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Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 5.0 - Central Peru

© US Geological Survey
Saturday, August 01, 2009 at 23:07:04 UTC
Saturday, August 01, 2009 at 06:07:04 PM at epicenter

12.100°S, 75.338°W

124.3 km (77.2 miles)

15 km (10 miles) W of Huancayo, Peru

165 km (105 miles) NW of Ayacucho, Peru

170 km (105 miles) NNE of Chincha Alta, Peru

185 km (115 miles) E of LIMA, Peru


In New York, It's the Summer That Isn't

Drab summer New York City 2009
© Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Another rainy day at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. Attendance at city beaches through July 28 was down 30 percent, from 7.3 million to 5.1 million.

It's a gross, grungy, disgusting summer-in-the-city tradition: the muggy 90-degree day or, worse still, the 99-degree day.

But this summer has been conspicuously different in New York City. Not one 99-degree day in Central Park. Not a single day that the temperature even approached 90. For just the second time in 140 years of record keeping, the temperature failed to reach 90 in either June or July.

The daily average last month was at or below normal every day but two. The temperature broke 80 on 16 days in New York - one more day than in Fairbanks, Alaska. Depending on Friday's high, this was the second or third coolest June and July recorded in New York. If August follows the same pattern - and the latest forecast through midmonth predicts that it will - this could be the coolest summer on record.

The result: relief, lower electric bills, spared lives and undisturbed slumber.

But this being New York, New Yorkers have also recalibrated their threshold for heat complaints. This summer, 85 is the new 95.

Bizarro Earth

3.2 Earthquake Felt in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia

A 3.2 magnitude earthquake could be felt Saturday morning in Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey a 3.2 magnitude earthquake occurred at 9:38am a few miles east of the North Carolina/ Tennessee line.

According to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department there have been no reports of damage.

The earthquake was located about 6 miles east of Ducktown, TN, about 7 miles north of McCaysville, GA and about 55 miles east of Chattanooga.

Earthquakes that are less than 3.5, generally are not felt, but are recorded. Earthquakes that are between 3.5-5.4 are often felt, but rarely causes damage.

Bizarro Earth

Volcano Erupts in Lahaul and Spiti

A live volcano has come to light in Rangrik village of Lahaul and Spiti district, 425 kms from here. The volcano, according to locals erupted on Wednesday evening.

"We heard a blast on the hill and then flames came out from the eruption site followed by molten material," Tanpa Lama, a local Buddhist preacher said.

Ashwani Ramesh, SDM, Kaza has confirmed the volcano eruption and said that a team of geologists and revenue officers has been sent to Rangrik village.

"We have sent a team of revenue officials to take stock of the situation," Ashwani Ramesh said.

Comment: Was it a volcanic eruption? Mysterious explosion triggers scare in Lahaul-Spiti, India


Watchers Track Butterflies for Environment Signs

© AP Photo/John Bazemore
Jerry Payne looks for butterflies during the annual butterfly count in Hillsboro, Ga., Friday, June 26, 2009.
The rusty van creaks to a halt and two men jump out, binoculars in hand, heads pivoting. Quickly, questioningly, they call out evocative names: Is that a Pearl Crescent? A Carolina Satyr? A Sleepy Orange? A Swarthy Skipper?

It's butterfly counting time at a central Georgia wildlife refuge. That means a sweaty but fun outing for these two men, one a retired entomologist, the other the abbot of a Roman Catholic monastery. But it has a serious side: some researchers worry butterfly populations may be in decline, possibly signaling a worsening environment.

The flying insects are often viewed as canaries in a coal mine because they are sensitive to changes in their habitats.

Alarm Clock

Plague strikes French oysters

France's oysters have been struck by a mystery plague that has killed millions of the prized shellfish and plunged the industry into crisis for the second year running.

Scientists have yet properly to determine what has caused up to 90 per cent of baby and juvenile oysters, due to be eaten by Christmas 2010, to have died.

Producers in Normandy are so worried that last month they handed out free boxes of the shellfish near Caen chanting: "Take these oysters, they may be the last you'll ever eat."

Arrow Down

US: July was coolest on record in Iowa

Preliminary statistics show Iowa has just experienced its coolest July on record.

"Time will tell if that's good or bad," said State Climatologist Harry Hillaker. "It means better air-conditioning bills than usual. About 35 percent less air-conditioning requirement as a normal July."

"For the most part it's been good for the crops," Hillaker said of the remarkably low July readings. "The good news is that corn and beans were planted on time, except for extreme southern Iowa. So most of the state will have a full planting season."


As millions of Britons holiday at home after that promise of a 'barbecue summer', how did the Met Office get it so wrong?

UK flooded summer
© North News and Pictures LTD
A boating holiday in the Lakes: Seven-year-old Max Preston, from Merseyside, paddles his kayak around the tents on a campsite near Keswick

The campers paddling between flooded tents didn't need to be told. Neither did the families huddling for shelter beside deserted beaches.

But yesterday the weathermen officially admitted that their prediction of a 'barbecue summer' had been hopelessly wrong.

And the bad news for millions of holidaymakers, many of whom had opted to stay in Britain on the strength of the optimistic forecast, is that after a soggy July, August will be no better.

As the Met Office rather sheepishly announced that it had 'revised' its seasonal forecast, the tourism industry was asking how the experts got things so badly wrong.

There were even fears that disappointment over the third wet summer in a row could put some families off British holidays for good.


UK: Sammy Wilson pours scorn on Met Office

Former Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has joined criticism of the Met Office as it defended its failure to predict our wet summer - saying it has "egg on its face".

The East Antrim MP, who has been criticised for his disbelief in man-made global warming, accused the Met Office of losing credibility after initially predicting a heatwave summer which turned into a washout.

Back in April, it issued a seasonal forecast that sparked hopes for a warm and sunny season, described as a "barbecue summer", based on its long-range forecast.

But in an update yesterday the situation was rather wetter, prompting questions over the usefulness and accuracy of long-term forecasting.


Record setting cool weather hits Denver and brings snow to the mountains

Rocky Mountains
© Victor Lewis
Denver has record setting cool temperatures and snow arrives in
the Rocky Mountains.

While some parts of the nation experience record setting heat, Denver today had the opposite problem. The high temperature as measured at Denver International Airport reached a mere 64 degrees. This was two degrees below the previous record low maximum temperature of 66 degrees for this date set in 1925 and previous years. That is also an amazing 24 degrees below the normal temperature for this time of year!