South Carolina fisherman spots huge whale shark approaching boat: ‘It was pretty neat’

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Raw video: Massive whale shark spotted 36 miles off Charleston, South Carolina.

“This whale shark went right behind the boat,” Krivohlavek, 21, recalled to Fox News on Wednesday, adding the animal was “very interested” in the vessel and circled it multiple times.

Though this isn’t the first time the seasoned fisherman has spotted a whale shark – Krivohlavek said he saw them on multiple occasions while living in Mexico – the experience was still “one of the coolest [he's] ever seen," he said.

Krivohlavek said the crew stayed put for roughly 25 minutes before the creature swam away.

“We didn’t move out of caution for the fish. But we didn’t want to move,” he said, adding the experience was “pretty neat.”

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November 08, 2018

Sources: Fox

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Dr. Desbiez favors fencing that keeps animals off the pavement and guides them toward safe passages under or over the road.</p><p>Fraser Shilling, director of the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis, helped develop a real-time deer-collision map, which connects to a car or phone app that can warn drivers when to be on high alert. A recent seminar that taught other officials how to build their such maps drew representatives from 42 states, Dr. Shilling said.</p><p>Dr. González-Suárez is now studying individual species to figure out the impact on local populations. For mammals, especially those who reproduce slowly and in small numbers, the loss of a few individuals could have devastating effects, Mr. Desbiez noted.</p><p>Monitoring roadkill is important for more than accounting purposes, said Dr. Shilling. Roads are the primary way in which most people interact with wildlife, yet traffic collisions with animals are wildly underreported, he said. 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    To cool the planet, should deserts be flooded?

    ing 238 trillion gallons of desalinated ocean water to do the job. Creating millions of 1-acre-square micro-reservoirs to grow enough algae to gobble up all of Earth’s climate-changing carbon dioxide. For an encore: How about spreading the water and fertilizer (the dead algae) to grow a vast new forest of oxygen-producing trees?</p><p>A Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Y Combinator, unveiled the radical desert flooding plan as one of four “moonshot” scenarios that it hopes innovators will explore as potential remedies to catastrophic global warming.</p><p>With unlimited capital and political will — both far from given — experts said the scheme would stand a chance of reducing dangerous greenhouse gas levels. But while they generally believe the climate crisis has become severe enough to push even extreme options onto the table, the experts cautioned against interventions that might create as many problems as they solve.</p><p>“We do not want to have this be purely profit driven,” said Greg Rau, a University of California, Santa Cruz climate scientist and part of the team that helped Y Combinator craft the request for proposals. “We are trying to benefit the planet, not just make money. So we need this kind of research and development first, but then oversight and governance over how any of this is deployed.”</p><p>The startup accelerator that helped finance Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit asked innovators last month to come forward with specific proposals on desert flooding and three other extreme plans for reducing greenhouse gas concentrations. The existential threat posed by climate change requires research into solutions that the investment firm itself conceded could be “risky, unproven, even unlikely to work.”</p><p>Y Combinator said it had a rush of interest in its challenge. It declined to say how many took up the desert flooding option. But Sam Altman, Y Combinator's president, predicted that in 2019 his firm will fund three companies to pursue the “Plan B” climate solutions.</p><p>A host of scientists who have studied Earth’s ecosystems, climate change and bio-engineering said further exploration might be warranted. But they were quick to cite many reasons that desert flooding is not likely to succeed.</p><p>Y Combinator called filling 1.7 million acres of arid land with 2-meter-deep pools of water “the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken.” Just to pump ocean water inland and desalinate it would require an electrical grid far greater than the one Earth now devotes to all other uses.</p><p>“It’s a desert for a reason,” said Lynn Fenstermaker, a research professor at Nevada’s Desert Research Institute. “Flooding the desert and then keeping the water there, in an already water-poor area with all the evaporation, is hard to imagine.”</p><p>Y Combinator doesn’t deny the magnitude of the challenge. “Economies of scale as well as breakthroughs in material science and construction technology will all be necessary for success,” its proposal says.</p><p>Y Combinator pegs the price tag at $50 trillion. That’s roughly half the entire globe’s economic productivity for a year. Altman said in an interview that the cost for any solution will need to drop into the billions to become more realistic. “You can do a lot of things that require spending more money than you will ever be able to get,” Altman said, “and it just doesn’t come.” Brought to a more realistic price, he believes that governments will pay.</p><p>Many species would be wiped out by massive man-made flooding of deserts. “People think there is nothing valuable in the deserts, but that is far from the truth,” said Henry Sun, a microbiologist and research professor at the Desert Research Center. “These diverse species deserve, and need, the desert to survive.” Most of the world’s countries would set a high bar, Sun said, before destroying habitat.</p><p>Interfering with nature can have unexpected consequences. Katherine Mackey, a University of California, Irvine climate scientist, noted how Australia has long tried, and failed, to combat overpopulation of native species by introducing non-native creatures. Famous case in point: toads were introduced in 1935 to tame sugar cane-eating beetles. But the toads couldn’t climb sugar cane. So the beetles thrived, alongside their new neighbors — an out-of-control toad population.</p><p>“Saying that we intervened and created a problem with global warming, so let’s further intervene, that’s not the thing to do,” Mackey said. “That’s not how you fix the problem, by replacing it with another problem.”</p><p>“I think it’s far easier to, for instance, make our houses better insulated and solar powered, than to flood deserts. Also, from a timescale perspective, how quickly will this technology be available at scale?” said Mathis Wackernagel, president of the Global Footprint Network, an Oakland, California-based sustainability think tank. “If we want to solve climate, why not bet on the easy stuff?”</p><p>Y Combinator suggests that flooding the deserts may be less risky than another solution on its list — fertilizing the oceans with massive amounts of iron or other nutrients to spur the growth of CO2-gobbling phytoplankton. Compared to ocean phytoplankton seeding, “doing so in desert reservoirs reduces systemic risk and exposure of the marine ecosystem to our widespread meddling,” Y Combinator’s request for proposals says.</p><p>“The window for easy solutions is already closed. Doing nothing is guaranteed suicide,” the firm said. Altman, 33, added: “All of this stuff is scary. However, runaway global warming where we all die is also quite scary. ...None of this is where we would like to be. But here we are.”</p><p>Activists and scientists interviewed by NBC News said exploration of far-out solutions is warranted — as long as researchers, governments and funders don’t lose focus on other fixes.</p><p>“The concern I have is that Silicon Valley seems very excited about these moonshots, when maybe what we need is a bunch of Boeing 737s,” said Armond Cohen, executive director of the Clean Air Task Force, a clean energy think tank and lobbying organization. “And to do it on a 10- to 15-year development cycle, not one that takes 30 years.”</p>

