Hottest/Wettest Year Ever; Every Degree Warmer Leads to About 4% More Water in the Air

Floods kill 1400 and maroon 30,000 in Pakistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/01/c_13425288.htm#.

Floods kill 1072, leave 619 missing this year in China

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/05/c_13431093.htm.

Families displaced by floods in S. Philippines reached 16,000

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/05/c_13431093.htm.

14 dead, thousands evacuated in central Europe floods

http://www.rnw.nl/africa/bulletin/ten-dead-thousands-evacuated-central-europe-floods-0.

Iowa floods

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/record-breaking-heat-brings-storms-floods-iowa-floods-thunderstorms-hot-summer-100-degree-tepretures-11398075.

Share

21 States with Heat Advisories

According to ABC’s Good Morning America there were 21 states with heat advisories today and tomorrow isn’t looking any cooler. A quick look at the NOAA map:

21 States with Heat Advisories Today

According to the NOAA:

HEAT is the number one weather-related killer. On average, more than 1,500 people in the U.S. die each year from excessive heat. This number is greater than the 30-year mean annual number of deaths due to tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined. In the 40-year period from 1936 through 1975, nearly 20,000 people were killed in the United States by the effects of heat and solar radiation.

In the disastrous heat wave of 1980, more than 1,250 people died. In the heat wave of 1995 more than 700 deaths in the Chicago, Illinois area were attributed to this event. And in August 2003, a record heat wave in Europe claimed an estimated 50,000 lives.

Remember that? The death toll just kept rising. We don’t get a big bunch of news about our neighbors. It appears there were record heat waves in at least 3 decades that claimed a lot of lives. If we could just experience the world’s climatic conditions every day we might achieve some unity of opinion about global climate change.

http://www.noaawatch.gov/themes/heat.php

Share

Sinister Sun Screen

 

 

The sun is getting brighter and hotter. We’ll feel it again on Friday when the temperature is supposed to hit 89. To stand with bare skin in the sun really burns hot regardless of a breeze. So we’re told to wear sunscreen, lots of sunscreen, and try to stay out of it.   

I do use it, but wondered why my face felt like I have gravel under my skin whenever I applied sunscreen, especially the really good stuff. And I get darker and darker anyway. I’ve got a pretty good tan considering I wear 45 SPF, a big hat, and long sleeve men’s shirts for yard work. I’ve been telling my doctor for years that I do apply sunscreen, lots of it, but I tan anyway. Now I read this article that the FDA was warned to provide more information about sunscreen.

 According to the article on World Wire:

Sunscreens pose scientifically well-documented risks. While well known for over a decade, they remain unregulated by the FDA, and ignored by the industry.

Sunscreens are based on six ingredients, some of which actively penetrate the skin, accumulate in the body, and have been identified in urine and breast milk. More ominously, these ingredients have toxic hormonal effects, known technically as “endocrine disruptive.” Evidence for these effects has been well documented over the last decade. This includes stimulation of human breast cancer cells in test tube experiments, and increased uterine growth in immature female rats following skin painting or feeding.
Well, this is certainly something everyone should be aware of before we smear ourselves and our kids with the stuff; especially the good stuff that we’ve been told contains titanium oxide. The article says it makes sunscreen even worse:

Of major concern, and still ignored by the FDA, is the increasing addition to sunscreens of unlabeled atom or molecule size zinc oxide or titanium dioxide particles. Technically known as nanoparticles, they increase the durability and effectiveness of these products. However, as reported in over two dozen scientific publications since 2003, including those by an Environmental Protection Agency research team and the International Center for Technology Assessment, nanoparticles can penetrate the skin, invade blood vessels, and produce devastating distant toxic effects.

I think I’ll stick to just the big and big shirt until this mess gets straightened out.

