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Fri, 09 Jun 2023
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Earth Changes


Arctic Soil May Contain Nearly Twice Greenhouse-Gas Producing Material Than Previously Estimated

Frozen arctic soil contains nearly twice the greenhouse-gas-producing organic material as was previously estimated, according to recently published research by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists.
Chien-Lu Ping
© UAF School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences
Chien-Lu Ping conducting soil tests.

School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences professor Chien-Lu Ping published his latest findings in Nature Geoscience. Wielding jackhammers, Ping and a team of scientists dug down more than one meter into the permafrost to take soil samples from more than 100 sites throughout Alaska. Previous research had sampled to about 40 centimeters deep.

After analyzing the samples, the research team discovered a previously undocumented layer of organic matter on top of and in the upper part of permafrost, ranging from 60 to 120 centimeters deep. This deep layer of organic matter first accumulates on the tundra surface and is buried during the churning freeze and thaw cycles that characterize the turbulent arctic landscape.


Deepest-living Fishes Caught On Camera For First Time

Scientists filming in one of the world's deepest ocean trenches have found groups of highly sociable snailfish swarming over their bait, nearly five miles (7700 metres) beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean. This is the first time cameras have been sent to this depth.
© Natural Environment Research Council and University of Aberdeen

'We got some absolutely amazing footage from 7700 metres. More fish than we or anyone in the world would ever have thought possible at these depths,' says project leader Dr Alan Jamieson of the University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab, on board the Japanese research ship the Hakuho-Maru.

'It's incredible. These videos vastly exceed all our expectations from this research. We thought the deepest fishes would be motionless, solitary, fragile individuals eking out an existence in a food-sparse environment,' says Professor Monty Priede, director of Oceanlab.

Bizarro Earth

Arctic quake sends waves through Nevada

North Fork - Scientists say what appeared to be an earthquake in northeastern Nevada was actually a seismograph picking up waves from an earlier quake in the Arctic Ocean.

A preliminary report from the U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude-4.2 temblor centered about 18 miles west of North Fork shook Elko County at 3:07 a.m. Tuesday.

USGS geophysicist Jessica Sigala says a seismologist reviewed the record and determined that phases from a magnitude-5.8 quake in the Arctic Ocean seven minutes earlier had been wrongly interpreted by a seismograph as a local quake.


Indonesians warned to stay away from erupting volcano

Jakarta - People living in the shadow of Mount Soputan volcano on Indonesia's Sulawesi island were warned to stay away Tuesday after it started erupting with smoke and flame, officials said.

"There's no order to evacuate but people are asked to stay outside a radius of four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the volcano's summit because it could spew lava and heat clouds down its slopes," volcanologist Sandi said.


Volcano activity and fears of eruption rise

Volcano Nevado del Huila in southeast Colombia displayed prolonged "seismicity" last weekend, causing alarm to the inhabitants of the surrounded urban and rural zones.

Small eruptive chains that normally produce 400 movements were even more active this weekend, said Jair Cardoso, member of the local Attention, Prevention and Disasters Committee, according to El País. He did not say how many were registered.

The volcano has ejected only mud and ashes so far, but a large eruption at any moment, or at least more solid materials, that would leave disastrous results.

Authorities maintain a yellow alert in the zone, but will raise it to orange if the situation continues.


'Deadly Dozen' Reports Diseases Worsened By Climate Change

Western lowland gorillas
© Thomas Breuer/Wildlife Conservation Society-Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Western lowland gorillas and Ebola: There is significant evidence that outbreaks of Ebola in western lowland gorillas and other primates--including humans--are related to unusual variations in rainfall/dry season patterns, potentially caused by climate change.
Health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society have released a report that lists 12 pathogens that could spread into new regions as a result of climate change, with potential impacts to both human and wildlife health and global economies. Called The Deadly Dozen: Wildlife Diseases in the Age of Climate Change, the new report provides examples of diseases that could spread as a result of changes in temperatures and precipitation levels.

The best defense, according to the report's authors, is a good offense in the form of wildlife monitoring to detect how these diseases are moving so health professionals can learn and prepare to mitigate their impact.

No Entry

Schools closed for safety after Tibet quake

Beijing - China closed schools in Tibet's capital for safety reasons on Tuesday a day after a huge earthquake struck to the west and months after hundreds of classrooms were flattened in a devastating quake in Sichuan.

The 6.6 magnitude Tibet earthquake, with an epicentre 80 km (50 miles) west of Lhasa, killed at least nine people, state media reported, revising down an earlier estimated death toll of at least 30.


Rare 5.8 Earthquake in the Arctic Ocean

Rare 5.8 EQ in Arctic
DATE: 07-OCT-2008, 10:00:48
LAT: 79.83
LON: -115.23
MAG: 5.8
DEPTH km: 10.0
REGION: Arctic Ocean

A Global picture of recent seismic activity can be seen here.

Better Earth

Topsoil's Limited Turnover: A Crisis In Time

Topsoil does not last forever. Records show that topsoil erosion, accelerated by human civilization and conventional agricultural practices, has outpaced long-term soil production. Earth's continents are losing prime agricultural soils even as population growth and increased demand for biofuels claim more from this basic resource.

Bizarro Earth

Strong quake hits Afghanistan

Kabul - A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit central Afghanistan Monday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The quake struck about 68 kilometres (42 miles) southeast of the capital Kabul at 3:26am local time (2256 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.

It was 35 kilometres deep, the centre said.