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Fri, 13 Dec 2019
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Better Earth

Canada: Is mayfly's demise a clue for the wise?

The Green Drake is a little mayfly that's only about 4.5 centimetres long, but favoured by trout, which love to gorge on it.

The flies spend several years in a riverbed, in a nymph stage.

When they emerge in late May or early June for action-filled lives lasting about a week, they do so in a gossamer blizzard, numbering in the tens of thousands.

Cloud Lightning

'Cyclone science' shows rainforest impacts and recovery

A year on from Cyclone Larry research into the environmental impacts of the category 4/5 storm is starting to deliver interesting results. This suite of projects involving 25 scientists from 5 institutions was set up shortly after the cyclone hit to investigate its effects on the rainforests of the Wet Tropics.

"This is probably the most comprehensive study of the environmental impacts of a tropical cyclone ever done anywhere in the world," said the Director of the CSIRO/JCU Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture, Professor Steve Turton.

Cloud Lightning

Scientists uncover prehistoric hurricane activity

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita focused the international spotlight on the vulnerability of the U.S. coastline. Fears that a "super-hurricane" could make a direct hit on a major city and cause even more staggering losses of life, land and economy triggered an outpouring of studies directed at every facet of this ferocious weather phenomenon. Now, an LSU professor takes us one step closer to predicting the future by drilling holes into the past.

Kam-biu Liu, George William Barineau III Professor in LSU's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, is the pioneer of a relatively new field of study called paleotempestology, or the study of prehistoric hurricanes. Liu, a long-time resident of Louisiana, became even more interested in the subject during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when a national debate was sparked concerning hurricane intensity patterns and cycles.

"People were discussing the probability of a Category 5 hurricane making direct impact on New Orleans," said Liu. "That's tricky, because it's never actually happened in history. Even Katrina, though still extremely powerful, was only a Category 3 storm at landfall."

Bulb

Cycle of sunspots is linked to weather patterns: Start of wetter cycle underway

The worst drought in a century could end this year, according to a scientist who has linked the cycle of sunspots and the "looping" of the sun's magnetic field to Australia's weather patterns.

Associate Professor Robert Baker, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, says the rhythmic pattern in the sun's energy output strongly influences weather patterns.

The rhythms apply especially in the southern Hemisphere and in eastern Australia under the influence of the huge size of the Pacific Ocean.

The two key, related sun rhythms are:

- The sun's poles which switch every 11 years

- The sun's magnetic emissions which peak, every 11 years also, in periods of increased sunspot activity.

Bizarro Earth

Bird species showing up farther north

More bird species in the USA are ranging farther north and even staying there for the winter in a possible sign of adaptation to global warming, ornithologists and conservation groups say.

Snowman

Global Warming 'Walk' - In the Snow!

As the world's warmest winter on record drew to an end with a weekend snow storm, a group of religious leaders started walking across the state Friday to bring attention to global warming.

"People have been asking me what happens if it snows," said the Rev. Fred Small of the First Church Unitarian in Littleton. "I tell them: 'We walk.' "

Better Earth

Flowers, animals signal spring arrived long ago

OSLO - Early flowers, migrating swallows and sleepless bears are among signs that spring has arrived long ago in the northern hemisphere even as a record mild winter formally ends on Tuesday with a rare chill.

Spring officially starts on Wednesday at 0007 GMT when the sun passes north over the celestial equator but scientists say the biological clocks of animals and plants are running ahead of time, perhaps upset by global warming.

Bomb

Oxymoronic politics rules the greenhouse debate

OK, John Howard says, if panic-merchants want to cut carbon dioxide emissions we'll have to do it with nuclear power. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island notwithstanding, that's perfectly safe these days, even though rogue states and Osama bin Laden franchisees are desperate for bombs.

As for that pesky radioactive waste, it can be safely accommodated underground for the next million years barring accidents or earthquakes. Remember that nuclear power plants only become dangerous when the wrong people want to build them. So Iranian or North Korean nuclear plants may need to be nuked.

Heart

EEEvil! 'We want this baby polar bear dead' say animal rights lobby



©Daily Mail
When Knut was born last December his mother ignored him, zoo officials intervened and chose to raise him themselves

X

U.S. Navy asserts "state secrets" re: Sonar believed to injure whales and other animals

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Navy on Tuesday said it had asserted the "state secrets" privilege in a lawsuit by environmental groups, a move to keep the military from being forced to disclose information about the use of sonar believed to injure whales and other animals.

Navy Secretary Donald Winter, in a court filing submitted on Monday, said the information requested by plaintiffs was classified and its disclosure "could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security."