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Sun, 25 Oct 2020
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Surprising New Arctic Inhabitants: Trees

Rising temperatures fueled by global warming are causing forests of spruce trees to invade Arctic tundra faster than scientists originally thought, evicting and endangering the species that dwell there and only there, a new study concludes.

Tundra is land area where tree growth is inhibited by low temperatures and a short growing season. In the Arctic, the tundra is dominated by permafrost, a layer of permanently frozen subsoil.

The only vegetation that can grow in such conditions are grasses, mosses and lichens. Forests of spruce trees and shrubs neighbor these tundra areas, and the boundary where they meet is called the treeline.

In summer, the permafrost thaws, and the tundra becomes covered in bogs and lakes, allowing a unique habitat for plants. Climate change, meanwhile, has extended the summer warming season and promoted tree growth, causing the treeline to encroach on the tundra.

Stop

Dolphin massacre in Japan

Life on planet earth. Anyone want off?


Bizarro Earth

4.7 earthquake rattles eastern Sierra Nevada

A 4.7 magnitude earthquake struck in the mountains of Central California Thursday evening, but there were no immediate reports of injury or damage.

Bizarro Earth

Strong earthquake hits seas off Japan's eastern coast

A strong earthquake today with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 occurred in Pacific Ocean waters off Japan's eastern coast, but there was no tsunami danger, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.

Battery

Deep Sea, Arctic May Hold World's Largest Fuel Supply, Experts Say

The energy source of the future may lie beneath the ocean floor and under Arctic permafrost, scientists say.

Both places are sources of gas hydrates, strange icelike substances that trap methane-the primary component of natural gas.

"It's not frozen gas," explained Timothy Collett of the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver. "It's [formed] from the interaction of gas and water."

The hydrates were discovered in 1983, and no one knows how many of them exist.

But there appear to be enough hydrates to represent a larger energy source than all of the word's gas, oil, and coal combined, Collett said at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Denver, Colorado, on March 5.

Bizarro Earth

Silence! Memos Tell Officials How to Discuss Climate

Internal memorandums circulated in the Alaskan division of the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service appear to require government biologists or other employees traveling in countries around the Arctic not to discuss climate change, polar bears or sea ice if they are not designated to do so.

Bizarro Earth

Pollution in Asia triggers intense Pacific storms

Researchers reported on Tuesday that pollution generated in Asia alters the chemistry of the atmosphere and causes a change in the pattern of the Pacific storm track, a major weather event in the northern hemisphere during winter.

The findings was published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. Renyi Zhang and colleagues from Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University analyzed cloud measurement data spanning 1984-2005 and found that deep convective clouds of the Pacific storm track arise in connection with pollution emission from Asia.

Better Earth

Ecuador Evacuates Villagers From Slopes of Erupting Volcano

QUITO, Ecuador - Authorities evacuated about 100 families from the slopes of a volcano in central Ecuador which began showering villages with flaming rocks and ash last month.

Firefighters, police and civil defense officials conducted a voluntary evacuation because of the Tungurahua volcano's intensifying activity, Jorge Arteaga, director of Ecuador's Red Cross rescue squad, told Radio Quito on Monday.

Bizarro Earth

European Scientists warn of mass fish (etc) migration

The water 'round here's not what it used to be

The European Science Foundation has warned that climate change is already having a significant impact on marine life. Warmer seas and changing salinity levels are leading to unprecedented movements of species, threatening the stability of the marine ecosystem as a whole.

Stop

Moderate earthquake injures 35 people in southwestern Iranian town, official says

A moderate earthquake damaged buildings and injured at least 35 people early today in a town in southwestern Iran, sending panicked residents running into the streets, a local official said.

The magnitude 4.8 earthquake struck at 2:03 a.m. and was centered in the town of Doroud, 235 miles southwest of the capital, Tehran, said Jafar Lak, an official in the governor's office in Doroud.

"The epicenter of the quake was exactly in the center of the town and damaged many buildings," Lak said.