Earth ChangesS


Severe heatwave in east India kills over 20

At least 22 people have died from severe heat in east India's state of Orissa as temperatures touched 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) in some areas, local TV said on Tuesday.

Soaring temperatures have affected the region for the past three weeks hitting an average of 40 degrees Celsius (103 Fahrenheit), around 7-8 degrees higher than normal.

Officials said sunstroke has been confirmed as a cause of death for only three people so far, and warned that the intense heat would continue for another four to five days.

Better Earth

Larger Pacific Climate Event Helps Current La Nina Linger

Boosted by the influence of a larger climate event in the Pacific, one of the strongest La Niñas in many years is slowly weakening but continues to blanket the Pacific Ocean near the equator, as shown by new sea-level height data collected by the U.S.-French Jason oceanographic satellite.

This La Niña, which has persisted for the past year, is indicated by the blue area in the center of the image along the equator. Blue indicates lower than normal sea level (cold water). The data were gathered in early April.

La Niña
This La Niña is indicated by the blue area in the center of the image along the equator. Blue indicates lower than normal sea level (cold water).

Better Earth

Can the earth provide enough food for 9 billion people?

That's how many are expected to inhabit the world by 2050. Experts worry over looming food shortages.

The world is an odd place. A tight global food situation with record-high grain prices presents the possibility of increasing malnutrition, perhaps famine, in parts of Africa and South Asia. Yet an estimated 1.6 billion adults, about a quarter of the world's 6.7 billion people, are overweight, some of them obese.

As a result, chubby Americans are spending roughly $1 billion a year to lose a few pounds with special diets, treadmills, etc., while hundreds of millions in poor nations are scrambling to buy enough food to add a little weight. "You couldn't write any stranger fiction," says Joseph Chamie, former head of the United Nation's Population Division.

Arrow Down

Austria: Avalanche buries street near popular ski resort; no one injured

A large avalanche buried a street near a popular Austrian ski resort beneath up to 4 meters (13 feet) of snow Tuesday, but authorities said a search turned up no victims.

Officials said the avalanche struck around 10:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) Tuesday and piled snow over a 100-meter (300-foot) stretch of roadway just outside the town of Soelden in the western Alpine province of Tyrol.

Rescue workers poked through the mass of heavy snow, but police later issued a statement saying no people or vehicles were caught in the avalanche.

Cloud Lightning

Blizzard forces Canadian Earth Day event into tent

So much for global warming. Earth Day festivities went ahead despite the blast of frigid weather yesterday.

Life Preserver

Drought-hit Cyprus to import water from Greece

Nicosia -- Cyprus will import from Greece some 8 million cubic meters of water this summer to tackle the serious drought the east Mediterranean island is facing, Agriculture Minister Michalis Polynikis said on Monday.

Under a contract the government signed with a local shipping company, Greek water will be ferried to Cyprus from June to November to ease the shortage.

Bizarro Earth

Mysterious striped currents revealed in the oceans



NOAA: U.S. Temperatures Near Average in March as Global Land Temperature Sets Record

Western U.S. Snowpack Healthiest in a Decade

An analysis by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center shows that the average temperature for March in the contiguous United States ranked near average for the past 113 years. It was the 63rd warmest March since record-keeping began in the United States in 1895.

The average global land temperature last month was the warmest on record and ocean surface temperatures were the 13th warmest. Combining the land and the ocean temperatures, the overall global temperature ranked the second warmest for the month of March. Global temperature averages have been recorded since 1880.

The complete analysis is available online.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 4.1 - off the coast of Oregon


Geographic coordinates: 42.967N, 126.747W
Magnitude: 4.1 Mb
Depth: 10 km
Universal Time (UTC): 22 Apr 2008 03:17:04
Time near the Epicenter: 21 Apr 2008 19:17:04
Local standard time in your area: 22 Apr 2008 03:17:04

Location with respect to nearby cities:
185 km (115 miles) W (278 degrees) of Port Orford, OR
191 km (118 miles) W (266 degrees) of Bandon, OR
201 km (125 miles) WNW (289 degrees) of Gold Beach, OR
249 km (155 miles) NW (304 degrees) of Crescent City, CA
433 km (269 miles) SW (230 degrees) of Portland, OR

Cloud Lightning

U.S.: Spring Storm Carries Damaging Lightning in Baltimore County, Maryland

A fire gutted the Glyndon United Methodist Church back in 1929, and for a few tense moments late Sunday, it appeared history would repeat itself.

"We had a terrible crack of lightning," said parishioner Marti Clements, "It sounded very, very close, and so we came and there were flames coming out."

The lightning had struck the church steeple, sparking the roof and an interior chamber, which houses the church bell.

Pastor Norman Obenshain was visiting a parishioner in an emergency room when his wife reached him on his cell phone.

Comment: There are other things that sounds like a crack of thunder (although the article says "crack of lightning" and starts fires. A cometary fragment. The fire investigators have not yet confirmed what did start the fire, but one has to wonder if they will even think about a cometary fragment at all since we have been conditioned NOT to think of this likely scenario.

As we saw in Comet Biela and Mrs. O'Leary's Cow comets can start lots of fires.

Hmmmm. And investigators never seem to go with this line of thought. Instead they blame the fires on lightning and farmers burning fields; always steering us away from comets - even when fireballs have been reported.

It would almost seem as if someone is trying to hide something.