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Tue, 21 Aug 2018
The World for People who Think



Ice Age Farmer Report: "Nobody's Prepared For This..."

dead cow
Food production is collapsing. Finland posted its worst grain yield this century; the situation is dire across Europe. Orange peels and sour watermelons are the only thing keeping some livestock alive in Australia. Damages due to weeks of rain in Japan. Christian shares reports from farmers on the ground, and makes clear the very real effects on food production and prices globally. Start preparing now.

Spread the truth - these are natural cycles, and it's up to us to build anti-fragile communities in order to thrive in the times ahead.



Researchers warn of global biodiversity collapse

Biodiversity Collapse
© A Lees/Manchester Metropolitan University; S.Wilson; A.Lees; M Dehling; C. Contijo Leal
Savanna elephant; coral reef; saffron-crowned tanager; blue-headed parrots; Amazon Forest stream.
A global biodiversity collapse is imminent unless we take urgent, concerted action to reverse species loss in the tropics, according to a major scientific study in the prestigious journal Nature.

In their paper 'The future of hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems' an international team has warned that a failure to act quickly and decisively will greatly increase the risk of unprecedented and irrevocable species loss in the most diverse parts of the planet.

The study is the first high-level report on the state of all four of the world´s most diverse tropical ecosystems - tropical forests, savannas, lakes and rivers, and coral reefs.

The authors found that although the tropics cover just 40% of the planet, they are home to more than three-quarters of all species including almost all shallow-water corals and more than 90% of the world's bird species. Most of these species are found nowhere else, and millions more are as yet unknown to science.

"At the current rate of species description - about 20,000 new species per year - it can be estimated that at least 300 years will be necessary to catalogue biodiversity," said Dr. Benoit Guénard, Assistant Professor of the University of Hong Kong and an author of the study.

And across tropical ecosystems, many species face the 'double jeopardy' of being harmed by both local human pressures - such as overfishing or selective logging - and droughts or heatwaves linked to climate change.


Necropsy to be performed on dead humpback whale found in Amagansett, New York

dead whale
© East Hampton's Natural Resources Department
Crews are working to remove a deceased humpback whale that washed up Thursday morning in Amagansett.

Rob DiGiovanni, of the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, says they plan to move the whale up the beach using heavy equipment. The whale will then be taken to a different location where the necropsy will be performed.

He says it should take a few hours before it is removed from the beach.

DiGiovanni says it was too early to tell what caused the whale to wash up deceased.

Since 2016, 75 humpback whales have died along the East Coast, some of those were found in Atlantic beach, East Quogue and Long Beach.

This is the sixth dead humpback whale that investigation teams have responded to this year, one of which was two months ago in New Jersey.


Rare deep diving Cuvier's beaked whale washes ashore in Newfoundland, Canada

This rare to Newfoundland waters Cuvier’s beaked whale was discovered in Lumsden on July 24.

This rare to Newfoundland waters Cuvier’s beaked whale was discovered in Lumsden on July 24.
Whale rare to Newfoundland waters, says Wayne Ledwell of Whale Rescue and Strandings

A whale rare to Newfoundland waters is drawing a lot of attention in Lumsden.

Jeremy Humphries and his wife Jenna came across what has since been identified as a Cuvier's beaked whale Tuesday afternoon (July 24) at approximately 3:30 p.m., while on an ATV ride along Lumsden's south beach.

It wasn't alive at the time of the discovery.

"It didn't look like it was there very long," said Humphries, noting it was his first encounter with a beached whale. "There were no gulls or anything in the area which there normally would be when something dead washed ashore. The tail of the whale looked red and rubbed out, other than that it looked perfectly fine."

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 74 sheep in eastern Turkey

A total of 74 sheep were killed by a lightning strike in Turkey's eastern province of Iğdır on July 23.

Two herds of sheep, belonging to a man named Mahmut Biter, were gathered together as protection against the torrential rain while they were out in the field at the 2,000-meter altitude Serbarbulak plateau in the Aralık district.

Lightning struck the animals, killing 74 of them. Saddam Aras, the shepherd, escaped the incident unharmed as he took shelter in a nearby rocky area.

Yusuf Süre, a local farmer, said the lightning caused a substantial financial damage.

In June this year, in a similar incident, 105 goats perished in the Kırkağaç district of the western Manisa province when a lightning struck as the animals were grazing in the field.

And in May, the lightning killed a total of 23 cattle in the Tut district of the southeastern province of Adıyaman.

