Monday, October 17, 2011

CANARY ISLANDS - Spewing volcano forces Spain to close island port. Spanish authorities say activity by the underwater volcano has led them to close access to a port on El Hierro island. Ships have been ordered away from waters around La Restinga and aircraft have been banned from flying over the island's southern tip. The port's 600 residents were evacuated Tuesday after volcanic activity began. The regional government of the Canary Islands says scientists have detected airborne volcanic fragments called pyroclasts rising from the sea off La Restinga. The government said it awaited scientific reports on the danger posed by pyroclasts, but a research vessel that was collecting samples there has been ordered to desist. On Saturday, journalists were told to clear the area.

**We are already one.
But we imagine that we are not.
And what we have to recover is our original unity.
What we have to be is what we are.**
Thomas Merton

This morning -

Yesterday -
10/16/11 -

Swarm of 700-plus quakes in Sierra 30 miles west of Reno, Nevada - A swarm of more than 700 earthquakes have struck near the small Sierra County, California, community of Sierraville since August. There have been more than 30 quakes of a magnitude 1 or more in the last week, the largest being about 1.8. But the quakes are so deep — most are 18 miles below the surface or more — and so minor, that they have little chance of being felt at the surface. They are centered about 2 miles west of Sierraville and 31 miles west of Reno.
Seismologists can’t say with certainty yet what is happening, but appears the quakes are being caused by moving magma. The ground in this area is constantly in motion, moving about 14 millimeters a year. Because of that motion, it appears magma found a way to flow from the mantle, the middle area, to the crust, the upper area. “The upper mantle in this region has a lot of magma in it. “Sometimes it finds a way to work its way into the lower crust or the crustal-mantle plate. ... As everything is moving around, they have an opportunity to inject magma into places where it can.”
These quakes appear similar to the swarm of quakes that struck under Lake Tahoe in 2003, which were later determined likely to be deep magma injection. This magma is not associated with the Lassen Volcano to the north. While it’s not going to end up as a volcanic eruption, it could deform the earth’s crust and set the stage for an earthquake — but not any time soon. The first quake in this swarm happened Aug. 9. The number of quakes increased significantly in the past two weeks. “The observations we have now are the result of better observation and better monitoring of these processes." Seismologists may not have been able to detect this swarm as recently as 15 years to 20 years ago, but the equipment is better now.


RUSSIA - Shiveluch in violent eruption. Reports speak of a violent volcanic eruption of Mount Shiveluch on Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. Smoke and ash from the volcano have climbed to 10 kilometres, sparking no-fly warnings for the surrounding area. Snow around the crater is rapidly melting, creating mudslides. Shiveluch supports a caldera of 1.5 kilometres in diameter. Its current activity period started in 1980. (photo)

CHILE - ash cloud delays flights - again. Many Argentine flights have been cancelled after the re-emergence of an ash cloud from a volcanic eruption in southern Chile. Today the companies have cancelled their operations from Buenos Aires's Jorge Newberry airport. Bariloche's terminal will be closed until December. Buenos Aires's Ezeiza international airport had flight delays. Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex began to erupt on June 4, generating ash clouds that led to flight cancellations because of concerns that they may clog jet engines.

In the Atlantic -
No current tropical storms.

In the Pacific -
-Post-Tropical storm Irwin was located about 430 mi. (690 km) SW of of Manzanillo, Mexico. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.


Climate change leading to shrinking animals? Warmer temperatures can result in smaller individuals within a species. Melting ice, outbreaks of disease, more intense storms and more forest fires are just some of the effects scientists say will accompany human-caused climate change. Scientists are now exploring another, perhaps more surprising, potential effect: Shrinking animals.
This relationship between size and temperature change only holds for cold-blooded animals, which rely on external sources, such as sunlight, to warm themselves. Scientists don't understand why this relationship exists. But it's important because size influences an individual's reproductive success, as smaller animals tend to have fewer offspring, and its role in a food chain, among other things. To warm-blooded creatures like humans, this might not sound like a big deal. But we make up only a tiny percentage of Earth's animals, and we rely upon cold-blooded creatures for food, to pollinate crops and for many other crucial, but perhaps not obvious, reasons. So, climate-influenced changes could have cascading effects.
Scientists have already established the "temperature size rule," which says that individual animals reared at colder temperatures will become larger adults. Likewise, animals reared in warmer temperatures produce smaller adults. However, it's unclear just how this happens. Development rate is more sensitive to temperature than growth rate. "If you warm up, you put on mass more quickly, but the rate at which you pass through life stages is even faster, and when you reach an adult size, you end up being smaller at warmer temperatures."
Zooplankton are a key component of the ocean food web, so if warming in the oceans prompts these animals to shrink, it could have a direct effect on the things they eat and what eats them. The fish that eat them, for example, will have to spend more time searching for more of them to eat. As cold-blooded creatures themselves, the fish could also be affected by the warming waters, creating a compound effect, which could result in even smaller fish. It's also possible that the fish could switch to other prey, a move that could have its own ripple effects. However, both of these scenarios are hypothetical.
The researchers' previous work has shown that size decreases by an average of 2.5 percent for every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) of warming for a range of cold-blooded creatures, including insects, crustaceans, fish, amphibians and reptiles. Cold-blooded animals may not be the only ones affected by temperature changes: There is evidence that the temperature size rule also holds for single-celled protists and in plants.