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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Tens of thousands of jellyfish-like creatures wash up on beaches in Greymouth, New Zealand

© Greymouth Star
Tens of thousands of jellyfish-like creatures have washed up on Greymouth beaches
Tens of thousands of jellyfish-like creatures have washed up on Greymouth beaches, surprising even the Department of Conservation with the scale.

DoC says the rotting mass are by-the-wind-sailors, also called Velella.

A huge mass blankets an 18m by 8m area of the Blaketown aerodrome car park, with more scattered south along the high tide mark.

By last evening, they were giving off a strong smell as they lay in the sun.

DOC marine expert Don Neale said by-the-wind-sailors were related to jellyfish and "bluebottles", which also often washed up.


Storm dumps 12 inches of snow in 24 hours at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

© Craig Hill
Mount Rainier
The road to Paradise from Longmire at Mount Rainier National Park opened late Friday morning after the area received a foot of snow in 24 hours, the park announced on Twitter.

The Stevens Canyon Road remains closed. The park's roads condition hotline, last updated at 7:15 a.m., states that the road to Sunrise is closed.

Weather forecasts call for sunny weather over the weekend.


Yellowstone's supervolcano: Threat is greater than previously thought

© The Sun/Getty
Yellowstone supervolcano caldera
Scientists from the US Geological Survey who breezily informed the public that there's "nothing to worry about" with regards to the Yellowstone caldera, a supervolcano that should it erupt could cause potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths, should be eating their words.

Since about mid-July, the earth beneath the volcano has been shifting in a sign that magma could be rushing into the caldera's main chamber. Since then, there have been roughly 2,500 small-scale earthquakes recorded near the volcano, the largest stretch on record. Previous estimates had assumed that the process that led to the eruption took millenniums to occur.

The same estimates that USGS based their warning on.

© Unknown
As the New York Times explains, the Yellowstone caldera is a behemoth far more powerful than your average volcano. It has the ability to expel more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once, 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980, which killed 57 people. That could blanket most of the United States in a thick layer of ash and even plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter.

As the Times points out, scientists expect a supervolcano eruption to scar the planet once every 100,000 years.

To reach their conclusion, the team of scientists spent weeks at Yellowstone's Lava Creek Tuff - a fossilized ash deposit from the volcano's last supereruption, where they gathered samples and analyzed the volcanic leftovers. The analysis allowed the scientists to pin down changes in the lava flow before the last eruption. The crystalline structures of the rocks recorded changes in temperature, pressure and water content beneath the volcano just like tree rings do.


Scientists on alert as underwater volcano Tagoro in the Canary Islands bursts into life

The underwater volcano near El Hierro is simmering
On October 10, 2011, the Tagoro underwater volcano near to the island of El Hierro, the smallest of the isles in the Canaries, began bursting into life.

The volcano beneath the surface began spewing ash and lava which bubbled to the top - and although that eruption was not too strong, scientists are monitoring the volcano as they are wary it could burst into life with more power.

A project known as Vulcano-II-1017 from the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and Feder, in conjunction with the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the University of La Laguna and the Museum of Nature and Man of Tenerife, will monitor the situation to see if the volcano poses any danger.

The reason experts are keeping a close eye on it is because the volcano is still rumbling six years after its eruption near to the tourist hotspot.

Comment: See also this recent report from the 10th of October concerning the region: 40 earthquake tremors in 48 hours hit La Palma, Canary Islands


'We lost count at 40' - Dozens of waterspouts seen off San Juan Islands, Washington

© Bryce Bynum
Double waterspouts form in Washington's Birch Bay on Oct. 11, 2017.
Dozens of waterspouts were spotted over a 90 minute period in the waters off Whatcom County and the San Juan Islands Wednesday morning as thunderstorms swirled in the area.

"We lost count at 40 of them, at least," said John Evich, who was out crabbing Wednesday morning.

Evich said he and his crew spotted the first one around 8 a.m. as he left Blaine heading toward Alden Bank near Orcas Island.

"The very first one started in the center of Birch Bay," he said. He called a bunch of his fishing friends to go look for the waterspouts -- essentially tornadoes over water -- but they hadn't left port yet.

