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Tue, 07 Feb 2023
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Better Earth

Oil And Gas Projects In Western Amazon Threaten Biodiversity And Indigenous Peoples

The western Amazon, home to the most biodiverse and intact rainforest left on Earth, may soon be covered with oil rigs and pipelines.

According to a new study, over 180 oil and gas "blocks" - areas zoned for exploration and development - now cover the megadiverse western Amazon, which includes Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and western Brazil. These oil and gas blocks stretch over 688,000 km2 (170 million acres), a vast area, nearly the size of Texas.

For over three years, researchers from two U.S. non-profit organizations - Save America's Forests and Land Is Life - and scientists from Duke University tracked hydrocarbon activities across the region and generated a comprehensive map of oil and gas activities across the western Amazon. The result is an alarming assessment of the threats to the biodiversity and indigenous peoples of the region.

"We found that the oil and gas blocks overlap perfectly with the most biodiverse part of the Amazon for birds, mammals, and amphibians," said study co-author Dr. Clinton Jenkins of Duke University. "The threat to amphibians is of particular concern because they are already the most threatened group of vertebrates worldwide."

Umbrella

Wales: 'Twister' is sighted over island

Anglesey residents have been looking to the skies over the island, after several sightings of a "twister".

Anglesey twister
©BBC
The "twister" over Anglesey

Cloud Lightning

Climate Change May Boost Middle East Rainfall

The prospect of climate change sparking food and water shortages in the Middle East is less likely than previously thought, with new research by an Australian climate scientist suggesting that rainfall will be significantly higher in key parts of the region.

Cloud Lightning

China quake rebuilding to cost $147 billion

China's government estimates it will cost $147 billion to rebuild from the massive earthquake that struck the central part of the country in May, according to state media.

Question

Canada: Look, in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane . . . it's an angry turkey - maybe

Nova Scotia - Mr. Mokey has been behaving a bit oddly, frequently looking up after a massive black bird swooped down out of the sky, barely missing the Shelburne County cat.

"He's constantly looking skyward and has been acting strange ever since it happened," said Alice Whitehouse, Mr. Mokey's owner.

It seems the behemoth bird that tried to attack a Lunenburg County man, then his neighbour, recently has gone west.

"I guess Big Bird is (down) my way now but I did not know what the heck it was," Ms. Whitehouse said of her Tuesday afternoon encounter.

Comment:
"(Coyotes) will run away; we were just sitting in the driveway, and it attacks us from the air."
Usually turkeys run away too, they are fairly timid. And they only fly short distances. Usually only to roost. Turkeys eat insects, berries and seeds. Not animals the size of a cat! Or a human! So what's going on here?

Maybe it was a turkey, maybe not. As the wildlife official said, without a picture you can't really identify it.


Bizarro Earth

Fresh floods claim more lives in northern Vietnam

Three people have been killed in fresh floods in northern Vietnam while the death toll in the wake of tropical storm Kammuri has risen to 119.

Heavy rains since tuesday caused new floods in several districts of Quang Ninh province, east of Hanoi.

Attention

Alaska: Aleutian volcanos continue to cause problems

The ash cloud from Kasatochi Volcano has drifted over 1650 miles into the flight paths of aircraft in Anchorage and caused more than 50 flight cancellations Sunday and Monday. The oval shaped ash cloud was 300 miles at its widest point and moving around 39,000 to 40,000 feet in the air. This is an old ash cloud emitted during the initial eruption last Thursday. Alaska Volcano Observatory scientist Chris Waythomas says the ash might cause more delays over the next few days and that Kasatochi may not be through erupting.

Better Earth

Global Warming Will Do Little To Change Hurricane Activity, According To New Model

In a study published in the July 2008 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Drs. David S. Nolan and Eric D. Rappin from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science describe a new method for evaluating the frequency of hurricane formation in present and future tropical climates.

Image
©UM/RSMAS
Figure shows an example of a hurricane computer simulation generated by the Rosenstiel School team. The colors indicate water vapor in a vertical column of the atmosphere, where the dark red areas would indicate extremely heavy rainfall. The small size of each pixel, 3 km x 3 km provides remarkably accurate detail in the storm. In comparison, the number of pixels in an image used to represent storms in global climate models are typically 100 km x 100 km, at best.

Binoculars

US: Only 25 Percent See Global Warming Threat

In spite of the media's obsession with global warming, only 25 percent of Americans view climate change as the world's biggest environmental threat, according to a new ABC News poll. Fewer than half - 47 percent - viewed global warming as "extremely" or "very" important to them.

Comment: Don't forget SOTT's special editorial back in January of 2007, Fire and Ice: The Day After Tomorrow.


Snowman

Meltdown in the Arctic is speeding up

Ice at the North Pole melted at an unprecedented rate last week, with leading scientists warning that the Arctic could be ice-free in summer by 2013.

Satellite images show that ice caps started to disintegrate dramatically several days ago as storms over Alaska's Beaufort Sea began sucking streams of warm air into the Arctic.