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Sat, 03 Jun 2023
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Earth Changes


Climate change triggers 'alarming' retreat of Himalayan glaciers

The glaciers of the Himalayas store more ice than anywhere on Earth except for the polar regions and Alaska, and the steady flow of water from their melting icepacks fills seven of the mightiest rivers of Asia.

Now, due to global warming and related changes in the monsoons and trade winds, the glaciers are retreating at a startling rate, and scientists say the ancient icepacks could nearly disappear within one or two generations.

©Bernardo De Niz/MCT
A Tibetan girl poses in front of one of the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau.

Cloud Lightning

Biblical Weather, Coast to Coast

As the sun set Tuesday evening, fire exploded across ridge tops in Griffith Park, lighting up the sky and threatening luxury homes in the Los Feliz neighborhood.

"They rapped on the front door and said, 'C'mon, you're getting out.' So I grabbed the cat and we left," said resident James Mahler.

The fire may have been sparked by a person who discarded a cigarette, authorities say. A person who walked out of the brush onto a golf course after the fire started is being questioned by police, The Associated Press reported.

The world-class Griffith Observatory, the Los Angeles Zoo and the Autry Museum were also in harm's way.

With temperatures in the mid-90s, extremely dry conditions, low humidity and brush that had not burned in decades have made conditions ripe for a major brush fire.

"What made this fire particularly challenging was the steep terrain and swirling winds," Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Douglas Barry said. "Even though the winds were not blowing very hard, they kept changing directions."

Firefighters hope to fully put out the spectacular blaze later today.


Swarm of earthquakes in Yellowstone last week

Sixteen small earthquakes with magnitudes up to 2.7 shook the park's Pitchstone Plateau last week.

The quakes were detected by seismographs operated by the University of Utah and partners.

They began Monday, just before midnight. The largest occurred at 3:09 a.m. Tuesday and the quakes continued until Wednesday, according to Bob Smith, a University of Utah professor.

"I was up working and watching these, saying 'Whoa, what does this all mean?' " he said. "It kept my interest quite high."

Magic Wand

Climate swings have brought great CO2 pulses up from the deep sea

A study released today provides some of the first solid evidence that warming-induced changes in ocean circulation at the end of the last Ice Age caused vast quantities of ancient carbon dioxide to belch from the deep sea into the atmosphere. Scientists believe the carbon dioxide (CO2) releases helped propel the world into further warming. The study, done by researchers at the University of Colorado, Kent State University and Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, appears in the May 10 advance online version of the leading journal Science.

Atmospheric CO2, also produced by burning of fossil fuels, is thought to be largely responsible for current warming. However, scientists have known for some time that the gas also goes through natural cycles. By far most of the world's mobile carbon is stored in the oceans - 40 trillion metric tons, or 15 times more than in air, soil and water combined. But how this vast marine reservoir interacts with the atmosphere has been a subject of debate for the last 25 years. The study indicates what many scientists have long suspected, but could not prove: sometimes the oceans can release massive amounts of CO2 into the air as they overturn. "The lesson is that abrupt changes in ocean circulation in the past have affected the oceans' ability to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere," said geologist Thomas Marchitto of the University of Colorado, a co-lead author. "This could help us understand how that ability might be affected by future global warming."


Bees Cause Buzz In Northwest

Bees, swarmed on a fire hydrant in NW Washington, DC, were safely removed and relocated to a friendlier environment.

©NBC 4 Washington DC


Disease strikes Idaho fish hatchery, killing 250,000 rainbows

About 250,000 rainbow trout died in a sudden disease outbreak at a southwestern Idaho fish hatchery, a loss of about 8 percent of Idaho's annual output of catchable-sized trout.

Cloud Lightning

Update: Storm dissipates off Florida but rain welcomed

Subtropical Storm Andrea dissipated off the U.S. Atlantic Coast on Thursday and promised only scant rainfall in Florida, where brush fires burned throughout the parched state.

Cloud Lightning

Uruguay struck by worst floods in decades

Geneva- Up to 110,000 people have been affected by the
worst floods in Uruguay since 1959, with more torrential rain
forecast, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported Friday.
Some 12,000 people have been forced to leave their homes with this number expected to rise. Thousands of homes have been destroyed or damaged.

Comment: The generosity knows no bounds. $30,000 or 25 cents per person in relief supplies.

Had this happened in a Western country, that number might just have looked a tad different.

Cloud Lightning

Cyprus Airways plane hit by lightning

A Cyprus Airways (CY) flight to Athens was forced to abort and return to Larnaca airport yesterday morning after its right engine was struck by lightning.

The Airbus A319, carrying 118 passengers and seven crew, took off from Larnaca at 9.30am and was struck by lightening over Paphos. As a precaution, the captain decided to turn the plane around and head back to Larnaca.

Cloud Lightning

Update: Atlantic's first named storm forms early

The first named storm of the year formed Wednesday off the southeastern U.S. coast, more than three weeks before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, forecasters said.

Subtropical storm Andrea, the first named storm of the year, off Florida and Georgia at 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 8, 2007.