Monday, October 24, 2011

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds of Dead Fish in Burke County, Georgia!

Hundreds of dead fish have been found along a several mile stretch of Brier Creek in Burke and Southern Richmond counties, in Georgia.

Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus spent the afternoon Tuesday warning people who stopped along Brier Creek, something was wrong with the water.Since Saturday fish have been washing up dead along the creeks shores. So far Bonitatibus says she's seen several hundred dead fish in the creek, but says, there are most likely many more. Bonitatibus  says, “We’ve got all the way down to the tiny little bait fish to the big ones, which indicates it was not a disolved oxygen kill, it was something other than that, that killed them very quickly.”

The river keeper says a tell tell sign that somethings wrong  with Briar Creek is the water. If you look at it’s clear, you can see right through it, but the riverkeeper says it should be dark, almost black. Bonitatibus says, “Something’s caused the seporation of the water and it made everything fall out. So you start looking at the industies that use materials that cause seperation, most often you’ll find that with koalin mines.” Bonitatibus says there are six kaolin mines in a six mile radius from the strech of creek where the fish were found.  The water in now a concern for the people living next to river. Steve Johson has lived on Brier Creek for the last year, he says now he’s worred because the creek feeds the well that suplies water to his house. “Anytime you’ve got a fish kill you’ve obviously got some issues.” The riverkeeper is warning people around the Briarcreek area not to come in contact with the water or eat fish from the creek. She also says if you live near Brier creek and have a well, that’s less than 40 feet deep, use bottled water until the EPD figures out exactly what’s causing the problem. - WJBF.

WATCH: Hundreds of dead fish in Burke County

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mount Etna Volcano Erupts Spectacularly!

According to the latest reports from the Associated Press, a spectacular eruption is going on from the volcano Mount Etna on the island of Sicily, southern Italy. The mountain is erupting for the 17th time this year, since the new south-eastern crater started being active. Lava is being blown hundreds of meters into the air and can be seen from the Ionic Coast, reports Agenzia Giornalistica Italia. The Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology detected the crater's activity 40 minutes before the flow of lava began. The ash cloud was carried by a moderate wind and caused the airport in Catania to close. No casualties or damage to property have been reported. Mount Etna volcano on the island of Sicily, southern Italy, has begun erupting again. No casualties or damage to property have been reported.

WATCH: Etna's spectacular eruption

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Evidence of Europe's Coastal Erosion!

The following dramatic image captured in Yorkshire, England reveals the stunning and staggering evidence of Europe's worst coastal erosion.

This photograph might look like a picture of devastation caused by nature in distant lands, but it in fact depicts a landscape much closer to home. The Holderness coast located in East Riding of Yorkshire suffers the highest rate of coastal erosion in Europe. It stretches 61km with several villages under constant threat. The annual rate of erosion is about 2 metres every year. Many villages dating back to Roman times have been lost to the sea.  The Holderness coast in Yorkshire suffers the highest rate of coastal erosion in Europe. This staggering image showed the devastating impact it can have, with many villages on the coast already lost to the sea. - Dailymail.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Thousands of Dead Birds in Ontario?!

"It's not uncommon to have these kind of die-offs of fish and birds on the Great Lakes at this time of year, but in this location and this number is unusual."

Thousands of dead birds have mysteriously appeared along the shores of Georgian Bay, Ontario in Canada.

The Ministry of Natural Resources is investigating after hundreds of birds and fish washed up on the shores of Georgian Bay near Wasaga Beach. Police say that the wildlife is scattered along a nearly three-kilometre stretch north of Wasaga Beach. "You just want to cry," resident Faye Ego told CTV Toronto. Locals said they noticed some dead fish on the beach a few weeks ago and a few dead birds earlier in September. "But now this is just multiplied," Ego said, adding that the situation is "absolutely devastating." Ontario Provincial Police Const. Peter Leon said that the number of dead birds is estimated to be between 5,000 and 6,000. Cindy Parkin, a resident of the area, said that answers are needed. "I'd like to get it cleaned up and figure out what it is, too," Parkin said. "It's pretty scary." Ministry of Natural Resources officials said that the deaths could be the result of botulism. Botulism thrives in low oxygen environments often found in zebra mussel colonies. The Ministry said that more testing needs to be done. - CTV.
Thousands of dead birds that washed ashore along a stretch of Georgian Bay were to be picked up starting Monday, said a spokesman for Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources. "We will have a crew going out to clean up the provincial park beaches in this area," said John Cooper, a ministry spokesman based in Peterborough, Ontario. Initial estimates pegged the number of dead waterfowl as high as 6,000, but Cooper said ministry staff were going to do an updated assessment on Monday. Tests were being done to determine the cause of the deaths, but previous such die-offs often were caused by the waterfowl eating botulism-laced fish, Cooper said. "It's not uncommon to have these kind of die-offs of fish and birds on the Great Lakes at this time of year, but in this location and this number is unusual." Bottom-feeding fish ingest toxins that cause botulism and the birds feast on the dead or dying fish. Fish react to the toxin by becoming erratic, making them an easier prey target for a loon or duck that's looking for something to eat, Cooper said. The die-offs along a roughly three kilometre stretch on Georgian Bay is the largest Ontario officials have seen in many years.

