Archive for August, 2006

Antarctic Snowfall Not Curbing Sea Level Rise, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 11, 2006   View Article

Snowfall amounts in Antarctica have not increased for the past 50 years, according to a new study.

The finding suggests that Antarctica’s snowfall is not slowing the sea level rise caused by global warming, as most climate models predict.

It also supports a theory that the icy continent is mostly isolated from the rest of the world’s climate system.

Greenland Ice Sheet Is Melting Faster, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 10, 2006   View Article

The Greenland ice sheet is melting three times faster today than it was five years ago, according to a new study.

The finding adds to evidence of increased global warming in recent years and indicates that melting polar ice sheets are pushing sea levels higher, the authors report.

Tropical Wrens Sing Complex Tunes, Researchers Find

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 8, 2006   View Article

Plain-tailed wrens sing what is perhaps the most complex and coordinated birdsong known, researchers have discovered. But you might not realize it just by listening.

“It sounds rather boring, truth be told,” said Peter Slater, a biologist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

“It’s only when you realize that it’s several birds singing in a perfectly synchronized form that it becomes impressive.

“At a distance you wouldn’t know it was more than one bird.”

Longest Animal Migration Measured, Bird Flies 40,000 Miles a Year

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 8, 2006   View Article

Sooty shearwaters migrate nearly 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) a year, flying from New Zealand to the North Pacific Ocean every summer in search of food, according to a new study.

The extensive summer trek is the longest animal migration ever recorded electronically.

“Critical Habitat” for Orcas Leaves Pockets of Vulnerability, Critics Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 7, 2006   View Article

This June a U.S. federal agency proposed that a vast swath of Washington State’s Puget Sound region be granted federal protections to ensure the survival of an iconic killer whale population.

But area residents Tom and Margo Wyckoff, retired healthcare workers, were shocked to learn that Hood Canal, a barb-shaped fjord that slices a narrow path into the Olympic Peninsula, was excluded from the ruling.

African Elephants Avoid Hills, Satellite Tracking Shows

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 3, 2006   View Article

African savannah elephants avoid traipsing up hills, even if the hills have an abundance of food, according to a study that tracked the animals’ movements over several years.

Scientists believe climbing hills costs elephants too much energy.

The finding suggests that conservationists must consider topography as they develop plans to protect elephants, said Fritz Vollrath, a zoologist at England’s University of Oxford.

Hurricane Secrets May Be Revealed by African Thunderstorms

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 3, 2006   View Article

African thunderstorms may hold the key to figuring out why hurricanes form, scientists say.

Seven to ten times a month, a cluster of storms rolls off Africa’s west coast and wends its way over the Atlantic Ocean toward the United States.

Scientists are watching these clusters very closely.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach