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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(3)
Climate Chaos:(6)
Resource Depletion: (4)
Biology Breach:(8)
This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
toxic buildup  ~ climate impacts  ~ oil issues  ~ contamination  ~ health impacts  ~ death spiral  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ economic myopia  ~ massive die-off  ~ carbon emissions  ~ anthropogenic change  

ApocaDocuments (27) gathered this week:
Sun, Dec 12, 2010
from Guardian:
Grassland butterflies in steep decline across Europe
Butterflies that flourish on grassland across Europe are in steep decline, indicating a catastrophic loss of flower-rich meadows in many European countries. Populations of 17 butterfly species widely found in Europe, including the adonis blue, Lulworth skipper and marsh fritillary which fly in Britain, have declined by more than 70 percent in the past 20 years according to a new study by Butterfly Conservation Europe. The dramatic decline in butterfly numbers indicates a wider loss of biodiversity, with other insects such as bumblebees, hoverflies, spiders and moths, as well as many plants and birds, disappearing along with the loss of traditional grassland.... Flower-rich grassland created by traditional livestock-grazing and hay-making over centuries of human occupation is either being abandoned, overgrazed or ploughed up for intensive farming, particularly in eastern Europe and mountainous regions. ...

It's not my fault. I was just hungry.


Sun, Dec 12, 2010
from TreeHugger, thru DesdemonaDespair:
Beekeepers, Activists Demand EPA Remove Pesticide Linked to Bee Deaths
Now US beekeepers are honing in on pesticides too, asking the EPA to remove one particular pesticide after a leaked study showed that field trials were severely flawed. According to PR newswire, a group of beekeepers and anti-pesticide activists are stepping up calls for the EPA to remove approval for clothianidin (product name "Poncho") after a leaked EPA memo dated November 2nd identifies a core study underpinning the registration of the insecticide as being unsound. The pesticide has been widely used on major crops across the country under a "conditional registration" while the manufacturer, Bayer Crop Science, was supposed to conduct a field study assessing the insecticide's threat to bee colony health.... "Among the neonicotinoids, clothianidin is among those most toxic for honey bees, and this combined with its systemic movement in plants has produced a troubling mix of scientific results pointing to its potential risk for honey bees through current agricultural practices. Our own research indicates that systemic pesticides occur in pollen and nectar in much greater quantities than has been previously thought, and that interactions among pesticides occurs often and should be of wide concern." ...

Heck, it's Bayer! It comes with a conditionally registered nature-back guarantee!


Sun, Dec 12, 2010
from PRI:
Italy says addio to bottled water
That's because Italians drink more bottled water, or acqua minerale, than anyone else in the world -- about 55 gallons per person each year, more than 3 billion gallons country-wide. Many Italians think it tastes better. Or that it's chic. One thing's for sure: Bottled water has a big environmental impact. To try to cut back on the pollution caused by all the plastic bottles, and from transporting the water across long distances, Italy's biggest retailer is doing something virtually unheard of in the corporate world. It recently launched an ad campaign to convince consumers to stop buying the bottled water it sells. Or at least to buy water that comes from nearby. "We did a life-cycle analysis of mineral water in bottle and we discovered strongest impact is made by the transportation", says Marisa Parmigiani, the social policy director for the Co-op supermarket. As its name indicates, the chain is a Co-operative, and a powerful one, with 20 percent of the Italian supermarket share. ...

Commerce as if our lives depended on it. How weird is that?


Sat, Dec 11, 2010
from TIME:
Red Sea Shark Attacks: Killing Spree Puzzles Scientists
It began 10 days ago when the normally pristine tropical waters turned a murky red, after sharks mauled three Russians and a Ukrainian over a two-day period. With the world-renowned snorkel and dive center heading into the holiday high season, local governor Mohammed Shosha closed off the beaches for 48 hours, during which time the authorities killed two sharks. He then declared the all clear and reopened the beaches. But within 24 hours, in keeping with the Jaws story line, it became brutally clear that Shosha had been wrong: a German woman standing chest-deep in the water was killed by another shark.... More startling still is that the clear, coral-rimmed waters off Sharm el-Sheikh aren't exactly shark central. "The last sharks I saw were maybe four or five months ago," says Sherrif Khairat, a local dive instructor, who leads two or three dives a day. A shark sighting is considered "lucky," he says, because the animals are so rare.... But he cautions against overanalyzing, because sharks are still just big predators with little brains. "They're not connect-the-dots kind of animals," he says. "They're basically swimming, sensory machines." Sometimes, a killing spree, however rare, could be explained by little more than a convergence of the right variables. "Sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes they make mistakes. And sometimes we just happen to be in the wrong place at the right time - for them." ...

