Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 4.9 - Offshore Northern California

Friday, August 07, 2009 at 10:49:34 UTC
Friday, August 07, 2009 at 03:49:34 AM at epicenter

40.316°N, 124.626°W

16.4 km (10.2 miles)

Offshore Northern California

29 km (18 miles) W (268°) from Petrolia, CA

42 km (26 miles) SW (227°) from Ferndale, CA

48 km (30 miles) WSW (245°) from Rio Dell, CA

66 km (41 miles) SW (217°) from Eureka, CA

334 km (208 miles) NW (307°) from Sacramento, CA

Bizarro Earth

3.3. Earthquake Shakes the Los Angeles Area

A small earthquake rattled the Los Angeles area early this morning.

The magnitude-3.3 quake struck around 1:53 a.m. Friday and was centered about 4 miles north-northwest of Fontana and 44 miles east of the Los Angeles Civic Center, according to a preliminary report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The survey says the earthquake's epicenter was relatively shallow, just one-tenth of a mile below the surface.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.


The plight of the humble bee

Honeybees are in serious trouble. Last year nearly a third of the UK's 240,000 honeybee colonies were wiped out, putting at risk the pollination of fruits and vegetables. Early indications of losses this year suggest the bees are faring slightly better, but a survey of beekeepers to be released this month is expected to show that around one in five hives didn't make it through the winter. Beekeepers can usually expect to lose 10% of their hives due to poor weather or disease.

Alarm Clock

King salmon vanishing in Alaska, smokehouses empty

Anchorage - Yukon River smokehouses should be filled this summer with oil-rich strips of king salmon - long used by Alaska Natives as a high-energy food to get through the long Alaska winters. But they're mostly empty.

The kings failed to show up, and not just in the Yukon.

Cloud Lightning

Typhoon Morakot's cloud top extent doubled in size in one day

Satellite imagery over the last two days has shown Typhoon Morakot to be a monster, and over the last two days, NASA satellites have confirmed the typhoon doubled its size!

© NASA JPL, Ed OlsenThis infrared satellite image shows Typhoon Morakot's cold clouds (depicted in purple and blue) stretching over 1,000 miles in diameter on Aug. 6 in the East China Sea.
"Our satellite scan swath width is 1700 kilometers (1,056 miles) and Morakot looks to be almost that much in diameter in the infrared imagery on August 5," said Ed Olsen, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Olsen provides images for the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on the Aqua satellite. "On August Morakot was only about 1/2 the width of our swath width, near 850 kilometers (528 miles) in diameter!"

To put it into perspective, 1,056 miles is longer than the distance from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Orlando, Florida. Olsen said that it's important to know that satellite image represents the lateral extent of the cold cloud tops and that the winds definitely do not extend over an area 1,000 miles in diameter.


Death-Grip Fungus Made Me Do It

Ants attacked by specialist spores bite low-hanging leaves before dying

Death Grip
© David HughesThis ant latched on to a leaf before dying from infection by the parasitic fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis.
The line between fungus biology and late-night television just got blurrier.

A fungus that attacks living ants apparently manipulates their behavior for its own benefit, an international research team reports in the September American Naturalist.

When the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus strikes, an infected ant climbs to a leaf not far off the ground (often on the north-northwest side of a tree), bites in and dies with jaws locked in place. Experiments now show that these low-hanging leaves give the fungus prime conditions for growing a spore-bearing spike out of the ant's neck, says study coauthor David Hughes of Harvard University.

Cloud Lightning

Austria hit by more bad weather

Austria flood
© FF PredingParts of Salzburg and Upper and Lower Austria were hit by heavy rain, hail and winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour (Mon/Tues).
Parts of Salzburg and Upper and Lower Austria were hit by heavy rain, hail and winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour as more bad weather battered Austria last night (Mon/Tues).

In Lower Austria alone 1,500 firemen were called out.

Rescuers helped an 84-year-old woman in Eggenburg, Lower Austria who had become disoriented in the rain and couldn't find her way back home as well as an Italian family cycling along the Danube River near Wallsee, Lower Austria who had lost their way in the rain.

High wind in Sitzenberg in Tulln district in Lower Austria blew 150 square metres of metal off the framework of a building under construction while lightning in Zwettl district in Lower Austria set two roofs on fire and started a forest fire nearby. It also started a blaze at an apartment in Brand and a set barn on fire in Schöngraben.

A mudslide in Gosau, Upper Austria hit 300 metres of a local highway, carrying some parked cars away and a pregnant woman, 31, was injured when a carriage she was riding in was overturned by a gust of wind in Upper Austria.

Weathermen have said rain will ease off tonight and tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon, Thursday and Friday will be mostly sunny before rain returns over the weekend.

Salzburg's northern Flachgau had already been hit by more heavy thunderstorms on Sunday less than two weeks after massive hail storms had left a trail of destruction in the area.

Evil Rays

Anthropogenic CO2 is too small to be a significant or relevant factor in the global warming

In a paper recently published in the international peer-reviewed journal Energy & Fuels, Dr. Robert H. Essenhigh (2009), Professor of Energy Conversion at The Ohio State University, addresses the residence time (RT) of anthropogenic CO2 in the air. He finds that the RT for bulk atmospheric CO2, the molecule 12CO2, is ~5 years, in good agreement with other cited sources (Segalstad, 1998), while the RT for the trace molecule 14CO2 is ~16 years. Both of these residence times are much shorter than what is claimed by the IPCC. The rising concentration of atmospheric CO2 in the last century is not consistent with supply from anthropogenic sources. Such anthropogenic sources account for less than 5% of the present atmosphere, compared to the major input/output from natural sources (~95%). Hence, anthropogenic CO2 is too small to be a significant or relevant factor in the global warming process, particularly when comparing with the far more potent greenhouse gas water vapor. The rising atmospheric CO2 is the outcome of rising temperature rather than vice versa. Correspondingly, Dr. Essenhigh concludes that the politically driven target of capture and sequestration of carbon from combustion sources would be a major and pointless waste of physical and financial resources.

Cloud Lightning

Dr. Gray's updated hurricane forecast 2009: Good news

hurriane Ike
© NASA"Ike" as seen from Space Shuttle, September 2008.

Dr. William Gray, a noted expert in long-range hurricane forecasting, issued his revised forecast for the remainder of the 2009 hurricane season, and it is good news: A below-average season, about 85% of the long-term average in terms of activity, is expected. This is primarily due to a developing El Nino, which increases vertical wind shears which are hostile to hurricane growth.

Here is a portion of the text from his report, posted on the Colorado State website August 4, 2009:

Life Preserver

Scientific evidence now points to global cooling, contrary to U.N. alarmism

Opponents of the Waxman-Markey "cap and trade" bill would do well to invoke recent scientific studies that show global surface temperatures have not increased since 1998, contrary to what climate models have predicted.

U.S. policymakers who cite "consensus" on man-made global warming as justification for anti-emission regulations are relying upon outdated and misleading material from the United Nations that deliberately omits the influence of natural forces, according to climate skeptics. In fact, a growing body of evidence now points to the emergence of another cooling cycle that could persist for decades.

Dr. Don Easterbrook, a geologist and professor emeritus at Western Washington University, has presented data that shows a cooler and wetter climate is in order for the next 25 to 30 years. The Pacific Ocean has a warm temperature mode and a cool temperature mode known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO, he said in a recent study.