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Fish

Over 400 turtles in Bellinger River, Australia, dead of mysterious disease

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© NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Three months. That's all it took to wipe almost every member of a species of turtles off of the map.

It all started in mid-February when canoeists paddling down the Bellinger River in New South Wales, Australia, came across several dead and dying turtles.

Since then more than 400 dead turtles have shown up. Dozens more sick turtles were also recovered, each of which was lethargic, emaciated and covered in infected lesions in their eyes, skin and even internal organs.

None of the infected turtles survived.

The 60-kilometer river is the only home to the Bellinger River snapping turtle (Elsaya georgesi), a rare but little-studied species that has already been on the decline for years due to pollution and predation by invasive foxes. Scientists now fear that this mysterious, as-yet-unidentified disease has reached 90 percent of the turtle's habitat and could cause the species's imminent extinction.

Is there hope? So far 17 apparently healthy turtles have been captured and brought into safety. University of Western Sydney zoologist Ricky Spencer says the 10 males and seven females—all that could be located by a multiagency team of wildlife experts—will spend up to the next eight months in quarantine where they will be monitored daily for signs of the disease. If they stay healthy, they could later form the core of a captive-breeding program that could, in theory, save the species from extinction even if it completely disappears in the wild.

Comment: 100 Georges Turtles found dead or dying in Bellinger river, Australia


Fish

Multiple fish kills reported in coastal waters of Connecticut

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© Brian Gratwicke, Wikipedia
Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection why thousands of fish died in the past week in the state's coastal waters.

Multiple natural fish kills were reported during the past week. The kills were reported in several locations on the Thames River between Norwich and the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton, in the lower Connecticut River, in Clinton Harbor and on the Quinnipiac River.

Thousands of Atlantic menhaden, and smaller numbers of other species were found dead at each location.
The population of Atlantic menhaden has grown in local waters for the past two years, most likely due to limits placed on menhaden harvest along the Atlantic coast.

Sun

Climate factor: Increasing cosmic rays

© commons.wikimedia.org
The cloud-sun connection!
Driving Force in Climate Changes, Volcanos and Earthquakes

Back in 1996 Danish physicists suggested that cosmic rays, energetic particles from space, are important in the formation of clouds. Since then, experiments in Copenhagen and elsewhere have demonstrated that cosmic rays actually help small clusters of molecules to form. By firing a particle beam into a cloud chamber, physicists in Denmark and the UK have shown how cosmic rays could stimulate the formation of water droplets in the Earth's atmosphere. The researchers say this is the best experimental evidence yet that the Sun influences the climate by altering the intensity of the cosmic-ray flux reaching the Earth's surface.

In 1995, Henrik Svensmark discovered a startling connection between the cosmic ray flux from space and cloud cover. He found that when the sun is more active - more sunspots, a stronger magnetic field, larger auroras, stronger solar winds, etc. - fewer cosmic rays strike the earth and cloud cover is reduced, resulting in warmer temperatures. Svensmark offers a complete chain of events that explains the variations in global temperature that have puzzled climatologists for so many years, and that has now led to an explanation for the recent global warming episode that ended approximately 17 years ago.

Changes to the Sun's brightness are believed to have altered temperatures by very little through direct means. What Svensmark and other scientists are showing is that the main cooling that occurs during solar minimums is not just because the sun is sending less warming rays but through reduction in protective capacity in terms of cosmic rays. It is an indirect effect.


Comment: Change is definitely upon us and rapidly advancing. Is society yet aware or will it be a rude awakening in the near future? The signs are evident. It is how we truthfully and honestly interpret them that may make a difference in whether humanity lives or dies in the offing. Thanks to this author for the logical, factual and understandable wisdom presented.
See also: Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight Jadczyk


Attention

10 dolphins found dead on Mumbai beaches in a month

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From the tetrapod lined coasts of Colaba to the serene beaches in Vasai, around ten porpoises have been found dead in the past one month
While the number of dead dolphins washing ashore the city's coastline continues to rise, the state environment ministry seems to be oblivious to the incidents.

As many as 10 carcasses of finless porpoises have been spotted across the beaches of the island city in the past one month, leaving marine biologists, conservationists, activists and researchers baffled, while the state department was caught being unaware of the shocking sightings.

Speaking to Iamin on phone, Minister of State for Environment Pravin Pote-Patil claimed he was not informed of the occurrences, which has perturbed the city.

"Beaches of the city are the prime responsibility of the municipal corporation, be it pollution or the incidents of dead dolphins washing ashore. The civic body should have informed the environment department immediately, however I have received no such information," Patil said.

He assured that his department would coordinate with the corporation and examine the autopsy report of the carcasses to determine the cause of death.

"UInless we are able to pin-point the cause of death, we cannot initiate any specific response or mitigation steps. I will talk to the Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on this and initiate a probe," Patil said.

Attention

Mysterious mass shellfish die-off near Whangarei, New Zealand

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© Delwyn Dicke
Dead cockles like these have turned up in large numbers in the Ngunguru Sandspit area
A horrible stench set off an investigation into a mysterious mass shellfish death at Ngunguru Sandspit in Northland.

