- The environmental "surge" you're not hearing
- According to U.S. maritime industry sources, tanker captains
are reporting an increase in onboard alarms from hazard sensors designed
to detect hydrocarbon gas leaks and, specifically, methane leaks. However,
the leaks are not emanating from cargo holds or pump rooms but from continental
shelves venting increasing amounts of trapped methane into the atmosphere.
With rising ocean temperatures, methane is increasingly escaping from deep
ocean floors. Methane is also 21 more times capable of trapping heat in
the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
- In fact, one of the major sources for increased methane
venting is the Hudson Submarine Canyon, which extends 400 miles into the
Atlantic from the New York-New Jersey harbor. Another location experiencing
increased venting is the Santa Barbara Channel on the California coast.
- Fuel tankers reporting increased methane venting from
- Meanwhile, a strong natural gas odor was reported this
morning in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Weehawken, and Newark. The
strong odor was also detected in Union City, Secaucus, and Hoboken. Last
August, a similar unexplained gas odor sent people to the hospital in Staten
Island and Queens. Although methane is odorless, natural methane venting
is often accompanied by the venting of acrid hydrogen sulfide, a byproduct
of bacterial decomposition.
- The US Coast Guard sent a message to ships and tugs in
the bay and ocean south of New York requesting any reports of the odor
being detected at sea. There were also an unconfirmed report of a similar
strong odor being detected this morning on the Delaware coast near Lewes.
This morning, the prevailing winds in New York and New Jersey were southerly
at 5 to 10 miles per hour.
- In other global warming news, the warm temperatures on
the U.S. East Coast are resulting in early blooming of the cherry trees
and azaleas in Washington, DC and New York City, apple and peach trees
in Maryland, and roses, forsythias, and crocuses in Connecticut. A number
of people along the East Coast are suffering from allergies usually experienced
in April. Monk parakeets from South America have invaded the Chicago area.
- George W. Bush continues to insist that global warming
is "silly science" based on "fuzzy math." Corporate
news media masters are pressuring plastic-faced and neatly-coiffured TV
weathermen to treat the current abnormal warm weather as an unexpected
"gift" for their viewers. The latte-sipping and SUV-driving yuppies
in Washington, DC are certainly taking the current weather abnormality
in stride -- they almost appear ecstatic about the weather, obviously unaware
that the future of our planet is hanging on a thread.