What would sharks have against humans, I wonder?


Sat, Dec 11, 2010
from Associated Press:
Feds dismiss need to recall lead drinking glasses
A federal agency reversed itself Friday and said lead-laced Wizard of Oz and superhero drinking glasses are, in fact, for adults -- not children's products subject to a previously announced recall. The stunning about-face came after the Consumer Product Safety Commission said last month the glasses were children's products and thus subject to strict federal lead limits. Lab testing by The Associated Press found lead in the colored decorations up to 1,000 times the federal maximum for children's products. The CPSC has no limits on lead content on the outside of adult drinking glasses. "A premature statement was made regarding two sets of glasses identified in (AP's) story that has now been determined to be inaccurate," said agency spokesman Scott Wolfson. It was Wolfson who said the day after the AP published its investigation Nov. 21 that the two sets of four glasses each -- one featuring characters including Superman and Wonder Woman, the other Dorothy and other characters from the classic Oz movie -- were children's products and that the agency would investigate them. ...

I can't get through a day without a stiff drink in my Wonder Woman glass.


Sat, Dec 11, 2010
from Associated Press:
UN climate meeting OKs Green Fund in new accord
A U.N. conference on Saturday adopted a modest climate deal creating a fund to help the developing world go green, though it deferred for another year the tough work of carving out deeper reductions in carbon emissions causing Earth to steadily warm. Though the accords were limited, it was the first time in three years the 193-nation conference adopted any climate action, restoring faith in the unwieldy U.N. process after the letdown a year ago at a much-anticipated summit in Copenhagen. The Cancun Agreements created institutions for delivering technology and funding to poorer countries, though they did not say where the funding would come from. ...

We developing countries dodged the bullet again!


Fri, Dec 10, 2010
from Houston Chronicle:
Study: Clouds' cooling role weakens in warmer world
Until now one of the biggest uncertainties in climate change is whether a warming world will change how clouds regulate temperature. Will they trap more heat, or will they offer a net cooling by reflecting more of the sun's heat? A Texas A&M University scientist, Andrew Dessler, has produced some of the first data to address this question, and his conclusion is that current climate models do a pretty good job of simulating the changing nature of clouds in a warmer world. The new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, also appears to strike at a central tenet of some climate skeptics who believe clouds will offset much of the projected warming in a world with elevated greenhouse gases. "Scientists are always thinking about where we could be wrong," Dessler said. "Clouds are one of the last places where scientists could really be wrong with respect to climate change. My work is really a first step toward removing this possibility. "The opportunities for legitimate skepticism are drying up." ...

Those climate skeptics just have their heads in the clouds.


Fri, Dec 10, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
Cholera now throughout Haiti, U.S. says
A cholera outbreak in Haiti that has sickened more than 91,000 people and killed more than 2,000 has spread to all of the Caribbean nation and into the neighboring Dominican Republic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. Nearly half of the ill were hospitalized. In some cases, the deaths are occurring as rapidly as two hours after people fall ill, according to a CDC report published Wednesday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Patients can lose as much as one liter of fluid an hour, said Dr. Jordan W. Tappero, director of the Health Systems Reconstruction Office at the CDC's Center for Global Health. ...

These poor people have been collared by cholera!


Fri, Dec 10, 2010
from New York Times:
An Alert on Ocean Acidity
Carbon dioxide emissions from man-made sources are causing the acidity level of the world's oceans to rise at what is probably the fastest rate in 65 million years, threatening global fisheries that serve as an essential food source for billions of people, according to a new United Nations report.... The acidity of the oceans has grown 30 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. At current emission rates, ocean acidity could be 150 percent higher by the end of the century, the report states.... "No doubt different species of coral, coralline algae, plankton and mollusks will show different tolerances, and their capacity to calcify will decline at different rates," Dr. Veron wrote. "But as acidification progresses, they will all suffer from some form of coralline osteoporosis." "The result will be that corals will no longer be able to build reefs or maintain them against the forces of erosion," the article continues. "What were once thriving coral gardens that supported the greatest biodiversity of the marine realm will become red-black bacterial slime, and they will stay that way." ...

Quite apart from the massive die-off of nearly all marine ecosystems -- that bacterial slime will stink!


Fri, Dec 10, 2010
from Nature, via EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Greenland ice sheet flow driven by short-term weather extremes, not gradual warming: UBC research
Sudden changes in the volume of meltwater contribute more to the acceleration - and eventual loss - of the Greenland ice sheet than the gradual increase of temperature, according to a University of British Columbia study.... Now a new study, to be published tomorrow in the journal Nature, shows that a steady meltwater supply from gradual warming may in fact slow down glacier flow, while sudden water input could cause glaciers to speed up and spread, resulting in increased melt.... "Sudden water input caused by short term extremes - such as massive rain storms or the draining of a surface lake - however, cannot easily be accommodated by existing channels. This allows it to pool and lubricate the bottom of the glaciers and accelerate ice loss," says Schoof, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Process Modeling. "This certainly doesn't mitigate the issue of global warming, but it does mean that we need to expand our understanding of what's behind the massive ice loss we're worried about," says Schoof. ...

Thank goodness gradual warming doesn't create local weather extremes!


Thu, Dec 9, 2010
from The ApocaDocs:
2010 Year in Review from the ApocaDocs
The shocking truth ripped from the headlines! An appalling sense of humor in full display! The TOP 100 STORIES selected from the 1600+ news items archived and bequipped by the ApocaDocs in 2010, our The Year in Review displays not just the most holy shit, death-spiral-ish stories of the year, but also many of our favorite quips ("holy shit" stories tend to bring out the quipsters in both of us). All displayed in staggering CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER to help recap the year. You'll find yourself asking "What, all this, and it's only June!?!" Groans, grimaces, and guffaws abound in this rollercoaster reprise of a most eventful year. ...

How could you keep it to only a hundred?


Thu, Dec 9, 2010
from Reuters:
Blue Tongue, Blight, Beetles Pester A Warmer World
Beetles killing trees in North America, blue tongue disease ravaging livestock in Europe, and borers destroying African coffee crops are examples of migrating invasive species not getting enough attention at global climate talks, scientists said on Wednesday. Invasive pests have plagued agriculture and nature for thousands of years as mankind's migrations brought them to places without natural enemies. But the price tag to battle them, now estimated at $1.4 trillion annually, may go up as rising temperatures and more storms and floods unleash species to new areas. "The problem of invasive species has been all but omitted from the U.N. talks here in Mexico," A.G. Kawamura, the secretary of California's Department of Food and Agriculture, told Reuters. He said scientists want to reintroduce the issue of invasive insects, germs and plants so at next year's talks in Durban, South Africa, pests will be a top subject. ...

A.G. Kawamura sounds like a big pest to me.


Thu, Dec 9, 2010
from Wall Street Journal:
EPA Again Delays Tighter Ozone Restrictions
The Obama administration is delaying a decision on whether to tighten limits on ground-level ozone, the third time in less than a year that it has put off the potentially costly environmental rule in the face of congressional and industry pressure. The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that it won't be prepared to decide until next July whether to tighten a national air-quality standard for ozone. That would be nearly a year after the agency's original self-imposed deadline for settling the matter. Ground-level ozone is a primary ingredient in smog linked to respiratory illnesses. As recently as last Thursday, the agency said it remained committed to finalizing the new standards by the end of the year. The agency has said tightening the standard could save as many as 12,000 lives a year and yield health benefits worth as much as $100 billion annually in 2020. ...

To keep our economy robust, I'd say 12,000 dead a year is an acceptable loss.


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Thu, Dec 9, 2010
from Ohio State, from DesdemonaDespair:
Eminent Climate Scientist: Widespread Suffering If Climate Change Not Forestalled
One of the world's foremost experts on climate change is warning that if humans don't moderate their use of fossil fuels, there is a real possibility that we will face the environmental, societal and economic consequences of climate change faster than we can adapt to them.... It is the first time in a published paper that he has recommended specific action to forestall the growing effects of climate change. During the last three decades, Thompson has led 57 expeditions to some of the world's most remote high altitude regions to retrieve cores from glaciers and ice caps that preserve a record of ancient climate.... "Unless large numbers of people take appropriate steps, including supporting governmental regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, our only options will be adaptation and suffering," he wrote in the concluding paragraph. "And the longer we delay, the more unpleasant the adaptations and the greater the suffering will be." ...

