Is there any connection to Joy Colon-Jello’s behavior and her fog catcher water?
Previous UCSC research had found mercury — a dangerous neurotoxin — in the Monterey Bay’s surface water, he said.
“I was like, well, if it’s in the surface seawater and it can evaporate into the air, it probably should be in fog, because fog is just this cloud that sits right over the water, so it probably should soak it up. And I was like, oh, nobody’s ever measured that before,” Weiss-Penzias said.
And so was born a National Science Foundation-funded research project, now hitting its four-year mark, co-led by four scientists from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Cal State Monterey Bay and UCSC. The team spread out on land and by sea, measuring mercury levels in the fog, water, plants and animals.
What they found was 10 times more mercury in the West Coast’s fog than in rainwater. The team also compared mercury levels between local plants and animals and their counterparts from non-foggy areas. They found: six to 10 times higher mercury levels in the Santa Cruz Mountains’ pumas, two times higher levels in local deer and elevated levels in local lichens.