The Pink Flamingo is a science freak. Let’s be honest here. I also find the far right approach to science …Read the Rest
When The Pink Flamingo was in elementary school, I read a book about the discovery of the coelacanth. I’ve been …Read the Rest
For those among you who think the world is coming to an end and we are witnessing something unusual with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, well, guess again.
If things continue, the Royal Navy is going to do the rescue thing and bring Brits stranded in airports home!
This week Planet Earth caught a break, literally. The largest solar prominence in nearly 20 years exploded off the face of the Sun. Capable of massive electrical disruptions with something akin to a EMP, it hit the planet a couple of days ago. Then again, the fireworks in Iceland may be just enough to push the planet into a little ice age.
Once the ash cloud hits the upper atmosphere, start watching for some glorious sunsets!
Every once in awhile The Good Lord (and I am not taking about Obama) thumbs His nose at humanity, and proves in some rather strange way that He doth indeed harbor a sense of humor. While nothing humorous is going on with the current volcanic upset in Iceland, it does prove that His power is far greater than man’s. There is a wonderful irony here, rather like one of those Ten Commandments moments, a note to Al Gore, sort of a, “Umm, big guy, I’M THE ONE in charge!”
One of the worst results of an unending litany of global warming is the dumbing down of science and of …Read the Rest
“…The USGS has already measured more than 40 aftershocks above a 4.0 magnitude (including a 5.9 and 5.5 magnitude) and many more below that, Bedwell said. More aftershocks are anticipated in the coming days and weeks as the restive fault continues to react to the jolt that set it off in the first plac”…”
According to the Wunderground weather blog Haiti was just now recovering from the 2008 Hurricane season.
“…In many ways, the hurricane season of 2008 was the cruelest ever experienced in Haiti. Four storms–Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike–dumped heavy rains on the impoverished nation. The rugged hillsides, stripped bare of 98% of their forest cover thanks to deforestation, let flood waters rampage into large areas of the country. Particularly hard-hit was Gonaives, the fourth largest city. According to reliefweb.org, Haiti suffered 793 killed, with 310 missing and another 593 injured. The hurricanes destroyed 22,702 homes and damaged another 84,625. About 800,000 people were affected–8% of Haiti’s total population. The flood wiped out 70% of Haiti’s crops, resulting in dozens of deaths of children due to malnutrition in the months following the storms. Damage was estimated at over $1 billion, the costliest natural disaster in Haitian history. The damage amounted to over 5% of the country’s $17 billion GDP, a massive blow for a nation so poor…”
Two years ago this specific quake was predicted.
“...In a presentation to the 18th Caribbean Geological Conference in 2008, the team pointed out that their models showed a slip rate of around 8 millimetres per year on the fault. In their abstract they warned that this, combined with the fact that the last known major earthquake near Haiti was in 1751, could add up to yield “~2 meters of accumulated strain deficit, or a Mw=7.2 earthquake if all is released in a single event today”. One of the team members, geophysicist Eric Calais of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, said in an e-mail to Nature: “Unfortunately we were pretty much right on.”…”
From Eruptions comes a portal into the science of the big one in Haiti. This is a straight post about the cold blooded science of the incident – nothing more and nothing less. This is the largest quake in the region since 1751, when there was one well over 8.0. This specific quake has now been ramped up to a 7.2, and was quite shallow, which is why there was so much damage.
The greatest earthquake danger for the US is not The Big One in LA, but in New Madrid, Missouri, not far from Memphis and St. Louis. It is a strange area, just plain weird. Traveling through the region which experienced one of the worst earthquakes in this nations’s history, one is taken aback by just how strange the area feels. There’s just something almost “wrong” about it.
“Topographic map showing earthquakes greater than magnitude 2.5 (circles) of the central United States. Red circles are earthquakes that occurred after 1972 from the USGS Preliminary Determination of Epicenters catalog. Blue circles are earthquakes that occurred before 1973 from the USGS Preliminary Determination of Epicenters catalog and historical catalog. Larger earthquakes are represented by larger circles. Yellow patches show urban areas with populations greater than 10,000. USGS image.”
