What is going on right now! As if all volcanoes together had decided erupting all of a sudden around the world. It’s probably to end this satanic year quickly after the mark of the beast made its debut in 2020.
The recent volcanic activity at Italy’s Mount Etna intensified overnight, as a large stream of lava spewed out westward from Europe’s largest and most active volcano, putting local residents on edge as 2020 draws to a close.
The eruption at the 3,329-meter (10,922-foot) volcano’s southeast crater reignited, resulting in yet another lava-fountain episode (known as a paroxysm), lighting up the Sicilian skies in the early morning, before filling them with thick clouds of smoke and ash.
A spectacular volcanic explosion occurred on December 22, 2020, at 12:20 p.m. local time, sending a plume of ash to an altitude of 16,000 ft (4,876 m).
A second strong explosion occurred on the same day at 7:30 p.m., sending a spectacular ash plume 28,000 ft (8,500 m) in the air and spreading about 130 km to the southeast of the volcano.
Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano roared back to life on Monday, after a 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck the volcano’s south flank.
Meanwhile, two fissures continue to fill the Halema’uma’u crater, and no activity outside has been observed. Gas emissions and seismic tremor remain elevated, reports USGS.
The explosion occurred at 4:40 p.m. JST.
The volcano is in an extremely active phase of activity with almost near-constant eruptions (up to 89 per day), with thick ash plume, reaching up to 1,968 ft-3,937 ft (600 m-1,200 m) altitude and lava bombs ejected as far as 800 m away from the crater.
The strong glow from the Otake crater suggests rise of flux of magma within the volcano. Beware of ballistic impacts of volcanic bombs and pyroclastic flows in an area of about 1 km distance from the main crater.
SERNAGEOMIN has raised the alert level for Cerro Hudson volcano from Green to Yellow on December 22, 2020 due to an uptick in seismictivity (volcano-tectonic, long-period, and hybrid earthquakes) under the main crater.
The last eruption of Hudson was a VEI2 and occurred in 2011. The volcanic peak is known to produce VEI5-6 eruptions. The latest, also qualified as Chile’s second-largest eruption of the 20th century, took place between Aug. 8th and Oct. 27th 1991 (VEI5).
Again, the Crater Lake temperature is rising at Mount Ruapehu (now around 40°C). In addition, the largest measured gas output in the past two decades was measured on dec. 21st, prompting officials to raise the Aviation Color Code to Yellow.
An earthquake of M3.9 hit Bárðarbunga volcano, under the ice cap of Vatnajökull glacier, yesterday at 11:37 a.m. local time. The quake hit at a depth of 1.7 km (1 mile), 5 km (3.1 mi) southeast of Bárðarbunga.
Now if you add to this the strange earthquake swarm in Antarctica and the latest M6.3 earthquake two days ago in Japan, there is really something going on along the Ring of Fire right now! Are we going to get a cataclysmic eruption soon? Time will tell but we are clearly overdue!
Strange Sounds Organization / Crickey Conservation Society 2020.
Russia’s Hydrometeorological Center has forecast that Western and Central Siberia will see temperatures as low as -50 Celsius before the end of the year – around 20 degrees lower than the typical December cold.
Earlier this year, in the height of summer, the highest-ever temperature seen above the Artic Circle was recorded, with the small town of Verkhoyansk seeing the mercury reach as high as +38C.
Extremely cold weather in Siberia has not happened for a long time,” explained Roman Vilfand, the scientific director of the Hydrometeorological Center, noting that the upcoming freeze will come close to the all-time record. The temperature is 20 to 24 degrees below normal.
According to Vilfand, extreme cold is also a consequence of climate change, pointing out that “global warming is not only high temperatures, but also a large amplitude of variability.
The volatility of temperature was highlighted at the start of December, when the north of Siberia saw temperatures more than 10 degrees higher than the norm, with parts of the country breaking records for the highest-ever detected temperature for that period.
For example, on December 1, the Yakutia village of Saskylakh saw temperatures reach -4.4, beating the previous high of -7.7, set in 1954.
RT. com / Crickey Conservation Society.
Mag de bestemming van Woongebied ook als Toeristisch- en Recreatie gebied dienen? Dat was de vraag die Crickey Amigu di Natura via een LOB verzoek stelde. Maar zoals u kan zien wordt van de meet af aan de kern van het verzoek ondermijnd en in mogelijke dwaling gebracht.
Volgens het Ministerie van Bestuur, Planning en Dienstverlening werd een verzoek tot inzage ingediend, waarbij er alleen gevraagd werd om een kopie van het bestemmingplan te Vista Royal III B. Dat is onjuist, en zodoende kan men in den beginne een waardevol en geldig antwoord vermijden.
Vista Royal wordt sinds jaar en dag gebruikt door recreanten, die de woonbuurt massaal al “Caminata” gebruiken. Verder verhuren belasting onduikende eigenaren van woningen op Jan Thiel zodat deze aangewend worden als vakantie woning, die voor minimaal fl.1000,= per dag verhuurd worden aan zeer luidruchtige, vaak dronken vakantie gangsters, waarbij schreeuwende kinderen de kroon spannen.
Aangezien beide aangelegenheden voor veel hinder en oneindige structureel aanhoudende overlast zorgen, werd er een LOB verzoek ingediend om de regering te verzoeken deze campagne te zuiveren, zodat de echte bewoners van Vista Royal niet verplicht worden hun woningen te verlaten en/of te moeten verkopen aan de toeristen netwerken.
Inmiddels heeft het ministerie al uitstel tot behandeling ingediend, aangezien de vraagstelling in de materie wel van zeer moeilijke aard blijkt te zijn. Op 22 December, 2020 verwachten we antwoord op het LOB verzoek en zal er hoogstwaarschijnlijk aangegeven worden dat de bestemming van Vista Royal (niet of wel alleen) “Woongebied” is?
Stichting Crickey Amigu di Natura 2007.
Petitie om bouw werk van toegangs brug voor rolstoel gebruikers op Knip Baai te pareren, en de bestaande en uitermate geschikte achterliggende weg daarvoor te gebruiken. Dat kost de belasting betaler ook minder geld, wat er geeneens is om de armoede inhoudelijk te bestrijden?
Vele lokale bewoners zijn ernstig ontsteld geraakt van dit monsterlijk eco-terrorisme project, en eisen aftreden van de betrokken minister, maar die hangt een mooi verhaal op en daarmee mag, zoals gewoonlijk het volk het dan maar mee doen?
Dit zijn eco-terroristen die bezig zijn met dit monsterlijk gedrocht te plaatsen. Moet onmiddelijk worden stopgezet voordat het te laat is.
Als het zo hoognodig is, dat men rekening wilt houden met rolstoel toerisme, dan kunnen deze mensen beter nabijgelegen Klein Knip en/of Lagun bezoeken.
Terwijl de zogenaamde autonome Koninkrijks kolonies stijgende armoede krijgen voorgeschoteld en 70.000 van 300.000 inwoners (Aruba, Curacao en St.Maarten) afhankelijk werden gesteld van voedsel pakketten, geeft de regering op Curacao fl.200.000 uit aan een niets omhoudende loopbrug op Knipbaai?
Crickey Conservation Society 2020.
According to the UN 2020 is set to rank among hottest years on record despite ‘La Nina’ cooling and could also be contributing to an unusually active hurricane season.
Global temperatures boosted by climate change will still be higher than usual despite the cooling effect of a “moderate to strong” La Nina weather phenomenon, the UN said Thursday.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said La Nina “has developed and is expected to last into next year, affecting temperatures, precipitation and storm patterns in many parts of the world.”
La Nina is considered the stormy sister of El Nino, which occurs every two to seven years when the prevailing trade winds that circulate surface water in the tropical Pacific start to weaken.
El Nino, which has a major influence on weather and climate patterns and associated hazards such as heavy rains, floods and drought, has a warming influence on global temperatures, whilst La Nina tends to have the opposite effect.
All naturally occurring climate events now take place against a background of human-induced climate change which is exacerbating extreme weather and affecting the water cycle.
