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Thu, 03 Dec 2020
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Bizarro Earth

Natural Disasters Up More Than 400 Percent in Two Decades

The number of natural disasters around the world has increased by more than four times in the last 20 years, according to a report released by the British charity Oxfam. Oxfam analyzed data from the Red Cross, United Nations and researchers at Louvain University in Belgium. It found that the earth is currently experiencing approximately 500 natural disasters per year, compared with 120 per year in the early 1980s. The number of weather-related disasters in 2006 was 240, compared with 60 in 1980.

At the same time, the number of geologically related natural disasters has held steady. Oxfam has attributed the increasing disaster rate to global warming.

Bizarro Earth

Stung by losses, nation's beekeepers try to rebuild

"I can't raise enough queens; I turn down orders every day,"

Clint Walker Bees
©Jill Johnson
Clint Walker, a central Texas beekeeper

In the woods and rolling farmland of Central Texas, Clint Walker is breeding queen bees.

Stashed in nondescript boxes underneath a stand of trees, the bees could be easily missed.

But the queens are a lifeline for Walker and other commercial beekeepers, who are furiously trying to replenish their depleted hives.

Bizarro Earth

Aftershock Rumbles Across Southern Illinois

ALLENDALE -- The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.6-magnitude earthquake rumbled across southern Illinois.

The quake at about 2:15 a.m. was centered in Allendale, which is in southeast Illinois near the Indiana border.

Geophysicist Julie Martinez says it was an aftershock to the 5.2-magnitude temblor on April 18th near West Salem.

Cow Skull

Water crisis to be biggest world risk; worse than food shortage

A catastrophic water shortage could prove an even bigger threat to mankind this century than soaring food prices and the relentless exhaustion of energy reserves, according to a panel of global experts at the Goldman Sachs "Top Five Risks" conference.

Nicholas (Lord) Stern, author of the Government's Stern Review on the economics of climate change, warned that underground aquifers could run dry at the same time as melting glaciers play havoc with fresh supplies of usable water.

Frog

Giant tortoises safe as Galapagos volcano ends activity



cerro azul volcano
©AFP
Lava flows down the Cerro Azul volcano

Quito - The lava from an erupting Galapagos volcano did not affect the islands' famed giant tortoises as first feared, Galapagos National Park officials said Tuesday.

The Cerro Azul volcano on Isabela Island erupted between Thursday and Sunday, unleashing a heavy flow of lava, park authorities said in a statement.

Attention

Java's Lusi volcano 'on the verge of collapse'

A mud volcano, which began erupting two years ago on the Indonesian island of Java, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes, could be on the verge of collapse, British scientists have found.

Image
©EPA
Many people believe gas drilling caused the phenomenon

The Lusi volcano has displaced 50,000 people, submerged homes, factories and schools and is flowing at a rate of more than 3.5 million cubic feet a day.

Despite efforts to halt the flow, including dropping giant concrete balls into the crater, the hot, noxious grey mud continues to spurt from the site in Sidoardjo, East Java.

Propaganda

NASA audit: Climate science politically compromised

WASHINGTON - Political appointees in NASA's public affairs office "compromised" information on climate-change science for political advantage over a two-year period, an audit by the agency's inspector general found.

Communications issued between late 2004 and early 2006 "reduced, marginalized or mischaracterized global warming research made available to the general public," the auditors wrote in a statement released yesterday.

Evil Rays

5.0-magnitude aftershock hits Sichuan county

An aftershock measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale jolted Qingchuan County of Southwest China's Sichuan province at 12:41 p.m. on Thursday, the China Earthquake Administration said.

Attention

Bees overtake backyard of Staten Island home

Something was buzzing in Staten Island's Tottenville neighborhood yesterday morning, and it had nothing to do with gossip.

A hummer of a swarm of bees -- at least 40,000 of them -- overwhelmed the backyard of 257 Barnard Ave. at about 11 a.m.

STI Bees
©Michael Oates/Staten Island Advance

Cloud Lightning

Belize assesses damage as first storm causes flooding, death

BELMOPAN - Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has declared a national emergency following the deaths of five people, including three children, and the destruction in some areas of the country as a result of heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Arthur.