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Weekly Environmental Updates
Bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico have still not recovered from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, say wildlife scientists in a new report. Spilled oil still lingers at the bottom of the Gulf, in the marshes, and on beaches, impacting on wildlife. Dolphins swimming in affected areas show signs of anemia, liver, and lung disease and dead sea turtles have been found in record numbers every year since the disaster. Other species affected include sperm whales and loons.
Bacon for breakfast is going to cost you more, thanks to a viral outbreak that has killed millions of baby pigs in under a year. The animals died of porcine epidemic diarrhea, a virus never seen before in the U.S. that likely came from China and has spread to 27 states. Smithfield foods, one of the largest U.S. producers of pork products, was bought by China by year. The company has so far refused to comment, but has reportedly cut back plant shifts in North Carolina.
Coming your way this summer: super non-electric fuel efficiency at a smaller price point. Elio Motors has developed a USA-made, 3-wheeled, gas-powered car that gets 84 miles per gallon. The one seat car has an 8 gallon tank, a top speed of 100 mph, and takes 9.6 seconds to go from 0-60. The price tag: a mere $6,800.
In related news, electric vehicles (EVs) in the European Union will soon be equipped with fake engine sounds, per parliamentary law. EV's, which are virtually silent, are reportedly 37 per cent more likely than traditional autos to hit walkers and 66 per cent more likely to hit cyclists when the EVs are traveling under 35 mph. In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed minimum sound requirements last year, but the mandate has been delayed as car manufacturers fought the rule.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) now have a website devoted to helping middle and high school students explore the field as a possible career. The ASLA has also created an online hub called "Tools for Teachers" to help educators create lesson plans and steer students toward landscape design.
Dogs poop in alignment with the Earth's magnetic field, says a recent research paper published in the journal "Frontiers in Zoology". Although no one knows why, the authors state that dogs "preferred to excrete with the body aligned along the North-south axis". However, conditions such as solar flares, which disrupt the earth's magnetic field, cause dogs to poop "in random directions".
Roman Hills