200 Goats Run Wild Through California Neighborhood
A California neighborhood was treated to an unusual lockdown protest Tuesday evening when around 200 goats broke through a fence and ran shoulder to shoulder through the streets.
The moment was captured on video and shared on social media by 23-year-old Zach Roelands, who returned to his San Jose home around 5 p.m. to find the goats on the loose, as USA TODAY reported.
"This is the craziest thing to happen all quarantine," Roelands tweeted.
I’m dead 😂☠️ When I got back from the store all the goats had broken through the fence and were recking havoc on ou… https://t.co/BZmgvpmXUq— Zach Roelands (@Zach Roelands)1589336066.0
While goats may not be very good at social distancing, they are very helpful at combating another potential crisis—California wildfires. Their ability to munch on flammable non-native grasses while navigating steep hillsides has made them a valuable (and adorable) part of fire-prevention efforts across the state.
That is the reason the goats were in the neighborhood to begin with, Zach's father Terry Roelands told NBC Bay Area. The hill behind the Roelands' home caught fire around 15 years ago, so goats have since come to eat the brush a few times a year. This time, one of the goats went to eat a flower on the other side of the fence and tapped an electric fence, which then broke the boards on the fence, allowing the goats to escape.
"All of a sudden they get onto our driveway and it was very exciting but I was a little bit nervous because the garage was open and I thought they might get into the garage," neighbor Amit Patel told NBC Bay Area.
But the goats were mostly interested in eating the plants, and then doing their business, in neighbors' front yards, Zach Roelands told USA TODAY. They were not interested in bothering people.
"The goats are actually pretty scared of humans, it seemed like," he said.
Good social distancing vs bad social distancing. Stay safe 👍🏻 https://t.co/sWZHBXeBT2— Zach Roelands (@Zach Roelands)1589341823.0
The whole thing was over fairly quickly. Terry Roelands told NBC Bay Area that a rancher wrangled the goats back to the hillside in about five minutes. But people had to spend the next hour cleaning up their droppings, Zach Roelands told The Guardian.
However, he said people were mostly diverted by the goats.
"The goats have come for the past 12 years but this was the most entertaining they've been," he told The Guardian.
The San Jose goats aren't the only herd of renegade goats to gain fame during the coronavirus lockdown. A seaside town in Wales has been taken over by a herd of around 122 Kashmiri goats that wandered down from the cliffs into the empty streets in March.
They run Llandudno now and we just have to accept that as fact. Shenkin must be giving them tips from the Royal Wel… https://t.co/axR8R9xLAa— Andrew Stuart (@Andrew Stuart)1585565772.0
"They are curious, goats are, and I think they are wondering what's going on like everybody else," Llandudno town councilor Carol Marubbi told BBC News.
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A Game of Jenga<p>Think of it as a game of Jenga and the planet's climate system as the tower. For generations, we have been slowly removing blocks. But at some point, we will remove a pivotal block, such as the collapse of one of the major global ocean circulation systems, for example the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), that will cause all or part of the global climate system to fall into a planetary emergency.</p><p>But worse still, it could cause runaway damage: Where the tipping points form a domino-like cascade, where breaching one triggers breaches of others, creating an unstoppable shift to a radically and swiftly changing climate.</p><p>One of the most concerning tipping points is mass methane release. Methane can be found in deep freeze storage within permafrost and at the bottom of the deepest oceans in the form of methane hydrates. But rising sea and air temperatures are beginning to thaw these stores of methane.</p><p>This would release a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, 30-times more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming agent. This would drastically increase temperatures and rush us towards the breach of other tipping points.</p><p>This could include the acceleration of ice thaw on all three of the globe's large, land-based ice sheets – Greenland, West Antarctica and the Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica. The potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is seen as a key tipping point, as its loss could eventually <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/324/5929/901" target="_blank">raise global sea levels by 3.3 meters</a> with important regional variations.</p><p>More than that, we would be on the irreversible path to full land-ice melt, causing sea levels to rise by up to 30 meters, roughly at the rate of two meters per century, or maybe faster. Just look at the raised beaches around the world, at the last high stand of global sea level, at the end of the Pleistocene period around 120,0000 years ago, to see the evidence of such a warm world, which was just 2°C warmer than the present day.</p>
Cutting Off Circulation<p>As well as devastating low-lying and coastal areas around the world, melting polar ice could set off another tipping point: a disablement to the AMOC.</p><p>This circulation system drives a northward flow of warm, salty water on the upper layers of the ocean from the tropics to the northeast Atlantic region, and a southward flow of cold water deep in the ocean.</p><p>The ocean conveyor belt has a major effect on the climate, seasonal cycles and temperature in western and northern Europe. It means the region is warmer than other areas of similar latitude.</p><p>But melting ice from the Greenland ice sheet could threaten the AMOC system. It would dilute the salty sea water in the north Atlantic, making the water lighter and less able or unable to sink. This would slow the engine that drives this ocean circulation.</p><p><a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/atlantic-conveyor-belt-has-slowed-15-per-cent-since-mid-twentieth-century" target="_blank">Recent research</a> suggests the AMOC has already weakened by around 15% since the middle of the 20th century. If this continues, it could have a major impact on the climate of the northern hemisphere, but particularly Europe. It may even lead to the <a href="https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/39731?show=full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cessation of arable farming</a> in the UK, for instance.</p><p>It may also reduce rainfall over the Amazon basin, impact the monsoon systems in Asia and, by bringing warm waters into the Southern Ocean, further destabilize ice in Antarctica and accelerate global sea level rise.</p>
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation has a major effect on the climate. Praetorius (2018)
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