Earth ChangesS


New Pacific Iguana Discovered In Fiji

A new iguana has been discovered in the central regions of Fiji. The colorful new species, named Brachylophus bulabula, joins only two other living Pacific iguana species, one of which is critically endangered. The scientific name bulabula is a doubling of bula, the Fijian word for 'hello,' offering an even more enthusiastic greeting.

Brachylophus bulabula
©Paddy Ryan, Ryan Photographic
Brachylophus bulabula.

Pacific iguanas have almost disappeared as the result of human presence. Two species were eaten to extinction after people arrived nearly 3,000 years ago. The three living Brachylophus iguana species face threats from loss and alteration of their habitat, as well as from feral cats, mongooses and goats that eat iguanas or their food source.

Cloud Lightning

Typhoon hits Philippine shipping, 21 rescued

Manila - The Philippine coastguard rescued 21 people from three cargo and fishing vessels that sank in rough waters as Typhoon Hagupit gathered strength off the country's northeast coast, officials said on Monday.

Disaster officials also braced for possible landslides and flooding after a category 3 warning signal was raised across six northern provinces on the main island of Luzon, meaning a tropical cyclone was imminent.


Estrogen 'Flooding Our Rivers,' Montreal Study Finds

The Montreal water treatment plant dumps 90 times the critical amount of certain estrogen products into the river. It only takes one nanogram (ng) of steroids per liter of water to disrupt the endocrinal system of fish and decrease their fertility.

These are the findings of Liza Viglino, postdoctoral student at the Université de Montréal's Department of Chemistry, at the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution, who is under the supervision of Professors Sébastien Sauvé and Michèle Prévost.

The presence and effects of estrogen residues on aquatic wildlife are well documented. However, this research is unique because it didn't only consider natural hormones and those used in oral contraceptives - it also included products used in hormone therapy that is prescribed to menopausal women. Data indicates that 128 million contraceptive pills and 107 million doses of hormone therapy are consumed every year in Quebec.


Wildlife Management: Salmon Fisheries, Yellowstone Wolf Introduction Show What Is Possible

The Netherlands is a densely populated nation, but could be a good example of how to practice wildlife management in the coming century. Rapid human population growth on the planet is creating pressure on wildlife populations, and many places will thus come to resemble the present situation in The Netherlands.

In such situations, it is essential for good practice that all those with interests in wildlife are able to participate as full partners. It is surprising that the Dutch, otherwise so practiced at negotiation and consensus-building in their heavily urbanized country, are having difficulties with this model, because interested parties do not always regard each other as valid partners, says Dr. Ron Ydenberg, Professor in Wildlife Management, at Wageningen University, Netherlands.

Evil Rays

Bats pick up rustling sounds against highway background noise

Listening for faint rustling noises made by tasty beetles on a quiet day is simple for bats hunting with their exquisitely sensitive hearing. So try imagining what it must be like trying to locate rustling treats just metres from a roaring highway. It would seem to be almost impossible to pick out a centipede's footsteps as a juggernaut hurtles past; or is it? How animals that locate their prey by sound alone cope in our increasingly noisy world puzzles Björn Siemers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany.

Siemers explains that no one had ever measured whether bats that hunt by listening for rustling insects are affected by man-made noise. However, this is a question that Siemers is frequently asked by urban planners keen to minimise our impact on local wildlife populations. Curious to know how sharp-eared bats react to loud background noise, Siemers and his colleagues Andrea Schaub and Joachim Ostwald monitored foraging bats' responses to rustling mealworms in noisy environments and publish their results on 19th September 2008 in The Journal of Experimental Biology


UK: Twister provides a new sight beside the seaside


A waterspout was photographed off the South Devon coast as a storm swept inland at the same time, bringing high winds and a downpour.

Alison Heather, 21, a student, photographed the twister from her home in Livermead, Torquay. She said: "It was moving across the bay and you could actually see it was drawing the sea spray up a couple of hundred feet into the air."

Cloud Lightning

Heavy air pollution reduces rainfall, scientists find

Israeli factory
©Ariel Jerozolimski [file]
Ramat Hovav, in southern Israel

A certain number of aerosol particles in the air increases rainfall, but an overabundance of them retards it, according to new research by a group of international scientists, led by Prof. Daniel Rosenfeld of the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


India: Mysterious deaths of 14 black bucks in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh forest authorities are at a loss to explain the mysterious deaths of 14 black bucks in Agra and Kanpur districts of the state.

©Avinash K J


Here's an Idea: Block the Sky to Save the Earth

To the relief of climate scientists around the world, it appears that the polar ice cap hasn't shrunk as much this summer as it did last summer.


UAF professor emeritus continues to question sources of global warming

A University of Alaska Fairbanks professor emeritus known for his belief that carbon dioxide is not the sole cause of climate change presented his latest research Thursday.

More than 40 researchers and students gathered into a room at the International Arctic Research Center, now named after Syun-Ichi Akasofu, for the hour-long presentation.