[About the Project]
[About the ApocaDocs]
[About Equal Share]
[TwitterFollow: apocadocs]


SEARCH

More than 6,000 stories!

OUR BOOK
IS NOW
IN PRINT!

The ApocaDocs have a Book!
Humoring the Horror
of the
Converging Emergencies
94 color pages
$24.99
Read FREE online!

Explore:

Play:

It's weekly, funny, and free!
Play:

Click for paper-free fun!

Ads for potentially
microfunding this site:


Apocadocument
Weekly Archives:
Sep 26 - Dec 31, 1969
Sep 19 - Sep 26, 2011
Sep 12 - Sep 19, 2011
Sep 5 - Sep 12, 2011
Aug 29 - Sep 5, 2011
Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2011
Aug 15 - Aug 22, 2011
Aug 8 - Aug 15, 2011
Aug 1 - Aug 8, 2011
Jul 25 - Aug 1, 2011
Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2011
Jul 11 - Jul 18, 2011
Jul 4 - Jul 11, 2011
Jun 27 - Jul 4, 2011
Jun 20 - Jun 27, 2011
Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2011
Jun 6 - Jun 13, 2011
May 30 - Jun 6, 2011
May 23 - May 30, 2011
May 16 - May 23, 2011
May 9 - May 16, 2011
May 2 - May 9, 2011
Apr 25 - May 2, 2011
Apr 18 - Apr 25, 2011
Apr 11 - Apr 18, 2011
Apr 4 - Apr 11, 2011
Mar 28 - Apr 4, 2011
Mar 21 - Mar 28, 2011
Mar 14 - Mar 21, 2011
Mar 6 - Mar 14, 2011
Feb 27 - Mar 6, 2011
Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2011
Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2011
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2011
Jan 30 - Feb 6, 2011
Jan 23 - Jan 30, 2011
Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2011
Jan 9 - Jan 16, 2011
Jan 2 - Jan 9, 2011
Dec 26 - Jan 2, 2011
Dec 19 - Dec 26, 2010
Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2010
Dec 5 - Dec 12, 2010
Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2010
Nov 21 - Nov 28, 2010
Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2010
Nov 7 - Nov 14, 2010
Nov 1 - Nov 7, 2010
Oct 25 - Nov 1, 2010
Oct 18 - Oct 25, 2010
Oct 11 - Oct 18, 2010
Oct 4 - Oct 11, 2010
Sep 27 - Oct 4, 2010
Sep 20 - Sep 27, 2010
Sep 13 - Sep 20, 2010
Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2010
Aug 30 - Sep 6, 2010
Aug 23 - Aug 30, 2010
Aug 16 - Aug 23, 2010
Aug 9 - Aug 16, 2010
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2010
Jul 26 - Aug 2, 2010
Jul 19 - Jul 26, 2010
Jul 12 - Jul 19, 2010
Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2010
Jun 28 - Jul 5, 2010
Jun 21 - Jun 28, 2010
Jun 14 - Jun 21, 2010
Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2010
May 31 - Jun 7, 2010
May 24 - May 31, 2010
May 17 - May 24, 2010
May 10 - May 17, 2010
May 3 - May 10, 2010
Apr 26 - May 3, 2010
Apr 19 - Apr 26, 2010
Apr 12 - Apr 19, 2010
Apr 5 - Apr 12, 2010
Mar 29 - Apr 5, 2010
Mar 22 - Mar 29, 2010
Mar 15 - Mar 22, 2010
Mar 7 - Mar 15, 2010
Feb 28 - Mar 7, 2010
Feb 21 - Feb 28, 2010
Feb 14 - Feb 21, 2010
Feb 7 - Feb 14, 2010
Jan 31 - Feb 7, 2010
Jan 24 - Jan 31, 2010
Jan 17 - Jan 24, 2010
Jan 10 - Jan 17, 2010
Jan 3 - Jan 10, 2010
Dec 27 - Jan 3, 2010
Dec 20 - Dec 27, 2009
Dec 13 - Dec 20, 2009
Dec 6 - Dec 13, 2009
Nov 29 - Dec 6, 2009
Nov 22 - Nov 29, 2009
Nov 15 - Nov 22, 2009
Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2009
Nov 1 - Nov 8, 2009
Oct 26 - Nov 1, 2009
Oct 19 - Oct 26, 2009
Oct 12 - Oct 19, 2009
Oct 5 - Oct 12, 2009
Sep 28 - Oct 5, 2009
Sep 21 - Sep 28, 2009
Sep 14 - Sep 21, 2009
Sep 7 - Sep 14, 2009
Aug 31 - Sep 7, 2009
Aug 24 - Aug 31, 2009
Aug 17 - Aug 24, 2009
Aug 10 - Aug 17, 2009
Aug 3 - Aug 10, 2009
Jul 27 - Aug 3, 2009
Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2009
Jul 13 - Jul 20, 2009
Jul 6 - Jul 13, 2009
Jun 29 - Jul 6, 2009
Jun 22 - Jun 29, 2009
Jun 15 - Jun 22, 2009
Jun 8 - Jun 15, 2009
Jun 1 - Jun 8, 2009
May 25 - Jun 1, 2009
May 18 - May 25, 2009
May 11 - May 18, 2009
May 4 - May 11, 2009
Apr 27 - May 4, 2009
Apr 20 - Apr 27, 2009
Apr 13 - Apr 20, 2009
Apr 6 - Apr 13, 2009
Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2009
Mar 23 - Mar 30, 2009
Mar 16 - Mar 23, 2009
Mar 9 - Mar 16, 2009
Mar 1 - Mar 9, 2009
Feb 22 - Mar 1, 2009
Feb 15 - Feb 22, 2009
Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2009
Feb 1 - Feb 8, 2009
Jan 25 - Feb 1, 2009
Jan 18 - Jan 25, 2009
Jan 11 - Jan 18, 2009
Jan 4 - Jan 11, 2009
Dec 28 - Jan 4, 2009
Dec 21 - Dec 28, 2008
Dec 14 - Dec 21, 2008
Dec 7 - Dec 14, 2008
Nov 30 - Dec 7, 2008
Nov 23 - Nov 30, 2008
Nov 16 - Nov 23, 2008
Nov 9 - Nov 16, 2008
Nov 2 - Nov 9, 2008
Oct 27 - Nov 2, 2008
Oct 20 - Oct 27, 2008
Oct 13 - Oct 20, 2008
Oct 6 - Oct 13, 2008
Sep 29 - Oct 6, 2008
Sep 22 - Sep 29, 2008
Sep 15 - Sep 22, 2008
Sep 8 - Sep 15, 2008
Sep 1 - Sep 8, 2008
Aug 25 - Sep 1, 2008
Aug 18 - Aug 25, 2008
Aug 11 - Aug 18, 2008
Aug 4 - Aug 11, 2008
Jul 28 - Aug 4, 2008
Jul 21 - Jul 28, 2008
Jul 14 - Jul 21, 2008
Jul 7 - Jul 14, 2008
Jun 30 - Jul 7, 2008
Jun 23 - Jun 30, 2008
Jun 16 - Jun 23, 2008
Jun 9 - Jun 16, 2008
Jun 2 - Jun 9, 2008
May 26 - Jun 2, 2008
May 19 - May 26, 2008
May 12 - May 19, 2008
May 5 - May 12, 2008
Apr 28 - May 5, 2008
Apr 21 - Apr 28, 2008
Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2008
Apr 7 - Apr 14, 2008
Mar 31 - Apr 7, 2008
Mar 24 - Mar 31, 2008
Mar 17 - Mar 24, 2008
Mar 10 - Mar 17, 2008
Mar 2 - Mar 10, 2008
Feb 24 - Mar 2, 2008
Feb 17 - Feb 24, 2008
Feb 10 - Feb 17, 2008
Feb 3 - Feb 10, 2008
Jan 27 - Feb 3, 2008
Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2008
Jan 13 - Jan 20, 2008
Jan 6 - Jan 13, 2008
Dec 30 - Jan 6, 2008
Dec 23 - Dec 30, 2007
Dec 16 - Dec 23, 2007
Dec 9 - Dec 16, 2007
Dec 2 - Dec 9, 2007
DocWatch
habitat loss
Twitterit?
News stories about "habitat loss," with punchlines: http://apocadocs.com/d.pl?habitat+loss
Related Scary Tags:
climate impacts  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ health impacts  ~ contamination  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ massive die-off  ~ oil issues  ~ global warming  ~ toxic leak  ~ arctic meltdown  ~ sixth extinction  



Mon, Jul 20, 2015
from UGA, via DesdemonaDespair:
Continued destruction of Earth's plant life places humankind in jeopardy, says UGA research
Unless humans slow the destruction of Earth's declining supply of plant life, civilization like it is now may become completely unsustainable, according to a paper published recently by University of Georgia researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "You can think of the Earth like a battery that has been charged very slowly over billions of years," said the study's lead author, John Schramski, an associate professor in UGA's College of Engineering. "The sun's energy is stored in plants and fossil fuels, but humans are draining energy much faster than it can be replenished."... Scientists estimate that the Earth contained approximately 1,000 billion tons of carbon in living biomass 2,000 years ago. Since that time, humans have reduced that amount by almost half. It is estimated that just over 10 percent of that biomass was destroyed in just the last century. "If we don't reverse this trend, we'll eventually reach a point where the biomass battery discharges to a level at which Earth can no longer sustain us," Schramski said.... "I call myself a realistic optimist," Schramski said. "I've gone through these numbers countless times looking for some kind of mitigating factor that suggests we're wrong, but I haven't found it." ...


The iHome battery only lasts how long?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 4, 2015
from LA Times:
Ruptured pipeline was corroded, federal regulators say
Corrosion had eaten away nearly half of the metal wall of a pipeline that ruptured and spilled up to 101,000 gallons of crude oil along the Santa Barbara coast last month, federal regulators said Wednesday... The 10.6-mile pipeline had "extensive" external corrosion, and the thickness of the pipe's wall where it broke had degraded to an estimated one-sixteenth of an inch, the pipeline agency said. ...


There seems to be a problem with our infruckedstructure.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, May 3, 2015
from Clapway:
Study Says Large Herbivores on Verge of Extinction
If the results of a recent study conducted by wildlife experts at Oregon State University is correct, large herbivores are on the verge of extinction all over the world. The study of 74 different kinds of plant eaters showed that there has been a very large reduction in large plant eaters, especially in Africa and Asia, where the majority of them travel and reside. Professor William Ripple, the lead author of the study, announced that results point to as much as 60 percent of the large herbivores that weight over 220lbs are dying off due to things like habitat loss, climate change, over hunting, poaching, and global warming issues. ...


Little Jack Horner, come blow your horn! / All your cow's relatives may never be born!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 15, 2014
from London Guardian:
Earth faces sixth 'great extinction' with 41 percent of amphibians set to go the way of the dodo
A stark depiction of the threat hanging over the world's mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other life forms has been published by the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. A special analysis carried out by the journal indicates that a staggering 41 percent of all amphibians on the planet now face extinction while 26 percent of mammal species and 13 percent of birds are similarly threatened. ...


41 + 26 + 13 doesn't even equal 100!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Nov 19, 2014
from Los Angeles Times:
40 percent decline in polar bears in Alaska, western Canada heightens concern
The number of polar bears in eastern Alaska and western Canada has declined by 40 percent, according to a scientific study that raises more questions about the impact of global warming on the creature that has become the symbol of some of its worst effects. ...


Po' polar bears

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Sep 30, 2014
from :
Global wildlife numbers 'halved in four decades'
A WWF study has found that the world's wildlife population has dropped by more than a half in the past four decades - a far greater drop than identified in a previous report. Human numbers, meanwhile, have doubled... It revealed a 39 percent fall in numbers across a representative sample of land-dwelling species from 1970 to 2010, with the same depletion in marine species. In freshwater populations, the drop was more marked - at 76 percent. ...


Only solution is for humans to become wildlife.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 8, 2014
from CBC:
Canada's degradation of pristine, intact forests leads world
The world's precious few remaining large forests are fragmenting at an alarming rate, and the degradation in Canada leads the world, a new analysis shows. The degradation of such pristine "intact" forests threatens species such as Canada's woodland caribou and Asia's tigers that rely on huge unbroken expanses of natural ecosystems in order to survive, said Nigel Sizer, global director of forest programs with the World Resources Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based research institute focused on resource sustainability. ...


We also lead the world in tar sands!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 5, 2014
from Cliff Mass Weather Blog:
Will the Pacific Northwest be a Climate Refuge Under Global Warming?
As global warming takes hold later in the century, where will be the best place in the lower 48 states to escape its worst effects? A compelling case can be made that the Pacific Northwest will be one of the best places to live as the earth warms. A potential climate refuge. ...


Don't tell anyone.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jul 26, 2014
from The Independent (UK):
Vital invertebrates decline by 45 per cent, study finds
Insects, worms and other small animals that carry out vital functions for life on earth have declined by 45 per cent on average over 35 years, threatening human health, water quality and food supplies, a study has found. The rapid decline in the number of invertebrates - animals without backbones - is at least as bad as the well publicised plight of the larger animals, according to scientists who said they were shocked by the findings. Although there has has been far less research on invertebrates than on vertebrates, what little has been done suggests that they are undergoing a catastrophic fall in abundance which is having a severe impact on "ecosystem services" such a pollination of crops, water treatment and waste recycling, the scientists said. ...


Ugh -- you want me to care about bugs?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 8, 2014
from Huffington Post:
Battle Over Protection Of Obscure Bird Could Decide Fate Of Senate This November
An obscure, chicken-sized bird best known for its mating dance could help determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the U.S. Senate in November. The federal government is considering listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species next year. Doing so could limit development, energy exploration, hunting and ranching on the 165 million acres of the bird's habitat across 11 Western states... Two Republican congressmen running for the U.S. Senate in Montana and Colorado, Steve Daines and Cory Gardner, are co-sponsoring legislation that would prevent the federal government from listing the bird for a decade as long as states try to protect it. ...


We're going to do our gosh-darned best to protect the planet!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 7, 2014
from Science, via CBS News (2006):
Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048
The apocalypse has a new date: 2048. That's when the world's oceans will be empty of fish, predicts an international team of ecologists and economists. The cause: the disappearance of species due to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change. The study by Boris Worm, PhD, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, -- with colleagues in the U.K., U.S., Sweden, and Panama -- was an effort to understand what this loss of ocean species might mean to the world. The researchers analyzed several different kinds of data. Even to these ecology-minded scientists, the results were an unpleasant surprise. "I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are -- beyond anything we suspected," Worm says in a news release. "This isn't predicted to happen. This is happening now," study researcher Nicola Beaumont, PhD, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., says in a news release. "If biodiversity continues to decline, the marine environment will not be able to sustain our way of life. Indeed, it may not be able to sustain our lives at all," Beaumont adds. ...


