Earth ChangesS


EPA Proposes Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

© Unknown
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposal today finding greenhouse gas emissions pose a danger to the public's health and welfare, a determination that could trigger a series of sweeping regulations affecting everything from vehicles to coal-fired power plants.

In a statement issued at noon, EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson said, "This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations."

She added, "This pollution problem has a solution - one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country's dependence on foreign oil."

Comment: While the emissions produced by unregulated industries do cause real and painful impacts on peoples' health and the environment, their disputed impact on "global warming" neglects a huge piece of the puzzle:

Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step Away From Extinction!


New Bigfoot activity noted in Siberia

More evidence of the abominable snowman (more politely known as a Yeti or Bigfoot) has been uncovered in Russia's Kemerovo Region in southwestern Siberia, the Moscow newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reports.

Vladimir Makut, a local administrator in the Tashtagol district of Kemerovo Region, noted in an interview with the newspaper that sightings of unusual large creatures in the area date far back into Soviet times, when the area contained several prison colonies. The creatures inspired such dread that the prisoners sometimes refused to go out to work. The local native people, the Shors, also have numerous legends about wild "dark people." Specialists note, however, that, historically, more yeti activity has been recorded in neighboring regions. The Soviet Academy of Sciences even set up a commission to investigate those reports in 1958. It concluded that Altai, which Tashtagol borders on, is a breeding ground for the creature. There the yetis have been sighted in pairs and yeti children have been seen.


Wolf that traveled 1,000 miles to Colorado found dead

Denver - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Colorado Division of Wildlife says a gray wolf that wandered into Colorado from Montana has died, but they are still trying to figure out what happened to it.

The female wolf was being tracked by a GPS collar as it traveled from Montana through three other states, a journey of nearly 1,000 miles, before it ended up in Colorado. She was only 18 months old when she separated from her pack just north of Yellowstone National Park in September.

Better Earth

Polar 'bugs' may explain how life survived snowball Earth

© Ralph Maestas/ScienceAnalysing DNA fragments from the "blood falls" has revealed that the bacteria survive on organic compounds trapped with them all those years ago that will eventually run out.
A bacterial lost world trapped beneath Antarctic ice may help explain how life persisted during the "snowball Earth" period when almost all of the globe's surface was frozen over.

Isolated for at least 1.5 million years from close relatives that live in the ocean, the Antarctic microbes live in a super-salty lake sealed with a 400-metre slab of ice, called Taylor Glacier. But each summer, the temperature warms enough for a trickle of extremely cold water to flow to the surface.

Antarctic explorers and scientists noted the deep red colour left by these flows, created by iron in the water, and called them "blood falls".

Bizarro Earth

The Consequences of 'Drill, Baby Drill': More Than 90 Oil Spills a Day in the U.S.

© San Francisco Chronicle/Kurt Rogers
And that's just the fraction of reported spills. While big tanker disasters make the headlines, the daily toll of the oil industry is huge.

The 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska on March 24 got much attention, including reports that significant oil still pollutes the area and many fish and animal species and the Alaska Native economies that relied on them have still not recovered.

Meanwhile, the captain of the Cosco Busan oil tanker which slammed into San Francisco's Bay Bridge and caused a major spill in November 2007 is currently on trial.

Bizarro Earth

Bees in peril

Jean Vasicek seems to know almost everything about bees.

She knows the terrifying sound that the beating of thousands of tiny wings can make, and she knows that her bees get cranky when the citrus trees aren't in bloom. And she knows that honey bees like hers are facing serious problems on a national scale.

Since acquiring her first hive from her brother about 10 years ago, Vasicek has accumulated more than 100 hives throughout the Orlando area, and has become the official beekeeper for Winter Park Honey.

But the situation has changed since she first started, and for Vasicek, it's been for the worse. "Back then you could take care of bees and hardly touch them," she said. "Now it has gotten very hard to keep bees alive."


Cure For Honey Bee Colony Collapse?

© iStockphoto/Kamilla Mathisen
For the first time, scientists have isolated the parasite Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) from professional apiaries suffering from honey bee colony depopulation syndrome. They then went on to treat the infection with complete success.

In a study published in the new journal from the Society for Applied Microbiology: Environmental Microbiology Reports, scientists from Spain analysed two apiaries and found evidence of honey bee colony depopulation syndrome (also known as colony collapse disorder in the USA). They found no evidence of any other cause of the disease (such as the Varroa destructor, IAPV or pesticides), other than infection with Nosema ceranae. The researchers then treated the infected surviving under-populated colonies with the antibiotic drug, flumagillin and demonstrated complete recovery of all infected colonies.

Bizarro Earth

US: Historic Flood Crest Flows Down Suwannee River

Record-breaking floodwaters are working their way down the Suwannee River from the Withlacoochee and Alapaha rivers. Crews from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are in the field measuring the height and volume of water that is rushing downstream.

"Flooding continues to be a major problem in the Suwannee River basin," said USGS hydrologist Stewart Tomlinson, "The floods on the Withlacoochee and Alapaha have now crested and are in the mainstem of the Suwannee River."

Two major tributaries of the Suwannee River -- the Withlacoochee and the Alapaha -- set new flood records earlier this week. USGS data on the river's height and volume of water is used for forecasting the extent of flooding and preparing downstream communities for the flood crest.


Earth seems to be driven by the wave-like cycle of the solar system

Horoscope enthusiasts will be happy to hear that a grand cosmic force does indeed seem to be responsible for controlling the direction of all life on Earth. However, this grand cosmic cycle has more to do with extinction than finding a tall, handsome stranger.

Research has revealed that the rise and fall of species on Earth seems to be driven by the undulating motions of our solar system as it travels through the Milky Way. Some scientists believe that this cosmic force may offer the answer to some of the biggest questions in our Earth's biological history - especially where evolution has fallen short.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that marine fossil records show that biodiversity increases and decreases based on a 62-million-year cycle. At least two of the Earth's great mass extinctions-the Permian extinction 250 million years ago and the Ordovician extinction about 450 million years ago-correspond with peaks of this cycle, which can't be explained by evolutionary theory.


Hawaii's Big Island rattled by strong earthquake

Officials say a strong earthquake shook parts of Hawaii's Big Island but no damage has been reported.

U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says a temblor with a magnitude of 5.0 struck Tuesday at 12:44 p.m. about 8 miles southeast of volcano Kilauea's summit.