James Pethokoukis USNews.com
Tue, 30 Dec 2008 18:07 UTC
The headline "Scientists track unusual earthquake swarm beneath Yellowstone
" only means one thing to fans of the Discovery channel like myself: supervolcano. Here is what the earthquake center at the University of Utah
had to say yesterday afternoon:
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a notable swarm of earthquakes has been underway since December 26 beneath Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park, three to six miles south-southeast of Fishing Bridge, Wyoming. This energetic sequence of events was most intense on December 27, when the largest number of events of magnitude 3 and larger occurred.
The Dalles -- Scientists say they have yet to definitively determine what is causing the town of Maupin, Ore., to endure an earthquake every other day.
Oregon State University research associate Jochen Braunmiller said during the last two years, more than 360 earthquakes have occurred in the general vicinity of Maupin for elusive reasons, The (Portland) Oregonian said.
The College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences researcher said while one theory focuses on water level shifts miles underground, scientists are at a loss to offer predictions regarding the quakes.
"It just kind of keeps going," Braunmiller said. "Overall, we know stress is being released so we think it will stop at some point. But we cannot say when that will happen or whether we have seen the largest one yet."
A swarm of earthquakes continued to rattle Yellowstone National Park on Monday. Over the past two days, more than 37 temblors have shaken the earth below Yellowstone Lake, causing scientists to speculate on the cause and field questions on whether the quakes were a prelude to an eruption of the park's super volcano.
"It's an energetic earthquake swarm," said Mike Stickney, director of the earthquake studies office for the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. "I'm hearing reports that people in the park have been feeling some of them."
Scientist fired by Al Gore was told, "science will not intrude on public policy".
Noted energy expert and Princeton physicist Dr. Will Happer has sharply criticized global warming alarmism. Happer, author of over 200 scientific papers and a past director of energy research at the Department of Energy, called fears over global warming "mistaken".
"I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect", said Happer. "Fears about man-made global warming are unwarranted and are not based on good science."
Dr. Happer views climate change as a predominately natural process. "The earth's climate is changing now, as it always has. There is no evidence that the changes differ in any qualitative way from those of the past."
Sat, 31 May 2008 11:39 UTC
Zihuatanejo, Mexico - Cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures due to the La Nina phenomenon may be partly responsible for a spate of fatal shark attacks off Mexico's Pacific coast, a U.S. shark expert said on Friday.
At least two people -- a surfer and a U.S. tourist -- have been killed by sharks in the last few weeks around the coastal town of Zihuatanejo in the state of Guerrero.
La Nina, which usually results in cooler than normal water in the Pacific, has moved the boundary between cold and warm water closer to the shore, and along with it, fish and their shark predators, George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research told Reuters.
Deadly heat bakes the Midwest and East Coast, floods leave millions homeless in Asia, and a tinder-dry Los Angeles city waits for wildfires.
All of this global weather mayhem and more comes courtesy of La Nina.
A cooling of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America, occurring periodically every 4 to 12 years and affecting Pacific and other weather patterns, which forecasters said Thursday is certain to rebound this winter after showing hopeful signs of weakening during the spring.
For Southern California and the world, that means another year of climate chaos, including a second dry and dangerous fire season for Los Angeles and a host of hurricanes to batter the Atlantic coast.
Experts predict a run of severe weather in the coming months, with devastating floods striking some parts of the world while severe droughts afflict other regions, as the climate phenomenon known as La Niña gathers momentum.
A chronic drought afflicting southern California and many southeastern states of America could be exacerbated, with Los Angeles heading for its driest year on record. In contrast, western Canada and the northwestern US could turn colder and snowier. Mozambique, southeast Africa, and northern Brazil may face exceptionally heavy rains and floods, while southern Brazil and much of Argentina suffer drought.
Fri, 26 Dec 2008 06:12 UTC
Grain and oilseed crops may be threatened next year by a weather pattern known as La Nina, according to a private forecaster.
La Nina conditions have developed rapidly across the equatorial Pacific Ocean during the past few weeks, said Drew Lerner, president of World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas. He said that may indicate more dry weather in parts of South America in the next three months and a wet, cold start to the U.S. planting season in March.
La Nina, which means "the little girl" in Spanish, is caused by lower-than-normal surface-water temperatures in the Pacific. It can trigger widespread changes in weather around the world, including a higher-than-normal number of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Lerner said.
A trip to the snow-laden Changu Lake turned into a nightmare for more than 3, 500 tourists including hundreds of children on Friday. They were trapped in snowstorm conditions with the temperature dipping to minus 15 degrees at a killing altitude of 13,300 feet before the army pulled them to safety.
The majority of those trapped were from Bengal. Hundreds fell ill, shivering in the icy cold as their vehicles remained stranded near Changu and Baba Mandir for hours. Clad in just jackets and scarves, the holidayers were hardly prepared, mentally or physically, to encounter a blizzard.
The army rescued them and took them to military camps, where warm soup and loads of blankets helped revive most of them. Many had to be admitted to the army medical units for treatment.
If the big lake seems to have an unusually placid appearance off Duluth's shores these days, it's because you're looking at ice. Ice has formed on Lake Superior off the Twin Ports and near Bayfield, among other places. It is the first time in years that ice has formed on the lake this early in the winter season. The western tip of Lake Superior has frozen over in December for the first time in recent memory, and that could mean a long season of ice angling that hasn't been seen in years.
"We were just talking that it's been something like 17 years since we had a good, long ice fishing season at this corner of Lake Superior," said Russ Francisco, owner of Marine General sporting go ods store in Duluth. "This is the most ice I've seen in December in years. I wouldn't go out yet, but if it stays cold and we don't get a big wind, people will be out there fishing soon."