Monday, November 21, 2016

More Ring of Fire Earthquakes

New Zealand Hit by Another Earthquake: An earthquake has struck central New Zealand, little more than a week after a powerful tremor centred in the upper South Island rocked the country and killed two people.Reporting of the magnitude of the quake varied; US Geological Survey reported it as magnitude 6.3, while Geonet reported it as magnitude 5.4. Read More

Japan Lifts Tsunami Warning: Japan has lifted a tsunami warning for its northeastern coast nearly four hours after a powerful offshore earthquake. A tsunami advisory for waves of up to 1 meter (3 feet) remains in place for much of the Pacific coast. The earlier warning was for waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet). The Japan Meteorological Agency had urged residents to flee quickly to higher ground. The largest wave recorded was 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) at Sendai Bay.
A utility official says he believes that a cooling water pump that stopped working at a Japanese nuclear power plant after a strong earthquake was shut off automatically by a safety system as the water in the pool shook. The utility says that a backup pump was launched to restore cooling water to spent fuel storage pool at the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima Dai-ni plant. The plant is close to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant that went into meltdown in 2011 after a tsunami swamped the plant, knocking out power to the cooling systems. Both plants are operated by Tokyo-based TEPCO. A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck off Fukushima prefecture on Tuesday morning, sending tsunami waves toward the Japanese coast. So far, no major damage has been reported. Read More

Climate change doing strange things to volcanoes

SCIENTISTS have detailed the consequences Earth could face as a result of climate change wreaking havoc on our planet’s volcanoes.
Published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, the new researchexplores how climate change is hindering the cooling properties volcanoes have on Earth.
While the concept of a mountain that spews molten lava helping to cool Earth might sound strange, it all has to do with column of ash and gas released during an eruption.
Following an eruption, sulphur gasses are sent out into the stratosphere — about 10 to 15 kilometres above Earth’s surface — where they form aerosol particles after reacting to water.
These particles then reflect the heat from the Sun’s rays away from Earth and back into space, which helps cool the planet.
Research author Thomas Aubry said climate change is making this process much harder as it causes lower layers of the atmosphere to expand, which prevents the gasses from reaching the stratosphere.
“Volcanic eruptions tend to counteract global warming but as the planet heats up and our atmosphere changes, we’ve found that fewer eruptions will be able to reflect the Sun’s radiation,” he told Science Daily.
“It will be harder for the volcanic gasses to reach high enough into atmosphere to help cool the planet.” Read More

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Why is Earth’s axis shifting?

[Cosmos Magazine] We are only a little way into the 21st century, but signs of a warming planet are already evident around the globe: More frequent droughts in East Africa; stranded polar bears in the Arctic; bleached coral reefs in the tropics; and retreating glaciers in the high latitudes. Along the coasts, sea levels are rising.
Even so, a new study really surprised me. By burning huge quantities of fossil fuels, we humans have tipped the Earth off its axis by a tiny amount. Let me emphasise how tiny the tipping is. Each year since 2005, we have shifted the spin axis from its previous path by centimetres – not kilometres.
The north-south spin axis of the Earth runs through the North Geographical Pole in the Arctic Ocean, and the South Geographical Pole in the Antarctic. (I’m not talking about the North and South Magnetic Poles, just the Geographical Poles.)
But as the Earth spins on its own axis, the position of the North Pole is not dead true – it wobbles a little, for several reasons.
For one, the Earth is not perfectly spherical. Instead, it’s a bit flattened at the poles, and a bit bulging at the equator. And the surface is not smooth – it’s pretty bumpy. Mountains poke up towards space, while oceans dip down into the solid crust.
Our planet is not perfectly rigid, either – it’s somewhat elastic. Yes, it does have a solid crust at the surface – but it’s very thin. Earth is made mostly of molten rock and then liquid iron, with a core of solid iron.
So even today, parts of the crust that carried heavy ice sheets 20,000 years ago are still slowly rising (an effect known as the “isostatic rebound” or “post‑glacial rebound”). As a result of these (and other) factors, when Earth rotates on its own axis over the course of a day, that spin axis wobbles a little. Read More

