Inspired by the ApocaDocs 2010 Year In Review, Desdemona arbitrarily picked twelve of the most profoundly doom-laden stories of 2010.

Thorthormi Glacier Lake, Bhutan Himalayas, acquired October 28, 2009. This natural-color image of the southern slopes of Bhutan’s Table Mountain shows where the 1994 glacial outburst flood occurred. Luggye Lake broke through the moraine at the southwest corner, and the flood scoured a path down the Pho Cho River. NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon

January – Ice-capped roof of world turns to desert

Scientists warn of ecological catastrophe across Asia as glaciers melt and the continent's great rivers dry up.

February – Rate of ocean acidification the fastest in 65 million years

A new model, capable of assessing the rate at which the oceans are acidifying, suggests that changes in the carbonate chemistry of the deep ocean may exceed anything seen in the past 65 million years.

March – Death of coral reefs could devastate nations, have ‘tremendous cascade effect for all life in the oceans’
Coral reefs are part of the foundation of the ocean food chain. Nearly half the fish the world eats make their homes around them. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide — by some estimates, 1 billion across Asia alone — depend on them for their food and their livelihoods.

April – Deepwater Horizon oil slick to hit US coast within hours

The United States mobilised its military tonight in an attempt to help deal with the vast oil slick spreading across the Gulf of Mexico amid predictions that it will begin to hit the Louisiana coast within hours and could cause one of the country's biggest environmental disasters.

May – Ocean fish extinct within 40 years

The world faces the nightmare possibility of fishless oceans by 2050 unless fishing fleets are slashed and stocks allowed to recover, UN experts warned.

Professor Frank Fenner has warned that the human race can not survive. – Frank Fenner sees no hope for humans – Scientist says ‘Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years’

Frank Fenner is an authority on extinction. The emeritus professor in microbiology at the Australian National University played a leading role in sending one species into oblivion: the variola virus that causes smallpox. To him, the evidence of global warming is in. Our fate is sealed.

"We're going to become extinct," the eminent scientist says. "Whatever we do now is too late."

July – Worst floods in 81 years ravage Pakistan -- 430 killed, 400,000 stranded

Boats and helicopters struggled to reach hundreds of thousands of villagers cut off by floods in northwest Pakistan on Friday as the government said 430 people had been killed in the deadliest such disaster to hit the region since 1929.

August – Heat probably killed thousands in Moscow

Several thousand Muscovites are thought to have died in July alone from this year's unprecedented heatwave and August could add more fatalities to the grim statistics, a Russian scientist said.

September – Oceans acidifying much faster than ever before in Earth’s history

“It is not the first time in the history of the Earth that the oceans have acidified, but a disturbing aspect now is that it is occurring much faster than ever before. As a consequence, not only the pH value drops, but the saturation state of the oceans with respect to carbonate falls as well. Times are tough, especially for calcifying organisms,” says Prof. Jelle Bijma, marine biogeoscientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute.

October – Fifth of vertebrates face extinction: study

About a fifth of the world's vertebrates are threatened with extinction, a major review has found, highlighting the plight of nature that is the focus of global environment talks underway in Japan.

November – ‘Hideous’ Caribbean coral bleaching worries scientists, now occurring ‘every five years or less’

Unusually warm ocean temperatures in the summer and fall of 2005 caused a mass die-off of Caribbean corals that is the worst ever recorded there, according to new research published yesterday in the online journal PLoS ONE. More than 80 percent of corals bleached and over 40 percent died at many sites in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico that year, the study says, arguing the 2005 event will have long-term consequences for the health of reefs.

Red tide off the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Pier, La Jolla California, 13 August 2005. P. Alejandro Díaz / Wikipedia

December – Scientists alarmed by worldwide spread of ‘black anoxic zones which belch up dead sea life’

Australian marine scientists have expressed disquiet over the continued worldwide spread of large, dead zones in the ocean.

Hundreds of dead zones are being reported around the world in areas that have been overfished and where rich nutrient runoff from the land is causing blooms of algae, which lead in turn to blooms of bacteria that strip the oxygen from the water.

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  1. Warnwood said...

    Desdemona, set to music:  

  2. Jim said...

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