The Harmful Effect of Herbicides on the Habitat of Monarch Butterflies

Did you know that since the 1990s over 970 million monarch butterflies have disappeared? After their sudden disappearance we have only around 30 million of the unique and exotic black and orange insects left. The decrease in the milkweed plant habitat of the butterflies and the utilization of extensive herbicides is ruining the habitat of the innocent butterflies. A project has been launched by the government which plans to spend $3.2 million to restore the milkweed plant of the monarch butterflies in the United States of America. The plant plays a very important part in the existence of monarch butterflies because it is their main home and their main source of obtaining food. The butterflies have been declared as an endangered or threatened species according to the Endangered Species Act.

Homeowners and farmers living across the country spray a lot of herbicides on the various milkweed plants. By carrying out such an activity, they are doing nothing but giving rise to a massacre of the existence of the monarch butterfly. When they spray the plants and the habitats of the butterflies, they are not only causing the black and orange butterflies to die out, but they are destroying their main source of obtaining food, their habitat, and leaving a number of butterflies without a home to live in.

Since the 1990s, over 970 million of these attractive and colorful creatures have disappeared from the planet and that has resulted in a decline of 90% in the existence of the species. The steps that have been taken by the government to reduce the destruction of the butterflies includes partnerships launched by the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Wildlife Federation in hope of establishing milkweed in order to do something helpful for the monarchs.

It has been estimated that over $2 million or up to $3.2 million will have to be utilized in order to restore over 200,000 acres of the habitat of the colorful critters by the government. More than seven hundred and fifty pollinator gardens and habitats will have to be restored. This can end up increasing or keep the amount of monarchs in the United States of America stagnant. Every winter, the butterflies migrate thousands of miles from Canada and the United States of America to the forests of central Mexico. The insects migrate back to their native land in the spring. Due to the fact that butterflies live only for approximately four to five weeks, the migration calls for six generations in order to be completed. The butterflies spend a great part of their winters in the mountain forests of Mexico where the climate is not too extreme and they have a greater chance of survival. However, many human societies nearby are known to depend on the same forests that the butterflies dwell in for tourist and agriculture activities.

The food supply of the monarch butterflies of milkweed, which is also considered to be their home across America, is slowly reducing. Homeowners and farmers are using weed killers or herbicides which are resulting in the decrease in the availability of plants.

The changes in the climate end up causing an interruption in the annual migration pattern of the butterflies and affect the conditions in both the summer and winter breading grounds. While the wetter and colder winters prove to be quite lethal to the creatures, the drier and hot summer conditions could result in a shift to habitats located in the northern region.

Monarch-butterfly

There are around thirty million butterflies still left in the United States of America. Money will be utilized to start a conservation fund that will offer grants to landowners and farmers to preserve the habitat. The actions taken by the Fish and Wildlife Service have declared the species of the monarch butterfly as an endangered species. This calls for the government to pay more attention to the protection of the butterflies. The protection of the monarch butterfly can only be maintained if the people of the nation work together and do something about it quickly!

When the butterflies migrate to Mexico every spring, they lay their eggs on the plant. The transformation of prairies to become cropland and the extensive utilization of pesticides, resistant crops have decreased milkweed, which is a vital source of food especially in the heartland. The projects for conservation will be more focused on working on the Interstate 35 corridor to Minnesota from Texas in all the areas that offer vital summer and spring habitats along the trail for around 50% of the monarchs that migrate every season.

Other state agencies and federal agencies are being encouraged to become a part of the project by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Threatened animals like lions and elephants all get the chance to make their way to the headlines, but what will happen to monarch butterflies? What is happening to monarch butterflies is nothing less than a massacre. The Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States of America summed up the grim and saddening statistics of over 970 million monarch butterflies disappearing.

The spraying of herbicides by homeowners and farmers on milkweed plants, which play a major role as the food source, home and nursery of the butterflies are destroying the habitat of the innocent creatures. In order to make up for the destruction that has occurred to the nature of the butterflies, the Fish and Wildlife Service started a partnership that had two private conservation teams, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Wildlife Federation to basically establish milkweed in the hopes of being able to do something for the monarchs.

Monarch butterflies are a major species that once used to flutter throughout nature and the United States of America by the billions. They moved to Canada from Mexico every spring on a journey that needed six generations of the creature to be completed. After that, the young monarchs come back to their native land, rest, birth, and dine on the milkweed plants. Now the monarchs are found in very few numbers and only, according the Washington post around 30 million of them remain in the world.

