Earth Changes

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Evansville road shut down after sinkhole size increases, Indiana

A sinkhole has a road closed to traffic in Evansville.

It's at the intersection of Sycamore and MLK. This is the sinkhole we first told you about last week and now it has grown even larger.

The area is closed off to traffic and city crews are now back on scene trying to repair it again.

No word on how long it might take to get that busy intersection back open.

14 News is continuing to follow these developments, and we will have the latest on air, online at and on mobile with the 14 News mobile app.
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Crawley dual carriageway where sinkhole emerged shut for a week, UK

CLOSED: The dual carriageway is set to be shut for more than a week
One side of a dual carriageway in Crawley where a "sink hole" has emerged is expected to be closed for more than a week, it has been revealed this morning (Monday).

It appeared yesterday afternoon (Sunday) on the northbound side of the A23 (London Road) between the Fleming Way roundabout, where Astral Towers is based, and the roundabout for Lowfield Heath, close to Gatwick Airport.

A Thames Water spokeswoman described the hole as a "void" as it had been caused by a pressured pipe leaking, rather than a sinkhole, as they occur naturally.

She added: "Thames Water engineers are investigating a leak on a large pressurised sewer pipe beneath the A23 between Crawley and Gatwick Airport.

Dead Sperm Whale washes up in Biscay Bay, Newfoundland

© Sharon Topping

An unusual sight in Biscay Bay off the south coast of Newfoundland is drawing a fair number of curiosity-seekers. A dead sperm whale rolled onto shore late last week. The Town Clerk with the nearby town of Trepassey says she took a trip down to the area after hearing about it on Facebook. She says it's an extraordinary sight but also quite sad.

Recent pictures show the carcass well up onto the beach. Topping says while it's drawing a lot of visitors right now, that won't be the case if the carcass lingers in the area into the summer. She says he's the talk of the town right now, but by summer his welcome will be worn out.

It's not just scary stories - it's the truth

© Unknown
Like a note in a bottle cast into the sea long ago an email bobbed into my in-box the other day. It called attention to an opinion piece I first published August 20, 2012.

In that article ("Mutant Butterflies and Other Scary Stories"), I featured comments about the effects of Fukushima's nuclear disaster by Helen Caldicott, an Australian pediatrician who has spent most of her career sounding the alarm about nuclear dangers. You can find the original article here:

"Mutant Butterflies" survived somewhere long enough for reader Mike Conley of Los Angeles to find it, read it and be stirred up enough by it to send this email:

"In this article you quote Helen Caldicott: "The ambient levels of radiation in Seattle went up 40,000 times above normal." Think about it: If what she says is true, everyone in Seattle would have come down with radiation sickness. Why don't you do an article that digs into whether or not Caldicott can substantiate her scare stories?"
Bizarro Earth

Rare footage shows two live oarfish swimming near the shore

Oarfish are the world's largest bony fish, and they usually don't come in to the beach. They like depths of around 650 feet, and as far down as 3,000 feet. But in March, a group affiliated with Chicago's Shedd Aquarium encountered two beautiful oarfish swimming near the shore of the Sea of Cortés, in Mexico.

These silvery ribbons of fish can grow to enormous sizes - the two in the video are about 15 feet long, but oarfish can grow to be well over three times that size.

When oarfish end up in such shallow water it usually portends a bad end for the fish, as they don't generally venture into that portion of the ocean unless they are injured or dying. Dissections of two oarfish that washed ashore last fall showed that one was severely infested with parasites. The other may just have been lost.
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