Source: Anadolu Agency


Latest study says dogs feel empathy for human suffering

© Slevin79 / Getty Images
Your dog really does care, according to science.
Dogs who hurry to comfort their owners may be doing so out of empathy, according to a study published in the journal Learning & Behavior.

Not only can dogs perceive changes in human emotional states, but man's best friend will take it a step further and overcome physical obstacles to go to an owner's aid.

Humans and dogs share a strong emotional bond arising from domestication over tens of thousands of years. But despite many popular anecdotes of dog heroism, the scientific evidence for dogs providing actual help to a human in need is mixed.

By showing that dogs will perform an action to help a person in distress, the new study advances our knowledge of canine empathy and cross-species helping behaviour more generally.

In a series of tests led by then-undergraduate Emily Sanford of Macalester College, 34 dogs were evaluated for empathetic behaviour using the trapped-other paradigm, an experimental design previously used only in rats.


Drought requires extreme measures to protect West's wild horses

Horsedust drywaterhole
© WireAP/Rick Bowmer/AP/KJN
Baked earth of a dry watering hole • Wild horse shaking off dust
Harsh drought conditions in parts of the American West are pushing wild horses to the brink and spurring extreme measures to protect them. For what they say is the first time, volunteer groups in Arizona and Colorado are hauling thousands of gallons of water and truckloads of food to remote grazing grounds where springs have run dry and vegetation has disappeared.

Federal land managers also have begun emergency roundups in desert areas of Utah and Nevada. "We've never seen it like this," said Simone Netherlands, president of the Arizona-based Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. In May, dozens of horses were found dead on the edge of a dried-up watering hole in northeastern Arizona.

As spring turned to summer, drought conditions turned from bad to worse, Netherlands said. Parts of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico are under the most severe category of drought, though extreme conditions are present from California to Missouri, government analysts say. Parts of the region have witnessed some of the driest conditions on record, amid a cycle of high temperatures and low snowmelt that appears to be getting worse, National Weather Service hydrologist Brian McInerney said.
Horse mud water
© Rick Bowmer/AP


Decomposed minke whale washes up on Old Orchard Beach, Maine

A dead whale is towed off Old Orchard Beach after drawing a crowd.
© Lyndi Cote
A dead whale is towed off Old Orchard Beach after drawing a crowd.
The smelly carcass, identified as that of an adult male minke whale, is the second large marine animal to turn up on shore in southern Maine in the past week.

A badly decomposed whale that washed up on Old Orchard Beach drew gasps and groans from beach walkers venturing out in the rain on Sunday.

The carcass - later identified as that of a minke whale - washed ashore about a mile south of Old Orchard Beach pier, just as Lyndi Cote, wrapped in a blanket, was sipping coffee on her balcony at the Gold Sands Condominiums.

Cote said at first she thought it was a capsized boat, but when the 23-foot-long object landed on the sand, it was clear it was some sort of marine animal.

It was the second large ocean creature to wash up on southern Maine shores in the past week. On Thursday, a badly decomposed 500- to 600-pound, 15-foot basking shark washed up on Higgins Beach in Scarborough. That odoriferous carcass was removed by the Scarborough Public Works Department using heavy equipment and buried in a landfill.


Whale shark carcass found on Sanibel Island, Florida

A dead whale shark washed up on a Sanibel beach on Sunday morning. It was discovered off of West Gulf Drive at about 7:30 a.m.
© Andrew West/The News-Press
A dead whale shark washed up on a Sanibel beach on Sunday morning. It was discovered off of West Gulf Drive at about 7:30 a.m.
The carcass of a 21-foot-long adult whale shark washed up off West Gulf Drive on Sanibel Island on Sunday morning.

Biologists from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission were on their way to where the carcass was rolling in the surf to collect samples.

"I'm sure they were going to try to determine a cause of death," said Brian Norris, an FWC spokesman.

Marine biologists from the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum were on the beach near the Island Inn on Gulf Shore Road where the shark came ashore.


Hundreds of galah birds mysteriously found dead in Burra, South Australia

Some of the galahs found dead in Burra.
© Ruth Norris
Some of the galahs found dead in Burra.
About 200 galahs have been found dead in the South Australian town of Burra, prompting investigations by the state's Department for Environment and Water and the local council.

Dead birds started turning up in the historic Mid North town last Wednesday, with numbers increasing to about 200 by today, according to Animal Rescue and Care co-ordinator Ruth Norris.

A Facebook post featuring some of the deceased creatures by Ms Norris has been shared more than 1,600 times.

She said the birds otherwise looked healthy and it was not obvious how they had died.