Desalination Produces 50 Percent More Toxic Brine Than Previously Thought

photo: desalination plant

The world’s desalination plants, which use energy intensive processes to remove salt from water, produce enough toxic brine each year to cover all of Florida under a foot of water.

Factories around the world are pumping out toxic brine at a rate much higher than previously estimated and dumping it back into the ocean, according to a report published on Monday.

This super-salty brine is toxic to marine life, and … [more…]

The Seafloor Is Dissolving Because of Climate Change

underwater photo: scuba diver and ocean floor

Carbon emissions are acidifying the ocean so quickly that the seafloor is disintegrating.

According to a new study, ocean acidification is setting off a dangerous feedback loop that’s dissolving the very bottom of the ocean.

According to a study published this week in PNAS, this sets off a feedback loop that acidifies the ocean even more quickly, a process that is already killing off foundational marine life species such as … [more…]

This Remote Hawaiian Island Just Vanished

Satellite photo: East Island before Hurricane Walaka

Photo: Before, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Scientists are concerned about what will happen to the hundreds of endangered species that once called East Island home.

Hurricane Walaka, one of the most powerful Pacific storms ever recorded, has erased an ecologically important remote northwestern island from the Hawaiian archipelago.

Using satellite imagery, federal scientists confirmed Monday that East Island, a critical habitat for endangered Hawaiian monk seals and green sea … [more…]

Three newspapers confront one challenge: Sea-level rise is real

photo: woman walking on flooded sidewalk in Florida. Three newspapers confront one challenge: Sea-level rise is real, South Florida needs all hands on deck — now

In August, 2017, a woman walks along a flooded sidewalk along Alton Road near Michigan Avenue in Miami Beach. New research from NOAA suggests this kind of flooding could happen every day by 2070 under most climate models. Emily Michot MIAMI HERALD

South Florida needs all hands on deck — now

No graver threat faces the future of South Florida than the accelerating pace of sea-level rise. In the past … [more…]

The cataclysmic cost of Trump’s ‘war on oceans’

Photo illustration: The cataclysmic cost of Trump’s ‘war on oceans’

Photo illustration by Lesley Becker/Globe Staff/Adobe Stock

This summer, 60 million Americans will head to the seaside to enjoy majestic waves and salty breezes. It all seems reassuringly familiar. But the oceans, which cover 70 percent of the earth and control the climate, the water cycle, and 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe, are approaching a dangerous tipping point. The Arctic is melting faster than at any time in … [more…]