Earth Changes

Solar Flares

Massive out of control wildfires force evacuation of 30,000 in California

Wildfires in California
© RIA Novosti
More than 20 structures, including several homes, burned to the ground and thousands of people were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday, as a wind-lashed wildfire roared out of control in the heart of a Southern California coastal community.

The fire, which erupted shortly before 11 a.m. in Carlsbad, some 25 miles north of San Diego, quickly became the most pressing battle for crews fighting flames across the region amid soaring temperatures and hot Santa Ana winds.

"The safety and security of the community is our top priority, and all available resources are being deployed," the city of Carlsbad said in a statement on its website that confirmed the destruction of at least two structures.

City officials told reporters at an afternoon news conference that more than 20 structures had been destroyed, at least three of them homes.

Comment: Wildfires have been in rapid increase the last few years and appearing seemingly at all times of year. Could there be an electrical dimension to it of cosmic origin?

Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.1 - 99km SSE of Ifalik, Micronesia

Ifalik Quake_140514
Event Time
2014-05-14 20:56:13 UTC
2014-05-15 06:56:13 UTC+10:00 at epicenter
6.458°N 144.877°E depth=10.6km (6.6mi)

Nearby Cities
99km (62mi) SSE of Ifalik, Micronesia
760km (472mi) W of Weno, Micronesia
773km (480mi) S of Mangilao Village, Guam
777km (483mi) S of Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon Village, Guam
776km (482mi) S of Hagatna, Guam

Technical Details

Forget global warming and melting polar caps - groundwater extraction is causing cities to sink beneath sea level

© Wikimedia
There is a story in the Daily Mail cited by the GWPF which talks about subsidence due to groundwater extraction. For example, North Jakarta Indonesia has sunk four meters in the last 35 years, with other parts of the city also affected, and the impact of subsidence combined with heavy rain and high tides can be seen in the photo at right.

The gist of the study is that in some cities, subsidence is now exceeding sea level rise.

It is something to think about and cite the next time there is an alarming story about sea level "inundating" some city with a coastal flood.

Here are some excerpts and an abstract:
Eye 2

Eleven year old boy killed by crocodile in Papua New Guinea

© Alamy
A crocodile tail: 75 crocodile attacks have been recorded in Papua New Guinea since 1958.
Animal attacked Melas Mero as he was fishing with his parents at the Siloura river, in Gulf province

The limbs of an 11-year-old boy have been found inside a huge crocodile and his head discovered nearby, after he was attacked in Papua New Guinea.

The four-metre (13ft) creature grabbed the boy, Melas Mero, as he was fishing with his parents last Thursday at the Siloura river in Gulf province, in the south of the Pacific nation, police commander Lincoln Gerari told PNG's National newspaper.

The CrocBite database said a man, whose age was not given, was killed on 1 January by a saltwater crocodile at Rawa Bay, in North Bougainville.

Seventy-five crocodile attacks, of which 65 were fatal, have been recorded in PNG by the database since 1958.

Gerari said that police found two hands, two legs and a hip bone inside the crocodile after they tracked it down and killed it. The head was found later, and taken to a morgue.

The attack is the second to take place in PNG this year, according to a global database managed by researchers at Australia's Charles Darwin University.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Cloud Precipitation

Groundwater depletion in California's Central Valley causes mountain rise

water depletion mountains rise
GPS station P311 in the eastern Sierra Nevada of California, administered by the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory. Modest, contemporary vertical uplift of this and other GPS stations in the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges across central California is attributed to human-caused groundwater depletion in the adjacent San Joaquin Valley.
Winter rains and summer groundwater pumping in California's Central Valley make the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges sink and rise by a few millimeters each year, creating stress on the state's earthquake faults that could increase the risk of a quake.

Gradual depletion of the Central Valley aquifer because of groundwater pumping also raises these mountain ranges by a similar amount each year - about the thickness of a dime - with a cumulative rise over the past 150 years of up to 15 centimeters (6 inches), according to calculations by a team of geophysicists.

