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Gulf's Dolphins Pay Heavy Price for Deepwater Oil Spill

© shutterstock
A new study of dolphins living close to the site of North America's worst ever oil spill - the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe two years ago - has established serious health problems afflicting the marine mammals.

The report, commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], found that many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anaemic and suffering from lung and liver disease, while nearly half had low levels of a hormone that helps the mammals deal with stress as well as regulating their metabolism and immune systems.

More than 200m gallons of crude oil flowed from the well after a series of explosions on 20 April 2010, which killed 11 workers. The spill contaminated the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline in what President Barack Obama called America's worst environmental disaster.

The research follows the publication of several scientific studies into insect populations on the nearby Gulf coastline and into the health of deepwater coral populations, which all suggest that the environmental impact of the five-month long spill may have been far worse than previously appreciated.

Another study confirmed that zooplankton - the microscopic organisms at the bottom of the ocean food chain - had also been contaminated with oil. Indeed, photographs issued last month of wetland coastal areas show continued contamination, with some areas still devoid of vegetation.

Better Earth

Medieval warming WAS global - new science contradicts IPCC

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© unknown
ikaite
More peer-reviewed science contradicting the warming-alarmist "scientific consensus" was announced yesterday, as a new study shows that the well-documented warm period which took place in medieval times was not limited to Europe, or the northern hemisphere: it reached all the way to Antarctica.

The research involved the development of a new means of assessing past temperatures, to add to existing methods such as tree ring analysis and ice cores. In this study, scientists analysed samples of a crystal called ikaite, which forms in cold waters.

"Ikaite is an icy version of limestone," explains earth-sciences prof Zunli Lu. "The crystals are only stable under cold conditions and actually melt at room temperature."

Down in the Antarctic peninsula that isn't a problem, and Lu and his colleagues were able to take samples which had been present for hundreds of years and date their formation. The structure of Ikaite, it turns out, varies measurably depending on the temperature when it forms, allowing boffins to construct an accurate past temperature record.

No Entry

Western Australia Beaches Closed After Fatal Shark Attack


Western Australian authorities have spotted a shark in the same area where 33-year-old Peter Kurmann was attacked and killed.

Police say Mr Kurmann, from the town of Vasse, near Busselton, had anchored his boat about 1.7 kilometres off Stratham Beach and was diving for crayfish with his brother when he was attacked just after 9:00am (AWST).

The shark is believed to be a four-metre great white, and a patrol plane has spotted a similar sized shark south of the attack site, about 600 metres offshore.

Tony Cappelluti from the Department of Fisheries says a boat has gone to the area.

"We will attempt to take it. Whether we destroy it is an issue that'll be decided at the time by the relevant people able to give that order," he said.

Mr Kurmann's body was brought to shore two hours after the attack, along with the boat he and his brother had been using.

Bizarro Earth

San Diego rattled by 3 loud booms, violent shaking following tremor 4 miles from Palomar Observatory

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© USGS
The USGS confirmed a small earthquake struck San Diego County Thursday night. The quake struck with a magnitude of 3.3 and at a depth of 7 miles at 11:09 p.m. The epicenter of the earthquake was four miles south-southeast of the Palomar Observatory, 17 miles northeast of Escondido and 39 miles north-northeast of San Diego, according to a computer-generated USGS report.

News stations in the area said they received over a dozen calls from concerned viewers who described the earthquake as very loud and said it was accompanied by three eerie booms. There were also reports of violent shaking. No injuries or damage was reported the tremor. No one in our generation remembers so many small tremors across the world triggering so many sonic booms. One has to wonder what is happening in the earth beneath our feet.

Bizarro Earth

Ten more dolphins stranded on the Cape; annual total rises to more than 200

© Cape Cod Times/Steve Heaslip
Rescue workers on Lieutenant Island in Wellfleet this afternoon, where six dolphins have stranded. At least two have died. Ten other dolphins stranded in an area further north in Wellfleet today. Two of those were rescued and may be released later in Provincetown.

At least 10 more dolphins stranded themselves on the beaches of Cape Cod this week, a Cape-based animal welfare group said. The strandings raised the annual total to more than 200 in just three months, an unusually high number that has left scientists scrambling to find a cause.

"This week we had 10 common dolphins strand in various locations including Brewster, Wellfleet, and Orleans," Michael Booth, spokesman for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said. "We had four strand on Monday - one in Wellfleet and three in Brewster."

Six more dolphins stranded Tuesday -- two in Wellfleet, three in Brewster, and one in Orleans, Booth said.

Bizarro Earth

Massive Methane Gas Leak Could Be the North Sea's Deepwater Horizon

© tjodolv via Flickr
North Sea platforms
A natural gas well in the North Sea 150 miles off Aberdeen, Scotland, sprung a massive methane leak on March 25. The 238 workers were all safely evacuated. But the situation is so explosive that an exclusion zone for ships and aircraft has been set up around the rig, reports the Mail Online. And nearby rigs have been evacuated, reports the New York Times:
Royal Dutch Shell said it closed its Shearwater field, about four miles away, withdrawing 52 of the 90 workers there; it also suspended work and evacuated 68 workers from a drilling rig working nearby, the Hans Deul.
But that's not the worst of it. The platform lies less than 100 yards/meters from a flare that workers left burning as crew evacuated. The French super-major oil company owner of the rig, Total, dismissed the risk, while the British government claimed the flame needs to burn to prevent gas pressure from building up. But Reuters reports:
[O]ne energy industry consultant said Elgin could become "an explosion waiting to happen" if the oil major did not rapidly stop the leak which is above the water at the wellhead.

Blackbox

Marine Monster mystery on South Carolina Beach

A bizarre creature that washed ashore last week in Folly Beach, S.C., sparked speculation in the area and on the Internet that a dead sea monster might have been discovered. The tan-brown animal with greenish patches was strange enough, but what really baffled beachgoers was its massive size and the dinosaur-like bony plates on its sides. It's not clear just how long it was, but photos suggest it exceeded 10 feet.
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© Facebook
Like many washed-up carcasses it carried both a salty stench and an air of mystery. Speculation ran rampant, with commenters suggesting that the creature was everything from a dinosaurian sea monster to a toxin-spawned mutation to a chupacabra.

Scientists, however, were somewhat more skeptical. One of the first to identify the monster was Dr. Shane Boylan of the South Carolina Aquarium. Two big clues allowed Boylan to identify the fish more or less immediately: the animal's shape and distinctive bony plates.

Umbrella

Softball-sized hail smashes windshields in Kansas

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© WxRisk.com
WxRisk.com, a private weather forecasting firm, posted this photo from the hail overnight in Madison, Kan., on its Facebook page.
A storm system that could spawn twisters in the central U.S. on Thursday already did some damage overnight in Madison, Kan., where softball-sized hail smashed car windshields.

A twister nearly formed near the town just after midnight, the national Storm Prediction Center noted, but the biggest impact was from hail.

"That was a HUGE bow-hook, a monster funnel cloud," WxRisk.com, a private weather forecasting firm, posted on its Facebook page. "Hail in excess of 4.25 in[ches] (107.95 mm). Slightly larger than softballs at times."

The firm said one of three storm cells that moved through the town of 700 "produced monster-size hail for almost 30 minutes ... lots of reports of cars and structures being damaged due to the large hail. Tennis-ball hail, CD hail, Soft-ball hail, and even larger."

Large hail pounded other parts of Kansas overnight as well, and the forecast for Thursday had much of the region, including Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, with a high chance of severe weather, weather.com reported.

"We're getting into that time of year when we get severe thunderstorms just about every day," said Greg Forbes, weather.com's severe weather expert.

The storm system will trigger strong storms in the Ohio Valley on Friday, weather.com forecast.

Nuke

Radiation Blowback: 10 Times Lethal Level Registered at Fukushima

© AFP Photo / Yoshikazu Tsuno
Workers are operating at the stricken Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan
A recent examination at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant has revealed radiation levels up to ten times the fatal dose. The news alarmed thousands of people who have been living in constant fear of radiation exposure for over a year.

­On Tuesday, Fukushima workers inserted a remotely controlled probe into Reactor Two to assess the damage. The device is equipped with a video camera, a thermometer, and a dosimeter - which registered radiation levels much higher than expected.

The probe also discovered that the level of cooling water in the reactor is significantly lower than expected.

The other two melted-down reactors have not yet been examined, but some fear their condition could be even worse.

The management of the Tepco company, which owns the plant, says the findings will not affect the process of cooling down the nuclear fuel.

Umbrella

Propaganda Alert! Scientists Warn of Unprecedented Onslaught of Disasters Due to Global Warming

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© unknown
US, Washington - Global warming is leading to such severe storms, droughts and heat waves that countries should prepare for an unprecedented onslaught of deadly and costly weather disasters, an international panel of climate scientists says in a report issued Wednesday.

The greatest danger from extreme weather is in highly populated, poor regions of the world, the report warns, but no corner of the globe - from Mumbai to Miami - is immune. The document by a Nobel Prize-winning panel of climate scientists forecasts stronger tropical cyclones and more frequent heat waves, deluges and droughts.

The 594-page report blames the scale of recent and future disasters on a combination of man-made climate change, population shifts and poverty.

In the past, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, founded in 1988 by the United Nations, has focused on the slow inexorable rise of temperatures and oceans as part of global warming. This report by the panel is the first to look at the less common but far more noticeable extreme weather changes, which recently have been costing on average about $80 billion a year in damage.

"We mostly experience weather and climate through the extreme," said Stanford University climate scientist Chris Field, who is one of the report's top editors. "That's where we have the losses. That's where we have the insurance payments. That's where things have the potential to fall apart.

Comment: Please read Climate Obstinately Refuses to Cooperate with Global Warming Alarmists for another perspective into the climate change issue.

Also check out:

Global Warming Sham - The Peer-Review Deception