Warning Signs Of The Times, Could It Be True?


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, Nature | Posted on 19-12-2014

People all around the world have become anxious about the unknown state of our planet. We’ve had natural disasters galore, earthquakes in multiple countries and unthinkable, scary weather in the past 5 years. We are all in the loops about our future and the future of our children. Something must be done for our environment to become a safer place to live in and it all starts with small changes we can all make by contributing our time to help alleviate the situation and fast.
One thing about our planet is that it’s changing more rapidly than ever before. Ever think, Can this be it? Or has this happened in the past and we’re just overlooking the situation. Well one thing is for sure, a change is needed right away if we want to save ourselves from mother nature’s wrath. Whether you believe it or not, something fishy is going on and we definitely have to keep an eye on what’s going on in our world today. I’ll borrow this Sergio Andrade Gutierrez philosophy to summarize what it all boils down to-Either we work together to change it now or regret it later. 

Can Bird Flight Patterns Predict Dangerous Weather Events?


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Predicting the Weather | Posted on 19-12-2014

Many scientists who study earth changes such as earthquakes and tsunamis have observed that unexplained or unusual animal and bird behavior sometimes precedes a natural disaster. Now scientists from the University of California at Berkeley may have pinpointed one possible mechanism for this phenomenon.

Businessman Bruce Levenson reports researchers placed tracking devices on 20 golden wing warblers, tiny little birds found nesting part of the year in the Blue Ridge Mountains of eastern Tennessee. They discovered that when a massive storm system moved into the area in April, 2014, the birds flew 932 miles away and avoided the dangerous weather system, only to return a few days later.

Scientists surmise that the golden warblers may have responded to the approaching bad weather from a considerable distance. It is well known that some bird and animal species can detect sound waves in different ranges than humans, for instance.

The research reportedly appears in the current issue of the journal Current Biology. Two federal government agencies helped support the tracking project.

No Fracking in New York


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment | Posted on 18-12-2014

In a move that has caused environmentalists and homeowners around the country to cheer, New York has banned the use of hydraulic fracking technologies for gas extraction.

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the ban. He made it clear that he thought deeply about this decision and was consulted by environmental and health officials.

New York’s acting commissioner of health, Howard Zucker, called New York residents his patients and expressed that the risks and unknowns of fracking outweigh any benefits, from what Terry Richardson had said.

Fracking uses chemicals and water under extreme pressure to push natural gas out of shale deposits underground. The long-term negative outcomes of fracking are not yet known, but in the short term fracking has caused drinking and recreational water pollution to the point that some people can set their tap water on fire. Additionally, many people have experienced sudden health problems. In some states, fracking is believed to also be the cause of increased earthquakes.

Many representatives of fossil fuel dependent businesses and organizations have spoken out against the ban. Karen Moreau, the executive director of the API New York State Petroleum Council, insisted on Wednesday that fracking is a safe process and she referred to the fracking boom in recent years as the “American energy renaissance.”

Her statements though ignore that Americans have increasingly desired to move away from fossil fuels dependence and that science and medical reports do not back her claim.

How Oil Can Cost You a Job


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment | Posted on 15-12-2014

While the price of oil hits the hardest in our wallets, the industry can impact our lives and many different ways that we usually never notice.

Oil can be a blessing and both a curse in our world today. The curse comes in when the greed begins tagging on those who are in control of the oil and it is a very sad thing indeed.

A story summarizing an e-book currently trending on amazon.com on Texas oil and gas regulators has captured reddit’s politics section.  Many people know that this kind of thing happens and it has become very rampant in our era. Most people would like to see a world in which corruption is the main project of the day where they can do their work halfway and still get paid handsomely.

These oil and gas regulators say that there are certain rules that are intended to protect both the environment and the public from certain risks that come with the business and when they tried to enforce it; they ended up having no career to call their own.

You can find more on this story here, and you will find that such job positions are actually scapegoat positions where the blame goes which is very unfair if you think about it well.

Pineapple Express Considered Strongest Storm to Hit California in Years


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in A Storm's a Brewin' | Posted on 12-12-2014

Northern California is feeling the first signs of the ‘Pineapple Express’, considered the strongest storm to hit the state in five years.

The National Weather Service ( NWS ) announced several feet of rain and winds are imminent and told residents to prepare for school closures and purchase emergency supplies.

Wednesday night, rain and moderate wind gusts started pelting the north of San Francisco. The National Weather Service expected these climatic conditions to advance throughout the region and persist through Friday. 

Metrological Service projections indicate that up to 8 inches of rain could fall on the coastal mountains over a 24 hour period which began on Wednesday night. 

National Weather Service also warned that the storm could cause flooding, landslides and debris sliding, especially in areas affected by intense and widespread wildfires this year. Large waves along the coast are also expected. 

“It’s a short time for that amount of water,” said meteorologist Diana Henderson. “We are anticipating some localized flooding, maybe some trees and downed power lines. This could affect many people,” she added. 

Christian Broda says The Golden State residents have already begun preparations for a new round of storms caused by the system ‘Pineapple Express’. 

Locals have flocked to buy emergency supplies, and some stores have already ran out of bottled water, batteries and flashlights.

West Coast Suffers Strongest Wind and Rain in Years


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in A Storm's a Brewin' | Posted on 12-12-2014

The Strongest Storm in decades is slamming the West Coast. As of December 11, the states of California, Washington and Oregon have been slammed with torrential rain forcing people to evacuate homes, shopping malls, train stations as the water has flooded the entire area in just hours.