Lucky for us we have experts whose lived experience, combined with scientific expertise, means they're listened to as wise elders by those with less knowledge.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010
from Bloomberg:
BP, Contractors at Gulf Well 'Breathtakingly Inept' -- but should self-regulate
BP Plc, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Co. were "breathtakingly inept" and made mistakes that were "largely preventable" at the doomed Macondo well, a leader of a panel investigating the disaster said. The U.S. shares blame for the April blowout and spill because it lacks the ability to maintain adequate oversight of the oil industry, William K. Reilly said today in remarks prepared for an industry conference in New Orleans. Oil companies should set up a self-regulating body to work with the U.S. on increasing deep-water drilling safety, he said.... "There is virtual consensus among all the sophisticated observers of this debacle that three of the leading players in the industry made a series of missteps, miscalculations and miscommunications that were breathtakingly inept and largely preventable," Reilly said in his remarks. ...

Please, BP, Halliburton, Exxon, Chevron -- self-regulate yourself. Gosh, we'd appreciate it ever so much.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010
from Consumers Union, through Mother Jones:
Mercury Tuna: Are the FDA's Recommendations Too High?
From the department of #butilovetunamelts comes this depressing news: The Consumers Union recently analyzed 42 samples of packaged tuna, and found that about half a can of white (albacore) tuna (which tends to have more mercury than light tuna) contains more mercury than the EPA's recommended daily limit for women of childbearing age. A few other nuggets from the study: * Every sample contained measurable levels of mercury, ranging from 0.018 to 0.774 parts per million. The FDA can take legal action to pull products containing 1 ppm or more from the market. (It never has, according to an FDA spokesman.) * Samples of light tuna had 0.018 to 0.176 ppm and averaged 0.071 ppm. At that average, a woman of childbearing age eating 2.5 ounces would get less than the EPA's limit, but for about half the tested samples, eating 5 ounces (about one can) would exceed the limit. ...

I think I'm sticking with the dolphin steak.


Wed, Dec 8, 2010
from Earth Institute:
Parched for Peace: The Fertile Crescent Might Be Barren
Hydrology experts and research scientists at the conference reported that between 2002 and 2008, the [Syrian] national water supply fell from 1,200 to less than 750 cubic meters per person per year, a decrease of over 35 percent. At the conference, scientists and hydrological engineers expressed concern over not only the low water supply itself but also, the rapid rate of decline. Many were not surprised by the news, however, pointing to Syria's notoriously inefficient water policies and supply systems. Consequently, many also pointed out that with some reform in these two areas, Syria could easily meet its water needs. A key aspect to such efficiency reforms will be changing agricultural practices. Crop irrigation currently constitutes 80 percent of Syria's water consumption and due to the continued application of outdated techniques (such as flood irrigation), more than 70 percent of this water is wasted through evaporation and runoff.... Climate scientists say that the entire Fertile Crescent - which encompasses all of Syria and much of neighbor Iraq - might be turning barren. Such a permanent, drastic decline in agriculture in the face of diminishing oil reserves and declining foreign investments would spell disaster for Syria. Iraq faces a similarly tenuous future: agriculture there has been all but decimated by years of warfare and drought. The collapse of farming is presenting extreme economic challenges as well as safety concerns: both Syria and Iraq are becoming increasingly dependent on imported food and water, and both face growing numbers of displaced migrants no longer able to glean profit or sustenance from farming. ...

Why can't they just turn their faucets up to 11?


Wed, Dec 8, 2010
from PhysOrg:
Till receipts coated in chemical linked to cancer: study
Cash register receipts and paper money have been found to contain high levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to cancer, obesity and early puberty, a study published Wednesday says.... Holding the receipts for just 10 seconds caused up to 2.5 micrograms of BPA to transfer from the paper onto a person's fingers, and rubbing the receipts increased around 15-fold the amount of BPA transferred from the receipts onto fingers, the study said.... Last month, the World Health Organization said BPA does not accumulate in the body, but admitted that "recent experimental and epidemiological studies found associations between low BPA exposure levels and some adverse health outcomes."... "BPA on receipts, dollar bills and in many other products is a direct result of the absurdly lax controls on chemicals in the United States," he said, calling on the incoming Congress to reform "the failed 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act." From the fingers, the BPA transferred easily onto dollar bills: the researchers found the chemical on 21 of 22 bills tested, although in much lower levels than on the till receipts. ...

Congress has been wise in other matters -- surely they're remain so!