 

Read more: http://world-wire.com/news/0808070001.html

Share

Cash Corn Crops Go the Way of Floods in the Midwest

 

 

For those of us in Michigan or anywhere else that think global warming or any of the climate events happening elsewhere won’t/don’t affect us guess again. Just like yesterday’s blog about Dead Zones that affects our penchant for shrimp, crab, and select fish like grouper, the California fires are in wine country.  So that perfect glass of wine to accompany that already vulnerable seafood dinner may not materialize at all.

 

Floods in the Midwest have caused a huge loss in corn crops also. So much for ethanol as an alternative. The loss of corn is going to cause an even greater problem with food shortages worldwide, which really can’t take another hit. As a result we’ll soon see food prices climb even higher here.

 

It simply amazes me that we’re experiencing such drastic degrees of bad weather at the same time. Look at the flood risk this year: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hic/nho/. Hundreds of people have lost homes and irreplaceable keepsakes due to flood damage.

 

Does anyone remember some of the prophecies about the future from the likes of  Nostradamus, Cayce, and Dixon? One of the prophecies was that the  U.S. would be divided by water eventually. The water rose through the middle of the country separating the east from the west. This doesn’t bode well considering the middle of our country is flooding.

 

As for fires, it looks like a fifth of California is burning: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sto/cafw/. Eighty homes and other structures have been destroyed by fires, while more homes are still threatened. If fires sweep through wine country there will be zilch for the year 2008.

 

And for those of us that have always grown things we know weather problems affect our little gardens, fruit trees, and whatever we grow just like the big guys.  The wind that ripped the shingles off my house on Monday would have caused a big loss in my vegetable garden had it been later in the season when the plants were bigger. I’m saying this because I see many more gardens planted this year than ever before, and I just wonder if the novices realize that the survival technique of growing our own food can backfire on us easily if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. The idea of living like our forefathers or Grizzly Adams if we have to won’t cut it without the support of a decent environment, so relying on ourselves for survival may not be viable if the weather continues to be extreme.  Like the old commercial for butter used to say: “It’s not nice [or wise] to fool with Mother Nature.”

 

 

 

Share

Wicked Weather Last Night

 

So Monroe, MI, how about that weather last night?  Monroe doesn’t usually get anything that bad, especially my area near Lake Erie. Usually the lake just sucks out the storm, but last night blew the shingles off my roof. And they were only 2 years old! Straight-line winds just dropped in out of nowhere. I actually went to sit in the bathroom with my bird and one cat that doesn’t like storms. I wasn’t thinking tornado, but I was thinking scary thoughts. My only clue that it wasn’t going to be too bad is that there were birds, and mallard ducks eating under my bird feeder up until the moment that wind hit.

 

It could have been worse. Bloomfield Hills and counties North of us really got walloped with trees landing on houses and no power since Friday for some.

 

It’s no wonder weather events are extreme. Our country is experiencing some pretty diverse climate conditions all at once. Washington state was in the 30’s and expecting snow today. Places like Racine, WI got flash floods. Racine is bewildered because that NEVER happened before. And parts of Arkansas and N. Carolina are drought stricken. Mix snow, floods, heat, and droughts together and it’s little wonder we have climate explosions where bad weather just drops in like the 117 mph winds that ran through the Columbus, OH area last night.

 

We’re already greeted with a pretty wicked windy season and it’s only June 10th.  I’ve lost some shingles. I just hope I can hang onto my new awning until windy season is over, and I hope no one suffered anything worse.

Share

Climate Change Affecting U.S. Terrain

 

I ran across an interesting article on Environmental News Service about our changing forests and desert areas. One of my first blogs was about the influx of people to the Southwest where four states depend entirely on the Colorado River, which is supplied with water in the summer months from glacier melt. But the glaciers are slowly disappearing.

 

The article says that the changes will continue. In that case there will be a big exodus from those states in the future back to places like Michigan. We must keep our Great Lakes clean. Some day those lakes may mean survival for many.

 

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/may2008/2008-05-28-091.asp

 

Share

Can excessive plankton buildup in the Arctic trigger same methane explosions as those off of Africa?

