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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(5)
Climate Chaos:(5)
Resource Depletion: (4)
Biology Breach:(9)
This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
global warming  ~ massive die-off  ~ arctic meltdown  ~ climate impacts  ~ unintended consequences  ~ contamination  ~ ocean warming  ~ invasive species  ~ corporate farming  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ tipping point  

ApocaDocuments (27) gathered this week:
Sun, Apr 17, 2011
from Popular Science:
Study Finds Commonly Used Silver Nanoparticles Are Deadly to Microbes, Plants
Nanotech is looked upon by many as the next great enabling technology that will revolutionize (and is revolutionizing) everything from materials science to disease therapies to game-changing new energy technologies. But, according to a new study by Queen's University researchers, some commonly used nanoparticles found in everything from sunscreen to cosmetics to socks could be destroying soil systems, and by extension the very ecosystems upon which we rely for life. Among the millions of tons of nanoparticles manufactured annually, silver nanoparticles are a particular favorite as they work as antibacterial agents in surgical tools, water treatment, wound dressings, and in a variety of other roles. They've even been used in the cathodes of batteries.... The researchers had begun to wonder what the impact of nanoparticles were on the environment, and having received a chunk of Arctic soil as part of the International Polar Year they decided to experiment on this piece of uncontaminated earth. They first studied the sample to see what kind of microbe communities were living in the soil, and identified a certain beneficial and prevalent microbe that helps fix nitrogen to plants. Plants can't do this on their own and nitrogen is critical to their growth, so this particular microbe is essential to plant life. The researchers then added three different kinds of nanoparticles to the soil and let it sit for six months. When they re-examined it, they found that this microbe had largely been extinguished, and laboratory analysis showed that silver nanoparticles were the culprit. Given the high number of silver nanoparticles slipping into the environment on a daily basis, such findings are concerning. ...

Should there be a warning label that reads "Antithetical to life itself"?


Sun, Apr 17, 2011
from Hot Topic:
The trillionth ton
If we want to give ourselves a 75 percent chance of coming in below a 2 degree C rise in the global average temperature, then we (as in all humanity) can emit around one trillion tonnes of CO2 (for more see Meinshausen et al here, discussed in the context of emissions targets at HT in this post). It doesn't much matter when we do the emitting, because CO2 hangs around in the atmosphere for a long time, but stick to that limit we must if we're serious about avoiding damaging warming. I like that way of thinking about the issue, as I noted in my report on the Forum, but it seems that I may have been rather optimistic about the height of the ceiling we're living under, and our chances of hitting a 2 degree C target. A new study by a team of Canadian climate modellers, Arora et al, Carbon emission limits required to satisfy future representative concentration pathways of greenhouse gases in Geophysical Research Letters..., suggests that: "... we have already surpassed the cumulative emission limit and so emissions must ramp down to zero immediately. The unprecedented reduction in fossil‐fuel emissions implied by either of these scenarios suggests that it is unlikely that warming can be limited to the 2 degrees C target agreed to in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord." Bugger. ...

Oh heck, stop worrying. Somebody'll think of something. Sometime.


Sat, Apr 16, 2011
from BBC:
Humpback whale song spreads to other whales
Recordings of male humpback whales have shown that their haunting songs spread through the ocean to other whales. Researchers in Australia listened to hundreds of hours of recordings gathered over more than a decade. These revealed how a specific song pattern, which originated in Eastern Australia, had passed "like Chinese whispers" to whale populations up to 6,000km away in French Polynesia.... The research team, led by Ellen Garland from the University of Queensland, say the findings show the animals transmit such "cultural trends" over huge distances.... Using sound analysis software, Ms Garland and her colleagues discovered that four new songs that had emerged in a population in Eastern Australia gradually spread eastwards. Within two years of this new song being invented, whales in French Polynesia were singing this same "version". "It's a culturally-driven change across a vast scale," said Ms Garland.... "We can only begin to speculate what those factors might be, but exploring this will certainly open a new understanding into the lives of these truly cosmopolitan, singing giants." ...

Too bad they're just dumb animals, or we might not hunt 'em.


