Earth Changes
Map


Cloud Lightning

US: Tornado devastates small Arkansas town, killing 3

Mena - Battered residents of this western Arkansas city waited for daylight Friday to dig out from a "direct hit" by a tornado that killed three people, injured at least 30, and flattened homes and businesses.

The twister sliced through the Ouachita Mountains community shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday. The county sheriff described the sky turning green, while the airport manager said darkness fell quickly as the twister crossed the Oklahoma line 10 miles away.
Bell

Can Government Scientists Save the Planet by Nuking Yellowstone National Park to Halt Global Warming?

Of all the hare-brained ideas about climate change I've heard in the last few years, this one takes the grand prize: John Holdren, the new science advisor to President Obama, is actively considering radical geoengineering ideas in order to halt global warming. One such idea now being discussed with the Obama administration involves -- get this -- launching enormous amounts of pollution particles into Earth's upper atmosphere to block the sun's rays and "chill" the planet.

Let me explain why this is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard. And keep in mind this is not about the debate of whether global warming is even real or not, since that's a different article altogether. This is about the short-sighted stupidity of even considering polluting the atmosphere in order to protect us from the CO2 pollution we've already dumped into the atmosphere.

First off, there's the whole idea that intentionally launching pollution into the atmosphere is, by any reckoning, a dangerous ecological experiment that potentially puts the entire Earth ecosystem at risk. Let's face it, folks: Human beings have proven themselves to be remarkably bad at anticipating the ecological effects of their own actions. The ramifications of such misguided efforts to fight global warming simply cannot be foreseen by any scientist (or group of scientists).
Phoenix

US: Dozens of homes destroyed in Texas, Oklahoma fires

Midwest City - Fire crews in Oklahoma and Texas raced Thursday to control wind-whipped wildfires that destroyed dozens of homes, forced evacuations and shut down parts of a major highway.

Howling wind that had gusted to more than 50 mph grounded firefighting efforts by air in Oklahoma and drove blazes that scorched neighborhoods like "a war zone," Midwest City police Chief Brandon Clabes said.
Igloo

US Navy Physicist warns of possibly 'several decades of crushing cold temperatures and global famine'

last ice age
© HowStuffWorks
Ice sheet coverage during the last ice age
Excerpts:

"The sun has gone very quiet as it transitions to Solar Cycle 24.

"Since the current transition now exceeds 568 spotless days, it is becoming clear that sun has undergone a state change. It is now evident that the Grand Maxima state that has persisted during most of the 20th century has come to an abrupt end.

"(The sun) might (1) revert to the old solar cycles or (2) the sun might go even quieter into a "Dalton Minimum" or a Grand Minima such as the "Maunder Minimum". It is still a little early to predict which way it will swing. Each of these two possibilities holds a great threat to our nation.

"We are now at a crossroad. Two paths lie before us. Both are marked with a signpost that reads "Danger"! Down one path lies monstrous solar storms. Down the other path lies several decades of crushing cold temperatures and global famine."

"Climate change is primarily driven by nature. It has been true in the days of my father and his father and all those that came before us. Because of science, not junk science, we have slowly uncovered some of the fundamental mysteries of nature. Our Milky Way galaxy is awash with cosmic rays. These are high speed charged particles that originate from exploding stars.

"Because they are charged, their travel is strongly influenced by magnetic fields. Our sun produces a magnetic field wrapped in the solar winds that extends to the edges of our solar system. This field deflects many of the cosmic rays away from Earth. But when the sun goes quiet (minimal sunspots), this field collapses inward allowing high energy cosmic rays to penetrate deeper into our solar system.
Butterfly

UK Butterfly Numbers Plunge To New Low

© Jim Asher
Orange Tip Butterfly
Butterfly numbers have fallen to a new low, according to data from the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme.

British butterflies have been declining steadily for years. The new statistics show that recent wet summers have accelerated these declines. Heavy rain makes it hard for butterflies to survive - they can't fly in the rain and that means they can't reach the nectar they feed on. Rain also reduces breeding success.

