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Climate Change & The Environment Discuss Walt's Environmental News at the General Discussion; Record 139-Months w/o a major hurricane... Hurricane Season Starts--After Record 139-Month Major Hurricane Drought June 1, 2017 - The 2017 ...

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Old 06-01-2017, 02:26 PM
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Record 139-Months w/o a major hurricane...

Hurricane Season Starts--After Record 139-Month Major Hurricane Drought
June 1, 2017 - The 2017 hurricane season begins today, June 1--a record 139 months after the last major hurricane made landfall in the continental United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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NOAA is currently predicting that an "above normal Atlantic hurricane season is likely for this year." The last major hurricane to hit the continental United States was Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in Florida on Oct. 24, 2005. That year, four major hurricanes hit the continental United States, according to NOAA. They included Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

But since Wilma hit on Oct. 24, 2005, no Category 3 or above hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States, making May 24, 2017, the end of a record 139 months without a major hurricane strike. Prior to this, the longest stretch on record in which a major hurricane did not hit the contintental United States, according to NOAA's records, was the 96 months between September 1860 and August 1869. NOAA has published data on all hurricanes striking the United States since 1851.

A "major hurricane" is defined as one that is Category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which means it has sustained wind speeds of more than 111 miles per hour and is capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage. "For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-norman season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season," NOAA says on its website. "Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher)," says NOAA, "of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)." "An average season," said NOAA, "produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes."

Hurricane Season Starts--After Record 139-Month Major Hurricane Drought
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:06 PM
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I'm supposed to be in Kiawah Island SC come early September.....

I am sure our hurricane-free streak will end the day after I get there.......
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:28 AM
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Granny says, "Dat's right - like dat island o' floatin' plastic inna Pacific...

Seas are 'under threat as never before', UN chief warns
Tuesday 6th June, 2017 - The world's seas are "under threat as never before," the United Nations Secretary-General has told the group's first oceans conference.
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Antonio Guterres told presidents, ministers, diplomats and environmental activists from nearly 200 countries that seas are being severely damaged by pollution, over-fishing and the effects of climate change as well as rubbish. He cited a recent study that warned discarded plastic rubbish could outweigh fish by 2050 if nothing is done. Mr Guterres said the aim of the five-day conference is "to turn the tide" and solve the problems that "we created". He said competing territorial and fights over natural resources have blocked progress for far too long. "We must put aside short-term national gain to prevent long-term global catastrophe," the Secretary-General said.

The conference, which began on World Environment Day, is the first major event to focus on climate since President Donald Trump announced last Thursday that the US will withdraw from the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement - a decision criticised by Bolivia's President Evo Morales and other speakers. General Assembly President Peter Thomson, a Fijian diplomat, said "the time has come for us to correct our wrongful ways". "We have unleashed a plague of plastic upon the ocean that is defiling nature in so many tragic ways," he said. "It is inexcusable that humanity tips the equivalent of a large garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day."


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has opened a global conference in a bid to tackle sea pollution

Mr Thomson also warned that illegal and destructive fishing practices and harmful subsidies for fisheries "are driving our fish stocks to tipping points of collapse". And he said increasing human-caused carbon emissions are not only driving climate change but causing rising sea levels by warming the oceans and making them more acidic with less oxygen which harms marine life. Mr Thomson said the conference probably represents the best opportunity ever "to reverse the cycle of decline that human activity has brought upon the ocean" and spur action to meet the UN goal for 2030 to conserve and manage the ocean's resources.

The conference asked governments, UN bodies and civil society groups to make voluntary commitments to take action to improve the health of the oceans. So far, more than 730 commitments have been received, most on managing protected areas, according to conference spokesman Damian Cardona. At the end of the conference on Friday, nearly 200 countries will issue a Call for Action addressing marine issues which Mr Cardona said has already been agreed. It urges nations to implement long-term and robust measures to reduce the use of plastics, including plastic bags, and counteract sea-level rise that threatens many island nations as well as rising ocean temperatures and increasing ocean acidity.

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Old 06-08-2017, 02:43 AM
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Overfishing in Senegal leaves industry in crisis...