Sat, Apr 16, 2011
from New Scientist:
Acidic ocean robs coral of vital building material
CARBON dioxide has pillaged the Great Barrier Reef of a compound that corals and many sea creatures need to grow. The finding, from the first survey of ocean acidification around one of the world's greatest natural landmarks, supports fears that the ecosystem is on its last legs. Bizarrely, the reef doesn't appear to be suffering from the effects of ocean acidification just yet. But that may be because it is balanced on a knife-edge between health and decay. Oceans become acidic when they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Once dissolved, the gas reacts with carbonate to form bicarbonate, stripping seawater of the compound that many marine organisms including coral, shrimp and crabs need to build their shells or skeletons.... Studies in the Red Sea have found that some species of coral start to dissolve at a [aragonite] saturation of 2.8. "Almost every bit of water we sampled was below 3.5," says Tilbrook, who presented his findings at Greenhouse 2011 in Cairns this week. Close to the shore, to the south of the reef, the saturation was 3.... ...

All those corals need to do is find a better contractor.


Fri, Apr 15, 2011
from Guardian:
Emails expose BP's attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill
BP officials tried to take control of a $500m fund pledged by the oil company for independent research into the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it has emerged. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists supported by the fund, which was created by the oil company in May last year.... Other documents obtained by Greenpeace suggest that the politics of oil spill science was not confined to BP. The White House clashed with officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last summer when drafting the administration's account of what has happened to the spilled oil.... Another email, written by Karen Ragoonanan-Jalim, a BP environmental officer based in Trinidad, contains minutes of a meeting in Houma, Louisiana, in which officials discussed what kind of studies might best serve the oil company's interests.... Under agenda item two, she writes: "Discussions around GRI and whether or not BP can influence this long-term research programme ($500m) to undertake the studies we believe will be useful in terms of understanding the fate and effects of the oil on the environment, eg can we steer the research in support of restoration ecology?" ...

What'd'you expect? BP pays the piper, BP calls the tune!


Fri, Apr 15, 2011
from NOAA:
March 2011 Arctic Ice Extent Second Lowest on Record
Average Arctic sea ice extent for the month of March 2011 was the second lowest in the satellite record (behind 2006), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The NSIDC reported that sea ice extent reached its yearly maximum on March 7. Covering an estimated 5.65 million square miles (14.64 million square kilometers), the extent tied for the lowest winter maximum extent in the satellite record. Arctic sea ice maximum extent has decreased by 2.7 percent per decade since 1979, a much smaller decline than the 11.5 percent per decade drop in the September minimum. The relatively small decline in winter maximum extent, however, does not mean the ice is fully recovering each winter from dramatic summer melting. Strong summer melting in the past decade has reduced the core of thick ice that manages to survive all year long. Spring ice cover has become increasingly dominated by young and generally thinner ice that formed over the previous months. Most of the thin, first-year ice melts again in the summer. ...

Which is it -- second lowest, or tied for lowest? Clearly, the scientific cabal of warmists have contradictory conclusions.


Fri, Apr 15, 2011
from BBC:
Exploring the 'oceans crisis'
What marked this week's event - convened by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean - as something a bit different was the melange of expertise in the same room. Fisheries experts traded studies with people studying ocean acidification; climate modellers swapped data with ecologists; legal wonks formulated phrases alongside toxicologists. They debated, discussed, queried, swapped questions and answers. Pretty much everyone said they'd learned something new - and something a bit scary.... It's fairly well-known now, for example, that the impacts of climate change on coral reefs can be delayed by keeping the reef healthy - by preventing local pollution, keeping fish stocks high and blocking invasive species. So a policy to reduce climate impacts can mean curbing fishing or pollution, which might in turn mean changing farming practices to prevent fertiliser run-off. In places, filter-feeding fish are apparently living in sediments containing so many particles of plastic that it makes up half of each mouthful. Other pollutants such as endocrine-disrupting ("gender-bending") chemicals gather on the plastic surfaces - which obviously can be harmful to the fish. So a "healthy fisheries" policy might again involve regulating pollutants.... Josh Reichert, head of the Pew Environment Group, likening the current situation to... "... driving towards the edge of a cliff while taking copious notes along the way. "For years the science has gotten better, and the problem has become worse. Better science will enhance our understanding of the dilemma we face but will not resolve it - we depend on government to do that, and the challenge we face is getting government to act." ...

Notes? That drive is being digitally recorded!


