Earth ChangesS


Unexpected warming in Antarctica

Data from nine research stations were used in the studyWinter air temperatures over Antarctica have risen by more than 2C in the last 30 years, a new study shows.

Research published in the US journal Science says the warming is seen across the whole of the continent and much of the Southern Ocean.

The study questions the reliability of current climate models that fail to simulate the temperature rise.

In addition, the scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) say the cause of the warming is not clear.

It could be linked to increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or natural variations in Antarctica's climate system.

Scientists are keen to understand the change in temperatures over the continent as the region holds enough water in its ice to raise sea levels by 60 metres.


At least 66 dead in Iran quake

TEHRAN - At least 66 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck western Iran, destroying whole villages and sending frightened residents fleeing from their homes, according to the latest toll.


Scientists theorize comet killed off the mammoths

The age of mystery material found in southern Alberta, which could belong to an extraterrestrial object, coincides with the great ice age die-off


Yellowstone's sister volcano shares similar history

The explosive formation of Argentina's Vilama Calera volcano seemed to have matched Yellowstone's historic continent-blanketing blast millions of years ago.

Vilama Calera may be another unappreciated 'supervolcano' (like Yellowstone) hidden in a mega-volcano nursery, dubbed the Eduardo Avaroa Caldera Complex in the tri-section of Argentine, Bolivia and Chile.

Geologist Miguel M. Soler of the National University of Jujuy in San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina, said: "Vilama Caldera formed during a single event that emitted approximately 2000 cubic kilometres (almost 500 cubic miles) of pyroclastic material."

Bizarro Earth

New City-sized Iceberg Created Near Antarctica

A city-sized iceberg has broken off an island near Antarctica.

The iceberg is about 8 miles wide and 15 miles long. It broke free of the Fimbul Ice Shelf, a large glacial ice sheet along the northwestern section of Queen Maud Land, in the eastern Weddell Sea near Antarctica.


4.6 earthquake shakes Humboldt County (California)

PETROLIA, Calif. - An earthquake with a preliminary-magnitude of 4.6 struck just off the Humboldt County coast Saturday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake, which struck at 5:56 p.m., occurred on the Mendocino fault and was centered about 6 miles southwest of Petrolia and 180 miles north of San Francisco, the USGS said.

The temblor struck an extremely rural part of the state and was felt as far as the town of Blue Lake, about 50 miles north of the epicenter.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Department said that no injuries or property damage were immediately reported.


California fault line primed for big earthquake, experts predict

It could hit 2 million near Bay area with magnitude 6.7, more

New cracks appear in Elke DeMuynck's ceiling every few weeks, zigzagging across her living room. Month after month, year after year, she patches, paints and waits.

"It definitely lets you know your house is constantly shifting," DeMuynck said. So do the gate outside that swings uselessly 21/2 inches from its latch, the bulges in the street and the geology students who make pilgrimages to her cul-de-sac.


Strong earthquake shakes Fiji islands

SUVA, Fiji - A strong earthquake shook Fiji early Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warning.

The magnitude-6 quake was centered 270 miles west-northwest of the Fiji capital, Suva, USGS said.


Strong quake hits south Iran

TEHRAN - An earthquake of magnitude 6.0 and a series of aftershocks struck the southern Iranian province of Hormuzgan on Saturday, causing minor damage, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.


Broken Comet On Its Way

In 1995, Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 did something unexpected: it fell apart.

For no apparent reason, the comet's nucleus split into at least three "mini-comets" flying single file through space. Astronomers watched with interest, but the view was blurry even through large telescopes. The comet was a hundred and fifty million miles away.

We're about to get a much closer look. In May 2006 the fragments are going to fly past Earth closer than any comet has come in almost eighty years.