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Archive for the 'ecology' Category

Arguments used by climate change sceptics and rebuttals

Monday, April 18th, 2016

A useful link

 

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Climate_change_skeptics/common_claims_and_rebuttal

Large-scale people movements in the Middle East not due to climate change alone

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

The large-scale movements of people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to Europe are not the result of climate change  alone but are due to complex interactions between various factors:

http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/loeste-klimawandel-den-syrien-krieg-aus-a-1077461.html

The German climate consortium (Deutsches Klima-Konsortium), including many German research institutes  published a statement stressing that point

http://www.deutsches-klima-konsortium.de/fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/PE_PM/20160211_PM_DKK-KF_zu_Klimawandel_und_Migration.pdf

Climate dates about Syria show that the region warmed by about one degree over the last century. The serious drought 2006-2010 was the worst since the beginning of measurements at the beginning of the 20th century. About 1 1/2 million peasants lost their livelihood, and many moved to different parts of the country. The government cut subventions and introduced various other ‘liberal’ economic policies, which led to the disaster. Therefore, not climate change alone but the lack of adequate political measures must be held responsible.

 

Free book on parasites in aquaculture

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Entire book, with many colour and black/white figures, “Negative Effects of Parasites on Fish Farms Production”can be downloaded here:

Contents:

INTRODUCTION
I.1.
Fish farms
I.2.
Aquaculture production in Egypt
I.3.
Water quality management
I.4.
Potential adverse effects
I.5.
Dynamics of disease transmission
I.6.
Fish disease and Prevention
PARASITES AND THEIR NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON FISH FARMS PRODUCTION
II.1. Protozoan parasites
II.1.1. Phylum: Mastigophora Diesing, 1866

Trypanosomosis, cryptobiosis, Ichthyobodosis

II.1.2. Phylum: Ciliophora Doflein, 1901
Ichthyophthiriasis
Trichodiniosis,
Chilodonellosis
II.1.3.
Phylum: Apicomplexa Levine, 1970
Coccidiosis
II.1.4. Phylum: Microspora Sprague, 1977
Microsporidiosis
II.1.5. Phylum: Myxozoa Grassé, 1970
Henneguyosis,
Myxozoan disease in aquaculture caused by Kudoa sp.
Whirling disease
II.2. Helminth parasites
II.2.1.
Infections caused by monogenean parasites
II.2.2.
Infections caused by digeneatic trematodes (Flukes)
II.2.3.
Infections caused by cestode parasites (Tapeworms)
II.2.4.
Infections caused by nematode parasites
II.2.5.
Infections caused by acanthocephalan parasites
II.3. Annelid worms (Leeches)
II.4. Crustacean parasites
II.4.1. Infections caused by lernaeid parasites
II.4.2.
Infections caused by Ergasilus species
II.4.3.
Infections caused by caligid copepods
II.4.4.
Infections caused by Argulus
II.4.5.
Infections caused by isopods
II.5.
Damage caused by parasitic larvae of molluscs
III.
CONCLUSIONS
IV.
RECOMMENDATIONS
V.
REFERENCES

New book on the physics of climate change

Monday, November 30th, 2015

A new book on the physics of climate change by the distinguished climate physicists Michael Box and Gail Box of the University of New South Wales has just been published by CRC Press: Physics of Radiation and Climate.

For details see here:

https://www.crcpress.com/Physics-of-Radiation-and-Climate/Box-Box/9781466572058

Ocean diversity and human impact: 49% decline in marine vertebrate populations between 1970 and 2012

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

According to an emergency edition of the WWF Living Blue Planet Report, there has been a 49% decline in marine vertebrate populations between 1970  and 2012. These estimates are based on tracking 5829 populations of 1234 species. For some fish species, the decline has been almost 75%. Overfishing, habitat destruction and climate change are held to be responsible.

