The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet, and climatologists have long warned that this will cause positive feedbacks that will speed up climate change further. The region is home to enormous stores of organic carbon, mostly in the form of permafrost soils and icy clathrates that trap methane – a powerful greenhouse gas that could escape into the atmosphere. The Siberian permafrost is a particular danger. A large region called the Yedoma could undergo runaway decomposition once it starts to melt, because microbes in the soil would eat the carbon and produce heat, melting more soil and releasing ever more greenhouse gases. In short, the melting of Yedoma is a tipping point: once it starts, there may be no stopping it.
Some experts believe that the bees could be about to die and at least one third of our food depends on pollination of flowering plants. Einstein once said: "If the bees disappear, mankind would have only 4 more years of life”. Over 3 million colonies of bees have died in the USA since 2006 and over a thousand millions of bees have died in this period in the world.
Hohn returned from vacation a few weeks ago to find many of his bees either dead or flying in jerky patterns and then flopping on the floor. He remembered hearing about zombie bees, so he collected several of the corpses and popped them into a plastic bag. About a week later, the Kent man had evidence his bees were infected: the pupae of parasitic flies.
First identified in the northeastern United States, WNS has wiped out an estimated 95% of Pennsylvania’s bat population and is quickly spreading across the country. It was most recently discovered in Missouri, Delaware and Alabama. “This is like bringing small pox to the New World. It is surely an unprecedented wildlife disaster for North America,” said Bucknell University professor Dr. DeeAnn Reeder. Reeder is one of the country’s leading experts on WNS, and one of the researchers responsible for identifying the cause of the disease in 2011. “We can’t stop this thing. It’s marching across the country and we’re going to see some extinction.”
Now why are these mass deaths of Bees and Bats a concern for the world? Because Honey Bees don't just make honey. They also do the vital job of pollinating the majority of the flowering crops we have, from which we get much of our fruits, vegetables and nuts ... including Beans, Soybean, Broccoli, Sprouts, Carrots, Cucumber, Onion, Parsnip, Squash, Tomato, Almonds, Cashew, Apple, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cacao, Coffee, Grapes, Kiwi, Mango, Pear, Raspberry, Alfalfa, Sesame, Sunflower ... Just to name a few. A major part of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants. And what about the bats? Well, not only do they help in pollinating other foods we eat, like Bananas, Mangoes, Dates, Figs, Peaches, Cashews, Guava and Avocados. They also consume incredible amounts of insects that are agricultural pests. The millions of bats that have died due to disease over the past 6 years would have consumed HUNDREDS OF TONNES of insects (pests) in ONE YEAR. Add this to the struggling crops because of adverse weather and you will see the problem
Using radar, engineers determined the sinkhole is about 100 feet in diameter, but it is not visible above ground except from inside the house. The ground covering the massive cavity is mostly intact, but it could buckle, taking the entire house down with it -- as well as neighboring homes. Authorities have evacuated the neighborhood. The hole occurred naturally, Damico said, and is still actively developing. It is not man-made. The bedroom is on top of the hole's center. Engineers will return with more sophisticated monitoring equipment after daybreak to get a better idea of its dimensions. They believe it could be 50 feet deep.
According to the Head of Department of Animal Husbandry Situbondo, Gaguk Mujianto, confirmed the existence of thousands of ducks owned by ranchers who died suddenly. Even admitted it was down to the field to see the condition of the dead ducks. Gaguk claimed negative laboratory results of bird flu. However, clinically it believes the symptoms of bird flu. Hence it was still awaiting the results of laboratory diagnosis to Surabaya.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say it was an F-16 from Luke Air Force Base in Glendale that broke the sound barrier and rattled some windows in the Tucson area. Luke officials say its 425th fighter squadron was flying F-16 training missions in the Sells area around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday and one of the jets "went supersonic just northwest of Kitt Peak" near Tucson. Base officials add the altitude at which the aircraft broke the sound barrier was legal for supersonic flight in the area. The say F-16s in the mission were using flight paths and corridors around the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range in southwestern Arizona.
Thursday night, officials from a variety of local agencies said they couldn't explain the boom. On the West Side, there were two distinct booms and the ground shook for several seconds around 7:35-7:40 p.m. A spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff's Department said Thursday that they had ruled out Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Luke AFB, Tucson International Airport, Southwest Gas and other gas companies and Tucson Electric Power as being related to the boom. Area copper mines were also not involved.
A large chunk of Tucson - stretching from Midtown across the mountains to Three Points and northwest to Marana - was rattled Wednesday evening by a loud, deep boom and shaking ground. Some reported two booms.
What does get some government officials and landfill operators excited is methane. The EPA reports, "Landfill methane is produced when organic materials (such as yard waste, household waste, food waste, and paper) are decomposed by bacteria under anaerobic conditions (i.e., in the absence of oxygen)." And methane may be the new black gold. It can be processed and burned in vehicles modified to use the fuel or it can be burned in generators that create electricity. The BMW plant in Greer, S.C., harvests 60 percent of its energy from the methane gas generated at a nearby landfill. In Florida, Jacksonville Electric Authority recovered more than 17,000 tons of methane from two municipal landfill sites from 2003 to 2005.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recorded 80,000 cattle in Randolph County in January 2012. An adult cow can generate about 100 pounds of manure a day. One pound of cow manure can produce about one cubic foot of gas. About 60 percent of that gas is estimated to be usable methane. One bio-fuel source estimates the manure produced by one cow in one year can produce enough methane to replace more than 53 gallons of gasoline. So, 80,000 cattle should be able to make enough methane to replace about 4.2 million gallons of gas per year
Originally posted by thepolish1
We have a landfill a few towns over, and if you go by at night it's neat, because they burn off some of it through vents, and some of it goes to a mini power station.
