According to the Bible, to punish the Egyptian Pharaoh for enslaving the Israelites and refusing to let them leave, God sent down ten plagues on Egypt. "For the Seventh plague, God sent several storms. Thunder and lightening and hail flashed down on the land of Egypt. It was the worst storm in the land of Egypt since it had become a nation." Reports of hail disasters have become more common. Insurance claims for hail damage have doubled every two years. The storms have devastating results for farms and destroy crops. Some attribute the increase in these events to global warming.
Almost sixty years after his first visit to the Great Barrier Reef, David Attenborough embarks on a personal journey of discovery to understand how the Reef was created and meet the animals that call it home.
To punish the Egyptian Pharaoh for enslaving the Israelites and refusing to let them leave, God sent down ten plagues on Egypt. The fourth was the plague of locusts. Hans-Joerg Ferenz of the University of Halle in Germany is researching ways of combating locust plagues and has found, that under certain conditions, solitary locusts develop into swarming locusts.
The ninth Bible plague meant three days of darkness, nowadays commonly believed to have been caused by a sandstorm. Sandstorms have ravaged the face of the earth for millions of years and transformed entire continents. Grains of sand from deserts are often blown huge distances, carrying with them not only fungi and viruses but also pollutants and environmental toxins. Beijing suffers particularly badly from violent sandstorms and the Chinese government has launched an ambitious program of prevention.