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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.

Earthquakes
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
panic.
• 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

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