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. British rower to finally leave on trans-Pacific quest

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by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Aug 11, 2007
After nearly a month of weather-related delays, a British woman will launch her small craft Sunday in a bid to become the first female to cross the Pacific solo in a rowboat.

Roz Savage will head out to sea not from the Golden Gate Bridge as planned, but from Port Saint George in Crescent City, California, 350 miles (560 kilometers) north of the landmark, she told AFP.

In 2006, Savage successfully crossed the Atlantic in her 24-foot (seven meter) craft, The Brocade.

Savage will be chronicling her adventure through her blog by uploading photos, video, and regular dispatches from the open water. She hopes to raise awareness of oceanic debris.

Her 6,700 mile (10,800 kilometer) journey begins with a two to three month voyage to Hawaii, then on to the South Pacific island of Tuvalu with a final destination in Australia.

With the Hawaiian hurricane season fast approaching, she can wait out the weather window no longer, she said. The additional weeks on dry land allowed her to modify her rowing setup, beef up her first aid kit and repair some electrical connections.

"The first hundred miles will be the toughest," she told AFP. "I'll be battling seasickness, fatigue, and it looks like there may be winds blowing from the southwest and showers."

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What We Can Learn From The Biggest Extinction In The History Of Earth
Stanford CA (SPX) Aug 10, 2007
Approximately 250 million years ago, vast numbers of species disappeared from Earth. This mass-extinction event may hold clues to current global carbon cycle changes, according to Jonathan Payne, assistant professor of geological and environmental sciences. Payne, a paleobiologist who joined the Stanford faculty in 2005, studies the Permian-Triassic extinction and the following 4 million years of instability in the global carbon cycle. In the July issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin, Payne presented evidence that a massive, rapid release of carbon may have triggered this extinction.

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