La Nina typically has a cooling effect on global temperatures, but this is more than offset by the heat trapped in our atmosphere by greenhouse gases.
Therefore, 2020 remains on track to be one of the warmest years on record and 2016-2020 is expected to be the warmest five-year period on record.
La Nina years now are warmer even than years with strong El Nino events of the past.
The UN agency pointed to fresh data indicating that this year’s La Nina would among other things lead to below normal rainfall in the Horn of Africa region and Central Asia, while Southeast Asia, some Pacific islands and the northern part of South America would see more rain than usual.
There is a connection between La Nina and El Nino and hurricane frequency. El Nino tends to suppress frequency and La Nina tends to encourage them, so if we do have a strong hurricane season, La Nina could be contributing to that.
The latest Hurricane Zeta barrelled through the southern United States and is the 27th storm of the season.
In September, meteorologists were forced to use the Greek alphabet to name Atlantic storms for only the second time ever, after the 2020 hurricane season blew through their usual list, ending on Tropical Storm Wilfred.
Zeta was expected to be the last hurricane of the season, which typically runs from June through October, although the warming of the oceans, which provides more energy for hurricanes, has allowed storms to rage later into the year.
La Nina was instead expected to create drier than normal conditions in the southern United States and northern Mexico over the next three months. So it may go from hurricanes and flooding to dry conditions fairly quickly.
AFP / Crickey Conservation Society 2020.
Curaçao doesn’t suffer the wrath of hurricane season. Curaçao’s weather tends to be sunny even throughout the months that other Caribbean islands experience torrential rains.
Situated along the coast of Venezuela, and only 12 degrees north of the equator, Curaçao’s average temperature rests in the mid-80’s all year. Most vacationers head to Curaçao between December and April, causing hotel rates and airfare to skyrocket.
If you’ve come to dive or snorkel, you’ll enjoy good visibility throughout the year. Because the island is located outside the hurricane belt, its marine life is unaffected by seasonal changes.
However, temperatures during the Hurricane Season tend to be exceptionally hot, with desert style extremely high UV ratings up to 11 beyond the scale readings from 1-10, with temperatures easily reaching the high thirties and sometimes 40+ Celsius, between July and November.
A tropical wave is producing widespread cloudiness, showers, and thunderstorms over the eastern Caribbean Sea, with locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds affecting portions of the ABC Islands, the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Environmental conditions are expected to become a little more conducive for development, and a tropical depression could form next week while the system moves westward or west-northwestward at about 15 mph across the central and western Caribbean Sea.
Tropical Depression 25 formed late Friday morning amid an area of disturbed weather over the northwestern Caribbean that meteorologists have had their eyes on since the demise of Beta, Sally, Teddy and Paulette.
The new system, previously dubbed Invest 91L by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), will take on the Greek letter name Gamma upon strengthening beyond a tropical depression.
After waves of heavy rain already doused parts of the Yucatan Peninsula, more rain is on the way in the form of at least one organized tropical system.
A stalled front, stretching from southern Florida to the Bay of Campeche, brought tremendous flooding across parts of the Yucatan Peninsula and southern Mexico enough rain to flood the streets in Tabasco.
Crickey Amigu di Natura Foundation 2020
Last decade was hottest in recent history as global warming accelerates, while 2019 was one of the three warmest years recorded since the Industrial Revolution. The rise in global temperatures is linked to the ongoing increase in emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide
Last year was one of the three hottest years since the records began in the 1800’s, only outstripped by 2016, and 2015 in some analyses, the 30th edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reported.
Each decade since 1980 the temperatures had been successively warmer than the one before. The last decade, 2010-2019, was 0.2C warmer than the previous 10 years from 2000-2009.
And the years since the turn of the millennium had been warmer than any other comparable period since the Industrial Revolution, climate experts warned.
All the years after 2013 had been warmer than any previous years dating back to the mid-1800’s, the evidence showed. The changes in the polar environment are the worst for the Ice bears, but also at the start of the food chain the plankton nurseries are minimized by global warming.
