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Sat, 15 Aug 2020
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Bizarro Earth

Coastal reef being destroyed by algae off Costa Rica

A tropical algae thriving on fertilisers from hotel golf courses and badly treated sewage is killing one of Costa Rica's most important coastal reefs, scientists say.

The green, feather-like algae is spreading along the reefs of Culebra Bay in Costa Rica's north-western Gulf of Papagayo, a popular scuba diving spot and home to a rare species of coral. The algae blocks the sunlight and suffocates the reefs.

Cloud Lightning

Parts of Costa Rica experience record rains

Intense rain that destroyed roofs, walls and a dike in the Central Valley and Southern Zone Monday also broke national records, according to National Meteorological Institute (IMN) meteorologist Max Mena.

In the northern suburb of Tibás, about 80 millimeters of rain fell in one hour, at least 10 centimeters more than the national record, he said. The rest of the San José area as well as the Southern Zone also experienced rain so intense it turned some roads into muddy rivers, damaging homes and infrastructure.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake shakes Adirondack region; no injuries, damage reported

A minor earthquake shook the Adirondack Mountains on Wednesday night.

The 3.2 magnitude temblor, one of several to hit the Northeast recently, happened just before midnight. Its epicenter was about eight miles northeast of Tupper Lake in the central Adirondacks, according to the U. S. Geological Survey Web site.

©USGS

Bizarro Earth

Volcano Erupts On Ecuador's Galapagos Islands

Ecuador's Geophysics Institute reported a volcano has erupted on the deserted Fernandina Island, Ecuador's Galapagos Island Wednesday.

According to the National Galapagos Park authorities, the eruption started at 4:50 p.m. local time, Tuesday, followed by a 5.2 magnitude volcanic earthquake. The earthquake struck in the Beagle sector of Isabella island on the western flank of the volcano Darwin. No injuries has been recorded.

©Unknown

Info

Giant web creates bug buzz in Texas

If you hate creepy-crawlies, you might want to avoid Lake Tawakoni State Park where a 200-yard stretch along a nature trail has been blanketed by a sprawling spider web that has engulfed seven large trees, dozens of bushes and even the weedy ground.

But if you hate mosquitoes, you might just love this bizarre web.

©STAR-TELEGRAM / Tom Pennington
Lake Tawakoni State Park rangers Mike McCord, left, and Freddie Gowin monitor the growth of a giant communal spider web at the park Tuesday. The web, rare for Texas, has formed over the past several weeks.

Cloud Lightning

Update! Phoenix to Set Heat Record: 29 Days of 110+

The forecasted high here today is 111 degrees. If the mercury hits that mark, the city will set a record for the most days in a year above 110 degrees, at 29.

The record was tied yesterday when the high hit 111.

Bell

Mobile phones used to call owls

A professor has taken to ringing owls on his mobile phone. What is most remarkable is that they return his calls in a project that could revolutionise surveys of wild bird populations.

©Telegraph
Great horned owl: The study is sticking with owls because calls at night are cheaper

Question

How Snakes Survive Starvation

Starving snakes employ novel survival strategies not seen before in vertebrates, according to research conducted by a University of Arkansas biologist. These findings could be used in conservation strategies to determine the health of snake populations.

"These animals take energy reduction to a whole new level," said Marshall McCue, a graduate student in biological sciences in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. He reported his findings in the journal Zoology.

Arrow Down

Low oxygen in coastal waters impairs fish reproduction

Low oxygen levels in coastal waters interfere with fish reproduction by disrupting the fishes' hormones, a marine scientist from The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute has found.

Incidents of seasonal low levels of oxygen, known as hypoxia, have increased dramatically in coastal waters throughout the world over the past few decades, largely as a result of increased run-off from human agricultural and industrial activities. Hypoxia's long-term impact on marine animal populations is unknown.

Life Preserver

Will Baikal Become Ocean

On the summer's last Sunday, Russia is celebrating the Day of Lake Baikal. This tradition was started in 1999 by the public organization Baikal Environmental Wave. By that time, it was already a UNESCO World Heritage site as a masterpiece of nature and the global strategic freshwater resource. Baikal is flanked by the Republic of Buryatia, the Irkutsk and Chita regions, where celebrations of its holiday are particularly glamorous.

Usually, lakes disappear from the face of the Earth in 10,000-15,000 years because of sediments. But Lake Baikal, which emerged on a tectonic crack 25 million years ago, does not reveal a single sign of ageing. Baikal has passed the test of evolution, which prompted scientists to think that it is not simply a lake, but an embryo of an ocean. Baikal shores are moving apart at a speed of two centimeters a year, while its depth reaches 1,620 meters. It is possible that in the future Baikal will become an ocean if its "career" is not ruined by people.