Overfishing Leaves an Industry in Crisis in Senegal
June 07, 2017 — It was almost sunset as fishermen guided their boats back onto the beach at Joal, Senegal, after a long day at sea. At first glance, it looks as though they'd collected a good day's haul, but their nets were full of small sardinella, known locally as yaabooy.
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Fisherman Mamdou Lamine had caught just one bucket of mackerel. He held one up next to a yaabooy to show how much bigger it was — and there are many more yaabooy than mackerel these days, he said. Furthermore, A local favorite, grouper, called thiof in Senegal, is getting harder to find. The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization says more than half of West Africa's fisheries are dangerously depleted. Local officials in Senegal say it's the foreign-owned industrial boats that have depleted fish stocks and destroyed marine habitats. When fishermen at Joal set off on trips, they have to carry more fuel to reach waters farther away, and the added fuel costs cut into their earnings.

Longer trips, more fuel

Saff Sall was heading to Guinea-Bissau, about 200 kilometers south, in search of the elusive thiof. He said the fish are found among rocks, but that there are no more rocks because they have all been destroyed by the big industrial boats. That's why they have to go to Guinea-Bissau to search for fish. Before, Senegalese fishermen had to spend only a week at sea to have all the fish they needed, he said, but now they have to spend twice as long to catch what they need.


Overfishing in West African waters has depleted stocks of high-quality fish, such as a local grouper known as thiof in Senegal. Thiof is revered in the cuisine and culture. Joal, Senegal

Under-regulated fishing by locals has also contributed to the problem, said Joal Fishing Wharf chief of operations El Hadji Faye. He said the government was making an effort, but the situation was very complicated. He said that in the Senegalese city of Saint Louis, for example, each neighborhood has a designated day it can fish. But in Joal, they do not do that yet. Every day, he said, all the fishermen go to sea. Sometimes when a lot of them go, they bring back a lot of fish and the price is not good.

Economic staple

Fish are the backbone of the town's economy. The day's catch is taken to the local smokehouse, turned into fish meal for export abroad or sold fresh at the market, where knife-wielding female vendors prep the fish for sale. Business is tough even for vendors with the rare large fish. Scarcity has driven up the prices. The price of thiof per kilogram has doubled in the past five years, local officials said. Fish vendor Rose Ndour said that maybe those in the industry would do other work — if there were better jobs available. The impact of overfishing is felt in households. The wife of the fishing wharf manager, Coumba Ndiaye, said that for the family's evening Ramadan meal, she had to make due with sardinella because she could not get an affordable thiof at the market.


No Good Fish in the Sea: Overfishing in Senegal

She made thieboudienne, Senegal's national dish. Its name literally translates to "fish and rice." But for a good thieboudienne, you need good fish like dorade or thiof. The fish are a part of Senegal's culture. Ndiaye said that "when someone says your husband is 'thiofee,' they are comparing him to thiof. The thiof is beautiful and noble. The thiof is classy." The children sat on their parents' knees as the family ate around the large shared bowl of thieboudienne. The fishermen would return to the sea the next day to try their luck again.

https://www.voanews.com/a/overfishin...l/3891172.html
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Old 06-12-2017, 02:57 AM
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Drought relief runnin' out in Ethiopia...

Ethiopia warns drought emergency food aid is running out
Sunday 11th June, 2017 - Ethiopia's government has warned it will run out of emergency food aid starting next month as the number of drought victims in the East African country reached 7.8 million.
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An international delegation visited one of the worst-affected areas on Friday near the border with Somalia, which suffers from widespread drought as well. Ethiopia's disaster relief chief Mitiku Kassa said the country needs more than one billion dollars (£784 million) for emergency food assistance. Seasonal rains have been critically small and local cattle are dying. The number of drought victims has risen by two million people in the past four months. The risk of an acute food and nutritional disaster is "very high", the disaster relief chief said. The International Organisation for Migration said hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, with the problem compounded as people pour into Ethiopia from Somalia.

[center]
The number of drought victims has risen by two million people in the past four months
A United Nations humanitarian envoy said donor fatigue and similar crises elsewhere have hurt aid efforts. Both Somalia and neighbouring South Sudan are among four countries recently singled out by the United Nations in a 4.4 billion dollar (£3.4 billion) aid appeal to avert catastrophic hunger and famine. Famine has already been declared for two counties in South Sudan. "Our main concern should be for this drought in Ethiopia not to degenerate into a famine," said the humanitarian envoy, Ahmed Al- Meraikhi. The UN has warned that Ethiopia's drought will pose a severe challenge to the humanitarian community by mid-July with the current slow pace of aid.