Yesterday I reported that NASA satellites are studying all types of changes on the earth. One of NASA’s studies whose results were on their website stated that:

Scientists from Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., set out to see what effect reduced sea ice cover would have on the organisms that comprise the base of the Arctic marine food web, the single-celled floating algae called phytoplankton. Because these photosynthetic organisms rely on the sun to meet their energy demands, reduced Arctic sea ice cover means an increase in the amount of open water habitat suitable for algal growth. Thus, their abundance is expected to increase.

Not surprisingly, the scientists found that the growth of phytoplankton has indeed increased markedly in concert with the rapid reduction in sea ice cover over the last five years. However, they were surprised to find that this growth did not take place in the areas of the Arctic where we expected it. The researchers anticipated that areas experiencing the most dramatic loss of sea ice would show the largest increase in algal growth. However this was not the case. Algal growth did indeed rise in newly ice-free areas, but only accounted for about one third of the total Arctic increase. The majority of the increase in algal growth (70 percent) was observed in the shallow waters that ring the Arctic Ocean. In these areas, algal growth rates increased because the sea ice in these areas, algal growth rates increased because the sea ice cover was melting sooner and freezing later in the year giving the algae increasingly more time to grow.

This was nine year study using all types of satellite imagery including and MRI Spectroradiometer to compare ocean color and temperature relative to sea ice melt that was also assessed.

I read a lot of things and certain words like phytoplankton buildup tweaked my curiosity as to the difference between phytoplankton and plankton. Phytoplankton is the autotrophic component of plankton. According to Wikipedia an “autotroph is an organism that produces complex organic compounds from simple inorganic molecules using energy from light or inorganic chemical reactions. Another article I found at:

http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/002481.html didn’t differentiate between phytoplankton and plankton.

This does not bode well at all in my mind because of the blog I just wrote about explosions of methane gas into the atmosphere that are growing in size to that of meters in the ocean waters off of Namibia. If all of this phytoplankton is rapidly spreading in the shallow waters that ring the Arctic Ocean, and there are not enough fish or marine mammals in that region to eat the excess plankton (phytoplankton), doesn’t it stand to reason that this Arctic phytoplankton will go the way of plankton near Namibia? In other words, it will die and rot, creating hydrogen sulfide pockets. All that is needed is high pressure from a storm on the ocean’s surface to affect the pressure on the ocean bottom in these particularly shallow waters around the Arctic and an eruption might occur. These are the same eruptions happening off of Namibia. I realize that scientists claim these explosions are not likely to take place because of the constant churning of the ocean floor. But then there is Namibia. Explain that?

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2008/04/24/mankind-contributes-to-global-warming-through-fish/

Scary stuff since the first global warming event 40 million years ago was from methane gas eruptions. The earth was eventually scorched. This just shows how delicately balanced our world really is. We fish too much, or disrupt certain species by changing habitat drastically, and something else is thrown out of kilter like phytoplankton, something so small we don’t really see it except for greenish colored water. It’s something so small, yet it can eventually kill us.

NASA website: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/ecosystem_research_briefs.html..

Share

Watch “Six Degrees” on the National Geographic Channel, Sunday, February 10th at 8 et/9 pt.

Continue reading

Share

Another Bad Farm Bill; Another Blow to the Environment and Our Health

I blogged about the Farm Bill and the changes that are needed if we are ever going to get healthy and get the nation turned around so that the small farmer thrives once again. Not going to happen. The November 12th, 2007 issue of Time Magazine had a scathing article by Michael Grunwald called “Down on the Farm” about the farm lobby and the lopsided business of farm subsidies. The article is too long to outline here. But our future for free range chicken, pork, or beef, more fruits and vegetables, and less tainted meat and food supplies in general instead of the top five commodities—corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice is mighty bleak.

The article warns if you “eat, drink, or pay taxes—or care about the economy, the environment, or our global reputation” the Farm Bill is a big deal. We still subsidize farmers billions of tax dollars every year. The trouble is that it is redistributed to millionaire farmers mostly when 60% of small farmers get no subsidies at all. Some of the subsidies even go to farms that are no longer in business!

