Earth Changes
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Sun

Drought causes 'irreversible damage' in California; collapsing aquifer sinking the land

© USGS
A pole is marked with the land levels in Mendota, California, showing the drastic sinking of the land for nearly a century.
Walk into any grocery store in America and there's a good chance the fresh produce you see there was grown in California. Up to half of the nation's fruit, nuts and vegetables are grown in the Central Valley, one of the planet's most fertile growing regions, between Los Angeles and Sacramento.

Now, for the first time this century, the entire state is in severe to exceptional drought.

"It's really depressing for us to leave ground out. We're still paying taxes and payments on everything that's non-production," said Gene Errotabere, whose family has farmed the valley since the late 1920s. "I mean, it's this whole valley. It's just a breadbasket of our whole country here, and to see this much ground being fallowed is not something I like to see."
Bizarro Earth

Small lava-eruption detected under Dyngju­jök­ull glacier, near Bárðarbunga

Bárðarbunga
© mbl.is/Á​rni Sæ­berg
Bárðarbunga
A small lava-erupti­on has been detected und­er the Dyngju­jök­ull glacier. Dyngju­jök­ull is a part Vatna­jök­ull, not far from Bárðarbunga.

The Icelandic Co­ast Guard airpla­ne TF-SIF is flying over the area with representati­ves from the Civil Protecti­on and experts from the Icelandic Met Offic and the Institu­te of Earth Sciences. Data from the equip­ment on bo­ard is expected later today.

Data from radars and webca­meras are being recei­ved, show­ing no signs of changes at the surface.

The estima­te is that 150-400 meters of ice is abo­ve the area.

The aviati­on col­or code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red.

Comment: See: Icelandic Bárðarbunga volcanic eruption begins

Snowflake

Bardarbunga eruption could trigger Britain's coldest winter ever this year

Britain could freeze in years of super-cold winters and miserable summers if the Bardarbunga volcano erupts, experts have warned
© AP
Depending on the force of the explosion, minute particles thrust beyond the earth's atmosphere can trigger decades of chaotic weather patterns.

Tiny pieces of debris act as billions of shields reflecting the sun's light away from earth meaning winter temperatures could plunge lower than ever before while summer will be devoid of sunshine.The first effect could be a bitterly cold winter to arrive in weeks with thermometers plunging into minus figures and not rising long before next summer.

The Icelandic Met Office has this week warned of "strong indications of ongoing magma movement" around the volcano prompting them to raise the aviation warning to orange, the second highest and sparking fears the crater could blow at any moment.The region has also this week been hit by a magnitude-four earthquake - the strongest for almost 20 years, officials said.The British Met Office said the effects of an explosion on Britain's weather depends on the wind direction in the upper atmosphere. Spokeswoman Laura Young said: "If the upper winds are north-westerly it will have an effect on our weather."If the upper winds are westerly then it won't."

Comment: Gigantic Icelandic Volcano Could Plunge Europe Into Immediate Ice Age...

Question

Rare sei whale seen off Cornwall's coast in Penzance, UK


Sei whale photo courtesy of Hannah at Marine Discovery.
A rare whale has been spotted off the coast of Penzance.

Experts believe these photographs show a sei whale - the creatures rarely visit water around the UK.

Sei whales are the third largest rorqual after the blue whale and fin whale.

These photographs were taken by Penzance-based marine wildlife tour company Marine Discovery.

Comment: See also: Rare 45-foot sei whale dies in Virginia river

Is there any connection to this?
Hundreds of methane plumes erupting along U.S. Atlantic coast

Bizarro Earth

Hundreds of methane plumes erupting along U.S. Atlantic coast

Methane bubbles
© NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program/2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition
Methane bubbles rising from the seafloor 1,400 feet (425 m) below the surface offshore of Virginia.
In an unexpected discovery, hundreds of gas plumes bubbling up from the seafloor were spotted during a sweeping survey of the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

Even though ocean explorers have yet to test the gas, the bubbles are almost certainly methane, researchers report today (Aug. 24) in the journal Nature Geoscience.

"We don't know of any explanation that fits as well as methane," said lead study author Adam Skarke, a geologist at Mississippi State University in Mississippi State.

Comment: See also: Rare sei whale seen off Cornwall's coast in Penzance, UK

Rare 45-foot sei whale dies in Virginia river

Any connection?

Attention

Rare 45-foot sei whale dies in Virginia river


A 40-foot whale that had been swimming around in a river died Thursday afternoon. A necropsy will be performed on the animal to find out just what caused its death
A rare whale that entered the Elizabeth River in Virginia earlier this week has died.

Joan Barns of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center says the whale died on Thursday. A necropsy is planned, including tissue and blood samples for further study.

The 35- to 45-foot sei whale was first spotted Monday in the river's Southern Branch near the Jordan Bridge and Paradise Creek.

Marine experts said the whale been acting strangely and may have been ill or disoriented. Boaters had reported that the whale appeared to be swimming without a clear direction.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says sei whales are usually seen in deeper waters of oceanic areas far from the coastline.


Source: The Associated Press

Comment: See also: Rare sei whale seen off Cornwall's coast in Penzance, UK

Is there any connection to this?
Hundreds of methane plumes erupting along U.S. Atlantic coast

Map

6.0 magnitude earthquake shakes San Francisco Bay Area

bay area earthquake
© Lyall Davenport/Associated Press
A damaged building in Napa, California, after an earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 was reported early Sunday in California's northern San Francisco Bay Area.

Leslie Gordon of the United States Geological Survey said the tremor struck about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, about 10 miles northwest of American Canyon, which is about six miles southwest of Napa. The agency said it was the largest tremor to shake the Bay Area since the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta quake in 1989.

The agency said there was a "low likelihood for casualties," but issued an "orange alert" for possible damage, a rating that means "significant damage is likely and the disaster is potentially widespread."

Comment: Here's a map of the global seismic activity from just the beginning of August till today:



Ice Cube

Climber finds spectacular 120-metre glacial tunnel in Scotland in summer

© Gordon Jack/scotimage.com
The heavy winter snow and north facing aspect of the gully has created this spectacular natural phenomena in the middle of summer.
A climber stumbled across a 120-metre snow tunnel on the east side of the Drummochter Pass that has miraculously survived the summer due to its hidden position.

A hillwalker discovered an 120-metre glacial snow tunnel when he went for a summer climb on a Scots mountain.

Les Smith came across the incredible sight in a gully on Carn na Caim - the most northerly of the two Munros on the east side of the Drumochter Pass in the Highlands.

The 69-year-old, from Linlithgow, West Lothian, said: "The tunnel stays in shadow for most of the day and rarely sees the sun. Because of that, the snow is still several metres deep in places and below it, the stream has run through to create this spectacular tunnel. It's like a mini glacier.

"I climbed down to the mouth of the tunnel. With the correct gear you could probably climb the glacier from within."

© Gordon Jack/scotimage.com
The small patch of snow can be seen in the top left of the picture above Dalwhinnie Distillery.
Cloud Precipitation

Summer hailstorm and cold temperatures produces wintry scene in Belton, UK

© Lesley Chalmers
A covering of hail at Belton, Norfolk.
Hail is not unusual during a British summer as it's produced in the towering thunderstorm clouds that often build up during the season. However it can quickly turn a summer scene into a wintry wonderland.

That's what happened in Belton near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk on Saturday 23 August 2014 at the start of the Late Summer Bank Holiday weekend.

These pictures were sent in by ITV Anglia viewers Lesley Chalmers and John Welsby:

© John Welsby
Hail falling at Belton, Norfolk on Saturday.

© Lesley Chalmers
A thick covering of pea-sized hail at Belton in Norfolk.
Arrow Down

Huge 100ft wide sinkhole appears overnight in Pennines, UK


A 100ft-wide sinkhole appeared overnight on Wednesday in the Pennines and was first spotted by Sam Hillyard, 39, as she was walking her dogs the next day
* Farmer John Hensby, 71, says his partner Sam Hillyard, 39, discovered the hole on Thursday morning

* Hole has grown since then and because rain is forecast he is worried there could be another collapse

* He is also worried that his dogs or one of the sheep that graze in the surrounding pastures could fall in


A 100ft-wide sinkhole that is so deep the bottom cannot be seen at one end has appeared overnight just yards from a farmer's house in County Durham.

John Hensby, 71, says his partner Sam Hillyard, 39, first discovered the hole on Thursday morning, adding that it has been growing ever since.

And Mr Hensby now fears that heavy rain forecast for the coming days could be about to make the situation even worse.

Comment: Check out the map below showing the distribution of sinkholes records from across the world for the past year.



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