Along with the drought, Ethiopia also faces an outbreak of what authorities call acute watery diarrhoea, though critics have said the government should call it cholera instead. "I've never seen the resources so poor to respond to the crisis," the country director for aid group Save the Children, John Graham, said of the drought. "It is very worrying. These people are not going to be able to continue to survive in these dilapidated displaced people's camps. "It could get very much worse. We are also worried that some of the children affected by the drought may die."

Ethiopia warns drought emergency food aid is running out - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk[/quote]
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:58 AM
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Dozens of people lose their lives with many being incinerated to death...

Deadliest ever forest fire blazes through central Portugal, dozens burnt to death as firefighters battle fiery flames
Sunday 18th June, 2017 -- A forest fire, that is being described as the deadliest ever single forest to rage through Portugal, led to dozens of people losing their lives and many being incinerated to death.
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Jorge Gomes, the secretary of state for internal affairs said that the devastating forest blaze that broke out in central Portugal on Saturday has left 58 people dead with 18 of them being 'incinerated' while they were trapped in their cars as flames swept over a road between the towns of Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera - an inland area with many hotels and holiday resorts. In addition, 59 people were injured and many people still remain missing as homes are wrecked due to the inferno about 150 kilometers (95 miles) northeast of Lisbon. Gomes added that three others died from smoke inhalation in Figueiro dos Vinhos.

Meanwhile, describing the blaze as “the biggest tragedy,” the Portuguese prime minister, António Costa said, “We are facing the greatest tragedy of human victims of recent times by a disaster of this type.” Reports stated that the fire, that broke out as the country witnesses temperatures of up to 40C, is possibly the deadliest ever single forest blaze to hit Portugal. Authorities claimed that over 600 firefighters were battling the flames and were helped by Spanish rescuers as teams of psychologists were deployed to care for survivors, who are 'in shock' and have lost relatives. Firemen are currently battling the blaze on four different fronts, fanned by the heat and wind.


On Sunday morning, emergency services described the “horrible scenario” and described the blaze as “almost impossible to control.” The head of the national judicial police told Portuguese media that a lightning strike is believed to have sparked the blaze in the Pedrogao Grande area after investigators found a tree that was hit during a 'dry thunderstorm.’ With many people still missing, authorities fear that the death toll might rise further. Officials also noted that several roads of the Pedrogao Grande area, 50 km (30 miles) south-east of Coimbra, which is a UNESCO world heritage site and university town popular with tourists and international students, have been cut off.

Valdemar Alves, mayor of Pedrogao Grande said, “This is a region that has had fires because of its forests, but we cannot remember a tragedy of these proportions. I am completely stunned by the number of deaths.” Further, authorities in central Portugal believe that dry thunderstorms, that are triggered when falling water evaporates before reaching the ground because of high temperatures, are responsible for fueling the fire. The Prime Minister meanwhile said that firefighting crews were having difficulties in approaching the area because the fire was “very intense.” He added that Portuguese authorities were working on identifying the victims and that Spanish rescuers would assist in efforts to control the blazes. Like most southern European countries, Portugal is prone to forest fires in the dry summer months.

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Portugal awaits foreign help to fight deadly wildfires
Monday 19th June, 2017 -- More than 2,000 firefighters in Portugal battled Monday to contain major wildfires in the central region of the country, where one blaze killed 62 people, while authorities came under mounting criticism for not doing more to prevent the tragedy.
Quote:
Reinforcements, including more water-dropping planes from Spain, France and Italy, were due to arrive as part of a European Union cooperation program, officials said. Portugal is observing three days of national mourning after the deaths Saturday night around the town of Pedrogao Grande, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of Lisbon, which is by far the deadliest on record. Scorching weather, with temperatures surpassing 40 C (104 F), as well as strong winds and dry woodland after weeks with little rain fueled the blazes. The fire area is covered in dense woodland over steep hills.

Meanwhile, Portugal's leading environmental lobby group, Quercus, issued a statement Monday blaming the blazes on "forest management errors and bad political decisions" by governments over recent decades. The association rebuked authorities for allowing the planting of huge swathes of eucalyptus , the country's most common and most profitable species - but one that's often blamed for stoking blazes. Quercus also said official bodies don't do enough to coordinate wildfire prevention. Emergency services have been criticized for not closing a road where 47 of the deaths occurred as people fled the flames Saturday night. The government has acknowledged that the huge fires occasionally led to a breakdown in communications.


