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terça-feira, 31 de maio de 2011

Seagrass at risk of extinction via @BreakingScience

Seagrass at risk of extinction via

Seagrass at risk of extinction
The University of Western Australia
Wednesday, 01 June 2011

A species of seagrass found only in western and southern Australian waters is at risk of extinction, according to a four-year international study.

The seagrass - Posidonia sinuosa - is one of 10 seagrasses worldwide identified in the study that are in danger of being lost forever, according to one of the study's authors, Winthrop Professor Gary Kendrick of the Oceans Institute at The University of Western Australia.

Posidonia sinuosa is found in Western Australia from Kalbarri through to Eyre on the south coast and also in Cockburn Sound, which has had declining populations for several decades. The seagrass is also found along the South Australian coast as far as Encounter Bay.

"Posidonia sinuosa is declining at an alarming rate - about 1.2 per cent every year," Professor Kendrick said. The loss of seagrasses has significant repercussions for both ocean ecosystems and for humans.

Seagrass meadows provide homes, food and nurseries for countless marine creatures, including commercial fish and crustaceans such as the western rock lobster.

They are also a major sink for carbon dioxide and are being developed as valuable ecosystems in the global carbon market.

"Globally, the biggest threat to seagrasses is coastal development," Professor Kendrick said.

"Degraded water quality and the mechanical damage from dredging and port, industrial and urban growth on the coast are other major factors.

"Perhaps surprisingly for many people, climate change isn't identified as a threat. Seagrasses are, in fact, one of the few groups expected to benefit from climate change."

The seagrass study involved more than 20 leading researchers who used the Red List criteria of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to determine the conservation status of 72 seagrass species.

It found that Posidonia sinuosa was in the ‘vulnerable' category, the second highest threat classification after ‘endangered', according to the IUCN system.

"This latest study is the product of four years of international workshops and input from hundreds of seagrass experts," Professor Kendrick said. "It will provide policy makers around the world with an official guide for seagrass conservation."

The study was published in the journal Biological Conservation and is available online.

domingo, 29 de maio de 2011

Cosmos - Céu e Inferno - Parte 6 de 6 . (Dublado em Português)

Cosmos - Céu e Inferno - Parte 5 de 6 . (Dublado em Português)

Cosmos - Céu e Inferno - Parte 4 de 6 . (Dublado em Português)

Cosmos - Céu e Inferno - Parte 3 de 6 . (Dublado em Português)

Cosmos - Céu e Inferno - Parte 2 de 6 . (Dublado em Português)

Cosmos - Céu e Inferno - Parte 1 de 6 . (Dublado em Português)

@@EI_Climate #climate Ice melt to close off Arctic's interior riches

Ice melt to close off Arctic's interior riches: study: Reuters will likely open up coastal ..

Por Timothy Gardner - 1 hora 1 minuto atrás

/By Timothy Gardner – 1 hr 1 min ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Global warming will likely open up coastal areas in the Arctic to development but close vast regions of the northern interior to forestry and mining by mid-century as ice and frozen soil under temporary winter roads melt, researchers said.

Higher temperatures have already led to lower summer sea ice levels in the Arctic and the melting has the potential to increase access for fishermen, tourists and oil and natural gas developers to coastal regions in coming decades.

The melting has also led to hopes that shorter Arctic shipping routes between China and Europe will open.

The Arctic is increasingly a region of deep strategic importance to the United States, Russia and China for its undiscovered resource riches and the potential for new shipping lanes. The U.S. Geological Survey says that 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas lies in the Arctic.

But the warming also will likely melt so-called "ice roads", the temporary winter roads developers now use to access far inland northern resources such as timber, diamonds and minerals, according to a study published on Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

"It's a resource frontier where we don't even know what all is there and I'm beginning to think we never will," Lawrence Smith, a professor of geography at the University of California Los Angeles and a co-author of the study, said about the Arctic interior.

"These places are going to become wilder and the lands are going to be abandoned and revert to a wild state."

The ice roads, made famous by the History Channel show "Ice Road Truckers", are constructed on frozen ground, rivers, lakes and swampy areas using compacted snow and ice. They cost only about two to four percent of what permanent land roads would cost, making resource extraction more cost effective in these remote areas.

As the roads melt, indigenous populations could also face increased isolation and higher costs as some goods could only reach them via airplanes.

All eight countries that border the Arctic -- Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States -- are expected to experience declines in winter-road land accessibility.

Russia will lose the most land suitable for winter road construction by area, followed by Canada and the United States, according to the modeling done in the study, which was supported by NASA's Cryosphere Program and the National Science Foundation.


Northern Canada's Tibbitt-Contwoyto "diamond road," an winter road first built in 1982 and said to be the world's most lucrative ice road as it services several diamond mines, is expected to be among the routes that suffer, according to the researchers. Much of the roughly 300 mile road runs atop frozen lakes.

