Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Episode 16 – Antarctica: Unprecedented Western Ice Melt and CO2-Saturated Southern Ocean

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Episode 16 - Antarctica: Unprecedented Western Ice Melt and CO2-Saturated Southern OceanA sobering satellite study shows it was warm enough for a week or two in January 2005 for Western Antarctica ice to melt over an area as big as California. Such a huge ice melt in western Antarctica is unprecedented and could mean that global warming is even getting to the thick ice of the South Pole.

Until now, the very cold Antarctic Southern Ocean absorbed into its waters 15% of the worldwide carbon dioxide “sinking” into the Earth’s seas. U.K. scientists have discovered the Southern Ocean is saturated with CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere. That data implies many other regions of the Earth’s oceans must also be saturated with CO2. Does that mean that even more CO2 is getting into the greenhouse gas “blanket” that is warming up our planet?

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Episode 14 – Environmental Emergency Updates

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Part One:  Spreading Honey Bee Disappearances

Part Two:  Ebola-like Virus Killing Great Lakes Fish

Episode 14: Environmental Emergency UpdatesThere are at least two environmental emergencies now in America that directly impact our food supplies: Honey bees that are massively disappearing and not pollinating crops. An Ebola-like virus killed millions of Great Lakes fresh water fish in 2005 and 2006. What happens in 2007 if the virus spreads into the Mississippi River and beyond?
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Episode 12 – Honey Bee Disappearances Continue: Could Pesticides Play A Role?

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Episode 12 - Honey Bee Disappearances Continue: Could  Pesticides Play A Role?Pesticides, sprayed and genetically engineered – Are they linked to honey bee disappearances and decline of all pollinators in North America? The National Academy of Sciences is now concerned about the general decline in all North American pollinators and the U. S. government is concerned about the national security challenge of this nation becoming dependent upon imported almonds, berries, apples and vegetables. The U. S. Department of Agriculture projects by the year 2015, 40% of such American foods will be coming from China.

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February 2007 map above shows states so far affected by honey bee disappearances ranging from 45% to 80% without explanation to date.

 

Episode 9 – Scientists Hope “Amphibian Arks” Can Save Frogs and Toads

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Episode 9  -  Scientists Hope "Amphibian Arks" Can Save Frogs and ToadsRecently scientists from around the world met in Atlanta, Georgia, to launch a global “Amphibian Ark” project in an effort to save thousands of frogs, toads and salamander species threatened by fungi, pathogens, increasing UV radiation, rapidly changing habitats in the face of global warming – and the unknown.

Nearly half of the worldwide amphibian species are in serious decline, one-third are threatened and an estimated 122 species have become extinct since 1980! Amphibians, like honey bees, are considered to be canaries in coal mines that warn the miners when there is not enough oxygen to breathe. How do the canaries warn? By dying.

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Episode 10 – Earth Life Threats

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Part One: Alarming Disappearance of Honey Bees

Part Two: “Noah’s Ark” for World’s Seeds

Episode 10 -  Earth Life ThreatsIt’s estimated that one-third of the world’s food supply is dependent upon honey bee pollination. But millions of honey bee pollinators in 22 American states, Spain and Poland have been disappearing at an alarming rate with no explanation to date.

While the bees are seriously declining, so are the world’s plants Some scientists expect the Amazon rainforest to be gone by the end of the 21st Century. Scientists say humans must act now to save as many species of animals, insects and plants as possible before global warming and potential devastating events accelerate extinctions. One survival project beginning immediately in March 2007, is construction of a “Noah’s Ark” seed vault inside a Svalbard, Norway, mountain in the Arctic.

 

Part One:  Alarming Disappearance of Honey Bees Part Two:  "Noah's Ark" for World's Seeds

Part One:  Alarming Disappearance of Honey Bees
Part Two:  “Noah’s Ark” for World’s Seeds

Episode 6 – New U.N. Global Climate Change Report: Earth Could Warm Up 3.2 to 11.52 Degrees Fahrenheit by 2100

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Episode 6 - New U.N. Global Climate Change Report: Earth Could Warm Up 3.2 to 11.52 Degrees Fahrenheit by 2100The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, known as the IPCC, has been working on another report since its last one in 2001. This is supposed to be a consensus of scientists and computer labs around the world about where global climate change is headed. This report says it is “very likely” that increasing carbon dioxide is caused by human activity.

How high will sea levels rise? For reasons that are not clear, the rapidly increasing ice melts of Antarctica and Greenland were left out of the initial draft of the IPCC’s 2007 report – allegedly because computer models don’t have current data to accurately access the impact. So, the report might project only a 5 to 23-inch rise in sea level. But one prominent glaciologist thinks the worst case for sea level rise could be five times higher than the IPCC’s estimate.