Portuguese firefighters work to stop a forest fire from reaching the village of Figueiro dos Vinhos central Portugal, Sunday, June 18, 2017. Portugal's president says the country's pain "knows no end" as it mourns at least 61 people killed in the deadliest wildfire in memory.

Wildfires are an annual scourge in Portugal. Between 1993 and 2013, Portugal recorded the highest annual number of forest fires in southern Europe, including Spain, France, Italy and Greece, according to a report last year by the European Environment Agency, even though it is the smallest of those countries.

The government announced a raft of new measures against wildfires in March. They included restrictions on eucalyptus plantations and a simplified and cheaper program of property registration that seeks to ascertain which land is being neglected. Not all of those reforms have come into legal force yet. Statistics show that 35 percent of Portugal is covered by woodland, slightly above the 28-nation European Union average of 31 percent. The forest industry, especially the production of paper pulp, accounts for around 3 percent of GDP.

News from The Associated Press
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Portugal forest fires: Three days of mourning for 62 victims
Sun, 18 Jun 2017 : Many were burned to death in their cars as they tried to flee the fires in central Portugal.
Quote:
Portugal has declared three days of mourning for the 62 victims of one of the country's deadliest forest fires. Four children are among the victims, many of whom were found dead inside their cars as they tried to flee the central forested region of Pedrógão Grande. Hundreds of firefighters are continuing to tackle the blaze on several fronts. Prime Minister Antonio Costa called it "the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires". He said it was thought to have been sparked by a lightning strike.


The wildfires spread fast on Saturday, and across several fronts

Four firefighters are among the 54 people injured in the fire, which is raging in several parts of a mountainous area some 200km north-east of the capital Lisbon. There are fears the death toll could rise, as a number of people are still missing. The period of national mourning ends on Tuesday.

Bodies found inside cars

Emergency service workers were battling 156 fires across the country on Sunday, Prime Minister Costa said, adding that most of the victims had died in just one of them. Secretary of State for the Interior Jorge Gomes said that most had died from smoke inhalation and burns, while two were killed in a road accident related to the fires. Thirty bodies were found inside cars, with another 17 next to the vehicles, on one road leading on to the IC8 motorway. Another 11 died in a village next to the motorway.


More than 1,600 firefighters are fighting five of the main fires, supported by about 400 vehicles and 18 aircraft, Portugal's Público reports. According to the prime minister, just 11 fires are still active but he said the authorities were "particularly worried about two of them". They have sent two army battalions to help the emergency services.

'I could have died, I should have died' - fire survivor's tale
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:48 AM
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Granny says, "Well, at least it ain't gettin' any worser...

3-year Global Coral Bleaching Event Easing, But Still Bad
June 19, 2017 | WASHINGTON — A mass bleaching of coral reefs worldwide is finally easing after three years, U.S. scientists announced Monday.
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About three-quarters of the world's delicate coral reefs were damaged or killed by hot water in what scientists say was the largest coral catastrophe. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a global bleaching event in May 2014. It was worse than previous global bleaching events in 1998 and 2010.

The forecast damage doesn't look widespread in the Indian Ocean, so the event loses its global scope. Bleaching will still be bad in the Caribbean and Pacific, but it'll be less severe than recent years, said NOAA coral reef watch coordinator C. Mark Eakin. Places like Australia's Great Barrier Reef, northwest Hawaii, Guam and parts of the Caribbean have been hit with back-to-back-to-back destruction, Eakin said.


Bleached coral is photographed on Australia's Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas, February 20, 2017 in this handout image from Greenpeace.

University of Victoria, British Columbia, coral reef scientist Julia Baum plans to travel to Christmas Island in the Pacific where the coral reefs have looked like ghost towns in recent years. “This is really good news,” Baum said. “We've been totally focused on coming out of the carnage of the 2015-2016 El Nino.” While conditions are improving, it's too early to celebrate, said Eakin, adding that the world may be at a new normal where reefs are barely able to survive during good conditions.

