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Fri, 29 Sep 2023
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Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

Six Florida deaths blamed on storm Fay

Miami - Tropical Storm Fay was blamed on Friday for six deaths in Florida as forecasters warned that its torrential rains threatened a large swath of the southeastern United States with flooding over the weekend.

©REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Workers clear debris from a damaged roof at the Palm Beach Equine Clinic after Tropical Storm Fay passed through Wellington, Florida August 19, 2008.

At 11 a.m. EDT the center of the storm, which had threatened to strengthen into a hurricane as it churned across the Caribbean, over the Florida Keys and on to the state's southwest coast, was about 40 miles northeast of Cedar Key in northwest Florida, U.S. forecasters said.

The sixth storm of what experts predict will be a busy Atlantic hurricane season, Fay was moving west at just 5 miles per hour (7 kph) after making its third Florida landfall on Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The storm, with top sustained winds that had weakened to 45 mph (75 kph), was expected to move near or over the Florida Panhandle on Saturday and to dump heavy rain over northern Florida, southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama, the Miami-based hurricane center said.


World heading towards cooler 2008

This year appears set to be the coolest globally this century.

cold 2008
The early part of 2008 saw continued low temperatures in some regions

Bizarro Earth

Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought; Nuclear Power Plant Seen As Particular Risk

A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones.

All known quakes, greater New York-Philadelphia area
©Sykes et al.
All known quakes, greater New York-Philadelphia area, 1677-2004, graded by magnitude (M). Peekskill, NY, near Indian Point nuclear power plant, is denoted as Pe.

The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America HERE.


Genetics Reveals Big Fish That Almost Got Away

Researchers from the University of Hawaii, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, National Marine Fisheries Service and Projecto Meros do Brazil discovered a new species of fish - a grouper that reaches more than six feet in length and can weigh nearly 1,000 pounds. This newly discovered species can be found roaming the tropical reefs of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

goliath grouper
©Rachel Graham/Wildlife Conservation Society
A new genetic study by the University of Hawaii, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and others has found that there are two species of goliath grouper instead of one.

Was the massive fish hiding among the corals and sea grass to evade marine biologists? No, it was just a case of mistaken identity, as explained in a recent genetic study in the journal Endangered Species Research.

It turns out that goliath in the Atlantic - which inhabit the tropical waters of the Americas and western Africa - are not the same groupers that swim in Pacific waters, even though they look identical.

"For more than a century, ichthyologists have thought that Pacific and Atlantic goliath grouper were the same species, and the argument was settled before the widespread use of genetic techniques. The genetic data were the key to our finding: two species, one on each side of the isthmus.," said Dr. Matthew Craig of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, lead author of the study.

Alarm Clock

At top of Greenland, new worrisome cracks in ice

WASHINGTON - In northern Greenland, a part of the Arctic that had seemed immune from global warming, new satellite images show a growing giant crack and an 11-square-mile chunk of ice hemorrhaging off a major glacier, scientists said Thursday.

Cloud Lightning

Typhoon churns toward Hong Kong, south China

BEIJING - A typhoon that killed four people in the northern Philippines is headed for Hong Kong and will lash the city by Friday, weather forecasts said.

If typhoon Nuri stays on its present course, the centre of the category 1 storm could strike the densely populated city by early Friday afternoon, according to British-based storm tracker Tropical Storm Risk .

A category 1 storm is the weakest on a scale of 1 to 5.

Hong Kong is hosting Olympic equestrian events that are scheduled to finish on Thursday.

Heavy rain and winds of up to 162 kph (101 mph) are expected to sweep across the city, weather forecasts said. Hong Kong, a major Asian financial hub on the southeastern Chinese coast, has a population of 7 million people.

Chinese officials issued a warning for Fujian province along the southeast coast, asking foreign-registered boats to seek shelter, Xinhua news agency said.


US: Hail, high winds smash through Belen, NM

Belen: Golf ball-sized hail pounded the Belen area hard Sunday afternoon, causing hundreds of people to scramble for safety.

Residents and business owners are still cleaning up broken glass and picking up fallen leaves and branches left by a storm Sunday afternoon that produced hail so large that it shattered glass, sliced through trees and killed birds. While there were no reports of major injuries, damage from the storm is widespread.


Colossal squid a colossal wuss - experts

Te Papa's half-tonne colossal squid was a not a fearsome predator but a colossal wuss, new research has suggested.

wuss squid
©Phil Reid/The Dominion Post
Marine biologist Steve O'Shea with Te Papa's half-tonne colossal squid.


UK: Millions still face danger of flooding catastrophe

Power supplies, hospitals, schools, clean water and emergency services for millions of Britons are ' dangerously vulnerable' to flooding, official figures reveal today.

uk floods
Havoc: The water treatment works at Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire under water last year

Cloud Lightning

Tropical Storm Fay expected to hit Fla. 3rd time

Tropical Storm Fay lumbered offshore Thursday for what was likely to be a brief stay over the Atlantic Ocean's energizing waters after flooding hundreds of homes with torrential rain, trapping residents and leaving much of Florida a soggy mess.