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Mon, 27 Mar 2023
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Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Australia: Adelaide hit by earth tremor

Adelaide Earthquake
The quake struck Mount Barker, in the Adelaide Hills, about 11:27pm ACDT (Google Maps)
Residents of Adelaide in South Australia were woken last night by a 3.8-magnitude earthquake.

The earthquake happened at 11:27pm and people living within a 50 kilometre radius of the quake reported tremors lasting for up to 15 seconds.

The epicentre was close to Mount Barker, 40 kilometres east of the capital, in the Adelaide Hills.

Mount Barker resident Robert says he heard a loud bang when the quake struck.

"We heard a terrific explosion," he said.

"We live right opposite the golf course and lots of galahs roost in the trees and they made nearly as much noise as the earthquake itself but it was definitely an explosion."

Paul in Bridgewater emailed ABC News Online, saying: "Whoa! We just had what seemed like an earthquake go through our house."

Bizarro Earth

Eerie zodiacal cloud comes from comets

Jupiter and Moon
Jupiter and its moon Io.
Boulder, Colorado, -- An eerie, greenish nighttime glow in the sky known as the zodiacal cloud comes from comets, not asteroids, U.S. planetary scientists say.

The pancake-shaped glow, seen along the same plane as the orbit of the planets, was first explained by astrologer Joshua Childrey in 1661 as sunlight scattered in Earth's direction by asteroid dust particles in the solar system.

The source of the dust, which has particles 1 to 300 micrometers in diameter, was long debated.

But more than 85 percent of the dust actually comes from Jupiter family comets, David Nesvorny and Peter Jenniskens argue in a paper published in the peer-reviewed Astrophysical Journal.

Bizarro Earth

Get ready for decades of Icelandic fireworks

Iceland Volcano
© Icelandic Coast Guard
Ready for more of the same?
We're not quite back to the pre-plane era, but air travel over and around the north Atlantic might get a lot more disrupted in the coming years.

Volcanologists say the fireworks exploding from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Iceland, which is responsible for the ash cloud that is grounding all commercial flights across northern Europe, may become a familiar sight. Increased rumblings under Iceland over the past decade suggest that the area is entering a more active phase, with more eruptions and the potential for some very large bangs.

"Volcanic activity on Iceland appears to follow a periodicity of around 50 to 80 years. The increase in activity over the past 10 years suggests we might be entering a more active phase with more eruptions," says Thorvaldur Thordarson, an expert on Icelandic volcanoes at the University of Edinburgh, UK. By contrast, the latter half of the 20th century was unusually quiet.

Along with increased volcanism, more seismic activity has been recorded around Iceland, including the magnitude-6.1 quake that rocked Reykjavik in May 2008.


Hysteria? "A million Britons stranded by ash; Food shortages expected; Volcano flight chaos to last until next week"

© Associated Press
Safety measures: An aircraft maintenance worker covers a jet engine at Belfast City Airport, Northern Ireland, yesterday as a cloud of volcanic ash made its way across Europe
One million Britons were stranded abroad last night by the travel paralysis caused by volcanic ash.

The unprecedented air lockdown was extended until at least 7am today but the chaos and confusion will drift well into next week.

Some holidaymakers in Spain were told they face a ten-day wait for a flight home and the delays - coming at the end of the Easter holiday period - intensified problems caused by the massive Icelandic eruption.

Schoolchildren, and their teachers, will be missing from classrooms on Monday, and Britain faces shortages of air-freighted food as the impact of the vast spume of ash begins to bite beyond air travel.

Fruit and vegetables including lettuce, grapes, spring onions and asparagus may be missing from many supermarket shelves next week and firms specialising in flying in produce from overseas are also warning of higher prices.

The transport giant Norbert Dentressangle said activity at its perishable air freight handling centre at Heathrow, the UK's largest, was at a standstill. The result will be a three-day shortfall in the supply of products including prepacked fruit salads and flowers.

It said that while there are enough products on shelves and in warehouses to see stores through the weekend, supermarkets will be 'severely impacted' next week.

Cloud Lightning

Iceland volcano from space: The dramatic ash plume engulfing Britain and 'nightmarish face' seen from above


The plume from the Icelandic volcano - seen as a grey-brown streak drifting across the middle of the image - is visible from space. It was imaged by the Modis instruments on two Nasa satellites as it blew towards the Shetland Islands
Created deep in the volcanic bowels of Iceland, this is the dramatic plume of ash engulfing the UK as seen from space.

