Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

100,000-plus without power in Midwest

Storms slammed rain-soaked Ohio on Saturday and hundreds of thousands of people in the Midwest were without power after their homes were battered by lashing winds and flooding rains.

Tornado warnings were issued Saturday afternoon for parts of central and southeast Ohio. Downed trees and power lines were reported in the southern part of the state, said National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Hatzos.

Cloud Lightning

Australia's Sunshine Coast floods could ease, but beaches closed

A possible pause to the heavy rain that has caused widespread flooding on Queensland's Sunshine Coast could stop the worst fears of rescuers from being realised today, but residents have still been evacuated from at-risk areas after the region was bucketed in recent days.

©John Wilson
Cut off ... Sunshine Coast residents look at the flooded Mary River.

While the flooding is now forecast to be less severe today than earlier feared, the wild weather has brought huge swells to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, forcing beaches there to be closed.

Bizarro Earth

Update! Pavlof Volcano continues erupting in Alaska

One of Alaska's most active volcanoes continued vigorously erupting into its second week, with larger explosive eruptions still expected, officials said Thursday.

"Earthquake activity remains steady and well above normal" at Pavlof Volcano on the Aleutian arc, and vigorous lava flow is continuing, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.


Volcano seismologist Steve McNutt said the volcano, located about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, could be building toward a major, more explosive eruption.

Cloud Lightning

Iowa has rainiest August on record

A spokesperson with the state climatologist office has confirmed what many Iowans have suspected - this is the rainiest August in Iowa history.

Harry Hillaker, climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, reported Friday that continuing rains have resulted in a statewide average precipitation amount of 8.62 inches through early Friday morning. The previous record was 8.24 inches in August 1993.


Los Angeles enjoying 1,000 year seismic lull: Life in the city of earthquakes could be worse, says surprising new study

The Los Angeles basin appears to be in a seismic "lull" characterized by relatively smaller and infrequent earthquakes, according to a study in the September issue of Geology.

By contrast, the Mojave Desert is in a seismically active period. Seismic activity alternates between the two regions, the study suggests.

The lull in the Los Angeles basin began 1,000 years ago, said the authors, led by James Dolan, associate professor of earth sciences at the University of Southern California.

"The past 1,000 years has been relatively quiet," Dolan said, referring to what he calls the "urban fault network" under the Los Angeles metropolitan area.


Forest fires kill at least 27 in southern Greece

Fires raced across dry woodlands in southern Greece on Friday, sweeping into mountainous towns and villages and killing at least 27 people, the country's deadliest forest fire toll in decades, authorities said.

Fire crews searching through charred villages in the western Peloponnese region after daybreak said they had found 21 bodies in villages near the town of Zaharo, including those of three firefighters. To the southeast, another six people lost their lives in another fire near the town of Areohoro, the fire department said.

©RTV International

Bizarro Earth

Two-Headed Cow Born In California

It's not something you see everyday; a two-headed calf is born in Tulare County.


Cloud Lightning

Death toll rises as remnants of Hurricane Dean cause landslides in Mexico

The remnants of the once mighty Hurricane Dean triggered deadly mudslides in Mexico Thursday as driving rain drenched a large part of the country, bringing the storm's death toll to at least 25.

And with river levels swelling rapidly and pounding rain hitting unstable mountain flanks, officials warned the crisis was far from over, even though Dean was downgraded to a tropical depression.

©Omar Torres/AFP
People look at the remains of a destroyed house on Mahahual's beach, 80 km from Chetumal, after the passage of Hurricane Dean, 22 August 2007.

Cloud Lightning

New storms bear down on Midwest, Chicago

The Windy City and northern Illinois were braced for a second punch Friday after a sudden storm with 70 mph wind slammed into the Chicago area Thursday evening, tearing down huge trees and damaging buildings.

In the suburbs Thursday, part of an industrial facility's roof collapsed, injuring 40 people, and a tornado struck western Michigan, downing about 700 trees in Montcalm County.

©Weather Underground

Early Friday, another band of thunderstorms dumped more rain along a line from southern Iowa into Wisconsin.


Two new papers make extraordinary claims about comets and life - and NASA goes into damage control

Napier et al. assert that life originated in comets, not on planets like Earth. Kennett et al. believe that a large comet impacted North America just 13,000 years ago, causing a mass extinction. For a critique, read on.

Comment: Seems the people at NASA still don't like cometary showers invading the inner solar system. Their "evidence" is the lack of evidence that would explain what their theories predict about comets, dismissing the compelling evidence "on the ground", albeit a lack of a crater, but that could be explained if the comet impacted the Laurentide ice sheet itself, despite their dismissals. It's as if the Inquisition demanded Galileo disprove the bible's contention that there are four corners of Earth before proposing the theory that the earth is, in fact, round. And what about this crater discussed here? And what about the Carolina Bays?
It is generally accepted today that the Tunguska event can only be attributed to a rare encounter with a "comet," or incoming body of such a nature that it left no stony or ferrous material, but simply vaporized and scorched the earth below in a rare display of high energy physics.

To explain the Bays, Kobres proposes a similar encounter, albeit of larger proportions and more accurately described as a "near miss." The "Kobres Event" proposes that a "comet," if you like, whipped past the Earth, exchanging enormous energy but not impacting directly to form a typical crater. It is demonstrable that such an encounter would show an intense flash of heat onto the ground below. This heat would have caused moister portions in the Pleistocene landscape to explode into steam, leaving the depressions in the ground that we know today as "Carolina Bays."