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Sun, 01 Oct 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Magpies are no bird-brains, mirror test shows

LONDON - Magpies can recognize themselves in a mirror, highlighting the mental skills of some birds and confounding the notion that self-awareness is the exclusive preserve of humans and a few higher mammals.

©Prior H., Schwarz A., Güntürkün O., PLoS Biology
Magpie with yellow mark.

It had been thought only chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants shared the human ability to recognize their own bodies in a mirror.

But German scientists reported on Tuesday that magpies -- a species with a brain structure very different from mammals -- could also identify themselves.

"It shows that the line leading to humans is not as special as many thought," lead researcher Helmut Prior of the Institute of Psychology at Goethe University in Frankfurt told Reuters.


New Zealand: Ski resort claims deepest snow base ever

Mt Ruapehu is claiming the biggest snow base ever recorded for a New Zealand skifield with over 4.5m of snow on the ground.


60 - 80 year "little ice age" coming

An expert from the National Autonomous University of Mexico predicted that in about ten years the Earth will enter a "little ice age" which will last from 60 to 80 years and may be caused by the decrease in solar activity.

Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the UNAM, presented his argument during a conference that teaches at the Centre for Applied Sciences and Technological Development.


Moderate earthquake hits Nicaraguan Pacific coast

Managua -- An earthquake measuring 4.8 degrees on the Richter scale hit west Nicaragua's Pacific coast on Monday, and there have not had reports of casualties or damage so far, Nicaraguan Earthquake Administration said.

The earthquake occurred at 13:00 local time (1900 GMT) and the epicenter was located some 200 km from Managua in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 9.8 km.

Cloud Lightning

Oregon, US: Lightning starts additional fires

Lightning storms have sparked more than 100 new fires on the Willamette and Umpqua national forests since Saturday, with more lightning forecast through today.

About 75 of those fires are on the Willamette National Forest and all were initially pegged at less than an acre. Judith McHugh, spokeswoman for the Willamette, said crews and equipment are being sent to the fires but acknowledged that there are too many to attack all at once.

Cloud Lightning

US: Lightning sparks wildfires in Washington state

Seattle - Lightning has started hundreds of fires in Washington state, and some of the biggest are still raging.

The Foam Creek fire has been burning since last week in the Glacier Peak Wilderness near the Snohomish/Chelan county line.


Future impact of global warming is worse when grazing animals are considered, scientists suggest

The impact of global warming in the Arctic may differ from the predictions of computer models of the region, according to a pair of Penn State biologists. The team -- which includes Eric Post, a Penn State associate professor of biology, and Christian Pederson, a Penn State graduate student -- has shown that grazing animals will play a key role in reducing the anticipated expansion of shrub growth in the region, thus limiting their predicted and beneficial carbon-absorbing effect. The team's results will be published in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences sometime between 18 and 22 August 2008.

©Eric Post, Penn State University
Research by Post and Pederson found that muskoxen graze more heavily than do caribou in certain areas, perhaps due to the sedentary nature of the muskox.

Cloud Lightning

US: Witnesses recount 'wild weather'

Donna Marcotte saw a ball of fire, Pamela Moore feared that glass was falling on her and Gini Kernozicky ducked under the bar she was tending after hearing what she thought was a gunshot ring out Saturday in Keene.

Chalk it up to another unpredictable day of weather during this wet and wild New Hampshire summer.

Bizarro Earth

Wisconsin, US: Why The Wild Weather?

Tuesday, July 15th was the hottest day of the year so far, but it's the middle of July! By now, we should have hit 90 and beyond. It's all part of a strange year of weather: tornadoes in January, all that snow, and don't forget about the record rains.

Why is it happening?

The rare January tornadoes in Kenosha County gave us an idea of the wild weather we would experience this year, and we still have five months to go. Nineteen winter storms buried most of southern Wisconsin this winter. Nearly two dozen snowfall records were shattered. Milwaukee ended up with 99.1 inches, the most since 1885.


Something Strange is Happening at the Coldest, Driest Place on Earth

For someone who has experienced "freaky weather" in the Antarctic up close and personal, reports this week that baby Antarctic penguins are freezing to death due to "freak rain storms," came as no surprise.

Fellow explorer Jon Bowermaster had this to say:
"Everyone talks about the melting of the glaciers but having day after day of rain in Antarctica is a totally new phenomenon. As a result, penguins are literally freezing to death."
The sad truth is there's been a lot of freaky things happening in the Antarctic lately.