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Wed, 22 Feb 2017
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


20-meter deep sinkhole swallows part of road in Vladivostock, Russia

© Ruptly
A vast sinkhole estimated to be 15 meters wide and 20 meters deep has caused a major road collapse in the city of Vladivostok in Russia's Far East.

The incident took place during excavation works while a building was being constructed, the local administration said on its website.

People at the nearby Seaside Regional Institute of Education Development were evacuated following the collapse. The collapsed part of the road was cordoned off by police.

"It all happened during a lunch break... We heard a loud noise and looked in the window - a concrete wall collapsed in the abyss [on the road]. Then a big sinkhole began to form on the road," an eyewitness told TASS.

Ice Cube

New Orwellian meaning of 'ice free' - One million square kilometers of ice is considered 'ice free'?

The Guardian today enthused about a new study proposing a £400 billion (US$500 billion) plan to refreeze the Arctic "before the ice melts." Physicist Steven Desch and his colleagues at Arizona State University want to replenish Arctic sea ice "by building 10 million wind-powered pumps over the Arctic ice cap," the Guardian reports.

"The pumps could add an extra metre (3 ft) of sea ice to the Arctic's current layer, Desch argues. The current cap rarely exceeds 2-3 metres in thickness and is being eroded constantly as the planet succumbs to climate change." "The 2015 Paris agreement to limit global warming will be insufficient to prevent the region's sea ice disappearing completely in summer, possibly by 2030," said Desch. "Thicker ice would mean longer-lasting ice."

Reminds me of Al Gore's ridiculous 2007, 2008 and 2009 assertions that the Arctic could expect ice-free summers by 2013. The article goes on to bemoan the "paucity of sea ice," warning that "most scientists expect that, at current emission rates, the Arctic will be reliably free of sea ice in summer by 2030."

"By "free", the article continues, "they mean there will be less than 1m sq km of sea ice left in the Arctic." Did you catch that? Words are so conveniently malleable, aren't they? They want us to accept their definition that "ice-free" means there will be less than one million square kilometers of sea ice left in the Arctic.

Comment: Greenland ice sheet defying alarmist predictions, shows massive growth this season


Farmer critically injured by wild boar in Odisha, India

A 22-year-old farmer was injured after a wild boar attacked him at Suniti village within Mahakalpada police station jurisdiction, police said.

The incident occurred yesterday when Budhadeb Bera (22) was returning home after working in his field.

"The animal might haves sneaked into the village to eat crops and standing vegetable plants as the place is located in close vicinity of forest areas and habitation corridors of these animals," said Divisional Forest Officer, Bimal Prasana Acharya.

Bera was critically injured and was hospitalised.


Source of earth-shaking 'explosion' remains a mystery in Orangeburg County, South Carolina

A loud explosion heard Saturday in some parts of Orangeburg County remained a mystery Monday.

The explosion was reportedly heard in the Eutawville, Cope, Cordova and Norway areas, causing the ground to shake.

"It was significant," Orangeburg County Chief Fire Operations Officer Teddy Wolfe said, noting he heard it from his residence in Eutawville. "I would like to know what it was."

The Orangeburg County Fire District, however, did not receive any reports of a fire or explosion.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources State Geologist Charles William "Bill" Clendenin Jr. said there were no reports of earthquake activity that came across his desk for Saturday.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the Orangeburg County Emergency Services Department said they did not receive any reports either.

Arrow Down

Sinkholes and cracks in the ground plague Cho Don, Vietnam; over 20 found in a month

© vnexpress.net
Sink holes have been appearing over the past month in the Cho Don District of the northern mountain province of Bac Kan, generating anxiety among local residents.
Sink holes have been appearing over the past month in the Cho Don District of the northern mountain province of Bac Kan, generating anxiety among local residents.

According to a preliminary survey by the district's People's Committee, more than 20 holes were found in the district, with each measuring 2-5 metres in width and 2-3 metres in depth.

Ban Tan Hamlet in Bang Lung Town has suffered the most. It has recorded more than 10 land subsidence spots. Some of the sinkholes appeared in springs, diverting all their water under ground. Over the past 10 days, some springs in the district have dried up, leading to water shortage for daily activities as well as irrigation.

Cracks have also appeared, with some measuring hundreds of metres in length.

Hoang Van Trieu, a farmer in Ban Tan Hamlet, said he was very anxious because big holes appeared in his fishing ponds while cracks were recorded in his garden, fields and the foundation of his house.

Arrow Down

Three tow trucks remove car from 20-ft sinkhole in Wilkesboro, North Carolina

© Jule Hubbard
Three tow trucks were used to keep an unoccupied Oldsmobile Alero from falling into a sinkhole in the Taco Bell parking lot near the intersection of U.S. 421 West and Winkler Mill Road in Wilkesboro about 8 a.m. Monday.

Asphalt had collapsed beneath both tires on the driver's side of the Oldsmobile and it was at risk of falling into the hole by 7 a.m. Monday.

Two conventional tow trucks, one at the front and the other at the rear of the Oldsmobile, were used to left up the car while a rollback tow truck was used to pull it in the direction of the passenger's side and onto the flatbed of the rollback.

A spokesman for Champion Towing in Wilkesboro, which had the rollback and one of the other tow trucks on the scene, said the Oldsmobile was removed from the hole without a scratch. The other tow truck was from Southeastern Cars & Parts in Ronda.

People on the scene Monday morning said the hole could easily be jumped across when it first appeared Sunday. It was at least 20 feet deep and the opening in the asphalt was at least 10 feet across by 8 a.m. Monday, but it was even wider immediately beneath the asphalt.

Snowflake Cold

Disruptions from heavy snowfall continue to strike parts of Japan; over 6 feet for the town of Kami

© Mainichi
A traffic jam is seen in front of JR Tottori Station in Tottori, on Feb. 13, 2017.
Disruptions from heavy weekend snow continued in Tottori Prefecture and other areas along the Sea of Japan on Feb. 13, a day after a path was cleared for some 250 vehicles that had been stranded on an expressway and national route.

The Tottori Prefectural Board of Education cancelled classes at 131 public elementary, junior high and high schools.

It continued to snow on and off in many areas of western Japan along the Sea of Japan coast on Feb. 13 as a result of a wintry atmospheric pattern that has brought the coldest air of the season to the region.

As of 9 a.m. on Feb. 13, the Hyogo Prefecture town of Kami had recorded 194 centimeters of snow, followed by 134 centimeters in the Yogocho district of Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, 124 centimeters in Ono, Fukui Prefecture, 75 centimeters in the city of Tottori and 36 centimeters in the Kyoto Prefecture city of Maizuru, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).


Dead gray whale washes up on Montara Beach, California

Gray whale
A roughly 20-foot-long gray whale washed up on Gray Whale Cove State Beach in Montara over the weekend.

On Sunday, a team from the Marine Mammal Center went out to collect skin samples and found the mammal's back tail — or fluke — was missing, said Giancarlo Rulli, spokesman for the Sausalito-based center.

The team also found evidence of shark bites, which were likely incurred after death, Rulli noted.

Comment: This is the second young gray whale found dead on the coast of California within 2 weeks, see also this other report: Dead newborn gray whale found in Redondo Beach, California

Ice Cube

Greenland ice sheet defying alarmist predictions, shows massive growth this season

Look at this graph from the Danish Meteorological Institute!

The dark gray line shows the mean from 1990 to 2013. The blue line shows the massive growth this season.

I don't know if this is an all-time record (perhaps someone can enlighten me), but it sure far surpasses any growth in the past 27 years.



Oroville Dam update: Mandatory evacuation orders lifted, but dangers remain as new storm approaches

© Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Water released so far by emergency spillways at Oroville Dam in Northern California washed away roadways, eroded the landscape and flooded communities downstream.
Authorities lifted mandatory evacuation orders Tuesday for communities downstream of the imperiled Oroville Dam amid a lessened flood risk, but they stressed that an incoming storm system means the danger is not over and that many residents might have to flee again.

Although the storms are expected to be far weaker than the ones that inundated Northern California last week, any additional rainfall could exacerbate the problems in the region, where more than 100,000 people were evacuated Sunday amid concerns that a damaged spillway at Oroville Dam could fail.

Officials have been lowering the level of Lake Oroville for several days, preparing for the storm. Both the main and emergency spillways are damaged, but officials are hoping to continue using the main spillway throughout the storm to keep the lake below maximum capacity. By doing that, they hope to avoid more water flowing down the emergency spillway, which was so damaged Sunday that officials feared it could collapse and cause major flooding downstream.