Whales and orcas aren't really "fish," you know.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 6, 2014
from Ecowatch:
House Passes 'No New Parks' Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday limiting federal authority to permanently protect public lands, according to the Sierra Club. The bill, H.R. 1459, prevents the president from using the Antiquities Act to designate national monuments, which presidents of both parties have used for more than 100 years to preserve iconic American treasures, including the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon. In fact, nearly half of all national parks were first national monuments, like the Grand Canyon and Muir Woods. ...


Where is Teddy Roosevelt's big stick when ya need it?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 24, 2014
from Los Angeles Times:
Barge spills oil near Texas wildlife sanctuary
Oil spilled from a barge in Galveston Bay, blocking the busy Houston ship channel and threatening birds at a nearby wildlife sanctuary, officials and environmentalists said Sunday. U.S. Coast Guard officials said as much as 168,000 gallons may have spilled. The spill was reported Saturday by the captain of a 585-foot Liberian-flagged ship, Summer Wind, which collided with the barge, Coast Guard officials said. The cause was under investigation. Michael Lambert, spokesman for the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, called it a "significant spill," but not based on the amount of oil. "The real issue is that it's in the ship channel, near environmentally sensitive areas. So there's an economic impact and an environmental impact," he said. ...


Kind of muddies the whole idea of a sanctuary.

ApocaDoc
permalink


Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Mon, Feb 17, 2014
from Reuters:
Subpoena caps bad week for fossil fuel
Federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the massive coal ash spill into North Carolina's Dan River, targeting both the energy company responsible for the ash pond that leaked and the state's environmental regulator. The subpoena of Duke Energy, the company at fault for the North Carolina spill, bookends a bad week for the U.S. fossil fuels industry, including a coal slurry spill in West Virginia and a fire at hydraulic fracturing well in Pennsylvania. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, pumps water and chemicals into the ground to release gas trapped in rock. The coal ash spilled in North Carolina is a byproduct of burning coal to make electricity and contains harmful chemicals, including arsenic. So far, authorities do not believe the spill poses a threat to drinking water, although the ash spiked arsenic levels in the river, turning it into a chalky gray soup. ...


Chalky gray soup is my favorite dish!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 10, 2014
from Reuters:
Chinese villagers mob police in environmental spat: Xinhua
Around 100 villagers attacked a police station in southwestern China on Friday as part of an environmental protest, state media said in a rare report about what are increasingly common demonstrations.... There are tens of thousands of unreported protests in China each year, a rising number of which are over environmental disputes in a country where rapid economic growth has taken its toll on the air, water and land. ...


Here, we just post angry diatribes on Facebook.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Nov 15, 2013
from University of Maryland:
First Detailed Map of Global Forest Change
A University of Maryland-led, multi-organizational team has created the first high-resolution global map of forest extent, loss and gain. This resource greatly improves the ability to understand human and naturally-induced forest changes and the local to global implications of these changes on environmental, economic and other natural and societal systems, members of the team say... In a new study, the team of 15 university, Google and government researchers reports a global loss of 2.3 million square kilometers (888,000 square miles) of forest between 2000 and 2012 and a gain of 800,000 square kilometers (309,000 square miles) of new forest. ...


I can't see the forest for the fallen trees.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 28, 2013
from Associated Press:
ND spills went unreported; state testing website
North Dakota, the nation's No. 2 oil producer behind Texas, recorded nearly 300 oil pipeline spills in less than two years, state documents show. None was reported to the public, officials said. According to records obtained by The Associated Press, the pipeline spills -- many of them small -- are among some 750 "oil field incidents" that have occurred since January 2012 without public notification.... Dennis Fewless, director of water quality for the state Health Department, said regulators are reviewing the state's policies for when to publicly report such incidents after a massive spill was discovered last month in northwestern North Dakota by a wheat farmer. State and company officials kept it quiet for 11 days -- and only said something after the AP asked about it. ...


God hath given Man the Earth to Shitteth Upon.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 23, 2013
from Al Jazeera:
Gulf ecosystem in crisis after BP spill
Hundreds of kilograms of oily debris on beaches, declining seafood catches, and other troubling signs point towards an ecosystem in crisis in the wake of BP's 2010 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. "It's disturbing what we're seeing," Louisiana Oyster Task Force member Brad Robin told Al Jazeera. "We don't have any more baby crabs, which is a bad sign. We're seeing things we've never seen before." Robin, a commercial oyster fisherman who is also a member of the Louisiana Government Advisory Board, said that of the sea ground where he has harvested oysters in the past, only 30 percent of it is productive now.... Louisiana's Republican Governor Bobby Jindal ... recently said, "Three and a half years later, BP is spending more money - I want you to hear this - they are spending more money on television commercials than they have on actually restoring the natural resources they impacted." ...


That may explain why, when I see oily beach debris, I think of puppies.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 14, 2013
from Climate News Network:
Ocean Deteriorating More Rapidly Than Thought
Marine scientists say the state of the world's oceans is deteriorating more rapidly than anyone had realized, and is worse than that described in last month's U.N. climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They say the rate, speed and impacts of ocean change are greater, faster and more imminent than previously thought -- and they expect summertime Arctic sea ice cover will have disappeared in around 25 years. ...


Seas the day.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 14, 2013
from Associated Press:
Lake Erie algae a threat to Ohio drinking water
Toxins from blobs of algae on western Lake Erie are infiltrating water treatment plants along the shoreline, forcing cities to spend a lot more money to make sure their drinking water is safe. It got so bad last month that one township told its 2,000 residents not to drink or use the water coming from their taps... The unsightly surface has scared away tourists, and toxins produced by the algae have contributed to oxygen-deprived dead zones where fish can't survive. The toxins also are a threat to the drinking water that the lake provides for 11 million people. ...


Let them drink Coke.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 9, 2013
from University of Hawaii at Manoa:
Urgent New Time Frame for Climate Change Revealed by Massive Analysis
The seesaw variability of global temperatures often engenders debate over how seriously we should take climate change. But within 35 years, even the lowest monthly dips in temperatures will be hotter than we've experienced in the past 150 years, according to a new and massive analysis of all climate models. The tropics will be the first to exceed the limits of historical extremes and experience an unabated heat wave that threatens biodiversity and heavily populated countries with the fewest resources to adapt. ...


The tropics will be toast!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 30, 2013
from NewScientist:
Climate report: Lull in warming doesn't mean we're safe
Humanity's role in driving climate change is more certain than ever before, but the most extreme scenarios of future warming are looking less likely than a few years ago. This is the upshot of the latest scientific assessment from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published today.... The new report leaves no doubt that a storm is brewing. It is unequivocal -- temperatures are rising and human activity is to blame. Without drastic action to curb emissions, it says, the world faces a century of strong warming, in which glaciers and ice sheets melt, sea levels rise, the oceans acidify, weather systems shift and rainfall patterns change.... this stark warning will be sidelined by the scientific conundrum over the "missing heat" that should, according to most climate models, have been warming the atmosphere ever faster these past few decades. This may be a short-term blip -- perhaps a result of the oceans temporarily taking up more heat from the atmosphere, says one of the IPCC's lead authors, Myles Allen of the University of Oxford. The report underlines that, whatever is happening to the atmosphere, the oceans continue to warm dramatically. ...


Damn you, ocean, for trying to save us all.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 30, 2013
from Associated Press:
Big freighter traverses Northwest Passage for 1st time
A large freighter completed a voyage through the hazardous Arctic Northwest Passage for the first time this week, showing the potential for cutting shipment times and costs as global warming opens new routes. The 75,000 deadweight-ton Nordic Orion, built in 2011 by a Japanese shipyard, left the Canadian Pacific port of Vancouver in early September and is scheduled to arrive in the Finnish port of Pori on October 7, according to AIS shipping data.... As the ice continues to melt, some experts have estimated that shipping via the Arctic could account for a quarter of the cargo traffic between Europe and Asia by 2030. ...


Let the feeding frenzy begin...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 25, 2013
from CBC:
Monarch butterfly numbers drop to new lows
Monarch butterflies appear headed for a perhaps unprecedented population crash, according to scientists and monarch watchers who have been keeping tabs on the species in their main summer home in Eastern and Central North America. There had been hope that on their journey north from their overwintering zone in Mexico, the insects' numbers would build through the generations, but there's no indication that happened. Only a small number of monarchs did make it to Canada this summer to propagate the generation that has now begun its southern migration to Mexico, and early indications are that the past year's record lows will be followed by even lower numbers this fall.... "Based on what I saw this year, I'm very concerned they're not going to bounce back that well, and my fear is I'm going to see them extinct within my lifetime," Burkhard said.... Taylor says that "in the Midwest, we're seeing a tremendous loss of habitat due to the type of agriculture that been adopted here, Roundup-ready corn and soybeans, which has taken the milkweeds out of those row crops, and we're seeing overzealous management of roadside marshes, excessive use of herbicides here and there." ...


Guess that means fewer hurricanes this season!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Sep 13, 2013
from Salon:
Study shows that 60 percent of plantlife can be saved
In partnership with Duke University and North Carolina State University, Microsoft researchers used computer algorithms to identify the smallest set of regions worldwide that could contain the largest numbers of plant species. The result, they say, is a model showing how putting just 17 percent of the planet's land surface off limits to human contamination could save a huge number of important plant species. ...


Microsoft-Funded Study Shows 60 percent of Operating System Might Be Saved

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 21, 2013
from Vancouver Sun:
Pine beetle epidemic may be to blame for drop in moose numbers
The "most-plausible"¯ explanation for a serious decline in moose populations in the Cariboo is the mountain pine beetle epidemic, especially the large-scale salvage logging that followed, a report for the B.C. government finds. The consultant's report said the "vulnerability of moose could have increased due either to the change in habitat (dead trees) or to increased salvage logging removal of cover) or to the change in access associated with salvage logging (more roads)." In other words, vast clearcuts left moose exposed on the landscape -- to human and wild predators -- and a proliferation of logging roads made it easier for hunters on motorized vehicles to get at them. ...


Not fair! Let's give moose ATVs to use.

ApocaDoc
permalink


You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Tue, Jul 30, 2013
from RTCC:
Alaska forest fires 'worst for 10,000 years'
There have always been fires in the cold forests of Alaska. Periods of burning are part of the ecological regime, and fires return to black spruce stands of the Yukon Flats at intervals of tens to hundreds of years. But recent evidence suggests that fire is about to come back with a vengeance - or, in the language of science, "a transition to a unique regime of unprecedented fire activity". ...


It seems that many things are "unprecedented" and part of a "unique regime." Goddamn it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 14, 2013
from The Independent:
Ancient wood to be felled for quarry
An area of ancient woodland the size of 16 football pitches in Kent will be destroyed to make way for a ragstone quarry after the government ruled that the commercial benefits of the development outweighed the habitat loss. In a ruling that raises fears for the future of more than 300 ancient woods around the country, local government secretary Eric Pickles yesterday waived through an application to extend a ragstone quarry into the 400-year old Oaken Wood near Maidstone. The resulting deforestation is thought to represent the largest loss of ancient woodland in the UK in the past five years. It would destroy about a sixth of the sweet chestnut coppice, which supports a range of plants and rare animals but is best known for two bat species - the Common Pipstrelle and the Natterer's bat.... "With just 2 per cent of ancient woodland cover remaining, we cannot afford to lose any more," she added, saying that the cover has been steadily declining in the 15 years since her group started recording the woodlands at risk from development. ...


It's not as if stuff isn't getting older every day!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 20, 2013
from GreenTech Media:
How Low Can Utility Emissions Go?
When it comes to emissions, carbon dioxide tends to get the lion's share of the headlines. But there have been large gains in some of the other major emissions of the largest power producers in the U.S., according to a new report from NRDC and major energy companies, Benchmarking Air Emissions. The ninth annual report found that sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are 70 percent and 72 percent lower, respectively, than they were in 1990. Mercury is down 40 percent since 2000, the first year that it was tracked. ...


In the post-Apocalypse we can (gingerly) pat ourselves on our leprosy-infested backs.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 16, 2013
from FuelFix.com:
Report: Seismic research on East Coast could harm 140,000 whales & dolphins
Nearly 140,000 whales and dolphins could be injured if the Obama administration allows energy companies to conduct seismic research aimed at identifying oil and gas along the Atlantic Coast, according to a new report issued Tuesday. The assessment by the conservation group Oceana shines a light on the potential casualties of seismic studies that energy companies use to map the ocean floor and the underground geology of a region. Air guns used in the process send off pulses of sound that penetrate through the ocean and under the seafloor before bouncing back with clues about what lies below. Along the way, Oceana said, the sound waves could devastate marine life, including some of the 500 critically endangered North Atlantic right whales estimated to still exist. Air gun blasts also could cause widespread whale displacement and disrupt loggerhead sea turtles along the Atlantic Coast, Oceana concluded. ...


Nature is that which is in the way of what we are doing.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 3, 2013
from The Australian:
28,000 rivers wiped off the map of China
More than half of the rivers previously thought to exist in China appear to be missing, according to the 800,000 surveyors who compiled the first national water census, leaving Beijing fumbling to explain the cause. Only 22,909 rivers covering an area of 100sq km were located by surveyors, compared with the more than 50,000 in the 1990s, a three-year study by the Ministry of Water Resources and the National Bureau of Statistics found. Officials blame the apparent loss on climate change, arguing that it has caused waterways to vanish, and on mistakes by earlier cartographers. But environmental experts say the disappearance of the rivers is a real and direct manifestation of headlong, ill-conceived development, where projects are often imposed without public consultation. ...


A River (doesn't) Run Through It.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 18, 2013
from University of East Anglia:
Catastrophic Loss of Cambodia's Tropical Flooded Grasslands
Around half of Cambodia's tropical flooded grasslands have been lost in just 10 years according to new research from the University of East Anglia. The seasonally flooded grasslands around the Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake, are of great importance for biodiversity and a refuge for 11 globally-threatened bird species. They are also a vital fishing, grazing, and traditional rice farming resource for around 1.1 million people.... Factors include intensive commercial rice farming with construction of irrigation channels, which is often illegal. Some areas have also been lost to scrubland where traditional, low-intensity agricultural activity has been abandoned. ...


