Earth ChangesS


Vegas sizzles under "dangerously hot" conditions

Nevada sizzled on Wednesday as temperatures approached record highs and forecasters warned of even hotter conditions through the end of the week.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for western Nevada and the eastern Sierra, where temperatures were expected to top the century mark through Friday.

Cloud Lightning

"The Day After Tomorrow"? The moment apocalyptic weather swept across London

This is the moment when apocalyptic weather swept across London, darkening the summer skies.

An extraordinary twister-like cloud formation hovers over central London in a terrifying example of the extreme weather conditions nationwide.

©Peter Gray

And just when you thought the weather couldn't get any worse, Britain was bombarded with huge hailstones.

Cloud Lightning

Severe Weather Forces National Mall Evacuation

Tornado Watch In Effect Until 10 p.m.

WASHINGTON - Fourth of July crowds have been evacuated from the National Mall until severe storms pass through the area, according to Rob Lachance, of the U.S. Park Police.

The West Front of the U.S. Capitol also was evacuated due to inclement weather.

The evacuations began at about 5 p.m. as officials determined that severe storms to the west were moving their direction.


Healthy scepticism over climate claims - Your own mind

The public believes the effects of global warming on the climate are not as bad as politicians and scientists claim, a poll has suggested.

The Ipsos Mori poll of 2,032 adults - interviewed between 14 and 20 June - found 56% believed scientists were still questioning climate change.

There was a feeling the problem was exaggerated to make money, it found.

The Royal Society said most climate scientists believed humans were having an "unprecedented" effect on climate.

The survey suggested that terrorism, graffiti, crime and dog mess were all of more concern than climate change.

Life Preserver

Oil Plus Floods Turn Kansas Town Slimy

The flood engulfing homes to the rooftops carried an extra curse Tuesday as a slick of 42,000 gallons of thick crude oil floated downstream with the mud and debris, coating everything it touched with a slimy, smelly layer of goo.

"My question is how are they going to get all that oil out of the environment," said Mary Burge, a heart surgery patient who had to breathe from a portable oxygen tank because the petroleum odor Monday was so strong it could be detected by the crews of helicopters passing overhead.

A malfunction allowed the oil to spill from the Coffeyville Resources refinery on Sunday, while the plant was shutting down in advance of the flood heading toward it on the Verdigris River.

Cleanup of the toxic sludge will complicate long-term flood recovery efforts for Coffeyville.


US wildfire 'could burn all summer'

A wildfire in the US which has killed three people and charred more than 62 square miles could burn all summer even as hundreds of firefighters continue to fight it.

More than 700 firefighters have joined the battle with more expected to arrive to help protect homes and control the blaze.

The fire was 20 per cent contained, and people evacuated in a string of small communities in Utah were told they could return, a spokeswoman for the firefighters said.

Since Friday, when three people were killed, the fire has burned nearly 40,000 acres - about one-third in the Ashley National Forest and the rest on private and public land and the Uintah and Ouray Indian reservations.


Calif. power grid avoids disruption, problems linger

California's electric grid operator expected to have sufficient electricity on Tuesday afternoon as increasing generation and conservation efforts averted the potential for a blackout, the agency said.

A number of generators were able to restart power plants that shut unexpectedly Tuesday morning while power consumption in the state fell below earlier forecasts even as 100-degree-plus temperatures boosted the need for air conditioning across the state and the entire western U.S.

NRG Energy Inc. was working to restart several units at its Encina power station that tripped about 5:30 a.m., said spokesman David Knox. "We expect to have all but one of the units that tripped off online later today and the last unit online by Thursday," Knox said. The Encina unit can produce 965 megawatts of power. In California, one megawatt can supply about 700 homes.


Drought Alert! Communities nix fireworks on 4th

A laser light show will replace traditional July Fourth fireworks in Burbank, Calif. Woodstock, Ga., canceled its fireworks and plans to shoot them off on Halloween.

Dozens of communities in drought-stricken areas are scrapping public fireworks displays and cracking down on backyard pyrotechnics to reduce the risk of fires.

"From a fire standpoint and a safety standpoint, it was an easy call," Burbank Fire Chief Tracy Pansini says. He recommended calling off fireworks at the Starlight Bowl because they're launched from a mountainside covered with vegetation that's "all dead."

It's the only time Burbank's fireworks have been canceled since they were first held at the amphitheater in 1994. "Ticket sales are pretty slow" for the night's events, says city recreation supervisor Cathryn Villalobos. "People are saying, 'If you're not having fireworks, we're not coming.' " Elsewhere:

Cloud Lightning

Wild South Australia weather: storm damage, flood warnings

Severe weather is leaving a trail of damage across South Australia.

The weather bureau has been forecasting destructive gusts up to 120 kph, as a low pressure system moves east.

Among the areas badly-affected is Coulta, north-west of Port Lincoln on southern Eyre Peninsula.

Residents say a 'mini tornado' appears to have struck.

Marc Kilmartin says he has never seen weather like it, not even when he lived in north Queensland and a cyclone was near.

Bizarro Earth

Tornado kills 14, injures 146 in eastern China

BEIJING - A tornado swept across eastern China, killing 14 people and injuring 146, state media reported on Wednesday, the latest casualties from bad weather that has devastated parts of the country this summer.