Archive for the 'Art' Category

A basic idea falls flat in ‘pH’

pHIt’s not exaggeration to call Nancy Lord an Alaska institution. The former state Poet Laurette, has built a multiple decade-spanning career of short stories, memoirs, academic work and activism highlighting her love for history, the natural world and Alaska. But she’s never made the jump into novels until now, with “pH.”

“pH” is one-half literary fiction and one-half issues book, with the issue in question being ocean acidification. If that sounds like it would be hard to build an interesting novel around … it is. And “pH” frankly fails.

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The Ocean Film Challenge

Filmmakers have the power to change the trajectory of human life on our water planet — from destruction to revitalization! Submit a short film for the Ocean Film Challenge, 7 minutes or under, on the impact humans have on the ocean and the actions individuals can take to save the ocean … and the humans who depend on it. Continue reading ‘The Ocean Film Challenge’

Enviro-doc exploring ocean acidification’s impact on deep-water corals gains unprecedented access; to premiere at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Acid Horizon follows marine ecologist Dr. Erik Cordes on a harrowing deep-sea expedition to track down the “supercoral,” a strain of the deep-water coral Lophelia pertusa that seems to possess the unique genetic capability to thrive in a low-pH ocean. The film will make its World Premiere at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The film’s protagonist Dr. Cordes, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Biology at Temple University, explains: “Our research has shown that some coral colonies – the “Supercorals” – do better than the rest when challenged by ocean acidification. This film delivers that message through an intimate story and an epic adventure. It is essential that this story is told so that people are aware of this hidden threat, but also understand that there is hope and still time to take action.”

Continue reading ‘Enviro-doc exploring ocean acidification’s impact on deep-water corals gains unprecedented access; to premiere at Santa Barbara International Film Festival’

Season’s greetings

Capture

A novel approach to ocean acidification

Pteropods may look otherworldly, but they are a real and threatened species of minuscule marine snail whose appearance in Homer author Nancy Lord’s new novel “pH” makes the book not science fiction, but an example of science in fiction.

“pH” is the first novel for Lord, a mostly literary nonfiction writer whose five previous books have looked at endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales, personal recollections of setnet fishing, and northern experiences of climate change. “pH” gives its first factual data point on page three: “Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the United States put together.” The thought that immediately follows in the mind of “pH”’s hero, marine biologist Ray Berringer, is that it only makes sense for Alaskans to lead the study of ocean acidification and how it affects the food chains on which many coastal lives — and the economic lives of many Alaskans — depend.

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Art and senses in the service of science

By designing experiments directly targeting our values scientists can achieve more effective scientific communication. Recent research at the University of Gothenburg has shown that art and emotions can help scientists play a key role in getting people to take action based on knowledge.

Marine biologist Sam Dupont during the school project “I am the Ocean”.

The increasing destruction and pollution of the ocean subsequently threatens humanity by putting at risk the countless services provided by marine ecosystems. In the face of global changes such as warming and ocean acidification, only collective action can lead to the needed mitigation and adaptation measures.

When it comes to the responsibility of society for causing these changes, the scientific evidence is strong. But it is complicated by competing values, uncertainties and complexity in causation. The scientific community is still struggling to deliver strong messages to citizens and policymakers.

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Nancy Lord’s pH: a novel

Although Nancy Lord has been writing powerfully about our role in the destruction of our natural environment for a long while, this is the first full-length fiction by the famed Alaska naturalist and former Alaska Writer Laureate (2008-10).

Anyone interested in or concerned about climate change knows that in many ways, Alaska is ground zero in the United States. We’ve all seen photos on the web of the rotting permafrost, the starving polar bears, and the disappearing sea ice, but what Lord’s novel does is give compelling life to one of the most devastating and often unseen aspects of climate change: the acidification of the ocean. The title “pH” refers to the focus of the science at the heart of Lord’s novel: the rapid changes in pH in our waters indicating an increase in ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Nancy Lord’s pH: a novel’


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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book