The serious landslides began in a milder storm around Halloween, so when this super storm hit, the hills were ready for mudslides and in Camarillo Springs, evacuation rescued the people in over 12 houses that were completely covered in a mudslide. Torrential rain kept residents locked inside their homes until rescuers found them.

In L.A., over six million people went to sleep with a flash flood warning that didn’t end until 5:30am. According to the Los Angeles Times, four inches of rain was predicted to hit between 3am and 7am.

During the same time frame, the Rushing River in California lived up to its name and rose 30 inches in 24 hours. Evacuations for homeowners were under consideration. 

Igor Cornelsen notes that up until Thursday, two people have been killed in the storm, first-ever rain days were called in public schools and flights were cancelled. Over nine inches of rain has fallen along the coast with wind gusts reaching over 100 mph. Because electricity was out in most of San Francisco, the riders on a Bart train had to be evacuated.

Word from the wise, always be prepared for changing weather.

Scientists Map Bird Family Tree


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Evolution, Nature, Science Leaders | Posted on 12-12-2014

The Avian Phylogenomics Consortium has recently published the results of their research into the family tree of birds in eight main papers in the journal Science, plus over 20 papers in other scientific journals. Bird watching enthusiast Bruce Levenson could not be more excited. Over 200 scientists from 20 countries worked on the project. They analyzed pieces of frozen flesh from 45 different bird species, from which they extracted and read the birds’ whole genomes. They then added the genomes of three other species and had supercomputers compare all the genomes and arrange them into a family tree.

There were some surprises. For example, falcons turned out to be more closely related to parrots than to other birds of prey like eagles. Flamingos are more closely related to pigeons than they are to pelicans.

Birdsong had evolved multiple times. It is influenced by a group of some 50 genes that is similar to the group of genes that control human speech — making birdsong and speech a case of convergent evolution. As one of the scientists, Erich Jarvis, pointed out, humans and singing birds learn to vocalize in ways that are more similar to each other than to other birds or primates.

While the first birds appeared during the Jurassic Period 145 million years ago, they did not truly diversify until after the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago. Early birds had teeth like their dinosaur ancestors, but lost them about 100 million years ago as their beaks evolved. The scientists believe that birds lost their front teeth firs

Powerful Storm Hits Northern California


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in A Storm's a Brewin' | Posted on 11-12-2014

According to the latest reports, North California is set to be the epicenter of an extremely powerful incoming storm. Schools have gone so far as to cancel classes, and plenty of residents have been seen scrambling about to garner plenty of supplies in advance of its coming. 

The storm itself is being predicted by weather experts as possibly the strongest, rainiest, and most dangerous one to hit the northern portion of the state of California in well over two decades. It has slowly but surely began to touch down in the state, as rains and wind have already made their presence felt. 

In the end, perhaps as much as 8 solid inches of rain may fall before the full fury of the storm finally exhausts itself. In the meantime, serious damage could be done. For example, there is a severe warning concerning larger than normal waves along the coastal areas. 

Residents in the hilly and mountainous areas of Northern California are being warned to watch out for possible landslides. The continually pouring rain is expected to loosen up a great deal of debris and mud in these areas. 

No word has yet been released to the media concerning just how long the storm is expected to last. Weather experts claim that the major effects of the storm should subside by the end of the week. Christian Broda expects that this storm will probably not affect the market in California. However, none have issued a final date for the storm’s departure.

Pacific Storm Predicted to be Strongest in 6 Years


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Disaster Relief | Posted on 11-12-2014

Residents in Northern California are bracing for what experts have said could be the strongest storm the area has seen in over six years. According to the National Weather Service, the storm, fueled by an “atmospheric river” is expected to drop several feet of snow on Sierra Nevada, prompting a blizzard warning for the area.

Meanwhile, over in the Bay Area, some like my friend Mark Ahn have expressed concerns over flash flooding and wind damage prompted several school corporations to call a first-ever “rain day” for students. San Francisco Unified School District officially announced a cancellation late Wednesday afternoon, with Oakland Unified School District expected to follow. Napa, Sacramento, and Russian Rivers are all expected to rise above the flood stage no later than Thursday afternoon.

Several scheduled events and performances were also postponed, including “Drag Queens on Ice.”

And while Southern California is not directly in the path of the storm, residents there have been told to prepare for waves up to 25 feet high along the coast.

Plastic Pollution In Oceans Fully Realized


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Science Leaders | Posted on 11-12-2014

Most people have heard of the giant mass the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean made up entirely of plastic. While many tell this fact with a nod and wink and an apologetic shrug about humanity’s littering problem, some are taking a decidedly more serious tone.

Researchers including Emerson Collective’s Laurene Powell Jobs have discovered that the problem is far more widespread than merely a single large mass floating at sea. The main issue that plastics are causing in our marine ecosystems is that they are being ingested throughout the aquatic food chain, absorbing toxic chemicals contained within the plastic itself. The smallest fish eat the smallest pieces of plastics that flake off from larger pieces, then the small fish are eaten by larger fish, and so on, until a creature of the ocean finds its way on a human plate.

It is unknown at this time if there are any serious effects to humans caused by this chain reaction. Regardless of that, researchers are advocating much more stringent policies and laws on disposing of solid refuse at sea, as well as finding alternative disposal methods in general for plastic. The world’s fisheries are already in a delicate state at the moment due to over-fishing, and researchers wish to avoid prolonging stress on the fish, fearing consequences such as a mass reduction in fish population. Researchers are planning to continue monitoring the level of plastics in the oceans.

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