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Tue, 19 Nov 2019
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Bizarro Earth

Dead birds rain down on towns half a world apart

It could be the plot of a horror film, but in two towns on opposite sides of the world the mysterious phenomenon of thousands of dead birds dropping out of the sky is all too real.

Officials are baffled by the unexplained deaths which have affected Australia and the U.S.

Bomb

Quake in northern B.C.

WHITEHORSE -- A moderate earthquake has shaken the northwestern tip of British Columbia, along the Alaska and Yukon borders.

Bomb

Quake damages thousands of buildings in China

Beijing, Jan 10: An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale damaged thousands of buildings in northwest China`s Gansu province but no casualties have been reported so far, the state media said on Wednesday.

Bomb

Freak tornado-like storm hits Barbados

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, January 10, 2007 - Barbadians woke up this morning to the shocking news that a "tornado" touched down in Wildey, on the outskirts of Bridgetown, giving a woman the scare of her life and damaging at least one commercial building.

Bizarro Earth

Studies Find Northeast Mercury Hotspots in the US

Concord - Mercury levels near some coal-burning power plants are five times higher than previous government estimates, calling into question how the Environmental Protection Agency identifies biological hotspots and prompting a Maine senator to propose a national monitoring system.

Mercury from coal-fired power plants and other sources is absorbed through the environment, concentrating as it moves upward in the food chain. Researchers said the greatest threat to humans comes from eating the fish. In 44 states, residents face varying forms of consumption advisories.

Better Earth

Are the dead porpoises on Scottish beaches more evidence of global warming?

HARBOUR porpoises are starving to death in the North Sea as a result of rising water temperatures, scientists have revealed.

Climate change has resulted in a dramatic decline in the numbers of sandeels - a major part of the staple diet of the porpoises.

Marine scientists have recorded a significant rise in the percentage of porpoise deaths due to malnutrition. They are also becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of the declining sandeel populations on other species such as the bottle-nosed dolphin and the minke whale, believing this could jeopardise the future of Scotland's booming whale-watching sector.

Bomb

Warm December Pushes 2006 to Record Year

WASHINGTON -- Last year was the warmest on record for the United States, with readings pushed over higher than normal by the unusual and unseasonably warm weather during the last half of December.

Preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center listed the average temperature for the 48 contiguous states last year as 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 2.2 degrees warmer than average and 0.07 degree warmer than 1998, the previous warmest year on record.

Worldwide, the agency said, it was the sixth warmest year on record.

Bizarro Earth

Belching Bog Blamed For Citywide Gas Stink

Who cut the cheese?

New Jersey, apparently.

Across the length and breadth of Manhattan, people were asking, "What's that smell?" after a pungent odor like natural gas or rotten eggs blanketed the borough and northern New Jersey for three hours yesterday morning.

By evening, the answer seemed to be a stinky gas emitted by a New Jersey swamp or marsh.

Blackbox

Mystery as thousands of dead birds fall from sky in Australia

THOUSANDS of birds have fallen from the skies over Esperance and no one knows why.

Is it an illness, toxins or a natural phenomenon? A string of autopsies in Perth have shed no light on the mystery.

All the residents of flood-devastated Esperance know is that their "dawn chorus" of singing birds is missing.

Better Earth

Hot waters make it hard for fish to breathe

The warming of the oceans is having a cruel effect on some fish: they can't breathe fast enough to survive in a hotter home.

Hans Pörtner and Rainer Knust from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, studied the viviparous eelpout (Zoarces viviparus), a fish that lives in the northern Wadden Sea. When summer water temperatures were about 20 degrees C the fish were fine, but after a hot summer of 25 degrees C, the fish population crashed to nearly zero.