The earth's climate has been significantly affected by the planet's magnetic field, according to a Danish study published Monday that could challenge the notion that human emissions are responsible for global warming.
"Our results show a strong correlation between the strength of the earth's magnetic field and the amount of precipitation in the tropics," one of the two Danish geophysicists behind the study, Mads Faurschou Knudsen of the geology department at Aarhus University in western Denmark, told the Videnskab
Minneapolis - Arctic air extended its grip Wednesday with below-zero temperatures stretching from Montana to northern New England and frost nipping the Gulf Coast.
A few ski areas in Vermont and northern Minnesota closed for the day because of the cold - 38 below zero at International Falls, with the wind chill during the night estimated at 50 below.
The temperature at Bolton, Vt., was 10 below zero and operators of the Bolton Valley ski resort feared that skiers could freeze if a lift malfunctioned, said spokesman Josh Arneson. "Getting people off a lift can take time," he said.
Schools from Iowa to Pennsylvania opened late so kids would not have to be out in the coldest part of the morning. Some schools closed.
The cold wave also bulged into the Northeast, abruptly dropping temperatures in New York state into the single digits and below zero - after Tuesday's readings in the 30s, the National Weather Service said. Thermometers read 8 below at Massena, on the St. Lawrence River, with a wind chill of minus 25 degrees.
Erin Brockovich and Robin Greenwald Huffington Post
Tue, 13 Jan 2009 02:31 CET
As a result of a 1.1 billion gallon spill of contaminated fly ash, there has been discussion, press reportage and blogging about the environmental disaster in eastern Tennessee. Most of us have seen the pictures -- a 300+ acre area strewn with black and brown muck as far as the eye can see. Houses lifted off their foundations and thrown across the road, yards filled so high with ash that people can't leave their homes without stepping in it, roadways littered with the ash from trucks going to and from the site, and an eerie still where active life once existed. While this story continues to unfold -- as more samples are taken that delineate the true toxicity of this mess, as TVA makes plans to contain and abate the disaster -- there is a story that has not been told. It is a story that must be told. And that story is the lives of innocent bystanders that have been turned upside down by this avoidable disaster.
I learned of this disaster on the news just as we all did. Usually I receive an email from someone in the community where there has been an environmental problem. At first, it was all quiet. About 10 days after the tragedy I got the first email, then another one and another one and another one, and they kept coming. I also started receiving anonymous tips. It occurred to me that maybe more was going on than what I could gather from the news. With an invitation from the community, I decided to make the trip.
Cyprus runs the risk of desertification by the end of this century as it feels the brunt of climate change and drought, an expert warned on Friday.
Studies project a rise in summer temperatures on the east Mediterranean island of between two and four degrees this century, compared to the 1960 to 1990 reference periods, Professor Manfred Lange, a geophysicist, said in an interview.
"I think that there is a very definite potential for dramatically increasing desertification," said Lange, director of the Energy, Environment and Water Research Centre at the non-profit Cyprus Institute. By the end of this century, Cyprus can expect an extra two months of days with temperatures exceeding 35 degrees centigrade (95 fahrenheit) on top of the present summer months of June, July and August, Lange said. There is also likely to be less rainfall and increased evaporation because of higher temperatures.
Bismark, North Dakota - Residents of the upper Midwest bundled up or just stayed inside Tuesday as a wave of bitterly cold air barreled south out of the Arctic, following on the heels of a fast-moving blizzard.
Some schools closed because of the cold and temperatures hit the single digits as far south as Kansas and Missouri.
Date-Time Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 06:12:46 UTC
Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 08:12:46 AM at epicenter
Location 35.707°N, 26.286°E
Depth 56.4 km (35.0 miles)
Distances 105 km (65 miles) ENE of Iraklion, Crete, Greece
175 km (110 miles) SSE of Naxos, Cyclades Islands, Greece
195 km (120 miles) WSW of Rodos, Dodecanese Islands, Greece
340 km (210 miles) SE of ATHENS, Greece
In a troubling wildlife mystery, California brown pelicans are turning up sick or dead in suburban ponds, driveways and backyards - far from their ocean home.
Two of the elegant birds, emaciated and disoriented, were found in San Jose last week. Another was rescued from Searsville Dam at Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Preserve. Others have been reported at such unlikely locations as Belmont, San Bruno, Brisbane and Burlingame. One fell out of a tree in Oakland. Two were found in a San Francisco dumpster; another stopped traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge.
"Normally, they're on piers and places where they can find fish,'' said Rebecca Ryan of the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, which has stabilized several sick birds. "Now they are appearing in really unusual places.''
Warning over meat
More monkeys were being found dead in forests across the country, according to Hunters Association president Mohan Bholasingh.
He said it was not known what was killing them and that the association as a precautionary measure had sent out advisories through members calling on hunters and other people entering forests to be immunised with the yellow fever vaccine.
Red Howler monkeys are the hosts of the virus that carries the disease.
The removal of cats in 2000 caused "catastrophic" damage to the ecology of a sub-Antarctic island, a study says.
© Australian Antarctic Division
Rabbits caused plant cover to decline starkly on this royal penguin "run" between 2001 (top) and 2007 (bottom).
Since cats were removed from Macquarie Island, rabbit numbers have soared, and the animals are now devastating plants.
Cats previously kept a check on rabbits but were eradicated because they were also eating seabirds, scientists relate in the Journal of Applied Ecology
The Australian government plans to eradicate rabbits, rats and mice from the island, a World Heritage Site.
The rabbits have now caused so much damage to the island's flora that the changes can be seen from space.
The scientists behind the research say conservation agencies must "learn lessons" from the episode.
Mon, 12 Jan 2009 17:07 CET
Maputo - Torrential rains have killed 25 people in central Mozambique in the last two weeks and flooding could devastate the region by March, authorities said on Monday.
The victims, mostly children, drowned while trying to swim through raging waters, said Belarmino Chivambo, spokesman of Mozambique's National Institute of Disaster Management.
"We expect the worst to come by March, which is the peak of the rainy season due to heavy downpours in both Mozambique and neighboring countries," he told Reuters.
Thousands of homes have been destroyed and authorities are setting up emergency shelters, said Chivambo. Roads, bridges and electricity pylons in four provinces have been damaged.
The Zambezi River in central Mozambique, which stretches 500 km (300 miles) through four provinces, is now above flood alert levels, swelled by rains in neighboring Malawi and Zambia.