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Thu, 30 Nov 2023
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Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

6.8 magnitude earthquake jolts northern Japan, no tsunami

A strong earthquake jolted northern Japan early on Thursday, injuring at least 76 people, trapping hundreds in halted trains and temporarily cutting off electric power to thousands of homes.


The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said there was no threat of a tsunami from the quake, which struck at 00:26 a.m. Thursday (11:26 a.m. EDT Wednesday) and had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 and could be felt as far away as Tokyo.

A National Police Agency official said that 76 people were confirmed injured, including nine seriously. Many were hurt in falls or suffered cuts from broken glass.

Public broadcaster NHK put the injured toll at 103.

The focus of the quake was 108 km (67 miles) below the surface of the earth in Iwate prefecture, a mountainous, sparsely populated region.

Bizarro Earth

Half the Amazon Rainforest to be Lost by 2030?

Due to the effects of global warming and deforestation, more than half of the Amazon rainforest may be destroyed or severely damaged by the year 2030, according to a report released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The report, "Amazon's Vicious Cycles: Drought and Fire," concludes that 55 percent of the world's largest rainforest stands to be severely damaged from agriculture, drought, fire, logging and livestock ranching in the next 22 years. Another 4 percent may be damaged by reduced rainfall caused by global warming. This is anticipated to destroy up to 80 percent of wildlife habitat in the region.

Comment: This article only serves to add to the confusion.

It skims rapidly over the 55 percent that is estimated to be damaged by, in effect, rampant profiteering, in the form of logging and intensive agriculture, leading to direct destruction of the environment. It then it focusses on the 4 percent touted as being due to 'global warming' and centers on the issue of emission reduction targets.

Although industrial pollution is a serious problem which certainly should not be ignored, the known facts about carbon emissions and the greenhouse effect are extremely misrepresented although, of course, it is often not open for discussion.

There are also other forces at work with potentially far-reaching effects on climate, which are completely ignored here.


Florida, US: Lightning starts fires in Clay, Nassau

Firefighters are straining to put out a rash of wildfires sparked by lightning in Nassau and Clay counties.

Just days after putting out a 105-acre wildfire near Cedar Point and Pumpkin Hill roads in Nassau County, the state's Division of Forestry battled at least three fires over a total of about 30 acres Wednesday and Thursday. Lightning caused each of the fires, said Annaleasa Winter, a wildfire mitigation specialist for the Forestry Division.

Those come after lightning caused six fires over about 55 acres Tuesday in Clay County.

Cloud Lightning

Dolly upgraded to hurricane, set to hit Texas coast

McALLEN, Texas - Dolly spun into a hurricane Tuesday, heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border and the heavily populated Rio Grande Valley, where officials feared heavy rains could cause massive flooding and levee breaks.

Alarm Clock

France: Baby Oysters Hit By Mysterious Plague

Baby Oysters In France Are Dying Off By the Millions. Why?

The Independent reports that millions of baby oysters along the French coast from Normandy to the Mediterranean are dying, causing a major crisis for France's shellfish industry.


Horse deaths natural: Critic denounces study methods

Nitrate poisoning that killed 71 wild horses last year on the Tonopah Test Range probably came from natural sources and not de-icing fluids used at a military airfield, concluded a controversial study released Monday by the Bureau of Land Management.

BLM officials cited findings from a long-awaited study by the Desert Research Institute that one former airfield worker described as a "farce" and a "waste of time."

Bizarro Earth

Busy start heralds bruising Atlantic hurricane season

The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season is already a month ahead of schedule, portending a rough year for tropical storms for the United States, Caribbean and Central America although most likely not a repeat of the devastating 2005 season.

On average, the fourth storm of the six-month season does not occur until August 29. This year, the fourth, Dolly, formed on July 20 and was on the cusp of becoming a hurricane on Tuesday as it churned through the oil and gas-rich Gulf of Mexico.

"It absolutely does mean something, and we should be looking at it with trepidation," said Jeff Masters, co-founder of meteorological website The Weatherunderground.

Tropical Storm Dolly is shown in the NASA satellite image taken July 21, 2008.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 but rarely gets into gear before August.


Commercially bred bees spread disease to wild bees

Disease spread to wild bees from commercially bred bees used for pollination in agriculture greenhouses may be playing a role in the mysterious decline in North American bee populations, researchers said on Tuesday.

Bees pollinate numerous crops, and scientists have been expressing alarm over their falling numbers in recent years in North America. Experts warn the bee disappearance eventually could harm agriculture and the food supply.

Scientists have been struggling to understand the recent decline in various bee populations in North America. For example, a virus brought from Australia has been implicated in massive honeybee deaths last year.

Bizarro Earth

Volcanic activity continues in Alaska's Aleutian Islands

Anchorage -- Okmok volcano is showing signs of settling down while Cleveland volcano is just getting started.

Cleveland began erupting in the Aleutians Monday, sending ash nearly 17,000 feet high. Pilots are reporting surface ash 50 miles away.


Ohio, US: Lightning sparks plaza fire; wind shatters Government Center door

A lightning strike started a fire yesterday that destroyed a strip shopping plaza near the University of Toledo as a line of thunderstorms swept across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan causing 10,000 customers to lose power, authorities said.

The plaza at 1205 Westwood Ave., just south of Dorr Street, housed a seasonal location of the tax service franchise, H&R Block, the clothing retailer, L.A. Collections, and the yet-to-open Wings Express restaurant.