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WEATHER | NATURAL DISASTERS | EARTHQUAKES | TSUNAMIS

WEATHER & NATURAL DISASTERS


Fish need time to adjust to new environmental conditions

Fish can live in almost any aquatic environment on Earth, but when the climate changes and temperatures go up many species are pushed to the limit. The amount of time needed to adjust to new conditions could prove critical for how different species cope in the future, reveals a new study.

Climate detectives reveal handprint of human-caused climate change in Australia

Australia’s hottest year on record in 2013 along with the accompanying droughts, heat waves and record-breaking seasons of that year was virtually impossible without the influence of human-caused global warming, scientists say.

Climate change appears a mixed bag for common frog

After warmer winters, wood frogs breed earlier and produce fewer eggs, a researcher has found. The same study also found that frogs produce more eggs during winters with more rain and snow.

Suomi NPP satellite data used for mitigating aviation-related volcanic hazards

A joint NOAA/NASA satellite is one of several satellites providing valuable information to aviators about volcanic hazards.

Natural selection causes early migration, shorter parental care for shorebirds

All bird migrations are fraught with danger – from the risk of not finding enough food, to facing stormy weather, and most importantly – trying not to be eaten along the way. Raptors such as peregrine falcons are the main predators of migratory birds, and huge flocks of congregating shorebirds can be easy pickings. In a new paper, researchers provide new evidence that shorebird species can adopt substantially different ways of dealing with this predation pressure.

U.S. releases enhanced shuttle land elevation data

High-resolution topographic data generated from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) in 2000, previously only available for the United States, will be released globally over the next year, the White House announced at the United Nations Heads of State Climate Summit in New York.

The fickle El Niño of 2014

Prospects have been fading for an El Niño event in 2014, but now there’s a glimmer of hope for a very modest comeback. Scientists warn that unless these developing weak-to-modest El Niño conditions strengthen, the drought-stricken American West shouldn’t expect any relief.

EARTHQUAKES


Drilling Into an Active Earthquake Fault in New Zealand

Geologists are drilling nearly a mile beneath the surface of New Zealand this fall to bring back rock samples from an active fault known to generate major earthquakes. The goal of the Deep Fault Drilling Project is to better understand earthquake processes by sampling the Alpine Fault, which is expected to trigger a large event in the coming decades.

New explanation for origin of plate tectonics: What set Earth’s plates in motion?

Geologists have a new explanation for the origin of plate tectonics. Researchers suggest it was triggered by the spreading of early continents then it eventually became a self-sustaining process.

Wastewater injection is culprit for most earthquakes in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, study finds

The deep injection of wastewater underground is responsible for the dramatic rise in the number of earthquakes in Colorado and New Mexico since 2001, according to a new study. The Raton Basin, which stretches from southern Colorado into northern New Mexico, was seismically quiet until shortly after major fluid injection began in 1999.

Mega-quake possible for subduction zones along ‘Ring of Fire,’ new study suggests

The magnitude of the 2011 Tohoku quake (M 9.0) caught many seismologists by surprise, prompting some to revisit the question of calculating the maximum magnitude earthquake possible for a particular fault. New research offers an alternate view that uses the concept of probable maximum magnitude events over a given period, providing the magnitude and the recurrence rate of extreme events in subduction zones for that period. Most circum Pacific subduction zones can produce earthquakes of magnitude greater than 9.0, suggests the study.

Major earthquake may occur off coast of Istanbul, seismic shifts suggest

When a segment of a major fault line goes quiet, it can mean one of two things: The “seismic gap” may simply be inactive — the result of two tectonic plates placidly gliding past each other — or the segment may be a source of potential earthquakes, quietly building tension over decades until an inevitable seismic release. After tracking seismic shifts, researchers say a major quake may occur off the coast of Istanbul.

New study reconstructs mega-earthquakes timeline in Indian Ocean

A new study on the frequency of past giant earthquakes in the Indian Ocean region shows that Sri Lanka, and much of the Indian Ocean, is affected by large tsunamis at highly variable intervals, from a few hundred to more than 1,000 years. The findings suggest that the accumulation of stress in the region could generate as large, or even larger tsunamis than the one that resulted from the 2004 magnitude-9.2 Sumatra earthquake.

Textbook theory behind volcanoes may be wrong

In the typical textbook picture, volcanoes, such as those that are forming the Hawaiian islands, erupt when magma gushes out as narrow jets from deep inside Earth. But that picture is wrong, according to a new study from researchers who conclude that seismology data are now confirming that such narrow jets don’t actually exist.

TSUNAMIS


New study reconstructs mega-earthquakes timeline in Indian Ocean

A new study on the frequency of past giant earthquakes in the Indian Ocean region shows that Sri Lanka, and much of the Indian Ocean, is affected by large tsunamis at highly variable intervals, from a few hundred to more than 1,000 years. The findings suggest that the accumulation of stress in the region could generate as large, or even larger tsunamis than the one that resulted from the 2004 magnitude-9.2 Sumatra earthquake.

Seismic hazards reassessed in the Andes

Although being able to predict the date on which the next big earthquake will occur is still some way off becoming a reality, it is now possible to identify the areas where they will occur. Researchers have just measured the current deformation in the northern part of the Andes for the first time using GPS, where the tectonics of the Pacific and South American plates govern the high seismic activity in the region. The scientists then identified the areas where the fault, located at the interface of these two plates, is capable of generating large earthquakes or not.

Foreshock series controls earthquake rupture

A long lasting foreshock series controlled the rupture process of this year’s great earthquake near Iquique in northern Chile. The earthquake was heralded by a three quarter year long foreshock series of ever increasing magnitudes culminating in a magnitude 6.7 event two weeks before the mainshock. The mainshock, which had a magnitude of 8.1. finally broke on April 1st a central piece out of the most important seismic gap along the South American subduction zone.

Giant earthquakes help predict volcanic eruptions

Researchers have for the first time observed the response of Japanese volcanoes to seismic waves produced by the giant Tohoku-oki earthquake of 2011. Their conclusions reveal how earthquakes can impact volcanoes and should help to assess the risk of massive volcanic eruptions worldwide.

Extinct undersea volcanoes squashed under Earth’s crust cause tsunami earthquakes

New research has revealed the causes and warning signs of rare tsunami earthquakes, which may lead to improved detection measures. The new study reveals that tsunami earthquakes may be caused by extinct undersea volcanoes causing a “sticking point” between two sections of Earth’s crust called tectonic plates, where one plate slides under another.

Personal resiliency paramount for future disasters

Individuals need to build disaster readiness and resiliency in order to better recover from the effects of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and other natural disasters, experts say. Those who prepare well for disasters are more likely to have a sense of spiritual and emotional well-being and be satisfied with their life.

Three years since Japan’s disaster: Communities remain scattered and suffering

While western eyes are focused on the ongoing problems of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor site, thousands of people are still evacuated from their homes in north-eastern Japan following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear emergency. Many are in temporary accommodation and frustrated by a lack of central government foresight and responsiveness to their concerns.

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