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Thu, 03 Dec 2020
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Sharks In Peril: Ocean's Fiercest Predators Now Vulnerable To Extinction

Sharks are disappearing from the world's oceans. The numbers of many large shark species have declined by more than half due to increased demand for shark fins and meat, recreational shark fisheries, as well as tuna and swordfish fisheries, where millions of sharks are taken as bycatch each year.

Snowman

Snow blankets Greece

Dozens of villages cut off, flights cancelled due to cold spell

Greece under snow
©AP
Snow covered many parts of Greece, including the Acropolis in central Athens, yesterday. Flights were disrupted and tens of villages, mainly in central Greece's Evia and the Aegean islands, were cut off due to the snowfall, the result of two cold fronts moving south from Russia and Scandinavia. Authorities warned drivers to be more cautious today due to the icy conditions expected. Experts forecast improving conditions as of today.

Question

Why are thousands of bats dying in New York?

Mysterious 'white nose syndrome' spreading at alarming rate

Bats dying
©Mike Groll / AP
A team led by Alan Hicks, a wildlife biologist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, looks for bats in an abandoned limestone mine in Rosendale, N.Y., on Feb. 7.

Question

Hare-less: Yellowstone's Rabbits Have Vanished, Study Says

A new study by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society found that jack rabbits living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have apparently hopped into oblivion. The study, which appears in the journal Oryx, also speculates that the disappearance of jack rabbits may be having region-wide impacts on a variety of other prey species and their predators.

Cloud Lightning

Migratory birds disappear in China storms

BEIJING - About 100,000 migratory birds disappeared in recent fierce snow storms in eastern China, state media reported Sunday.

Cloud Lightning

Tornado Rips Through Alabama Town

Prattville, Ala. - The mayor of a town near Montgomery, Ala., says a tornado has destroyed numerous homes and may have trapped victims in the wreckage.

Cloud Lightning

The key to quieter Atlantic hurricane seasons may be blowing in the wind

Every year, storms over West Africa disturb millions of tons of dust and strong winds carry those particles into the skies over the Atlantic. According to a recent study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison atmospheric scientists, this dust from Africa directly affects ocean temperature, a key ingredient in Atlantic hurricane development.

"At least one third of the recent increase in Atlantic Ocean temperatures is due to a decrease in dust storms," says lead author Amato Evan, a researcher at UW-Madison's Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS).

In a paper published online today in "Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems," the team of scientists describes how dust in the atmosphere cools the ocean by decreasing the amount of energy that reaches the water. The study also demonstrated that the large amount of dust blowing off of Africa in the 1980s and '90s likely cooled the Atlantic enough to prevent conditions that could have resulted in more devastating hurricane seasons similar to 2004 and 2005.

Attention

Canada's oil sands a massive disaster: green group

Ottawa - Canada's massive oil sands are "the most destructive project on earth" and the federal government must intervene to clean up the mess, a leading green group said on Friday.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 6.0 quake hits Bolivia-Chile border

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Bolivia in the region of Potosi near the border with Chile on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 1445 GMT (0945 EST) at a depth of 83 miles, the survey said.


Bug

Worker Or Queen? Harvester Ant Moms Set Their Daughters' Fates

When it comes to deciding what harvester ant daughters will be when they grow up, mother queens hold considerable sway, according to a new study. The researchers report evidence that eggs are predetermined to become workers or queens from the moment they are lain.

"In honeybees, food determines fate," said Tanja Schwander of Simon Fraser University in Canada. Earlier studies showed that honeybee larvae had the capacity to become either workers or queens, depending upon what the young insects ate.

"Although it had never been shown experimentally, ants had been assumed to be more or less the same," she added. "That's the reason it was surprising to find a strong effect of mother queens."