Sea of clouds turns central China’s forest park into fairyland

ZHANGJIAJIE CITY, China (CCTV) — A sea of clouds has turned a national forest park in Zhangjiajie of central China’s Hunan Province into a fairyland Wednesday after it cleared up following several days of rains. Pure white clouds floated above the Tianmen Mountain with a gust of breeze. The amazing natural scenery attracted many visitors and shutterbugs to take photos. Zhang Shupeng, a Chinese wingsuit pilot, took such a chance for a test fly from […]

Melting of Greenland glacier to speed up: study

MIAMI, United States (AFP) — The Greenland ice sheet is likely to melt faster in the years to come, despite a recent slowdown, researchers said Wednesday after making a new discovery about the way glaciers move. Greenland contains enough ice to make the sea level mount 23 feet (seven meters) if it were to melt completely. The findings in the journal Science Advances show that ice in Greenland moves more quickly over sediment than hard rock. […]

Giant tortoise that fled Japan zoo found 140 metres away

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — A giant tortoise that made a break from a Japanese zoo has been found safe and sound two weeks after it escaped — just 140 meters from the park. The 35-year-old female, named Abuh and measuring around one meter (three feet) in length, steamed out of the Shibukawa Animal Park in Okayama prefecture in early August having been allowed to walk freely around the zoo during opening hours. Zoo keepers, unable to […]

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015, says study; smoking, pollution, indoor cooking seen as culprits

  Paris, France (AFP) — The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. About 3.2 million people succumbed that year to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), caused mainly by smoking and pollution, while 400,000 people died from asthma. COPD is a group of lung conditions — including emphysema and bronchitis — that make it difficult to breathe. Asthma […]

Lemurs offer vocal clues to human socialization

VIENNA, Austria (Reuters) — Lemurs hum to protect them from predators and increase social cohesion within their troop, according to a Canadian primatologist. Research carried out by Laura Bolt, from University of Toronto Mississauga, could help future studies on how ancient human ancestors socialized with each other. During her five-month stint at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve in southwest Madagascar Bolt studied two specific vocalizations – “moans” and “hmms” produced by male ring-tailed lemurs, the […]

Climate change will cut crop yields: study

MIAMI, United States (AFP) — Climate change will have a negative effect on key crops such as wheat, rice, and maize, according to a major scientific report out Tuesday that reviewed 70 prior studies on global warming and agriculture. Experts analyzed previous research that used a variety of methods, from simulating how crops will react to temperature changes at the global and local scale, to statistical models based on historical weather and yield data, to […]

Sea turtles lay eggs on protected Mexican beach

PLAYA LA ESCOBILLA, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexico’s beautiful Playa La Escobilla was crawling with nesting marine turtles this weekend as they emerge from the sea to lay their eggs on the sandy beaches in their annual migration during the months of August and September. Members of the Olive Ridley Turtle Sanctuary Cooperative on La Escobilla beach, in the town of Santa Maria Tonameca, battle for turtle conservation in the Pacific Ocean to protect populations that […]

Planet marks new highs for heat, pollutants, sea level in 2016: report

by Jean-Louis Santini with Kerry Sheridan in Miami Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The Earth set a series of dire records in 2016, including hottest year in modern times, highest sea level and most heat-trapping gases ever emitted, a global climate report said Thursday. A range of key climate and weather indicators show the planet is growing increasingly warm, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down, said the annual State […]

Nine penguins waddle back to sea after rehabilitation

SAN CLEMENTE DEL TUYU, Argentina (Reuters) — Nine Magellanic penguins were returned to sea on Tuesday (August 08) in San Clemente del Tuyu, Argentina, after recovering from malnutrition at the Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of the Mundo Marino Foundation in Argentina. The Magellanic penguin inhabits the waters off of Argentina and Chile. In the Southern Hemisphere’s winter they can even be found as far north as Uruguay and the southern coast of Brazil. Since this […]

Australian teen recovering in hospital after being severely bitten by marine creatures

MELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) — Australian teen Sam Kanizay is recovering in hospital after being severely bitten by marine creatures on Saturday (August 5). The 16-year-old was icing his feet in the waters at Melbourne’s Dendy Street beach after a rugby match when he was attacked by what experts believe to be amphipods, a type of sea scavenging crustacean, commonly known as sea lice. When his legs wouldn’t stop bleeding, Sam’s parents took him to hospital […]

Government report sees drastic climate change impact in US: NYT

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Average United States temperatures have risen dramatically and fast, with recent decades the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a draft federal government report cited by The New York Times on Tuesday. “Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now,” said the report by 13 federal agencies not yet released or approved by President Donald Trump’s administration. The report “directly contradicts claims by President Trump and […]

Second lunar eclipse of year above Madrid

MADRID, Spain (Reuters) — The second lunar eclipse of the year was seen around Madrid’s “Four Towers” skyscrapers on Monday (August 7) evening at the moment the moon rose and the sun set. Due to the eclipse the moon acquired a reddish brown color that lasted two hours and slowly receded afterwards. The effect is generated when the sun, earth and moon become aligned and the moon crosses the shadow projected by the earth which […]