Dude, where's my grassland?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 21, 2013
from London Guardian:
Halve meat consumption, scientists urge rich world
People in the rich world should become "demitarians" -- eating half as much meat as usual, while stopping short of giving it up -- in order to avoid severe environmental damage, scientists have urged, in the clearest picture yet of how farming practices are destroying the natural world.... The quest for ever cheaper meat in the past few decades -- most people even in rich countries ate significantly less meat one and two generations ago -- has resulted in a massive expansion of intensively farmed livestock. This has diverted vast quantities of grain from human to animal consumption, requiring intensive use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides and, according to the Unep report, "caused a web of water and air pollution that is damaging human health". The run-off from these chemicals is creating dead zones in the seas, causing toxic algal blooms and killing fish, while some are threatening bees, amphibians and sensitive ecosystems. ...


All I did was order a cheeseburger!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jan 18, 2013
from The Guardian:
Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?
Sales took off. Quinoa was, in marketing speak, the "miracle grain of the Andes", a healthy, right-on, ethical addition to the meat avoider's larder (no dead animals, just a crop that doesn't feel pain). Consequently, the price shot up - it has tripled since 2006 - with more rarified black, red and "royal" types commanding particularly handsome premiums. But there is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture. ...


Give us, this day, their daily bread.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 26, 2012
from University of Texas at Austin:
Bumblebees Do Best Where There Is Less Pavement and More Floral Diversity
andscapes with large amounts of paved roads and impervious construction have lower numbers of ground-nesting bumblebees, which are important native pollinators, a study from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Berkeley shows. The study suggests that management strategies that reduce the local use of pavement and increase natural habitat within the landscape could improve nesting opportunities for wild bees and help protect food supplies around the word. ...


So this is why one should not pave paradise.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 5, 2012
from Geological Society of America:
Why Seas Are Rising Ahead of Predictions: Estimates of Rate of Future Sea-Level Rise May Be Too Low
Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why. The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters by the year 2100. But current sea-level rise measurements meet or exceed the high end of that range and suggest a rise of one meter or more by the end of the century. "What's missing from the models used to forecast sea-level rise are critical feedbacks that speed everything up," says Hay... One of those feedbacks involves Arctic sea ice, another the Greenland ice cap, and another soil moisture and groundwater mining. ...


Feedbacks will eat us up!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 27, 2012
from New York Times:
Intriguing Habitats, and Careful Discussions of Climate Change
... With many zoos and aquariums now working with conservation organizations and financed by individuals who feel strongly about threatened habitats and species, managers have been wrestling with how aggressive to be in educating visitors on the perils of climate change. Surveys show that American zoos and aquariums enjoy a high level of public trust and are ideally positioned to teach. Yet many managers are fearful of alienating visitors -- and denting ticket sales -- with tours or wall labels that dwell bleakly on damaged coral reefs, melting ice caps or dying trees. ...


We could wait til we're extinct!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 1, 2012
from Charleston Gazette:
EPA mine water-pollution guidelines thrown out
Dealing another blow to the Obama administration's crackdown on mountaintop removal, a federal judge on Tuesday threw out new federal guidance that aimed to reduce water pollution from Appalachian coal mining operations. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority under federal water protection and strip mining laws when it issued the water quality guidance. ...


Humans: 1, Mountaintops: 0

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 30, 2012
from Oregon State University:
Chronic 2000-04 Drought, Worst in 800 Years, May Be the 'New Normal'
The chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004 left dying forests and depleted river basins in its wake and was the strongest in 800 years, scientists have concluded, but they say those conditions will become the "new normal" for most of the coming century. ...


The new normal: horror.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 24, 2012
from Toronto Star:
Monarch butterfly population at risk as habitat declines due to climate change
The poster child for conservation is at risk of being at risk. Environmental groups across the country are stepping up efforts to increase the population of monarch butterflies as the insects face being designated as a species at risk. They're currently an international species of concern. The monarch butterfly is like the canary in the coal mine of climate change and conservation, said Maxim Larrivee, the University of Ottawa professor who developed ebutterfly.ca, an online database of butterfly observation. "The monarch is a huge flag bearer for conservation, education and science. The impact it has on advocating or teaching aspects of science to young kids is enormous," he said. But they also have an important role in nature. ...


Poster child ... canary in the coalmine ... flag bearer ... so much to bear for those diaphanous wings!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 2, 2012
from Reuters:
Rise in sea level can't be stopped: scientists
Rising sea levels cannot be stopped over the next several hundred years, even if deep emissions cuts lower global average temperatures, but they can be slowed down, climate scientists said in a study on Sunday... Rising sea levels threaten about a tenth of the world's population who live in low-lying areas and islands which are at risk of flooding, including the Caribbean, Maldives and Asia-Pacific island groups. More than 180 countries are negotiating a new global climate pact which will come into force by 2020 and force all nations to cut emissions to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius this century - a level scientists say is the minimum required to avert catastrophic effects. But even if the most ambitious emissions cuts are made, it might not be enough to stop sea levels rising due to the thermal expansion of sea water, said scientists at the United States' National Centre for Atmospheric Research, U.S. research organization Climate Central and Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research in Melbourne. ...


Surf's up... and up... and up...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 29, 2012
from Los Angeles Times:
Amazon in danger as Brazil moves forward with bill, critics say
The Brazilian government is pressing forward with controversial legislation that critics say will lead to widespread destruction of the Amazon rain forest. After months of heated discussion, President Dilma Rousseff on Monday presented a final version of the bill that was heavily influenced by the country's powerful agricultural lobby. The update to the country's 1965 Forestry Code would reduce both the amount of vegetation landowners must preserve and the future penalties paid for those who currently flout environmental laws. After valuable wood is sold, much of the land in deforested areas ends up being cleared for grazing cattle and agriculture. ...


Rain forest... down the drain.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 16, 2012
from National Science Foundation:
Twice as Many Emperor Penguins as Thought in Antarctica, First-Ever Penguin Count from Space Shows
A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird, which breeds in remote areas that are very difficult to study because they often are inaccessible with temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit. ...


Perhaps the satellite was seeing double.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 5, 2012
from BBC:
Jellyfish blooms creating oceans of slime
...Last year alone, nuclear power plants in Scotland, Japan, Israel and Florida, and also a desalination plant in Israel, were forced to shutdown because jellyfish were clogging the water inlets. The entire Irish salmon industry was wiped out in 2007 after a plague of billions of mauve stingers -- covering an area of 10 sq miles (26 sq km) and 35ft (11m) deep -- attacked the fish cages... Perhaps the most extraordinary blooms have been those occurring in waters off Japan. There, refrigerator-sized gelatinous monsters called Nomuras, weighing 485lb (220 kg) and measuring 6.5ft (2m) in diameter, have swarmed the Japan Sea annually since 2002, clogging fishing nets, overturning trawlers and devastating coastal livelihoods. ...


Our only hope is Godzilla.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 3, 2012
from Mother Jones:
America's Top 10 Most-Polluted Waterways
If you are a fly-fisher, a rafter, or heck, just a person who drinks water, here is some troubling news: Our waterways are in rough shape. An eye-opening new report (PDF) from Environment America Research and Policy Center finds that industry discharged 226 million pounds of toxic chemicals into America's rivers and streams in 2010. The pollution included dead-zone-producing nitrates from food processors, mercury and other heavy metals from steel plants, and toxic chemicals from various kinds of refineries. Within the overall waste, the researchers identified 1.5 million pounds of carcinogens, 626,000 pounds of chemicals linked to developmental disorders and 354,000 pounds of those associated with reproductive problems. ...


A (shitty) river runs through it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 2, 2012
from Living on Earth:
Africa's Great Green Wall of Trees
Africa is turning to desert. Studies show that as much as two thirds of the continent's arable land could become desert by 2025 if current trends continue. But a bold initiative to plant a wall of trees 4,300 miles long across the African continent could keep back the sands of the Sahara, improve degraded lands, and help alleviate poverty... It's known as the Great Green Wall. ...


And we should all be green with envy!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 28, 2012
from Reuters:
Total: "may be months" to stop North Sea gas cloud
A cloud of explosive natural gas boiling up from the North Sea out of a leak at Total's evacuated Elgin platform forced another shutdown off the Scottish coast on Tuesday as the French firm warned it could take six months to halt the flow... Total, which said the rupture of an unused reservoir above the main production source seemed to have been caused by its own engineers, is now looking at two main options to cut off the shimmering plume of gas rising above the sea: either drilling a relief well nearby, which could take six months, or - faster but possibly riskier - sending in engineers to "kill" the leak. ...


This has "Apocalypse" written all over it!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 5, 2012
from The Tyee:
Spill from Hell: Diluted Bitumen
On a July morning in 2010 in rural Michigan, a 30-inch pipeline owned by Calgary-based Enbridge Energy Partners burst and disgorged an estimated 843,000 gallons of thick crude into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. This was no ordinary crude -- it was the first ever major spill into water of diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands. The cleanup challenges and health impacts around Kalamazoo were unlike anything the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had ever dealt with, and raise serious questions about the preparedness in British Columbia to respond to such a disaster on the B.C. coast -- or the Vancouver harbour. ...


I am bitter, man, about this spill.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 5, 2012
from Los Angeles Times:
Shell oil rig set for landmark Alaska journey
Amid the tangle of towering steel, heavy cranes and overcast skies of Seattle's busy commercial shipyards, Shell Oil's massive Kulluk drilling rig is preparing to push off for the Arctic Ocean. When it does, America's balance between energy needs and environmental fears will enter a new era. Barring unexpected court or regulatory action, by July the Kulluk will begin drilling exploratory oil wells in the frigid waters off Alaska's northern coast. ...


Apo-Kullukse!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jan 25, 2012
from PhysOrg:
Restored wetlands rarely equal condition of original wetlands
Wetland restoration is a billion-dollar-a-year industry in the United States that aims to create ecosystems similar to those that disappeared over the past century. But a new analysis of restoration projects shows that restored wetlands seldom reach the quality of a natural wetland. "Once you degrade a wetland, it doesn't recover its normal assemblage of plants or its rich stores of organic soil carbon, which both affect natural cycles of water and nutrients, for many years," said David Moreno-Mateos, a University of California, Berkeley, postdoctoral fellow. "Even after 100 years, the restored wetland is still different from what was there before, and it may never recover."... Wetlands provide many societal benefits, Moreno-Mateos noted, such as biodiversity conservation, fish production, water purification, erosion control and carbon storage. He found, however, that restored wetlands contained about 23 percent less carbon than untouched wetlands, while the variety of native plants was 26 percent lower, on average, after 50 to 100 years of restoration. While restored wetlands may look superficially similar - and the animal and insect populations may be similar, too - the plants take much longer to return to normal and establish the carbon resources in the soil that make for a healthy ecosystem. ...


All I have to do is wait 50 to 100 years? That's well worth it, for new suburban development!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 3, 2012
from Associated Press:
Chile battles 3 huge forest fires; 1 elderly man killed
Firefighters in Chile battled three huge wildfires Monday that have burned about 90 square miles (23,000 hectares) of forest, destroyed more than 100 homes and have driven away thousands of tourists while causing millions of dollars in losses. The fires also claimed their first victim: an elderly man who refused warnings to leave his home. Chile's normally rainy southern regions are suffering from a nationwide heat wave, on top of a drought that makes fires increasingly likely. The country was battling 48 separate fires on Sunday alone, and red alerts were declared for the regions of Magallanes, Bio Bio and Maule. ...


Too bad Chile ... isn't.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 26, 2011
from London Daily Telegraph:
Chocolate will become an expensive luxury item due to climate change
...The study of cocoa plantations in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, where more than half of the world's cocoa is grown, found that the amount of land suitable for production could halve due to temperature rise of just 2.3C by 2050. ...


Chocapocalypse!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 26, 2011
from New York Times:
Retreat of Glaciers Makes Some Climbs Tougher
Three decades ago, when Mick Fowler climbed the north face of the Eiger in the Swiss Alps, he used crampons and ice axes to haul himself up sheer walls of snow and ice. Nowadays, during a hot summer, "you'll find virtually no snow and ice on its face -- none,ā€¯ he said. "It's a huge change over the last 20 to 30 years.ā€¯ Like Mr. Fowler, mountaineers around the world find themselves forced to adjust to a warming world. Routes that were icy or glaciated in the middle part of the past century, when the world's highest peaks were being conquered for the first time, are turning into unstable and unappetizing rock. ...


Eat my (anthropogenically created) dust.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 14, 2011
from USA Today:
Disasters doom Texas oyster crop
...A monstrous bloom of toxic algae looming across the Texas coast has shut down oyster season. Fueled by Texas' ongoing drought, the algae -- known as Karenia brevis-- thrives in warm, salty water and has spread through the bays and islands along Texas' 350-mile coast...he size of the current bloom coupled with the state's ongoing drought and lack of rain could make it one of the biggest and most destructive in history... ...


We don't do anything small in Texas.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 14, 2011
from NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service via ScienceDaily:
Expanding Dead Zones Are Shrinking Tropical Blue Marlin Habitat
The science behind counting fish in the ocean to measure their abundance has never been simple. A new scientific paper authored by NOAA Fisheries biologist Eric Prince, Ph.D., and eight other scientists shows that expanding ocean dead zones -- driven by climate change -- have added a new wrinkle to that science. In the December 4 paper published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, these scientists sound an alarm that expanding ocean dead zones are shrinking the habitat for high value fish such as marlins in the tropical northeast Atlantic Ocean. ...


Marlins... marginalized!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Dec 6, 2011
from PLoS One -- IU-Bloomington:
Study finds climate changes faster than species can adapt
The ranges of species will have to change dramatically as a result of climate change between now and 2100 because the climate will change more than 100 times faster than the rate at which species can adapt, according to a newly published study by Indiana University researchers. The study, which focuses on North American rattlesnakes, finds that the rate of future change in suitable habitat will be two to three orders of magnitude greater than the average change over the past 300 millennia, a time that included three major glacial cycles and significant variation in climate and temperature. ...


Let's feed 'em steroids, caffeine and sugar to speed 'em up.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Dec 1, 2011
from London Guardian:
Alaskan community revives legal bid for global warming damages
A native American community in remote Alaska this week revived legal efforts to hold some of the world's largest energy companies accountable for allegedly destroying their village because of global warming. The so-called "climigration" trial would be the first of its kind, potentially creating a precedent in the US courts for further climate change-related damages cases. Attorneys acting for the 427 Inupiat people living in Kivalina made representations before an appeals panel in San Francisco on Monday, to claim climate change-related damages from Exxon Mobil, BP America, Chevron, Shell, Peabody Energy, the world's largest coal provider, and America's largest electricity-generating companies including American Electric Power and Duke Energy. ...


