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1) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Over 1,000 Displaced by Midwest Flooding

The Associated Press
Thursday, August 23, 2007; 11:48 AM


FINDLAY, Ohio -- More than 1,000 people were flooded out of their homes Thursday after the heavy rain that swamped communities across the Midwest sent Ohio's rivers spilling over their banks, the governor said. The storm's death toll also rose when three people were electrocuted by lightning at a Wisconsin bus stop.

"This is a major, major disaster," Gov. Ted Strickland told CBS's "The Early Show" Thursday. "We'll do everything we can to help people get back on their feet, but this is going to take some time."

In one Ohio county alone, more than 700 homes were severely damaged or destroyed by flooding, Strickland said. Midwest-wide, the count is in the thousands.

To add to the misery of the survivors, much of the state was under a heat advisory Thursday, with temperatures expected to hit the upper 90s.

A preliminary survey by the American Red Cross in Minnesota identified about 4,200 affected homes, including 256 complete losses, said Kris Eide, the state's director of homeland security and emergency management.


Freak Tropical Weather Floods Mid-West

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

The freakish weather that has been happening all across the country is no stranger to Californians.

During the last 10 years we have seen summer extending deep into fall, Fall ending in late December, and the Winter rains, if they even come, have been coming in Spring

The character of the seasons has been radically altered, and the environment has been devastated by these changes.

Yet the people of California seem unaware of the changes. Our “residents” seem unable to perceive either the radical changes in our environment, nor the radical deterioration of conditions in our schools, the loss of our middle class, or the massive growth of poverty in California.

They tell us, “It's always been like this.”

For those who have not been here long, know that it has not always been like this. The changes in our social, political, and economic values, like the change in our climate and environment, are the product of our unprecedented reckless growth.

The majority of our population arrived recently, and have no historical perspective on what our environment, schools, roads, and democracy were like before they got here

I'll give y'all a clue: California had enough water and few enough people to live on hydroelectric power. Now our massive population requires coal fired energy, and we don't have enough water for our present population, let alone to meet our corporate leadership's plan to somhow fit 50 million people into California by 2050.

Our schools were among the best in the world. College was free. Our roads were among the finest in the country. Our democracy reflected and defended the values of the citizens of our state.

Now, our schools are among the worse in the nation, and college is no longer accessable or affordable for our own citizens. Our roads and bridges are falling apart. Our politicians are no more that bribed errand fools of our corporate elite.

We have lost every one of these things as the population has swelled, and the climate is turning radically drier. In the Sierras, Winter snows have significantly diminished and tempertures are significantly higher. Our climate is merely responding to our massive population growth, and is changing radically in response.

These changes are invisible to those who just got here, and are ignnored by the politicians and their corporate masters who profit by pumping up the population.

Our political and corporate leaders, and their foreign minions are willing to sacrifice the welfare of the American people, our environment, and our democracy to make their money.

They tell us, “It's always been like this.”

Also See:


Corruption Updates 39, 10th article on the page, "Top Scientists Warn of Water Shortages and Disease Linked to Global Warming"

Corruption Updates 47, 9th article on the page, "Earth Faces a Grim Future: UN Report"

Corruption Updates 53, 2nd article on the page, "Arctic Sea Ice Melting Faster, a Study Finds: Climate Change has already happened"

Corruption Updates 65, 1st article on the page, "BEES: Honey, I'm Gone"

Corruption Updates 65, 7th article on the page, "China puts economy before climate"

Corruption Updates 71, 9th article on the page, "Only 50 years left' for sea fish"

Corruption Updates 76, 7th article on the page, "Study finds huge decreases in bird populations"

Corruption Updates 80, 2nd article on the page, "China building more power plants to supply American Consumption"

Corruption Updates 86, 7th article on the page, "Study Sees Climate Change Impact on Alaska"

Corruption Updates 93, 3rd article on the page, "Record Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’ Is Predicted"

Corruption Updates 94, 8th article on the page, "Climate Change Debate Hinges On Economics"

