Earth ChangesS


Flashback Arctic Warming?

Once again claims are flying thick and fast regarding dramatic, in fact, unprecedented Arctic warming.

Once again, we look at the available data, now updated to the end of 2004.

Once again, we find the claims to be dead flat wrong. Click on the following thumbnails to view the full size images in a new browser window.

Note: subsequent to NASA's server upgrade the correct URL for zonal temperature anomalies is here.

Bizarro Earth

US: 2 Earthquakes Reported in Northeast Arkansas

A series of small earthquakes occurred Jan. 26 in northeast Arkansas.

The U.S. Geological Survey said three quakes of magnitudes ranging from 2 to 2.8 occurred between 1 a.m. and 5:09 a.m. a few miles east of Walnut Ridge and 85-90 miles northwest of Memphis, Tenn., the largest population center nearby.

That magnitude is considered barely strong enough to be felt on the earth's surface and too weak to cause serious damage.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone, which includes northeast Arkansas, produces numerous small earthquakes each year.

Bizarro Earth

US Scientist: New fault could mean major Arkansas temblor

Little Rock - A previously unknown fault in eastern Arkansas could trigger a magnitude 7 earthquake with an epicenter near a major natural gas pipeline, a scientist said Wednesday. Haydar Al-Shukri, the director of the Arkansas Earthquake Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, said the fault is separate from the New Madrid fault responsible for a series of quakes in 1811-12 that caused the Mississippi River to flow backward.

Acres of cotton fields cover the fault west of Marianna, about 100 miles east of Little Rock, but stretches of fine sand mixed with fertile soil gave away the fault's location, Al-Shukri said. Liquefied sand bubbled up through cracks in the earth, while ground radar and digs showed vents that let the sand reach the surface, he said.

The fault, likely created in the last 5,000 years, sparked at least one magnitude 7 earthquake in its history. Such temblors cause massive destruction in their wake.

"This is a very, very dangerous (area) at risk of earthquake," Al-Shukri said. "When you talk about (magnitude) 7 and plus, this is going to be a major disaster."

Bizarro Earth

USGS Maps Show South San Francisco Bay Quake Liquefaction Risk

map shows the likelihood of liquefaction Bay area
This map shows the likelihood of liquefaction in Northern Santa Clara County during a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the northernmost segments of the San Andreas Fault.

New U.S. Geological Survey maps show, for the first time, the degree to which Northern Santa Clara Valley is at risk of liquefaction during an earthquake.

The maps draw on 10 years of research, said Tom Holzer, an engineering geologist with the USGS, and senior author of the maps. Scientists can now quantify the degree to which an area is at risk, from 0 to 40 percent.

"Earlier maps tended to use categories like high, medium and low, and never told you what 'high' meant," Holzer said Tuesday.

Liquefaction is what happens when loose, wet sand or soil is shaken by an earthquake and reacts like water rather than solid ground. This sand or soil can flow like a liquid, causing major damage to structures built atop the soil, and utilities located under this shifting ground.

Bizarro Earth

US: 3.4 magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting an earthquake southwest of Oklahoma City. The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 3.4 and no injuries or damage is reported.

The U.S.G.S. say the earthquake was felt about 5:19 a.m. Wednesday and its epicenter was about 5 miles northeast of Chickasha.

Cloud Lightning

US: Deadly winter storm leaves 900,000 without electricity

Philadephia - A destructive winter storm that has left more than 900,000 customers in the dark barreled into the Northeast on Wednesday, delaying flights and turning the morning rush into the morning slush as communities braced for the worst.

The storm has been blamed for at least 21 deaths and a glaze of ice and snow that caused widespread power failures from the Southern Plains to the East Coast. Authorities said it could be a week before some communities have electricity again.

Tree limbs encased in ice tumbled onto roads and crashed onto power lines in hard-hit Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma on Tuesday and overnight. In Arkansas - where ice was 3 inches thick in some places - people huddled next to portable heaters and wood-burning fires as utilities warned electricity may be out for a week or more.


Bottlenose dolphin shows off her butchering skills

bottlenose dolphin
© unknown

Considering they can't wield a knife or cleaver, dolphins make impressive butchers. Researchers in Australia recently observed a bottlenose performing a precise series of manoeuvres to kill, gut and bone a cuttlefish.

The six-step procedure gets rid of the invertebrate's unappetising ink and hard-to-swallow cuttlebone.

"The behaviour seems so obviously related to making the item more palatable," says Tom Tregenza, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Exeter, UK.

Colleague Julian Finn, a marine biologist at Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, observed a single female dolphin performing the underwater move in 2003 and again in 2007. At the time, he was studying mating in cuttlefish, which breed in large swarms off the coast of South Australia.

Better Earth

Kupang Jolted by 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake

A tectonic earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale jolted East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) provincial city of Kupang at 2:53 local time on Wednesday afternoon, the national meteorology and geophysics agency (BMG) has said.

BMG said the epicenter of the earthquake was located between 9.49 degrees southern latitude and 124.19 degress eastern longitude at a depth of 10 kilometers under the seabed, or 101 kilometers north east of Kupang.

There was no immediate report so far about fatality or material damages in the earthquake.

Better Earth

4.7 Quake Hits Philippines

A 4.7 magnitude earthquake struck the southern island of Mindanao at 6:18 p.m. Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The undersea quake was located 90 kilometers south-southeast of Hinatuan, in Surigao del Sur province at a depth of 78.7 kilometers.

Better Earth

Earthquake In Southern Kentucky

People in one part of eastern Kentucky woke up to a strange feeling Tuesday morning.

Believe it or not, officials say there was a minor earthquake centered near Williamsburg.

It was enough to make for some scary moments for those who experienced it.

People across the mountains were expecting wintry weather this morning, but at six-twenty, people across Whitley County got something else.

One bus driver had just shut down his bus after hearing that school was called off.