Earth ChangesS


Wolf

Northeast Siberia braces for extreme cold of -60C

Yakutsk - Temperatures in the northeast Siberian republic of Yakutia could fall to minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next few days, the local meteorological service said Monday.

With average low temperatures in Yakutia dropping below minus 40 degrees Celsius (minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight, weather in the town of Verkhoyansk dropped overnight to minus 53 degrees Celsius (minus 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit), while in Oymyakon it reached minus 57 degrees Celsius (minus 70.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

"However, this is not the limit - in the next few days weather in the town of Krestyakh could drop below minus 58 degrees Celsius (minus 72.4 degrees Fahrenheit)," the meteorological service spokesman said.

Cloud Lightning

US: No respite as wintry storms spread over nation

Oklahoma City - Students went home for a snow day, stranded travelers waited at airports and drivers slid across icy roads in the second day of a bitter cold wave that blanketed much of the nation Tuesday.

There was little relief in sight. Temperatures were forecast to drop below zero Wednesday in at least 12 states in the Midwest and West. A band of snow and sleet fell Tuesday from Minnesota to New Hampshire.

Info

Boundary Between Earth's Upper Atmosphere And Space Has Moved To Extraordinarily Low Altitudes

The height of the ionosphere/space transition
© NASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterThe height of the ionosphere/space transition is controlled in part by the amount of extreme ultraviolet energy emitted by the Sun and a somewhat contracted ionosphere could have been expected because C/NOFS was launched during a minimum in the 11-year cycle of solar activity. However, the size of the actual contraction caught investigators by surprise.
Observations made by NASA instruments onboard an Air Force satellite have shown that the boundary between the Earth's upper atmosphere and space has moved to extraordinarily low altitudes. These observations were made by the Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamics Investigation (CINDI) instrument suite, which was launched aboard the U.S. Air Force's Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite on April 16, 2008.

The CINDI suite, which was built under the direction Principal Investigator Rod Heelis of the University of Texas at Dallas, includes both ion and neutral sensors and makes measurements of the variations in neutral and ion densities and drifts.

CINDI and C/NOFS were designed to study disturbances in Earth's ionosphere that can result in a disruption of navigation and communication signals. The ionosphere is a gaseous envelope of electrically charged particles that surrounds our planet and it is important because Radar, radio waves, and global positioning system signals can be disrupted by ionospheric disturbances.

Bizarro Earth

US: Magnitude 3.6 shakes near Charleston, South Carolina

The U.S. Geological Survey has recalculated the epicenter of a weak earthquake that caused minor damage and a few injuries when it struck northwest of Charleston.

Originally, the epicenter of the quake Tuesday was reported southeast of Goose Creek, but now scientists say it was closer to Summerville, about 10 miles away.

The quake of magnitude 3.6 was recorded at 7:42 a.m.

Target

Moderate earthquake jolts west Indonesia

Jakarta -- A moderate earthquake measuring 5.4 degree on the Richter Scale hit Indonesia's western Bengkulu province on Tuesday morning, the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) reported.

The quake struck at 4:18 am (2118 GMT Monday), with the epicenter 10 km below sea level.

There was no immediate reports of casualties or damage, and the earthquake did not trigger a catastrophic tsunami in the northern part of Sumatra island, said the BMG.


Target

Earthquake shakes southern Sweden!

sweden quake
Southern Sweden was rocked by an earthquake early on Tuesday morning which caused a flood of phone calls to emergency services operators from alarmed residents.

"The bed shook for about 20 seconds," Helsingborg resident John O'Leary told The Local.

O'Leary said the quake woke him at about 6:20am and that the shaking knocked over several items in his apartment.

Uppsala University seismologist Reynir Bödvarsson estimated the quake measured between 4.5 and 5.0 on the Richter scale.

Better Earth

Over 1,000 Species Discovered In The Greater Mekong In Past Decade

Image
© Pipat Soisook, World Wildlife FundOne of 15 new mammals discovered. Bat, Kerivoula kachinensis, from Greater Mekong.
A rat thought extinct for 11 million years and a hot-pink, cyanide-producing dragon millipede are among a thousand new species discovered in the Greater Mekong Region of Southeast Asia in the last decade, according to a new report launched by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

First Contact in the Greater Mekong reports that 1068 species were discovered or newly identified by science between 1997 and 2007 - which averages two new species a week. This includes the world's largest huntsman spider, with a foot-long leg span and the Annamite Striped Rabbit, one of several new mammal species found here. New mammal discoveries are a rarity in modern science.

While most species were discovered in the largely unexplored jungles and wetlands, some were first found in the most surprising places. The Laotian rock rat, for example, thought to be extinct 11 million years ago, was first encountered by scientists in a local food market, while the Siamese Peninsula pit viper was found slithering through the rafters of a restaurant in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand.

Igloo

Goose Eggs May Help Polar Bears Weather Climate Change

sub-adult male polar bear
© Patricia RockwellMay switch to eggs: sub-adult male polar bear near Churhchill, Manitoba, Canada.
As polar bears adapt to a warming Arctic - a frozen seascape that cleaves earlier each spring - they may find relief in an unlikely source: snow goose eggs. New calculations show that changes in the timing of sea-ice breakup and of snow goose nesting near the western Hudson Bay could provide at least some polar bears with an alternative source of food. This new analysis appears in Polar Biology.

"Over 40 years, six subadult male bears were seen among snow goose nests, and four of them were sighted after the year 2000," says Robert Rockwell, a research associate in Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History and a Professor of Biology at City College at City University of New York. "I've seen a subadult male eat eider duck eggs whole or press its nose against the shell, break it, and eat the contents. This is similar to a different research group's observations of polar bears eating Barnacle Goose eggs on Svalbard, an island near Norway."

Polar bears, Ursus maritimus, are listed as a threatened species under the United States' Endangered Species Act and are classified as "vulnerable with declining populations" under IUCN's Red List. Polar bears' habitat rings the Arctic south of 88˚ latitude. Most of this area is sea ice from which bears hunt seals, although the breakup of sea ice over the summer forces some bears to move north, to pack ice, or onto land. More often, it is subadult males that are pushed to these less ideal conditions, where they live, in part, off stored fat reserves.

Fish

Disinformation: Squids in acid: What future oceans hold in store

Jumbo squid
© Bruce Robison, MBARIJumbo squid will become sluggish as the oceans acidify thanks to CO2 emissions.
Swimming through warmer, more acidic oceans will feel like swimming through molasses for jumbo squid.

Jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas), also known as Humboldt squid or red devils, are best known for their voracious appetite and for decimating fish stocks. But according to new research, climate change could make them sluggish - and turn the hunter into the hunted.

Rui Rosa of the University of Lisbon in Portugal and Brad Seibel of the University of Rhode Island, put jumbo squid in tanks that mimicked the warmer and more acidic ocean conditions expected for 2100 if industrial emissions of greenhouse gases are not curbed.

The team found that the squid's metabolic levels dropped by one third and the length of time the squid spent contracting their muscles dropped by almost half.

Question

Is the Exxon Valdez spill site finally clean?

Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989
© Jean Louis Atlan/Sygma/CorbisTeams of firefighters cleaning the Alaskan coast following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.
Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill - perhaps the most notorious human-caused environmental disaster in history.

But, according to the latest survey of Prince William Sound in Alaska - where the oil tanker foundered in 1989 - very little oil remains and most of what does is not in a form or location that can harm animals, plants or humans.

Although scientists funded by Exxon and others working for Greenpeace agree on these facts, they are still at odds over whether the area can be given a clean bill of health.

Paul Boehm of Exponent International, a scientific consultancy that specialises in chemical contamination, led the survey together with colleagues from two other private companies and two US research universities. The study received funding from the Exxon Mobil Corporation.