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Earth News Journal: Week Ending Feb. 23, 2007

Earth News
Week of February 23, 2007

Ocean ‘Dead Zones’
Large-scale changes in
wind patterns, possibly
linked to global warming,
have caused massive
“dead zones” to appear along Pacific
coastal areas of North and South
America, as well as the Atlantic
shores of southern Africa. Seasonal
winds that blow against the coast in
those regions normally are deflected
back out to sea by the coastal terrain.
This causes an upwelling of deep,
nutrient-rich plankton, which provides
an abundant food source for fish
and other marine life. But wind
changes since the turn of this century
have disrupted, delayed or altered the
intensity of the upwelling, according
to researchers gathering in San Francisco
for the annual meeting of the
American Association for the
Advancement of Science. Sudden
drops in oxygen levels, caused when
too much upwelling resulted in a massive
sinking of plankton, have killed
virtually all the marine life off the
Oregon coast more than once. This
left the sea floor littered with the carcasses
of all animals unable to swim
away.
Volcanoes
Authorities in Colombia
ordered villagers living
near Nevado volcano to
evacuate as the mountain
belched ash and produced a swarm of
tremors. The evacuation order affects
towns located near rivers in Huila and
three other provinces that could be hit
by avalanches triggered by a major
eruption.
• Western Myanmar’s Nagadaung
volcano erupted with a plume of ash
and hot gases that soared high above
an island in Arakan state. The Narinjara
news agency reports the volcano
last erupted just prior to the December
2004 Indian Ocean quake and
tsunami.

Cloud of Junk
Strange lights in the sky
that puzzled residents and
authorities across eastern
Australia may have been
caused by debris from a Chinese
satellite. The Australian Broadcasting
Corp. said it received numerous
calls from people reporting a milky
glowing cloud, as well as lights moving
slowly across the sky before
dawn. Gavin Dinsdale of the Latrobe
Valley Astronomical Society told
reporters that when China destroyed
one of its obsolete satellites with a
missile earlier this month, the impact
left about 35,000 small pieces of junk
in the satellite’s orbit. Dinsdale said
the orbit of the space junk coincides
with the sightings.

Earthquakes
One building was
wrecked and many windows
were cracked in
eastern Turkey when a 5.9
magnitude quake struck near the
town of Sivrice, in Elazig province.
• A magnitude 6.6 quake in
Indonesia’s North Maluku province
sent panicked residents fleeing buildings
and prompted a tsunami warning
for islands of the Molucca Sea.
• Earth movements were also felt
in far northern New Zealand, northern
Japan, central Greece, the Congo-
Uganda border region and southern
parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

El Niño Deluges
Heavy rainfall since
December from El Niñointensified
storms created
flood emergencies in both
Peru and Bolivia. At least 65 people
have perished from floods in the
Andean nations, and countless head
of livestock have also been lost. Latest
forecasts indicate the El Niño
ocean warming will weaken in the
Pacific over the next few months.

Indian Ocean Cyclones
Cyclone Favio brought
more heavy rainfall to
southern parts of Madagascar
before taking aim on
the already flood-ravaged African
nation of Mozambique. Favio was the
third strong storm to strike Madagascar
since Dec. 25, and the government
appealed for international aid to help
the victims of the resulting floods.
• Cyclones Gamede and 16S
churned the open waters of the central
Indian Ocean.

Java Twister
Severe storms over the
Indonesian island of Java
triggered a tornado that
destroyed more than
1,000 homes and injured 44 people in
Yogyakarta province. Landslides
unleashed by heavy downpours during
the storm buried at least 14 people
alive and injured more than 20
others in the district of Magelang,
according to rescue officials.

A Staggering Peril
An unusual combination
of a warm, snowless winter
and an overabundance
of rape plants in the Czech
countryside has caused large numbers
of roe deer to become so intoxicated
from the plants that they are
staggering into roadways. The rape
plant is used to make cooking oil and
biodiesel, and the deer suffer from
lack of oxygen if they consume too
much of it. The oxygen deprivation
first leads to staggering, and in the
worst cases, blindness or death. The
Czech-Moravian Hunting Union
appealed to the public to alert them if
they spot such animals so they can
feed them hay and other safe foods,
the Lidove Noviny daily reported.

Earth News: A Journal of the Planet
Week Ending February 23, 2007
Distributed by: UPS
© 2007-Earth Frenzy Radio

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