"Dead zones affect dozens of coral reefs around the world and threaten hundreds more according to a new study by Smithsonian scientists published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Watching a massive coral reef die-off on the Caribbean coast of Panama, they suspected it was caused by a dead zone—a low-oxygen area that snuffs out marine life—rather than by ocean warming or acidification."
Via The Telegraph
"Popular tourist beaches are now so strewn with plastic that resorts are burying the debris beneath the sand, and British travel groups are forced to organise long distance litter picks..."
Via The Daily Catch
"President Trump is expected to issue an executive order soon to reverse Obama-era rules to cut carbon pollution, including a moratorium on leasing public lands for coal mining and a plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Trump and his appointees argue that these steps will bring coal miners’ jobs back (although coal industry job losses reflect competition from cheap natural gas, not regulations that have yet to take effect). But they ignore the fact that mitigating climate change will produce large economic gains."