By 2020 the road is projected to lose 17 percent of its up to 10-week operating season.

Oil and natural gas developers could lose access to some inland drilling, but the industry would gain access to coastal drilling and would benefit from easier shipping routes.

Timber and metal mining, however, would suffer far more because it would be cost-prohibitive to build permanent roads leading to these resources.

More study is needed to determine the potential economic losses from the melting regions and how they would compare to the opportunity, the authors said.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by David Lawder)

sábado, 28 de maio de 2011

@guardianeco Ocean acidification #globalwarming

Guardian Environment

Ocean acidification is latest manifestation of global warming

Carbon dioxide pollution adds to threat to world's oceans and marine species

Robin McKie, science editorThe Observer, Sunday 29 May 2011

By the middle of the century there will probably be only a few pockets of coral left, in the North Sea and the Pacific. Millions of species of marine life will be wiped out. Photograph: Vladimir Levantovsky/Alamy

The infernal origins of Vulcano Island are easy to pinpoint. Step off the hydrofoil from Sicily and the rotten-egg smell of hydrogen sulphide strikes you immediately. Beside the quay, there are piles of yellow sulphurous rocks and chunks of pumice; the beach is made of thick, black volcanic sand; while the huge caldera that dominates the bay emits a constant stream of smoke and steam.

According to legend, this was the lair of the Roman god of fire, Vulcan, who gave his name to the island and subsequently to all other volcanoes. An early eruption here also provided history with one of the first recorded descriptions of a volcano in action.

But Vulcano's importance today has nothing to do with the rock and lava it has spewed out for millennia. It is the volcano's output of invisible carbon dioxide – about 10 tonnes a day – that now interests scientists. They have found that the gas is bubbling through underground vents and is making the island's coastal waters more and more acidic. The consequences for sea life are grim with dozens of species having been eliminated.

That discovery is highly revealing, and worrying, because Vulcano's afflictions are being repeated today on a global scale, in every ocean on the planet – not from volcanic sources but from the industrial plants, power stations, cars and planes that are pumping out growing amounts of carbon dioxide and which are making our seas increasingly acidic. Millions of marine species are now threatened with extinction; fisheries face eradication; while reefs that protect coastal areas are starting to erode.

Ocean acidification is now one of the most worrying threats to the planet, say marine biologists. "Just as Vulcano is pumping carbon dioxide into the waters around it, humanity is pouring more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," Dr Jason Hall-Spencer, a marine biologist at Plymouth University, told a conference on the island last week.

"Some of the billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide we emit each year lingers in the atmosphere and causes it to heat up, driving global warming. But about 30% of that gas is absorbed by the oceans where it turns to carbonic acid. It is beginning to kill off coral reefs and shellfish beds and threaten stocks of fish. Very little can live in water that gets too acidic."

Hence science's renewed interest in Vulcano. Its carbon dioxide springs – which bubble up like burst water mains below the shallow seabed – provide researchers with a natural laboratory for testing the global impact of ocean acidification. "These vents and the carbonic acid they generate tell us a great deal about how carbon dioxide is going to affect the oceans and marine life this century," said Hall-Spencer. "And we should be worried. This problem is a train coming straight at us."

Scientists estimate that oceans absorb around a million tonnes of carbon dioxide every hour and our seas are 30% more acidic than they were last century. This increased acidity plays havoc with levels of calcium carbonate, which forms the shells and skeletons of many sea creatures, and also disrupts reproductive activity.

Among the warning signs recently noted have been the failures of commercial oyster and other shellfish beds on the Pacific coasts of the US and Canada. In addition, coral reefs – already bleached by rising global temperatures – have suffered calamitous disintegration in many regions. And at the poles and high latitudes, where the impact of ocean acidification is particularly serious, tiny shellfish called pteropods – the basic foodstuff of fish, whales and seabirds in those regions – have suffered noticeable drops in numbers. In each case, ocean acidification is thought to be involved.

The problem was recently highlighted by the head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr Jane Lubchenco. She described ocean acidification as global warming's "equally evil twin". It is a powerful comparison, though it is clear that of the two, the crisis facing our seas has received far less attention. The last UN climate assessment report was more than 400 pages long but had only two pages on ocean acidification – mainly because studies of the phenomenon are less well advanced than meteorological and atmospheric research in general.

The workshop, held last week on Vulcano, is part of the campaign to understand the likely impact of ocean acidification. Dozens of young oceanographers, geologists and ecologists gathered for the meeting run by the Mediterranean Sea Acidification (MedSeA) programme. Dr Maoz Fine, of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, reported work on coral reef organisms that had been exposed to waters of different levels of acidity, temperature and light in his laboratory.

