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Sat, 30 Sep 2023
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Earth Changes

Red Flag

Guinea: Strong earthquake hits Papua New Guinea's island

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck the Papua New Guinea's island of New Britain, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake hit 740 km northeast of Papua New Guinea's capital of Port Moresby at 11:03 a.m. local time Tuesday (0103GMT) and the depth is 128 km below the earth's surface.


Huge waves from one storm slam coasts some 6000 km apart

Huge waves that struck Reunion Island and coastlines across Indonesia earlier this month all originated from the same storm that occurred south of Cape Town, South Africa, and were tracked across the entire Indian Ocean for some 10 000 kilometres over a nine-day period by ESA's Envisat satellite.

Waves reaching up to 11 metres devastated France's Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean when it slammed into the southern port of Saint Pierre on 12 May. Six days later waves created from the same storm measuring as high as seven metres began crashing into Indonesia coastlines from Sumatra to Bali, killing at least one person and causing some 1200 people to flee their homes.

Dr Bertrand Chapron of IFREMER, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, and Dr Fabrice Collard of France's BOOST Technologies in Brest located and tracked the swells using standard processed Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) ESA Wave Mode products, as shown in the animation below.

Bizarro Earth

Freak snow, freezing temperatures and tropical storms hit across Europe

Freak snow, freezing temperatures and tropical storms across Europe are making the Bank Holiday washout here look almost pleasant.

In Spitzing in Germany, locals have been forced to wrap up after ten centimetres of snow brought out the snowploughs for the first time this year.

Light Sabers

Aboriginal whaling quotas renewed

The International Whaling Commission renewed a five-year whaling quota for indigenous people in the United States and Russia on Tuesday, allowing Alaska Natives to continue hunting bowhead whales for subsistence purposes.

By a consensus vote, Alaska Natives and the indigenous people of Chukotka, Russia, were allocated a shared catch limit of 280 bowhead whales over a period ending in 2012. The proposal maintained previous catch limits.

The whaling commission is holding its annual meeting near the icy coasts where Alaska Natives use whale meat as a staple in their diet and for cultural practices. The commission's U.S. delegation said its top priority was to obtain a renewal of their quota.

Magic Wand

Moths drink the tears of sleeping birds

A species of moth drinks tears from the eyes of sleeping birds using a fearsome proboscis shaped like a harpoon, scientists have revealed. The new discovery - spied in Madagascar - is the first time moths have been seen feeding on the tears of birds.

©Roland Hilgartner / Mamisolo Raoilison
The moth uses its barbed proboscis (close-up below) to penetrate the eyelid of sleeping birds and drink tears

Arrow Down

I Was On the Global Warming Gravy Train

I devoted six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian government to estimate carbon emissions from land use change and forestry. When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty conclusive, but since then new evidence has weakened that case. I am now skeptical.

Cloud Lightning

Arizona, Get Ready For Long, Hot Summer

Get ready for a long, hot summer in the Valley.

"The long-term forecast from the National Weather Service, the outlook for the summertime here, are for above normal temperatures centered pretty much right over Arizona, so we can expect most of this summer to be in the 100-degree range and above," said Arizona State University climatologist Randy Cerveney.

Red Flag

Strong quake in eastern Indonesia, cuts power

A strong undersea earthquake has struck Indonesia's Mollucas islands, blacking out power in the town of Labuha, but not triggering a tsunami warning, officials at the country's meteorology agency said on Tuesday.


Moscow breaks another heat record

Another heat record has fallen as Russia's capital city continues to bake in unseasonable May weather, with a temperature of 32.1 degrees Celsius (89.7 degrees Fahrenheit) beating a 116-year-old maximum, the Moscow meteorological service said Tuesday.

"At 4:00 p.m. Moscow time (noon GMT), a temperature of 32.1 degrees Celsius was recorded, surpassing a reading of 31.8 degrees Celsius (89.2 degrees Fahrenheit) set in 1891," the service said.

"We will only know this evening by how much that record has been beaten, as temperatures will continue rising several tenths of a degree," it said.


Florida: Giant lizard shot, still eludes police

Police say they're sure they shot a four-foot-long, 80-pound monitor lizard that had been lurking in an Orlando suburb for months. Still, neighbors aren't ready to let their children or pets back outside until they see a carcass.

The lizard didn't bite anyone, but police officers were authorized to kill it because of the potential danger it posed to small children and animals.

An officer shot the reptile twice Sunday but wasn't close enough to catch it before the animal scampered into a retention pond, said Lt. Dennis Stewart of the Casselberry Police Department.

"If they did shoot it, I'm sure it's going to be angry if it comes out now," said Ilene Gothelf, whose home borders the pond about 10 miles from Orlando. "I want to know that it is safe for the kids to come out."