Today is October 4, 2023.
On this day (10/4), we posted 8 stories, over the years 2009-2016.

Converging Emergencies: From 2009 to 2016, 'Doc Jim and 'Doc Michael spent 30 to 90 minutes nearly every day, researching, reading, and joking about more than 8,000 news stories about Climate Chaos, Biology Breach, Resource Depletion, and Recovery. (We also captured stories about Species Collapse and Infectious Disease, but in this "greatest hits of the day" instantiation, we're skipping the last two.)
      We shared those stories and japes daily, at apocadocs.com (see our final homepage, upon the election of Trump).
      The site was our way to learn about what humans were doing to our ecosystem, as well our way to try to help wake up the world.
      You could call this new format the "we knew it all back then, but nobody wanted to know we knew it" version. Enjoy these stories and quips from a more hopeful time, when the two ApocaDocs imagined that humanity would come to its senses in time -- so it was just fine to make fun of the upcoming collapse.

Try any other day:



October 4, 2012, from PhysOrg

Deforestation in snowy regions causes more floods

All part of the plan to refill the aquifers. Fast.
New research suggests that cutting down swaths of forest in snowy regions at least doubles - and potentially quadruples - the number of large floods that occur along the rivers and streams passing through those forests.... But deforestation shines a new - and glaring - light on this water source. While ordinarily the trees keep the melting under control by shielding snow from the sunlight, "as soon as you get rid of the trees, the snow melts faster," said Green. "It's that simple."... The analysis showed that, in all four waterways, deforestation turned 10-year floods into three-to-five-year floods. Twenty-year floods recurred every 10 to 12 years. Most dramatically, in 240 Creek, 50 year floods happened every 13 years, almost four times as often.

October 4, 2009, from Columbia State

Arsenic draining into Wateree River

Just as long as it's "clean" arsenic...
Streams of a poisonous, potentially cancer-causing substance recently were found draining to the Wateree River from SCE&G's coal-fired power plant in lower Richland County. Consultants discovered elevated levels of arsenic seeping from an earthen wall along the power plant's 80-acre coal ash waste pond, just a few miles upstream from Congaree National Park. The wall is supposed to block pollution from moving out of the pond and into the Wateree River, less than 300 feet away. One of the consultants, J.C. Hare, said leaks he saw last month in the earthen wall created two streams of arsenic-tainted runoff that in places measured several feet wide.


October 4, 2011, from Associated Press

Only bottled water to drink in rain-starved swath of South Pacific as sea levels rise

Have these people never heard of stilts?!?
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Crops are wilting, schools have shut their bathrooms and government officials are bathing in lagoons because of a severe shortage of fresh water in a swath of the South Pacific. The island groups of Tuvalu and Tokelau have declared emergencies, relying on bottled water and seeking more desalination machines. Parts of Samoa are starting to ration water. Supplies are precariously low after a severe lack of rain in a region where underground reserves have been fouled by saltwater from rising seas that scientists have linked to climate change.

October 4, 2011, from Wall Street Journal

Giant Alien Snails Attack Miami, Though They're Not in Much of a Rush

Cue REALLY slow theme from 'Jaws' as interpreted by Barry White.
Floridians have grown accustomed to invasions of exotic creatures, like the Burmese pythons slithering throughout the Everglades. But residents here are especially grossed out by the latest arrivals: giant African land snails that grow as long as eight inches, chew through plants, plaster and stucco, and sometimes carry a parasite that can infect humans with a nonlethal strain of meningitis. The gastropods are among the most dangerous in the world, agriculture officials say. They each have male and female reproductive organs and can lay 1,200 eggs a year, allowing them to proliferate rapidly. Thousands of them have infested at least five separate neighborhoods in the Miami area.

October 4, 2011, from Sydney Morning Herald

US government breaks the ice in Arctic drilling dispute

Chuk-ching! The Chukchi Sea's the place to be!
THE US government has decided to uphold the sale of nearly 500 leases to drill for oil in Arctic waters near Alaska, in response to a successful lawsuit by environmentalists and native Alaskan organisations that had thrown the contracts into jeopardy. The move on Monday by the Interior Department was celebrated by Shell and other companies that snapped up some of the 487 leases to drill in the Chukchi Sea during a government auction in 2008. Shell hopes to launch exploratory drilling in the Chukchi next northern summer. The decision was criticised by conservationists, who blasted the Obama administration for bypassing calls for more scientific research on the region's marine life and better studies of how to clean up oil spills in remote icy waters.

October 4, 2009, from London Guardian

Arctic seas turn to acid, putting vital food chain at risk

Oy. Speaking of acid, my stomach is killing me!
Carbon-dioxide emissions are turning the waters of the Arctic Ocean into acid at an unprecedented rate, scientists have discovered. Research carried out in the archipelago of Svalbard has shown in many regions around the north pole seawater is likely to reach corrosive levels within 10 years. The water will then start to dissolve the shells of mussels and other shellfish and cause major disruption to the food chain. By the end of the century, the entire Arctic Ocean will be corrosively acidic....About a quarter of the carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere by factories, power stations and cars now ends up being absorbed by the oceans. That represents more than six million tonnes of carbon a day. This carbon dioxide dissolves and is turned into carbonic acid, causing the oceans to become more acidic. "We knew the Arctic would be particularly badly affected when we started our studies but I did not anticipate the extent of the problem," said Gattuso.



October 4, 2011, from University of Hull via ScienceDaily

Weeds Are Vital to the Existence of Farmland Species, Study Finds

Weed has always been vital to me.
Weeds, which are widely deemed as a nuisance plant, are vital to the existence of many farmland species according to a new University of Hull study published in the journal Biological Conservation. Since many weeds produce flowers and seed, they are an integral part of our ecosystem and together with other crop and non-crop seeds found on farms, they provide food for over 330 species of insects, birds and animals.