"We found that species of coral reef respond differently to rising carbon dioxide levels," he said. "Bigger corals suffer but survive while smaller, branching varieties become less able to fight disease and die off. That sort of thing just makes it even more difficult to predict exactly what is going to happen to our oceans."

Few scientists doubt that the impact on reefs will be anything short of devastating, however. The Caribbean has already lost about 80% of its coral reefs to bleaching caused by rising temperatures and by overfishing which removes species that normally aid coral growth. Acidification threatens to do the same for the rest of the world's coral reefs.

"By the middle of the century there will probably be only a few pockets – in the North Sea and the Pacific. Millions of species of fish, shellfish and micro-organisms will be wiped out," said Fine.

Acidification has affected the oceans in the past. However, these prehistoric events occurred at a far slower rate, said Dr Jerry Blackford of Plymouth Marine Laboratory. "The waters of the world take around 500 years to circulate the globe," he said. "If carbon dioxide was rising slowly, in terms of thousands of years, natural factors could then compensate. Sediments could buffer the carbonic acid, for example."

But levels of carbon dioxide are rising much faster today. By the end of the century, surface seawater will be 150% more acidic than it was in 1800. "There is simply not enough time for buffering to come into effect and lessen the impact," said Blackford. "The result will be significant acid build-up in the upper parts of the oceans which, of course, are the parts that are of greatest importance to humans."

A vision of the seas we are now creating can be seen at Vulcano. On the eastern side of its main bay, beyond an open-air thermal spa filled with elderly bathers wallowing in volcanically heated mud, there is a long stretch of black sand.

Just offshore, in about four feet of water, silver beads of carbon dioxide stream up from stones that lie over an underground vent. The water, although cold, looks like a huge, frothing Jacuzzi. Water here is highly acidic and there is no marine life around the vent – not even seaweed.

"The acidity here is far greater than even the worst ocean scenario for 2100, so we have to be careful about making comparisons," said Dr Marco Milazzo, of Palermo University. "However, currents carry that acid water round the bay and it becomes more and more dilute. We can then study waters which reflect the kind of acidity we are likely to get at the end of the century."

Milazzo and his colleagues have placed open boxes containing coral and other forms of marine life in the waters round the bay and monitor the effects of the different levels of acidity in the sea water on these samples and also on the bay's natural marine life. "When I look one way, out to sea, where there is little acidity, the plant life is rich in reds, whites, greens and other colours. There is abundance and variety in the habitat," said Milazzo.

"However, when I look the other way – back towards the carbon dioxide vent – that habitat gets less and less varied as the water gets more acidic. It is reduced to a dark brown bloom of macro-algae. There is no richness or variety here. In effect I am looking at the oceans of tomorrow. It is profoundly depressing."


Acidity is measured by its pH (power of hydrogen) value. Fresh water has a pH reading of 7. Readings below that are considered to be acidic. Those above 7 are alkaline. Surface sea water had a reading of 8.2 a century ago. Today it has dropped to 8.1 because so much carbon dioxide has been absorbed by the world's oceans. That may seem a small amount but the pH scale is logarithmic which means that 0.1 difference actually represents an increase in acidity of 30%. By the end of the century, the pH of surface sea water could have dropped to 7.8, which represents a decrease in alkalinity – or an increase in acidity, depending on your viewpoint – of around 150%.

@mongabay Assassinations of environmentalists in #Brazil's

Assassinations of environmentalists continue in 's Amazon, deforestation rises

Assassinations of environmentalists continue in Brazil's Amazon, deforestation rises
May 28, 2011

Land dispute-related in Brazil
Murders tied to land disputes in rural Brazil

A community leader in the Brazilian Amazon was slain Friday just three days after two environmentalists were killed in a neighboring state, reports Reuters.

Adelino "Dinho" Ramos, the president of the Movimento Camponeses Corumbiara e da Associação dos Camponeses do Amazonas, a small farmers association, was gunned down front of his family Friday morning in Rondônia. Brazil's Special Secretariat for Human Rights, an office of the president, said it was unclear who killed Ramos, who had received death threats from loggers. Ramos survived a 1995 massacre in which 13 people were killed.

His killing came just three days after Joao Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espirito Santo, were killed in an ambush near their home in the state of Pará. Suspicion immediately fell on illegal loggers linked to the charcoal trade that supplies pig iron smelters in the region. Da Silva had been a prominent environmentalist and the recipient of international recognition as well as numbers death threats.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has already ordered a federal investigation into the murder of the da Silvas, which has been widely condemned.

Environmentalists say their death could catalyze further opposition to proposed changes to Brazil's Forestry Code, which would weaken protections for the Amazon rainforest. They cite the 1988 murder of rubber-tapper Chico Mendes, which helped spark global awareness of destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and the 2005 killing of Dorothy Stang, an American nun who opposed illegal logging and land-grabbing, which triggered a crack down by federal agents and the establishment of new protected areas.