Corruption Updates 95, 9th article on the page, "Romania: Heat Wave Kills 18"

Corruption Updates 95, 10th article on the page, "Humans 'affect global rainfall'"

Corruption Updates 100, 10th article on the page, European heatwaves 'have doubled'

Corruption Updates 106, 1st article on the page, Over 1,000 Displaced by Midwest Flooding

Corruption Updates 106, 2nd article on the page, US Midwest heatwave kills dozens

Corruption Updates 106, 3rd article on the page, Tiny Delta fish at center of huge water war

Corruption Updates 106, 4th article on the page, Water Levels in 3 Great Lakes Dip Far Below Normal

Corruption Updates 106, 5th article on the page, Map reveals ancient urban sprawl

Corruption Updates 106, 6th article on the page, North Korea: U.N. Reports on Floods

Corruption Updates 106, 7th article on the page, Arctic sea ice set to hit new low

Corruption Updates 106, 8 th article on the page, Ten-year climate model unveiled

Corruption Updates 106, 9th article on the page, UC team believes deadly fungus may be killing frogs

Corruption Updates 106, 10th article on the page, California's real water war

Corruption Updates 124, 1st article on the page, NOAA Predicts another Historically Dry Winter

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2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

US Midwest heatwave kills dozens


A two-week heatwave in the southern and Midwestern US has resulted in the deaths of at least 43 people, many of whom were elderly, officials have said.


Story from BBC NEWS: 8-20-07

On Sunday, temperatures dropped to 94F (34C) in Memphis, Tennessee - the first time in 10 days they did not top 100F.

Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, South Carolina and Mississippi have also been affected.

Meanwhile, at least 13 people died in severe flooding in the nearby states of Oklahoma, Minnesota and Texas.

Thunderstorms caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin dropped up to 1ft (30cm) of rain in southern parts of the region, causing rivers to burst their banks and forcing hundreds of people from their homes.

According to officials, the heatwave has been responsible for 12 deaths in Tennessee, nine in Missouri, eight in Alabama, four in Arkansas, four in Georgia, three in Illinois, two in South Carolina and one in Mississippi.

Last summer, a heatwave killed at least 143 people in California.


Deadly Heat Normal in New American Summer Weather Pattern

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

As our irresponsible growth contines to heat the planet, heat and moisture from the tropics is reaching further north, changing traditional weather patterns across the whole country. Our responce is to ignore the causes, and continue our growth.

So, get used to deadly heat. Get used to Summer floods. Get used to drough and water shortage. Get used to massive huricaines. Get used to massive fires. We have grown ourselves into disaster, and continue to grow and feed the disaster.

I predicted on Dec. 26th of 2006 that our country and the northern hemisphere would experience significantly reduced crop yeilds this summer. Some nations will experience almost complete crop failure. I predicted the beginning of a long term drought in California. I base this prediction on decadal increase in Winter tempertures and recipricoly decreasing snowpack in the Sierras, in conjunction with the annual decrease of  Winter rains we have experienced during the last decade.

We are past the breaking point of our traditional weather patterns. The seasons neither come or go at their traditional times, and the character of each season has changed. The direction from which the winds blow has changed.

These changes have been building across the world for years. This year we are experiencing the cumulative effect of global warming, and this has radically changed the the timing and character of the seasons. Global Warming is seriously depressing agriculture and disrupting local life across the northern hemisphere.

Although these things are happening, our corporate press is not reporting the disaster that is growing across the norther hemisphere this summer. Our corporate politicians continue to feed the corporate monster of endless growth and expansions, even as freakish weather continues to devastate the world.

We have attacked and destroyed our old relationship with nature. I hope we enjoy the new one.