Tue, Dec 7, 2010
from New York Times:
Britain Aims for Radical Power Market Reform in Push for Low-Carbon Energy
The U.K. power market is about to face the most radical reform in decades as it becomes increasingly clear that progress toward decarbonizing its energy system in the face of climate change is moving at a snail's pace when it really needs to move like the wind, experts say. Next week, the government will produce a consultation paper on what needs to be done to bring forward the new low-carbon power plants the country urgently needs as many old ones face closure and with emission reduction targets that ministers say, with increasing signs of desperation, are seriously challenging. Today, the Committee on Climate Change -- set up under the 2008 Climate Change Act to monitor government progress toward the 80 percent carbon emission cut from 1990 levels by 2050 stipulated in the legislation -- issued its most urgent call for action to date.... Fuel poverty is defined as a household's having to spend 10 percent or more of its income on power. The government is known to favor a full system of feed-in tariffs for low-carbon energy, extending the current household scheme that came in nine months ago to cover utilities, as well, offering an attractive price for producing electricity to the grid, but at the same time pushing up prices for consumption. There is no ducking the dilemma. ...

Here in the States, we're champeen dilemma-duckers.


Tue, Dec 7, 2010
from Columbia Missourian:
Columbia researchers study intersex sturgeon in Missouri River
COLUMBIA -- Donald Tillitt was in his office at the Columbia Environmental Research Center when he received a call. "You need to come back here and look at these," Tillitt recalls biologist and colleague Diana Papoulias saying. The year was 2000 and the U.S. Geological Survey research center on New Haven Road was dissecting shovelnose sturgeon from a site south of Columbia in the Missouri River. By studying the reproduction of the species, scientists hoped they could shed light on decreasing populations of a similar but endangered species -- the pallid sturgeon. When Tillitt looked inside the fish before him he saw ovarian tissue -- black eggs -- growing around white testicular tissue. It had the fully developed sex organs of both a male and a female sturgeon. ...

This must be soooo embarrassing for the fish!


Tue, Dec 7, 2010
from Environmental Health News:
Study: Flame retardant found in small butter sample
A stick of butter purchased at a Dallas grocery story contained high levels of a flame retardant used in electronics, according to environmental scientists at the University of Texas School of Public Health. The butter was contaminated with a chemical called polybrominated diphenyl ether, or PBDE. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of U.S. butter contaminated with PBDEs," said lead research Arnold Schecter, whose study was published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The butter was purchased last year as part of a small research project to test for contaminates. The butter stick's wrapper contained even higher amounts of PBDEs. The source of the contamination remains a mystery. ...

Maybe it's the first time anyone's looked.


Tue, Dec 7, 2010
from ABC News:
GOP's Global Warming Skeptics to Take House Chairs on Energy, Science
All of the contenders in line to head the prestigious House committees responsible for setting America's energy and science policy are global warming skeptics, and that's causing scientists to worry that Republicans will use their new positions for political grandstanding at the expense of scientific advancement. The Republicans, who will take over leadership of the House in January, have not yet announced who will chair the Energy and Commerce Committee or the Science and Technology Committee, but the short lists for both committees consist solely of congressmen who question the veracity of climate change. ...

The Rapture can't come soon enough.


Tue, Dec 7, 2010
from McClatchy Newspapers:
American urban lake pollution traced to parking lot seal coat
A black sealant sprayed on parking lots, driveways and playgrounds turns out to be the largest contributor to the rise of a toxic pollutant in urban lakes and reservoirs across America, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study. Scientists saw concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) going up rapidly in the 1990s in areas of urban sprawl. PAHs have been known as a probable human carcinogen since the 19th century, when cancer struck chimney sweeps, said Peter Van Metre, a USGS scientist and a principal author of the report. PAHs also are toxic to fish and other aquatic plant and animal life. ...

PAH, humbug!


Mon, Dec 6, 2010
from Yale360:
Is the End in Sight for The World's Coral Reefs?
You may well feel that dire predictions about anything almost always turn out to be exaggerations. You may think there may be something in it to worry about, but it won't be as bad as doomsayers like me are predicting. This view is understandable given that only a few decades ago I, myself, would have thought it ridiculous to imagine that reefs might have a limited lifespan on Earth as a consequence of human actions. It would have seemed preposterous that, for example, the Great Barrier Reef -- the biggest structure ever made by life on Earth -- could be mortally threatened by any present or foreseeable environmental change. Yet here I am today, humbled to have spent the most productive scientific years of my life around the rich wonders of the underwater world, and utterly convinced that they will not be there for our children's children to enjoy unless we drastically change our priorities and the way we live.... In a long period of deep personal anguish, I turned to specialists in many different fields of science to find anything that might suggest a fault in my own conclusions. But in this quest I was depressingly unsuccessful.... The early stages of acidification have now been detected in the Southern Ocean and, surprisingly perhaps, in tropical corals. On our current trajectory of increasing atmospheric CO2, we can expect that by 2030 to 2050 the acidification process will be affecting all the oceans of the world to some degree.... The atmospheric levels of CO2 we are already committed to reach, no matter what mitigation is now implemented, have no equal over the entire longevity of the Great Barrier Reef, perhaps 25 million years. And most significantly, the rate of CO2 increase we are now experiencing has no precedent in all known geological history. ...

Sounds like you're expecting us to believe you, just because you've spent a lifetime studying marine science.


Mon, Dec 6, 2010
from CBC:
Oil industry condemns Greenpeace satire
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says Greenpeace has gone too far in its latest attack on the oilsands industry. In an online contest posted on Facebook, Greenpeace is encouraging people to take aim at a CAPP ad campaign launched earlier this year that shows oilsands workers talking about land reclamation and environmental cleanup in the industry. Greenpeace is encouraging people to create mash-ups or remixes, using videos from CAPP's campaign. One spoof video posted to the group's Facebook page depicts a biologist saying she will probably die of cancer and her family will be paid money to keep quiet. CAPP spokesperson Janet Annesley said the ads go too far. "We're certainly open to have our ideas or the point of the ads challenged," she said. "If the activists don't believe our claims around environmental performance, let's talk about that ... in our view, that just makes it personal, and it distracts from what, in fact, we should be talking about, which is solutions." ...

I didn't know oil corporations had such a keen sense of humor!


Mon, Dec 6, 2010
from University of Guelph, via EurekAlert:
Northern wildfires threaten runaway climate change, study reveals
Climate change is causing wildfires to burn more fiercely, pumping more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than previously thought, according to a new study to be published in Nature Geosciences this week. This is the first study to reveal that fires in the Alaskan interior - an area spanning 18.5 million hectares - have become more severe in the past 10 years, and have released much more carbon into the atmosphere than was stored by the region's forests over the same period. "When most people think of wildfires, they think about trees burning, but most of what fuels a boreal fire is plant litter, moss and organic matter in surface soils," said University of Guelph professor Merritt Turetsky, lead author of the study. "These findings are worrisome because about half the world's soil carbon is locked in northern permafrost and peatland soils. This is carbon that has accumulated in ecosystems a little bit at a time for thousands of years, but is being released very rapidly through increased burning."... "This includes longer snow-free seasons, changes in vegetation, loss of ice and permafrost, and now fire, which is shifting these systems from a global carbon sink toward a carbon source."... "Over the past 10 years, burned area has doubled in interior Alaska, mostly because of increased burning late in the fire season," said co-author Eric Kasischke, a University of Maryland professor. ...

Statistically, don't most runaways return home?


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Mon, Dec 6, 2010
from Ohio State, via EurekAlert:
Researchers: Include data about societal values in endangered species decisions
In the case of the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains, public opinion about wolves varies considerably among livestock owners, hunters and wildlife conservationists. But social science research about those opinions was essentially disregarded when the Fish and Wildlife Service removed wolves in the northern Rockies from Endangered Species Act protections in 2009, the scientists assert. "The Fish and Wildlife Service didn't use the data as required by law and they need to start doing this, especially when a species is so clearly subject to human-caused threats," said Bruskotter, an assistant professor in Ohio State's School of Environment and Natural Resources. "There is a lot of theory and data in the social science literature that could assist the Fish and Wildlife Service in evaluating human threats. What is holding them back is the agency's myopic focus on biological data." That delisting decision was recently reversed by a federal court for reasons unrelated to the data used in the agency's ruling.... In the few studies that have evaluated attitudes about wolves over time, Bruskotter and colleagues noted that findings are mixed on the subject. And the only study cited by the Fish and Wildlife Service in its ruling concluded that attitudes about wolves had been "stable over the last 30 years," which contradicts the agency's own contention that attitudes had improved over this time period. ...

Or just visualize the ratio of quality guns per wolf, over those thirty years.


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