Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Science File | EARTHWATCH: A Diary of the Planet

September 18, 1997

The Yellow River, cradle of China's civilization, has run dry in its lower reaches for the first time ever in September. The changing climate in the northern province of Shandong has turned what is usually the wettest period of the year into an extended drought. The growing population has exhausted water supplies. Scientists and engineers are considering some far-fetched methods to feed the river with new sources of water. One scheme would build a huge hydroelectric dam to provide electricity to pump water into the river from Tibetan water systems, nearly 1,500 miles away.

Tropical Storms

Hurricane Erika weakened over the cooler waters of the North Atlantic after skirting islands of the northeast Caribbean.

Winds near the center of super typhoon Oliwa reached 150 mph as the storm passed over parts of the Northern Mariana Islands. Oliwa was expected to weaken before striking the southern islands of Japan by the end of the week.

Hurricane Linda seemd poised to strike Southern California but weakened and drifted out to sea.

Ipanema Heat

The Brazilian resort of Rio de Janeiro experienced its hottest winter day in 75 years with temperatures soaring to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. It was also the hottest weather for any month since 1984. Meteorologists say that weather disruptions caused by El Nino have created a strong dome of high barometric pressure that has kept cold fronts from reaching southeast Brazil.

Earthquakes

Metropolitan Tokyo and other parts of eastern Japan were jolted by a magnitude 5.2 temblor. There were no reports of significant damage or injuries.

Earth movements were also felt in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto, the southern Philippines, southwestern and northern Pakistan, northeast Iran, Greece, southern Mexico, eastern Honduras, the Peruvian Andes and Oklahoma.

Killer Virus Legalized

The New Zealand government bowed to pressure from farmers and approved the release of the rabbit calcivirus disease to eradicate the country's rabbit pest problem.

Some farmers had smuggled the virus into the country from Australia and had been killing the animals with exposed bait for several weeks.

Euro Tree Damage

A quarter of all trees in Europe --and almost half of all oak trees over 60 years--old have suffered extensive damage because of pollution and bad weather. A report by the European Commission made the conclusion after studying 430,000 trees in 29 European countries. The worst-affected region was Central Europe, particularly the Czech Republic, where 72% of trees are significantly damaged.

Additional Sources: U.S. Climate Analysis Center, U.S. Earthquake Information Center and the World Meteorological Organization.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|