DNR weekend reading: Images of landscapes natural and unnatural; Japan tsunami debris approaches U.S. and other news

Capitol Peak above inversion layer.
Capitol Peak near Olympia rises above the inversion layer (and resulting fog) that hovered over much of the South Puget Sound area during November. Photo: Philip Wolf/DNR.

For your weekend reading from DNR this New Year’s weekend, here are some articles about science and environment to view — our emphasis this weekend is on images and slide shows, so sit back and enjoy:

Scientific American: Unnatural Landscapes: The Human Impact on Earth’s Surface [Slide Show]
Edward Burtynsky’s stunning large-format photographs shows how mining, farming, and other industrial activities have altered landscapes around the world. 

environment360: NASA Images of 2011 [Slide Show]
The past year will go down as one in which extreme weather, and major natural disasters, took a heavy toll across the globe. Some of the most unforgettable images of these events — and of the planet’s natural cycles — were taken high above Earth by NASA satellites.

environment360: Camera Traps Emerge as Key Tool in Wildlife Research
Scientists and conservationists increasingly rely on heat- and motion-activated camera traps to study rare or reclusive species in remote habitats. And the striking images they provide are raising conservation awareness worldwide.

Science Daily: Debris Scatters in the Pacific Ocean, Possibly Heading to U.S.
Debris from the tsunami that devastated Japan in March could reach the United States as early as this winter, according to predictions by NOAA scientists. However, they warn there is still a large amount of uncertainty over exactly what is still floating, where it’s located, where it will go, and when it will arrive.

Scientific American: Could Public Health Benefits Make Combating Climate Change Free?
Maybe the costs of implementing technologies to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere to combat climate change would be fully offset by reductions in public and private spending to treat diseases and conditions caused by breathing dirty air.

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