Details here:

http://www.wwf.org.au/news_resources/?uNewsID=14601

Concerning the importance of marine ecosystems more generally, a concise and up-to-date list of important aspects of ocean diversity and how it has been affected by human activities is given in the UNESCO  report:

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/ioc-oceans/priority-areas/rio-20-ocean/blueprint-for-the-future-we-want/marine-biodiversity/facts-and-figures-on-marine-biodiversity/

Some important points from this report:

  • “By the year 2100, without significant changes, more than half of the world’s marine species may stand on the brink of extinction.
  • Today 60% of the world’s major marine ecosystems that underpin livelihoods have been degraded or are being used unsustainably.
  • If the concentration of atmospheric CO2 continues to increase at the current rate, the ocean will become corrosive to the shells of many marine organisms by the end of this century. How or if marine organisms may adapt is not known.
  • Ocean acidification may render most regions of the ocean inhospitable to coral reefs, affecting tourism, food security, shoreline protection, and biodiversity.
  • Commercial overexploitation of the world’s fish stocks is so severe that it has been estimated that up to 13 percent of global fisheries have ‘collapsed.’
  • There are now close to 500 dead zones covering more than 245,000 km² globally, equivalent to the surface of the United Kingdom.
  • Between 1980 and 2005, 35,000 square kilometers of mangroves were removed globally.
  • Between 30 and 35 percent of the global extent of critical marine habitats such as seagrasses, mangroves and coral reefs are estimated to have been destroyed.”

 

Causes of losses in marine biodiversity are discussed here, with some references:

http://www.seaweb.org/resources/briefings/marinebio.php

Corrected sunspot history suggests climate change not due to natural solar trends

Monday, August 10th, 2015

According to the International Astronomical Union (7 August 2015), sunspot activity over the last 300 years has remained more or less stable and cannot, therefore, be responsible for global warming since the industrial revolution.

 

“The Sunspot Number is a crucial tool used to study the solar dynamo, space weather and climate change. It has now been recalibrated and shows a consistent history of solar activity over the past few centuries. The new record has no significant long-term upward trend in solar activity since 1700, as was previously indicated. This suggests that rising global temperatures since the industrial revolution cannot be attributed to increased solar activity.” 

“The Maunder Minimum, between 1645 and 1715, when sunspots were scarce and the winters harsh, strongly suggests a link between solar activity and climate change. Until now there was a general consensus that solar activity has been trending upwards over the past 300 years (since the end of the Maunder Minimum), peaking in the late 20th century — called the Modern Grand Maximum by some.”

“This trend has led some to conclude that the Sun has played a significant role in modern climate change.”

 “The apparent upward trend of solar activity between the 18th century and the late 20th century has now been identified as a major calibration error in the Group Sunspot Number. Now that this error has been corrected, solar activity appears to have remained relatively stable since the 1700s.”

Full article (Science Daily) here:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150807220750.htm

 

 

A new book on the history of climate change politics in Australia

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

A book on the history of climate change politics in Australia, describing the disastrous influence of the right wing media (particularly those controlled by Murdoch) and the big mining corporations has just been published. Author is Maria Taylor (“Global Warming and Climate Change. What Australia knew and buried….then framed a new reality for the public”).  http://press.anu.edu.au/titles/global-warming-and-climate-change/ : A free copy can be downloaded at this address.

The book is based on Taylor’s research for a PhD at the National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science of The Australian National University. From the ANU site on her book: “Her multi-disciplinary investigation of the public record and the input of science, politics, economics, journalism and contemporary mass media has revealed for the first time how and why Australia buried a once good understanding of global warming and climate change — to arrive after 25 years at the confusion and stalemate we are still in today. “

An outline and discussion of he book is available here:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/aug/06/how-australians-were-ready-to-act-on-climate-science-25-years-ago-and-what-happened-next

Excerpts:

“In 1989 Hawke described a “growing consensus amongst scientists” showing there was a strong chance that major climate change was on its way, that this change was linked to human activity, and this could have “major ramifications for human survival” if nothing was done.”

‘The Howard government …….. cautious climate policy positions ……. to justify it through media articles. That modelling was supported financially by the likes of the Australian Coal Association, the oil giant Exxon Mobil and the mining majors BHP and Rio Tinto.”

 

” ……. by 1997, many political and economic reporters were “dutifully scribing the story established by the business and political elite”.