Watch out, Goliaths; you may have met your match.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Nov 24, 2011
from Associated Press:
Brazil suspends Chevron's drilling permission
Chevron was banned from drilling for oil in Brazil until an investigation into an offshore oil leak at one of the U.S.-based oil company's well sites is completed, regulators said Wednesday. The board of Brazil's National Petroleum Agency met and "ordered the suspension of drilling activities" until it can identify the causes and who is responsible for the leak of more than 110,000 gallons of oil into the Atlantic ocean off the nation's southeastern coast. "This resolution suspends all drilling activity for Chevron Brasil Ltda. in national territory," the statement read. It was not clear how long the suspension would last. Chevron said in an emailed statement that it would "follow all the rules and regulations of the Government of Brazil and its agencies." ...


Chevron, you've been a bad, bad oil boy.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 22, 2011
from Seattle Times:
State scrambles to fight massive tree die-offs
So many pine, fir and spruce trees in the Northwest are riddled with bugs and disease that major tree die-offs are expected to rip through a third of Eastern Washington forests -- an area covering nearly 3 million acres -- in the next 15 years, according to new state projections. Because Washington's forests are deteriorating so quickly, the state commissioner of public lands last week said he'll appoint an emergency panel of scientists and foresters to seek ways to stabilize or reverse the decline. ...


What will I hug when the trees are gone?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 21, 2011
from London Guardian:
Rich nations 'give up' on new climate treaty until 2020
Governments of the world's richest countries have given up on forging a new treaty on climate change to take effect this decade, with potentially disastrous consequences for the environment through global warming. Ahead of critical talks starting next week, most of the world's leading economies now privately admit that no new global climate agreement will be reached before 2016 at the earliest, and that even if it were negotiated by then, they would stipulate it could not come into force until 2020. The eight-year delay is the worst contemplated by world governments during 20 years of tortuous negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions, and comes despite intensifying warnings from scientists and economists about the rapidly increasing dangers of putting off prompt action. ...


Given the lack of enthusiasm among our leaders, it's time to Occupy Mother Earth.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Nov 18, 2011
from Associated Press:
Study: Triple threat paints grim future for frogs
Frogs, salamanders and other amphibians may eventually have no haven left on the globe because of a triple threat of worsening scourges, a new study predicts. Scientists have long known that amphibians are under attack from a killer fungus, climate change and shrinking habitat. In the study appearing online Wednesday in the journal Nature, computer models project that in about 70 years those three threats will spread, leaving no part of the world immune from one of the problems. ...


RIP-bit

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 1, 2011
from Associated Press:
APNewsbreak: Future holds more extreme weather
For a world already weary of weather catastrophes, the latest warning from top climate scientists paints a grim future: More floods, more heat waves, more droughts and greater costs to deal with them. A draft summary of an international scientific report obtained by The Associated Press says the extremes caused by global warming could eventually grow so severe that some locations become "increasingly marginal as places to live." ...


It's always more, more, more with these climate scientists!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Oct 21, 2011
from BusinessGreen:
Climate change could trap hundreds of millions in disaster areas, report claims
Hundreds of millions of people may be trapped in inhospitable environments as they attempt to flee from the effects of global warming, worsening the likely death toll from severe changes to the climate, a UK government committee has found. Refugees forced to leave their homes because of floods, droughts, storms, heatwaves and other effects of climate change are likely to be one of the biggest visible effects of the warming that scientists warn will result from the untrammelled use of fossil fuels, according to the UK government's Foresight group, part of the Office for Science. But many of those people are likely to move from areas affected by global warming into areas even worse afflicted - for instance, by moving into coastal cities in the developing world that are at risk of flood from storms and rising sea levels. ...


Seems to me the disaster area would affect seven billion.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Oct 7, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Disaster in the Gulf Continues
In the Gulf, new information is confirming fears that fish and wildlife -- and millions of people on the Coast -- are being seriously impacted by the 4.9 million barrels of BP oil spewed from the ocean deep last year. A new report from the Waterkeeper Alliance shows the BP disaster is still unfolding. The report points to ongoing public health problems, long-term damages to the environment, and a growing need for environmental monitoring and restoration programs to fight decades of petroleum industry assaults and the growing impacts of climate change.... Scientists are finding disturbing evidence that the fragile Gulf ecosystem has been dealt a serious blow by the millions of gallons of oil that leeched into fertile wildlife breeding grounds and wetland areas critical to coastal fisheries. As Times-Picayune outdoors writer Bob Marshall reported recently, scientists are concerned that low levels of toxic compounds could be damaging fish species like the marsh-dwelling killifish, a key species of the gulf ecosystem.... "We're talking about a diverse group of chemicals, polcyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), that interact with each other," said Dr. Patricia Williams. "They are powerful carcinogens and powerful reproductive toxins.... I've interviewed tar ball workers and what we're finding is that any problem we're seeing in wildlife, we're seeing in humans, with reproductive and neurological problems. ...


PAHnic in PAHradise.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 5, 2011
from Reuters:
Great Lakes face stresses from run-off, invaders
Great Lakes shorelines are becoming clogged by algae blooms fed by agricultural run-off, while invasive mussels decimate the food chain in deeper waters, an environmental group said on Tuesday. The five lakes, which contain one-fifth of the world's fresh water and supply tens of millions of people, may be "veering close to ecosystem collapse," the report by the National Wildlife Federation said. "Too much food is causing massive algal blooms in Lake Erie and other coastal systems, while too little food is making fish starve in Lake Huron's offshore waters," said the group's Great Lakes director, Andy Buchsbaum. ...


Those poor Great Lakes are ate up lakes now.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 1, 2011
from Associated Press:
Canadian Arctic nearly loses entire ice shelf
Two ice shelves that existed before Canada was settled by Europeans diminished significantly this summer, one nearly disappearing altogether, Canadian scientists say in new research. The loss is important as a marker of global warming, returning the Canadian Arctic to conditions that date back thousands of years, scientists say. Floating icebergs that have broken free as a result pose a risk to offshore oil facilities and potentially to shipping lanes. The breaking apart of the ice shelves also reduces the environment that supports microbial life and changes the look of Canada's coastline. ...


Without shelves, where will we display all our shiny new consumer goods?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 28, 2011
from Salon:
One Republican candidate's hellfire
George Bush Park burst into flames on Sept. 13, one month to the day after Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his candidacy for president of the United States. In a summer of fierce wildfires across Texas, the George Bush Park blaze was the first big fire to erupt inside the city limits of a major metropolis -- in this case, Houston, the nation's fourth largest city and the headquarters of the oil and gas industry, a major contributor to the man-made global warming that Gov. Perry famously insists does not exist... Sizable though it was, the George Bush Park fire was a minor fire in the context of Texas 2011. Some 3.7 million acres of Texas have burned in the last 12 months, an area roughly equal to the state of Connecticut. Fires are still burning today, as the Texas Forest Service reports, yet Gov. Perry has offered little in the way of relief but the power of prayer and positive thinking. ...


Dear God: Please don't vote for Rick Perry.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 14, 2011
from The Denver Post:
Four oil and gas companies responsible for 350 spills named "outstanding operators" by regulators
As gas and oil drilling accelerates along Colorado's heavily-populated Front Range, state regulators named four companies to be "Outstanding Operators" and lauded them for environmental excellence. But the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulators' records show that those companies are responsible for more than 350 spills since January 2010. One of them, Andarko subsidiary Kerr-McGee, released cancer-causing benzene and other chemicals three times last month in Weld County -- contaminating land and water. The awards given by the COGCC exemplified a collaborative regulatory approach that Colorado relies on to protect its environment with a record-high 45,793 wells and companies drilling about eight more a day. A Denver Post analysis in progress has found that spills are happening at the rate of seven a week - releasing more than 2 million gallons this year of diesel, oil, drilling wastewater and chemicals. ...


If these are the "outstanding operators" I'd hate to run into the "offending operators."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 1, 2011
from New York Times:
Exxon Reaches Arctic Oil Deal With Russians
MOSCOW -- Exxon Mobil won a coveted prize in the global petroleum industry Tuesday with an agreement to explore for oil in a Russian portion of the Arctic Ocean that is being opened for drilling even as Alaskan waters remain mostly off limits. The agreement seemed to supersede a similar but failed deal that Russia's state oil company, Rosneft, reached with the British oil giant BP this year -- with a few striking differences. Where BP had planned to swap stock, Exxon, which is based in Texas, agreed to give Rosneft assets elsewhere in the world, including some that Exxon owns in the deepwater zones of the Gulf of Mexico and on land in Texas. ...


Folks, these are your Oil Overlords.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 1, 2011
from Associated Press:
Federal agency lifts Alaska scientist's suspension
An Alaska scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears spurred national publicity on climate warming returned to work Friday at the federal agency that oversees offshore petroleum drilling. Dr. Charles Monnett was suspended from his job at the Anchorage office of the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement after federal inspectors said he helped a polar bear researcher prepare a proposal even though he was the government official responsible for determining whether the proposal met minimum qualifications. He was away from his job for the last six weeks. But advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has claimed Monnett was targeted for his 2006 paper in a scientific journal on the drowned polar bears. ...


It would seem scientists are a threatened species as well.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 3, 2011
from Live Science:
End Times? Texas Lake Turns Blood-Red
A Texas lake that turned blood-red this summer may not be a sign of the End Times, but probably is the end of a popular fishing and recreation spot. A drought has left the OC Fisher Reservoir in San Angelo State Park in West Texas almost entirely dry. The water that is left is stagnant, full of dead fish -- and a deep, opaque red. The color has some apocalypse believers suggesting that OC Fisher is an early sign of the end of the world, but Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries officials say the bloody look is the result of Chromatiaceae bacteria, which thrive in oxygen-deprived water. "It's just heartbreaking," said Charles Cruz, a fish and wildlife technician with Texas Parks and Wildlife in San Angelo, Tex. ...


What's "heartbreaking"? That's it's not the End Times?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 27, 2011
from http://news.discovery.com/earth/climate-change-yellowstone-fires.html:
Climate Change To Spawn More Wildfires
As Earth's climate warms up, Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons are likely to experience large fires more frequently, according to a new study. Within just a few decades, big fires may become as much as 10 times more common than they have been in the last 10,000 years. A bump in fire frequency would reverberate through the environment in unpredictable ways -- affecting the kinds of plants that grow in the area, the kinds of animals that can find habitats there and the amount of carbon that vegetation might be expected to pull out of the atmosphere. Such a fiery future would also threaten people and homes throughout the northern Rockies. ...


The fire on the mountain is burning down the house.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 21, 2011
from National Geographic News:
Longest Polar Bear Swim Recorded--426 Miles Straight
A female polar bear swam for a record-breaking nine days straight, traversing 426 miles (687 kilometers) of water -- equivalent to the distance between Washington, D.C., and Boston, a new study says. The predator made her epic journey in the Beaufort Sea..., where sea ice is shrinking due to global warming, forcing mother bears to swim greater and greater distances to reach land -- to the peril of their cubs. The cub of the record-setting bear, for instance, died at some point between starting the swim and when the researchers next observed the mother on land. She also lost 22 percent of her body weight. ...


You go, girl!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 20, 2011
from Texas A&M University via ScienceDaily:
2011 Gulf of Mexico 'Dead Zone' Could Be Biggest Ever
Researchers from Texas A&M University have returned from a trip to examine the scope and size of this year's "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico and have measured it currently to be about 3,300 square miles, or roughly the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, but some researchers anticipate it becoming much larger...During the past five years, the dead zone has averaged about 5,800 square miles and has been predicted to exceed 9,400 square miles this year, which would make it one of the largest ever recorded, according to the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. Hypoxia occurs when oxygen levels in seawater drop to dangerously low levels, and severe hypoxia can potentially result in fish kills and harm marine life, thereby creating a "dead zone" of life in that particular area. ...


If I eva have another child I'm gonna name her Hypoxia.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 19, 2011
from CNN:
Study: Changes to ocean expected to damage shellfish around world
Massive global greenhouse gas pollution is changing the chemistry of the world's oceans so much that scientists now predict it could severely damage shellfish populations and the nations that depend on the harvests if significant action isn't taken. A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts shows that ocean acidification is becoming a very serious problem. The study was published in July online in the journal Fish and Fisheries....Ocean acidification, or the changing chemical make-up of seawater, has occurred since the industrial revolution as ocean waters absorbed too much carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a by-product of human industrial activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels. The Woods Hole study found that many marine animals like mollusks and corals that build hard shells and skeletons are most at risk from this. ...


Seems the shelflife of shellfish is deteriorating.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 19, 2011
from Reuters:
BP pipeline leaks oily mixture onto Alaskan tundra
BP reported yet another pipeline leak at its Alaskan oilfields, frustrating the oil giant's attempts to rebuild its reputation after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP said on Monday that a pipeline at its 30,000 barrel per day Lisburne field, which is currently closed for maintenance, ruptured during testing and spilled a mixture of methanol and oily water onto the tundra. The London-based company has a long history of oil spills at its Alaskan pipelines - accidents which have hurt its public image in the U.S., where around 40 percent of its assets are based. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said the spill occurred on Saturday and amounted to 2,100 to 4,200 gallons. ...


Aw hell, no worries, we're used to it, now!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 12, 2011
from VietNamNet:
Pollution threatens HCM City water supply
The pollution on Sai Gon River has become worse over the years as increasing industrialisation along the river bank threatens the main water source of HCM City. The river flows through 40 industrial parks in Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh provinces and HCM City. Only 21 of them have an industrial waste treatment system. Most of the treated water released from facilities does not meet the quality required by environmental authorities. The Sai Gon River also is polluted by industrial and agricultural waste water from small-sized enterprises operating along the river, amounting to 65,000 cubic metres a day. In addition, every day the river receives over 748,000 cubic metres of waste water, discharged from residential areas in localities, with more than 90 per cent of the waste water coming from HCM City...An expert said that with the limited number of waste water treatment plants, less than 20 per cent of household waste water was collected and treated, with the rest discharged directly into the river. ...


