|from a Google Image search|
This post is the itinerary of a recent research excursion (pun intended)
Partial list of sources follows post.
Many of you know that the West Coast of North America is suffering under the onslaught of what is being called the largest toxic algal bloom. Ever. Usually toxic algae blooms occur as a result of agricultural runoff; usually they are localized; this bloom is freakin' huge.
Global warming? Perhaps; indeed that is the hypothesis of choice currently in the main stream media. One would think that this phenomenon would be observed elsewhere -- unless the conditions are not right, or not right yet, anywhere else.
The thing is, it is not only oceanic toxic blooms.
Agricultural runoff? Seems less likely, right? How about if toxic algae were blooming in bodies of water off into which no agricultural waste nitrates ever ran?
Like a reservoir?
Lake Chabot, a northern California backup reservoir, was once closed to the public; then it was opened for recreational activities. Although swimming is not allowed, apparently it is usually not actively discouraged, as several members of a recent fourth of July outing to the lake had been intending to take a dip -- only to find new signs up, saying in no uncertain terms that any contact with the water in the reservoir was, at this time, strictly prohibited, as it was considered to be toxic.
From the Lake Chabot website, a screenshot:
|from the Lake Chabot website|
Please take note:
three dogs have died
because of ingesting a very small amount
of water infested with toxic algae.
The water does not
have to be thick and green and slimy
to kill your dog, or you.
Quick biology lesson, since we are here anyway at this semantic juncture, and we need to ratchet down from the red bold lettering above:
Bioaccumulation ought to be distinguished from biomagnification, with which it is often confused by science writers who need to do their homework.
Let's go to that update, shall we, Gentle Reader? There we find out that 'rare' means the first time was last year:
|from Lake Chabot website. idiosyncratic colorization, mine.|
Indeed, although blue-green algae have plagued North American bodies of water for years, in an overwhelming majority of cases the first time the bloom had turned toxic was in the last few years for other Lakes as well, up and down the coast; and not just on the West coast: Lake Erie, where the algae affected drinking water last August, is expected to have a severe bloom again this year by federal scientists. Its first was recent. Kentucky and Ohio lakes are experiencing toxic blooms for the first time. So is New Zealand. Toxic cyanobacteria were found for the first time in the open ocean in 2010. (See 'Sources & Other Links for the Curious,' below).
In fact, toxic algal blooms have not really 'been with us' throughout history, except extremely rarely. They are a modern phenomenon:
|from "Toxic Algal Blooms and Red Tides, A Global Perspective" by Donald Anderson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1989.|
But none as big as the one on the West Coast of North America, now, where some other factor or group of factors is ensuring the monstrous proliferation and spread of these organisms. Sea lions, fish, jellyfish, starfish, birds, dolphins, whales, sharks, herring, anchovy, salmon, all have had mortality events in the last year. Or their populations have disappeared, or in the case of starfish, disintegrated. (To read more, just browse the 'U.S. and Canada' section of Energy News.)
|Josie, a healthy Labrador, a victim of the algae at Lake Chabot.|
Global warming (I'd rather call it 'climate change')? Drought? Agricultural runoff, phosphorous and nitrates? All of these have been put forth to explain the blooms, and all could easily play a part. Now if you follow this blog, you know how tempted I am to mention a few more factors...
Like how hardy cyanobacteria can be to ionizing radiation (one Deinococcus radiodurans, nicknamed 'Conan the Bacterium,' has been known to survive a whopping thousand times the radiation that would kill a man quickly). Or how radiation levels are on the uptick worldwide, most notably along the West Coast. Add to this the seemingly sharp increase in toxic 'firsts' in the last three years, and you have...
...nothing so much as a reason to keep your eyes and ears open, and above all, your pets safe, away from algae-encrusted lakes, away from the Pacific; if it were me, I would keep them away from all stagnant water.
please keep the kids out of the rain....
please keep the kids out of the rain....
Be seeing you.
LINKS AS PROMISED:
abc27_com_2012_08_22_steam_released_in_tmi_shutdown.pdf 1003 Airspace Over Flooded Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant Still Closed - Business Insider
Rare 1043 Toxic Algae Found in Tashmoo; Pond Closed to Shellfishing | The Vineyard Gazette - Martha's Vineyard News Mairi Wood.pdf
Not All Alleged Is Apparent… | "Allegedly Apparent" is the blog of © Michaël Van Broekhoven. Do not repost: Read my Disclaimer & Do Not Share Policy..
Seattle City Councilmembers announce accelerated plan to clean up Green Lake's toxic algae | Seattle DogSpot
Media 1034 Scrubs Three 2012 Mile Island Nuclear Accident From Internet In | HNN – Higgins News Network