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Global warming may 'stop', scientists predict

Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said.

Bizarro Earth

Pacific Decadal Oscillation Has Shifted to Cool Phase, Reducing Global Temperatures: NASA

A cool-water anomaly known as La Niña occupied the tropical Pacific Ocean throughout 2007 and early 2008. In April 2008, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that while the La Niña was weakening, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation - a larger-scale, slower-cycling ocean pattern - had shifted to its cool phase.

La Nina and Pacific Decadal Oscillation Cool the Pacific

Cloud Lightning

Maine flooding 'greater than a 100-year event'

FORT KENT, Maine - The raging St. John River spilled its banks, flooding more than 100 homes as emergency management officials feared the region could face its worst flooding in modern history Thursday.

Fort Kent, ME
©Shawn Patrick Ouellette / AP
A man walks his dog past flooded Main St. in Fort Kent, Maine, on Wednesday.


Wildfire burns toward Grand Canyon

PHOENIX - Firefighters are battling a forest fire burning out of control toward the Grand Canyon, fanned by strong winds and dry conditions, authorities said on Wednesday.

The so-called X Fire has burned 2,000 acres of the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona, and was burning toward the Grand Canyon National Park early on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the forest service said.

"The fire is not contained at this time. It's still windy and moisture levels are low so we are concerned," said Margaret Hangan, a spokeswoman for the Kaibab National Forest.


Birds can 'see' the Earth's magnetic field

It has been debated for nearly four decades but no one has yet been able to prove it is chemically possible. Now good evidence suggests that birds can actually "see" the lines of the Earth's magnetic field.

Klaus Schulten of the University of Illinois, proposed forty years ago that some animals - including migratory birds - must have molecules in their eyes or brains which respond to magnetism. The problem has been that no one has been able to find a chemical sensitive enough to be influenced by Earth's weak geomagnetic field.

Now Peter Hore and colleagues at the University of Oxford have found one.


Scientists discover new ocean current

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered a new climate pattern called the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. This new pattern explains, for the first time, changes in the water that are important in helping commercial fishermen understand fluctuations in the fish stock. They're also finding that as the temperature of the Earth is warming, large fluctuations in these factors could help climatologists predict how the oceans will respond in a warmer world. The research appears in the April 30 edition of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

"We've been able to explain, for the first time, the changes in salinity, nutrients and chlorophyll that we see in the Northeast Pacific," said Emanuele Di Lorenzo, assistant professor in Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

©Georgia Tech
The North Pacific Gyre Oscillation explains changes in salinity, nutrients and chlorophyll seen in the Northeast Pacific.


Fruit bats at risk of extinction in Cyprus

The Fruit Bat is under threat of extinction on the island, the Forestry Department said yesterday. Forestry Officer Harris Nicolaou told the Mail that numbers have been rapidly declining, with only an estimated 3,500 remaining.

fruit bat
Fruit Bat

"We can say that numbers were far greater in the past and it is now an endangered species," he said.

Heart - Black

Greece: Dead sea mammals mystery

An alarming number of dead sea mammals, apparently killed on purpose by humans rather than dying of natural causes, have washed up on Greek shores in the last few weeks, marine experts said yesterday.

Better Earth

New shrew discovered in Ireland

Irish Shrew
The white-toothed shrew has now moved to Ireland!

Dublin - Ireland, which has seen an immigration surge in recent years, has a new foreigner on its shores, scientists said Monday: the greater white-toothed shrew.

The mammal, Crocidura Russula, has been discovered in parts of the midlands and south-west of the republic. Its natural range is in parts of Africa, France and Germany.

Bizarro Earth

(Nevada) Quake swarm continues

At least 52 earthquakes were recorded in Northern Nevada between midnight Monday and 8 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey Web site.

The strongest was magnitude 4.2 recorded at 4:33 a.m. Most of the earthquakes registered below a 2.0. A 2.5 was recorded at 5:12 a.m. and a 2.0 was recorded at 2:34 p.m.