“…Vulnerable Communities in the Mississippi Valley
There is broad agreement in the scientific community that a continuing concern exists for a major destructive earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone. Many structures in Memphis, Tenn., St. Louis, Mo., and other communities in the central Mississippi River Valley region are vulnerable and at risk from severe ground shaking. This assessment is based on decades of research on New Madrid earthquakes and related phenomena by dozens of Federal, university, State, and consulting earth scientists.
Considerable interest has developed recently from media reports that the New Madrid seismic zone may be shutting down. These reports stem from published research using global positioning system (GPS) instruments with results of geodetic measurements of strain in the Earth’s crust. Because of a lack of measurable strain at the surface in some areas of the seismic zone over the past 14 years, arguments have been advanced that there is no buildup of stress at depth within the New Madrid seismic zone and that the zone may no longer pose a significant hazard.
As part of the consensus-building process used to develop the national seismic hazard maps, the U.S. Geological Survey convened a workshop of experts in 2006 to evaluate the latest findings in earthquake hazards in the Eastern United States. These experts considered the GPS data from New Madrid available at that time that also showed little to no ground movement at the surface. The experts did not find the GPS data to be a convincing reason to lower the assessment of earthquake hazard in the New Madrid region, especially in light of the many other types of data that are used to construct the hazard assess ment, several of which are described here.
The Geological Record
There are historical accounts of major earthquakes in the New Madrid region during 1811–12. The geologic record of pre-1811 earthquakes also reveals that the New Madrid seismic zone has repeatedly produced sequences of major earthquakes, including several of magnitude 7 to 8, over the past 4,500 years. These prehistoric earthquakes caused severe and widespread ground failures in the New Madrid region, much like those caused by the 1811–12 earthquake sequence. The key evidence for large earthquakes that occurred in the past are sand blows that formed when under¬ground sand and water erupted to the surface as a result of violent shaking. Numerous large sand blows over a wide area were created by strong ground shaking during the 1811–12 earthquakes. Similarly large, widespread, and abundant prehistoric sand blows were produced over the same area during ground shaking from previous clusters of large earthquakes around A.D. 1450, A.D. 900, and 2350 B.C. The sizes and areal distribution of the prehistoric sand blows indicate that the older earthquakes were similar in location and magnitude to the 1811–12 shocks….The New Madrid seismic zone is a source of continuing small and moderate earthquakes, which attest to the high stress in the region and indicate that the processes that produced the large earthquakes over the previous 4,500 years, are still operating. It is the most seismically active area of the United States east of the Rockies. There is no sign that the rate of these smaller earthquakes is decreasing with time, as would be expected if they were aftershocks of the 1811–12 earthquakes.
On Sunday afternoon it dawned on The Pink Flamingo that we are taking the whole issue of climate change and politicians in the wrong direction. Lindsey is being hammered for a piece he co-authored with John Kerry for the NYTimes. Even I cringed – because I knew he would be hammered for it.
Suddenly, like the light flashing down from an alien craft about to abduct some drunken deer hunter (note that there is no intentional insult to deer hunters implied) The Pink Flamingo had an epiphany.
GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT
Remember that old computer term – garbage in garbage out?
I think expecting our elected officials to know everything about everything, or even a little bit about everything is just not logical. None of us know everything about everything. We specialize. The era of a eclectic “renaissance” style education no longer exists.
Take climate change – please.
The only reason The Pink Flamingo has a different take on things is because of an essay the late great, Stephen Jay Gould penned for his monthly column in the Natural History magazine. Aside from filling The Pink Flamingo with a life-time desire to be a writer of essays, this article tweaked my fancy. I was going into high school, volunteering doing the candy stripe thing at our local hospital. I remember reading the article after my father picked me up at the hospital there in Seneca. The mail was on the back seat, where I was consigned as he and my grandfather drove home.
