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 (15172)/Comments (0)

Please login or register to post comments.

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x
Mars-copter Friday, May 11, 20180

Mars-copter

Testing a Mars flying machine.

California Goes Solar Thursday, May 10, 20180

California Goes Solar

California leads again into the 21st Century.

Taming the Beast Wednesday, May 9, 20180

Taming the Beast

Domesticating a wild fox takes years.

Vanilla Monday, May 7, 20180

Vanilla

Ice Cream and cyclones don't mix.

Off To Mars Saturday, May 5, 20180

Off To Mars

InSight Lander and CubeSats launched.
Robo-mussel To The Rescue Thursday, May 3, 20180

Robo-mussel To The Rescue

Robots are becoming essential ecology tools.

Io's Active Geology Wednesday, May 2, 20180

Io's Active Geology

Continuous events reshape Io.

Maps Are Beautiful Monday, April 30, 20180

Maps Are Beautiful

American rivers are visualized by GIS software.

ExoMars and the Trace Gas Orbiter Saturday, April 28, 20180

ExoMars and the Trace Gas Orbiter

Searching for exobiology on Mars.

Pollination, Plants, and the Art of Survival Friday, April 27, 20180

Pollination, Plants, and the Art of Survival

Flower pollination is captured in HD video.

World Penguin Day Thursday, April 26, 20180

World Penguin Day

A day to celebrate an iconic bird.

China's Tidal River Wednesday, April 25, 20180

China's Tidal River

Qiantang River and a big surge.

Animating Environmental Change Tuesday, April 24, 20180

Animating Environmental Change

GIF's can tell important stories.

Want Sustainable Designs? ...think Biomimicry Monday, April 23, 20180

Want Sustainable Designs? ...think Biomimicry

Biomimicry offers endless ideas for sustainable design.

3 Earth Day Thoughts Sunday, April 22, 20180

3 Earth Day Thoughts

3 Perspectives for Earth Day 2018

World of Wonder Friday, April 20, 20180

World of Wonder

Reflections for Earrth Day.

Toxic Fog Thursday, April 19, 20180

Toxic Fog

Marine mercury found deposited on land by fogs.

TESS to Explore Exoplanets Wednesday, April 18, 20180

TESS to Explore Exoplanets

TESS the exoplanet hunter was launched.