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Oceans give life, cover 72% of Earth, but less than 1% of Ocean protected. Depletion & pollution. Man puts Nature in distress

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Every second breath we take comes from the ocean. Every drop of water we drink connects us to Nature, especially the ocean.
The ocean is not just water, it’s alive, and it’s our life support system. Oceans provide more than half of the oxygen we breathe. Yet we do harm to our host; 90% of big fish are gone, 20% of coral reefs are gone...
Oceans cover 72% of earth and land covers 28% of earth -
12% of land is protected while less than 1% of oceans are protected...
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Video & Photo: gigantic whale, "Ocean God", approaching & acknowledging dwarfed diver with high intelligence and gentleness..

One whale repeatedly swam within inches of photographer Brian Skerry and assistant Mauricio Handler (pictured) as they dived off the Auckland Islands. “It looked at me with great curiosity,” Handler says. “No aggression.”

A female gets a playful bump from her new calf in warm shallows near Florida's Amelia Island.

Signature V-shaped plumes of spray shoot from a North Atlantic right whale in the Bay of Fundy.

Far from busy ship lanes, a 40-foot southern right whale swims in safety near the remote Auckland Islands.

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Science calls these animals Eubalaena glacialis, "good, or true, whale of the ice."
Brian Skerry (photographer): "When I was at the bottom at 70 feet, and here comes this bus swimming down. It came within inches. Here’s this softball-size whale eye looking at me. But then it stops - stops on a dime. It’s just hovering there, and literally one flick of its tail, and it would have crushed me like a bug. But it doesn’t. It was just highly curious."

Brian Skerry Interview  read more »

On NYr's Eve 5000 birds dropped dead fr sky, 100000 fish found dead; Clinton takes vegan pledge; "You need to get off facebook"?

Thousands of red-winged blackbirds fell dead from the sky in Beebe, Ark., on New Year’s Eve. They may have been startled by fireworks, officials say

Dead fish are seen along the Arkansas River


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For Arkansas Blackbirds, the New Year Never Came

Times Square had the ball drop, and Brasstown, N.C., had its descending possum. But no place had a New Year’s Eve as unusual, or freakishly disturbing, as Beebe, Ark.

A worker with U.S. Environmental Services, a private contractor, picked up a dead bird on Saturday.

Around 11 that night, thousands of red-winged blackbirds began falling out of the sky over this small city about 35 miles northeast of Little Rock. They landed on roofs, roads, front lawns and backyards, turning the ground nearly black and terrifying anyone who happened to be outside.

"One of them almost hit my best friend in the head," said Christy Stephens, who was standing outside among the smoking crowd at a party. "We went inside after that."  read more »

What goes up... Space junk: how to clean up the Space Age's mess; > 4 million pounds of trash orbiting Earth

earth orbit is a junkyard

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The Trouble With Trash
It's been 53 years and over 4,500 launches since the dawn of the space age, and Earth's orbit is a junkyard. Our orbit is littered with spent rocket stages, lens caps, broken-up satellites, frozen urine, the odd glove, bits of foil, and the tool kit dropped by astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper during a spacewalk in 2008. You name it; the low Earth orbit has probably got it.

Millions of pieces of this space debris orbit the globe at break-neck speeds, and the spacecraft that pass through orbit are in jeopardy from even the smallest objects. But while the problem is evident, the solution remains elusive. Will Earth's orbit forever resemble a scene from WALL-E? Many scientists have now turned their attention to cleaning up the clutter.

attaching tail to satellites to collect them when they outlive their purpose

Every satellite that goes up to orbit is the pride and joy of some company, lab, or nation. But once it has outlived its purpose, it's nothing but junk.  read more »

Nature runs away from human pollution into deep sea to sustain its mysterious miracles - unidentified marine life.

new species discovered during a deep-sea expedition off Canada's Atlantic coast
Spectacular deep-sea species: newly discovered purple octopus and species of vase sponge was one of the bottom dwellers.

Australia’s dragonfish
Australia's dragonfish uses many fangs to hook hard-to-find prey in the cold, dark depths.

Gulf of Mexico's Venus flytrap anemone and unidentified sea pen
Top left: Gulf of Mexico's Venus flytrap anemone acts much like its terrestrial namesake, stinging its prey with an array of tentacles. Bottom right: an unidentified sea pen discovered on Atlantic coast off Newfoundland.

unidentified sponge and recently identified bivalve mollusk off New Foundland
Top: unrecognizable sponge species found on volcanic mounds off Newfoundland. Bottom: recently identified species of bivalve mollusk was also discovered in survey of Newfoundland depths.

phronima sedentaria and spider conch
Phronima sedentaria sets up house by attacking and then hollowing out a transparent jellyfish-like animal called a salpa. Inset: Found in China, the spider conch a mollusk, one of the most common groups of species in the new Census of Marine Life inventory.

(quote)  read more »

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