Eakin said coral have difficulty surviving water already getting warmer by man-made climate change. Extra heating of the water from a natural El Nino nudges coral conditions over the edge. About one billion people use coral reefs for fisheries or tourism. Scientists have said that coral reefs are one of the first and most prominent indicators of global warming. “I don't see how they can take one more hit at this point,” Baum said. “They need a reprieve.”

https://www.voanews.com/a/global-cor...d/3907564.html
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UN: Early Weather Forecasts Key to Saving Lives in Drought
June 19, 2017 — With droughts set to become more frequent due to global warming, delivering timely, long-term weather forecasts to farmers in the developing world will be key to limiting damage and saving lives, the head of the U.N. food agency said on Monday.
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Droughts have killed more than 11 million people worldwide since 1900 and now affect double the land area than in 1970, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Developing countries are the most exposed, with their agricultural sectors shouldering 80 percent of all damage caused by drought, FAO says. Better access to reliable weather data and early warning systems could help farmers in rural areas get ready to endure long spells of no rain, said FAO director-general Jose Graziano da Silva. "Most of the times poor rural communities in developing countries don't even know that a drought is about to strike," he told a conference at the FAO headquarters in Rome.

Measures such as planting resistant crops and building water reservoirs can greatly reduce the impact of droughts, but international responses too often focus on emergency relief, said Graziano da Silva. "People die because they are not prepared to face the impacts of the drought - because their livelihoods are not resilient enough," he said.


A man carries his sheep past the carcass of a dead cow in the drought-affected village of Bandarero, near Moyale town on the Ethiopian border, in northern Kenya

In Rome, FAO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) signed an accord to increase cooperation in the face of climate change, improving agro-meteorological services to help small farmers prepare for droughts. WMO secretary general Petteri Taalas said weather forecast accuracy had greatly increased in recent years thanks developments in satellite, computing and scientific research. "Weather forecasts are not anymore a joke, they are something you can very much rely on," he told the conference.

Know-how related to long-term forecasts and prediction of major climate events like El Nino had to be shared between rich and poor countries, he added. The last El Nino, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, subsided in 2016 and was linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods.

https://www.voanews.com/a/united-nat...-/3907506.html
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:12 PM
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Granny once whupped a grizzle bear dat tried to get into her 'special' brownies...

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears to Lose Endangered Species Protection
June 22, 2017 — Grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park will be stripped of Endangered Species Act safeguards this summer, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced on Thursday in a move conservation groups vowed to challenge in court.
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Dropping federal protection of Yellowstone's grizzlies, formally proposed in March 2016 under the Obama administration, was based on the agency's findings that the bears' numbers have rebounded sufficiently in recent decades. The estimated tally of grizzlies in the greater Yellowstone region, encompassing parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, has grown to 700 or more today, up from as few as 136 bears in 1975 when they were formally listed as a threatened species through the Lower 48 states. At that time, the grizzly had been hunted, trapped and poisoned to near extinction. Its current population well exceeds the government's minimum recovery goal of 500 animals in the region.

Lifting the bears' protected status will open them to trophy hunting outside the boundaries of Yellowstone park as grizzly oversight is turned over to state wildlife managers in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, as well as to native American tribes in the region. Hunters and ranchers, who make up a powerful political constituency in Western states, have strongly advocated removing grizzlies from the threatened species list, arguing the bears' growing numbers pose a threat to humans, livestock and big-game animals such as elk.


A grizzly bear walks in a meadow in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Environmentalists have raised concerns that while grizzlies have made a comeback, their recovery could falter without federal safeguards. They point to the fact that a key food source for the bears, whitebark pine nuts, may be on the decline due to climate change. "The grizzly fight is on. We'll stop any attempt to delist Yellowstone's grizzlies," the Oregon-based Western Environmental Law Center said in a Twitter post. "We anticipate going to court to challenge this premature, deeply concerning decision," Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director for the conservation group WildEarth Guardians, said Thursday.

Native American tribes, which revere the grizzly, also have voiced skepticism about ending its threatened classification. Zinke said the final delisting rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be published "in coming days" and go into effect 30 days later. As proposed last March, the rule will not affect four other smaller federally protected grizzly populations in parts of Montana, Idaho and Washington state. A much larger population in Alaska remains unlisted.

https://www.voanews.com/a/yellowston...-/3912181.html
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:24 AM
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Granny gettin' out her ice chipper...

