GR: We can reverse some of our environmental impacts by removing toxic waste and restoring native species. However, some of the things we’ve done seem irreversible. Here’s a report on deep-ocean pollution that, like climate change, is another of the marks of our presence that will persist long after we’re gone. The subtitle sums it up: “There’s literally no escaping mankind’s mess.”
Alan Jamieson/Newcastle University Hirondellea gigas are voracious scavengers that consume anything that comes down from the surface.
“Not even the very deepest, darkest depths of Earth’s oceans can escape mankind’s legacy of toxic pollution.
“In a shocking discovery highlighting the interconnectedness of our planet, scientists have detected “extremely high levels” of organic chemicals in the fatty tissue of amphipods, a type of crustacean, living in Mariana trench ― the deepest part of the world’s oceans.
Garbage in the Pacific Ocean (Huffington Post).
“We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm, safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth,” study author Alan Jamieson, a marine ecologist at Newcastle University in Britain, said in a statement.” –Chris D’Angelo (More: ‘Extremely High Levels’ Of Toxic Pollutants Found In Deepest Parts Of World’s Oceans | The Huffington Post.)
GR: The top two threats to species are habitat loss due to human farming and construction and the spread of invasive plants and animals. We have expected climate to catch up, and here is clear evidence that this is so. What can we do? Simple, stop destroying habitat, ignoring invasive species, and burning coal, oil, and gas. Simple to say, that is, but probably impossible to do.
“The impact of climate change on threatened and endangered wildlife has been dramatically underreported, with scientists calling on policymakers to act urgently to slow its effects before entire species are lost for good.
“New analysis has found that nearly half (47%) of the mammals and nearly a quarter (24.4%) of the birds on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species are negatively impacted by climate change – a total of about 700 species. Previous assessments had said only 7% of listed mammals and 4% of birds were impacted.
“Many experts have got these climate assessments wrong – in some cases, massively so,” said Dr James Watson of the University of Queensland, who co-authored the paper with scientists in the UK, Italy and the US.
“Published in the Nature Climate Change journal, the analysis of 130 studies reported between 1990 and 2015 painted a grim picture of the impact of the changing climate on birds and mammals already under threat.” –Elle Hunt (More: Act now before entire species are lost to global warming, say scientists | Environment | The Guardian.)
GR: Energy production destroys wildlife. Burning fossil fuel is has the worst impact, but wind and solar are also harmful. Unless we reverse our population growth, cut our resource use, and reduce our energy needs, we will continue to drive our fellow species toward extinction.
Small hibernating bat colonies need protection
to prevent extinction
“Between collisions with wind turbines and deadly white-nose syndrome, endangered Indiana bats may not have much of a chance of recovering, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.
“The researchers used a scientific model to compare how wind turbine mortality and WNS may singly and then together affect Indiana bat population dynamics throughout the species’ U.S. range.
“Bats are valuable because, by eating insects, they save U.S. agriculture billions of dollars per year in pest control,” said USGS scientist Richard Erickson, the lead author of the study. “Our research is important for understanding the threats to endangered Indiana bats and can help inform conservation efforts.”
“Wind energy generation can cause bat mortality when certain species, including the midwestern Indiana bat, approach turbines during migration. Meanwhile, WNS, which is caused by the Pseudogymnoascus destructans fungus, has killed millions of hibernating bats in North America and is spreading. The new study found that the combination of these two hazards has a larger negative impact on Indiana bats than either threat alone.” –Bob Berwin (Continue reading: Endangered Indiana bats face twin threat from wind turbines and white-nose syndrome – Summit County Citizens Voice.)