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Fri, 29 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes

Cow Skull

Shh! Quiet Bison Get More Sex

Bison with the loudest bellows lose out in the mating game, while the quietest bulls score the most mates and sire the most offspring.

"We were expecting to find that the bigger, stronger guys - the high-quality males - would have the loudest bellows, because they can handle the costs of it," said Megan Wyman, a graduate student in geography at University of California, Davis and the lead author of the study. "But instead, we found the opposite.

Wyman and colleagues also found that the volume of a bison bull's bellow was not related to its weight or age.


Las Vegas gets heaviest snowfall in almost 30 years

© AFP/Getty Images/File/Ethan Miller
Visitors take photos under the famous sign welcoming motorists on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip during a rare snowstorm December 17, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas was grappling with the aftermath of a once-in-a-generation snowstorm on Thursday which coated the famous icons of Las Vegas and forced the closure of the city's airport.
A rare winter storm swept through Southern Nevada Wednesday, dumping the most snow on the valley in nearly three decades, grounding flights at the airport, forcing the closure of major highways and closing schools for today.

"This is the most snow we've had in Las Vegas in almost 30 years," said Chris Stachelski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "It's a significant historical event."

The heaviest snowfall occurred in the southeast valley, where about 3 inches of snow had accumulated by 7:45 p.m., with unconfirmed reports of as much as 6 inches in Henderson, he said.


Snow, rain storms trigger blackouts, travel chaos in France

france storms
French electricity provider EDF workers leave after repairing lines damaged by heavy snow in Laissac, central France. Heavy snow and rain storms across southern France killed three people, cut power lines and trapped hundreds in cars and trains and ski lifts on Sunday.
Lyon - Heavy snow and rain storms across southern France killed three people, cut power lines and trapped hundreds in cars and trains and ski lifts on Sunday.

About 100,000 households were without electricity, local authorities and the French power company said. Two thousand people were stuck for several hours on trains running along the Mediterranean coast that were halted when torrential rain brought down power lines.

Up to 60 centimetres (24 inches) of snow fell in hilly regions over 24 hours and the French weather service issued avalanche alerts for 12 departments.


Scientists Denounce AP For Hysterical Global Warming Article

Scientists from around the world are denouncing an Associated Press article hysterically claiming that global warming is "a ticking time bomb" about to explode, and that we're "running out of time" to do anything about it.

As reported by NewsBusters, Seth Borenstein, the AP's "national science writer," published a piece Sunday entitled "Obama Left With Little Time to Curb Global Warming."

Scientists from all over the world have responded to share their view of this alarmist propaganda:

Bizarro Earth

Fifth of world's corals already dead, say experts

Coral die-off
An environmental management specialist of the Batangas city fisheries office inspects a coral reef formation in the Verde sea passage south of Manila, Philippines, February 2007.
Poznan, Poland - Almost a fifth of the planet's coral reefs have died and carbon emissions are largely to blame, according to an NGO study released Wednesday.

The report, released by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, warned that on current trends, growing levels of greenhouse gases will destroy many of the remaining reefs over the next 20 to 40 years.

"If nothing is done to substantially cut emissions, we could effectively lose coral reefs as we know them, with major coral extinctions," said Clive Wilkinson, the organisation's coordinator.

The paper was issued on the sidelines of the December 1-12 negotiations on a new global treaty on climate change, taking place under the UN flag.

Half a billion people around the world depend on coral reefs for food and tourism, according to a common estimate.


U.S. natural hazard death map is produced

Scientists using nationwide data collected since 1970 have produced a map depicting natural hazard mortality across the United States.

Susan Cutter and Kevin Borden from the University of South Carolina said their map presents a county-level representation of the likelihood of dying as the result of natural events such as floods, earthquakes or extreme weather.

Comment: Or, perhaps cometary impact?

Map County-level hazard induced mortality, 1970 to 2004.
© Kevin Borden/Susan Cutter/IJHG
County-level hazard induced mortality, 1970 to 2004.
"This work will enable research and emergency management practitioners to examine hazard deaths through a geographic lens," the researchers said. "Using this as a tool to identify areas with higher than average hazard deaths can justify allocation of resources to these areas with the goal of reducing loss of life."


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.


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 Center
The 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.