American slipper limpet innocent in oyster deaths


This July 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

Meet the scientist working on the crazy sex life of slipper limpets

Maryna Lesoway from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign talks about the sex determination of the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata.

From Kiel University in Germany:

Oyster deaths: American slipper limpet is innocent

Zoological Museum in Kiel plays a leading role in reconstructing the death of the European oyster

November 27, 2019

Natural history collections are unique archives of biodiversity. They document how living things transform over time and what effects aspects like climate change or other human-made environmental changes have on their distribution. A good example is the decline in numbers of the European oyster (Ostrea edulis) in the North Sea, which has been continuing for over 100 years. Researchers from Kiel University (CAU), in cooperation with the NORe museum association for the North and Baltic Sea region and the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, have now managed to shine some light on this phenomenon. They have concluded that the occurrence of the invasive American slipper limpet (Crepidula fornicata) is not one of the main causes for the European oyster dying out — unlike previously assumed. The researchers published their study in the journal PLOS ONE in October.

The informative value of natural historical collections

Historical collections of the European oyster and its surrounding fauna form the basis for the new findings. The researchers investigated a total of 1,750 oysters and more than 700 slipper limpets which all found their way into the joint project’s museums and the museums in Leiden and London between 1820 and 2018. “Our unique collection by Karl August Möbius was of key importance here. This collection documented the presence of the oyster throughout Europe around 1870,” reported Dr Dirk Brandis, head of the Zoological Museum in Kiel and private lecturer at the CAU. Möbius conducted research in Kiel during the second half of the 19th century as a zoologist and ecologist. Based on his investigations of oyster presence in domestic waters, with the concept of biocoenosis he also discovered the mutual dependence of different life forms within a community. “We used the various historical archives to prove that the slipper limpet, which was introduced, had nothing to do with the European oyster dying out, although that has been assumed for a long time,” Brandis continued.

Chronological sequence of the spread of the limpet doesn’t match oyster decline

The researchers drew this conclusion from the temporal sequences, which they were now able to trace back. “Around 200 years ago, oyster fishing in the North Sea was a flourishing business,” explained Dr Dieter Fiege from the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt. He continued: “In the years afterwards, however, the Ostrea edulis numbers declined continuously. It was assumed that the appearance of the invasive slipper limpet, Crepidula fornicata, was the reason behind the dramatic decrease in oysters, along with overfishing, cold winters or diseases.”

In actual fact, the slipper limpet — which is native to the coastlines of North America — was introduced to Europe around 1870 but its presence could only be verified after 1934. “According to our findings, the decline in numbers of the European oyster population already began in the late 19th century, so well before the invasive spread of the slipper limpet. We were able to reconstruct this decline in detail,” emphasized CAU doctoral researcher, Sarah Hayer, who is conducting research at the Zoological Museum in Kiel and who accounted for the study as the lead author. “This makes it clear that the competition by an immigrant species did not cause the European oyster to die out,” added Dr Christine Ewers-Saucedo, who was chiefly responsible for collecting and analysing the data in the study at the Zoological Museum in Kiel. The real reason why the European oyster population dramatically declined in its native habitat remains unanswered.

Yellow-legged gulls on video


This video shows yellow-legged gulls; sometimes in the company of black-headed gulls and herring gulls.

Yellow-legged gulls live in Europe and northern Africa.

I saw this species in Morocco and in Greece.

Twenty coastal birds and their calls, video


This video is about twenty coastal birds from Europe, and their calls.

They are:

1. Turnstone Arenaria interpres
2. Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
3. Redshank Tringa totanus
4. Herring gull Larus argentatus
5. Dunlin Calidris alpina
6. Bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica
7. Sanderling Calidris alba
8. Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
9. Common gull Larus canus
10. Black-headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus / Larus ridibundus
11. Great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
12. Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
13. Common tern Sterna hirundo
14. Curlew Numenius arquata
15. Eider duck Somateria mollissima
16. Little tern Sternula albifrons
17. Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus
18. Red knot Calidris canutus
19. Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
20. Great black-backed gull Larus marinus

Donald Trump’s nuclear weapons across Europe


This 22 July 2019 video says about itself:

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Hidden Across Europe

The Belgian newspaper De Morgen pointed out that nuclear bombs are stored in 6 European and US bases.

De Morgen quotes a NATO document:

“In the context of NATO, the United States is deploying around 150 nuclear weapons in Europe, particularly B61 gravity bombs, which can be deployed by both US and Allied planes. These bombs are stored in six American and European bases: Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in the Netherlands and Inçirlik in Turkey.”

TRUMP ‘SUGGESTED NUKING HURRICANES’ Trump reportedly suggested “multiple times” that Homeland Security and military officials explore using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from striking the United States. According to an unnamed source, he said: “We drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?” [HuffPost]

Global warming threatens health, doctors say


This September 2017 video from the World Health Organization South-East Asia Region – WHO SEARO says about itself:

Climate Change and Health

Climate change is happening, and is a risk to public health. Whether from greater severity and intensity of extreme weather events, changes in the spread and abundance of disease-carrying vectors such as mosquitoes, or changes to the physical environment that cause displacement or threaten livelihoods, climate change is already having an impact across our Region.

As many diseases and health conditions are climate-sensitive, the impact of climate change on health needs to be included in health policies and planning. In recognition of the immense and increasing public health risks caused by climate change, Member countries of WHO South-East Asia Region unanimously endorsed the Malé Declaration in September 2017, committing to build health systems able to anticipate, respond to, cope with, recover from and adapt to climate-related shocks and stress.

