4th August - Today's Stories

New El Nino increase drought threat

Is Gaia geo-engineering with jelly-fish to slow climate change? Sounds bizarre and a bit New Agey but in fact it's a valid scientific idea. Basically the concept of the Gaia Hypothesis is that the Global Ecosystem acts in a self-regulatory way to ensure optimum conditions for life. In this case, warmer waters and an increase in oceanic CO2 - potentially harmful in the short term at least due to acidification and the inablity of many spcies to quickly adapt to such sudden changes - results in more jelly fish who then stir the oceans more, moving the CO2 into deeper, colder, water, allowing upper waters to absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere, cooling the planet and preventing at the same time excessive acidification in the upper levels where most life thrives. But it's not something that is easy to prove. These recent jellyfish blooms may be coincidental and may also be more harmful to some life, in the short term at least. Still an interesting idea.

Of course, some would say the proof of the Gaia Hyposthesis will come when Gaia finds a way of getting rid of the plague of nasty, dirty parasites that are causing all the trouble. Or at the least, cutting the human population back to a more sustainable level.

10 people rescued as gales hit Lough Derg

Flood and drought at the same time? Yes, it's possible when the flood is riverine due to rains falling elsewhere. And that seems to be the situation in Bihar, India where flooding is affecting thousands yet at the same time a declaration of drought looks imminent.

Strong earthquake strikes Gulf of California in Mexico

Big Valley Jamborre cancelled after hit with Alberta storm - One person killed, 75 hurt at outdoor music festival - Environment Canada gave as much warning as possible, meteorologists say.

And finally today a typically succinct and downbeat headline from the Daily Mail: Miraculous escape for man who burst into flames after 300,000-volt lightning bolt hit him in the ear

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