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Cold kills millions of fish in the Amazon

Nature magazine blames "climate change"


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27 Aug 10 - During the Southern Hemisphere's recent winter, unusually low temperatures in part of Bolivia's tropical region killed an estimated 6 million fish and thousands of alligators, turtles and river dolphins, says this article in Nature magazine.

Scientists say it's "the biggest ecological disaster Bolivia has known," says author Anna Petherick. As an example of a sudden climatic change wreaking havoc on wildlife, "it is unprecedented in recorded history."

"So, global warming (strategically renamed "climate change" but effectively still "global warming") has caused this tragic event involving extremely cold weather?" posts Nature magazine reader Jesper Berg. "Would you care to elaborate?"

"There's just a huge number of dead fish." says Michel Jégu, a researcher at the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. "In the rivers near Santa Cruz there's about 1,000 dead fish for every 100 metres of river."

"With such extreme climatic events potentially becoming more common due to climate change," says Petherick, "scientists are hurrying to coordinate research into the impact, and how quickly the ecosystem is likely to recover."

How sad that Nature is continuing down the path of political/policy fishwrap rather than science journal," posts Nature reader Pete H.

"The extraordinary quantity of decomposing fish flesh has polluted the waters of the Grande, Pirai and Ichilo rivers to the extent that local authorities have had to provide alternative sources of drinking water for towns along the rivers' banks."

"The blame lies, at least indirectly, with a mass of Antarctic air that settled over the Southern Cone of South America for most of July," says Petherick. (How could anyone call this an "indirect" cause?) "The prolonged cold snap has also been linked to the deaths of at least 550 penguins along the coasts of Brazil and thousands of cattle in Paraguay and Brazil, as well as hundreds of people in the region."

"Such freak climatic events may become more common in the future," Petherick continues, as she tries ever so subtly to pin the blame on humans. "Fish in temperate rivers often die when a power station pumping warm water into a river suddenly shuts down." Or perhaps the burning of farmland around Santa Cruz might have been a contributing factor "because the smoke added to river pollution."

See entire article (have fun reading the posts following the article):
Thanks to Steven Woodcock, Benjamin Napier and Laurel for this link

"Climate Change is the rubber band of explanations," posts Nature reader Hal Combs. "It is stretched to fit any and all occurrences. Last year it meant Global Warming and unprecedented hurricanes. When that didn't happen it now means unusual cold snaps. We need to get over it. The climate has always changed, it will always change. The earth's climate has been inhospitably cold for the majority of the last few billion years. We are lucky to live in a warm interglacial period. We should be worrying about how to survive when the ice returns."

I (Robert) am heartened to see that Nature magazine's readers aren't being hoodwinked by this blatantly agenda-driven article.

See also:

6 million dead fish, alligators, turtles and dolphins
floating down Bolivian rivers

3 Aug 10 - More than six million fish and thousands of alligators,
turtles, dolphins and other river wildlife are floating dead in Bolivian
rivers, the cruel aftermath of the extreme cold in South America.
Includes video link.
See 6 million dead fish floating down Bolivian rivers


Millions of Fish Dead in Bolivian Rivers
Authorities Explain What Really Happened

10 Aug 10 - This ecological disaster garnered international attention
and  brought accusations of possible chemical spills. Today I received
 this email from the webmaster that broke the story, explaining what
really happened.
See Millions of Dead Fish in Bolivian Rivers - Authorities explain





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