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Thu, 26 May 2022
The World for People who Think


Blue Planet

Giant sinkhole with a forest inside found in China

Karst sinkhole china
© Song Wen/Xinhua/Alamy Live News
This giant karst sinkhole, also called a tiankeng, has plants growing at the bottom in Luoquanyan Village of Xuan'en County, central China's Hubei Province. This is not the sinkhole discovered in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
A team of Chinese scientists has discovered a giant new sinkhole with a forest at its bottom.

The sinkhole is 630 feet (192 meters) deep, according to the Xinhua news agency, deep enough to just swallow St. Louis' Gateway Arch. A team of speleologists and spelunkers rappelled into the sinkhole on Friday (May 6), discovering that there are three cave entrances in the chasm, as well as ancient trees 131 feet (40 m) tall, stretching their branches toward the sunlight that filters through the sinkhole entrance.

"This is cool news," said George Veni, the executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) in the U.S., and an international expert on caves. Veni was not involved in the exploration of the cave, but the organization that was, the Institute of Karst Geology of the China Geological Survey, is NCKRI's sister institute.

Bizarro Earth

China continues to laugh at western 'green energy' foolishness

China Laughs
© Watts Up With That?
With an energy cost crisis now striking Europe and to a lesser extent the U.S., some cracks have begun to appear in the "net zero" utopian dreams being pursued almost universally by Western politicians. Nevertheless, at this writing, the rapid elimination of use of fossil fuels, supposedly to fight "climate change," remains official government policy throughout Europe, at the federal level in the U.S., in most blue American states, and as well in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Here in the U.S., although President Biden has ordered some temporary measures like release of some oil from the nation's strategic reserves, the full federal bureaucracy remains under orders from the top to force reduction in production and use of fossil fuels in every way it can devise. Meanwhile, states like New York and California have rapidly approaching legal deadlines for shuttering all fossil fuel power plants, prohibiting all automobiles other than electric ones, banning natural gas for heating and cooking, and otherwise quickly upending the last century of energy progress that has made our lives affordable and enjoyable.

We are supposed to believe that the official fossil fuel suppression policies will stop "climate change" and "save the planet" through the mechanism of rapid aggregate reductions of emissions of CO2 and other "greenhouse gases." The rescue of the planet's climate will make worthwhile our sacrifices in the form of higher energy prices, increased taxes to support subsidies to renewable energy, and restrictions on lifestyle.

But in fact, that narrative is all so much hogwash. In the West, twenty plus years and trillions of dollars of subsidies for "green energy" schemes have achieved only some marginal reductions in the share of final energy consumption derived from fossil fuels. Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, fossil fuel usage continues to soar. Leading the way is China, which has used the last two years of Covid distraction to have its emissions leapfrog to new records. In the overall picture, the Western obsession with decreasing emissions, despite enormous costs, does not have any impact that is even noticeable.

Two recently-issued reports paint the picture of a real world of ever-increasing fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions (although there was a minor Covid-induced downward blip in 2020). In March, the UN's International Energy Agency (IEA) issued its annual Global Energy Review: CO2 Emissions in 2021. Also, the Global Warming Policy Foundation has released its Briefing Paper 58 titled "China's Energy Dream," written by Patricia Adams. (Full disclosure: I am the President of the American Friends of the GWPF.). Both reports underscore the complete absurdity of the ongoing green energy foolishness of the West.


Giant sinkhole opens up in the Arctic seafloor

Melting permafrost is causing parts of the seafloor to collapse.
Giant Sinkhole
© Eve Lundsten © 2022 MBARI
Repeated surveys with MBARI's mapping AUVs revealed dramatic changes to seafloor bathymetry from the Arctic shelf edge in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. This sinkhole developed in just nine years.
Giant "sinkholes" — one of which could devour an entire city block holding six-story buildings — are appearing along the Arctic seafloor, as submerged permafrost thaws and disturbs the area, scientists have discovered.

But even though human-caused climate change is increasing the average temperatures in the Arctic, the thawing permafrost that's creating these sinkholes seems to have a different culprit — heated, slowly moving groundwater systems.

The Arctic permafrost at the bottom of the Canadian Beaufort Sea has been submerged for about 12,000 years, since the end of the last ice age, when meltwater from glaciers blanketed the region. Until now, the frozen seafloor had been hidden from scientists' peering eyes. This remote part of the Arctic has only recently become accessible to researchers on ships as climate change causes the sea ice to retreat, the researchers said.

Bizarro Earth

Geologists unravel plate tectonic chain reaction

A plate tectonic chain reaction.
© Utrecht University
A plate tectonic chain reaction.
Geologists at Utrecht University are working hard to unravel the secrets of plate tectonics, the mechanism that continuously shapes Earth's crust and is causing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. This time, another mystery has been dissected. In the Earth's geological past, there were 'short' periods of a few million years during which many tectonic plates around the world suddenly changed their speed and direction. What caused these abrupt changes in plate movements? Earlier research showed that changes in movement between two plates can result from continental collisions or rising mantle plumes. But could such collisions or mantle plumes set off a global chain reaction? Now geologists have succeeded in finding evidence that supports this. "With this discovery, we are able to better understand the driving forces behind plate movements, and thus processes such as mountain formation or volcanism."

