Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Ancient global warming suggests high sensitivity to carbon dioxide

Los Angeles -- Global warming from 55 million years ago suggests that climates are highly sensitive to carbon dioxide, according to a study published by the latest issue of Science.

Scientific studies show that a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere caused the ancient global warming event known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) that began about 55 million years ago.

The resulting greenhouse effect heated the earth as a whole by about 9 Fahrenheit (5 Celsius) in less than 10,000 years, geologic records show.

The increase in temperatures lasted about 170,000 years, altering the world rainfall patterns, making the oceans acidic, affecting plant and animal life and spawning the rise of our modern primate ancestors, according to the study by Mark Pagani, associate professor of geology and geophysics at Yale University.

Magic Wand

Antarctica, a living global warming laboratory

Beijing-- For scientists at this ice-encircled outpost, global warming is not a matter of debate. It is a simple fact and crucial research questions centre on what its consequences will be.

Antarctica is a prime place for this research because it serves as an early warning system for climate change and is a major influence on global weather.

As about 90 per cent of the world's ice volume and 70 per cent of its fresh water is on the southernmost continent, any substantial warming could cause a rise in sea levels around the globe.

"It's a bellwether for the planet," Tom Wagner of the US National Science Foundation said in an e-mail interview. "Its ice sheets are the main player in sea level rise; there is already evidence that they are shrinking."


5.0 Quake Off Italian Coast

5.0 Quake Off Italian Coast

Region: Adriatic SeaMagnitude: 5.0Origin time: 2006/12/10 11:03:41 UTC


UN downgrades man's impact on the climate

Mankind has had less effect on global warming than previously supposed, a United Nations report on climate change will claim next year.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there can be little doubt that humans are responsible for warming the planet, but the organisation has reduced its overall estimate of this effect by 25 per cent.


U.S. Senate rejects earthquake repair money

HONOLULU (AP) _ The U-S Senate has cut 19 (m) million dollars in proposed earthquake assistance for Hawaii.

That has left the state scrambling to find other sources of federal money to assist agricultural water systems on the Big Island that are still recovering from the October 15th earthquakes.


The Consequences of Damming Rivers in the Developing World

A review of author Jacques Leslie's new book, which lays bare the high environmental and social price that people in the developing world often pay for damming their rivers.


Austria's hills aren't alive with sound of skiing

For the Austrian village of Hochfilzen it was a disaster. As it prepared to welcome the world's best cross-country skiers and shooters for a biathlon event this weekend there was a problem: no snow.

With climate experts confirming that the Alps are in the grip of the warmest temperatures for 1,300 years villagers borrowed some snow from a nearby mountain, trucking in snow from Grossglockner, Austria's highest peak, 20 miles away. Over five days lorries deposited the snow in the village, allowing a 6-metre wide by 45cm deep (20ft x 17inch) track.


Scientists say a 'silent earthquake' is overdue

SEATTLE - Seismology experts and geology researchers are literally waiting for the earth under the Pacific Northwest to move at any moment. The earthquake will be strong but it's certainly not going to knock plates off the wall or homes off their foundations. Experts say it will last a long time - about two weeks - and that's why you won't feel it.

The seismic event the scientists are waiting for is called a deep tremor or silent earthquake and the scientists have known about them for less than a decade.


Volcano erupts on Russia's Kamchatka peninsula

The Karymsky volcano on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's Far East has increased its activity, spewing ash up to an altitude of 6,900 meters (22,637 feet), the local emergencies center said Monday.


Scientists fear results of collapsed ice shelf - The Ross Ice Shelf, a raft of ice the size of France, could collapse quickly, triggering a dramatic rise in sea levels, scientists warn

A New Zealand-led drilling team in Antarctica has recovered three million years of climate history, but the news is not good for the future.

Initial analysis of sea-floor cores near Scott Base suggest the Ross Ice Shelf had collapsed in the past and had probably done so suddenly.

The team's co-chief scientist, Tim Naish, said the sediment record was important because it provided crucial evidence about how the Ross Ice Shelf would react to climate change, with potential to dramatically increase sea levels.

"If the past is any indication of the future, then the ice shelf will collapse," he said.