Terraforming Mars on Earth, giant larvaceans, conservation jobs, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: May 8, 2017

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Seabirds on Ascension Island. Photo by Clare Fieseler.

Jetsam (what we’re enjoying from around the web)

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Understanding Sea Level Rise: Why a linear extrapolation is the least reasonable predictor of future changes

The Division of Coastal Management shall be the only State agency authorized to develop rates of sea-level rise and shall do so only at the request of the Commission. These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated linearly to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios of accelerated rates of sea-level rise.

source (emphasis mine)

This is the text of the notorious, anti-science, anti-coastal community bill that was originally floated in the North Carolina state senate. A revised version of that bill is now under review, with new language that now mandates that:

The Commission and the Division of Coastal Management may collaborate with other State agencies, boards, commissions, other public entities, or institutions when defining sea-level rise or developing rates of sea-level rise. These rates shall be determined using statistically significant, peer-reviewed historical data generated using generally accepted scientific and statistical techniques. Historic rates of sea-level rise  may be extrapolated to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios of accelerated rates of sea-level rise unless such rates are from statistically significant, peer-reviewed data and are consistent with historic trends.

source (emphasis mine)

While this new language is almost certainly an improvement over the old bill, which was heavily supported by a lobbying group for coastal developers and heavily opposed by organizations that actually care what happens to the Carolina coastline and its historic communities, it is still problematic. By problematic, I mean wrong. And by wrong I mean that by refusing to allow accelerated estimates of sea level rise, it explicitly ignores all the best available science and contradicts 130 millenia of historic precedent.

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