Losing Ground (3 minute version) (by EnvironmentalWG)
This Environmental Working Group video explains how many Midwestern industrial farms are contributing to the loss of top soil, as well as polluting precious water supplies with fertilizer and toxic pesticide pollution.
Posts tagged lakes.
(Photo: Nick Brandt / Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery)
Wildlife photographer Nick Brandt used the corpses littering the Tanzanian lake shores as posed models for a haunting new series of photographs.
Matt Jones. Lakes of Gokyo, Khumbu valley, Nepal.
I’m headed here in a few weeks. Also Seti river valley near Pokhara to visit some climate scientists whose contract I’m managing.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. came to Crown Town, and all he wants to talk about is coal ash.
Article also mentions serious pollution from coal power plants:
* Of the 274 coal plants that discharge coal ash and scrubber wastewater into waterways, nearly 70 percent (188) have no limits on the toxics most commonly found in these discharges (arsenic, boron, cadmium, lead, mercury, and selenium) that are dumped directly into rivers, lakes, streams and bays.
* Of these 274 coal plants, more than one-third (102) have no requirements to monitor or report discharges of these toxic metals to government agencies or the public.
* A total of 71 coal plants surveyed discharge toxic water pollution into rivers, lakes, streams and bays that have already been declared impaired due to poor water quality. Of these plants that are dumping toxic metals into impaired waterways, more than three out of four coal plants (59) have no permit that limits the amount of toxic metals it can dump.
* Nearly half of the coal plants surveyed (187) are operating with an expired Clean Water Act permit. 53 of these power plants are operating with permits that expired five or more years ago.
Read the report: Closing the Floodgates: How the Coal Industry is Poisoning Water
The Blomstrandbreen glacier, located in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, has retreated nearly two kilometers since 1928, the year the black and white photos were taken.
The rate of glacial retreat has accelerated to 35 metres (114 feet) per year since 1960, and even faster in the last decade.
Black and white photos courtesy the Norwegian Polar Institute, color photos Christian Aslund for Greenpeace.
Enviro-headline of the year?
It’s a fatal infection without an effective treatment, and one that strikes in a decidedly gruesome manner: An amoebic organism lurking in water is inadvertently inhaled during a swim on a hot summer’s day. From there, it travels through the nasal passage and into the brain, where it multiplies, devours one’s cerebral fluid and gray matter, and almost invariably causes death.
These “brain-eating amoebas” — known to doctors and scientists as Naegleria fowleri, or N. fowleri — aren’t believed to kill often. In the US, researchers estimate that between three and eight people die from N. fowleri disease, commonly referred to as PAM (primary amebic meningoencephalitis) each year. But that might not be the case for long. In recent years, N. fowleri has popped up in unexpected locations, which some experts suggest is a sign that warmer waters — caused by brutal summer heat waves and rising temperatures across the country — are catalyzing their spread.
Residents fear Lake Macquarie City Council’s controversial actions on the risks of sea level rise will wipe more than $1 billion off the value of properties.But some believe the loss could be worse, with homes worthless because they cannot be sold. Some say their properties already won’t sell and insurance premiums are skyrocketing – problems they blame on the council’s sea level rise measures.
But the council says changes in property values are a result of the global financial crisis, housing supply and interest rates, not council predictions of sea or lake level rise.
In a statement the council also said sea and lake level predictions in 2050 or 2100 played no role in the calculation of insurance premiums.
However, Marks Point resident Barbara Davis, who is leading an action group on the matter, said the council was ‘‘destroying people’s lives’’.
The council had placed notations relating to flood and sea level rise on section149 property certificates of about 10,000 properties, and residents say the move has devalued many properties.
Drought stricken Lake Travis, Texas. Note the water line in the background. Via
The yin and yang of ice and land at Lake of the Woods.
Rare Chinese Porpoises Dive Toward Extinction. Above, A Carcass of a Rare Yangtze Finless Porpoise.
