Hurricane Matthew made landfall as a Category 4 storm on October 4 near Les Anglais, Haiti, then continued its path toward the east coast of the United States. APP USERS: Click here to view the photos
|Africa promises one of the best safari experiences in the world, enabling you to see the five big wild animal groups: the lion, the leopard, the elephant, the rhino and the buffalo. Capturing a good photo of these beautiful animals is not always easy, and very often, it comes down to being at the right place at the right time. But, the pictures below are pretty incredible. So, get ready to enjoy some animal watching with this great photo series!|
|Male lion ignoring a group of Thomson’s Gazelles.
Add this to the growing list of environmental complications due to global warming.
U Study Finds That Increased Temperatures Reduce Toxin Tolerance of Some Animals
Research conducted by U Ph.D. student Patrice Kurnath finds that at warmer temperatures the toxin tolerance of certain mammals is reduced — adding yet another problem to the growing list of environmental complications due to global warming.
Plants often generate toxins as a natural defense. Desert woodrats, the plant-eating species used by Kurnath and chair of the U’s biology department Denise Dearing in the study, generate certain enzymes to counteract the effects of these toxins that are ingested when consuming the plants.
“We’re answering the big question of how warmer temperatures might be affecting animals that eat plants and how they deal with the toxins produced by those plants,” Kurnath said.
The diet of desert woodrats, which are common in Utah and western North America, consists mainly of creosote bush, which produces so many toxins in its resin that laboratory rats often die eating the same amount as the desert woodrats.
The idea behind the experiments hypothesized that as woodrat toxin tolerance levels decreased with temperature increases, that they would reduce food intake and lose weight. Woodrats were removed from the experiment if they lost more than 10 percent of their body weight.
“[Kurnath] really pushed the envelope with this work and expanded knowledge from a different study,” Dearing said. “Not only did she work with different species and a different toxin, she did processes and experiments we have never done before.”
Desert woodrats were able to eat more food at cooler temperatures in both experiments at the end of the research, while almost all of the woodrats in higher temperature climates were removed due to weight loss.
“The most recent study found that warmer temperatures resulted in reduced tolerance in rats,” Kurnath said.
This research adds another dimension to the problems associated with global warming for these species as they deal with an increasingly more toxic diet.
“Not only are surface temperatures increasing, severe weather storms, this is another obstacle that these woodrats and other species are going to have to face,” Kurnath said.
Kurnath plans to extend the study by “digging deeper” into the liver functions and genetic structure of these mammals consuming a highly toxic diet and by “stepping back” and examining their behavior in lab settings. Dearing is working on studying this same trend in marsupials and expects to see results by next year.
Dearing said, “We hope that it will inspire research in other species of mammals.”
Anyone fancy a trip to Chester?
We hear the B&Bs are pretty decent. And they’re not a bad price either.
Edgar House, a tiny seven-bed B&B overlooking the River Dee in Chester is probably treating itself to a little Bucks Fizz over breakfast today after being voted the world’s best small hotel in TripAdvisor‘s Travellers’ Choice awards.
The modest B&B beat off competition from boutique hotels in New Zealand, Australia, Costa Rica and Capri to take the title.
The award winners were determined based on the millions of reviews collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide.
(Picture: Edgar House)
Co-owner Mike Stephen said he was ‘thrilled and humbled’ with the win.
And when you check out what the little hotel has to offer, it’s perhaps not so surprising it’s proved so popular.
The views are amazing.
As is the food.
Each of their seven bedrooms is individually designed and the beds come with snuggly goose feather and down pillows, and egyptian cotton sheets, as standard.
Edgar house 2
(Picture: Edgar House)
The bathrooms have rain showers, freestanding baths, French porcelain tiles and underfloor heating.
There’s also an honesty bar hidden in a phone box.
And a mini cinema serving ice cream.
Oh, and you can get bed and breakfast for £99.50 per person.
When do we go?
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You might have a replacement, Pluto. There could be another planet in our solar system.
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found evidence in the outer solar system of an object that could be a real ninth planet.
Nicknamed Planet Nine, it “has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun” than Neptune. That means “it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun,” according to Caltech.
Researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown haven’t actually seen the planet, but other research helped lead them to conclude that there is one. Basically, they found that certain objects in the Kuiper Belt — the field of icy objects and debris beyond Neptune — had orbits that peculiarly pointed in the same direction.
Over time, mathematical modeling and computer simulation led them to the conclusion that a planet was exerting the gravity necessary to shape these orbits.
