Earth ChangesS


After Quake, Reno Told to Brace for Stronger One

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A day after a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck northern Nevada's largest city, scientists urged residents to prepare for a larger temblor as the area continued to rumble on Saturday.

Evil Rays

Moderate earthquake hits southern Mexico

A moderate earthquake of a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale rocked southern Mexico Sunday, but no major injuries or damages have been reported.

The quake, which was centered 154 kilometers north of the port city of Acapulco, shook the southern Mexican state of Guerrero and was felt in the capital.


Hawk found dead with the claw of a songbird protruding from its chest

A hawk was found dead along a California highway with the claw of a songbird protruding from its chest.

It's not clear, however, if the partially digested meal, one claw somehow managing to get back out from a terribly wrong location, had anything to do with the hawk's death.


California wildfire forces 1,000 to evacuate

LOS ANGELES - A wildfire that began along a popular hiking trail forced 1,000 people to evacuate their homes in the hills northeast of Los Angeles on Sunday, officials said.

The cause of the nearly 400-acre fire, which started Saturday afternoon as Southern California logged near-record temperatures, was still under investigation, said Elisa Weaver, a spokeswoman for the city of Sierra Madre, California.

Fifty people celebrating a wedding at a mountain campground were lifted from the area by helicopter after the fire cut off their exit trail. No one in the group was harmed.

Better Earth

Stratospheric Injections To Counter Global Warming Could Damage Ozone Layer

A much-discussed idea to offset global warming by injecting sulfate particles into the stratosphere would have a drastic impact on Earth's protective ozone layer, new research concludes. The study, led by Simone Tilmes of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), warns that such an approach might delay the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole by decades and cause significant ozone loss over the Arctic.

"Our research indicates that trying to artificially cool off the planet could have perilous side effects," Tilmes says. "While climate change is a major threat, more research is required before society attempts global geoengineering solutions."

Earths ozone hole
Earth's ozone hole, shown here (in blue) in 2006, could be negatively affected by some efforts to mitigate climate change.


Orangutan attempts to hunt fish with spear

A male orangutan, clinging precariously to overhanging branches, flails the water with a pole, trying desperately to spear a passing fish.

It is the first time one has been seen using a tool to hunt.

Orangutan fishing
©Gerd Schuster, Willie Smits & Jay Ullal

Evil Rays

US: Earthquake in Illinois could portend an emerging threat

To the surprise of many, the earthquake on April 18, 2008, about 120 miles east of St. Louis, originated in the Wabash Valley Fault and not the better-known and more-dreaded New Madrid Fault in Missouri's bootheel.

The concern of Douglas Wiens, Ph.D., and Michael Wysession, Ph.D., seismologists at Washington University in St. Louis, is that the New Madrid Fault may have seen its day and the Wabash Fault is the new kid on the block.

Comment: Or perhaps it wasn't a 'natural' earthquake, but something else, like an overhead explosion?

Map of the region surrounding Memphis, TN. Darker orange area is covered by think sediments called the Mississippi embayment, that affect how the ground shakes during earthquakes. White lines indicate likely locations of faults, and black dots show the locations of earthquakes since the mid-1970s.


Insufficient data: 'Huge increase needed' in greenhouse gas monitoring

A global greenhouse gas data collection network needs to be created that is ten times the size of the one currently in place, scientists say.

A team from the University of Colorado and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the increase is vital if regional progress in greenhouse gas reductions is to be accurately recorded.

Cloud Lightning

Global warming hysteria

A growing contingent of scientists has been brave enough to stand athwart the politically fashionable global warming steamroller. More than 500 such skeptics convened in New York at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change last month. They argue factually and persuasively that what warming the world has seen in the last hundred years is at best minimal and at worst exaggerated.

Conversely, radical increases in global temperatures or rising sea levels proclaimed by Al Gore and his ilk aren't facts. They're merely guesses, some of them hysterical, about conditions decades or centuries into the future and based on assumptions about innumerable variables, many of which are beyond our scientific comprehension and expertise.

Climate change is a natural and age-old phenomenon on this planet recurring in roughly 1,500-year cycles and predating humanity by millions of years. Ice ages have come and gone. Compared to the overwhelming influence of the sun and the impact of nonhuman influences on this planet - ocean-generated water vapor, animal life, vegetation, etc. - the notion that the puny contribution of mankind is the principal cause of climate change is a grand conceit.


Los Angeles, US: Raging fire forces evacuation of Sierra Madre homes

Heat records also are broken in Southern California as offshore winds bring in warm desert air.

A wildfire in the Sierra Madre foothills swelled to 230 to 270 acres early this morning, forcing the evacuation of at least 100 homes and drawing hundreds of firefighters from around the region.

The fire was moving southwest in remote brush at 1 a.m. today, and containment was not expected for two to three days, said Elisa Weaver, spokeswoman for the city of Sierra Madre. Warm, dry weather is predicted for the fire area this morning, with winds gusting to 15 miles to 20 miles an hour before slowing this evening, the National Weather Service reported. Crowds of residents stood on major streets normally deserted in the middle of the night, staring up at hills aglow with flames. Police had blocked off several streets nearby.