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MISCELLANEOUS
Scientists Search Mexico's Galapagos for Quake, Volcano Clues

Mexico City, 24 Apr (ONA) --- Located in the Pacific Ocean several hundred kilometers from the Mexican coast, the Revillagigedo Islands are known as "Mexico's Galapagos" due to their isolation and biodiversity. This is where scientists headed to find answers to question such as: Could a volcanic eruption off Mexico’s coast unleash a tsunami like the one that devastated Tonga? What really causes tectonic plates to shift and trigger earthquakes?One of the archipelago's volcanos, Barcena, last erupted spectacularly in 1953, and another Evermann, in 1993. Both remain active ...

Study Sheds New Light on Theories of Early Human Arrivals in Americas

Wyoming, US, 21 Apr (ONA) --- A new analysis of archaeological sites in the Americas challenges relatively new theories that the earliest human inhabitants of North America arrived before the migration of people from Asia across the Bering Strait. Conducted by University of Wyoming Professor Todd Surovell and colleagues from UW and five other institutions, the analysis suggests that misinterpretation of archaeological evidence at certain sites in North and South America might be responsible for theories that humans arrived long before 13,000-14,200 years ago.The researchers' ...

Dust Travels Across Oceans: Researchers

Pennsylvania, 21 Apr (ONA) --- The sunset over the Atlantic or an orangey glow in some other areas in Texas may be caused by dust from West Africa, according to researchers who are looking at the paths of particulate matter in the skies over the Sahara Desert and the semi-arid Sahel. Gregory S. Jenkins, Professor of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, Geography and African Studies in Penn State said that their research looked into how much dust is being transported into West Africa in the winter and across the Atlantic in the summer, “In the winter, it is low in the atmosphere ...

Coal Mine Blasts Kill 4 in Poland

Warsaw, 20 Apr (ONA) --- Methane explosions at a coal mine in southern Poland today killed four people and injured 19, local authorities said. Seven others were missing. The blasts took place at about 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) under the surface at the Pniowek mine in Pawlowice. The immediate rescue operation by 13 units of rescuers had to be suspended because of a fire and the need to protect the rescuers. Contact with seven of the rescuers has been lost during the operation, mine authorities said. --- Ends/Khalid ...

Climate Change Fueled Extreme Rainfall During Record 2020 Hurricane Reason

Washington, 20 Apr (ONA) --- Human-induced climate change fueled one of the most active North Atlantic hurricane seasons on record in 2020, according to a study published in the journal Nature.The study analyzed the 2020 season and the impact of human activity on climate change. It found that hourly hurricane rainfall totals were up to 10% higher when compared to hurricanes that took place in the pre-industrial era in 1850, according to a news release from Stony Brook University."The impacts of climate change are actually already here," said Stony Brook's Kevin Reed, who led the ...

Scientists Plan to Send Probe to Uranus for First Time

Washington, 20 Apr (ONA) --- Uranus has been sadly neglected. Probes have visited Mars, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury. The ice giants Uranus and Neptune, in the distant reaches of the Solar System, have not had a single dedicated visitor. In a new report laying out the top priorities for planetary science and astrobiology, a panel of experts from the US National Academies advises that this omission be rectified. For initiation within the next decade, the committee put a Uranus probe at top priority as the next planetary flagship mission. The report is titled Origins, ...

Strong Tides, Vanishing Lakes May Prove Beneficial to Antarctic Ice Shelf

Pennsylvania, 19 Apr (ONA) --- The lakes that form on Antarctica's ice shelves can drive vertical cracks deep within the ice, increasing the chance of ice shelf collapse and sea level rise. However, if meltwater accumulates in certain areas and drains fast enough, it may temporarily stabilize the ice shelf despite increased warming, according to researchers."Antarctica's ice is the largest potential source of sea level rise," said Luke Trusel, assistant professor of geography at Penn State. "A significant percentage of the global population lives along the coastline in many of the ...

