Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Floods in Siberia and Far East force 3,000 from homes

Flooding in Siberian and Far East regions have forced more than 3000 people to leave their homes, a local emergency service spokesman said Monday.

"Thirteen residential areas in Siberia and the Far East are still affected by flooding - 1,116 homes with a population of almost 4,000 residents, and 3,167 people have been evacuated," the spokesman said.

In one village in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), almost 900 houses had been flooded forcing over 2,500 people to leave their homes.


Moscow breaks 120-year temperature record

Monday has become the hottest May 28th in the 120-year history of temperature record-keeping in Moscow, the city's meteorological service said.

With thermometers near bursting at 32.2 degrees Celsius (89.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and the record shattered by about 2:00 p.m. Moscow time (10:00 a.m. GMT), the service said that temperatures will continue to rise and will reach at least 34 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by late afternoon.

Unseasonably hot May weather has already seen last year's energy consumption for this time of year surpassed by about 8% in Moscow and 12% in St. Petersburg, a spokeswoman for the UES electricity monopoly said.


Negev resident traps leopard who crept into his home

Negev resident Arthur Dimosh trapped a Leopard Sunday night after the feline had crept into his bedroom in Sde Boker while chasing a cat.

Dimosh awoke from the barking of his dog, to find himself face to face with a leopard. He immediately leapt on the animal, grabbed him by the neck and asked his wife to call the Nature and Parks Authority (NPA).

Officials from the NPA arrived shortly after and managed to get the leopard into a cage by first transferring him into a trash bin.


Oceanic Storms Create Oases In The Watery Desert

For two decades, scientists have puzzled over why vast blooms of microscopic plant life grow in the middle of otherwise barren mid-ocean regions. Now a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has shown that episodic, swirling current systems known as eddies act to pump nutrients up from the deep ocean to fuel such blooms.

©Dennis McGillicuddy, WHOI, and the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research
Data from satellite altimeters, which measure sea surface heights, show depressions (blue) and bumps (red) that mark cold- and warm-water eddies in the ocean on June 17, 2005.


Kansas gets a break from drought

For the first time in five years, Kansas is embarking on the summer growing and recreational season without a single county under a drought watch.

The good news is hard-earned. Snowfalls exceeding 5 feet paralyzed western Kansas for weeks last winter, closed roads and stranded hungry cattle. Springtime brought floods that displaced hundreds of people.


Melting ice forces sinking Alaska village to seek lifeline

The sturdy little Cessnas land whenever the fog lifts, delivering children's bicycles, boxes of bullets, outboard motors, and cans of dried oats. And then, with a rumble down a gravel strip, the planes are gone, the outside world recedes, and this sub arctic outpost steels itself once again to face the frontier of climate change.

"I don't want to live in permafrost no more," said Frank Tommy, 47, standing beside gutted geese and seal meat drying on a wooden rack outside his mother's house. "It's too muddy. Everything is crooked around here."

The earth beneath much of Alaska is not what it used to be. The permanently frozen subsoil, known as permafrost, upon which Newtok and so many other Native Alaskan villages rest, is melting, yielding to warming air temperatures and a warming ocean. Sea ice that would normally protect coastal villages is forming later in the year, allowing fall storms to pound away at the shoreline.

Cloud Lightning

Monsoons Two Months Early? New Mexico's Weird Weather

New Mexico's weather is always weird - but this spring has been far weirder than normal.

State Climatologist Ted Sammis said in 30 years as a weather watcher he's never seen a spring like it.

Monsoon season isn't supposed to start until July 4, give or take two weeks, he said.

But the persistent small thunderstorms and cooler temperatures of recent weeks sure look like typical July monsoons, Sammis said.

Light Saber

Earth is warming, but are we to blame?

To the editor:

A recent CBC story said eating red meat is a major contributor to global warming, because of the methane gas emitted when cows pass gas. One contributor to the program equated bovine flatulence with air pollution created by SUVs, and advocated a vegetarian diet for all earthlings. Only at the end of the program was it revealed the person was a vegan.

I equate global-warming fanatics with the more extreme members of the anti-tobacco lobby - people who seem to enjoy bullying people who smoke.

Cloud Lightning

South Carolina: May rainfall totals could be the lowest in more than a century

This may turn out to be one of driest months of May in more than 100 years. The Midlands is entering the first stage of drought.


Birds, Bees, Frogs: Our vanishing helpers

But these dyings-off are happening. They're real. They can't be laughed off with glib sarcasm. No, don't panic - rather, accept these as true harbingers of profound processes in which we play an important role. If we don't heed these warnings, the dyings-off could become dyings-out.

Not to say we are the main or the only cause. But human beings and what they do are likely involved. If there's a way we can improve matters, we should - that is, unless we're prepared to do without these wonderful animals and what they give the world.