Earth Changes


Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin death toll tops over 1,200 between July 2013 and April 2014 - nearly seven times the normal rate

© University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center
Dead bottlenose dolphins at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center
The bottlenose dolphin die-off in the mid-Atlantic isn't over, a stranding expert told me this afternoon.

"It's still ongoing," said Blair Mase, NOAA Southeast region marine mammal stranding coordinator, who is based in Miami.

The migratory stock of dolphins is starting to move north and "we still have dolphins stranding at above-average rates" in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, she said.

In the Florida area, the strandings are "slowing down a little bit, which is good," she said.

According to NOAA Fisheries, the toll of dead bottlenose dolphins from New York to Florida has risen to 1,204 from July 1 to April 6.

That's preliminary data. And the death toll is 62 percent higher than during the last major die-off in 1987-88 and 6.7 times higher than the 2007 to 2012 norm for July 1 to April 6, according to calculations.
Bizarro Earth

Appearance of night-shining clouds has increased

Noctilucent Clouds
© Thinkstock
First spotted in 1885, silvery blue clouds sometimes hover in the night sky near the poles, appearing to give off their own glowing light. Known as noctilucent clouds, this phenomenon began to be sighted at lower and lower latitudes - between the 40th and 50th parallel - during the 20th century, causing scientists to wonder if the region these clouds inhabit had indeed changed - information that would tie in with understanding the weather and climate of all Earth.

A NASA mission called Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere, or AIM, was launched in 2007 to observe noctilucent clouds, but it currently only has a view of the clouds near the poles. Now scientists have gathered information from several other missions, past and present, and combined it with computer simulations to systematically show that the presence of these bright shining clouds have indeed increased in areas between 40 and 50 degrees north latitude, a region which covers the northern third of the United Sates and the lowest parts of Canada. The research was published online in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres on March 18, 2014.

"Noctilucent clouds occur at altitudes of 50 miles above the surface - so high that they can reflect light from the sun back down to Earth," said James Russell, an atmospheric and planetary scientist at Hampton University in Hampton, Va., and first author on the paper. "AIM and other research has shown that in order for the clouds to form, three things are needed: very cold temperatures, water vapor and meteoric dust. The meteoric dust provides sites that the water vapor can cling to until the cold temperatures cause water ice to form."
Bizarro Earth

Aftershock - USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.5 - 78km SW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea

Earthquake 6.5 Papua New Guinea
Event Time
2014-04-11 08:16:48 UTC
2014-04-11 18:16:48 UTC+10:00 at epicenter

6.855°S 155.017°E depth=39.4km (24.5mi)

Nearby Cities
78km (48mi) SW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
91km (57mi) SW of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
411km (255mi) SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
558km (347mi) ESE of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea
613km (381mi) WNW of Honiara, Solomon Islands

Technical details
Alarm Clock

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 7.1 - 57km SW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea

Earthquake 7.1 Papua New Guinea
Event Time
2014-04-11 07:07:21 UTC
2014-04-11 18:07:21 UTC+11:00 at epicenter

6.625°S 155.064°E depth=50.0km (31.1mi)

Nearby Cities
57km (35mi) SW of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
69km (43mi) SW of Arawa, Papua New Guinea
399km (248mi) SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
557km (346mi) ESE of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea
621km (386mi) WNW of Honiara, Solomon Islands

Scientific data

Mystery remains over why river in Australia is bubbling

Condamine River
CSIRO field studies included the use of floating chambers to capture and measure the gas emitted from the Condamine River.
Queensland has another mystery that science still can't pin down: the bubbling of the Condamine River.

After two years and a "considerable sum'' invested, coal seam gas company Origin has released a scientific report that has four theories but still cannot quite pin down the mystery.

CSG could not be scientifically ruled out by the study but is just one of the myriad factors raised that could be contributing.

The bubbling occurs along a 5km stretch of the river, near Chinchilla, where coal seam gas is plentiful, but the source has always been a mystery and an issue of local debate ranging from rotting vegetation to CSG fracking.

