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Mon, 20 Jan 2020
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Evil Rays

Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons

What is happening to the bees?

More than a quarter of the country's 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost - tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives.

©New York Times

Comment: See To Bee or Not to Be.


Question

605 seals die in Kazakh Caspian, weather or oil possible cause

The death toll of seals washed ashore on the oil-rich Caspian in Kazakhstan since March 31 has risen to 605, the Central Asian state's emergencies ministry said Tuesday.

"The overall number of dead seals as of Monday night reached 605, including 489 baby seals," the ministry said. "The coast is continuing to be monitored."

The dead seals have been found along the seashore between two major oil fields in western Kazakhstan. But officials in Kazakhstan cite weather conditions as a possible reason.

"Until February 20, most of the northeastern Caspian did not freeze..., and on February 21-22 the northern Caspian had a covering of thin ice, ...which melted by March 20, ... and it could have had a negative effect on the baby seals," the Ministry of Environmental Protection said earlier.

Cloud Lightning

Don't mention the Giant Water Spout, you'll put me off my game



©Robyn Wheeler
Something unusual's rolling this way .... and it wasn't the bowls at Scarborough Bowling Clubs near Wollongong yesterday.

Bizarro Earth

To Bee or not to Be




Over the past couple of months we here at SOTT have been following the Bee crisis with some interest. It caught my eye when I read the first media article about it that was brought to my attention; I knew this was important. As Albert Einstein observed:

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

Attention

Vanishing honeybees mystify scientists - Congressional Hearing scheduled

WASHINGTON - Go to work, come home. Go to work, come home. Go to work -- and vanish without a trace.

Billions of bees have done just that, leaving the crop fields they are supposed to pollinate, and scientists are mystified about why.

Cloud Lightning

Tornado Levels Houses in Texas Panhandle

CACTUS, Texas - Downed power lines, flattened houses and roads littered with debris kept many residents from returning to their homes Sunday in this rural Panhandle town hit hard by what appeared to be a group of tornadoes.

Red Flag

Looming US water crisis 'big, big, big'

A prominent environmentalist is sounding the alarm about a closed-door trilateral meeting to discuss, among other things, large-scale water transfers to combat future shortages in the United States and Mexico despite Canada's standing objection to such a plan.

Vader

"Green Politics": Stop coming to work and save the planet

For most of us facing gridlocked roads and packed trains, the Monday morning commute is a more pressing concern than climate change.

But there may be a single solution to both, according to business leaders.

The Institute of Directors is calling for flexible hours and more home working to help tackle global warming.

Miles Templeman, the institute's director-general, said offering employees greater flexibility would ease pressure on transport networks and cut rush-hour power demand - thereby reducing emissions. Mr Templeman urged ministers not to rush into policies that risked harming the economy, such as caps on emissions and carbon taxes.

Speaking ahead of the institute's annual convention later this week, he criticised the Government over its "ideological" approach to climate change.

Bad Guys

Climate change 'threatens world stability'

Drought, floods and rising sea levels linked to climate change could start wars around the world, Margaret Beckett will predict today.

In the first UN Security Council debate on global warming, the Foreign Secretary will highlight tensions which are likely to emerge as countries compete for scarce food, water and energy resources.

But some member countries question whether the issue belongs in the Security Council, which deals with threats to international peace and security.

Russia and China have already said the council is the wrong place for the debate, and many developing nations see global warming as a problem of global justice, rather than just a security threat.

Ministers from some countries likely to be affected which are not on the 15-member council, are expected to attend the debate.

Wolf

Global warming to provoke polar bear attacks - scientist

Polar bears could start attacking humans more frequently due to global warming, a Russian scientist said Friday.

Polar bears are carnivores that mainly live on seals, but can also feed on birds, shellfish, rodents and walruses - anything they can catch and kill. They are more likely to hunt humans than other bears and attacks could, for instance, happen at hunting camps or weather stations.

"Sea ice [the area covered by ice in the Arctic] is decreasing, and this is the polar bear's main habitat... In a search for food, the bears could end up at coastal areas and approach villages on the sea shore," Oleg Anisimov, a professor at the State Hydrology Institute under Russia's hydrometeorology service, told a news conference.