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Earth Happenings Archive
February, 2003

February 2003

Peru Prehistoric Horse Most Complete in Americas
( 2/21)
Peruvian geologists have discovered the most complete horse fossil in the Americas, a reminder that the hoofed mammal existed in the New World long before the Spanish brought horses in the 1500s.

Oil spill pollutes farms, streams in Nigeria's Ogoniland
( 2/21)
A blowout at an abandoned Shell Oil well in southeast Nigeria spewed crude oil, gas, and water hundreds of yards (meters) in the air, polluting farms and streams, activists and company officials said Thursday.

Researchers Will No Longer Be 'Snowed' In Predicting Future Avalanches
( 2/21)
The recent deaths of 14 Canadian skiers in two separate snow avalanches in British Columbia have increased attention on safety issues, but some U.S. scientists are turning their focus elsewhere – to studying the properties of snow stability that could lead to more accurate means of predicting avalanche events.

Water issues will dominate California's agenda this year
( 2/21)
Drought grips much of North America, forcing water agencies in regions as diverse as the Great Plains, the Northeast, and the Rocky Mountains to threaten reduced deliveries to cities and farms. Elsewhere in the world, 31 countries face chronic freshwater shortages, a figure that's expected to grow over the next 25 years.

Death Toll from Suspected Ebola in Congo Nears 60
( 2/18)
A suspected outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has killed nearly 60 people in the northwest of Congo Republic, health officials said on Tuesday. Ebola, which is passed on by infected body fluids, kills 50 to 90 percent of its victims through massive internal bleeding, depending on the strain of the disease.

Scientists drill into core of killer volcano to tap secrets of deadly eruptions
( 2/14)
In what resembles a journey to the center of the Earth, Japanese scientists launched the world's first attempt Thursday to bore a hole into the red-hot core of a volcano and unlock the secrets of deadly eruptions.

NASA Study Shows How Water May Have Flowed On Ancient Mars
( 2/13)
NASA scientists have discovered how an intricate martian network of streams, rivers and lakes may have carried water across Mars. Using new three-dimensional data from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and a powerful state-of-the-art computer code that ‘models’ overland water flow, scientists visualized the complex flow of martian water. These data, acquired by the laser altimeter on board the spacecraft, provided highly accurate, three-dimensional topographic views of Mars.

Greenhouse gases 'at record levels'
( 2/11)
British scientists say greenhouse gases are at the highest background levels ever recorded in the atmosphere. They say stabilising the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) will be harder, because a warming world will trigger feedback mechanisms.

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