    1 November 11, 2018
  • World War I: 100 years on, the horrific legacy of chemical weapons endures

    World War I: 100 years on, the horrific legacy of chemical weapons endures

    ritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>One century after the unforgiving horrors of chemical weapons were first unleashed with abandon on the modern day battlefield, they are still shockingly used against innocent civilians in Syria and elsewhere.</p><p>As the world marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I, there is one tragic legacy of the conflict that sadly has not stopped: chemical weapons.</p><p>One century after the unforgiving horrors that chemical weapons first unleashed on the battlefield, they are still shockingly used against innocent civilians in Syria and elsewhere.</p><p>&quot;In today&apos;s world, it is just unconscionable,&quot; says Bassam Rifai, the chairman of the Syrian American Council. He criticizes the world&apos;s acquiescence to Syrian president Bashar al Assad&apos;s repeated use of chemical weapons against his own people.</p><p>&quot;I cannot imagine what that would do to somebody who is hiding in their basement, with their children, waiting for a chemical weapon to rain down and suffocate them,&quot; says Rifai.</p><p>&quot;I don&apos;t understand how a human being can use a chemical weapon against anyone else.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Countries have still been able to get away with it, even though we know what they do,&quot; notes Dr. Timothy Westcott,&#xA0;professor of history at Park University in Parkville, Missouri. He is also the director of the University&apos;s George S. Robb Center for the Study of The Great War.</p><p>&quot;It&apos;s horrific,&quot; he notes. &quot;It&apos;s horrific on children, adults, service members, the whole population. It&apos;s awful.&quot;</p><p>The Germans first used poison gas, chlorine, against the British in 1915 to try and break the long stalemate on the Western front. Even though their use constituted a war crime, first outlawed in 1899, that did not stop their use, eventually, by both sides.</p><p>&quot;White phosphorus was a powerful one, some people would have seen kind of like a cloud that just eats the skin away, very quickly,&quot; says Dr. Westcott. &quot;Mustard gas is probably what most people have some familiarity with. Mustard gas, inhaling that, eats your insides outward, and is very painful. A lot of these were very painful. The gas mask that was invented very quickly to deal with them was somewhat successful, but not always, particularly if there was not enough warning of a gas attack.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Mustard gas was really an oil that would sit on things, especially your skin, it was a vesicant, it was a blistering agent,&quot; explains Johnathan Casey, the director of archives at the Edward Jones Research Center at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.</p><p>&quot;There was a convention prohibiting these gases that had been signed by a number of the European countries but they were able to circumvent that by saying the definition of the weapons that they were using did not fit the convention.&quot;</p><p>As part of its collection, the Museum displays the rudimentary gas masks and grenades that were used during the war.</p><p>&quot;People would start to choke on it and the body would react to get this poison or irritant out of the body,&quot; Casey says. &quot;It was quite a shock and caused a lot of panic among the soldiers, because there was something all of a sudden there that they had not experienced before, or had any training or defense against and from that there was a natural outrage.&quot;</p><p>After the war ended, the 1919 Versailles Treaty banned the use of chemical weapons. In 1925 another agreement, the Geneva &quot;Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare&quot; went into effect.</p><p>Currently, 193 nations have adopted the&#xA0;United Nations&#x2019; &quot;Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons&quot; that was enacted in 1997.</p><p>&quot;We have international agreements that these are not to be used on human beings. Unfortunately, we have not enforced those,&quot; laments Dr. Westcott.</p><p>At the United Nations, there has been harsh condemnation of the continued use of chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein deployed poison gas to massacre 5,000 Kurds in 1988 and repeated attacks have not completely stopped in Syria. Russia is also suspected of having used a deadly chemical nerve agent, Novichok, in the U.K. earlier this year.</p><p>At a U.N. Security Council meeting in September, British Ambassador Karen Pierce was blunt.</p><p>&quot;I just find it unconscionable &#x2026; that after all these years, in the hundredth anniversary year of the end of the first World War, that any government can even think of using chemical weapons against its own people or indeed against anyone else, whether they&#x2019;re a small city in Britain or they are a country like Syria,&#x201D; she said.</p><p>Dr. Westcott, sadly, does not foresee a day when chemical weapons will no longer be used. He is calling on governments to step up enforcement of sanctions against those who violate the international agreements.</p><p>&quot;There are humans in charge of them. There&apos;s humans in charge of the countries, and I think unfortunately as humans, we have to do our best to control however we define that as a global society, to control those. But unfortunately humans will be humans and unfortunately, will use them as a last resort scenario.&quot;</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>

    1 November 11, 2018


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