Earth ChangesS


Hawaii: Volcano blast spews grit over 19 miles

©Charlene Meyers. Images of Hawaii
Photographer and national park volunteer Charlene Meyers
took this 72-second time exposure Tuesday night
of the glowing spot in Halemaumau Crater.

Big Island photographer Charlene Meyers must have been one of the last people to see the glowing red vent inside Halemaumau Crater before the unusual feature blew itself apart early Wednesday morning.


Texas: Why Was It Raining Mud?

Many of you called and email about what looked like mud falling from the sky late Tuesday afternoon. By sundown, everything was coated in dirt.

People weren't sure if it was pollution, but it was getting all over cars and windows.

"I don't know, I've never seen this before," said Magne Turoy, who is from Norway. "I'm used to rain, lots of rain, but I've never seen this before."



Gulf Stream Leaves Its Signature Seven Miles High

The Gulf Stream's impact on climate is well known, keeping Iceland and Scotland comfortable in winter compared to the deep-freeze of Labrador at the same latitude. That cyclones tend to spawn over the Gulf Stream has also been known for some time. A new study reveals that the Gulf Stream anchors a precipitation band with upward motions and cloud formations that can reach 7 miles high and penetrate the upper troposphere. The discovery, announced by a Japan - US team of scientists, shows that the Gulf Stream has a pathway by which to directly affect weather and climate patterns over the whole Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps even world wide.

Cumulonimbus storm cloud
©iStockphoto/Erik Kolstad
Cumulonimbus storm cloud forming over the warm Gulf Stream along the Norwegian coast. The system is sometimes called a polar low.

Better Earth

Iron Gets Into The North Pacific In Unexpected Ways, Will Impact Climate Change Predictions

Most oceanographers have assumed that, in the areas of the world's oceans known as High Nutrient, Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) regions, the iron needed to fertilize infrequent plankton blooms comes almost entirely from wind-blown dust. Phoebe Lam and James Bishop of the Earth Sciences Division at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have now shown that in the North Pacific, at least, it just ain't so.

North Pacific
©DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
From a site 47 degrees north latitude and 160 degrees east longitude in the Western North Pacific, iron and manganese found at depths of 100-200 meters originated hundreds of miles away, from the continental shelves of the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands. Particulate and dissolved iron and manganese hydroxides came from the upper shelf, and, after further processing, more iron (now poor in manganese) came from deeper on the slopes.

Bizarro Earth

Giant Waves Break Up Caribbean Coral

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Unusually large waves churned by an Atlantic storm system have littered the beaches of Barbados with broken coral in what could be a sign of damage to reefs across the region, a scientist said Sunday.

Cloud Lightning

Forecasters warn of flooding in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - High water pouring down the White River could cause historic flooding in cities along its path in eastern Arkansas, forecasters warned Sunday.

The river, one of many out of its banks across wide areas of the Midwest, could top levels recorded in a devastating flood 25 years ago, National Weather Service meteorologist John Robinson warned.

"There will be water going into areas where people have not seen it before, and may not be expecting to see high water," Robinson wrote in an e-mail to reporters Sunday.

Cloud Lightning

Current Major Flooding In U.S. A Sign Of Things To Come, NOAA Predicts

Major floods striking America's heartland in March offer a preview of the spring seasonal outlook, according to NOAA's National Weather Service. Several factors will contribute to above-average flood conditions, including record rainfall in some states and snow packs, which are melting and causing rivers and streams to crest over their banks. The week of March 15, more than 250 communities in a dozen states are experiencing flood conditions.

Map of US spring flood risk
Map of US spring flood risk.

Bizarro Earth

State warns of elevated levels of sulfur dioxide on Big Island

HONOLULU, Hawaii - State health officials are warning Big Island residents of elevated levels of sulfur dioxide caused by the volcanic activity at Kilauea.

The Health Department is monitoring sulfur dioxide levels in Kona, Hilo, Mountain View, Pahala and Pahoa.

Bizarro Earth

Heavy quake detected north of Aleutian islands

ALEUTIANS -- A large earthquake rocked the Aleutian islands Saturday afternoon. The quake measured a magnitude 6.2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


India: Contradictory reports over mysterious death of gharials

The findings of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) in relation to the "mysterious" death of around 100 "gharials", a member of the crocodile family, from November 2007 to February 2008 in the National Chambal Sanctuary in Etawah district has added another twist in the tale.

In its report submitted to the State Forest and Wildlife Department, dated March 19, 2008, the agency has concluded that lead and cadmium were not found in the waters of the river Yamuna. The sanctuary is situated at the confluence of the Yamuna and the river Chambal, which flows from the neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, in Etawah district. The Pollution Control Board findings indicate that the death of the gharials could not have been due to toxicity.