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Fri, 22 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


US: Climate change threatens two-thirds of California's unique plants

Two-thirds of California's unique plants, some 2,300 species that grow nowhere else in the world, could be wiped out across much of their current geographic ranges by the end of the century because of rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, according to a new study.

The species that cannot migrate fast enough to higher altitudes or cooler coastal areas could face extinction because of greenhouse gas emissions that are heating the planet, according to researchers.

Comment: The dangers of climate change are real, but the standard global warming scenario as explained in the vast majority of media outlets leaves something to de desired. Read some comments on one of the most prominent of the global warming "demonologists" here:

Global Warming Demonology

Bizarro Earth

Update: Dozens on Philippine sunken ferry rescued; 700 plus still missing

Bodies in life jackets washed up on islands and drifted at sea Wednesday as divers resumed the grim work of exploring the inside of a Philippine ferry that capsized during a powerful typhoon.

While the divers have only found bodies so far, officials were not willing to give up hope of finding more survivors among the more than 800 people missing since the seven-story ferry listed and went down in a half-hour or less Saturday.

"There is a slim chance that we can still find survivors" insided the ferry, coast guard Lt. Cmdr Rogelio Villanueva said. "As the days pass, indeed the chance is getting slimmer."

Better Earth

US: Saharan dust may have you wheezing

Texas - If you're coughing and sneezing more than usual this week, you can blame it on the Sahara Desert.

An enormous cloud of Saharan dust stretching from the African coast to the Gulf of Mexico will begin moving through the Dallas-Fort Worth area today and could blanket much of North Texas off and on through next week, said Bryan Lambeth, senior meteorologist at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.


Pandas evacuated from earthquake-hit area in China

Pandas living in an earthquake-hit part of southwestern China have been evacuated to temporary shelters due to the continuing threat of landslides and other hazards, a forestry bureau report said Tuesday.


China earthquake missing rises to 18,522

The number of people missing from China's massive earthquake has risen abruptly by more than 1,000 state media reported Monday.

Cloud Lightning

US: Waterlogged levee under pressure from Mississippi River

WINFIELD, Missouri - The weakest spot left along the swollen Mississippi River may be the Pin Oak levee, a barrier so tenuous that soil slides down its slope.

Only National Guard soldiers and firefighters in life vests are allowed to stack sandbags, because volunteers and heavy equipment could sink. A single muskrat recently created a geyser of riverwater by digging into the berm.

Cloud Lightning

LA resorts to cloud-seeding in attempt to relieve drought

Heaven forfend that the good folk of Los Angeles should have to stop watering their lawns or rinsing the suds off their shiny cars even if the city, indeed the entire state of California, is officially now in the grip of a drought. If we can't save water, then let's wring more of the stuff out of the clouds, by seeding them.

Cloud-seeding, you may be thinking, went out of fashion decades ago, perhaps in 1969 when the hippies swore that it was CIA scientists fiddling with nature who caused the downpours at the Woodstock music festival. Not so. In fact, it seems to be more in vogue than ever, in California and elsewhere.

Cloud seeding
©The Independent

Comment: See: Russia: Sometimes it rains cement.

Cloud Lightning

New Zealand: Auckland hit by freezing hail storm as wintry weather grips nation

Auckland was hit by freezing hail storms just before 6pm and the AA sent out a general road safety warning as a wintry blast gripped much of the country.

Cold southerly winds laced with rain, sleet, hail and snow currently lashing parts of the country are expected to head offshore tonight.

Earlier today snow fell to 200m in Southland and the road warnings were issued for much of the country.

In the South Island State Highway 60 was closed north of Motueka and chains were required west of Oamaru and near Reefton.

©Malcolm Gayfer
Thick snow and hail blanketed much of the South Island today.


Australia: Scientist warns of water catastrophe

Leading water experts have urged the Federal Government to tackle the country's water shortages at next week's Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

A briefing in Melbourne has been told water reform has been talked about on a federal level for 14 years, but there has been no action.

Cloud Lightning

Ukraine: Four die in storm

A storm killed four people on Monday in western Ukraine and brought trees and power lines crashing to the ground, officials said.