Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

6.6 quake hits Tibet; kills at least 30

Beijing - A magnitude 6.6 earthquake killed at least 30 people in Tibet on Monday with a number of people buried in debris, Xinhua news agency said.

Tibetan capital of Lhasa
© REUTERS/Graphics At least 30 people were killed in a 6.6-magnitude earthquake which was centered near the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, according to Xinhua, which cited the local government.
The victims were found near the epicenter in Gedar township of Damxung County, around 80 km (50 miles) west of the regional capital Lhasa, Xinhua reported.

"More people were still buried in debris and many houses collapsed," Xinhua quoted a local government official as saying.

Bizarro Earth

6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Xinjiang

Urumqi -- A 6.8 magnitude earthquake shook northwest China on Sunday night, said the National Seismological Network.

So far, no casualties have been reported, XINHUA news agency reported Monday.

The epicenter was fixed at 39.6 degrees north latitude and 73.9 degrees east longitude, in a mountainous area about 100 km away from the county seat of Wuqia, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture. The source of the earthquake was 33 kilometers underground.


Type Of Plankton -- Food Source For Many Fish -- Has Ability To Survive Climate Change

Queen's researchers have found that the main source of food for many fish - including cod - in the North Atlantic appears to adapt in order to survive climate change.

Billions of Calanus finmarchicus, a plankton species, which are just a few millimetres in size, live in the waters of the North Atlantic where the research was carried out.

It showed they responded to global warming after the last Ice Age, around 18,000 years ago, by moving north and maintaining large population sizes and also suggests that these animals might be able to track the current change in habitat.

The effect of global climate change on the planet's ecosystems is one of the key issues scientists are currently focussing on and the research has been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a publication of the national academy of science of the UK and the Commonwealth, today.


US: Central Florida Neighborhoods Invaded By Frogs

Standing water everywhere and hot weather create the perfect situation to incubate eggs. Central Florida is being invaded, not by mosquitoes, but by frogs. The tiny frogs are too daunting -- until you multiple them by about 1 million.

"Last night there was 11 big ones on my house, jumping and hitting me in the head and stuff like that," Cindy Trumpolt said.

"I told them we should get on our knees and pray, because I think it is a plague. I do," one resident said.

Many residents are worried the frogs will get into their home or car.

Evil Rays

Strong earthquake jolts Central Asia

BISHKEK - A strong earthquake struck Central Asia on Sunday but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, officials and witnesses said.

The quake jolted an area between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most densely populated corner prone to ethnic tension and instability.

The earthquake was felt throughout the region, mainly in Kyrgyzstan, but there were conflicting reports about the magnitude and epicenter.


Math helps bees read the waggle dance

When honeybees dance to point their hivemates towards nectar-rich flowers, they waggle in a slightly different direction each time. It is sometimes claimed that this variability benefits the hive by helping bees locate new resources, but an experiment by David Tanner and Kirk Visscher from the University of California, Riverside, seems to have overturned this theory.

By observing bees trained to visit artificial sugar-traps, Tanner and Visscher discovered that rather than picking a flight path based on the angle of any one waggle, the bees flew off in a direction that more closely matched the mean angle of several waggles.

"Bees apparently keep a mental log of the directions indicated in the dance," says Tanner. "I find it remarkable that, with a relatively simple brain, they can do something so mathematically complex."


Arctic Sea Ice Annual Freeze-up Underway

After reaching the second-lowest extent ever recorded last month, sea ice in the Arctic has begun to refreeze in the face of autumn temperatures, closing both the Northern Sea Route and the direct route through the Northwest Passage.
Parry Channel in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
© ESAParry Channel in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, as seen by Envisat's ASAR on 25 August 2008, when the direct Northwest Passage was open (right image), and on 22 September 2008 when sea ice is closing the direct Northwest Passage.

This year marked the first time since satellite measurements began in the 1970s that the Northern Sea Route, also known as the Northeast Passage, and the Northwest Passage were both open at the same time for a few weeks.

"NIC analysis of ESA's Envisat and other satellite datasets indicated that the Northern Sea Route opened when a path through the Vilkitski Strait finally cleared by 5 September," NIC Chief Scientist Dr Pablo Clemente-Colón said via email from aboard the US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy in the Arctic, where he is conducting joint mapping operations with the Canadian Coast Guard.

"This is the first time in our charting records that both historic passages opened up in the same year," Clemente-Colón said. "Both of the routes appeared as closed by 22 September."


Russia hit by 4.0-magnitude earthquake

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia -- A mild earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale hit the Russian island of Sakhalin Saturday, the Russian Emergencies Ministry says.

The ministry's Sakhalin regional department said the earthquake on the North Pacific island controlled by Russia occurred nearly 20 miles north of the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, ITAR-TASS reported.


Earthquake rocks the Andaman Islands, India Region

There was an earthquake at the Andaman Islands, India Region with the magnitude of 5.5 on the Richter scale.

The earthquake occurred on Friday, October 03, 2008 at 21:20:26 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time ) and Saturday, October 04, 2008 at 03:20:26 AM at epicenter of the local time as reported by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Bizarro Earth

In warm Brazil, a perplexing inrush of penguins

© Washington Post
Not everyone in Rio de Janeiro has taken to the penguins quite the way Cecilia Breves has, but even for her, there is a learning curve.