The endangerment of the species is something that has become quite famous in the past few days. The Fish and Wildlife Service is observing a petition that was filed by Center for Biological Diversity. This petition listed the monarch butterflies as a threatened species that needs protection in order to survive! This agency is observing whether that is required and is also trying to do everything that it can to restore the monarch population. It has been reported that the agency is offering to pay $2 million for the conservation projects. According to the agreement, the institution will assist in creating awareness about the requirement for milkweed, offer seeds to all those who are willing to do something for the monarch butterflies and plant the seeds and to make sure that they plant the seeds in open space such as parks, forests, patio flower boxes, and other areas. An extra or additional $1.2 million will be provided to the foundation in the form of seed money to produce a larger fundraising match from different organizations.Viceroy Butterfly

The amount of monarch butterflies that spend their winters in the forests of Mexico has reduced to extremely low levels ever since monitoring started over 20 years ago. This was according to a study that was released by the World Wildlife Fundation, the Natural Protected Areas Commission, and Mexico’s Environment Department. This report has lead many experts to inform everyone that the annual migration of the insects to Canada is at the stake of disappearing completely. The possibility of then end of the migration of the monarch butterflies might prove to be a wakeup call for all Canadians. While the amount has reached an alarming state, one of the most vital remedies is very easy. The monarchs require milkweed in order to survive and the Canadians have to play their role by planting pollinator friendly gardens and plant more milkweed in their gardens in the spring.

The report shows that the population of the monarchs spending their winters in Mexico is very low. The number was estimated to be over 60 million monarchs last year. The monarchs spent their winters in certain mountain forests.

The population has started decreasing since 1993. The amount this year has been estimated to have reduced by half of what it was recorded before. The main dangers to the monarch butterflies has proven to be the endangerment of the milkweed plants which the butterflies consider as their home throughout the entire migratory path of the monarchs, especially in the US Midwest. The milkweed is considered to be the host planet for all monarchs where the mothers lay the eggs on the underside of the leaves and the caterpillar’s main source of obtaining its food is the milkweed.
The increasing prices of corn in the USA have resulted in the conversion of hectares of grassland to corn along with the conservation lands that once used to be full of milkweed for all monarch butterflies. An increase in the utilization of an herbicide known as Roundup has paid a lot to the loss of the plant milkweed. The herbicide is known to kill all the plants except for crops that are modified to be able to withstand the herbicide.

The leading monarch advocacy organization known as the Monarch Watch has approximated that over 60 million hectares of the habitat of the butterflies that have been destroyed due to herbicide resistant cropland in America with an extra six million hectares of the milkweed plant habitat for being lost to residential development and roads. The rates are enough to be compared to the deforestation rates that are prevailing in Indonesia, Brazil, and Malaysia.

Studies have revealed that there are a number of states in which nearly all of the milkweed plants have disappeared. With the near extinction of monarch butterflies, the milkweed plants are also fading from this world.

The Canadians are being urged to do everything they can to bring milkweed back into their gardens so that we can bring the monarch butterflies back into our lives in order to revive the beauty of nature.

The loss of butterflies is very saddening, especially in North America because these beautiful creatures play a vital role in adding beauty to the environment. The population of the monarch butterfly has dropped at an increasing rate over the past few years from 1 billion to approximately 35 million. The conservation groups have been concerned about the decline in the population of the butterflies for a number of years and the FWS has taken great notice.

According to the service agency, the butterflies will be provided with the protection they deserve as stated in the Endangered Species Act. The decision of the FWS came in reply to a petition that the Center for Biological Diversity sent. The monarch butterflies face a number of threats along with their migration route between central Mexico and the US, but their main decline is due to the decrease in the presence of milkweed.

Monarch butterflies are dependent on milkweed as it is the only plant that they eat. They lay their eggs on the leaves of the milkweed during times of summer breeding. However, milkweed is not appreciated by farmers who think of the plant as a type of weed and do everything they can to wipe the plant out of their fields. The loss of milkweed is resulting in the loss of monarch butterflies. You should do everything that you can in order to bring back the required amount of milkweed so that we can give rise to a population of monarch butterflies. Our world would not be as beautiful as it is today if it were not for the presence of monarch butterflies. Their vibrant colors make the environment seem calm and peaceful. We need to prevent the endangerment of monarch butterflies!

 

City of Tokyo

World’s Most Expensive City to Live In

If you are planning to relocate and you are thinking that you can afford to live in a city where the cost living is beyond that of an ordinary man’s reach, then you will be glad you know that a recent survey showed that top 10 most expensive cities in the world to live in. In the result posted recently, Asia and Europe top the list of having the most cities where the costs of living are simply way beyond the means of ordinary citizens.

