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Tue, 05 Dec 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes

Magic Wand

Czech leader Klaus fights global warming "religion"

Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Wednesday that fighting global warming has turned into a a "religion" that replaced the ideology of communism and threatens to clip basic freedoms.

The right-wing president, a free-market champion, wrote to the U.S. Congress that adopting tough environmental policies to fight climate change would have destructive impact on national economies.

"Communism has been replaced by the threat of an ambitious environmentalism," Klaus wrote in response to questions from the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The U.S. House Subcommittee for Energy and Air Quality was due to hold a hearing on climate on Wednesday with former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, who sees global warming as a key challenge, and Danish sceptic Bjorn Lomborg, who says governments should focus on fight disease and hunger instead.

Cloud Lightning

Bangladesh: Storm kills 10, 200 injured, over 1,000 houses damaged

At least 10 people were killed and around 200 were injured as the year's first violent storm swept through Lalmohon and Char Borhanuddin upazilas in Bhola on Thursday leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

The 10-minute long storm damaged no less than a thousand houses leaving hundreds of people homeless. Many trees in the local reserved forest were uprooted and a heavy hail shower following the storm completely destroyed the crops on the fields.

Better Earth

Volcano Still Erupting In Indonesia

Thousands of people on Lembata Island in Indonesia's Solor Archipelago are sleeping away from home as Mount Batutara spews ash and lava.

The volcano became more active Saturday, the Jakarta Post reported. Tons of ash and lava spewed from its cone into the sea.

Magic Wand

Yipee! Riches Await as Earth's Icy North Melts

HAMMERFEST, Norway - Barren and uninhabited, Hans Island is very hard to find on a map. Yet these days the Frisbee-shaped rock in the Arctic is much in demand _ so much so that Canada and Denmark have both staked their claim to it with flags and warships. The reason: an international race for oil, fish, diamonds and shipping routes, accelerated by the impact of global warming on Earth's frozen north.

Magic Wand

Highway shut for butterfly travel

Taiwan is to close one lane of a major highway to protect more than a million butterflies, which cross the road on their seasonal migration.

The purple milkweed butterfly, which winters in the south of the island, passes over some 600m of motorway to reach its breeding ground in the north.

Many of the 11,500 butterflies that attempt the journey each hour do not reach safety, experts say.

Protective nets and ultra-violet lights will also be used to aid the insects.


Quakes shake Vanuatu in South Pacific

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Two strong earthquakes struck the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Sunday and a tsunami warning was issued for some of its southern islands, police said.

Bizarro Earth

Japan Quake Kills 1, Triggers Tsunamis

TOKYO - A strong earthquake struck Japan early Sunday, killing at least one person, violently shaking buildings and triggering two very small tsunamis which hit the coast, officials and media reports said.


Monsanto asks court to allow sale of GMO alfalfa

LOS ANGELES - Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON - news) has asked a San Francisco federal court to allow it to continue selling its genetically modified Roundup Ready Alfalfa while the USDA conducts a court-ordered environmental impact study.

Cloud Lightning

New Mexico Tornadoes Destroy Homes, Injure 16

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Storms that produced at least 13 tornadoes swept along New Mexico's border with Texas on Friday, destroying homes and other buildings and injuring at least 16 people, several critically, authorities said.


Microfossils unravel climate history of tropical Africa

Scientists from the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research obtained for the first time a detailed temperature record for tropical central Africa over the past 25,000 years. They did this in cooperation with a German colleague from the University of Bremen, The scientists developed an entirely new method to reconstruct the history of land temperatures based on the molecular fossils of soil bacteria.

They applied the method to a marine sediment core taken in the outflow of the Congo River. This core contained eroded land material and microfossils from marine algae. The results show that the land environment of tropical Africa was cooled more than the adjacent Atlantic Ocean during the last ice-age. This large temperature difference between land and ocean surface resulted in drier conditions compared to the current situation, which favours the growth of a lush rainforest. These findings provide further insight in natural variations in climate and the possible consequences of a warming earth on precipitation in central Africa. The results will be published in this week's issue of 'Science'.