Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Flashback Extreme conditions: What's happening to our weather?

Britain is just a few showers away from recording a record wet summer, at the climax of the most remarkable period of broken weather records in the country's history. All of the smashed records are to do with temperature and rainfall - the two aspects of the climate most likely to be intensified by the advent of global warming.

While no specific event can be ascribed directly to climate change, the sequence of events is strongly suggestive of a climate that is now unmistakably altering before our eyes.

Cloud Lightning

Flashback A summer of rain threatens to bring the great autumn floods in UK

The saturated ground means any more downpours could cause huge volumes of water underground to burst out

Britain is facing a flooding timebomb this autumn and winter, with huge amounts of underground water stored up by incessant summer rain ready to burst out as floods the next time heavy rains return.

The Environment Agency is giving warning of "an enhanced flood risk" for England and Wales, although where and when any flooding strikes will depend on the weather patterns. Forecasters are predicting a wet autumn across much of Britain.


Flashback Rainfall In Britain Worst In 200 Years

Torrential downpours which hit last week and left swathes of England and Wales under water were officially the worst in more than 200 years of record keeping, according to figures released by the Met Office Thursday.

Rainfall was more than double the seasonal average, with the early summer months of May to July witnessing 382.4 millimeters (15.06 inches) of rainwater, topping the previous record of 349.1 millimeters in 1789, said officials.

Deluges in 32 counties, covering the thousands of square miles stretching from Devon to Yorkshire, broke records dating back to 1914 by more than 25 millimeters, the meteorologists added.


Battling Termites? Just Add Sugar

© Victor R. Caivano/AP Formosan termites swarm over a glass counter in a University of Florida entomology lab in March 1998.
If you've ever had to battle the tenacious termite, sweet revenge may be near.

A substance derived from glucose has been shown to weaken the insects' immune systems, making them vulnerable to infections from lethal microbes, a new study says.

The findings could give rise to a whole new class of safer pest-control treatments, the authors say.

"We wanted something environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and [that] does not play a toxic role," said study co-author Ram Sasisekharan, a biological engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bizarro Earth

Galeras Volcano Erupts for 2nd Time in 24 hours

© Unknown
The Galeras volcano, located near the south Colombian city of Pasto erupted for the second time in 24 hours. The situation remains at red alert.

The Pasto Observatory of Vulcanology and Seismology recorded the latest eruption at 6:38am Monday morning. The previous eruption was at 7:18am Sunday morning.

The Conservatory announced that today's eruption was "explosive in nature".

The situation remains on red alert because authorities believe another eruption is "imminent" according to Terra.

Authorities called a red alert Sunday and ordered some 8,000 people living in the vicinity of the volcano to evacuate.


Volcano erupts in southern Colombia

Galeras volcano
© unknownThe Galeras volcano in southern Colombia
The Galeras volcano located in southern Colombia in the vicinity of Ecuador border has erupted with 'an explosive character'.

No report on possible toll or injuries has been reported so far, but the state-run Geological Mining Institute announced a high-level alert on Sunday due to the explosive feature of the volcano activities, AFP reported.


Large Mammal Migrations Are Disappearing - and no, it's not from "Global Warming"

© P. Elkan, Wildlife Conservation Society/National GeographicTiang herd in the Southern sector of Boma National Park.
Africa is home to spectacular migration events. Large mammals ranging from Grant's gazelles to blue wildebeests pound their hooves across vast tracts of land as the seasons change. New research suggests, however, that migrations across the continent might be going extinct.

For the first time, scientists have compiled and analyzed data on all of the world's largest and definitive migrating land mammals. The researchers looked at the migration history for a group of ungulates, all of them hoofed mammals, weighing more than 44 pounds (20 kg). The data suggest that one-quarter of these mammals no longer migrate, and human development is responsible for the decline, said Grant Harris, co-author of the study.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 5.0 - Acre, Brazil

© US Geological Survey

Monday, June 08, 2009 at 20:20:05 UTC

Monday, June 08, 2009 at 03:20:05 PM at epicenter

8.641°S, 71.422°W

538.9 km (334.9 miles) set by location program

170 km (105 miles) SE of Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil

345 km (215 miles) E of Pucallpa, Peru

425 km (265 miles) WNW of Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil

2670 km (1660 miles) WNW of BRASILIA, Distrito Federal, Brazil

Bizarro Earth

US: 2 Small Earthquakes Shake North Texas In 2 Days

© AP
The area just south of Dallas and Fort Worth has been rattled by two small earthquakes over the past two days, and three over the past week.

A small earthquake hit three miles south of Keene, on the line dividing Johnson County and Hill County, late Sunday afternoon. That earthquake, which hit just before 6:00 p.m., had a magnitude of 2.6, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Another earthquake, this one a magnitude 2.3, was reported just after 8:00 a.m. Monday morning.


Freeman Dyson Takes On The Climate Establishment

Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson has been roundly criticized for insisting global warming is not an urgent problem, with many climate scientists dismissing him as woefully ill-informed. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Dyson explains his iconoclastic views and why he believes they have stirred such controversy.

On March 3, The New York Times Magazine created a major flap in the climate-change community by running a cover story on the theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson that focused largely on his views of human-induced global warming.

Basically, he doesn't buy it. The climate models used to forecast what will happen as we continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere are unreliable, Dyson claims, and so, therefore, are the projections. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, his first since the Times article appeared, Dyson contends that since carbon dioxide is good for plants, a warmer planet could be a very good thing. And if CO2 does get to be a problem, Dyson believes we can just do some genetic engineering to create a new species of super-tree that can suck up the excess.