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Sat, 09 Dec 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Apocalypse in the Oceans

With 150 dead zones in our oceans, some the size of Ireland, author Taras Grescoe argues that there's been a massive die out of sea life.

In pictures, on CSI Miami, and to the naked eye the sea looks the same today as it ever did: blue, green or blue-green, rolling in glassy crashing curls, tormented then serene. It will look this way tomorrow, next year, arguably for eternity. No matter what freaks us out on earth, our species takes great comfort in knowing that the sea always looks exactly the same.

From up here.

Arrow Up

US: Against odds, glacier grows in cauldron of Mt. St. Helens

On May 18, 1980, the once bucolic ice-cream cone shape that defined Mount St. Helens in Washington state disappeared in monstrous blast of ash, rock, gas, and heat.

It was one of the most powerful explosions ever witnessed by humans and the force of the blast leveled hundreds of square miles of forestland, devastated wildlife and killed over 50 people.

Almost three decades later, the effects of the eruption are readily apparent to the thousands of visitors to the observation points in the sprawling Mount St. Helens volcanic monument.

But time has also muted the effects to some degree. Trees are growing back in some areas, plants have poked up through the ash, animals move through the devastated plains once again.



Swallow deaths a mystery at California school

A coach strolling along a wing of classrooms around 7 a.m. saw not a couple dead birds, but around 100. Most were juveniles and adults

Cloud Lightning

U.S. Heartland Storms Toss 90 Train cars, Damage Homes

AURORA, Neb. - A storm bearing hail and possible tornadoes struck central Nebraska Thursday night, damaging businesses, derailing train cars, tearing down trees and disrupting power to thousands.

Nebraska Tornado
Scores of tornadoes swept across Kansas and Nebraska Thursday, damaging homes and flipping a 90-car train off the tracks.


China warns evacuation possible with flood threat

CHENGDU, China - More than 1 million people may have to evacuate dozens of villages in a Sichuan province valley if an earthquake-spawned lake threatens to burst and flood the region, an emergency official warned Friday.


Rains in China Hamper Work to Clear Earthquake Lakes

Heavy rain in China's Sichuan province disrupted efforts to drain lakes that are threatening survivors of the country's deadliest earthquake in 32 years.

The weather is preventing helicopters carrying earthmoving equipment from flying through the mountainous region, where a lake in Tangjiashan is putting 33 townships at risk, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. The China Meteorological Administration today issued a heavy rain warning for northeast Sichuan, including the disaster zone.

Evil Rays

Strong earthquake rocks Iceland

A strong earthquake measuring 6.1 has hit southern Iceland, 50km (30 miles) from the capital, Reykjavik.

In the town of Selfoss, near the epicentre, buildings were damaged and up to 20 people needed treatment for minor injuries, reports say.

Residents in the capital felt buildings shake and aftershocks were felt in the south-west of the country.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake struck at 1546 GMT at a shallow 6.2 miles (10 km).

Paul Enarson, Professor of Geophysics at the Institute of Earth Sciences in Iceland, told the BBC that the earthquake happened in an area popular with tourists:


Volcanic ash causes Chile to cancel some flights

Santiago - Ash from the Chaiten volcano that has been erupting in Chile for nearly a month led the country's flagship airline LAN to cancel flights to a string of small airports on Wednesday.

Winds initially carried most of the ash from the volcano east into Argentina, but it is now being carried north within Chile. Ash clogs jet engines.

Magic Wand

Beavers returning to UK after 400 years

Some 400 years after they were hunted to extinction in Britain for their fur and medicinal oils, beavers are to live in the wild again. Up to 20 will be set free in a secluded forest in south-west Scotland, ministers in Edinburgh said yesterday. The initiative is expected to be the first in a series of projects to reintroduce the beaver throughout Britain over the next few years.

Conservationists in Wales will unveil plans this week to find up to five locations where the beaver, Europe's largest rodent, could eventually be released.

Next month, Natural England, the government conservation agency, will publish a study on the feasibility of reintroducing beavers in areas such as Devon, Dorset, the Thames valley, East Anglia or the Lake District.

In the first of these projects, between 15 and 20 beavers will be set free beside five small lochs in Knapdale, south of the Crinan canal near Lochgilphead in Argyll.

Up to four families of wild beavers are being flown in from Norway this autumn, and will be released next spring by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Royal Zoological Society of Scotland after they are quarantined and acclimatised.

©Barry Batchelor/PA
Up to four families of beavers are to be released in a secluded forest in south-west Scotland.

Cloud Lightning

China: Lightning strikes lift rain death toll to 23

The death toll from torrential rain rose to 23 yesterday as three more fatalities were confirmed in central China's Hubei Province.

The latest three were killed by lightning as a thunderstorm ripped through some areas in Hubei.