These poor folks are deep in shit!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 12, 2011
from Deutsche Press-Agentur:
Mixed mating creates hybrid bears
Polar bears and brown bears are coming together again to survive the next major climate change, which is expected to have dire effects on their endangered populations, a study published Thursday said. Melting arctic ice, the result of global warming blamed on massive carbon emissions, could force polar bears into the natural home of the brown bear, setting the two species up for more genetic mixing, according to the study in the twice-monthly scientific journal Current Biology. "When they come into contact, there seems to be little barrier to them mating," said Beth Shapiro, researcher at The Pennsylvania State University. ...


Apparently, bears have no moral code.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 10, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Is ocean garbage killing whales?
Millions of tonnes of plastic debris dumped each year in the world's oceans could pose a lethal threat to whales, according to a scientific assessment to be presented at a key international whaling forum this week. A review of research literature from the last two decades reveals hundreds of cases in which cetaceans -- an order including 80-odd species of whales, dolphins and porpoises -- have been sickened or killed by marine litter. Entanglement in plastic bags and fishing gear have long been identified as a threat to sea birds, turtles and smaller cetaceans. For large ocean-dwelling mammals, however, ingestion of such refuse is also emerging as a serious cause of disability and death, experts say. ...


We just need to invent an edible plastic!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 4, 2011
from IceNews:
Iceland's sea bird stock 'in dismal shape'
The nesting season of many types of sea bird all around Iceland has been poor this year and there is an all-out puffin and Arctic tern collapse in progress to the south and west of the country. Ornithologists say the situation has not looked worse for many decades. Scientists have been travelling around Iceland in recent days and weeks, researching sea bird stocks and the status of their nesting. RUV reported at the weekend that extremely few Arctic tern nests were found on the Snaefellsnes peninsula, where thousands of the birds usually lay their eggs. A similarly worrying picture is emerging about the puffin stock and the situation is particularly bad on the Westman Islands and the south and west of the Icelandic mainland. Ornithologist Aevar Pedersen told RUV that the situation had been bad last year, but is even worse this year. The overall picture is pretty dismal, he said -- adding that he has not seen a worse breeding season for many years, indeed decades. ...


Downterns like these leave me gasping for breath.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 28, 2011
from New York Times:
Greatest Threat to Caribou Herd in Canada Isn't From Wolves
Humans are a much bigger problem than wolves for a caribou herd in the oil sands area of Alberta, Canada, scientists reported last week in Frontiers in Ecology. Studies of scat of moose, caribou and wolves in the area showed that caribou accounted for only 10 percent of the animals consumed by wolves. Eighty percent of the wolves' diet was deer, with moose making up the remainder. Wolves' preference for deer, the researchers conclude, draws them away from the areas where caribou thrive. But the oil sands contain the second largest reserve of petroleum in the world, and so they face a heavy human presence as they are developed. And by looking at hormone levels in caribou scat, the scientists found that when humans were most active in an area, caribou nutrition was poorest and psychological stress highest. When oil crews left, the animals relaxed and nutrition improved.... The scientists reported that removing wolves, favored by government and industry, could do serious damage to the ecosystem, and fails to help preserve the caribou. (The study was paid for by Statoil Canada, an energy company with oil leases in the area.) The scientists said if development trends continue, within 30 years the caribou herd on the east side of the Athabasca River will be no more. ...


Government and industry have such a herd mentality.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 14, 2011
from Associated Press:
Dead Sea threatened both by shrinking and flooding
The Dead Sea is dying, goes the conventional wisdom: The water level of the fabled salty lake is dropping nearly 4 feet a year. Less well known: Part of the lake is actually overflowing, threatening one of Israel's key tourism destinations. Israel is feverishly campaigning to have the Dead Sea -- the lowest point on earth and repository of precious minerals -- named one of the natural wonders of the world. At the same time, it's racing to stabilize what it calls "the world's largest natural spa" so hotels on its southern end aren't swamped and tourists can continue to soak in the lake's therapeutic waters. ...


I find this news story both upsetting and comforting.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 3, 2011
from Associated Press:
Food-poisoning outbreak in Europe blamed on 'super-toxic' E. coli strain that may be brand new
Scientists on Thursday blamed Europe's worst recorded food-poisoning outbreak on a "super-toxic" strain of E. coli bacteria that may be brand new... Chinese and German scientists analyzed the DNA of the E. coli bacteria and determined that the outbreak was caused by "an entirely new, super-toxic" strain that contains several antibiotic-resistant genes, according to a statement from the Shenzhen, China-based laboratory BGI. It said the strain appeared to be a combination of two types of E. coli. "This is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before," Hilde Kruse, a food safety expert at the World Health Organization... ...


Maybe WHO better get WHAT to help figure out WHY.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 25, 2011
from Yale Environment 300:
By Barcoding Trees, Liberia Looks to Save its Rainforests
Nearly two-thirds of West Africa's remaining rainforests are in the small but troubled nation of Liberia. That is a small miracle. A decade ago, Liberia's forests were being stripped bare by warlords to fund a vicious 14-year civil war that left 150,000 dead. In 2003, the United Nations belatedly imposed an embargo on Liberian "logs of war." Revenues crashed and, coincidentally or not, the war swiftly came to an end. Now the elected government of Harvard-trained President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed a deal with the European Union to place timber sales on a permanently legal footing. The deal, agreed to this month, makes use of a unique national timber-tracking system that requires every legally harvestable tree and every cut log to carry a barcode that will enable it to be tracked from its origin to its final destination. ...


It's gonna take someone named Sirleaf to save the trees.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 23, 2011
from New York Times:
How to Rid the Seas of 'Plastic Soup'?
The problem is not just one of unsightliness, or of sea life getting caught up in plastic grocery bags or choking on plastic bottle tops or cigarette lighters. There are also the tiny fragments formed by disintegrating items. Plastic does not fully biodegrade like wood or cardboard, noted Peter Kershaw of the British marine science center Cefas, who advises the United Nations on marine environmental protection issues. For plastic to biodegrade, you need conditions that are really only found in industrial composters and landfills, including high temperatures. ''You don't have those conditions in the middle of the sea,'' he said. Instead, the plastic trash eventually breaks up into billions of fragments that hover below the surface in vast, soupy patches in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Easily swallowed by marine life and prone to absorbing contaminants in the water, this gunk is now a key focus of scientific concern, with some researchers worrying that the stuff could end up in the food chain. ''It is everywhere and in every water sample that we have collected since 1999,'' said Marieta Francis, executive director of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in California. ...


Can't we just throw the plastic soup away?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 21, 2011
from ScienceDaily:
Species Reemergence After Collapse: Possible but Different, Mathematical Model Shows
Species pairs that disappear through hybridization after human-induced changes to the environment can reemerge if the disturbance is removed, according to a new mathematical model that shows the conditions under which reemergence might happen.... By simulating environmental disturbances that reduce the ability of individuals to identify and select mates from their own species, the model explores the mechanisms that cause hybridization between closely-related species. Hybridization can lead to population decline and the loss of biodiversity. For instance, certain species of stickleback fish have collapsed into hybrid swarms as water clarity in their native lakes has changed, and certain species of tree frogs have collapsed as vegetation has been removed around their shared breeding ponds. Such hybrid swarms can replace the original species.... "The encouraging news from an ecosystems service point of view is that, if we act quickly, we may be able to refill ecological niches emptied by species collapse. However, even if we can refill the niches, we probably won't be able to bring back the same species that we lost," Gilman said. ...


Anything, anything to prevent a hybrid swarm!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 20, 2011
from BBC:
Brazil: Amazon rainforest deforestation rises sharply
Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest has increased almost sixfold, new data suggests. Satellite images show deforestation increased from 103 sq km in March and April 2010 to 593 sq km (229 sq miles) in the same period of 2011, Brazil's space research institute says. Much of the destruction has been in Mato Grosso state, the centre of soya farming in Brazil. The news comes shortly before a vote on new forest protection rules. Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said the figures were "alarming" and announced the setting up of a "crisis cabinet" in response to the news. ...


All I gotta say is that "crisis cabinet" better not be made of wood!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 20, 2011
from Hartford Advocate:
You Have No Idea What Mowing Your Lawn Is Doing To The Planet
Imagine a scenario where tens of millions of Americans are condemned by their own illusions to hours of hot, sweaty, grueling unpaid labor every week involving expensive and potentially dangerous chemicals, ear-shattering machines and fuels that pollute the air and water. This isn't some nightmarish dystopian science-fiction plot. It's happening right now as this nation's suburban homeowners renew their unending and damaging war against nature to preserve, protect and pamper the foreign organisms that make up the American lawn. ...


But if I don't make my lawn... just so... the gnomes get angry.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 18, 2011
from Reuters:
Plant, animal extinction risks often exaggerated: study
A projected spate of extinctions of animals and plants this century may be less drastic than feared because the most widely used scientific method can exaggerate losses by more than 160 percent, a study said on Wednesday. "Extinctions caused by habitat loss require greater loss of habitat than previously thought," two experts, based in China and the United States, wrote in the journal Nature. Despite that good news, the report also endorsed past findings that human activities are wrecking habitats from the tropics to the Arctic, threatening the worst losses of species since the dinosaurs. "Our results must not lead to complacency about extinction due to habitat loss, which is a real and growing threat," Fangliang He and Stephen Hubbell wrote. ...


Isn't 160 percent of zero still dead?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 17, 2011
from Wired Science:
Lethal Hendra Virus Outbreaks May Be Caused by Man
By making flying-fox populations sedentary, stressed and fragmented, development might have also made them prone to viral spikes. Hendra's spread in people may be, in a sense, a man-made disaster. "We're now seeing more evidence that human-induced environmental changes may be driving this disease," said Raina Plowright, a disease ecologist at Pennsylvania State University. "That's something that's been proposed many times, but few people have been able to show a mechanism. Here's a mechanism."... "We've essentially created a situation in which flying foxes are more likely to undergo these massive epidemics that lead to spillover events," said disease ecologist Richard Ostfeld of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, who wasn't involved in the study. "In the flying foxes, it doesn't appear to cause terrible sickness. It may have co-evolved with them to be relatively benign. But all bets are off when the virus reaches a spillover host." Adding to the problem are the immediate physical stresses of habitat loss and weather extremes that have become normal in Australia. Just as stressed humans are more vulnerable to infection, so are flying foxes. ...


The evidence builds that "anthropogenic" is now nearly globally applicable.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 17, 2011
from London Guardian:
Vast Mongolian shantytown now home to quarter of country's population
It is a supreme irony in a country once known as the land without fences. Stretching north from the capital, Ulan Bator, an endless succession of dilapidated boundary markers criss-cross away into the distance. They demarcate a vast shantytown that sprawls for miles and is now estimated to be home to a quarter of the entire population of Mongolia. More than 700,000 people have crowded into the area in the past two decades. Many are ex-herders and their families whose livelihoods have been destroyed by bitter winters that can last more than half the year; many more are victims of desertification caused by global warming and overgrazing; the United Nations Development Programme estimates that up to 90 percent of the country is now fragile dryland. ...


My shantytown is shabby chic.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 12, 2011
from Toronto Globe and Mail:
Fraser River sockeye face chemical soup of 200 contaminants
Sockeye salmon are exposed to a soup of chemicals in the Fraser River, and some of the ingredients are accumulating to potentially lethal levels in eggs, while others may be disrupting the sexual function of fish, according to a scientific review conducted for the Cohen Commission... While it is unlikely that contaminants are "the sole cause" of sockeye population declines, the report says there is "a strong possibility that exposure to contaminants of concern, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and/or contaminants of emerging concern has contributed to the decline of sockeye salmon." ...


Coldcocking the sockeye!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 10, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Ecologists raise alarm over Russia's Olympics
With just over 1,000 days left before the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia is pulling out all the stops to get ready in a drive activists say is leaving a devastating toll on the environment... "In general, environmental damage in Sochi is much worse than what we expected in the early stages of construction planning," said Suren Gazaryan of the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus....A mudslide from an illegal dump up the hill tore through the park and filled the river's banks with debris from tunnel construction and other waste in January. "Clearly leaving thousands of tons of waste on a steep hillside is not a good idea, but its convenient, and it can't be stopped," Gazaryan said as he picked off a chunk of the black substance for testing. ...


Maybe they ought to hold the ApocOlympics instead.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 5, 2011
from Associated Press:
Climate scientists told to 'stop speaking in code'
Scientists at a major conference on Arctic warming were told Wednesday to use plain language to explain the dramatic melt in the region to a world reluctant to take action against climate change. An authoritative report released at the meeting of nearly 400 scientists in Copenhagen showed melting ice in the Arctic could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet this century, much higher than earlier projections…Prominent U.S. climate scientist Robert Corell said researchers must try to reach out to all parts of society to spread awareness of the global implications of the Arctic melt. "Stop speaking in code. Rather than 'anthropogenic,' you could say 'human caused,'" Corell said. ...


Or you could just say: We're fucked.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Apr 30, 2011
from Climatewire:
Scientists Probe Genetic Component of Climate-Hardy Species
Douglas firs have more than 38,000 genes, roughly twice the number in the human genome. So any gene that has helped those trees survive extreme drought, heat and disease has been passed down through generations of seedlings... Forest Service researchers are in the midst of teasing out which of those genes help Douglas firs and 39 other species of plants, animals and pathogens found in Western forests adapt to climate change. Armed with that information, managers could select more robust seeds to replant forests destroyed by fire or disease, or propagate those seeds to help conserve a species. ...


What do you wanna bet mountain pine beetles and emerald ash borers have their researchers working on this, too.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 20, 2011
from Discovery News:
As Gold Prices Go Up, Forests Are Coming Down
A worldwide growth in the price of gold has accelerated the pace of deforestation in some of the most pristine parts of the Peruvian Amazon, where miners are cutting down trees in order to extract the valuable natural resource. From 2003 to 2009, found a new study, the rate of deforestation in two gold-mining areas increased six-fold alongside record-setting leaps in the international price of gold. During one two-year period, as gold prices climbed steadily, forests disappeared at a rate of 4.5 American football fields a day from one of the two sites. Alongside the accelerating paces of both mining and deforestation, the study found, there has also been an exponential rise in the use of mercury, which helps miners extract gold from the Earth. ...


Someday soon we'll realize these trees were worth their weight in gold.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 20, 2011
from Associated Press:
AP Enterprise: BP is looking strong a year later
It's hard to tell that just a year ago BP was reeling from financial havoc and an American public out for blood. The oil giant at the center of one of the world's biggest environmental crises is making strong profits again, its stock has largely rebounded, and it is paying dividends to shareholders once more. It is also pursuing new ventures from the Arctic to India. It is even angling to explore again in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where it holds more leases than any competitor. ...


