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California May Ban Conventional Lightbulbs by 2012

Environmental Earth News: California, USA
January, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CA (REUTERS) -- A California lawmaker wants to make his state the first to ban incandescent lightbulbs as part of California's groundbreaking initiatives to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
The ''How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act'' would ban incandescent lightbulbs by 2012 in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
''Incandescent lightbulbs were first developed almost 125 years ago, and since that time they have undergone no major modifications,'' California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine said Tuesday.
''Meanwhile, they remain incredibly inefficient, converting only about 5 percent of the energy they receive into light.''
Levine is expected to introduce the legislation this week, his office said.
If passed, it would be another pioneering environmental effort in California, the most populous U.S. state. It became the first state to mandate cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, targeting a 25 percent reduction in emissions by 2020.

Can Humanity Survive?

Skywatch-Media Announcement
Jan 31, 2007

Skywatch-Media has distributed the latest version of the newsletter, Can Humanity Survive.

Excerpts From This Week's Issue
Sixty ago years, a group of physicists concerned about nuclear weapons created the Doomsday Clock and set its hands at seven minutes to midnight. Now, the clock’s keepers, alarmed by new dangers like climate change, have moved the hands up to 11:55 p.m.

*All viewers can access this issue by clicking Skywatch Newsletter Issue 59

*To view all newsletters click the Archives Page

*To Subscribe to the newsletter

The Great Red Comet
Issue 59, Volume 6

©2007, Skywatch-Media. All Rights Reserved

New From Skywatch-Media

Skywatch-Media Announcement
Jan 31, 2007
Videos on Demand is now providing quality, affordable DVD downloads directly to Your PC, as well as DVD publication which can be purchased directly from our affiliate A permanent image link has been added to the sidebar under DVD Video Downloads which will lead you to the page where you can review multiple dvd's and downloads.

The image to the left provides a sample of the new dvd downloads including a video presentation of the documentary by Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, which has been nominated for two oscars in the upcoming Academy Awards Presentations.

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In deepest Antarctica, a testbed for global warming

Earth News: Antartica
Photo: The French-Italian station Concordia in the Antarctic.

Jan 30, 2007
CONCORDIA BASE, Antarctica (AFP) - As top scientists meet in the comfort of Paris to hammer out a major report on climate change, a handful of their confreres hunkered down on a frozen plateau in the middle of Antarctica painstakingly gather warning signs of global warming.

A century ago, Antarctica was deemed a forbidding frozen wilderness, a place irredeemably hostile to settlement or even human life itself.
Today, the fringes of this great white wilderness are valued by scientists as a store of unique wildlife, and its heart is prized as a precious barometer of Earth's fevers and chills.

Climate change means hunger and thirst for billions

Earth News: France
Climate Change Alert

Jan 30, 2007
Billions of people will suffer water shortages and the number of hungry will grow by hundreds of millions by 2080 as global temperatures rise, scientists warn in a new report.
The report estimates that between 1.1 billion and 3.2 billion people will be suffering from water scarcity problems by 2080 and between 200 million and 600 million more people will be going hungry.

UFO’s seen over South Shore sky

UFO Sightings: Hawaii, USA
Click on Image to View Video

Updated Jan 30, 2007
It's hard to draw a surfer's attention away from the next wave, but whatever was in the southwest sky Friday evening around 6:20 p.m. drew a crowd along Kewalo Basin and Ala Moana Beach Park.

Honolulu resident Peter Hollingworth described what he and many others saw as two lights circling in the sky, about 45 degrees above the horizon.

Video of one of the lights was recorded from the KHON 2 SkyCam.

“These two little fireballs with a stream behind it,” said Hollingworth. “Looked kind of like a shooting star but it just kept going. They changed directions a few times, at first it was coming in then it turned, then it went out then it came back in again."

