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I can only speculate as to why there hasn’t been a prosecution. But it’s worth noting that the Pine Tree project is owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Prosecuting such a high-profile governmental entity for repeatedly violating some of America’s oldest wildlife-protection laws would be politically embarrassing. On its website, the LADWP claims that the Pine Tree facility is the “largest municipally owned wind farm in the US.” The agency also says the Pine Tree project “displaces at least 200,000 tons of greenhouse gases” per year.xv
In March 2013, a peer-reviewed study published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, estimated that in 2012 alone, US wind turbines killed 888,000 bats and 573,000 birds. Those bird kills included 83,000 raptors.xvi In September 2013, some of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s top raptor biologists reported that the number of eagles being killed by wind turbines has increased dramatically over the last few years, going from two in 2007 to 24 in 2011. In all, the biologists found that wind turbines have killed some 85 eagles since 1997. And Joel Pagel, the lead author of the report, told me that that the eagle-kill figures they used are “an absolute minimum.” Among the carcasses: six bald eagles.
Pagel’s study was published just five months after the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a report which said flatly “there are no conservation measures that have been scientifically shown to reduce eagle disturbance and blade-strike mortality at wind projects.” xvii
The Pagel study is key because it shows that as more wind projects have been built, more birds have been killed. In 2007, the US had about 17,000 megawatts of installed capacity. By 2011, that figure had nearly tripled to about 47,000 megawatts.xviii Over that time period, the number of documented eagle kills increased by a factor of 12.
Magnetic sensing is a type of sensory perception that has long captivated the human imagination, although it seems inaccessible to humans. Over the past 50 years, scientific studies have shown that a wide variety of living organisms have the ability to perceive magnetic fields and can use information from the earth's magnetic field in orientation behavior. Examples abound: salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), lobsters (Panulirus argus), honeybees (Apis mellifera), and fruitflies (Drosophila melongaster) can all perceive and utilize geomagnetic field information. But perhaps the most well-studied example of animal magnetoreception is the case of migratory birds (e.g. European robins (Erithacus rubecula), silvereyes (Zosterops l. lateralis), garden warblers (Sylvia borin)), who use the earth's magnetic field, as well as a variety of other environmental cues, to find their way during migration.
Electroception is the biological ability either to create or to detect electric charges. It is found most frequently in ocean animals because of the superior ability of water to conduct electricity. Examples of animals with electroception include sharks, rays, eels, and weakly-electric fish. Monotremes, including echidnas and platypi, are the only mammals that have the ability.
Bumblebees sense electric fields in flowers
Electroreception may help pollinators to guess where others have already fed on nectar.
21 February 2013
A flower's electric field (right, with associated electric potential on the left) helps bumblebees predict where to find the most nectar.
As they zero in on their sugary reward, foraging bumblebees follow an invisible clue: electric fields. Although some animals, including sharks, are known to have an electric sense, this is the first time the ability has been documented in insects.
Earth's Magnetic Field Is Fading
for National Geographic News
September 9, 2004
Earth's magnetic field is fading. Today it is about 10 percent weaker than it was when German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss started keeping tabs on it in 1845, scientists say.
Earth's Magnetic Field Weakening More Quickly
Jul 9, 2014 06:22 PM ET // by Kelly Dickerson, LiveScience
Changes measured by the Swarm satellite over the past 6 months shows that Earth's magnetic field is changing. Shades of red show areas where it is strengthening, and shades of blue show areas that are weakening.
Earth's magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm.
The biggest weak spots in the magnetic field -- which extends 370,000 miles (600,000 kilometers) above the planet's surface -- have sprung up over the Western Hemisphere, while the field has strengthened over areas like the southern Indian Ocean, according to the magnetometers onboard the Swarm satellites -- three separate satellites floating in tandem.
The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is that Earth's magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA's Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia.
1144 wind project locations are in service with an installed cumulative wind power capacity of 60,688 MW.
13 wind project locations are under construction. These locations will add an additional 738 MW of wind power capacity.
This map contains 1302 total wind farm locations, including: in service, under construction and proposed locations.
All locations have a combined wind power capacity with potential for generating up to 87,624 MW .
Offshore Wind Energy
The first offshore wind project was installed off the coast of Denmark in 1991. Since that time, commercial-scale offshore wind facilities have been operating in shallow waters around the world, mostly in Europe. With the U.S. Department of the Interior’s “Smart from the Start” initiative, wind power projects will soon be built offshore the United States. Newer turbine and foundation technologies are being developed so that wind power projects can be built in deeper waters further offshore.
Floating Wind Farms Venture Farther Out to Sea
By Justin Doom February 27, 2014
There’s roughly enough wind off the West Coast to power all of the U.S. Alla Weinstein is determined to harness as much of it as she can. Weinstein is chief executive officer of Principle Power, a Seattle company that has developed a ballast system that buoys wind turbines so they don’t have to be bolted to the seabed. On Feb. 5, Principle received approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior to build a 30-megawatt floating wind farm off Oregon’s coast, the nation’s first in the Pacific Ocean.
