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Wed, 18 Sep 2019
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Bulge in Central Oregon may be a volcano

Scientists studying a land bulge near Bend, Ore., think a new volcano may be forming. A group from the U.S. Geological Survey is studying the swelling in Earth's crust. It is nearly two-thirds the size of Portland, Ore.

Recent eruptions at Mount St. Helens have rekindled interest in the patch of land west of Bend in Central Oregon.

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Decline of whales worries scientists

Strict hunting limits have not reversed drop in numbers in Alaska's Cook Inlet

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- In the 1970s, there were about 1,300 beluga whales in Cook Inlet, delighting locals and tourists alike. Last year, the number was estimated at just 278.

Why their numbers are dwindling has scientists puzzled -- and scared.

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Global time-bomb

Tim Flannery's climatic epic on the erosion of life on Earth is an epitaph and a cause for hope

THE WEATHER MAKERS: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change by Tim Flannery Allen Lane, £20; 368pp

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Melting Ice Caps Could Spell Disaster for Coastal Cities

For the first time, scientists have confirmed Earth is melting at both ends, which could have disastrous effects for coastal cities and villages.

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La Nina weather phenomenon is coming

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said it saw unprecedented signs pointing to a looming La Nina, a phenomenon that originates off the western coast of South America but can disrupt weather patterns in many parts of the globe.

The buildup of this La Nina was so exceptionally swift and intense that it was impossible at the moment to infer what the impact would be, and how long the phenomenon would last, it warned.

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State of emergency declared for Windward Oahu - Almost 23 inches of rain in 72 hours!

Over the 72-hour period ending at 5 a.m. today, Punaluu saw 22.84 inches of rain. Kahuku was not far behind at 12.26.

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Antarctica Losing Ice, Contrary to Expectations

Joining the growing list of places on this planet that are melting, Antarctica is losing some 36 cubic miles of ice every year, scientists said today.

For comparison, Los Angeles consumes roughly 1 cubic mile of fresh water a year.

The south polar region holds 90 percent of Earth's ice and 70 percent of the total fresh water on the planet, so any significant pace of melting there is important and could contribute to an already rising sea.

"This is the first study to indicate the total mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet is in significant decline," said Isabella Velicogna of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Planet's Population Hit 6.5 Billion on February 25th, 2006

On Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7:16 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the population here on this good Earth is projected to hit 6.5 billion people.

Along with this forecast, an analysis by the International Programs Center at the U.S. Census Bureau points to another factoid, Robert Bernstein of the Bureau's Public Information Center advised LiveScience. Mark this on your calendar: Some six years from now, on Oct. 18, 2012 at 4:36 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the Earth will be home to 7 billion folks.

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Flashback! UK radiation jump blamed on Iraq Depleted Uranium shells

RADIATION detectors in Britain recorded a fourfold increase in uranium levels in the atmosphere after the "shock and awe" bombing campaign against Iraq, according to a report.

Environmental scientists who uncovered the figures through freedom of information laws say it is evidence that depleted uranium from the shells was carried by wind currents to Britain.

Cow Skull

Depleted uranium: How dangerous is it?

A former US military researcher tells Gay Alcorn of his crusade to expose the health risks of depleted-uranium weapons used in the Gulf wars.

Doug Rokke sits on the edge of his chair in a beige, could-be-anywhere hotel room in Carlton. He stares at you with an almost embarrassing intensity and is close to tears.

"It's lonely," he says slowly. "It's very lonely. I made a decision. I was given a job. I did my job. I learned something. I gave them an answer they didn't want. I became persona non grata. And the better parts of my life ended."

What remains is an obsession with proving he is right about the dangers of depleted uranium (DU) weapons. A waste produced from the uranium enrichment process, depleted uranium has become increasingly contentious since American and British militaries first used it in the 1991 Gulf War and, since then, in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rokke, a health physicist who became the Pentagon's most senior DU expert during the first Gulf War, became convinced it had contaminated the battlefield and could be a factor in Gulf War Syndrome, the mysterious mix of illnesses that have afflicted returning soldiers. Rokke acknowledges DU's brilliance as a weapon - because it is an extremely dense metal that sharpens and burns as it hits its target, it is used on the ends of tank shells and missiles to penetrate steel and concrete much more easily than conventional weapons. But he also believes that he and the research team became contaminated. "Everybody is sick," he says. "We've all got rashes, respiratory and kidney problems. It's there; there are no two ways about it."

Rokke is a military veteran. He joined the US Air Force in 1967 and bombed Vietnam targets "before I could shave". Years later, with a master of science and expertise in environmental health, he was ordered to the Gulf to help protect American soldiers if chemical and biological weapons were used and, later, to oversee DU clean-up. He became convinced DU was causing illnesses such as cancer, and that the Pentagon was downplaying its dangers. When he went public with his views, he was sacked