Monk parakeets from South America have invaded the Chicago area!
According to U.S. maritime industry sources, tanker captains are reporting an increase in onboard alarms from hazard sensors designed to detect hydrocarbon gas leaks and, specifically, methane leaks. However, the leaks are not emanating from cargo holds or pump rooms but from continental shelves venting increasing amounts of trapped methane into the atmosphere. With rising ocean temperatures, methane is increasingly escaping from deep ocean floors. Methane is also 21 more times capable of trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
In fact, one of the major sources for increased methane venting is the Hudson Submarine Canyon, which extends 400 miles into the Atlantic from the New York-New Jersey harbor. Another location experiencing increased venting is the Santa Barbara Channel on the California coast.
Meanwhile, a strong natural gas odor was reported this morning in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Weehawken, and Newark. The strong odor was also detected in Union City, Secaucus, and Hoboken. Last August, a similar unexplained gas odor sent people to the hospital in Staten Island and Queens. Although methane is odorless, natural methane venting is often accompanied by the venting of acrid hydrogen sulfide, a byproduct of bacterial decomposition.
The US Coast Guard sent a message to ships and tugs in the bay and ocean south of New York requesting any reports of the odor being detected at sea. There were also an unconfirmed report of a similar strong odor being detected this morning on the Delaware coast near Lewes. This morning, the prevailing winds in New York and New Jersey were southerly at 5 to 10 miles per hour.
In other global warming news, the warm temperatures on the U.S. East Coast are resulting in early blooming of the cherry trees and azaleas in Washington, DC and New York City, apple and peach trees in Maryland, and roses, forsythias, and crocuses in Connecticut. A number of people along the East Coast are suffering from allergies usually experienced in April. Monk parakeets from South America have invaded the Chicago area.
George W. Bush continues to insist that global warming is "silly science" based on "fuzzy math." Corporate news media masters are pressuring plastic-faced and neatly-coiffured TV weathermen to treat the current abnormal warm weather as an unexpected "gift" for their viewers. The latte-sipping and SUV-driving yuppies in Washington, DC are certainly taking the current weather abnormality in stride -- they almost appear ecstatic about the weather, obviously unaware that the future of our planet is hanging on a thread.