Your Journey Begins!

Web Search

Is the recent heat wave a clue to global warming?

Experts say computer models point to global warming
July, 2006
Northern California, withering under last week's punishing heat, wasn't the only hot spot in the world this year -- thermometers have spiked throughout much of the United States, Canada and Europe, and scientists are predicting more intense, longer and more frequent heat waves in the future.
While leading climate scientists have been reluctant to link regional heat waves with rising temperatures in the world's atmosphere and oceans, they say the recent weather patterns are consistent with computer projections for global warming.
In the United States, the first six months of 2006 were the hottest recorded in more than a century, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center. Canada reported the hottest winter and spring since it started keeping track about a half-century ago, while England, Germany and France are sweltering, and the Netherlands is recording the hottest month since temperatures were first measured 300 years ago.

Should the government plan for the effects of gobal warming?


Scientists Say Erie Mirage Could Be Real

Sunday, July 30, 2006
CLEVELAND — Scientists say it's a mirage, but others swear that when the weather is right, Clevelanders can see across Lake Erie and spot Canadian trees and buildings 50 miles away.
Eyewitness accounts have long been part of the city's history.
"The whole sweep of the Canadian shore stood out as if less than three miles away,"a story in The Plain Dealer proclaimed in 1906."The distant points across the lake stood out for nearly an hour and then faded away."
"I can see how this could be possible,"said Lawrence Krauss, chairman of the Physics Department at Case Western Reserve University.
Krauss and Joe Prahl, chairman of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Case, said mirages can occur during an atmospheric inversion, in which a layer of cold air blankets the lake, topped by layers of increasingly warm air. When this happens, it can cause the light that filters through these layers from across the lake to bend, forming a lens that can create the illusion of distant objects.

Sun kills 60,000 a year, WHO says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As many as 60,000 people a year die from too much sun, mostly from malignant skin cancer, the World Health Organization reported on Wednesday.
It found that 48,000 deaths every year are caused by malignant melanomas, and 12,000 by other kinds of skin cancer. About 90 percent of such cancers are caused by ultraviolet light from the sun.
Radiation from the sun also causes often serious sunburn, skin aging, eye cataracts, pterygium -- a fleshy growth on the surface of the eye, cold sores and other ills, according to the report, the first to detail the global effects of sun exposure.
"We all need some sun, but too much sun can be dangerous -- and even deadly. Fortunately, diseases from UV such as malignant melanomas, other skin cancers and cataracts are almost entirely preventable through simple protective measures," Dr. Maria Neira, Director for Public Health and the Environment at WHO, said in a statement.

Rare clematis flowers in heatwave

July 26, 2006
The scorching hot weather is thought to be behind the first flowering in more than 25 years of a plant most botanists didn't even know was in the UK.
The Clematis zemuensis is in bloom on the wall of the Elizabethan mansion Wakehurst Place - Kew's country garden in West Sussex.
Native to Bhutan in the Himalayas, the plant was grown from seed planted back in 1971 but it hasn't flowered since 1979.
Experts at Wakehurst think the flowers’ appearance now may have been triggered by the prolonged hot weather.
Delicate flowers
A spokesman said:‘It could be that conditions here now are as they would be in the Himalayas where this plant comes from. And the dry winters and incredibly hot summers are causing this climbing plant to produce the delicate, white flowers.’
This is likely to be the only example of a Clematis zemuensis growing in Britain as none are recorded elsewhere by the British Clematis Society.

Pine Plantations May Be One Culprit in Increasing Carbon Dioxide Levels

July 27, 2006
The increasing number of pine plantations in the southern United States could contribute to a rise in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, a new study reports. This is important because carbon dioxide is a key greenhouse gas, one that is linked to global warming.
Landowners in the South are turning stands of hardwood and natural pine trees into pine plantations because pine is a more lucrative source of lumber.
But pine plantations don’t retain carbon as well as hardwood or natural pine forests, said Brent Sohngen, a study co-author and an associate professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics at Ohio State University
The researchers estimate that some 10 million acres – roughly the size of New Hampshire and Vermont – of mainly hardwood and natural pine forests will be chopped down to make way for pine plantations by 2030 in just three Southern states. That translates into roughly 700,000 tons more carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually, or 21 million tons over the 30-year period.


