Rain and Seain’ Stars

December 11, 2014

seastarHeavy rain and way-gothic winds this early Thursday on California’s north coast — I can’t see the clouds at all, just a black way up there.
And earlier, some pointed lightning flashes, and seemingly close-up, too, but no thunder.
Sort of rare event maybe, and most-likely some people further inland got momentarily scared shitless.
Back east during thunderstorms, one learned lightning-to-thunder tallies distance to impact — sight/sound at the same time.

(Illustration: ‘A common starfish on Trinidad State Beach,‘ found here).

Earlier, too, thick-hefty rainfall coupled with a quick, popping wind. Rain on the roof sounding like horses hoofs. And this continued for awhile after waking up just after four, and after the noise subsided, just got the fuck up — an early-bed person, so I actually endured some decent sleep, maybe…

Winds are building back up again, snapping and twisting outside — out back on my patio just a few minutes ago smoking a cigarette, and all was calm, now the sound has increased, and another wave of storm coming, rain sure to follow.
And this at WunderBlog and local weather: ‘Line of strong storms moved through the area with radar indciated wind speeds of 70+ knots at 3500 feet above ground level. Once the line made landfall the cooskie observation location clocked in a 96 mph gust which prompted the severe tstm warning.’
Pelts of rain starting, so the line is a-coming!

Weather has truly moved in recent times from idle chit-chat/conversational bullshit to a serious topic of discussion on numerous levels. An urgency, too, fueled by a storm swirling around your old, scared-shitless, and skinny ass. A warming planet creates not-fun weather stories.

Most-likely the natural world is way-more interconnected, inter-dependent that we human onlookers figure — and maybe all on one wave length, so to speak, truly in a flow-chart schematic, a butterfly’s disposition in the Amazon basin effects/affects this particular thunderstorm up here in northern California. Can that shit be true?
If anywhere near the truth, we’re in way-deeper shit than originally supposed.
In the scope of reality, maybe, the life of a star fish — actually named ‘sea stars,’ due mainly to being an echinoderm, closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars, not a ‘fish’ — could be gravely-impacted by changes in the seas/oceans thousands of miles away. Life for that gorgeous, five-fingered specimen pictured above, clinging to a rock, looking good.
Yet not so marvelous, lately.

In the last year or so, millions of sea stars have literally “melted away,” into mounds of white goo. All along the western Pacific Ocean, from Canada to San Diego, California, vast populations of these creatures has vanished.
Even here, on my little stretch of the west coast — from last June and the Willits News:

“We’re seeing upwards of an 80 percent decline,” said Jana Hennessy, a graduate student in professor Sean Craig’s marine ecology lab at Humboldt State University.
She has been working on sea star syndrome since last summer, and said the numbers have changed drastically.
“We haven’t analyzed the data yet, but based on our observations (near Trinidad) there has been a significant decline in the past year, most notably within the last five or six months,” Hennessy said.
“A year ago we were counting 160 stars, and a week ago we counted 20, so it’s been pretty devastating. Of the 20 that we saw, about half of them had obvious signs of the syndrome. … I think we’re pretty close at this point to an extinction event.”

Last month, it was reported the killing-culprit was a virus (from National Geographic): ‘The silent killer now appears to be a kind of parvovirus—the group of viruses that cause gastrointestinal problems in unvaccinated dogs—researchers report Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Yet caution from UC/Santa Cruz: ‘Importantly, Hewson’s testing of sea star tissue collected from as far back as 1942 indicates that the SSaDV has been around for a long time, yet has never resulted in mass mortality on the geographic or temporal scale we are currently witnessing. Thus, while a culprit may have been identified, we still don’t fully understand the cause.’

And…duh!
The seas/oceans are mucked. Via Discovery this morning:

The new figure estimates that the oceans hold more than 250,000 tons of trash, a number vastly different from a past estimate, which suggested the oceans’ plastic is mysteriously disappearing.

The detritus of everyday life has been pouring into the oceans for decades.
Everything from plastic bags to water bottles have migrated from the coastlines, harbors and river mouths into the oceans, where gyres, or the ocean’s giant conveyor belts, carry them to the most remote stretches of the seas.
About 15 years ago, scientists discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a trash-filled region of the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas.
A recent excursion even found that islands of trash were forming in the garbage patch.

The model also suggests that ocean circulation acts like “giant shredders,” breaking down large plastics that predominate at the coastlines into smaller bits, with the tiniest pieces overrepresented in the subpolar regions, Eriksen told Live Science.

Will the sea star weather the obvious fouling of the waters?

Just a bit after sunrise — a gray sky with the now-visible clouds easily seen — thick, ominous and still-gothic-looking in nature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.