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Wed, 13 Nov 2019
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Mystery solved? Algae bloom behind Florida animal deaths

A team of nearly 50 researchers has determined that an algae bloom known as red tide was responsible for the earlier deaths of animals off the Florida coast.

The research team found that the mysterious deaths of scores of turtles, bottlenose dolphins and manatees back in 2005 off the southwest coast of Florida was likely caused a neurotoxin that was emitted from the red tide, The Washington Post said.

The Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events study determined that brevetoxin was the likely culprit in the deaths after examining 130 stranded dolphins.

Cloud Lightning

Greenland's Mysterious Winds Tied to Global Climate

Greenland is not known for hurricanes, but the frigid land mass does host some of the strongest - and most mysterious - winds on the planet. Now scientists say the bizarre winds could be linked to weather and climate phenomena far from the icy realm.

After two weeks of flying head-on into hurricane-force winds that whipped recently around the southern tip of Greenland, a group of scientists has a better idea of just how these winds relate to broader weather patterns, global ocean circulation and climate.

Weather experts have only really known about these so-called tip jets for less than a decade, and most of what they knew was from satellite data. The team of scientists, as part of the International Polar Year effort, recently sought to go airborne for a close-up look at the roaring winds.

Bizarro Earth

Tsunami Hits Northeast Somalia, Three Missing

MOGADISHU -- A tsunami hit the coast of the self-autonomous region of Puntland in northeast Somalia, a local official confirmed on Monday, saying three people are missing and presumed dead.

Light Sabers

Global Warming Prophet: Al Gore's Faith Is Bad Science

Al Gore likes to present himself as a tribune of science, warning the world of imminent danger. But he is more like an Old Testament prophet, calling on us to bewail our wrongful conduct and to go and sin no more. He starts off with the science. The world's climate, he reports, is getting warmer. This accurate report is, however, not set in historic context. World climate has grown warmer and cooler at various times in history. Climate change is not some unique historic event. It is the way the world works.

Not this time, Gore says. What's different is that climate change is being driven by human activity -- to wit, increasing carbon dioxide emissions. Which means, he says, that we have to sharply reduce those emissions. But what the scientists tell us is that some proportion of climate change is caused by human activity and some proportion by natural causes -- and that they can only estimate what those proportions are. The estimates they have produced have varied sharply. The climate change models that have been developed don't account for events of the recent past, much less predict with precision events in the future.

Magic Wand

Czech leader Klaus fights global warming "religion"

Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Wednesday that fighting global warming has turned into a a "religion" that replaced the ideology of communism and threatens to clip basic freedoms.

The right-wing president, a free-market champion, wrote to the U.S. Congress that adopting tough environmental policies to fight climate change would have destructive impact on national economies.

"Communism has been replaced by the threat of an ambitious environmentalism," Klaus wrote in response to questions from the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The U.S. House Subcommittee for Energy and Air Quality was due to hold a hearing on climate on Wednesday with former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, who sees global warming as a key challenge, and Danish sceptic Bjorn Lomborg, who says governments should focus on fight disease and hunger instead.

Cloud Lightning

Bangladesh: Storm kills 10, 200 injured, over 1,000 houses damaged

At least 10 people were killed and around 200 were injured as the year's first violent storm swept through Lalmohon and Char Borhanuddin upazilas in Bhola on Thursday leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

The 10-minute long storm damaged no less than a thousand houses leaving hundreds of people homeless. Many trees in the local reserved forest were uprooted and a heavy hail shower following the storm completely destroyed the crops on the fields.

Better Earth

Volcano Still Erupting In Indonesia

Thousands of people on Lembata Island in Indonesia's Solor Archipelago are sleeping away from home as Mount Batutara spews ash and lava.

The volcano became more active Saturday, the Jakarta Post reported. Tons of ash and lava spewed from its cone into the sea.

Magic Wand

Yipee! Riches Await as Earth's Icy North Melts

HAMMERFEST, Norway - Barren and uninhabited, Hans Island is very hard to find on a map. Yet these days the Frisbee-shaped rock in the Arctic is much in demand _ so much so that Canada and Denmark have both staked their claim to it with flags and warships. The reason: an international race for oil, fish, diamonds and shipping routes, accelerated by the impact of global warming on Earth's frozen north.


Magic Wand

Highway shut for butterfly travel

Taiwan is to close one lane of a major highway to protect more than a million butterflies, which cross the road on their seasonal migration.

The purple milkweed butterfly, which winters in the south of the island, passes over some 600m of motorway to reach its breeding ground in the north.

Many of the 11,500 butterflies that attempt the journey each hour do not reach safety, experts say.

Protective nets and ultra-violet lights will also be used to aid the insects.

Attention

Quakes shake Vanuatu in South Pacific

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Two strong earthquakes struck the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Sunday and a tsunami warning was issued for some of its southern islands, police said.