Fri, Apr 15, 2011
from Biorefining:
Dow, OPX Biotechnologies enter biobased acrylic acid agreement
OPX Biotechnologies Inc. announced today that the two companies are collaborating to develop an industrial-scale process for the production of biobased acrylic acid ... using a fermentable sugar (such as corn and/or cane sugar) feedstock with equal performance qualities as petroleum-based acrylic acid, creating a direct replacement option for the market. If collaborative research is successful, the companies will discuss commercialization opportunities that could bring biobased acrylic acid to market in three to five years.... The global petroleum-based acrylic acid market is $8 billion and growing 3 to 4 percent per year. Acrylic acid is a key chemical building block used in a wide range of consumer goods including paints, adhesives, diapers and detergents. "Dow is interested in biobased products that are economically competitive to petrochemical-based products with equal or advantaged performance qualities," said Pat Gottschalk, business director and vice president, Dow Performance Monomers. ...

DOW -- innovating with the Human Element™ (if it's economically competitive).


Fri, Apr 15, 2011
from Bloomberg BusinessWeek:
World markets down as commodities threaten profits
World stocks were mostly down Thursday amid concerns that rising food and fuel costs could undermine consumer demand, hurting economic growth and company profits. Oil prices hovered above $107 a barrel in Asia as a large drop in U.S. gasoline supplies suggested the two-month crude rally hasn't yet undermined consumer demand. Crude has risen about 27 percent since mid-February. In currencies, the dollar was lower against the yen and the euro.... "While softness in U.S. growth is a concern, the real issue for investors is the second-round effects of high and rising commodity prices," said Clive McDonnell of BNP Paribas in Singapore. "For Asia in particular, margins in the consumer sectors are at risk as we pass the sweet spot of rising commodity and equity prices."... ...

That "sweet spot" is kinda sour, for the rest of us.


Fri, Apr 15, 2011
from EurekAlert:
Nationwide study finds 1 in 4 samples of US meat and poultry is contaminated with MRSAs
Drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria linked to a wide range of human diseases, are present in meat and poultry from U.S. grocery stores at unexpectedly high rates, according to a nationwide study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Nearly half of the meat and poultry samples -- 47 percent -- were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria -- 52 percent -- were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics, according to the study published today in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. This is the first national assessment of antibiotic resistant S. aureus in the U.S. food supply. And, DNA testing suggests that the food animals themselves were the major source of contamination. ...

Rare-meat Roulette.


Thu, Apr 14, 2011
from TreeHugger:
Oil Company Document Instructs Agents to Mislead Landowners About Drilling Dangers
Entitled 'Talking Points for Selling and Gas Lease Rights', the document implores its 'Field Agents' to mislead people about the risks of drilling, to omit important facts, and even, on occasion, to outright lie. Again, it's important to note that TreeHugger has not confirmed the authenticity of the document, nor have we identified which oil company it belongs to.... "Oil and Gas exploration and drilling is meeting increasing resistance from local community groups, so it is essential to contact land holders and acquire signatures before sentiment by environmental and other public organizations limits our ability to obtain access to private land for oil and gas development.... "Tell the landowner that all their neighbors have signed. Even if the neighbors have not, this often will push an undecided landowner in favor of signing.... ENSURE you tell the landowner that we use NO RADIOACTIVE materials. The radioactivity comes from natural sources in the ground and is released by the process, but don't tell them this. Most landowners will not know." ...

What they don't know, won't hurt 'em.


Thu, Apr 14, 2011
from Jakarta Globe:
Weather Blamed for Caterpillar Plague
Unpredictable weather coupled with a decline in natural predators is responsible for a recent plague of caterpillars in parts of the country. Though the phenomenon is centered largely in Probolinggo, East Java, smaller reported outbreaks in Central Java, West Java, Bali and, most recently, Jakarta have prompted fears of a widespread infestation... Since March, millions of hairy caterpillars have cropped up in at least five subdistricts in Probolinggo, invading fields and homes. They have also caused itchy rashes among residents. The caterpillars have also destroyed more than 8,800 mango trees -- the district's main agricultural produce. ...

Isn't "hairy caterpillars" one of the Seven Signs? Dear Lord...


Thu, Apr 14, 2011
from Chemical & Engineering News:
EPA Targets Diisocyanates
Diisocyantes, which are ingredients in polyurethane plastics, face Environmental Protection Agency regulation due to concerns about health effects, the agency announced on April 13. The main focus of EPA's efforts is do-it-yourself consumer products such as spray foam insulation, concrete sealers, adhesives, and floor finishes. These polyurethane products may contain uncured diisocyanates, according to the agency. This contrasts with cured products, such as polyurethane foam in mattresses, which are not of concern, EPA says. Diisocyantes can cause breathing and skin problems, the agency says. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration limits exposure to diisocyanates in the workplace. These chemicals are the leading cause of work-related asthma. Consumer exposure to the substances, however, is unregulated. ...