I read the Gould essay on the drive to Fair Play, fascinated. My current love of all things dinosaur is nothing new. I’ve been fascinated since I was a little kid and saw that now legendary T-Rex fossil in the Natural History Museum in NYC. While it might take a calculator to figure out how many scientists have been inspired by that same critter, including the great Gould himself, The Pink Flamingo never went beyond fascination when it came to dinosaurs. But – it did give me a reason to read geology, paleontology, and delve into archeology as a high school student.
The specic Gould essay, which I can no longer find, was about the fact that the planet was due for another round of what he felt might be a cycle of ice ages.
Golly – an ice age?
I read everything I could on the subject, only to decide upon a life-long fascination with Post-Roman Britain instead of science.
It seems like the alleged time frame of La Morte de Arthur and the alleged fall of the Roman Empire all occurred around 475AD – 550AD. No one in their right mind would even put the idea of the death of Arthur, fall of Rome, and an ice age together. BUT – they all happened around the same time.
Seems like David Keys also put 2 + 2 together to come up with an ice age. Publisher’s Weekly reviewed the book:
“…In Keys’s startling thesis, a global climatic catastrophe in A.D. 535-536–a massive volcanic eruption sundering Java from Sumatra–was the decisive factor that transformed the ancient world into the medieval, or as Keys prefers to call it, the “proto-modern” era. Ancient chroniclers record a disaster in that year that blotted out the sun for months, causing famine, droughts, floods, storms and bubonic plague. Keys, archeology correspondent for the London Independent, uses tree-ring samples, analysis of lake deposits and ice cores, as well as contemporaneous documents to bolster his highly speculative thesis. In his scenario, the ensuing disasters precipitated the disintegration of the Roman Empire, beset by Slav, Mongol and Persian invaders propelled from their disrupted homelands. The sixth-century collapse of Arabian civilization under pressure from floods and crop failure created an apocalyptic atmosphere that set the stage for Islam’s emergence. In Mexico, Keys claims, the cataclysm triggered the collapse of a Mesoamerican empire; in Anatolia, it helped the Turks establish what eventually became the Ottoman Empire; while in China, the ensuing half-century of political and social chaos led to a reunified nation. Huge claims call for big proof, yet Keys reassembles history to fit his thesis, relentlessly overworking its explanatory power in a manner reminiscent of Velikovsky’s theory that a comet collided with the earth in 1500 B.C. Readers anxious about future cataclysms will take note of Keys’s roundup of trouble spots that could conceivably wreak planetary havoc….”
Would you believe the global temperature during the height of the Roman Republic and Empire ranged something like 4 degrees warmer than it is now?
Civilizations flourish during a time of global warming and had a tendency to either fall or wax inward during periods of cooling.
Please expain the importance of the word “Greenland”.
Now, the following completely esoteric lines of study are something no “normal” person who has a “real” life would even bother thinking about, let alone own dozens of books about the above.
There’s even more.
The Pink Flamingo has been interested in astronomy and space even longer than dinosaurs.
Get the picture?
Add a fascination with geology, history, King Arthur, Ancient America fringe archaeology, and a half-way decent working knowledge of science and you have a walking rebuttal to the current infant “science” of climatology. (it is a joke)
We are dealing with a rather fascinating solar minimum. For some strange reason, the utter lack of sunspots indicates a cooling surface on the sun. Anyone who knows anything know the cooler the sun, the cooler the earth.
Know anything about the relationship between very messy volcanic explosions and global cooling?
The Pink Flamingo subscribes to the theory of history that someone must delve, not only into the usual historical tools, papers, archives, etc, but must also integrate misc. sciences be them social, earth, biological, archaeology, or political in order to write history.
What do you do when data shows one thing and the popular culture another? Flopping Aces finally realizes that population …Read the Rest
First: Redoubt had a little mini-event the past couple of days. That’s the reason we monitor volcanoes. They are MORE …Read the Rest
The Alaska Volcano Observatory page is fascinating, if you are interested in looking at graphs, and numbers. The status is …Read the Rest
Various sources are attempting to read impending doom and disaster into the recent seismic activity at Yellowstone. If you check …Read the Rest