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Rise of the jellyfish

Overfishing or warming sea levels? There seem to be more jellyfish in the oceans and while they've been annoying summer beachgoers since time immemorial they are also capable of interfering with electricity generation outlets.

Al Jazeera English picks up some of the story:

The Daily Mail reported on July 6 how jellyfish forced the shutdown of the Orot Rabin power station in Israel.

A week earlier, both reactors at the Torness nuclear power station on the Scottish coast were shut down because of a sudden influx of jellyfish.

That was far from the first time that nuclear reactors have been shut down because of marauding jellyfish, as this analysis from Discovery News explains.

But there is also evidence that jellyfish are able to thrive in ocean Dead Zones where other marine life cannot, hence a disproportionate increase in their presence. Here is a presentation from the US National Science Foundation which paints a vivid picture on the rising presence of jellyfish in our oceans.

Point six of their presentation: "Four hundred vast Dead Zones in world oceans are too polluted for almost all life except jellyfish."

Not enough Murray-Darling to go around

(This item is my contribution to Blog Action Day 2010, whose topic this year is "Water".)

Australia is being confronted with a national dilemma which has a major impact on its society and the environment, and it will take a huge amount of wisdom, courage, co-operation and, yes, pain to reach a stable outcome.

Dust storm over Sydney

An amazing dust storm over Sydney this morning, the result of a number of remarkable climatic events. A big cold front, the result of unseasonably warm September weather, whipping up huge amounts of dust from the central Australian drought, bringing strong winds to the eastern seaboard of New South Wales and dumping its load all over Sydney and Newcastle.

Here's my Flickr slideshow of pics that I took this morning, and the ABC's extensive reportage.

Great opening lines to comic literature. Today: Peter Garrett

Press release just in from Peter Garrett's office, starting with the funniest opening sentence since "Call me Ishmael":

"Highlighting the Australian Government’s commitment to world best practice environmental standards, a uranium mine in South Australia has been approved subject to strict approval conditions which will ensure no credible risk to the environment."


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