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Mystery over LA earthquake-style cracks in Wrexham road

Great Britain
Image: Local community councillor Brian Stapley next to the cracks

HUGE cracks, which resemble 'Los Angeles after an earthquake' have started appearing on a Wrexham road.

The fissures, up to four inches wide and over 18 inches deep, have started appearing on Queen's Road, between Brymbo and Pentre Broughton.

Local community councillor Brian Stapley says the cause of the problem remains a mystery with local authority officers this week moving in to carry out repair work.

Calif. Wildfires Continue to Rage

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 15 -- Wind-whipped wildfires continued to burn through Southern California on Tuesday after scorching nearly 27,000 acres statewide, claiming two lives and forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.

The worst of the three major blazes is a heavy brush fire speeding along the steep, dry terrain at Browns Canyon, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Sesnon fire, which started Monday, nearly doubled overnight to 10,000 acres, forcing the evacuations of more than 2,000 homes.

Image Above: The Santa Ana winds blow through Southern California between October and February. The dry, strong gales whip through the valleys around San Fernando, California causing huge fires to break out, spread quickly and cause people to evacuate their homes.

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Wichita rain set to break 57-year-old record

WICHITA, Kansas, October 14, 2008 – The Kansas rain is bringing a classic “feast or famine” scenario for most residents. Some haven’t seen this much rain in decades, while others are just trying to stay out of a drought.

Right now, south central Kansas is only 31 hundredths of an inch away from BREAKING A RECORD FOR YEARLY RAINFALL. Wichita is currently at 50.18 inches for the year. The record, set in 1951, was 50.48 inches. “That 57-year-old record we're probably going to beat it now in the next 24 hours and here we are in October still with two full months of the year left.” This rainfall is serving as a double-edged sword for farmers by preventing them from getting in the field and harvesting their fall crops. But it's also very beneficial for a freshly planted wheat crop.

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The Methane Time Bomb

Arctic scientists discover new global warming threat as melting permafrost releases millions of tons of a gas 20 times more damaging than carbon dioxide

The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists.

The Independent has been passed details of preliminary findings suggesting that massive deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats.

Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures, dramatic changes to the climate, and even the mass extinction of species.

Read also: Hundreds More Methane Plumes Discovered

Boise gets earliest snow on record

Idaho, USA
Image: Shawn Raecke/ Idaho Statesman

B
ig snow flakes fell early Friday evening, turning Downtown Boise into a giant snow globe for people on their way home from work. The snow caught many people off guard, including this bicyclist heading down Idaho Street between 8th and 9th around 5:45 p.m. Across the Treasure Valley, tree branches heavy with wet, snow-covered leaves fell on power lines, causing scattered power outages. This is the earliest measurable snowfall in Boise since recordkeeping began in 1898, according to the National Weather Service.

Tropical species also threatened by climate change

WASHINGTON - If you can't stand global warming, get out of the tropics. While the most significant harm from climate change so far has been in the polar regions, tropical plants and animals may face an even greater threat, say scientists who studied conditions in Costa Rica.

Image:
Yosemite Falls stands dry in 2003 in Yosemite National Park, California. Global warming is driving tropical plant and animal species to higher altitudes, potentially leaving lowland rainforest with nothing to take their place, ecologists argue in this week's issue of Science. (AFP/Getty Images/File/David Mcnew)

"Many lowland tropical species could be in trouble," the team of researchers, led by Robert K. Colwell of the University of Connecticut, warns in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

"The tropics, in the popular view, are already hot, so how could global warming harm tropical species? We hope to put this concern on the conservation agenda," Colwell said.

Storms becoming more savage and violent


There is mounting evidence that global warming could be causing hurricanes to increase in both frequency and intensity.

"We are led to the confident conclusion that the recent upsurge in tropical cyclone frequency is due in part to greenhouse warming, and this is most likely the dominant effect," the scientists said.

Heat and drought killing Cyprus’ forests

Cyprus
THE ISLAND’S ongoing drought is killing trees, which are increasingly drying up, threatening serious ecological damages.

The Forestry Department is showing increased concerns about the large number of trees that are drying up. The best hope is that the weather conditions will soon change.

What is noticeable around the island is that all kinds of trees, even those which are considered more resistant to drought conditions, such as pines, cypress and carob trees are withering away and turning brown – an indication of their poor state.

Number of starving hits 925m

GLOBAL numbers afflicted by acute hunger rose from 850 million to 925 million by the start of 2008 because of rising prices, the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said today.

Bizarre weather hits stonefruit growers

New Zealand
Image: CHRISTINE CORNEGE/The Marlborough Express
ASSESSING THE DAMAGE: Marlborough stonefruit grower Murray Neal says the weather has been too cold for good pollination.

Story: Variable weather in September has produced mixed pollination results for stonefruit growers in Marlborough. Recent rain has reduced pollination of apricot, nectarine and peach crops. "We have been growing stone fruit since 1978 and it has to be THE MOST BIZARRE PERIOD OF WEATHER WE HAVE SEEN." The prolonged cold and wet spell is UNUSUAL. "Bees require some warmth and not rain to work." Cherry growers around the district appear to have avoided damage because of their later flowering. Flowering lasted for about three weeks and the bees had about three days to pollinate flowers once they blossomed. Cherry trees were blossoming a little later than last year because of the cold weather. "The problem is that when we have had good days it has been windy."

Heat destroys crops, farmers' hopes

Australia
RECORD TEMPERATURES across Victoria's north last weekend laid waste to the state's wheat crops. Temperatures as high as 34 celsius at Swan Hill, in the state's north, and strong winds, destroyed cropping areas across the Mallee, Wimmera and north-east, ending hopes that farmers could recover from the drought this year. The northern irrigation districts remain on historically low September water allocations of between zero and six per cent. A combination of high temperatures and close to no rainfall has meant that hundreds of farmers have now reached the point of no return. "Low irrigation allocations will make it increasingly difficult for the Victorian horticulture and dairy industries to continue production over the summer months. The chips are down."

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Farmers Say Drought Is Worst They've Seen
Kentucky, USA
The Pulaski County beef producers have never seen anything like the droughts of '07 and '08. “It’s real bad. It's the worst I've ever seen it.” Case in point...normally cattle would have plenty of pasture grass to eat until winter. Now they're munching on hay, that's usually reserved for the winter months. “It means it's going to be a long winter.Could be hard pressed to find hay." A lot of farmers are now going on nearly a month without significant rainfall. There's been only one cutting of hay, not enough to get cattle through the winter. And with the economy in a serious tailspin, some don't know what they're going to do. “Increasing fuel costs, fertilizer, and feed costs. It's changing the way agriculture is.”

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