Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Rare earthquake strikes Southern France

Southern France Quake
Map of earthquake today (April 7, 2014) in southern France.
An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 5.0 shook southern France today (April 7), according to France's National Seismic Monitoring Network.

The earthquake's epicenter was about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the resort city of Nice and 69 miles (111 km) from Monaco. The quake originated 7 miles (11 km) deep and struck at 9:27 p.m. local time (19:27 UTC), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports.

The USGS automated earthquake detection network calculated a preliminary magnitude of 4.7 for the temblor.

There were no immediate reports of damage, according to Reuters.
Bizarro Earth

Remembering the great Alaskan earthquake and tsunami: Alaska, March 1964

1964 Alaskan Earthquake
At 5:36 pm on March 27, 1964, the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America, and the second largest in history, rattled coastal Alaska for close to 4 minutes. Though the epicenter of the Great Alaskan Earthquake was deep beneath Prince William Sound -- 75 miles east of Anchorage and 56 miles west of Valdez -- the magnitude 9.2 temblor rippled water as far away as Louisiana and even made parts of Florida and Texas jump a couple of inches.

Every year the Pacific tectonic plate barges roughly 2 in. into, and under, the North American plate near southern Alaska. Under intense pressure from the friction, the crust bends and strains until it eventually snaps back into place, as it did that March evening. In downtown Anchorage, the quake caused the streets to become asphalt waves, bouncing cars into the air. Parts of the city dropped as much as 30 ft., bringing the Denali Theater marquee on Fourth Avenue to sidewalk level. One block over, the concrete facade of the new J.C. Penney crashed into the sidewalk, killing a crouching pedestrian and a passing driver. At the airport, the control tower toppled over and killed an air traffic controller.

The ground in the Turnagain Heights subdivision simultaneously sank and surged up. "Our whole lawn broke up into chunks of dirt, rock, snow and ice," Turnagain resident Tay Pryor Thomas wrote in National Geographic shortly after the quake. "We were left on a wildly bucking slab; suddenly it tilted sharply, and we had to hang on to keep from slipping into a yawning chasm."

But what claimed 115 of the 131 lives that day wasn't the earthquake itself. It was the tsunami waves that screamed across Prince William Sound and down the Pacific Ocean. The quake had caused several underwater landslides that, in turn, displaced vast amounts of water. The great volume of water that was forced out to sea returned just as quickly, in the form of giant waves that geologists call local tsunamis.

"I was in my house in Cordova eating dinner when the quake struck," recalls Pete Corson, then a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant assigned to the cutter Sedge. "Our house came almost completely off the foundation. I ran down to the dock and it had split in half and was heaving back and forth. We had to wait until the gap closed before jumping across it to get to the Sedge." Corson brought his wife and three young sons with him as he boarded the cutter. Soon, reports began to crackle over the ship's radio: "The village of Chenega is completely wiped out by a tidal wave. There are many injuries ... only one house left standing." The Sedge was in "Charlie status," with its engines disassembled, and the crew scrambled to get her underway.

Forty-five miles north of Cordova, in Valdez, the 400-ft. freighter SS Chena was in port when the quake hit. Twenty seconds after the initial tremors, 98 million cubic yards of the silty delta slumped away. The massive amount of water displaced came rushing back as a 40-ft. local tsunami, killing more than 30 people as they tried to flee.

How did the IPCC's alarmism take everyone in for so long?

Amazonian Rainforest
© Getty Images
Dire warnings about glaciers and Amazonian rainforests are based on lobbying, not science
When future generations come to look back on the alarm over global warming that seized the world towards the end of the 20th century, much will puzzle them as to how such a scare could have arisen. They will wonder why there was such a panic over a 0.4 per cent rise in global temperatures between 1975 and 1998, when similar rises between 1860 and 1880 and 1910 and 1940 had given no cause for concern. They will see these modest rises as just part of a general warming that began at the start of the 19th century, as the world emerged from the Little Ice Age, when the Earth had grown cooler for 400 years.

They will be struck by the extent to which this scare relied on the projections of computer models, which then proved to be hopelessly wrong when, in the years after 1998, their predicted rise in temperature came virtually to a halt. But in particular they will be amazed by the almost religious reverence accorded to that strange body, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which by then will be recognised as having never really been a scientific body at all, but a political pressure group. It had been set up in the 1980s by a small band of politically persuasive scientists who had become fanatically committed to the belief that, because carbon dioxide levels were rising, global temperatures must inevitably follow; an assumption that the evidence would increasingly show was mistaken.

The game is up for global warming believers

Power station emitting steam and smoke
Charles Moore reviews The Age of Global Warming by Rupert Darwall (Quartet)

Most of us pay some attention to the weather forecast. If it says it will rain in your area tomorrow, it probably will. But if it says the same for a month, let alone a year, later, it is much less likely to be right. There are too many imponderables.

