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 (18235)/Comments (0)

Please login or register to post comments.

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x
6th Extinction Tuesday, May 7, 20190

6th Extinction

Losses rapid in biodiversity.

Laser Forestry Monday, May 6, 20190

Laser Forestry

GEDI to the rescue.

Cyclone Fani Friday, May 3, 20190

Cyclone Fani

Satellite mapping a super-Cyclone.

Sea Level Rise by Zip Code Wednesday, May 1, 20190

Sea Level Rise by Zip Code

Living on a coast, sea level rise should be of interest.

Art from Space Monday, April 29, 20190

Art from Space

Photography is an essential tool of exploration.

Intelligent Designers Saturday, April 27, 20190

Intelligent Designers

Portland replaces coal with intelligence.

George Saunders on Kindness Friday, April 26, 20190

George Saunders on Kindness

Kindness is a trait everyone should try to practice.

Selfies Can Be Amazing Thursday, April 25, 20190

Selfies Can Be Amazing

Selfies can be amazing.

10 Ideas for any Earth Day Wednesday, April 24, 20190

10 Ideas for any Earth Day

Every day should be Earth Day!

Earth Day, Every Day Monday, April 22, 20190

Earth Day, Every Day

Earth Day 2019

Efficiency, Efficiency, & Efficiency! Sunday, April 21, 20190

Efficiency, Efficiency, & Efficiency!

Energy efficiency is the 'name of the game'.

Botany, an Extreme Sport Wednesday, April 17, 20190

Botany, an Extreme Sport

Climbing gear serving plant conservation.

Chasing Water With Gabions Tuesday, April 16, 20190

Chasing Water With Gabions

An appropriate river restoration technology.

Lost & Found Worlds Sunday, April 14, 20190

Lost & Found Worlds

Biogeography rules: odd things evolve on islands.

Cane Toad Horrors Saturday, April 13, 20190

Cane Toad Horrors

'Frankentoads' of the amphibian world.

Tough Times for Bristlecones Thursday, April 11, 20190

Tough Times for Bristlecones

The trees may be reaching their limits.

First a Theory, Now a Fact Wednesday, April 10, 20190

First a Theory, Now a Fact

First black hole photographed.

Echoes of Carl Monday, April 8, 20190

Echoes of Carl

Carl Sagan coined the phrase, a pale blue dot.