The Brazilian Amazon remains a violent region. According to the Pastoral Land Commission (Comissão Pastoral da Terra) some 393 people were killed in rural land disputes between 2000 and 2010, including 71 murders in Rondonia since 2001. Crimes are rarely solved.

Tensions are presently high in the Brazilian Amazon due to rising commodity prices, which boost land values and exacerbates conflict. The agricultural lobby is pushing for a relaxation of the Forest Code to allow more rainforest to be cleared for crops and pastureland. The present Forest Code requires farmers and ranchers to maintain 80 percent forest cover on their land, although the rule is widely ignored.

Anticipation of amnesty for illegal deforestation under the new Forest Code is thought to be a contributing factor in a sharp rise in deforestation over land year.

@DianeN56 Destruction of #Brazil's

Diane Neff

Destruction of Brazil's most endangered forest, the Mata Atlantica, slows RT RT

Destruction of Brazil's most endangered forest, the Mata Atlantica, slows
Rhett A. Butler,
May 27, 2011

extent of atlantic forest cover in brazil
Click image to enlarge

Deforestation of Brazil's most threatened forest ecosystem dropped substantially during the 2008-2010 period according to new data released by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica.

Analysis of satellite images across 16 of the 17 states the Atlantic Forest spans found that 312 square kilometers of forest was cleared between 2008 and 2010, down from 1,029 square kilometers between 2005 and 2008. Deforestation was concentrated in the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, Santa Catarina and Parana.

The new assessment finds only around eleven percent — 141,000 square kilometers — of the Atlantic Forest or Mata Atlântica remains intact. Logging and conversion for agriculture and cattle ranches have been the primary drivers of deforestation of the Mata Atlântica, which is a key source of water for some of Brazil's richest and most populous states.

mata atlantica forest map
"We depend on natural resources and environmental services of the Atlantic that are essential for the survival of the 112 million people in the field of biome," said Marcia Hirota of Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica in a statement.

In an effort to slow destruction of the Mata Atlântica, in November 2008 Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed a decree to protect and restore the ecosystem to 20 percent of its original cover. INPE, Brazil's space agency, has since extended its advanced deforestation monitoring system to the region in an effort to measure emissions and catch deforesters.

But a new bill that aims to revise Brazil's Forest Cost could undermine efforts to protect the Mata Atlântica, according to Mario Mantovani of the Políticas Públicas da Fundação.

"The approval in the House of Representatives of the proposed changes to the Forest Code only worsen the already dramatic situation of the Atlantic," Mantovani said in a statement.

extent of mata atlantica forest cover in brazil by state
Click image to enlarge

Mata Atlantica Cover Data by State
Includes forest, mangroves, and salt marshes. Data from Piauí excluded.
StateHectaresProportion of
original extent
Espírito Santo510,75211.1%
Minas Gerais2,733,92610.0%
Mato Grosso do Sul360,1215.7%
Rio de Janeiro861,76719.6%
Rio Grande do Norte48,54814.1%
Rio Grande do Sul1,028,9907.5%
Santa Catarina2,210,06123.0%
São Paulo2,670,32415.8%

sexta-feira, 27 de maio de 2011

@BreakingScience Human impacts of rising oceans

Human impacts of rising oceans will extend well beyond coasts via

Rather, estimates that are based on current, static population data can greatly misrepresent the true extent – and the pronounced variability – of the human toll of climate change, say University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers.

"Not all places and not all people in those places will be impacted equally," says Katherine Curtis, an assistant professor of community and environmental sociology at UW-Madison.

In a new online report, which will publish in an upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed journal Population and Environment, Curtis and her colleague Annemarie Schneider examine the impacts of rising oceans as one element of how a changing climate will affect humans. "We're linking economic and social vulnerability with environmental vulnerability to better understand which areas and their populations are most vulnerable," Curtis says.

They used existing climate projections and maps to identify areas at risk of inundation from rising sea levels and storm surges, such as the one that breached New Orleans levees after Hurricane Katrina, then coupled those vulnerability assessments with projections for future populations.

It's a deceptively challenging process, the authors say. "Time scales for climate models and time scales for human demography are completely different," explains Schneider, part of the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment at UW-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. "Future climate scenarios typically span 50 to 100 years or more. That's unreasonable for demographic projections, which are often conducted on the order of decades."

The current study works to better align population and climate data in both space and time, allowing the researchers to describe social and demographic dimensions of environmental vulnerability.

