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"And there will be dead fish, birds will fall from the sky, and bees will disappear."

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Prinnctopher's Belt, Apr 8, 2011.

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  1. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    (CNN) -- Dead baby bottlenose dolphins are continuing to wash up in record numbers on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and scientists do not know why.

    Since February 2010 to April 2011, 406 dolphins were found either stranded or reported dead offshore.

    The occurrence has prompted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to designate these deaths as an "unusual mortality event" or UME. The agency defines a UME as a stranding incident that is unexpected or involves a significant loss of any marine mammal population.

    "This is quite a complex event and requires a lot of analysis," said Blair Mase, the agency's marine mammal investigations coordinator.

    Mase said NOAA is working closely with a variety of agencies to try to figure out not only why the bottlenose dolphins are turning up in such large quantities but also why the mammals are so young.

    "These were mostly very young dolphins, either pre-term, neonatal or very young and less than 115 centimeters," she said.

    Marine mammals are particularly susceptible to harmful algal blooms, infectious diseases, temperature and environmental changes, and human impact.

    "The Gulf of Mexico is no stranger to unusual mortality events," Mase said.

    Sensitivity surrounding marine life in the area is particularly high after the BP oil disaster that sent millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico nearly a year ago.

    The incident occurred on April 20, 2010, when a Deepwater Horizon rig leased to BP exploded, killing 11 workers and leading to the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

    As recently as two weeks ago, scientists documented a dead dolphin with oil on its remains, Mase said.

    Since the start of the oil spill, a total of 15 bottlenose dolphins have been found with either confirmed or suspected oil on their carcasses.

    Even after the gushing well was capped, the agency said nine oiled dolphins have been found since November 2, 2010.

    Of those nine, six were confirmed to contain oil from the incident; one was found with oil that did not match the Deepwater Horizon samples, and two have not yet been tested.

    The dolphin deaths may be completely independent from the oil spill, Mase said.

    "Even though they have oil on them, it may not be the cause of death," she said. "We want to look at the gamut of all the possibilities."

    The agency said bottlenose dolphins are actually the most-frequently found stranding marine mammal.

    Scientists say they are equally concerned about the number of sea turtle strandings.

    Similar to the dolphin deaths, an abnormally high number of turtles have been found either floating close to shore or washed up on shores in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

    "The vast majority of these are dead, with states in moderate to severe decomposition," said Barbara Schroeder, NOAA Fisheries national sea turtle coordinator.

    The majority of them are Kemp's ridley sea turtles, an endangered species since 1970. But some strandings included loggerheads, which are also endangered.

    "Since January 1st, we've had just under 100 strandings," Schroeder said. "About 87 of those have been documented since the middle of March."

    Only about a third of those found were in good enough shape to perform necropsies, she said. Seven turtles showed indications that they had been in accidents involving watercrafts, while another displayed injuries consistent with being caught on a hook.

    Results from the rest appeared to indicate they had drowned near the bottom of the Gulf -- possibly either from forced submergence or an acute toxic event.

    NOAA Fisheries Stranding Program Coordinator Dr. Teri Rowles said tissue samples from both turtles and dolphins are being carefully documented due to the civil and criminal litigation ongoing with BP.

    "We are looking at what is the impact of the oil spill and the response activities to the oil spill event, and what impact they had on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem," she said. "We did not say that the dolphins have died because of the oil, just that they have come back with oil on them."
  2. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Re: "And there will be dead fish, birds will fall from the sky, and bees will disappe

    The Case of the Disappearing Bees
    Analysis by Tim Wall
    Tue Jan 4, 2011 04:15 PM ET

    North American bumble bees are in trouble. The first large-scale study of bee population numbers and distribution in the U.S. brings bad news for vegetable farmers. Not to mention the balance of nature.

    SEE ALSO: India Facing Crop Shortage as Pollinators Disappear

    Eight species from a North American bumble bee genus (Bombus) were studied. Four out of the eight showed serious declines in both number and size of habitat since the late 1800's. The abundance of some bees had declined by 96 percent, while the ranges of some bees shrank by 23 to 87 percent, according to researchers led by Sydney Cameron of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Cameron worries that the four species in decline may be only the “tip of the iceberg.” There are still 42 species they didn't study, and they could be in trouble too.

    The bee study was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    SEE ALSO: Bee Die-Offs Worsened by Winter, Pesticides

    For three years, Cameron and her team studied historical records and conducted field research at about 400 sites. They gathered data about changes in bumble bee population sizes, genetic diversity, and geographic distribution. The researchers created a database of 73,000 museum records and compared those to observations of 16,000 individual bees.

    The surviving bees of species in decline had lower genetic diversity than bees from healthy populations. The declining bees were also more likely to be infected with the parasite, Nosema bombi.

    SEE ALSO: An Island of Honeybees in the African Desert

    All hope is not lost for the declining bees.

    “They could potentially recover; some of them might,” said Cameron in a University of Illinois press release.

    SEE ALSO: Bees : Discovery News

    Besides the damage to ecosystems, humans suffer from the absence of bees. Agriculture depends on bees to pollinate crops. Declining bee populations and ranges have serious economic impacts.

    "It may be that the role that these four species play in pollinating plants could be taken up by other species of bumble bees. But if additional species begin to fall out due to things we're not aware of, we could be in trouble," said Cameron.

