ApocaDocs
Today is October 16, 2021.
On this day (10/16), we posted 9 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.

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Biology
Breach

Climate
Chaos


October 16, 2013, from Reuters

Icebergs, insurance hamper Arctic shipping route opened by climate change

Some days, you just gotta root for the icebergs.
The new shipping route opened up through the Arctic by climate change will not be crowded any time soon. Cargoes of coal, diesel and gas have made the trip but high insurance costs, slow going and strict environmental rules mean there will not be a rush to follow them. Looser ice means icebergs. One vessel has already been holed, and large ice breaking vessels, not always on hand, are a must.


October 16, 2013, from Accuweather

How is Climate Change Jeopardizing the Sounds of Nature?

Poo-tee-weet?
Climate change has brought once lively and loud habitats to utter silence as their inhabitants of birds, frogs and insects have either vanished or drastically changed their migration patterns. A relatively new study known as biophony, or the signature of collective sounds that occur in any given habitat at any given time, has provided scientific evidence to show that the sounds of nature have been altered by both global warming and human endeavors.


October 16, 2012, from Climate Central

New Study Ties Hurricane Strength To Global Warming

Surf's hot!
One of the major unanswered questions about climate change is whether hurricanes have become more frequent and stronger as the world has warmed. Until now, there hasn't been enough evidence to settle the question, but a report published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences may have changed all that. Using an entirely new method of tallying hurricane power and frequency, a team of scientists say that hurricanes are, indeed, more of a danger when ocean temperatures are higher. "In particular, we estimate that Katrina-magnitude events have been twice as frequent in warm years compared with cold years," the report says.


October 16, 2012, from London Guardian

World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules

Russ George, the georgeneer!
A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, a Guardian investigation can reveal. Lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups are calling it a "blatant violation" of two international moratoria and the news is likely to spark outrage at a United Nations environmental summit taking place in India this week. Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. The intention is for the plankton to absorb carbon dioxide and then sink to the ocean bed -- a geoengineering technique known as ocean fertilisation that he hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.

Resource
Depletion


October 16, 2009, from Wall Street Journal

Aspen Trees Die Across the West

Great acronym, guys!
[A] mysterious ailment -- or perhaps a combination of factors -- is killing hundreds of thousands of acres of the trees from Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona through Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and into Canada, according to the U.S. government and independent scientists.... That phenomenon was named Sudden Aspen Decline, or SAD, but scientists say they don't fully understand it. It could get worse. "SAD is progressing at an exponential rate," said Wayne Shepperd, who led research into aspen decline at the U.S. Forest Service before retiring to teach at Colorado State University. And it has left many locals reeling. "My God, it was a sad year," said landscape photographer Richard Voninski.


October 16, 2009, from Independent Online (South Africa)

Playing roulette with our water

That loaded round is just a theory.
South Africa's water crisis lies in the country's persistent denial that there is a problem, says Dr Anthony Turton, water expert. "It lies in the pitiful fact that we are dooming future generations to the misery of poverty by failing to recognise that what we have done thus far can no longer be done in the future, simply because the assumptions on which previous solutions were based are no longer valid," he said.... Turton told the Sunday Independent that the water crisis was "way bigger than any ordinary person will ever realise".... We have simply failed to translate what scientists have known for decades... so now we have no solutions and are left at the vagaries of nature... It is Russian Roulette and soon the loaded round will be in the chamber when we pull the trigger," said Turton.

Recovery


October 16, 2013, from Washington Post

Study links warmer water temperatures to greater levels of mercury in fish

Finally! Something to solve the problem of overfishing!
In a lab experiment, researchers adjusted temperatures in tanks, tainted the killifish's food with traces of methylmercury and watched as the fish stored high concentrations of the metal in their tissue. In a field experiment in nearby salt pools, they observed as killifish in warmer pools ate their natural food and stored metal in even higher concentrations, like some toxic condiment for larger fish that would later prey on them. The observation was part of a study showing how killifish at the bottom of the food chain will probably absorb higher levels of methylmercury in an era of global warming and pass it on to larger predator fish, such as the tuna stacked in shiny little cans in the cupboards of Americans and other people the world over. "The implication is this could play out in larger fish . . . because their metabolic rate is also increasing," said Celia Chen, a professor at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and one of six authors of the study. "Methylmercury isn't easily excreted, so it stays. It suggests that there will be higher methylmercury concentrations in the fish humans eat as well."