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Sun, 08 Dec 2019
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Bizarro Earth

Italy declares drought emergency

Italy declared a state of emergency in northern and central regions on Friday due to fears of drought following unusually warm and dry weather.

©AP
A woman sunbathes on the dried out Ticino river in northern Italy.

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Red fire ants facing killer virus

Imported red fire ants have plagued farmers, ranchers and others for decades. Now the reviled pests are facing a bug of their own.

Researchers have pinpointed a naturally occurring virus that kills the ants, which arrived in the U.S. in the 1930s and now cause $6 billion in damage annually nationwide, including about $1.2 billion in Texas.

The virus caught the attention of U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers in Florida in 2002. The agency is now seeking commercial partners to develop the virus into a pesticide to control fire ants.

Cloud Lightning

F-5 tornado wipes out 95% of Greensburg, Kansas

Paramedic Annette Gasten and her German shepherd, Greta, had a grim weekend searching amid the piles of wreckage left by one of the strongest tornadoes to rake across the Plains.

Every business on Greensburg's main street was demolished and officials estimate as much as 95 percent of the town was destroyed. Tree trunks stood bare, stripped of most of their branches. All the churches were destroyed.

At least eight people in this community of 1,500 were dead, putting the state's total death toll at 10. No one was found Sunday in the debris.

"Even though I have been to other disasters, this one was a lot worse - the amount of damage," Gasten said. "It is such a large area that was destroyed that it made it difficult" to search.

Bad Guys

Bt corn "cleared" in Colony Collapse Disorder

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has caused much concern among beekeepers nationwide and it is not clear to date what is causing the die-off.
Genetically modified crops, specifically Bt corn, have been suggested as a potential cause of CCD. While this possibility has not been ruled out, the weight of evidence based on a multitude of studies argues strongly that the current use of Bt corn is not associated with CCD.

Evil Rays

Famous Caymans coral reefs dying, scientists say

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (Reuters) - To coral reef-driven tourism industries like those of the Cayman Islands, there could be a greater cost in ignoring climate change than fighting it.

Attention

Bee imports dying too

Research in the US has found that something is attacking the local bees' immune system, rendering the bees vulnerable to any contagion. Australian bees have been coming to the rescue, trying to make up the numbers to pollinate many of America's crops.

But now the new arrivals are also dying, as North America Correspondent Kim Landers reports.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake swarm strikes Yellowstone

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. - Sixteen small earthquakes with magnitudes up to 2.7 shook the park's Pitchstone Plateau last week.

Comment: For background information on Yellowstone earthquake swarms visit this site.


Cloud Lightning

Second wave of tornadoes rakes Plains

Tornadoes tore across the nation's midsection for a second night Saturday, 24 hours after a storm leveled Greensburg, Kansas.

Cloud Lightning

Tornado snatches 1,000 pound pallasite meteorite

GREENSBURG, Kan. The tornado that razed the Kansas town of Greensburg also snatched one of its most valuable treasures. The thousand-pound Brenham pallasite meteorite is gone.

Red Flag

Damage Control: Internet abuzz with bee rumors

The answer to what happened to America's vanishing honeybees is simple, a caller told entomologist May Berenbaum: bee rapture. They were called away to heaven.

No, wait, it's Earth's magnetic field, another caller told the University of Illinois professor.

Comment: Don't worry, its all a joke, you can poke fun at it!