Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers:

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

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15 Shocking Videos Show What It’s Really Like Trying to Survive the California Wildfires

15 Videos Show What It’s Really Like Trying to Survive the California Wildfires:

The Northern California wildfires are fast-moving, unpredictable, and for some, unsurvivable. The videos below will show you what it’s really like, trying to survive an ever-changing inferno…and why you shouldn’t wait for the official evacuation order.

A lot of folks have been critical, saying blithely, “They knew there was a fire. They should have evacuated.” It’s important to understand that it doesn’t always work like that with wildfires. Armchair quarterbacking is easy. Fleeing when the car your driving literally catches on fire and the smoke is blinding you is not easy.

First of all, fires move rapidly. You can be in no danger whatsoever and just see a fire on the distant horizon, and then minutes later, it’s at your back door. Secondly, they change courses. Many times, the fire gets ahold of some new fuel – like a home, tall grass, or trees, and the course veers in that direction. Finally, high winds have propelled these fires rapidly and fanned them to new heights. Every fall, California has something called the “Diablo Winds.” These are seasonal gusts that can reach as high as 80 mph and cause extremely high fire danger. When coupled with existing fires, it’s nothing less than the perfect storm.

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Gulf of Mexico Now Largest Dead Zone in the World, and Factory Farming Is to Blame

Gulf of Mexico Now Largest Dead Zone in the World, and Factory Farming Is to Blame:

Story at-a-glance

  • Nitrogen fertilizers and sewage sludge runoff from factory farms are responsible for creating a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico spanning more than 8,700 square miles — the largest recorded dead zone in the world
  • Seven million Americans have levels of nitrates in their drinking water that are high enough to be associated with cancer, according to some studies
  • Nitrogen builds up far below the soil surface where it can continue to leach into groundwater for 35 years. This means environmental concerns remain for decades even if nitrogen fertilizer use stops
  • The environmental group, Mighty, has launched a national #CleanItUpTyson campaign, calling for the meat company to clean up pollution from its supply chain
  • No-till alone cannot reduce water pollution. Other regenerative methods must also be used. Adding native prairie strips to 10 percent of crop areas reduces phosphorous and nitrogen runoff by 77 and 70 percent respectively, and lowers nitrate concentrations in groundwater by 72 percent

By Dr. Mercola

As reported by CBS Miami (above), nitrogen fertilizers and sewage sludge runoff from factory farms are responsible for creating an enormous dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. As fertilizer runs off farms in agricultural states like Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and others, it enters the Mississippi River, leading to an overabundance of nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus, in the water. 

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Wave Of Eruptions Along Pacific ‘Ring Of Fire’ Leave 10,000s Displaced

Wave Of Eruptions Along Pacific ‘Ring Of Fire’ Leave 10,000s Displaced:

The Pacific “Ring of Fire” is living up to its name.

The 450 or so volcanoes that make up the ring outline have been unusually active this year, sparking evacuations on the Indonesian island of Bali and on the tiny island nation of Vanuatu. Parts of southwestern Japan, meanwhile, have been shaken by a series of earthquakes, unsettling the local population, in an area where the massive Pacific Plate grinds against other plates that form the Earth’s crust, creating a 25,000-mile zone where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are unusually common.

Three volcanos have either erupted, or are showing signs of an imminent eruption, across the region, according to a roundup published by the Associated Press.

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Wine production forecast to fall globally due to extreme weather – Weather causes ‘lowest’ European wine output since WWII

Wine production forecast to fall globally due to extreme weather

Weather causes ‘lowest’ European wine output since WWII

Wineries coping with California wildfires as death toll reaches 31

H/t reader Squodgy.

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Northern California Wildfires Death Toll Climbs To 23 As “Destructive” Winds Fan Flames

NorCal Wildfires Death Toll Climbs To 23 As “Destructive” Winds Fan Flames:

After slackening earlier in the week, the dry, nearly hurricane-force winds that have been fanning the flames in Northern California picked up again overnight, revitalizing what some are already describing as the most devastating wildfires in the state’s modern history.

As of Thursday morning, 23 people have been confirmed dead in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Yuba counties. Another 200 are missing. Fires have swallowed more than 3,500 homes and businesses over more than 170,000 acres. And the state’s emergency shelters are rapidly approaching their limits as more than 25,000 people have fled with more than 4,000 staying in the shelters, according to the Washington Post.

The death toll is expected to rise significantly as officers reenter the “hot zones” that were totally destroyed by the fires.

“We can’t even get into most of the areas,” Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano said. “When we start doing searches, I expect that number to go up.”

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Delingpole: Aussie ex-PM Abbott Slams Climate Change ‘Religion’

Delingpole: Aussie ex-PM Abbott Slams Climate Change ‘Religion’:

Climate change is a religion whose followers behave like members of the Inquisition; it’s a condition where the cure is causing far more damage than the alleged disease; it’s a recipe for killing jobs, lowering standards of living and hurting the poor…

Some of us knew this already. But you rarely hear it so trenchantly expressed by a former world leader – as it was in London yesterday by Aussie ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a hard-hitting, must-read speech for the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

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Threat Of Devastating ‘Supervolcano’ Eruption At Yellowstone Is Greater Than Previously Thought

Threat Of Devastating ‘Supervolcano’ Eruption At Yellowstone Is Greater Than Previously Thought:

Scientists from the US Geological Survey who breezily informed the public that there’s “nothing to worry about” with regards to the Yellowstone caldera, a supervolcano that should it erupt could cause potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths, should be eating their words.

Since about mid-July, the earth beneath the volcano has been shifting in a sign that magma could be rushing into the caldera’s main chamber. Since then, there have been roughly 2,500 small-scale earthquakes recorded near the volcano, the largest stretch on record. Previous estimates had assumed that the process that led to the eruption took millenniums to occur.

The same estimates that USGS based their warning on.

As the New York Times explains, the Yellowstone caldera is a behemoth far more powerful than your average volcano. It has the ability to expel more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once, 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980, which killed 57 people. That could blanket most of the United States in a thick layer of ash and even plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter.

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