A foggy California coastline is a staple of Hollywood mysteries and horror tales, enfolding everything from murderers to monsters. Today, the California fog is enfolding another hazard: a nasty form of mercury. There’s not enough of it to hurt people, but it may have effects on other life.
Researchers began studying the fog in 2011. They knew that, during the summer months, the level of mercury went up in Monterey Bay, near San Francisco. They wondered whether some of the mercury could make its way into the fog and drift ashore.