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Fri, 07 May 2021
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Commercially bred bees spread disease to wild bees

Disease spread to wild bees from commercially bred bees used for pollination in agriculture greenhouses may be playing a role in the mysterious decline in North American bee populations, researchers said on Tuesday.

Bees pollinate numerous crops, and scientists have been expressing alarm over their falling numbers in recent years in North America. Experts warn the bee disappearance eventually could harm agriculture and the food supply.

Scientists have been struggling to understand the recent decline in various bee populations in North America. For example, a virus brought from Australia has been implicated in massive honeybee deaths last year.

Bizarro Earth

Volcanic activity continues in Alaska's Aleutian Islands

Anchorage -- Okmok volcano is showing signs of settling down while Cleveland volcano is just getting started.

Cleveland began erupting in the Aleutians Monday, sending ash nearly 17,000 feet high. Pilots are reporting surface ash 50 miles away.

Phoenix

Ohio, US: Lightning sparks plaza fire; wind shatters Government Center door

A lightning strike started a fire yesterday that destroyed a strip shopping plaza near the University of Toledo as a line of thunderstorms swept across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan causing 10,000 customers to lose power, authorities said.

The plaza at 1205 Westwood Ave., just south of Dorr Street, housed a seasonal location of the tax service franchise, H&R Block, the clothing retailer, L.A. Collections, and the yet-to-open Wings Express restaurant.

Phoenix

Lightning strike starts house fire in Washington, Illinois, US

A lightning strike is to blame for a Washington, Illinois house fire this morning. No injuries were reported.

The fire at 301 Hale St. started about 3:30 a.m. after lightning hit a tree, causing the tree to split in half and fall on the house.

Before firefighters arrived, the homeowner, whose name was not immediately available, attempted to put out the blaze with an extinguisher and garden hose. It took firefighters another 20 minutes to douse the fire, which they were able to contain to an upstairs bedroom, Washington Assistant Fire Chief Randy Hurd said.

Better Earth

Carbon emissions case for global warming is seriously weakened

I devoted six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.

Binoculars

Texas, Mexico prepare for Tropical Storm Dolly

McALLEN - Texas mobilized National Guard troops and residents along the Gulf Coast near the Mexican border were buying plywood, flashlights and other supplies as Tropical Storm Dolly - expected by forecasters to strengthen into a hurricane this week - headed their way.

Better Earth

Amazon River Powers Tropical Ocean's Carbon Sink

Nutrients from the Amazon River spread well beyond the continental shelf and drive carbon capture in the deep ocean, according to the authors of a multi-year study.

The finding does not change estimates of the oceans' total carbon uptake, but it reveals the surprisingly large role of tropical oceans and major rivers.

The tropical North Atlantic had been considered a net emitter of carbon from the respiration of ocean life. A 2007 study estimated that ocean's contribution to the atmosphere at 30 million tons of carbon annually.

Amazon River
©iStockphoto
Amazon River.

The new study, appearing in PNAS Early Edition the week of July 21, finds that almost all the respiration is offset by organisms called diazotrophs, which pull nitrogen and carbon from the air and use them to make organic solids that sink to the ocean floor.

Better Earth

Adding Lime To Seawater May Cut Carbon Dioxide Levels Back To Pre-industrial Levels

Scientists say they have found a workable way of reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere by adding lime to seawater. And they think it has the potential to dramatically reverse CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere, reports Cath O'Driscoll in SCI's Chemistry & Industry magazine.

Image
©iStockphoto/Chuck Babbitt
New research suggests there may be a workable way of reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere by adding lime to seawater.

Shell is so impressed with the new approach that it is funding an investigation into its economic feasibility. 'We think it's a promising idea,' says Shell's Gilles Bertherin, a coordinator on the project. 'There are potentially huge environmental benefits from addressing climate change -- and adding calcium hydroxide to seawater will also mitigate the effects of ocean acidification, so it should have a positive impact on the marine environment.'

Fish

90 Billion Tons Of Microbial Organisms Live In Deep Marine Subsurface: More Archaea Than Bacteria

Biogeoscientists show evidence of 90 billion tons of microbial organisms--expressed in terms of carbon mass--living in the deep biosphere, in a research article published online by Nature, July 20, 2008. This tonnage corresponds to about one-tenth of the amount of carbon stored globally in tropical rainforests.

Researcher Julius Lipp
©Albert Gerdes, MARUM/Bremen
Researcher Julius Lipp, Ph.D., of Bremen University, Germany, with some of his samples.

The authors: Kai-Uwe Hinrichs and Julius Lipp of the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) at University of Bremen, Germany; and Fumio Inagaki and Yuki Morono of the Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) concluded that about 87 percent of the deep biosphere consists of Archaea.

Cloud Lightning

Update: Storm Dolly to become hurricane, hit Texas

CANCUN - Tropical Storm Dolly churned toward southern Texas on Monday, and forecasters said they expected it to grow into a hurricane before hitting land near the Mexican border later this week.

The storm, with sustained winds of nearly 50 mph (85 kph), emerged from the Yucatan Peninsula over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A hurricane watch was issued for the southern Texas coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Tropical Storm Dolly
©REUTERS/NOAA/Handout
A satellite image of Tropical Storm Dolly, taken on July 21, 2008.

Dolly was 475 miles southeast of the border, where it was due to hit on Wednesday near Brownsville, well away from sensitive offshore drilling rigs and production platforms.

The United States has largely escaped the past two Atlantic hurricane seasons, with just one hurricane -- Humberto in November 2007 -- making landfall on its coasts.