Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake near Indonesia's Sulawesi damages buildings


Jakarta - A powerful earthquake which struck near the Talaud Islands north of Indonesia's Sulawesi island has damaged many buildings in the area, the meteorology agency said on Thursday.

The quake, at a shallow depth of about 10 km (6.2 miles), was felt strongly in the Talaud Islands, and followed by several aftershocks. A tsunami warning issued by the agency was later lifted.

Oktifar Tribandono, an official at the agency, said many houses in the area collapsed, and two churches were damaged, but so far there have been no reports of casualties. The area lies in an agricultural belt and is sparsely populated.

The U.S. Geographical Survey initially put the quake at a magnitude of 7.5 magnitude, although later lowered its estimate to 7.0.

A reporter for Indonesia's state radio station in the town of Tahuna said frightened people had rushed out of their homes after the strong quake on the islands bordering the Celebes Sea.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake Fiji


Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 13:52:43 UTC

Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 01:52:43 AM at epicenter

Location 16.211°S, 178.316°E

Depth 21.8 km (13.5 miles) (poorly constrained)

Distances 115 km (70 miles) W of Lambasa, Vanua Levu, Fiji

215 km (130 miles) N of SUVA, Viti Levu, Fiji

430 km (270 miles) SSE of Rotuma Island, Fiji

2310 km (1440 miles) N of Auckland, New Zealand

Bizarro Earth

9 missing after mudslide, flooding in Argentine town

© AFPStrong rains and winds resulted in the Tartagal river breaking its banks, knocking aside trees, cars, houses, shops and even the 100-year-old rail bridge.

Buenos Aires - Nine people were missing in northern Argentina Tuesday after a mudslide and flooding that swept up a railway bridge and dozens of houses and vehicles, officials said.

Some 1,200 people had been evacuated Monday, before the storm which provoked the disaster struck the town of Tartagal. A third of the community's 60,000 residents were said to have been affected by the emergency.

Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo, who gave the figures, said after visiting the zone: "This is the worst tragedy ever to have struck Tartagal."


Wagging the "Fat Tail" of Climate Catastrophe

How much should we pay to avoid the tiny risk of total destruction?

How much should we pay to prevent the tiny probability of human civilization collapsing? That is the question at the center of an esoteric debate over the application of cost-benefit analysis to man-made climate change. Harvard University economist Martin Weitzman raised the issue by putting forth a Dismal Theorem arguing that some consequences, however unlikely, would be so disastrous that cost-benefit analysis should not apply.


Australia: Shark attacks Navy diver in Sydney Harbour

Navy Seal Gets Bitten 1
© Defence DepartmentAttacked: Clearance diver Paul Degelder fought off the shark this morning
A Navy diver has undergone emergency surgery after fighting off a shark off Woolloomooloo in Sydney Harbour this morning.

The 31-year-old was brought to St Vincent's Hospital in a critical condition about 7:00am (AEDT), with severe injuries to his right hand and right thigh. The hospital has not confirmed reports that the man lost his hand. It says he is in a serious but stable condition in intensive care.

The Navy says the specialist clearance diver was rushed to hospital from Woolloomooloo Bay, in Sydney's inner east, after being bitten off the naval base at Garden Island.

Bad Guys

Moderate quake hits eastern Indonesia

Jakarta -- An earthquake with magnitude of 5.4 rocked eastern parts of Indonesia on Tuesday, meteorology agency said here.

The quake struck in the morning and at epicenter at 103 kilometers northwest Ternate of North Mauku province and at 99 kilometers in depth.

There was no report of damage or casualty.

Bizarro Earth

NASA's Terra Captures Australia's Forest Fire Horror From Orbit

© NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, MODIS Rapid Response Team.

Bushfires in southeastern Australia turned deadly over the first weekend of February 2009. Out-of-control fires raced into small communities and towns in Victoria, and more than 100 people had died as of February 9, according to news reports.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC News) reported that many of those who died had remained to protect their homes.

Among the most devastated communities were those in the Kinglake area and Marysville. As of February 9, firefighters were expressing concern about the increased activity of the fire around the town of Dederang, southwest of Lake Hume.

Bad Guys

Small quake strikes Mexicali, Mexico

A small earthquake has struck the sprawling border city of Mexicali, Mexico. There are no immediate reports of injury or damages.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the magnitude-3.7 quake struck nine miles southwest of Mexicali shortly before 2 p.m. today.


Watching Bat Disease

Iron Mountain Bat Cave
© Theresa Peterson/Daily News PhotoBill Scullon of the Department of Natural Resources replaces a sign at the Iron Mountain Bat Cave. DNR officials are watching the spread of a new disease affecting bats in the eastern U.S.

Approximately 50,000 bats that make their home in the Millie Hill mine could be in danger if a deadly disease, called white-nose syndrome, makes its way to the Midwest.

The disease's name comes from the distinctive white smudges that appear on the noses and wings of infected bats. Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey's Wildlife Health Center discovered that the smudges are actually a previously unknown fungus that thrives in the cold of winter caves.

However, no one seems to know whether the smudges are the cause of the disease or just a symptom.

White-nose syndrome causes bats to rouse more than usual and deplete their stores of body fat that they need during hibernation, said Bill Scullon, wildlife biologist at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) office in Escanaba.

Cloud Lightning

The U.K. Needs A Glacier To Stop This

The soft tyranny of utopia continues... Imaginary heroes fighting imaginary demons, yet affecting other peoples' lives as they do.

The length of the solar cycle continues to grow. Let me clue the energy czar in on something he might want to look at besides whatever it is he believes now. Within 20 years, the climate of Scotland can be into London and Scotland more like Scandinavia. This can happen a lot quicker than man's imaginary effect on the planet that he fears. How so?

The solar max is in 5 years, yet there has been no rebound from the min yet. As this cycle grows longer, it is becoming more apparent the Russian scientists are right about their solar theories as they were predicting it to happen as we see it. They also said because of this we will be in a mini ice age, much like back in the 1700s by around 2030. The U.K. energy czar, refusing to look at history, probably has no clue about this, nor would he even listen to the idea that solar cycles have affects on climate, something the commoner must know since it's warmer when the sun is up than when it's down.

But here is the problem, decreased solar radiation leads to more cosmic dust, which in turn has an effect of increasing the speed of the Earth's rotation, creating a negative global atmospheric angular momentum. Take a look at what is going on with that. Notice how negative it has been during this time of reduced radiation.

Comment: Joe's blog post is in response to reading this article:

UK environment czar looking at limiting holiday trips to save CO2