Earth ChangesS


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 AnthropologyWestern 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

© IRISRare 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.


A quarter of the world's mammals risk extinction

© Reuters
The Iberian lynx has seen numbers drop to between just 84 and 143 adults
A quarter of the world's mammals are at risk of extinction, the latest global analysis of threatened species revealed today.

At least 1,141 of the 5,487 mammals on Earth are under threat, largely as a result of hunting and the destruction of their habitat by humans, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Bizarro Earth

Haiti storms left 793 people dead

Haiti floods
© BBCSuccessive storms left Gonaives flooded and buried in mud
Nearly 800 people in Haiti were killed in four major storms which devastated the country in August and September, officials have said.

More than 300 people were missing, the civil protection agency said.

Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and tropical storms Hanna and Fay killed 466 people in Gonaives, the hardest hit city.

Bizarro Earth

6.6 quake hits Tibet; kills at least 30

Beijing - A magnitude 6.6 earthquake killed at least 30 people in Tibet on Monday with a number of people buried in debris, Xinhua news agency said.

Tibetan capital of Lhasa
© REUTERS/Graphics At least 30 people were killed in a 6.6-magnitude earthquake which was centered near the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, according to Xinhua, which cited the local government.
The victims were found near the epicenter in Gedar township of Damxung County, around 80 km (50 miles) west of the regional capital Lhasa, Xinhua reported.

"More people were still buried in debris and many houses collapsed," Xinhua quoted a local government official as saying.

Bizarro Earth

6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Xinjiang

Urumqi -- A 6.8 magnitude earthquake shook northwest China on Sunday night, said the National Seismological Network.

So far, no casualties have been reported, XINHUA news agency reported Monday.

The epicenter was fixed at 39.6 degrees north latitude and 73.9 degrees east longitude, in a mountainous area about 100 km away from the county seat of Wuqia, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture. The source of the earthquake was 33 kilometers underground.