Earth ChangesS


Report: nearly half of waterbird populations in decline

BANGKOK - Nearly half of the world's waterbird species are in decline, mostly because of rapid economic development and the effects of climate change, according to a global survey released Tuesday.

The fourth Waterbird Population Estimate found that 44 per cent of the 900 species globally have fallen in the past five years, while 34 per cent were stable, and 17 per cent rising.

Bizarro Earth

World experts warn of climate-change smoking gun

Human-caused global warming is visible in the air, water and melting ice and destined to get much worse in the future, an authoritative world report will warn.

"The smoking gun is definitely lying on the table as we speak," said top US climate scientist Jerry Mahlman, who reviewed all 1,600 pages of the first segment of a giant four-part report. "The evidence ... is compelling."

Andrew Weaver, a Canadian climate scientist and study co-author, went even further: "This isn't a smoking gun. Climate is a battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles."

The first phase of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is being released in Paris next week.

The segment, written by more than 600 scientists and reviewed by another 600 experts and edited by bureaucrats from 154 countries, includes "a significantly expanded discussion of observation on the climate", said co-chairman Susan Solomon, a senior scientist for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Comment: More and more talk of "global warming", yet precious few are making clear that the effect will be dramatic cooling in large areas.

See here for more.


Say goodbye to those Alpine glaciers

VIENNA - Add glaciers to the list of things endangered in nature.

Glaciers will all but disappear from the Alps by 2050, scientists warned Monday, basing their outlook on mounting evidence of slow but steady melting of the continental ice sheets.

Bizarro Earth

Rare Earthquake shakes western Norway

OSLO, Norway: An earthquake measuring magnitude 4 shook parts of western Norway Sunday but no injuries were reported, officials said.

Norwegian seismological institute NORSAR said the quake took place at 2:45 p.m. (1345 GMT) near Aalesund on the country's western coast, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of Oslo, the capital.

Bizarro Earth

5.0 earthquake shakes eastern Turkey, damaging homes in 7 villages

ANKARA, Turkey: A moderate earthquake shook eastern Turkey on Sunday, causing damage to homes in at least seven villages in the eastern Turkish province of Agri, Governor Halil Ibrahim Akpinar said. Two people were slightly injured.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0, was centered in the town of Tutak, in Agri province, which borders Iran, the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory said. It struck at 9:38 a.m. (0738 GMT).

Akpinar said earlier the quake had knocked down a number of homes in the villages of Yukarikosk and Cobanova, but later said the quake caused damage to homes in at least seven villages, mostly demolishing barns and annexes of some of the houses. Two women were injured by falling debris at Yukarikosk but were not in serious condition, Akpinar said.

Cloud Lightning

Snow Storm Rolls Across Plains; 8 Dead

OMAHA, Neb. - A winter storm marched across the Plains, causing numerous accidents that killed at least eight people in three states, including four in Nebraska.

Heavy snow hit parts of Nebraska on Saturday, limiting visibility and creating hazardous driving conditions.

A car slid across the median on Interstate 80 near Kearney in central Nebraska and was struck by a tractor-trailer, killing the car's 28-year-old driver and her two children, ages 5 and 3, police said.

On U.S. 281 south of St. Paul, a 76-year-old man was killed when the car he was in crossed the center line and was struck by a pickup. The man's 59-year old wife was seriously injured.

In western Kansas, a couple and their 20-month-old daughter died when their car drove off U.S. 50 and collided with two others cars, authorities said. The couple's 6-year-old daughter was critically injured, they said.

In Oklahoma, a 5-year-old boy died after being thrown from a sport utility vehicle that veered off a snow-covered highway and rolled.

Bizarro Earth

7.3 Quake Hits Northeastern Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck Sunday in the Molucca Sea about 100 miles east of Sulawesi Island in northeastern Indonesia, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake was large enough to cause a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a statement, but no tsunami warning was immediately issued.

The epicenter of the major quake was about 80 miles from the city of Ternate, in north eastern Indonesia, it said. It had a depth of more than six miles below the ocean floor.


Moderate quake shakes eastern Turkey

A moderate earthquake shook eastern Turkey Sunday, the Anatolia news agency reported. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1, was centered in Agri province, bordering Armenia, about 530 miles east of Ankara, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Bizarro Earth

Australians face snake invasion

Australian wildlife officials warn that a serious drought is driving tens of thousands of snakes into urban areas.


Bamboozling! Heights mystery smell solved!

The Stoop is accustomed to sniffing out stories - but this is ridiculous.

A foul smell reminiscent of an over-capacity sewage treatment plant on a rainy day wafted over Brooklyn Heights early this week, prompting residents to wonder if every toilet in the neighborhood had spontaneously combusted.

The truth was much more down to earth.

Comment: Believe this one and I've got some great ocean-front property in Arizona to sell...