but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.**
Mary Kay Ash
LARGEST QUAKES -
Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)
This morning -
5.0 FIJI REGION
5.0 KYUSHU, JAPAN
5.0 SERAM, INDONESIA
5.2 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.0 SOUTHERN IRAN
5.4 MACQUARIE ISLAND REGION
5.4 SOUTH INDIAN OCEAN
Mexico volcano spews huge ash cloud, frightens villagers - The Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City spewed huge plumes of ash and fiery rocks Saturday night, forcing a local airport to close down and terrifying local villagers already on edge after weeks of increased activity.
Eruption on Pagan Island, Mariana Islands - Satellites provide the only reliable observations of Pagan, as the island has been uninhabited since a major eruption forced residents to leave in 1981.
TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical storms.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Brazil - Severe drought gripping northeastern Brazil - the WORST IN A HALF-CENTURY - is taking its toll on more than 1,100 towns, even triggering fighting in rural areas. An average of one person a day is being killed in "water wars" in rural areas, while scores of animals are wasting away before perishing. Short water supplies have devastated farm output, endangering the lives of local people and their livestock. Many people in the area have lost half their livestock, and the Brazilian government has reduced forecasts for corn, soy and bean crops. In Pernambuco, 66 municipalities are on water emergencies, rivers have run completely dry and animals looking for water in the riverbed can only find the odd muddy puddle. Local dams in the region are running dry, and abuses are rife. In one cited example, water truck drivers make deliveries - but only if customers promise to vote for certain local candidates.
Scientists Discover New Site of Potential Instability in West Antarctic Ice Sheet - A previously unknown sub-glacial basin that is almost the size of New Jersey residng beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet near the Weddell Sea has prompted scientists to reevaluate the location most at risk of collapse. “If we were to invent a set of conditions conducive to retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, this would be it.”
“With its smooth bed that slopes steeply toward the interior, we could find no other region in West Antarctica more poised for change than this newly discovered basin at the head of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. The only saving grace is that losing the ice over this new basin would only raise sea level by a small percentage of the several meters that would result if the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet destabilized.” Despite the fact that the amount of ice stored within the newly discovered basin is less than that stored in other locations, it may still be closer to a tipping point.
“This is a significant discovery in a region of Antarctica that at present we know little about. The area is on the brink of change, but it is impossible to predict what the impact of this change might be without further work enabling better understanding of how the West Antarctic Ice Sheet behaves.”
The seaward edge of the newly discovered basin lies just inland of the ice sheet’s grounding line, where streams of ice flowing toward the sea begin to float. Two features of the basin, which is entirely below sea level, are particularly worrisome to scientists: First, like a cereal bowl, its edges slope down steeply. If the grounding line begins to retreat upstream, seawater will replace it and more ice will begin to float. The study’s authors predict that this positive feedback mechanism would sustain retreat of the ice sheet until eventually all of the ice filling the basin goes afloat. Second, the bed of the basin on which the ice rests is smooth. There are few big bumps, or “pinning points,” to hold back sliding ice. (maps)
SPACE WEATHER -
ASTEROID FLYBY - A 13-meter space rock from the asteroid belt was flying past our planet yesterday midway between Earth and the orbit of the Moon. There is no danger of a collision; at closest approach asteroid 2012 JU will be 190,000 km away.