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Mon, 04 Dec 2023
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Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

Severe storm hits New Zealand's upper North Island

A severe storm continued to lash the top half of New Zealand's North Island on Saturday, with strong wind warnings in place for most areas of the North Island. The storm toppled power lines and trees, closed roads and caused extensive power outages, Radio New Zealand reported on Saturday.

MetService predicted the storm, which began on Saturday morning, will last about 24 hours. The storm hit Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty on Saturday evening and was expected to be felt in East Cape by late Sunday morning.


A Shortage Of Honey Bees in the US

There's a definite shortage honey bees this Summer...all across North Carolina, and in many other parts of the country as well. Honey bees are, of course, vital to many types of pollination...and are critical to everything from food to flowers to cattle.

One cattle farmer in the Mills River community said he's seen only a few honey bees this Summer, and they were fluttering around in his vegetable garden. Most local flower gardeners say they're seeing almost NO honey bees around their Summer flowers.

Alarm Clock

Mexico finds dozens of dead sea turtles

ACAPULCO - Environmental officials in Mexico say dozens of dead sea turtles apparently killed in fishing nets have washed up on beaches in recent days.

Cloud Lightning

New Zealand: Lightning blasts a hole in airliner as bad luck strikes again

People who believe bad things come in threes may have second thoughts about flying with Lan Chile after the airline suffered a second rare accident on its Sydney-Santiago run.

The airline made international headlines last year when flaming pieces of a re-entering satellite came within five nautical miles (9.2km) of an Airbus A340 travelling from Santiago to Auckland and Sydney.

And last week, lightning punched a hole in the nose of a Lan Chile Airbus carrying almost 300 people as it approached Auckland from Sydney. A New Zealand report quoted a witness as saying the strike caused a hole "the size of a dinner plate", although the plane landed safely.


Forest fire spreading on Rhodes

Firefighters are trying to extinguish a big forest fire raging on the Greek holiday island of Rhodes, while a blaze north of Athens has been contained.

Water-bombing aircraft are tackling the blaze on Rhodes, which has burnt at least 1,000 hectares of forest. It has not reached any tourist resorts.

France and Italy have sent planes to central Rhodes to help fight the fire, the French news agency AFP reports.


US: Tarantulas, fire ants lurk in Texas floodwaters

South Texans eager to salvage what they can from waterlogged homes struck by Hurricane Dolly have another problem: The floodwaters they're slogging through are laced with stinging fire ants, snakes and even deadly tarantulas.

"You don't want to wade in this water," state Health Services Commissioner David Lakey said during a visit to the Rio Grande Valley Friday. "You don't want to play in this water. You want to stay out of this water."

It was timely advice, but residents in many neighborhoods with waist-deep water had little choice as they sifted through the mess left by the Category 2 storm that hit the eastern Texas and Mexico coasts Wednesday. In eastern Hidalgo County, as much as 12 inches of rain fell in six hours, turning neighborhoods into coffee-colored lakes.

©AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo
A man wades through a flooded street after Hurricane Dolly hit the area in Matamoros, Mexico, Thursday, July 24, 2008. Officials said no deaths were reported in Mexico from Dolly, which struck land just north of the border in Texas Wednesday. It ripped off roofs, flooded roads and downed power lines, but the Rio Grande levees held strong.

Cloud Lightning

Powerful New Hampshire storm leaves death, devastation

EPSOM, N.H. - A violent thunderstorm with tornado-like winds tore through New Hampshire yesterday, killing one person in a collapsed house and causing heavy damage in its 21-mile path through 11 small towns in the center of the state.

Bizarro Earth

Rising energy, food prices major threats to wetlands as farmers eye new areas for crops

700 leading experts meeting in Brazil urge policy makers to resist pressure to convert wetlands.

Critical food shortages and growing demand for bio-fuels and hydro-electricity due to high fossil fuel prices rank among the greatest threats today to the preservation of precious wetlands worldwide as farmers and developers look for new areas for agriculture, energy crop plantations and hydro dams.

However, resisting pressures to convert wetlands is vital to avoid destroying ecosystems that provide a suite of services essential to humanity, including safe, steady local water supplies, preserving biodiversity and the large-scale capture and storage of climate warming greenhouse gases, according 700 leading world experts concluding a week-long meeting in Cuiaba, Brazil.


Global Cooling: Extreme water restrictions 'gone for good' in Queensland

Australia - Southeast Queenslanders have been promised they will never again face the extreme water restrictions they have endured through the long drought.

Deputy Premier Paul Lucas said today that while "we can't control the rainfall...we can certainly make sure we will never face extreme level water restrictions again".

Global Cooling
©Courier Mail
Snow business ... Nat Burton, of the Bella Rosa Tea Rooms at Thulimbah, near Stanthorpe, rugged up yesterday.


How a tiny bug is ravaging Colorado's forests

©Ed Andrieski / AP (left); Jen Chase / Colorado State Forest Service-AP
Tiny Pest, Big Damage: About the size of a grain of rice, the mountain pine beetle (left) is destroying great swaths of pine trees in Colorado (reddish brown areas at right)

Summer at Colorado's Beaver Creek Resort is usually a time of hot days, cool nights, verdant views and the peaceful sound of the Rocky Mountains. Not this year. The area's idyllic silence is being disturbed by the sound of chainsaws cutting down large swaths of dead or dying trees in this gated community. "We have no illusions, no choice," says Tony O'Rourke, executive director of Beaver Creek's Home Owners Association. "We can't stem the tide." O'Rourke's dire tone comes from the resort's lost battle with a bug--the mountain pine beetle--that is destroying much of Beaver Creek's lush green vistas and reducing them to barren brown patches.

After ravaging 22 million acres of pine trees in Canada over the last 12 years, the rice-sized insects have been feasting their way southward. Their favorite meal: the majestic lodgepole pine, which makes up 8 percent of Colorado's 22 million acres of forests. Before landing in Beaver Creek, the pine beetles tore through neighboring Vail, Winter Park, Breckenridge and several areas around Steamboat Springs. So far, say state foresters, the beetles have eaten through 1.5 million acres, about 70 percent of the all the state's lodgepole pines. The tree's entire population will be wiped out in the next few years, Colorado state foresters predict, leaving behind a deforested area about the size of Rhode Island.