Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Cyclone Sidr: It Gets Worse

Cyclone Sidr, currently in the Bay of Bengal and headed towards India or Bangladesh, recently became the 15th Category 4 or 5 storm of 2007, with sustained winds estimated at 115 knots or more than 130 miles per hour. Now, it's all a matter of where and when.

©Naval Research Laboratory

Bizarro Earth

Seismic activity rock Sulu area in West New Britain

There has been increased seismic activity, confirmed as volcanic tremors, in the Sulu area in West New Britain province but authorities said there were no threats that Mt Pago volcano might erupt soon.

The provincial disaster office said the resurgence of the seismic activity was felt at 10pm last Monday night in the Sulu/Silanga area. Acting disaster director Peter Morlin said the Rabaul Volcano Observatory had already been informed and disaster officers in Kimbe were observing the activities.

He said earth tremor data coming from Mt Pago stations were indicating a build-up of seismic activity again.


NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face

A team of NASA and university scientists has detected an ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation triggered by atmospheric circulation changes that vary on decade-long time scales. The results suggest not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming.

This shows contours of the trend in ocean bottom pressure from 2002 to 2006 as measured by GRACE along with hypothetical trends that would apply at the circles if ocean salinity reverted from 1990s values to climatological conditions over the same period.

The team, led by James Morison of the University of Washington's Polar Science Center Applied Physics Laboratory, Seattle, used data from an Earth-observing satellite and from deep-sea pressure gauges to monitor Arctic Ocean circulation from 2002 to 2006. They measured changes in the weight of columns of Arctic Ocean water, from the surface to the ocean bottom. That weight is influenced by factors such as the height of the ocean's surface, and its salinity. A saltier ocean is heavier and circulates differently than one with less salt.


World's Smallest Bear Faces Extinction

GENEVA - The world's smallest bear species faces extinction because of deforestation and poaching in its Southeast Asian home, a conservation group said Monday.

©AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File
A 9-month-old baby Asian sun bear reaches out through his cage at his new home at the Wildlife Division of the Thai Forestry Department in Banglamung.

Bizarro Earth

China Pandas Forced to Migrate for Food

BEIJING - Giant pandas are being forced to move from a remote mountainous area in southwestern China due to food shortages as their staple bamboo withers, an animal expert said Monday.


Typhoon Peipah kills at least 28 in Vietnam

At least 28 people have been killed in Vietnam by Typhoon Peipah, which continues to wreak havoc on already flooded areas of central Vietnam, a disaster official said on Tuesday.

Seven provinces are affected by the latest flooding, the fifth since August, with 61,000 houses underwater and hundreds of thousands of people evacuated. Water levels in rivers across the region continue to rise to record levels.


Black, Azov Sea oil spill contamination to last six months

Experts said it will take six months for oil products spilled into the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov at the weekend to dissolve or be washed ashore.

About 2,000 metric tons of oil, and almost 7,000 tons of sulfur in containers, were spilt into the sea amid a powerful storm on Sunday that killed at least six sailors, sank four ships and split open an oil tanker.


"Most of the fuel oil will settle on the bottom and will be thrown ashore gradually," said Vitaly Spiridonov of World Wildlife Fund Russia, adding that the seabed's fauna and flora would suffer the most.

Bizarro Earth

Chile's San Rafael glacier fast disappearing

Chunks of glacial ice tinkled in whisky glasses as chilled tourists gazed in wonder from their boat at the massive San Rafael glacier and the markers tallying its losing battle against global warming.

"How can we stop this," asked German visitor Herman Kirst, 70, reflecting on the 100 meters (yards) that the glacier has shrunk this year, and every year since Captain Luis Kochifas began ferrying tourists to this spot in 1978.

Graphic showing Chile's 30,000-year-old San Rafael glacier, which has receded 12 kilometres since 1871.

Cloud Lightning

High winds in southern British Columbia down power lines, strand travellers

High winds battered much of southern British Columbia Monday, leaving more than 200,000 people without power and stranded thousands more as almost every form of air and water transportation was affected.

Environment Canada estimated winds would reach 90 kilometres per hour, disrupting travel by ferries, float planes and even small regional commuter aircraft between the Lower Mainland and much of Vancouver Island.

©CBC News
Wind and waves washed through the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal Monday morning as a major storm shut down ferry service on several routes.

Cloud Lightning

146 accidents on record snow day in Alaska

A record-setting 5 inches of snow fell on Anchorage, Alaska, contributing to 146 traffic accidents.

Sunday's record snowfall for the calendar day -- which beat the previous record of 3 inches for a Nov. 11, 1944, snowstorm -- led to 146 accidents and 86 cars being caught in ditches between midnight and 11 p.m., the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.