Oil is thicker than blood.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 19, 2011
from AP, via CBC:
Mediterranean fish in peril: study
A new study suggests that more than 40 fish species in the Mediterranean could vanish in the next few years. The study released Tuesday by the International Union for Conservation of Nature says almost half of the species of sharks and rays in the Mediterranean and at least 12 species of bony fish are threatened with extinction due to overfishing, pollution and the loss of habitat. Commercial catches of bluefin tuna, sea bass, hake and dusky grouper are particularly threatened, said the study by the Swiss-based IUCN, an environmental network of 1,000 groups in 160 nations.... The IUCN study, which began in 2007 and included 25 marine scientists, is the first time the group has tried to assess native marine fish species in an entire sea. The study blames the use of highly effective trawlers and driftnets for the incidental capture and killing of hundreds of marine animals with no commercial value. But it also concluded there's not enough information to properly assess almost one-third of the Mediterranean's fish.... The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says fish stocks continue to dwindle globally despite increasing efforts to regulate catches and stop overfishing. ...


Thank goodness it's only a microcosm!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 18, 2011
from BBC:
BP oil spill: Fishermen woes persist, one year on
He has brought me out on his boat, a couple kilometres from the Gulf of Mexico, to show me why. He winches up a basket full of oysters and sifts through each one, shaking his head. "This one's dead. This one's dead. All of them empty shells. All of them, beautiful oysters, and they're dead. And all because of BP's oil spill one year ago," he says. Everything he has caught, he has to throw back. "It's heartbreaking," he says. "This is the biggest oyster kill in Louisiana history, probably in the Gulf coast's history. "I wish I wasn't part of it. I wish I wasn't here. It's heartbreaking."... Back at the headquarters of Collins Oyster Company, Nick's father Wilbert stands in the driveway, taking a long drag on a cigarette. At 73 years old, he is the head of the family business. "We used to have some of the best oysters in the country," he says. "They used to line up here for three hours at a time to get a bag full."... Now there are no cars lining up. Without any oysters, Wilbert has put up a sign on his front lawn. It reads: "Collins Oyster Company - Out of Business After 90 Years Due to BP Oil Spill." ...


But the oysters that do survive will be that much stronger!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 4, 2011
from San Jose Mercury News:
Native bee populations on the decline, report says
The National Academy of Sciences recently released a report confirming that some native bee populations -- the ones agriculture has depended on for centuries for pollination, until the advent of the honeybee -- are in decline. And one of the major culprits is no surprise: habitat loss. The scientists, led by Sydney A. Cameron of the University of Illinois at Urbana, found that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96 percent over the last few decades. In addition, their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by alarmingly -- as much as 87 percent, and even at the lowest level, 23 percent. The bumble bees also are being hit with higher infection levels of a pathogen known as Nosema bombi. And -- the triple whammy -- they have lower genetic diversity than other populations of non-declining species. "Pollinator decline has become a worldwide issue, raising increasing concerns over impacts on global food production, stability of pollination services, and disruption of plant-pollinator networks," Cameron wrote. Native bee populations matter hugely, given the decline of honeybees. Researchers in this area have been studying them, with the idea of determining if they could take up the slack -- regain their agricultural prominence -- if honeybee populations should collapse altogether. ...


To a rose, a pollinator is a pollinator is a pollinator. Until it isn't.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 28, 2011
from St. Petersburg Times:
Bill will adversely affect environment, but will it create jobs?
Builders of homes, offices, roads and other projects have been allowed to wipe out more wetlands in Florida than in any other state. But now, in the name of sparking job growth, state lawmakers want to make it even easier to develop wetlands and just write a check for the damage. The 63 pages of CS/HB 991, which passed its latest committee vote Wednesday 14-0, are packed with changes to the state's wetlands, water pollution and development permitting rules. The bill makes it easier to build roads through wetlands, easier for polluters to escape punishment, easier to open new phosphate mines and harder for regulators to yank a permit from someone who did things wrong. ...


No worries. All this raping of the earth will create plenty of jobs in the Post-Apocalypse.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 28, 2011
from Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Ohio poised to take center stage in natural gas drilling debate as it considers tapping park lands
...geologists, energy experts and gas well drillers fully believe Ohio might be sitting atop a gold mine of natural gas embedded in the long-known, but only recently accessible shale deposit. They also are hopeful that those riches will soon be more available now that Ohio Gov. John Kasich favors and the legislature is considering allowing drilling companies on state park land to reach those deposits... The drilling and fracking questions are particularly acute in Ohio right now because of the state's financial woes and the promise that leasing of land for drilling could net untold millions of dollars, some of which could help cover a $500 million backlog in maintenance and repairs in the parks themselves. ...


I prefer we frack the wealthiest two percent instead.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 23, 2011
from London Independent:
Shipwreck threatens island penguins
A wrecked ship is threatening to cause an environmental disaster on an island which is home to endangered penguins, conservationists warned today. The vessel has grounded on Nightingale Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha UK overseas territory in the South Atlantic, causing an oil slick around the island which is home to nearly half the world's population of northern rockhopper penguins. ...


Sticky Feet

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Mar 19, 2011
from The Vancouver Sun:
Ocean garbage: Floating landmines
No matter where you travel on the B.C. coast, no matter how remote or seemingly untrammelled and pristine the fiord or inlet, a piece of plastic, Styrofoam or other garbage has been there before you. God knows how it got there: Dumped recklessly off a vessel, swept down a river or through a storm drain, blown by the wind off the land, or brought in by the ocean currents flowing across the vast North Pacific - including debris from the Japanese tsunami, which could start arriving on our coast in two years. What we do know is that marine garbage is ubiquitous and wreaking havoc at every level of the marine environment. A new B.C. study estimates there are 36,000 pieces of "synthetic marine debris" -garbage the size of fists to fridges -floating around the coastline, from remote inland fiords to 150 kilometres offshore. ...


We are the only species that shits where it sleeps and pisses into the wind.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 14, 2011
from New York Times:
Heat Damages Colombia Coffee, Raising Prices
But in the last few years, coffee yields have plummeted here and in many of Latin America's other premier coffee regions as a result of rising temperatures and more intense and unpredictable rains, phenomena that many scientists link partly to global warming. Coffee plants require the right mix of temperature, rainfall and spells of dryness for beans to ripen properly and maintain their taste. Coffee pests thrive in the warmer, wetter weather. Bean production at the Garzons' farm is therefore down 70 percent from five years ago, leaving the family little money for clothing for toddlers and "thinking twice" about sending older children to college.... Purveyors fear that the Arabica coffee supply from Colombia may never rebound -- that the world might, in effect, hit "peak coffee." ...


Guess I'll have to give up some luxuries so I can afford my coffee. Like, maybe, food.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 11, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
Small fish are ingesting plastic in Pacific garbage gyre
Southern California researchers have found evidence of widespread ingestion of plastic among small fish in the northern Pacific Ocean in a study they say shows the widespread impact of floating litter on the food chain. About 35 percent of the fish collected on a 2008 research expedition off the U.S. West Coast had plastic in their stomachs, according to a study to be presented Friday by the Long Beach-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. The fish, on average, ingested two pieces of plastic, but scientists who dissected hundreds of plankton-eating lantern fish found as many as 83 plastic fragments in a single fish. ...


Ingesting plastic gives me such a satisfying feeling a fullness.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 10, 2011
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Bottom-trawling makes for skinny cod
Trawling the sea floor for bottom-dwelling fish is making cod skinnier, scientists have found. The study looked at the size of cod, lemon sole, megrim and haddock in the Celtic Sea south of Ireland. It found these fish tended to be smaller in heavily trawled areas and in worse general health.... Writing in the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, they warned that the study "implies that bottom trawling can reduce habitat-carrying capacity". The practice "is likely to further diminish fisheries productivity and impair the recovery of threatened stocks and ecosystems." ...


What kinda thing is "habitat carrying capacity"? It's too hard to say.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 9, 2011
from BBC:
Adders, toads and lizards are disappearing from UK
The native adder is effectively disappearing from our landscape, a study has revealed. The first nationwide survey of UK amphibian and reptiles has found that Britain's most widespread snake, the adder, is in decline. Slow worms, common lizards and grass snakes are also becoming less widespread, as are the common toad, common frog and the great crested newt. The only species found to be increasing its range is the palmate newt.... "There is no single trend as different species are sensitive to different issues," explained Dr Wilkinson.... The main drive of amphibian and reptile decline is thought to be habitat fragmentation and development. ...


Just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Mar 6, 2011
from Time:
Testing the Waters
...Corals build colonies that secrete calcium carbonate to form ocean reefs. When they're healthy, coral reefs provide shelter and food for animals all along the food chain, including the top: us. Across the planet, half a billion people rely, directly and indirectly, on corals for their living. That's why what happens to the 9,000-year-old Great Barrier Reef, as well as to other reefs worldwide, is critical. The recent Queensland floods were most notably tragic for the lives lost and property destroyed. But they have also hurt the Great Barrier Reef by funneling into the ocean vast plumes of freshwater and agricultural runoff that could severely damage the coral. Besides the extreme rain that sparked the floods, rising ocean temperatures, changes to the ocean's chemistry and the global trade in natural resources -- all symptoms of our fossil-fuel economy -- are waging a multifront war on the marine environment. "You can't walk into a forest and start hacking at branches and killing off animals and denuding the forest cover without killing the trees," says Justin Marshall, a marine biologist at the University of Queensland. "The outlook for the whole reef is poor." ...


This story brought to you by a mag once called TIME now called NO TIME LEFT.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 2, 2011
from London Independent:
Turtles now world's most threatened vertebrates
Turtles and tortoises are now the most endangered group of vertebrate animals, with more than half of their 328 species threatened with extinction, according to a new report. Their populations are being depleted by unsustainable hunting, both for food and for use in traditional Chinese medicine, by large-scale collection for the pet trade, and by the widespread pollution and destruction of their habitats, according to the study Turtles In Trouble, produced by a coalition of turtle conservation groups. The result is that their plight has never been greater, and the world's 25 most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles will become extinct in a few decades without concerted conservation efforts, the report says. ...


They have vertebrae? I didn't even realize they were amphibians!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Feb 26, 2011
from Mongabay:
Indonesian Borneo and Sumatra lose 9 percent of forest cover in 8 years
Kalimantan and Sumatra lost 5.4 million hectares, or 9.2 percent, of their forest cover between 2000/2001 and 2007/2008, reveals a new satellite-based assessment of Indonesian forest cover. The research, led by Mark Broich of South Dakota State University, found that more than 20 percent of forest clearing occurred in areas where conversion was either restricted or prohibited, indicating that during the period, the Indonesian government failed to enforce its forestry laws.... Forest loss was higher in Sumatra, which saw large areas of forest converted for pulp and paper plantations and oil palm estates. Both Sumatra and Kalimantan suffered from large-scale fires set for land-clearing purposes.... Indonesia has lately signaled an interest in slowing deforestation. In 2009, President Yudhoyono announced Indonesia would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26-41 percent from a projected 2020 baseline, provided it receive international assistance. The country has since signed a 'REDD+' (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) partnership with Norway that would generate up to $1 billion if Indonesia meets deforestation reduction targets. ...


That rate doesn't even keep up with inflation!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Lost Frogs May Be Extinct, Sign Of 'The Sixth Great Extinction'
Scientists around the world have come up short after an unprecedented attempt to locate 100 species of "lost" frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. These amphibians have all been missing for over a decade, and now scientists fear they are extinct. The Search for Lost Frogs, organized by Conservation International, the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, and Global Wildlife Conservation, involved 126 researchers seeking to document the existence of threatened species. But after a five-month search, only four out of 100 missing species have been located. Conservationists believe that these shockingly low numbers should be a signal to countries that greater efforts must be taken to protect environmentally sensitive species. Over 30 percent of amphibians are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and a deadly fungus. ...


Well if we found them they wouldn't be lost, now would they?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 16, 2011
from Mongabay News:
Cambodia approves titanium mine in world's 'most threatened forest'
The Cambodian government has approved a mine that environmentalists and locals fear will harm wildlife, pollute rivers, and put an end to a burgeoning ecotourism in one of the last pristine areas of what Conservation International (CI) recently dubbed 'the world's most threatened forest'. Prime Minister, Hun Sen, approved the mine concession to the United Khmer Group, granting them 20,400 hectares for strip mining in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains. The biodiverse, relatively intact forests of the Cardamom Mountains are a part of the Indo-Burma forest hotspot of Southeast Asia, which CI put at the top of their list of the world's most threatened forests. With only 5 percent of habitat remaining, the forest was found to be more imperiled than the Amazon, the Congo, and even the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia. ...


Like I always say: If you're heading for the cliff might as well accelerate!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 9, 2011
from Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Endangered decision delayed on walrus
Pacific walrus need additional protection from the threat of climate warming but cannot be added to the threatened or endangered list because other species are a higher priority, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday. Walrus will be added to the "warranted but precluded" list, said agency spokesman Bruce Wood, a designation under the Endangered Species Act that allows delays in listing if the agency is making progress listing other species and does not have resources to make a decision on others. "The threats to the walrus are very real, as evidenced by this 'warranted' finding," said Geoff Haskett, the service's Alaska region director, in a statement. "But its greater population numbers and ability to adapt to land-based haulouts make its immediate situation less dire than those facing other species such as the polar bear." ...


I can't even understand "warranted but precluded," how can a walrus?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 2, 2011
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Chevron files RICO suit in Ecuador case
Using a law written to prosecute the Mafia, Chevron Corp. on Tuesday filed a racketeering lawsuit against a team of lawyers who have been fighting the company over oil field pollution in Ecuador. Chevron accused the lawyers - as well as their clients and their spokeswoman - of conspiring to extort up to $113 billion from the oil company, based in San Ramon.... As a verdict in the marathon lawsuit nears, Chevron has tried to prove corruption among the lawyers and Ecuadoran officials involved in the case. Last year, Chevron persuaded judges in the United States to grant the company access to many of the lawyers' private documents, arguing that they could provide evidence of fraud. Chevron also won access to outtakes from a documentary film about the lawsuit, despite the objections of the filmmaker and many media companies (including Hearst Corp., which owns The Chronicle). ...


In a case like this it's hard to tell who's Mafia and who's not.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jan 29, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
Polar bear's long swim illustrates ice melt
In one of the most dramatic signs ever documented of how shrinking Arctic sea ice impacts polar bears, researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska have tracked a female bear that swam nine days across the deep, frigid Beaufort Sea before reaching an ice floe 426 miles offshore. The marathon swim came at a cost: With little food likely available once she arrived, the bear lost 22 percent of her body weight and her year-old female cub, who set off on the journey but did not survive, the researchers said. ...


