Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Millions suffer as storms in China kill at least 23

Rain storms and floods have killed at least 23 people across southern China in recent days and made thousands homeless, Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

"Millions of people are suffering," it said.

Storms killed seven people and left four missing in the southern province of Guizhou on Friday and Saturday. Nearly 20,000 hectares (77 sq miles) of cropland were flooded and 3,000 houses destroyed, Xinhua said.

Cloud Lightning

Midwest residents clean up storm damage

Cleanup crews assembled Friday to salvage remnants of a northern Wisconsin resort demolished by one of at least five tornadoes that swept across the state.

Severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes, produced baseball-size hail and dropped more than 6 inches of rain Thursday across the Upper Midwest, killing a swimmer in Illinois. In Wisconsin, at least two people went to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Cloud Lightning

Get used to wild weather - Connecticut

"It's been a year of extremes," said Mel Goldstein, former head of the meteorology department at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury and a forecaster on WTNH-New Haven. "It's been wacky weather."

Evil Rays

CCD revisited: Beekeepers Worry About Impact Of Mysterious Bee Aliment

MADISON, Wis. -- A mysterious ailment killing honeybees nationwide might be hitting Wisconsin bees harder than first suspected.

Colony Collapse Disorder has made headlines recently because bee pollination is needed for a third of all U.S. food crops.

Comment: For more information on Bee disappearances read the comprehensive SOTT editorial, To Bee or not to Be.


Salty oceans provide early warning for climate change

Monitoring the saltiness of the ocean water could provide an early indicator of climate change. Significant increases or decreases in salt in key areas could forewarn of climate change in 10 to 20 years time. Presenting their findings at a recent European Science Foundation (ESF) conference, scientists predicted that the waters of the southern hemisphere oceans around South Africa and New Zealand are the places to watch.

Palaeoclimate data shows that the ocean's currents (like the Gulf Stream and its North Atlantic deep water partner) are capable of shifting gears very suddenly, but until now it wasn't clear how this occurred. Using a combination of modern observations, numerical models and palaeoclimate data scientists are increasingly realising that salt is the key.

Their results reveal that a build up of salty water can stimulate deep water circulation, while a diluting of the waters is linked to sluggish flow. "Salt plays a far more important role that we first thought," says Professor Rainer Zahn, a palaeoclimatologist at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain.

Salt increases the density of water. Once a pocket of water becomes salty enough it sinks, drawing in additional water from surrounding areas, and initiates an ocean circulation loop called thermohaline overturning.

Cloud Lightning

142 MPH Winds Scream Over Denver

If you didn't sleep well Wednesday night, especially in the northwest Denver metro area, blame Mother Nature.

A powerful area of low pressure passing to the north of Colorado produced hurricane-force winds in and near the foothills west of Denver.


Sustained winds of 50 to 70 mph hammered the northwest Denver metro area late Wednesday and early Thursday, with numerous gusts between 80 and 90 mph.

Magic Wand

Kamchatka: Tourist interest in Geyser Valley peaks following mudslides

In an ironic twist to a sad story, public interest in Kamchatka's Geyser Valley, hit by a pair of devastating mudflows Sunday, has suddenly spiked, a local tour agency representative said Friday.

Inquiries regarding visits to the geyser field have risen sharply. "People, especially foreigners, want to see the result of the natural disaster with their own eyes, the representative said.

Two mudslides June 3 buried nearly two-thirds of the valley, which features some 200 thermal pools and 90 erupting geysers covering an area of 2.5 square miles on the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia's Far East.

A spokesman for the Natural Resources Ministry said Thursday that some 30 geysers had survived intact, 10 had been irretrievably lost and the rest were underwater and expected to recover.

Cloud Lightning

Illinois: May one for the record books

Warren County witnessed a few weeks of near normal weather in March and April, but that pattern did not last long.

May turned out to be one of the warmest and driest on record.

The spring of 2007 March through May was also one of the warmest on the record books.

Cloud Lightning

Record Low Water Levels in May for North Carolina Rivers

Despite some rainfall at the end of the month, streamflows during May in North Carolina were at or near record low levels, particularly in the western part of the state.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been monitoring and recording streamflow for more than 100 years at many locations throughout North Carolina, including the French Broad River at Asheville, which has been continuously monitored since 1895. Streamflows at this location in May were at or below the streamflow recorded on the same date in 2002, during the most recent severe drought.

Cloud Lightning

South Carolina: Committee upgrades drought to moderate

All of South Carolina is under a moderate drought. That's according to a declaration from the State Drought Response Committee.

State climatologist Hope Mizzell says drying farm land and rapidly dropping stream and river flows led the committee to today's vote to upgrade the drought. Mizzell says a moderate drought doesn't require mandatory action by public water systems or the public, but it is a warning conditions are getting worse.