Wind speeds are faster and more consistent at sea than on land. Companies seeking to take advantage of that were limited by the need to attach turbines to the ocean floor. Principle Power’s technology removes that constraint. It’s “what happened in the oil and gas industry back in the ’70s, when it moved from fixed foundations to floating foundations,” Weinstein says.
While changes in magnetic field strength are part of this normal flipping cycle, data from Swarm have shown the field is starting to weaken more quickly than in the past. Previously, researchers estimated the field was weakening about 5 percent per century, but the new data revealed the field is actually weakening at 5 percent per decade, or 10 times faster than thought.
WATCH: The U.N.'s Plan to Defend Earth from Asteroids
As such, rather than the full flip occurring in about 2,000 years, as was predicted, the new data suggest it could happen sooner.
Floberghagen hopes that more data from Swarm will shed light on why the field is weakening faster now.
9 Hypotheses for Bat Attraction to Wind Turbines
Various scientific hypotheses have been proposed as to why bats are seemingly attracted to and/or fail to detect wind turbines
The more plausible hypotheses include the following:
1. Auditory Attraction
Bats may be attracted to the audible “swishing” sound produced by wind turbines. Museum collectors seeking bat specimens have used long poles that were swung back and forth to attract bats and then knock them to the ground for collection.
It is not known if these bats were attracted to the audible “swishing” sound, the movement of the pole, or both factors.
2. Electromagnetic Field Disorientation
Wind turbines produce complex electromagnetic fields, which may cause bats in the general vicinity to become disoriented and continue flying close to the turbines.
3. Insect Attraction
As flying insects may be attracted to wind turbines, perhaps due to their prominence in the landscape, white color, lighting sources, or heat emitted from the nacelles, bats would be attracted to concentrations of prey.
4. Heat Attraction
Bats may be attracted to the heat produced by the nacelles of wind turbines because they are seeking warm roosting sites.
5. Roost Attraction
Wind turbines may attract bats because they are perceived as potential roosting sites.
6. Lek Mating
Migratory tree bats may be attracted to wind turbines because they are the highest structures in the landscape along migratory routes, possibly thereby serving as ren-dezvous points for mating.
7. Linear Corridor
Wind farms constructed along forested ridge-tops create clearings with linear landscapes that may be attractive to bats.
8. Forest Edge Effect
The clearings around wind turbines and access roads located within forested areas create forest edges. At forest edges, insect activity might well be higher, along with the ability of bats to capture the insects in flight.
Resident bats as well as migrants making stopovers may be similarly attracted to these areas to feed, thus increasing their expo-sure to turbines and thus mortality from collision or barotrauma.
9. Thermal Inversion
Thermal inversions create dense fog in cool valleys, thus concentrating both bats and their insect prey on ridge-tops.
Apidologie Original article
* The Author(s) 2011. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping
1Scientific collaborator in the Laboratory of Cellular Biotechnology (LBTC), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
(EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
2Apiary School of the City of Lausanne, Chemin du Bornalet 2, CH-1066, Épalinges, Switzerland
Received 24 June 2009 – Revised 29 March 2010 – Accepted 8 April 2010
4.2. Mobile phone handsets and induced honeybee worker piping.
It is known that honeybees possess magnetite crystals in their fat body cells and that they present magnetic remanence (Gould et al. 1978; Keim et al. 2002). These magnetite structures are active parts of the magnetoreception system in honeybees (Hsu and Li 1994; Hsu et al. 2007).
Importantly, it has been shown that honeybees can be trained to respond to very small changes in the constant local geomagnetic field intensity (Walker and Bitterman 1989a). In that study, magnetic anomalies as low as 26 nT (nanoTesla)
were responsible for changes in the foraging behavior. Moreover, attached magnets impair magnetic field discrimination by honeybees (Walker and Bitterman 1989b).
Anthropogenic electromagnetic noise disrupts magnetic compass orientation in a migratory bird
Svenja Engels, Nils-Lasse Schneider, Nele Lefeldt, Christine Maira Hein, Manuela Zapka, Andreas Michalik, Dana Elbers, Achim Kittel, P. J. Hore & Henrik Mouritsen
Nature 509, 353–356 (15 May 2014) doi:10.1038/nature13290 Received 28 January 2014 Accepted 28 March 2014 Published online 07 May 2014
Electromagnetic noise is emitted everywhere humans use electronic devices. For decades, it has been hotly debated whether man-made electric and magnetic fields affect biological processes, including human health1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So far, no putative effect of anthropogenic electromagnetic noise at intensities below the guidelines adopted by the World Health Organization1, 2 has withstood the test of independent replication under truly blinded experimental conditions. No effect has therefore been widely accepted as scientifically proven1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Here we show that migratory birds are unable to use their magnetic compass in the presence of urban electromagnetic noise.
Want to save 70 million birds a year? Build more wind farms