Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 13 Dec 2019
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes
Map

Clock

Study: Plate tectonics well under way 3.8 billion years ago

Scientists have identified an expanse of rock in Greenland as a remnant of Earth's crust dating back 3.8 billion years, a finding that shows the dynamic geological process called plate tectonics was occurring early in our planet's history.

Writing in the journal Science on Thursday, a team led by Harald Furnes of the University of Bergen in Norway said these ancient layered rocks from southwestern Greenland originally were formed on the sea floor of primordial Earth.

They are made up of thin sheets of formerly molten rock, and look a bit like a multilayered cake. They contain a mix of volcanic rocks associated with the formation of new crust.

Plate tectonics is a theory broadly accepted by geologists relating to the movement of the gargantuan plates that make up the planet's surface. These plates, largely corresponding to the continents, are in constant gradual motion.

Life Preserver

South Africa: Sea continues to pound North Coast

Emergency services and harbour authorities braced themselves for a third round of damage from the spring equinox tidal action on Monday night.

The Zululand coast took a considerable pounding yesterday as Mother Nature unleashed her fury twice.

Richards Bay's beachfront took a hammering early on Monday as huge waves, driven by gale-force winds, scoured the beach and came within metres of crashing into the municipal beach office.

The beachfront and beaches around the harbour waterfront suffered further damage during Monday afternoon's phenomenal tide, which came close to causing major flood damage to the TuziGazi Waterfront.

Lifeguards evacuated the two-storey building and removed all valuables yesterday morning because municipal officials feared that although the structure rested on deep piles, erosion could make it unstable.

Cloud Lightning

Cyclone kills 69 in Madagascar, thousands homeless

ANTANANARIVO - A cyclone that swept across Madagascar last week killed at least 69 people and made tens of thousands homeless in the north of the Indian Ocean island, officials said on Friday.

Mudslides have buried whole villages, rivers have burst their banks and roads have been cut off since Cyclone Indlala struck on March 15.

Attention

Are GM Crops Killing Bees?

A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. The consequences for agriculture and the economy could be enormous.


Bomb

Damage Control: New evidence puts 'Snowball Earth' theory out in the cold

The theory that Earth once underwent a prolonged time of extreme global freezing has been dealt a blow by new evidence that periods of warmth occurred during this so-called 'Snowball Earth' era.

Analyses of glacial sedimentary rocks in Oman, published online today in Geology, have produced clear evidence of hot-cold cycles in the Cryogenian period, roughly 850-544 million years ago. The UK-Swiss team claims that this evidence undermines hypotheses of an ice age so severe that Earth's oceans completely froze over.

Using a technique known as the chemical index of alteration, the team examined the chemical and mineral composition of sedimentary rocks to search for evidence of any climatic changes. A high index of alteration would indicate high rates of chemical weathering of contemporary land surfaces, which causes rocks to quickly decompose and is enhanced by humid or warm conditions. Conversely, a low chemical index of alteration would indicate low rates of chemical weathering during cool, dry conditions.

Bizarro Earth

No doubt for THAT they do have funds: "Crazy" Global Warming Solutions Getting Attention

Global warming solutions that would earn a laugh from many of us are getting some serious attention by scientists.

With the impacts of global warming being felt around the globe, an insurance policy of sorts may be needed in case the effects are faster and more dramatic that what can be fought with more traditional methods like efficiency, renewable power, etc. Here's a sample of the more interesting scenarios that are being considered and studied:

Attention

Eco group warns of freshwater crisis

Some of the world's largest and best-known rivers are at risk of drying up as a result of climate change, pollution and bad planning, a report warned today.

The study by the environment group, WWF, focuses on the ten rivers most danger of drying up or dying, and warns that, without action, the world faces "a freshwater emergency".


Cloud Lightning

Storm-force winds exert less pull on ocean than expected: study

A snapshot of ocean conditions taken during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 has yielded new clues about the dynamics of storm surges that could help meteorologists make more accurate predictions, a study released Thursday said.

Weather forecasters typically rely on data about surface winds and turbulence to try and figure out just how much a storm has churned up the ocean and what the resulting storm surge will look like -- the kind of surge that walloped New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Attention

The next great earthquake

Geophysicist urges public, policy makers to consider all tectonic boundaries as lethal

The 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and resulting tsunami are now infamous for the damage they caused, but at the time many scientists believed this area was unlikely to create a quake of such magnitude. In the March 23 issue of the journal Science, a geophysicist from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute urges the public and policy makers to consider all subduction-type tectonic boundaries to be "locked, loaded, and dangerous."

"Seismologists have long tried to determine which subduction boundaries are more likely than others to break," says Robert McCaffrey, professor of earth and environmental sciences at Rensselaer. "Yet, the great earthquake of 2004 ruptured a segment that was thought to be among the least likely to go."

On Dec. 26, 2004, the earth beneath the Indian Ocean buckled and ruptured, unleashing one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history. Shockwaves from the magnitude 9.2 (M9) quake created a wall of rushing water that devastated communities up to 1,000 miles away.

Cloud Lightning

Southern Ocean current faces slowdown threat

The impact of global warming on the vast Southern Ocean around Antarctica is starting to pose a threat to ocean currents that distribute heat around the world, Australian scientists say, citing new deep-water data.

Comment: Replace the words 'global warming' with 'climate change' and you might be closer to the mark.