About a decade ago some 25,000 birds died on Lake Erie from eating botulism-laced fish. The government cleanup will centre on a large provincial park on the shores of southeast Georgian Bay, but private landowners in the area near Wasaga Beach will be left to their own devices, Cooper said. "They can leave the carcasses there and let nature take its course, they can bury the carcasses on the property or they bag them up and put them out with ... the garbage," he said Sunday in a phone interview. It was unclear if more birds would wash ashore, but Cooper said it was possible the problem would persist for several weeks. Type E botulism toxin is produced by a bacterium that lives in lake bottom sediment, and under certain conditions it begins producing the toxin, which then enters the aquatic food chain, according to the ministry. Birds who eat affected fish can die. Botulism toxins are easily destroyed by heat, meaning fish and birds that people catch pose no risk provided they're properly cooked, Cooper said. However residents in the area are being warned to keep a tight rein on their pets and prevent them from getting near the dead birds and fish on the beaches. - CBC News.

EARTH CHANGES: Sea Levels to Continue to Rise for 500 Years? Long-Term Scientific Climate Research Calculations Suggest So!

Rising sea levels in the coming centuries is perhaps one of the most catastrophic consequences of rising temperatures. Massive economic costs, social consequences and forced migrations could result from global warming. But how frightening of times are we facing? Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute are part of a team that has calculated the long-term outlook for rising sea levels in relation to the emission of greenhouse gases and pollution of the atmosphere using climate models.

The results have been published in the scientific journal Global and Planetary Change. "Based on the current situation we have projected changes in sea level 500 years into the future. We are not looking at what is happening with the climate, but are focusing exclusively on sea levels," explains Aslak Grinsted, a researcher at the Centre for Ice and Climate, the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. He has developed a model in collaboration with researchers from England and China that is based on what happens with the emission of greenhouse gases and aerosols and the pollution of the atmosphere. Their model has been adjusted backwards to the actual measurements and was then used to predict the outlook for rising sea levels.

The research group has made calculations for four scenarios: a pessimistic one, an optimistic one, and two more realistic ones. In the pessimistic scenario, emissions continue to increase. This will mean that sea levels will rise 1.1 meters by the year 2100 and will have risen 5.5 meters by the year 2500. Even in the most optimistic scenario, which requires extremely dramatic climate change goals, major technological advances and strong international cooperation to stop emitting greenhouse gases and polluting the atmosphere, the sea would continue to rise. By the year 2100 it will have risen by 60 cm and by the year 2500 the rise in sea level will be 1.8 meters. For the two more realistic scenarios, calculated based on the emissions and pollution stabilizing, the results show that there will be a sea level rise of about 75 cm by the year 2100 and that by the year 2500 the sea will have risen by 2 meters.

"In the 20th century sea has risen by an average of 2mm per year, but it is accelerating and over the last decades the rise in sea level has gone approximately 70% faster. Even if we stabilize the concentrations in the atmosphere and stop emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we can see that the rise in sea level will continue to accelerate for several centuries because of the sea and ice caps long reaction time. So it would be 2-400 years before we returned to the 20th century level of a 2 mm rise per year," says Aslak Grinsted. He points out that even though long-term calculations are subject to uncertainties, the sea will continue to rise in the coming centuries and it will most likely rise by 75 cm by the year 2100 and by the year 2500 the sea will have risen by 2 meters. - Science Daily.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Thousands of Fish in Queensland, Australia?!

About 2000 fish have died in a north Queensland drain.

Townsville City councillor Vern Veitch says low-oxygen water, flushed downstream from stormwater drains during Monday's heavy rain, was thought to be to blame. The fish, mainly tilapia, were found dead in a man-made drain that flows into Louisa Creek at Blakeys Crossing in Townsville. Mr Veitch said more fish might die if there was further heavy rain. "The large number of tilapia combine with weeds to reduce oxygen in the water and this has been flushed downstream ... to an area where fish could not escape," Ms Veitch said.

Authorities are removing the dead fish from the drain. Meanwhile, authorities have launched new tests on diseased fish in the Gladstone Harbour. The government has blamed red spot disease, and a parasite, for sickening barramundi, found in the harbour with red lesions on their skin and cloudy eyes. But more tests are needed to determine what is causing skin discolouration in other fish species. Fisheries Queensland said today that it had launched another week-long round of tests in the area. Authorities believe some 30,000 fish were washed over a dam and into the harbour during floods this year, and the stress made them more susceptible to disease. A three-week fishing ban was imposed on Gladstone Harbour on September 16 after the sick fish were found. It was lifted on October 7. - SMH.