Seal Surreal

October 6, 2015

surreal-fog-jan-maklakHeavy marine layer shrouds California’s north coast this Tuesday morning, with the weather services calling it ‘overcast,’ but here along the shoreline the moist-mist is basic fog. Supposedly, the effect is to last into the afternoon.
Good news as there’s a fairly-decent chance of rain this Saturday, though, like all other pronouncements in that regard, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Nowadays, coastal weather is weird.

(Illustration: ‘Surreal Fog,’ by Jan Maklak, found here).

Especially with the water warmth —  the double-whammed heat-makers, our own ‘blob,’ and the way-quickly approaching/already here “super El Niño,” which is weirding-out nature in not-nice ways.
Oceans are way-active: ‘The Western Pacific Ocean currently has nearly 9 times the normal amount of accumulated cyclone energy (ACE). The Central Pacific has more than 22 times the normal amount! Since ACE is a measure of the total time and intensity of storms that have formed in the region during the season, it’s easy to see how much more active it is than normal.’

The turmoil is disaster.
From Time last Saturday, and our local beaches:

A Guadalupe fur seal pup, wasted away to nearly fur and bones, washed up on the shore’s of California’s Humboldt County in April.
He was spotted and whisked to the Bay Area’s Marine Mammal Center, soon to be named Ian and become the first juvenile of his species to ever wear a satellite tag.
But his odds of seeing the ocean again after doctors tried to rehabilitate him, like dozens of other fur seal pups mysteriously turning up on California shores, were grim.
The appearance of these pups, many of whom are already dead by the time they wash to shore, has led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare what is known as a UME—an unusual mortality event.
So far in 2015, roughly 80 of them have been found stranded, a rate eight times higher than normal.
Especially alarming for marine biologists is that, unlike sea lion pups that are experiencing their own bizarre strandings, the Guadalupe fur seals are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, with some 15,000 estimated to exist in the world.

Or maybe to survive — an off-shoot of handling the massive rain and flooding now occurring along the lower US eastern seaboard.
Via USAToday:

Amid the devastation caused by flooding, the state’s invasive fire ant population found a little-known way to survive.
In video captured by WSAV-TV, thousands of ants appeared to pile atop each other in “floating islands in Dorchester County, S.C.,” the station reports.

Ants and seals…

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