Earth ChangesS


Battling Termites? Just Add Sugar

© Victor R. Caivano/AP Formosan termites swarm over a glass counter in a University of Florida entomology lab in March 1998.
If you've ever had to battle the tenacious termite, sweet revenge may be near.

A substance derived from glucose has been shown to weaken the insects' immune systems, making them vulnerable to infections from lethal microbes, a new study says.

The findings could give rise to a whole new class of safer pest-control treatments, the authors say.

"We wanted something environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and [that] does not play a toxic role," said study co-author Ram Sasisekharan, a biological engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bizarro Earth

Galeras Volcano Erupts for 2nd Time in 24 hours

© Unknown
The Galeras volcano, located near the south Colombian city of Pasto erupted for the second time in 24 hours. The situation remains at red alert.

The Pasto Observatory of Vulcanology and Seismology recorded the latest eruption at 6:38am Monday morning. The previous eruption was at 7:18am Sunday morning.

The Conservatory announced that today's eruption was "explosive in nature".

The situation remains on red alert because authorities believe another eruption is "imminent" according to Terra.

Authorities called a red alert Sunday and ordered some 8,000 people living in the vicinity of the volcano to evacuate.


Volcano erupts in southern Colombia

Galeras volcano
© unknownThe Galeras volcano in southern Colombia
The Galeras volcano located in southern Colombia in the vicinity of Ecuador border has erupted with 'an explosive character'.

No report on possible toll or injuries has been reported so far, but the state-run Geological Mining Institute announced a high-level alert on Sunday due to the explosive feature of the volcano activities, AFP reported.


Large Mammal Migrations Are Disappearing - and no, it's not from "Global Warming"

© P. Elkan, Wildlife Conservation Society/National GeographicTiang herd in the Southern sector of Boma National Park.
Africa is home to spectacular migration events. Large mammals ranging from Grant's gazelles to blue wildebeests pound their hooves across vast tracts of land as the seasons change. New research suggests, however, that migrations across the continent might be going extinct.

For the first time, scientists have compiled and analyzed data on all of the world's largest and definitive migrating land mammals. The researchers looked at the migration history for a group of ungulates, all of them hoofed mammals, weighing more than 44 pounds (20 kg). The data suggest that one-quarter of these mammals no longer migrate, and human development is responsible for the decline, said Grant Harris, co-author of the study.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 5.0 - Acre, Brazil

© US Geological Survey

Monday, June 08, 2009 at 20:20:05 UTC

Monday, June 08, 2009 at 03:20:05 PM at epicenter

8.641°S, 71.422°W

538.9 km (334.9 miles) set by location program

170 km (105 miles) SE of Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil

345 km (215 miles) E of Pucallpa, Peru

425 km (265 miles) WNW of Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil

2670 km (1660 miles) WNW of BRASILIA, Distrito Federal, Brazil

Bizarro Earth

US: 2 Small Earthquakes Shake North Texas In 2 Days

© AP
The area just south of Dallas and Fort Worth has been rattled by two small earthquakes over the past two days, and three over the past week.

A small earthquake hit three miles south of Keene, on the line dividing Johnson County and Hill County, late Sunday afternoon. That earthquake, which hit just before 6:00 p.m., had a magnitude of 2.6, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Another earthquake, this one a magnitude 2.3, was reported just after 8:00 a.m. Monday morning.


Freeman Dyson Takes On The Climate Establishment

Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson has been roundly criticized for insisting global warming is not an urgent problem, with many climate scientists dismissing him as woefully ill-informed. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Dyson explains his iconoclastic views and why he believes they have stirred such controversy.

On March 3, The New York Times Magazine created a major flap in the climate-change community by running a cover story on the theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson that focused largely on his views of human-induced global warming.

Basically, he doesn't buy it. The climate models used to forecast what will happen as we continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere are unreliable, Dyson claims, and so, therefore, are the projections. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, his first since the Times article appeared, Dyson contends that since carbon dioxide is good for plants, a warmer planet could be a very good thing. And if CO2 does get to be a problem, Dyson believes we can just do some genetic engineering to create a new species of super-tree that can suck up the excess.


Romm's Global Warming Fairy Tales

Joseph Romm, George Soros's bulldog at the alarmist climate fantasyland web blog called Climate Progress has a post (h/t Climate Depot) "NOAA puts out "El Nino Watch, so record temperatures are coming and this will be the hottest decade on record".

Based on the coming El Nino he hints at upcoming disappointment for climate realists with respect to arctic ice and warmer global temperatures for 2009 and for the decade. Of course he used the bogus NOAA temperatures which have taken the lead in being the most contaminated and exaggerated through station dropout globally, no adjustment for urbanization, a purposeful adjustment up of sea surface temperature warming (compare UNISYS with NOAA satellite), and bad siting (Anthony Watts has identified only 10% of the 948 United States stations meet government's own standards for siting).

The result is nonsense press releases every month like a year ago in June when NOAA proclaimed it to be the 8th warmest June in 129 years with an anomaly of +0.5C, while the satellites that don't have these surface errors found it to be the 9th coldest in its 30 years of record keeping with an anomaly of -0.11C. This last month University of Alabama MSU global satellite data had an anomaly of just 0.043C. You can count on NOAA, which has become another Mother Goose to tell a different story when they announce the May global numbers with their bogus assessment. Romm who revels in fairy tales, will surely announce the NOAA results.
Global Temp vs CO2
© unknown

Cloud Lightning

Strange Squid-like Lightning Spotted Over France

© Oscar van der Velde
High above Earth, in the realm of meteors and noctilucent clouds, a strange and beautiful form of lightning dances at the edge of space. Researchers call the bolts "sprites"; they are red, fleeting, and tend to come in bunches. Atmospheric scientist Oscar van der Velde of Sant Vicenç de Castellet, Spain, photographed this specimen on June 5th.

"With my new zoom lens I can now magnify the sky above thunderstorms to get very detailed images of sprites," says van der Velde. "This amazing 'carrot sprite' occurred near the coast of southern France about 250 km away from me."

"Sprites are a true space weather phenomenon," he adds. "They develop in mid-air around 80 km altitude, growing in both directions, first down, then up. This happens when a fierce lightning bolt draws lots of charge from a cloud near Earth's surface. Electric fields [shoot] to the top of Earth's atmosphere--and the result is a sprite. The entire process takes about 20 milliseconds."

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 5.7 - Offshore Honduras

© US Geological Survey

Monday, June 08, 2009 at 05:13:16 UTC
Sunday, June 07, 2009 at 11:13:16 PM at epicenter

15.930°N, 86.952°W

10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

30 km (20 miles) NW of La Ceiba, Honduras

125 km (80 miles) ENE of San Pedro Sula, Honduras

205 km (130 miles) N of TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras

1290 km (800 miles) SW of Miami, Florida