Don't you diis my diisocyanates!


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Thu, Apr 14, 2011
from ScienceDaily:
Invasive Mussels Causing Massive Ecological Changes in Great Lake
The ongoing spread of non-native mussels in the Great Lakes has caused "massive, ecosystem-wide changes" throughout lakes Michigan and Huron, two of the planet's largest freshwater lakes, according to a new University of Michigan-led study. The blitzkrieg advance of two closely related species of mussels -- the zebra and quagga -- is stripping the lakes of their life-supporting algae, resulting in a remarkable ecological transformation and threatening the multibillion-dollar U.S. commercial and recreational Great Lakes fisheries.... "These are astounding changes, a tremendous shifting of the very base of the food web in those lakes into a state that has not been seen in the recorded history of the lakes," said Mary Anne Evans, lead author of a paper scheduled for publication in the April 15 edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. "We're talking about massive, ecosystem-wide changes." ...

It's exciting to be at a premiere!


Thu, Apr 14, 2011
from Chemical Science, via EurekAlert:
A chance discovery may revolutionize hydrogen production
Producing hydrogen in a sustainable way is a challenge and production cost is too high. A team led by EPFL Professor Xile Hu has discovered that a molybdenum based catalyst is produced at room temperature, inexpensive and efficient. The results of the research are published online in Chemical Science Thursday the 14th of April. An international patent based on this discovery has just been filled. Existing in large quantities on Earth, water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. It can be broken down by applying an electrical current; this is the process known as electrolysis. To improve this particularly slow reaction, platinum is generally used as a catalyst. However, platinum is a particularly expensive material that has tripled in price over the last decade. Now EPFL scientists have shown that amorphous molybdenum sulphides, found abundantly, are efficient catalysts and hydrogen production cost can be significantly lowered. The new catalysts exhibit many advantageous technical characteristics. They are stable and compatible with acidic, neutral or basic conditions in water. Also, the rate of the hydrogen production is faster than other catalysts of the same price. The discovery opens up some interesting possibilities for industrial applications such as in the area of solar energy storage. ...

Looks like the American Way of Life is not only Non-Negotiable, it's possibly Catalyzable.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011
from Basque Research:
In recent decades, the number of alien species in Navarre has tripled
In concrete, the experts involved are focusing on endemic freshwater species - euryhalines and diadromes - fish that can live in both fresh and salty water (such as salmon and eels).... In this sense, it is striving to increase awareness of and interest in autochthonous fish species under threat due to a number of factors. Amongst the most serious, points out Mr Miranda, is the alteration of the habitat caused by hydraulic works, water extraction, industrial waste dumping, the extraction of sand or the canalisation of riverbeds. "Moreover, particularly serious is the introduction of alien species, which causes the greatest impact", he stressed. According to the expert, invasive fish fed into our lakes and rivers put the survival of autochthonous Iberian Ichthyofauna in danger: "In fact, biological invasions are the second great cause of loss of biodiversity in the world, being especially damaging to freshwater systems". This is the case of predatory species such as black bass, pike or catfish, all of which are present in rivers in Navarre.... "This is the case of bleak (alburon) - possibly introduced as bait from France - and which in 20 years has become the dominant species over all the middle-range and lower stretches of the Ebro river basin and which, on competing with the nose fish (madrilla), has made the latter's numbers plummet throughout the zone". ...

Ironically, this English is written by a non-native speaker.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011
from Greenwire:
Shale Gas Isn't Cleaner Than Coal, Cornell Researchers Say
Cornell University researchers say that natural gas pried from shale formations is dirtier than coal in the short term, rather than cleaner, and "comparable" in the long term. That finding -- fiercely disputed by the gas industry -- undermines the widely stated belief that gas is twice as "clean" as coal in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The gas industry has promoted that concept as a way for electric utilities to prepare for climate change regulations by switching from coal-fired plants to gas.... "Compared to coal, the footprint of shale gas is at least 20 percent greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon and is comparable when compared over 100 years," states a pre-publication copy (pdf) of the study... ...

Sounds like just another shale game to me.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011
from Australia ABC News:
Ice melt a weighty problem: expert
Melting ice sheets could cause a redistribution of the world's gravitational field causing higher than expected rises in sea level for some parts of the world, according to a senior Australian scientist. Dr John Church, chief research scientist with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, says the full effect of this shift in gravity hasn't been factored into sea level rise predictions....the gravitational effect is lost and sea levels will be slightly lower than expected around the icy regions, but higher than expected in far away places such as New York or the Pacific islands. ...

