Greenie roundup


40 hectares (100 acres) for private use and 1000 hectares for a park is still "too much" private use!

Green groups are furious the [Victorian] State Government will pay for a new 1000ha conservation park on the Mornington Peninsula by allowing development on an adjacent 40ha. The Government hopes to pay for the restoration of the Devilbend Reservoir park with up to $2 million raised by allowing rural housing, farming or commercial development on 40ha across the road. While welcoming the new park, Protectors of Public Lands Victoria secretary Julianne Bell warned: "If you introduce housing there you could very well kill the thing you are trying to preserve."



Get those Martians to stop using fossil fuels! Whoops! There are no Martians.

Larege areas of the Red Planet were once turned white by heavy snowfalls that were common on Mars several million years ago, scientists say. A new model of the ancient Martian climate has revealed that the glacial deposits of the planet's tropics were laid down by snow carried to equatorial regions by monsoon winds. The findings, published today in Science, resolve the mystery about the source of the rocks and debris at the foot of Mars's tropical mountains and volcanoes spotted by Nasa's Viking mission in 1976. A team led by James Head, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, has now established that the deposits are the remains of large glaciers that formed a few million years ago. "What we found was that the glaciers were formed from snow brought from the polar regions," Dr Head said.

At that time, Mars's axis was tilted so that its ice caps were pointed more towards the Sun than they are today. Solar energy hit the ice head on, evaporating large quantities of water, and monsoon-like winds carried the water vapour south. On the slopes of huge volcanoes, the vapour cooled, condensed and fell as snow. It turned to ice, forming glaciers that carried huge boulders down the mountainsides. That debris is what can be seen today. The researchers used a climate model that assumed the 45-degree tilt of Mars millions of years ago. "The findings are important because they tell us that Mars has experienced big climate changes," Dr Head said.



It's that global warming, I tell you!

Record low temperatures were felt in western Siberia over the weekend, with temperatures in the Tomsk region reported at minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit and lower. "This morning people felt Arctic weather," a local meteorologist told the Interfax news agency Friday. A state of emergency was declared in the Tomsk region, where at least one man died because of the cold and hospitals treated dozens of people daily for cold-related health problems, while public transportation and electricity supplies were disrupted, The Moscow Times reported Monday. In the Novosibirsk region, temperatures fell to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit -- the lowest in 100 years. In the city of Krasnoyarsk, celebrations for the Russian holiday known as Old New Year's Eve were canceled Friday after temperatures were also predicted to fall to minus 40. In the Komi-Permyatsky autonomous district, where temperatures were as low as minus 49 Fahrenheit, 85 people -- mostly preschoolers -- were evacuated from a settlement after a heating system serving 600 residents failed, Interfax reported Saturday. There was some good news, however: Scientists in the Tyumen region said the thousands of school closures across Siberia would reduce the spread of an expected flu epidemic among schoolchildren.


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