Area Covered by Antarctic Sea Ice Falls to Lowest Recorded Level

Guangzhou, 19 Apr (ONA) --- The area covered by sea ice in Antarctica fell to its lowest level in 2022, according to records that began in the late 1970s. The record set this year is the second sharp drop in ice coverage in just five years, Chinese researchers from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and the Laboratory of Southern Marine Science in Zhuhai report in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. They have been investigating ocean currents and weather phenomena behind the melting, but are still faced with mysteries. While ice in the Arctic is rapidly decreasing ...

Search for More Than 60 Missing People After South Africa Floods

Cape Town, 18 Apr (ONA) --- Search operations are continuing for 63 people still missing following the devastating floods that swept through South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province last week.More than 440 people have died.Some of them swept away by swollen rivers and mudslides.The government has declared KwaZulu-Natal a disaster area after officials described the floods as some of the worst to ever hit the province.Nearly 300 schools and some health facilities have also been damaged.Weather experts have said that climate change may be contributing to changing patterns and making such ...

Destructive Wildfires Rage in New Mexico, Colorado

New Mexico, 14 Apr (ONA) --- Firefighters scouted the drought-stricken mountainsides around a New Mexico village in the US as they looked for opportunities to slow a wind-driven wildfire that a day earlier had burned at least 150 homes and other structures while displacing thousands of residents and forcing the evacuation of two schools. Homes were among the structures that had burned, but officials did not have a count of how many were destroyed in the blaze that torched at least 6.4 square miles (16.6 square kilometers) of forest, brush and grass on the east side of the ...

South Africa Floods Kill More Than 250

Cape Town, 13 Apr (ONA) --- The death toll in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal has reached more than 250, after devastating floods wreaked havoc in the area. Local authorities are calling for a state of disaster to be declared, after some areas saw months-worth of rain fall in one day. Local officials have called it one of the worst weather storms in the history of the country. Photos from the area's main city, Durban, show wrecked homes and cars submerged in water. Mudslides have brought traffic to a standstill. Some motorways are so submerged that only the ...

Dutch Horticultural Expo Opens Near Amsterdam

Amsterdam, 13 Apr (ONA) --- Tulips herald the advent of spring — and the Dutch believe they can also highlight ways to fight climate change. Thousands of tulips are in bloom this week to welcome visitors to the opening of the once-in-a-decade Dutch horticultural exhibition called Floriade, which seeks to showcase horticultural innovations that can make urban areas more sustainable and healthier as people around the world increasingly shift to cities. A new university building on the 60-hectare (148-acre) site on the edge of this modern city close to Amsterdam has plants ...

17 Dead in Overloaded Truck Crash in Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia, 13 Apr (ONA) --- An overloaded truck carrying 29 people today hit a cliff and flipped over near a gold mine in Indonesia’s West Papua province, killing 17 people and leaving others injured, police said. Survivors said the truck’s engine apparently lost power while going up a hill and rolled backward before hitting a cliff, killing 13 people instantly. The other 16 were taken to two hospitals, some in critical condition, and four died while in treatment. --- Ends/Khalid ...

Flooding, Landslides Kill at Least 25 People in Philippines

Manila, Philippines, 12 Apr (ONA) --- Heavy rains caused by a summer tropical depression killed at least 25 people in the central and southern Philippines, mostly due to landslides, local officials said. Twenty-two villagers died in landslides in four villages in Baybay city in central Leyte province. At least six other people were reported missing in the landslides and a search was underway. Three other storm-related deaths were reported by the government’s main disaster-response agency in the southern provinces of Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental. Nearly 200 floods were ...

Invasive Fire Ants Take to Australian Flood Waters to Colonise New Areas

Brisbane, Australia, 12 Apr (ONA) --- Invasive fire ants have used recent flooding in Queensland to expand their Australian invasion, teaming up and forming floating rafts with their bodies to allow them to survive for weeks at a time.Eradication officers in Queensland have captured photos of the dangerous ants forming the rafts in flood waters.It’s one of the pest’s most impressive survival tricks. Thousands of ants lock their bodies tightly together, trapping air bubbles in the process to keep them afloat.Colonies can survive for weeks this way, with the multi-layered ...

Cities with Permeable Surfaces Better Able to Mitigate Floods

London, 12 Apr (ONA) --- Soft and full of holes, sponges absorb and retain water. With heavy rainfall and storms predicted to increase due to climate change, cities that are equipped with plenty of permeable surfaces such as parks, trees and lakes that soak up water like sponges, will be better able to mitigate floods.To measure how well urban spaces can manage excess water, Arup, a global architectural firm, surveyed seven major cities at risk of heavy rainfall and severe floods using an artificial intelligence and land use analysis system called Terrain. In March 2022, it published ...

Fossil of Dinosaur Killed in Asteroid Strike Found

Washington, 7 Apr (ONA) --- Scientists working at the Tanis dig site in North Dakota, USA, have discovered an almost perfectly preserved leg from a Thescelosaurus, complete with skin.Those working at the site believe it was killed and entombed on the day of a giant asteroid strike 66 million years ago that brought about the end of the dinosaurs. That impact is believed to have taken place in the Gulf of Mexico, some 2,500 miles away from Tanis, but was still powerful enough to cause a surge of water that buried all those living in what is now the Upper Midwest state."It's ...

Drought Possibly Forced Vikings to Leave Greenland: Study

Washington, 5 Apr (ONA) --- Archaeologists have generally assumed it was the little ice age that put an end to Greenland’s Viking colonies, which had been established in the 10th century.New research suggests another reason that caused them to leave which is a gradual drought. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts noted that the data used to reconstruct conditions at the Norse settlements came from ice cores taken from 1,000 km to the north of the area.They sought to get a better picture of conditions at the actual settlements from samples of nearby lakebed sediments. In the ...

UN Warns Earth ‘Firmly on Track Toward an Unlivable World’

Berlin, 5 Apr (ONA) —- Temperatures on Earth will shoot past a key danger point unless greenhouse gas emissions fall faster than countries have committed, the world’s top body of climate scientists said, warning of the consequences of inaction but also noting hopeful signs of progress.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change revealed “a litany of broken climate promises” by governments and corporations, accusing them of stoking global warming by clinging to harmful fossil fuels.“It is a file of shame, cataloguing the ...

Brown Bear Population in Pyrenees Highest for A Century

Paris, 4 Apr (ONA) --- A scheme to reintroduce brown bears to the Pyrenees; mountain range in Europe, is showing signs of success, with 70 individuals identified in 2021, the highest number for a century.The population has increased from 52 in 2018, according to figures produced by the cross-border group that monitors the bears in France and Spain, with half the creatures living in the Catalan Pyrenean regions of Vall d’Aran, Pallars Sobirà and Alta Ribagorça. Overall, the population is thinly spread over an area of 6,500 sq km.The study identified 34 females, 32 males and four ...

Many Birds Nesting, Laying Eggs Earlier in Chicago

Chicago, 4 Apr (ONA) --- Many species of birds are nesting and laying eggs nearly a month earlier than they did 100 years ago in the Chicago area in Illinois in the US and researchers believe climate change is behind it.Those were among the findings in a new study published in the Journal of Animal Ecology. Researchers compared recent observations with century-old eggs preserved in museum collections."We learned that birds in the Chicago region, at least some species, are nesting as much as 25 days earlier now than they were back in the early 1900s and late 1800s,” said John Bates, ...

Floods, Landslides Kill 14 in Rio de Janeiro

Floods, Landslides Kill 14 in Rio de JaneiroBrasilia, 3 Apr (ONA) --- At least 14 people were killed, including seven children, after days of heavy rains triggered flooding and landslides in the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro.Rain showers led deadly landslides in the region. The volume of rain registered in the last 48 hours was the highest on record in Angra dos Reis, southwest Rio de Janeiro state.More than 22 neighborhoods sustained flooding and 71 families were displaced, the CNN reported. --- Ends/Thuraiya/KH ...

Severe Storms Hit Southern Parts of the US

Arkansas, 31 Mar (ONA) --- Several storms that pack isolated tornadoes and high winds ripped across several southern parts of the US, toppling trees and power lines and leaving homes and businesses damaged as the vast weather front raced across several states. At least two confirmed tornadoes injured several people, damaged homes and businesses and downed power lines in Mississippi and Tennessee after earlier storm damage in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas. Jason Moore, the Madison County Emergency Management Director said that significant damage occurred to a nursing home in ...

