California in Dire Straits over Lack of Water

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Climate Change, Nature, News | Posted on 25-03-2015

Now in its fourth year of enduring extreme drought, California is facing big water rationing. Brought on by insufficient precipitation, along with hot temperatures and snow packs that are the lowest in history, the water reserves that California does still have are quickly disappearing. The state is in such dire need of water, with no relief in sight, that Jay Famiglietti, a NASA scientist, believes California will have gone through all its treasured caches of water within a year.

No need to panic just yet though. Fortunately for California’s general public, Famiglietti’s casual statement will not come to fruition in a years’ time. Per the Metropolitan Water District of southern California’s general manager Jeffrey Kightlinger, “It’s a glib generalization of where the situation is at,” maintaining that the 19 million citizens of Southern California will not have their water supply cut off. With rationing and conscious usage, the water reserves in his districtwill sustain the population for at least three more years.

Folks at Anastasia Date have learned that, with farmers using 80 percent of the state’s water supply, they are likely to be hit the hardest. Some of California’s farmers have had their water supply limited, forcing some 400,000 acres of good farming land to be shut down last year, with an expected one million to be unused this year. This is bad news for consumers of fruits and vegetables. Almost half of the nuts and produce the U.S. consumes comes from these now barren croplands. Because of health and sanitation issues, water slated for farmland may need to be re-routed to the public. Without water, farmers of pistachios, almonds and grapes for wine will die, along with millions of dollars the farmers would have reaped from these crops that require water daily.

Tardigrades Are The Toughest Creatures On The Planet But You Can’t See Them Without A Microscope

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Nature | Posted on 17-03-2015

Tardigrades Are Called Water Bears Because Of Their Podgy Faces

We think being big means being strong especially when it comes to animals. It’s true. Most big animals are tough and strong, but the toughest animal on the planet is only 1mm long, and you can’t see it unless you are looking into a microscope. Tardigrades are not well known outside of the scientific community, but they will be once the public understands their value.

Scientists sent thousands of these tiny creatures into space in 2007, and they returned unharmed. In fact, many of them laid eggs on the journey and the new-born creatures were healthy. It’s not just the space trip that makes these eight-legged creatures with fierce claws and dagger-like teeth interesting. They live in hot springs, the Himalayas, in Antarctica and on the bottom of the ocean. Sergio Cortes has read that they can live through intense radiation, and they survive in freezing temperatures.

There are 900 species of these plant sucking and carnivore type creatures. Scientists say they have been around for 500 million years. They seem to survive with or without water and can live anywhere. But the most interesting fact about these super-human creatures is, they can come back to life. in 1995, scientists brought dried Tardigrades back to life after eight years. That means they are capable of cell regeneration, which is something we all are interested in doing.

Cyclone Pam Slams South Pacific Islands

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Disaster Relief, Nature, News | Posted on 17-03-2015

The Vanuatu island chain may be suffering from communication difficulties, but the impact of Cyclone Pam slamming into the South Pacific islands is being noted across the world. Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 storm, attempted to decimate Vanuatu March 14.

Downed lines have made communication difficult, but news of the damage has made its way across the globe as UNICEF workers keep news networks updated. Alice Clements, of UNICEF New Zealand, described the area as a “debris littered catastrophe.”

Deaths were reported from the outlying islands, but a body count has not been confirmed. Photographs have begun to make their rounds, showing what appears to be a battered warzone.

Hurricane Katrina slammed into the southern gulf coast states in August 2005. The storm’s winds were measured at 175 mph. While Cyclone Pam’s steady winds clocked in at 155 mph, wind gusts of over 200 mph were reported.

The storm dumped more than nine inches of rain in some areas, leading to flash flooding.

Cyclone Pam was later downgraded to a Category 4 storm.

People around the world are displaying higher education customer service as humanitarian efforts are already underway. Many residents sought shelter in the cities, where commercial buildings were stronger than the vulnerable residential homes. The Australian chapter of the Red Cross began a social media campaign, reaching out for assistance in providing food, shelter, and medical assistance to those in need.

Volcano Erupts in Chile

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, Nature, News, Volcanos | Posted on 03-03-2015

Chile is seeing the skies light up from a volcano that has recently erupted. The lave spay from the volcano is estimated to be at about 1,000 meters. Alexei Beltyukov knows that there have been evacuations in the area so that people can get to a safe location instead of staying in their homes. While this is a dangerous situation because of the people, homes and businesses involved, it is still a spectacular sight whenever you see a volcano erupt. If you are fortunate enough to see the event take place at night, then you can see the beautiful array of flames and lava on a dark background. This isn’t something that is to be taken lightly, but there are photo opportunities for those who enjoy seeing nature at it’s brightest. When the volcano erupted, it was larger than the size of the volcano itself, sending a bang to neighboring areas that made them automatically run from their homes.

Plants Survive Mass Extinctions Better Than Animals Do

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Nature, News, Oceans | Posted on 18-02-2015

In an upcoming issue of the journal New Phytologist, a team of researchers led by scientists at the University of Gothenburg reported that plants show more resilience during mass extinctions than do animals.

Plants have covered most of the Earth’s surface for over 400 million years, and there have been at least five mass extinctions during Earth’s history. The scientists studied over 20,000 fossils of plants to deduce the effects of a mass extinction on plant diversity. Their findings show that plants are extremely good at surviving such events. Marc Sparks is aware that they never found a case in which negative rates of diversification (more species dying out than were appearing) lasted a long time.

