Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Rocks Papua New Guinea, USGS Reports

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Papua New Guinea today, about 691 kilometers (428 miles) northeast of the capital, Port Moresby, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The temblor struck at 11:13 a.m. local time at the depth of 10 kilometers in the Bismarck Sea, the USGS said on its Web site. No tsunami warning was issued. A similar magnitude quake was also reported on Oct. 28, it said.


"Global Warming" Has Stopped

In a blog post, Bill Chameides says "global warming" is still happening. It isn't. As the global temperature graph below shows, all four of the world's major global surface temperature datasets (NASA GISS; RSS; UAH; and Hadley/University of East Anglia) show a decline in temperatures that have now persisted for seven years.

Better Earth

Global Cooling is Here! Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades

In 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modelers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century. IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1F per decade and 5-6C (10-11F) by 2100, which would cause global catastrophe with ramifications for human life, natural habitat, energy and water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on the assumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 and that CO2 will continue to rise rapidly.


One dead, thousands without power and the first October snow in London in 74 YEARS as Arctic blast sweeps across UK

One man was killed and thousands were left without power today after inches of snow fell across the country overnight.

Just two days after the end of British Summertime, the first snowfall of the year saw a lorry driver killed when his vehicle collided with another lorry on the M40 in Buckinghamshire.

Tonnes of lard being carried in one of the lorries was left strewn over all six lanes of the motorway causing long delays.


Experts predicted record low for area; Red Cross urges safety as temperatures drop

Florida, US -
An article of clothing Cape Coral may have forgotten existed over the scorching hot summer - the jacket - is making an early comeback this week as record-cold weather comes to town.

Forecasters predicted temperatures would hit a low of about 45 degrees Tuesday night. It has been colder before in Southwest Florida, but not in October.

The record low for Oct. 29 in the Fort Myers area is 47 degrees, according to Charlie Paxton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service - that was in 1910.

"That would be the coldest since (weather) records began in 1902," Paxton said.

Cloud Lightning

Vietnam floods kill 19, capital Hanoi under water

Hanoi under water
© Hoàng Hà / vnexpress.netHanoi under water.
Floods have killed at least 19 people in central Vietnam, emergency services said Friday, as heavy rains also lashed the capital Hanoi and left many streets under one metre (three feet) of water.

Central Ha Tinh province -- where muddy waters inundated buildings and hundreds of hectares of rice and other crops -- reported seven deaths, said the National Flood and Storm Prevention Committee.

"A 48-year-old man was swept away after feeding his buffalo and a 19-year-old man was killed on the way to husk rice," said the committee's online report, adding that three of the victims were children.

Nghe An province reported eight deaths, four of them children aged between eight and 12 years old. The children were swept away in strong currents on their way home from school, the provincial disaster office said in a report.


Giant bat makes comeback in Tanzania

A giant bat with a wingspan up to 5.5 feet has made a comeback from the brink of extinction in Tanzania in a rare conservation success, an environmental group said on Friday.

Numbers of the Pemba flying fox, a type of fruit bat, have risen to 22,000 since it was rated critically endangered two decades ago when "only a scant few individual fruit bats could be observed," British-based Fauna and Flora International said.


Mysterious Bat Disease Decimates Colonies: Newly Identified Fungus Implicated In White-nose Syndrome

A previously undescribed, cold-loving fungus has been linked to white-nose syndrome, a condition associated with the deaths of over 100,000 hibernating bats in the northeastern United States. The findings are published in this week's issue of Science.

The probable cause of these bat deaths has puzzled researchers and resource managers urgently trying to understand why the bats were dying in such unprecedented numbers. Since the winter of 2006-07, bat declines at many surveyed hibernation caves exceeded 75 percent.
brown bat
© Al Hicks, NY DECLittle brown bat with fungus on muzzle.

The fungus - a white, powdery-looking organism - is commonly found on the muzzles, ears and wings of afflicted dead and dying bats, though researchers have not yet determined that it is the only factor causing bats to die. Most of the bats are also emaciated, and some of them leave their hibernacula - winter caves where they hibernate - to seek food that they will not find in winter.

USGS microbiologist and lead author David Blehert isolated the fungus in April 2008, and identified it as a member of the group Geomyces. The research was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey scientists in collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Health, and others.


Increased bacterial infection outbreaks in California sea lions in Monterey Bay

Researchers are trying to understand why there is a surge in the number of California sea lions in Monterey Bay stricken by a potentially deadly bacterial infection.

This year researchers report more than 100 animals coming to the center with leptospirosis - a bacterial disease that affects the kidneys and can be deadly if animals are left untreated.

"And we are still in the midst of our year," says Dr. Jeffrey Boehm, executive director at the Marine Mammal Center. "When we tally the numbers up, we're going to see another year like one of those surge years."


Climate Change Seeps Into The Sea

Good news has turned out to be bad.

The ocean has helped slow global warming by absorbing much of the excess heat and heat-trapping carbon dioxide that has been going into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

All that extra carbon dioxide, however, has been a bitter pill for the ocean to swallow. It's changing the chemistry of seawater, making it more acidic and otherwise inhospitable, threatening many important marine organisms.
plankton bloom off Norway
© NASAMODIS image showing a plankton bloom off Norway.