Earth ChangesS


Poisonous caterpillars crawl to warmer north

Poisonous caterpillars are spreading across England, prompting warnings from environmental health officers.

A series of mild winters has seen swarms of brown tail moth caterpillars move from their usual habitats along the south-east coast to as far north as Yorkshire.

The brown and red grub is covered in millions of tiny hairs that contain a toxin that can cause painful rashes, eye infections and, if inhaled, serious breathing difficulties.

As the caterpillars have moved inland, environmental health officials have been putting up warning signs in popular beauty spots.


Lightning starts fire at Oklahoma refinery

Flames and smoke poured into the sky Saturday over an oil refinery where lightning set off a fire and an explosion that was felt miles away, authorities said.

No injuries were reported and there were no immediate evacuation orders in the south-central Oklahoma town, said Mike Hancock, a spokesman for Wynnewood Refinery Co.

Flames and smoke boiled hundreds of feet into the air from two 80,000-gallon tanks in the Wynnewood Refinery complex, officials said.

Firefighters doused the area surrounding the tanks Saturday, Hancock said.

"Tank fires are pretty pesky fires. They're easy to keep contained, but they're hard to fight," Hancock said. "It's hard to estimate how long it will be. It can take a day or so to burn the product."

Bizarro Earth

History Of UK Earthquakes

Earthquakes are a relatively rare phenomenon in the UK but the country has suffered a number in recent years.


Bones Throw Light on 1755 Lisbon Quake

LISBON, Portugal - It was a chilling discovery: a mass grave of human bones _ skulls smashed and scorched by fire, dog bites on a child's thigh bone, a forehead with an apparent bullet hole.

Bizarro Earth

Official: Georgia fire could burn for a month

WAYCROSS, Ga. - A few spot fires ignited Saturday afternoon across a highway from a massive wildfire and firefighters struggled to put them out before they could spread in the miles of tinder-dry forest beyond.


Algae kill Calif. sea animals

LOS ANGELES - A bloom of ocean algae that produces a toxic acid has sickened and killed hundreds of birds, sea lions and dolphins in California, environmentalists said.


Quake brings WWII PT boat up from ocean floor

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Wreckage from a World War II torpedo boat was tossed up from the sea in the Solomon Islands after a powerful 8.1 earthquake hit the area in early April, an official said Friday.


5 squirrels with plague near Denver park

Five plague-infected squirrels and a wild rabbit found in a Denver park are a reminder that Coloradans should take precautions to protect themselves from the potentially deadly disease, health officials say.

Black Cat

Flashback Cat parasite 'is killing otters'

A parasite carried by cats is killing off sea otters, a veterinary specialist has told a major US science conference.

The Californian researcher has called for owners to keep their cats indoors.

Cat faeces carrying Toxoplasma parasites wash into US waterways and then into the sea where they can infect otters, causing brain disease.

The parasite is familiar to medical researchers, as it can damage human foetuses when expectant mothers become infected while changing cat litter.


Video: Mystery of the Sea Otter Plague

Click here to see the video.

What is causing many California sea otters to become weak, disoriented, and even unable to eat properly? The answer may hint at trouble for humans too.