Off topic: Read your post in my thread, go back and read page two if you have the time. You might get a chuckle out of it.
The National Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, reports burning landfill gas (which is 40-60 percent methane) "produces minute quantities of dioxins, an extremely toxic group of chemicals that are harmful even in very small amounts." The Sierra Club reports that the contaminants generated along with methane in a landfill are another problem. "Some landfill gas escapes capture by the gas collection system and rises from the landfill into the air along with methane. Studies indicate that populations within several miles of landfills, especially children, have an increased risk of multiple diseases," Sierra Club researchers report.
“My cousin screamed,” Jermel Storey said recently of the accident. “Nobody helped. It was like nothing ever happened.” Gast said Samir Storey died “within minutes.” Hydrogen sulfide affects the body in two ways, she said. It blocks oxygen from binding with blood cells, and it interrupts the central nervous system, which, in turn, affects the respiratory system.
Tests are being carried out to determine what caused the deaths of more than 40 adult yellow-eyed penguins on the Otago Peninsula. Officials hope the die-off does not become as bad as that of 1990 when almost 150 adult penguins died. Department of Conservation (DOC) officer David Agnew said it took the penguin population in the area several years to recover from those deaths. It was hoped the current deaths were being caused by a biotoxin occurring naturally in the marine environment, and for now it was assumed the fish the penguins were eating were making them ill.
Hundreds of dead gizzard shad are shown washed up on the beach at Leo's Landing at Presque Isle State Park on Feb. 27. The annual fish kill is a natural occurring event in Presque Isle Bay, but this year it's larger than normal, with up to a million dead fish, according to an Erie biologist. If you have seen thousands of dead fish washed up across the shorelines of Presque Isle Bay, you're not alone. Biologists and other officials with the Department of Environmental Protection began spotting the gizzard shad about two weeks ago. The fish kill is a natural occurrence, and is unrelated to pollution, officials with DEP's northwest regional office said. "We're talking about upward of a million fish," said Jim Grazio, DEP's Great Lakes biologist in Erie. Grazio called the fish kill a "very heavy die-off" that officials haven't seen locally in 10 to 15 years.
Officials say a foul stench in Santa Monica over was probably caused by a large release of methane in the ocean. Fire departments in Los Angeles and Santa Monica began receiving calls shortly after dawn on Sunday from Sunset Blvd. south to Venice Beach. A Santa Monica fire hazmat team took readings off the coast near San Vicente Blvd., and found methane in the water. Read more: ktla.com... Read more at ktla.com...
Bubbles Coming Up From The Centre Of The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole, As Methane Leaks Next To Macondo Site Under The Gulf.
Response operations at the 8.6-acre sinkhole in Assumption Parish were halted Tuesday after seismic monitors noted an increase in underground tremors that have been linked with “burps” and edge collapses in the yawning slurry hole, state regulators and parish officials said. John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said about five to six trees that had been leaning over for the past week along the northeast side of the sinkhole fell in Tuesday morning and that small bubbling spots also have re-emerged in the sinkhole. “They do have a section in the center of the sinkhole that has that bubbling,” he said... Boudreaux said Tuesday sharp tremors were being detected, but the more significant activity is related to the long-period tremors...
Here is a video about a big crater in the sea bed at the macondo site...
Methane Leak Next To Macondo Site Under The Gulf.
In public presentations, scientists have said the burping and tremors are connected with the movement of fluids or gas through a zone of fractured rock next to the Napoleonville Dome, while different, sharp tremors are produced by movement of sedimentary rock migrating into the failed cavern.
The movement was detected below the sinkhole and near the failed Texas Brine cavern. Scientists have said that fluid movement has been indicated by so-called long-period tremors.
“As has been noted in earlier similar events, the fluid movement appears to be linked to observations of trees falling into the sinkhole, release of trapped debris from the sinkhole bottom and increased odor from hydrocarbons released to surface,” officials said in the statement.
Work on the sinkhole will be suspended until the subsurface activity slows again, officials said Tuesday. About 80 percent of the failed cavern is now filled, according to the latest estimate from early February.
Monarch butterflies drop ominously in Mexico
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The number of Monarch butterflies making it to their winter refuge in Mexico dropped 59 percent this year, falling to the lowest level since comparable record-keeping began 20 years ago, scientists reported Wednesday.
It was the third straight year of declines for the orange-and-black butterflies that migrate from the United States and Canada to spend the winter sheltering in mountaintop fir forests in central Mexico. Six of the last seven years have shown drops, and there are now only one-fifteenth as many butterflies as there were in 1997.
The decline in the Monarch population now marks a statistical long-term trend and can no longer be seen as a combination of yearly or seasonal events, the experts said.
But they differed on the possible causes.
Bumblebees Disappearing in Midwest
WASHINGTON – It's not just honey bees that are in trouble. The fuzzy American bumblebee seems to be disappearing in the Midwest.
In spite of all the observations made of this natural oddity, it remains a puzzle to science. Assumptions have always been made that methane (CH4), a odorless, colorless, and highly flammable gas, is the primary constituent of swamp gas. In nature, swamp gas results from the breakdown of fats, cellulose, and proteins by anaerobic bacteria (those not requiring oxygen) in mud and sediment on the marsh floor. The gas is lighter than air and will burn with a pale blue or yellow flame. At a stagnant pool, bubbles of swamp gas can be induced to ignite with a lighted match. The gas will burn with a brief flame and often emit a ‘pop’ like report.