Earth ChangesS


Australia: Fish kill remains a mystery

Authorities are yet to establish the cause of a fish kill in the Swan River.

More than 70 fish were found floating in the river near the Barrack Street Jetty yesterday.

Lake Monger is being examined as a potential source, as well as waste water from Perth work sites.

Both discharge water into a drainage system which leads to the river outlet near Barrack Street Jetty where the fish were discovered yesterday.

Bizarro Earth

Perth seagull deaths remain a mystery

The mysterious deaths of 300 seagulls that dropped from the sky in July in two beachside suburbs south of Perth may never be explained.

The state's Department of Environment and Conservation confirmed yesterday that two months of exhaustive investigations, including dozens of autopsies, interstate forensic testing and pollution inspections at nearby businesses, had failed to identify a cause.

The deaths closed the popular Woodman Point beach for more than two weeks amid fears of a threat to human health.

Almost 150 seagulls were found dead on the beach on July 21. The death toll reached 230 after three days and 282 a week later. No other bird species were affected.


Palin hometown a window into her environmentalism

Long before John McCain made Gov. Sarah Palin his running mate and before her views on global warming became a campaign issue, Palin's environmental priorities were crystallized in a city where she was mayor and where development long has trumped conservation.

Better Earth

Protected 'Swimways' Urged For Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Conservation Congress this week adopted a resolution urging nations to protect the leatherback sea turtle and sharks from the world's industrial fisheries by identifying and creating marine protected areas along the Pacific leatherback's migratory routes.

More than 8,000 scientists, government officials and environmental organizations from over 250 nations overwhelmingly supported the resolution, which includes the "Cocos Ridge Marine Wildlife Corridor," designed to shield the critically endangered Pacific leatherback and the hammerhead shark from longline and gillnet fisheries. Recent satellite tracking data from Stanford University researchers shows that after nesting on the beaches in Playa Grande, Costa Rica, Pacific leatherbacks swim toward the Galapagos Islands.

Randall Arauz, President of Costa Rican-based PRETOMA that sponsored the resolution explained, "Our plan allows one of the largest reptiles on Earth to continue its 100-million-year-old existence by opening and closing portions of the migration corridor to fishing as turtles enter and exit the area." He added, "We believe this corridor is also used by other endangered species, such as hammerhead sharks and would benefit many other threatened marine species."


Less Ice In Arctic Ocean 6000-7000 Years Ago

Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free.
Astrid Lyså in August 2007 in the ruined settlement left by the Independence I Culture in North Greenland
© Eiliv Larsen, NGUSettlement: Astrid Lyså in August 2007 in the ruined settlement left by the Independence I Culture in North Greenland. The first immigrants to these inhospitable regions succumbed to the elements nearly 4000 years ago, when the climate became colder again.

The climate in the northern regions has never been milder since the last Ice Age than it was about 6000-7000 years ago. We still don't know whether the Arctic Ocean was completely ice free, but there was more open water in the area north of Greenland than there is today," says Astrid Lyså, a geologist and researcher at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU).

Bizarro Earth

4 injured, 7 missing in Vietnam floods

THUA THIEN-HUE -- Four people were injured and seven were reported missing Sunday after heavy rains and flooding struck central Vietnam, officials said.


Arctic Safety: Why you should avoid 'mingqutnguaq'


Yup'ik Eskimo Grant Kashatok speaks about his life on ice in Newtok, Alaska

The number of Eskimo words for snow has long been a point of debate.

In the Yup'ik Eskimo Dictionary published by the Native Language Centre at the University of Alaska, and found in schools throughout Alaska's Yukon Delta, there are 37 ways of referring to it.

When snow falls from the sky, an Eskimo can say "it's snowing" in four different ways: aniu, cellallir, ganir or qanunge.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 5.8 - Papua New Guinea

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 5.8

* Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 00:54:41 UTC
* Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 10:54:41 AM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 6.951°S, 147.246°E

Depth 87.1 km (54.1 miles)


Distances 35 km (20 miles) SE of Lae, New Guinea, PNG
200 km (125 miles) NE of Kerema, New Guinea, PNG
280 km (175 miles) N of PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea
2355 km (1460 miles) NNW of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia


Beluga whales in Alaska listed as endangered

Anchorage - The depleted population of beluga whales that swim off the coast of Alaska's largest city was listed as endangered on Friday by the federal government.
Yulka, a beluga whale
© REUTERS/Heino KalisYulka, a beluga whale, swims at the Oceanografic in Valencia August 11, 2006.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it has determined that belugas in Cook Inlet, the channel that flows from Anchorage to the Gulf of Alaska, are at risk of extinction and deserving of strict protections under the Endangered Species Act.

The population, which fell to a low of 278 in 2005 from 653 in 1994, has yet to rebound from a period of over-harvesting by the region's Native hunters, officials said.

Hunting of Cook Inlet belugas largely ceased in 1999, but the population continues to struggle, officials said.

Cloud Lightning

Omar becomes a hurricane again in Atlantic

Miami - Tropical Storm Omar regained hurricane strength on Friday in the Atlantic Ocean but did not pose an immediate threat to any land areas after blasting through the northern Caribbean this week as a powerful hurricane.

Omar weakened after a close encounter with the U.S. Virgin Islands and other small islands in the northeastern Caribbean, but the U.S. National Hurricane Center said its sustained winds had strengthened to 75 miles per hour (120 km per hour), making it a minimal Category 1 storm on the five-step hurricane intensity scale.