The Blue Files | Episode 9

[As Featured in Episode 9]

The Blob

A devastating and mysterious seabird die-off may now have some answers.

Researchers believe a vast swath of warm ocean water in the North East Pacific Ocean dubbed “The Blob”, caused the largest mass death of ocean dwelling-birds in recorded history.

Close to one million birds, most of them the Common Murre, a fish-eating species starved to death between the summer of 2015 and spring, 2016. The unprecedented marine heat wave of nutrient-poor water emerged off the Pacific Coast of the United States. The blob was up to 6 degrees Celsius above normal, and extended more than 3,000 km along the coastline to Alaska.

The extreme warm-up wreaked havoc on the region’s marine ecosystems and caused an enormous drop in the production of microscopic algae that feed a range of animals, while also nurturing a massive bloom of harmful algae that killed many animals and cost fisheries millions of dollars in lost income.

For the Stink’n Record

Talk about ‘blooming chance’!  Some conservationist believe they accidentally happened onto to the world’s largest – and smelliest, flower bloom.

Scientists were exploring a remote jungle in Indonesia’s West Sumatra, where they discovered a type of Corpse Flower. The massive blossom measures 3.6 feet in diameter, which is over 1 metre wide – or roughly the width of a dining table.The flower has flesh-coloured petals, covered in white blister-like spots, and comes complete with a signature scent – that of a rotting carcass.

These rare plants are also parasitic, meaning they grow inside the root of a host plant. The Corpse Flower propagates for around nine months until suddenly revealing itself to the world with a gigantic, stinking bloom.

Declassified:  CIA Images Confirm Ice Melt

A secret CIA surveillance mission reveals that the glaciers around Mount Everest have lost much more ice that previously thought.

The mission, which ended in 1972, was steered by U.S. intelligence officials, with the objective of spying on the Soviet Union using satellite imagery. By the time these images were declassified, in 995, the mission had amassed more than 800,000 photos. The pictures offer a rare glimpse of the Himalayas that researchers were combined with recent satellite views to piece together the difference of the ice-covered mountains.

The Rongbuk and Khumbu glaciers, where Everest base camps are located, had thinned by more than 260 feet (80 meters) over 60 years and get this, they also found that ice loss started to dramatically accelerate in the  1980s.

Compelling, additional evidence…of our warming planet.

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