Notes from a rare planet: Alaska to sue over U.S. polar bear protection

Polar Bear Female With Cubs Along the Beaufort Sea

Extremely disappointing: Alaska to sue over U.S. polar bear protection

  • “The habitat designation, aimed at helping polar bears fight extinction as Arctic sea ice melts, does not in itself block economic activity such as offshore oil and gas drilling, but it requires federal officials to consider if such action would adversely affect their habitat.”
  • “Nearly 95% of the designated habitat is sea ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska’s northern coast, reports the Associated Press, adding environmentalists were not surprised by the action of Alaska officials.”

Yikes: Digital billboards consume 30 times more energy than the typical U.S

  • “The growing number of digital billboards on U.S. roads and highways consume large amounts of energyand are creating a wide variety of electronic waste, according to a new report.”

Researcher Recruits Seaweed to Clean Polluted Waters

  • “A researcher at the University of Connecticut has come up with a solution for certain kinds of coastal water pollution. Professor Charles Yarish is developing an engineered ecosystem based on seaweed and shellfish that could help reduce excess nutrients, one of the vital signs of a healthy marine environment. Excess nutrients are a particularly stubborn problem in enclosed regions such as the Long Island Sound, which shares a coastline with heavily populated Connecticut and downstate New York.”

Entire Dolphin Families Dying in Fishing Nets

  • “Dolphin bycatch victims are often related, new genetic analysis shows.”
  • “Mother dolphins frequently die with their calves, which tag along while the mother dolphin seeks prey in fishing nets.”
  • “Alarm systems, special nets and other tactics have been employed to help curb the problem.”

Not only does light pollution make stargazing difficult, it also makes the air in the morning less fresh

  • “The light interferes with the chemicals that clear up foul molecules that are smog’s raw materials.”
  • “Los Angeles is 25 times brighter than the full moon, and the metropolis’ lights come on at a time when the atmosphere is supposed to be cleansing itself of the day’s pollution.”

In case you missed the lunar eclipse, here is a really great gallery of photos