From the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, Leopoldina – Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften:

Climate action urgently required to protect human health in Europe

June 3, 2019

Summary: In a landmark report, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) focuses on the consequences of climate change for human health in Europe and the benefits of acting now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to stabilize the climate.

EASAC is the voice of independent science advice, mobilising Europe’s leading scientists from 27 national science academies to guide EU policy for the benefit of society. By considering a large body of independent studies on the effects of climate change on health, and on strategies to address the risks to health, EASAC has identified key messages and drawn important new conclusions. The evidence shows that climate change is adversely affecting human health and that health risks are projected to increase. Solutions are within reach and much can be done by acting on present knowledge, but this requires political will. With current trends in greenhouse gas emissions, a global average temperature increase of over 3°C above pre-industrial levels is projected by the end of the century. The increase will be higher over land than the oceans, exposing the world population to unprecedented rates of climate change and contributing to the burden of disease and premature mortality. Health risks will increase as climate change intensifies through a range of pathways including:

  • Increased exposure to high temperatures and extreme events such as floods and droughts, air pollution and allergens;
  • Weakening of food and nutrition security;
  • Increased incidence and changing distribution of some infectious diseases (including mosquito-borne, food-borne and water-borne diseases);
  • Growing risk of forced migration.

EASAC emphasises that the top priority is to stabilise climate and accelerate efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The economic benefits of action to address the current and prospective health effects of climate change are likely to be substantial.

Working Group co-chair, Professor Sir Andy Haines (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), comments, “If urgent action is not taken to reduce emissions in order to keep temperatures below the 2°C (or less) limit enshrined in the Paris Climate Agreement, we face potentially irreversible changes that will have wide-ranging impacts on many aspects of health. The scientific community has an important role in generating knowledge and countering misinformation. We hope that this comprehensive report will act as a wake-up call and draw attention to the need for action, particularly by pursuing policies to decarbonise the economy. The protection of health must have a higher profile in policies aimed at mitigating or adapting to the effects of climate change.” Key messages addressed in the report include:

  • Several hundred pollution pollution deaths annually in the EU could be averted by a ‘zero-carbon’ economy through reduced air pollution. Pollution endangers planetary health, damages ecosystems and is intimately linked to global climate change. Fine particulate and ozone air pollution arise from many of the same sources as emissions of greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants. For the EU overall, fossil-fuel-related emissions account for more than half of the excess mortality attributed to ambient (outdoor) air pollution. A recent estimate suggests that about 350,000 excess deaths annually in the EU can be attributed to ambient air pollution from burning fossil fuels and a total of about 500,000 from all human-related activities. Understanding of the range of health effects of air pollution on the health of children and adults is growing. Seven million babies in Europe are living in areas where air pollution exceeds WHO recommended limits and such exposure may affect brain development and cognitive function. Action to reduce pollution through decarbonisation of the economy must be viewed as a priority to address both climate change and public health imperatives.
  • Promotion of healthier, more sustainable diets with increased consumption of fruit, vegetables and legumes and reduced red meat intake will lower the burden of non-communicable diseases and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Promoting dietary change could have major health and environmental benefits, resulting in significant reductions of up to about 40% in greenhouse gas emissions from food systems as well as reducing water and land use demands. Such diets can also lead to major reductions on non-communicable disease burden through reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and other conditions.

    If food and nutrition security declines because of climate change, the EU can probably still satisfy its requirements by importing food. But this will have increasing consequences for the rest of the world; for example, by importing fodder for livestock from arable land that has been created through deforestation. It is therefore vital to develop climate-smart food systems to ensure more resilient agricultural production and to promote food and nutrition security, for the benefit of human health.

  • Climate action could avert a significant increase in the spread of infectious diseases. The spread of infectious diseases in Europe could increase through climate change. These diseases include those that are spread by vectors (particularly mosquitos) and food- and water-borne infections. There is also an increased risk to animal health across Europe from conditions such as Blue tongue virus. Distribution of the mosquito species Aedes albopictus, known to be a vector for diseases such as dengue, is already expanding in Europe and may extend to much of Western Europe within the next decade.

    Water-borne infections such as diarrhea may increase following heavy rainfall and flooding and higher temperatures may be associated with increased antibiotic resistance for pathogens such as E. coli. In the case of Salmonella species, an increase in temperature will increase multiplication and spread in food and increase the risks of food poisoning. There could also be an increase in Norovirus infections related to heavy rainfall and flooding. Strengthening communicable disease surveillance and response systems should be a priority for improving adaptation to climate change.

  • Providing evidence of the health benefits of action on climate change may be instrumental in achieving rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Although the EU is actively engaged in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to identify suitable adaptation measures, the impacts of climate change on health have been relatively neglected in EU policy. Recognising the serious challenges that climate change poses to the global health gains made in recent decades is key to promoting public engagement. Furthermore, the impact of climate change in other regions can have tangible consequences in Europe and the EU has responsibilities in addressing problems outside its area.

    The EU must do more to ensure that health impact assessment is part of all proposed initiatives, and that climate and health policy is integrated with other policy priorities including coordinating strategies at EU and national level. It is also vital that the steps are taken to counter misinformation about the causes and consequences of climate change which threaten to undermine the political will to act.