Scientists spot nearby "super-Earth"

Filed in:

Astronomers announced this week they found a water-rich and relatively nearby planet that's similar in size to Earth.

While the planet probably has too thick of an atmosphere and is too hot to support life similar to that found on Earth, the discovery is being heralded as a major breakthrough in humanity's search for life on other planets.

New Orleans goes underwater again

Filed in:

Severe rainfalls Monday night and Tuesday morning helped make this December the wettest calendar month on record in metro New Orleans, according to the National Weather Service - and that means flooding.

35 homes are reported to flooded with flood waters overwhelming a levee in three places.

Precisely 538mm of rain had fallen less than halfway into the month at Louis Armstrong International Airport, said Robert Ricks, the service's lead forecaster. That total is the most to ever fall in a single month in the New Orleans area since 1947, when the service started keeping records at the airport.

Residents flee as Philippines volcano threatens to erupt

Filed in:

Philippines authorities Tuesday started evacuating about 50,000 people living around the island nation's most active volcano after it oozed fiery lava and belched clouds of ash.

A large-scale eruption was forecast as imminent.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level up a notch on Monday night to level 3. Scientist Alex Baloloy told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that under level 3, "a full-blown eruption is expected to take place within weeks to days."

2010 could be the hottest

Filed in:

Global warming will resume its upward climb again next year, the British Met Office predicted at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen - forecasting that 2010 will be the hottest year recorded for the world.

The coming 12 months will be hotter than 1998, currently the hottest year in the 160-year-old instrumental record, Met Office officials said.

Weekend weather quiz

Filed in:

Last weekend's quiz proved a little tough for some but a few people managed impressive scores. This one has a little more of an international flavour.

1/ What is the worlds highest recorded temperature?

2/ Does Sydney have more rain than Auckland in an average year?

3/ What year did Cyclone Bola hit NZ?

Winter storm exits US, Canada - but another is brewing

Filed in:

Freezing temperatures plagued much of the nation Thursday after a major storm moved into Canada, but another storm that will dump more snow in the Sierra Nevada was brewing, forecasters said.

That storm, which is expected to start overnight, should last several days and eventually make its way eastward, like its predecessor, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. The Sierras, straddling California and Nevada, received more than 3 feet of snow in the last few days.

Polar bears' fate worsens

Filed in:

New pictures show that polar bears are beginning to cannibalise each other as global warming destroys hunting grounds.

The images, taken in Hudson Bay, Canada, around 321km north of Churchill, Manitoba, show a male polar bear carrying the bloodied head of a polar bear cub it has killed for food.

Major storm moving east across U.S.

Filed in:

The first major storm of the season pounded the western United States before moving eastward into the Colorado Rockies and beyond, the National Weather Service said Tuesday (United States time).

3 dead as wintry weather hits the United States

Filed in:

Much of the United States was braced for severe winter weather last night, as a major storm hit California while an unrelated first round of wintry conditions snarled commutes in the Midwest.

The storm hitting California was expected to affect weather across the country through Thursday NZT.

Key global climate talks begin in Copenhagen

Filed in:

The drumbeat rousing world leaders to action on climate change is fading out as delegates get down to the business of negotiating a global deal at climate talks in Copenhagen.

Almost 100 heads of state have confirmed they will attend the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties, or COP15, which begins Monday in the Danish capital.