Corruption Updates 47, 10th article on the page,
Permanent drought predicted for Southwest:Climate Already Changed, People and S
Corruption Updates 58, 7th article on the page,
Agency expects extreme summer drought

Notes Added 11-29-07:

Australia 30% Down

Serbia 30% Down

Germany Harvests "Dust"

USDA Global Report

EU Report

Giews World Report

Expect Northern Hemisphere Crop failures this year

Weather Story Links

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3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Tiny Delta fish at center of huge water war

Delta: Sides can't agree on basic facts

By Michael Doyle, Bee Washington Bureau and John Ellis, Fresno Bee -
Published 12:00 am PDT Sunday, August 19, 2007


Environmentalists have an ambitious plan to protect the tiny Delta smelt, but the controversial idea will require time, money and well over 1 million acre-feet of water that Central Valley farmers say they can't afford to lose.

Now, the stage is set for a courtroom face-off with extraordinary real-world consequences.

On Tuesday, lawyers and scientists will bring their clash before a federal judge in Fresno, where they will fight over how to preserve a slender-bodied fish that casts an outsized political shadow.

"The time for timid, tentative actions to protect the smelt and other declining species is past," University of California, Davis, biologist Peter Moyle declared in a legal filing.

In reply, farmers' attorneys warn of "devastating impacts for agriculture." Water contractors say that if California suffers another dry year, agriculture on the San Joaquin Valley's west side could potentially lose all federal irrigation water.

Once, the smelt was the most populous fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Now, it is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Described in one legal filing as "small, fragile and poor swimmers," the smelt have lost their habitat, been sucked into pumps and become trapped in fish screens.

Since June, despite the fish's protected status, environmentalists report that about 1,605 delta smelt have been killed by state and federal pumps.

"The delta smelt cannot sustain further losses like this if it is to survive," Natural Resources Defense Council attorneys declared.

The environmentalists' proposed 10-point plan covers several areas.

• Monitoring. Officials, for instance, would check for smelt four times a day at state and federal water facilities.

• Managing water flow. Officials, for instance, would maintain water flowing through the Delta at certain minimum levels during the fall. This would increase the amount of low-salinity habitat the smelt like.

• Managing irrigation contracts. Environmentalists want dozens of long-term contracts in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys replaced with a one-year contract to allow terms to be renegotiated.



California has Developed Beyond our Natural Resources: Stop all Growth Now!

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

California water policy is doomed to ultimate failure, and is in the process of failing to provide adequete water for all parties who depend on it. These failures are cascading. First failing to provide our citizens with adequate water, next failing the developers who have insufficient water to support yet more population growth, and then finally failing industrial agriculture, as they come to understand that the wealth and political clout of the cities and developers is sufficient to take their water.

At this point in time California's water system has already failed its citizens. To be more precise, the politicians and corporate interests who rule over us have failed. They have allowed a massive irresponsible growth of crimigrants that has stripped our state of all of its resources, including our water. Our bribed and corrupted politicians have used our water system to subsidize the irresponsible growth that  has overwhelmed every aspect of our social and natural infrastructure, including our water supply.

In the face of  the water needs of our swelling foreign population, our water supply is insecure and uncertain. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Today we are looking an impending drought and long term decline in rainfall in the face while simultaneously facing the consequences of global warming. There has been a radical shift in when Winter begins and ends here in California, and the direction from which the winds blows has changed. Nature is telling us something, but we are too stupid to hear it.

Global crop failures and yield declines in the face of massive population growth have shot food prices through the roof. The same situation of declining production and increased demand is fueling an energy crisis. Neither our water supply, nor its delivery system is the real problem.  We have plenty of water. We just have corrupt politicians who have grown our population beyond the limits of our water supplies.

Political bribery and corruption has not only hijacked our democracy and stuffed our country full of crimigrants who have destroyed our schools, filled our prisons and driven our wages and benefits to 3rd world levels, but as our impending water crisis demonstrates, political corruption and bribery has produced long term policies that present a clear and present danger to the health and welfare of our Citizens.

Our fool politicians are ignoring the fact that our water supplies and the average amount of rain and groundwater we have, are insufficient to supply the needs of our citizens, nature, (like to hunt and fish? Too bad) and industrial agriculture, let alone provide the supplies necessary for our massive growth rate, and the millions of illegals they have crammed into our state. On top of that, we are experiencing a radical decrease in winter snow and rainfall.