Giant Iceberg Like 'Niggling Tooth' Set to Crack off Antarctica
June 21, 2017 — One of the biggest icebergs on record is like a "niggling tooth" about to snap off Antarctica and will be an extra hazard for ships around the frozen continent as it breaks up, scientists said on Wednesday.
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An area of the Larsen C ice shelf, about as big as the U.S. state of Delaware or the Indonesian island of Bali, is connected by just 13 km (8 miles) of ice after a crack has crept about 175 kms along the sheet, with a new jump last month. "It's keeping us all on tenterhooks," Andrew Fleming, of the British Antarctic Survey, told Reuters of the lengthening and widening rift, adding "it feels like a niggling tooth" of a child as it comes loose. Ice shelves are flat-topped areas of ice floating on the sea at the end of glaciers. The Larsen C ice is about 200 meters (656 ft) thick with about 20 meters jutting above the water.


An aerial photo released by NASA shows a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf

Big icebergs break off Antarctica naturally, meaning scientists are not linking the rift to man-made climate change. The ice, however, is a part of the Antarctic peninsula that has warmed fast in recent decades. "There is no other evidence of change on the ice shelf. This could simply be a single calving event which will then be followed by re-growth," Adrian Luckman, a professor at the University of Swansea in Wales, told Reuters. His team reckons the ice will break off within months, perhaps in days or years.

Risks for shipping

The ice, about 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles), will add to existing risks for ships as it breaks apart and melts. The peninsula is outside major trade routes but the main destination for cruise ships visiting from South America. In 2009, more than 150 passengers and crew were evacuated after the MV Explorer sank after striking an iceberg off the Antarctic peninsula. Fleming said the Larsen C iceberg would add an extra pulse of ice and would be hazardous especially if smaller chunks reached usually ice-free areas in the South Atlantic, rather than staying close to Antarctica's coast. The Larsen B ice shelf nearby broke up in 2002 and some of the ice drifted into the South Atlantic towards the island of South Georgia, east of Argentina.

In 2000, the biggest iceberg recorded broke off the Ross ice shelf and was about the size of Jamaica at 11,000 square kms. Bits have lingered for years. The loss of ice shelves does not in itself affect sea levels because the ice is already floating. But their disappearance lets glaciers on land slip faster towards the ocean, thereby raising sea levels. NASA estimates that the Larsen C ice shelf pins back ice on land that would add a centimeter (0.4 inch) to world sea levels, which have gained about 20 centimeters in the past century.

https://www.voanews.com/a/giant-iceb...a/3910418.html
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Old 06-24-2017, 09:02 AM
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Plants breathe CO2...

Researchers to See How Much Carbon Dioxide Forests Can Take
June 21, 2017 — Researchers at a British University have embarked on a decade-long experiment that will pump a forest full of carbon dioxide to measure how it copes with rising levels of the gas, a key driver of climate change.
Quote:
The Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiment at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) will expose a fenced-off section of mature woodland in Norbury Park in Staffordshire, West Midlands, to levels of CO2 that experts predict will be prevalent in 2050. Scientists aim to measure the forest’s capacity to capture carbon released by fossil fuel burning, and answer questions about their capacity to absorb carbon pollution long-term. “[Forests] happily take a bit more CO2 because that’s their main nutrient. But we don’t know how much more and whether they can do that indefinitely,” BIFoR co-director Michael Tausz told Reuters.


A project in Washington state is ensuring that forest land remains intact around Mount Rainier National Park, so the trees can continue to grow and store carbon dioxide emissions. In England, researchers are testing how much carbon dioxide trees can take.

Carbon dioxide record

The apparatus for the experiment consists of a series of masts built into six 30-meter-wide sections of woodland, reaching up about 25 meters into the forest canopy. Concentrated CO2 is fed through pipes to the top of the masts where it is pumped into the foliage. Last year the U.N World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that the global average of carbon dioxide, the main man-made greenhouse gas, reached 400 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere for the first time on record. “The forest here sees nearly 40 percent more CO2 than it sees normally, because that’s what it will be globally in about 2050; a value of 550 parts per million, compared to 400 parts per million now,” Tausz said.

Deforestation

With deforestation shrinking the carbon storage capacity of the world’s forests, researchers hope that a greater understanding of their role in climate change mitigation could help policymakers make informed decisions. “We could get a clear idea of whether they can keep helping us into the future by sucking up more CO2,” Tausz said. The remainder of the Norbury Park woodland is open to the public and will not be affected by the experiment.

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