Earth ChangesS

Better Earth

2008: The year the world will cool down

The world will experience global cooling this year, according a leading climate scientist.

The head of the World Meteorological Organisation said La Nina - the weather phenomenon which is cooling the Pacific - is likely to trigger a small drop in average global temperatures compared with last year.

Comment: Note that, despite the forecast, spin is applied to support the human-caused/CO2 paradigm being pushed by the mainstream media.

Cloud Lightning

Storms pound Midwest with rain, snow

St. Louis, Missouri - A line of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and even snow pounded the nation's heartland on Thursday, flooding nearly 200 roads in Missouri, closing schools in Arkansas and ripping the roofs of dozens of houses in Texas.

The band of storms stretched from Colorado and Nebraska, which was expected to get up to 10 inches of snow, to Texas, where high winds and driving rain at one point quarter of a million people were left without power.

In Missouri, 3-4 inches of rain fell in just a few hours, unleashing flash floods that swamped parts of 180 roads across the state.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes Irish PM's plane

Lightning struck an aircraft carrying Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern from Dublin to Belfast, but no one on board was hurt, an Irish government spokesman said overnight.

"The plane was struck by lightning as it was approaching Belfast. Everyone is fine," the spokesman said.

Light Sabers

Belching Hawaii Volcano Shuts Park, Forces Evacuations

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was closed for a second day Wednesday as officials waited for a change in wind direction to blow away sulfur dioxide belching from Kīlauea volcano.

National Park Service officials said air conditions had worsened since Tuesday, when 2,000 people were evacuated from the Big Island park.

"This morning, with it being cool and some warmer air on top of it, it has kind of created a pancake effect, so we have some more of the vog lower down," said Michael Larson, the park's incident information officer.

Vog, or volcanic fog, forms when sulfur dioxide gas reacts with sunlight, oxygen, dust particles, and water in the air. Tiny droplets known as sulfate aerosols are created, along with sulfuric acid and other substances.

©Robert Madden/NGS
Lava spews from a vent of Hawaii's Kīlauea volcano in this file photo.

Sulfur dioxide spewing from the volcano, which has been active since 1983, has closed Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for its second day and forced an evacuation of 2,000 people.


Massive study of Madagascar wildlife released

Using data from thousands of species of lemurs, frogs, geckos, butterflies, ants, and plants, scientists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society, University of California, Berkeley and other organizations have completed an analytical colossus for Madagascar that will guide plans to safeguard the island's unique natural heritage. The massive study is the cover story in the most recent edition of Science.

The study is unprecedented in terms of not only the number of species examined (some 2,315 species in six groups), but also because of the project's scale and resolution. The biodiversity, climate and habitat of the entire 226,657 square-mile island, which is nearly a third larger than the state of California, were examined. The maps generated from the data analyses have a resolution of less than a square kilometer.

"While some of the key areas of biodiversity are under protection, many are not. This study will help direct conservation plans to help protect the most species possible, with special consideration given to those animals and plants that are most endangered," said the study's lead co-author Dr. Claire Kremen, an associate conservationist with the Wildlife Conservation Society and UC Berkeley assistant professor.

©Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society
A stump-tailed chameleon from Madagascar


World's oldest tree discovered in Sweden

Scientists in northern Sweden believe they have discovered the world's oldest living tree, dating back nearly 8,000 years, local media said on Thursday.

A Norway spruce, which was found growing at a height of 950 meters above sea level, is more than two meters (6.5 feet) tall and about 20 centimeters (8 inches) in width.

Cloud Lightning

US: Apparent tornadoes hit Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma

A band of hail, heavy rain and twisters pounded Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma Thursday, damaging hundreds of homes, flooding roads and leaving thousands without power.

Arkansas already was contending with three weeks of flooding and the aftermath of 10 tornadoes that struck last week when the latest storm hit.

"It's just getting worse," sheriff's dispatcher Nola Massey said. "We're just trying to get everybody to stay home and not get out in it."

©Tony Pilkington
Jeremy Dickey of Breckenridge, Texas, tries to turn off the water to his house after it was struck by an apparent tornado Wednesday evening, April 9, 2008. Dickey wasn't home at the time, but his wife, Tina, and two children, ages 4 years and 8 months, hid in an interior closet he had reinforced as a shelter. They were not injured, but the house was moved 10 feet off of its foundation. Breckenridge police said they have reports of a few minor injuries, but didn't have a full count. Power lines were down and at least five homes were destroyed, police said.

Bizarro Earth

Sydney Harbors Deadly Diet For Sea Creatures

Contaminated seaweeds in Sydney Harbour could be threatening the small animals that feed on them, according to a new study revealing that the harbour's seaweeds have the world's highest levels of copper and lead contamination.

Up to 75 percent of the offspring of small crustaceans that feed on a common brown seaweed, for example, are killed when they are exposed to copper at levels found in some parts of the harbour, UNSW laboratory and field experiments have shown.

Sydneys harbour
©University of New South Wales
Heavy metals have proven to be a deadly diet for Sydney's harbour life, new research shows.


US, Chicago: Flood Season Begins Unusually Early Across Heartland

The flood season in the nation's midsection started early this year, and there's no letup in sight, spurring federal, state and local officials to brace for what looks likely to be an unusually watery spring.

At least 16 deaths were linked to heavy flooding across Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and other states in March; another was tied to flooding Friday in Kentucky. Last week, snow that could set off more flooding blanketed parts of the Midwest. And Kentucky and parts of Arkansas and Missouri that are struggling to recover from previous deluges remained vulnerable to the threat of weekend rain.

Bizarro Earth

Quake of Magnitude 7.5 Hits Pacific's Vanuatu, New Caledonia

The Pacific islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia were shaken by a magnitude-7.5 earthquake, less than two hours after a magnitude-6.4 temblor hit the area, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The latest quake struck at 11:46 p.m. local time, about 89 kilometers (55 miles) south-southwest of Isangel in Vanuatu, and 174 kilometers northeast of Tadine in New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands, the USGS said today in a preliminary report on its Web site. The quake struck at a depth of 89 kilometers and there were no immediate warnings of a potential tsunami.