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Mon, 25 May 2020
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Life Preserver

Greek gov't unveils action plan for 'tough summer'

Fears of drought, fires and power cuts

The government stressed yesterday that it is fully prepared to tackle likely water shortages, forest fires, floods and power cuts during what promises to be a "tough summer."

During a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, five cabinet ministers outlined the measures they have taken to avert possible problems.

Question

Global warming debunked

Climate change will be considered a joke in five years time, meteorologist Augie Auer told the annual meeting of Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers in Ashburton this week.

Life Preserver

Scientists Adopt New Plan to Move Whales

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Marine scientists trying to lure two injured whales out of a river prepared Friday for Plan B: Herding the animals by boat while banging pipes underwater.

Bulb

Global Warming May Alter "Sunflower State"

Imagine the Sunflower State without its sunflowers. That's one of the dire predictions contained in a new report on global warming released by the National Wildlife Federation, which says the Kansas state flower could move north to other states in a few decades.

Increasingly warm temperatures also could mean the end of the state tree, the eastern cottonwood, according to "The Gardener's Guide to Global Warming."

"Everything being equal, these plants won't thrive and will shift north," said Patty Glick, the report's author and senior global warming specialist for the National Wildlife Federation.

While conditions could change, Glick and other say projected increasing temperatures also could wipe out cool-weather grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, and many fescues that cover lawns in the region.

Gear

Rapid rise in global warming is forecast

The oceans are losing the capacity to soak up rising man-made carbon emissions, which is increasing the rate of global warming by up to 30 per cent, scientists said yesterday.

Researchers have found that the Southern Ocean is absorbing an ever-decreasing proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The excess carbon, which cannot be absorbed by the oceans, will remain in the atmosphere and accelerate global warming, they said.

The reduced ability to absorb carbon is thought to be a result of high winds acting on ocean currents bringing deeper waters that already contain high levels of carbon to the surface.

The higher winds are themselves believed to have been caused by climate change due to a combination of changes in the ozone layer and carbon emissions.

Cloud Lightning

The Empire Strike Building

Like a molten thread of white heat, lightning cuts across the grey skies above midtown Manhattan to find the top of the Empire State Building.

The storm yesterday afternoon was part of the latest blast of bad weather to hit New York.

The murky skies and lightning, seen from across the East River in this dramatic picture, were accompaniedby 72mph winds and a deluge which saw an inch of rain fall in nearby Central Park.

Cloud Lightning

Study Reveals Top 10 Wettest U.S. Cities

Do you think Seattle is the rainiest city in the United States? Well, think again.

Mobile, Alabama, actually topped a new list of soggiest cities, with more than 5 feet of rainfall annually, according to a study conducted by San Francisco-based WeatherBill, Inc.

The Southeast dominated the most rainy list, while the Pacific Northwest never enters the list until Olympia, Washington pops up at number 24.

The 10 rainiest cities in the U.S. by amount of annual rainfall include:

Question

Contaminated Salvador lake is mystery bird magnet

An artificial lake in El Salvador brimming with sewage and industrial waste is mystifying scientists by attracting thousands of migratory and sea birds.

Built in 1974 to drive El Salvador's biggest hydroelectric project, the 33,360-acre (13,500- hectare) Cerron Grande reservoir collects some 3,800 metric tons of excrement each year from the sewage pipes, as well as factory run-off and traces of heavy metals like chromium and lead, the government estimates.

Cloud Lightning

Heavy rains hit parched Australia

Heavy rains have been falling in south-eastern Australia, bringing welcome relief for the region's drought-stricken farmers.

Some areas recorded their best rainfall in years, but farmers warned that much more was needed to end the six-year drought - Australia's worst on record.

Cloud Lightning

Drought Saps Fla. Growers, Golf Courses

South Florida is in an 18-month drought, and signs of the problem are everywhere - from the links to the nursery and sugar cane industries.

©AP Photo/Alan Diaz
A dried up lake is shown at the PGA National golf course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Thursday, May 17, 2007, due to the most severe water restrictions in South Florida history. The bottom half of Florida is in a year and a half long drought