Wildlife

Zambia to reinstate hippo cull

Just about two years ago, this website reported on the Zambian government sanctioned plan to cull 2,000 hippos as a ‘wildlife management tool’ to prevent the future spread of anthrax among wild animals.

Just a short period later, the government suspended the cull “to allow for further consultation with stakeholders”.

Now, the wildlife conservation organization, Born Free, reports the 2016 decision not to cull has been reversed, prompting calls for Zambian leaders to personally intervene and call a permanent halt to this damaging and distressing plan, with immediate effect.

According to a Born Free press release Thursday– In a shocking and secretive move, Zambian authorities have overturned their 2016 decision to suspend the brutal culling of up to 2,000 hippos in the world-famous Luangwa Valley over the next five years. The cull is once again being promoted to trophy hunters as a hunt, this time by the South African hunting outfitter Umlilo Safaris.

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Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Mayotte region.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 02a (Mekunu), located approximately 41 nm west of Salalah, Oman, is tracking northwestward at 07 knots. This is the final warning for this system.

In the North Atlantic Ocean: Sun-Tropical Storm Alberto is located About 95 mi…150 km ese of Cozumel Mexico and about 145 mi…235 km ssw of the western tip of Cuba with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…nne or 15 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Czech Republic – Clean-up operations are underway in central, western and southern Bohemia which were hit by flash floods on Thursday night. Flood alerts have been called off, but a number of roads were still closed in the Karlovy Vary region on Friday and many homes remained without electricity. Firemen have been working around-the-clock to clear roads and pump water from cellars in the wake of Thursday’s storms. The severe storms hit the country following a lengthy period of drought.

Kenya – Two people and 70 livestock have been swept away by flash floods in Kabunyany river. 300 families have been displaced by floods as rains continue to pound Baringo County.

Iceland – The Iceland Met Office has issued a warning for heavy rainfall and possible flooding for South and South West Iceland, Friday. Heavy rainfall is forecast for the South and South-West parts of the county from Friday evening 25 May, continuing through the weekend.

Global Warming

The Chemicals That Were Harming The Ozone Layer Are Back

One of humanity’s big achievements when it comes to managing our environment has been the phasing-out of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs – the chemicals that were blasting a hole in Earth’s ozone layer.

However, there may now be a new problem. Scientists from the US, UK and the Netherlands have discovered that someone, for some unknown reason, is continuing to produce CFCs, which were banned under the 1987 Montreal Protocol.

The specific chemical in question is CFC-11, which was once widely used in appliances and foam building insulation. Still found in some old freezers, it was supposed to be completely out of production by 2010. But an analysis of long-term atmospheric measurements suggests it’s still being made somewhere in East Asia—and that means the concentrations of CFC-11 in the atmosphere are declining more slowly than they should be.

The researchers found that emissions of CFC-11 were between 2014 and 2016 up by a quarter from the average between 2002 and 2012. If the source can be identified and controlled soon, they said, the damage to the ozone layer “should be minor.” If not, then it will take substantially longer than anticipated for the ozone layer to recover.