On the top of the list is:

1. Tokyo, Japan

Downtown Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

2. Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan

3. Sydney,  Australia

Sydney,  Australia

Sydney, Australia

4. Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

5. Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia

6. Singapore ( Asia)

Singapore

Singapore

7. Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

8. Paris, France

Paris, France

Paris, France

9. Caracas, Venezuela

 Caracas, Venezuela

Caracas, Venezuela

10. Geneva, Switzerland

Genève, Switzerland

Genève, Switzerland

Europe is undoubtedly well represented in the list, but it can be noticed that Asia is gaining quickly. Australian cities on the other hand are also penetrating the list, and this is a little surprising since ten years ago, none of them even made it to the top 50. What is missing on the list is a single North American city; the complete result actually shows that none from this continent even made it to the top 20.

Asia

Asia

Asia

At the number one spot, Tokyo in Japan actually just resumed its top position and this is despite a weaker yen, the Japanese deflation and growing worldwide prices. Tokyo took the number one slot from Zurich, Switzerland that dropped to number 7 this year.

So what made Tokyo take the lead again and Osaka following suit? Maybe it has something to do with the rise in wage growth and high economic enthusiasm. Add the fact that the Japanese capital had high real estate rents and costs as well as soaring wages fueling costs.

Real estate rates in Tokyo, Japan are close to $10,000/square meter and outside the city than rates go around at $5,700/square meter. If you are thinking of renting a 3-bedroom house in Tokyo, you may have to pay a whooping $2,500 rent. An average apartment outside the city can cost around $1,700 and monthly utility bills can go as much as $160 for a small household. Traveling around the city and eating out can also be highly expensive affairs.

Osaka on the other hand, has one of the priciest transportation costs in the world and this is because of the numerous popular tourist sights found here. Wages are also way high in Osaka and this is because it is the headquarters of top companies in the world like, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Panasonic and Sanyo.

Another Asian city, Singapore, made it to top 10, as number 6 coming up 3 places from its previous ranking. The city’s CPI or Consumer Price Index inflation last year registered at 4.6 percent and at the same time there was also currency appreciation that time. Together, those aspects made the State-City a more expensive city to live in.

Singapore is simply has a promising and flourishing economy. It may be small and there is lack of space for expansion but the fact that it can stay competitive economically only proves that it is certainly a costly place to live in. A single bedroom apartment in the suburban Singapore can cost $1,800 and up with monthly utility bills normally as high as $130.

Australia

Australia

Australia

The cost of living in Australia has surged Sydney and Melbourne into great positions at the top 5 most expensive cities to live in. The two cities have outstripped most European cities. The rise of these cities is highly attributed to the country’s currency and inflation swings. The strength that the Australian dollars have demonstrated over the US and other currencies combined with inflation being supported by economic growth made it really costly to live in these cities. Australians and visitors are certainly feeling the changes with the prices rising way beyond their expectations.

The Australian cities rise was certainly unprecedented as no other cities have managed to make this kind of climb before. And to think that a decade ago, there was no Australian city in the top 50 of the world’s most expensive cities.

Europe

Europe

Europe

European cities have always been on the top positions when it comes to the world’s most expensive cities to live in. This year though, they are taking the back seat for Asian and Australian cities. Paris, Zurich and Oslo used to claim the No.1 spot at one time or another, with Zurich having the crown last year.

The low tax rates in Zurich should make it a least expensive place to live, but sadly low tax was the main reason why many international millionaires have decided to relocate here. And because of that cost of living in this city has soared up high, but certain factors caused it to fall from the top place to number 7. But Zurich is still the richest city in Europe and when it comes to high quality of living it still takes the top position in the continent.

South America

South America

South America

Another amazing rise in the list was made by Caracas in Venezuela. This South American city jumped up from number 25 to number 9, which made it the most expensive city to live in across the Americas. The obvious reason this rise in position for Caracas is the country’s fixed exchange rates versus the US dollar and the rise to price volatility.

Living in these cities can be really great if you have the resources to support the opportunities and the lifestyle that they have to offer. So, do you have what it takes to live in one of these cities? You can really consider yourself very lucky if you can easily afford to live in one of these cities.

