So far this year, more than one million animals have been killed by the dzud. The word conjures up an image of a mythical monster, but it is a peculiar weather phenomenon and the fear of herders on the Mongolian steppes, as journalist Helen Wright reports.
The piles of dead, frozen sheep and goats lie stacked against the rocks, just out of sight.
They are victims of the dzud, an unseen and brutal natural disaster unique to Mongolia where a summer drought combines with a harsh winter and vast numbers of livestock die from either starvation or cold.
The last dzud in 2010 killed eight million animals. It is thought to descend in five-yearly cycles and each time it wreaks havoc.
“We are trying so hard to keep them alive,” 50-year-old herder Bayankhand Myagmar says, talking about her dead sheep and goats. “But nothing we do is working.”
In Mongolia it hasn’t rained since last July and this winter temperatures dropped to as low as -50C for days on end. Snowfall covered up to 60% of the country and fell heavier than usual. Continue reading »
Violent weather killed three people in the southwestern German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, a spokesperson for the region’s interior ministry said.
The majority of destruction took place in the town of Schwabisch Gmund where a firefighter was killed as he attempted to rescue another person who also died in the floods.
— Grⓐcilitarsus (@Iteration23) May 30, 2016
Separately, a 60-year-old man drowned in a Weissbach underground car park after it filled with rainwater, according to Reuters.
(ANONHQ) As a result of deforestation, only 6.2 million square kilometers remain of the original 16 million square kilometers of forest that formerly covered Earth. Apart from adversely impacting people’s livelihoods, rampant deforestation around the world is threatening a wide range of tree species, including the Brazil nut and the plants that produce cacao and açaí palm; animal species, including critically-endangered monkeys in the remote forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, and contributing to climate change instead of mitigating it (15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation). Continue reading »
St. Louis, Missouri — Three plaintiffs have been awarded $17.5 million in damages caused by Monsanto and three other companies for negligence in the production of PCBs.
A jury voting 10-2 in St. Louis found Monsanto, Pfizer, Solutia, and Pharmacia must pay the plaintiffs and assessed an additional $29 million in punitive damages against Monsanto for its continued selling of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, after the compound had been banned, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Plaintiffs in this case — three of nearly 100 involved in litigation, some of whom died — said they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma from exposure to PCBs. Continue reading »
Five years after the Fukushima tragedy, TEPCO’s chief of decommissioning Naohiro Masuda admits that the company still has no idea exactly where 600 tons of melted radioactive fuel from three nuclear reactors is located.
As we discussed when we profiled the status of Fukushima on its five year anniversary, the radiation at the plant is still so powerful that it is impossible to get deep enough into the area to find and remove the melted fuel rods. The situation is so severe that even the robots that were sent in to find the highly radioactive fuel have died. Continue reading »
Cold afflicts people of high Andean zones
Imminent danger of low temperatures prompts state-of-emergency declaration for two districts in the Huancavelica region.
According to the Presidency of Council of Ministers, districts are Pilpichaca emergency declared – Huaytará and New Occoro – Huancavelica. Continue reading »
In a 7-4 vote, Councilors of the county of North Yorkshire approved industrial tests on Monday in a move that will allow fracking in Britain for the first time in five years.
The Guardian reported that the go-ahead “swept aside” vocal protests from residents and environmentalists who feared “catastrophic seismic activity, health problems, and pollution” if hydraulic fracturing was introduced. Continue reading »
Glyphosate, the most used herbicide in the World, has been found in the urine of 93% of the American public during a unique testing project that started in 2015.
Glyphosate, labeled a ‘Probable human carcinogen’ by the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC in 2015, has now been revealed to be ubiquitous in the first ever comprehensive and validated LC/MS/MS testing project to be carried out across America. Continue reading »
Monsanto has been trying to take over Africa’s cotton for decades with their patented, genetically modified (GM) seed. Not without irony, Burkina Faso is just one of the African countries that has been wary of any of Monsanto’s GM seed, adding to the credo, ‘better off dead, than GM fed,’ when it came to accepting U.S. food aid that was primarily genetically altered. Africa’s biggest cotton grower in Burkina Faso is now phasing out Monsanto’s GM cotton and returning to indigenous varieties by 2018, due to concerns of cross-contamination of local crops and the less-than-stellar performance of Monsanto’s Bt variety. Continue reading »
Have you noticed that our planet has begun to shake, rattle and roll? Over the past few days we have seen major volcanic eruptions in Costa Rica and Indonesia, and according to Volcano Discovery 40 volcanoes around the planet are erupting right now as you read this article. Meanwhile, earthquakes continue to shake the globe with alarming regularity. Just last week, Ecuador was hit by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake and a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in rapid succession. Overall, there have been more than 3,000 earthquakes of magnitude 1.5 or greater within the past month globally. So yes, I write constantly about the rapidly accelerating deterioration of our financial system, but the coming “collapse” is not just about money. I am convinced that we are entering a “perfect storm” in which a confluence of factors will absolutely cripple society and bring about changes that most of us would not even dare to imagine right now.
