Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

US: Quake registered in Wright's Corner, New York

Wrights Corners was the epicenter of a feeble earthquake on Monday at 1:55 a.m. The quake registered 2.1 on the Modified Mercalli Scale according to U.S. Geological Survey service.

The location was 43.255 north latitude and 78.723 west longitude. That's 2 miles from Newfane, 6 miles from Olcott, 6 miles from Lockport and 25 miles from Buffalo.

A feeble quake is felt only by a few people at best, especially on the upper floors of buildings. Delicately suspended objects may swing.

Bizarro Earth

US: Quake hits near Williamsburg, Kentucky

A minor earthquake occurred at 6:20 a.m. Tuesday near Williamsburg, according to the University of Kentucky's Kentucky Geological Survey Web site.

The magnitude 3.1 earthquake centered 16 miles underground. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, earthquakes classified as minor occur between the magnitude of 3 and 3.9 on the Richter scale.

A 911 dispatcher in Williamsburg said no damage or injuries had been reported by Wednesday.

Better Earth

Earthquake Hits Northwest Trinidad

© SKNVibes
Residents of the Northwestern areas of Trinidad were shaken out of their daily routines yesterday (Jan. 28) when an earthquake struck in the afternoon at about 1:30.

According to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Unit, the preliminary location of the quake was 11.30°N, 61.48°W. The earthquake's focal depth was recorded at 23km with a magnitude of 3.6.

While local media reported no structural damage, the effects of the earthquake were felt in Diego Martin, Champs Fleurs, St. Augustine, Tunapuna, Port-of-Spain, Woodbrook and Morvant.

Bizarro Earth

Caterpillar plague strikes west Africa

A throng of crop-eating caterpillars is threatening food supplies across west Africa, and could prove hard to control with pesticides. The crawling menace has appeared in northern Liberia, where hundreds of millions of the black larvae are devouring plants, fouling wells with their faeces and even driving farmers from fields.

They are now crossing into neighbouring Guinea, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that in two to three weeks they will turn into moths that can fly hundreds of kilometres and could spread across west Africa, worsening food shortages in the region.

"The species is so far unknown," FAO entomologist Winfred Hammond told New Scientist from Accra in Ghana, where Liberian specimens were being flown for analysis.

Better Earth

4.2 Quake Shakes Isles Off California coast

A small earthquake near the Channel Islands off the California coast early Thursday was felt by many in Catalina Island's main city of Avalon, but there were no apparent damages or injuries.

The magnitude-4.2 earthquake shook in the Pacific Ocean at 12:41 a.m. about 40 miles south of Avalon and 60 miles off the coast of San Diego, said seismologist Randy Baldwin of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Better Earth

Earthquake Hits Andaman Islands

A moderate earthquake struck northern parts of Andaman islands early this morning, Met Department said.

The tremor measuring 5.4 on the Richter Scale was felt at 02:00 hrs (IST) at latitude 13.7 degree north and longitude 92.9 degree east, the Met department said.

Cloud Lightning

Woman Freezes to Death in Remote Montana Cabin

A couple from Oklahoma that moved to Montana's rugged mountains for a cheap place to live apparently got caught off guard by a snowstorm, with the woman freezing to death in their remote cabin.

Her common-law husband, suffering from hypothermia and starving, was found propped up against her body, with an array of weapons spread in a half circle in front of him, authorities said.


New Species of Babbler Bird Discovered in China

Bab Bird
© AP Photo/Birdtour Asia, James Eaton, HOA Nonggang babbler is seen in southwestern China's Guangxi in December 2008. A new species of the fist-sized, babbler bird has been found in network of underground caves in China, raising the prospect the country could become a hot spot for other new discoveries, a conservation group said Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009.
A new species of the fist-sized babbler bird has been found in a network of underground caves in southwestern China, raising the prospect the country could become a hot spot for other new discoveries, a conservation group said Thursday.

Ornithologists Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu first spotted the dark brown bird with white specks on its chest in 2005 and have since confirmed its identity as an undescribed species. They named it the Nonggang babbler, or Stachyris nonggangensis, for the region in China where it was found.

A formal description was published last year in The Auk, which is the quarterly journal of the Virginia-based American Ornithologists' Union.

"This is exciting evidence that there could be many more interesting discoveries awaiting ornithologists in China," said Birdlife International's Nigel Collar, which announced the discovery.


Co-op bans eight pesticides after worldwide beehive collapse

A bee collects nectar from a flower in a garden in Pontevedra. Photograph: Miguel Vidal/Reuters

First UK supermarket chain - and Britain's biggest farmer - to prohibit chemicals implicated in the death of over one-third of British bees

The Co-op today became the first UK supermarket to ban the use of a group of pesticides implicated in billions of honeybee deaths worldwide.

It is prohibiting suppliers of its own-brand fresh produce from using eight pesticides that have been connected to honeybee colony collapse disorder and are already restricted in some parts of Europe.

The Co-op said it will eliminate the usage of the neonicotinoid family of chemicals where possible and until they are shown to be safe. The Co-op has over 70,000 acres of land under cultivation in England and Scotland, making it the largest farmer in the UK. Since 2001, it has already prohibited the use of 98 pesticides under its pesticide policy.


Flashback Arctic Warming?

Once again claims are flying thick and fast regarding dramatic, in fact, unprecedented Arctic warming.

Once again, we look at the available data, now updated to the end of 2004.

Once again, we find the claims to be dead flat wrong. Click on the following thumbnails to view the full size images in a new browser window.

Note: subsequent to NASA's server upgrade the correct URL for zonal temperature anomalies is here.