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Korea hit by rare December yellow dust storm


South Korea’s weather service said Saturday (Dec. 29) it issued a yellow dust advisory, its first ever issued in the month of December, for the central part of the country.


Korea hit by rare December yellow dust storm

Huge waves create havoc on the Australian Gold Coast: IC Photo Gallery


Madness as huge waves pound coast - people watching the treacherous surf from the beach were knocked off their feet by FREAK waves, a boat full of lifesavers was flipped over, and surfers were swept out to sea as the Coast was hammered by huge surf yesterday.






Huge waves create havoc on the Australian Gold Coast: IC Photo Gallery

New Years Comet Will Brighten the Night Sky


The Flyby of Comet 8P/Tuttle
Two nights before closest approach, on Dec. 30th and 31st, something extraordinary will happen: Comet 8P/Tuttle has a beautiful close encounter with spiral galaxy M33. The comet and the galaxy may even overlap! This is a can't-miss opportunity for astrophotographers around the world.


New Years Comet 8P/Tuttle to Flyby Earth

Natural catastrophes will grow with climate change

FRANKFURT (AFP) — Natural catastrophes in 2007 were more frequent and costlier than a year earlier and climate change will make them more expensive still, the world's second-biggest re-insurer, Munich Re, said Thursday.

There were 950 natural catastrophes in 2007 compared with 850 in 2006, the highest number since the group started compiling its closely watched annual report in 1974.

The total cost of disasters in 2007 was 75 billion dollars (51.5 billion euros), while the bill for 2006 was 50 billion dollars.

Catastrophes in developing and emerging countries caused most of the 20,000 deaths in 2007, with 3,300 people losing their lives in Cyclone Sidr alone, which struck Bangladesh in November.

Floods in Britain were the second costliest event to insurers and Munich Re said the high incidence of floods and storms in 2007 was a sign of things to come if global warming continued unchecked.

2007 a year of weather records in U.S.


WASHINGTON - When the calendar turned to 2007, the heat went on and the weather just got weirder. January was the warmest first month on record worldwide — 1.53 degrees above normal. It was the first time since record-keeping began in 1880 that the globe's average temperature has been so far above the norm for any month of the year.
 
And as 2007 drew to a close, it was also shaping up to be the hottest year on record in the Northern Hemisphere.







2007 a year of weather records in U.S.

Sunk swampland recovering post-Katrina

Louisiana, USA
NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Many of the hundreds of acres of swampland destroyed by Hurricane Katrina will take decades to recover, and some may never be the same.

In the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area south of U.S. 90, the hurricane passed through swampland, destroying vegetation and carving out a 200-acre depression that now, filled with water, has unofficially been dubbed Lake Katrina, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Invasive water hyacinths, which now carpet the lake, prevent native species from returning by covering the water's surface, depriving all life below of sunlight and oxygen, the newspaper said.

At Big Branch, a 15,000-acre federal preserve, about 2,400 acres of former marshland are now under standing water.

And at the White Kitchen Preserve, where the storm carved a 60-acre lake out of swampland, officials are also fighting a losing battle with water hyacinths and other invasive species.

But experts say nature will repair itself, if given enough time, and habitat lost to some animals can become new habitat to others.

Arctic ice melt Canada's top weather concern in 2007

Canada
Image:
An undated NASA handout showing a sunset over the Arctic. Canada's environment ministry said Thursday that the "shocking" record loss of Arctic sea ice was Canada's top weather event in 2007.

The "shocking" record loss of Arctic sea ice was Canada's top weather event in 2007, Canada's environment ministry said Thursday. Each year for the past 12, Environment Canada has published a list of the top 10 climate or weather phenomena to impact Canada that year.

For 2007, "the dramatic disappearance of Arctic sea ice -- reported in September -- was so shocking that it quickly became our number one weather story," the ministry said in a statement.

Satellite images in September revealed that Arctic ice had shrunk to about four million square kilometers (2.4 million square miles), a 23 percent decrease from the previous record low of 5.3 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) in 2005, it said.

The area of ice that melted roughly corresponds to the size of the Canadian province of Ontario or the country of South Africa.

"Canadians might remember 2007 as the year that climate change began biting deep and hard on the home front," the ministry said.

The Northwest Passage -- an arctic maritime route that links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans -- was navigable for almost five weeks into August and September, an exceptional turn of events.