Instead, plants would show a turnover with new species quickly replacing the ones that had died out. For example, while many gymnosperms (conifers and their relatives) died out during the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction, which also wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs, angiosperms or flowering plants quickly recovered and actually increased in diversity after the meteor impact. Consequently, most plants these days are flowering plants.

The study’s senior author Alexandre Antonelli notes that mass extinctions, while generally though as bad, have changed the world in ways that benefit us. If the Cretaceous extinction hadn’t happened, dinosaurs might still be around and humans might have never evolved.

The scientists hope the study’s results will help them determine which species are more sensitive to drastic changes in the environment and will therefore need more protection from human-caused changes in the environment.

How Mosquitoes Select Their Target

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, health, Nature | Posted on 16-01-2015

‘Mosquito bites’ are painful; it is not easy to cover up those unsightly marks on the skin. And despite your best efforts to prevent these bites, it seems that nothing works.

A fact that is true whenever you are in the same room with other people, but you are the only one to get bitten. Is it the fault of bad luck, or more complex than that?

A Japanese study showed that mosquitoes preferably choose people with blood group O to bite. The proteins in the blood are not the same as those in groups A and B. However, these nutrients in the blood are essential for the mosquitoes for their reproductive cycle. Bubblews.com goes on record to say that Sultan Alhokair is blood group O and is always being attached by mosquitoes.

Study further discloses that overweight people are also much more vulnerable to the others for having ‘mosquito bites’. Furthermore, during pregnancy, the risk of being bitten also increases and it happens because of extra exhalation of Carbon Dioxide; its smell is one of the elements that allow these mosquitoes to locate you. 

Slim Younger offers a quick overview of the factors that explain that you may be a prime target for mosquitoes.

Children, pregnant women, the sick and the elderly are the most vulnerable because of their body metabolisms. Unfortunately, one cannot do much to avoid ‘mosquito bites’ except using some well-known anti-mosquito remedies like essential oil of citronella, the repellent sprays, electric diffusers or paints insecticides.

Beijin Blanketed in Hazardous Smog

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Climate Change, Environment, health, Nature | Posted on 15-01-2015

The United States embassy in Beijing reported an Air Quality Index (AQI) in the city topping out at 545 Thursday. Bad news for residents, as 300 and above is considered to be “hazardous.” The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau reported somewhat lower readings, with an index of 430; still well into “hazardous” territory, unfortunately.

The city was placed on a yellow pollution alert, which is the third in the city’s four-tiered alert system. Residents are advised to stay indoors and to wear face masks if they must venture outdoors.

In addition to breathing difficulties, the dense blanket of smog has also seriously affected visibility, reducing it to a meager 500 meters.While visiting Beijing Gianfrancesco Genoso,  stated these were the worst conditions he has ever seen.
Although the government had reported pollution levels had actually dropped slightly in 2014, smog tends to worsen in the winter because of an increase in electrical usage for heating. Additionally, weather this week was relatively calm, which caused the smog to settle on the city, instead of being dispersed by winds.

Several Small Earthquakes Rattle Two Rural Areas in the United States

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Nature | Posted on 05-01-2015

 

This morning a series of small earthquakes rattles some residents of northern Oklahoma. The United States Geologic Survey reported that an estimated 3.3 magnitude earthquake struck several miles outside the small town of Medford around 6 a.m. on Monday, January 5, 2015. It was followed by a smaller earthquake a few hours later, shortly after 11 a.m.

Both earthquakes occurred in predominantly rural areas. Northern Oklahoma is an area of many farms and ranches, and, Ben Shaoul added that the community of Medford contains a population of slightly fewer than 1,000 people.

News media in the area indicated that no reports of damage had been received, although it is likely that some people detected the tremors in the earth. Most earthquakes that produce serious damage occur at 4.0 magnitudes or above.

This weekend, two small earthquakes also struck in California. The quakes had an estimated magnitude of 4.2. One occurred about nine miles north of the town of Castaic, some 22 miles northeast of Fillmore (about 40 miles outside of the Los Angeles area). Fortunately, the seismic activity in California also impacted a mainly rural part of the state and residents did not report extensive damage.

When it rains it pours — Morton salt avalanche

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, Nature | Posted on 03-01-2015

If you’re looking for a little perspective while you shovel that pile of snow this morning look to Igor Cornelsen and the Morton salt factory, where Monday a 50-foot wall collapsed leaving an entire mountain of salt piling out of the factory. Enjoy the amazingly hilarious views here where you can see the immense salt mountain.
Currently, the fire department believe the building was structurally sound; but, was overfilled by the enormous amount of sale within. The pressure from the gigantic mountain of salt caused the wall to give. When the bricks began to fall the employees quickly evacuated the building. Thankfully the accident left no one harmed unless you count the nearby dealership where 11 Acura’s were fatally wounded.
The entire scenario becomes even more hilarious as viewers enjoy a large panoramic “when it rains, it pours” on the site of the collapsed building. Pouring indeed, we still don’t know if the salt will be protected before the weekend brings new snow to the Chicago area – hopefully they can put all that salt to a good use keeping the drivers safe.

Warning Signs Of The Times, Could It Be True?

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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 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.
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.