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Thu, 24 Sep 2020
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Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano registers 50 explosions in 24 hours

Ecuador's National Geophysical Agency said on Tuesday the Tungurahua volcano had registered 50 explosions in the past 24 hours.

The Tungurahua volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador, started its second activity peak this May since the eruption process began in August 1999.

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Big Three cars emit 230 mln tons of greenhouse gas

WASHINGTON - Cars built by the Big Three automakers gave off 230 million metric tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the United States in a year, more than the biggest U.S. electric utility, environmental researchers said on Wednesday.

General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler cars and light trucks emitted nearly three-fourths of all carbon dioxide from vehicles on U.S. roads in 2004, the year for which statistics were available, according to the watchdog group Environmental Defense.

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"With just 5 percent of the world's population, the United States has 30 percent of the world's automobiles and produces 45 percent of the world's automotive carbon dioxide emissions, the report said. U.S. cars are driven more and burn more fuel per mile than the international average."



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Storm alert for French Alps

PARIS - France's state weather service has issued a storm alert for the southeast Alps region, warning that hail and strong wind gusts were likely.

The alert -- the second highest on a four-level scale -- was for Wednesday afternoon through to the early hours of Thursday.

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Pennsylvania flooding forces evacuations

Flooded NY HighwayWILKES-BARRE, Pa. - Up to 200,000 people in the Wilkes-Barre area were ordered to evacuate their homes Wednesday because of rising water on the Susquehanna River, swelled by a record-breaking deluge that has killed at least 12 people across the Northeast.

Thousands more were ordered to leave their homes in New Jersey, New York and Maryland. Rescue helicopters plucked residents from rooftops as rivers and streams surged over their banks, washed out roads and bridges, and cut off villages in some of the worst flooding in the region in decades, with more rain in the forecast for the rest of the week.

Phoenix

Nevada governor declares fire emergency

Reno, Nevada - Gov. Kenny Guinn declared a state of emergency as state and federal crews put practically every available piece of equipment on the lines to combat dozens of lightning-sparked fires that have burned 125 square miles of Nevada.

More than 1,000 firefighters on Wednesday were battling dozens of fires, from a 57,000-acre blaze burning out of control largely in uninhabited rangeland in northeast Nevada to a complex of a dozen smaller fires around Reno and Carson City that forced evacuations at the town of Mound House along the historic Pony Express Trail.

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5.6 Quake hits Iran; no reports of casualties

TEHRAN, Iran - An earthquake shook southern Iran early Thursday morning, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Radio reports said residents of the southwestern city of Bandar Abbas poured into the streets after the quake hit.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 1:32 a.m. (local time) and had a magnitude of 5.6. It was centered about 35 miles southwest of Bandar Abbas or about 650 miles southeast of Tehran, the capital.

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No Rest for the Wet and Weary: Evacuation Ordered as Relentless Rain Fills DC Waterways

Government officials prepared for evacuations of low-lying sections of the water-logged Washington region last night as record-setting rainfall continued and commuters, homeowners and federal agencies struggled to cope.

Several large federal offices remained closed. Local governments opened emergency command centers and sheltered more residents reeling from rains of historic magnitude. The silt-laden Potomac River neared flood stage, and other waterways verged menacingly on overflowing.

Fearing that Lake Needwood, north of Rockville, was breaching its leaking dam, Montgomery County officials early this morning began evacuating people living along Rock Creek below the dam, county spokeswoman Donna Bigler said.

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Weather Can Make Earth Wobble

Scientists say Northern Hemisphere weather patterns affect small wobbles

Weather can have huge affects, from sinking a city to causing hillsides to slip away, but scientists say the weather might have an even larger impact - causing the whole planet to wobble.

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Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano registers 50 explosions in 24 hours

QUITO - Ecuador's National Geophysical Agency said on Tuesday the Tungurahua volcano had registered 50 explosions in the past 24 hours.

The Tungurahua volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador, started its second activity peak this May since the eruption process began in August 1999.

It is now experiencing "shivers": constant tremors inside the crater's bed. The agency's volcanologists have observed constant emissions of gas, ash and water vapor that is forming a cloud around 1 km above the volcano's crater.

Cloud Lightning

Magnets Help Explain Rain Patterns

Idaho thunderstorm
© Timothy Eberly
Multiple bolts of lightning strike the mountains surrounding Coeur d'Alene on Monday night.
If someone said you can understand rain patterns and the dynamics of the atmosphere by studying magnets and magnetism - and therefore make better predictions of the effects of global warming - would you think he's crazy? Brilliant? The atmosphere spans the entire globe, while a magnet fits easily in your hand; can they really be so similar?

Ole Peters, a 27-year-old physicist with expertise in "critical phenomena" and "self organized criticality" - which he acknowledges is "a bit of a rogue field" - doesn't sound the least bit crazy.

In the June issue of the respected journal Nature Physics, he and J. David Neelin, UCLA professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, report that the onset of intense tropical rain and magnetism share the same underlying physics.

Peters and Neelin analyzed statistical properties of the relationship between water vapor in the atmosphere in the tropics and rainfall, using remote sensing from a satellite over the tropical oceans.

"We studied properties of that relationship that are also observed in equivalent quantities for systems with 'continuous-phase transitions' like magnets," said Peters, a research scientist with UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and a visiting scientist at the Santa Fe Institute.

"The atmosphere has a tendency to move to a critical point in water vapor where the likelihood of rain dramatically increases. The system reaches a point where it's just about to rain; it's highly susceptible. Any additional water vapor can produce a large response."