Earth ChangesS

Alarm Clock

US: Deadly fish virus now found in all Great Lakes

A deadly fish virus that was first discovered in the Northeast in 2005 has been found for the first time in fish from Lake Superior, report Cornell researchers. That means that the virus has now been documented in all of the Great Lakes.

The viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus ( VHSV ), which causes fatal anemia and hemorrhaging in many fish species, poses no threat to humans, said Paul Bowser, professor of aquatic animal medicine at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.


EU Farmers Face Genetic Contamination of Seeds

Berlin - Biodiversity, already decaying fast as a result of climate change and intensive farming, is under further threat by genetic modification (GM) of seeds, says a leading German ecological activist.

Genetic modification of seeds is dangerous, "since it is at the beginning of the agricultural chain, and can spread all over," says Benedikt Haerlin, former campaign manager at the environmental organisation Greenpeace and former member of the European Parliament.

Haerlin now leads the global 'Save our Seeds' campaign in cooperation with some 300 environmental organisations across Europe.

The campaign is currently calling attention to plans by the European Commission (EC) to tolerate "accidental or technically unavoidable" contamination of conventional seed with GM varieties.


Snow causes havoc for motorists in the UK... again

© Unknown
Heavy snow has returned to parts of Britain, causing disruption to motorists and forcing the cancellation of some sports fixtures.

Drivers had to battle icy conditions and road closures as snow hit parts of the North East overnight.

There were five separate crashes on Bonemill Lane in Sunderland and police were forced to close the road for an hour and a half.

And an icy road surface led to a three-vehicle collision at a roundabout near Crowther Road in the city. Nobody was injured in any of the incidents, police said.


IPCC claims are based on student dissertations and elitist WWF propaganda

A lot of hot air... what is it about the tactic of using pandas and polar bears to sell us fantasies about our environment?
The United Nations' expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world's mountain tops on a student's dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.

The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming.

The IPCC's remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.

In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.

However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.

Bizarro Earth

Moderate Quake hits China's Sichuan Province: USGS

Beijing - A moderate 5.2-magnitude quake hit the Chinese province of Sichuan on Sunday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The tremor struck at 5:37 am (2137 GMT Saturday) at a depth of 18 kilometres (11 miles) with an epicentre 36 kilometres (22 miles) southeast of the city of Suining in Sichuan, southern China, the USGS said.

An 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan in May 2008, leaving nearly 87,000 people dead or missing and more than five million others homeless.

Bizarro Earth

Coral in Florida Keys suffers lethal hit from cold

Bitter cold this month may have wiped out many of the shallow water corals in the Keys.

Scientists have only begun assessments, with dive teams looking for "bleaching" that is a telltale indicator of temperature stress in sensitive corals, but initial reports are bleak. The impact could extend from Key Largo through the Dry Tortugas west of Key West, a vast expanse that covers some of the prettiest and healthiest reefs in North America.

Given the depth and duration of frigid weather, Meaghan Johnson, marine science coordinator for The Nature Conservancy, expected to see losses. But she was stunned by what she saw when diving a patch reef 2.5 miles off Harry Harris Park in Key Largo.

Star and brain corals, large species that can take hundreds of years to grow, were as white and lifeless as bones, frozen to death. There were also dead sea turtles, eels and parrotfish littering the bottom.


Hamburg put on ice as Alster lake freezes

The deep freeze hitting Germany this winter has frozen Hamburg's Alster Lake for the first time in over a decade. Jeff Kavanagh laces up his skates to go for a spin.

It's not every day you see a man with a bike in the middle of a canal in the northern port city of Hamburg - particularly one on his hands and knees, taking a large hammer to the ice separating him from the freezing cold water below.

"Just checking it's thick enough to keep cycling," he calls out to concerned passers-by.

A middle-aged woman clad in a substantial amount of fur grumbles that it is too dangerous to walk on the canals, that warm water beneath the ice is thinning it out. Paying her no attention and having satisfied himself that it is indeed thick enough, the ice-cyclist clambers back on his bike and pedals off. Shaking her head, the woman announces that she's off to the Alster, Hamburg's picturesque inner-city lake.


Freezing weather causes more chaos in northern Europe

© Unknown
In freezing Germany, snow, high winds and icy roads led to over 300 traffic accidents in one state alone and brought transport systems to a halt.

Bad weather also prompted authorities to shut roads in the north, while in some areas railways stopped operating.

In the northwestern state of North Rhine-Wesphalia, one person was killed and more than 40 were injured in more than 300 accidents from Friday night through Saturday, police said.

Slippery roads claimed the lives of two other people involved in separate accidents in the southern state of Bavaria.

Meanwhile, Mecklenburg West Pomerania, a northern state blanketed by heavy snow since mid-December, is believed to be the worst affected by the flurry. Public transit was made impossible in the city of Rostock, hit by 30 centimeters (12 inches) of snow overnight.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning Strike Grounds Florida-Bound Plane in Alabama

Montgomery - An airport official says a U.S. Airways flight was struck by lightning on its way to Florida, forcing the plane and its passengers to divert to Alabama.

Montgomery Regional Airport spokeswoman Lynn Cox said Saturday that the flight was grounded after 9:30 p.m. Friday in Montgomery, where the passengers had been given overnight accommodations.

Cox says a replacement plane had not arrived Saturday. She says some passengers arranged rental cars to continue on to Pensacola.

Cox says she was not aware of any injuries.

Cox did not know how many passengers were on board or where the flight originated.


Snow causes German traffic chaos with three deaths

© APNorth Rhine-Westphalia is Germany's most populous state
Heavy snow and high winds have caused traffic chaos across Germany with 300 accidents overnight in one region alone and at least three deaths nationwide.

One death was reported in North Rhine-Westphalia in the north-west while Bavaria in the south saw two deaths.