The theory of global warming is a gigantic weather forecast for a century or more. However interesting the scientific inquiries involved, therefore, it can have almost no value as a prediction. Yet it is as a prediction that global warming (or, as we are now ordered to call it in the face of a stubbornly parky 21st century, "global weirding") has captured the political and bureaucratic elites. All the action plans, taxes, green levies, protocols and carbon-emitting flights to massive summit meetings, after all, are not because of what its supporters call "The Science". Proper science studies what is - which is, in principle, knowable - and is consequently very cautious about the future - which isn't. No, they are the result of a belief that something big and bad is going to hit us one of these days.

Some of the utterances of the warmists are preposterously specific. In March 2009, the Prince of Wales declared that the world had "only 100 months to avert irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse". How could he possibly calculate such a thing? Similarly, in his 2006 report on the economic consequences of climate change, Sir Nicholas Stern wrote that, "If we don't act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least five per cent of global GDP each year, now and forever." To the extent that this sentence means anything, it is clearly wrong (how are we losing five per cent GDP "now", before most of the bad things have happened? How can he put a percentage on "forever"?). It is charlatanry.
Bizarro Earth

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 4.7 - 9km ESE of Guillestre, France

Event Time:
014-04-07 19:27:01 UTC
014-04-07 21:27:01 UTC+02:00 at epicenter

44.623°N 6.759°E depth=10.0km (6.2mi)

Nearby Cities:
km (6mi) ESE of Guillestre, France
31km (19mi) SSE of Briancon, France
53km (33mi) E of Gap, France
55km (34mi) WSW of Pinerolo, Italy
111km (69mi) NNW of Monaco, Monaco

Technical Data

Australian woman taken by 4-metre-long shark off popular beach in New South Wales

Christine Armstrong
© AP
Christine Armstrong, 63, who was killed by a shark as she swam with a group of swimmers off a popular Australian east coast beach
A 63-year-old woman has been taken by a "very big" shark while out on a morning swim off a popular beach in New South Wales, Australia.

Christine Armstrong was swimming with five others between the wharf and the beach near the village of Tathra, when the group was attacked by a 4-metre-long shark.

The ambulance service told ABC News the partial remains of a woman had been found before the search was called off earlier due to bad weather, though police said it was too early to say if they were linked to the attack.
Magic Wand

'Smear campaign' against professor who refused to sign 'sexed up' UN climate report

Professor Richard Tol
© John Connor Press
Accused: Professor Richard Tol, who said the new report by the UN was 'alarmist' and focused on 'scare stories'
The professor who refused to sign last week's high-profile UN climate report because it was too 'alarmist', has told The Mail on Sunday he has become the victim of a smear campaign.

Richard Tol claims he is fighting a sustained attack on his reputation by a key figure from a leading institution that researches the impact of global warming.

Prof Tol said: 'This has all the characteristics of a smear campaign. It's all about taking away my credibility as an expert.'

Prof Tol, from Sussex University, is a highly respected climate economist and one of two 'co-ordinating lead authors' of an important chapter in the 2,600-page report published last week by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

He has been widely criticised by green campaigners after he claimed that the much shorter 'summary for policymakers' - hammered out in all-night sessions between scientists and government officials over a week-long meeting in Yokohama, Japan - was overly 'alarmist'.

In his view, the summary focused on 'scare stories' and suggestions the world faced 'the four horsemen of the apocalypse'.
Arrow Down

Mother flees with her baby as huge sinkhole claims house, Kazakhstan

Ms Tatarnikov's home begins to tip into the sink hole which has emerged next to her home
* Anastasia Tatarnikov, 28, thought she was running from an earthquake

* Massive sinkhole appeared as a result of mining work in the city of Ridder

* 120 homes listed as being at risk and 480 people have been evacuated

A young mother grabbed her newborn baby and fled after her home just seconds before it vanished into a massive hole.

Anastasia Tatarnikov, 28, thought she was running from an earthquake, but according to emergency officials the massive sinkhole had appeared as a result of mining work in the city of Ridder in eastern Kazakhstan.

In total 120 homes have been listed as being at risk and 480 people have been evacuated.
Arrow Down

Large landslide blocks road in Jalisco, Mexico

Landslide blocks a Road in Jalisco, Mexico on April 5th, 2014.

New Jersey 'winter wildfire' burns over 1,500 acres - smoke odor reaches New York City - still uncontained - cause unknown

© News 12 New Jersey
A brush fire burns Sunday, April 6, 2014, along Batsto Road in Wharton State Forest in southern New Jersey. The smell of smoke was reported as far north as New York City.
The odor of smoke from a brush fire in southern New Jersey can be smelled as far away as New York City.

The fire has burned more than 1,500 acres, or about 2 square miles, along Batsto Road in Wharton State Forest. The smoke can be seen for miles.

NBC 10 in Philadelphia reports that crews dropped water from airplanes and used backfires to contain the blaze, which broke out Sunday. The cause is under investigation.