Earth Changes
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Snowflake

Northern Hemisphere snow cover this fall the most extensive ever recorded

© Rutgers Global Snow Lab
Fall snow cover extent in the Northern Hemisphere, 1967 to 2014
Data from Rutgers University Global Snow Lab show that Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent exceeded 22 million square kilometers this fall (September, October, and November) exceeding the previous greatest fall extent recorded in 1976.

During November alone, North America had its most extensive snow cover on record, the Lower 48 had its most extensive snow cover on record, and Canada had its second most extensive snow cover on record,

Not unexpectedly, The Washington Post goes to great lengths to explain why snow cover can increase in a warming world.

Thanks to Jason Cragg for this link
Roses

Toddler dies after attack by family dogs in Citrus County, Florida

Deputies responded to the death of a 2-year-old toddler Saturday afternoon from an apparent dog attack, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office said.

The family had three children, four Rottweilers and another small dog. Animal control officers removed all five dogs, said Heather Yates, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

Yates said the Department of Children and Families was notified, as is standard when a child dies and other children are in the home.

"The parents are distraught," Yates said.

No further information was immediately available.

Attention

Farmer trampled to death by elephant herd in India

© Jagdeep Rajput
A farmer, Devappa Naidu (55), of Konganapalle village on Gudupalle mandal of Kuppam constituency and Tamil Nadu border was trampled to death by a herd of elephants in the early hours of Sunday.

As the incident took place just a few meters away from Chittoor district limit, there was confusion among the police and forest personnel on both sides till noon. A boy from the village, who accompanied the farmer last night during vigil at the fields, said Devappa Naidu on hearing some big rustle in the thickets rushed there, mistaking for a raid by boars.

In the morning, villagers found the body of the farmer badly crushed, with footprints of elephants on the wet soil. , The body was shifted to Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu for autopsy.
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake magnitude 6.8 - 116km WSW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea

Panguna Quake_071214
© USGS
Event Time
2014-12-07 01:22:00 UTC
2014-12-07 11:22:00 UTC+10:00 at epicenter

Location
6.537°S 154.455°E depth=10.0km (6.2mi)

Nearby Cities
116km (72mi) WSW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
124km (77mi) WSW of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
342km (213mi) SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
489km (304mi) ESE of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea
685km (426mi) WNW of Honiara, Solomon Islands

Scientific Data
Bizarro Earth

6.0-magnitude earthquake strikes off Indonesian coast

Saumlaki Quake_061214
© USGS
Moscow - A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesian coast of Yamdena Island, the US Geological Survey reports.

The quakes took place at around 10 p.m. GMT, with the epicenter 222 km (138 miles) to the northwest of Saumlaki town, located on Yamdena island. The quake happened at a depth of 117.3 km (72.9 miles).

No damage or injuries have been reported in the area. Indonesia, which comprises thousands of islands, is vulnerable to earthquakes due to its geographical location.

In 2004, a 9.2-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia off the coast of Sumatra Island, triggering powerful tsunami waves which killed at least 220,000 people.

Comment: Within only the last few weeks, in just this one location (off the Indonesian coastline), there have been 6.9 and 7.3 magnitude earthquakes! This phenomena is growing in frequency and intensity.

To understand why this is happening, read Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection. Here's a relevant excerpt:
From 1973 to 1996, earthquake and eruption frequencies were almost stable, increasing only slightly year after year, but from 1996 onwards, an acceleration is noticeable. Volcanic eruptions show an increase from about 59 eruptions per year at the end of the 1990s to roughly 75 eruptions per year in the period 2007 - 2010 (+30%).

Today, the increase in volcanic activity has reached such a level that, by late November 2013, 35 volcanoes were actively erupting , including volcanoes that had been dormant for decades.

It could be argued that the increase in both the frequency and intensity of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is, at least partly, a result of the slowdown and 'opening up' processes:

1) The Earth's minute slowdown exerts mechanical stress on the crust (compression at low latitudes and extension at high latitude). This stress deforms the crust. This deformation is more pronounced and can even lead to partial ruptures around the weakest spots of the crust, i.e. the fault lines (boundaries between tectonic plates) which are the typical location of seismic and volcanic activity.

2) The mantle has a higher density than the crust and therefore has a higher momentum and won't slow down as fast as the crust. The difference in rotation between the crust and the mantle is equal to the crustal slippage. The fluidity of the mantle enables slippage induced by the different momentum carried by the crust, the upper mantle and the core.

This speed difference can cause friction at the interface between the crust and the mantle. This friction can locally deform the crust and cause earthquakes and eruptions.

3) The decrease in the surface - core E-field reduces the binding force and loosens the tectonic plates relative to each other. The plates are then free to move relative to each other. It is this very relative movement (divergence, convergence or sliding) which is one of the main causes for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions:
[Change] in Earth's speed of rotation would induce changes in the magma tide as it adjusted to the new equator or altered rotational speed. Such changes, however, might not be uniform throughout, owing to a 'drag' factor deep in the magma itself, although, overall, they would certainly impose terrible strains on the lithosphere generally.
4) A final factor involved in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is electromagnetism:
Some scientists have become aware of a correlation between sunspots and earthquakes and want to use sunspot data to help predict earthquakes. The theory is that an intensification of the magnetic field can cause changes in the geosphere [i.e. crust]. NASA and the European Geosciences Union have already put their stamp of approval on the sunspot hypothesis, which suggests that certain changes in the Sun-Earth environment affect the magnetic field of the Earth, which can then trigger earthquakes in areas prone to them. It is not clear how such a trigger might work.


Bizarro Earth

Cape Cod turtle deaths confound researchers

Sea turtle
© New England Aquarium
Juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle, with lacerated front flipper and fractured shell, being evaluated at the New England Aquarium's sea turtle hospital in Quincy, Massachusetts.
A mystery is unfolding on the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Hundreds of endangered sea turtles have been washing up on the shore, sick and stunned by the cold ocean water. Biologists and volunteers are mounting an unprecedented rescue response to save as many turtles as possible before it's too late.

Most of the turtles are juvenile Kemp's ridleys (Lepidochelys kempii) measuring less than a foot long. They are being trapped on their southbound fall migration to warmer climes by the arm of the cape, which protrudes into the Atlantic Ocean. Many wash up not only incapacitated by the cold, but also with life-threatening conditions like dehydration, pneumonia, infections, or off-kilter blood chemistry. Their skin is often discolored, and early on many were overgrown with algae.

"They're terrible looking" when they first wash up, says Bob Prescott, director of the conservation group Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, who is coordinating the recovery of stranded turtles from the beaches. Fortunately, they respond well to treatment. His crews of volunteers and staff members have picked up more than 1070 turtles so far, about 20% of them already dead. That's far above the average of 200 turtles that have washed up each fall for the past decade. The number of arrivals has declined, Prescott says, but it is still higher than normal and won't likely reach zero until the end of the year, when the annual cold-stun season comes to a close. With water temperatures dropping, more of the turtles are showing up dead, and bigger species that can withstand the cold longer, like loggerheads (Caretta caretta), are starting to wash up.
Calendar

New study finds California drought worst in 1,200 years

© 2014, Daniel Griffin
Kevin Anchukaitis collects an tree-ring sample from a 300-year old blue oak in California.
The last three years of drought were the most severe that California has experienced in at least 1,200 years, according to a new scientific study published Thursday.

The study provides the state with breathtaking new historical context for its low reservoirs and sinking water tables, even as California celebrated its first good soaking of the season.

Analyzing tree rings that date back to 800 A.D. -- a time when Vikings were marauding Europe and the Chinese were inventing gunpowder -- there is no three-year period when California's rainfall has been as low and its temperatures as hot as they have been from 2012 to 2014, the researchers found.

Kevin Anchukaitis collects an tree-ring sample from a 300-year old blue oak in California. 2014 image by Daniel Griffin.

"We were really surprised. We didn't expect this," said one of the study's authors, Daniel Griffin, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota's department of geography, environment and society.

The report, published in the journal of the American Geophysical Union, was written by researchers at Massachusetts' Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Minnesota.

The scientists measured tree rings from 278 blue oaks in central and southern California. Tree rings show the age of trees, and their width shows how wet each year was because trees grow more during wet years.

The researchers compared the information to a database of other tree ring records from longer-living trees like giant sequoias and bristlecone pines, dating back 1,200 years.

Meanwhile, the rain that California received this week provided a promising start to a winter that water managers say needs to be relentless and drenching to break the drought cycle.

Comment: Read Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection for the science behind the electric universe and the crazy weather we've been having here on the big blue marble.

See also:
SOTT Talk Radio show #70: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?

Bizarro Earth

Strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake shakes Costa Rica and Panama

Panama Quake_061214
© USGS
A map of the quake.
A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake shook Costa Rica and Panama on Saturday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The quake, which occurred at a depth of 36 kilometres, struck around 18 kilometres east of Punta de Burica in Panama, about 258 kilometres southeast of San Jose, Costa Rica.

The quake caused reports of shaking across both countries, with reports of "strong" shaking toward the border region between the two Central American neighbours. The shaking extended to both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of the countries.

The quake came a week after a 5.1-magnitude quake shook the border region between Panama and Colombia.

The extent of any damage or injuries was not yet clear.
Wolf

Dog attacks leap 48% in just 12 months in Wollongong, Australia

Dog attacks in Wollongong have soared a staggering 48 per cent in just 12 months with nearly 50 people and more than 200 animals harmed.

The latest statistics from the NSW Division of Local Government show there were 237 dog attacks in Wollongong from April 2013 to March this year, compared with 160 in the same period a year earlier.

The Wollongong local government area ranks fourth in the state for the number of dog attacks reported, behind Blacktown, Gosford and Newcastle, and also has a higher than average attack rate.
Wolf

Severe dog bites increase sharply in Arizona, study finds

© Michael Schennum/The Republic
Mickey the pit bull mauled a 4-year-old's face Feb. 20.
More Arizonans are being hospitalized for severe dog bites, especially children, a state health department study finds.

Newly released Arizona hospital data show severe dog bites increased dramatically in recent years, especially among children, confirming what until now has been largely anecdotal suspicion.

An Arizona Department of Health Services study released Thursday says that the number of inpatient hospitalizations - meaning the bite was severe enough to warrant at least one overnight stay - increased 139 percent from 2008 to 2012.

Among all dog-bite injuries in the state during that period, the study found about a third were among children younger than 14. Dog-bite cases in Arizona hospitals cost $55million, about a third of which was paid by the taxpayer-funded state Medicaid system.

The study was based on hospital-discharge data.
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