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Tue, 23 May 2017
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Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

A seismic swarm in progress beneath the Seattle Fault

© johanssonclark.com
This view from Bainbridge Island towards Seattle looks out across Puget Sound. The active Seattle Fault Zone runs through this area and poses a significant threat to the region.
About two weeks ago, a seismic swarm just west of the city of Seattle, Washington, and southwest of Bainbridge Island started. It began with a M=3.3, which was followed a week later by a M=3.4 and a M=3.5. In total, the USGS has recorded 72 earthquakes in the area over the last two weeks. While there has only been one earthquake in the last few days (a M=1.1 at 2:13 a.m. this morning), we thought we'd take a look at the activity and the regional tectonics, with help from the people at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

The city of Seattle sits right on top of the Seattle Fault zone, an east-west-striking system of reverse faults within the Puget Lowland. While active, the Seattle Fault Zone is largely concealed as it lies at the southern end of the Seattle Basin, which is covered by surface deposits, water and dense vegetation. Nonetheless, by using LiDAR (light detection and ranging) the faults can be clearly seen (See image below). This complex system of reverse faults formed due to regional compression on the order of 0.5 cm/yr.
This LiDAR image from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network clearly shows traces of the active Seattle Fault. If this fault were to rupture in a large earthquake like it did 1,100 years ago (M=7.0) it would have devastating effects on the region.

Ice Cube

"Mini Ice Age is here to stay," says astrophysicist

"Major cold plunges hit Europe April and May 2017. The developing Mini-Ice-Age is now in a NEW PHASE and here to stay 20 years" says Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist of WeatherAction.

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for this link

Ice Cube

Northern Hemisphere winter snow cover is increasing

Northern Hemisphere snow extent has been trending upward since at least 1967 in both North America and Eurasia. And yet, snow was supposed to be a thing of the past. Here's a graph from Rutgers University Global Snow Lab (GSL) showing Northern Hemisphere Snow Extent.

Thanks to Peter G for this link

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 3 people in Jharkhand, India

Three persons including two of a family were killed in a lightning strike in Patahatu village under Jagannathpur police station of West Singhbhum district this evening, police said.

Mosem Koda (35), and his 10-year-old son Jamadar were working outside their home when the incident occurred.

Another 10-year-old girl also died along with the two.

The three died instantaneously after being struck by lightning during rains, police said.

Source: Press Trust of India

Cloud Precipitation

Soggy spring slows seeding, farmers falling behind in Alberta

Flooded farmland in Alberta
Alberta farmers are off to a slow start after a wet, soggy spring.

Allam Farms Partnership farms 14,000 acres in Thorhild County and Strathcona County but chief operations officer Chris Allam said the business is behind where it normally is at this time of year.

"We're usually done seeding by now. Right now, we're approximately 30 to 40 per cent complete. Our problem is we're up against the clock," he said.

Allam said his machinery has been stuck in his fields close to 30 times because the fields are so wet.

"If we seed a bit late, it's going to be hard to get it off in the back-end. We'll see issues with quality and yield reductions," he said."We're working really long hours and trying to get it all in and get it done in a timely fashion. But Mother Nature didn't cooperate earlier on - it is [okay] for the next few days - but we'll see if the forecast changes."

Allam said that roughly 10 per cent of his fields will not get seeded because of the water.


Mass bird die-off observed from Amelia Island to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Representative image
Pelicans and other species of aquatic birds are reportedly dying off from the coast near Amelia Island all the way south to Ponte Vedra Beach, sea life researchers say.

Researchers with the Florida Sea Grant Extension of Northeast Florida, a part of the Unversity of Florida/IFAS Extension Program based in Flagler County, say ospreys, pelicans, gulls, and anhingas are a part of this die-off.

These birds appear to become disoriented, the researchers say, and somehow find themselves far from the ocean and their habitats. Their feathers become dry, brittle, bleached and lack proper waterproofing. Some can even be seen bleeding from the mouth.


Biblical: State of emergency is declared on Greek island battling a plague of locusts

Villagers are battling a plague of locusts on a tiny Greek island, prompting a state of emergency to be declared. Pictured, locusts swarming a desert in Israel

Villagers are battling a plague of locusts on a tiny Greek island, prompting a state of emergency to be declared.

The sleepy port of Agios Efstratios has been overrun with millions of the insects, which are devouring so much vegetation that the sheep are starving.

Desperate students from Athens have been traversing the rocky terrain to spray the locusts with pesticide - but they continue to swarm across the island.


Sea lion grabs young girl and drags her into the water in Richmond, British Columbia

The animal leaps out of the water before grabbing a young girl sitting at the side of the pier by her dress
A little girl was left traumatised after a sea lion grabbed her as she sat on the edge of a pier before dragging her underwater.

The horrifying incident took place at the Steveston Fisherman's Wharf in Richmond B.C., in Canada, as tourists watched the animal looking for fish.

Footage shows people laughing as the sea lion bobs up and down in the water.

At one point it jumps right up to a young girl who was leaning over the side of the pier to get a better look.

She flinches back and giggles - seemingly thinking the animal is being playful - before sitting at the water's edge.

But the sea lion then leaps from the water grabs her by the dress before pulling her in.


Dead whale found on beach in Felixstowe, UK; reports of dead calf nearby


A dead whale sadly washed up at Felixstowe beach.
The UK Coastguard received a report from crew onboard a ship that a whale was "floating out at sea" at around 1.30pm today (Saturday).

The whale, believed to be an adult minke whale and measuring around seven metres, later washed up on the beach during the evening. A UK Coastguard spokesman has confirmed it died.

A team of marine experts are currently at the scene and may remain overnight. A cordon is expected to be put up later. The incident remains ongoing.

The spokesman said: "A vessel reported at approximately 1.30pm that a whale was floating out at sea. It has since washed up on the beach."

The UK Coastguard is receiving support from the Felixstowe Coast Patrol Rescue Service, Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Coastal District Council.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill a total of 10 cows in Udupi, India

During the heavy rains and lightning that took place in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts from Thursday late night to Friday evening, several cows have died and more than 300 electric poles have been damaged. Trees were seen uprooted in many parts of the district.

In Dakshina Kannada district, Mangaluru, Puttur, Sullia, Bantwal and Beltangady areas received good rains with lightning and thunder. Mulky Kinnigoli and Suratkal areas received more lightning with light rains and strong winds.

Winds caused uprooting of trees and as a result more than 300 electric poles were damaged which is unprecedented during pre-monsoon showers in Dakshina Kannada.

Several parts of the district were affected with electric supply till Friday evening.

Udupi district too witnessed the same situation like in Dakshina Kannada. All parts of the district received moderate to heavy rains. Lightning claimed 3 cows in Kukkuje near Hebri, 3 cows in Amasebail, 3 cows in Thekkatte near Kundapur and a calf at Karkala. Several houses were reportedly damaged due to rains. Losses are yet to be ascertained.