Earth ChangesS


Studies Show Alarming Insect-eating Bird Declines in Canada

An article by Bird Studies Canada biologist Jon McCracken examines substantial population declines for 'aerial insectivores ' - birds that specialize on feeding on flying insects.


Bee plague worsening, anxious keepers say

It's been 16 months since Dave Hackenberg of Dade City became the first beekeeper in the country to say publicly that something was terribly wrong with his insects.

In the intervening time following the identification of the malady now known as Colony Collapse Disorder, things haven't gotten any better for the nation's bees, which pollinate about one-third of U.S. crops - some $15 billion worth.

Better Earth

Antarctic shelf 'hangs by thread'

A chunk of ice the size of the Isle of Man has started to break away from Antarctica in what scientists say is further evidence of a warming climate.

antarctica ice


Global Warming Could Radically Change Lake Tahoe In Ten Years

A new UC Davis study predicts that climate change will irreversibly alter water circulation in Lake Tahoe, radically changing the conditions for plants and fish in the lake -- and it could happen in 10 years.

One likely result would be a warmer lake overall, with fewer cold-water native fish, and more invasive species, such as large-mouth bass, bluegill and carp.

Still unclear is how the changes would affect the lake's phenomenal clarity and cobalt-blue color, which have helped to make the Tahoe Basin an international vacation destination.

Lake Tahoe
©Sylvia Wright/UC Davis photo
Still unclear is how the changes would affect the lake's phenomenal clarity and cobalt-blue color.

The new findings were announced March 18 at a Tahoe scientific conference by three lake experts from the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at UC Davis -- Director Geoffrey Schladow, Associate Director John Reuter and postdoctoral researcher Goloka Sahoo.


Delicate Partnership Between Coral And Algae Threatened By Global Warming

Over two hundred million humans depend for their subsistence on the fact that coral has an addiction to 'junk food' - and orders its partners, the symbiotic algae, to make it.

This curious arrangement is one of Nature's most delicate and complex partnerships - a collaboration now facing grave threats from climate change.

coral and zooxanthellae
The symbiosis between coral and zooxanthellae is not only powerful enough to build the largest living organism on the planet, the Great Barrier Reef, but also underpins the economies and living standards of many tropical nations and societies who harvest their food from the reefs or have developing tourism industries.

Bizarro Earth

Western Antarctic Ice Chunk Collapses

WASHINGTON - A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said Tuesday.

©AP Photo/ National Snow and Ice Data Center, NASA
This satellite photo released by the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder shows the Wilkins Ice Shelf on March 6, 2008 on the Southwest Antarctic Peninsula as it began to break apart.


Bats Perish, and No One Knows Why

©Michael Durham/Getty Images
THREAT Healthy bats, like the one above, hibernate in winter.

Al Hicks was standing outside an old mine in the Adirondacks, the largest bat hibernaculum, or winter resting place, in New York State.

But bats dying from a mystery illness have been found in the snow in daylight hours.

It was broad daylight in the middle of winter, and bats flew out of the mine about one a minute. Some had fallen to the ground where they flailed around on the snow like tiny wind-broken umbrellas, using the thumbs at the top joint of their wings to gain their balance.

Alarm Clock

Shocking New Data on Earthquakes in Southern Nevada Released

A shocking new report shows what kind of damage a large earthquake would do to Las Vegas. It also shows that "the big one" could hit here in the next 50 years.

Right at Tropicana and Decatur is the closest active fault to the Las Vegas Strip. It runs north and south along Decatur. The new damage data may be shocking, but it can better prepare the buildings in our area.


Strong Earthquake Strikes Northern Chile

Chile 6.1 quake

A 6.1-magnitude quake has hit northern Chile close to the border with Bolivia, the US Geological Survey reports.

The tremor, whose epicentre was 145km (90 miles) east of the coastal city of Iquique, struck at a depth of more than 120km (74 miles), it adds.


Best of the Web: Death of the Bees: GMO Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America

'Commercial beehives pollinate over a third of [North}America's crops and that web of nourishment encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees. Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops goodbye, to say nothing of the honey bees produce or the flowers they also fertilize'.1