The following articles about our environmental impact on the world have caught my eye this week:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a new report on the impact of climate change on fishing. Moreover, they report continued over-fishing of certain stocks. “The researchers found that black sea bass, scup, and summer flounder exhibited significant poleward shifts in distribution in at least one season. The shifts in black sea bass and scup were related to temperature, while the shift in summer flounder was related to a decrease in fishing pressure and an expansion of the population age structure. The southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Bight stock of winter flounder showed no change in distribution … Increasing ocean temperatures have significantly affected marine life, inducing shifts in distribution and changes in abundance.”
Chinese authorities have confirmed that the southern glaciers in that country are fast disappearing. These glaciers are “a critical source of water for drinking and irrigation in India are receding fast, according to a new comprehensive inventory. In the short term, retreating glaciers may release greater meltwater, ‘but it will be exhausted when glaciers disappear under a continuous warming,’ says Liu Shiyin, who led the survey for the Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute in Lanzhou.”
And did a TV stunt about an anaconda eating a scientist help or hinder efforts to save the Peruvian jungle and its fauna from devastating and illegal gold mining? “Due to runoff from the illegal gold mining, today nine out of the fifteen fish most commonly consumed in the Madre de Dios region have mercury levels higher than are deemed safe by the US EPA. The result is that 78% of the human population in the region has dangerously high mercury levels in their bodies, a problem especially perilous for pregnant mothers.” The scientist tells his highly persuasive tale about a serious mission to protect snakes and people.
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