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Some marine creatures may be more resilient to harsher ocean conditions than expected –

So I’m writing an essay about drivers of coral reef bleaching, and reading about acidification and its effects on marine mammals that secrete calcium carbonate, and this new research pops up. Interesting immediate adaptation to cope with lower pH levels in marine environments; although I’m not sure how long-term (and effective) an adaptation it might be. Similarly, some coral species and their symbionts are more tolerant of some drivers of bleaching than others. Again, in the short-term that helps those species, but it’s not clear how far beyond their normal thresholds for CO2, irradiance, thermal stress and acidification they can survive. And then there’s coral diseases… We are pushing the limits, changing environments and testing tolerance thresholds for so much of the world’s wildlife, and not in a good way.

Humboldt – the greatest Ecologist we’ve never heard of?

Born in 1769, Humboldt observed deforestation and its effects in the Amazon rainforests 200 years ago and wrote about them; he was possibly the first person to express concern for the negative effects of anthropogenic activity on the natural environment. He wrote of nature as a “living whole” and a web or tapestry – all life as connected – a new concept at that time. 

Humboldt wrote about soil erosion as a result of deforestation, and of climate change. He describes concern for human destruction of the entire planet – even suggesting we would take that destruction to other, distant planets – and of human greed and violence. 

Humboldt evidently influenced Charles Darwin himself. Was he the first ecologist? A fascinating listen.

Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change: NOAA and AMS Issue Annual Report | PLOS Ecology Community

“Without exception, all the heat-related events studied in this year’s report were found to have been made more intense or likely due to human-induced climate change, and this was discernible even for those events strongly influenced by the 2015 El Niño.” — from Explaining Extreme Events From A Climate Perspective 2015″

What we eat has bigger consequences for the planet than we ever thought – The Washington Post

“The most ambitious of these scenarios proposed reducing animal-based protein consumption in all parts of the world where consumption (from any food source) exceeded 60 grams of protein and 2,500 calories daily — targeting 1.9 billion people worldwide in total. The proposed shift would bring these populations’ protein consumption down to exactly 60 grams daily by reducing only animal-based protein in the diet.”

Why we should all worry about the Amazon catching on fire this year – The Washington Post

Amazon fire seasons don’t just happen — the rain forest doesn’t just burn in a massive way on its own. But logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and other human-induced changes have altered the landscape. Thinning out the forest also dries it out — the forest canopy then cannot block sunlight, and the understory and ground leaf layer become hotter and drier. Then, the trees are more flammable and fires can also spread more easily.”

The First Mammal Has Gone Extinct Due To Climate Change

“In a new report, published by the University of Queensland, researchers say the rat is officially history — the first documented mammal extinction due to climate change.”

Very sad news.

Turtles suffer ‘Floater Syndrome’ when they ingest plastic – Telegraph

Turtles suffering ‘floater syndrome’, caused by ingesting plastics in the ocean. We have created a ticking time bomb in everything plastic.

Anyone with half a brain could see this happening 40 years ago. I remember as a very young kid thinking that plastics were a disaster and wondering at the insanity of humans throwing away something that doesn’t degrade. A child could use logic to see the stupidity of creating a plastic disposable world. Why couldn’t governments? Where did we think it would go? Why did we allow this to happen?!