The relative absence of breeding during the dire summer of 2007, the wettest on record, impacted seriously on butterfly numbers last year.

The statistics confirm conservationists' fears that 2008 was the poorest summer for butterfly numbers for more than 25 years.

For 12 species 2008 was their worst year since records began in the mid 1970s.
Phoenix

Dramatic Image Shows Volcano's Lightning

volcano lightning
© Bretwood Higman
Scientists have pierced the veil of clouds around a volcanic plume to "see" lightning
For the first time, scientists have been able to "see" and trace lightning inside a plume of ash spewing from an actively erupting volcano.

When Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano began rumbling back to life in January, a team of researchers scrambled to set up a system called a Lightning Mapping Array that would be able to peer through the dust and gas of any eruption that occurred to the lightning storm happening within. Lightning is known to flash in the tumultuous clouds belched out during volcanic eruptions.

The lightning produced when Redoubt finally erupted on March 22 was "prolific," said physicist Paul Krehbiel of New Mexico Tech.

"The lightning activity was as strong or stronger than we have seen in large Midwestern thunderstorms," Krehbiel said. "The radio frequency noise was so strong and continuous that people living in the area would not have been able to watch broadcast VHF television stations."
Attention

Aftershock shakes Italy quake zone

A strong aftershock rattled central Italy early Thursday as thousands of Italians in the region were still coping in the aftermath of Monday's deadly quake in nearby L'Aquila.

Thursday's 5.2-magnitude temblor occurred at 2:53 a.m. (12:53 a.m. GMT) about 45 km (28 miles) from L'Aquila, the epicenter of Monday's 6.3-magnitude quake that killed at least 260 people this week, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the latest aftershock.
Better Earth

Wild Chimpanzees Exchange Meat For Sex

© Cristina M. Gomes
Utan, an adult male, holding a piece of meat of a red colobus; with Kinshasa, an adult female chimpanzee with her infant Kirikou on her back, begging from Utan.
Wild female chimpanzees copulate more frequently with males who share meat with them over long periods of time, according to a study led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE April 8.

How females choose their mating partners and why males hunt and share meat with them are questions that have long puzzled scientists. Evidence from studies on human hunter-gatherer societies suggest that men who are more successful hunters have more wives and a larger number of offspring. Studies on wild chimpanzees, humans' closest living relative, have shown that male hunters frequently share meat with females who did not participate in the hunt. One of the hypotheses proposed to explain these findings is the meat-for-sex hypothesis, whereby males and females exchange meat for mating access. However, there has been little evidence in both humans and chimpanzees to support it.
Fish

Philippines: Rare Megamouth Shark Caught Near Donsol

Megamouth shark - Philippines
© Unknown
Only 41st Worldwide and First in Luzon

So rare are these sharks that each of them is designated with a number.

Fishermen based in Donsol were trawling for mackerel along the eastern coast of Burias Isle on the morning of 30 March when they caught a strange-looking shark from a depth of approximately 200 meters. World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) satellite tagging initiatives have already shown that pelagic filter feeders such as whale sharks and manta rays regularly prowl through the region. It was only a matter of time before something else was discovered.

The shark was brought to Barangay Dancalan in Donsol, Sorsogon for assessment. WWF Donsol Project Manager Elson Aca immediately arrived to assess the haul - and promptly identified it as a megamouth shark.
Bizarro Earth

New Zealand Coast: Earthquake Magnitude 5.3

© US Geological Survey
Date-Time Wednesday, April 08, 2009 at 11:13:01 UTC

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 at 11:13:01 PM at epicenter

Location 38.776°S, 178.241°E

Depth 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program

Region OFF EAST COAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND, N.Z.

Distances 25 km (15 miles) ESE of Gisborne, New Zealand

135 km (85 miles) NE of Napier, New Zealand

370 km (230 miles) SE of Auckland, New Zealand

405 km (250 miles) NE of WELLINGTON, New Zealand
Top