This paper, published in Nature Geoscience, was a collaboration between geoscientists from Utrecht University, Australian National University, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. To test their hypothesis, the researchers asked themselves the following question: did the formation of a new subduction zone north of Arabia that was triggered by a mantle plume that caused a super volcano near Madagascar ~100 million years ago set off a chain reaction? Utrecht professor of plate tectonics and paleogeography Douwe van Hinsbergen, geologist, former Utrecht PhD student and first author Derya Gürer, and geophysicist Roi Granot, analysed the consequences step by step. "If our hypothesis is correct, the new subduction zone that formed north of Arabia should have caused forces that accelerated, and rotated the African Plate in the 10 million years after subduction initiation. However, to analyse this, we had to solve a major problem," says Gürer.


Road in UK is ripped up and twisted by 'unexplained underground movements'

landslip road

A warped section of the B4069 near Lyneham in Wiltshire has left residents mystified as to exactly what underground processes could have caused the earthquake-like damage
A ripped up road could cost millions to repair after mysterious underground movements left it so warped it looks like it had been hit by an earthquake.

A section of the B4069 near Lyneham in Wiltshire has been so badly damaged the tarmac has completely snapped or is at a 45 degree angle.

Wiltshire Council say the road has been closed since February 17 - but some drivers are still trying to use it according to police.

The earthquake-like damage has been caused by unexplained underground movements which will now be investigated.

Comment: A variety of unusual phenomena appear to be on the increase across the planet: Also check out SOTT radio's:

Arrow Down

Famous Kashmir trout stream vanishes into sinkhole

River goes underground in Kokernag Anantnag

River goes underground in Kokernag, Anantnag
A famous Kashmir trout stream has vanished into a sinkhole spreading fear in the south Kashmir Kokernag area. The famous Brengi stream in the Kokernag area of Anantnag district has been draining into a sinkhole leaving the rest of the stream dry during the last two days.

Brengi stream is one of the most famous trout angling streams which is sought after by anglers for its brown trout species. Two days back, a huge sinkhole developed in the stream which has been draining all the run of the stream water into it.

This has left the downstream portion dry killing trout fish in large numbers. District authorities said around 50 cusecs of water was draining into the sinkhole at the moment. It must be recalled that in winter all the streams and rivers in the Valley have minimum discharge. Authorities have imposed section 144 CrPc in the area to prevent people going closer to the sinkhole since scores of locals have been visiting the place to see the disturbing sight.

Source: IANS

Arrow Down

Sinkhole forms in Landreth Park, Joplin, Missouri


A sinkhole opens in Landreth Park in Joplin, Missouri.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon Joplin Police and Joplin Public Works were notified of a sinkhole forming in the northwest corner of Landreth Park.

Joplin Police responded and secured the area. They tell us on scene the hole appears to be about 25 feet deep at this time. Water is in the bottom of the hole. It is about 8-10 feet across.

Bizarro Earth

Hidden magnitude-8.2 earthquake source of mysterious 2021 global tsunami

Hidden Earthquake
© Zhe Jia and AGU
A magnitude 8.2 earthquake was “hidden” within a magnitude 7.5 earthquake in 2021, sending a mysterious tsunami around the world, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters.
Scientists have uncovered the source of a mysterious 2021 tsunami that sent waves around the globe.

In August 2021, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit near the South Sandwich Islands, creating a tsunami that rippled around the globe. The epicenter was 47 kilometers below the Earth's surface — too deep to initiate a tsunami — and the rupture was nearly 400 kilometers long, which should have generated a much larger earthquake.

Seismologists were puzzled and sought to understand what really happened that day in the remote South Atlantic.

A new study revealed the quake wasn't a single event, but five, a series of sub-quakes spread out over several minutes. The third sub-quake was a shallower, slower magnitude 8.2 quake that hit just 15 kilometers below the surface. That unusual, "hidden" earthquake was likely the trigger of the worldwide tsunami.

The study was published in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters, which publishes short-format, high-impact papers with implications that span the Earth and space sciences.

Because the South Sandwich Islands earthquake was complex, with multiple sub-quakes, its seismic signal was difficult to interpret, according to lead study author Zhe Jia, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology. The magnitude 8.2 quake was hidden within the tangle of seismic waves, which interfered with each other over the course of the event. The hidden quake's signal wasn't clear until Jia filtered the waves using a much longer period, up to 500 seconds. Only then did the 200-second-long quake, which Jia said accounted for over 70% of the energy released during the earthquake, become clear.

"The third event is special because it was huge, and it was silent," Jia said. "In the data we normally look at [for earthquake monitoring], it was almost invisible."

Arrow Down

Bus falls into large sinkhole at depot in Hong Kong, China

© KMB Tseung Kwan O Depot
Would all passengers please move immediately to the front of the bus.
A Kowloon Motor Bus Company double-decker plunged into a sinkhole that opened up at a depot in Tseung Kwan O early on Thursday morning.

The rear of the bus plunged into the five-meter-deep hole, while the front was lifted above the ground three to four meters high. Another bus adjacent to the double-decker also tilted.

KMB staff reported the incident at around 4.30am today and no one was injured in the incident.

The bus company said the sinkhole at the depot measures six meters long, eight meters broad and five meters deep.

Arrow Down

Dump truck falls into sinkhole in Birmingport, Alabama

Dump truck falls into sinkhole in Birmingport
© Ryan Cartee
Dump truck falls into sinkhole in Birmingport
Crews in Birmingport are investigating after a dump truck fell inside of a sinkhole.

Officials with the Birmingport Fire Department say a man was eating lunch in the truck in the parking lot of a grocery store, when the ground gave way. The back end of the truck fell about six to eight feet. Officials say it looks like a culvert under the ground dropped away. Officials say there was some diesel leakage, but crews stopped most of it from getting into the creek near the road. No injuries have been reported.

The Jefferson County EMA and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management are investigating.