Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Lightning hits Hawaiian Air jet; none injured

Lightning struck a Hawaiian Airlines plane flying from Honolulu to Hilo on Friday.

Hawaiian spokesman Keoni Wagner says no one was injured but the lightning caused some superficial damage to the plane.

Wagner says about 100 passengers were on board Flight 102 when the bolt hit. The plane landed at 6:28 a.m., about 15 minutes late.


Moderate earthquake hits China

A 5.0-magnitude earthquake struck southwest China on Monday, shaking a wide area that was heavily damaged in this year's Sichuan disaster, officials and residents said.

The quake hit a remote, mountainous part of the province at 2:18pm (0618 GMT) about 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Mianyang, a city in one of the zones worst affected by the May earthquake, the US Geological Survey said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths, injuries or damage, an official at the Sichuan Seismological Bureau, who would only give his surname as Chen, told AFP.

Cloud Lightning

US: Winds cut power to 370,000 in Michigan; floods threaten

© AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Laura StoeckerAdam Koehl, 11, of Boy Scout Troop 56, moves a sandbag while he and other scouts from various troops help fill some 2,400 sandbags at the Campton Township Highway Department in Lily Lake, Ill., west of Chicago, for use by anyone trying to stem local flooding Saturday morning, Dec. 27, 2008.
Detroit - Wind gusting more than 60 mph knocked out power to about 370,000 Michigan homes and businesses on Sunday as temperatures dipped back into the 20s and 30s.

Meanwhile, flood warnings were posted throughout the Midwest as temperatures rose after a week of heavy snowfall. Forecasters said flooding was possible in areas of Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana.

In Michigan, high wind knocked down tree limbs and power lines. Parts of the state also got about 4 inches of snow.

"We've had an intensifying storm system track northeast through the state," said Mark Sekelsky, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids. "As that storm intensified, it brought the winds."


Purple squirrel baffles experts

A purple squirrel which appeared at a school has baffled experts who are unable to explain its colour.
© Solent News and Photo Agency TV wildlife expert Chris Packham believes Pete will moult and lose his purple fur in time for spring.

Teachers and pupils at Meoncross School in Stubbington, Hants, were amazed when they saw the creature through the window during a lesson.

Since the squirrel, now nicknamed Pete, was first seen, it has become a regular fixture at the school but no one has been able to say whether the animal has fallen into purple paint, had a run-in with some purple dye, or whether there is another explanation.

Dr Mike Edwards, an English teacher, said: "I was sitting in my classroom and looked out the window and saw it sitting on the fence. I had to do a double take


US: Small earthquake rattles Southcentral Alaska

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake rattled windows and woke up residents in Southcentral Alaska on Saturday night.

The earthquake hit at 10:13 p.m., according to the United States Geological Service Web site, prompting several calls into the Channel 2 Newsroom.

The epicenter was 89 miles north-northwest of Anchorage, 28 miles west of Talkeetna.

If you experienced the quake, you can report what you felt and any damage it caused at the USGS site.

The USGS initially reported a 4.6 magnitude quake.


California, US: 4.6 Magnitude Earthquake Felt in San Diego County

An earthquake rattled areas of San Diego County's desert Saturday night and was felt as far away as Escondido, Lakeside, La Mesa, Chula Vista and eastern neighborhoods of San Diego.

The 4.6 magnitude earthquake took place at 9:17 p.m. and was centered 10 miles south of Calexico in Baja California, Mexico.

An earthquake of this magnitude is classified as a "light" earthquake by the U.S. Geological Survey and would not typically be expected to cause damage or injury.


2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

polor bears
© APPolar bears will be fine after all
Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.

The first, on May 21, headed "Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts" , reported that the entire Alpine "winter sports industry" could soon "grind to a halt for lack of snow". The second, on December 19, headed "The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation" , reported that this winter's Alpine snowfalls "look set to beat all records by New Year's Day".

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Comment: Very interesting to see this reported in the Main-Stream Media.

Bizarro Earth

Chile says Chaiten volcano still poses danger

Chaiten volcano
© REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado File image shows members of Chilean armed forces watching the smoke rising from Chaiten volcano at Chaiten town, located some 1220 km (760 miles) south of Santiago May 4, 2008.
Santiago - Chile's government said on Friday the area surrounding the Chaiten Volcano, which erupted in May for the first time in thousands of years, was still not safe and that a decision regarding the future of the town of Chaiten would be made in coming days.

The Volcano, only six miles from the town, started spewing ash, gas and molten rock on May 2, forcing the evacuation of about 7,000 residents.

A cloud of debris that soared as high as 20 miles into the air was kept aloft by the pressure of constant eruptions for weeks, and even covered towns in neighboring Argentina with volcanic ash.

"We received the latest report from the Universidad Catolica ... and the only thing I can tell you is that the volcano is exactly as dangerous as it was before," Interior Minister Edmundo Perez-Yoma told reporters.

"We were hoping we might have better news, but unfortunately we don't."

Better Earth

The Disturbing Sex Lives of Deep Sea Squid

A Dutch biologist has extensively studied the reproductive techniques of deep-ocean squid. During sex, they are brutal and ruthless -- and sometimes clumsy.

Sex in the deep sea is a difficult proposition. The problems already begin with the partner search: How do you find someone to mate with in the pitch-black depths of the ocean? And for any creature that does manage to have a rendezvous beneath the waves, failure is simply not an option.

"Seize the moment," is how Dutch researcher Hendrik Jan Ties Hoving describes the most basic rule of undersea reproduction. "Chances are low of finding a partner a second time."

Bizarro Earth

US: Floods could follow ice in Midwest

Chicago, Illinois - Rain and rapidly rising temperatures accompanied by thick fog threatened to cause flooding Saturday in the Midwest after days of Arctic cold, heavy snow and ice.