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Sun, 03 Dec 2023
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Earth Changes


Mima Mounds: Mystery hides in vast prairie

Unlike many Washington state attractions, the word "majestic" does not apply to the slopes and swales of the Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve. But walk amid the mounds, and you will be struck by how their subtle uniformity adds up to an otherworldly power.

The swath of grassy humps known as the Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve spins a mystery as yet without an ending. And with any good story, context is critical.

©Chris Joseph Taylor / The Seattle Times
Summertime visitors who stroll along the Mima Mounds' interpretive trail will find themselves amid humps covered in lichen and moss, along with other vegetation, butterflies and bees. The color palette of the landscape, which is south of Olympia, changes with the seasons.


'Dead Zone' in The Gulf of Mexico Near Record Size

The "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, an area on the seabed with too little oxygen to support fish, shrimp, crabs and other forms of marine life, is nearly the largest on record this year, about 8,000 square miles, researchers said this week.

Only the churning effects of Hurricane Dolly last week, they said, prevented the dead zone from being the largest ever.


U.K. stranded whale to be put to sleep

U.K. firemen and ecologists have failed to save the life of a northern bottlenose whale stuck on mudflats in Langstone, Hampshire, the British Divers Marine Life Rescue organization said on Friday.

Over 30 people battled to save the six-ton whale for about 12 hours, until tests revealed the creature was suffering from irreversible renal failure, caused by dehydration and hunger. Its condition was also aggravated by the compression of its organs under its own body weight.

Although the whale was successfully refloated, it was too late to save its life.


Public not being told the whole truth about global warming

In 2006, there were predictions in the media that global warming would cause 2007 to be the hottest year on record. Now think about it, what have you read in the media in 2008 about this? Well, nothing actually. Why?

Well, the answer is simple - because 2007 turned out to be the coolest year recorded for the last 30 years. This, the public was not told.

The public was also not told that, since the warm year of 1998, there has been continuous cooling. What the public is told is that, during the twentieth century, there was a global temperature increase of 0,6 oC.

This is true, but what is left out is that most of the warming took place from 1920 to 1940 and that global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, prompting announcements in the mid 1970s that a global ice age was about to pounce on us.


Minnesota, US: Bear with jar on head shot dead

A hungry bear was shot dead by wildlife officials after getting its head stuck in a plastic jar and wandering into a busy town.

A wild black bear whose head got stuck inside a 2-gallon clear plastic jug

The wild black bear is thought to have been foraging for food when its head became stuck inside a 2.5 gallon (9.5 litre) clear plastic jar that usually holds sweets or popcorn.

The two-year-old animal could breathe but could not eat or drink and was probably suffering from dehydration and hunger.


Mud Pots Signal Possible Extension Of San Andreas Fault

mud pots
©Seismological Society of America
Researchers have conducted a comprehensive survey of mud pots (like the one shown above) in the area immediately east of the southeastern-most portion of the Salton Sea in Imperial County, Calif.

A linear string of mud pots and mud volcanoes suggest surface evidence for a southern extension of the San Andreas Fault that runs through the Salton Sea, according to a paper published in the August issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA).

Researchers David K. Lynch and Kenneth W. Hudnut of USGS report the results of a comprehensive survey of mud pots in the area immediately east of the southeastern-most portion of the Salton Sea in Imperial County, Calif. Using satellite imagery, followed by a physical examination of the land, they identified a cluster of 33 mud pots, mud volcanoes and sink holes which, when plotted, form a clear linear pattern.

Mud pots and mud volcanoes are geothermal features produced when water or gas is forced upward through soil and sediments. Mud pots can assume a variety of forms, typically being depressions or enclosed basins containing gas seeps, bubbling water or viscous mud. Mud pots can also be water-laden and appear as bubbling muddy water. Mud volcanoes, on the other hand, are elevated conical structures composed of accumulations of viscous mud extruded from a central vent. They range from finger-sized to several kilometers across, though the largest in the Salton Sea area are about 2 meters high. Small mud volcanoes on land, ranging from one to 10 feet in height, are usually called mud cones or gryphons and are usually associated with volcanic and seismic activity.

Arrow Down

Another Collapse: Rock slide narrowly misses bus on British Columbia highway as cliff face collapses

©The Canadian Press / Jonathan Hayward
A massive rock slide blocks the Sea-to-Sky highway near Porteau Cove, B.C. after a cliff face collapsed onto the highway.

Peter Skeels's bus was lumbering up the highway that winds through British Columbia's breathtaking coastal mountains when he heard a roar that sounded like violent hail.

He drove through and it wasn't until a few minutes later, when Skeels pulled over and saw the bus covered in dents and its windows shattered, that he realized the hailstorm was really a massive pile of rocks and boulders raining down on the road.

"There was suddenly an unbelievable noise, it sounded like a hailstorm - you didn't really know what to make of it," said Skeels, who lives in Whistler and regularly drives the highway between Vancouver and the mountain resort community that will jointly play host to the 2010 Winter Olympics.


The Sting Of Bee Die-offs

Pesticides called neonicotinoids marketed by Bayer were banned in France in the 1990s because they were suspected of contributing to mysterious bee die-offs. (The pesticides are applied to seeds, and may then travel systemically throughout the plant, including to the pollen.) Germany recently followed suit.

Bizarro Earth

Florida: Family dog dies after suffering more than 1,000 bee stings

A painful sting for a Florida family whose beloved dog was attacked and killed by a swarm of bees. It happened in Largo, Florida Monday and authorities say the day's overcast skies may have stirred up the bee hive.


Bizarro Earth

North Carolina, U.S.: Microburst Blamed For Damage In China Grove Area

Rowan County - A microburst, not a tornado, caused extensive damage to a building in southern Rowan County, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

Meteorologist Vince DiCarlo spent early Tuesday surveying the damage that happened around 6 p.m. Monday along Goodnight Road and Highway 29 in the China Grove area.