Guardian.UK: Deepwater oil spill - BP steps up PR effort to insist all is well in the Gulf.
“This year, the NWF found that higher-than-normal rates of death for many species continued, and are likely linked to the disaster: dolphins along Louisiana’s coastline were found dead at four times historic rates last year, and research has shown the deaths of 12% of brown pelicans and 32% of a species of gull can be linked to the spill. The NWF report also says the eggs of many animals – from trout in the Gulf to pelicans nesting as far away as Minnesota – have been found to contain oil and the dispersant used by BP in the wake of the spill.”
WaPo: A ‘megadrought’ will grip U.S. in the coming decades, NASA researchers say.
“North America’s last megadroughts happened in medieval times, during the 12th and 13th centuries. They were caused by natural changes in weather that give megadroughts a 10 percent chance of forming at any time.” We should be planning ahead, in the Southwest. Will we? Likely not. I think of Burt in Soap (snaps fingers, pretends he’s not corporeal).
Josh Mitteldorf: Fertility is Kaput, but Life Goes On.
“An infertile, older population acts as a kind of buffer during times when the population might otherwise be expanding too fast. When there is plenty of food, the post-reproductive segment eats some of it, but they do not add to population growth in the next generation. Then, when times become more difficult and food is scarce, the older, weaker segment of the population is the first to die off, and this is no real loss to the population’s reproductive potential.” Quite interesting; do add it to this week’s reading list.
Pacific Standard: The Trembling Aspen Is in Trouble.
Quaking aspen, please. We have quite a few in these parts. I can tell you from drives up the Ski Basin Road, photographing the aspen ‘altitudes’, the ones closest to the road are the most unhealthy. You would imagine the asphalt would capture and store water underneath, but in practice, it seems the exposure to sun (edge of forest along road, no shorter trees to shade trunks) and pollution from vehicles stresses them more than overall drought does. My theory, anyway. YMMV. We had some particularly severe tent caterpillar incursions a couple of years ago, but they don’t seem to do lasting damage. The trees affected are now as full as they ever were.
Well, to my surprise, a Eurasian Collared Dove.
If you’ve got a better ident, let me know.
Archaeology News Network: Study raises questions about cause of global Ice Ages.
NY Times: Obama Administration Unveils Federal Fracking Regulations.
I’ll certainly want to read these, after skimming by this ... “The Interior Department has spent more than three years developing the rules, in close consultation with oil and gas companies, states and environmental groups. The agency also said it has reviewed more than 1.5 million public comments.”
BBC: Rosetta’s comet is spinning down.
The Tico Times/BREAKING: New explosions at Turrialba Volcano.
Costa Rica. Nice animated GIF.
ABC.AU: First pictures of Tonga’s newly-formed volcanic island.
Wowzer. Wouldn’t mind checking it out, m’self.
NY Times: Christie, Defending Exxon Deal, Says Environmental Damage Will Be Repaired.
Sellout. Diverting money from environmental remediation to filling gaps in the state budget. You taxpayers are going to be making up the substantial difference. President? Not on your life.
Looks like it might have reached the ground over in the mid-southern Jemez. Spreading towards SF and Alb, nothing. It all evaporates away.
SF New Mexican: Rep. Nunez Calls for the Extinction of Wolves.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Still worth snapping the shutter.
After tomorrow, we may be going into a dry period, so I thought I’d add to my already overextended library of sunsets ...
Guardian.UK: El Niño finally arrives but is weaker than expected, says US agency.
Better than the obverse. We’ll appreciate even trace amounts of moisture.
ScienceDaily: Scientists bring oxygen back to dead fjord.
Of interest. Could be classified as minor geoengineering.
Pacific Standard: Who’s Really to Blame for the Black Death?
I get tired of every friggin’ event getting viewed (or bodily into) a climate-change lens. You know I believe in climate change; it’s just that it’s become the go-to culprit for every historical crisis now, to the exclusion of all other influences.
InstantShift: 50 Most Beautiful Animal Migration Photos.
Mind-blowing, some of these. I’d like to see them enlarged, someday.
SciAm: Pig Poop Fouls North Carolina Streams.
Well, I happen to know that NC universities are working hard to try to come up with ways to deal with the problem in-situ. My aunt worked in such research for one of those scholarly institutions. We used to make all kinds of jokes, but after living downwind of a small pig farm, I have to say it’s incredibly important. Until you’ve experienced it, you have NO idea. A smell so bad, you almost vomit on the first wafts to your sinus passages.
SciAm: Oil Eating Microbes Have Worldwide Underground Connections.
“... findings suggest that the deep biosphere is actually filled with connections, and that microbes move from one oil reservoir to another, colonizing them almost as soon as they form in some cases.” Once again, ‘impermeable rock layers’ seem more and more to be myth.
BBC: ‘Next Pinatubo’ a test of geoengineering.
Even if the technique remains unused, it is still worth learning about.
SciAm: U.S. Droughts Will Be the Worst in 1,000 Years.
Worse, Mora lost their legal challenge against frackers in their area. As if we have the water to support any oil and gas endeavors.
I rend my shirt, scream to the sky, “DOES COMMON SENSE EXIST ANYWHERE?”