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Discovery Strikes Gold With 'Planet Earth'


Skywath-Media Public Announcement

March 30, 2007
The Discovery series "Planet Earth" is receiving rave reviews across the cable networks since first airing this month.

Planet Earth claimed the top two programming spots for the week ended March 25, according to Nielsen Media.

Set to run Sundays through April 22, Planet Earth propelled Discovery into the top five for the first time in recent memory, as the net finished as the week’s second most-watched prime time destination with 1.88 million total viewers. Discovery also finished third among ad-supported cable nets among the adults 18-49 demo, averaging 985,000.

To view a video of this great series click here

FYI
The Discovery Store is now part of the Skywatch-Media News Network of Affiliate Merchandisers. An Product Icon has been placed in the sidebar that will display a wide range of discovery merchandise for your general interest.

The series 'Planet Earth' is also available in DVD format by clicking the image below.

Discovery Planet Earth 11 Part DVD Set


A Public Service Announcement
©2007, Skywatch-Media

132M may starve in Asia because of climate change

Climate Change Alert
Asia

March 29, 2007
Experts are concerned that climate change will threaten some 132 million Asians with starvation by the year 2050, according to a dire report. "Grain harvests in the Asian region will drop by as much as 30 percent, leading to skyrocketing food prices and the starvation of 132 million people in Asia in the 2050s, if fossil fuels continue to be consumed at the current rate." Harvests have already declined in some parts of Asia, and the report says rising temperatures are only part of the problem. Flooding, heat waves and droughts are said to have contributed to the shortfall.

Nasa Releases Striking New Images of Mt Ruapehu Lahar

Earth Observations
Photo: VIEW FROM ABOVE: The US space agency Nasa has released striking before-and-after pictures of Mt Ruapehu's lahar.
March 29, 2007
Mount Ruapehu's lahar has been captured by satellites in striking before-and-after pictures released this week.
On March 18 the lahar on Ruapehu's caldera burst, sending mud and rock down the eastern flank of the mountain.
Nine days later, on March 25, 2007, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of Mount Ruapehu and its new lahar. They compared it with an image taken on February 9, 2002.
In both images, green indicates vegetation, dark blue indicates water, and purplish-gray indicates bare rock or hardened lava. The splotches of white at the summit show snow cover, and the billowy white balls nearby are clouds.

Asteroid Flyby

Cosmic/Space News
March 30, 2007

Asteroid 2006 VV2 is about to fly past Earth. On March 30th around 11 pm PDT the 2 km-wide space rock will streak through the constellation Leo only 2 million miles away glowing like a 10th magnitude star. This makes it an easy target for backyard telescopes with CCD cameras.

Last night, Mike Broussard of Maurice, Louisiana, caught the asteroid (Image Shown Above)flying past spiral galaxy M81 in Ursa Major:

The Americas are favored for Friday night's flyby, especially southern California where 2006 VV2 will fly right over the heads of observers at the moment of closest approach. Astrophotographers, ready your cameras! [finder charts] [ephemeris]


News Source: Spaceweather.com

'Flaming debris' nearly hits jet

Meteor Sightings
New Zealand

March 28, 2007
Flaming debris of a possible meteor almost hit plane - The pilots of a Chilean passenger jet reported seeing flaming debris fall past their aircraft as it approached the airport at Auckland, New Zealand. The captain "made visual contact with incandescent fragments several kilometres away". New Zealand and Australian media suggested the debris was from a Russian satellite expected to enter the atmosphere later in the day. But the US space agency Nasa said it was more likely to have been meteors. The pilots reported the near-miss to air traffic controllers, reportedly saying the noise of the debris breaking the sound barrier could be heard above the roar of his aircraft's engines. The debris missed the jet by a margin of 40 seconds. An orbital debris expert at Nasa had checked with the Russians and their vessel - a spacecraft resupplying the International Space Station - had fired its re-entry rockets as scheduled, 12 hours after the Chileans reported the near miss. The Nasa expert said no other space junk was expected to be re-entering atmosphere at that time so the pilots probably saw a meteor.

World Must Invest Now to Counter Impact of Extreme Weather From Global Warning

Global Warming Alert
March 27, 2007
Citing one of the worst cyclone seasons in recent memory in Madagascar as an example, the United Nations body that seeks to mitigate the impact of natural disasters called on the international community to invest more in programs to reduce the effects of extreme weather spawned by global warming. What is currently happening in Madagascar is a good illustration of what can happen in many countries. "The increased severity and frequency of extreme weather events prevents people from recovering before facing the next event, making them more vulnerable to disasters." People in Madagascar are well prepared to face cyclones, and the country has strong national mechanisms in place. But the unusual number of cyclones makes the situation extremely difficult. In November, Madagascar's National Bureau on Disaster Reduction put in place a programme of sand bags that seems to have protected many houses from destruction. The bags were placed on top of the roofs to reduce wind impacts, saving a lot of people. "But we could not avoid the intensity of rains. Soils were completely saturated and many people died because of mud and debris avalanches that could not be stopped." In some parts of the world, climate change will mean more intense and frequent hazards, in others, it will mean facing hazards that communities have not encountered before.

Major cities warned against sea-level rise

Skywatch-Media Special Report
Disaster Preparadness
Sea-level rise 'under-estimated'

For the first time, a scientific study has identified the world's low-lying coastal areas that are vulnerable to global warming and sea-level rise, and urged major cities from New York to Tokyo to wake up to the risk of being swamped by flooding and intense storms if nothing is done. 'Migration away from the zone at risk will be necessary, but costly and hard to implement.' In all, 634 million people live within such areas - defined as less than 10m above sea level - and that number is growing. Of the more than 180 countries with populations in the low-elevation coastal zone, about 70 percent have urban areas of more than five million people that extend into it, including: Tokyo; New York; Mumbai, India; Shanghai, China; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Dhaka, Bangladesh. Asia is particularly vulnerable. The five countries with the largest total population living in threatened coastal areas are China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia. Coastlines already are showing the impact of sea-level rise and global warming and it is expected to worsen. An IPCC report is expected to say that about 100 million people each year could be flooded by rising seas by 2080. By the time the location of the coastal settlements at the most risk becomes evident, "most of the easier options for shifting settlement patterns, and modifying them so that they are better adapted to the risks of climate change, will have been foreclosed." Many such areas have long been vulnerable to natural disasters such as flooding and tropical storms, but climate change is likely to increase that risk. In North America, the two biggest cities, Los Angeles and New York, are at risk of a combination of sea-level rise and storms with waters rising "up to several meters deep." By 2090, under a worst-case scenario, megafloods that normally would hit North America once every 100 years "could occur as frequently as every three - four years."


SOUTH AFRICA. Many photos of the monster wave damage showing the aftermath.[This is the kind of coastal damage the article above is warning about.]
View Aftermath Images



Sea Level Simulator

This animated image shows the repercussions of immense sea level rise on the european, african and asain continents.




Click the image above to view sequencial ocean depths on coastal areas.

Distributed by Skywatch-Media



Hurricane winds off the coast

Breaking Earth News
Australia's Southern Ocean

A RARE and unusual phenomenon deep in the Southern Ocean is creating extreme weather conditions, including hurricane-force winds, off the South Australian coast.

Winds of 80 knots, or 150km/h, were recorded south of the Great Australian Bight yesterday, resulting from an intense low which developed since Tuesday. Swells up to 7m were expected to pound the coast last night.
Winds greater than 64 knots, or 118km/h, are classified as hurricane-force - a new category introduced by the Bureau of Meteorology for areas on southern latitudes.

Earth News Journal: Week Ending March 23, 2007

Earth News Journal
Week of March 23, 2007

Warming Impact
The warmest winter on
record across the Northern
Hemisphere has caused
significant changes in the
behavior of plants and wildlife. Italian
vegetables not normally seen until
later in the season have become so
abundant that merchants are unable
to sell them all. The wheat harvest in
the Netherlands was brought in a
month earlier than normal, causing
some scientists to worry that the
warmth may also bring an increase in
grain plant viruses caused by aphids.
Half of the barley crops in some parts
of Germany have been hit by a blight
of yellow dwarf disease, which is carried
by fleas that do not normally survive
winter. Insects are emerging
from cocoons weeks ahead of schedule
across Europe, and wildlife are
migrating much earlier than normal.