Brown says “there have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It’s a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that’s still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting.”
Already, Caltech is pretty confident Planet Nine is large enough to rule out any debate about whether it’s a true planet — unlike Pluto, which got the boot in 2006
It happened Tuesday night on Tamarack Lake at the Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area.
by Robin Walter
Morning light spills
through grass thick
small whorls of dust
stamping their lives
into this ground.
to the clatter
This blog is part of an ongoing series following the Rediscover the Prairie expedition, a horseback journey across the Great Plains. To learn more please visit http://ift.tt/1B02Abg
All photos © Robin Walter or Sebastian Tsocanos. All rights reserved.
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from Green – The Huffington Post http://ift.tt/1QDVvXP
The Atacama Desert in Chile, known as the driest place on Earth, is awash with color after a year’s worth of extreme rainfall.
In an average year, this desert is a very dry place. Arica, Chile, in the northern Atacama holds the world record for the longest dry streak, having gone 173 months without a drop of rain in the early 20th century. In another Atacama neighbor to the south of Arica, the average annual rainfall in the city of Antofagasta is just 0.07 inches.
But strong El Niño years can be a rainy boom for the region, located just to the east of the warmest ocean water on the globe. In March, heavy thunderstorms brought 0.96 inches of rain in one day to parts of the Atacama Desert. This doesn’t seem like that much, but it was a huge rainfall event for the desert — over 14 years of rain in one day. The torrent caused the typically dry Copiapo River to swell far beyond its banks. Flooding killed at least nine people that day.
As El Niño strengthens, so does the rainfall increases across South America. As areas of low pressure swing east into the Andes Mountains, the usually warm waters off the coast provide more than enough water vapor to fuel extreme rainfall events.
The malva (or mallow) flowers on the floor of the Atacama desert bloom every five to seven years, usually coinciding with El Nino. But they have been taking advantage of this year’s particularly rainy conditions, leading to the “most spectacular blossoming of the past 18 years.”
Interestingly, Death Valley has also been overflowing this month. The official weather station at Death Valley National Park recorded 0.55 inches of rain on Oct. 5. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s a bucket-load for the world’s hottest location — enough to tie the wettest 24-hour period on record in the month of October.
“A series of unusual storms in October caused large amounts of damage throughout Death Valley National Park,” park officials wrote on Facebook. “Flash floods destroyed significant portions of multiple roads and heavily damaged several historic structures at Scotty’s Castle and deposited debris in Devils Hole.”
The Death Valley National Historic Association has set up a fund to help restore some of these damaged historic locations.
via: The Washington Post.
Source: The ‘driest place on Earth’ is covered in pink flowers after rain
The test and flight simulation project, named “Moon-2015”, is designed to simulate an eight-day round trip to the moon, reaching lunar orbit before returning to the Earth. The all female astronaut crew asked how they’d cope in space without men or make-up for 8 days:
The Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBP) in Moscow began an all-female simulated lunar circumnavigation project on Wednesday, as the country’s space program looks to take off.
The test and flight simulation project, named “Moon-2015”, is designed to simulate an eight-day round trip to the moon, reaching lunar orbit before returning to the Earth.
An all-female crew will live inside a mock spaceship in a wood-paneled suite at the IBP to gather information on female responses to isolation, cohabitation, crew functionality, and other characteristics of spaceflight.
The six volunteers selected from IBP staff, have strong scientific, medical or research backgrounds and have similar medical, physical and physiological characteristics that would be required of a real space crew.
“Our special psychologists have communicated with all the volunteers. Certain methods have been used to test their character compatibility which is quite a concern for the qualification examination committee,” said Alexandr Smoleevskiy, a Russian physiologist involved in the project.
The participants, who have already been undergoing training ahead of the test, said their biggest challenge will be shutting off from the outside world. One crewmember said she felt fortunate as their project lasts only eight days, far less than Russia’s previous “Mars-500” project which concluded in 2011 after 520 days.
“I can’t imagine working in isolation for even 80 days. We have spent a whole day in the capsule to test the devices in a space environment and get familiar with our living conditions and we already felt the impact of being isolated. We wonder how the participants in the “Mars-500″ were able to finish their mission,” said Elena Luchitskaya, a volunteer of the “Moon-2015” project.
More on: http://news.cctvplus.tv/NewJsp/news.j…
The projected upsurge of severe El Niño and La Niña events will cause an increase in storm events leading to extreme coastal flooding and erosion in populated regions across the Pacific Ocean, according to a multi-agency study published Monday in Nature Geoscience.
