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WEATHER | NATURAL DISASTERS | EARTHQUAKES | TSUNAMIS

WEATHER & NATURAL DISASTERS


Time-lapse photos and synched weather data unlock Antarctic secrets

Researchers are using time-lapse photography, linked to weather data, to study climate and geological change in the Antarctic Dry Valleys.

Opinion poll: Canada’s climate change consensus confronts Keystone

Despite the fact that 81% of Canadians accept that temperature on Earth is increasing, researchers have revealed that Canadians are generally misinformed about the science of climate change and are divided over the construction of new oil pipelines.

Sun’s rotating ‘magnet’ pulls lightning towards UK

The sun may be playing a part in the generation of lightning strikes on Earth by temporarily ‘bending’ the Earth’s magnetic field and allowing a shower of energetic particles to enter the upper atmosphere.

Wild weather in the Arctic causes problems for people and wildlife

The residents of Longyearbyen, the largest town on the Norwegian arctic island archipelago of Svalbard, remember it as the week that the weather gods caused trouble.  Temperatures were ridiculously warm – and reached a maximum of nearly +8 degrees C in one location at a time when mean temperatures are normally -15 degrees C. It rained in record amounts.

Small volcanic eruptions could be slowing global warming

Small volcanic eruptions might eject more of an atmosphere-cooling gas into Earth’s upper atmosphere than previously thought, potentially contributing to the recent slowdown in global warming, according to a new study.

Computer model provides a new portrait of carbon dioxide

An ultra-high-resolution computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe. Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also illustrates differences in carbon dioxide levels in the northern and southern hemispheres and distinct swings in global carbon dioxide concentrations as the growth cycle of plants and trees changes with the seasons.

Warmest oceans ever recorded

This summer has seen the highest global mean sea surface temperatures ever recorded. Temperatures even exceed those of the record-breaking 1998 El Nino year.

EARTHQUAKES


Erosion may trigger earthquakes

Researchers have shown that surface processes, i.e. erosion and sedimentation, may trigger shallow earthquakes (less than five kilometers deep) and favor the rupture of large deep earthquakes up to the surface. Although plate tectonics was generally thought to be the only persistent mechanism able to influence fault activity, it appears that surface processes also increase stresses on active faults, such as those in Taiwan, one of the world’s most seismic regions.

Geologists discover ancient buried canyon in South Tibet

Scientists have discovered an ancient, deep canyon buried along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in south Tibet, north of the eastern end of the Himalayas. The geologists say that the ancient canyon — thousands of feet deep in places — effectively rules out a popular model used to explain how the massive and picturesque gorges of the Himalayas became so steep, so fast.

Geologists shed light on formation of Alaska Range

Geologists have recently figured out what has caused the Alaska Range to form the way it has and why the range boasts such an enigmatic topographic signature. The narrow mountain range is home to some of the world’s most dramatic topography, including 20,320-foot Mount McKinley, North America’s highest mountain.

High earthquake danger in Tianjin, China

With a population of 11 million and located about 100 km from Beijing (22 million people) and Tangshan (7 million people), Tianjin lies on top of the Tangshan-Hejian-Cixian fault that has been the site of 15 devastating earthquakes in the past 1,000 years. An example of the disastrous events is the 1976 magnitude 7.6 Tangshan Earthquake, which killed a quarter million people.

Subtle shifts in the Earth could forecast earthquakes, tsunamis

Earthquakes and tsunamis can be giant disasters no one sees coming, but now an international team of scientists has found that subtle shifts in Earth’s offshore plates can be a harbinger of the size of the disaster.

Climate capers of the past 600,000 years

If you want to see into the future, you have to understand the past. Researchers have drilled deposits on the bed of Lake Van (Eastern Turkey) which provide unique insights into the last 600,000 years. The samples reveal that the climate has done its fair share of mischief-making in the past. Furthermore, there have been numerous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The results of the drilling project also provide a basis for assessing the risk of how dangerous natural hazards are for today’s population.

Seismic hazard in the Puget Lowland, Washington state, USA

Seismic hazards in the Puget Lowland of northwestern Washington include deep earthquakes associated with the Cascadia subduction zone and shallow earthquakes associated with crustal faults across the region. New research establishes not only that one of the more prominent crustal faults, the Darrington-Devils Mountain fault zone, displays evidence of strong earthquakes in the past, but that it will likely be a source of strong earthquakes in the future.

TSUNAMIS


High earthquake danger in Tianjin, China

With a population of 11 million and located about 100 km from Beijing (22 million people) and Tangshan (7 million people), Tianjin lies on top of the Tangshan-Hejian-Cixian fault that has been the site of 15 devastating earthquakes in the past 1,000 years. An example of the disastrous events is the 1976 magnitude 7.6 Tangshan Earthquake, which killed a quarter million people.

Subtle shifts in the Earth could forecast earthquakes, tsunamis

Earthquakes and tsunamis can be giant disasters no one sees coming, but now an international team of scientists has found that subtle shifts in Earth’s offshore plates can be a harbinger of the size of the disaster.

Offshore islands amplify, rather than dissipate, a tsunami’s power

A long-held belief that offshore islands protect the mainland from tsunamis turns out to be the exact opposite of the truth, according to a new study.

Study of Chile earthquake finds new rock structure that affects earthquake rupture

An unusual mass of rock deep in the active fault line beneath Chile has been found. Researchers say that this mass influenced the rupture size of a massive earthquake that struck the region in 2010.

Rising above the risk: America’s first tsunami refuge

Washington’s coast is so close to the seismically active Cascadia Subduction Zone that if a megathrust earthquake were to occur, a tsunami would hit the Washington shoreline in just 25 minutes. One coastal community is preparing for such a disaster by starting construction on the nation’s first tsunami evacuation refuge, large enough to shelter more than 1,000 people who are within 20-minute walking distance.

A global surge of great earthquakes from 2004-2014 and implications for Cascadia

The last ten years have been a remarkable time for great earthquakes. Since December 2004 there have been no less than 18 quakes of Mw8.0 or greater — a rate of more than twice that seen from 1900 to mid-2004. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and massive damage has resulted from these great earthquakes.

Massive debris pile reveals risk of huge tsunamis in Hawaii

A mass of marine debris discovered in a giant sinkhole in the Hawaiian islands provides evidence that at least one mammoth tsunami, larger than any in Hawaii’s recorded history, has struck the islands, and that a similar disaster could happen again, new research finds. Scientists are reporting that a wall of water up to nine meters (30 feet) high surged onto Hawaiian shores about 500 years ago. A 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the coast of the Aleutian Islands triggered the mighty wave, which left behind up to nine shipping containers worth of ocean sediment in a sinkhole on the island of Kauai.

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