Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Search

The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Fog

Fog is critical.

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Tuesday, April 23, 2013/Categories: natural history, sustainability, environment, Archive Pick of the Week

I love fog, no two ways about it.

Growing up on the coast of California, there were times when the coast became shrouded in thick fogs that many thought gloomy. I never saw it that way. Those events always seemed an opportunity to wander on the beach and experience a special but irregular feature of the environment. I was reminded of all this when a remarkable satellite photograph of Southern and Baja Californias was released by NASA showing the coastlines bathed in low clouds.



Southern and Baja California Fog  (credit: NASA)

Fog is the essential environmental component for several specialized ecosystems. Without their regular humidity, the coastal redwoods with their spongy understory would wither and turn brown: tropical
Cloud Forests would lack the ability to produce water for cities and farms far from the mountains or create habitat for a riot of biodiversity; and the Namibian and Atacama deserts wouldn't receive any water at all. The Namib Desert is so dry, beetles have evolved hairs they use to comb fog for water molecules that the bugs stick to their bodies for consumption later.

A Science report 
Cloud Forest Trees Drink From the Fog  illustrated just how aggressively these specialized forests utilize the fog. A number of tree species in Central American cloud forests "slurp" fog droplets through their leaves. These forests are now endangered from a changing climate that is becoming less "foggy". The new findings raises concerns that these montane forests are even more fragile than originally thought.


Cloud Forest (credit: Fray Jorge NP, Chile)

Even with all their ecological services, biodiversity, and beauty that will be jeopardized by declining fogs, where would film noir movie producers find a better misty backdrop for their great thrillers?


WHB

Print

Number of views (12181)/Comments (0)

Please login or register to post comments.

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x
Irma & Jose Together Thursday, September 7, 20170

Irma & Jose Together

Two hurricanes viewed in real-time data.

As Irma Approaches Wednesday, September 6, 20170

As Irma Approaches

Hurricane Irma is arriving 1-week after Harvey!

Endangered Species...Individual Actions Sunday, September 3, 20170

Endangered Species...Individual Actions

Individuals involved directly in species conservation.

Juno as Monet Friday, September 1, 20170

Juno as Monet

Jupiter as an impressionist painting.

Remembering the Joy before the Deluge Thursday, August 31, 20170

Remembering the Joy before the Deluge

Remembering good times before the bad.

Parking Lot Wednesday, August 30, 20170

Parking Lot

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot"

A 1000 Year Rainfall Event Tuesday, August 29, 20170

A 1000 Year Rainfall Event

Harvey is breaking all rainfall records and it's still raining.
What Climate Models Show & Predict Sunday, August 27, 20170

What Climate Models Show & Predict

Weather events are amplified by climate change.

A Monumental President Saturday, August 26, 20170

A Monumental President

Two new national monuments were designated.

Here Comes Harvey Thursday, August 24, 20170

Here Comes Harvey

Hurricane Harvey carrying a 'waterworld' of rain.

Environmental Space Monitoring Wednesday, August 23, 20170

Environmental Space Monitoring

Volcanic eruption seen from space.

Tetons in Totality Monday, August 21, 20170

Tetons in Totality

A national and local eclipse festival.

Night Vision Thursday, August 17, 20170

Night Vision

Tracking ice cracks in thermal infrared.

Elemental Haikus Wednesday, August 16, 20170

Elemental Haikus

A table of elemental poems with purpose.

Where's Richard Nixon When You Need Him? Tuesday, August 15, 20170

Where's Richard Nixon When You Need Him?

Phillipe Cousteau invisions a new environmental movement.

Fractal Jupiter Monday, August 14, 20170

Fractal Jupiter

Imagine Jupiter as a Grateful Dead poster.

Volcanoes Underwater Saturday, August 12, 20170

Volcanoes Underwater

Undersea island formation explained by volcanoes.

Greeenland Is Burning Friday, August 11, 20170

Greeenland Is Burning