The hazy cloud spewing from the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano was captured by the Modis instrument on board Nasa's Terra and Aqua satellites, which view the entire Earth's surface once every two days.

Modis was designed to respond rapidly so it can track natural disasters such as floods and forest fires in near real time.

In this natural-colour image taken yesterday, we can see the volcanic plume moving south-easterly from southern Iceland. It blows past the Faroe Islands and arcs slightly towards the north near the Shetland Islands. The tan hue indicates a fairly high ash content.

The spread of volcanic ash prompted authorities in the UK, Ireland, France, and Scandinavia to close airspace over their countries. The airspace closure had a ripple effect, disrupting flights all over the world.


Flight disruptions in Europe get even worse

Volcanic Ash Cloud
© Associated Press
London - Thick drifts of volcanic ash blanketed parts of rural Iceland on Friday as a vast, invisible plume of grit drifted over Europe, emptying the skies of planes and sending hundreds of thousands in search of hotel rooms, train tickets or rental cars.

Polish officials worried that the ash cloud could threaten the arrival of world leaders for Sunday's state funeral for President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria in the southern city of Krakow.

So far, President Barack Obama, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among those coming and no one has canceled. Kaczynski's family insisted Friday they wanted the funeral to go forward as planned but there was no denying the ash cloud was moving south and east.

The air traffic agency Eurocontrol said almost two-thirds of Europe's flights were canceled Friday, as air space remained largely closed in Britain and across large chunks of north and central Europe.


Experts differ on health risk of volcanic ash

Geneva - Europeans should try to stay indoors if ash from Iceland's volcano starts settling, the World Health Organization warned Friday as small amounts fell in Iceland, Scotland and Norway.

WHO spokesman Daniel Epstein said the microscopic ash is potentially dangerous for people when it starts to reach the Earth because inhaled particles can enter the lungs and cause respiratory problems.

"We're very concerned about it," Epstein said. "These particles when inhaled can reach the peripheral regions of ... the lungs and can cause problems - especially for people with asthma or respiratory problems." He also said Europeans who go outside might want to consider wearing a mask.

Arrow Down

Bee Populations Declining

© Getty Images
North Liberty - Bee populations have been in decline for several years, and it's not just a national trend.

For Dave Laney, beekeeping is not only a hobby, but a family business. His warehouse in New Liberty is stocked with hundreds of bottles of honey.

"Even in these bad economic times, our business is hanging in there because people like good honey," Laney said.

To keep up with demand, Laney counts on the hard-working honey bees more than ever as populations continue to drop.

"We have a product in high demand," said Laney. "We're concerned to be able to get that product."

Bizarro Earth

Fearful Aceh Islanders Tell of Massive Sea Change in the Wake of Earthquake

Banda - Local residents claim the seabed near Banyak Island in Aceh Singkil district, Aceh, has risen dramatically since the 7.2-magnitude earthquake on April 7.

They also say they have seen an undersea fissure spewing out mud and rocks. But experts are not so sure about the supposed geological phenomenon.

Banyak islander Mufliadi told the Jakarta Globe the phenomenon was first noted on Tuesday by fisherman Ruslan, who had been trawling for sea cucumbers in the Gosong Turak waters around Pailana Island, just off Banyak.

"He was shocked and came back to tell us what he'd seen because the site is a prime fishing spot for the local fisherman," Mufliadi said on Thursday.

Ruslan had been shocked to find layer upon layer of rocks and no fish in the area. The fisherman also reported a 10-meter-long fissure shaped like a frying pan.

Before the quake, the water in Gosong Turak had been 20 to 30 meters deep but now was just five meters, he said.

On Wednesday, hundreds of villagers dove into the water to see the change for themselves and take rock samples.

"The black rocks were the size of a person's head, and crumbled easily," Mufliadi said. "When we burned the rocks, a very strong odor was emitted."


Volcanic Sunset Alert

© Anthony Ayiomamitis
Northeastern outskirts of Athens, Greece
A cloud of ash from the Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano is drifting across Europe today. This has caused a massive disruption in air travel, as many countries have grounded their planes. On the bright side, the cloud is causing sunsets of rare beauty. Europeans should look west at the end of the day.