Earth ChangesS


Seismic scan of Etna reveals an eruption in the making

Mount Etna just got a full-body scan. While nothing serious was diagnosed this time around, similar scans might give warning of a future volcanic eruption.

The Sicilian volcano is almost always bubbling with activity, but despite this thousands of people live safely on its slopes. In 2002, however, there was an unusually violent eruption that geophysicists believe was caused by gas-rich magma rising within the volcano.


After the drought, scientists warn of a looming flood crisis

Britain faces a serious risk of floods in the coming months according to experts who yesterday criticised the Government for cutting national funding for flood defences.

A combination of exceptionally high tides and the risk of autumn storms and heavy downpours could bring serious floods to many parts of the country at a time when anti-flood funding is being cut.


Drought, water worries cloud skies for US farmers

CHICAGO - As the United States bakes in one of the hottest summers since the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s, drought from the Dakotas to Arizona through Alabama has sharpened the focus of farmers on their lifeline: water.

Eighty percent of all fresh water consumed in the United States is used to produce food. But years of drought, diversion of water to growing urban areas and, most lately, concerns about global warming are feeding worries.

Specifically, farmers fear the U.S. Plains is facing its limits as a world producer of wheat, beef, vegetable oils and other crops due to long-term water shortages.

"Farmers aren't going to be able to produce enough food to feed the world because there's a finite amount of water left in the world. There are many folks that will tell you the next war will not be over gold, silver or land, it will be over water," said Ed Burchfield, director of facilities for Valmont Industries, which makes irrigation equipment.


Tropical Storm Debby forms in the eastern Atlantic

The fourth tropical storm of the 2006 hurricane season, Debby, formed off the coast of Cape Verde in the eastern Atlantic Tuesday, U.S. forecasters said in Miami.


Strong Earthquake Rattles El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) - A strong earthquake rattled El Salvador on Tuesday, but no injuries or serious damages were immediately reported.

The 5.7-magnitude quake was centered about 20 miles off the country's Pacific coast, off Playa El Espino in Usulutan province, according to the country's seismological service.


Worst is yet to come, US hurricane chief says

MIAMI - If you thought the sight of the great American jazz city New Orleans flooded to the eaves -- its people trapped in attics or cowering on rooftops -- was the nightmare hurricane scenario, think again.

Cloud Lightning

Vietnam flood toll rises to 42

HANOI - Flooding, landslides and lightning have killed 15 people and left one missing since Friday night in Vietnam, bringing the country's toll in a week of torrential rain to 42, reports said on Sunday.

Thousands have been evacuated to higher ground as water levels in the northern region's main rivers were expected to continue rising with more rainfall forecast for the coming week, state media quoted a government report as saying.

Cloud Lightning

Ethiopia flood misery deepens as rains threaten dams

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia braced for more damage from deadly nationwide flash floods as the government warned that unusually heavy seasonal rains could force the release of water from dangerously swollen dams.

A task force set up to deal with flooding crises that have affected nearly 75,000 people said three dams in the west, south and north of the country were close to the breaking point and advised residents in their vicinities to leave.

It said that, although controlled, the release of water from the threatened dams on the Omo, Awash and Blue Nile rivers could compound devastation from floods that have already killed at least 626 people in the south, east and north.


Rare Natural Events Photographed on Oregon Coast

It happened at two geographically divergent points on the Oregon coast - and it happened in two different realms of the scientific world.

A woman in Seaside captured a photograph of the glowing sands phenomenon, and a man in Newport snapped a picture of the "green flash" at sunset - both events rare in this region. Both have given Oregon's coastal tourism industry much to talk about for a time, with events so singular and odd they verge on the paranormal.

In early August, Tiffany Boothe, with the Seaside Aquarium, embarked on a minor journey of discovery on the beaches of Gearhart after dusk to try and spot the "glowing sands" event and take photos of it.


Men and women dream differently

MEN may be from Mars and women from Venus but when both are in the land of Nod they're still worlds apart.

A Welsh dream expert has confirmed what many already suspected that the differences between the sexes continue even while asleep.

Dr Mark Blagrove, a reader in psychology at Swansea University, has studied 100,000 people's dream experiences as part of a nationwide survey. It showed that a typical married couple sleeping side by side would have completely different types of dream, often at the same time.