Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

US: Red River threatens to flood North Dakota

flood North Dakota
© UnknownA house is surrounded by flood water from the Red River in Fargo.
The swollen Red River and melting snow in the central-north US state of North Dakota have threatened to flood the city of Fargo.

After the level of the Red River inched downward throughout Sunday and Monday, there was hope that the damage caused by the rising tide was over. An early spring snowstorm, however, has swept into the area, prompting officials to think otherwise.

The river is expected to crest at nearly 12 meters, very close to the top of the city's main dike. Winds of 40 to 65 kilometers per hour are hampering emergency efforts


Climate Change Rumours Of Possum's Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

Last December, the Australian lemuroid ringtail possum was widely reported as the first possible extinction casualty of climate change.

But last week it rose from the dead with ecologists reporting the discovery of three of the creatures and declaring that the species was never feared extinct. But its future is far from certain.

"They have a very limited range - most likely due to an inability to tolerate high temperatures - so they are at risk from future temperature extremes," says ecophysiologist Andrew Krockenberger of James Cook University in Cairns, Australia.

Stephen Williams of James Cook University in Townsville agrees. "There has been a massive decline in one population. One more hot summer could wipe [that population] out."

Bizarro Earth

Invasion of the jellyfish: They could take over our seas, say wildlife experts

© UnknownStingers rising up from the deep
Fast-breeding jellyfish could take over our seas if we don't act now to protect threatened marine ecosystems, Northern Ireland wildlife experts have warned.

The 'rise of slime' is coming unless we halt the threatened collapse of marine ecosystems, the Ulster Wildlife Trust said.

Seafloor habitats are being destroyed by overfishing, rising water temperatures and dwindling marine biodiversity, reducing the ability of the seas around Ireland to recover and support humans long-term, the Trust said.

Bizarro Earth

Southern Africa hit by worst floods in years

Southern African countries have been hit by the worst floods in years, killing more than 100 people and displacing thousands, as a tropical storm threatened to bring more pain on Saturday.

As Mozambique braced for the arrival of a strengthening tropical storm Izilda, record river levels across the region threatened to exacerbate floods which have already affected hundreds of thousands of people.

Namibia's government declared a state of emergency last week in areas where floods have affected over 350,000 people, 13,000 of whom were displaced, according to numbers released by the United Nations on Friday.

Better Earth

US: Moderate Quake Hits Silicon Valley; No Reports of Damage

A moderate earthquake rattled parts of Silicon Valley Monday, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the temblor had a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 and struck at about 10:40 a.m. PDT. It was centered 11 miles north of the city of Morgan Hill, or about 16 miles southeast of San Jose.


Strong 6.0 earthquake hits Indonesia: USGS

A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake shook Indonesia's Papua region early Sunday, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake, which hit at 2:59 am (1759 GMT Saturday), was centred 135 kilometres (85 miles) southwest of the Papuan provincial capital of Jayapura at a depth of 53 kilometres, the USGS was quoted by AFP as saying.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The Indonesian archipelago sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire where continental plates meet, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.


Gorging on omega-3 fats lets birds get fit without exercise: study

bobwhite quail
© Jean-Michel Weber/University of OttawaBobwhite quails are typically poor fliers and "not really endurance athletes at all," said researcher Jean-Michel Weber.
It's a pity you're not a quail. Ottawa researchers have found that quails can boost their aerobic fitness just by sitting around and eating fats, provided they're the right kind.

The right kind happens to be omega-3 fatty acids, the same fats shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure in humans.

After sedentary bobwhite quails were fed a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids for six weeks, their muscles showed a huge boost in the activity of enzymes that improve endurance compared to quails that didn't get the supplement, said a research paper published Friday in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

The same enzymes get more active and improve endurance in human athletes who train very hard for weeks, said University of Ottawa biologist Jean-Michel Weber, who conducted the study with his student Simba Nagahuedi.


US: Urban coyote attacks on rise, alarming residents

urban coyotes
© AP Photo/Colorado Divison of WildlifeThis is an undated file photograph taken in November of 2008 of a pair of coyotes roaming through a housing subdivision in the south Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo., that was taken by a member of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. After a handful of recent attacks by coyotes in suburban Denver enclaves, officials are trying to keep the animals away from residents.
Denver - A coyote ambling into a Chicago sandwich shop or taking up residence in New York's Central Park understandably creates a stir. But even here on the high plains of Colorado, where the animals are part of the landscape and figure prominently in Western lore, people are being taken aback by rising coyote encounters.

Thanks to suburban sprawl and a growth in numbers of both people and animals, a rash of coyote encounters has alarmed residents.

Wildlife officials are working to educate the public: Coyotes have always been here, they've adapted to urban landscapes and they prefer to avoid humans.

"Ninety-five percent of this problem is a human problem, and we really need to focus on that 95 percent to solve it," said Nicole Rosmarino, wildlife program director of the environmental group WildEarth Guardians.

Better Earth

The Global Warming Scam: Roger Revelle and Al Gore


Earthquake rattles northern Peru

A moderate earthquake has occurred near the city of Piura in northern Peru but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The magnitude 5.8 quake struck at 1235 local time (1735 GMT), 85km (55 miles) to the south-west of the city of about 400,000 people.

The US Geological Survey estimated its depth to be 15.6km (9.7 miles).