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La Nina seen gradually weakening in 2009: NOAA

La Nina
© REUTERS/NASA/Handout
This image from the U.S.-French Jason oceanographic satellite released by NASA April 21, 2008 depicts one of the strongest La Ninas in many years as it is slowly weakening but continues to blanket the Pacific Ocean near the equator.

The La Nina weather anomaly will persist into the spring of 2009 but should gradually weaken during that period, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said on Thursday.

In a monthly update, the CPC said "a majority of the model forecasts ... indicate a gradual weakening of La Nina through February-April 2009, with an eventual transition to neutral conditions."

CPC is an office under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The body said La Nina will last into spring of this year.

La Nina literally means "little girl" in Spanish. It results in cooler-than-normal waters in the Pacific Ocean. The more famous El Nino weather phenomenon has the opposite effect.

Bizarro Earth

Drought starts to bite in northern Kenya

Image
© REUTERS/Antony Njuguna
A Kenyan nomadic herder looks at his cow, too weak to walk, at a water point in the northeastern town of El Wak, close to the Somalia and Kenya border, February 6, 2009.

Waregadud - Clouds of dust rising above the harsh scrub herald the arrival of more livestock at a borehole in northeastern Kenya, the end for some of a 45-km (28-mile) trek for water that must be repeated every few days.

Drought is starting to bite in east Africa's biggest economy and the government has declared a state of emergency, saying 10 million people may face hunger and starvation after a poor harvest, crop failure, a lack of rain and rising food prices.

For an economy still recovering from post-election violence last year and facing fallout from the global slowdown on export markets, Kenya's looming food crisis risks putting more pressure on its fragile coalition government.

Kenyans have been horrified by multi-million dollar government graft scandals in the maize and fuel sectors in the middle of the food shortage, and at a time when the administration is appealing for international food aid.

Sherlock

A Zen Discovery: Unrusted Iron in Ocean

Iron dust, the gold of the oceans and rarest nutrient for most marine life, can be washed down by rivers or blown out to sea or - a surprising new study finds - float up from the sea floor. The discovery, published online Feb. 8 in Nature Geoscience, connects life at the surface to events occurring at extreme depths and pressures.

The two worlds were long assumed to have little interaction.

A team from the University of Southern California, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory took samples from the East Pacific Rise, a volcanic mid-ocean ridge.

The group found that organic compounds capture some iron spewed by hydrothermal vents, enabling it to be carried away in seawater.

Bizarro Earth

"Noah's Flood" Not Rooted in Reality, After All?

The ancient flood that some scientists think gave rise to the Noah story may not have been quite so biblical in proportion, a new study says.

Noah Flood
© Melik Baghdasaryan/AP
Some believe that Noah's Ark came to rest on Turkey's Mount Ararat.
Researchers generally agree that, during a warming period about 9,400 years ago, an onrush of seawater from the Mediterranean spurred a connection with the Black Sea, then a largely freshwater lake. That flood turned the lake into a rapidly rising sea.

A previous theory said the Black Sea rose up to 195 feet (60 meters), possibly burying villages and spawning the tale of Noah's flood and other inundation folklore.

But the new study - largely focused on relatively undisturbed underwater fossils - suggests a rise of no more than 30 feet (10 meters).

Bizarro Earth

Canada: Small Quake Felt Near Vancouver

Residents of a Vancouver, British Columbia, suburb reported feeling a small earthquake, officials said Sunday.

The temblor, measured at 2.1 on the Richter scale, struck Langley, British Columbia, at 9:23 p.m. Saturday, Canwest News Service reported. It was centered approximately 3 miles north-northwest of the community.

Umbrella

Australia: Rain and flash floods continue across North Queensland

Australia Floods 1
© Pete McGee
Floodwaters surround the north west Queensland town of Karumba
Heavy rain continues to fall causing more flash flooding and damage in north Queensland.

The rain has eased in Ingham but the floodwaters remain high as the monsoon trough moves south. Ingham has been flooded for seven days.

Residents had begun to clean-up on Friday but heavy rain pushed water back up yesterday. The Herbert River peaked at 12.25 metres last night and has been steady since.

Phoenix

Nature Fights Back: Australia's worst bushfire disaster claims 84 lives

Australia Fires 1
© AAP/Andrew Brownbill
Nothing but rubble - more than 500 homes were lost at Kinglake
The death toll from horrific bushfires across Victoria this weekend has reached 84, surpassing the number of people who perished in the 1983 Ash Wednesday blazes.

More than 700 homes have been lost in what is being described as 'Hell on Earth', and it is feared the death toll will pass 100.

Bizarro Earth

Planetary Abnormalities - The End is Nigh?

Are the climatic changes a sign of troubles ahead?

The title of this article may seem a little dramatic, but you have to admit, we are seeing some unusual changes just lately.

Global Warming has been a "hot" subject for some years now, yet many have rightly pointed out that some parts of the planet have seen unusually cold weather. Britain has just experienced its heaviest snow fall in 18 years, an event that has only been seen twice in almost 50 years.

Snowman

Ganahl debunks global warming

Just when you thought it was safe to assume that everyone had pretty much accepted climate change and moved on, here comes rogue NBC 4 chief meteorologist Jym Ganahl to blow your freaking mind.

"Just wait 5 or 10 years, and it will be very obvious. They'll have egg on their faces," Ganahl said this week of global warming advocates.

The "global warming hoax" is an obvious fallacy, Ganahl said in a YouTube video posted Jan. 23.

In the video, taped at a meet-up of the Ohio Freedom Alliance, Ganahl chats with Dave, the self-proclaimed No. 1 biker talk show host on radio, and - still odder - Robert Wagner, a former candidate for the 15th congressional district.

Although global warming is clearly "a fallacy," Ganahl told the dudes, "It is remarkable how many people are being led like sheep in the wrong direction."

Evoking Orwellian mind-control power of the media, Ganahl said it's remarkable how easy it is to panic the unwashed masses.

Info

Death toll in Australian fires rises to 25

Image
© Unknown

Sydney - Police say the death toll from wildfires that swept southeastern Australia has risen to 25 people.

More than a dozen blazes burned unchecked Saturday in three states, with temperatures soaring and high winds fanning flames.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe told the Nine television network on Sunday that 25 deaths had been confirmed and that officials believe that number will rise further as police reach further into the fire zone.

Walls of flame roared across southeastern Australia on Saturday, razing scores of homes along with forests and farmland in the sunburned country's worst wildfire disaster in a quarter century. At least 14 people died and the toll could rise to more than 40, police said.

Witnesses described seeing trees exploding and skies raining ash as some of the hottest temperatures on record combined with raging winds to create perfect conditions for uncontrollable blazes.