"At that point, we kept crabbing, and then saw another one -- then another one build up right next to it," Evich said. He said the two combined into one waterspout and then wiped each other out.


Cosmic rays found to be a trigger for explosive volcanic eruptions

Volcanoes with silica-rich and highly viscous magma tend to produce violent explosive eruptions that result in disasters in local communities and that strongly affect the global environment.

We examined the timing of 11 eruptive events that produced silica-rich magma from four volcanoes in Japan (Mt. Fuji, Mt. Usu, Myojinsho, and Satsuma-Iwo-jima) over the past 306 years (from AD 1700 to AD 2005). Nine of the 11 events occurred during inactive phases of solar magnetic activity (solar minimum), which is well indexed by the group sunspot number.

This strong association between eruption timing and the solar minimum is statistically significant to a confidence level of 96.7%. This relationship is not observed for eruptions from volcanoes with relatively silica-poor magma, such as Izu-Ohshima. It is well known that the cosmic-ray flux is negatively correlated with solar magnetic activity, as the strong magnetic field in the solar wind repels charged particles such as galactic cosmic rays that originate from outside of the solar system.


'Ear-splitting' boom rattles North Carolina homes - the source a growing mystery

© The Charlotte Observer
An "ear-splitting boom" that shook homes in Winston-Salem has prompted an official investigation into the mysterious source of the noise.

Police said they received numerous calls around 10:45 p.m. Saturday about an "explosion" that rattled windows and shook homes, reported Fox8 WGHP. The reports came from people living in a several mile-wide radius from Tommy's Lake Road to Bethania-Rural Hall Road.

Adding to the mystery: No evidence of damage has been found, media outlets are reporting.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills one pupil and injures 7 others in Zimbabwe

A grade seven pupil at Jekwa Primary School in Murehwa was killed, while seven others were seriously injured after being struck by a lightning bolt on Wednesday.

The injured pupils are admitted at Nhowe Mission Hospital.

The deceased, Esnath Tanaka Musodza (14), who had sat for most of her Grade Seven examinations, was fatally struck while studying within the school premises.

The injured pupils — Tilda Chideya (14), Shyline Mukwati (14), Chipo Gova (13), Tinotenda Sinzau (12), Rejoice Kativhu (12) and Kimberly Kadzere (13) — were also in the school yard when the bolt of lightning struck.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education sent a condolence message to Esnath's family.


Ice Age Cometh: It's snowing on ski slopes all over the world

It's currently snowing on ski slopes all over the world.

Ski areas in the Alps have reported up to 20cm of fresh snow in the past 24 hours - around 15 glacier ski areas are already open and have great conditions.


Pit bull terriers unleashed: Should they be banned?

It's a fact that pit bulls, with their powerful jaws, can kill and maim. Google 'pit bull attacks' if you dare. But are pit bulls born bad or do humans make them that way? Therein lies an emotional - sometimes vicious - debate. On one side, traumatized families and public safety advocates. On the other, a powerful group of lobbyists who say pit bulls are the most misunderstood breed of dogs and are no more dangerous than any other pets. Canada has a patchwork of laws and regulations - Ontario has a ban, Quebec is considering one. But pro-pit bull activists oppose any "breed-specific legislation." In the United States, the lobby has even succeeded in getting many states to ban any pit bull bans. Mark Kelley speaks to leading advocates for pit bulls, families of pit bull attack victims, shelter workers and doctors as he probes the sometimes disturbing debate over what to do about the pit bull.

Comment: See also this brief film featuring some revealing comments made by Cesar Millan about the fundamental nature of this type of dog.

...Yeah, but this is a different breed...the power that comes behind the bull dog, pit bull, presa canario, the fighting breed - They have an extra boost, they can go into a zone, they don't feel the pain anymore...so if you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it's not going to happen. They would rather die than surrender. If you add pain, it only infuriates them...to them pain is that adrenaline rush, they are looking forward to that, they are addicted to it...that's why they are such great fighters. Especially with fighting breeds, you're going to have these explosions over and over because there's no limits in their brains...