The impact of these storms is not presently included in most studies on future coastal vulnerability, which look primarily at sea level rise. New research data, from 48 beaches across three continents — including Hawaii — and five countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, suggest the predicted increase will exacerbate coastal erosion irrespective of sea level rise affecting the region.
Researchers from 13 different institutions analyzed coastal data from across the Pacific Ocean basin from 1979 to 2012. The scientists sought to determine if patterns in coastal change could be connected to major climate cycles.
Although previous studies have analyzed coastal impacts at local and regional levels, this is the first to pull together data from across the Pacific to determine basin-wide patterns. The research group determined all Pacific Ocean regions investigated were affected during either an El Niño or La Niña year.
When the west coast of the U.S. mainland and Canada, Hawaii, and northern Japan felt the coastal impacts of El Niño, characterized by bigger waves, different wave direction, higher water levels and/or erosion, the opposite region in the Southern Hemisphere of New Zealand and Australia experienced “suppression,” such as smaller waves and less erosion.
The pattern then generally flips: during La Niña, the Southern Hemisphere experienced more severe conditions.
The published paper, “Coastal vulnerability across the Pacific dominated by El Niño/Southern Oscillation” is available online.
Abstract: To predict future coastal hazards, it is important to quantify any links between climate drivers and spatial patterns of coastal change. However, most studies of future coastal vulnerability do not account for the dynamic components of coastal water levels during storms, notably wave-driven processes, storm surges and seasonal water level anomalies, although these components can add metres to water levels during extreme events. Here we synthesize multi-decadal, co-located data assimilated between 1979 and 2012 that describe wave climate, local water levels and coastal change for 48 beaches throughout the Pacific Ocean basin. We find that observed coastal erosion across the Pacific varies most closely with El Niño/Southern Oscillation, with a smaller influence from the Southern Annular Mode and the Pacific North American pattern. In the northern and southern Pacific Ocean, regional wave and water level anomalies are significantly correlated to a suite of climate indices, particularly during boreal winter; conditions in the northeast Pacific Ocean are often opposite to those in the western and southern Pacific. We conclude that, if projections for an increasing frequency of extreme El Niño and La Niña events over the twenty-first century are confirmed, then populated regions on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean basin could be alternately exposed to extreme coastal erosion and flooding, independent of sea-level rise.
See more: via: www.nature.com
- Sea-level rise and its possible impacts given a ‘beyond 4 °C world’ in the twenty-first century. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 369, 161–181 (2011). et al.
- Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Clim. Change 3, 802–806 (2013). , , &
- Global trends in wind speed and wave height.Science 332, 451–455 (2011). , &
- A Pacific decadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 78, 1069–1079 (1997). , , , &
- The Southern Oscillation in surface circulation and climate over the tropical Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Indian Oceans as captured by cluster analysis. J. Clim. Appl. Meteorol. 26, 540–558 (1987).
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- Linkages among interannual variations of shoreline, wave and climate at Hasaki, Japan. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L06604 (2012). , &
- Influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events on the evolution of central California’s shoreline. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 112, 236–249 (2000). &
- Sea-cliff erosion as a function of beach changes and extreme wave runup during the 1997–1998 El Niño. Mar. Geol. 187, 279–297 (2002). et al.
- Climate controls on US West Coast erosion processes. J. Coast. Res. 22, 511–529 (2006). &
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- The impact of the 2009–10 El Niño Modoki on U.S. West Coast beaches. Geophys. Res. Lett. 38, L13604 (2011). et al.
- Erosive water level regime and climatic variability forcing of beach–dune systems on south-western Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Earth Surf. Land. 38, 751–762 (2013). , &
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How fast is the Earth warming? via: Sheldon Walker / Guest Blogger presents a method for calculating the Earth’s rate of warming, using the existing global temperature series:.
It can be difficult to work out the Earth’s rate of warming. There are large variations in temperature from month to month, and different rates can be calculated depending upon the time interval and the end points chosen. A reasonable estimate can be made for long time intervals (100 years for example), but it would be useful if we could calculate the rate of warming for medium or short intervals. This would allow us to determine whether the rate of warming was increasing, decreasing, or staying the same.
The first step in calculating the Earth’s rate of warming is to reduce the large month to month variation in temperature, being careful not to lose any key information. The central moving average (CMA) is a mathematical method that will achieve this. It is important to choose an averaging interval that will meet the objectives. Calculating the average over 121 months (the month being calculated, plus 60 months on either side), gives a good reduction in the variation from month to month, without the loss of any important detail.
