Reduction in Phytoplankton-40% since 1950s

It may be hardest of all to care about something unseen. A single glass of seawater drawn from the surf in Newport or Brookings might look clear but in fact would roil with at least 75 million organisms called phytoplankton.

And we vitally depend upon such creatures. Out in the ocean, infinite numbers of them produce half the world’s oxygen and form the base of the marine food chain. For what it’s worth, phytoplankton eat crazy amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

But their numbers are down 40 percent worldwide since the 1950s and may be headed down further. The culprit appears to be rising ocean temperatures associated with climate change. The sea’s warming top layer of water, where phytoplankton do their job, increasingly lacks life-sustaining nutrients from the cold deep.

via An ocean on the slide could hurt us badly |

Winter 2011: Heavier Snow for Chicago… Normal Snowfall for NYC, Philly and D.C.

This does not mean a free pass for the Northeast. Bastardi predicts late November and December could get winter off to a fast start in the East, with a major thaw coming for much of the country in January.Bastardi makes the early cold connection between this year’s active hurricane season and his winter forecast.

He said that years that see significant landfall, such as 1995, 2008 and 2005, usually also have cold for much of the eastern and central portions of the nation in December

via – Weather News | Winter 2011: Heavier Snow for Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit, Normal Snowfall for NYC, Philly and D.C.. Winter Forecast Coming

On Tuesday, Aug. 3, Long Range Meteorologist Joe Bastardi will reveal if winter will again grip the Northeast with extreme cold and snow, or if it will pummel another region.

Expect Bastardi to release an exciting long-range regional outlook for the entire U.S., forecasting when and where the core of the cold will be for all the major cities, as well as the brunt of major snowfall.

Bastardi’s winter of 2009-2010 accurately predicted the stormiest weather centered over the mid-Atlantic, with record snowfall from Washington, D.C., to Charlotte.

His forecast was confirmed when several big snowstorms dropped more than 54 inches of snow in Washington, D.C., making it the snowiest winter on record for the nation’s capital.

Three major snowstorms struck the Northeast in February 2010, causing the winter of 2009 to be dubbed “snowmaggedon.” Bastardi predicted nearly six months earlier that major cities in the East could get up to 75 percent of their total winter snowfall in two or three big storms.

via – Weather News | Winter Forecast is Coming Tomorrow.

via Winter Forecast Coming.

Video: The Bermuda High and tropical storms

The Bermuda High pressure system sits over the Atlantic during summer. Acting as a block that hurricanes cannot penetrate, the size and location of this system can determine where hurricanes go. A normal Bermuda High often leads to hurricanes moving up the east coast and out to sea. During summer 2004 and 2005, the Bermuda High expanded to the south and west, which steered hurricanes into the Gulf of Mexico rather than up the east coast or curving out to sea. Once in the Gulf, most hurricane paths will involve landfall at some location.The Bermuda High pressure system sits over the Atlantic during summer. This visualization first shows a typical Bermuda High system. Then, it expands the Bermuda High to show what happened in the summer of 2004 and 2005.

via The Bermuda High and tropical storms.

Alabama’s Jubilees (fish flee to shallows)

“At infrequent intervals in Mobile Bay, crabs, shrimp and several species of fish crowd to the shallow water where they may be easily taken by anyone on the beach,” marine biologist Harold Loesch wrote in 1960 in the journal Ecology, the first in-depth study of jubilees.The phenomenon begins when a large amount of organic material on the sea floor decomposes, robbing oxygen along the bottom of the sea. That, combined with a layering of warm saltwater and freshwater from rivers pouring into the Bay, pushes the bottom-dwelling flounder, crabs, eels and others to the surface.An easterly wind and incoming tide then sends the seafood to the shore.”It’s all those things coming together that leads to jubilees,” says Bill Walton, an assistant professor at Auburn University’s Marine Extension & Research Center.The jubilees can stretch about 15 miles on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, from Daphne to Mullet Point. Other times, they are highly localized to a few hundred yards of shore. Last year, the state put a limit of 10 12-inch flounder per day per person.

via Oil threatens Alabama’s ‘jolly good time’ –

Manual with Great Ecology-Energy Flow DIAGRAMS

Chapter II


  1. What are ecosystems and biological communities?
  2. How does an ecosystem work?
  3. Producers, Consumers, Decomposers
  4. Non-living environment
  5. How are energy and the environment related?
  6. What is energy flow?
  7. What is a nutrient cycle?
  8. What is the hydrologic water cycle?
  9. What are limiting factors?
  10. What is renewability?
  11. Energy, ecology, and the tropics
  12. What are environmental effects?


via Manual with Great Ecology-Energy Flow DIAGRAMS.

Humboldt Current, Pacific Currents, Energy Flow

The Humboldt Current helps create one of the world’s most productive upwelling areas and is the largest in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.A current of cold Antarctic water known as the Humboldt or Peru Current flows up the coast of Chile and Peru, then turns west and leaves the coast. This causes deep, nutrient-rich water to rise up along the coast. This upwelling creates perfect conditions for abundant plankton and an extraordinary variety of marine mammals, seabirds, and fish.

via Humboldt Trading.

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