Without Major Interventions, the Orca’s Days Are Numbered

Published on Truthout, 29 November 2016.

No one is certain of the total number of orcas (otherwise known as “killer whales”) that exist in the wild. However, estimates are now around 100,000, and populations are dwindling. In Washington State’s Puget Sound and San Juan Islands, the once-large population of orcas has declined to around 80 whales, and the Puget Sound orcas are on the US government’s endangered species list.

Why are the orcas disappearing? A variety of factors are in play: Loss of food supply (such as salmon), warming waters, habitat loss, pollution, Naval sonar and war gaming, and ocean acidification are some of the many factors now constellating to make life much more challenging for these iconic whales.

Some reports warn that it could already be too late to save wild orcas.

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For the First Time in Human Existence, CO2 Rates Break Records Two Years in a Row

Published on Truthout, 16 November 2016.

This year is likely to experience the fastest increase in the rate of carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere. It will bring atmospheric CO2 to levels not seen since the Middle Miocene epoch, 15 million years ago, when global temperatures were 3-4C higher.

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