first_imgMar 24, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – State and federal public health officials are managing two large Salmonella outbreaks, one linked to contaminated groundwater that has sickened as many as 216 people in Alamosa, Colo., and another that is apparently connected to imported Honduran cantaloupe and involves 59 illnesses in 16 states and Canada.Salmonella in Colorado waterAfter state health officials confirmed dozens of Salmonella infections in Alamosa area residents, authorities tested the municipal water supply and found it was contaminated with bacteria, according to a Mar 21 emergency declaration from Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter.Today the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the pathogen was Salmonella, according to a statement from David Svaldi, president of Adams State College in Alamosa. The town of about 8,700 people is in south-central Colorado in the San Luis Valley, an area known for growing cool-weather crops.Media reports and official statements have not specified which Salmonella strain caused the illnesses.Area residents have been under a bottled-water advisory since Mar 19, according to a statement from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). According to an update on the Alamosa County Web site, authorities will begin a three-step process to clean up the municipal water system tomorrow. Residents have been advised that the bottled-water advisory may be in effect for up to 2 weeks.The CDPHE confirmed the first Salmonella infection on Mar 14, according to Ritter’s emergency declaration. As of yesterday, 216 cases of salmonellosis had been reported in Alamosa, of which 68 were confirmed by laboratory tests, according to the statement from Svaldi. Twelve Adams State students have reported symptoms, but laboratory tests have not yet confirmed the infections. Nine people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.Authorities have not said how they think the water became contaminated with Salmonella. Ken Carlson, an environmental engineering professor from Colorado State University, said Alamosa’s water comes from five deep wells and is untreated, the Denver Post reported on Mar 21. More than half of the US drinking water supply consists of untreated groundwater, he told the Post, adding that groundwater typically never comes in contact with possibly contaminated surface water before reaching consumers.”Generally that’s been a good assumption. There have been very few outbreaks in these systems,” Carlson told the Post.Local residents are speculating that water could have been contaminated by sabotage or by an accident at a new water treatment plant that is under construction, according to the Post report.Michael Beach, a waterborne diseases specialist with the CDC, said that in the past 20 years there have been only five reported instances of Salmonella contamination in municipal water, according to the Post. He said one case involved contaminated groundwater, two were linked to water-distribution system breaches, and two involved disinfection problems. Since 1971, none of the 15 recorded cases of Salmonella contamination in city water supplies were caused by sabotage, Carlson told the Post.FDA, CDC investigate cantaloupeMeanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Mar 22 warned consumers not to eat cantaloupe from Honduran grower Agropecuaria Montelibano and ordered FDA field offices to detain all of the company’s cantaloupe shipments. The FDA said in a press release that between Jan 18 and Mar 5 it had received reports of 50 Salmonella cases in 16 states, along with 9 illnesses in Canada, linked through case-control studies to the consumption of Honduran cantaloupe.According to a Mar 22 statement from the CDC, the patients were found to have the same genetic fingerprint of Salmonella Litchfield. Patients’ ages range from under 1 year to 93 years. At least 14 patients have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.The FDA’s traceback investigation indicated that cantaloupes consumed by patients with the outbreak strain were grown in Honduras, according to the CDC statement. Government statements did not make clear how the outbreak was linked to Agropecuaria Montelibano specifically. The FDA has advised US grocers, food service operators, and produce processors to remove the company’s products from their stocks; however, the CDC said the products may still be in grocery stores or consumers’ homes.Consumers who have cantaloupes in their homes can check with the markets where they purchased the product to see if the fruit came from the implicated Honduran grower, the FDA said. The CDC said consumers who have the potentially contaminated cantaloupe in their homes should throw the product away.See also:Mar 24 statement from Adams State College President David Svaldihttp://www.adams.edu/news/mar0822/mar0822.phpMar 22 FDA news release on cantaloupe contaminationhttp://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01808.html CDC statement on Salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupehttp://www.cdc.gov/Salmonella/litchfield/last_img read more


first_imgHeat waves, like one in Australia in January, will get worse in a warming world. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe For nearly 40 years, the massive computer models used to simulate global climate have delivered a fairly consistent picture of how fast human carbon emissions might warm the world. But a host of global climate models developed for the United Nations’s next major assessment of global warming, due in 2021, are now showing a puzzling but undeniable trend. They are running hotter than they have in the past. Soon the world could be, too.In earlier models, doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) over preindustrial levels led models to predict somewhere between 2°C and 4.5°C of warming once the planet came into balance. But in at least eight of the next-generation models, produced by leading centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France, that “equilibrium climate sensitivity” has come in at 5°C or warmer. Modelers are struggling to identify which of their refinements explain this heightened sensitivity before the next assessment from the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But the trend “is definitely real. There’s no question,” says Reto Knutti, a climate scientist at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. “Is that realistic or not? At this point, we don’t know.”That’s an urgent question: If the results are to be believed, the world has even less time than was thought to limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C above preindustrial levels—a threshold many see as too dangerous to cross. With atmospheric CO2 already at 408 parts per million (ppm) and rising, up from preindustrial levels of 280 ppm, even previous scenarios suggested the world could warm 2°C within the next few decades. The new simulations are only now being discussed at meetings, and not all the numbers are in, so “it’s a bit too early to get wound up,” says John Fyfe, a climate scientist at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis in Victoria, whose model is among those running much hotter than in the past. “But maybe we have to face a reality in the future that’s more pessimistic than it was in the past.” By Paul VoosenApr. 16, 2019 , 3:55 PM Matt King/Stringer/GETTY IMAGES New climate models predict a warming surgecenter_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Many scientists are skeptical, pointing out that past climate changes recorded in ice cores and elsewhere don’t support the high climate sensitivity—nor does the pace of modern warming. The results so far are “not sufficient to convince me,” says Kate Marvel, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. In the effort to account for atmospheric components that are too small to directly simulate, like clouds, the new models could easily have strayed from reality, she says. “That’s always going to be a bumpy road.”Builders of the new models agree. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, New Jersey—the birthplace of climate modeling—incorporated a host of improvements in their next-generation model. It mimics the ocean in fine enough detail to directly simulate eddies, honing its representation of heat-carrying currents like the Gulf Stream. Its rendering of the El Niño cycle, the periodic warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, looks “dead on,” says Michael Winton, a GFDL oceanographer who helped lead the model’s development. But for some reason, the world warms up faster with these improvements. Why? “We’re kind of mystified,” Winton says. Right now, he says, the model’s equilibrium sensitivity looks to be 5°C.Developers of another next-generation model, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, wonder whether their new rendering of clouds and aerosols might explain why it, too, is running hot, with a sensitivity in the low fives. The NCAR team, like other modelers, has had persistent problems in simulating the supercooled water found in clouds that form above the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. The clouds weren’t reflective enough, allowing the region to absorb too much sunlight. The new version fixes that problem.Late in the model’s development cycle, however, the NCAR group incorporated an updated data set on emissions of aerosols, fine particles from industry and natural processes that can both reflect sunlight or goose the development of clouds. The aerosol data threw everything off—when the model simulated the climate of the 20th century, it now showed hardly any warming. “It took us about a year to work that out,” says NCAR’s Andrew Gettelman, who helped lead the development of the model. But the aerosols may play a role in the higher sensitivity that the modelers now see, perhaps by affecting the thickness and extent of low ocean clouds. “We’re trying to understand if other [model developers] went through the same process,” Gettelman says.Answers may come from an ongoing exercise called the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), a precursor to each IPCC round. In it, modelers run a standard set of simulations, such as modeling the preindustrial climate and the effect of an abrupt quadrupling of atmospheric CO2 levels, and compare notes. The sixth CMIP is now at least a year late. The first draft of the next IPCC report was due in early April, yet only a handful of teams had uploaded modeling runs of future projections, says Fyfe, an author of the report’s projections chapter. “It’s maddening, because it feels like writing a sci-fi story as the first-order draft.”The ambitious scope of this CMIP is one reason for the delay. Beyond running the standard five simulations, centers can perform 23 additional modeling experiments, targeting specific science questions, such as cloud feedbacks or short-term prediction. The CMIP teams have also been asked to document their computer code more rigorously than in the past, and to make their models compatible with new evaluation tools, says Veronika Eyring, a climate modeler at the German Aerospace Center in Wessling who is co-leading this CMIP round.Such comparisons may help the modelers respond to the IPCC authors, who are peppering them with questions about the higher sensitivity, Gettelman says. “They’re asking us, what’s going on?” he says. “They’re pushing people. They’ve got about a year to figure this out.”In assessing how fast climate may change, the next IPCC report probably won’t lean as heavily on models as past reports did, says Thorsten Mauritsen, a climate scientist at Stockholm University and an IPCC author. It will look to other evidence as well, in particular a large study in preparation that will use ancient climates and observations of recent climate change to constrain sensitivity. IPCC is also not likely to give projections from all the models equal weight, Fyfe adds, instead weighing results by each model’s credibility.Even so, the model results remain disconcerting, Gettelman says. The planet is already warming faster than humans can cope with, after all. “The scary part is these models might be right,” he says. “Because that would be pretty devastating.”last_img read more