The analysis focuses on four regions they identified as highly susceptible to flooding: the tip of the Florida peninsula, coastal South Carolina, the northern New Jersey coastline, and the greater Sacramento region of northern California, areas that span a range of population demographics. (New Orleans was not included as a study site due to major population changes since the 2000 census.)

read more: via

quinta-feira, 26 de maio de 2011

@BreakingScience significant role of #oceans in global cooling

New research points to the significant role of oceans in ancient global cooling via

Thirty-eight million years ago, tropical jungles thrived in what are now the cornfields of the American Midwest and furry marsupials wandered temperate forests in what is now the frozen Antarctic. The temperature differences of that era, known as the late Eocene, between the equator and Antarctica were only half of what they are today. A debate has long been raging in the scientific community on what changes in our global climate system led to such a major shift from the more tropical, greenhouse climate of the Eocene to the modern and much cooler climates of today.

New research published in the journal Science, led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute scientist Miriam Katz, is providing some of the strongest evidence to date that the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) played a key role in the major shift in the global climate that began approximately 38 million years ago. The research provides the first evidence that early ACC formation played a vital role in the formation of the modern ocean structure.

"What we have found is that the evolution of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current influenced global ocean circulation much earlier than previous studies have shown," said Katz, who is assistant professor of earth and environmental science at Rensselaer. "This finding is particularly significant because it places the impact of initial shallow ACC circulation in the same interval when the climate began its long-term shift to cooler temperatures."

read more:

quarta-feira, 25 de maio de 2011

@Allochthonous eruption ends ...@volcan01010

Chris Rowan

segunda-feira, 23 de maio de 2011

@BreakingScience The Atlantic 'resting' -- for now

The Atlantic 'resting' -- for now via

New oceanic crust forms on the mid-ocean ridge while oceanic crust that has cooled down is swallowed up in subduction zones. (Photo: Jeker Natursteine AG, Berne)

Geophysicists have simulated when the continents around the Atlantic develop active continental margins with earthquakes and volcanoes. According to the model, ‘real’ fully active subduction zones will not form for another twenty million years at the earliest.

Oceanic trenches, earthquakes, mountains and volcanoes arise through the subduction of tectonic plates. These phenomena shape the renowned Pacific Ring of Fire around the Pacific. Along this ring, sinks beneath the continental margins while new oceanic crust is constantly formed on the mid-ocean ridge. The process of subduction sets in once the oceanic crust is several tens of millions of years old and has cooled down to such an extent that it has a higher density than the area of the earth’s mantle beneath it, namely the asthenosphere. Consequently, it sinks beneath the adjacent continent more or less by itself. In the world’s oceans, there is thus hardly any oceanic crust that is older than about 170 million years.

read more:

@BreakingScience Sea levels set to rise by up to a metre

Sea levels set to rise by up to a metre: report via

May 23, 2011 by Madeleine Coorey

A flash flood is seen in the centre of the Austrlian city of Brisbane. Sea levels are set to rise by up to a metre within a century due to global warming, a new Australian report said Monday as it warned this could make "once-a-century" coastal flooding much more common.

Sea levels are set to rise by up to a metre within a century due to global warming, a new Australian report said Monday as it warned this could make "once-a-century" coastal flooding much more common.

@BreakingScience satellites capture shots of #volcanic

Weather satellites capture shots of volcanic plume blasting through clouds | Bad Astronomy via

Just in case you forgot that the Earth is one of the most geologically active worlds in the solar system*, the Icelandic volcano Grimsvötn has sent a very loud reminder: after seven years of relative inactivity, the volcano woke up on Saturday, rocketing a plume 11 kilometers (7 miles) into the air. The ash column blasted through the cloud layer, and was seen by weather satellites in space! Check out this amazing animation:

domingo, 22 de maio de 2011

@Earth_News Weather disasters in the poorest nations 'have trebled

Earth News

@physorg_space find odd twist in slow #earthquakes

Scientists find odd twist in slow : Tremor running backwards

Earthquake scientists trying to unravel the mysteries of an unfelt, weeks-long seismic phenomenon called episodic tremor and slip have discovered a strange twist. The tremor can suddenly reverse direction and travel back through areas of the fault that it had ruptured in preceding days, and do so 20 to 40 times faster than the original fault rupture.

"Regular tremor and slip goes through an area fairly slowly, breaking it. Then once it's broken and weakened an area of the fault, it can propagate back across that area much faster," said Heidi Houston, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences and lead author of a paper documenting the findings, published in Nature Geoscience.

Episodic tremor and slip, also referred to as slow slip, was documented in the Pacific Northwest a decade ago and individual events have been observed in Washington and British Columbia on a regular basis, every 12 to 15 months on average.

Slow-slip events tend to start in the southern region, from the Tacoma area to as far north as Bremerton, and move gradually to the northwest on the Olympic Peninsula, following the interface between the North American and Juan de Fuca tectonic plates toward in Canada. The events typically last three to four weeks and release as much energy as a magnitude 6.8 , though they are not felt and cause no damage.

