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Mon, 04 Dec 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Alps hit by two-decade decline in snowfall

PARIS - A forthcoming study has added to worries that the Alpine ski industry will be badly affected by global warming, the British weekly New Scientist reports on Wednesday.

A "dramatic step-like drop" in the amount of snow falling in the western European mountain chain occurred in the late 1980s and since then snowfall has never recovered, it says.

The evidence has been compiled by researcher Christoph Marty at the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research.

Life Preserver

Aid reaches China's quake-stricken pandas

BEIJING - Huge supplies of bamboo and other favourites have arrived at China's top panda breeding centre after the deadly quake in the nation's southwest left the reserve without food, state press said Wednesday.

Tons of bamboo, apples, soybeans, eggs, milk powder and other foods have been shipped to the China Giant Panda Protection Research Centre, Xinhua news agency said. Large quantities of medicine were also included in the shipments, it said.


Prince Charles: Eighteen months to stop climate change disaster

The Prince of Wales has warned that the world faces a series of natural disasters within 18 months unless urgent action is taken to save the rainforests.

chameleon in Madagascar
A chameleon in a Madagascar rainforest. Prince Charles has warned of 'disaster' if urgent steps are not taken to protect the forests

Cow Skull

Northern Zone drought killing cattle

At least 257 cows have been confirmed dead as a months-old drought tightens its grip on Costa Rica's barren Northern Zone.

Cloud Lightning

Death toll in Philippine storm up to 37

The Philippine disaster agency says the death toll from a tropical storm that battered the northern Philippines over the weekend has risen from 12 to 37.


How Man-Made Noise May Be Altering Earth's Ecology

Bernie Krause listens to nature for a living. The 69-year-old is a field recording scientist: He heads into the wilderness to document the noises made by native fauna - crickets chirping in the Amazon rain forest, frogs croaking in the Australian outback.


Some biofuel crops could become invasive species, experts warn

BONN - Countries thinking of joining the rush for biofuels run the risk of planting invasive plant species that could wreak environmental and economic havoc, biologists warned on Tuesday.

In a report issued on the sidelines of a major UN conference on biodiversity, an alliance of four expert groups urged governments to select low-risk species of crops for biofuels and impose new controls to manage invasive plants.

"The dangers that invasive species pose to the world couldn't be more serious," said Sarah Simons, executive director of the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP).

"They are one of the top causes of global species loss, they can threaten livelihoods and human health and they cost us billions in control and mitigation efforts. We simply cannot afford to stand by and do nothing."

Cloud Lightning

Storm passes in Philippines leaving 13 dead

MANILA - Tropical storm Halong has blown out of the Philippines leaving 13 dead and thousands without power or vital communication lines, the civil defence office said Tuesday.

As of early Tuesday, the storm was barrelling towards Okinawa, Japan with sustained winds of 95 kilometres (58.9 miles) an hour near the centre and gusts of up to 120 kilometres (74 miles) an hour.

Thirteen people were reported killed, according to the latest toll, while two others were missing after the storm brought heavy rains, flooding and landslides as it cut across northern Luzon island at the weekend.

Nearly half a million people were affected by the storm, which blew off tin roofs, toppled power and telecommunication lines, the civil defence office said.

Cloud Lightning

Saudi Arabia: Dust haze covers Bahrain

A severe dust storm over the eastern part of Saudi Arabia resulted in a thick dust haze over Bahrain yesterday, according to the Civil Aviation Meteorology Directorate.

The haze, which began early in the morning, lasted for a greater part of the day and is expected to continue until Friday, said an official.

"The dust has already started to settle down, but we will have hazy weather with rising sand in places for the next four days," he said.

Though the haze reduced visibility at Bahrain International Airport to less than 1,000 metres, no flights were affected, said a Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) official.


China comes to a standstill in silent tribute to earthquake victims

China stood still. Heads bowed, helmets in their hands, soldiers balanced on the rubble of a town devastated by last week's earthquake. A mother whose child had died wept quietly in her van. Thousands gathered under the portrait of Chairman Mao in Tiananmen Square.

China's 1.3 billion people stopped yesterday at 2.28pm - the exact time of the 7.9 magnitude earthquake a week ago - for three minutes of silence to grieve for as many as 70,000 people who are feared dead. In Hongbai, one of the worse-affected towns, a single siren wailed and the few dozen people still in the town pressed their car horns. A military helicopter hovered overhead, its emergency siren howling over the roar of its blades.