While the seasonal changes in the Central Valley aquifer have not yet been firmly associated with any earthquakes, studies have shown that similar levels of periodic stress, such as that caused by the motions of the moon and sun, increase the number of microquakes on the San Andreas Fault, which runs parallel to the mountain ranges. If these subtle seasonal load changes are capable of influencing the occurrence of microquakes, it is possible that they can sometimes also trigger a larger event, said Roland Bürgmann, UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science at UC Berkeley.

"The stress is very small, much less than you need to build up stress on a fault toward an earthquake, but in some circumstances such small stress changes can be the straw that broke the camel's back; it could just give that extra push to get a fault to fail," Bürgmann said.

Bürgmann is a coauthor of a report published online this week by the journal Nature. The study, based on detailed global positioning satellite (GPS) measurements from California and Nevada between 2007 and 2010, was led by former UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellows Colin Amos, now at Western Washington University, and Pascal Audet, now of the University of Ottawa. The detailed GPS analysis was performed by William C. Hammond and Geoffrey Blewitt of the University of Nevada, Reno.
Eye 2

Texas woman finds 12ft African python in her bathroom

Veronica Rodriguez got a shock in her Texas home earlier this month when she found a 12ft African python slithering around her bathroom
A Texas homeowner got a shock when she walked into the bathroom of her College Station home to find a 12ft python wrapped around her toilet bowl.

Veronica Rodriguez, 50, discovered the huge African python slithering across the bathroom floor earlier this month.

It is believed that the python got in through the back door to Ms Rodriguez's home, which she shares her teenage daughter Kelsie.


650 emaciated sea lion pups wash up on the California coast over last 2 months

© Pacific Marine Mammal Center
Sea Lions in rehab.
Another 650 sea lion pups have washed up on the shores of California between San Diego and Ventura County in the last two months, emaciated and dehydrated, continuing a pattern of devastation from early last year.

A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) all but eliminates disease as a cause of the problem that saw another 1,600 pups stranded on beaches between January and April last year. While it does not settle on a single culprit, the report points a long finger at the decline of sardines in the region, a primary source of nourishment for sea lions.

"Current data show changes in availability of sea lion prey in Southern California waters was likely a contributor to the UME, the exact mechanism is still under investigation," the report concluded. In other words, the NOAA doesn't know precisely why the sardines are harder to find. Could be climate change, or ocean pollution, natural selection, or disease taking advantage of sea lions' weakened state.

San Diego County fire prompts thousands of home evacuations

© Reuters / Sandy Huffaker
A bush is fully engulfed at the Ranch Fire near San Diego, California May 13, 2014.
A rapidly-moving brush fire, agitated by dry conditions and high winds, led San Diego County in Southern California to order the evacuation of 5,000 homes on Tuesday.

The fire, located southwest of Rancho Bernardo, was sparked around 11:00 a.m. local time, according to NBC 7 news.

Tens of thousands of fish wash up on the east coast of Tasmania

Authorities are investigating how tens of thousands of fish washed up along the East Coast during the past week.

Species include leatherjackets, flathead, salmon and one broadbill swordfish.

Break O'Day councillor John McGiveron, Tasmanian Game Fishing Association president, said the fish, some still alive, had washed up along the coast from Seymour to the top end of the Bay of Fires.

But he said the issue might be more widespread because fish might be washing up in unpopulated areas.

Cr McGiveron said many of the fish were juveniles and the problem might have serious implications.

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment is investigating.

Many migratory birds close to extinction in Britain


(Left to right) Nightingale, cuckoo and turtle dove numbers are all in decline
Experts issue warning on World Migratory Bird Day about decline of species such as the turtle dove, cuckoo and nightingale

Many common migratory birds face extinction in Britain unless ministers and farmers help tackle a conservation crisis, ornithologists have warned.

They said a lack of food and nesting sites was contributing to dramatically lower numbers of species including the turtle dove, cuckoo and nightingale.

A UN official warned birds were struggling to find sustenance for long migrations, particularly because of industrialisation and dry weather in Africa. Other species are being illegally shot over countries including Malta.

Experts want ministers to encourage farmers to make more provision for birds to feed and breed on their land, and to urge foreign leaders to protect species migrating through their countries.

The warnings coincide with World Migratory Bird Day, a UN scheme to raise awareness about the vulnerability of species that embark on long journeys each year between breeding and wintering grounds.