Friday, April 20, 2012

**My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony,
lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilization,
to get rid of the undesirable and unfit.
 I can't prove it, but you can't disprove it either.**
Christopher Hitchens
This morning -
Seven 4.0+ aftershocks - largest 4.9

Yesterday -
4/19/12 -

 Live Seismograms - Worldwide (They update every 30 minutes)

Chile - The magnitude-6.7 earthquake which shook eight regions of Chile early Tuesday, caused two people to die of heart attacks.


Mexico - Popocatepetl volcano is spewing ash, water vapor, and rock fragments into the air - it hurled hot rock a half-mile into the sky. The volcano, which has been active since 1994, experienced its largest known eruption in 2000, when it spewed a 2.5 mile-high column of ash and smoke, forcing thousands to evacuate. It's most violent eruption in 1200 years occurred on Dec. 18, 2000. The volcano had spouted ash or vapor about 15 times over the last 24 hours. Authorities this week raised the alert level due to increasing activity The new warning indicates possible magma expulsion and explosions of increasing intensity. Residents of nearby communities reported roaring noises from the volcano on Tuesday.

In the Atlantic - Invest 91 - an area of disturbed weather has the potential for tropical development. Path forecasts - map


Russia - Wildfires have swept across southern Siberia, destroying houses in several villages, but no deaths have been reported. 59 fires were raging in the region east of Lake Baikal, thousands of kilometres east of Moscow. More than 9200 hectares were affected. Four people were taken to hospital with burns after one of the fires swept through the village of Vasilyevsky Khutor. The fire had been triggered by local residents burning rubbish. On Wednesday, fires destroyed houses in other villages and cut power supplies to more than 4000 residents. Large areas in Russia are regularly affected by wildfires, often triggered by disregard for safety rules.

'Huge' water resource exists under Africa - African water supplies may be more resilient to climate change than was thought. Scientists say the notoriously dry continent of Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater. They argue that the total volume of water in aquifers underground is 100 times the amount found on the surface. The team have produced the most detailed map yet of the scale and potential of this hidden resource. Across Africa more than 300 million people are said not to have access to safe drinking water. Demand for water is set to grow markedly in coming decades due to population growth and the need for irrigation to grow crops. Freshwater rivers and lakes are subject to seasonal floods and droughts that can limit their availability for people and for agriculture. At present only 5% of arable land is irrigated. "Where there's greatest ground water storage is in northern Africa, in the large sedimentary basins, in Libya, Algeria and Chad. The amount of storage in those basins is equivalent to 75m thickness of water across that area - it's a huge amount." Due to changes in climate that have turned the Sahara into a desert over centuries many of the aquifers underneath were last filled with water over 5,000 years ago. Many countries currently designated as "water scarce" have substantial groundwater reserves. However, the scientists are cautious about the best way of accessing these hidden resources. They suggest that widespread drilling of large boreholes might not work. "Appropriately sited and developed boreholes for low yielding rural water supply and hand pumps are likely to be successful." With many aquifers not being filled due to a lack of rain, the scientists are worried that large-scale borehole developments could rapidly deplete the resource. "Much lower storage aquifers are present across much of sub-Saharan Africa. However, our work shows that with careful exploring and construction, there is sufficient groundwater under Africa to support low yielding water supplies for drinking and community irrigation." The scientists say that there are sufficient reserves to be able to cope with the vagaries of climate change. "Even in the lowest storage aquifers in semi arid areas with currently very little rainfall, ground water is indicated to have a residence time in the ground of 20 to 70 years. So at present extraction rates for drinking and small scale irrigation for agriculture groundwater will provide and will continue to provide a buffer to climate variability."