Climate change ‘is taking its toll on wildlife’

Breaking Earth News
Scotland
Chaotic summer weather patterns have heightened concerns that climate change could have a serious impact on Scotland's wildlife, flora and fauna, it emerged yesterday. The unpredictable weather has started to take its toll on the delicate balance of the country's natural landscape. A number of species have appeared in Scotland for the first time, while the survival of some montane plants and birds are at greater risk given a general rise in temperature. Nuthatches, which have in the past been restricted to England, bred this summer in Melrose and another property in East Lothian. "We cannot be certain that this is due to climate change but warning bells are ringing very loudly." A reduction in snow cover has been noted at the most northerly NTS properties, indicating significant temperature change, and as footpaths become exposed for longer each year it puts them at risk of accelerated erosion. Similar worries have been expressed by the National Trust which serves England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Many species emerged or bred earlier because of warm weather in the first few months of the year, while the heavy rain and low temperatures in the summer caused problems for insects, birds and bats. A male goldeneye duck was displaying in Northern Ireland in January, months earlier than usual, while bats were on the wing in late March, long before the usual time. Ladybirds, bumblebees, peacock butterflies and frogspawn all had an early start in February, and the good weather in April saw adonis blue and marsh fritillary butterflies on the wing "radically" early. And in October, basking sharks were spotted for the first time off the Farne Islands - the plankton they feed on is not normally found in the North Sea at that time of year.

Relief at rescue ends in death as new mudslide engulfs home

Image: Indonesian rescue workers search for landslide victims in Tawangmangu, Central Java

Breaking Earth News

Java, Indonesia
Scores of people drowned in mud and surging rivers after days of intense rain caused floods and landslides across the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali exactly three years after the Indian Ocean tsunami hit the archipelago on December 26, 2004. Thousands of houses were inundated, from Java and Sumatra to Sulawesi island, farther east. Residents struggled to salvage valued possessions from the rising waters, some using tyres to float televisions and refrigerators to higher ground. Flooding has become a very common problem for many of the Indonesian communities, which tend to be concentrated along lowlying coasts and valleys beneath steep mountains. Especially jolting, from the point of view of Indonesian business, was an incident last month when the road to Jakarta international airport was cut off by a surging high tide.

RELATED NEWS
Many Dead or Missing in Landslides
LANDSLIDES caused by torrential rains overnight have left 75 people dead or missing in Indonesia's Central Java province.
Play Video

Twelve rescued as high winds and huge waves hit annual pier swim

Great Britain
Twelve rescued as high winds and huge waves hit annual pier swim - Brighton Swimming Club abandoned the traditional swim after 8ft waves and 30mph winds battered the pier. Hundreds of people ignored warnings of THE MOST DANG EROUS WEATHER TO HIT THE EVENT FOR DECADES. “We did 12 rescues altogether. One man in his sixties was bashed down by a wave completely and went right under, but me and a friend managed to scoop him up. The wave then squashed us both and we lost him . . . he popped up again beside me. He was very upset – he’d had a close shave.” The seas also tore bathing costumes, with one man forced to scurry out naked.

Ancient Tsunami Lore Could Save Lives


Three years after the devastating tsunami that destroyed coastal communities around the Indian Ocean, the exact death toll remains uncertain. But survivors' tales of similarly massive waves sweeping in from the ocean are passed down by elders in certain communities and may be enough to save lives in the event of another disaster like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, a researcher says.

The tsunami that struck the coasts of Thailand, India and Indonesia on December 26, 2004 caused very high mortality in the affected regions, with anywhere from 10 to 90 percent of local populations being killed depending on the location.

The region-wide death toll is estimated to have exceeded 200,000.

But a similarly intense tsunami that struck northern Papua New Guinea in 1930 caused a fraction of the deaths compared to the 2004 disaster, with only 0.1 percent to 1 percent of the coastal population being killed.

The key to this lower death toll were stories of tsunamis that had been passed down across the generations to the area residents, said tsunami researcher Simon Day, a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who has been researching evidence of ancient tsunamis in Papua New Guinea.

"Oral traditions are a very efficient means of tsunami education," Day said. Day presented his findings at a recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

To curious aliens, Earth would stand out as living planet

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With powerful instruments scouring the heavens, astronomers have found more than 240 planets in the past two decades, none likely to support Earth-like life.

But what if aliens were hunting life outside their own planet? Armed with telescopes only a bit bigger and more powerful than our own, could they peer through the vastness of space and lock in onto Earth as a likely home to life?

That's the question at the heart of paper co-authored by a University of Florida astronomer that appeared this week in the online edition of Astrophysical Journal. The answer, the authors say, is a qualified "yes."

With a space telescope larger than the Hubble Space Telescope pointed directly at our sun, they say, "hypothetical observers" could measure Earth's 24-hour rotation period, leading to observations of oceans and the chance of life.

The year that changed everything for climate

PARIS: When the history of climate change is written, 2007 will deserve a chapter all to itself. In just 12 months, global warming has been elevated to the great challenge of our time, a cause for public and celebrities alike, a Nobel-winning issue and a headache for politicians of every rank.

In a vast report, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued its grimmest scientific assessment yet. Its prose lacked varnish, was riddled with jargon impenetrable to the outsider and admitted to areas of doubt or uncertainty – but this honesty made the findings all the more terrifying.

Its verdict: global warming is a fact. Humans bear inescapable responsibility for it, thanks to the uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels.

Signs are all around

Climate change is already visible, in the form of shrinking glaciers and snow cover, and misery for millions lies just decades away. On current trends, said the IPCC, drought, floods, rising sea levels and more violent storms will lead to hunger, disease and homelessness. No country will escape damage.

Earth Frenzy Radio Holiday Broadcast

http://www.worldlandtrust.org/images/seasonal/christmas-alligator.jpg

Holiday Special Broadcast

The Earth Frenzy Radio Show

Live From Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Dec 20, 2007

Thoughts for the New Year


Another year is about to pass, but not without some final comments for this year and a few thoughts for the coming year. At the end of my comments be sure to stay tuned for a holiday surprise, my gift to all of you.



With Warmest Wishes For A Blessed Holiday Season.

Steven Shaman
Skywatch-Media News

Creator of the Earth Frenzy Radio Show/BTR


STAY INFORMED ON THE EARTH FRENZY RADIO SHOW



© Skywatch-Media: All Rights Reserved



CHRISTMAS CARVE-UP

UK
Christmas Day dinner on Tuesday will be the MOST EXPENSIVE EVER for millions of families in Britain. And it's all linked to our wet summer when torrential rain and flooding ruined crops across the UK, Europe and even America. The freak weather reduced yields - and upped prices - of everything from potatoes to poultry corn, chipolatas to chestnuts, and cranberry sauce to Brussels sprouts. Wine, already heavily taxed, has gone up by between 50p and £1.50 a bottle across the board. Organic turkeys big enough to feed eight are as much as £100 due to the high cost of corn feed and the bird flu outbreak. The summer floods devastated root vegetable crops. "Increased prices on festive groceries have put enormous pressure on the pockets of UK households." There are bargains to be had if people shop around for individual products - but most families simply haven't got the time to go to several supermarkets to seek out bargains. And even if they had, the soaring cost of fuel - another factor in rising food prices - would probably not make it worthwhile.

The Olive Tree Doesn't Lie

DRAGUIGNAN, France
"Watching my gnarled old Mediterranean [olive] tree season by season, I see the bad news fast getting worse. Our future food supply is at risk, olives and most everything else besides. Some insist that scientific ingenuity will provide. Agribusiness touts miracle seeds and new techniques. Others find comfort in broad numbers, yearly precipitation figures and mean temperatures that have yet to plummet. Yet most food we eat relies on rainfall cycles and defined seasons. The point is not how much rain falls but when. And annual temperature averages hide a new reality: the patterns of hot and cold are changing. My own farm typifies what I now see from Kalamata to California...Late each winter, the trees are cut back hard. In spring, buds cover the new wood. By fall, branches droop under the weight of green fruit. As they turn purplish black in December, the olives are pressed into oil to remember. It is December now, and my trees should be heavy with olives. But they're not. Like last year, rains fell at the wrong time, too hard or too soft. When it mattered, there was no rain at all. A warming trend with freak cold snaps confuses plant metabolism and emboldens killer pests. Last January, my trees budded, convinced it was spring. Then it froze. In June, the Dacus fly bored into the fruit, causing it to drop off the tree. Many olive growers are somewhere between disbelief and denial... The Italian government predicts the olive crop for 2007 will be about 500,000 tons, 17 percent less than last year. Truffle news is likewise calamitous, because of drought, combined with shifts in the soil. Italy's beloved tartufi bianchi, those pungent white truffles, reached a record price in October of $7,500 a kilo. Black truffle season is starting in France, and bidding is headed skyward. At the Saturday market in Draguignan [France], farmers who know each of their turnips personally see the signs in their fruit trees, wheat fields and vegetable gardens. Crops ripen too early or not at all. One grower I respect saw his cherries bloom too early and die in a cold snap. Underground streams are tapped out by mid-summer. As it has routinely since 1988, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has sounded the alarm. Fortified with a Nobel Prize and alarming new evidence, it has dropped "ifs" and "buts." Some argue that a few seasons do not define a trend. But each morning, my trees tell me the hard truths."

Chile’s Rising Waters and Frozen Avocados

Chile, S.A.
While Chile has a blazing desert at its head, its feet lie beneath ice, with 7,000 square miles of continental ice masses and the hundreds of thousands of square miles of Antarctica that they claim. Global warming is melting Antarctica, and as a result large quantities of water will inundate their coastline. The beautiful Andean glaciers of southern Chile are also melting before our eyes. In Santiago, a few thousand miles from Antarctica, boiling hot temperatures have heralded the start of summer. They are advised to go to the beach only in late afternoon. The climate change has done serious damage to fruit and vegetable crops, most particularly the avocado. An exporter said that this season’s uncharacteristic frosts ruined 40 percent of his crop. Among farmers a feeling of apprehension has taken hold; the weather has always been slightly capricious, but of late it has become altogether unpredictable.

What Ever Happened to Fall?

Massachusetts, USA
Image:
Attleboro Department of Public Works crews have been working nights clearing snow in the downtown area after a series of late fall snowstorms. (Staff photo by TOM MAGUIRE)

Was there really a fall this year? It just seemed like we cruised with no transition from summer to winter. It was an autumn of polar opposites, with most of the fall seeing above average and often downright summer-like temperatures, and the tail end experiencing temps well below normal and weather usually found in the heart of winter. The weather changed so abruptly with the two recent snowstorms and Arctic chill, many homeowners didn't finish raking leaves before the wintry conditions descended. An 11-inch snowstorm Dec. 13 came earlier and heavier than expected, gridlocking students and employees heading home from school and work. A 5.5 inch snowstorm three days later that was accompanied by sleet, freezing rain and rain made for icy conditions that persist, leading to plenty of slip and falls and vehicle crashes. With almost 17.5 inches of snow falling before winter arrived, from the two major storms and two minor ones this month, the Attleboro area has already surpassed last winter's total of 14.5 inches. The 11-inch storm on Dec. 13 fell into a two-way tie for the third biggest one-day snowfall for December. Tuesday's low temperature bottomed out at a frigid 8 degrees and Wednesday's low was in the teens. The picture was a complete turnaround from most of autumn, with many days registering temperatures 20 degrees higher than normal for the time of year.

BANGLADESH: Hundreds orphaned by Cyclone Sidr


DHAKA, 21 December 2007 (IRIN) -Hundreds of children, if not more, are now believed to have been orphaned by Cyclone Sidr, which devastated large parts of Bangladesh’s southwestern coast on 15 November, killing more than 3,000 people and rendering millions more homeless. “The trauma that these children suffered and the bleak future they face are nearly impossible for others to realise.” Past experience shows that children, especially girls, in disaster-hit areas are highly vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of abuse. Of the 8.5 million people affected by Cyclone Sidr, about half were children and an estimated half a million of them were under the age of five.

Global warming causing China's glaciers to melt quickly

BREAKING EARTH NEWS
CHINA
Image:
Mount Everest as seen from Rongbuk Temple, in April 2007

BEIJING (AFP) - Global warming has caused some of China's glaciers -- a source for many of Asia's greatest rivers -- to have melted by more than 18 percent over the past five years, state media reported Friday.

A survey of nearly 20,000 square kilometres (8,000 square miles) of China's glaciers showed they were on average 7.4 percent smaller than five years ago, Caijing magazine said, citing a government-funded survey.

A glacier along the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra River on the Tibetan plateau had shrunk by more than 18 percent, the survey found.

Two other glacial areas in China's far northwest Xinjiang region had also melted by more than 18 percent.

"Global warming is causing grave loss to glaciers and it has become a burning need to monitor changes of glacial reserves," the researchers from the China Academy of Sciences said as they released their findings.

The survey, covering roughly one third of China's glaciers, was conducted to trace the impacts of global warming.


A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK AT SKYWATCH-MEDIA
Dec 21, 2007
I felt compelled to enlighten all who visit this website on a regular basis about some rather ridiculous and unsubstantiated statements being published from high profile individuals about the status of global warming. Quite frankly I am sick and tired of reading comments from self-righteous doubters about this extremely important subject. The facts are out for all to read and photos have been published which clearly show how the environment and the topography is drastically changing due to severe climate change brought on by a warming planet.


The Pope has recently commented that Global Warming is a made up word, brought on by alarmists for monetary gain.

[Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology

The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.

The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement.]




OK! Wait just a minute, who is the Pope trying to fool? Maybe he should venture out of his cocoon more often and take better notice of his surroundings.
Does a picture of Polar Bears on a Melting Iceberg resemble Dubious Ideology or Scare Mongering? Furthermore, I thought much of the reports concerning climate change and global warming were based on scientific data and policies? I believe the Pope is a bit confused. Maybe it is better that he keep his lips zipped and stay at the Vatican, since every time he ventures out and opens his mouth, he seems to create more controversy.

Now when it comes to the skeptics, their mission is to spread false propaganda about the actual facts being published by environmental messengers, and also to deceive the public at every turn. I have some bad news for all of them, it isn't working. Try taking your fraudulent claims to the Republicans on Capital Hill. I am sure they will accept your ideals with open arms, certainly they will not be obstructionist as they have with the Democratic Congress this past year. It all plays out in the end, but this is one game that the GW skeptics will not win.


El Nino affected by global warming

<--Nasa Image
The climatic event El Niño, literally “the Baby Jesus”, was given its name because it generally occurs at Christmas time along the Peruvian coasts. This expression of climatic variability, also called El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), results from a series of interactions between the atmosphere and the tropical ocean.

It induces drought in areas that normally receive abundant rain and, conversely, heavy rainfall and floods in usually arid desert zones. Scientists term this phenomenon a “quasi-cyclic” variation because its periodicity, which varies from 2 to 7 years, shows no regular time pattern. Research conducted over the past 25 years, by oceanographers, climatologists and meteorologists has much improved knowledge on the mechanisms generating an El Niño event.

However, possible influence of other systems of climate variability on the ENSO regime is more difficult to fathom. More particularly, it is not known if the intensity and frequency of the event is susceptible to modification in a situation of global warming.

Wild weather keeps coming


Victoria's emergency workers are being stretched to the limit by wild weather hitting the state – and more of the same is forecast.


Wild weather keeps coming

Cuba still dealing with Tropical Storm Noel's aftermath

CUBA still dealing with Tropical Storm Noel's aftermath. Cuba's eastern provinces are still hurting many weeks after RECORD RAINS swelled rivers and destroyed crops. Many homes are in shambles, food is in short supply and the list of needed repairs is long. A nation with an already precarious food supply and inefficient agriculture industry lost 20,000 tons of food. Initial estimates showed nearly 22,000 homes were affected by rain that began in October and did not stop until mid-November. By the time Noel hit, the soil was already soaked and the reservoirs already overflowing. The last time it rained this hard was 44 years ago, when Hurricane Flora killed 1,200 people. Image: Two men make their way through the flooded village of Rio Cauto, which, with 3,000 homes under water, was the nation's worst off, Cuban media reported.

Massive quake causes Gisborne chaos: IC Video


Reports of attempted looting are emerging this morning as Gisborne retailers return to their shops to survey the widespread damage from the 6.8 magnitude earthquake. Gisborne's mayor urged residents to head for the hills if another earthquake struck the region amid tsunami fears after the initial quake. He said because the 6.8 magnitude earthquake was centred close to shore, south east of the city, there was no tsunami warning system. Residents said the quake arrived with an "enormous roar". "It sounded like thunder, but a lot worse because it was a constant roar."


Massive quake causes Gisborne chaos: IC Video

3-D Supercomputer Solves Mystery of the Great 1908 Siberian Explosion

Breaking Earth News
Siberia
The awesome explosion and devastation at Tunguska a century ago in Siberia -the largest impact event in recent history- may have been caused by an asteroid only a fraction as large as previously published estimates. The Sandia National Laboratories supercomputer simulations run counter to prior theories of a mini black hole or comet as the cause.

The energy of the blast was estimated to be between 10 and 20 megatons of TNT — 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The explosion felled an estimated 80 million trees over 2,150 square kilometers, and measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.

“The asteroid that caused the extensive damage was much smaller than we had thought,” says Sandia principal investigator Mark Boslough of the impact that occurred June 30, 1908. “That such a small object can do this kind of destruction suggests that smaller asteroids are something to consider. Their smaller size indicates such collisions are not as improbable as we had believed.”

Because smaller asteroids approach Earth statistically more frequently than larger ones, he says, “We should be making more efforts at detecting the smaller ones than we have till now.”

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