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A site run by Denbury Onshore LLC in southwestern North Dakota has spilled more than 120,000 gallons of oil and wastewater into pastureland after a mechanical failure.
Some estimated 17,000 gallons of oil and 105,000 gallons of drilling wastewater containing saltwater and chemicals leaked into pastureland near the city of Marmarth when a tank sensor failed, news agencies quoted state regulators as saying. Continue reading »
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“Winter” returned with a vengeance this morning, with heavy snow as low as 1000m in places in the central and western Alps.
The highest snowfall totals are expected in the western Alps (e.g. Zermatt, Cervinia) where 20-50 cm(8 to 20 inches) is expected quite widely by the end of today above 2000 m, with 70 cm+ (27 inches plus) possible very locally!
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– Nuclear Expert: Largest amount of Fukushima radiation fell on US West Coast and Pacific — “Why don’t we hear complaints from US?”… Officials are criminals and trying to cover it up — Public must be aware even more radiation is coming… “People need to realize impact of contamination on them”
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– Expert: Billions of pieces Fukushima nuclear fuel have spread pretty much everywhere — “It’s truly frightening… wherever there’s cesium, there’s plutonium” — Atomic bomb had one pound of uranium… Fukushima had hundreds of tons — TV: “Abundant quantities” of plutonium are being found (VIDEO)
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“Portland school board bans climate change-denying materials,” reads headline in Portland Tribune.
A sad day for science.
19 May 2016 – In a move spearheaded by environmentalists, the Portland Public Schools board unanimously approved a resolution aimed at eliminating doubt of climate change and its causes in schools.
“It is unacceptable that we have textbooks in our schools that spread doubt about the human causes and urgency of the crisis,” said Lincoln High School student Gaby Lemieux in board testimony. Continue reading »
New data revealed today shows bees can be exposed to more pesticides from contaminated wildflowers than from crops on farms. The research, discussed at a scientific briefing in London on 28 April 2016 organised by the Soil Association, showed a staggering 97% of the neonicotinoids brought back to honeybee hives in pollen could come from wildflowers – not oilseed rape. (1)
The briefing looked at the latest scientific research and its implications for the environment and the future use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the UK. The panel included three leading experts on the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on our pollinators – Professor Dave Goulson, Dr Lynn Dicks and Dr Penelope Whitehorn. Peter Campbell from Syngenta responded to the presentations from the three scientists. Continue reading »
The hopes of an El Nino-driven refill from last summer’s plunging levels of the nation’s largest reservoir have been dashed as AP reportsLake Mead water levels drop to new record lows (since it was filled in the 1930s) leaving Las Vegas facing existential threats unless something is done. Las Vegas and its 2 million residents and 40 million tourists a year get almost all their drinking water from the Lake and at levels below 1075ft, the Interior Department will be forced to declare a “shortage,” which will lead to significant cutbacks for Arizona and Nevada. As one water research scientist warned, “this problem is not going away and it is likely to get worse, perhaps far worse, as climate change unfolds.”
Water tankers are being sent to the worst-affected areas as a severe drought is accompanying the intense heat.
A record temperature has been set in India, where the mercury rose to 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 Fahrenheit) in the north-western town of Phalodi.
The previous record of 50.6 Celsius had stood for 60 years. Continue reading »
A new National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects” released today recommends pre-market safety assessments of GMOs, and it cites consumers’ social and economic choices as issues that policymakers should consider when debating mandatory labeling for GMOs.
Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, agreed.
“When it comes to GMO labels, the NAS report points out that there are value choices that consumers want to make when they shop for food. We’re pleased to see that the report cites the wealth of polling data showing consumers want GMO labeling,” stated Michael Hansen, Ph.D., senior scientist with Consumers Union.