We can only hope being "dead" might clarify the debate between "threatened" and "endangered."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 27, 2011
from Reuters:
Castration seen as climate change aid for reindeer
Indigenous Sami peoples in the Arctic may have found a way to help their reindeer herds cope with climate change: more castration. Research by Sami experts shows that sterilised males can grow larger and so are better at digging for food -- as Arctic temperatures vary more, thawing snow often refreezes to form thick ice over lichen pastures. Neutered males are more able to break through ice with their hooves or antlers, and seem more willing than other males to move aside and share food with calves that can die of starvation in bad freeze-thaw winters like 2000-01. ...


Something about this solution ... just doesn't seem sustainable.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 27, 2011
from Reuters:
Arctic short-cut shipping to leap in 2011 -Russia
Russia predicted on Tuesday a surge in voyages on an Arctic short-cut sea route in 2011 as a thaw linked to climate change opens the region even more to shipping and oil and mining companies. High metals and oil prices, linked to rising demand from China and other emerging economies, is helping to spur interest in the Arctic and the route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as an alternative to travelling via the Suez canal. ...


The Apocalypse is nigh -- LET'S PARTY!!!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 25, 2011
from Hebrew University of Jerusalem via ScienceDaily:
Climate Change Threatens Many Tree Species
Global warming is already affecting the earth in a variety of ways that demand our attention. Now, research carried out at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem indicates that many tree species might become extinct due to climate change if no action is taken in time. According to the research, trees which disperse their seeds by wind, such as pines and maples, will be unable to spread at a pace that can cope with expected climate changes. ...


I suspect we'll all have trouble keeping up.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 23, 2011
from London Independent:
Fish threatened by global warming to be moved north
Fish from the Lake District will be moved to cooler waters in Scotland under radical plans -- which will be unveiled this week -- aimed at coping with climate change. The first seven of more than 100 reports by government agencies and utility companies will set out how Britain needs to change to cope with hotter summers and wetter winters. They will highlight the risks -- and potential costs -- of more landslides, buckled railway lines, crumbling water pipes and rising sea levels threatening lighthouses around the coast. Officials say the studies are needed because levels of carbon emissions mean climate change over the next four decades is unavoidable. The dangers to wildlife have triggered the most extreme solutions: the Environment Agency is poised to catch and transfer thousands of vendace and schelly, both freshwater white fish, from the lakes of Cumbria to Scottish lochs. ...


Ideally, there is so much Prozac in the water the fish won't even care they're being abducted!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jan 22, 2011
from New York Times:
For Many Species, No Escape as Temperature Rises
...Over the next 100 years, many scientists predict, 20 percent to 30 percent of species could be lost if the temperature rises 3.6 degrees to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If the most extreme warming predictions are realized, the loss could be over 50 percent, according to the United Nations climate change panel. Polar bears have become the icons of this climate threat. But scientists say that tens of thousands of smaller species that live in the tropics or on or near mountaintops are equally, if not more, vulnerable. These species, in habitats from the high plateaus of Africa to the jungles of Australia to the Sierra Nevada in the United States, are already experiencing climate pressures, and will be the bulk of the animals that disappear. ...


Fortunately, we will always have electric sheep and other animatronic animals.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jan 21, 2011
from The Australian:
Engineer's emails reveal Wivenhoe Dam releases too little, too late
LEAKED email communications from a Wivenhoe Dam engineering officer underline concerns that the Brisbane River flood was mostly caused by massive releases from the dam after it had held on to water too long over a crucial 72 hours before the severe rainfall that hit the region last week. The emails, which become increasingly urgent in tone as the situation became critical as the dam's levels rise rapidly, were provided to The Australian by a source who said the stream of data had convinced him the river flood of Brisbane could have been largely avoided if the dam's operators had taken action much earlier....According to figures from Wivenhoe's operator, SEQWater, the dam's capacity went from 106 per cent full on the morning of Friday, January 7, to 148 per cent full on the morning of Monday, January 10, due to the limited weekend releases. ...


I know when my weekend releases are limited, I tend to burst!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jan 19, 2011
from Politico:
More mountaintop mining decisions loom
The Obama administration is facing a string of politically difficult decisions over one of the country's most contentious environmental issues: mountaintop removal coal mining. Few issues can generate equivalent outrage among the administration's environmentalist allies as does mountaintop removal, a mining technique common in West Virginia and other Appalachian states where operators use explosives to open mountaintops and access coal seams, and then dump the resulting waste in adjacent streams. Green groups say the practice is among the worst abuses of the fossil fuel industry, saying it is ruining Appalachia's ecosystems and poisoning its drinking water supplies. But Appalachia's mining industry calls itself the economic lifeline to one of the country's poorest regions. ...


Perhaps we can agree to call it an economic deathline.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 18, 2011
from Detroit News:
Invasive species rules stall
A year after the Asian carp's threat to the Great Lakes threw a national spotlight on invasive species, critics say no definitive action on the issue's two key focal points has been made. Ballast water from oceangoing ships, considered the largest source of invasive species in the Great Lakes, remains largely unregulated. And the Mississippi River system, where the Asian carp is firmly entrenched, remains connected to the Great Lakes. While there has been progress on both issues behind the scenes, conservationists say the pace is unacceptable and leaves the Great Lakes playing a game of Russian roulette year after year. ...


From now on the Great Lakes shall be called the Wait Lakes.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 18, 2011
from Michigan Messenger:
EPA proposes landscaping as dioxin solution
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to reduce dioxin exposure for people who live downstream from Dow Chemical by spreading gravel on contaminated yards and building raised garden beds is being called "insulting" by some residents. Dioxin, a highly toxic and cancer-causing chemical that was a byproduct of chemical manufacturing at Dow Chemical's Midland complex, has spread 52 miles down the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers and into Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay. Clean up of the immense contaminated zone is expected to take a decade. In June 2009 the EPA promised to take swift action to reduce exposure to dioxin at areas within the floodplain that are both highly contaminated and frequently used. In a document released by the agency last week EPA is asking the public to comment on three options for actions that could be undertaken by Dow Chemical -- do nothing, apply control barriers, or move land features such as fire pits or garden beds. ...


How is this not bio-terrorism?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jan 8, 2011
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
What triggers mass extinctions? Study shows how invasive species stop new life
An influx of invasive species can stop the dominant natural process of new species formation and trigger mass extinction events, according to research results published today in the journal PLoS ONE. The study of the collapse of Earth's marine life 378 to 375 million years ago suggests that the planet's current ecosystems, which are struggling with biodiversity loss, could meet a similar fate. Although Earth has experienced five major mass extinction events, the environmental crash during the Late Devonian was unlike any other in the planet's history. The actual number of extinctions wasn't higher than the natural rate of species loss, but very few new species arose.... In a departure from previous studies, Stigall used phylogenetic analysis, which draws on an understanding of the tree of evolutionary relationships to examine how individual speciation events occurred.... As sea levels rose and the continents closed in to form connected land masses, however, some species gained access to environments they hadn't inhabited before. The hardiest of these invasive species that could thrive on a variety of food sources and in new climates became dominant, wiping out more locally adapted species. The invasive species were so prolific at this time that it became difficult for many new species to arise. ...


Hmmm. Wasn't it about 200,000 years ago that we left the savannah and began to take over the world?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Dec 28, 2010
from Associated Press:
Farmers, pecan growers say coal plant kills plants
Along a stretch of Highway 21, in Texas' pastoral Hill Country, is a vegetative wasteland. Trees are barren, or covered in gray, dying foliage and peeling bark. Fallen, dead limbs litter the ground where pecan growers and ranchers have watched trees die slow, agonizing deaths. Visible above the horizon is what many plant specialists, environmentalists and scientists believe to be the culprit: the Fayette Power Project - a coal-fired power plant for nearly 30 years has operated mostly without equipment designed to decrease emissions of sulfur dioxide, a component of acid rain. ...


Coal plant creates good firewood. Sounds like a win-win!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 27, 2010
from Toronto Globe and Mail:
Six months after Pakistan floods, seven million remain without shelter
...he biggest disaster in Pakistan's history inflicted its deadliest wrath in these northern reaches, as summer monsoons ripped down the valleys, devouring land, people and entire villages. The brown torrent killed almost 2,000 people, but that number hardly begins to encompass the months of misery that followed, those who died of malnutrition or disease as they fled the rising water. Now, as winter blows into the mountains, an estimated seven million people remain without proper shelter. Villagers scrabble in the earth, trying to build homes that will keep them warm among the snow drifts. ...


If any of you are having trouble visualizing our post-Apocalyptic future, look no further.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Dec 26, 2010
from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via ScienceDaily:
Growing Hypoxic Zones Reduce Habitat for Billfish and Tuna
Billfish and tuna, important commercial and recreational fish species, may be more vulnerable to fishing pressure because of shrinking habitat, according to a new study published by scientists from NOAA, The Billfish Foundation, and University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. An expanding zone of low oxygen, known as a hypoxic zone, in the Atlantic Ocean is encroaching upon these species' preferred oxygen-abundant habitat, forcing them into shallower waters where they are more likely to be caught. ...


...as if we'd planned it all along.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Dec 23, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
Polar bear status pits environmentalists vs. administration
A dispute about how much the government should protect polar bears has turned into a battleground for environmentalists and some of the country's most powerful business organizations over the larger question of global warming. On Wednesday, the Interior Department filed arguments in federal court defending its decision to classify polar bears as "threatened" rather than "endangered" despite widespread shrinkage of the sea ice that forms the bears' natural habitat. What makes the issue so sensitive is that, if polar bears received the stricter endangered classification, the Obama administration would be pressured to attack the problem at its source: the petroleum, coal and manufacturing companies that emit the greenhouse gases scientists say are a major factor in climate change. ...


I propose a third category for polar bears: screwed.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Dec 19, 2010
from Toronto Globe and Mail:
On the move in a warming world: The rise of climate refugees
... Across the Sahel, a band of semi-arid land south of the Sahara stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, an estimated 10 million people suffered food shortages this year, including 850,000 children who are acutely malnourished and could die without urgent care. In the Sahel region of Chad, more than 20 per cent of children are acutely malnourished, on top of a chronic malnutrition rate of about 50 per cent. In some regions, mothers are desperately digging into anthills in search of tiny grains and seeds for their children. And this is just one of many places around the world where the changing climate has left the people dependent on foreign aid. When the 190-nation climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, staggered to an end last weekend, there was no binding agreement on curbing carbon emissions and no sign of a treaty to replace the soon-expiring Kyoto Protocol. The negotiators will try again next December. But regardless of those negotiations, the facts on the ground will not change: The climate is growing more precarious, and millions of people are on the move. The question now is whether to encourage them to migrate - or to salvage their ravaged land with long-term investment, instead of simply handing out emergency aid. ...


Is there no other option, such as colonizing Mars? C'mon, people, where's the can-do vision?

ApocaDoc
permalink

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.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Dec 4, 2010
from Nature, via SciDev:
Loss of biodiversity increases spread of disease
A review of several dozen studies that examined 12 different diseases in various ecosystems found that biodiversity seems to protect ecosystems against the transmission of diseases. "A pattern is emerging," said Felicia Keesing, a biologist at Bard College, United States. Researchers still do not know why this is the case but they have suggested that, in more diverse environments, disease-causing organisms, or pathogens, more often end up in a 'dead end' host that does not transmit it as efficiently. But the study also found that, in areas with higher biodiversity, diseases might be more prone to jumping from animals to humans. Keesing thinks that it could be greater interaction between humans and wildlife, such as hunting for bush meat, that fosters the jump into humans -- not biodiversity itself. "Biodiversity could be a source of new diseases but, once a disease emerges, greater biodiversity is protective," she said. ...


With more critters to pick on, maybe they won't need to pick on us humans!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 25, 2010
from USA Today:
Research teams find oil on bottom of Gulf
Scientists who were aboard two research vessels studying the Gulf of Mexico oil spill's impact on sea life have found substantial amounts of oil on the seafloor, contradicting statements by federal officials that the oil had largely disappeared. Scientists on the research ship Cape Hatteras found oil in samples dug up from the seafloor in a 140-mile radius around the site of the Macondo well, said Kevin Yeager, a University of Southern Mississippi assistant professor of marine sciences. He was the chief scientist on the research trip, which ended last week. Oil found in samples ranged from light degraded oil to thick raw crude, Yeager said. ...


Out of sight out of mind.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 18, 2010
from Agence France-Press:
UN fights to save our planet from deserts
Fortaleza, Brazil - The United Nations on Monday launched a campaign to save the planet from deserts that are threatening a third of the planet along with the livelihoods of more than a billion people...Parched land and deserts today are home to one in three people on Earth, or 2.1 billion people, 90 percent of whom are in developing nations. One billion people struggle to find enough food to survive in such inhospitable terrain...Climate change is seen as the main cause of the phenomenon, a view reinforced by droughts and flooding in different areas of unusual intensity. ...


Our just desserts = just deserts.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 10, 2010
from Guardian:
Conservationists warn of elephant extraction from Laos to China circuses
Once worshipped as gods, the animals are still considered sacred by many in Laos, but loss of habitat and tradition means there are now just 20 domesticated elephants under the age of 10 left in the country. The agreement with the circus company will see seven of these youngsters, along with four older animals of breeding age, exported from the remote Thongmixay district, in Laos's Sayaburi province, to southern China this autumn. Although Laos signed up in 2004 to the CITES international agreement against trading endangered wildlife, a loophole is being exploited. Elephants are being taken out of the country on "long-term loans" to zoos and circuses in foreign countries but are never returned. With the most recent government estimates suggesting there are now as few as 600 wild and only 480 domesticated elephants left in the country, hopes for the survival of the species in Laos are pinned on breeding programmes involving the domesticated population. The loss of so many young elephants will place that under threat, the NGO ElefantAsia has warned. The group has official responsibility for the animals, having been charged by Laos's department of livestock to manage the Laos Elephant Care and Management Programme. ...


