Mar 17, 2014

Flood damage to triple by end of century: study

The annual cost of damage caused by flooding in Japan is estimated to triple by the end of this century to ¥680 billion due to global warming, a government research team said Monday. A rise in the average annual temperature of between 3.5 and ...

Noisy bulbuls change with the seasons

| Mar 8, 2014

Noisy bulbuls change with the seasons

by Mark Brazil

On cold winter mornings the bulbuls come squawking their full-throated calls as they swoop onto bird-feeders, their white-tipped gray breast feathers appearing frosted by the chill. There, they will eat bread crusts and seeds — or halved mikans given a chance — but in ...

Can waste-made chic save the oceans?

| Feb 22, 2014

Can waste-made chic save the oceans?

by Stephen Hesse

Search online for “Pacific gyre” and you’ll get about 455,000 results in 0.15 seconds. Try “Pacific trash vortex” and you’ll get 474,000. Here’s another: Do a search for “Pacific garbage patch” and, in 0.40 seconds, you’ll have 593,000 hits. If you’ve heard horror stories ...

Feb 17, 2014

New Mexico site leaks radiation

U.S. investigators were taking samples Sunday at a New Mexico underground nuclear waste site where airborne radiation was detected, though authorities stressed they had found no contamination. Officials monitoring the possible radiation leak said there was no danger to people or the environment at ...

Culture and nature vie over ancient hinoki

Feb 15, 2014

Culture and nature vie over ancient hinoki

by Winifred Bird

If you’re looking for a fine piece of wood, you’d be hard put to improve on a slab of hinoki (Hinoki cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa) from the Kiso Valley straddling Nagano and Gifu prefectures. The sparsely populated district is home to the only natural hinoki ...

Weather in Japan: from balmy to barmy

| Feb 8, 2014

Weather in Japan: from balmy to barmy

by Mark Brazil

The division of Japan into distinct climatic zones means that anyone traveling around the country will normally encounter quite predictable demands in terms of clothing requirements; while for those in any one area the local weather forecast will be correct more often than not. ...