A violent eruption of
Ecuador’s Tungurahua
volcano produced a rain of
ash that buried thousands
of farms and threatened to send flows
of lava into a nearby town. Officials
had evacuated about 5,500 women,
children and elderly people to emergency
shelters. The volcano produced
a similar eruption in 1918 with
eight explosive periods that sent lava
streaming down its sides.
• Authorities in Colombia lowered
the threat level for Galeras volcano,
in the southwest of the country,
a day after an eruption spewed burning
ash and rock onto a nearby city.
Thousands of people fled their homes
as the mountain exploded. Despite
the diminished threat level, authorities
advised the 8,000 residents who
live around the slopes of Galeras to
be prepared for further evacuations.
• Mount Etna’s first significant
eruption in five years sent clouds of
ash and flows of lava out of a new
crack that developed on its eastern

Sweltering Summer
Temperatures in parts of
Europe soared to 104
degrees Fahrenheit, causing
at least six deaths and
producing some of the hottest summertime
readings on record. The high
temperatures caused concerns that
the continent could be in for a heat
wave similar to that of 2003, in which
30,000 people died across Europe.
• A continent-wide heat wave that
was searing much of the United States
prompted officials in several states to
open up “cooling centers” to help residents
avoid heat-related ailments.
Temperatures in many parts of the
country soared to above 100 degrees
Fahrenheit, breaking records and
putting extraordinary demand on
power grids.

Sumatra Smoke
Shifting winds blew a
thick pall of smoke from
hundreds of forest fires
burning across parts of
Indonesia into several neighboring
Malaysian states. Nearly 300 hot
spots in Sumatra and Indonesia’s
Kalimantan district of Borneo were
detected by satellite. Illegal fires are
intentionally set across parts of
Indonesia each year to prepare fields
for planting. Smoke from such fires
in 1997 and 1998 created a serious
health crisis across Southeast Asia.

Amazon Drought
A second consecutive season
of drought may be
about to set in across
Brazil’s Amazon basin.
Drought conditions last year were the
worst in the region for more than 100
years, and the lack of rainfall dried up
some Amazon tributaries that are normally
more than a mile wide. There
are fresh signs that drought is returning
in the Acre region, which borders
both Bolivia and Peru. It is the same
area where last year’s drought
emerged, and diminished rivers there
are once again giving way to sand
banks due to reduced flows. Acre has
already gone 40 days without any
rainfall through the entire month of
June and the first part of July.

At least 550 people were
killed and hundreds of
others were left missing
on the south coast of Java
in the wake of a large tsunami caused
by a magnitude-7.7 earthquake centered
offshore. Survivors estimated
the wave was 10 feet in height when
it crashed into the coast.
• Earth movements were also felt
in western Java, Indonesia’s Banda
Sea region, northern Japan, coastal
Chile and southeastern Idaho.

Tropical Storms

Tropical storm Bilis left a
trail of destruction from
the islands of Micronesia
to Taiwan and mainland
China uncharacteristic of such a weak
tropical feature. The death toll in
China reached 198, but at least 140
remained missing nearly a week after
the storm made landfall in Fujian
province. Strong outer bands from the
storm caused floods and mudslides
that killed 18 people in Vietnam and
the northern Philippines.
• Tropical Storm Beryl brought
heavy rains to part of America’s eastern
seaboard while Hurricane Daniel
moved westward across the Pacific
off Mexico.
• Typhoon Kaemi formed over the
open waters just south of Guam, and
was bearing down on southern Taiwan
late in the week.

Wildebeest Recovery
New herds of wildebeests
currently migrating to
Angola from neighboring
Zambia have encouraged
wildlife experts who now believe the
environment of the war-torn region is
improving. “There are about 30,000
wildebeest taking part in the migration
now, up from 20,000 just two
years ago,” University of Pretoria
researcher Tim Boote told South
Africa’s Independent newspaper. He
said the Angolan herds are now second
in size only to those that migrate
across Kenya and other parts of East
Africa. The wildebeests are likely to
return from Angola when the summer
rains arrive in November, filling up
the water holes at Zambia’s Liuwa
National Park.

Distributed by: UPS
Earth News: A Journal of the Planet
© 2006, Earth Frenzy All Rights Reserved

Living With Climate Variability And Change

Disaster Planning
New York NY (SPX) Jul 25, 2006
Increased collaboration and awareness critical to managing climate variability and saving lives Espoo, Finland -- As the world continues to experience extreme weather events, including recent heat waves in the United States and Europe as well as drought in Africa and severe monsoons in Asia, the need to better manage climate variability is becoming increasingly urgent.
The UN World Meteorological Organization, together with the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, gathered together more than 250 stakeholders for The Living with Climate Variability and Change conference to discuss practical ways of achieving better management of climate risks in their short- and long-term operations.
Economies of all societies are vulnerable to climate change, but with limited resources, developing countries are particularly at risk of incurring higher losses, both in human life and economic investment, noted keynote speaker Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Climate variability has led to dire consequences, both direct and indirect, including devastating famines, epidemics, social unrest and armed conflict in many underserved areas of the world.