In a normal earthquake a rupture travels along the fault at great speed, producing potentially damaging ground shaking. In episodic tremor and slip, the rupture moves much more slowly along the fault but it maintains a steady pace, Houston said.

"There's not a good understanding yet of why it's so slow, what keeps it from picking up speed and becoming a full earthquake," she said.

Houston and her co-authors – Brent Delbridge, a UW physics undergraduate; Aaron Wech, a former UW graduate student now at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; and Kenneth Creager, a UW Earth and space sciences professor – analyzed data collected from tremor events in July 2004, September 2005, January 2007, May 2008 and May 2009 (the 2004 and 2005 events took place only toward the north end of the ). The five events provided about 110 days' worth of data representing some 16,000 distinct locations.


@AsiaTodayNews Eruption disrupts #Iceland air travel


All quiet on the Rapture front @BreakingAstro

All quiet on the Rapture front via

cosmiclog.msnbc.msn USGSThis chart from the U.S. Geological Survey traces earthquakes stronger than magnitude 4.5 throughout the world over the past week, as of 11 a.m. ET Saturday. Yellow squares denote quakes up to a week ago, blue squares denote quakes up to a day ago, and red squares are quakes in...

In some parts of the world, it's already Sunday — and there hasn't been any sign that the end of the world was starting as predicted. But you already knew that'd be the way it went down, didn't you?

For years, Family Radio preacher Harold Camping has been telling his flock that the Rapture would gather up 200 million Christian believers to heaven and kick off five months of tribulation for the rest of us, heralded by a massive earthquake. Can you imagine the panic that might ensue if a significant quake actually did strike today? There's always a chance of that, of course. But as it turns out, the day has been relatively quiet in seismic terms.

Readings from the U.S. Geological Survey have turned up only a few quakes worthy of any note around the world, and nothing anywhere near major. If you check the USGS' chart of seismic activity, the blue squares denote quakes that have occurred over the past 24 hours, and the red squares stand for tremors in the past hour. The size of the square represents how big the quake was ... and there are no big squares.

#Volcano forces closure of Iceland's main airport

sexta-feira, 20 de maio de 2011

@geographile #Japan #quake area is still under strain


Japanese superquake moved ocean floor 79 feet sideways and 10 feet up - and new data shows region is under more strain

By Jane Bunce

Last updated at 7:23 PM on 20th May 2011

Read more:

The ocean floor shifted sideways by 79 feet in the Japanese earthquake in March - much further than scientists originally predicted.

And researchers are warning that immense amounts of seismic stress remain stored in the area, putting it at risk of further devastating earthquakes.

The journal Science has published three new papers about the effects and causes of Japan's March 11 mega-quake, which paints a picture of an earthquake hot spot much more complex and potentially dangerous than scientists had ever anticipated.

In one paper, the Japanese Coast Guard has released data from five geodetic instruments that in 2000-04 they had placed underwater along the fault line responsible for the colossal quake.

One of the instruments had actually been placed almost on top of the epicentre of the Magnitude 9.0 quake, at a station called MYGI.

Measurements taken in the week following the earthquake showed that at the MYGI site, the sea floor had moved about 79 feet to the east-southeast since the previous measurement in February. It had also risen about 10 feet.

Dr Mariko Sato, a geodesist with the Japan Coast Guard in Tokyo, believes almost all this movement happened during the quake.

Read more:

'The scale is almost double that estimated only from the terrestrial data,' Dr Sato told BBC News.

Under the seabed, the movement may have been even greater - perhaps 160 to 200 feet, by some estimates.

In another study sure to raise alarm in Japan, scientists from the California Institute of Technology have reconstructed how the Tohuku-Oki earthquake unfolded using GPS data recorded at more than 1,200 sites.

Their data showed that - contrary to previous opinion - the area had built up massive amounts of strain prior to the earthquake.

Earlier, there had been general agreement among researchers that the 'Miyagi segment' of the fault line was not under the stress of other segments along the Japan plate boundary, where large earthquakes occur at a regular basis. But Professor Mark Simons' team showed that this assumption was deeply flawed.

This raises questions about other sections of the fault line that had previously been considered low risk - including areas further south, closer to Tokyo.

This 'Ibaraki segment' of the plate boundary has been thought to behave in similar fashion to that of the Miyagi segment, and Professor Simons says it may likewise hold large amounts of seismic stress.

In recorded history, this southern area has experienced only one set of quakes larger than magnitude 8 - which means the region could be ripe for its own rupture.

The quake may also have destablised nearby areas of fault line, making them even more vulnerable to a catastrophic rupture.

'We have to entertain the possibility this area can produce a large quake,' Simons said. 'This area will warrant a lot of attention in the near future.'

