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Bizarro Earth

Satellites Show How Earth Moved During Italy Quake

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© IREA-CNR
An Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) interferogram over the L'Aquila area in central Italy showing the deformation pattern caused by the seismic events in early April 2009. This interferogram was generated by Italy's Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell' Ambiente (IREA-CNR) in Naples, Italy just a few hours after Envisat's acquisition on 12 April 2009. It combines that acquisition with a pre-seismic acquisition on 1 February 2009, with an estimated baseline (separation between the two Envisat orbital positions) of about 154 m. The satellite's right-looking angle is 23 degrees. Each fringe of the interferogram, corresponding to a colour cycle, is equivalent to an Earth surface displacement of 2.8 cm along the satellite direction.
Studying satellite radar data from ESA's Envisat and the Italian Space Agency's COSMO-SkyMed, scientists have begun analysing the movement of Earth during and after the 6.3 earthquake that shook the medieval town of L'Aquila in central Italy on 6 April 2009.

Scientists from Italy's Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell' Ambiente (IREA-CNR) and the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) are studying Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from these satellites to map surface deformations after the earthquake and the numerous aftershocks that have followed.

The scientists are using a technique known as SAR Interferometry (InSAR), a sophisticated version of 'spot the difference'. InSAR involves combining two or more radar images of the same ground location in such a way that very precise measurements - down to a scale of a few millimetres - can be made of any ground motion taking place between image acquisitions.

Sun

Drought leaves over 160,000 without drinking water in north China

drought
© unknown
A severe drought has left more than 160,000 people in northwest China without drinking water, regional media reported on Wednesday.

Abnormally warm temperatures and strong winds have dried up reservoirs in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, leaving not only local residents without water, but also some 1.2 million head of cattle.

Chinese authorities have sent some 70 million cubic meters of water from surrounding reservoirs to the drought-stricken region.

Most of China's northern territories have not seen any rain for more than 100 days.

Bizarro Earth

US: Earthquake Magnitude 4.2 Island of Hawaii, Hawaii

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© US Geological Survey
Date-Time

* Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 02:58:09 UTC
* Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 04:58:09 PM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 19.333°N, 155.115°W

Depth 8.9 km (5.5 miles)

Region ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII

Distances

* 16 km (10 miles) S (174°) from Fern Forest, HI

* 18 km (11 miles) S (183°) from Eden Roc, HI

* 18 km (11 miles) SE (136°) from Volcano, HI

* 32 km (20 miles) SW (222°) from Hawaiian Beaches, HI

* 42 km (26 miles) S (184°) from Hilo, HI

* 358 km (222 miles) SE (127°) from Honolulu, HI


Magnify

The climate sure is changing when doubt gets an airing

Hmm, I could be wrong. Maybe the climate is changing after all.The intellectual climate, I mean. For years it's been a social crime to doubt man is heating the world to hell. But suddenly the ice is cracking - and no, not the ice around Antarctica, which has actually grown.

Take a few signs from last week alone.

Australia's pre-eminent academic geologist, Prof Ian Plimer, published Heaven and Earth, challenging the gospel that the world is warming dangerously and that human-caused gases are to blame. In fact, says Plimer, what warming we saw until a decade ago was not unusual, not dangerous and most likely caused mainly by solar activity. What's more, temperatures now seem to be falling.

Bizarro Earth

US: 3.8 Earthquake Reported Near Alabaster, Alabama

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake has struck near Alabaster today according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake struck around 5:25 a.m. today and could be felt all around Birmingham.

The quake's epicenter was 7 miles north of Centreville near the intersection of highways 5 and 219. The depth was 8.8 miles below the earth's surface.

The earthquake was 25 miles southwest of Alabaster, 30 miles east southeast of Tuscaloosa and 40 miles south southwest of Birmingham.

Magnify

Spreading Antibiotics In The Soil Affects Microbial Ecosystems

Antibiotics used extensively in intensive livestock production may be having an adverse effect on agricultural soil ecosystems.

In a presentation to the Society for General Microbiology meeting at Harrogate International Centre March 30, Dr Heike Schmitt from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands described how antibiotics passed from the animals in manure that was then spread on farmland. Although higher organisms, such as earthworms, would only be affected at unrealistic concentrations of antibiotics, changes in soil bacterial communities have been found repeatedly using molecular microbiological techniques.

Newspaper

It's Alternative Media That's Cooling Global Warming Hysteria

The latest Rasmussen poll reports that the lowest number of voters ever polled -- one-in-three -- believe that global warming is caused by human activity. That's an astonishing figure, especially considering the all-out green propaganda assault the mainstream media (MSM) exposes the public to on a daily basis.

After all, it's become nearly impossible to open a magazine, unfold a newspaper or turn on the television without being scolded about the selfishness of your energy consumption and the damage your unworthy existence does to the planet. And yet, Friday's Rasmussen found that forty-eight percent of all likely voters attribute climate change to long-term planetary trends, not their so-called carbon-footprint. That's up 4% in less than three months.

Bizarro Earth

US: 'Superweed' explosion threatens Monsanto heartlands

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"Superweeds" are plaguing high-tech Monsanto crops in southern US states, driving farmers to use more herbicides, return to conventional crops or even abandon their farms.

The gospel of high-tech genetically modified (GM) crops is not sounding quite so sweet in the land of the converted. A new pest, the evil pigweed, is hitting headlines and chomping its way across Sun Belt states, threatening to transform cotton and soybean plots into weed battlefields.

In late 2004, "superweeds" that resisted Monsanto's iconic "Roundup" herbicide, popped up in GM crops in the county of Macon, Georgia. Monsanto, the US multinational biotech corporation, is the world's leading producer of Roundup, as well as genetically engineered seeds. Company figures show that nine out of 10 US farmers produce Roundup Ready seeds for their soybean crops.

Bizarro Earth

Scientists say genetically engineered crops encourage stronger weeds

Genetically engineered crops do little to improve yields and instead promote the proliferation of herbicide-resistant weeds that actually curb production, according to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Corn and soybeans modified to resist insects and the herbicide glyphosate haven't been proven to boost yields, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based group says in a 44-page report. The modified plants have increased the number of glyphosate-resistant weeds that compete for soil nutrients and moisture, reducing production, the group says.

Bizarro Earth

6.4 magnitude earthquake jolts northern Japan, Russian far east

A strong undersea earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 jolted the far north of Japan and Russia's far east early on Sunday, a Japanese government agency reported, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

There was no threat of tsunami from the quake at 4:19 a.m. (1919 GMT). It centred in the remote and sparsely populated Kuril Islands northeast of Hokkaido, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on its website (www.jma.go.jp).