Solar Predictions
The next sunspot cycle is
predicted to be 30 to 50
percent stronger than the
last, and will begin almost
a year later than normal, according to
forecasters at the U.S. National Center
for Atmospheric Research. A new
computer model of solar activity will
allow for early warnings of solar
storms, which can slow satellites in
orbit, disrupt global communications
and bring down power grids.
An Australian researcher wrote
in the journal Solar Terrestrial
Physics that increasing sunspot activity
over the next year could bring
above-normal rainfall to eastern Australia,
ending the worst drought in a
century. Professor Robert Baker of
Australia's University of New England
said he made the prediction
based on past solar activity and climate
records. But the country's
Bureau of Meteorology discounts his
theory, saying his study is .significantly
flawed.

Volcanoes
A mud volcano on the
Indonesian island of Java
briefly stopped spewing
toxic sludge, which has displaced
15,000 people since last May.
None of our team members knows
for sure what happened, and we are
still trying to determine how it happened,
said Rudi Novrianto, a
spokesman for the government project
trying to plug the flow with concrete
balls. Experts believe that effort
was probably not the cause of the sudden
halt in the flow of mud. They said
it most likely occurred because parts
of the volcano.s funnel collapsed,
creating a temporary obstruction that
was eventually cleared by pressurized
gas within the crater.
A mixture of mud, water and
rocks cascaded down the slope of
Mount Ruapehu volcano on New
Zealand.s North Island after it burst
through a 23-foot wall of volcanic ash
and sand built up during an eruption
12 years ago. Police and civil defense
workers immediately closed roads
and the nation.s main rail line near
the southern base of the mountain
until the surge of debris passed.

Tropical Cyclone
Cyclone Indlala.s rampage
across northern Madagascar
left at least 36 people
dead and nearly 54,000
people homeless. Indlala destroyed
two bridges, six schools, 63 administrative
buildings and three electric
facilities, according to the national
emergencies bureau BNGRC. .In
terms of destruction, it is almost as
bad as Gafilo,. said bureau chief
Jacky Randriaharison, referring to a
cyclone that left 241 people dead after
it pummeled the Indian Ocean island
in March 2004. Madagascar has been
affected by seven tropical cyclones
this season, which normally runs
from November through March.

Smoke Emergency
The Thai government
declared an environmental
emergency in two northern
provinces, including the
popular tourist destination of Chiang
Mai, due to a thickening pall of smoke
caused by wildfires. Deputy Prime
Minister Paiboon Wattanasiritham
told reporters that the emergency declaration
would allow authorities to
evacuate villages if needed, and to
impose stronger measures to stop
farmers from burning agricultural
residue and clearing forests.

Earthquakes
A sharp early morning
tremor sent panicked residents
from their beds into
the streets in Indonesia's
North Maluku provincial capital of
Ternate. There were no reports of significant
damage or injuries.
Earth movements were also felt
in the southern Philippines, northern
New Zealand, metropolitan Tokyo
and New Hampshire.

Jumbo Retirement
Elephants used as beasts
of burden, for joyrides and
at ceremonial occasions in
the southern Indian state
of Kerala will soon be retired when
they reach the age of 65, according to
a report by the IANS news agency.
But Kerala.s forest minister, Binoy
Viswam, told the state assembly that
the animals could still perform light
tasks in semi-retirement if a veterinarian
certifies their physical fitness.
Elephants are widely used in Kerala
to move timber, and for religious ceremonies.
There are about 900 captive
elephants in the state, most owned by
Hindu temples.


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

'Sweeping changes' to climate by 2100









Breaking Earth News

Global Warming Alert
Many of the world's climate zones (48 per cent of the earth's landmass) will vanish entirely by 2100, or be replaced by new, previously unseen ones, if global warming continues as expected, a US study predicts. By that point, close to 40 per cent of the world's land surface area would also have a "novel" or new climate. Rising temperatures will force existing climate zones toward higher latitudes and higher elevations, squeezing out climates at the colder extremes, and leaving room for unfamiliar climes around the equator. The sweeping climatic changes will likely affect huge swaths of land from the Indonesian rainforest to the Peruvian Andes, including many known hotspots of diversity, disrupting local ecological systems and populations. "The warmest areas get warmer and move outside our current range of experience and the colder areas also get warmer and so those climates disappear." Even if emission rates slowed due to mitigation strategies, the changes would still affect up to 20 per cent of the earth's landmass in each scenario.

Australia Braces for Cyclone Kara

Breaking Tropical Storm News
Western Australia
: Oil and gas operations and iron ore ports are being shut as the West Australia coast braces for its fourth tropical cyclone this year. A severe cyclone warning is current for coastal areas from Mardie to Wallal, and Pilbara communities are being warned to take precautions.

FYI: Cyclone Preparadness
Click the Image To Learn More






Tropical Storms
Cyclone Becky - A tropical cyclone, that has formed northwest of Vanuatu, is now expected to affect land areas as early as this afternoon. Cyclone Becky is moving East-Southeast, bringing gale force winds to the Banks group and extending over Sanma and Penama tonight. Winds are estimated to increase to 55 knots. The sea will be rough with heavy swells. “People including sea going vessels are strongly advised not to go out to sea until the system moves out of the area.
Heavy rainfall and flooding, including coastal flooding is expected in the affected areas.”

Australia Braces for Cyclone Kara

Oil and gas operations and iron ore ports are being shut as the West Australia coast braces for its fourth tropical cyclone this year. A severe cyclone warning is current for coastal areas from Mardie to Wallal, and Pilbara communities are being warned to take precautions.

FYI: Cyclone Preparadness


Tropical Storms
Cyclone Becky - A tropical cyclone, that has formed northwest of Vanuatu, is now expected to affect land areas as early as this afternoon. Cyclone Becky is moving East-Southeast, bringing gale force winds to the Banks group and extending over Sanma and Penama tonight. Winds are estimated to increase to 55 knots. The sea will be rough with heavy swells. “People including sea going vessels are strongly advised not to go out to sea until the system moves out of the area. Heavy rainfall and flooding, including coastal flooding is expected in the affected areas.”


Distributed by: Skywatch-Media: Earth News & Events That Affect Us All

Cherry blossoms' early appearance has Japanese concerned














Earth Observations: Japan

March 25, 2007

The weather agency inspectors had fanned out to examine designated trees across Japan, eyeballing the branches, looking for blossoms. Government computers had crunched years of temperature data. TV camera crews climbed ladders to get close-ups of the buds' progress.

Last week, inspectors in Tokyo saw what everyone was waiting for -- at least six cherry blossoms on one of the talismanic trees on the grounds of sacred Yasukuni Shrine. They proclaimed "sakura season" officially under way.

Early again. As usual.

The beginning of sakura has been creeping up on the Japanese in recent years. This year's start was eight days earlier than the average in Tokyo over the last half-century, part of a pattern that many scientists here attribute to global warming.

Arctic triggered climate change may have reached tipping point:

Climate News Alert
March 25, 2007
Melting Arctic sea ice may have reached a tipping point triggering global climate change according to a new study. The climate change could reach into Earth's temperate regions. "When the ice thins to a vulnerable state, the bottom will drop out and we may quickly move into a new, seasonally ice-free state of the Arctic." Melting sea ice, unlike land ice melt, does not increase sea levels. However, it decreases the salinity of oceans and creates a greater surface area of ocean that absorbs rather than reflects solar radiation, both of which reinforce the global warming trend. The Arctic sea-ice extent trend has been negative in every month since 1979, when concerted satellite record keeping efforts began. Because temperatures across the Arctic have risen from 2 degrees to 7 degrees F. in recent decades due to a build-up of atmospheric greenhouse gases, there is no end in sight to the decline in Arctic sea ice extent. "While the Arctic is losing a great deal of ice in the summer months, it now seems that it also is regenerating less ice in the winter. With this increasing vulnerability, a kick to the system just from natural climate fluctuations could send it into a tailspin."

Gardens 'attract fewer songbirds'

Breaking Earth News: United Kingdom
March 26, 2007
"Many birds will struggle to cope with the altered weather patterns" Ruth Davis/RSPB

Fewer songbirds visited UK gardens this winter than last year - with the numbers for some species at a FIVE-YEAR LOW. The number of song thrushes spotted in gardens has fallen 65% in a year, while the number of blackbirds fell by 25%. The number of robins spotted has also fallen. The RSPB blamed the mild European winter and a bumper countryside fruit crop, meaning the birds did not have to visit UK gardens for food as often. "A snapshot in winter gives only part of the picture, but the varying birds visiting our gardens is one example of the impact climate change is having on the natural world. Although the mild winter seems to have provided more food for song thrushes in the countryside this year, as changes to our climate become more extreme many birds will struggle to cope with the altered weather patterns."

Technology, climate change spark race to claim Arctic resources

March 24, 2007
Climate change is sparking an international race
to claim Arctic resources - oil, fish, diamonds and shipping routes. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Arctic has as much as 25% of the world's undiscovered oil and gas. Moscow reportedly sees the potential of minerals in its slice of the Arctic sector approaching $2 trillion. All this has pushed governments and businesses into a scramble for sovereignty over these suddenly priceless seas. Just a few years ago, reports said it would take 100 years for the Arctic ice to melt, but recent studies say it could happen in 10-15 years, and the United States, Canada, Russia, Denmark and Norway have been rushing to stake their claims. The Arctic melt has also been intensifying competition over dwindling fishing stocks. Fish stocks essential to some regions appear to be moving to colder waters, and thus into another country's fishing grounds. Russian and Norwegian fishermen already report catching salmon much farther north than is normal. In 2004, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the sovereignty issue "a serious, competitive battle" that "will unfold more and more fiercely." "Everybody is talking about the potential for minerals, diamonds, oil and gas, but we mustn't forget that people live there, all the way across the Arctic. [Indigenous peoples like the Inuits and the Sami] They've always been there and they have a major role to play."

Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia report first H5N1 outbreaks

Bird Flu Update: Saudi Arabia

Agriculture officials in Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have confirmed outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in birds, A FIRST FOR EACH COUNTRY. An H5N1 outbreak could devastate Bangladesh's poultry industry, which includes about 150,000 farms and does $750 million of business annually. The Saudi Press Agency said the outbreak there involved turkeys, parrots, peacocks, and ostriches on private land. The birds were destroyed and the site was sterilized. H5N1 avian flu has been reported in several countries near Saudi Arabia, including Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Sudan. Egypt has had 26 confirmed human cases since February 2006, half of them fatal. H5N1 has been found in birds in about 60 countries, not counting Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh. H5N1 has been found in crows in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Up to 70 dead crows were found in and around the city recently, and 2 of 8 birds tested were found infected. In Myanmar, about 38,000 birds have been destroyed as a result of five outbreaks in Yangon, the capital, over the past 3 weeks. "There are still three countries that are not capable of managing the situation: Indonesia, Egypt and Nigeria, which harbour reservoirs of the virus that can take off elsewhere." Officials said they don't expect to see as many bird outbreaks of H5N1 this year as occurred last year. "On the medical level you see a reduction in terms of viral quantity. The presence of the disease in the population of wild birds is lower than last year when there was a surge in the virus." Wild birds may be growing more resistant to the virus, or the strain may be declining. But it would be unrealistic to think that the virus can be eradicated soon, as it "continues to circulate and can reappear at any time."

Pandemic could cause deep, uneven recession


Viral News
March 22, 2007

An influenza pandemic as severe as the great flu of 1918 could cost the United States $683 billion and plunge the American economy into the second-deepest recession since World War II, a nonprofit health advocacy group warned yesterday. If rates of illness and death matched those of 1918 — when one-third of the population fell ill and 2.5 % of those who were sickened died — US production of goods and services could shrink 5.5% in a year. But the pain would not be spread evenly across the country. States whose economies depend on tourism and entertainment would be hit hardest, with losses as large as 8% of their economic production. "Businesses, governments, schools and other sectors could all face serious disruptions." The consequences would ripple worldwide. "What we do know is that it is highly likely that during the peak of a pandemic, even if the mortality rate is low, you are going to have a lot of people not coming to
Viral Threats
The US Department of Agriculture said it would step up its antismuggling efforts and monitoring of live bird markets this year to protect the country from H5N1 avian influenza. The agency plans to more than double the number of special operations to seize banned poultry products and will expand the monitoring of live bird markets from 12 states to 29 or 30. They also announced a renewal of last year's hunt for the H5N1 virus in wild birds throughout the United States, among other steps. The deadly virus was not found in any of the more than 100,000 wild bird samples tested last year.

Volcanoes observatory ready to record 'slow' quake

FYI: Click on Map
Volcanic News: Hawaii, USA
March 22, 2007

Scientists at the Hawai'i Volcanoes Observatory are geared up to record a "slow earthquake" expected under Kilauea Volcano within the next few days. For reasons scientists cannot yet explain, many slow earthquakes detected around the world seem to happen at regular intervals. At Kilauea, the pattern so far suggests slow earthquakes occur there about every 774 days, with the last one recorded over two days beginning on Jan. 26, 2005. The slow earthquake scientists are poised to record, therefore, was scheduled to occur last Saturday, March 17.

France opens secret UFO files covering 50 years

March 22, 2007
Photo: This 1972 photo from the US Air Force shows a space probe after a test flight in New Mexico. France has become the first country to open its files on UFOs when the national space agency unveiled a website documenting more than 1,600 sightings spanning five decades.(AFP/File)

PARIS (AFP) - France became the first country to open its files on UFOs Thursday when the national space agency unveiled a website documenting more than 1,600 sightings spanning five decades.

The online archives, which will be updated as new cases are reported, catalogues in minute detail cases ranging from the easily dismissed to a handful that continue to perplex even hard-nosed scientists.

GM mosquito 'could fight malaria'

Earth/Science News
March 19, 2007

A genetically modified (GM) strain of malaria-resistant mosquito has been created that is better able to survive than disease-carrying insects.
It gives new impetus to one strategy for controlling the disease: introduce the GM insects into wild populations in the hope that they will take over.
The insect carries a gene that prevents infection by the malaria parasite.
Details of the work by a US team appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Mystery Foam Discovered Floating Down Green River

Environmental News: Utah, USA
March 20, 2007

Click on Photo to Download Video

Mystery foam discovered floating down Green River - What's causing foul-smelling foam on the Green River in Utah? Government agencies are trying to solve the mystery. Is it illegal pollution or just one of nature's tricks? Most agencies started scrambling on the 18th and 20th, even though the foam was reported more than a week before. There's a good chance the foam, which ran more than 50 miles down the Green River, is a natural phenomenon triggered by the UNUSUAL weather; but there are puzzling, UNUSUAL aspects. The chunks of foam were the size of dining room tables, three feet thick. They covered at least two miles of river. Foam is not unusual on the Green River. It usually comes in late May as snowmelt raises the river and churns organic material. "We see that quite often. It's a little early in the year for that to be happening. But then again, we do have quite UNUSUALLY WARM weather." A gigantic blob of foam was spotted about 35 miles down river. A Bureau of Land Management ranger said it completely covered the river, bank to bank, as far as the eye could see. The BLM observer also reported the foam had a powerful hydrocarbon-like smell and caused a stinging sensation on the skin. A River Guide says he's never heard of anything like it in three decades of river running. To him it adds up to a chemical spill from the booming oil and gas industry

Freak tornado in New Zealand

Breaking Storm News: New Zealand
March 22, 2007

Terrified children ran for their lives as roofing iron and other debris rained around them when a 'tornado' hit a hall next to Pembroke School, near Stratford, yesterday. The tornado missed the children as it passed the school but then slammed into adjacent Pembroke Hall, tearing off roofing iron. The children scattered as the debris flew high into the air then fell down on to the school's parking area, the road, adjacent paddocks, and parts of the school property. Conditions were almost dead-calm when the tornado hit. "It was just a nice day and the kids were outside, playing. Then, suddenly, there was a strange noise that sounded a bit like a truck braking, followed by an explosion. I saw all this debris fly maybe 30 metres into the air, and I immediately thought something really bad had happened out on the road." "It was the strangest thing. There was no indication anywhere else that a twister had been through - normally they leave some sort of trail. But it's like this one just popped in, damaged the hall, and disappeared again.

Al Gore Warns Congress of Planetary Emergency

Republican Congressional Critics Refuse to Take Off Blinders

(AP) WASHINGTON Al Gore made an emotional return to Congress Wednesday to plead with lawmakers to fight global warming with moral courage.The former vice president is a Democratic favorite for the presidential nomination even though he says he's not running. Fresh off a triumphant Hollywood appearance in which his climate-change documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," won two Oscars, Gore drew overflow crowds as he testified before House and Senate panels about a "true planetary emergency.


Special Video Presentation: View the Entire Congressional Testimony of Al Gore Here


News Source: The Great Red Comet


Distributed by: Skywatch-Media


Gore to Testify on Global Warming

March 21, 2007
WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Al Gore brings his push for government action on global warming to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, testifying in both the House and Senate.
His appearance comes as lawmakers consider legislation to curb emissions tied to global warming, and less than a month after his documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” won an Academy Award.
Gore has called the need for government action on climate issues “the overriding world challenge of our time.”

News Source: The Great Red Comet



Distributed by Skywatch-Media




Earth News Journal: Week Ending March 16, 2007

Earth News Journal
Week of March 16, 2007
Crazed by Thirst
Australia's worst drought
in a century has driven
thirsty feral camels into at
least one western desert
community, where the animals damaged
toilets, taps and air conditioners
in a frantic search for water. Glen
Edwards of the Desert Knowledge
Cooperative Research Center told
reporters that a wild camel management
plan is urgently needed. He said
the approximately 1 million feral
camels in the region frequently wreck
native species, tear down fences and
invade Aboriginal sites. The drought
has made the animals. aggressive
behavior far worse than normal. Single-
hump camels were introduced
into the Australian outback as pack
animals during the late 19th and early
20th centuries. Edwards said that an
uncontrolled population explosion
since then means a massive camel
cull, or export for slaughter, is needed
to protect human development and
the environment.

Thailand Pall
The Thai government
declared the northernmost
province of Chiang Rai a
disaster zone due to a thick
layer of hazardous smoke from massive
wildfires raging across the north
of the country. Most outdoor activities
were being prohibited, and pregnant
women, the elderly and children
were advised to wear face masks to
protect against the hazardous smoke.
Air transportation to the region has
also been disrupted due to low visibilities.
Severe drought from the
recent El NiƱo has left a large swath
of the Southeast Asian nation parched
with an extremely high fire danger.
The uncontrolled blazes have spread
from fires ignited by local farmers
who were burning off vegetation in
preparation for the upcoming rainy
season.

Volcanoes
Ash from Montserrat.s
Soufriere Hills volcano
spewed high above the eastern
Caribbean, disrupting
air traffic in Puerto Rico and prompting
delays or cancellations by several
airlines. Seismologists on Montserrat
said the volcano.s dome of hardened
lava has swollen to near-record levels,
posing a threat of collapse. Such
an event would send clouds of volcanic
material cascading into populated
areas of the island.
. An attempt to plug an Indonesian
.mud volcano. with concrete
balls appears to have slowed oozing
sludge that has displaced 15,000 people
on Java during the past several
months. Hot mud began bubbling up
last May after exploratory gas drilling
appeared to have punctured a cap
over the geothermal area. The sludge
has since spread over a wide residential
area and threatens to block a key
rail line.

Earthquakes
Several houses on
Indonesia.s North
Maluku island of Halmahera
were wrecked by a
magnitude 5.4 temblor. Two people
were injured by falling debris.
. Six schoolchildren were injured
when two sharp tremors jolted central
Mozambique within two hours.
. Earth movements were also felt
in northeastern Ohio and along the
California-Nevada border.

Video Presentation
Six Fijians drowned in
flash floods that swamped
the western part of the
South Pacific island
chain. A further 13 people escaped
being swept to their deaths by clinging
to a treetop. Flash floods have also
washed away homes and roads, and
caused damage to sugarcane farms.

Tropical Cyclones
The second cyclone to
strike the same area of
northwestern Australia
within three days brought
heavy rainfall and high winds to the
region. Cyclone Jacob moved ashore
between Whim Creek and Port Hedland
with winds of up to 65 mph. Residents
there were still cleaning up
from Cyclone George.s rampage,
which left three people dead and
injured more than 20 others.
. Category 4 Cyclone Indlala
slammed into Madagascar.s northeastern
coast with winds of up to 145
mph. It was the fourth such storm to
strike the Indian Ocean island nation
within as many months.

Spiritual Loophole
Malaysian Buddhist
monks issued a death sentence
for fire ants that
have infested their temple
for years even though they themselves
are prohibited from ending the
earthly lives of any living creature. A
professor volunteered to eradicate the
stinging pests after the monks tried a
variety of non-lethal methods to get
rid of them. Temple devotees in the
country.s northern Penang state even
resorted to using a vacuum cleaner to
suck up all the ants and relocate them,
according to The Star newspaper. But
the poisonous ants soon returned and
have stung temple visitors and some
of the monks. The temple.s chief
monk told the newspaper that the professor
has been given the go-ahead to
destroy the huge ant colony. He
added that while monks were forbidden
to kill anything, outsiders were
free to do so as long as the intention
was to protect other human beings.

Earth News: A Journal of the Planet
Week Ending March 16, 2007
Distributed by: UPS
© 2007-Earth Frenzy Radio

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