Related Links: The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Gas Escaping From Ocean Floor May Drive Global Warming

Santa Barbara CA (SPX) Jul 25, 2006
Gas escaping from the ocean floor may provide some answers to understanding historical global warming cycles and provide information on current climate change, according to a team of scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The findings are reported in the July 20 on-line version of the scientific journal, Global Biogeochemical Cycles.Remarkable and unexpected support for this idea occurred when divers and scientists from UC Santa Barbara observed and videotaped a massive blowout of methane from the ocean floor. It happened in an area of gas and oil seepage coming out of small volcanoes in the ocean floor of the Santa Barbara channel -- called Shane Seep -- near an area known as the Coal Oil Point seep field. The blowout sounded like a freight train, according to the divers.Atmospheric methane is at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is the most abundant organic compound in the atmosphere, according to the study's authors, all from UC Santa Barbara.

Manna's fish from heaven

Fish rained down on the Indian village of Manna last week, startling locals who hailed the phenomenon as a miracle.
In an echo of the Bible's manna from heaven, fish up to 2.2 inches (55 millimetres) long plummeted to earth for 15 minutes in the remote village in the southern state of Kerala.
"I saw fish falling from the sky. At first, we could not believe our eyes," said shopkeeper V.K. Satheeshan.
Residents quickly collected the fish, with some gathering them in jars.
"When I rushed to the spot, I found lots of small fishes on the road. Some of the shopkeepers collected fishes in jars," said M. Rajeevan, a local journalist from Manna.
The pencil-thin fish were likely lifted into the sky from rivers by a waterspout, or mini-tornado, according to professor Godfrey Louis of Mahatma Gandhi University in the Kerala city of Kottayam.

Read The Article: It's Raining Fish
The shower of fish was witnessed by members of a local writers' group. Member Kevin Kell described to BBC Radio Shropshire what he saw.


"There were at least a dozen small fish lying dead on the pavement" Kevin Kell on the freak fish fall(28k)
BBC download guide

Hail damage puts auto body shops to the test

July 22, 2006
Portsmouth – The aftermath of last week’s storm has body shops along the Seacoast backed up until fall after hail pummeled vehicles out of commission and into local garages for repairs.
Portsmouth Auto Body Center is scheduling about four months out. Down the street at Ben’s Auto Body Shop, where shop manager Brian Curtis said it’s “like a snowstorm in July,” customers are being told it will be September before they can have their cars fixed.
In Exeter, the epicenter of the destruction, Brad’s Custom Auto Body is booking into November and December.
“We’re all up against the wall. The insurance companies are screaming at us to get the cars done, there’s a national part shortage. It’s crazy,” said Cathy Schatvet. “We’re booking according to the availability of parts

Drought, gales and refugees: what will happen as UK hots up

As this week's heatwave shows, climate change will affect almost every aspect of British life. But how?
We examine the likely outcomes in coming decades
David Adam, environment correspondent

Saturday July 22, 2006
This week's heatwave is only the beginning. The mercury may not have pipped the all-time record on Wednesday, but it is only a matter of time. Maybe not next week and maybe not next month, but soon. And for the rest of our lives.
The planet is warming rapidly. Arctic ice is at record lows and the north pole could melt to open water sometime this century for the first time in some 40m years. The mighty West Antarctic ice sheet is creaking and dramatic changes are expected, from the Amazon rainforest to the Siberian permafrost. But what about the UK? What else does global warming have in store for our once green and pleasant land?

What's in store if we don't act now?
Find out Here

Avian Flu Numbers Increase Across SE Asia

Le Bugue, France (UPI)
Jul 20, 2006
Thai authorities have announced two suspected cases of avian-influenza infection in a pair of sisters hospitalized earlier this week, local media has reported.
The sisters, from the northern province of Phichit, were hospitalized after displaying symptoms similar to those seen in bird-flu sufferers, local health authorities told the Thai media.
Also in Thailand, health authorities across the country are preparing themselves for a possible resurgence in avian-influenza infections as a result of the imminent monsoon season.
It has been more than six months since Thailand saw a human death from avian influenza, and prior to the current suspected infections in Phichit it was believed the Southeast Asian country's bird-flu surveillance program was one of the most effective in the region.

History Suggests Major Wind Shift Could Again Bring Drought to Great Plains

July 20, 2006
Nebraska's Sand Hills might look like a place fit only for cattle grazing, but to geologists the expanse of grasslands hide sand dunes that contain a valuable record of ancient climate.
A crisscross pattern in the dunes serves as a record of changes in wind direction and shows that 800 to 1,000 years ago, during the Medieval Warm Period, the winds brought drought to that region, according to a new study.
In the spring and summer, during the growing season, southerly winds from the Gulf of Mexico bring moisture and rainfall up to the open expanse of prairie east of the Rocky Mountains, an area known as the Great Plains.
Today, the net force of southerly summer winds combined with northerly winds of winter would push the sand dunes to migrate in a southeastern direction. But the dunes don't move because they are stabilized by vegetation.
Back during the Medieval Warm Period, the dunes were not vegetated and were free to move.
The direction that the dunes moved back then, recorded in their crisscross pattern, is a result of the net force of the winds during that time. Assuming that winter winds came from the north like today, scientists were able to figure out which direction the spring and summer winds came from.
Their analysis found that spring and summer winds back then did not come from the Gulf of Mexico but instead blew from the Southwest. These warm and dry winds likely caused the drought conditions that had previously been documented for the region back then, explained study co-author David Loope of the University of Nebraska.
And what if a similar shift occurred today?
"This argues for a conservative position of water resources, because there's a possibility of a super drought," Loope told LiveScience. "Being more conservative would be the lesson here."
The study is detailed in the July 21 issue of the journal Science.

Northward aerial view of sand dunes in the eastern Nebraska Sand Hills. The dunes, now stabilized by prairie grass, were formed only 800-1,000 years ago during droughts of the Medieval Warm Period.
Click to View

Isle farmers hurting as wet turns to dry

photo: The Waimanalo farm of Grant Hamachi is irrigated with water from a reservoir. Hamachi, who grows lettuce, red radishes, corn and fruit on seven acres, said he has held back planting because of dry conditions.

July 20, 2006
Heavy winter rains that caused severe flooding in many areas are becoming a distant memory during what is shaping up to be a very dry summer.
Rainfall totals show above-normal readings through the end of June, but most of the moisture arrived in the first part of the year. National Weather Service hydrologist Kevin Kodama characterized the recent weather as "a year of extremes."
"In December, it was very, very dry, then it got very, very wet, and now it looks like we're headed for dry conditions again," Kodama said.

Earthquakes causing Red Sea to part

Aerial photo of the cracks and faults that formed along the East African rift in Afar, Ethiopia, following a series of earthquakes. These cracks formed above the zone where molten rock rose into the plate, reaching to within approximately 1.2 miles of the surface.

Arabian tectonic plate and African plate are moving away from each other
Updated: 1:08 p.m. CT July 19, 2006
The Red Sea is parting again, but this time Moses doesn’t have a hand in it.
Satellite images show that the Arabian tectonic plate and the African plate are moving away from each other, stretching the Earth's crust and widening the southern end of the Red Sea, scientists reported in this week's issue of journal Nature.
Last September, a series of earthquakes started splitting the planet's surface along a 37-mile section of the East African Rift in Afar, Ethiopia.



Mega Ice Meteor
The giant ice ball that fell
out of a clear sky in a
Johannesburg suburb on
July 7 was determined to
have been one of Africa’s first known
impacts from a meteorological mystery
known as a megacryometeor.
The impact created a small crater in
a parking lot, which was left covered
with pieces of broken ice. Such phenomena
have been reported since the
19th century, and a swarm of falling
ice balls that lasted for a week six
years ago in Spain caused extensive
damage to vehicles and an industrial
storage facility. Some experts believe
the ice chunks may be created in
moist air fluctuations at the top of
Earth’s troposphere.

Chinese Flood Fatalities
The worst storms to ravage
eastern China’s
Anhui and Jiangsu
provinces for 45 years
brought torrential rain, floods and
landslides that killed at least 30 people.
The official Xinhua news agency
reported that the storms destroyed
more than 14,000 buildings and
affected some 13 million people in
the neighboring provinces. Jiangsu
recorded its greatest rainfall amount
since 1961 from June 21 to July 5 —
nearly four times the average precipitation
for the period.

Deadly Heat
Temperatures that soared
to 115 degrees Fahrenheit
in southern parts of Pakistan’s
Punjab province
killed at least 49 people within 24
hours. Meteorologists predicted that
the deadly heat would ease soon, but
further relief from monsoon rains was
nowhere in sight. Hundreds of people
perished in pre-monsoon heat
waves during April and May in various
parts of Pakistan and India.

Iberian Blazes
Soaring summertime temperatures
across the
Iberian peninsula sparked
wildfires in Portugal that
killed six firefighters trying to contain
them. The victims perished as a
blaze tore through the countryside
and woodlands near the northeastern
town of Famalicao. An unexpected
shift in wind patterns altered the fire’s
path, trapping the men. Officials said
they arrested a 19-year-old local
farmer who is suspected of starting
the fire. The country’s national fire
service said 301 firemen with 81
vehicles and water-dropping aircraft
were working to extinguish the wildfire.
It was one of six that were burning
out of control across the country
as temperatures hit 104 degrees
Fahrenheit in some areas.

Tropical Cyclones
At least five people in
South Korea died as a
result of high winds and
flash flooding as Typhoon
Ewiniar roared ashore along the
country’s southern coast.
• Tropical Storm Bilis was
approaching central Taiwan late in
the week, and was predicted to eventually
dissipate over China’s Fujian
• Hurricanes Bud and Carlotta
moved westward over open waters
off Mexico’s Pacific coast.

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake
jolted the Philippine
capital of Manila and
other parts of Luzon
Island, but no damage or injuries
were reported.
• Earth movements were also felt
in northern and central parts of New
Zealand, eastern Indonesia’s Irian
Jaya province, Japan’s Izu Islands,
southern Iran’s Fars province, the
Cayman Islands, the Los Angeles
Basin and Melbourne, Australia.

Merapi Subsides
Decreased activity at
Indonesia’s Mount Merapi
volcano allowed government
vulcanologists to
downgrade the alert status of the
eruptive mountain from its highest
level on all but its southern slopes.
Merapi had been determined to be
extremely dangerous when activity in
early May appeared to indicate a violent
eruption could be imminent.
More than 15,000 villagers evacuated
the danger zone as searing clouds of
volcanic debris and flows of lava
came down Merapi’s slopes. Two
people were killed when pyroclastic
flows buried them inside a bunker in
which they had taken shelter.

Jelllyfish Explosion
Researchers from Scotland
say that intensive
fishing operations in the
South Atlantic off
Namibia are the likely cause of an
“explosion” in the number of jellyfish
in the Benguela Current. The
team from the University of St.
Andrews conducted a study on the
creatures after striking changes were
detected in numbers of the large jellyfish
species Chrysaora hysoscella
and Aequorea forskalea. A report
summary says that fish stocks,
including sardines and anchovies,
have been heavily exploited there
since the 1960s, and their numbers
have fallen significantly as a result.
The volume of jellyfish in northern
parts of the Benguela Current outweighs
that of fish. It has become so
large that the jellyfish now significantly
interfere with fishing operations
and water intake systems.

Distributed by: UPS
Earth News: A Journal of the Planet
© 2006, Earth Frenzy Rights Reserved

Cause sought as marshes turn into barren flats

photo above: Researcher Sara Grady surveys an area inside the Ellisville Harbor State Park, which has signs of wetland dieback.

By Carolyn Y. Johnson, Globe Staff July 17, 2006

PLYMOUTH -- A puzzling, ominously named phenomenon, sudden wetland dieback, is transforming salt marshes in the region into barren mudflats, scientists say, and their best efforts have failed to figure out why.

Across New England, researchers are poring over aerial photographs and slogging into mucky marshes on the lookout for ailing marshes, in hope of understanding its cause.

``It appears to us we have a new phenomenon we've never seen before," said Ron Rozsa, coastal ecologist at Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection.

``It's raising red flags," he said. ``. . . How extensive is it? What is the cause? Will they recover on their own?"

Over the past five years, there have been reports of marshes that look as if they have been mowed . There are 17 suspected dieback marshes on Cape Cod, and a few other possible sites are on the North and South Shore, according to the Wetland Restoration Program of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.

continue story

Global Warming: What You Need To Know

Skywatch Journal: Special Report
July 16, 2006

From the Editor's Desk:
To all our viewers and subscribers. I was recently invited by Crew Creative Advertising out of Los Angeles, to conduct a review(via DVD) of the upcoming documentary "Global Warming," which is scheduled for telecast tonight on the Discovery Channel.

Some of you may have already read or heard about the documentary thanks to some adamant skeptics and GOP "disinfo" politicians, who fear that conveying the "truth" about Global Warming would severely affect our economy and thus create an international crisis. This is a sample of the "fearmongoring" campaign that the Bush Administration cronies such as Carl Rove have masterminded in their efforts to keep the Republicans in control of congress in 2006. Whenever someone prominent comes forward such as Brokaw or Gore, to relay an important message about the"state of the earth," we have to listen to these self-righteous politicians, religious fundamentalists and Limbaugh clones trying to convince the masses that we have absolutely "nothing to worry about." How much longer do you suppose the electorate is going to fall for this insane line of so-called reasoning from those who seem to have control over our daily lives?

This being said, here is what I have learned from the Brokaw documentary, which is more of a "refresher course" for me, since most of what he refers to in the presentation, I already understand and accept as reality:

The documentary is divided into various chapters, each conveying a story about the cause and effect of global warming on the earth, and its devastating consequences on animal and plant species. It is a rather alarming synopsis of what can and will happen if we do not do something now to slow down or reverse the process that is already occurring.

Among the most notable and discernible consequences of a warming globe is what is already observable by leading climatologists. Included among the findings is the fact that 10 percent of the world's glaciers have been lost in the last 7 years, including Glacier National Park in Montana which appears to be quickly disappearing. The rapid deterioration of the Greenland icesheet and of the polar caps will have a tremendous impact on the future of civilization.

Leading scientists wish to remind us that the drastic climate changes we are now experiencing are not to be dismissed as a "natural cycle," but rather due to man's own negligence to the environment. That fact that CO2 concentrations on the earth are the highest they have been in 600,000 years should give us a clue to how even a 1 degree change in the temperature can create dramatic climate changes that can swing in either direction.

The deforestation of major rain forests are jeopardizing are very eco-system because in retrospect the destruction of living trees which provide O2, is thus causing vast amounts of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere, and is pushing our planet further into a realm called "the point of no return." Of equal concern is our overconsumption of fossil fuels, which greatly contribute to an unhealthy environment.

What are some of the consequences of global warming? There are many, but here are just a few which are equally disturbing.
*The polar bear is on the brink of extinction due to the melting glaciers. The lack of food in the arctic is making survival difficult since the offspring of these bears rely heavily on the milk produced by the mother.
*Sea ice is rapidly disappearing due to increased greenhouse gases. It is being reported that an icesheet two times the size of Texas has already vanished. That should really be a wake up call for us.
*The sea is rising, and could be more than three feet higher by 2100. If the icesheet disappears by 2060 as some scientists are claiming, this will have a resounding effect on coastal areas. Since Greenland and Antarctica contain 75% of the world's fresh water, you can visualize the effect the melting would have on areas such as Florida and the East Coast of the U.S. Already some island nations are seeing abnormally high tides which are eroding their coastlines. These islands are literally "sinking." As ocean temperatures rise, so does the level of the sea rise. This in turn effects weather conditions related to the manifestation of global warming.
*Severe weather will become the "norm" whereby floods will be followed by severe drought, which is turn will result in the desertification of vast areas of such nations as China, India and parts of Africa. Hurricanes will be more prominent and destructive in nature as we have already witnessed with "Katrina" in 2005.

Dr Jim Hanson has thoroughly tested models related to climate change over the centuries and what he has found is quite startling. He has concluded that was is referred to as "feedback Loops," (whereby glacier melting contributes to heat absorption, as opposed to heat deflection back into the atmosphere), will have the potential threat of disaster on the earth. The earth is warming and will continue to warm as the science is now overwhelming. The evidence points to the idea that the past five or six mass extinction events in the history or our earth, have all been associated with drastic climate change.

It seems apparent that just a few degrees change in our climate will greatly affect the landscape of the earth, it already has had a significant impact, as current events are foretelling. Many species will not be able to adapt to the changes and will perish, other species will will migrate to regions where they can survive, most certainly the human species are included in that category. It is being reported that half of all species on earth could parish by 2100. Mankind will greatly suffer unless of course they can find a way to slow the process of climate change.

It's interesting, but at the same time disturbing to note that the U.S. and China are the leading producers of greenhouse gases (being energy consuming giants) in the world. The U.S. alone contributes to 25% of all CO2 emissions. This cannot continue. President Bush opposes the Kyota protocol in which he claims it will affect the world economy and lead to an international crisis. But what economy will thrive if the world's environment is jeopardized?

New technology being introduced off the coast of Norway provides some answers to how we can scale back Co2 emissions. A team of scientists and environmentalists have found a way to pump CO2 gases into natural underground reservoirs, thus reducing the amount of greenhouse gases filtrated into our atmosphere. Brazil is using ethanol instead of reliance on oil to help the environment, but South America must do their part to prevent the utter destruction of the ecological rain forests, which provide the world with beneficial plants used in the production of medicines, and most importantly with oxygen to maintain a healthy planet.

What can we do as stewards of the earth to make our planet a better place in which to dwell? Since the future is in mankind's hands we must find ways to cut back on energy consumption which produces CO2. We can begin by using clean, energy efficient vehicles, such as the new hybrid vehicles which are being introduced in the U.S. These vehicles will cut back on gas consumption and contribute to a better environment. Green construction is another way to preserve the earth's natural resources. Many of our cities may soon find ways to use recycled material in building construction and development, such as N.Y.C. is promoting in recent construction.

It is phenomenal to realize that the average family is producing 50 tons of CO2 each year. This can be greatly reduced if we can learn to be more energy efficient. We can do our part by using light bulbs that are environmentally friendly, by lowering our A.C. by 3 degrees in the winter, and raising it by 3 degrees in the summer. We can also unplug tv's and computers when not in use, although I have my doubts that many of us will actually do this. The fact being, we must reduce the CO2 levels by at least 50 % before 2050, or the consequences could be dire for all species and all of humanity.

The Discovery Documentary as hosted by Tom Brokaw, although thought provoking, has provided what could be considered an insurmountable challenge. Global warming from a practical standpoint appears to be happening, and its consequences has already taken hold on civilization. Individuals and major conglomerates will continue to have a monetary interest in their need to criticize the advocates of global warming. The critics fear that the world economy will go sour, without really considering the consequences that a world tipped "up side down" will have on the survival of the species, and all of civilization. If money is the "root of all evil" then we have not learned our lesson, yet we must learn to live in moderation if we ever expect to preserve the earth for future generations.

Steve Shaman
Editor-The Great Red Comet

Scorching U.S.: First Half of 2006 Sets Heat Record

July 14, 2006
The average temperatures of the first half of 2006 were the highest ever recorded for the continental United States, scientists announced today.
Temperatures for January through June were 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average.
Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri experienced record warmth for the period, while no state experienced cooler-than-average temperatures, reported scientists from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. [Heat Map]
Scientists have previously said that 2005 was the warmest year on record for the entire globe.
Last month the United States experienced the second warmest June since weather record keeping began in 1895.
This warming coupled with less than average precipitation caused moderate to extreme droughts in almost 45 percent of the contiguous United States. However, some areas, such as the Northeast of the country experienced record rainfalls and severe floods.
Many experts believe that such weather anomalies are the result of global warming, an average increase in the Earth's atmospheric temperature caused at least in part by human activities.

Global Warming or Just Hot Air? A Dozen Different Views

July 13, 2006
Earth's temperature has increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.56 degrees Celsius) in the last century. Most of the warming in the last 50 years is attributed to human activities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
However, climate change has gone from being a scientific actuality to a political wedge issue, used as a cudgel by parties of all persuasions to point fingers and score points. Consequently, many people, including scientists and politicians, can’t seem to arrive at agreement on the issue.
LiveScience recently reached out to several experts and visionaries for their views on this controversial topic and dug up published comments of others.
Here we present a spectrum of opinions and concerns ranging from the importance of climate change being "grossly exaggerated" to "If President Bush could jump in a time machine and experience a single day in 2056, he'd return to the present shocked and awed."

What makes Earth habitable? This LiveScience original video explores the science of global warming and explains how, for now, conditions here are just right.

Multiple mutations in Indonesian bird flu strain

July 13, 2006

LONDON (Reuters) - Multiple mutations have been found in the H5N1 bird flu virus that killed seven family members in Indonesia although scientists are unsure of their significance, a leading science journal said on Thursday.

But researchers believe the findings reinforce the need for bird flu data to be more widely available to improve understanding of the deadly virus.

"The functional significance of the mutations isn't clear -- most of them seem unimportant," the journal Nature said in a report in the latest issue on Thursday.

An analysis of virus samples from six of the eight members of the family showed 32 mutations accumulated as it spread, according to the confidential research obtained by Nature.

The analysis had been presented by virologist Malik Pereis of the University of Hong Kong at a closed meeting of animal and human health experts in Jakarta last month.

Ads by

Trees Could Grow In Antarctica Within Century

Sydney (AFP) Jul 12, 2006
Trees could be growing in the Antarctic within a century because of global warming, an international scientific conference heard Wednesday. With carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere set to double in the next 100 years, the icy continent could revert to how it looked about 40 million years ago, said Professor Robert Dunbar of Stanford University.
"It was warm and there were bushes and there were trees," he told some 850 delegates in the Tasmanian capital Hobart, the national AAP news agency reported.
The delegates are attending the combined meetings of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs.
Dunbar said climate experts were predicting a doubling of the levels of carbon dioxide by 2100, "but it actually looks like it's going to come sooner unfortunately".
Scientists blame greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, produced mainly by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, for causing rising temperatures worldwide.
Source: Agence France-Presse

Ads by

Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age


Tuesday, 11 July 2006
The storm was nothing special. Its waves rocked the Norwegian Dawn just enough so that bartenders on the cruise ship turned to the usual palliative — free drinks.
Then, off the coast of Georgia, early on Saturday, April 16, 2005, a giant, seven-story wave appeared out of nowhere. It crashed into the bow, sent deck chairs flying, smashed windows, raced as high as the 10th deck, flooded 62 cabins, injured 4 passengers and sowed widespread fear and panic.
“The ship was like a cork in a bathtub,” recalled Celestine Mcelhatton, a passenger who, along with 2,000 others, eventually made it back to Pier 88 on the Hudson River in Manhattan. Some vowed never to sail again.
Enormous waves that sweep the ocean are traditionally called rogue waves, implying that they have a kind of freakish rarity. Over the decades, skeptical oceanographers have doubted their existence and tended to lump them together with sightings of mermaids and sea monsters.
But scientists are now finding that these giants of the sea are far more common and destructive than once imagined, prompting a rush of new studies and research projects. The goals are to better tally them, understand why they form, explore the possibility of forecasts, and learn how to better protect ships, oil platforms and people.
The stakes are high. In the past two decades, freak waves are suspected of sinking dozens of big ships and taking hundreds of lives. The upshot is that the scientists feel a sense of urgency about the work and growing awe at their subjects.


Super Mosquitoes
A study by Greece’s Aristotelio
University says
that air pollution, overpopulation
and the
widespread use of insect repellent
around Athens have lead to the development
of a “super breed” of
mosquito with some disturbing characteristics.
The Ta Nea daily reported
that the evolved insect can see in
color, and is faster, larger and better
able to locate humans than other
mosquitoes in the Mediterranean.
The Athens-area mosquitoes can
smell blood as far away as 100 feet
— almost a third farther than usual
varieties. The super mosquitoes also
flap their wings up to 500 times a second
— compared to 350 beats in normal

A wide area of northern
China, including Beijing,
was rocked by a magnitude
5.1 temblor centered
in Hebei province. The shaking damaged
some buildings and roads in the
region, and also caused furniture and
walls to move inside some of Beijing’s
high-rise buildings.
• Earth movements were also felt
in Indonesia’s North Maluku
Province, New Zealand’s South
Island, Australia’s New South Wales
state, southern Iran, southeastern
Turkey, southern parts of Vancouver
Island and southeastern Idaho.

Montserrat’s Soufriere
Hills Volcano collapsed
with a cloud of superheated
debris that cascaded
down the eastern side of the
Caribbean island.
• Western Mexico’s Colima Volcano
erupted with a towering column
of ash that soared high over the border
area of Jalisco and Colima states.

Devil Cancer
An Australian scientist
warned that the infectious
cancer affecting Tasmanian
devils is dramatically
altering the balance among species on
the island from which the animal gets
its name. The facial tumor disease
emerged 10 years ago, and there is no
treatment or cure. Researcher David
Pemberton says the population of the
animal has dropped about 40 percent
since the first case was discovered.
He warns that in the worst affected
area around Mount William National
Park, the carnivore food chain has
changed, with feral cats and native
quolls taking over. He has also
observed more wallabie carcasses
lying around, which would have normally
been eaten by the devils. This
is providing a food source from which
other animals may now begin to

Tropical Cyclones
A relatively weak tropical
storm lashed a broad swath
of India for four days, leaving
at least 12 people dead
and swamping much of the financial
hub of Mumbai. Cyclone 03B initially
came ashore along the Bay of
Bengal coast near Cuttack. Its remnants
then tracked westward across
the width of central India, unleashing
numerous flash floods.
• Category-4 Typhoon Ewiniar
was predicted to weaken as it
approached Japan’s Okinawa Island
late in the week.

Euro Storms
Severe storms that lashed
Europe from Germany to
southern Italy killed at
least six people and injured
more than 100 others. Dozens of people
in Baden-Wuerttemberg suffered
head injuries when they were hit by
tennis ball-sized hailstones.

Pacific Algae Bloom
The largest mass of algae
ever to be seen off
Canada’s west coast
appeared in late June near
Vancouver Island, and marine scientists
fear it may be the result of global
warming. Jim Gower, a physicist
with the Institute of Ocean Sciences
in Sydney, British Columbia, said the
bloom of algae is not like the poisonous
red tide common in other
areas. He observed that it is composed
of non-toxic coccolithophore
algae, which is actually nutritious to
marine life and leaves a white, chalklike
deposit. But it could be harmful
to sea creatures, including the
region’s famed salmon, if it occurs in
large quantities, according to institute
researcher Angelica Pena.

Jumbo Diners
Officials in southwest
China’s Yunnan Province
announced that “dinner
halls” have been created
for wild elephants in an effort to stop
the animals from devouring crops and
attacking villagers who live near
nature reserves. The official Xinhua
news agency reports that about 173
acres of bananas and sugarcane have
been planted on spare land away from
the villages. It is hoped that the 300
wild elephants in the area will eat
those crops and leave the villagers’
fields alone. So far, the experiment
has had mixed results, but local villagers
say they are happy something
is being done to stop the elephants’
rampages. Last year, raids by wild
elephants killed 3 villagers in the area
and destroyed crops belonging to
12,000 households in 578 communities,
according to Xinhua.

Distributed by: UPS
Earth News: A Journal of the Planet
© 2006, Earth Frenzy Rights Reserved

The Israeli rainmakers

July 9, 2006
While scientists have made great strides in recent years in understanding and predicting the weather, the idea of taking control of the weather and making it rain has remained within the realm of mysticism and religion. Now Israeli researchers are part of an international team along with American and Belgian colleagues gearing up to perform one of the greatest and most elusive tricks of all by causing the heavens to bring rain. With the potential to alleviate the hunger problem in the world, the Geshem Project (named for the Hebrew word for rain) hopes to turn myth into science. Scientists plan to produce rain in sub-tropical areas during the cloudless summer months by altering air currents using a unique thermal material developed in Israel.

Ads by

Multi-Media Information

Multi-Media Information

Video Newsflash

Website Disclaimer