Earth ChangesS

Magic Wand

Frog "Juice" May Be Next Big Bug Repellent

Although the chemical known as deet currently dominates the mosquito-repellent market, nature is full of bug-banishing strategies.

Native Americans once smeared goldenseal root on their bodies to ward off bites. And today candles made with oil from citronella grass help keep the bugs away from backyard barbecues.

Now a team of Australian researchers has isolated one of the most effective natural mosquito repellents yet from an unlikely source: smelly frog skin.

Craig Williams is an ecologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia who led the research team.

"Because frogs have delicate skins designed for absorbing water from their environment, they are vulnerable to things like infections, predators, and [parasites that live in skin]," he said

"So frog skin is really a portable pharmacy" full of chemicals for keeping the amphibians healthy.

Cloud Lightning

2007 Hurricane Season Begins, Will Be Busy, Forecasters Say

As the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season gets officially under way today, residents of the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean are bracing for what weather experts are saying will be another storm-filled six months.

Seventeen tropical storms will form in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, between June 1 and November 30, according to Colorado State University (CSU) forecasters William Gray and Phil Klotzbach.

Cloud Lightning

Storm warning declared in Moscow

A storm warning is declared in Moscow and the Moscow Region, Moscow Bureau of Meteorology reported. According to the weather forecast, a cold atmospheric front is heading to Moscow from the South-West. Thunderstorms, heavy showers and wind reaching 40 mph are expected in Moscow within a few hours.

Magic Wand

Deadly spider's venom may yield super virility

Chile's black widow also has promising spermicidal abilities, scientists find

Cloud Lightning

Tropical Storm Threatens West Florida

MIAMI - Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday _ the first day of hurricane season _ and the National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for a stretch of Florida's western coast.

Cloud Lightning

NASA Chief Draws Incredulity With Global Warming Remarks

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin faces a storm of ridicule after saying on National Public Radio that humans shouldn't try to solve the global warming problem. Griffin also told NPR that NASA isn't officially authorized to take any action to impact climate change in one way on another.


Small earthquake shakes California-Mexico border

A small earthquake rattled a desert town near the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday, although there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The magnitude-3.9 temblor struck at 7:08 p.m. and was centered eight miles southwest of Ocotillo, about 10 miles north of the border, according to a preliminary report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Cloud Lightning

Georgia, Oostanaula River has lowest May flow in 115 years

This year, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded the lowest May streamflow in 115 years for the Oostanaula River at the Resaca gauge.

Rivers across the state are experiencing moderate to se-vere hydrologic drought. In addition to the Oostanaula re-cord, this was the lowest May streamflow recorded in 110 years for the Oconee River at the Milledgeville gauge, and 98 years for the Flint River at the Albany gauge. Streamflow was the lowest recorded for 50 years for any month for the Su-wannee River at Fargo.

Cloud Lightning

75 percent of North Carolina suffering from drought

Climate figures show more than three-quarters of the state is suffering from drought conditions, and several western counties are rated as extremely dry.

The U-S Drought Monitor says the seven westernmost counties -- Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain -- face the worst conditions. It also says all counties west of Interstate 26 face severe drought conditions.

Cloud Lightning

Alabama, Two-thirds of state now under extreme drought

The U.S. Drought Monitor report has updated the drought survey for Alabama and two-thirds of the state is now under extreme drought. That represents about 60 percent of the state and is 4 percent more than last week.