A point to make is the role of the media in Australia, which is so dominated by the Murdoch press. That played a key role, in a sense that as the 90s rolled on it was so much easier to get out a consistent narrative if you don’t have a really diverse press. From what I saw – and what the documentary evidence showed – the ABC did have a leadership role for a long time in informing the public about climate change, but it really drew back in the late 90s. There was no other story being told.

Free-market neoliberal thinktanks, including the Institute of Public Affairs, promoted climate science denialist views and industry talking points that were picked up by the media.”

Noam Chomsky über den Klimawandel und die Zukunft des intelligenten Lebens auf der Erde

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

 

 

Noam Chomsky, der berühmte Wissenschaftler und Politik-Kommentator, in einem Interview mit dem ‘Freitag’ im MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Auszüge:

“Noam Chomsky: Die USA sind ein Schurkenstaat, Europa ist extrem rassistisch”

“Hoffentlich gibt es endlich einen Volksaufstand gegen die vernichtende, zerstörerische Wirtschafts- und Sozialpolitik, die von den Bürokraten und den Banken kommt.”

“Die menschliche Spezies gibt es schon vielleicht seit 100.000 Jahren und sie steht jetzt vor einem einzigartigen Moment in ihrer Geschichte. Diese Spezies ist jetzt an einem Punkt, an dem sich sehr bald entscheiden wird, in den kommenden Generationen, ob das Experiment des sogenannten intelligenten Lebens weitergehen wird oder wir fest entschlossen sind, es zu zerstören. Überwiegend erkennen Wissenschaftler, dass fossile Energieträger im Boden bleiben müssen, damit unsere Enkel eine Zukunft haben. Aber die institutionellen Strukturen unserer Gesellschaft versuchen, jeden Tropfen aus der Erde zu pressen. Die Folgen, die Auswirkungen der vorhergesagten Effekte des Klimawandels für die Menschheit in nicht sehr ferner Zukunft sind katastrophal und wir rasen auf diesen Abgrund zu.”

 

Vollständiger Artikel hier:

http://de.euronews.com/2015/04/17/noam-chomsky-die-usa-sind-ein-schurkenstaat-europa-ist-extrem-rassistisch/

Marching into the Past: Cutting down on Renewable Energies and the Freedom of the Press

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

From the Sun Herald ( a Fairfax weekend newspaper) 12.July 2015:

“Tony Abbott has been warned he is putting international investment at risk after ordering the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation not to finance new wind power projects.”

Both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer have repeatedly claimed that wind farms are noisy and ugly. No such comments about a new open cut coal mine in fertile agricultural lands in NSW, just approved by the Federal government.

According to the ABC on 13.7.15, “small scale solar power” projects are also banned.

 

“Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been accused of unprecedented political interference in the ABC by demanding the broadcaster move panel program Q&A into its news division before he lifts a boycott of the program.

In a letter sent to ABC chairman Jim Spigelman on Friday, Mr Abbott said he would be happy to lift a ban on his frontbenchers appearing on Q&A if the ABC transferred the program from its television department to news and current affairs.”

Abbott had previously banned his ministers from appearing on the TV show, and the Minsiter for Communications Malcolm Turnbull, as well as the Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joice, who had agreed to appear on the show, complied.

Urgent action necessary: Contrasting futures for ocean and society from different anthropogenic CO2 emissions scenarios

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of the Global Change Institute and Professor of Marine Science at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Deputy Director of James Cook University’s Centre for Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, and an ARC Laureate Fellow in 2013, is one of the authors of a paper just published in Science vol. 349, 3 July 2015, no. 6243, DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4722: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6243/aac4722. in which the effects of climate change on the oceans are discussed under two scenarios, one if we continue as now, the other if we reduce temperature rise to 2 degrees.

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has also published an article in Conversation accessible to the wider public, in which he emphasises the need for urgent action if we want to avoid disaster: “……..the ocean system could not be more important: it regulates the global temperature and atmosphere, feeds 3 billion people, and largely determines our weather. The ocean also has lots of “inertia” – which means that getting the ocean to change takes a lot of energy, but once it begins to change, slowing it down becomes more or less impossible…..” . Full article here:

https://theconversation.com/new-report-the-chance-to-rescue-the-worlds-oceans-from-climate-change-is-drifting-away-43257