US Astronaut Ends Record-long Spaceflight in Russian Capsule

Houston, US, 30 Mar (ONA) --- A NASA astronaut caught a Russian ride back to Earth today after a US record 355 days at the International Space Station, returning with two cosmonauts. Mark Vande Hei landed in a Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan alongside the Russian Space Agency’s Pyotr Dubrov, who also spent the past year in space, and Anton Shkaplerov. Wind blew the capsule onto its side following touchdown, and the trio emerged into the late afternoon sun one by one. Vande Hei, the last one out, grinned and waved as he was carried to a reclining chair out in the open Kazakh ...

Japan Enjoys Cherry Flower Season Despite COVID-19 Worries

Tokyo, 29 Mar (ONA) --- People across Japan are celebrating the peak cherry blossom viewing season one week after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, triggering concerns of a possible virus resurgence. Trees are in full bloom this week in many parts of Japan. The peak in Tokyo was last Sunday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, attracting many people who had avoided participating in the national tradition for two years because of the pandemic. At Chidorigafuchi Park, a famous “hanami” or cherry blossom viewing spot northwest of the Imperial Palace, thousands of ...

Second Black Box Found in China Eastern Plane Crash

Beijing, 27 Mar (ONA) --- The second “black box” from a China Eastern Boeing 737-800 was found today, raising hopes that it might shed light on why the passenger plane nosedived into a remote mountainous area in southern China last week, killing all 132 people on board. Firefighters taking part in the search found the flight data recorder on a mountain slope about 40 meters (130 feet) from the point of impact and 1.5 meters (5 feet) underground, local state media said. Experts confirmed it was the second black box. The impact of the crash created a 20-meter- (65-foot-) deep pit ...

Japan Scrambles to Avoid Tokyo Blackout After Earthquake Tests Grid

Tokyo, 22 Mar (ONA) --- Japan is scrambling to keep the lights on in Tokyo today, as freezing temperatures and power plant outages following a strong earthquake last week put the nation’s capital at risk of blackouts, the Japan Times reported.The situation across the Tokyo area is “extremely tight,” and there could be partial power outages if the supply shortfall continues, according to an official at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, adding that there currently aren’t plans for rolling blackouts.Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said up to 3 million households could ...

More than 1,100 Earthquakes Shake Portugal’s Azores Islands

Lisbon, 22 Mar (ONA) --- About 1,100 small earthquakes have rattled one of Portugal’s mid-Atlantic volcanic islands in under 48 hours, prompting authorities to activate an emergency plan as experts assess a “seismic crisis”. Rui Marques, head of the Azores archipelago’s seismo-volcanic surveillance centre Civisa, said the earthquakes, with a magnitude ranging from 1.9 to 3.3, had been recorded on the island of São Jorge since Saturday afternoon. Most of the earthquakes, which have caused no damage so far, were reported along the island’s volcanic fissure of Manadas, ...

Rare Snake Found in Alabama for Just the Second Time in 60 Years

Montgomery, US, 21 Mar (ONA) --- For only the second time in more than 60 years, the elusive Eastern indigo snake has slithered into Alabama. The discovery of a wild-born Eastern indigo snake marks the success of an intensive program to reintroduce the reptiles to the state. "The snake found yesterday indicates the project is resulting in some thriving and reproducing indigos, just what we wanted!" the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division said. The reptile, which is the largest snake native to the US, used to be found throughout Alabama. But they went extinct ...

Chinese Airliner Crashes with 132 Aboard in Country’s South

Beijing, 21 Mar (ONA) --- A China Eastern Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board crashed in the southern province of Guangxi today, local officials said. The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement the crash occurred near the city of Wuzhou in Teng county. The flight was traveling from Kunming in the western province of Yunnan to the industrial center of Guangzhou along the east coast, it added. There was no immediate word on numbers of dead and injured. The plane was carrying 123 passengers and nine crew members, the CAAC said, correcting earlier ...