Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Storm brewing for William Gray - Will University Silence Him?

By pioneering the science of seasonal hurricane forecasting and teaching 70 graduate students who now populate the National Hurricane Center and other research outposts, William Gray turned a city far from the stormy seas into a hurricane research mecca.

Dr. William Gray
©Associated Press
Dr. William Gray, a top hurricane researcher, questions the impact of global warming on Earth's climate


"Extinct" Plants Discovered Blooming in Australia

Extinct plants
©Bruce Wannan (left) and Paul Forster (right), courtesy Queensland Herbarium, Environmental Protection Agency.
Two supposedly extinct plants - the pink-flowered mint Teucrium ajugaceum, (left) and Rhaphidospora cavernarum, (right) - have been rediscovered on a peninsula in northern Australia, scientists announced recently.

Two woodland plants long thought extinct have reappeared in far northern Australia, experts announced recently.

Teucrium ajugaceum, a pink-flowered mint that lives in eucalypt woodlands, had not been seen since 1891 and was listed as extinct in 1992.

Rhaphidospora cavernarum, not seen since 1873, also frequents eucalypt forests. Though it grows to almost 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall and boasts white and purple flowers, the plant had somehow evaded surveyors until now.

Cloud Lightning

US: 200 Injured in Virginia Storms

Virginia tornado
©Mandana Marsh/Progress-Index, Associated Press
A firefighter checks inside cars in Colonial Heights, Va.

Houses were flattened and cars were thrown against buildings when tornadoes ripped across central and southeast Virginia on Monday, injuring more than 200.

Bizarro Earth

Australia: Homes evacuated after ground collapse

A number of homes have been evacuated after the ground caved-in on a suburban road in south-east Queensland.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pissale says parts of Duncan Road in Ipswich have fallen away, leaving big cracks in the road and causing structural damage to homes.

He says three people have been evacuated and the road has been closed while engineers test the area.

Mr Pissale says there is a history of ground movement in the suburb.


After Quake, Reno Told to Brace for Stronger One

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A day after a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck northern Nevada's largest city, scientists urged residents to prepare for a larger temblor as the area continued to rumble on Saturday.

Evil Rays

Moderate earthquake hits southern Mexico

A moderate earthquake of a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale rocked southern Mexico Sunday, but no major injuries or damages have been reported.

The quake, which was centered 154 kilometers north of the port city of Acapulco, shook the southern Mexican state of Guerrero and was felt in the capital.


Hawk found dead with the claw of a songbird protruding from its chest

A hawk was found dead along a California highway with the claw of a songbird protruding from its chest.

It's not clear, however, if the partially digested meal, one claw somehow managing to get back out from a terribly wrong location, had anything to do with the hawk's death.


California wildfire forces 1,000 to evacuate

LOS ANGELES - A wildfire that began along a popular hiking trail forced 1,000 people to evacuate their homes in the hills northeast of Los Angeles on Sunday, officials said.

The cause of the nearly 400-acre fire, which started Saturday afternoon as Southern California logged near-record temperatures, was still under investigation, said Elisa Weaver, a spokeswoman for the city of Sierra Madre, California.

Fifty people celebrating a wedding at a mountain campground were lifted from the area by helicopter after the fire cut off their exit trail. No one in the group was harmed.

Better Earth

Stratospheric Injections To Counter Global Warming Could Damage Ozone Layer

A much-discussed idea to offset global warming by injecting sulfate particles into the stratosphere would have a drastic impact on Earth's protective ozone layer, new research concludes. The study, led by Simone Tilmes of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), warns that such an approach might delay the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole by decades and cause significant ozone loss over the Arctic.

"Our research indicates that trying to artificially cool off the planet could have perilous side effects," Tilmes says. "While climate change is a major threat, more research is required before society attempts global geoengineering solutions."

Earths ozone hole
Earth's ozone hole, shown here (in blue) in 2006, could be negatively affected by some efforts to mitigate climate change.


Orangutan attempts to hunt fish with spear

A male orangutan, clinging precariously to overhanging branches, flails the water with a pole, trying desperately to spear a passing fish.

It is the first time one has been seen using a tool to hunt.

Orangutan fishing
©Gerd Schuster, Willie Smits & Jay Ullal