Earth ChangesS


Early Bird Doesn't Always Get The Worm

Competing against older brothers and sisters can be tough work, as any youngest child will tell you. But new research from a biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that when it comes to some birds, you should reserve any underdog sympathies for the first born -- or rather, first laid -- siblings as well.

Lincolns sparrows
©Keith Sockman
Newly hatched Lincoln's sparrows.


Coolest Winter Since 2001 For U.S., Globe, According To NOAA Data

The average temperature across both the contiguous U.S. and the globe during climatological winter (December 2007-February 2008) was the coolest since 2001, according to scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. In terms of winter precipitation, Pacific storms, bringing heavy precipitation to large parts of the West, produced high snowpack that will provide welcome runoff this spring.

U.S. winter temperature
U.S. winter temperature highlights.

Bizarro Earth

6.2 quake hits off western Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A strong earthquake struck nearly 200 miles off western Indonesia late Saturday. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The magnitude 6.2 quake was centered 190 miles southwest of Banda Aceh on the island of Sumatra, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Bizarro Earth

Japan's Bonin Islands Rocked by Magnitude 6.2 Quake, USGS Says

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 struck Japan's Bonin Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Evil Rays

Magnitude 5.9 quake hits off Oregon

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck on Saturday at 7:44 a.m. Pacific time off the U.S. northern Pacific coast of Oregon, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake was centered 112 miles west of Port Orford, Oregon, at a depth of 6.2 miles, the USGS said.


Resources Wars: EU warns water shortage in Central Asia could spark conflicts

The severe impact of climate change in Central Asia is causing water and food shortages that could lead to regional conflicts, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana warned.

Solana delivered a climate change and security report from the High Representative and the European Commission to leaders at the European Union summit held on Thursday and Friday.


Greece: Methoni earthquake

An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale struck Methoni, in the Peleponnese yesterday. There were no reports of injuries or damages. The earthquake's epicenter was in an undersea area 275 kilometers southwest of Athens and struck at 9.10 a.m. A month ago, two strong quakes with magnitudes of 6.5 and 6.4 struck the same area and were felt as far away as Italy and Egypt.


Alligators' Muscles Move Lungs Around For Sneaky Maneuvers In Water

Without a ripple in the water, alligators dive, surface or roll sideways, even though they lack flippers or fins. University of Utah biologists discovered gators maneuver silently by using their diaphragm, pelvic, abdominal and rib muscles to shift their lungs like internal floatation devices: toward the tail when they dive, toward the head when they surface and sideways when they roll.

juvenile American alligator
©Hannah Chirillo
T.J. Uriona, a University of Utah doctoral student in biology, holds a juvenile American alligator. Uriona and his professor, biologist C.G. Farmer, have published a study showing how alligators use muscles to move their lungs backward to help them dive, and to one side or the other to roll.


United States and Indonesia to Establish Regional Volcano Observatory in North Sulawesi

The United States and Indonesia will collaborate to improve monitoring and early warning capacity of volcanic activity, in an area that is home to many people who are at risk from probable eruptions.

United States Ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron R. Hume and the Head of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources' Geological Agency, Bambang Dwiyanto, signed an agreement that will bring together volcano scientists from the two countries. Dr. Purnomo Yusgiantoro, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, witnessed the signing.


Harlequin Frog Rediscovered In Remote Region Of Colombia

After 14 years without having been seen, several young scientists supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP), have rediscovered the Carrikeri Harlequin Frog (Atelopus carrikeri) in a remote mountainous region in Colombia.

harlequin frog
©Conservation Leadership Programme
Carrikeri harlequin frog.