Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Philippines: 7 volcanic quakes recorded at Taal

© UnknownTaal
Taal Volcano in Batangas province showed renewed activity on Wednesday, with state volcanologists recording at least seven quakes in the last 24 hours.

In its Thursday report, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reiterated Taal's main crater remains off limits to the public.

"Alert Level 1 is still enforced over Taal Volcano. This means that a hazardous eruption is not imminent. However, the public is reminded that the main crater should be strictly off-limits due to sudden occurrence of steam explosions and accumulation of toxic gases," Phivolcs said on its website.

It added that the northern portion of the main crater rim, in the vicinity of Daang Kastila trail, may also be dangerous when increased steam emission is reactivated along existing fissures.

Phivolcs also reminded the public that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and permanent settlement in the island is strictly not recommended.

See the complete table on the Phivolcs website.

Cloud Lightning

Storm to bring Northern Lights to Britain

Northern Lights Britain
© AFPA display of Aurora Borealis, northern lights, in Ostby, Sweden.
Britain should experience spectacular Northern Lights displays from Thursday due to a large solar storm which could disrupt communication networks, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

"Since February 13 three energetic solar flares have erupted on the sun and spewed clouds of charged plasma called coronal mass ejections (CMEs) out towards the earth," a BGS geomagnetic storm warning said.

"Already one CME arrived on the 14th sparking Valentine's Day displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) further south than usual.

"Two CMEs are expected to arrive in the next 24-48 hours and further...displays are possible some time over the next two nights if skies are clear."

The strongest storm in four years is expected to interfere with satellites and electrical networks, with astronomers in southern China already reporting disturbances to radio communications.

Cow Skull

Peculiar geese deaths baffle wildlife officials in US

© The Blade/Jeremy WadsworthSick birds have been taken to area facilities that try to rehabilitate wildlife. Some birds got better; most did not.
Ailment afflicting birds around Lake Erie

Several dozen Canada geese along western Lake Erie's shoreline have recently died or are presumed dead while others have become so sick they cannot hold up their heads, fly, or maintain control of their motor functions.

State wildlife investigators are stumped, awaiting word on tests that a national wildlife laboratory in Wisconsin has been doing on some of the dead birds.

"They will fall out of the sky and have trouble staying upright," said Dave Sherman, a biologist at the Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station the Ohio Department of Natural Resources operates in Ottawa County.

Symptoms began manifesting themselves first with mallards about two or three weeks ago.

"Now, it's mostly geese we're seeing," he said.

The bulk of the problem appears to be in the Oregon area, Mr. Sherman said, in the vicinity of open water near FirstEnergy Corp.'s coal-fired Bay Shore power plant, where birds typically congregate this time of year.

Bizarro Earth

US: Earthquake Magnitude 4.0 - Arkansas

Friday, February 18, 2011 at 04:59:50 UTC

Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 10:59:50 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

35.257°N, 92.370°W

5.1 km (3.2 miles)


4 km (2 miles) NNE (29°) from Greenbrier, AR

8 km (5 miles) SE (143°) from Twin Groves, AR

8 km (5 miles) SSW (203°) from Guy, AR

58 km (36 miles) N (357°) from Little Rock, AR

420 km (261 miles) SSW (207°) from St. Louis, MO

Bizarro Earth

US: Just How Cold Has It Been This Winter?

How cold?

In the above illustration for the week Feb 7-14, 2011 in the contiguous United States, there were

655 Record Lows : 66 Record Highs.

Remember the heat wave this past summer in the Ukraine and western Russia, including Moscow?

This winter has been one of the coldest on record.

Bizarro Earth

Canada: 'Concerning' mass of dead fish, ducks blankets Little River in Windsor

© Jason Kryk / The Windsor StarThousands of dead fish and dozens of dead ducks float in Little River near Riverside Drive East in Windsor, Ont., on Feb. 16, 2011.
Windsor, Ontario -- There's an increasingly smelly fish-and-duck soup at the mouth of Little River as thousands of dead shad and several dozen dead ducks blanket the water's surface, causing some alarm among residents.

"It seems a little strange," said Mike Stoyshin, who noticed the mass of dead gizzard shad in the river while going for a walk Tuesday evening.

When he got a little closer, he realized there were several dead mallard and merganser ducks floating among the fish.

"I know that everybody says the shad die off every year but a dozen ducks dead in the same pile is kind of concerning," said Stoyshin.

Ministry of Natural Resources biologist Andy Cook dispatched a team from the Wheatley MNR office after being notified of the dead waterfowl by The Star Wednesday morning.

Seven mallards, one merganser and two Canada geese carcasses were retrieved and will be sent to the Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre in Guelph for analysis.

While Cook avoided prejudging the test results, he said the fish and waterfowl likely died for the same reason: the harsh winter temperatures this year.

Bizarro Earth

Six dead, 15,000 homeless in Madagascar cyclone

© AFP / EUMETSAT 2011A picture released by Eumetsat on February 14, 2011 shows an image of the tropical Cyclone Bingiza over northeast Madagascar, as captured by the AVHRR instrument onboard EUMETSAT's polar-orbiting satellite Metop-A.
The Bingiza Cyclone which hit northern Madagascar earlier this week has claimed six lives and left one person missing, with more than 15,000 people homeless and 8,530 buildings ruined, authorities said Thursday.

The Indian Ocean island's emergency office said the dead included four family members who drowned in the tropical hurricane, with gusts reaching 200 kilometres per hour.

In the south-east, home to the country's vital pepper and vanilla crops, most areas are flooded after the heavy rains. Floods are also threatening Farafangana further south.

Bizarro Earth

Incoming Coronal Mass Ejection

A coronal mass ejection (CME) propelled toward Earth by the X2-flare of Feb. 15th should arrive during the late hours of Feb. 17th--that's today. A moderately strong geomagnetic storm is likely when it arrives. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall.

NASA's researchers have made a time-lapse movie of the Feb. 17th explosion. Watch the video below then scroll down for commentary:


US: Harsh winter triggers New York City manhole explosions

manhole explosion
© Austin RiggsThis manhole explosion on Feb. 11, 2011, turned into fire on New York City's Sixth Ave.
Record snowfall is turning the city's mean streets even meaner, with 65 manholes exploding or catching fire since New Years, a utility spokesman said on Friday.

With snow piled six feet high for the past month, huge ice chunks raining down on congested intersections and street corners turned into frigid wading pools, flying manhole covers are yet another symptom of winter's wrath.

In the most recent serious case, a fireball erupting from a manhole in Brooklyn this week engulfed an SUV that had been parked over the opening only moments before.

Mr. Potato

Still Singing the Global Warming Song: Prince Charles defends his faith against 'deniers'

Prince Charles
© Associated PressPrince Charles addresses the European Parliament in Brussels
Prince Charles's speech in Brussels last week shows him still clinging to climate change orthodoxy, says Christopher Booker

Flanked by the panjandrums of our European government, the Prince of Wales once again held forth in Brussels last week on the favorite bee in his bonnet, global warming. He bemused MEPs with a welter of dubious statistics, called for a drastic reduction in our economic standard of living and ended with a swipe at those heretics of our time, the "climate change skeptics" who are corroding public debate by daring to "deny the vast body of scientific opinion that shows beyond any reasonable doubt that global warming has been exacerbated by human industrialized activity".

As defender of the faith, of course, the Prince did not need any proof for such a dogmatic assertion. But whether it is wise for him still to be showing such religious attachment to this particular belief system, just when it is rapidly falling apart, is questionable.