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Sun, 26 Mar 2023
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Bizarro Earth

US: Invasive fish and mussels team up to transfer toxic substances into Great Lakes walleyes

© David Jude
A round goby.
Two notorious Great Lakes invaders -- the zebra mussel and the round goby -- now play a central role in transferring toxic chemicals called PCBs up the food chain and into Saginaw Bay walleyes, one of that region's most popular sport fish.

The links between zebra mussels, round gobies and contaminated Saginaw Bay walleyes is a disturbing example of unanticipated problems that can occur when non-native species get loose in the Great Lakes, said University of Michigan fishery biologist David Jude, lead author of a paper on the topic published online today in the Journal of Great Lakes Research.

"This zebra mussel-to-goby link in Great Lakes contaminated areas is one of the main conduits of PCB transfer to top aquatic predators such as the walleye, and it plays a substantial role in PCB transfer to birds, mammals and reptiles in the region as well," said Jude, a research scientist at the U-M School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Between 2005 and 2007, Jude's team collected walleyes, round gobies and various other fish species, as well as zebra mussels and zooplankton, in the Tittabawassee River, the Saginaw River and Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay. Then they measured levels of PCBs in all those organisms - the first such study in the Saginaw Bay region.

"Though the levels of PCBs in Saginaw Bay walleyes have declined sharply in recent years, these toxic substances continue to show up at levels high enough to warrant concern," Jude said.


US: Brucellosis in Wyoming elk on the increase

Green River -- Brucellosis appears to be increasing in several elk herds in northwestern Wyoming, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

The study's data suggests that enhanced elk-to-elk transmission in free-ranging populations may be occurring because of denser elk clusters during winter.

The study also said that elk populations inside and outside of the Greater Yellowstone area that traditionally did not maintain brucellosis may now be at risk because of population increases.

The new study on brucellosis -- a bacterial infection of cattle, elk and bison -- appeared in the March publication of Ecological Applications, said USGS spokeswoman Suzanna Carrithers.

The magazine is a publication of the Ecological Society of America.

Brucellosis causes miscarriages in cattle. The disease is present in many elk and bison in the greater Yellowstone region, known as the last reservoir for brucellosis in the United States. The disease can be transmitted from wildlife to cattle.

The presence of the disease within livestock herds has resulted in additional testing requirements and trade restrictions in past years in both Wyoming and Montana.

Both states have had to institute strict testing and quarantine procedures to regain federal brucellosis-free status.

Paul Cross, USGS disease ecologist and lead author of the study, said elk-to-elk transmission of brucellosis may be increasing in new regions around Yellowstone.

He noted several cattle herds have been infected in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana since 2004.

Bizarro Earth

The Science Fiction Of Global Warming

Global Warming
© UFO Digest
Global Warming, UFOs and more...
The latest news is the European Union has launched a high tech satellite to measure the effects of Global Warming on Earth's polar caps and collect data on rising sea levels. The satellite will be using radar from 447 miles (720 kilometers) above Earth's surface to measure ice thickness of both land and sea ice and is said to be capable of pinpointing changes to within 1 centimeter (0.39-inch).

The article goes on to say Pessimists expect a sea rise by 2 to 3 meters (6.6 feet to 9.8 feet) by the year 2100, while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 projected only some 20 to 60 centimeters (7.9 inches to 23.6 inches) and that CryoSat will yield invaluable data that will make predictions on rising sea levels much more certain, German glacial scientist Heinrich Miller said.

On the surface it sounds like the EU has really got its act together and wants to prove once and for all that Global Warming is real by showing the changes that were previously just computer simulated images. However the data this satellite will provide is compromised even before it begins to send back any information. This is because the radar imaging of the Earth's ice will be transmitted back to computers here on Earth and integrated into the computer simulations already being used to prove this politically motivated sham. Since the radar mapping data will be used along with already manipulated simulations this guarantees a desired outcome rather than any new revelations. The so called Climate Change experts will use this new satellite information in hopes to convince the skeptics that Global Warming is real. In reality CryoSat is merely adding new simulation to be manipulated into computer graphs which have been created for an overall desired picture showing melting ice and rising sea levels.

Bizarro Earth

Etna showing signs of new eruptions?

Etna volcano
© Boris Behncke
A view of the steaming Mt. Etna, taken on April 8, 2010 by Dr. Boris Behncke.
Eruptions reader and member at Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Catania, Dr. Boris Behncke, has been keeping many of us appraised on the goings-on at Mt. Etna. A series of earthquakes occurred on April 2-3 along a fault near the north flank of the volcano - 175 earthquakes in all producing some impressive results - and Boris has noted increased "rumblings" at Etna since. This has culminated in explosions and ash April 7-8. Most of the ash appears to be made from merely crushed rock of previous eruption - accidental material rather than new juvenile magma, but all of this suggests that Etna could be headed for a new eruptive period. There has also been an increase in the gas emissions from the volcano - all signs that new magma may be rising in the conduit and a new eruption is approaching. Etna erupts quite frequently, but has been relatively quiet over the last few months, with little in the way of obviously eruptive activity.

Bizarro Earth

Brazil: 200 Feared Dead as New Mudslide Hits Rio Slum

© Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press
People watch the rescue effort after a landslide in the Morro do Bumba area of the Niteroi neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro
At least 200 people were feared dead after being buried under the latest landslide to hit a slum in Rio de Janeiro's metropolitan area, authorities said yesterday.

If confirmed, the deaths would raise the toll sharply from the 153 people already known to have died this week in slides triggered by record rains. A government official said as many as 60 houses and at least 200 people were buried in the Morro Bumba slum in Niteroi.

"In our experience, it's an instant death" for those caught in their homes at the time, the official said.


Cosmic Climate Change: Psychedelic dragon trail left behind by Discovery

Space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Monday morning, April 5th, on a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. Long after the shuttle disappeared from the brightening dawn sky, however, onlookers continued to stare ... at this:
© Craig Crawford
The exhaust trail left by the Space Shuttle Discovery as it blasted off from Cape Canaveral in early April 2009

Comment: Nothing to see here folks! It's just a wispy plume of of water droplets and ice crystals. Go back to sleep... oh look, a terrorist!


High-speed solar wind stream blowing around Earth sparks some of the strongest geomagnetic storms and brightest auroras in years

A high-speed solar wind stream has been blowing around Earth for three days, sparking some of the strongest geomagnetic storms and brightest auroras in years. Here is the view, yesterday, from Antarctica:


Organic Farmers Report Increasing GMO Contamination with Corn

© Greenpeace / Pascal Simard
Greenpeace corn action during the International Biosafety Protocol.

A group of Midwest organic farmers is reporting increasingly higher levels of GMO contamination of organic corn, which is jeopardizing their ability to sell to organic grain buyers.

A spokesman for the group, which wishes to remain unidentified to protect their organic markets, says, "We're doing more testing and seeing increased low levels of GMO contamination."

The farmer group sells organic yellow and white corn for food use.

The farmers screen their corn for grade, kernel size, test weight, and GMOs. "Buyers will test it too," says the spokesman.


7.8 earthquake strikes Sumatra in Indonesia

A powerful earthquake has struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Locals were evacuated to higher ground amid fears of a tsunami, although the alert has now been lifted. Three aftershocks rattled the north of Sumatra, but there were no reports of casualties. The 7.8-magnitude quake is the second major one to hit the island in six months.


Caught on Tape: Mexicali earthquake waves felt in California, Nevada

Millions of people in the U.S. felt the effect of a powerful earthquake that struck Mexico on Sunday morning. Tremors reached north as far as Las Vegas with residents reporting swaying buildings and choppy swimming pools. The 7.2 magnitude quake was centred 60 km southeast of the border city Mexicali, where two people were killed and others remain trapped in their homes. A state of emergency has been declared there. It is the strongest quake to hit the area in decades.