Earth ChangesS


Whale found dead on French beach

A 19-metre (62-foot) whale was found dead on abeach in northwest France on Wednesday, police said.

"It was a fin whale that died recently," said Jean-Yves Le Clech, a marineexpert from the nearby town of Brest. "When there are storms, the currents caneasily push the bodies onto the coast."


North Korea floods kill more than 220

More than 220 people have been killed and 80 are still missing after severe flooding in North Korea, according to Red Cross officials in the country.

The province of Kangwon suffered the highest toll, with 181 confirmed deaths, the International Federation of the Red Cross's Terje Lysholm said.


Strong quake hits Solomon Islands

HONIARA - A strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake in the Solomon Islands on Thursday caused panic in the capital but there were no reports of casualties or significant damage.

The quake struck at a depth of just 1.8 kilometres (1.1 miles) below the sea and 73 kilometres (45 miles) southwest of Honiara, the capital of the Pacific island nation, the US Geological Service said on its website.



Update! At Least 337 Die in Strong Peru Quake

The death toll from a powerful earthquake rose to at least 337 Thursday, a day after the magnitude-7.9 temblor shook Peru's coast, toppled buildings and shattered roads, officials said.

More than 827 people were reported injured and the Red Cross said the toll was expected to rise.

©AP Photo/Karel Navarro
A family is seen camping in a park to spend the night after an earthquake hit the area in Lima Wednesday Aug. 15, 2007. A powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake shook Peru's coast near the capital on Wednesday, toppling buildings, setting off landslides and killing at least 17 people when a church collapsed in a southern city.

Arrow Up

Six die in Japan record heat wave

Japan sizzled through its hottest day on record, as a heat wave claimed at least six lives across the country and spurred fears of an electricity shortage.

The mercury hit 40.9 degrees Celsius (105.62 degrees Fahrenheit) in the western city of Tajimi, breaking a previous national record of 40.8 degrees Celsius set in 1933, according to the Meteorological Agency.

Bizarro Earth

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Peru, over 70 dead

LIMA, Peru - A powerful earthquake shook Peru's coast near the capital on Wednesday, toppling some houses in Lima and causing alarmed residents to flee into the street for safety. A tsunami warning was issued for South America's Pacific coast based on the strength of the quake.


Cloud Lightning

Tropical Storm Erin Heads for Texas

Tropical Storm Erin formed Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward Texas, threatening to bring downpours to a state that already has had one of its rainiest summers on record.

Gov. Rick Perry ordered emergency vehicles and personnel, including National Guard troops, to the Harlingen and Corpus Christi areas.

NOAA satellite imagery shows Tropical Storm Erin intensifying Wednesday morning in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Because storms have saturated much of our state this summer, many communities in this storm's projected path are at high risk of dangerous flash flooding," Perry said in a statement.

Evil Rays

Southern California Long Overdue for Quake, Experts Say

It's only a matter of time before a massive earthquake shakes Southern California to its core, scientists say.

Though dormant for more than 300 years, the southern end of the San Andreas Fault is long overdue for a giant upheaval, according to experts.

And the results of such a quake would be devastating.

"A large earthquake would likely kill thousands and cause billions of dollars in damages," said Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Cloud Lightning

Sixty feared dead in landslide in Indian Himalayas

Around 60 people are thought to have died in the Indian Himalayas after a cloudburst caused a landslide that buried an entire village, officials said on Wednesday.

The army has been called in to look for bodies after Tuesday night's cloudburst in Dharla village in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. But heavy rain was hampering rescue work.


Magic Wand

Not so "mindless" after all: Ants tend to gravitate to what they do best, researchers show

The remarkable ability of ants and other social insects to divide the work in a colony is a result of many factors: genes, age, social interactions, even size or other physical attributes.

But might individual experience be involved as well? Might those who turn out to be good at a task end up specializing in that task, and those that aren't go on to something else?

©F. Ravary
Cerapachys biroi

These are questions that Fabien Ravary and Emmanuel Lecoutey of the University of Paris-North in Villetaneuse, France, and colleagues sought to answer. To do so, they chose an ant, Cerapachys biroi, that allowed them to focus on experience to the exclusion of everything else. These ants produce a new generation of workers all at once, so they are of precisely the same age and size and are raised under the same conditions.