Volcano in Philippines Erupts, Killing Tourists
May 7, 2013 08:06 AM - Discovery News via AFP
Three German tourists and their Filipino tour guide were crushed to death when one of the Philippines' most active volcanoes spewed a giant ash cloud and a hail of rocks on Tuesday, authorities said. Up to 20 foreigners and their guides were on the slopes of picturesque Mount Mayon when it erupted without warning, and rescue workers had been dispatched on helicopters to search for survivors, officials and a tour operator said. "It rained like hell with stones," local tour operator Marti Calleja quoted an Austrian woman who survived the ordeal as saying. "The rocks that came crashing down on them were as big as dining (table) sets," he told AFP by phone.
Bright Clouds with Added Pollution
May 6, 2013 04:28 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
University of Manchester scientists, writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, have shown that some natural emissions and man made pollutants can have an unexpected cooling effect on the world’s climate by making clouds brighter. Clouds are made of water droplets, condensed on to tiny particles suspended in the air. When the air is humid enough, the particles swell into larger cloud droplets. It has been known for some decades that the number of these particles and their size control how bright the clouds appear from the top, which affects the the efficiency with which clouds scatter sunlight back into space. A major challenge for climate science is to understand and quantify these effects which have a major impact in polluted regions of the world.
The world's largest 'waste dump' is found in the Pacific Ocean
May 6, 2013 04:20 PM - Darren Llyod, MONGABAY.COM
If you were to travel from the United States of America to Japan, you would most likely encounter what could be described as the world's largest waste dump: a 100,000 tonne expanse of debris floating around a large region of the Pacific Ocean. The total area of this phenomenon has been said to equal the size of continental U.S., but the truth about its true size remains unknown.
Unconventional swine: how invasive pigs are helping preserve biodiversity in the Pantanal
May 6, 2013 12:38 PM - Erica Santana , MONGABAY.COM
Ordinarily, invasive and exotic species are a grave threat to native wildlife: outcompeting local species, introducing parasites and disease, and disturbing local ecological regimes. A unique case in the Brazilian Pantanal, however, has turned the tables; here, an introduced mammal has actually aided the conservation of native wildlife. The impact of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) is a serious threat to biodiversity in many ecosystems around the globe. Their destructive rooting behavior and voracious appetite are often severely damaging to populations of plants and small animals, not to mention they serve as a reservoir for a host of zoonotic diseases. In the Pantanal, however, introduced feral pigs have had a positive impact on wildlife communities and the local culture. The Pantanal region of South America, which extends beyond Brazil into Bolivia and Paraguay, is one of the largest freshwater wetlands on the planet and boasts a diversity of unique wildlife- but this hasn't always been the case.
Gulf Killifish Affected by 2010 Oil Spill
May 6, 2013 09:34 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened over three years ago, but according to scientists, crude oil toxicity still continues to sicken a sentinel Gulf Coast fish species. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, teamed up with researchers from Louisiana and South Carolina to find that Gulf killifish embryos exposed to sediments from oiled locations in 2010 and 2011 show developmental abnormalities, including heart defects, delayed hatching and reduced hatching success.
Ordinary Ballast Water
May 6, 2013 08:32 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Everything we do can affects something else. Globalization, with its ever increasing demand for cargo transport, has inadvertently opened the flood gates for a new, silent invasion. New research has mapped the most detailed forecast to date for importing potentially harmful invasive species with the ballast water of cargo ships. Scientists from the Universities of Bristol, UK, and Oldenburg, Germany, have examined ship traffic data and biological records to assess the risk of future invasions. Their research is published in the latest issue of Ecology Letter.
Summer is coming, be aware of chemical hazards to children
May 6, 2013 06:32 AM - Nationwide Children's Hospital, via EurekAlert
Hydrocarbons, a chemical compound commonly found in household items from cleaning products to gasoline, are among the top 10 causes of pediatric poisoning deaths in the United States. A new study by researchers at the Central Ohio Poison Center and the Center for Injury Research and Policy, both at Nationwide Children's Hospital, found these injuries are most likely to occur during months when the weather is warm and are associated with activities such as mowing lawns, use of Tiki torches and use of lighter fluid for outdoor cooking. According to the study, published online May 6, 2013 and in the June 2013 print issue of Pediatrics, 31 percent of hydrocarbon exposure incidents were reported during the summer with 17 to 19 percent being reported during winter months.
Halley's Comet's Meteors Put on a Show Tonight
May 5, 2013 09:13 AM - Discovery News
A meteor shower made from the dusty leftovers of the famed Halley's Comet will be at its best on Sunday (May 5) and NASA doesn't want you to miss it. The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak Sunday night and NASA scientists will provide live views of the celestial fireworks display in a webcast from the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The webcast and chat will run from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. EDT (0100 to 0700 May 6 GMT), NASA officials said. You can watch the Eta Aquarid webcast live on SPACE.com, courtesy of NASA.
Loggerhead Sea Turtles May Get Protected Habitat
May 4, 2013 07:33 AM - Center for Biological Diversity
Endangered loggerhead sea turtles won a federal commitment to protect critical nesting-beach and ocean habitat in a legal settlement filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court between conservation groups Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana and Turtle Island Restoration Network and the U.S. government. By July 1, 2013, the government must identify and propose protection of loggerhead sea turtle feeding, breeding and migratory habitat in ocean waters in the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific oceans and in the Gulf of Mexico. Final critical habitat protection for marine habitat and nesting beaches must be completed by July 1, 2014. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently proposed critical habitat protection for loggerhead nesting beaches along Atlantic and Gulf coasts and will accept public comment until May 24. Protecting critical habitat for loggerheads is essential for their recovery. Studies show that endangered and threatened species with protected habitat are twice as likely to be recovering as those without.
Carbon Dioxide and Rainfall
May 3, 2013 03:30 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Carbon dioxide is the prime culprit in global warming but how twill that affect other aspects of climate such as rainfall? A NASA-led modeling study is providing new evidence that global warming may increase the risk for extreme rainfall and drought. The study shows for the first time how rising carbon dioxide concentrations could affect the entire range of rainfall types on Earth. Analysis of computer simulations from 14 climate models indicates wet regions of the world, such as the equatorial Pacific Ocean and Asian monsoon regions, will see increases in heavy precipitation because of warming resulting from projected increases in carbon dioxide levels. Arid land areas outside the tropics and many regions with moderate rainfall could become drier.