Does this massive global shift make my butt look big?


Wed, Apr 13, 2011
from Bloomberg Businessweek:
Graves of Diseased Animals Spur Shift to Evian in S. Korea
More than 1,000 kilometers from Tokyo, Seoul is having its very own crisis of faith in tap water, and radiation isn't to blame. In South Korea, the carcasses of 9.7 million cattle, pigs and poultry were buried in mass graves across the frozen countryside after outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and bird- flu last winter. That's raised concerns that pollutants may enter groundwater now that the soil has thawed, said Jun Kwan Soo, a professor of environmental engineering at Yeungnam University. ...

Ten million buried cattle, pigs and poultry? What could go wrong?


Wed, Apr 13, 2011
from Wall Street Journal:
Japanese Declare Crisis at Level of Chernobyl
The Japanese government raised its assessment of the monthlong crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the highest severity level by international standards -- a rating only conferred so far upon the Chernobyl accident. Japan's nuclear regulators said the plant has likely released so much radiation into the environment that it must boost the accident's severity rating on the International Nuclear Event scale to a 7 from 5 currently. That is the same level reached by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union, which struck almost exactly 25 years ago, on April 26, 1986. ...

To commemorate this horrid milestone, Fukushima's name will be changed to Fukushimad.


Tue, Apr 12, 2011
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Satellites show effect of 2010 drought on Amazon forests
A new study has revealed widespread reductions in the greenness of Amazon forests caused by the last year's record-breaking drought. "The greenness levels of Amazonian vegetation - a measure of its health - decreased dramatically over an area more than three and one-half times the size of Texas and did not recover to normal levels, even after the drought ended in late October 2010," says Liang Xu of Boston University and the study's lead author. The drought sensitivity of Amazon rainforests is a subject of intense study. Computer models predict that in a changing climate with warmer temperatures and altered rainfall patterns, the ensuing moisture stress could cause some of the rainforests to be replaced by grasslands or woody savannas. This would release the carbon stored in the rotting wood into the atmosphere, and could accelerate global warming.... The maps show the 2010 drought reduced the greenness of approximately 2.5 million square kilometers (965,000 square miles) of vegetation in the Amazon - more than four times the area affected by the last severe drought in 2005.... "Last year was the driest year on record based on 109 years of Rio Negro water level data at the Manaus harbor. For comparison, the lowest level during the so-called once-in-a-century drought in 2005, was only eighth lowest," said Marcos Costa, coauthor from the Federal University in Vicosa, Brazil. ...

Are we sure the satellite's "hue" dial doesn't need adjusting?


Tue, Apr 12, 2011
from New York Times:
Study: Pot Growers Inhale 1 percent of U.S. Electricity, Exhale GHGs of 3M Cars
Indoor marijuana cultivation consumes enough electricity to power 2 million average-sized U.S. homes, which corresponds to about 1 percent of national power consumption, according to a study by a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.... Researcher Evan Mills' study notes that cannabis production has largely shifted indoors, especially in California, where medical marijuana growers use high-intensity lights usually reserved for operating rooms that are 500 times more powerful that a standard reading lamp.... Narrowing the implications even further reveals some staggering numbers. Mills said a single marijuana cigarette represents 2 pounds of CO2 emissions, an amount equal to running a 100-watt light bulb for 17 hours. Mills, a member of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, drew his data from open literature and interviews with horticultural equipment retailers. ...

Dude, you are totally killing my buzz.


Tue, Apr 12, 2011
from North Carolina State University:
Study Finds Public Relatively Unconcerned About Nanotechnology Risks
A new study finds that the general public thinks getting a suntan poses a greater public health risk than nanotechnology or other nanoparticle applications. The study, from North Carolina State University, compared survey respondents' perceived risk of nanoparticles with 23 other public-health risks. The study is the first to compare the public's perception of the risks associated with nanoparticles to other environmental and health safety risks. Researchers found that nanoparticles are perceived as being a relatively low risk. "For example, 19 of the other public-health risks were perceived as more hazardous, including suntanning and drinking alcohol," says Dr. Andrew Binder, an assistant professor of communication at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the study. "The only things viewed as less risky were cell-phone use, blood transfusions, commercial air travel and medical X-rays." In fact, 60 percent of respondents felt that nanoparticles posed either no health risk or only a slight health risk.... “While it remains unclear whether nanoparticles are safe, they are not a major concern among the general public.” ...

