Earth ChangesS


Embryo origami gives the turtle its shell

The way the body wall of the growing embryo folds inwards helps to explain how the reptiles achieve their unique body shape.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 4.9 - Off the Coast Of Baja California Sur

© US Geological Survey

Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 15:34:25 UTC

Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 08:34:25 AM at epicenter

22.861°N, 108.110°W

23.5 km (14.6 miles)

162 km (101 miles) E (97°) from San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico

171 km (106 miles) SW (227°) from La Cruz, Sinaloa, Mexico

178 km (110 miles) WSW (257°) from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

1003 km (623 miles) WNW (294°) from MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico

Bizarro Earth

US: Undersea 4.0 quake rattles San Diego County

An undersea earthquake off La Jolla rattled parts of the county Saturday morning, but there were no reports of damages or injuries.

The quake, which measured a magnitude 4.0, struck at 7:34 a.m. about 19 miles southwest of La Jolla and 22 miles west of Coronado, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Bizarro Earth

US: Seventh earthquake since June 2 strikes Cleburne, Texas

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 2.0 magnitude earthquake struck Friday morning near Cleburne, the latest in a series of low-intensity tremors in that area.

Friday's quake was registered at 6:58 a.m. and was centered four miles east of Cleburne. At least six other earthquakes have been recorded since June 2 in the city about 30 miles south of Fort Worth.

Geological researchers from Southern Methodist University are working with city officials to determine whether citywide gas drilling, which began about six years ago, is causing the quakes.

The quakes, unusual for this part of Texas, have originated about three miles beneath the ground, while most of the drilling occurs about a mile deep.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 6.1 - Southern Peru

© u
Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 06:12:47 UTC

Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 01:12:47 AM at epicenter

14.990°S, 70.421°W

201.6 km (125.3 miles) set by location program

60 km (40 miles) NNW of Juliaca, Peru

200 km (125 miles) NE of Arequipa, Peru

230 km (145 miles) SE of Cuzco, Peru

785 km (485 miles) ESE of Lima, Peru

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 4.7 - Durango, Mexico

© US Geological Survey
Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 03:01:16 UTC

Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 10:01:16 PM at epicenter

25.158°N, 106.618°W

46.8 km (29.1 miles)

87 km (54 miles) ENE (63°) from Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico

100 km (62 miles) NE (51°) from Costa Rica, Sinaloa, Mexico

109 km (68 miles) ENE (59°) from Campo Gobierno, Sinaloa, Mexico

997 km (620 miles) NW (311°) from MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico

Bizarro Earth

Update: China 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake: 400,000 evacuated

earthquake victims
© Lin Yiguang, APPeople sit in front of a relief tent in Yao'an County.
An earthquake struck overnight in south-western China, destroying about 18 000 homes, injuring more than 300 people and forcing the evacuation of 400 000, state media reported on Friday.

The quake damaged another 75 000 homes near the epicentre in Yao'an county and four adjoining counties in Yunnan province, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

It affected an area inhabited by 1.26 million people and could be felt in the nearby tourist cities of Lijiang and Dali, and in the provincial capital, Kunming, some 200km from the epicentre.

At least one person died and 325 people were reported injured, including 24 in serious condition, the agency quoted local officials as saying.

A 50-year-old woman died of blood loss in hospital after she was pulled from the debris of a collapsed house, it said.

Most of the collapsed buildings in photographs shown by state media were one-storey, wood-framed mud-brick houses.


Turtles' shells made from shoulder blades and ribs, study says

A folding process takes place in the egg, leading to the bony exterior that is an integral part of the reptile's anatomy, scientists say.

The turtle's shell is unique, but the evolution of the structure has been a mystery. Now Japanese scientists have figured out that the shell develops from an unusual folding process inside the egg that pushes the turtle's shoulder blades inside its rib cage and directs the ribs to grow around them.

The study, published Friday in the journal Science, was conducted by scientists at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan. To reach their conclusions, they examined development of embryos of the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, chicken and mouse, and compared the anatomy of their muscles and bones.

Evil Rays

Climate change: The sun and the oceans do not lie

Even a compromised agreement to reduce emissions could devastate the economy - and all for a theory shot full of holes

© Associated PressThe sun controls our climate.

The moves now being made by the world's political establishment to lock us into December's Copenhagen treaty to halt global warming are as alarming as anything that has happened in our lifetimes. Last week in Italy, the various branches of our emerging world government, G8 and G20, agreed in principle that the world must by 2050 cut its CO2 emissions in half. Britain and the US are already committed to cutting their use of fossil fuels by more than 80 per cent. Short of an unimaginable technological revolution, this could only be achieved by closing down virtually all our economic activity: no electricity, no transport, no industry. All this is being egged on by a gigantic publicity machine, by the UN, by serried ranks of government-funded scientists, by cheerleaders such as Al Gore, last week comparing the fight against global warming to that against Hitler's Nazis, and by politicians who have no idea what they are setting in train.

What makes this even odder is that the runaway warming predicted by their computer models simply isn't happening. Last week one of the four official sources of temperature measurement, compiled from satellite data by the University of Huntsville, Alabama, showed that temperatures have now fallen to their average level since satellite data began 30 years ago.

Faced with a "consensus" view which looks increasingly implausible, a fast-growing body of reputable scientists from many countries has been coming up with a ''counter-consensus'', which holds that their fellow scientists have been looking in wholly the wrong direction to explain what is happening to the world's climate. The two factors which most plausibly explain what temperatures are actually doing are fluctuations in the radiation of the sun and the related shifting of ocean currents.


Sea Ice - June 2009

June 2009 monthly sea ice data is now out for NH and SH. (Continuing prior sea ice post here.)

The global sea ice anomaly in June 2009 remained positive. Over the 1979-2009 period, there is zero trend in global sea ice anomaly, with a SH increasing trend offsetting a NH decreasing trend. June 2009 NH anomaly was not remarkable.
Sea Ice June 2009

Daily sea ice anomaly through July 9, 2009 are running at about the median of the past 7 years, about half a million sq km behind 2006-2007 but slightly ahead of 2008.