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami left more than 24,000 people dead or missing, and wiped out entire towns.

Read more:

I have a Dream!

I have released my dream turned into a project a few months ago, so far without success practical support, but will not give up, go back or be afraid of public exposure.

I believe that somewhere on Planet Earth, there is a person or company who want to be in Brazil and realize the work I am willing to conduct and participate in this partnership, funding this project.

What in the world of cruelty, indifference and futility, there are still honest people and well intentioned with the security and future of the community.

I have a dream that became effective in Action Project, and I communicate my dream to millions of people of Planet Earth, via Twitter, and Facebook.

I am Brazilian, living in Curitiba, Parana State, Brazil. I have 61 years of age, higher education, good culture, a lot of information, communication, I like challenges and adventures, excellent health, physical layout and willingness to learn more.

After much reading and writing about the
environment, geology, astronomy, biodiversity, ecosystems, oxidation of the oceans, raising sea levels, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides, destruction of forests, sealing of urban land, pollution of rivers , global warming, greenhouse effect, not only dreamed of writing, but an elaborate design of effective action, giving my modest contribution to state and denounce environmental situation in Brazil, which could be done through a large, lengthy, detailed and documented field research in the entire Brazilian coast, in the Brazilian Amazon, the Pantanal of Mato Grosso, in the Atlantic, in the Brazilian forest reserves, rivers and urban hillside, in an accelerated process of destruction.

But to do this research trip, with photos, movies, and everyday items, through Brazil, I need help from people who believe in my dream, and can assist in achieving this dream, design effective, practical and achievable.

This dream turned into a research project, which will result in journalistic material, you need my determination, enthusiasm, and participation of people who help fund the project financially in return for exclusive advertising and through the material disclosed.

The Dream, turned into a project is as follows:

Materials needed:

- A camcorder
- A camera
- A notebook satellite
- Cost of daily expenses for travel and food

Field of Search:

- All the Brazilian Coast, South to the extreme North.
- Main rivers: Iguazu, Amazon, Jari, Rio Negro, Amazon, São Francisco, Paraíba, and other important tributaries ...
- Pantanal Region
- Brazilian Amazon
- Environmental Reserves

The films, photos and written articles, interviews, maps, documents, transmitted daily through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, showing the real extent of the environmental situation of each area surveyed, will always be sent directly to our employees, who may use, beyond the disclosure of employees through all the material produced and the resulting field research.

The main goal should, with technical criteria, will be to educate the world that "
environment" is a matter of "Global Security", which affects everybody, and that an effective warning system can be effective in case of future environmental disasters, and that urgent measures can minimize loss of human lives and financial loss.

Join you in this project.

All contributions will be posted daily in public realatórios through www.dia-da-

The accounts will be published monthly, containing all funds received, with the identification of each employee, and all receipts for expenses incurred in funding the project.

Believe and take part in this dream, transformed into a research project and dissemination of environmental data collected from a large research field.

Donate through: Bank of Brazil, 2920-3 Agency Savings Account - Savings Account 21735-2 in the name of RUI SANTOS DE SOUZA

Donate through: Bank of Brazil, 2920-3 Agency Savings Account - Savings Account 21735-2 in the name of RUI SANTOS DE SOUZA

Contact: rui.santos - 55-041-9107-9174



Editorial Board Opinion

“CLIMATE CHANGE is occurring, is very likely caused by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems.”

So says — in response to a request from Congress — the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the country’s preeminent institution chartered to provide scientific advice to lawmakers.

In a report titled “America’s Climate Choices,” a panel of scientific and policy experts also concludes that the risks of inaction far outweigh the risks or disadvantages of action. And the most sensible and urgently needed action, the panel says, is to put a rising price on carbon emissions, by means of a tax or cap-and-trade system. That would encourage innovation, research and a gradual shift away from the use of energy sources (oil, gas and coal) that are endangering the world.

None of this should come as a surprise. None of this is news. But it is newsworthy, sadly, because the Republican Party, and therefore the U.S. government, have moved so far from reality and responsibility in their approach to climate change.

Seizing on inevitable points of uncertainty in something as complex as climate science, and on misreported pseudo-scandals among a few scientists, Republican members of Congress, presidential candidates and other leaders pretend that the dangers of climate change are hypothetical and unproven and the causes uncertain.

Not so, says the National Research Council. “Although the scientific process is always open to new ideas and results, the fundamental causes and consequences of climate change have been established by many years of scientific research, are supported by many different lines of evidence, and have stood firm in the face of careful examination, repeated testing, and the rigorous evaluation of alternative theories and explanation.”

Climate-change deniers, in other words, are willfully ignorant, lost in wishful thinking, cynical or some combination of the three. And their recalcitrance is dangerous, the report makes clear, because the longer the nation waits to respond to climate change, the more catastrophic the planetary damage is likely to be — and the more drastic the needed response.