The answer of our fool politicians to this problem? Build a peripheral canal to steal more water for the foreigners packing into LA, and build more dams to maintain pretense that we can sustain the irresponsible growth and development that brought us into the crisis California faces today. The politicians are telling the crimigrants and developers not to worry. As long as they keep the flood of crimigrants surging into the state, and maintain the supply of cheap labor required for irresponsible growth and development, our corporate politicians will use our taxpayer's money to subsidize wringing the last drops of water out of our state's depleted water supplies.

The working class citizens of California have already been denied a decent, reliable water supply, decent wages, decent education, any kind of reasonable benefits and retiremnet, let alone affordable health care.

Even if they build a massive pheripherial canal and dam every river in California, our irresponsible growth and development will be halted by a shortage of water. And finally, the industrial farmers of the valley will have their subsidized state and federal water contracts pried from their greedy hands to slake the thirst of California's massive foreign urban population.

Our state's water has been sacrificed by corrpted politicians to maintain the flow of cheap, docile crimigrant labor for corporate America. Our water, our rivers and fish, the once bountiful ecosystems of California, and our democracy itself have been sacrificed on the alter of political corruption.

Until we pry the death grip of bribery and corruption off the throats of our politicians, our money, our rights, and our water will continue to be drained by our corrupted politicians, their corporate sponsors, and their foreign minions. Until then, all things, including our last drop of water, will be sacrificed to maintain the irresponsible power of our politicians, and the irresponsible profits of their corporate sponsors.

Also See:
Corruption Updates 60, 4th article on the page,
Lawsuit planned to protect smelt

Corruption Updates 63 , 1st article on page, Delta pumps halted: Tiny Smelt Halts Mighty Pumps

Corruption Updates 78, 4th article on the page,  Delta pumping to increase -- despite smelt

Corruption Updates 82, 8th article on the page, Delta: We Don't have a Water Crisis, or an Energy Crisis, We Have Too Many People Crisis

Corruption Updates 106,  3rd article on the page, Tiny Delta fish at center of huge water war

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Water Levels in 3 Great Lakes Dip Far Below Normal


NY Times, August 14, 2007



Water levels in the three upper Great Lakes are wavering far below normal, and experts expect Lake Superior, the northernmost lake, to reach a record low in the next two months, according to data from the international bodies that monitor the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater reservoir.

Although the cause of the falling levels is in dispute, the effects in Lakes Michigan and Huron are visible everywhere. Ship channels are overdue for dredging. Wetlands in some areas like Georgian Bay, east of Lake Huron in Ontario, have dried up, leaving fish and birds without accustomed places to reproduce.

Beaches around Saginaw Bay in Michigan have reverted to marshes as shorefront reverts to wetlands. One-third of the Michigan boat ramps are unusable.

Although the drop in levels in all three lakes is variously ascribed to climate change or new rainfall patterns, evidence is growing that people caused some losses in Lakes Huron and Michigan.

Gravel mining early in the 20th century by private companies and dredging by the Army Corps of Engineers, particularly in the mid-1960s, may have widened and deepened the St. Clair River, through which those two lakes drain into Lake Erie.

The flow may be eroding the riverbed. The erosion may in turn result in increased outflow, more than can be replenished by rain or snowmelt, according to a study by a group of Canadian coastal engineers.

If the new estimates are correct, 2.5 billion gallons a year are being lost through the expanded parts of the St. Clair, roughly the equivalent of the amount diverted annually for Chicago’s needs.

Robert B. Nairn, a coastal and river engineer who is a principal at Baird, said in an interview Monday, “I was surprised that something of this magnitude could be happening.”

Although Mr. Nairn said the man-made changes were consequential, he was cautious about speculating whether they had played a greater role in the water loss than other factors, like climate change.

The persistence of low water in Lakes Huron and Michigan has been out of keeping with the larger cycles of high and low water in the basin.



Too Much Growth Killing Great Lakes

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

Just imagine that the effects of global warming are like the self-widening process we started on the St. Clair river.

