Earth ChangesS


Wildfire burns toward Grand Canyon

PHOENIX - Firefighters are battling a forest fire burning out of control toward the Grand Canyon, fanned by strong winds and dry conditions, authorities said on Wednesday.

The so-called X Fire has burned 2,000 acres of the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona, and was burning toward the Grand Canyon National Park early on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the forest service said.

"The fire is not contained at this time. It's still windy and moisture levels are low so we are concerned," said Margaret Hangan, a spokeswoman for the Kaibab National Forest.


Birds can 'see' the Earth's magnetic field

It has been debated for nearly four decades but no one has yet been able to prove it is chemically possible. Now good evidence suggests that birds can actually "see" the lines of the Earth's magnetic field.

Klaus Schulten of the University of Illinois, proposed forty years ago that some animals - including migratory birds - must have molecules in their eyes or brains which respond to magnetism. The problem has been that no one has been able to find a chemical sensitive enough to be influenced by Earth's weak geomagnetic field.

Now Peter Hore and colleagues at the University of Oxford have found one.


Scientists discover new ocean current

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered a new climate pattern called the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. This new pattern explains, for the first time, changes in the water that are important in helping commercial fishermen understand fluctuations in the fish stock. They're also finding that as the temperature of the Earth is warming, large fluctuations in these factors could help climatologists predict how the oceans will respond in a warmer world. The research appears in the April 30 edition of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

"We've been able to explain, for the first time, the changes in salinity, nutrients and chlorophyll that we see in the Northeast Pacific," said Emanuele Di Lorenzo, assistant professor in Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

©Georgia Tech
The North Pacific Gyre Oscillation explains changes in salinity, nutrients and chlorophyll seen in the Northeast Pacific.


Fruit bats at risk of extinction in Cyprus

The Fruit Bat is under threat of extinction on the island, the Forestry Department said yesterday. Forestry Officer Harris Nicolaou told the Mail that numbers have been rapidly declining, with only an estimated 3,500 remaining.

fruit bat
Fruit Bat

"We can say that numbers were far greater in the past and it is now an endangered species," he said.

Heart - Black

Greece: Dead sea mammals mystery

An alarming number of dead sea mammals, apparently killed on purpose by humans rather than dying of natural causes, have washed up on Greek shores in the last few weeks, marine experts said yesterday.

Better Earth

New shrew discovered in Ireland

Irish Shrew
The white-toothed shrew has now moved to Ireland!

Dublin - Ireland, which has seen an immigration surge in recent years, has a new foreigner on its shores, scientists said Monday: the greater white-toothed shrew.

The mammal, Crocidura Russula, has been discovered in parts of the midlands and south-west of the republic. Its natural range is in parts of Africa, France and Germany.

Bizarro Earth

(Nevada) Quake swarm continues

At least 52 earthquakes were recorded in Northern Nevada between midnight Monday and 8 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey Web site.

The strongest was magnitude 4.2 recorded at 4:33 a.m. Most of the earthquakes registered below a 2.0. A 2.5 was recorded at 5:12 a.m. and a 2.0 was recorded at 2:34 p.m.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 5.2 - Northern California

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 5.2

* Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 03:03:06 UTC
* Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 08:03:06 PM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 40.837°N, 123.499°W
Depth 28.5 km (17.7 miles)

* 18 km (11 miles) ESE (114°) from Willow Creek, CA
* 41 km (26 miles) E (97°) from Blue Lake, CA
* 42 km (26 miles) NW (315°) from Hayfork, CA
* 56 km (35 miles) E (84°) from Eureka, CA
* 307 km (191 miles) NW (326°) from Sacramento, CA

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 1.4 km (0.9 miles)
Parameters NST=140, Nph=140, Dmin=20 km, Rmss=0.15 sec, Gp= 54°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6

Cloud Lightning

US: Lightning strike damages Dallas, North Carolina home

Tim Newton would have been working construction Monday if rain hadn't given him a day off.

"I was just sitting there watching TV and next thing I knew lightning stuck the house and the whole house shook," Newton said.

Newton had been sitting in the living room around 2:45 p.m. when lightning hit. He looked in the hallway and saw the smoke detector smoldering and called for help. His 1 ½-year-old son Nathan's bedroom is right by the spot where the smoke detector caught fire.

Cloud Lightning

US: Early morning house fire caused by lightning

Austin, Texas - here is over a half a million dollars in damages after a weekend fire at Steiner Ranch on Country Trails Lane.

Texas house hit by lightning

Lake Travis fire and rescue crews said two adults and a baby were in the two-story house when it was hit by lightning.

Emergency crews reached the house just before 7 a.m. Monday.