Earth News: Week Ending January 28, 2007

Earth News
Week of January 28, 2007

A Heated Migration
A gradual warming of the
world’s oceans has
prompted several marine
researchers to warn of
dramatic effects on ocean life as
water temperatures soar to levels
never before seen. A migration of jellyfish
northward into the warmer
North Sea may lead to them overwhelming
and wiping out native fish
stocks, according to marine scientist
Martin Attrill of Britain’s Plymouth
University. But the ocean warming
may also allow fish species more
common in southern waters to flourish
off northern Europe. Norway’s
Institute of Marine Research has
recorded 18 tropical swordfish since
1967, with sightings becoming more
frequent in recent years. Canadian
researchers have observed killer
whales moving into the Arctic Ocean
due to a melting of sea ice. The marine
mammal’s arrival could threaten the
livelihood of First Nation tribes that
depend on fishing for their food,
according to Steven Ferguson, a scientist
at Canada’s fishing ministry.

War Legacy
Toxic sludge continues to
pollute the coast of
Lebanon six months after
an Israeli bombing raid on
a power plant sent 15,000 tons of fuel
oil spilling into the Mediterranean
around Beirut. A large portion of the
spill sank to the seabed, where divers
report it is up to 2 feet deep. Members
of the Sea of Lebanon volunteer
group have helped clean the shoreline,
and recovered about 2 tons of
sludge in large bags during the past
two weeks. Those bags dot the coastline
of a country that has neither the
technology nor means to treat or recycle
the sludge. Greenpeace has called
the disaster an “underwater nightmare,”
and predicts it will take at least
a year to clean up most of the spill.

Gorilla Truce
A leading conservation
group announced that
Congolese rebels have
agreed to stop killing and
eating rare silverback mountain
gorillas in one of the primate’s last
remaining refuges. London-based
Wildlife Direct had accused rebel
guerrillas loyal to mutinous Congo
army general Laurent Nkunda of
slaughtering two silverbacks within
the past month. The environmental
group had formed an alliance with the
Frankfurt Zoological Society in a
media campaign to halt the killings.
A Wildlife Direct statement said one
of Nkunda’s commanders met senior
Congolese national park warden
Paulin Ngobobo and agreed to halt
gorilla killings. Only about 700
mountain gorillas are believed to
remain in the wild.

South Seas Storms
Two weak tropical storms
formed briefly over the
warm waters of the South
Pacific, but neither
affected any populated land areas.
Tropical Storm Zita was the first to
develop, but it quickly lost force after
it encountered the cooler ocean surface
to the west of Tahiti. Tropical
Storm Arthur formed a short time
later to the east of American Samoa.
It then took a similar path, eventually
dissipating in the same area as Zita.

At least four people were
killed and many buildings
were cracked by an
extremely powerful earthquake
that struck off northeast
Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island. All of
the victims apparently died due to the
stress caused by fleeing buildings in
• Buildings in at least two villages
in the eastern Turkey province of
Agri were wrecked by a magnitude
5.0 temblor.
• Earth movements were also felt
in Taiwan, eastern South Korea,
northern New Zealand, western Norway,
northeastern Arkansas and
south-central Alaska.

Andean Rumblings
A volcano in southern
Chile with a history of massive
ash eruptions is showing
signs of renewed activity.
Scientists say the Cerro Hudson
volcano has been producing tremors
as often as every 15 minutes, indicating
movements of magma. An explosive
eruption of the volcano in 1991
sent massive amounts of ash raining
down on southern Chile and neighboring
parts of Argentina’s Patagonia
region. The disaster destroyed
thousands of acres of grazing land,
causing many of the region’s livestock
to die of starvation.

Snake Invasion
Three people have died
from snakebites in Australia
due to the country’s
worst drought in 100
years driving tens of thousands of the
venomous creatures into urban areas
in search of moisture. A teenager bitten
near Sydney staggered onto a suburban
cricket ground before collapsing.
Doctors said he later died from
the bite of an eastern brown, one of
the world’s deadliest snakes. There
have been more than 60 serious
snakebite cases since last September.
The reptiles are invading homes, gardens
and even shopping malls. Officials
advise residents to avoid killing
the snakes unnecessarily, but to definitely
avoid getting near them.

Earth News: A Journal of the Planet
Week Ending January 28, 2007
Distributed by: UPS
© 2007-Earth Frenzy Radio

Sunny Oregon Coast Sees Rare Oddities

Earth News: Oregon, USA
Photo: Green flash at sunset: notice the green spot in the dark clouds in the upper left portion. Photo: Bob Trusty

Jan 29, 2007
It was more than the average visitor bargained for on the Oregon coast this weekend, as the warm weather brought out an exciting RARELY witnessed natural event and extraordinary waves that belied the calm, sunny conditions and would’ve made surfers from Hawaii jealous. Wild, even enormous waves wowed beachgoers all weekend, on top of the blue skies. But especially on Sunday, huge “half pipes” rolled over much of the Oregon coast surfline, along with spectacular white caps caused by east winds. In Yachats, they made a fiery show, with huge waves rolling over onto themselves, looking like the monsters they get in Hawaii, and then steady east winds would knock the tops off them and create enormous white caps. “Something interesting was going on here. You get these white caps when winds from the opposite direction hit them as they’re rolling in. Yet these waves were enormous, while the wind conditions were really quite calm to almost nothing on most of the central coast. Last I heard, there were big storm systems held offshore by warm temperatures here. So it’s likely some storm out there was sending huge waves our way, while a small measure of east winds would tussle the waves into these fantastic displays of spray.”On the central coast on Sunday, the famed “green flash” at sunset made its rare appearance and amazed those who witnessed it. This RARE oddity occurs when atmospheric conditions are just right, and observers see a small, greenish blob hover at the top of the sun just before it drops below the horizon. It usually lasts for two to ten seconds, and is most often seen as a shimmering, indistinct shape that is green

Great Barrier Reef In Peril

Breaking Earth News: Australia
Effects of Global Warming

Jan 30, 2007
Australia's famous Great Barrier Reef could be dead within two decades because of the effects of global warming, according to a leaked report. The study warns that the organisms which make up the reef's coral could be bleached, because of warmer seas. It takes at least a decade for coral to start recovering from severe bleaching. But the reef may not have the chance to recover, scientists warn, as temperatures continue to rise and the sea becomes more acidic. This raises the risk that the coral will die outright. The Great Barrier Reef is regarded as the world's largest living organism.
The Great Barrier Reef: Image Gallery

Melting glaciers show climate change speeding up: UN, scientists

Breaking Earth News: Switzerland
Global Warming Alert
Photo: A close up of the Sindipumba glacier on the north side of Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador. New data has shown that the melting of mountain glaciers worldwide is accelerating, a clear sign that climate change is also picking up, the UN environmental agency and scientists said.(AFP/File/Jorge Vinuenza)

Jan 29, 2007
GENEVA (AFP) - New data has shown that the melting of mountain glaciers worldwide is accelerating, a clear sign that climate change is also picking up, the UN environmental agency and scientists have said.
Thirty reference glaciers monitored by the Swiss-based World Glacier Monitoring Service lost about 66 centimetres (two feet) in thickness on average in 2005, the UN Environment Programme said in a statement Monday.
"The new data confirms the trend in accelerated loss during the past two and a half decades," it added.
The set of glaciers located around the world have thinned by about 10.5 metres (34.6 feet) on average since 1980, according to the data supplied by the Monitoring Service in Zurich.

Wildlife suffers in extreme weather

Extreme Environment: London

Jan 27, 2007
Dramatically changing weather in London has given rise to anxieties for early-bird wildlife. The past seven days have seen the conditions lurch from warm and sunny to gale-force winds and finally sub-zero temperatures and snow. The prolonged mild spell during December and early January saw many frogs, newts and toads out and about instead of in their usual hibernation. They could now be caught out by the plunging temperatures. "Male common newts have been seen in the ponds in their full breeding colours and doing their mating dance since December, which is around two months earlier than usual...The extent to which the population will be affected all depends now on how long it lasts. But it isn't just the amphibians that will be struggling, mammals such as hedgehogs are also likely to be affected." Marsh marigolds have also been in bloom since December, when they normally flower in February. Robins and sparrows have been spotted searching for nesting sites several months too early.

Breaking News From the BBC Weather Center
Jan 28, 2007
The affects of climate change aren't going to be restricted to humans. The possible dangers for plants and animals throughout the world are a great concern to environmentalists. Birds, fish, and land-based animals are all going to be under threat as their habitats and climate alter. Plants, trees and shrubs are also going to have to adapt.

Dr. Ute Collier from the World Wildlife Fund says the species in our environment will change.

Japanese Authorities Confirm H5N1 Bird Flu Outbreak

Viral News: Japan
Bird Flu Alert
Jan 27, 2007
By VOA News 27 January 2007
Japanese authorities have confirmed that a bird flu outbreak in the country's south was caused by the deadly H5N1 virus.
Authorities said Saturday officials are culling tens of thousands of birds on the affected poultry farm in Miyazaki prefecture.
The culling began Friday, after preliminary tests showed the chickens were infected with an H5 strain of the bird flu virus.
Earlier this month in the same area, Japan confirmed its first outbreak of H5N1 in three years.

Climate Change More Extreme Than Thought, U.S. Study to Show

Climate News: USA

Jan 25, 20067
The U.S. and other nations may experience adverse effects of climate change within 10 years. The changing climate is more threatening than previously thought, a U.S. government study will show. "The rate of climate change is much faster than we all think. There will be many extreme large weather events. It is more urgent and catastrophic than we previously thought." Flooding of low-lying countries means the U.S. Navy will have to deal with large numbers of refugees.

Too Warm in Alaska: More Polar Bears Giving Birth on Land

Earth News from Alaska
Photo: Researchers suspect global warming is to blame and believe Alaska's bear population could be harmed if the climate grows warmer. (Photo courtesy

Jan 24, 2007
Too warm in Alaska: more polar bears giving birth on land. Pregnant polar bears in Alaska, which spend most of their lives on sea ice, are increasingly giving birth on land, according to researchers who say global warming is probably to blame. Though bears are powerful swimmers, at some point they might have to cross vast stretches of open water to reach habitat on shore suitable for building dens in which to give birth. "The sea ice changes may have reduced the availability or degraded the quality of offshore denning habits." In recent years, Arctic pack ice has formed progressively later and melted earlier each season.

Indonesia military to fight bird flu

Breaking Viral News: Indonesia
Bird Flu Alert
Jan 26, 2007
Jakarta, Indonesia - Indonesia called on the military on Friday to help fight bird flu, a day after a young girl became the country's sixth victim this month.
In Azerbaijan, officials feared a return of the H5N1 bird flu virus there after a 14-year-old boy was sent to hospital as a suspected case.
Adding to global worries, Japanese officials were awaiting test results to confirm if the virus had killed poultry at farm in the south, while Vietnam is trying to control the disease spreading among birds in the Mekong Delta.

Signs of Climate Change Upon Us

Climate Change Observations

Read the Transcript from International Citizen Journal

Listen to the Podcast

View Related Articles Here

Jan 17, 2007
Citizen reporters and bloggers should record unusual weather in their regions.
Register Here

Scientists hail Komodo dragon's virgin birth

Breaking Animal Behavior News: England
Photo: A zoo keeper holds one of the five newly hatched Komodo dragons at Chester Zoo.(Dave Thompson/Associated Press)

Jan 25, 2007
A British zoo on Wednesday announced the virgin birth of five Komodo dragons, giving scientists new hope for the captive breeding of the endangered species. In an evolutionary twist, the newborns' eight-year-old mother, Flora, shocked staff at the Chester Zoo in northern England when she became pregnant without ever having a male partner or even being exposed to the opposite sex. Other reptile species reproduce asexually in a process known as parthenogenesis. But Flora's virginal conception, and that of another Komodo dragon in April at the London Zoo, are the first documented in a Komodo dragon. DNA paternity tests confirmed the lack of male input, although the brood are not exact clones of Flora. The evolutionary breakthrough could have far-reaching consequences for endangered species. Scientists are unsure whether female Komodo dragons have always had the ability to reproduce asexually or if this is a new evolutionary development. The reptiles, renowned for their intelligence, have no natural predators — making them on par with sharks and lions at the pinnacle of the animal kingdom.

Snow rollers appearance is rare

Earth News: New Mexico, USA
Photo: Rare snow roller created by wind when conditions are just right. Courtesy photo: Beth Parmer

Jan 23, 2007
On Sunday morning, they were all over several sections of Tucumcari. Women likened them to jellyrolls, or rolls of batting. Men described them as looking like logs or cylinders. “They look like a roll of insulation,” except they are snow, said Charlie Liles, chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. They are one of nature’s phenomenons: “snow rollers.” Snow rollers are nature’s way of creating snowballs. “I think they are rare,” said Liles, who couldn’t recall such an incident.

Rare birds threatened by cold snap in Danube delta

Endangered Species: Romania
FYI: Dalmatian Pelican
Jan 24, 2007
A return of winter in Romania could damage rare bird populations in the Danube Delta where nesting is beginning early this year due to UNUSUALLY warm weather. Meteorologists expect temperatures to drop below zero in coming days, threatening colonies of Dalmatians Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorants and Spoonbills in the vast marshlands of the delta, one of the most biodiverse regions in Europe. "Some species, which were supposed to come at the end of February, are already here." Some birds are returning early to the delta, which lies on a key migratory route for wild birds, and many never left when temperatures rose as high as 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) earlier in January.

Astronaut seeks craft to bump asteroids

Cosmic/Space News: Hawaii, USA
Jan 23, 2007
HONOLULU - NASA astronaut and former University of Hawaii solar physicist Edward Lu is calling for a new spacecraft that would divert asteroids on a path to slam into Earth.
The small space tractor, costing between $200 million and $300 million, would hover near an asteroid to exert enough gravitational pull that the space rock's orbit would change and a collision with our planet would be averted, Lu said before a crowd packed into a 300-capacity auditorium at the University of Hawaii-Manoa Monday night.

"We're only trying to get a really tiny change in the velocity of the asteroid to prevent an impact," he said.

Lu was part of a panel including three Hawaii scientists who characterized the chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth as rare but deserving of the same level of attention as major earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes.

Winter comes to Spain

Winter Storm Warning: Spain
Jan 23, 2007
The Department for Civil Protection and Emergencies has issued a warning to the governments of ten Autonomous Communities in Spain following the the National Meteorological Institute’s forcast for heavy snow and very low temperatures over the next few days. The extreme weather conditions are predicted to worsen from today onwards. As a result many cities in Spain are on high alert and as a precaution around 50 mountain passes have been closed to heavy traffic. Andalucía is on alert for extremely low temperaturas, notably in Granada where temperaturas are predicted to fall to - 4ºC. A new weather front will be crossing the country from the Northeast. These extreme weather conditions come following a spell of unusually warm, dry weather for this time of year. Many Spanish ski resorts are experiencing their worst season for years and the snowfall this week will be the first proper one all Winter.

Unusual dense fog blankets South Florida

Fog Alert: Florida, USA

Jan 23, 2007
Commuters Tuesday morning drove through an unseasonable thick fog. Surprisingly, the weather didn't cause any collisions. "It's not unusual in Miami, but it is RARE for this time of year. We're sitting on a rain deficit, and we need rain, so hopefully this condensation will turn into something. We need some good drenching rains." Although the region ended 2006 five inches above the rain quota, in 2007 it is already lagging one inch below.

Ice Chunk Crashes Through Delaware Co. Home

Earth News: Deleware, USA
Photo: A family in Woodlyn, Delaware County received quite a shock when a chunk of ice came crashing through their home

Jan 18, 2007
For years, huge blocks of ice have been slamming to earth worldwide. It's usually assumed that these come from airplanes, although this has been disproved over and over again, and each incident is treated by the local media in the area where the ice falls as unique and not related to the other cases. The truth is that these are probably an indication of global warming. Now the Myers home in Delaware has been struck and the family who live there barely avoided injury after a huge block of ice came crashing through their roof.
The local CBS station in Woodlyn, Delaware quotes Penny Myers as saying, "There was this explosion in the room. At first I thought it was the TV shattering and glass, then I looked up and saw the hole in the ceiling and I was afraid the whole ceiling was going to collapse."
They quote Ed Myers as describing the incident this way: "A huge amount of ice shot to every corner of the room and it was just a complete disaster. It is just very unnerving to think that you were standing right next to that when it happened."
As usual, the FAA is investigating and as usual, they will test the ice and discover that it does not contain any of the chemicals that are found in airplane toilets. But the falling blocks of ice ARE related to airplanes. The global warming theory is this: The stratosphere, where planes fly, is getting colder, because greenhouse gasses are trapping warmth in the troposphere, just below it. This causes contrails to freeze, instead of dissipating harmlessly, and some of them may fall to earth as large blocks of ice.
View Video

Earth's Moon Destined to Disintegrate

Cosmic/Space News
Jan 22, 2007
The Sun is midway through its stable hydrogen burning phase known as the main sequence. But when the Sun enters the red giant phase in around 5 billion years things are going to get a lot rougher in the Earth-Moon system.
During the red giant phase the Sun will swell until its distended atmosphere reaches out to envelop the Earth and Moon, which will both begin to be affected by gas drag—the space through which they orbit will contain more molecules.
The Moon is now moving away from Earth and by then will be in an orbit that's about 40 percent larger than today. It will be the first to warp under the Sun’s influence.
“The Moon's actual path is a wiggly line around the Sun, with it moving faster when it is slightly farther out (at full Moon) and more slowly when it is slightly closer (at new Moon),” said Lee Anne Willson of Iowa State University. “So the gas drag is more effective at the farther part of the orbit and this will put the Moon into an orbit where the new Moon is closer to Earth than the full Moon.”
Willson's idea about the Moon's demise, explained recently to, is an unpublished byproduct of her research into Earth's fate in the face of an expanding Sun.

Earth News: Week Ending January 19, 2007

Earth News
Week of January 19, 2007

Bird Flu Surge
The United Nations
World Health Organization
(WHO) warned that a
major resurgence of avian
influenza is in progress across Asia.
WHO spokesman Peter Cordingley
cautioned that bird flu is a cold
weather virus, and more cases are
likely to develop over the cold
months in the northern hemisphere.
“We expect a repeat of last year, when
the virus suddenly became very
active,” spreading to the Middle East,
Africa and Europe, Cordingley said.
The warnings came as Indonesia
reported its 60th confirmed death
from the virus, and fresh outbreaks of
bird flu in poultry were reported in
Japan and Vietnam. Meanwhile,
health officials in Indonesia
announced that 20 percent of stray
cats surveyed across the country
carry the deadly H5N1 strain of avian

Australian Wildfires
Searing midsummer heat
across southeastern Australia
sparked more wildfires
that destroyed eight
homes in the states of Victoria and
New South Wales. Residents in Melbourne
and other blacked-out cities
were left to swelter as utility crews
worked to repair a break in a main
power transmission line brought
down by fire.

Winter’s Worst
More than 100 people perished
in severe wintry
conditions that spread
across a wide area from
southern Canada to the northern
deserts of Mexico. Ice and snow shut
down airports and made roads
impassable, stranding thousands of
travelers. Severe crop damage was
reported at some farms and orchards
in usually temperate California.

Flood Starvation
Scientists investigating
the recent deaths of thousands
of lesser flamingos
at Kenya’s Lake Bogoria
discovered the birds probably perished
due to a lack of food in the wake
of East Africa’s devastating floods.
A team sponsored by the Earthwatch
research organization found that
many of the dead birds weighed only
63 percent of their normal body mass,
suggesting malnutrition. Team leader
David Harper, of the University of
Leicester, believes torrential rainfall
over the region during the past few
months has depleted the birds’ normal
food source of spirulina — a
blue-green bacteria that floats on the
surface of Lake Bogoria and other
lakes across Kenya’s Rift Valley.

Comoros Rumblings
Volcanic activity is seen inside t
he Karthala volcano in 2006.

Days of strong tremors at
one of the world’s largest
active volcanoes prompted
officials in the Comoros
Islands to draw up evacuation plans
should the mountain erupt. The country’s
security chief, Oukacha Jaffar,
told reporters that as many as 30,000
people could be forced from their
homes on the main island of Grande
Comore if the 7,746-foot Mount
Karthala becomes violently active.
Tens of thousands of
Japanese were ordered to
higher ground after a
magnitude 8.2 temblor in
the Kuril Islands threatened to send a
tsunami across the Pacific. Tsunami
watches were also issued for Guam,
Taiwan, the Philippines and Hawaii
before it became clear that only a
small wave had been generated.
• Earth movements were also felt
in eastern Japan, Taiwan, northwestern
Turkey, Romania, New Zealand
and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ganges Flush
Officials in India ordered
dams in the upper reaches
of the Ganges to release
large quantities of water
to dilute pollution that had made the
river so contaminated that the Hindu
faithful were advised not to bathe in
it during a religious festival. Sadhus,
or Indian holy men, then declared the
river safe for the up to 5 million people
who later took a ceremonial
plunge into the sacred waterway. It
was the first of four auspicious days
during the 45-day Ardh Kumbh festival,
when Hindus believe bathing in
the river will wash away their sins and
help them attain salvation from the
cycle of birth and rebirth.

Highway Robbery
A brazen hijacking, committed
by a herd of elephants
on a road through
an eastern Thailand
wildlife reserve, has officials considering
the closure of the highway, at
least at night. Yoo Senatham, chief of
the Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
in Chachoengsao province, said
that a herd of about 20 pachyderms
blocked the road and overturned
many of the 10 trucks that were forced
to stop. Loads of sugarcane and tapioca
spilled onto the roadway, where
the larger elephants and their young
gorged on the pilfered goods. “There
have been many accidents on this
road, leading to the deaths of thousands
of animals, but this was the first
highway robbery by elephants we’ve
recorded,” said Senatham. He
believes the elephants may have been
encouraged to hijack the tasty cargo
by the many passers-by who throw
sugarcane and tapioca to them.

Earth News: A Journal of the Planet
Week Ending January 19, 2007
Distributed by: UPS
© 2007- Earth Frenzy Radio

Australian diver says partly swallowed by shark

Breaking Earth/Science News: Australia
Photo: A Great White Shark swims past a diving cage off Gansbaai about 200 kilometres east of Cape Town in this undated handout photo.

Jan 23, 2007
SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian abalone diver told rescuers he was partly swallowed head-first by a Great White Shark on Tuesday but managed to fight his way free, suffering a broken nose and bite marks around the chest.
Diver Eric Nerhus, 41, was underwater with his 25-year-old son and other divers off Cape Howe, near Eden on Australia's southeast coast, when the 3 meter (10 foot) shark attacked.

Related Content
Photo: Eric Nerhus is taken to the emergency ward at Wollongong Hospital.
IT SEEMS Eric Nerhus, an abalone diver, did not impress the discerning palate of the three-metre white pointer shark that attacked him yesterday. The shark had Mr Nerhus's head in its jaws, but marine experts say it chewed him then spat him out when it realised he was not a seal.

Feeling the heat

Skywatch-Media Radio Broadcast
Climate Change Part 1 - Broadcast date: Sunday 14 January 2007 by Radio Netherlands

Click on the photo to view receding glaciers across the globe.

"...find an old picture of a glacier and then compare it with the way it looks now. And you almost see it disappearing before your eyes - all distances of ice that are now gone within just a few decades."
Joris Tijssen, Greenpeace campaigner

From archived transcript dated Jan 12, 2007
From rising record temperatures to green ski slopes, from melting ice caps to disappearing lakes, climate change appears to be gathering speed.
These days the issue is rarely out of the headlines - and is likely to become one of the hottest topics for the public, politicians and industry in 2007.
The world, we're told, can not afford to wait before tackling climate change.


Global warming: the final verdict

A study by the world's leading experts says global warming will happen faster and be more devastating than previously thought

Robin McKie, science editor
Sunday January 21, 2007
Global warming is destined to have a far more destructive and earlier impact than previously estimated, the most authoritative report yet produced on climate change will warn next week.
A draft copy of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by The Observer, shows the frequency of devastating storms - like the ones that battered Britain last week - will increase dramatically. Sea levels will rise over the century by around half a metre; snow will disappear from all but the highest mountains; deserts will spread; oceans become acidic, leading to the destruction of coral reefs and atolls; and deadly heatwaves will become more prevalent.

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