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Sunspots affect Global climate

Planet Earth

Sunspots appear to have played a major role in the climate changes that have affected the planet for millenia.
From fish stock fluctuations to hot, dry summers or cold, wet summers, climate change has been a very real part of our earth's history.
"Ten thousand years ago, temperatures rose as much as 6C in a decade. Six thousand years ago, it was about 3C warmer than now."

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The following article is by R. Timothy Patterson, professor and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Carleton University.   Financial Post, published June 20, 2007  

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Eagle to Patrol Italian Airport

Wildlife News

The airport operator in the southern Italian port city of Bari has recruited a golden eagle to help keep the runway free of wildlife.

By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Rome

In the past few months there have been several occasions when the control tower has closed the runway because foxes were hunting dangerously close.

But now they have turned to one of the world's prodigious hunters.

The symbol of the mighty Roman legions has become a new standard - in environmental pest control.

At dawn and dusk Bari's airport fields are a rich hunting ground for mice and rabbits.

But now there is a new and rather imposing shadow descending over the airfield, and one that terrifies foxes.

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Annual Poll Shows Eagles Down in the Dumps

Urban Eagle Sightings

Special to The Globe and Mail

January 7, 2008

BRACKENDALE -- The Squamish municipal dump is the favourite vacation spot for wintering bald eagles this season, according to the results of the 2008 Brackendale Eagle Count, which took place yesterday in this eagle-worshipping town, 65 kilometres north of Vancouver.

Sixty volunteer counters who fanned out to 21 sites in the region found just 893 juvenile and mature bald eagles among the cottonwood trees and along the many creeks and rivers, down from 1,757 in 2007. This was the lowest number in the survey since 1991.

Four volunteers found 222 eagles at the dump, compared with just 26 in the same location last year.

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Low Salmon Returns Could Lower Brackendale Eagle Count

Wildlife NewsCBC British Columbia Last Updated: Thursday, January 3, 2008 | 7:02 PM ET

The number of eagles flocking to Brackendale appears to have dropped this winter because of low salmon returns on the Cheakamus River, local bird watchers say.

From late November to February, Brackendale usually teems with eagles that feed on the carcasses of salmon that have finished spawning in the Cheakamus River near Squamish.

For years, bird lovers have also descended on the small town north of Vancouver to witness one of the highest concentrations of bald eagles anywhere.

The sight of the majestic birds is so popular, the local art gallery runs a Bald Eagle Festival that draws hundreds of people every January.

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Birds Back in Nest after Controversial Relocation Effort

Urban Eagle Sightings

From the Record Searchlight On-line:

Reporter Dylan Darling
Published on December 28, 2007

Back in their nest, the Turtle Bay bald eagles won’t be seen on the Internet.

“We feel the risk of installing the nest cam is too high,” said Craig Martz, an environmental scientist with the state Department of Fish and Game.

Although the eagles have shown they’re tolerant and persistent — not minding that their nest is close to the rumble of highway traffic and whirl of hospital helicopters, and determined to stay put despite a plastic cone that was placed over their nest — Martz said officials decided they don’t want to disturb them any more.

The eagles were spotted back home Thursday morning less than a week after the plastic cone was removed by workers on contract with the state Department of Transportation. One of the eagles was in the nest and the other perched on a branch nearby.

The state Department of Transportation had put the cone in the nest late last month in an effort to get the eagles to move away from what will become a construction site in late April. After public outcry and a reluctance by the eagles — which first nested in the cottonwood in 2005 — to leave, the cone came down last Friday.

In the days since, the eagles were seen close to the nest, but not in it until Wednesday.

“I’m glad they are back,” said Tom Balkow, senior environmental planner in Caltrans’ Redding office.

Living across Highway 44 from the nest, Richard Downs said he keeps a close eye on the eagles. He said he first saw them back in the nest Wednesday.

“They are hanging out around that area,” he said.

Like many who curiously followed the eagles and the effort to remove the cone, Downs said he’d hoped that a camera would be put into the nest so scientists — and the public — could see how they would do raising any eaglets this year. The pair successfully raised a single eaglet both in 2006 and last summer.

But a Web camera will have to wait until next year, Martz said.

The window that Caltrans had to install a camera lasted about a week and the logistics of getting a camera that could remotely provide a quality image proved to be challenging, he said.

To put the camera near the nest, contract workers would again have to climb into the cottonwood, Martz said. With workers already in the tree three times over the past month — putting in the cone, removing nest sticks and taking down the cone — the eagles already have put up with a fair amount of disturbance.

Martz said officials don’t want to push it. Balkow agreed.

“The last thing we want to do is chase them away for a camera that may not be that useful this year,” he said.

Martz said any eaglets that would hatch in early to mid-March would be big enough to monitor from the ground by time that construction starts. Work on the Dana to Downtown project, which will include rebuilding the Highway 44 Sacramento River Bridge with pile drivers and cranes, will come about 100 feet from the tree holding the eagle nest.

With all the attention paid to the eagles over the past month, Martz and Balkow said people must think of their safety and the animals’s welfare if they try to see them for themselves. Both said people should not walk along Highway 44 trying to get a glimpse of the birds because of the traffic danger.

They said the best way to view the eagles without disturbing them is by hiking along a trail leading from an access road off Auditorium Drive and peering at them through binoculars.

“We want to keep people away from the tree,” Balkow said.

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