Earth Changes
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Fire

Shake, rattle and explode: The planet is waking up

You may not have noticed, but our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. According to Volcano Discovery, 40 volcanoes around the globe are erupting right now, and only 6 of them are not along the Ring of Fire. If that sounds like a very high number to you, that is because it is a very high number. As I have written about previously, there were a total of 3,542 volcanic eruptions during the entire 20th century. When you divide that number by 100, that gives you an average of about 35 volcanic eruptions per year. So the number of volcanoes that are erupting right now is well above the 20th century's average for an entire calendar year. And of course we are witnessing a tremendous amount of earthquake activity as well. Nepal was just hit by the worst earthquake that it had seen in 80 years, and scientists are telling us that the Himalayas actually dropped by an astounding 3 feet as a result of that one earthquake. How much more does our planet have to shake before people start paying attention?

Of course the things that we have been seeing lately are part of a much larger long-term trend. Seismic activity appears to have been getting stronger over the past few decades, and now things really seem to be accelerating. The following is how one news source recently summarized what we have been witnessing...

Comment: For more information on what is behind the uptick in planetary activity see: Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection.


Bizarro Earth

Seismic tension continues to build in the Pacific Ring of Fire - alert status ongoing

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Seismic tension continues to mount in the volatile Pacific Ring of Fire, with a cluster of earthquakes now being reported in Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, as well as New Zealand. People in high-risk seismic regions should remain alert for the possible occurrence of moderate to large earthquake events.

Bizarro Earth

Guatemala's Fuego volcano becoming more active, officials warn of full-blown eruption


Ash billowing from the Fuego volcano is seen from the Palin municipality, Escuintla departament, 40 km south of Guatemala City on February 13, 2015
Guatemala's Fuego volcano is becoming more active, belching out increasing amounts of smoke and ash, officials said on Friday.

Fearing a full-blown eruption of the volcano, located just 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital of Guatemala City, disaster officials warned that aircraft should exercise caution when flying over Fuego.

Conred, the national disaster coordination agency, said the volcano's eruptions could range in intensity from weak to moderate, and that columns of ash could reach 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) above sea level.

Authorities also warned that wind-borne ash particles could travel as far as 12 kilometers from the volcano, possibly causing respiratory and other health problems for some Guatemalans.

Comment: Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes increasing across the planet


Hardhat

Huge amount of oil leaking into Gulf of Mexico ten years after Hurricane Ivan toppled drilling rig

© AP Photo/John Bazemore
In this Sept. 16, 2004 photo, waves crash against a sailboat lodged under a bridge in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., after Hurricane Ivan struck the gulf coast. Federal regulators believe a persistent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that began after a drilling platform was toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 will continue for 100 years or more if left unchecked.
For more than a decade, oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico where a hurricane toppled a drilling company's platform off the coast of Louisiana. Now the federal government is warning that the leak could last another century or more if left unchecked.

Government estimates obtained by The Associated Press provide new details about the scope of a leak that has persisted since Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Taylor Energy Co., which owned the platform and a cluster of oil wells, has played down the extent and environmental impact of the leak. The company also maintains that nothing can be done to completely eliminate the chronic oil slicks that often stretch for miles off the Louisiana coast.

Taylor has tried to broker a deal with the government to resolve its financial obligations for the leak, but authorities have rebuffed those overtures and have ordered additional work by the company, according to Justice Department officials who were not authorized to comment by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

"There is still more that can be done by Taylor to control and contain the oil that is discharging" from the site, says an Interior Department fact sheet obtained by the AP.

Federal regulators suspect oil is still leaking from at least one of 25 wells that remain buried under mounds of sediment from an underwater mudslide triggered by waves whipped up by Hurricane Ivan.

Comment: Oil and gas drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico produce an extraordinary number of situations in which severe pollutants are produced and dispersed throughout the Gulf. The process of drilling and transport, refinement and utilization of the oil and gas creates multiple opportunities for pollutants, toxins, contaminants, poisons and chemicals to further pollution. Due to the deterioration of the environment in the GOM, fishing in the waters, swimming, and sunning on the beaches can no longer be done without risk. Even those who live at a distance can be affected by the Gulf's chemical profile as the regional hydrological cycle brings moisture and chemicals (remember acid rain) from the Gulf over their homes and businesses. Yet there seems to be nothing that will stop the endless drilling in sensitive areas and the refusal of the industry to take real responsibility for their actions which have caused so much devastation.

Gulf of Mexico dying from polluted and poisoned bioterrain, thanks to BigAg, Big Oil and BigPharma


Bizarro Earth

Fresh tremors in Nepal as 5.7 magnitude earthquake hits Kathmandu

© Athit Perawongmetha
A collapsed house during a landslide after Tuesday's earthquake at Singati Village in Nepal

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake has struck in Nepal, sending tremors across Bihar and parts of northern India
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Buildings shook throughout the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar regions on Saturday, as the the US Geological Survey recorded a "shallow quake" about 76 km east south east of the capital Kathmandu.

Centering on Nepal, the quake is the third so far this month and lead to fresh panic among those trying to rebuild after an earthquake killed 8,000 people in April and leveled more than 250,000 homes throughout the region.

There has been no reports yet of deaths from this most recent quake, though at least 17 people are thought to have been killed in northern India.

Some 117 persons were killed, and more than 1000 were injured, when a 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on May 12.

The quake shook neighbouring countries including India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China.

