Earth ChangesS


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.

©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.


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.


Flashback 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.


Flashback 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

Flashback '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.


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.


California on fire: Welcome to Hell

© Chris Doolittle
Northeastern San Bernardino, California, as the wildfires light up the night sky.

Last Thursday, in the late afternoon, I stared up at the blood red sun, brown and soot gray clouds enveloping it, and watched ash fall in flurries. I suddenly flashed on the rejiggered city limits sign in "High Plains Drifter." It read: "Welcome to Hell."

Hell had come to California, once again, and, once again, it was in my backyard.

Perhaps our Guvunator Arnold Schwarzenegger summed up the past few weeks the best over the weekend. "I've been driving up and down the state of California going to all the various different fires, and you can imagine, this state is very prepared for fire, but when you wake up one morning and have 500 fires across the state, it was a real shock to me...only to find the next morning there were 1,000 fires, and the next morning 1,400 fires, and then 1,700 fires igniting over 14 days."


Study Shows Rise In Cornwall's Dolphin, Whale, And Porpoise Deaths

©University of Exeter
New research has revealed a disturbing rise in the number of whales, dolphins and porpoises found dead on Cornish beaches.

Four weeks since the shocking incident that led to the death of 26 dolphins near Falmouth, research sheds new light on the extent of the problems facing Cornwall's marine mammals.

A study by the University of Exeter and Cornwall Wildlife Trust, published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation (July 7, 2008) has revealed a disturbing rise in the number of whales, dolphins and porpoises found dead on Cornish beaches. The frequency of these mammals, collectively known as cetaceans, found stranded on beaches in Cornwall has increased with a sharp rise in the last eight years. After analysing nearly 100 years of data, the researchers believe this could, in part, be due to more intensive fishing.


Mystery surrounds Eden Antarctic whale sighting

There has been further scientific interest in a pod of Antarctic killer whales that were sighted recently off the New South Wales far south coast.

An Eden couple took photographs of the mammals while on a pleasure cruise off Eden's Twofold Bay.

Researchers identified the pod as a species that exclusively inhabits the cold, southern waters.

David Donnelly from the Dolphin Research Centre says the sighting remains a mystery.

Bizarro Earth

California: Mount Shasta glaciers growing, despite warming

Global warming is shrinking glaciers all over the world, but the seven tongues of ice creeping down Mount Shasta's flanks are a rare exception: They are the only long-established glaciers in the lower 48 states that are growing.