I'm concerned just a really really tiny amount.


Tue, Apr 12, 2011
from Discovery News:
Penguin, Krill Populations in Freefall
Numbers of Chinstrap and Adelie penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula region have dropped by more than 50 percent in the last 30 years, driven mainly by dramatic declines in supplies of tiny, shrimp-like krill, their main prey, says a new study. Krill, meanwhile, have declined by 40 to 80 percent, due primarily to rapidly warming temperatures in the area -- the South Shetland Islands near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and nearby sites. This is one of the fastest-warming places on the planet with winter mean temperatures some 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer now than in pre-industrial times.... The krill rely on phytoplankton growing in mats on the underside of sea ice for food at critical stages, he said. "The young krill that are spawned in the Antarctic summer can't survive the winter without food," he said. "Once they get one year or older they can fast through the winter. We would get these long stretches of two, three or four warm, ice-free winters and there would be no survival of krill from the year before." "We put together the pieces of the puzzle and said what's driving the penguin declines is a change in climate," he concluded. ...

By grilling the world, we're krilling ourselves.


Tue, Apr 12, 2011
from The Independent:
Nitrogen pollution costs are revealed
Nitrogen pollution is costing every person in Europe up to [700 euros] a year in damage to water, climate, health and wildlife, a major new study warned today. Scientists behind the research said nitrogen was needed as fertiliser to help feed a growing world population - but suggested that eating less meat could reduce the amount of pollution caused by agriculture. The report also suggests that with 60 percent of costs of the nitrogen damage stemming from fossil fuels burnt for energy generation and transport, more energy efficient homes and cutting long distance travel could also help tackle the problem.... Nitrogen contributes to air pollution that causes respiratory problems such as asthma and cancers in people and reduces life expectancy by six months across much of Europe. Nitrates in water are bad for human health and damage wildlife including fish stocks. Nitrous oxide is also a greenhouse gas. The environmental effects of nitrogen were estimated at 25 billion euro to 145 billion euro, compared with the 25 billion euro to 130 billion euro benefits to agriculture fertilisers deliver. ...

Maybe we should revisit the cost/benefit ratio, what?


Tue, Apr 12, 2011
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Rare fish carried up a mountain on backs of llamas to escape global warming
The endangered vendace, that has been in Britain since the Ice Age, is in danger of dying out as lakes and rivers warm up because of man made global warming. To ensure the species survival, the UK's environmental watchdog took eggs from Derwentwater in Cumbria, thought to be the only remaining site where the fish are found in England and Wales. They then took 25,000 young fish from the hatchery to a cooler lake higher up the mountains of the Lake District, Sprinkler Tarn, to establish a new 'refuge' population that is more likely to survive warming temperatures. Because the route to the lake is so rocky and uneven, it was impossible to use conventional transport like a 4x4 motorbike or landrover. So, the fish were given a ride during part of the two-hour trek by sure-footed llamas from a local charity. The journey was finished by fisheries officers on foot to ensure none of the smarts were spilt. ...

That'll work. For awhile.


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Mon, Apr 11, 2011
from Center for Biological Diversity, tip via DesdemonaDespair:
Bat-killing White-nose Disease Spreads to Ohio, New Brunswick
Bats in Ohio have now been found with white-nose syndrome, a disease that has been sweeping through bat populations in the eastern United States since 2006. In Maryland, biologists found the disease in a second county, after it first appeared in that state last winter. Also this week, Canadian officials reported the first discovery of the lethal bat malady in New Brunswick. White-nose syndrome, or the pathogenic fungus associated with it, has now been confirmed in 17 states and three provinces. The fast-moving disease has already killed more than 1 million bats in North America. "This disease is burning through our bat populations like a five-alarm fire," said Mollie Matteson, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, which has pushed for additional research funding of the disease and urged widespread bat-cave closures. "But right now, all we've got from our wildlife agencies is the equivalent of a couple of rusty fire trucks barely out of the station."... "What a lot of people don't realize is that there's much more than just bats at stake, and we don't have a moment to spare in saving them," said Matteson.... To date, the bat-killing fungus has been found as far west as western Oklahoma, bringing it closer to Seattle and Los Angeles than the disease's initial epicenter near Albany, N.Y. ...

These bats are canaries in a coal fire.


Weeks' Archived

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