Humpback whales are having a 'baby boom' in Antarctica
Once hunted to near-extinction, humpback whales living in southern oceans near Antarctica are making a comeback. But will it last?
Once hunted to near-extinction, humpback whales living in southern oceans near Antarctica are making a comeback.
Some quick facts about humpbacks:
- They live long lives, about the same as humans.
- Treaties were signed to protect them in 1959; otherwise, they probably wouldn’t be here anymore.
- Estimates are that, before the treaties were signed, whale populations were down to less than 10 percent of their pre-whaling levels.
- A new study found there were more pregnant females in a group of humpback whales on the Western Antarctic Peninsula than had previously been noted. In addition, the number of pregnant females has been trending upward for several years.
- Humpback whales are actually benefiting from global warming; there are now 80 more ice-free days per year, which allows them to feed on krill in the open water
However, that last fact is not likely to last; krill stock is being fished by some countries, and reduced sea ice actually endangers the crustaceans.
Some other species rebounding, though not as quickly as the humpback, are fin whales, blue whales, and the southern right whale.
From the published study:
“Our research demonstrates that this feeding aggregation of humpbacks exhibits high pregnancy rates and a high proportion of females that are simultaneously pregnant and lactating. Both of these findings are consistent with a rapidly growing population.”
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.
- A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
- Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
- New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
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