Coral reefs are one of the most threatened ecosystems on our planet, and in the past two decades alone, half of the coral in Florida has died off completely. Global warming is known to be a deadly factor, but rising ocean temperatures are only part of the story.
Thirty years of research in the Looe Key Sanctuary Preservation Area (LKSPA) on the southern tip of the Florida Keys has now revealed the cost of a devastating threat to coral that rivals even climate change: direct human pollution.
For years, agricultural run-off and improperly treated sewage have flowed into Florida’s ocean waters from the northern Everglades, elevating the sanctuary’s nitrogen levels and lowering the reef’s temperature threshold for bleaching, researchers say.
As a result of this deadly combination, coral cover in the region has declined from nearly 33 percent in 1984 to less than 6 percent in 2008.
In their analysis, the authors found that three mass bleaching events that occurred during these years only happened after heavy rainfall and increased land-based runoffs. In other words, if we can reduce the amount of local pollution that makes its way into our oceans, we might be able to reduce the worst of the damage.
New Mexico contains hundreds of historic uranium mines. Although active uranium mining in the state has ceased, rates of cardiovascular and metabolic disease remain high in the population residing close to mines within the Navajo Nation. According to a new study in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, inhaled uranium in dusts from the mines could be a factor.
NOTE: I don’t necessarily agree with this [at all], but I thought it worth exposing – Anthony
In a recent article in the Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International, Transdyne Corporation geoscientist J. Marvin Herndon makes the startling claim that climate scientists, including the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have been chasing the wrong culprit for global warming and climate change.
From the article, “Fig. 3 is a copy of [Gottschalk’s] Fig. 2 to which has been added three relative-value proxies that represent major activities that produce particulate pollution.”
We have to face it: The West has done our planet no favor by moving industrial production and manufacturing to China. Trump is right, many of factories and industries are better back home, even if it means paying a bit more for products.
Not only does the China use the oceans as a global dump for much of its plastic trash, the country now is gearing up to turn parts of the planet into a toxic solar panel waste dump.
According to French science magazine Futura here, we are looking at a “solar panel time bomb”.
Futura describes how China is installing “gigantic” solar panel farms in remote places like Tibet and how 30 years from now the country will have “mountains of solar panels reaching their end of their lives and that nothing is planned for their collection and recycling.”
Using 100-year-old minerals processing methods, chemical engineering students have found a solution to a looming 21st-century problem: how to economically recycle lithium ion batteries.
Pan, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University, earned his graduate degrees in mining engineering. It was his idea to adapt 20th century mining technology to recycle lithium ion batteries, from the small ones in cell phones to the multi-kilowatt models that power electric cars. Pan figured the same technologies used to separate metal from ore could be applied to spent batteries. So he gave his students a crash course in basic minerals processing methods and set them loose in the lab.
A study conducted in mining areas in Asturias by the Animal Ecotoxicity and Biodiversity group led by Dr Pilar Rodriguez, through collaboration between the Department of Zoology and Animal Cellular Biology and that of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology of the UPV/EHU’s Faculty of Science and Technology, and the Limnology Laboratory at the University of Vigo has enabled progress to be made in this field and has proposed the ecological threshold concentration for 7 metals (cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, lead and zinc) and two metalloids (arsenic and selenium). The study included a number of non-contaminated localities belonging to the reference network of the Nalón river basin as well as other highly contaminated ones. This is a basin with a long history of mining activities due to the high levels of metals naturally occurring in its rocks.
* Most of the plastic waste comes from just a few countries, mostly in Asia and Africa.
* 25% is “leakage” from Asian waste management processes — the rest is waste that has never been collected, but is simply thrown into rivers.
* But European countries ship inject huge quantities of waste into Asian waste management streams, ostensibly for recycling. As much as 20% — millions of tons every year — ends up in the oceans and will continue to do so.
* Since the Chinese banned waste imports at the start of the year, shipments have been diverted to other Asian countries with even weaker environmental controls (Figure 1).
* EU recycling is therefore a major contributor to marine waste and increasing recycling will therefore simply increase marine litter.
Trois révolutions énergétiques depuis à peine plus d’un siècle. Nous sommes entrés dans la troisième révolution énergétique. La première vit le jour avec la machine à vapeur et participa à l’essor du charbon, avec la seconde le moteur thermique dérôna le charbon au profit des hydrocarbures, et la troisième révolution industrielle, en cours, est technologique et basée sur les énergies ‘vertes’ ou énergies intermittentes et l’informatique ou le numérique. Cette problématique vient d’être abordée dans un excellent ouvrage paru en 2018 .
Peut-on dire que cette progression récente suivant ces trois phases majeures de la technologie s’est effectuée dans le sens d’un meilleur respect de l‘état de la Planète. Bien que cela soit le discours officiel, rien n’en est moins sûr. Pourquoi ? Tout simplement par le méconnaissance de tout un chacun à comprendre ou savoir ce qui est réellement utilisé dans les énergies vertes et numériques. L’actuelle ‘transition énergétique’ a bon dos et elle a toutes les vertus, elle est propre, quant aux les hydrocarbures, le charbon, l’uranium et CO2 (ennemi n° 1) ils ont tous les maux, et sont tous sales. Il n’est pas un jour où cette opposition nous est rappelée…
“Plastics make ideal vessels for colonizing microscopic organisms that could trigger disease if they come into contact with corals,” Lamb said. “Plastic items – commonly made of polypropylene, such as bottle caps and toothbrushes – have been shown to become heavily inhabited by bacteria. This is associated with the globally devastating group of coral diseases known as white syndromes.”
When plastic debris meets coral, the authors say, the likelihood of disease increases from 4 to 89 percent – a 20-fold change. The scientists estimate that about 11.1 billion plastic items are entangled on reefs across the Asia-Pacific region, and that this will likely increase 40 percent over the next seven years.
European Union nations are poised to endorse the biggest overhaul of the market they created more than a decade ago to rein in pollution, a move that may lift prices of power generated from fossil fuels.
The measures, due for final approval in Brussels on Tuesday, impose tougher requirements on thousands of companies to reduce greenhouse gases or pay higher costs for their carbon dioxide emissions. They’re part of a plan to clear up a flaw in the market that left the cost of CO2 permits well below the level needed to stir investments in green energy.
Que sont les métaux rares ? Des ressources peu connues mais essentielles au fonctionnement de l’espace mondialisé. Insérées au cœur de tout appareil électronique, sans elles aucune de nos technologies numériques n’existerait. Composant également la plupart de nos technologies vertes (éoliennes, panneaux solaires ou voitures électriques), leurs modes de production laissent toutefois perplexe sur leur capacité à s’établir comme alternatives durables aux énergies fossiles. La pollution ne serait pas réduite mais simplement délocalisée… essentiellement en Chine où 95% des terres rares sont produites. Un chiffre qui par ailleurs devrait nous alarmer sur la situation de dépendance à la Chine dans laquelle le reste du monde -dont l’Europe- se trouve depuis les années 1980. Guillaume Pitron nous présente une enquête de six ans, dont les résultats sont à retrouver dans son livre La guerre des métaux rares.
Plastics make ideal vessels for colonizing microscopic organisms that could trigger disease if they come into contact with corals,” Lamb said. “Plastic items — commonly made of polypropylene, such as bottle caps and toothbrushes — have been shown to become heavily inhabited by bacteria
A 2010 analysis of 372 studies of 44 different marine species found that the world’s marine fauna is “more resistant to ocean acidification than suggested by pessimistic predictions” and that it “may not be the widespread problem conjured into the 21st century”
Dans la lutte que mènent nos villes contre la pollution urbaine, on perçoit la recherche désespérée de solutions alternatives aux véhicules conventionnels. C’est le cas en particulier pour les particules fines, même s’il est de bon ton de passer sous silence que le chauffage contribue aussi largement à cette pollution….
La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse