Discovery News, Tim Wall, August 8, 2011 -
A North Sea wind farm may be beneficial to wildlife while producing clean energy for humans. The wind farm created new marine habitat as well as a sanctuary from shipping traffic, said researchers studying the offshore wind farm near Egmond aan Zee off the coast of the Netherlands. [full story]
Credit: Photo courtesy of Taylor Edwards, 2010, via ScienceDaily
June 29, 2011 - A team of researchers investigated a desert tortoise from the United States Southwest and northwestern Mexico. What was thought to be a simple problem in species identification turned out to be a very complex matter. Their investigations required forensic genetics and several other methods. In the end, they found it necessary to describe a new species. More than that, the discovery has very important implications for conservation and the development of the deserts of southern California. [full story]
Today - for all of the people I love whom this directly affects, for all of humanity - I am proud to be a New Yorker.
From Discovery News
- Kieran Mulvaney, Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:01 PM ET
Japanese officials have announced that at least two minke whales caught by whalers off the coast of Hokkaido have been found to contain levels of radioactive cesium, likely as a result of the accident at Fukushima nuclear plant that was set in motion by the March 11 tsunami.
The whales were caught, not by the “research” fleet that recently returned to the North Pacific, but by vessels conducting so-called small-type whaling, which operate closer to shore and which this year pursued a self-assigned quota of 100 minke whales…
…Either way, the discovery of any level of radioactivity in whale meat, and the fact that the government has elected to release the contaminated meat into the marketplace*, is hardly likely to inspire consumer confidence, or revive demand for a food that has been less and less attractive to the Japanese populace in recent years. Whale meat stockpiles in the country were reported to have reached a record 6,000 tonnes last year; this latest news seems unlikely to help reduce those those stockpiles any time soon. [full story]
* emphasis mine
So, in this equation,
(Whale meat is radioactive) + (people no longer want to eat whale meat, anyway) surplus of whale meat already rotting away, uneaten = CONTINUED WHALING
By Linda Moultan Howe, May 27, 2011.
Includes an interview with Sean Van Sommeran, executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, Santa Cruz and Capitola, CA. The gist of it is that they still don’t know anything. Oh, and apparently bat rays may have also been affected.
“Richardson Bay north of Sausalito (top red circle), Coyote Point near Burlingame, then Foster City and Redwood City are the main locations of the unexplained leopard shark die-off since January 2011. A few bat rays were also found washed up in same areas.”
Image and all associated content behind the link courtesy of Earthfiles.
Photo: Li Bo
Keyring ornaments are perhaps the most useless item you’ll ever carry in your pocket or stuff in your purse — but now, thanks to an increasingly popular item being sold in China, it can easily be the cruelest, too. For the price you might expect to pay for some kitschy trinket, Chinese street vendors are selling live animals, permanently sealed in a small plastic pouch where they can survive for a short while as someone’s conversation piece. Apparently, these unimaginably inhumane keyrings are actually quite popular — and worst of all, it’s totally legal.
From BBC News Asia-Pacific:
A massive explosion has struck a Japanese nuclear power plant after Friday’s devastating earthquake.
A huge pall of smoke was seen coming from the plant at Fukushima and several workers were injured.
Japanese officials fear a meltdown at one of the plant’s reactors after radioactive material was detected outside it.
A huge relief operation is under way after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, which killed more than 600.
Hundreds more people are missing and it is feared about 1,300 may have died.
The offshore earthquake triggered a tsunami which wreaked havoc on Japan’s north-east coast, sweeping far inland and devastating a number of towns and villages.
Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan declared a state of emergency at the Fukushima 1 and 2 power plants as engineers try to confirm whether a reactor at one of the stations has gone into meltdown.
From the Huffington Post:
Four of the people had unusually high levels of benzene, which, according to the ISS, is a highly toxic chemical from crude oil. It has been linked to many health problems, including anemia, leukemia, irregular menstrual periods and ovarian shrinkage.