A little human warmng melts a bit of the permafrost, which releases more CO2, which warms the ocean a bit more, which releases a massive amount of CO2, which melts a bit more ice, and so on. During all parts of this cycle we are continuing to increase our outgassing, accelerating the contributions of all parts of the system.

Apparently we will not address the causes of our problems until the whole system fails, be it the Great Lakes, or the whole climate.

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Map reveals ancient urban sprawl


The researchers disovered at least 74 new temples

The great medieval temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia was once at the centre of a sprawling urban settlement, according to a new, detailed map of the area.

Story from BBC NEWS, Published: 2007/08/14 09:56:52 GMT

Using Nasa satellites, an international team have discovered at least 74 new temples and complex irrigation systems.

The map, published in the journal PNAS, extends the known settlement by 1000 sq km, about the size of Los Angeles.

Analysis also lends weight to the theory that Angkor's residents were architects of the city's demise.

"The large-scale city engineered its own downfall by disrupting its local environment by expanding continuously into the surrounding forests," said Damian Evans of the University of Sydney and one of the authors of the paper and map.

It suggests that the medieval settlement surrounding Angkor, the one-time capital of the Khmer empire which flourished between the ninth and 14th centuries, was at least three times larger than previously thought.

The team believes it could have covered 3,000 sq km (1,150 sq miles), the largest pre-industrial complex of its kind.

Its nearest rival is Tikal, a Mayan city in Guatemala, which covers between 100 and 150 sq km (40-60 sq miles).

The detailed survey also allowed the researchers to map at least 74 new temples as well as more than 1,000 manmade ponds.

In all, the newly mapped terrain could have supported half a million people, the researchers believe.

The new analysis of the irrigation system also sheds light on the civilization's collapse in the 14th century.

"We saw signs that embankments had been breached and of ad hoc repairs to bridges and dams, suggesting that the system became unmanageable over time," Mr Evans told the AFP news agency.

In addition, deforestation, over population, topsoil erosion could have contributed to the population's sudden disappearance.

"Angkor was extensive enough, and the agricultural exploitation intensive enough, to have created a number of very serious environmental problems," he said.


Rather than Destroying Regions, Now we are Screwing the Whole Planet

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

Despite, or maybe because of our great industrial and technological power, we have not learned that too much of  a good. thing is bad.  Mankind has consolidated empires, destroyed the local ecosystem, and collasped many times during our history.

We pick up the pieces, and move on to greener valleys. Now, all the valleys are full. All the lands are cultivated. All the waters are taken. Now, rather than just destroying regions, we are on the cusp of screwing the whole planet.

The lesson of Angkor Wat is instructive, but it has apparently come too late.

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North Korea: U.N. Reports on Floods


August 17, 2007

World Briefing | Asia




The government granted the World Food Program permission to send four emergency teams to flood-stricken areas, to provide a wider independent assessment of the damage. Margareta Wahlstrom, the deputy emergency relief coordinator at the United Nations, said 58,000 homes had been destroyed along with nearly 222,400 acres of farmland, leaving 300,000 people homeless.

The United Nations said its relief officials in the region had reported that flood waters had wrecked more than 800 public buildings, 540 bridges, 70 stretches of railway and more than 500 electricity towers. More than 30 water reservoirs and 450 agricultural structures were damaged, it said. World Food Program officials planned to travel today to 10 hard-hit counties to assess immediate needs.


Freak Floods, Droughs, and Heat Waves Plaguing N. Hemisphere Summer

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

Asia and India have been getting pounded hard by the Monsoon this year. The Monsoon pattern is no longer predictable. For the past decade it has become increasingly unreliable. This year It has come in fits and starts, then suddenly unleashed historically unprecedented massive deluges across South Asia..

The 2+ billion people who rely on the traditional Monsoon pattern for food are screwed. The traditional patterns are over, and only unpredictibility is certain.

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Arctic sea ice set to hit new low

Arctic sea ice is expected to retreat to a record low by the end of this summer, scientists have predicted.


