And so much more.
We begin with a mysterious outbreak here in the U.S. via the Washington Post:
CDC probing reports of paralysis in 9 Colorado children, including some with Enterovirus 68
Several children in Colorado, including some that have tested positive for the Enterovirus 68 respiratory illness, also reported neurological symptoms including muscle weakness and paralysis.
Colorado health officials say nine children were identified between Aug. 8 and Sept. 17 after they developed neurological symptoms that are not commonly associated with Enterovirus 68, which causes severe breathing problems particularly in children with pre-existing asthma or respiratory problems.
That virus has been confirmed in the District of Columbia and all but 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it has sickened more than 277 people, mostly children.
A video report from WTHR television:
Mystery illness gives Colorado kids polio-like symptoms
The Japan Times covers the ongoing outbreak in Japan:
Another type of dengue virus found in Japan
The government said Monday that a man in Shizuoka Prefecture is infected with a dengue virus that has a different genetic sequence than the virus first detected in Japan in August.
The finding indicates that the new-type virus arrived in Japan via someone other than the person carrying the virus that infected several people through mosquitoes, mainly at Yoyogi Park in central Tokyo.
The man in his 20s was identified Sept. 18 as having developed a dengue symptom on Sept. 10. But the site of his infection has not been fixed as he said he visited Tokyo in early September and was bitten by a mosquito Sept. 9 or 10 in the eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture.
The Latin American Herald Tribune covers a lethal outbreak on another island:
Chikungunya Kills 3 in Puerto Rico
Three people in Puerto Rico have died after being infected with the Chikungunya virus, Health Department chief epidemiologist Brenda Rivera Garcia said.
Two of the dead were residents of greater San Juan, while the third lived in the northeastern coastal town of Fajardo. Health authorities are investigating two other fatalities to determine if the Chikungunya virus was the cause.
There have been more than 2,000 confirmed cases of Chikungunya in Puerto Rico, though health officials suspect the actual number is higher, pointing out that the symptoms are similar to those of dengue fever.
From the Express Tribune, rising numbers in a Pakistani outbreak:
10 more cases of polio reported as national total rises to 184
Even as vaccination drives kicked off in various parts of the country on Monday, a government official confirmed that ten more polio cases have been reported from different parts of the country.
An official from the health ministry said the polio cases were tested at the polio virology laboratory at National Institute of Health (NIH) and then confirmed.
The official added with these 10 cases, the year’s total has risen to 184. Of these, 127 cases were reported from Fata, 33 from K-P, 17 from Sindh, two from Punjab and five from Balochistan.
And the threat of contagion in Uganda from the Daily Monitor in Kampala:
Government has only 3,000 TB vaccines
Children in Uganda are likely to miss the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine which protects them against TB – at least until the production issues at the global level are sorted.
According to the Uganda National Expanded Programme for Immunisation (UNEPI) manager, Dr Robert Mayanja, the country has been experiencing a shortage since the beginning of 2014.
But the shortage is expected to escalate in the coming months after receiving only 300,000 out of 1.8 million doses of the vaccine they had ordered for the last quarter of 2014.
TheLocal.dk covers an outbreak concealed:
Officials kept yet another food scandal secret
Up to 130 people, including a three-year-old boy, may have gotten ill from salmonella in ground beef in an outbreak that was kept hidden from the public until now.
Metroxpress obtained access to documents that reveal that ground beef infected with multi resistant salmonella was sold by the Vejen-based food company Skare in June.
Skare delivered the beef to stores on June 13th but did not recall it as required by law when an analysis the following day found the presence of salmonella.
The latest numbers from another disaster in Japan via the Associated Press:
5 more bodies found at Japan volcano; toll now 36
Toxic gases and ash from still-erupting Mount Ontake forced Japanese rescue workers to call off the search for more victims Monday as dozens of relatives awaited news of their family members.
Rescuers found five more bodies near the summit of the volcano, bringing the death toll to 36. They have managed to airlift only 12 bodies off the mountain since the start of the eruption on Saturday because of dangerous conditions.
How the victims died remains unclear, though experts say it was probably from suffocating ash, falling rocks, toxic gases or some combination of them. Some of the bodies had severe contusions.
More from the Asahi Shimbun:
Experts warn of second eruption on Mt. Ontakesan
Volcanologists warned that Mount Ontakesan could erupt again, based on the continuing fumes rising from the crater and the volcanic earthquakes that keep jolting the area.
The Japan Meteorological Agency’s committee of volcanologists said Sept. 28 that the eruption the previous day was a phreatic one that released a column of smoke as high as 7,000 meters from the 3,067-meter peak and sent a pyroclastic flow of relatively low temperature down the mountain slope. At least four climbers were killed on the mountain, which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures.
The Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruption said an eruption of a similar scale could take place on Mount Ontakesan, although it would probably not be a major magmatic eruption, which releases magma from the mountain surface. The committee said there are no signs of crustal deformities caused by magma rising through a volcanic vent.
From the Associated Press, climate change symptoms:
Global warming linked to several extreme weather events
- Better computer models help determine odds of events increasing because of climate change
Scientists looking at 16 cases of wild weather around the world last year see the fingerprints of man-made global warming on more than half of them.
Researchers found that climate change increased the odds of nine extremes: Heat waves in Australia, Europe, China, Japan and Korea, intense rain in parts of the United States and India, and severe droughts in California and New Zealand. The California drought, though, comes with an asterisk.
Organized by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, researchers on Monday published 22 studies on 2013 climate extremes in a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
More from the Oakland Tribune:
Drought linked to greenhouse gases, climate change
Stanford study concludes California’s extraordinary drought is linked to the abundance of greenhouse gases created by burning fossil fuels. It is one of the most comprehensive studies to investigate the connection between climate change and California’s ongoing drought.
California’s extraordinary drought is linked to the abundance of greenhouse gases created by burning fossil fuels and clearing forests, according to a major new paper Stanford scientists released Monday morning.
The new study used a combination of computer simulations and statistical techniques to show that the high pressure system parked over the Pacific Ocean — diverting storms away from California — is much more likely to form in the presence of concentrations of greenhouse gases.
“Our research finds that extreme atmospheric high pressure in this region — which is strongly linked to unusually low precipitation in California — is much more likely to occur today than prior to the human emission of greenhouse gases that began during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s,” said Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, associate professor of Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford, in a prepared statement.
The Sacramento Bee covers one consequence:
California harvest much smaller than normal across crops
It’s harvest time in much of California, and the signs of drought are almost as abundant as the fruits and nuts and vegetables.
One commodity after another is feeling the impact of the state’s epic water shortage. The great Sacramento Valley rice crop, served in sushi restaurants nationwide and exported to Asia, will be smaller than usual. Fewer grapes will be available to produce California’s world-class wines, and the citrus groves of the San Joaquin Valley are producing fewer oranges. There is less hay and corn for the state’s dairy cows, and the pistachio harvest is expected to shrink.
Even the state’s mighty almond business, which has become a powerhouse in recent years, is coming in smaller than expected. That’s particularly troubling to the thousands of farmers who sacrificed other crops in order to keep their almond orchards watered.
Global Times covers other water woes:
Police investigate into polluters in East China
Three chemical factories found illegally dumping wastewater into city sewage systems and the sea have had their cases turned over to police.
After being investigated and fined by the local environment authorities,the three factories in Lianyungang city in East China’s Jiangsu Province will now be probed for possible criminal charges. In one case, a company built its own pipelines to dump toxic wastewater into the sea.
The three cases are very serious and have left a large environmental impact, said a statement by the Ministry of Environmental Protection released in Beijing on Monday.
While the Guardian has some rare good news on the endangered species front:
‘Extinct’ cat-sized chinchilla found alive in shadows of Machu Picchu
- Living arboreal chinchilla rat thought to have been extinct is tracked down in Peruvian cloud forests, reports Mongabay
Below one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, scientists have made a remarkable discovery: a living, cat-sized mammal that until now was only known from fossils.
The Machu Picchu arboreal chinchilla rat (Cuscomys oblativa) was first described from two enigmatic skulls discovered in Incan pottery sculpted 400 years ago.
Dug up by Hiram Bingham in 1912, the skulls were believed to belong to a species that went extinct even before Francisco Pizarro showed up in Peru with his motley army. Then in 2009, park ranger Roberto Quispe found what was believed to be a living Machu Picchu arboreal chinchilla rat near the original archaeological site.
But BBC News immediately dampens any exuberance:
World wildlife populations halved in 40 years – report
The global loss of species is even worse than previously thought, the London Zoological Society (ZSL) says in its new Living Planet Index.
The report suggests populations have halved in 40 years, as new methodology gives more alarming results than in a report two years ago.
The report says populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%.
Populations of freshwater species have suffered an even worse fall of 76%.
More endangerment from the New York Times:
UN Experts Say World’s Mangrove Forests at Risk
U.N. experts are warning that the world’s mangrove forests are being destroyed at a more rapid rate than other forest ecosystems because of land conversion, development and pollution.
A U.N. Environment Program report presented Monday said mangroves are disappearing three to five times faster than other forests. It said by 2050, southeast Asia could potentially lose 35 percent of the mangroves it had in 2000.
Described in the report as one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems, mangrove forests mitigate global warming by trapping vast quantities of carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
Still more grim news from the Guardian:
World Bank accuses itself of failing to protect Kenya forest dwellers
- Leaked document says World Bank violated its own safeguards in dealings with Sengwer people evicted from their lands
A leaked copy of a World Bank investigation seen by the Guardian has accused the bank of failing to protect the rights of one of Kenya’s last groups of forest people, who are being evicted from their ancestral lands in the name of climate change and conservation.
Thousands of homes belonging to hunter-gatherer Sengwer people living in the Embobut forest in the Cherangani hills were burned down earlier this year by Kenya forest service guards who had been ordered to clear the forest as part of a carbon offset project that aimed to reduce emissions from deforestation.
The result has been that more than 1,000 people living near the town of Eldoret have been classed as squatters and forced to flee what they say has been government harassment, intimidation and arrest.
CIP Americas Program covers another grab of the commons:
Yaqui Tribal Authority’s Jailing in Water Conflict Signals Need to Implement Environmental Justice
Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico — The Sept. 11 jailing of Yoeme (Yaqui) Traditional Tribal Secretary Mario Luna Romero was a wake-up call for environmental and human rights defenders globally.
Symptomatic of escalating repression against indigenous community members who refuse to conform with free trade’s increasing demand for resources, Luna’s arrest on allegedly false charges sparked widespread grassroots response and highlighted the imperative of forging a united front against further abuses of environmental activists.
The most visible leader of the Yoeme resistance to Sonora Gov. Guillermo Padrés Elías illegal aqueduct construction project to divert Yaqui River water from its rightfully entitled users in the tribe’s eight villages, Luna immediately declared himself a political prisoner.
After the jump, the latest chapter of Fukushimapocalypse Now!, including another breakdown of water containment systems, enduring radiation hazards, a major increase of laborers on the scene, a major anti-nuclear protest coupled by a major push to reopen other nuclear plants, a fuel recycling plant closure to come, a drive for nuclear power in emerging economies, another fuel, another problem in North Dakota, tar sands pipeline pushback in Nebraska, looming disappointment for Chinese fracking, and predictions of a solar boom. . . Continue reading