Five things you may have missed in the news – October

A look into: The Ebola case reported in the U.S.; Illegal deforestation to increase agriculture lands; Walruses congregating on Alaskan shores; Impact for Mexico after Hurricane Odile; and One week, three deaths, all related to high school football.

  1. The Ebola case reported in the U.S. – Since the Ebola breakout in Africa, the world has been on high alert to make sure this virus does not spread and hopefully bottleneck the fatalities (3,000 in Africa since the outbreak) worldwide. A Texan returned from Liberia and has been confirmed as having Ebola. He has been put in isolation and anyone who has been in close proximity to him is under observation until the end of the virus’s incubation period. So long as Ebola is caught early, it can be contained and treated. The man at Texas Presbyterian Hospital has recently worsened from serious to critical condition. In many cases this virus in on in which the infected gets worse before better, so hopefully he will recover soon! Read more about it!
  1. Illegal deforestation to increase agriculture lands – The Amazon rainforest is demonstrating deforestation exceeding 29% of the forest (Read more). Much of the deforestation comes from the high global demand of palm oil, beef, soy and wood. To satisfy quotas and for greater benefit, nearly 50% of all deforestation in the Amazon is illegal. The counter laws designed to preserve a specific amount of the rainforest is being overlooked and its purpose defeated by this continual over destructive behavior. However, the market for the earlier mentioned goods is worth about $61 billion dollars a year and requires nearly 200,000 square km of agricultural land to satisfy these demands. But is illegal clearing worth the payoff? More about this issue.
  1. Walruses congregating on Alaskan shores – Global climate change has been on our radar for a few years, regardless of which side of the debate one finds itself, there are facts that bring to light concern about the environment caused by excessive uses of our planet’s resources. This year Arctic ice has been determined as matching the sixth lowest recorded amount of sea ice, likely caused by the 5.4˚ Fahrenheit increase in sea temperature. On Saturday September 27th, scientists observed 35,000 walruses “hauling out” of the ocean and onto the shore near Point Lay, Alaska. This behavior was first observed in 2007, however, this year the numbers are much higher than previously recorded. Walruses have found an alternative to giving birth, and resting. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing if this alternative will work as a long-term solution or will be problematic and they will have to relocated again in future years. More information.
  1. Impact for Mexico after Hurricane Odile – Hurricane Odile reached Mexican soil September 14th in the evening at 125 mph with gusts of 116 mph and wind speeds of 89 mph. Flooding and the hurricane were causes for evacuation in various parts of the country. Accommodations for 30,000 people were prepared in 164 shelters in Baja California Sur. Read more. No serious injuries or deaths were recorded on September 17th. Read more about the damages.
  1. One week, three deaths, all related to high school football – Player safety of high school football players is spotlighted this week after the three deaths of students related to the game. Read more about the cases. What changes and restrictions can be expected after the three incidences? Read about them.

Courtney Gettel

Bison Run ALA