Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Britain battered by snow and storms

Heavy snow and storms caused chaos on Britain's seas and roads Friday, prompting a rescue operation to airlift a seriously injured ship's captain from his vessel, officials said.

The skipper of the Horn Cliff, a cargo ship carrying fruit from the Caribbean, sustained spinal injuries and internal bleeding as the vessel hit a force 10 storm 180 miles (290 kilometres) south of Ireland.

The Royal Air Force launched an effort to airlift him and six others from the ship, two of whom were also thought to be injured less seriously, but it said later it had to be called off because conditions were too dangerous.


Australia experiences hottest ever January

Australia experienced its hottest January on record this year, with the dry continent heating up as part of the global warming process, the bureau of meteorology said Friday.

Temperatures rose by between 1.0 and 2.0 degrees in most parts of the country, with the national average hitting 29.2 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) for the summer month, said the bureau's head of climate analysis, David Jones.

"It's a remarkable number certainly. Averaging, as we did across the whole country 1.3 degrees above average is the highest temperature we've seen in our history of records for Australia in January," he told AFP.

Cloud Lightning

Three killed, 90,000 evacuated in Jakarta floods

Three people have been killed and nearly 90,000 forced to evacuate their homes in the Indonesian capital due to heavy floods, officials said Saturday.

The health ministry said 88,261 people had abandoned flooded homes in Jakarta, where heavy rain also forced the international airport to close for about six hours on Friday.

"A three-year-old boy and a 21-year-old man drowned yesterday (Friday). Another woman, 50, was also killed but we don't know what the cause is," an officer from the national disaster management centre Setyo told AFP.

Alarm Clock

Rain Forests Fall at 'Alarming' Rate

Abo Ebam, Nigeria - In the gloomy shade deep in Africa's rain forest, the noontime silence was pierced by the whine of a far-off chain saw. It was the sound of destruction, echoed from wood to wood, continent to continent, in the tropical belt that circles the globe.

Cloud Lightning

Scotland: January wettest on record in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has had its wettest January for more than 100 years, with nearly three times the average amount of rainfall.

Met Office forecasters say 178 millimetres of rain have fallen in the Capital since the start of the month, the highest since they began measuring in the 1890s.


For third day in a row, severe winter conditions batter Canada

With the power out in her hometown of O'Leary, PEI, last night, Ella Lewis and her husband Harry donned extra sweaters and gathered as many blankets as they could find to prepare for the cold night ahead.

The small town of about 870 is just one of dozens of communities left in the dark after heavy ice from a recent storm brought down trees and power lines, causing blackouts across Prince Edward Island.

Cloud Lightning

Nigeria: Dry season dust storms 'worst in living memory'


For residents of Zamfara State and in fact the North West geo-political zone of the country, the past few weeks have brought about some of the most difficult weather conditions seen in recent years. The dry season, known in this part of the world as Harmattan, has been in its worst form in living memory, bringing socio-economic activities to a halt.

Bizarro Earth

Havoc as gales and blizzards hit Britain

Mountainous seas are threatening to sink four stranded ships after a series of dramatic rescues saw more than 40 crew and passengers winched to safety or taken off in lifeboats as gales swept over Britain.


China's snow storms cause $7.5 billion damage

China's heaviest snow storms in 50 years have wreaked havoc on the country's economy causing damage of $7.5 billion, a senior official said.

"The snow has taken a toll on the Chinese economy," the Xinhua news agency cited Zhu Hongren, deputy director of the Bureau of Economic Operations with the National Development and Reform Commission.

Crops and farmland have been particularly badly hit with around 17.5 acres of agricultural land affected. The Ministry of Agriculture was cited as saying that 14.4 million poultry had died from the cold, as well as over 870,000 pigs, 450,000 sheep and 85,000 cattle.

Life Preserver

UK Blizzards: Dozens Of Trapped Motorists Rescued

Dozens of motorists who were trapped in blizzards in County Durham have been rescued.

Many are likely to spend the night in temporary accommodation.

At one point 150 cars carrying around 200 motorists were stranded in drifting snow along the A66 near the village of Bowes.

A trapped car in County Durham

Heavy snow hit the north of the country on Friday afternoon, catching many motorists out.

Bob Baldwin of the Highways Agency, told Sky News up to half a metre of drifting snow had accumulated on parts of the road in a very short amount of time.