Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Most Wars Occur in Earth's Richest Biological Regions

In a startling result, a new study published by the scientific journal Conservation Biology found that more than 80 percent of the world's major armed conflicts from 1950-2000 occurred in regions identified as the most biologically diverse and threatened places on Earth.

Titled "Warfare in Biodiversity Hotspots," the study by leading international conservation scientists compared major conflict zones with the Earth's 34 biodiversity hotspots identified by Conservation International (CI). The hotspots ( are considered top conservation priorities because they contain the entire populations of more than half of all plant species and at least 42 percent of all vertebrates, and are highly threatened.


Australia: Dingo behaviour gives locals paws for thought

© Unknown
Brad Purcell has developed his own special concoction - a few sardines, a dash of kangaroo blood, and some chicken and tuna oils mixed with dog faeces. "Sometimes I put in cheese or yoghurt if it has gone off," he said.

It has done the trick. Using this awful home-made scent, Mr Purcell has been able to attract the dingoes that live on Sydney's doorstep and for the first time monitor their mysterious ways with hidden cameras.

As many as 460 dingoes may live in the Southern Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, a wilderness that reaches to within 65 kilometres of the city centre, the University of Western Sydney researcher estimates.


Sea Ice extent report overlooked 193,000 square miles of ice

Ice Extent error
© U.S. National Snow and Ice Data CenterDaily total Arctic sea ice extent between 1 December 2008 and 12 February 2009 for Special Sensor Microwave/Imager SSM/I compared to the similar NASA Earth Observing System Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (EOS AMSR-E) sensor.

The ice is melting! The ice is melting! . . . Or is it?

In May, 2008, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) predicted that the North Pole would be ice-free during the 2008 melt season because of 'global warming.'

Today, they admitted that they've underreported Arctic ice extent by 193,000 square miles (500,000 square kilometers). They blamed the error on satellite problems and sensor drift.

And we're supposed to trust these people?
193,000 square miles!

That's the size of Maine, Vermont, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and West Virginia combined! And toss in Washington, D.C. for good measure.

Let's watch the newspapers. If a pimple of ice smaller than a city should break off an ice sheet, they'd holler to the high heavens. But do you think they'll report this discovery of 'lost' ice the size of 10 states?

Better Earth

British photographer captures spectacular Northern Lights

A British photographer has captured a spectacular Northern Lights display which was sparked by a huge eruption on the sun.

Northern lights
© APEXA spectacular view of the Aurora Borealis in skies above Norway
The enormous ribbons of eerie green light were caught in the skies above Finmark in Norway by Mark Humpage who trekked 200 miles in to the Arctic circle.

Aurora Borealis are a spectacular natural phenomenon caused by the interaction of solar winds with the earth's magnetic field - and the 44-year-old endured temperatures of minus 35 degrees in order to catch the images of the beautiful atmospheric effect.


Balkans snow crisis isolates thousands

It is snowing not only in Bulgaria, but also in other countries in the region. The Balkans expect low temperatures, frosty streets and bad weather over the next days as well.

The snow caused hundreds of road accidents in Serbia. Over the last 24 hours 289 road accidents have been registered. 2 people died and 44 were injured. The regional highways and roads are covered with a thin layer of snow, under which there is frosty sections. More than 30 villages are blocked. There are communities where power has been cut off. The situation is very serious in Central, Western and Southern Serbia.

The snow is 3 meters deep in some regions in Albania. At least five municipalities and some 10,000 people are blocked. Morina- Kukes highway is closed. There might be stranded cars.

The heavy snowfall hampers the traffic along the roads in Macedonia. For now railway and air transport do not encounter problems.

Bizarro Earth

'Red tide' sent seabirds to their deaths

In November 2007, hundreds of dead and bedraggled seabirds washed up on the shores of Monterey Bay in California. There were no cuts on their bodies and no signs of a struggle. Now it appears that that it was killer foam that sent them to their deaths.

The birds, washed ashore in three distinct incidents, were covered in a slimy, pale yellow-green material. The material, whose pungent smell reminded researchers of linseed oil, dried out to leave a pale yellow crust. Cleaning the feathers of the survivors, feeding them and placing them in warm water helped them recover within 10 days.

The suspicion initially was that the mysterious deaths might be related to the Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay the same month, or to controversial aerial insecticide spraying on the Central Coast to control the light brown apple moth.

Better Earth

Antibiotic Resistance: A Rising Concern In Marine Ecosystems

Scientists Find Threats As Well As Cures In Ocean

A team of scientists, speaking today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, called for new awareness of the potential for antibiotic-resistant illnesses from the marine environment, and pointed to the marine realm as a source for possible cures of those threats.

The group stated that newly completed studies of ocean beach users point to an increasing risk of staph infections, and that current treatments for seafood poisoning may be less effective due to higher than expected antibiotic resistance. The group also asserts that new research has identified sponge and coral-derived chemicals with the potential for breaking down antibiotic resistant compounds and that could lead to new personalized medical treatments.

Bizarro Earth

Large Dust Storm over Syria and Iraq

An intense dust storm is spreading sands from Syria to the Iraq.

The dust is blowing north out of the Syrian Desert in Iraq, Syria and Kuwait.
dust storm
Dust storm over Syria

Bizarro Earth

New Zealand: Mystery as sparrows drop dead

Hundreds of sparrows littered New Plymouth's main street yesterday, shocking business owners arriving at work and baffling a bird expert.

© MARK DWYER/Taranaki Daily NewsBIRD IN THE HAND: SPCA field officer Jackie Poles-Smith said she could not believe it when the birds arrived.
The drenched birds were dropping like flies from two trees on the Hill on Devon St West after a deluge of rain.

Autopsies will be done on some of the dead birds to see if foul play was involved.

The Shampoo Shop and Salon owners Jane Moodie and Jan Bocock said waterlogged birds lined their shop front as they arrived at work about 8.15am.

Better Earth

US: Rare sea otter confirmed at Depoe Bay

Sea otter
© Morris Grover/Oregon State Parks rangerA rare sea otter floats in the water below the U.S. 101 bridge in Depoe Bay.
Oregon has a rare visitor -- a sea otter that can be easily seen from the sea wall at Depoe Bay.

A federally protected endangered species, sea otters went extinct off the Oregon coast in 1906 when the last one was confirmed killed. A reintroduction attempt failed in the early 1970s.

Since then, solo sea otters have been confirmed at Yaquina Head in the 1990s and at Cape Arago in February 2003.