  3. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Re: "And there will be dead fish, birds will fall from the sky, and bees will disappe

    Birds Fall From Sky In California, Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In Chicago

    The Huffington Post Travis Walter Donovan First Posted: 01/11/11 11:03 AM Updated: 01/11/11 12:31 PM

    Over 100 birds were found dead along a California highway this past weekend, and thousands of dead fish were reported along Chicago's lakefront prior to that. A smaller incident of around 30 dead birds was also reported in Missouri.

    According to the AP, the dead birds found along Highway 101 in California "were intact and had not been shot." Thousands of gizzard shad, a member of the herring family, were found dead in Chicago's harbors, many floating in ice, The Sun-Time reports. Even more abnormal, according to wildlife experts, was the sight of Canada geese and mallards munching on the dead fish, something not ordinarily a part of their diet.

    California and Illinois join countless other states that have seen mass animal deaths in the past weeks. Thousands of dead birds and fish were reported in Arkansas within 100 miles of each other, and then days later hundreds more dead birds turned up 300 miles away in Louisiana. Reports of similar incidents continued, with dead birds turning up Kentucky and millions of dead fish appearing in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay.

    The incidents haven't been isolated to the U.S., as hundreds of dead birds were discovered in Italy, and dozens of birds fell from the sky in Sweden. Massive fish kills were reported in Brazil and New Zealand, while England experienced an estimated 40,000 dead crabs washing onto its beaches.

    Various wildlife officials attest that the events are unrelated, and are not uncommon. Multiple explanations have been suggested as likely causes for various incidents. Experts believe the dead birds in Italy suffered from indigestion after overeating, while fireworks have been blamed for bird deaths in Arkansas, Louisiana and Sweden. Unusually cold weather has been speculated as the culprit in many of the fish and crab deaths, with some suggesting the same for the bird incidents.

    As for the latest reports of birds falling from the sky in California and dead fish washing ashore in Chicago, officials are currently uncertain as to what could be responsible.
  4. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    Re: "And there will be dead fish, birds will fall from the sky, and bees will disappe

    Animals dying off like this is disturbing, So much toxic stuff comes down the Mississippi into the Gulf waters and it's ignored year after year. The BP spill may prove to be a minor event in the overall picture.

    I've been collecting material to set up bee hives on my property to become part of the movement to strengthen the bee population by providing a chemical and stress free environment. I'll get a hive built this year but it won't be in time for swarming season because of my arm.
  5. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    Re: "And there will be dead fish, birds will fall from the sky, and bees will disappe

    Its good to see someone else interested in bee keeping, they need all the help they can get! Plus nowts better than free honey :D
  6. jota1

    jota1 Well-Known Member

    Re: "And there will be dead fish, birds will fall from the sky, and bees will disappe

    Forget the honey...they are absolutely essential for the pollination of practically everything that we take for granted.
  7. IV2010

    IV2010 Well-Known Member

    Re: "And there will be dead fish, birds will fall from the sky, and bees will disappe

    yep! man is ffn up the world for sure..tragic!
  8. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Re: "And there will be dead fish, birds will fall from the sky, and bees will disappe

    End Times? Texas Lake Turns Blood-Red
    Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
    Date: 01 August 2011 Time: 05:31 PM ET

    A Texas lake that turned blood-red this summer may not be a sign of the End Times, but probably is the end of a popular fishing and recreation spot.

    A drought has left the OC Fisher Reservoir in San Angelo State Park in West Texas almost entirely dry. The water that is left is stagnant, full of dead fish — and a deep, opaque red.

    The color has some apocalypse believers suggesting that OC Fisher is an early sign of the end of the world, but Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries officials say the bloody look is the result of Chromatiaceae bacteria, which thrive in oxygen-deprived water.

    "It's just heartbreaking," said Charles Cruz, a fish and wildlife technician with Texas Parks and Wildlife in San Angelo, Tex.

    Blood red reservoir

    Texas is experiencing major drought this summer, with 75 percent of the state's area in an "exceptional" drought, the highest level, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC). The state had hoped for some relief from Tropical Storm Don last week, but the system fizzled and brought only an inch or two of rain to areas near the coast.

    The drought has taken its toll on a number of reservoirs in West Texas, Cruz told LiveScience. OC Fisher has never been completely full, Cruz said, but it was stocked with catfish, bass, sunfish and other popular targets for fishermen.

    "We surveyed the lake, I believe it was last year, and we had a pretty good fish population out there," Cruz said. "It was pretty sickening going out there, watching lake levels just drop and drop and drop and seeing these nice trophy-sized bass just floating dead."

    End times predictions

    As of last week, all that remained of the lake was a small pond a few feet deep, Cruz said. There were thousands of dead fish, he said, but no sign of life.

    Pictures of this blood-red pool circulated online in fishing forums and caught the notice of Indiana preacher Paul Begley, who said in a YouTube video that the lake might be evidence of the apocalypse as predicted by the Biblical book of Revelation.

    "The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died," the passage Begley cited reads. "The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood."

    Begley may not have any more luck at predicting the end of the world than did Harold Camping, the radio preacher who set the date for May 21, 2011. But for as long as the drought persists, the OC Fisher reservoir is a reservoir no longer.

    "I don't know what's left in there now. We haven't been back," Cruz said. "But I would guess it's probably pretty much gone already."

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