That response, the panel concluded, ought to include not only a strong policy to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also a plan to begin adapting to climate change, some amount of which is already inevitable; more research into climate science and alternative energies; and active engagement in international efforts to control climate change. Given the global nature of the problem, the report says, U.S. action can’t be sufficient, but “strong U.S. emission efforts will enhance our ability to influence other countries to do the same.”

What happens when Congress asks a question and gets an answer it doesn’t like? The response from Texas Rep. Joe Barton, senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, provides a clue. “I see nothing substantive in this report that adds to the knowledge base necessary to make an informed decision about what steps — if any — should be taken to address climate change,” Mr. Barton told the New York Times.

He’s right, of course — there is essentially nothing new, and that’s the point. Every candidate for political office in the next cycle, including for president, should be asked whether they disagree with the scientific consensus of America’s premier scientific advisory group, as reflected in this report; and if so, on what basis they disagree; and if not, what they propose to do about the rising seas, spreading deserts and intensifying storms that, absent a change in policy, loom on America’s horizon.

@algore #Climate denial is hard to justify

Al Gore

by geekgifts

It's Hard to Justify May 20, 2011 : 2:46 PM

A great Washington Post editorial:

“Seizing on inevitable points of uncertainty in something as complex as climate science, and on misreported pseudo-scandals among a few scientists, Republican members of Congress, presidential candidates and other leaders pretend that the dangers of climate change are hypothetical and unproven and the causes uncertain.”

“Not so, says the National Research Council. ‘Although the scientific process is always open to new ideas and results, the fundamental causes and consequences of climate change have been established by many years of scientific research, are supported by many different lines of evidence, and have stood firm in the face of careful examination, repeated testing, and the rigorous evaluation of alternative theories and explanation.’”

“Climate-change deniers, in other words, are willfully ignorant, lost in wishful thinking, cynical or some combination of the three. And their recalcitrance is dangerous, the report makes clear, because the longer the nation waits to respond to climate change, the more catastrophic the planetary damage is likely to be -- and the more drastic the needed response.”

quinta-feira, 19 de maio de 2011

@BBCscience #Japan's 11 March mega - #quake


by SlashedUK

quarta-feira, 18 de maio de 2011

via @reuters extremes show new normal #climate

U.S. weather extremes show new normal climate | Reuters via

WASHINGTON | Wed May 18, 2011 5:14pm EDT

(Reuters) - Heavy rains, deep snowfalls, monster floods and killing droughts are signs of a "new normal" of extreme U.S. weather events fueled by climate change, scientists and government planners said on Wednesday.

"It's a new normal and I really do think that global weirding is the best way to describe what we're seeing," climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University told reporters.

"We are used to certain conditions and there's a lot going on these days that is not what we're used to, that is outside our current frame of reference," Hayhoe said on a conference call with other experts, organized by the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists.

An upsurge in heavy rainstorms in the United States has coincided with prolonged drought, sometimes in the same location, she said, noting that west Texas has seen a record-length dry period over the last five years, even as there have been two 100-year rain events.

Hayhoe, other scientists, civic planners and a manager at the giant Swiss Re reinsurance firm all cited human-caused climate change as an factor pushing this shift toward more extreme weather.

While none would blame climate change for any specific weather event, Hayhoe said a background of climate change had an impact on every rainstorm, heat wave or cold snap.

"What we're seeing is the new normal is constantly evolving," said Nikhil da Victoria Lobo of Swiss Re's Global Partnerships team. "Globally what we're seeing is more volatility ... there's certainly a lot more integrated risk exposure."


In addition to more extreme local weather events, he said, changes in demographics and how materials are supplied make them more vulnerable.

"In a more integrated economic system, a single shock to an isolated area can actually end up having broad-based and material implications," da Victoria Lobo said. For example, if a local storm knocks out transport and communications systems, "someone 1,000 miles away is not receiving their iPad or their car."

Aaron Durnbaugh, deputy commissioner for natural resources and water quality for Chicago, said adapting to climate change is a daunting task.

Citing the down-to-earth example of Chicago's 4,400 miles of sewer mains, which were installed over the last 150 years and will take decades to replace, Durnbaugh said accurate forecasting of future storms and floods is essential.

The city of Chicago's cost of dealing with extreme weather events through the end of this century has been conservatively estimated in a range from $690 million to $2.5 billion, Durnbaugh said, with the cost to homeowners and local businesses expected to be far higher.

Globally, da Victoria Lobo said the annual average economic losses from natural disasters have escalated from $25 billion in the 1980s to $130 billion in the first decade of the 21st century.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

@EI_Climate Ecological impact on Canada's Arctic

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