The report, which has contributions from climate scientists from around the world, including from the UK Met Office, also said lake temperatures were above long-term averages, and temperatures for permafrost – or permanently frozen ground – were increasing.
The growing season in the northern hemisphere was eight days longer than average in 2019, mountain glaciers shrank across the globe for the 32nd consecutive year and massive wildfires raged in Australia, the Amazon, Indonesia and Siberia.
Global average temperature is perhaps the simplest climate indicator through which to view the changes taking place in our climate. The number of extreme events, such as wildfires, heatwaves and droughts, have at least part of their root linked to the rise in global temperature.
Independent / Crickey Conservation Society 2020.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said it is a “lie” that fires are ravaging the Amazon rain forest, despite data from his own government showing the number of blazes is rising.
Yet satellite data from Brazil’s national space agency, INPE, show the number of forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon last month rose 28% from July 2019, to 6,803.
Experts say the fires are typically not sparked naturally, but set by humans to clear land illegally for farming and ranching. Especially the world’s largest cattle industry causes methane gases, which are 20 times more harmful compared to carbon dioxide.
Last year, huge fires devastated the Amazon from May to October, sending a thick haze of black smoke all the way to Sao Paulo, thousands of kilometers away. The world’s lungs are set on fire for endless corporate profit taking.
The fires triggered worldwide alarm over a forest seen as vital to curbing climate change. Experts warn this year’s dry season, which is just getting started, could see even more fires.
The scrutiny is pressuring Bolsonaro, who has called for protected Amazon lands to be opened up to mining and agriculture. The Gold mining industry works with heavy chemical pollutants, destroying habitat far larger then the forest fires reach.
He has deployed the army to the Amazon basin, 60% of which is in Brazil, to fight fires and deforestation, declared a ban on agricultural fires and launched a task force to combat the problem.
He said that was producing results, pointing to a more than 25% reduction in deforestation year-on-year last month. Brazil follows its own policy regarding the rain forest, Chico Mendez got killed for trying to protect the Amazon rain forest.
“We are making big, enormous efforts to fight fires and deforestation, but even so, we are criticized,” he told the meeting of the Leticia Pact, a group launched last year to protect the Amazon.
His government has been accused of cherry-picking data by trumpeting the July drop in deforestation. At the moment large pieces of rain forest are being destroyed, almost the size of Switzerland every year?
Despite the one-month decline, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon set a new record high in the first seven months of the year, according to INPE data.
The president’s comments on Tuesday come even as Reuters witnesses in the remote Amazon town of Apui observed smoke blanketing the horizon in all directions during the day and large fires setting the sky aglow at night.
Fires in Brazil’s Amazon for the month of August hit a nine-year high in 2019 and this month so far looks even worse. More than 10,000 fires have been recorded in the first 10 days of August, up 17% from the same period a year ago, according to data from the country’s national space research agency Inpe.
But in a speech to other South American leaders on Tuesday, Bolsonaro challenged foreign representatives to fly over the Amazon saying that traveling by air from the far flung cities of Boa Vista to Manaus, you would not see a single flame.
Experts say that fires are not a natural phenomenon in the rain forest, but are usually man-made in order to clear deforested land for pasture. Agriculture, Mining and Ranching are the main reason for the policy.
Deforestation rose 34.5% in the 12-months through July, compared to the same period a year ago. Forest clearances did fall in July, the first decline in 15 months, a point emphasized by Bolsonaro.
Foreign pressure is mounting on Brazil to protect the world’s largest rain forest, an ecosystem vital to preserving climate change because of the vast amount of carbon dioxide that it absorbs.
Global investors managing more than $2 trillion have threatened to pull their investments out of Brazil’s meatpackers, grains traders and government bonds if Bolsonaro’s administration doesn’t take action on Amazon destruction.
Bolsonaro has dispatched the military to fight fires and deforestation since May, with the armed forces working with environmental agency Ibama to combat fires near Apui, according to Reuters witnesses.
Yahoo / AOL / Crickey Conservation Society 2020.
Taking the mission a significant step forward, the European Space Agency (ESA) and OHB System, a European multinational technology corporation based in Bremen, Germany, signed on July 29 a contract to build the first two satellites that make up the mission.
With the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere approaching levels that humans may have never before experienced, the need to monitor sources of emissions is more urgent than ever – hence the Copernicus Carbon Dioxide Monitoring mission being one of Europe’s new high-priority satellite missions.
With a contract secured worth €445 million, OHB will lead the industrial consortium to start building the two satellites. As the main contractor, OHB is responsible overall, and is also developing the satellite platforms.
As the main sub-contractor, Thales Alenia Space will supply the instruments: the near-infrared and shortwave-infrared spectrometer that will measure emissions of carbon dioxide.
Importantly, the mission will be the first to measure how much carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere specifically through human activity.
Although measurements on the ground have made it possible to track general changes in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, it is not possible to make reliable statements about anthropogenic emissions from individual countries or even individual regions and cities.
The Copernicus Carbon Dioxide Monitoring mission, or CO2M for short, aims to close this gap. In turn, data gathered by CO2M will be used to help track and implement targets set out in the still weakened Paris Agreement philosophy.
The question of how the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will develop in the coming decades will also determine the fate of the global climate.”
Today, most ships burn bunker fuel. Typically, this is the dregs left over at the end of the refinery process. It is an environmental nightmare. It is heavy and toxic, doesn’t evaporate, and emits more sulfur than other fuels.
Like aviation, shipping isn’t covered by the Paris Agreement on climate change because of the international nature of the industry.
The Paris deal aims to limit the global temperature rise to below 2°C this century by reducing emissions. Instead, it is the job of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to negotiate a reduction in emissions from the industry.
Reducing emissions from shipping is not an easy thing to do, agrees Maurice Meehan, director of global shipping operations with the Carbon War Room, an international think-tank working on market-based solutions to climate change.
The industry will simply say that they are doing a good job building more efficient vessels and retrofitting older ships. It has been estimated that just one of these container ships, the length of around six football pitches, can produce the same amount of pollution as 50 million cars.
The emissions from 15 of these mega-ships match those from all the cars in the world. International shipping produces nearly one billion tons of CO2 emissions, which is approximately 2% to 3% of global man-made emissions.
WWF / Crickey Conservation Society 2020
Tropical Storm Gonzalo is headed for the Windward Islands Saturday, but weakening is expected as the storm approaches. Some islands may receive gusty rain showers as Gonzalo passes through.
Gonzalo is the earliest seventh named tropical storm on record to form in the Atlantic basin, according to Phil Klotzbach, a tropical scientist at Colorado State University. The previous record was held by Tropical Storm Gert, which developed on July 24, 2005.
The most active part of the hurricane season is still weeks away, but experts’ predictions for a busy season appear to be holding true, with the National Hurricane Center now monitoring two systems.
Tropical Storm Gonzalo, which formed Wednesday, is expected to become the first hurricane of the season by Friday night. Meantime, a tropical depression has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
A hurricane watch has been issued for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines as Gonzalo is expected to strengthen into a hurricane over the next 24 hours and peak at a Category 1. Either way, there is an increasing risk of wind and rain impacts to portions of the southern Windward Islands this weekend.
Gonzalo had sustained winds of 60 mph and was about 810 miles east of the southern Windward Islands. Beyond tropical storm-force winds, rainfall will be a massive concern for the ABC-Islands along the coast of Venezuela.
The official forecast continues to show Gonzalo becoming a hurricane in about 24 hours, but the uncertainty in this scenario cannot be stressed enough. Small storms are prone to more significant fluctuations in intensity, both up and down.
NOAA / Crickey Conservation Society 2020.
Gold and frankincense and myrrh, sound familiar? These were the gifts that were allegedly brought by the three kings when Jesus Christ was born.
We all know that gold is valuable, but what about the others? Frankincense has long been touted as a magical, mystical medicine and has been regarded as such for millennia within many ancient cultures of the world.
The same goes for myrrh, but for the purpose of this article we are going to stick to the medicinal properties of frankincense.
Frankincense starts out as a type of resinous sap that is found inside a special family of trees called Boswellia, which grow almost exclusively in the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula.
When it is harvested at specific times of the year, the trees are cut carefully with special knives and the sap seeps out. This special sap is then dried in the sun until it is ready for use. More commonly, frankincense is burned simply as sweet smelling incense, but it has many other uses as well.
Frankincense has also been used medicinally, treating various ailments such as arthritis (it has strong anti-inflammatory properties), gut disorders (like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), asthma, and maintenance of oral health.
And perhaps the most intriguing quality for our westernized modern culture is the psychoactive effects of this special resin, as studies have shown that burning frankincense can trigger an effect that can aid and even alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
One study in particular, conducted by a team of researchers form John Hopkins University and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, explains how burning the resin from the Boswellia plant (frankincense) activates certain previously misunderstood ion channels in the brain in order to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
This might explain why Roman emperor Nero once burned an entire year’s harvest of frankincense at his favorite mistress’ funeral. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”
The researchers administered incensole acetate in order to determine its psychoactive effects. This compound they found drastically impacted the parts of the brain that generate emotions and the nerve circuits that have responded positively to current drugs used for depression and anxiety.
The incensole that was administered activated a protein called TRPV3, which is connected to the ability to perceive warmth of the skin.
Perhaps Karl Marx wasn’t too wrong when he called religion the opium of the people: morphine comes from poppies, cannabinoids from marijuana, and LSD from mushrooms; each of these has been used in one or another religious ceremony.
Studies of how those psychoactive drugs work have helped us understand modern neurobiology. The discovery of how incensole acetate, purified from frankincense, works on specific targets in the brain should also help us understand diseases of the nervous system.
This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion–burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over!
So, the good thing is that if used appropriately, it really can’t hurt to try. You can typically buy the resin at health food stores and more commonly at stores that sell incense, crystals, sage and those sorts of spiritual ceremonial tools.
It can also be found as an essential oil. I like to diffuse it in a diffuser, and sometimes I’ll burn the resin on charcoal pucks as well.
At the very least, you’ll get a nice and pleasant smelling aroma, and at best it can help turn that frown upside down, increase your mood, reduce your anxiety and maybe even put a smile on your face.
Perhaps those three wise men were as wise as they’ve been made out to be, and frankincense really is as special as it’s been believed to be for millennia.
Cigarette butts account for one-third of all trash collected according to the ocean conservatory project. Research shows that filters aren’t even needed as they do next to nothing to mitigate the harmful effects of smoking.
Over the past several years a lot of attention has been brought to the amount of trash that is ending up in our world’s oceans. We have seen straw bans happening around the world and bans on single-use plastic bags as well.
There is one pollutant that should be in the spotlight as it is the single greatest source of ocean trash — cigarette butts.
For some reason, this small, but ubiquitous source of trash has mostly avoided any form of regulation. This soon could change if a committed group of activists has a say.
A tobacco industry academic, California lawmaker, and a worldwide surfing organization are among the growing number of people who are arguing that cigarette filters should be banned.
It’s pretty clear there is no health benefit from filters. They are just a marketing tool. And they make it easier for people to smoke, or even inhale toxic fiber substance into the lungs?
It’s also a major contaminant, with all that plastic waste. It seems like a no-brainer to me that we can’t continue to allow this,” Thomas Novotny, a professor of public health at San Diego State University told NBC News.
A California assemblyman proposed an outright ban on cigarettes with filters but wasn’t able to get the proposal out of the committee.
A state senator from New York has written legislation to create a rebate program for butts returned to redemption centers, but that idea is also on hold.
San Francisco has propositioned for a 60 cent per pack increase to raise around $3 million annually to help to cover the cost of cleaning up these discarded butts.
The Truth Initiative, one of the largest anti-smoking initiatives in the U.S. is doing everything it can to raise awareness around this issue.
They use funds collected between state attorneys general and tobacco industries to deliver hard facts against smoking. The group used a nationally televised Video Music Awards show to launch a campaign against cigarette butts. The group is going against the hands down, “most littered item in the world.
With 5.6 trillion cigarettes manufactured worldwide each year, the filters made from cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that takes a minimum of 10 years to decompose. An alarming two-thirds of those butts are dumped irresponsibly each year according to Novotny, who founded the Cigarette Butt Pollution Project.
Since 1982 the Ocean Conservancy has sponsored a beach cleanup. Each year, cigarette butts have been the most collected item on the beaches of the world.
Over 60 million have been collected over that period of time. Out of all the plastic wrappers, eating utensils, bottles, containers, cigarette butts have accounted for one-third of all the trash collected.
Let’s not forget that these discarded filters contain synthetic fibers and hundreds of chemicals that are used to treat tobacco. Novonty is actively pursuing further research to see exactly what waste from cigarettes is leaching into the soil, streams, rivers, and oceans.
If you are a smoker, it is up to you to take responsibility for the proper disposal of your butts. This may even be enough of a drawback from smoking that it may inspire you to quit. If not, there are many options available. One being, rolling your own cigarettes.
Collective Evolution / Crickey Conservation Society 2020.
Nearly 130 years ago, Italian explorer Elio Modigliani arrived at a natural history museum in Genoa with a lizard he’d reportedly collected from the forests of Indonesia. Nose
Based on Modigliani’s specimen, the striking lizard — notable for a horn that protrudes from its nose — got its official taxonomic description and name, Harpesaurus modiglianii, in 1933. But no accounts of anyone finding another such lizard were ever recorded, until now
In June 2018, Chairunas Adha Putra, an independent wildlife biologist conducting a bird survey in a mountainous region surrounding Lake Toba in Indonesia’s North Sumatra, called herpetologist Thasun Amarasinghe.
Near the lake, which fills the caldera of a supervolcano, Putra had found “a dead lizard with interesting morphological features, but he wasn’t sure what it was,” says Amarasinghe, who later asked the biologist to send the specimen to Jakarta.
It took only a look at the lizard’s nose-horn for Amarasinghe to suspect that he was holding Modigliani’s lizard. “It is the only nose-horned lizard species found in North Sumatra.
Wooden arts and folktales of the Bataks — indigenous people native to the region — show that lizards have a special place in the people’s mythology.
But simply there was no report at all about this species” following Modigliani’s, says Amarasinghe, of the University of Indonesia in Depok.
He asked Putra to get back to the caldera to see if there was a living population. After five days, Putra found what he was looking for one evening, “lying on a low branch, probably sleeping,” according to the biologist.
He took pictures of the lizard and measured the size and shape of its body parts, such as the length of its nose-horn and head. He also observed its behavior before finally releasing it the same night.
Using this data, Amarasinghe compared the lizard with the one described in 1933, and concluded that the living lizard and the dead one that Putra had stumbled across were in fact Modigliani’s nose-horned lizards.
The Genoa museum’s dead specimen is pale blue due to preservation, but it’s now known that the lizard’s natural color is mostly luminous green. Its camouflage and tree-dwelling behavior are similar to African mountain chameleons.
The reptile belongs to the Agamidae family of lizards, which are commonly called dragon lizards and include species such as bearded dragons (SN: 6/14/17).
Shai Meiri, a herpetologist at Tel Aviv University, has previously shown that many dragon lizards live in small, hard-to-access areas, making the reptiles difficult to study.
There are 30 agamid species that have never been seen since they were first described, and 19 species which are known from just a single specimen.
While thrilled with their find, Amarasinghe and Putra are worried about the lizard’s future. “The living dragon was found outside a conservation area, and massive deforestation for Palm oil purposes (*Unilver) is happening nearby.
But the rediscovery offers a glimmer of hope for the lizard’s conservation, Meiri says. Before the reptile resurfaced, no one knew where exactly Modigliani’s lizard lived, or whether it had already gone extinct, he says.
But now, “we can study it, understand its conservation needs and hopefully implement some kind of conservation measures to save the species from extinction.”
Science News Organization / Crickey Conservation Society 2020.