Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for May 10th, 2010

Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Hit by New Wave of Seismicity

Posted by feww on May 10, 2010

About 3 dozen quakes strike Eyjafjallajökull Glacier, other quake clusters near Kolbeinsey ridge and Tjörnes fracture zone

Recent IMO Assessment – dated 09 May 2010 at 15:00UTC

The plume mostly reached height of about 4-5 km shooting up to 6 km (20,000 ft) occasionally, and heading southeast despite low level easterly winds.

Deflation continued at Eyjafjallajökull volcano. No indications eruption might end soon.

Eyjafjallajökull view from Hvolsvelli

Eyjafjallajökull view from Thórólfsfelli webcam (Heat Signature)

European Air-Travel

Meanwhile, airtravellers experienced more delays today as more ash clouds drifting from Eyjafjallajökull volcano continued to disrupt some flights.  Transatlantic flights faced severe disruption as planes were forced into long detours to avoid the ash cloud, thereby increasing flight times.

The air traffic volume was about 500 below the daily average of 28,500 flights today compared to 1,500 cancellations yesterday.

“We’re all at the mercy of the volcano and there is just no way of knowing how long it will continue to erupt. We would normally be getting south-westerly winds at this time of year and it’s pretty unusual to have northerly winds dominating the weather. It’s very much a day-to-day situation at the moment. The volcano died down a bit for a spell and has now got more active.” A UK Met Office spokeswoman said.

Related Links:

Serial No 1,705. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in environment, iceland volcanoes, Icelandic ash cloud, Icelandic volcano | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Texas Coast Attacked by Oil Spill

Posted by feww on May 10, 2010

Image of the Day:

The Big Oil State Under Attack

The spill is moving west toward the coast of Texas, according to various reports.

Geologist from Hell?

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward has admitted that the ruptured oil well could continue gushing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico for weeks, even months, before it could be brought under control.

The Deepwater Horizon wellhead is now gushing oil at an estimated minimum rate of 5,000 bpd. Some experts believe, however, that the leak is bleeding at 25,000bpd [nearly 4,000,000 liters per day] or 5 times the official estimate.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico is seen an aerial view of area off the coast of Mobile, Alabama. Handout photo was taken from a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft on May 6, 2010 and released to media on May 9, 2010. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard.

The trajectory shows the actual and forecast oil spill movement for the 3-day period 9-12 May. Click image to enlarge.

Fragile ecosystems on the coast wetlands of Texas could be devastated by the BP oil spill

Texas bays and Gulf waters are home to thousands of fish, shellfish, birds and other animals, all of which depend on the coast’s diverse habitats for food and shelter. Humans, too, share the coast, building homes and ports, harvesting seafood and enjoying the many kinds of recreation the coast has to offer. Credit: University of Texas.

Who Needs Wetlands, Swamps …

What’s the big deal about coastal ecosystems? Do they actually do anything for us?

Here’s a partial list valuable goods and services produced by coastal Texas wetlands; environmental quality functions and socioeconomic values (after Tiner 1984 and Hefner et al., 1994). [Source: National Wetlands Inventory Report.]

Environmental Quality Functions

Water Quality Maintenance

  • Sediment Trapping & Stabilization
  • Chemical & Toxicant Trapping
  • Nutrient Absorption & Cycling

Hydrologic Functions

  • Groundwater Recharge/Discharge
  • Saltwater Intrusion Prevention
  • Flow Stabilization

Primary Production/Energy Transfer
Ecosystem Stabilization
Biological Diversity
Biogeochemical Cycling
Fish & Wildlife Habitat

  • Invertebrates
  • Fish & Shellfish
  • Reptiles & Amphibians
  • Waterfowl, Wading Birds, Shorebirds & Other Birds
  • Furbearers & Other Mammals
  • Endangered & Threatened Species

Socioeconomic Values

  • Finfish & Shellfish
  • Forage & Hay
  • Timber
  • Food Products
  • Fur and Other Wildlife Products
  • Aquaculture/Mariculture

Recreation & Nature Tourism

  • Fishing & Crabbing
  • Hunting & Trapping
  • Nonconsumptive Fish & Wildlife Uses
  • Boating & Swimming
  • Camping & Picnicking
  • Hiking, Trail Walking/Jogging
  • Visual Aesthetics & Photography

Water Supply
Wastewater Treatment
Flood Control
Erosion Control
Storm Buffering
Education & Scientific Research

Shrimp Harvest

Shrimp Harvest could soon be a painful memory. Credit:ESTUARINE SYSTEM

Is that all wetlands do? Well, not quite, but it’ll do for now!

