Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Russia: Tornado Hits Suburbs 30 Miles Outside Moscow

Yesterday, several strong storms clashed above the small town of Krasnozavodsk of the Moscow region. The resulting tornado shredded through the town, overturning cars, uprooting trees and destroying homes. After devastating Krasnozavodsk, the tornado tore through the landscape 30 miles outside of Russia's capital.

Cloud Lightning

US: Oregon blasted with 24,000 bolts of lightning

lightning Albany Oregon
© phtogirl
While many of Oregon's forest protection districts have not formally entered wildfire season, Nature made an unofficial declaration of its own during the past week. A barrage of more than 24,000 lightning strikes ignited fires across the central and southwestern regions of the state. The Oregon Department of Forestry's firefighters and private forest landowner resources have been busy extinguishing the fires.

In the Oregon Department of Forestry's (ODF) Southwest Oregon District, 32 lightning-caused fires have been reported, with the largest about five acres.

"This one occurred in the Applegate drainage," ODF's Greg Alexander said. "On the first day of the storms, it was very dry, and then we had some moisture in the following days."

He said the district has experienced lightning daily from May 29 to the present. Reports of fire continue to trickle in, with three new ones detected on Wednesday.

Bizarro Earth

Nearly 60 buried in Chongqing, China landslide

Image
© Unknown
At least 59 people were killed Friday in a massive landslide in a remote mining area of southwest China, officials said.

A section of a mountain in Wulong county in Chongqing municipality collapsed onto an iron ore mine and six houses, cutting power and telephone lines in a large area, according to a report posted on the Chongqing government website.

Fifty mine workers as well as nine residents were buried under the rock and earth, the report said.

"Fifty-nine is only a preliminary estimate," said an official from the county's Tiekuang township, who would only give his surname Zhang.

"Telephone communications have been cut, and there is no mobile phone signal," Zhang told AFP by phone.

Info

Earthquake Magnitude 6.3 - Hokkaido, Japan

Hokkaido Earthquake 1
© USGS
Magnitude:
6.3

Date-Time:
- Friday, June 05, 2009 at 03:30:34 UTC
- Friday, June 05, 2009 at 12:30:34 PM at epicenter

Location:
41.858°N, 143.399°E

Bizarro Earth

US: Tornado Cuts Swath Across Southern Georgia

A gas station was "ground zero" Thursday for a tornado that dropped out of a line of severe thunderstorms that cut a swath across southern Glynn County, toppling trees, downing power lines and launching part of a dock across neighboring yards.

The Sunoco Fuel Center at Interstate 95 Exit 29 took a direct hit from the 4 p.m. storm. The front windows crashed inward, the back wall blew out and water gushed out the rear of the building after the twister ruptured a pipe and tore off part of an awning.

Cashier C.J. Larry and several customers were inside the store when the storm hit.

"The front doors were flapping, then all the plate glass fell in," he said.

The power went out just as the storm hit and ceiling tiles and light fixtures were knocked out or pushed up into the ceiling.

Better Earth

Cameron Davis Appointed as Great Lakes Czar

Traverse City, Mich. -- Cameron Davis, leader of a Chicago-based environmentalist group, has been appointed to oversee President Barack Obama's initiative to clean up the Great Lakes.

Davis is president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, one of many organizations that have pushed for a restoration program expected to cost more than $20 billion. He was appointed by Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

''I'm excited, and this is a real testament to the passion and work that so many citizens are doing to put the Great Lakes on the map,'' Davis said Thursday. He said he couldn't comment further until after beginning his job as special adviser to Jackson next month.

He will coordinate efforts of about a dozen federal agencies working on the administration's Great Lakes project, which deals with issues such as invasive species, polluted harbors, sewage overflows and degraded wildlife habitat.

Fish

Estrogen in Waterways Worse than Thought

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© FLICKR/VELO STEVEFISHY WATERS: Some male bass have been growing eggs, which researchers attribute to the presence of estrogen in the rivers.
Exposure to estrogen puts fish at greater risk of disease and premature death, according to a new federal study.

The U.S. Geological Survey study showed that estrogen exposure reduces a fish's ability to produce proteins that help it ward off disease and pointed to a possible link between the occurrence of intersex fish and recent fish kills in the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.

The report, published in the current issue of Fish & Shellfish Immunology, adds to a growing body of research pointing to problems with estrogen in the nation's waterways.

Meteor

Earth more habitable because of meteorites

British scientists say large bombardments of meteorites four billion years ago might have made early Earth and Mars more habitable for life.

Imperial College London researchers said millions of meteor strikes during what's called the Late Heavy Bombardment approximately 3.9 billion years pelted Earth and Mars during a period of about 20 million years, possibly modifying the atmosphere on both planets.

Fish

Revealed: The Bid to Corner World's Bluefin Tuna Market

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© Getty ImagesBluefin tuna is being over-fished and its numbers can't be sustained, scientists say
Japan's sprawling Mitsubishi conglomerate has cornered a 40 per cent share of the world market in bluefin tuna, one of the world's most endangered fish.

A corporation within the £170bn Mitsubishi empire is importing thousands of tonnes of the fish from Europe into Tokyo's premium fish markets, despite stocks plummeting towards extinction in the Mediterranean.

Better Earth

How Antarctica grew its ice - and lost its hanging gardens

Image
© Martin Siegert et al.Put together, the images reveal a striking landscape of sharp peaks and hanging valleys surrounding a deep gorge carved out by ice
Up to 3000 metres beneath the ice, at the coldest point on Earth, towering peaks, hanging valleys and deep gorges have been frozen in ice for 14 million years. Now the first detailed view of this frozen landscape is revealing how the world's biggest chunk of ice - the Antarctic ice sheet - was born.

The radar images suggest that Antarctica "grew" its ice cap in three stages, carving out the rock below in distinct ways as glaciers expanded, retracted, and flowed downstream.

The images were collected between 2004 and 2008 by researchers who drove huge trains of caterpillar tractors in tight lines over Dome A, a plateau of ice at the heart of Antarctica. The tractors carried radars that pinged down through the ice and sent back profiles of the frozen rock landscape below.

Dome A, the highest point on the continent, is also one of the coldest places on Earth, with temperatures as low as -90 °C. Far beneath its frozen surface lie the Gamburtsev mountains, where glaciologists believe the Antarctic ice sheet was born. Its distance to the ocean and high altitude would have made it the coolest spot on the continent 34 million years ago, when the ice began to grow.