The discovery of interconnected lakes beneath kilometers of ice in Antarctica could be one of the most important scientific finds in recent years, but proper procedures need to be established before investigation begins, says a Texas A&M University scientist who is a leader in the research efforts.
Mahlon "Chuck" Kennicutt II, professor of oceanography and director of the Sustainable Development Program in Texas A&M's Office of the Vice President for Research, says the National Science Foundation and 11 countries involved in the research and exploration are seeking agreement on how best to study these unique environments, which include at least 145 lakes under Antarctica's massive ice sheets. Several of the lakes are immense, and one, Lake Vostok, is similar in size to Lake Ontario, roughly 5,400 square miles, scientists note.
Participants in the project known as The Russian Antarctic Expedition have announced their intentions to penetrate Lake Vostok during the coming Antarctic field season.
"These lakes were rediscovered within the past 10 years or so, but no one yet has penetrated them and we want to make sure that the research is done properly and adheres to the highest environmental stewardship principles," says Kennicutt, who also serves as a director of the SALE (Subglacial Antarctic Lake Environments) office, which is maintained at Texas A&M.
TROMSOE, Norway - The world marked Environment Day on Tuesday with cheerful events like tree-planting and solar cooking in the heat of Asia, but also gloomier talk in the not-so-frozen north of melting polar caps.
The United Nations chose Tromsoe in Norway to host the day this year to highlight the dangers of melting snow and ice.
MUSCAT, Oman - Thousands of people fled low-lying areas as the strongest cyclone to threaten the Arabian Peninsula in 60 years blasted Oman's eastern coast early Wednesday with strong winds and waves, Civil Defense officials said. Southern Iran and the oil-rich Persian Gulf were next in its path.
A charity is appealing for people to buy up small patches of rainforest to help prevent it disappearing forever and combat climate change.
Every year, the destruction of tropical land releases more climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the entire USA.
The trees are felled for logging and farming.
Cool Earth - launched today - leases and maintains endangered land, giving local people access.
Bali's tourist pulling-power may be a thing of the past.
In the West Bali National Park, the once common sight of vibrantly-colored clown fish swimming among healthy pink anemones is becoming rare. And larger fish are increasingly uncommon.
Rising sea temperatures are aiding the bleaching process on coral reefs.
Experts say climate change is hitting Bali's coral reefs hard, turning once vibrant diving locations into bleached shadows of their former glory.
Tue, 05 Jun 2007 11:02 UTC
Cyclone Gonu packing winds of up to 260km an hour advanced on Tuesday towards the oil-producing Gulf state of Oman where it was expected to make landfall within 24 hours.
The sultanate's weather service said the cyclone formed in the Indian Ocean and reached the Gulf of Oman on Monday, some 280km off the east coast of Oman.
Tue, 05 Jun 2007 02:35 UTC
About 180,000 people have been displaced and 90,000 houses have collapsed following the earthquake in Yunnan Province, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
At least three people, including a four-year-old boy, were killed and 313 injured in the quake which hit the tea-producing Pu'er City and its surrounding area early on Sunday morning, when most people were in bed. Twenty-eight seriously injured people arestill receiving treatment in hospital.
Mon, 04 Jun 2007 23:57 UTC
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 shook the Philippine capital's seaside tourist district and outlying rural regions late Sunday, but was not strong enough to cause any injuries or damage, officials said.
NASA scientists reading signals from a satellite in orbit, and flying aboard a low-flying plane over Greenland, are finding fresh evidence of melting snows and thinning glaciers in vast areas of the massive island.
Their observations confirm the climate's warming trend in the far northern reaches of the world, they say, where changes in the circulation of waters feeding into the Arctic Ocean are altering crucial patterns of ocean currents there with effects that are increasingly uncertain.
Raging storms that started on Friday killed three people and injured 52, including three children, in Russian regions from the Volga to the Urals over the weekend, a local emergencies spokesman said.
"A storm front and gusts of wind of up to 30 meters per second swept across a number of regions in the Urals and the Volga area, including Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Mordovia and the Chelyabinsk Region," the source said.
One person was killed in Bashkortostan, and two died in the Chelyabinsk Region. Fifteen people were hospitalized.