Earth ChangesS

Better Earth

New 'battle of Midway' over plastic

On the coral atoll of Midway in the central Pacific - famous for America's first victory over the Japanese fleet in World War Two - wildlife experts are facing a new battle against a rising tide of plastic waste.

Life Preserver

Australia: Giant ocean eddy shadows Sydney

The giant ocean eddy that cooled Sydney's shores a year ago has been superseded by another 300 km diameter giant.

CSIRO Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship scientist, Dr David Griffin, says the 'birth' of the eddy has been traced to last August.

"From satellite maps of sea-level we can see that it had been loitering this side of Lord Howe Island for some time and began approaching the NSW coast near Christmas," Dr Griffin says.

"It remained stationary during January and simply grew larger but, because it remained offshore, less people would have noticed its impacts on water temperatures."

The cold water at the new eddy's centre has welled up about 500m from the ocean depths.

Life Preserver

Russian tourists rescued after avalanche in Siberia

Russian rescue workers have evacuated a group of tourists hit by an avalanche in the northeast Siberian republic of Yakutia, a member of the emergency services said on Wednesday.

Two members of the group, including the leader, died yesterday when they were struck by the avalanche.


UK: Garden birds decline by 20 per cent in four years

Garden bird numbers have slumped 20 per cent in the past four years, the latest survey reveals.

Polly Morgan
©Polly Morgan - The Drawbridge UK
Dead garden birds
Polly Morgan


Studies Show Alarming Insect-eating Bird Declines in Canada

An article by Bird Studies Canada biologist Jon McCracken examines substantial population declines for 'aerial insectivores ' - birds that specialize on feeding on flying insects.


Bee plague worsening, anxious keepers say

It's been 16 months since Dave Hackenberg of Dade City became the first beekeeper in the country to say publicly that something was terribly wrong with his insects.

In the intervening time following the identification of the malady now known as Colony Collapse Disorder, things haven't gotten any better for the nation's bees, which pollinate about one-third of U.S. crops - some $15 billion worth.

Better Earth

Antarctic shelf 'hangs by thread'

A chunk of ice the size of the Isle of Man has started to break away from Antarctica in what scientists say is further evidence of a warming climate.

antarctica ice


Global Warming Could Radically Change Lake Tahoe In Ten Years

A new UC Davis study predicts that climate change will irreversibly alter water circulation in Lake Tahoe, radically changing the conditions for plants and fish in the lake -- and it could happen in 10 years.

One likely result would be a warmer lake overall, with fewer cold-water native fish, and more invasive species, such as large-mouth bass, bluegill and carp.

Still unclear is how the changes would affect the lake's phenomenal clarity and cobalt-blue color, which have helped to make the Tahoe Basin an international vacation destination.

Lake Tahoe
©Sylvia Wright/UC Davis photo
Still unclear is how the changes would affect the lake's phenomenal clarity and cobalt-blue color.

The new findings were announced March 18 at a Tahoe scientific conference by three lake experts from the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at UC Davis -- Director Geoffrey Schladow, Associate Director John Reuter and postdoctoral researcher Goloka Sahoo.


Delicate Partnership Between Coral And Algae Threatened By Global Warming

Over two hundred million humans depend for their subsistence on the fact that coral has an addiction to 'junk food' - and orders its partners, the symbiotic algae, to make it.

This curious arrangement is one of Nature's most delicate and complex partnerships - a collaboration now facing grave threats from climate change.

coral and zooxanthellae
The symbiosis between coral and zooxanthellae is not only powerful enough to build the largest living organism on the planet, the Great Barrier Reef, but also underpins the economies and living standards of many tropical nations and societies who harvest their food from the reefs or have developing tourism industries.

Bizarro Earth

Western Antarctic Ice Chunk Collapses

WASHINGTON - A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said Tuesday.

©AP Photo/ National Snow and Ice Data Center, NASA
This satellite photo released by the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder shows the Wilkins Ice Shelf on March 6, 2008 on the Southwest Antarctic Peninsula as it began to break apart.