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Sun, 28 May 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Public preparedness for a big shake is down

SALINE COUNTY - We are within an earthquake hot zone being between the New Madrid and Wabash Valley fault zones. A powerful earthquake can happen literally any time, but we don't think about it and we most likely are not ready for it.

Saline County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency Coordinator Allan C. Ninness is trying to get the public to prepare and reiterated the need to prepare during a seminar Wednesday at Southeastern Illinois College.

Ninness began talking about Ivan Browning who thought he could predict an earthquake. The date was Dec. 3, 1990. The day came and went, uneventfully, but people paid enough attention many prepared for it.


Feeling strange? Severe Space Storm Headed to Earth

Space weather forecasters revised their predictions for storminess after a major flare erupted on the Sun overnight threatening damage to communication systems and power grids while offering up the wonder of Northern Lights.

"We're looking for very strong, severe geomagnetic storming" to begin probably around mid-day Thursday, Joe Kunches, Lead Forecaster at the NOAA Space Environment Center, told SPACE.com this afternoon.

The storm is expected to generate aurora or Northern Lights, as far south as the northern United States Thursday night. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are not expected to be put at additional risk, Kunches said.


Media Bias on Global Warming Called 'Inconvenient Truth'

A U.S. Senate committee hearing considering the media's handling of climate change was told Wednesday that media bias on global warming was an "inconvenient truth," although participating experts disagreed sharply over which side of the debate receives preferential media treatment.

"Journalists who have pledged to be neutral long ago gave up their watchdog role to become lapdogs for one position," Dan Gainor, director of the Business and Media Institute (BMI), told the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee.

The "alarmist" press behaves "as if at any moment, everything could go over the edge," Gainor said.


Search for rare white Yangtze dolphin ends in failure, declaration of extinction

BEIJING: A rare, nearly blind white dolphin that survived for millions of years is effectively extinct, an international expedition declared Wednesday after ending a six-week fruitless search of the mammal's Yangtze River habitat.

The baiji would be the first large aquatic mammal driven to extinction since hunting and overfishing killed off the Caribbean monk seal in the 1950s. For the baiji, the culprit was a degraded habitat - busy ship traffic, which confounds the sonar the dolphin uses to find food, and overfishing and pollution in the Yangtze waters of eastern China, the expedition said.


Study: Arctic basin ice free by September 2040

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- A recent climate study using computer models indicates that if greenhouse gases continue to be released at their current rate, most of the Arctic basin will be ice free in September by 2040.

And winter ice, now about 12 feet thick, will be less than 3 feet thick.


Global Dimming


NARRATOR (JACK FORTUNE): This is a film that demands action. It reveals that we may have grossly underestimated the speed at which our climate is changing. At its heart is a deadly new phenomenon. One that until very recently scientists refused to believe even existed. But it may already have led to the starvation of millions. Tonight Horizon examines for the first time the power of what scientists are calling Global Dimming.


Typhoon roars out of Philippines, four killed

MANILA - Typhoon Utor swept out of the Philippines killing four people, including three children, and stranding thousands on Monday after high winds and waves tore up power lines and communication links in the archipelago.

Utor, currently a category 1 typhoon with gusts of around 140 kph (93 mph), was forecast to weaken to a tropical storm by Friday on a path that peters out south of the Chinese island of Hainan by the weekend, according to www.tropicalstormrisk.com.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said three children were confirmed dead, including a one-year-old girl whose house was struck by a falling tree in central Capiz province. Four were listed as missing.


Tsunami-like blast wave rips across the Sun

A blast wave swept across the face of the Sun on Wednesday, rippling outward from the site of a large solar flare. Blast waves that spread all the way across the Sun like this one did are rare, especially when the Sun is in the quiet phase of its 11-year cycle, as it is right now.

The wave was imaged by the Optical Solar Patrol Network telescope at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Sunspot, New Mexico, US. Watch a video of the expanding blast wave. The wave compresses and heats the solar plasma as it passes, causing it to brighten.

The wave raced outwards from the site of the flare at 400 kilometres per second, says K S Balasubramaniam of NSO. It occurred near one edge of the Sun's face and traveled to the other edge in about 30 minutes, he says.

Bizarro Earth

Ancient global warming suggests high sensitivity to carbon dioxide

Los Angeles -- Global warming from 55 million years ago suggests that climates are highly sensitive to carbon dioxide, according to a study published by the latest issue of Science.

Scientific studies show that a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere caused the ancient global warming event known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) that began about 55 million years ago.

The resulting greenhouse effect heated the earth as a whole by about 9 Fahrenheit (5 Celsius) in less than 10,000 years, geologic records show.

The increase in temperatures lasted about 170,000 years, altering the world rainfall patterns, making the oceans acidic, affecting plant and animal life and spawning the rise of our modern primate ancestors, according to the study by Mark Pagani, associate professor of geology and geophysics at Yale University.

Magic Wand

Antarctica, a living global warming laboratory

Beijing-- For scientists at this ice-encircled outpost, global warming is not a matter of debate. It is a simple fact and crucial research questions centre on what its consequences will be.

Antarctica is a prime place for this research because it serves as an early warning system for climate change and is a major influence on global weather.

As about 90 per cent of the world's ice volume and 70 per cent of its fresh water is on the southernmost continent, any substantial warming could cause a rise in sea levels around the globe.

"It's a bellwether for the planet," Tom Wagner of the US National Science Foundation said in an e-mail interview. "Its ice sheets are the main player in sea level rise; there is already evidence that they are shrinking."