Graph 1 shows the GISTEMP temperature series. The blue line shows the raw temperature anomaly, and the green line shows the 121 month central moving average. The central moving average curve has little month to month variation, but clearly shows the medium and long term temperature trend.
The second step in calculating the Earth’s rate of warming is to determine the slope of the central moving average curve, for each month on the time axis. The central moving slope (CMS) is a mathematical method that will achieve this. This is similar to the central moving average, but instead of calculating an average for the points in the interval, a linear regression is done between the points in the interval and the time axis (the x-axis). This gives the slope of the central moving average curve, which is a temperature change per time interval, or rate of warming. In order to avoid dealing with small numbers, all rates of warming in this article will be given in °C per century.
It is important to choose the correct time interval to calculate the slope over. This should make the calculated slope responsive to real changes in the slope of the CMA curve, but not excessively responsive. Calculating the slope over 121 months (the month being calculated plus 60 months on either side), gives a slope with a good degree of sensitivity.
Graph 2 shows the rate of warming curve for the GISTEMP temperature series. The blue line is the 121 month central moving slope (CMS), calculated for the central moving average curve. The y-axis shows the rate of warming in °C per century, and the x-axis shows the year. When the rate of warming curve is in the lower part of the graph ( colored light blue), then it shows cooling (the rate of warming is below zero). When the rate of warming curve is in the upper part of the graph ( colored light orange), then it shows warming (the rate of warming is above zero).
The curve shows 2 major periods of cooling since 1880. Each lasted approximately a decade (1900 to 1910, and 1942 to 1952), and reached cooling rates of about -2.0 °C per century. There is a large interval of continuous warming from 1910 to 1942 (about 32 years). This reached a maximum rate of warming of about +2.8 °C per century around 1937. 1937 is the year with the highest rate of warming since the start of the GISTEMP series in 1880 (more on that later).
There is another large interval of continuous warming from about 1967 to the present day (about 48 years). This interval has 2 peaks at about 1980 and 1998, where the rates of warming were just under +2.4 °C per century. The rate of warming has been falling steadily since the last peak in 1998. In 2015, the rate of warming is between +0.5 and +0.8 °C per century, which is about 30% of the rate in 1998. (Note that all of these rates of warming were calculated AFTER the so‑called “Pause-busting” adjustments were made. More on that later.)
It is important to check that the GISTEMP rate of warming curve is consistent with the curves from the other temperature series (including the satellite series).
Graph 3 shows the rate of warming curves for GISTEMP, NOAA, UAH, and RSS. (Note that the satellite temperature series did not exist before 1979.)
All of the rate of warming curves show good agreement with each other. Peaks and troughs line up, and the numerical values for the rates of warming are similar. Both of the satellite series appear to have a larger change in the rate of warming when compared to the surface series, but both satellite series are in good agreement with each other.
Some points about this method:
1) There is no cherry-picking of start and end times with this method. The entire temperature series is used.
2) The rate of warming curves from different series can be directly compared with each other, no adjustment is needed for the different baseline periods. This is because the rate of warming is based on the change in temperature with time, which is the same regardless of the baseline period.
3) This method can be performed by anybody with a moderate level of skill using a spreadsheet. It only requires the ability to calculate averages, and perform linear regressions.
4) The first and last 5 years of each rate of warming curve has more uncertainty than the rest of the curve. This is due to the lack of data beyond the ends of the curve. It is important to realise that the last 5 years of the curve may change when future temperatures are added.
There is a lot that could be said about these curves. One topic that is “hot” at the moment, is the “Pause” or “Hiatus”.
The rate of warming curves for all 4 major temperature series show that there has been a significant drop in the rate of warming over the last 17 years. In 1998 the rate of warming was between +2.0 and +2.5 °C per century. Now, in 2015, it is between +0.5 and +0.8 °C per century. The rate now is only about 30% of what it was in 1998. Note that these rates of warming were calculated AFTER the so-called “Pause-busting” adjustments were made.
I was originally using the GISTEMP temperature series ending with May 2015, when I was developing the method described here. When I downloaded the series ending with June 2015 and graphed it, I thought that there must be something wrong with my computer program, because the rate of warming curve had changed so dramatically. I eventually traced the “problem” back to the data, and then I read that GISTEMP had adopted the “Pause-busting” adjustments that NOAA had devised.
Graph 4 shows the effect on the rate of warming curve, of the GISTEMP “Pause-busting” adjustments. The blue line shows the rates from the May 2015 data, and the red line shows the rates from the June 2015 data.
One of the strange things about the GISTEMP “Pause-busting” adjustments, is that the year with the highest rate of warming (since 1880) has changed. It used to be around 1998, with a warming rate of about +2.4 °C per century. After the adjustments, it moved to around 1937 (that’s right, 1937, back when the CO2 level was only about 300 ppm), with a warming rate of about +2.8 °C per century.
If you look at the NOAA series, they already had 1937 as the year with the highest rate of warming, so GISTEMP must have picked it up from NOAA when they switched to the new NCEI ERSST.v4 sea surface temperature reconstruction.
So, the next time that you hear somebody claiming that Global Warming is accelerating, show them a graph of the rate of warming. Some climate scientists seem to enjoy telling us that things are worse than predicted. Here is a chance to cheer them up with some good news. Somehow I don’t think that they will want to hear it.
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Posted on June 29, 2015 by Bob Berwyn: Blue whale numbers holding steady; fin whales increasing…
Staff Report: FRISCO — A new acoustic survey in Southern California coastal waters is helping researchers track whale populations.The data analyzed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests that blue whale numbers are holding steady, while the number of fin whales is increasing.Both species are often seen in the Southern California Bight, the curved region of California coastline with offshore waters extending from San Diego to Point Conception (near Santa Barbara, Calif.), but little is known about their use of the area, where ever-increasing ship traffic has raised concerns about collisions between whales and boats.To learn more, researchers with the Scripps Marine Bioacoustics Lab and Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab set out specialized recording devices on the seafloor, tracking whale vocalizations from 2006-2012.The findings were described in the journal Endangered Species Research. The study was supported by the Office of Naval Research, and provides the first detailed view into the spatial use of Southern California waters by blue and fin whales, the two largest cetacean species in the world. Both are classified as endangered species.
Scripps marine acoustician Ana Širović found that blue whale calls were more commonly detected at coastal sites and near the northern Channel Islands, while fin whale calls were detected further off shore, in central and southern areas.
“I think it’s an interesting difference in trends because both of the species were subject to whaling earlier in the twentieth century, and now they’re clearly responding differently,” said Širović.
The acoustic data and overall trends outlined in this study are consistent with visual observations from another Scripps-led study. Širović said the parallel findings between the two studies as evidence that passive acoustics can be used as a powerful tool to monitor population trends for these large marine mammals.
“I think it’s very exciting that we see the same trends in the visual and acoustic data, because it indicates the possibility of using acoustics to monitor long-term trends and changes,” she said, adding that the new study suggests there is a resident fin whale population in the area.
The seasonal recordings of blue whale calls reinforces what’s already known about their migration from the waters off the coast of Mexico and Costa Rica, arriving in Southern California in late spring to forage through the fall.
The leave in early winter, but researchers aren’t certain where they go next. Although researchers have studied blue and fin whales for years, Širović said both species are particularly mysterious, and scientists still don’t know some basic information about them, such as their mating system or breeding grounds.
The Southern California Bight is a highly productive ecological territory for many marine animals due to strong upwelling of cold water, but researchers have not found any evidence that blue or fin whales are breeding there.
The productivity of the coastal region also makes it a hotbed for human activity, with large cities onshore and ships, commercial fishing vessels, and other human impacts ever-present in the water. Since fin whales generally live further offshore, Širović posits that they might have a slight advantage over blue whales, which tend to inhabit areas where there is more ship traffic–increasing their chances for ship strikes.
“It seems that for fin whales, things are probably improving,” she said Širović.
“For blue whales, it’s a little bit harder to tell. There is a question right now as to whether their population has grown to its maximum capacity, because there are many lines of evidence showing that their population is not growing currently,” she said. “So the question remains, is it because that’s just what their population size can be maximally, or are there factors that are keeping them from growing further?”
Širović hopes that future studies can help identify why there is this difference in population trends of blue and fin whales. Now that she and her colleagues have taken a first look at the broad trends of the two species, they want to dig deeper and look into environmental drivers and other factors and features that may be causing some of the spatial distribution patterns and long-term changes of the whales.
Blue whale numbers holding steady; fin whales increasing
FRISCO — A new acoustic survey in Southern California coastal waters is helping researchers track whale populations.
The data analyzed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests that blue whale numbers are holding steady, while the number of fin whales is increasing.
Both species are often seen in the Southern California Bight, the curved region of California coastline with offshore waters extending from San Diego to Point Conception (near Santa Barbara, Calif.), but little is known about their use of the area, where ever-increasing ship traffic has raised concerns about collisions between whales and boats.
