Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Sicily's Mount Etna erupts


Mount Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano spewed out lava late on Tuesday in its latest spectacular eruption.

Sparks lit the night sky and a small stream of lava was flowing down the volcano into an uninhabited valley but there was no danger to villages lower down on the slopes, officials said.

Cloud Lightning

Hurricane Felix hits Central America, 2 reported dead

Hurricane Felix ripped into Central America on Tuesday, trashing a port on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast and threatening dangerous mudslides in Honduras and Guatemala.

Two people were reported dead in Puerto Cabezas in northern Nicaragua, where howling winds tore the roofs off homes and shelters and badly damaged a church.

"My house felt like it was moving with the wind," said resident Julio Mena. Street lights and phone cables lay on the ground.

Uprooted trees flew through the air as thousands sheltered in two schools in the port, home to some 30,000 mostly Miskito Indians.

Cloud Lightning

Tens of thousands displaced by Ethiopia floods

Widespread flooding across Ethiopia is affecting more than 100,000 people, with the number of those driven from their homes topping 36,000 and rising, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Authorities fear further flooding is imminent and the outbreak of waterborne disease likely.

Arrow Up

Korea: Global Warming Blamed for Record Tropical Nights

Children splash in a fountain in front of the Kim Dae-jung Convention Center in Gwangju at the end of July when the rainy season was over and the heat wave beginning.

The nation saw more sleepless "tropical nights" this summer than ever, when nighttime temperatures stayed above 25 degrees Celsius. There were twice as many of them this summer as in the average year. In August alone, the frequency of tropical nights was four times higher than ever before. Meteorologists cite global warming and the "heat island" effect as the main culprits.


Fewer copperheads at mountaintop meet

The mysterious nighttime meetings of snakes on an Ozark hilltop have taken a puzzling new turn.

For the past two summers, dozens of Southern copperhead snakes have appeared beneath a cedar tree at Chuck Miller's rugged mountaintop home in Marion County. Like clockwork, the snakes arrived suddenly around 8 p. m., stayed for an hour or so, and then disappeared.

But things are different this summer. Instead of making their first appearance in mid-July, as they did in 2005 and 2006, the snakes began showing up in August. And their numbers are down significantly.

Cloud Lightning

After devastating fires, heavy rains in Greece now raise fears of flooding

A massive cleanup, reconstruction and anti-flood effort was being launched Monday for fire-stricken parts of southern Greece as one fire front continued to burn while others abated, officials said.

After months of successive heat waves, heavy rainstorms flooded parts of northern Greece on Sunday. Rain and cooler weather were expected to move south early this week, helping firefighters extinguish any remaining blazes and prevent the possibility of smoldering fires rekindling. However, officials also fear that heavy rains could hamper relief efforts and lead to flooding.

Cloud Lightning

California Heat Wave Causes Power Shortages, Extreme Weather Grips State

With temperatures expected to be well above 100 degrees again Sunday, California officials were appealing to residents to turn down their air conditioners and hold off on using major appliances until after dark.

The blistering heat wave blanketing California continued to place tremendous strain on the power grid, as some 2,600 homes and businesses in Los Angeles remained without power Saturday after overloaded circuits knocked out power to thousands last week.

Around the state, dozens of cooling centers have been opened in parks, libraries, senior centers and county fairgrounds.


Sudden oak death spreading in California

The number of trees infected with sudden oak death in California is increasing, and the disease has reached epidemic levels along the coast, researchers say.

The oak-killing pathogen is firmly established in 14 counties - including Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Alameda - and the number of infected trees in these counties is escalating, University of California researchers reported Friday.


Chupacabra? Has a mythical beast turned up in Texas?

Phylis Canion lived in Africa for four years. She's been a hunter all her life and has the mounted heads of a zebra and other exotic animals in her house to prove it. But the roadkill she found last month outside her ranch was a new one even for her, worth putting in a freezer hidden from curious onlookers: Canion believes she may have the head of the mythical, bloodsucking chupacabra.

Cloud Lightning

More than 130,000 hit by floods in West Africa

Heavy flooding after torrential rains has affected more than 130,000 people in seven West African countries, with impoverished Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritanian worst hit, the United Nations said on Saturday.

More than 30,000 people have been stricken in both Mali and Mauritania, with some 20,000 affected in landlocked Burkina Faso since the flooding began in July, the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on its Web site.