Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Texas and Antarctica Were Once Joined in a Supercontinent - An international team of scientists has found strong evidence that parts of North American and East Antarctica were once joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia about 1.1 billion years ago. (Long before the supercontinent Pangaea.) "I can go to the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica. That's so amazing." Rocks collected from both locations have the exact composition of lead isotopes. Earlier analyses revealed that the rocks were the exact same age and have identical chemical and geologic properties.
It adds strength to support the so-called SWEAT hypothesis, which suggests that ancestral North America and East Antarctica were joined in the earlier Rodinia supercontinent. The approximately 1.1 billion year old North American Mid-continent Rift System extends across the continent from the Great Lakes to Texas. The rift extends in the subsurface beneath Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma to the Franklin mountains near El Paso, Texas, where related rocks are exposed.

**There is a spiritual hunger in the world today -
and it cannot be satisfied by better cars on longer credit terms.**
Adlai E. Stevenson

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/8/11 -

-Tropical Storm 11w (Muifa) was located approximately 190 nm north-northwest of Seoul, South Korea.

-Tropical Storm 12w (Merbok) was located approximately 825 nm south of Petropavlovsk, Russia. (Final warning on this system has been issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The system will be closely monitored for signs of regeneration.)

Tropical storm Muifa has brushed past China's eastern coast. About 1.35 million people were evacuated as a safety precaution. Muifa is lashing northeastern China with torrential rains and winds despite having weakened to a tropical depression after making landfall in North Korea.
Tropical Storm Muifa hit the North Korean coast overnight with winds gusting up to 52 miles per hour (83 kilometers per hour). The storm then moved northwest across China's neighboring Liaoning province and dropped up to 5 inches (135 mm) of rain. Early today the storm was further north in Jilin province and moving northeastward with winds of 29 mph (47 kph). Muifa should continue to weaken though winds could gust up to 39 mph (62 kph) along the coast.
Tropical storm Muifa breaks sea dyke near chemical plant in Dalian. As tropical storm Muifa continues to batter China's northeast coast, waves have burst through a dyke protecting a chemical plant, forcing residents to flee.

Australian banana prices stay high as trees suffer cyclone 'shock' - Hopes that the price of bananas would tumble in August with the first harvest from the nation's cyclone-ravaged banana bowl have been dashed. Queensland banana trees that withstood cyclone Yasi in February have produced smaller and fewer bananas.


Tsunami March in Japan caused the formation of new icebergs in Antarctica. - After the tsunami this March in Japan, a research team found the formation of new icebergs shortly after the tsunami waves reached the continent. The break-off apparently occurred about 18 hours after the tsunami struck the Japanese coast.
There have been reports of icebergs breaking off, or "calving" before, such as when an earthquake hit New Zealand this February, but this is the first direct observation. "In the past we've had calving events where we've looked for the source. It's a reverse scenario - we see a calving and we go looking for a source. We knew right away this was one of the biggest events in recent history - we knew there would be enough swell. And this time we had a source."
A study in the Annals of Glaciology in April reported that when a large iceberg capsizes and flips, it can create a small tsunami (up to one percent the height of the iceberg.) "Glacial tsunamis" may need to be added to the list of future global-warming hazards. (video)


Strawberry-linked E coli outbreak sickens 16 in Oregon, one fatal. Oregon health officials have linked at least 10 Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections, including 1 death, to a strawberry farm in Newberg. Jaquith Strawberry Farm sold the strawberries to buyers, who resold them at roadside stands and farmer's markets. Though the farm finished its strawberry season in late July and the products are no longer on the market, consumers may still have them in their homes, such as in their freezers or in uncooked jam. The farm has recalled the strawberries.