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.
Now 2007 is upon us, but not the white-fin dolphin. It's gone, too. Another year, another species.
A team of 25 scientists recently searched the Yangtze River, the dolphin's only home, and could find not a one. That was not a great surprise. The species was known to be in trouble. The last sighting was in 2004.
So far away, and yet so close.
Read any report on climate change and, chances are, that date will stare back at you.
Carol J. WilliamsLA Times
Wed, 03 Jan 2007 14:48 UTC
MIAMI - Frustrated with people and politicians who refuse to listen or learn, National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield ends his 34-year government career today in search of a new platform for getting out his unwelcome message: Hurricane Katrina was nothing compared with the big one yet to come.
Mayfield, 58, leaves his high-profile job with the National Weather Service more convinced than ever that U.S. residents of the Southeast are risking unprecedented tragedy by continuing to build vulnerable homes in the tropical storm zone and failing to plan escape routes.
It was the first and most extreme ecological disaster. Easter Island, in the south Pacific, once lush with subtropical broadleaf forest, was left barren and vast seabird colonies were destroyed after the arrival of man.
But now there is new evidence that human beings may not have been responsible for the destruction after all. Although Easter Island has long been held to be the most important example of a traditional society destroying itself, it appears that the real culprits were rats - up to three million of them.
This contradicts the belief that the native population's obsession with carving, constructing, and transporting its famous statues around the island led it to deplete its own natural resources, going into what has been called "a downward spiral of cultural regression".
AUSTIN, Texas - Police shut down 10 blocks of businesses in the heart of downtown early Monday after dozens of birds were found dead in the streets, but officials said preliminary tests showed no dangerous chemicals in the air.
LONDON - A resurgent El Nino and persistently high levels of greenhouse gases are likely to make 2007 the world's hottest year ever recorded, British climate scientists said Thursday.
Britain's Meteorological Office said there was a 60 percent probability that 2007 would break the record set by 1998, which was 1.20 degrees over the long-term average.
"This new information represents another warning that climate change is happening around the world," the office said.
NEW IBERIA, La. - Powerful storms that killed at least two people and ripped apart mobile homes in Louisiana headed into Alabama on Friday, where tornado watches were posted across the state.
A flash-flood watch was still in effect Friday morning for parts of southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi after the heavy rain.
Some of the worst damage from Thursday's storms was in Louisiana's Iberia Parish after what appeared to be a tornado hit in the New Iberia area just before 4 p.m.
Andrea Stone USA TODAY
Thu, 04 Jan 2007 13:08 UTC
Bill Weigle's tree service in Lyndeborough, N.H., usually delivers five to 10 cords of firewood a day this time of year. He's sold only one in the past two weeks.
Business is "dead," Weigle says. "I've never seen it like this ... I feel like the Maytag man."
This winter's curiously warm weather across the Northeast and much of the Midwest has played havoc with more than seasonal businesses. In Washington, D.C., springlike temperatures have faked out flora, causing dogwoods and daffodils to bloom.
Anchorage, Alaska - It snowed all day in Anchorage Wednesday. A combination of snow, fog and ice contributed to more than 100 cars becoming stuck in ditches and snow berms across the city. The Anchorage Police Department said accidents occurred at a pace of a collision every 10 minutes today. A snow advisory remains in effect and the job of digging out is only beginning.