Aaron Franklin, who was visiting his parents in the area, alerted authorities to the deaths on Thursday May 21. The engineer estimates there were well over a million dead cockles, tuatua and pipi on the seaward beach and near the mouth of the estuary, with more on the seabed.

Franklin returned to the area the next day where representatives from Northland Regional Council were gathering samples. He says the area "reeked of rotting shellfish".

Northland District Health Board is recommending people do not take or consume shellfish from the area until the cause of the deaths is known. Signs advising the public of the incident went up on May 27.

Franklin, a member of the grassroots Arctic Methane Emergency Group, says increased levels of carbon dioxide and decreased levels of oxygen in the ocean are one possible cause of the deaths.

He says incidences of hypoxia - where oxygen levels drop so low that sealife is killed on mass in a short period of time - have increased rapidly. Ocean currents can cause carbon-dioxide rich water to move to areas with high concentrations of shellfish, where they die as they cannot expel carbon dioxide from their shells, Franklin says.

Sun

More than 430 in hospital due to heat wave in Japan

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© AFP/File
Children play in a park fountain to cool off from a heatwave in Japan.
More than 430 people in Japan have been admitted to hospitals nationwide in a current heat wave in several regions of the country, Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) said Tuesday.

FDMA, in charge of ambulance services, cites data between May 18 and 24. Cases of hospitalization because of heat were reported in Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as in the Saitama, Aichi, Fukushima and Fukuoka prefectures, among others.

The temperature in some regions of Japan is predicted to rise above 30 degrees Celsius [86 Fahrenheit] on Tuesday, according to Japan Meteorological Agency.

Experts warn about the dangers of outside overexposure and urge people to refrain from outdoor physical activity.

In May and June, a high probability of above-normal temperatures (above 40 degrees Celsius) on the islands of Okinawa and Amami is forecast.

Attention

3-yr-old among 3 injured after sloth bear attack in India

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Sloth bear
A sloth bear mauled three people in separate attacks near village Morwai under Saoli range on Thursday morning. Two of them, including a three-year-old boy, sustained critical injuries in the attack and have been admitted to civil hospital here. Forest department has launched intensive search operation to locate the violent bear and have issued warning in the villages around.

As per reports, Mul and Saoli tehsil witnessed thunderstorm on Wednesday night. Patruji Ghote had taken his three-year-old son Swaraj to collect mangoes fallen in their farm after the thunderstorm in the morning. While Ghote was collecting mangoes, the bear attacked his son Swaraj who was eating mango under the tree some distance away. The beast ripped his throat with its sharp nails before his father could rescue him from its clutches.

"The bear attacked two more persons in separate farms while heading towards the forest. Mahadev Jharkar, who was attacked after Swaraj in nearby farm, sustained critical injuries. The bear also attacked other farmer Chandu Jharkar in his farm some distance away, but he escaped with minor scratches,"
said RFO, Saoli range, MP Rathod.

Fire

Volcanic activity intensifies at Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra

© @endrolewa / twitter
Pyroclastic flow at Sinabung yesterday at 18:20
Monitoring officials have warned residents to remain alert as Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra continues with intense volcanic activity. A local chief reported that ongoing eruptions had taken a mental toll on residents, with two people being sent to mental institutions.

The volcano erupted twice early on Wednesday, at 1:21 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., and sent hot clouds southward.

The Sinabung observation station recorded at least 87 tectonic quakes and lava flow from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Observation station staff member Deri Alhidayat said the volcanic intensity over the past few days had shown a significant increase, evident from the tectonic quakes occurring thus far.

"Tectonic shock waves have been detected almost every day. As many as 20 tectonic and volcanic quakes have taken place today alone," said Deri on Wednesday.

He added the eruptions were expected to continue for a long time. He urged residents living around the mountain to raise their awareness until the government issued an official announcement on the volcano's status.

Black Cat

50-yr-old woman killed by leopard in Junnar, India

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Leopard
Fear gripped the residents of Pimpalgaon Joga village in Junnar taluka after a 50-year-old woman was mauled to death by a leopard here around 10.30pm on Tuesday. "Sakhubai Nana Hile stays near the forest area.

The leopard must have dragged her into the forest when she came out of her house to relieve herself around 10:30pm," said V A Dhokte, deputy conservator of forests of Junnar. Dhokte said the attack was a matter of grave concern as the village has not witnessed any leopard attack in the past 20 years. "Pimpalgaon Joga is not too far from Dhingore and Khamundi villages which have seen leopard attacks on children, but the terrain is slightly different.

There aren't that many sugarcane fields, but there is a forest area in this village," he added. "The last attack reported in the village was in 1995. Since then, there may have been odd incidents when livestock may have been attacked, but none involving a human," Dhokte said.

Bizarro Earth

Telica volcano in Nicaragua begins new phase of explosive activity

After a week of calm, a new phase of explosive activity occurred yesterday at the volcano, beginning with a moderately large explosion at 12:02 local time. An ash plume rose approx. 3 km above the summit.

Several smaller explosions and phases of calm ash venting followed this event. Ash falls were noted in up to 15 km distance to the SW, in areas of the villages Posolega and Quezalguaque.

So far it is unclear whether the explosions are the result of phreatic or hydrothermal activity, i.e. caused by pressurized fluids in the shallow hydrothermal system, or whether they are result of new magma reaching the surface.