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Thu, 21 Jan 2021
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Fish

One-third Of Reef-building Corals Face Extinction

A third of reef-building corals around the world are threatened with extinction, according to the first-ever comprehensive global assessment to determine their conservation status. The study findings were published today by Science Express.

reef-building corals
©Conservation International

Leading coral experts joined forces with the Global Marine Species Assessment (GMSA) -- a joint initiative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International (CI) -- to apply the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria to this important group of marine species.

"The results of this study are very disconcerting," stated Kent Carpenter, lead author of the Science article, GMSA Director, IUCN Species Programme. "When corals die off, so do the other plants and animals that depend on coral reefs for food and shelter, and this can lead to the collapse of entire ecosystems."

Better Earth

US: Mount St. Helens Officially Slumbers

Cougar, Washington -- The eruption in the crater of Mount St. Helens is officially over, scientists said Thursday, leading the U.S. Geological Survey to lower the alert level for the volcano to "normal."

The eruption started in the fall of 2004 and pushed 125 million cubic yards of lava into the crater.

In the past 28 years, lava has replaced about 7 percent of the mountaintop that was removed in the 1980 blast.

Bulb

Are Volcanoes Melting Arctic?

Climate Change: While the media scream that man-made global warming is making the North Pole ice-free, another possible cause is as old as the Earth itself. They just have to look deeper.

To the delight of Al Gore and the rest of the Gaia groupies, scientists at the National Snow & Ice Data Center in Colorado are predicting that the North Pole will be completely free of ice this summer. The apocalyptic headlines already are starting to appear.

"From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important," says the center's Mark Serreze. "There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water."

From a media standpoint, this is another sign of the apocalypse - proof positive of man-made climate change. But we've heard this before.

In August 2000 the New York Times ran a piece claiming the pole was free of ice for the first time in 50 million years, long before SUVs roamed Earth. As earth scientist Patrick Michaels noted, "It was retracted three weeks later as a barrage of scientists protested that open water is common at or near the pole at the end of summer."

People

Indian state facing famine after rat plague

A million people in northeastern India face famine after rats destroyed most of the rice crop in their state, the International Rice Research Institute has said.

The 2007 infestation spread over to the border areas of Bangladesh and Myanmar in early 2008, "increasing fears of widespread food shortages," the Philippines-based institute said.

Fish

New Coral Reefs Teeming With Marine Life Discovered In Brazil

Scientists have announced the discovery of reef structures they believe doubles the size of the Southern Atlantic Ocean's largest and richest reef system, the Abrolhos Bank, off the southern coast of Brazil's Bahia state. The newly discovered area is also far more abundant in marine life than the previously known Abrolhos reef system, one of the world's most unique and important reefs.

Image
©RB Francini-Filho

Researchers from Conservation International (CI), Federal University of Espírito Santo and Federal University of Bahia announced their discovery in a paper presented today at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Fort Lauderdale. "We had some clues from local fishermen that other reefs existed, but not at the scale of what we discovered," says Rodrigo de Moura, Conservation International Brazil marine specialist and co-author of the paper. "It is very exciting and highly unusual to discover a reef structure this large and harboring such an abundance of fish," he adds.


Attention

Chile Llaima volcano revs up, evacuations considered

SANTIAGO - Chile's Llaima volcano, one of the most active in South America, spewed pyroclastic rock 1,300 feet into night skies early on Thursday, spooking residents a week after lava shot down one of its sides.

Llaima volcano
©REUTERS/Brian Smart
The Llaima volcano spews lava near Cherquenco town July 10, 2008. Chile declared a red alert around the Llaima volcano on July 4, just days after it spewed lava down one of its sides.

Chile's National Emergency Office said the explosions occurred at 3:20 a.m. (0720 GMT), and television images showed the fiery volcanic rocks shooting into the sky above Llaima, about 435 miles south of the capital Santiago.

Local authorities said they were evaluating further evacuations from around the sparsely populated base of the volcano. About 50 people were evacuated last week after lava spilled down one of its slopes.


Phoenix

Massachusetts, US: Storms, Lightning Trigger House Fire

Crews rushed to a home on School Street in Belmont Monday night after it was struck by lightning. The strike sparked a fire on the roof. Fire crews quickly put the flames out and no one was hurt.

Cool and unsettled weather will continue through the rest of this work week. Temperatures will slowly moderate by this weekend but there will be a continued threat for showers and thunderstorms into early next week.

Phoenix

US: Lightning hits house in Virginia Beach, causing fire

Lightning hit a house and sparked a fire that badly damaged the home on Chesopeian Trail early Tuesday. The fire raced through the attic and tore apart most of the roof.

The owners of the house are away, but a friend who was house sitting was inside when the lightning hit.

Neighbors told 13 News they heard the lightning hit, but didn't realize it had caused a fire until the woman staying at the house started knocking on doors yelling for help. Though she wasn't hurt, the woman was shaken up.

Cloud Lightning

'Lightning strike' blamed for starting fire at Tyson Meats plant in Amarillo, Texas

Lightning is the cause of a chemical fire at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Amarillo tonight. Officials say the lighting struck tanks filled with methane gas, sulfur, H2 and furic chloride around 7:00 this evening.

Hazmat Crews did respond to the scene as well as the Amarillo Fire Department and Potter County Fire and Rescue. St. Francis at the intersection of FM1912 all the way to the plant is still blocked off at this time.

There were talks of evacuating the plant but officials say that did not happen. No injuries were reported.

Magnify

Psychiatrists identify first case of "climate change delusion"

PSYCHIATRISTS have detected the first case of "climate change delusion" - and they haven't even yet got to Kevin Rudd and his global warming guru.