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Sat, 31 Oct 2020
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Chilean volcano captured blasting ash

Chile's Chaiten Volcano is shown spewing ash and smoke (centre left of image) into the air for hundreds of km over Argentina's Patagonia Plateau in this Envisat image acquired on 5 May 2008.

The 1000 m-high volcano had been dormant for thousands of years before erupting on 2 May, causing the evacuation of thousands. Chaiten Volcano is located in southern Chile 10 km northeast of the town of Chaiten on the Gulf of Corcovado.

Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument processed this image at a resolution of 1200 m.

Satellite data can be used to detect the slight signs of change that may foretell an eruption. Once an eruption begins, optical and radar instruments can capture the lava flows, mudslides, ground fissures and earthquakes.

Image
©ESA
Chile's Chaiten Volcano is shown spewing ash and smoke into the air for hundreds of km over Argentina's Patagonia Plateau in this Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) image, acquired on 5 May 2008.

Butterfly

Bee disappearance reaches Northern Ireland: Strange case of the missing bees

Bees are usually the hardest workers in County Armagh orchards, pollinating the apple blossom - but this year fruit growers complain that many bees have simply not turned up.

Bee-keepers, too, are worried about the crash in numbers and some are describing the problem as colony collapse disorder.

Image
©BBC
Some hives are lying empty

Question

US: Dying bats in the Northeast remain a mystery

Investigations continue into the cause of a mysterious illness that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of bats since March 2008. At more than 25 caves and mines in the northeastern U.S, bats exhibiting a condition now referred to as "white-nosed syndrome" have been dying.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently issued a Wildlife Health Bulletin, advising wildlife and conservation officials throughout the U.S. to be on the lookout for the condition known as "white-nose syndrome" and to report suspected cases of the disease.

USGS wildlife disease specialist Dr. Kimberli Miller advises that "anyone finding sick or dead bats should avoid handling them and should contact their state wildlife conservation agency or the nearest U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service field office to report their observation."

Bell

UN says 1.5 million people 'severely affected' by Myanmar cyclone

Some 1.5 million people have been "severely affected" by the Nargis tropical cyclone that hit Myanmar at the weekend, a UN official said on Thursday.

Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar last Saturday, devastating large parts of the country. The death toll, which currently stands at over 100,000, is likely to rise further as rescue workers struggle to reach remote settlements, while the nationwide number of displaced people could reach millions.

Question

Mysterious haze covers south Palm Beach County

A fire burning in the dried-up bed of Lake Okeechobee is the most likely source of that smoky smell pestering residents in southern and western Palm Beach County.

The Division of Forestry, the Boca Raton Fire Department dispatchers, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue all report several calls from residents in the Boca Raton area complaining of smoke. But earlier in the morning, its source was elusive.

Fish

Under the ice lurks a 'strange' Arctic monster

Canadian fish scientists are opening a window into the mysterious world of the Greenland shark -- the top predator in the Canadian Arctic about which almost nothing is known.

Except this, says Steve Campana of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography: "These are very, very strange sharks."

Its meat is poison. Its mouth is far under its body. It has almost no spine. It's so lethargic that it doesn't even snap at the scientists who hook it and attach a radio to it.

And it may live 200 years.

Bizarro Earth

Huge landslide hits Dorset's Jurassic Coast

It began as a low rumble on Tuesday night, but soon giant chunks of land "the size of cars" were cascading into the sea off Dorset. By yesterday morning, a 400m section of the World Heritage Jurassic Coast between Lyme Regis and Charmouth had disappeared, in what has been described as the biggest landslide Britain has seen in a century.

Better Earth

Climate Models Overheat Antarctica, New Study Finds

Computer analyses of global climate have consistently overstated warming in Antarctica, concludes new research by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Ohio State University. The study can help scientists improve computer models and determine if Earth's southernmost continent will warm significantly this century, a major research question because of Antarctica's potential impact on global sea-level rise.

map of Antarctica
©Steve Deyo, UCAR
This map of Antarctica shows the approximate boundaries of areas that have warmed or cooled over the past 35 years. The map is based on temperatures in a recently-constructed data set by NCAR scientist Andrew Monaghan and colleagues. The data combines observations from ground-based weather stations, which are few and far between, with analysis of ice cores used to reveal past temperatures.

"We can now compare computer simulations with observations of actual climate trends in Antarctica," says NCAR scientist Andrew Monaghan, the lead author of the study. "This is showing us that, over the past century, most of Antarctica has not undergone the fairly dramatic warming that has affected the rest of the globe. The challenges of studying climate in this remote environment make it difficult to say what the future holds for Antarctica's climate."

Target

Majesterium and the Tipping Point

"Time passes, but they're always five to seven years from the bomb." -- Shlomo Brom, Israel's deputy national security adviser under former Prime Minister Ehud Barak


Angel by William Blake


As Israeli politicians continue to beat the war-drums over what they (now alone) claim to be an imminent threat from a nuclear-capable Iran, very similar hysterical rhetoric is being used in the attempt to convince us of a very different if equally catastrophic threat to life on earth - "climate change". The doomsayers tell us we have ten years, at most, to reverse the inevitable destruction or face the dire consequences of cities under water, earthquakes, tsunamis and the dreaded, if not racist, tropical diseases moving north. While researching this article I came across a blog that made a very salient point:
Quite apart from the science, one thing I find suspicious about climate catastrophism is how there's supposed to be this massive and terribly deleterious change ahead of us, and yet (by what strikes me as an amazing coincidence) we are always said to still be capable of stopping it but only -- and here the speaker invariably assumes the urgent air of an infomercial voice-over -- if we act right this very minute. This is strange, given that we're dealing with what (on the catastrophist account) seems to be a slippery-slope doomsday scenario that has been building up since the Industrial Revolution. Given the long time-frame and massive uncertainties involved, you'd think that predictions of the exact timing of the "point of no return" must involve a fairly significant margin of error. In light of that, it's odd that there doesn't seem to be even one climate-change affirmer out there who's saying "Rats! I hate to tell you this guys, but it's one or two (or ten or fifty) years too late and there's basically nothing we can do now." Perhaps adding: "So we might as well just go out in style -- let's everyone head out to the SUV dealership!" Or "Let's get 10,000 of our best friends together and jet over to Bali for a big wingding!"

On the other hand, there are thousands of them who seem to think we're just a few years away from this point of no return...
And that's it: We're always a few years away from the point of no return, whether it's Iran, climate, or some other "catastrophic" event we must act now before it is too late. What if Iran already has the bomb? What if we're already past the point of no return? What will you do, what will They do then?

Attention

US: Massive Fish Die-Off on New York's Lake Champlain

Crews in New York started to cleanup a massive fish die-off on Lake Champlain Monday. The state sent in some prisoners to help with the really smelly job of getting rid of thousands of dead fish.