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Thu, 07 Dec 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Freak Mideast snow shuts schools in Israel

Snow blanketed much of Jordan on Thursday, briefly whited out road signs in Jerusalem as freak weather created high waves in Egypt's Red Sea and forced four ports to close.


Potent Snowstorm heading for Northeast US

State College, PA - Proof that winter is not officially over will be provided this weekend as cold air from Canada and a storm system moving out of Texas join forces on Friday, creating a powerful late-winter snowstorm in the Northeast.

The advancing cold front that put an end to the early taste of spring in the upper Plains and Midwest has moved through the Great Lakes today.

A storm system riding along the front has spread rain and a wintry mix of precipitation from the Midwest to the Maritimes in a prelude to the main event that will begin late Friday.


Giant cold water eddy off Sydney lowers sea level

Australian oceanographers have discovered a giant cold water eddy off Sydney which has lowered sea levels almost one meter and impacted a major ocean current.

The eddy, which has diameter of about 200 km (120 miles) and reaches to depth of 1 km (1,100 yards), lies about 100 km (60 miles) off Sydney, said Australia's peak scientific body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

The CSIRO said the eddy was so powerful it had pushed out to sea the strong East Australian Current, popularised in the hit Hollywood animation "Finding Nemo" and used by sailors in the Sydney-Hobart race down the east coast of Australia.

Shipping traffic and fishing have not been affected.

Better Earth

Deep tremors are earthquake swarms, study finds

You can't feel them, hear them or see them, but swarms of tiny, noisy tremors occurring sporadically miles below the Earth's surface are actually slow-moving earthquakes that may help predict a catastrophic temblor.

Just six years ago, scientists didn't even know the earth was weakly shaking in parts of California, Washington and Japan. But in an important study on the phenomena published today in the journal Nature, Stanford researchers say the tremors are caused by the same mechanism as major quakes, slipping on the fault plates, and that they could signal times of increased seismic risk.


Island leopard deemed new species

Clouded leopards found on Sumatra and Borneo represent a new species, research by genetic scientists and the conservation group WWF indicates.


Sea monster gives Sydney goosebumps

A massive whirlpool has developed off the coast of NSW, dragging down the sea surface by almost a metre, diverting a mighty ocean current and chilling Sydney beachgoers.


Starving Amur tiger attacks village dog in snow-hit east Russia

A starving Amur tiger, one of the critically endangered species in Russia's taiga, killed a village dog in east Russia hit by a heavy snowstorm.

Snowstorms, the most powerful in more than 100 years, seized the Primorye Region near the Pacific in early March, creating high snow and making it difficult for tigers to hunt.

"A group of rescuers has been sent to the Yakovlevsky district to take the tiger back to taiga," an official of the Russian Natural Resources Ministry said, adding that the thick snow had forced the tiger to risk moving along cleared roads.


Surprising Activity Discovered at Yellowstone Supervolcano

Supervolcanoes can sleep for centuries or millennia before producing incredibly massive eruptions that can drop ash across an entire continent. One of the largest supervolcanoes in the world lies beneath Yellowstone National Park, which spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Though the Yellowstone system is active and expected to eventually blow its top, scientists don't think it will erupt any time soon.

Yet significant activity continues beneath the surface. And the activity has been increasing lately, scientists have discovered. In addition, the nearby Teton Range, in a total surprise, is getting shorter.

The findings, reported this month in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, suggest that a slow and gradual movement of a volcano over time can shape a landscape more than a violent eruption.


Five Scientists Testify Before Congress, 2003, on Abrupt Climate Change - Sudden Glacial Rebound

The report does not focus on large, abrupt causes - nuclear wars or giant meteorite impacts - but rather on the surprising new findings that abrupt climate change can occur when gradual causes push the earth system across a threshold. Just as the slowly increasing pressure of a finger eventually flips a switch and turns on a light, the slow effects of drifting continents or wobbling orbits or changing atmospheric composition may "switch" the climate to a new state. And, just as a moving hand is more likely than a stationary one to encounter and flip a switch, faster earth-system changes - whether natural or human-caused - are likely to increase the probability of encountering a threshold that triggers a still-faster climate shift.

Cloud Lightning

Abrupt Climate Change

Increased Storm Activity is one consequence of Global Warming. Tornadoes and Hurricanes are "heat exchangers." An increase in their frequency and strength can lead to massive and sudden cooling.