 

 

NASA: 2014 Continues Long-Term Global Warming

NASA initially claimed that according to their readings, 2014 was the warmest year since 1880. There was a video that showed time progression of the recorded temperature changes from 1880. The blue colors indicate cool weather and the red colors indicate the warm weather. As the video finished it can be noted that the blue colors are almost non-existent, while the red colors dominated the globe. This only means that the Earth has indeed gone very warm and 2014 can indeed be the warmest year on record.

The warming estimation was perform by the NASA laboratory under the name GISS or the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The NASA scientists are expecting that the Earth’s temperature are going to continue to fluctuate, which could mean that 2015 may not be as warm as 2014, or it could be warmer. One thing is sure though, the world has surely warmed up since 1880 by up to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.8 degrees Celsius.

Another fact that cannot be questioned is that the main reason for the global warming is the sad case of non-stop greenhouse gas emission. The phenomenon of the deadly emissions can only be blamed to humanity. And although efforts are being undertaken, the effects have resulted to extreme climate change, which is evident through global warming.

As mentioned in the video description, the analysis given from GISS was gathered from the measurements in temperature from 6,300 weather stations from around the world, as well as temperature readings from buoy-based, ship-based ocean and from the Antarctic research stations.

Global-Warming-1880-1884 Global-Warming-1922-1926 Global-Warming-1946-1950 Global-Warming-1981-1984 Global-Warming-2001-2005 Global-Warming-2010-2014

The NASA Video

The national climate monitoring groups from all over the world have given their readings to the GISS and the result indicated that 2014 was the warmest year on record. The video released by NASA showed that from 1880, the Earth has been suffering from continued warming.

Reactions to the NASA Video

The video has received varied reactions from different people. There are some who said that global warming is true and 2014 is indeed the warmest year since 1880. Others though mentioned that the video description is ancient, as global warming is not being used today, climate change is the term in trend today.

Basically though, there is not much difference between global warming and climate change. Global warming just happens to be the more specific term as it refers to the increasing average temperature of the planet due to greenhouse emissions the build up in the atmosphere. Simply put, global warming causes climate change.

As the Earth goes warmer due to global warming, the rainfall patterns will change, there will be rising sea levels and all living things are going to experience all the negative impacts. When scientists discuss climate change, their main concern is generally about global warming being caused by human activities.

One observation is that no one knows for sure what the exact global temperature is. It can only be theorized that the measurements and the algorithms can provide the best estimates. To properly perform thermal surveys though, it is important to utilize advanced technology.

NASA Retracts Original Claim

According to NASA scientists, 2014 was the warmest recorded year since 1880. They were so sure about that before questions were raised. Now, the agency has retracted that claim and they are saying they were actually only 38 percent positive about their initial claim.

The previous title holders for the warmest years were 2005 and 2010. Compared to those years, 2014 was indeed warmer, but does that make it the warmest? The average earth temperature after all, has not significantly changed in the past decade.

Arguments on the NASA Video

Experts differ in their opinions regarding the significance of the NASA claim. However, it was noted that there is some doubt that the rapid warming experienced in the 1980s and 1990s has slowed down. The video was very clear; the red colors have dominated the globe. Thus, it can only mean that global warming is real, and that is one fact that cannot be denied despite the fact that there is an on-going argument if 2014 is indeed the warmest year since 1880.

Many people are not inclined to trust the NASA video and they want accurate facts. But, is it really possible to have the exact measurements. Are the red colors not enough to prove that 2014 was indeed the warmest year since 1880? They may not be any exact measurement and GISS can only provide estimates from gathered data, but it is still a fact that the Earth’s atmosphere is indeed getting warmer and not cooler.

Conclusion:

Global warming has not been stopped, and that is despite the continued efforts to save the environment. It is sad to note that the impact has already been there and the Earth’s atmosphere has been overloaded with poisonous emissions caused by humanity.

The NASA video can be taken as it is and can also be questioned. The main idea behind it was to inform the public about global warming and how it looks like. If 2014 is indeed the warmest year, following 2005 and 2010, then it can only be concluded that 2015 may not be the next warmest as 2006 to 2009, and then 2011 to 2013 are slightly cooler years.

With such statement comes hope, that maybe all the efforts to save the environment can indeed save humanity and the world. It is important to keep in mind that NASA and other agencies can only give the measurements and the estimates. They can also only claim that a year is warmest because of the data they have gathered. They cannot save the Earth; this task is for the humans to perform.

The Earth’s atmosphere is significantly getting warmer due to human emissions. That means if humanity can make the earth warm, it can also make it cooler. This is where sustainable living comes in. It is after all, one of the most positive solutions to lessen global warming so that climate change can be avoided.