Besides wasting billions of our money by staying status quo and helping the rich, the way our Farm Bill is laid out:

It contributes to our obesity, and illegal-immigration epidemics and to our water and energy shortages. It helps degrade rivers, deplete aquifers, elimiate grasslands, concentrate food-processing conglomerates and inundate our fast food nation with high-fructose corn syrup. Our farm policy is supposed to save small farmers and small towns. Instead it fuels the expansion of industrial megafarms and the depopulation of rural America. It hurts Third World farmers, violates international trade deals and paralyzes our efforts to open foreign markets to the non-agricultural goods and services that make up the remaining 99% of our economy.

And this description is in the first column of a long article on just how construed our Farm Bill really is. Small farmers get next to nothing in help, and are forced out. This says much about our free market system that conservatives like to tout causes competition and keeps everyone in check. Baloney. I’ve been screaming that there is no such thing as a free market system in America any longer as long as we have lobbies and big interest groups throwing millions at Congress. Again, the wealthy rule and find all sorts of loopholes to get rid of the little guy. Some free market system!

For you and me, that means we will continue to be force-fed high fructose corn syrup in everything we eat. Type II Diabetes will continue to rise. The organic industry will continue to struggle. If you’ve ever complained about the high prices of organic, now you know why. The big guys producing the top 5 crops don’t want you buying that stuff. And you won’t at $1.00 per apple. I’ve walked into the organic section of my store more than once with determination to buy what I know is better for me. The prices drive me out. I look for sales instead and go home with half of what I planned on. Example: If you want to buy cranberry juice, and I mean real cranberry juice, no other fruit juices in it, no corn syrup, no additives, full strength, not from concentrate it’s over $7.00 for 32 oz. Thank the big megafarms and our Farm Bill for that. Or then again thank Nancy Pelosi. As a matter of fact, read the article, then contact Pelosi and tell her what you think of her accommodating the same ole farm lobby once again.

Thank goodness I have fruit trees, a vegetable garden, and know how to do good old-fashioned canning. But if our weird weather keeps up, I won’t be able to do that. If we have a water shortage and hot searing sun, I won’t be able to water like it’s needed. I lost most of my fruits this past season when the trees were in bloom and we had a freeze. By fall, the very few small apples I had also had a black, oily residue all over the skins. We’ve yet to determine what it is and where it came from. I’m leaning toward jet fuel and just peeling the skins before I eat the stuff. This is going to get about survival. People who only buy from major stores, who don’t eat healthy anyway aren’t going to notice until it gets really bad. But for people who are health conscious, and raise the things they plan to eat, much like the small, unsubsidized farmer, we know what can happen, and happen fast in a bad way.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1680139,00.html.

http://www.house.gov/pelosi/contact/contact.html.
 

Share

Wolf Hunt Frenzy is Out of Control

Dead Wolves

 (The photos are from Defenders of Wildlife, defenders.org.)

Todays Detroit Free Press had a huge article about global warming wreaking havoc on thousands of animals. It said 3000 flying foxes dropped dead falling out of trees in Australia, butterflies that lived in high altitudes of our continent have vanished, and many more species will disappear in our lifetimes due to global warming. Knowing I’m part of the human population that has created this makes me ashamed. Yet we have state’s governors working themselves into a frenzy to obliterate every last wolf if they have their way.

There has been a campaign for quite some time to stop the aerial killing of wolves. It started and continues in Alaska. Many Alaskans want it stopped, and people all over the country have petitioned Alaska to stop it. Alaska has a new governor and it’s become even worse for wolves there. The issue has finally made it to Alaska’s ballot to stop aerial hunting once and for all.

Defenders of Wildlife disclosed that Alaskan officials earmarked $400,000 in public, or taxpayers dollars, to launch a campaign of lies trying to defend its aerial hunting policy. It’s the wilderness for God’s sake. Where are these animals supposed to live? They serve a purpose, a very important purpose.