"There are just 1,000 individual Yangtze finless porpoises left in the wild, according to a new report. That’s less than half of what a similar survey of the porpoises found six years ago.
The rapidly dwindling numbers have conservationists worried that the species could vanish from the wild as early as 2025.
"The species is moving fast toward its extinction,” said Wang Ding, head of the expedition to count the porpoises and a professor at the Institute of Hydrobiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Yangtze finless porpoises, the only freshwater finless porpoise in the world, live mainly in the Yangtze River and China’s Dongting and Poyang lakes. They are threatened by shrinking food resources and man-made disturbances like shipping traffic.
The expedition, which took place over 44 days last fall, comes after a similar trek along the Yangtze in 2007 failed to find any surviving Baiji dolphins, a close relative of the finless porpoise that was subsequently declared functionally extinct.
The new report showed that some finless porpoises are splintering off into relatively isolated groups, which could hurt their ability to reproduce. The scientists also noted that more of the animals seemed to be flocking to wharf and port areas, perhaps to look for food. ”
Villa Epecuen: The Town That Was Submerged For 25 Years via Amusing Planet
By late nineteenth century, the first residents and visitors started to arrive to Villa Epecuen and set up tents on the banks. Villa Epecuen transformed from a sleepy mountain village to a bustling tourist resort. The village soon had a railway line linking it to Buenos Aires. Before long, tourists from all over South American and the World came flocking, and by the 1960s, as many as 25,000 people came every year to soak in the soothing salt water. The town’s population peaked in the 1970s with more than 5,000. Nearly 300 businesses thrived, including hotels, hostels, spas, shops, and museums.
Around the same time, a long-term weather event was delivering far more rain than usual to the surrounding hills for years, and Lago Epecuen began to swell. On 10 November 1985 the enormous volume of water broke through the rock and earth dam and inundated much of the town under four feet of water. By 1993, the slow-growing flood consumed the town until it was covered in 10 meters of water.
Nearly 25 years later, in 2009, the wet weather reversed and the waters began to recede. Villa Epecuen started coming back to the surface.
Neat, but that water is a polluted disaster of radiation and radon, metals like mercury, aluminum, and iron, and countless other poisons leaching from rotting concrete, underground sewer pipes, disintegrating metal infrastructure, etc… What an environmental mess.
Lake Ontario is almost completely ice free. The water temperature is 35°F. Yet, there are more snow storms. How can this be?
Read more: Warmer but more snow. Does this make sense?
A week after the dumping of at least 20,000 gallons of toxic and potentially radioactive fracking waste into a storm drain that empties into a tributary of the Mahoning River in Youngstown, Ohio, by Hard Rock Excavating, state regulators have yet to disclose information about the quantity of waste and the chemicals involved.
Dang. Most storm drains dump untreated run-off into a river, pond, lake, or some other body of water. Storm drain infrastructure drains roads and parking lots of rain water and snow melt.
My understanding is that it is illegal under the Clean Water Act (e.g., the EPA) to dump toxic chemicals into these drains since fish, riparian mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, birds, kids, swimmers, and farmers use surface waters on a regular basis.
If the above is correct (I’m skeptical), that frackers are dumping chemical-waste-water into storm drains, holy shit - Ohioans downstream are in for a big surprise…
“It’s a lake, yes. But it’s also a bomb. Those pale blue blobs, stacked like floating pancakes down at the bottom of this photograph? They’re astonishingly beautiful, yes, but they can be dangerous.
They are gas bubbles, little hiccups of methane that look magical when they’re trapped in winter ice, but come the spring, those bubbles will loosen, get free, and like an armada of deep-water flying saucers, they will make their way to the surface. When the ice breaks they will pop and fizz into the air — and disappear.
Except they don’t really disappear. Once they hit air, methane bubbles make trouble. How much trouble depends on how many bubbles get released all over the planet. In this one lake, there are thousands, tens of thousands of them, as you can see. But in the oceans, they are bigger — much bigger.”