Earth ChangesS

Magic Wand

Warming Climate Reverses Sex of Lizards

High temperatures can reverse the sex of dragon lizards before they hatch, turning males into females.

The finding, detailed in the April 20 issue of the journal Science, could have implications for the development of life as the planet's climate warms.

The research reveals that extreme temperatures could inactivate a gene on the male sex chromosomes of dragon lizards and thus turn male embryos into females. The sex-reversed lizards look female and have female organs but genetically they are male, said lead author Alexander Quinn of the University of Canberra in Australia.


Conservation Officer: Wolf Chased Cars

When conservation officer Steve Peterson got a call that a timber wolf was chasing vehicles on a country road near Brimson, he thought it was prank or a misidentified German shepherd. But then he saw it firsthand.

"I couldn't believe it. It was like a dog chasing cars,'' Peterson said. "It looked like a big, healthy male wolf. No mange.''

Responding to the call last Friday, Peterson saw the animal hide in the ditch as a pickup approached and then come bounding out to chase it.

The wolf did the same when Peterson drove to that spot, where he stopped his vehicle.

Evil Rays

Rocking and rolling: Small tsunami expected after strong Japan quake

Japan has sounded an alert for small tsunami waves after a strong earthquake in the southern island chain of Okinawa.

Bizarro Earth

Colombia Volcano Erupts, Thousands Flee

©AP Photo/Fernando Vergara
The Nevado del Huila volcano is seen in this aerial view, at the southwestern state of Huila, Colombia

NEIVA, Colombia - Thousands of people were evacuated after a long-dormant volcano erupted late Tuesday and again early Wednesday, provoking avalanches and floods that swept away houses and bridges.


Northeast storm leaves remarkable wake

The storm that walloped the Northeast on Monday, April 16, was the culmination of a five-day weather event and left behind significant conditions.

©The Weather Channel


4.8 quake hits Northern California

On the 101 anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake, a 4.8 quake shook the Lake Pillsbury area in northern California, about 150 miles north of San Francisco.

Cloud Lightning

China makes artificial snow fall in Tibet

LHASA - China has succeeded in creating artificial snow in the northern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region for the first time, according to the local meteorological department.

Taking advantage of suitable weather conditions, the Tibet meteorological station carried out an artificial snowfall operation in Nagqu County in northern Tibet on April 10 at an altitude of about 4.500 meters.


Is spring the new summer?

Following the second warmest winter on record two natural events suggest we have leapfrogged spring and moved straight to summer, a conservation charity said today.

Following a weekend where some parts of the UK basked in temperatures 10C above the seasonal average, the Woodland Trust said flowering hawthorn and the return of migrating swifts indicated that summer had arrived a month earlier than usual this year.


Flashback Yellowstone Volcano Grows as Geysers Reawaken

Forces brewing deep beneath Yellowstone National Park could be making one of the largest volcanoes on Earth even bigger, a new study reveals.

In the past decade, part of the volcano has risen nearly five inches, most likely due to a backup of flowing molten rock miles below the planet's crust.

While the rise may not be noticeable to the casual hiker, the activity may have cracked the crust in the park's famous Norris Geyser Basin (NGB), leading to the formation of new fumaroles-holes that vent smoke and gas-and the reawakening of some of the area's geysers, including Steamboat, the largest geyser in the world.

Yellowstone last erupted about 640,000 years ago, spewing 240 cubic miles of material. Despite the newly discovered activity, researchers don't expect it to erupt any time soon. Eventually, however, it could explode again as a super-volcano that would destroy life for hundreds of miles around and coat the entire country in ash.

Red Flag

USGS Releases Report on Yellowstone Hazard; Don't worry. You'll be hit by a car before the volcano erupts.

Life is a risk, but Yellowstone National Park's tumultuous geology offers a bit more for worrywarts.

Comment: You can download the report yourself.

This is taken from the summary:

Possible future violent events in the active hydrothermal, magmatic, and tectonic system of
Yellowstone National Park pose potential hazards to park visitors and infrastructure. Most of the national park and vicinity are sparsely populated, but significant numbers of people as well as park resources could nevertheless be at risk from these hazards. Depending on the nature and magnitude
of a particular hazardous event and the particular time and season when it might occur, 70,000 to more than 100,000 persons could be affected; the most violent events could affect a broader region or even continent-wide areas. This assessment of such hazards is presented both as a guide for
future activities of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) and to aid appropriate response planning by the National Park Service and surrounding agencies and communities. Although the assessment is presented here in some technical detail, this summary is intended to be
understandable to non-scientists. The principal conclusions also will be made available in other forms, more accessible to general readers.