Some day, they'll forget.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 7, 2010
from Science Daily:
Thousands of Undiscovered Plant Species Worldwide Face Extinction, Study Reveals
Dr Joppa explained: "By using a model that incorporates taxonomic effort over time, we calculated that the current number of species should grow by ten to 20 percent, meaning that there are between ten and 20 percent more undiscovered flowering plant species than previously thought -- a finding that has enormous conservation implications, as any as-yet-unknown species are likely to be overwhelmingly rare and threatened." Dr Roberts said: "If we take the number of species that are currently known to be threatened, and add to that those that are yet to be discovered, we can estimate that between 27 percent and 33 percent of all flowering plants will be threatened with extinction." Dr Joppa added: "That percentage reflects the global impact of factors such as habitat loss. It may increase if you factor in other threats such as climate change." ...


I think you're mixing "known unknowns" with "unknown unknowns."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 18, 2010
from Associated Press:
Gulf oil full of methane, adding new concerns
It is an overlooked danger in the oil spill crisis: The crude gushing from the well contains vast amounts of natural gas that could pose a serious threat to the Gulf of Mexico's fragile ecosystem. The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill. That means huge quantities of methane have entered the Gulf, scientists say, potentially suffocating marine life and creating "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives. "This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," Kessler said. ...


In other words this is the most massive fart ever!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 17, 2010
from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Loss of rain forest leads to malaria spike, UW researchers find
Chopping down the rain forest can harm animals such as toucans, golden lion tamarind monkeys and poison dart frogs. Now, add another species to the list - humans. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon can lead to malaria epidemics years later, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The findings are some of the most detailed yet to link environmental changes with the spread of disease. The work, published Wednesday in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, combined malaria case reports with high-resolution satellite imagery from a remote, sparsely populated region of tropical Brazil about half the size of Rhode Island. For every square kilometer of forest cut down, the number of reported malaria cases spiked by 50 percent, the study found.....In a previous study, the team showed that the population of Anopheles darlingi, the species of mosquito that carries the disease, explodes after deforestation. ...


Oh my little darlingi!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 17, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
Death by fire in the gulf
...When the weather is calm and the sea is placid, ships trailing fireproof booms corral the black oil, the coated seaweed and whatever may be caught in it, and torch it into hundred-foot flames, sending plumes of smoke skyward in ebony mushrooms. This patch of unmarked ocean gets designated over the radio as "the burn box." Wildlife researchers operating here, in the regions closest to the spill, are witnesses to a disquieting choice: Protecting shorebirds, delicate marshes and prime tourist beaches along the coast by stopping the oil before it moves ashore has meant the largely unseen sacrifice of some wildlife out at sea, poisoned with chemical dispersants and sometimes boiled by the burning of spilled oil on the water's surface. "It reflects the conventional wisdom of oil spills: If they just keep the oil out at sea, the harm will be minimal. And I disagree with that completely," said Blair Witherington, a research scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who has been part of the sea turtle rescue mission. ...


But the fires are so dramatic and pretty!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 16, 2010
from Associated Press:
Alaska state official objects to polar bear plan
The federal plan for designating more than 187,000 square miles as polar bear critical habitat is too large and will lead to huge, unnecessary costs for Alaska's petroleum industry, opponents of the proposal told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tuesday night. Critical habitat by definition is the area that contains features essential to the conservation of the species, said Doug Vincent-Lang, endangered species coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game... The Endangered Species Act requires protections to be balanced against their costs, Vincent-Lang said. The additional protection for bears was minimal but the costs for people were huge, he said. ...


Easy for YOU to say, human.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 9, 2010
from Associated Press:
AP IMPACT: BP spill response plans severely flawed
VENICE, La. -- Professor Peter Lutz is listed in BP's 2009 response plan for a Gulf of Mexico oil spill as a national wildlife expert. He died in 2005. Under the heading "sensitive biological resources," the plan lists marine mammals including walruses, sea otters, sea lions and seals. None lives anywhere near the Gulf. The names and phone numbers of several Texas A&M University marine life specialists are wrong. So are the numbers for marine mammal stranding network offices in Louisiana and Florida, which are no longer in service. BP PLC's 582-page regional spill plan for the Gulf, and its 52-page, site-specific plan for the Deepwater Horizon rig are riddled with omissions and glaring errors, according to an Associated Press analysis that details how BP officials have pretty much been making it up as they go along. ...


You'd think oil companies would be better planners.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 8, 2010
from ABC News:
BP Buys 'Oil' Search Terms to Redirect Users to Official Company Website
Be careful where you click, especially if you're looking for news on the BP oil spill. BP, the very company responsible for the oil spill that is already the worst in U.S. history, has purchased several phrases on search engines such as Google and Yahoo so that the first result that shows up directs information seekers to the company's official website. A simple Google search of "oil spill" turns up several thousand news results, but the first link, highlighted at the very top of the page, is from BP. "Learn more about how BP is helping," the link's tagline reads. ...


Did they buy up "Satan" and "asshole" too?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 8, 2010
from The Onion:
Massive Flow Of Bullshit Continues To Gush From BP Headquarters
LONDON - As the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico entered its eighth week Wednesday, fears continued to grow that the massive flow of bullshit still gushing from the headquarters of oil giant BP could prove catastrophic if nothing is done to contain it. The toxic bullshit, which began to spew from the mouths of BP executives shortly after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April, has completely devastated the Gulf region, delaying cleanup efforts, affecting thousands of jobs, and endangering the lives of all nearby wildlife. "Everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact of this will be very, very modest," said BP CEO Tony Hayward, letting loose a colossal stream of undiluted bullshit. "The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean, and the volume of oil we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total volume of water." ...


How dare The Onion make fun of this!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jun 6, 2010
from Daily Press:
Eel population slipping away?
They don't receive the same attention as oysters and blue crabs, but American eels helped Chesapeake Bay watermen pay their mortgages. Reviled for its snake-like appearance, the fish -- yes, it is a fish -- is prized in overseas sushi markets and locally as bait for cobia anglers. Yet the fishery declined dramatically the past two decades. As a result, scientists for the first time are taking a hard look at eels. Environmentalists want to make it illegal to catch them. And another once robust fishery is in danger of folding.... "It ain't like it used to be," said Maurice Bosse, who operates George Robberecht's Seafood Inc. along the Potomac River.... Scientists aren't sure what caused the decline, but they speculate it's due to shifting ocean currents, pollution, overfishing and loss of habitat. ...


That certainly narrows it down.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 25, 2010
from Washington Post:
Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP
...the Nature Conservancy lists BP as one of its business partners. The Conservancy also has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years... The Conservancy, already scrambling to shield oyster beds from the spill, now faces a different problem: a potential backlash as its supporters learn that the giant oil company and the world's largest environmental organization long ago forged a relationship that has lent BP an Earth-friendly image and helped the Conservancy pursue causes it holds dear. ...


Beware the strange fellows with whom you bed.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, May 2, 2010
from Mobile Press-Register:
Gulf of Mexico oil spill 2010: The worst-case scenario
The worst-case scenario for the broken and leaking well gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico would be the loss of the wellhead currently restricting the flow to 5,000 barrels -- or 210,000 gallons per day. If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate, perhaps up to 150,000 barrels -- or more than 6 million gallons per day -- based on government data showing daily production at another deepwater Gulf well. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill was 11 million gallons total. The Gulf spill could end up dumping the equivalent of 4 Exxon Valdez spills per week. ...


If you like shrimp, eat your last today.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 30, 2010
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Oil disaster as metaphor
Some are calling it a "river of oil" now, instead of an oil spill. "Spill" makes it sound like the oil rig exploded, then "spilled" some oil, which is now creeping toward the coast. Instead, the broken rig is pouring 210,000 gallons of oil into the sea each day, and might continue, according to estimates, for two months or more. I could weep, I could scream, I could wax holy as I did not use petroleum products to get to work today. Except for all I know the asphalt I rode my bicycle on -- as well as parts of the bicycle itself (and my helmet), were made of petroleum. Or the keyboard I type on. But I don't want to go there. I want to see this event as larger, as a metaphor. Think of it this way. We humans are the initial explosion. ...




ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Apr 10, 2010
from Wildlife Conservation Society via ScienceDaily:
Rarest of the Rare: List of Critically Endangered Species
The Wildlife Conservation Society released a list of critically endangered species dubbed the "Rarest of the Rare" -- a group of animals most in danger of extinction, ranging from Cuban crocodiles to white-headed langurs in Vietnam. The list of a dozen animals includes an eclectic collection of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Some are well known, such as the Sumatran orangutan; while others are more obscure, including vaquita, an ocean porpoise. The list appears in the 2010-1011 edition of State of the Wild -- a Global Portrait. ...


I'll have mine medium rare.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 8, 2010
from Yale 360:
The Natural World Vanishes: How Species Cease To Matter
Once, on both sides of the Atlantic, fish such as salmon, eels, and, shad were abundant and played an important role in society, feeding millions and providing a livelihood for tens of thousands. But as these fish have steadily dwindled, humans have lost sight of their significance, with each generation accepting a diminished environment as the new norm.... Every generation takes the natural environment it encounters during childhood as the norm against which it measures environmental decline later in life. With each ensuing generation, environmental degradation generally increases, but each generation takes that degraded condition as the new normal. Scientists call this phenomenon "shifting baselines" or "inter-generational amnesia," and it is part of a larger and more nebulous reality -- the insidious ebbing of the ecological and social relevancy of declining and disappearing species.... As species disappear, they lose both relevance to a society and the constituency to champion their revival, further hastening their decline. A vivid example of this was highlighted in a recent study in Conservation Biology, in which researchers found that younger residents along China's Yangtze River knew little or nothing of the river dolphin, the bajii -- now believed to be extinct -- and the threatened paddlefish. ...


If a species falls in a forest and nobody cares, does it matter?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 9, 2010
from Guardian:
Humans driving extinction faster than species can evolve, say experts
Conservation experts have already signalled that the world is in the grip of the "sixth great extinction" of species, driven by the destruction of natural habitats, hunting, the spread of alien predators and disease, and climate change. However until recently it has been hoped that the rate at which new species were evolving could keep pace with the loss of diversity of life.... "Measuring the rate at which new species evolve is difficult, but there's no question that the current extinction rates are faster than that; I think it's inevitable," said Stuart.... Stuart said it was possible that the dramatic predictions of experts like the renowned Harvard biologist E O Wilson, that the rate of loss could reach 10,000 times the background rate in two decades, could be correct. "All the evidence is he's right," said Stuart. "Some people claim it already is that ... things can only have deteriorated because of the drivers of the losses, such as habitat loss and climate change, all getting worse. But we haven't measured extinction rates again since 2004 and because our current estimates contain a tenfold range there has to be a very big deterioration or improvement to pick up a change." ...


That's so fast that we won't even have to know what we missed!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 20, 2008
from The Scotsman:
For every 100 of these birds that graced our skies, just five remain
THE number of Arctic terns in Scotland has dropped by a shocking 95 per cent in the past two decades. The graceful seabirds, well known in Shetland and Orkney for zealously guarding their nests and letting out rasping cries, are suffering severe declines. The dramatic decline, outlined in the Scottish Government's consultation into the Scottish Marine Bill, has been described as a "wake-up call". Other seabirds, including the Arctic skua and the black-legged kittiwake, have also suffered large drops in numbers. ...


What a lousy way to wake up.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 27, 2008
from World Wildlife Fund, via ScienceDaily:
Polar Bears Found Swimming Miles From Alaskan Coast
An aerial survey by government scientists in Alaska's Chukchi Sea has recently found at least nine polar bears swimming in open water -- with one at least 60 miles from shore -- raising concern among wildlife experts about their survival.... "As climate change continues to dramatically disrupt the Arctic, polar bears and their cubs are being forced to swim longer distances to find food and habitat."... Satellite images indicate that ice was absent in most of the region where the bears were found on August 16, 2008, and some experts predict this year's sea ice loss could meet or exceed the record set last year. ...


At least the water they're swimming in
is warm.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 18, 2008
from British Antarctic Survey via ScienceDaily:
Fragile Antarctic Marine Life Pounded By Icebergs: Biodiversity Suffering
"Antarctic worms, sea spiders, urchins and other marine creatures living in near-shore shallow habitats are regularly pounded by icebergs. New data suggests this environment along the Antarctic Peninsula is going to get hit more frequently. This is due to an increase in the number of icebergs scouring the seabed as a result of shrinking winter sea ice." ...


Great. Something new to worry about: thug icebergs

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 16, 2008
from Associated Press:
Chesapeake watermen fear blue crab not coming back
"Chesapeake Bay crabber Paul Kellam has advice for the teenage boys who help tend his traps every summer: You better have a backup plan. It's an anxious summer for watermen harvesting the Chesapeake's best-loved seafood, the blue crab. The way some see it, the crabbing business here isn't just dying. It's already dead." ...


Yeah, the crabbing business is dead, but the complaining has only begun.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 3, 2008
from Sky News (UK):
'World Pharmacy' Being Destroyed
A quarter of all our medicine is sourced from it and it hosts a mass of colourful biodiversity. But both the Peruvian Amazon's species and the world's medicine are facing their gravest threat yet.... Just as the rainforest is rich in flora, it also boasts an abundance of other, more lucrative riches. The race to plunder the forest of fossil fuels, gold and timber for example, means that every day truckloads of trees are slashed and burned with little reforestation. The authorities turn a blind eye to the illegal activities of big business. ...


Besides, Big Pharma doesn't like competition from nature.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 17, 2008
from Science Daily (US):
Global Impact Of Urbanization Threatening World's Biodiversity And Natural Resources
"As a species we have lived in wild nature for hundreds of thousands of years, and now suddenly most of us live in cities -- the ultimate escape from nature," says Peter Kareiva, chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy and co-author of the report. "If we do not learn to build, expand and design our cities with a respect for nature, we will have no nature left anywhere." ...


But isn't that the point?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 2, 2008
from BBC (UK):
Progress at UN biodiversity forum
Nearly 200 countries have agreed on measures to protect the world's most threatened wildlife. At a Bonn conference they pledged to set up a deep-sea nature reserve and increase by tens of millions of hectares the area of land protected. But environmentalists... said progress was too slow compared to the threat to the world's species. ...


Pesky environmentalists. Why don't they just get a job while they still can?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 14, 2008
from Guardian (UK):
Fears for Amazon rainforest as Brazil's environment minister resigns
Silva said her decision was the result of the "difficulties" she was facing in "pursuing the federal environmental agenda". She said her efforts to protect the environment had faced "growing resistance … [from] important sectors of the government and society".... Sergio Leitao, the director of public policy for Greenpeace in Brazil, said Silva had taken her decision because of growing pressure from within the government to relax laws outlawing bank loans to those who destroyed the rainforest. ...


Using other people's money
to wipe out everyone's inheritance.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Copyright 2009 The Apocadocs.com