Did You Know?

Since 1990, BP subsidiaries in the US have been convicted 3 times, including two felonies, for committing environmental crimes in the states of Alaska and Texas.

BP’s worst disaster, prior to the ongoing catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico,  occurred  in 2005, when an explosion ripped through its Texas City refinery near Galveston, killing 15 employees, and injuring at least 180 others. The toxic plumes released during the blast forced thousands of nearby residents to stay indoors for a period of time to avoid serious harm.

In a subsequent investigation, BP was found responsible for the blast and it pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Clean Air Act. BP was fined $50 million and sentenced to 3 years probation. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) fined BP $87 million after its inspectors found 270 standing safety violations that BP should have fixed but hadn’t, as well as 439 new violations.

Official Site of Deepwater Response Unified Command

The Official Site of Deepwater Response Unified Command is posting photos and charts on its Flickr site. The majority of the photos are taken by employees of government organization, US Coast Guard and Navy personnel. Yet, for some inexplicable reason each and everyone of these photos, charts, and graphs carries a copyright notice. Could someone from the command explain why?

New Documents

Related Links:

Serial No 1,704. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in energy security, gulf of mexico, gulf of mexico oil leak, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Greenland Glacier Slides Much Faster in Summer

Posted by feww on May 10, 2010

Greenland glacier slide 220 percent faster in summer: Study

In case anyone doubted the obvious, researchers in Scotland have quantified the differential in the rate of slide of Greenland glacier. The movement of ice sliding down toward the sea is 220 percent faster in summer than in winter, they said.

You think it’s fun to swim in slushy ice water instead of walking on firm ice? Photo Credit: Dan Crosbie (public domain). Click image to enlarge.

The researchers say recent observations of Greenland glacier movement highlighted significant seasonal differences.

Greenland, the world’s second biggest ice sheet after Antarctica, could raise sea levels globally by about 6.7  meters (22 ft) if it melted.

GPS satellite measurements of the glacier movement in south-west Greenland showed that the ice in some places is sliding at 300 meters per year during summer.

“Our measurements reveal substantial increases in ice velocity during summer, up to 220 percent above winter background values,” the study reported.

What if the temperatures were getting warmer all year round?

The map shows temperature changes for the last decade — January 2000 to December 2009 — relative to the 1951-1980 mean. Warmer areas are in red, cooler areas in blue. The largest temperature increases occurred in the Arctic and a portion of Antarctica. (Image credit: NASA). Click image to enlarge.

Arctic Temperatures Trend 1987-2007 Using Satellite Data 1981-2007. Source: NASA

The researchers attribute the summer slide to melt water pooling under the ice.

“In a warming climate, with longer and more intense summer melt seasons, we would expect that water will reach the bed farther inland and a larger portion of the ice sheet will experience summer velocity changes.” The study says.

The study was published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Sunday.

Click image to enlarge.

Greenland Melt Extent, 2005: Konrad Steffen and Russell Huff – Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder

Greenland Ice Sheet

The Greenland ice sheet is a massive glacier (body of ice)  covering more than 1,700,000 square kilometers (664,235 sq miles), which used to cover about 80% of Greenland’s land surface.

Chenega Glacier is an active glacier in Prince William Sound, on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Source: DOI, US Gov.

Chenega Glacier located in the Chugach National Forest, Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound.Photo Dated 17 June 2004. Source: US Fish and Wildlife Services. Click image to enlarge.

Related Links:

Serial No 1,703. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in Arctic Temperature Trend, Chenega Glacier, Climate Change, greenland, Greenland ice sheet | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »