Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sub-Humans, Humans, and Human Beings

Earth Changes Evolve Human Consciousness

"When glaciers descended upon Europe and Asia, the proto-humans living there evolved adaptations for colder climates, including short, massive limbs, and huge chests and noses. Neanderthal brains also increased in size, and actually became larger than our own, though their cognitive and linguistic abilities were not as advanced as modern humans."

by Martin LeFevre

New findings and nuanced theories have been coming out recently regarding the clash in Europe between Neanderthals and the first fully modern humans, the Cro Magnons, tens of thousands of years ago. These findings speak of the last great breakthrough in human evolution, highlight the darkest impulses in human nature, and point to the next, urgently required leap in consciousness.

When the Cro Magnons encountered the Neanderthals in Europe over 40,000 years ago, it was a clash between the primal human consciousness, which had existed for hundreds of thousands of years, and modern human consciousness. Undoubtedly there was conflict, just as there has been between groups of Homo sapiens ever since.

After all, throughout history when Homo sapiens encounter unfamiliar groups, they most often were (and still are) perceived as sub-human. Imagine then what an encounter between humans and actual sub-humans must have been like!

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Zimbabwe: Country At Risk of Climate Change Effects

by Sifelani Tsiko

ZIMBABWE is suffering more from the impact of global warming like most other countries in Africa signalling the burden of climate change risks to be felt more by the poor in the near future.
In a paper presented at a three-day regional workshop on Trade and Development, Agro-Biodiversity and Food Security, Ms Mutsa Chasi of the Environmental Management Agency said Zimbabwe is now experiencing an unprecedented series of extreme weather events which have serious implications on food security and the economy as a whole.
She revealed that six warmest years on record for Zimbabwe have occurred since 1987 and that the increased frequency of droughts since 1990... is causing massive drop in crop yields in the country's agricultural sector.

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Thousands flee Chile floods

Four people have died and 5,000 have been forced out of their homes in south central Chile due to flooding. Rivers burst their banks on Thursday as heavy rain fell around the port area of Valparaiso.

Two of the dead lost their lives in landslides, a third was hit by a boulder and the fourth by a falling tree. Roads were impassable after more than 90mm of rain fell in a 24-hour period.

Hundreds of people were displaced into temporary shelters. Others found refuge with neighbouring friends and relatives. There was further flooding in the Maule region south of the capital, Santiago, an important area for agriculture. Here, the Lontue river burst its banks.

Heavy rains are an annual occurrence and frequently cause floods during the autumn.

At least 6 die in Colombia earthquake

BOGOTA -- At least six people, including two children, were killed when a 5.5-magnitude earthquake jolted central Colombia Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
The earthquake occurred in Meta province at 14:21 local time (1921 GMT), and its epicenter was at a depth of 3.9 km, Colombia's seismological administration said.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake's epicenter was at 54 kilometers east-southeast of Bogota at a depth of 10 kilometers.

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Tornadoes tear through Oklahoma

ABC News
Severe weather is sweeping across the US Midwest, spawning devastating tornados.
Emergency officials are currently assessing the damage in north-western Oklahoma where several tornadoes touched down earlier today.
The American National Weather Service says severe storms are likely to hit southern Oklahoma in the coming hours.
Weather forecasters say at least a dozen tornadoes hit the state of Kansas yesterday, destroying numerous homes and injuring several people.
Kansas flower shop owner Bob Kuntz described the scene as a twister touched down near his store.
"When it would hit a farmstead you could see all this debris going in the air and it was like half a mile wide, this tornado. And it had little ones coming down inside of it feeding the way it looked, and it just kept getting bigger."

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Measuring sustainability in a Sicilian eco-village

Note: Emergy analysis (spelled with an “m”) is an environmental accounting method.

There is growing interest amongst both local communities and policy makers in improving the sustainability of local communities. However, developing accurate measures of sustainability has been problematic because a wide range of parameters need to be considered, from energy use through to monetary flows. New research shows that 'emergy' analysis can be applied to evaluate the sustainability of a small rural community.
Emergy analysis can be used to measure all inputs of energy and resources used to develop a given product or process. This includes both current and historical inputs as well as direct and indirect inputs into the product or process. To allow comparison between different types of energy inputs, all energy flows are converted into a single form of energy, such as solar energy.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Early Mars Had Floods, Yellowstone-Like Hot Springs

Ancient Floods and Earth Changes Holds Key to Understanding Mars

Anne Minard for National Geographic News

The formation of an Idaho canyon thousands of years ago has given scientists a clearer picture of how water sculpted the surface of Mars.
The chasm in the western United States has a shape once thought to be characteristic of slower, sustained groundwater flows, but new research suggests that was carved by ancient torrential floods.
Comparable canyons on Mars may share a similarly violent history, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley say.

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Unusual spring weather causes violent tornadoes

"He compared Thursday’s tornado to the 1990 Limon twister, an F3 funnel with winds of 150-200 miles per hour."

By Lisa Coalwell--The Reporter-Herald

“We didn’t see it coming,” meteorologist Don Day Jr. said.
Day spent Thursday afternoon explaining to reporters the forces that created Thursday’s tornadoes.
“We would not have been surprised if there were thunderstorms, or even a tornado, but nothing of this magnitude,” said Day of DayWeather in Cheyenne, Wyo. “This is something you would see in Tornado Alley, not in Northern Colorado.”
According to Day, the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center early Thursday identified northeastern Colorado as having potential severe weather, but maps showed the worst activity to the southeast.
“Northern Colorado was in the ‘slight’ potential zone — which can be pretty severe in itself — right on the edges of the ‘severe’ zone,” Day said. “They thought northwestern Kansas would get the worst of it.”
Although the intensity of the wedge-shaped tornado that devastated Windsor neighborhoods won’t be determined until a National Weather Service team studies the damage over the next few days, Day estimated the Windsor tornado could be an F2 or F3, on a scale from 0 to 5.

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Northern Californians watch homes burn

(CNN) -- A fast-moving wildfire in Northern California's Santa Cruz Mountains has covered 3,000 acres Friday, prompting rescues and evacuations in two counties, officials said.
The fire began before dawn Thursday and has burned at least 12 homes and threatened about 500 homes and 20 businesses, said Chris Morgan of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
No injuries were reported.
The blaze, known as the Summit Fire, was fanned by high winds and fueled by dry brush and trees.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Disaster Earthquake Scenario Unveiled For Southern California

"...the Shakeout Scenario is based on scientists' best predictions of what would actually occur during and after a major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault."

ScienceDaily (May 22, 2008) — Scientists have unveiled a hypothetical Scenario describing how a magnitude 7.8 Southern California earthquake -similar to the recent earthquake in China- would impact the region, causing loss of lives and massive damage to infrastructure, including critical transportation, power, and water systems.
In the Scenario, the earthquake would kill 1800 people, injure 50,000, cause $200 billion in damage, and have long-lasting social and economic consequences. This is the most comprehensive analysis ever of what a major Southern California earthquake would mean, and is the scientific framework for what will be the largest earthquake preparedness drill in California history, scheduled for November 13, 2008.

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Go to report: Shake-Out Scenario by the USGS

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Fiery Extinction

A new theory posits massive oil fires led to the dinos' demise
By Matt Ransford

What exactly killed the dinosaurs? One of the most popular theories holds that the extinction event was driven by an asteroid collision. Evidence for the theory can be found in a thin layer of iridium in what's known as the K-T boundary, a (similarly thin) layer of sediment in the ground which marks where the surface of the Earth was 65 million years ago. Iridium is common in asteroids and not common on Earth. Its presence in the sediment would indicate an impact and release of the material. What happened next is still a matter of debate.
Did the collision kick up a tremendous cloud of dust and debris which ultimately blocked out the sun? Or start a massive forest fire whose CO2 release literally cooked life to death?

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Buddhahood is peak of consciousness

Gautama Buddha is the scientist of both the inner world and of religion; a rare combination. To be religious is simple, to be a scientist is simple — but to synthesise these two polarities is incredible. There are three approaches towards truth: of power, of beauty, and of grandeur. The scientific approach is the search for power. Science has made man very powerful, so much so that man can destroy planet earth. For the first time in the history of consciousness man is capable of committing global suicide, collective suicide. Science is continuously searching for more and more power. This, too, is an approach towards truth, but a partial approach.
Then there are poets, mystics, people with aesthetic sense. They look at truth as beauty as did Jalaludin Rumi, Rabindranath Tagore and others. They create much art, new sources of beauty in the world. The painter, poet, dancer, musician, they also approach truth from a totally different dimension than power. The scientist works with analysis, reason, observation. The poet functions through the heart. He has nothing to do with mind and reason.

Six million children threatened by Ethiopia drought: UN

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — A severe drought in Ethiopia threatens up to six million children, the United Nations children's agency warned on Tuesday.
"Up to six million children under five years of age are living in impoverished, drought-prone districts and require continuation of urgent preventive health and nutrition interventions," UNICEF said in a statement.
The agency added that 126,000 children were already suffering from severe malnutrition and needed urgent therapeutic care.
In addition to some eight million people characterised as "food insecure" and supported by a government programme, aid agencies are warning that over 3.4 million people require food aid in several central and southern regions.

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N.M. Tech team studying lightning at Chilean volcano

SOCORRO, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Tech scientists are in Chile, working to track lightning in an ash plume from the Chaiten volcano, which began erupting May 2 after thousands of years of silence.
"Our business is studying thunderstorms and how they produce lightning," Tech physics professor Paul Krehbiel said. "Volcanoes do the same thing, in essence. We call it a dirty thunderstorm because the plume is full of dirt, rock, ash and other particles."
Tech scientists will study the path of lightning in the plume to gain understanding of how electrical activity is transmitted from the Earth into the atmosphere.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Sky Is Falling

The odds that a potentially devastating space rock will hit Earth this century may be as high as one in 10. So why isn’t NASA trying harder to prevent catastrophe?

by Gregg Easterbrook, from the Atlantic Monthly

Breakthrough ideas have a way of seeming obvious in retro­spect, and about a decade ago, a Columbia University geophysicist named Dallas Abbott had a breakthrough idea. She had been pondering the craters left by comets and asteroids that smashed into Earth. Geologists had counted them and concluded that space strikes are rare events and had occurred mainly during the era of primordial mists. But, Abbott realized, this deduction was based on the number of craters found on land—and because 70 percent of Earth’s surface is water, wouldn’t most space objects hit the sea? So she began searching for underwater craters caused by impacts rather than by other forces, such as volcanoes. What she has found is spine-chilling: evidence that several enormous asteroids or comets have slammed into our planet quite recently, in geologic terms. If Abbott is right, then you may be here today, reading this magazine, only because by sheer chance those objects struck the ocean rather than land.

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New Earth Rising: Hope for a New Global Dream

by Dr. Glen Barry

EARTH MEANDERS

Sufficient and workable individual and social solutions exist for the wide range of ecological, economic, social and personal ills facing the biosphere and humanity; and together they could herald in a new era of global ecological sustainability.
Long predicted Earth crises -- including climate change, water shortages, abject poverty, extreme weather, food shortages, over-population, biological homogenization, energy scarcity, diminished oceans, political instability and endless resource wars -- are unfolding as expected, and are converging into a new global ecological crisis of unprecedented magnitude. The fundamental root cause of this global crisis is that humans are destroying ecosystems necessary for all life.Humanity has met and surpassed ecological limits. Failure to develop and implement profound personal and social change, adequate to respond to global ecosystems in mid-collapse, will have profound negative consequences for vast numbers of global citizens who are unable to meet basic needs including food, water, housing, education and health care. The task of our and all time is to find and implement sufficient solutions for the wide range of ills facing the biosphere and humanity. Ongoing arguments whether personal virtue or social enlightenment are the best strategies to promote are mute as frankly things are dire and we need lots of both.

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Antarctic Ice Bubbles Show CO2, Methane, at 800,000-Year Highs

From the the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica
By Alex Morales

May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Ancient air bubbles trapped in Antarctica's ice have revealed that levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the Earth's atmosphere are at their highest in 800,000 years, two studies in the journal Nature said.
Analysis of a 3.3-kilometer (2.1-mile) ice core extended the existing record of atmospheric greenhouse gases by 150,000 years and showed that concentrations of CO2 and methane fluctuated within bands well below today's levels, Thomas Stocker, a co- author of both papers, said in a phone interview.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Human consciousness, intelligence may suddenly shift

by Steve Hammons

"Natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic activity and powerful storms are also occurring in devastating ways, causing loss of life and human suffering. Global climate change with melting polar ice, rising sea levels, impacts on agriculture, fresh water supplies and other outcomes could also be very damaging... Human consciousness is a key element..."

Many researchers have hypothesized and attempted to prove that human consciousness is undergoing significant change.This alleged change is not just increased intellectual knowledge or even social networking via the internet and other mass media.Rather, people from diverse fields including, but not limited to, various sciences, education, defense and intelligence communities, psychology and spirituality have conducted research about the fundamental nature of individual and group changes in human consciousness.That is, our individual awareness is purported to be increasingly linked with a larger energy or field in terms of quantum physics theories, spiritual concepts and Nature in ways we may not fully understand at this time.

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Mapping the earthquake zone

Nearly 15,000 people have died in the devastating earthquake that hit China's Sichuan province on Monday. Click on the map to find out more about some of the worst-affected places.

Go to Map and Article

Huge study documents changes from climate warming

By Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
A landmark new climate study released today reports that global warming is already changing the life cycles of thousands of animals and plants — as well as hundreds of physical systems — worldwide.
It documents rapid glacier melts in North America, South America and Europe; trees and plants sprouting leaves much earlier in the spring in Europe, Asia and North America; permafrost melting in Asia; and changes in bird migration patterns across Europe, North America and Australia, all in response to rising global temperatures.
While previous studies have looked at single phenomena or smaller areas, this is a new analysis on a continental scale looking at data that had not been previously assembled together in one spot, says lead author Cynthia Rosenzweig, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Huge Earthquake Hits Central China

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has struck the central Chinese province, Sichuan. Initial reports say between 3,000 to 5,000 people are known dead, with official Chinese media predicting the death toll will continue to rise. VOA's Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing.
The large earthquake struck after midday. The epicenter was 90 kilometers from the Sichuan provincial capital, Chengdu.
The Vice-Director of the Sichuan Earthquake Bureau, Deng Changwen, spoke to China Central TV by phone.
He said the large earthquake cut all communication to the disaster area, hampering official attempts to determine the real situation.
In one example, the official Xinhua News Agency says more than 900 students were buried when their high school collapsed in Dujiangyan, about 100 kilometers from the quake's epicenter.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao immediately flew to the affected areas, to oversee disaster relief efforts. He said Chinese government leaders will stand at the front lines of disaster relief work and unite with the people to overcome what he called a "very large disaster."

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Brush fires force home evacuations in Florida

MALABAR, Fla. (AP) — Brush fires forced residents to flee more than 500 homes in central Florida on Sunday and closed a major interstate, authorities said.
A fire in Volusia County has burned between 500 and 600 acres and caused road closures and home evacuations, state Division of Forestry spokesman Timber Weller said.
About 400 homes in the neighborhood near Daytona Beach were under a mandatory evacuation order and 200 more homes were under a voluntary order.
Weller said windy, dry conditions were challenging the fire crews.
"Control is extremely difficult, and there's basically several small subdivisions in the area and fires burning, in some cases, very close to the homes," Weller said.
A fire near Cocoa had burned more than 100 acres and forced evacuations of about 100 to 200 homes, Brevard County Fire and Rescue spokesman Orlando Dominguez said.
Heavy smoke from another fire in the Brevard community of Malabar forced authorities to close part of Interstate 95, the major East Coast corridor.

Storm Drenches Maryland, Closes Roads

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the area were without power Monday after storms downed trees and power lines. Meanwhile, the weather forced a number of school closings and delays.

A flood watch is in effect in many areas until 2 p.m. or later.

11 Insta-Weather Plus chief meteorologist Tom Tasselmyer said just more than 3 inches of rain had fallen at BWI airport by about 7 a.m. Monday.

Baltimore Gas and Electric reported more than 33,000 customers without power at about 9 a.m. About 14,000 of those were in Anne Arundel County. In Calvert County, more than 7,000 people were without power.

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Over 20 dead in Mo., Okla., Ga. after new round of storms

SENECA, Mo. (AP) — Stunned survivors picked through the little that was left of their communities Sunday after tornadoes tore across the Plains and South, killing at least 22 people in three states and leaving behind a trail of destruction and stories of loss.
At least 15 people died in southwestern Missouri. In the fading mining town of Picher, Okla., at least six people were killed, and at least one person died in storms in Georgia.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Civilization's last chance

The planet is nearing a tipping point on climate change, and it gets much worse, fast.

By Bill McKibben

Even for Americans -- who are constitutionally convinced that there will always be a second act, and a third, and a do-over after that, and, if necessary, a little public repentance and forgiveness and a Brand New Start -- even for us, the world looks a little terminal right now.It's not just the economy: We've gone through swoons before. It's that gas at $4 a gallon means we're running out, at least of the cheap stuff that built our sprawling society. It's that when we try to turn corn into gas, it helps send the price of a loaf of bread shooting upward and helps ignite food riots on three continents. It's that everything is so tied together. It's that, all of a sudden, those grim Club of Rome types who, way back in the 1970s, went on and on about the "limits to growth" suddenly seem ... how best to put it, right. All of a sudden it isn't morning in America, it's dusk on planet Earth.

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Eyes in the Sky Track Earth's Changes

Earth-monitoring satellites are being used to track everything from deforestation to the spread of plankton in the Arctic Ocean.

In September 2007 less sea ice covered the Arctic than at any point since the U.S. government began keeping records of its decline. All told, it covered 502,000 square miles (1.3 million square kilometers) less ocean than even the year before—a loss equal to an area the size of California and Montana combined. But what might be bad news for polar bears and other animals dependent on sea ice could be good news for the alga known as phytoplankton.
"Because these plants are photosynthetic, it's not surprising to find that as the amount of sea ice cover declined, the amount of [photosynthesis] increased," says biological oceanographer Kevin Arrigo of Stanford University's School of Earth Sciences, who led an effort to use the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) devices on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites to determine changes in phytoplankton growth.

Go to Slide-Show

Tips for riding out an earthquake

You may have recently received an e-mail from Sen. Barbara Boxer about the probability of an earthquake occurring in California.
The information was complied by the U.S. Geological Survey. Because of new scientific capabilities, the USGS now feels pretty confident in its ability to predict earthquakes. They say there is a 99 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake or larger occurring in California in the next 30 years. Importantly, it also provides clues as to which regions in our state are more likely to experience a major earthquake.
The full report with detailed, four-color maps can be read online at Boxer's Web site, http://www.boxer.senate.gov/.

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Tornadoes kill at least 11 people in Central U.S.

At least 11 people are dead after tornadoes ripped through parts of Oklahoma and Missouri on Saturday, in the latest round of extreme weather to hit the United States.
Officials said six people died in Oklahoma when a twister tore into the state's northeastern town of Picher, and the death toll was expected to climb.
"I know they are going through the rubble, trying to find people missing," Emergency Management spokesperson Michelann Ooten told The Associated Press. "There are numerous injuries."

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Global warming tied to Arctic caribou decline

EDMONTON -- In the summer of 1996, biologist Frank Miller was flying along the coast of Bathurst Island searching for Peary caribou, found only in the High Arctic of Canada, when he spied a dark spot on the sea ice.
Flying in for a look, he could see these animals were not the caribou he was looking for. They were muskoxen. The circle of animals didn't bolt. Miller got the pilot to land a few hundred metres away. Even as he approached on foot, the herd didn't flinch. As he moved closer, it dawned on him -- they were all dead. The animals were frozen stiff and leaning against each other like statues.
"It was one of the most strange and gruesome things I'd ever seen as a biologist," the Edmonton researcher recalls.
"They were probably on their last legs and starving when they headed out across the sea ice searching for better food conditions on another island."

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Is It Better to Eat Locally or Eat Differently?

When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, what you eat may be more important than where that food comes from. A new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology indicates that replacing the calories from red meat and dairy products with calories from chicken, fish or vegetables could have the same impact on greenhouse gas emissions as shifting to an entirely locally-grown diet.
"Eating local" has become an important concept among environmentally conscious communities in recent years. The impact on greenhouse gas emissions of becoming a "locavore," however, may not be as great as proponents had thought. Chris Weber, one of the authors of the report, says, "Despite all the attention given to food miles, the distance that food travels is only around 11 percent of the average American household's food-related greenhouse gas emissions."

Go to NPR broadcast

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Earth's Changing Climate

Surface temperatures on Earth are warming at a pace that signals a decisive shift in the global climate.


Go to Interactive Map

Friday, May 09, 2008

Nasa plans manned mission to asteroid

Nasa is preparing a three-month manned mission to an asteroid that is scheduled to pass close to Earth in 2030.
The space agency has prepared a plan, seen by The Guardian, for a mission to the 1.1 million ton 2000SG344 asteroid.
The asteroid caused concern in 2000 when the chance of it hitting Earth on its next visit in 2030 was raised to 500-1.
"An asteroid will one day be on a collision course with Earth and it makes sense, after going to the moon, to start learning more about them," said Rob Landis, an engineer at Nasa's Johnson Space Centre.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Trouble In Paradise: Global Warming A Greater Danger To Tropical Species

ScienceDaily (May 6, 2008) — Polar bears fighting for survival in the face of a rapid decline of polar ice have made the Arctic a poster child for the negative effects of climate change. But new research shows that species living in the tropics likely face the greatest peril in a warmer world.

A team led by University of Washington scientists has found that while temperature changes will be much more extreme at high latitudes, tropical species have a far greater risk of extinction with warming of just a degree or two. That is because they are used to living within a much smaller temperature range to begin with, and once temperatures get beyond that range many species might not be able to cope.

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State to help coastal communities cope with global warming woes

Could it get worse? Waves pounded the seawall at high tide along Stony Beach Road in the Gun Rock section of Hull during an April 2007 storm.
Globe Staff
State officials say they’re launching a groundbreaking program in which they will assist communities perched on the Massachusetts coast in coping with global warming hazards like rising sea level and stronger and more frequent storms.
The program, StormSmart Coasts, was announced today by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, which billed it as a "nation-leading initiative."
The program will begin with four workshops this month, in Norwell, New Bedford, Barnstable, and Danvers, that will offer information on how communities can protect property and people from coastal storms.

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Magnitude 6.7 earthquake jolts eastern Japan

TOKYO, May 8 (Reuters) - A earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 jolted eastern Japan early on Thursday, and was felt over a wide area, including in Tokyo, Japan's meteorological agency said.The quake, at 1:45 a.m. (1645 GMT, Wednesday), was centred in the Pacific Ocean east of Tokyo.There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage after the quake, which measured 5 on the Japanese scale of 7 in some parts northeast of Tokyo, NHK said.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Chile volcano fires ash 20 miles high

Thousands are ordered to evacuate
BY EDUARDO GALLARDO • ASSOCIATED PRESS

SANTIAGO, Chile -- The long-dormant Chaiten volcano blasted ash 20 miles into the Andean sky Tuesday, forcing thousands of people to evacuate and fouling a huge stretch of South America.

The thick column of ash blew eastward for hundreds of miles to the Atlantic Ocean, and schools and a regional airport had to close. Citizens of Chile and Argentina were advised to wear masks to avoid breathing the fallout.

The 5-day-old eruption of the volcano in southern Chile is the first in at least 9,000 years, according to volcanologists at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

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Aid arriving in cyclone-hit Burma

Foreign aid is beginning to arrive in Burma, devastated by a cyclone that left more than 22,000 people dead.

The country's secretive ruling generals have given a UN aid plane permission to land, while neighbouring India and Thailand have also sent aid flights.
And a Chinese plane carrying 60 tonnes of aid has landed in the main city Rangoon, Chinese state media report.
But complaints remain that the generals are hampering relief efforts by denying access to foreign aid workers.

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Mysterious "Swarm" of Quakes Strikes Oregon Waters

Richard A. Lovettfor National Geographic News

This weekend scientists will take to the water to try to puzzle out the cause of a "swarm" of mysterious earthquakes that has shaken the seafloor near Oregon in recent weeks.
About 600 earthquakes have been recorded in a small region about 190 nautical miles (350 kilometers) offshore from Yachats, said Robert Dziak, a geophysicist with Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Newport, Oregon.

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Northern California Hit by 5.2 Earthquake

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake hit Northern California on Tuesday night but left no reported injuries or any significant damage.

The temblor struck just after 8:00 p.m. near the town of Willow Creek, located in the mountainous region of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

According to some reports the quake was felt as far north as the Oregon border and as far south as San Francisco, 320 miles away.