Monday, November 14, 2016

Future Messages

by Craig Howell
It is now November and from what I have heard, we are approaching a critical time on Earth. It is more important than ever to become grounded and centered. Meditate, pray for peace and for the highest good to come about. Know that whatever comes down the line in the next years are the signs of the crumbling of a controlled, corrupted, co-opted reality and the birth of a new, more authentic way of living. The birth process is miraculous, but it is messy and sometimes overwhelming, so we must stay calm with no fear and see this transition through to better times.
Sorry for the ominous beginning, but I just want everyone to be aware that the changes are speeding up. At the same time, we are heading toward a closer relationship with the Earth and with each other. We are living in a time of great confusion and uncertainty for most, yet people are awakening very quickly and are able to see through the fog that is the third dimension. They can sense truth more easily, intuitively know when something is “not right” and are willing to do something about it. Know that through your spiritual practices, an objective stance and the release of fear, you can protect yourself while contributing a positive force to the energetic changes that are occurring now.           
Free Will
All my life I have searched for the truth. I’ve always wanted to know what is really going on here on Earth, both spiritually and in the physical world we call “reality.” In the end, the one answer to everything was: “energy.“ Our energy creates our reality. Energy is the reality first and foremost. This energy is a part of everything and waits for us to call it forth. We have the choice of how to use this energy as we have free will.
For better or worse, this is a free will planet, so along with any positive shifts, we are experiencing the daily atrocities and wars that one can see in the news stemming from the negative use of this gift. People say if God existed, He wouldn’t let these things happen, but again -- free will. Yes there is the occasional miracle when the stars align, figuratively speaking, and the energy is so concentrated in one direction that, boom, it happens, reality follows, and we are amazed. We start to think, yes, this could happen more often, and it can. But then we forget how powerful we are and return to our lower natures, the bickering and petty issues, the attention to our fears, which then manifest. Such is the third dimensional condition we live under at this time. But things are shifting extremely quickly. We are in evolution overdirve. Read More

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sea levels rising at unprecendented rate could displace millions of people by end of the century

High Water Could Hit Eastern US Especially Hard
[The Verge] Sea levels are rising at unprecedented rates, scientists say. New research shows that by 2040, more than 90 percent of the world’s coastal areas could be experiencing sea level rises of more than 8 inches. But certain areas, like the Eastern US, will be hit even harder with water levels climbing more than a foot. By 2100, New York City, for example, could see coastal waters between 3.5 and 7.3 feet higher than they are now. The consequences, in terms of displacing millions of people, could be catastrophic.
Some climate models currently predict that by 2040, global temperatures could be 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than pre-industrialization temperatures. By the end of the 21st century, we could see global temperatures climb more than 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit). The Paris climate accord wants to keep the planet’s temperature increases “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. But last week the United Nations warned that even under the international agreement, we’re probably going to see temperatures rise by about 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 Fahrenheit) by 2030.
Rising global temperatures mean rising sea levels as glaciers and land ice sheets melt. The scary thing is that even if we do manage to stop global temperatures from continuing to warm, sea levels could keep rising for centuries afterwards. So predicting where, when, and how much the seas will rise is particularly challenging — and particularly key. In this new study, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists led by Svetlana Jevrejeva from the National Oceanography Centre in the UK predicted the likelihood and locations of sea level rise with temperature increases of 2, 4, or 5 degrees Celsius. 
They calculated that by the end of the 21st century, 136 of the largest coastal cities — including New York and New Orleans — could see waters rising at least three feet, and possibly closer to 6.5 feet. That could displace more than 1 million people in New York and another 1 million in New Orleans. About 2.5 million would be displaced in Miami; 2.1 million in Guangzhou, China; and 1.8 million in Mumbai, India. Low-lying nations like Bangladesh and Vietnam could be especially hard hit.
And the speed with which this could happen could make it hard to adapt, the authors of the study write, putting small island nations, coastal ecosystems, and coastal sites of cultural and historical importance at risk. “The coastal communities of rapidly expanding cities in the developing world, and vulnerable tropical coastal ecosystems, will have a very limited time after midcentury to adapt to sea level rises unprecedented since the dawn of the Bronze Age,” they wrote. Read More

Firefighters from across US battle Appalachian wildfires

[My Northwest] Many of the nation’s largest active wildfires Thursday were burning in the southern Appalachian mountains, where a relentless drought has turned pine trees into torches and forced evacuations in dozens of communities.
More than 5,000 firefighters and support staff from around the nation have poured into the Southeast to try to suppress these fires, said Shardul Raval, director of fire and aviation management for the southern region of the U.S. Forest Service.
The effort includes about 40 aircraft, including three large air tankers flying out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Tens of thousands of acres of forest have burned, and about a dozen of the largest fires were uncontained, the forest service said.
High winds and temperatures and weeks without rain have combined to spark blaze after blaze in the unusually dry landscape. Numerous teams reported wind-driven fires racing up slopes and down ravines as they struggled to protect hundreds of threatened structures.
“It just smells like a campfire” along the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia, said Carlie Gentry, who works at the Mountain Crossings store at Walasi-yi, a popular stop for hikers.
“For weeks up here we’ve been having smoke, but it is getting more intense for sure,” Gentry said. Typically, the view stretches for miles, she said. Now, “you can hardly see to the next ridge.”
Thursday’s national drought report shows 41.6 million people in parts of 15 Southern states living in drought conditions. The worst is in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, but extreme drought also is spreading into the western Carolinas. Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina all have fierce fires.
“Right now we’re kind of holding our own,” said Jennifer Turner, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky’s state Division of Forestry. “We’ve been able to get control over some of the smaller fires.”
But with humidity so low in the normally lush Appalachians and Great Smoky Mountains, authorities are bracing for more. North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for a fourth of his state’s 100 counties, to help with evacuations and provide more firefighting assets. Read More

Extinction or Evolution? The Answer Isn't Always Clear

[Smithsonian] One fish, two fish, crayfish—new fish?
Though it might sound like the plotline of a Dr. Seuss book, that’s what actually happened to the threespine stickleback fishes of Canada’s Enos Lake. For thousands of years, two distinct species of these spiny silver sea creatures—known as the benthic sticklebacks and the limnetic sticklebacks, both descended from a single species—lived in peaceful coexistence. The former stayed near the floor, where they fed on bottom-dwellers; the latter swam up near the sun, eating insects at the surface. Their habitats and behaviors were so different that they rarely met, and never interbred. And all was well.
But then something strange happened: The two species of fish once again became one. How?
The answer had to do with invasive crayfish, which were likely introduced into the lake ecosystem by humans. Within three years of the crayfishes’ arrival, the two species had once again merged. “It seems like someone may have introduced the crayfish possibly as a food source,” says Seth Rudman, an evolutionary biologist at the University of British Columbia whose paper on the phenomenon came out in Current Biology earlier this year. “The crayfish physically altered the way the sticklebacks nest and breed, which increased the probability of mating” between the two species, he says.
You might be saying to yourself: Wait, that’s not how evolution works. Actually, it can be. What happened with the finger-length fishes is an example of “introgressive extinction,” otherwise known as reverse speciation. Regular speciation happens when members of one species are divided by changes in their habitat or behavior. The most well-known example is Darwin’s finches: Over time, finches on different, isolated islands diverged in beak size and other qualities until they became distinct species. Reverse speciation is when those distinct species come together again, until they become one species yet again. Read More

Earthquakes and the Active Ring of Fire

[CNN] New Zealand: 7.8-magnitude quake rocks south, triggers tsunami A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake has rocked New Zealand's South Island, triggering a tsunami as people fled buildings in a panic and were told to seek higher ground.
The quake struck around 50 kilometers (around 30 miles) northeast of the city of Christchurch just after midnight local time on Monday, the US Geological Survey reported. Waves of 2.49 meters above usual tide levels were measured near the epicenter by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC).
The country's entire east coast is at threat of dangerous waves, the New Zealand Civil Defense said on Twitter in an advisory, adding that initial waves may not be the largest and that they could continue for several hours. "Move inland or to higher ground immediately," the warning said
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[FOCUS] Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake jolts Eastern Taiwan
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook eastern Taiwan at 6:25 a.m. Saturday, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB). The quake's epicenter was located at sea about 50 kilometers east of Yilan County Hall at a depth of 21.6 km, the bureau's data showed.
The quake's intensity, which gauges the actual effect of a temblor, was highest in the county's Su'ao Township and Yilan City, where it measured 2 on Taiwan's 7-tiered intensity scale.
It was felt at an intensity of 1 in several areas in eastern, central and northern Taiwan, including Taipei. No injuries were reported.

Strong earthquake strikes off Japan’s east coast
The Washington Post The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a strong earthquake has struck just off the east coast of Japan. Read the full story