Reuters

Fire

Little Bobtail Lake wildfire in British Columbia has burned over 32,000 acres, shows no sign of extinguishing

© MODIS Rapid Response Team
The MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite captured this image of the Little Bobtail Lake fire in British Columbia, Canada.
The MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite captured this image of the Little Bobtail Lake fire in British Columbia, Canada. It is unclear how the fire started and was first spotted on Saturday, May 9. Since then the fire has grown significantly and has burned over 13,000 hectares (32,123 acres) and is zero percent con[tained]. The wildfire is located about 70 km southwest of Prince George. Eighty people have already been evacuated and close to 700 homes are in danger of being consumed should the fire spread.

Cloud Lightning

Typhoon Dolphin strikes Guam bringing high winds, power outages

© AP Photo/Grace Garces Bordallo
Charles Henry, 28, Clayton Faubion, 25, Charles Harstad, 23, and Jamal Arurag, 19, observe barreling waves behind the University of Guam Marine Lab on the island's eastern coast during a powerful Pacific typhoon on Friday, May 15, 2015. The National Weather Service said the center of Typhoon Dolphin had passed through a 50-mile-wide channel between Guam and the island of Rota
More than 1,100 people took refuge in shelters early Saturday as the center of a powerful Pacific typhoon glanced off Guam, hammering the U.S. territory with high winds, rain and huge waves.

The storm knocked out power, downed trees and canceled flights Friday as it lumbered through a channel between Guam and the tiny tropical island of Rota. It packed maximum winds of 110 mph (177 kph).

The National Weather Service said gusts were expected to gradually decrease to "non-damaging" winds by sunrise.

One injury resulted from Typhoon Dolphin, and that person was taken to a Guam hospital, Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenna Gaminde said. She had no additional information on the injury.

There also were reports of broken power transformers, said Oyaol Ngirairikl with the Joint Information Center. Ngirairikl said more would be known about damage from the typhoon Saturday.

Weather service meteorologist Patrick Chen said earlier that the weather service lost radar, but based on satellite imagery, he said the storm's center was moving away from the Marianas Islands, which includes Guam.

Arrow Down

One third of Europe's birds under threat, says most comprehensive study yet

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© David Tipling/Alamy
Turtle dove populations have fallen by 90% or more since 1980 in Europe.
One in three European birds is endangered, according to a leaked version of the most comprehensive study of Europe's wildlife and natural habitats ever produced.

The EU State of Nature report, seen by the Guardian, paints a picture of dramatic decline among once common avian species such as the skylark and turtle dove mainly as a result of agricultural pressures, and also warns that ecosystems are struggling to cope with the impact of human activity.

The report will embolden campaigners opposed to plans by the European Commission to review two key pieces of environmental legislation - the birds and habitats directives. They act as a brake on development where it threatens the natural world, but the report adds weight to the case that the laws should not be watered down.

The State of Nature report found that turtle dove populations have plunged by 90% or more since 1980 and could soon be placed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) 'red list' of threatened species. Numbers of skylark and ortolan bunting, a songbird illegally hunted and eaten whole in France, have fallen by around half.

Of 804 natural habitats assessed by the European Environment Agency for the report, 77% were deemed to be in a poor condition, with almost a third having deteriorated since a study in 2006. Just 4% were found to be improving.

Attention

4.6 earthquake rocks central New Zealand

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The Upper South Island and Wellington were rattled by the quake.
A strong earthquake measuring 4.6 has hit Marlborough.

GeoNet is reporting it was located 5km south east of Seddon, south of Blenheim followed by a 3.3 located 30km east of Turangi.

The quakes hit shortly after 5.30pm.

Chris Sutherland was enjoying a pint in Paddy Barry's pub in Blenheim when he felt the jolts.

"I was sitting on a bar stool and it rocked a bit and the drinks on the table moved a little bit. Luckily my drink wasn't spilled. If it had I would have licked it off the table."

Pam Tawhara said it knocked over her cuppa and she had to hold onto her desk and computer.

"It took years off my life."

Jodi Cane from Seddon said it "felt like a train coming though our lounge, quite a shake."

Robyn Thomson said her car parked in Springlands in Blenheim rocked as a result of the jolts.

Wendy Gibson described it as a "rumbling jolt".

A St John spokesman said there were no reports of injuries or damage.

A Marlborough District Council spokeswoman said it was "no biggie" and there had been no reports of buildings damaged.

Stock Down

Bird flu pushes up price of eggs, turkey in Midwest US

© Matthias Kulka/Corbis
The bird flu virus.
Prices for eggs and turkey meat are rising in some places as an outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest claims an increasing number of chickens and turkeys. Market experts say grocery stores and wholesalers are trying to stock up on eggs, but there's no need to worry about having enough turkeys for Thanksgiving.

The cost of a carton of large eggs in the Midwest has jumped nearly 17 percent to $1.39 a dozen from $1.19 since mid-April, when the virus began appearing in Iowa's chicken flocks and farmers culled their flocks to contain any spread. Tuesday, officials reported that the virus had spread to Nebraska.

A much bigger increase has emerged in the eggs used as ingredients in processed products like cake mix and mayonnaise, which account for the majority of what Iowa produces. Those eggs have jumped 63 percent to $1.03 a dozen from 63 cents in the past three weeks, said Rick Brown, senior vice president of Urner Barry, a commodity market analysis firm.

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