By Mark Kinver

Story from BBC NEWS, Published: 2007/08/13 16:52:49 GMT

Measurements made by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) showed the extent of sea ice on 8 August was almost 30% below the long-term average.

Because the region's melting season runs until the middle of September, scientists believe this summer will end with the lowest ice cover on record.

Researchers have forecast ice-free summers in the Arctic by 2040.

Dr Serreze added that it was very likely that sea ice cover in the polar region was starting to respond to human induced climate change, resulting from a greater concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

"We know that natural climate variability can strongly influence the sea ice, but I think we are starting to see a positive feedback now.

"In other words, we cannot explain everything that we have seen just through natural processes.

Retreating ice

In December 2006, a study by US researchers forecast that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2040.

A team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the University of Washington, and McGill University, found that "positive feedbacks" were likely to accelerate the decline of the region's ice system.

Sea ice has a bright surface that reflects 80% of the sunlight that strikes it back into space. However, as the ice melts during the summer, more of the dark ocean surface becomes exposed.

Rather than reflecting sunlight, the ocean absorbs 90% of it, causing the waters to warm and increase the rate of melting.

Scientists fear that this feedback mechanism will have major consequences for wildlife in the region, not least polar bears, which traverse ice-floes in search of food.

On a global scale, the Earth would lose a major reflective surface and so absorb more solar energy, potentially accelerating climatic change across the world.


Climatic Feedback Loops move Faster than Science: Lack of Wisdom-Balance Proving Fatal for Many

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

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Environment (64 Abstracts)


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Ten-year climate model unveiled

Scientists say they have developed a model to predict how ocean currents, as well as human activities, will affect temperatures over the next decade.


Story from BBC NEWS, Published: 2007/08/09 20:12:35 GMT

By including short-term natural events, such as El Nino, a UK team says it is able to offer 10-year projections.

Models have previously focused on how the globe will warm over a century.

Writing in Science, Met Office researchers project that at least half of the years between 2009 and 2014 are likely to exceed existing records.

However, the Hadley Centre researchers said that the influence of natural climatic variations were likely to dampen the effects of emissions from human activities between now and 2009.

But over the decade as a whole, they project the global average temperature in 2014 to be 0.3C warmer than 2004.

Currently, 1998 is the warmest year on record, when the global mean surface temperature was 14.54C (58.17F).

"On a 10-year timescale, both natural internal variability and the global warming signal (human induced climate change) are important; whereas looking out to 2100, only the global warming signal will dominate."

The latest assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that human activity was "very likely" causing the world to warm, and predicted the global average temperature were probably going to increase by 1.8-4.0C (3.2-7.2F) by the end of the century.

"It is the same model as used in the latest IPCC report's predictions for the coming century, but the difference is that it starts from the real observed status of the ocean and the atmosphere," Dr Smith, the paper's lead author, explained.

"Greenhouse gases and aerosols are also included, but it is really trying to predict any [natural] variability on top of that.

This allows the researchers to predict how natural shifts, such as the El Nino phenomenon in the eastern Pacific and the North Atlantic Oscillation, will affect the global climate system.

They hope this data, when combined with projections of greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions from fossil fuels and volcanic eruptions, will present one of the most detailed outlooks to date.

"The climate has already changed, and it is continuing to change; people need the best information available to help them adapt to these changes."



Rapid Rate of Climate Change Requires Short-Term Models for Accuracy

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August , 2007

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Exploring an amphibian epidemic UC team believes deadly fungus may be killing frogs, toads, salamanders in Sierra

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


For decades, the mass disappearance of frogs and other amphibians from the High Sierra has puzzled biologists, fishermen, hikers and even motorists from the city who pause by roadside streams and lakeshores in vain attempts to glimpse whatever's there.

The creatures are vanishing all over the world, too - a major environmental disaster, as a UC science team calls it - and now it appears that sexual reproduction in a single fungus species that produces hardy, long-lived spores may be primarily to blame.

Voracious hatchery trout introduced into the mountain lakes have been blamed in the past for eating the tadpoles of the vanishing frogs; so have pollutants like pesticides and toxic dust clouding up over the Sierra from the Central Valley. Now there's evidence that climate change too could be involved, possibly raising temperatures, and solar ultraviolet radiation has also been implicated.

The gene study at UC Berkeley was led by Jess Morgan, a postdoctoral researcher who worked in the microbial biology lab of Professor John Taylor...

In an e-mail from her lab in Australia, Morgan said: "Our results suggest that the fungus is a recently introduced pest to the Sierra Nevada, but that it is now adapting at a local scale. At some sites the equivalent of fungal sex is evident and sex may result in resistant spores, providing a mechanism for rapid disease spread and fungal persistence. If resistant, long-lived spores exist, then global control of the pathogen may be greatly complicated."

Global control of the killer is badly needed. Only a year ago, 50 of the world's leading experts on amphibians, including David and Marvalee Wake of UC Berkeley, warned that nearly a third of the 5,743 known amphibian species around the world are now threatened, with perhaps 122 of them already extinct since 1980.

The scientists blamed the deadly infectious disease caused by the same fungus that Morgan, Taylor and their team are studying, as well as land-use changes in many nations, commercial over-exploitation and global climate change that may encourage the spread of the fungus.

Also last year, another international team of amphibian experts headed by A. Alan Pounds at the Tropical Science Center in Costa Rica reported in the journal Nature that the Central American region was seeing the mass extinction of harlequin frogs and golden toads due to the same chytrid fungus. The fungus, they said, is growing most widely as temperatures rise in the Costa Rican highlands, and they concluded that "large-scale warming is a key factor in the disappearance (of the amphibians)."

"If it's global warming that's involved in the fungus spread," said Taylor, "then, wow!"



Tadpoles are the Canaries in the Global Mine

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

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California's real water war

SF Chronicle, August 27, 2007


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, environmentalists and water districts have waded hip-deep into arguments over new dams, pricey canals and other ways to manage future water wars in California.

But the looming water crisis that the governor warns of is already here.

Hundreds of small, rural communities throughout California's agricultural heartland have no access to clean, safe drinking water. It's a public health crisis that threatens California families every day.

According to the state Department of Public Health, public drinking water systems deliver water with unsafe levels of contaminants to approximately 1 million people.

In 2004 alone, tens of thousands of Central Valley residents received bright orange notices from their public drinking water systems saying their water was not safe to drink and exceeded legal contaminant levels.

More than 90 percent of Central Valley communities depend on water stored underground for their drinking water. Unfortunately, years of intensive farming with uncontrolled chemical use has heavily poisoned that source. Recent groundwater sampling in Tulare County found that 3 out of 4 homes with private wells have contaminated water that is unsafe to drink.

These contamination and infrastructure problems have grown unchecked since development in the Central Valley began. Virtually every water agency ignores California's massive groundwater contamination problem. Regulatory agencies such as the state and regional Water Quality Control boards have given a green light to rampant agricultural pollution. California and Texas remain the only states in the country without a groundwater management program.

California water agencies can start by making a serious commitment to groundwater protection and management. The largest sources of groundwater contamination in the Central Valley - agriculture and dairies - are virtually unregulated. Agriculture is allowed to discharge waste water that does not meet Clean Water Act standards, while virtually every other industry must meet these basic water quality standards. This highly toxic water then contaminates the source of drinking water for many small communities.

The state could play a lead role in developing innovative solutions and projects to address the problem. Right now, regulatory and water resource agencies acknowledge the level of contamination but have refused to take action.

Unfortunately, most of these programs fall apart as soon as industry objects and then the state shirks its duty...

Laurel Firestone is co-director of the Community Water Center, based in Visalia. Amy Vanderwarker is the outreach coordinator for the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, based in Oakland. They will be participating in a panel discussion on water and social justice as part of the Commonwealth Club's Cool Clear Water series on Aug. 30th. More information is available at www.commonwealthclub.org/water



Reckless, Irresponsible Growth Exceeds California's Natural Limits

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

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