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For decades, the company W.R. Grace operated a vermiculite mine in Libby. Vermiculite is a mineral used for insulation and fireproofing in many building materials. (By the way, it’s also the material used for those little white balls in potting soil.)
The vermiculite mine in Libby provided … over 70% of all vermiculite sold in the U.S. between 1919 and 1990.
The vermiculite mine in Libby provided hundreds of jobs, as well as over 70% of all vermiculite sold in the U.S. between 1919 and 1990. And while vermiculite itself isn’t known to be harmful, the Libby mine also included a large deposit of something much more dangerous: asbestos.
The asbestos in Libby’s mine has caused 400 deaths — and counting.
Mining the vermiculite that lay alongside asbestos released harmful asbestos fibers into the air. The asbestos appeared as a fine dust that coated the entire mine — it goteverywhere — and caused harm not only to the mine workers, but to their friends, family, and other town residents as well.
But it’s never easy to criticize a company that plays such a huge role in a town’s life. In the 2004 documentary “Libby, Montana” by High Plains Films, one resident explained:
“[W.R.] Grace was on the school board, Grace was on the hospital board, Grace owned the bank. And when you talked about dust control here and … what [the dust] was doing harmful to these people here, the first thing to come out of their mouth was ‘You gonna close that mine down, and you gonna put all these people out of work?’ Well you didn’t have very many friends here when you started talking like that.”
Fast-forward to today: An estimated 400 people in Libby have died from asbestos-related diseases, and more than 2,000 have been sickened by the asbestos. Hundreds more deaths are expected from these diseases, as they can take decades to manifest.
Records show that W.R. Grace knew about the adverse health effects from asbestos in the mine many years before the mine’s closure in 1990. Mine manager Earl Lovick, who died of asbestosis in 1999, testified to having knowledge of the presence and dangers of asbestos. (Check out 9:46 and 12:24 in the video below for clips of Lovick’s statements.)
The company has since paid out millions of dollars in settlement money for civil cases concerning the effects of the asbestos. In 2008, W.R. Grace faced thousands of personal injury claims and agreed to settle all present and future claims via a trust. The amount of money they’re doling out is nearly incomprehensible. But does it really make up for the deaths and the sickness?
Libby continues to heal … slowly but surely.
In 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responded to widespread concerns surrounding the asbestos in Libby. The agency collected hundreds of samples from around Libby. In 2002, the site was declared a Superfund site, and cleanup began.
A 2014 draft of the EPA’s human health risk assessment states, “It is now possible to live and work in Libby without excessive exposure to asbestos. … Remaining asbestos needs to be safely managed.”
The asbestos risk may be under control (or close to it), but that doesn’t mean the people of Libby have forgotten how W.R. Grace changed the course of their town’s history.
An abbreviated version of the feature documentary, LIBBY, MONTANA.
View the complete film on iTunes –
More about the Movie –
A small company town in Montana is beset by the worst case of a widespread toxic contaminant in U.S. history. For decades, the corporate conglomerate W. R. Grace knew what the residents of Libby did not: that they were being exposed to a deadly form of asbestos. All the while, the company allowed the spread of the contaminant all over the town — in the school grounds, the Little League baseball field, and in countless homes and yards. Now, the U.S. government has determined that nearly one quarter of the residents have some form of asbestos-related lung abnormality, and hundreds have already died of asbestos-related causes. Libby, Montana is the story of the American dream gone horribly wrong. Libby, Montana was broadcast on the national PBS Series, POV/The American Documentary. It was nominated for a national News and Documentary Emmy Award in 2008.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Doug Hawes-Davis and Drury Gunn Carr, co-founded High Plains Films in 1992, and have collaborated on nearly 30 documentaries. Their most recent feature film, ALL THE LABOR premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2013. In 2012, their feature documentary FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON was broadcast on the national PBS series, Independent Lens, and won a Northwest Emmy Award for best documentary feature. In 2007, their documentary feature, LIBBY, MONTANA was broadcast nationally on the acclaimed PBS Series, POV, and was nominated for a National Emmy Award the following year. Other well-known High Plains Films include, BRAVE NEW WEST, KILLING COYOTE, VARMINTS, THIS IS NOWHERE, and THE NATURALIST.
Hawes-Davis is the founder of the annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Now in its eleventh year, the festival is consistently recognized as one of the world’s finest documentary cinema events. Both Carr and Hawes-Davis remain involved in festival programming and development.