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Thu, 30 Nov 2023
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Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia's Central Java

Jakarta - A quake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia's Central Java, but there was no tsunami risk or reports of damage, the country's meteorological agency said on Sunday.

The epicenter of the quake was 10 km (6.2 miles) deep, 135 km (84 miles) southeast of Wonogiri district in Yogyakarta province, said Setyono, an official at the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency.

The ancient royal city of Yogyakarta was devastated by an earthquake that killed more than 5,700 people in May 2006.

"There was no potential tsunami and also no reports of damage," Setyono, who only uses one name, said. "The quake was felt as far as East Java, but the intensity was low."

Another quake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale struck Indonesia's northern part of Sumatra island earlier today. The agency put the quake at a depth of 10 km, 155 km northwest of Tanah Bala in north Sumatra.

Bizarro Earth

Tropical Storm Dolly forms in Caribbean

Miami, Florida -- Tropical Storm Dolly formed in the western Caribbean and approached Mexico on Sunday, as Tropical Storm Cristobal edged closer to the North Carolina coast.

Satellite image taken at 10:45 a.m. ET Sunday shows locations of the two storms.

The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula from Campeche to the border with Belize.

At 11:45 a.m. ET, the hurricane center said the center of Dolly -- the fourth tropical storm of the Atlantic season -- was about 270 miles east of Chetumal, Mexico, and 230 miles southeast of Cozumel.

Dolly was moving northwest at about 17 mph, with top sustained winds near 45 mph - See Dolly's projected path.


Leatherback Turtles' Newly Discovered Migration Route May Be Roadmap To Salvation

With a name like "Leatherback Turtle" you might think the sea turtles could stand up to just about anything the ocean can throw at them, and for more than a hundred million years, they have. But tough, long-lived critters though they are, the population of leatherbacks in the eastern Pacific Ocean has plummeted by over 90 percent in the last 20 years.

Leatherback Turtle
Leatherback Turtle

Like many species that migrate across a vast ocean, pinpointing all the possible causes of their decline is difficult and figuring out where conservationists might be able to intervene on their behalf is hugely challenging. But a major effort to tag and track leatherbacks that nest on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica has yielded unprecedented insight into their behavior.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning swarm detected in Atlanta

About 600 lightning strikes strafed communities north and east of Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon, touching off house fires across the region and striking a woman in Gwinnett County.

Cloud Lightning

Utah: Sevier County woman survives lightning strike

Richfield - A Sevier County woman beat the odds after getting struck by lightning and surviving. Experts say those odds are 1 in 700,000.

Cloud Lightning

Russia: Gadgets blamed as lightning strikes dozens

MOSCOW -- Lightning has killed and injured more than a dozen people in Russia in the past two weeks, officials say, blaming widespread use of electronic gadgets such as cell phones for an increase in deadly strikes.

Bizarro Earth

Barren Island volcano continues to remain active

The Barren Island volcano, near Andaman Islands, which rejuvenated its activity three years ago continues to be active and the series of eight earthquakes in the Andaman Sea in the last two days indicates the possibility of undersea volcanic activity.

'During the last 15 days, the volcano activity in the island has increased. Fire glow over the central cone can be seen at the night from a distance of 10 km,' according to Indian Coast Guard sources.

Barren Island volcano was reactivated following killer Sumatra earthquake of December 26, 2004 which created tsunami, killing lakhs (a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand) of people in various Asian countries, including India and Indonesia.

'Barren Island volcano located at 135 km northeast of Port Blair is the northern most point of Indonesian volcanic chain and is very active,' Dr D Chandrasekharam, Volcanologist of IIT Mumbai said, confirming it.

It appears that this volcanic activity must have triggered a series of eight earthquakes since evening of June 27 in southwest of Port Blair, magnitude varying from 4.8 to 6.6 on Richter scale occurring in the same junction which was earlier considered aseismic (not an earthquake zone), Chandra Sekharam, Head, Centre of Studies in Resources Engineering, said.

Bizarro Earth

US: Okmok volcano continues to act up

Umnak Island -- The U.S. Geological Survey says Okmok Volcano in Alaska is producing more explosions and ash plumes.

The ash is coming through a newly created vent and poses hazards to area air travel.

Scientists are tracking the eruption with seismic and global positioning system instruments on the ground and weather and radar satellites in space. Ash obscures the view inside the volcano's 6-mile-diameter crater.

Eruption of Okmok
©Kelly Reeves Alaska Airlines
Eruption of Okmok, image taken on Sunday, July 13, 2008.

The volcano in the eastern Aleutian Islands erupted unexpectedly July 12, sending up a plume that reached 50,000 feet and disrupted flights.


Judge restores protection for Rockies wolves

BILLINGS, Mont. - A federal judge has restored endangered species protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, derailing plans by three states to hold public wolf hunts this fall.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula granted a preliminary injunction late Friday restoring the protections for the wolves in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Molloy will eventually decide whether the injunction should be permanent.

The region has an estimated 2,000 gray wolves. They were removed from the endangered species list in March, following a decade-long restoration effort.

©AP Photo/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, File
A gray wolf.

Environmentalists sued to overturn the decision, arguing wolf numbers would plummet if hunting were allowed. They sought the injunction in the hopes of stopping the hunts and allowing the wolf population to continue expanding.

Cloud Lightning

Dust Storms In Sahara Desert Sustain Life In Atlantic Ocean

Research at the University of Liverpool has found how Saharan dust storms help sustain life over extensive regions of the North Atlantic Ocean.

©iStockphoto/Christian Peeters
A sand storm in the Sahara desert.

Working aboard research vessels in the Atlantic, scientists mapped the distribution of nutrients including phosphorous and nitrogen and investigated how organisms such as phytoplankton are sustained in areas with low nutrient levels.

They found that plants are able to grow in these regions because they are able to take advantage of iron minerals in Saharan dust storms. This allows them to use organic or 'recycled' material from dead or decaying plants when nutrients such as phosphorous - an essential component of DNA - in the ocean are low.