Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

US, Tennessee: Torrential rains trigger street flooding, accidents and rising rivers

Torrential rains are falling across Western and Middle Tennessee today, periodic downpours alternating with brief glimpses of blue sky, with in essence only a moment's breathing room. The effects of the rain are already being felt, not the least of which is a car accident that may or may not be attributable to insufficient or ineffecient storm drain problems at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Thomas Street.



Uzumma, newly named Woodland Park Zoo gorilla

A western lowland gorilla was born Saturday about 3:30 a.m. (PST) at Woodland Park Zoo. The newborn represents the twelfth successful gorilla birth for the zoo and the third offspring between 37-year-old Amanda and the father, 28-year-old Vip. The infant is a female.

And her name is...Uzumma!

Andy Rogers
©Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Uzumma, a 5-month-old female western lowland gorilla, relaxes on her mother's chest after the announcement of her new name at the Woodland Park Zoo Friday, April 4, 2008


Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Belches A Toxic Brew

Kilauea Volcano 01
The magenta cloud shows an ash plume from the eruption of Halema'uma'u vent inside the Kilauea crater.

Cloud Lightning

Thousands remain homeless after torrential rains and flooding in Ecuador

More than 14,000 Ecuadorians are still in shelters after torrential rains flooded nearly half the country.

Rain and floods are not unusual in Ecuador's winter, but this year torrential rains have continued since early January, affecting 13 provinces - nearly half the country.

Floods are expected to last until May, prompting President Rafael Correa to declare: "This is not an emergency, this is a disaster. We don't have enough resources to assist the victims."


US, California: UC Davis experts look into Redding skunk deaths

Rabies and distemper have been ruled out, but experts have not solved the mystery of Redding's dead skunks.

About 60 dead or dying skunks - and a fox and a raccoon - have been found in Redding since mid-February.

Having ruled out distemper and rabies, University of California, Davis, experts are looking at toxic substances or parasites as the cause of the animal deaths.


Antibiotics feed bacteria

Hundreds of bacteria isolated from soil samples are able to live exclusively on antibiotics as a food source, according to a report published today (April 3) in Science.


Bees learn to buzz around the neighbourhood

Bees learn to recognise particular bushes, trees and flowers, according to scientists who say these insects are surprisingly sophisticated at navigating their natural environment.

The research, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, shows that bee behaviour is not hard-wired as once believed.

Lead author Dr Adrian Dyer, an Australian vision researcher from Monash University in Melbourne, says bees can learn new tasks, despite their tiny brain size.

"This gives us a real insight into how neurones work and how neurones can interact and learn how to solve tasks," he said.

The research shows that bee behaviour is not hard-wired as once believed

Cloud Lightning

India: Western Ghats, Arabian Sea contributing to high incidence of lightning

Blame all the lightning strikes happening this summer on the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, say a team of scientists at the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS).

The two geographical structures that sandwich the state provide the temperature contrast that ultimately leads to the highest incidence of lightning in the country.

Though mountains are a major factor known for the formation of the cumulonimbus clouds (Cb) that cause lightning, R Vishnu, S Murali Das and G Mohan Kumar of the Atmospheric Sciences Division of the CESS have experimentally proved it.

Evil Rays

Earthquake shakes Tokyo, no damage reported

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0 shook Tokyo buildings on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The earthquake registered four out of seven on a Japanese scale of quake intensity, a government agency said, a level that suggests hanging objects would swing considerably but there was unlikely to be serious damage.

Better Earth

Earthquake of 6.4 magnitude shakes southern Iran - IRNA

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck southern Iran on Friday, an official Iranian news agency reported but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.