The Discovery Channel aired a special from Yellowstone Park. A ranger took the TV cameras to watch wolves. The park is thriving due to their return. The ranger showed rows of different types of brush and trees that were being eaten down by animals the wolves feed on. He pointed out how the wolves helped balance the park in many ways. They are a good thing and welcome there.

As far as livestock, there was a special on the National Geographic channel not long ago that chronicled researcher, Shaun Ellis, who has literally given his life to the study of wolves. He has proven that wolves are family oriented, stick together, and have their own territory. Wolves that might attack rancher’s cattle were deterred by simply broadcasting the howl of another family of wolves. The new invading wolves stayed away for good not wanting to disrupt the territory claimed by the other wolves. I think human beings could benefit greatly from studying wolves. They “RESPECT” one another, yet we shoot them from planes and helicopters.

There is another serious viewpoint to the politics of these wolf hunts. This inhumane hunting practice undermines the efforts of others. Our own Senator Carl Levin created a bill to stop the clubbing of baby seals in Arctic Canada. Why would Canada listen to us about seals when like barbarians, we hunt wolves this way? It isn’t about the hunters or hunting. It’s about the politics of being a horrible example to the rest of the world, and where our credibility takes another bite. America does this all the time. We point out wrongdoing elsewhere and have garbage in our own back yard to clean up, including wars, and threats of wars.  Who will listen to a people who allow these things to happen? All we’ve done to exact change in this country in the past 7 years is to vote. When we do see demonstrations against politicians anymore, we are looking at other countries, not America.

This wolf witch hunt hit me and hopefully many others at a time when I am just fed up with killing. I’m already disheartened that so many animals we grew up with, that have been around for our lifetimes may just disappear. As humans we have done enough damage to the earth and everything in it. Yet we pursue more killing and once again it’s coming again from our leadership.  It’s a leadership that is so out of touch with citizens that it pays no attention to petitions and outcries from the public. Isn’t this thirst for blood getting a little stale? In retrospect, the wolf commercials from the last election certainly depicted the wrong villains.

And there are worse than Sarah Palin, Gov. of Alaska, Idaho’s Gov. Butch Otter has worked his gun toting constituency into a frenzy against wolves. That state launched a ballot initiative to remove ALL wolves. What type of intelligence is this? And it comes from a governor of a state? It’s a lynch mob who uses technology to try to wipe out an entire species of animal. They obviously haven’t bothered to learn about or care enough to explore all venues for control, if control is even needed. It looks like sport hunting to me. Wyoming wants to follow this mob. The Bush/Cheney administration is pushing to hunt them in our, “OUR” national parks too.

It’s easy to see our states are no longer united. When federal legislation that was put in place by us and preceding presidents for protection of these animals is repealed by this determined, uncaring machine of a government, then the states will each have their way. This is just an example of how divided our states are already and will become even more so in the future if we keep dismantling the federal government like extreme right wing ideologists would like and have pretty much done.

I don’t like the face of this so-called moral, but militant, hostile America. I like the old vision of open plains, majestic mountains, clean water and air, animals in their natural habitat and citizens that actually act like moral beings. The message that we, “will know them by their deeds” has been neglected for far too long. The proposed deeds of this handful of governors without conscience and the Bush administration says much about their inability to have empathy, or concern for living in harmony with nature, a basic sin for this country from the beginning.

Representative George Miller of California has introduced the PROTECT AMERICA’S WILDLIFE bill, (PAW) Act HR 3663. Write, e-mail, or call your reps and tell them you want this bill supported. It will ban the use of airplanes and helicopters to kill wolves nationwide.

http://www.rallycongress.com/letter2congress/698/?gclid=CNmHspeIlJACFQdfgQodXEeO5w.

http://www.yellowstone-natl-park.com/wolf.htm

www.defenders.org/

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/?p=52

Share