Earth ChangesS

Alarm Clock

Focus on elk as disease persists near Yellowstone

BILLINGS, Montana - Federal officials are considering a tentative proposal that calls for capturing or killing infected elk in Yellowstone National Park to eliminate a serious livestock disease carried by animals in the area.

Better Earth

Acidifying Oceans Adds Urgency To Carbon Dioxide Cuts

It's not just about climate change anymore. Besides loading the atmosphere with heat-trapping greenhouse gases, human emissions of carbon dioxide have also begun to alter the chemistry of the ocean--often called the cradle of life on Earth.

Great Barrier Reef off Australia
Great Barrier Reef off Australia.

The ecological and economic consequences are difficult to predict but possibly calamitous, warn a team of chemical oceanographers in the July 4 issue of Science, and halting the changes already underway will likely require even steeper cuts in carbon emissions than those currently proposed to curb climate change.


US: Mississippi River reopens as flooding wanes

CHICAGO - The Mississippi River, the most important U.S. commercial waterway, reopened to water navigation on Saturday after much of it was closed for nearly a month due to the worst flooding in 15 years.

"As far as navigation, the river is open," said Steve Farkas, an engineer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' St. Louis office.

Lock 25 near Winfield, Missouri, north of St. Louis, was the final lock to reopen and it reopened Saturday morning, Farkas said.

Taller river traffic will continue to be impeded until a railroad drawbridge, which spans the river about 60 miles (97 km) upriver of St. Louis, is repaired later on Saturday, the Kansas City Southern railroad said.


Tired firefighters battle 330 California wildfires

Firefighters got a gift of a mild, mostly windless night and a forecast for similar conditions Sunday as they attempted to protect thousands of Santa Barbara County homes from a huge wildfire, one of more than 300 taxing their energy and resources around the state.

©AP Photo/Phil Klein
Firefighters watch as a brush fire burns out of control in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Goleta, Calif., on Saturday July 5, 2008. A slew of wildfires, most ignited by lightning two weeks ago, have burned more than 800 square miles of land throughout California. The blazes have destroyed at least 67 homes and other buildings and contributed to the death of a firefighter who suffered a heart attack while digging fire lines.


Alert issued for smoldering volcano in Indonesia

BANDUNG - Geological experts in Indonesia Friday issued an alert, advising tourists not to climb Mount Anak Krakatau because it's spewing red-hot rocks and toxic fumes.


Chile declares volcano red alert

Chile has declared a red alert around the Llaima volcano, just days after it spewed lava down one of its sides.

Llaima is considered one of South America's most active volcanoes.

The 3,125m snow-capped volcano located 700km south of the Chile's capital Santiago, affected a lightly populated area on the slopes of Llama that is home to at least 40 people from the Vilcun village.


Canada: Hundreds more flee fires in northern Saskatchewan

SASKATOON - Four days after blazing Saskatchewan forest fires began forcing residents of northern communities from their homes, another 650 evacuees were being sent away due to a heavy smoke threat, bringing the total of displaced residents to more than 2,800.

Bizarro Earth

Animals suffer in California fires; condors may be lost

©Robert Durell/Los Angeles Times
A young deer watches firefighters.

The fires burning in Big Sur and Goleta are forcing evacuations, destroying thousands of acres and threatening more damage. Among the victims of the wildfires are animals--both wild, like this deer in Big Sur, and domestic. Pets have had to be sheltered, animals have been forced from their habitat and some condor chicks may have been lost.


Flashback Snow in June: Spokane, Washington reverts to winter-like weather

Snow in June in Washington DC

The Spokane area saw record low temperatures and even a little bit of snow Tuesday morning, and all just 11 days before the official start of summer.

Much of the Inland Northwest remained under a snow warning from the National Weather Service Tuesday morning. KHQ received calls from people in Reardan, Moscow, Pullman, Loon Lake, Airway Heights, Deary, Spokane's South Hill, and Deer Park who all say they saw snow Tuesday morning.

Evil Rays

Earthquake hits north of Tokyo, no damage reported

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 shook northern Japan on Saturday, a Japanese government agency said, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The quake, at 4:49 p.m. (3:49 a.m. EDT), was centered under the sea off Ibaraki prefecture, just north of the capital, Tokyo, where it was also felt.