Local folklore tells of at least one of the seeps that may have been occurring for decades while others were spotted by farmers soon after heavy flooding subsided in February 2012.
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.0 - 84km SW of Iquique, Chile

Iquique Quake_100414
Event Time
2014-04-11 00:01:44 UTC
2014-04-10 19:01:44 UTC-05:00 at epicenter
20.748°S 70.724°W depth=17.5km (10.9mi)

Nearby Cities
84km (52mi) SW of Iquique, Chile
158km (98mi) NNW of Tocopilla, Chile
255km (158mi) S of Arica, Chile
265km (165mi) NW of Calama, Chile
542km (337mi) SSW of La Paz, Bolivia

Technical Details
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.1 - 10km W of Valle San Francisco, Nicaragua

Valle San Francisco Quake_100414
Event Time
2014-04-10 23:27:46 UTC
2014-04-10 17:27:46 UTC-06:00 at epicenter

12.514°N 86.379°W depth=13.0km (8.1mi)

Nearby Cities
10km (6mi) W of Valle San Francisco, Nicaragua
34km (21mi) NE of Nagarote, Nicaragua
36km (22mi) SW of Ciudad Dario, Nicaragua
37km (23mi) ENE of La Paz Centro, Nicaragua
44km (27mi) NNW of Managua, Nicaragua

Technical Details

More mystery explosions in London shake homes

Loud Bang
© Nigel Sutton
Will Wheatcroft heard another loud bang on Monday night at 10pm.

Noise experts are scratching their heads over mysterious "explosions" in Highgate - after dozens of residents reported hearing 
another loud bang this week.

People living in the Shepherd's Hill and Archway Road area of Highgate said they heard a loud explosion noise - similar to a bomb or gas explosion - just 
before 10pm on Monday.

Last week, the Ham&High reported that residents in Highgate have been hearing the loud booming sounds for about 18 months.

Officers from Haringey Council's noise team are investigating but the local authority has been left baffled by the phenomenon.

Will Wheatcroft, 31, said he heard the latest "very loud explosion" while sitting on the sofa with his fiancée Stephanie in his Stanhope Road home.

"Really it sounded like a car bomb or a gas explosion," he said. "It made us turn around and say, 'What the hell was that?'

"I expected to hear sirens a few minutes afterwards, but there weren't any. After reading the Ham&High, I can now understand why, because it happens a lot."

Residents in Muswell Hill and Crouch End have also reported hearing the noises, that are said to be so loud they shake the foundations of their homes.

One Twitter user reported hearing another loud bang on Tuesday night at about 10pm in Crouch End. A couple in Priory Gardens, Highgate, have contacted Haringey police about the sounds.

Comment: Kids with bangers?

As usual the authorities have no clue what they're dealing with. Based on similar reports pouring in from across the US, these booms are probably either seismic or cosmic in nature.


Lovelock sez: Saving the planet from climate change is 'beyond our ability'

James Lovelock
© AFP/Getty/Nasa
James Lovelock, who first detected CFCs in the atmosphere and proposed the Gaia hypotheses
The scientist and inventor James Lovelock claims we should stop trying to save the planet from global warming and instead retreat to climate controlled cities

Saving the planet from climate change is 'beyond our ability' and we should stop wasting time trying to tackle global warming, a leading scientist has claimed.

James Lovelock, who first detected CFCs in the atmosphere and proposed the Gaia hypotheses, claims society should retreat to 'climate-controlled cities' and give up on large expanses of land which will become uninhabitable.

Lovelock, who has just published his latest book A Rough Ride To The Future, claims we should be 'strengthening our defences and making a sustainable retreat.'

"We're reaching an age in history where you can no longer predict the future with any hope of success.

"We should give up vainglorious attempts to save the world.

Recently filmed giant oarfish washes up dead on Mexican beach

Rare: The giant Oarfish
The elusive 15ft oarfish was spotted swimming in shallow waters in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico

A giant underwater creature which inspired stories of sea monsters has been filmed by a tourist - but sadly came to a fishy end.

The elusive 15ft oarfish was spotted swimming in shallow waters in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

Tour guides from Un-Cruise Adventures, who organised the expedition, were thrilled to get up close to the mysterious creature.

However, after briefly delighting onlookers with its appearance, the oarfish beached itself on nearby Isla San Francisco and died.

Lia Stamatiou, expedition leader for Un-Cruise Adventures said: "I learned about the oarfish as one of those fish you study but never see.

"Seeing it swim up to us on the beach I was completely stunned.

Comment: See also: Rare footage shows two live oarfish swimming near the shore

Giant deepwater oarfish washing up on California shores: Harbingers of death!

Second rare oarfish washes up in Southern California

18-foot oarfish caught by Catalina marine science instructor in California

Something amiss deep down? Bizarre-looking oarfish washes ashore on Cabo San Lucas beach

Appearance of "Earthquake fish" spook Japanese

Rare "King of Herrings" Found off Swedish Coast

England: Monster of deep washes up on beach