The Calbuco volcano erupts near Puerto Varas, Chile, Thursday, April 23, 2015. The volcano erupted Wednesday for the first time in more than 42 years, billowing a huge ash cloud over a sparsely populated, mountainous area in southern Chile, and is considered one of the top three most potentially dangerous among Chile’s 90 active volcanos. (Photo by David Cortes Serey/AP Photo/Agencia Uno)
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Europe has been hit hard by extreme cold and snow, causing power outages, frozen water pipes and the widespread closure of schools, nurseries, airports, bus routes and tourist attractions.
A buoy layer makes its way through sheets of floating ice on the river Oder at the German-Polish border near Hohenwutzen, eastern Germany. The German part of the river had to be closed for traffic on January 31. (Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/dapd) Continue reading »
A massive algae bloom on the waters of Lake Erie in the U.S. is believed to pose a significant threat to aquatic life forms in the lake. The algae, which is toxic, is sucking the oxygen out of the water. According to reports, this is the worst bloom since the early 1960s. Scientists have also revealed that the bloom is caused, primarily, by the phosphorous from agricultural waste that is washed into rivers.
According to NASA Earth Observatory, such blooms were common in the lake’s shallow western basin in the 1950s and 60s. Phosphorus from farms, sewage, and industry fertilized the waters so that huge algae blooms developed year after year.
However, the condition improved in the 1970s when regulations were imposed on agricultural and sewage treatment procedures to limit the amount of phosphorus released. However, this year, a giant bloom has spread across the western basin once again. The particular reasons for the bloom are complex but may be related to a rainy spring and invasive mussels. Continue reading »
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