Pine Beetle Epidemic One chilly morning in October 2013, Diana Six parked her white Subaru at the edge of a pine forest in southwestern Montana’s Big Hole Valley. Beneath snow-tipped peaks, lodgepole pines in four different colors draped the hillside—a time line of carnage. The gray ones, now just trunks and branches, had died in 2009. Light red trees, still holding needles, had succumbed in 2011. Darker, auburn trees had perished in 2012. Six zipped her jacket and ambled into the woods with an ax. Six moved to the next tree, another seemingly healthy one. Across western North America, in millions of acres of pine forest, the story is the same. Nature is always changing. Unlike other organisms that have been ravaging the American landscape—Asian carp, kudzu—the mountain pine beetle isn’t an immigrant. The scale of the current epidemic is unprecedented. The trees aren’t the only casualties. For its current good fortune, the mountain pine beetle can thank us. “Will the beetle move across the continent?”
American slavery – it’s a thing | The Odd is Silent After an informal analysis of the health insurance system in the USA, I’ve come to the conclusion that while Lincoln may have freed the slaves, we haven’t actually abolished slavery here. In fact, it is alive and well, enshrined in law, and the Affordable Care Act is one of the few things that seeks to address that situation. Bear with me, I’ll connect the dots. This all started when I changed jobs and went on COBRA. There was a 2-week period in which my COBRA application was being processed and in that time the insurance company told the pharmacy that I was self-pay. Except it wasn’t $7 or $8. That’s a problem. But what has happened is that the insurance company represents so many people that it was able to negotiate favorable discounts on medicines through the pharmacy in return for an in-plan designation. Ironically, the people complaining most loudly about not wanting to subsidize the poor are in fact being subsidized by the poor. That gets us to indentured servitude. Like this:
Top 10 Environmental Issues Top 10 environmental Issues according to Planet Earth Herald Although the top 10 environmental issues that face the planet can be at best “subjective” we have attempted to aggregate and prioritise the list in order to put things into perspective. We have also accompanied each of the environmental issues with a video that explains the matter in depth. You can view the clip by pressing the play button on the image. 1. Press “Play” to watch the clip. Without a doubt the biggest issue facing the environment is over population of humans. The worlds population has tripled in the last 60 years placing stress on every aspect of the environment. In 1950 the population stood at 2,555,982,611 compared to 2012 which it now stands at over 7,000,000,000. 2. The most controversial and political of the top 10 environmental issues. 3. The loss of biodiversity on the planet can be directly related to the behaviours of human beings. 4. 5. Over population, demand and pollution from industry is to blame. 6. 7.
The Stranger - Seattle's Only Newspaper - Screw Comcast and CenturyLink by Goldy Shortly after taking office, Mayor Ed Murray finally pulled the plug on Gigabit Seattle, the financially challenged fiber- optic-broadband partnership that was once the centerpiece of his predecessor's internet strategy. But while Gigabit's failure was certainly a disappointment, it is also an opportunity: to give a giant collective municipal finger to those monopolistic fuckers at Comcast, CenturyLink, and Wave. Now that the market has failed to address our broadband woes, Seattle is free to reconsider building a city-owned municipal system. And with Seattle City Light in the process of evaluating technologies for its coming "smart meter" rollout, the timing couldn't be more perfect. Under its current six-year strategic plan, City Light is planning to replace about 410,000 manually read meters with new digital smart meters (City Light prefers the term "AMI," or "Advanced Metering Infrastructure"). But is it feasible? Can't get much clearer than that.
Test%203%20%20Atmosphere%20and%20Biogeochemical%20cyles.pdf Overcoming the Slideshow Conundrum | Telegraph to Tokyo I am writing to you over the Pacific Ocean. Our home in Berkeley (not on Telegraph, but quite near it) is 900 miles behind us. Japan, our home for the next two weeks, is somewhere beyond the vanishing point, 4600 miles in front of us. As is not always the case, but sometimes is, and this is one of those times, Kevin started it. And here we are, on a plane writing a blog post. But, if you want to keep up with what we’re doing in Japan, this blog is the place for you! Like this: Like Loading...
Earth - Your life on earth Explore BBC Earth's unique interactive, personalised just to you. Find out how, since the date of your birth, your life has progressed; including how many times your heart has beaten, and how far you have travelled through space. Investigate how the world around you has changed since you've been alive; from the amount the sea has risen, and the tectonic plates have moved, to the number of earthquakes and volcanoes that have erupted. Grasp the impact we've had on the planet in your lifetime; from how much fuel and food we've used to the species we've discovered and endangered. And see how the BBC was there with you, capturing some of the most amazing wonders of the natural world. Explore, enjoy, and share with your friends either the whole page, or your favourite insights. This is your story, the story of your life on earth. BBC Earth's Your life on earth is based on the following sources. Lead photo credit: John Kellerman / Alamy.
1981Cole_Some%20Risks%20and%20Causes%20of%20Mort%20in%20MPB.pdf New hope for beetle-killed landscapes From the air, they look like brittle, dead landscapes: millions of acres of scratchy brown pipe cleaners and toothpick logs. Since the 1990s, naturally-occurring bark beetles have multiplied under the effects of drought, climate change and fire-repressed forests, leading to outbreaks that have ravaged forests and left land managers scrambling to deal with a glut of dead trees. But 2015 may prove a turning point. The first hopeful news comes from the lab of Richard Hofstetter, a forest entomologist at Northern Arizona University. As the journal Entomology Today explains, “The fungus releases white powdery spores, and when the beetles crawl over them the fungus gets into their bodies and takes over.” But the big question for the Intermountain West may be whether Beauveria bassiana — or a similar fungus — can also be used to treat other bark beetle species, like the spruce beetle. But as mountain pine beetles begin to disappear, spruce beetles are on the rise. That’s starting to change.
The biology behind the lodgepole pine’s blue stain | Forest Business Network By Dr. Joanne Stolen – Summit Daily News The term symbiosis comes from the Ancient Greek “syn” — “with” — and “bíosis” — “living” — and is the close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. Often this interaction is obligate, in that neither can live without the other. One classic example is the lichen, a combination of a fungus and green algae. The mountain pine beetle (MPB), and the blue-stain fungus is another excellent example of symbiosis. In a published study comparing beetle success in the presence and absence of the fungi, the beetles were unable to reproduce in the absence of the fungi. According to the USDA, the mountain pine beetle and fungus has impacted trees over more than 900 miles of trail, 3,200 miles of road, and 21,000 acres of developed recreation sites over 3.6 million acres in Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. The MPB is a species of bark beetle native to the forests of western North America. Breckenridge resident Dr.
Beetle Devastates Yellowstone Whitebark Pine Forests March 2010 Pine trees dying from an outbreak of mountain pine beetle infestation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. To view these forests on Google Maps, enter the degrees of 43.775189 latitude and -110.170233 longitude. Photo: U.S. Forest Service. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem The mountain pine beetle is killing pine trees in many areas of North America. Yellowstone National Park forms the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The history of the area goes back to the late 1800s: The first National Forest (the Shoshone) was established in 1891, which abuts the eastern boundary of the Park. The GYE is an informal designation, and the exact boundaries vary with each agency. The GYE is about the size of South Carolina. Historic climates were often too cold for mountain pine beetle outbreaks. Across the vast GYE, an important component of the ecosystem may be facing catastrophic collapse. Whitebark pine ecosystems in GYE Whitebark pines form the highest forests in the GYE. Figure 1
Gamers Going Green: New Video Game Turns Players Into Biofuel Farmers Fields of Fuel inspires discussion among Wisconsin college students. Image courtesy of Heather Heggemeier / Wisconsin Energy Institute. For many people, the allure of video games is unparalleled. Although there is general agreement that we should be growing crops that can be turned into biofuels, scientists and farmers are still debating the best way to proceed. The fields on the left are populated by corn and switchgrass; at right, graphs show the farm's sustainability over time in terms of ecology, income, and energy production. To answer some of these questions, scientists at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have teamed up with ecologists and educators to create a video game. In the game, whose working title is Fields of Fuel, players plant plots of energy-dense corn or more eco-friendly switchgrass — and then decide if they want to till the soil and whether or not to add fertilizer. Related