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Weekly Environmental Updates
Don't drink the water, say officials in Glendive, Montana and surrounding towns....there's benzene in the water as a result of an oil spill on January 17th. The 500,000 gallon spill resulting from a burst pipeline sent light crude oil into the Yellowstone River and downstream as far as North Dakota. The World Health Organization has identified benzene as a human carcinogen.
2014 was the hottest year on record across the globe, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was also the 38th consecutive year since 1977 that yearly global temperatures were above average. Temperature records have been kept since 1880.
Gardeners planting milkweed to help out declining numbers of monarch butterflies may actually be harming them, says new research. Most of the milkweed available is non-native and blooms later, thus discouraging monarchs from migrating south and putting them at risk from parasites. Pesticides that destroy native species have been blamed for the drastic reduction in the monarch population.
Online retailer Amazon will be buying electricity from a wind farm to power its data centers at Amazon Web Services, following in the footsteps of other tech giants who have committed to using clean energy. Apple currently powers all of its data centers via renewable energy. Google utilizes solar panels and wind to generate 35 percent of its power.
Over 100 dead birds coated with an unknown substance have been showing in the San Francisco area and scientists remain mystified as to why. Although lab tests have not yet identified the "goo" covering the birds, it reportedly has the consistency and feel of rubber cement. Officials believe the substance may be a man-made product dumped into San Francisco Bay.
Fake engine noise is being built into new vehicles to satisfy customers who long for the engine roar of yesterday's fuel-inefficient cars and trucks as well as to enhance safety. Some popular models have an artificial growl that's played through the speakers while others have noise-boosting tubes that enhance engine sounds in the vehicle's cabin. Federal rules will soon require that all hybrid and electric cars play fake engine sounds that can be heard by pedestrians and cyclists to prevent injuries.
Roman Hills