Earth ChangesS


Flashback Melting permafrost methane emissions: The other threat to climate change

A frozen peat bog covering the entire sub-Arctic area of Western Siberia, the size of France and Germany, contains billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas that is melting for the first time since since it was sequestered more than 11,000 years ago before the end of the last ice age.

Bizarro Earth

I am an intellectual blasphemer: A Short History of Fear

When Alexander Cockburn, author of the forthcoming book A Short History of Fear, dared to question the climate change consensus, he was punished by a tsunami of self-righteous fury. It is time for a free and open 'battle of ideas', he says.


Evil Rays

Turkey: Moderate quake rattles Ankara

A moderate earthquake has rattled the Turkish capital Ankara but no reports of death or damage have yet been made, officials say.

The earthquake which measured 4.9 on the Richter scale jolted Ankara, state-run Anatolia news agency reported.


Snow covers areas in northern, southern Israel

Residents of Sde Boker, Mitzpe Ramon, and other areas in southern Israel awake to fresh coating of snow. Schools in capital closed, bus service to Jerusalem canceled.

Residents of Mitzpe Ramon, Arad and Sde Boker in southern Israel awoke Thursday to a fresh coating of snow that started falling Wednesday night. Schools were closed in Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, as well as in the snow-covered capital Jerusalem.

Capital cloaked in white

Northern Israel, including areas in the Galilee and the Golan Heights also received their fair share of snow, leading to school closing and bus-service cancellations.

Due to the heavy snow in the capital, bus service to and from Jerusalem has been canceled, reports the Egged Bus Company spokesman. Many areas in northern Israel, including Safed and the Golan Heights, will also have no bus service due to the snow, as will Arad in the south.


China's big freeze threatens more holiday misery

Beijing - Chinese authorities warned Thursday of more travel misery to come as millions of people struggled to get home for China's most important holiday amid savage winter weather.

Across the country, millions of travellers have been stranded or delayed in the transport chaos wreaked by freezing conditions and the worst winter snow storms in 50 years.

Cloud Lightning

Frigid Winds Whip Through Northeast

Buffalo, N.Y. - Lake Erie surged over its eastern shore Wednesday, adding flooding to the headaches delivered by a windy storm that tipped tractor-trailers, disrupted flights, and toppled trees and power lines across a wide swath of the nation.

Evil Rays

Paired earthquakes separated in time and space

Earthquakes occurring at the edges of tectonic plates can trigger events at a distance and much later in time, according to a team of researchers reporting in today's (Jan. 31) issue of Nature. These doublet earthquakes may hold an underestimated hazard, but may also shed light on earthquake dynamics.

"The last great outer rise earthquakes that occurred were in the 1930s and 1970s," said Charles J. Ammon, associate professor of geoscience, Penn State. "We did not then have the equipment to record the details of those events." The outer rise is the region seaward of the deep-sea trench that marks the top of the plate boundary

In late 2006 and early 2007, two large earthquakes occurred near Japan separated by about 60 days. These earthquakes took place in the area of the Kuril Islands that are located from the westernmost point of the Japanese Island of Hokkaido to the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The first event took place on Nov. 15, 2006 when the edge of the Pacific plate thrust under the arc of the Kuril Islands, initiating a magnitude 8.3 event and causing some damage in Japan and a small tsunami that caused minor damage in Crescent City, California. About 60 days later, on Jan. 13, 2007, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake occurred in "the upper portion of the Pacific plate, producing one of the largest recorded shallow extensional earthquakes."

Cloud Lightning

Tropical cyclone Gene kills seven in Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Gene, which battered the South Pacific island nation of Fiji killing at least seven, has moved west towards the southern Vanuatu island, local media said Wednesday.

Winds gusting up to 150 k/ph (93 m/ph) hit Fiji's main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, causing floods, blackouts and damage to homes and buildings.

Two people were electrocuted by collapsed power lines and another man died in a house fire, while others were killed by the storm.


Female fish decide who floats or flounders on social scale

Aggression, testosterone and nepotism don't necessarily help one climb the social ladder, but the support of a good female can, according to new research on the social habits of an unusual African species of fish.

The study, published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society, highlights the complex relationship between social status, reproductive physiology and group dynamics.

"We found that changes in social status were regulated by the most dominant female in a social group," says John Fitzpatrick, lead researcher and a graduate student in the Department of Biology at McMaster University. "In fact, dominant females seemed to act as gatekeepers, allowing only males larger than themselves to move up in status and become dominant."


Jerusalem blanketed with heavy snow

A heavy snowfall blanketed Jerusalem and the surrounding areas Tuesday night and was continuing to fall Wednesday. As expected, the Jerusalem Municipality decided to cancel school in the capital for the day due to the slippery streets. University classes were also canceled, as well as kindergartens and preschools. There were also no classes in Gush Etzion, Ofra, Kochav Ya'acov, Tel Zion, Ma'ale Levona, Eli, Shilo and Beit El.

©Ariel Jerozolimski
The Old City of Jerusalem covered in snow.