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!

Posts Tagged ‘Crops Failure in China’

Climate Change: For what you’re about to receive…

Posted by feww on September 16, 2009

It’s what you wished for!

Scientists Echo More Hazards of Global Warming You Probably Didn’t Know Existed, or Cared Much

More of the human enhanced geological hazard are being spelled out as scientists scratch hard, going beyond textbooks.

Global Climate Change will trigger violent geological activity, but little is known about the effects. Larger, deadlier quakes? “Orchestral” volcanic eruptions? Giant glacial slides/ landslides? More frequent Jumbo tsunamis? Methane Burps?

Those are just a few of the items on the menu, which you have already ordered, and will have to pay for.

Sit tight and see how you fare on the deadly white-knuckle ride as global warming changes the earth’s crust. No need to fasten your seat belt because it won’t help.

Glacial meltwater lake in Greenland
“WHOI glaciologist Sarah Das stands in front of a block of ice that was raised up 6 meters by the sudden drainage of a meltwater lake in Greenland. (Photo by Ian Joughin, UW Polar Science Center)” Image may be subject to copyright.

Global warming may cause more deadly quakes and tsunamis

“Climate change doesn’t just affect the atmosphere and the oceans but the earth’s crust as well. The whole earth is an interactive system,” Professor Bill McGuire of University College London was reported as saying, at the first major conference on the changing climate’s effects on geological hazards.

“In the political community people are almost completely unaware of any geological aspects to climate change.”

“When the ice is lost, the earth’s crust bounces back up again and that triggers earthquakes, which trigger submarine landslides, which cause tsunamis,” said McGuire.

According to the Toba catastrophe theory a supervolcanic event at Lake Toba ( Sumatra, Indonesia) plunged the Earth into a mini-ice-age lasting several thousand years (70,000 to 75,000 years ago). The explosion, classified as “mega-colossal,” ejected about 2,800 km³ of volcanic matter into the atmosphere, the impact of which reduced the world’s human population to about 10,000, possibly a mere 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution. [The theory was proposed in 1998 by Stanley H. Ambrose of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.]

In more recent times, about 3,600 years ago, the Minoan eruption of Thera (Santorini), a major catastrophic volcanic eruption (VEI = 7, DRE = 60 km3), which was the second largest volcanic events on Earth in recorded history, destroyed most of the island of Thera, and contributed to the collapse of the Minoan culture. It also caused significant climatic changes in much of the Northern Hemisphere, for example, failure of crops in China.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory researcher Tony Song has warned about the enormous power of  “glacial earthquakes.” Millions of tons of  glacial ice, cracked by hydrofractures caused by the lubricating effect of the meltwater from supraglacial lakes, slide downward from great heights (in West Antarctic the ice sheet is about a mile high) like  massive landslides.

“Our experiments show that glacial earthquakes can generate far more powerful tsunamis than undersea earthquakes with similar magnitude,” said Song.

“Several high-latitude regions, such as Chile, New Zealand and Canadian Newfoundland are particularly at risk.” [Having discovered an additional dozen or so nasty surprises, FEWW issued a travel warning to would be visitors to New Zealand months ago!]

Although ice sheets are disintegrating much more rapidly than previously thought, he noted, glacial earthquake tsunamis were “low-probability but high-risk.” [For now, anyway, but the odds are rapidly changing for the worst.]

Volcanoes can spew vast amounts of ash, sulphur, carbon dioxide and water into the upper atmosphere, reflecting sunlight and sometimes cooling the earth for a couple of years. But too many eruptions, too close together, may have the opposite effect and quicken global warming, said U.S. vulcanologist Peter Ward.

“Prior to man, the most abrupt climate change was initiated by volcanoes, but now man has taken over. Understanding why and how volcanoes did it will help man figure out what to do,” said Ward.

Speakers were careful to point out that many findings still amounted only to hypotheses, but said evidence appeared to be mounting that the world could be in for shocks on a vast scale.

McGuire says man-made CO2 emissions must be stabilized within about the next five years, to avoid a nightmare of which geological hazards are only a small part. What he didn’t say is where he got his 5-year “grace period” from because the tipping point was reached about 3 years ago, according to FEWW “EarthModel.”

“Added to all the rest of the mayhem and chaos, these things would just be the icing on the cake,” he said. “Things would be so bad that the odd tsunami or eruption won’t make much difference.”

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Mt. Kurikoma Coughs, Still Comatose!

Posted by feww on June 18, 2008

The Year of Volcanoes, Too?

Steam, hot volcanic plumes rise near Mt. Kurikoma

Japan’s Self-Defense Forces personnel observed Monday hot volcanic plumes about seven kilometers southwest of the summit of Mt. Kurikoma, a 1,627-meter-high volcano located on the border of Miyagi, Iwate and Akita prefectures, Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Aerial observation from a helicopter showed plumes rising from several spots near both Hanayama in Kurihara, and Yu no Hama hot-spring spa.

Sadato Ueki of Tohoku University’s Research Center for the Prediction of Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions said the plumes might be volcanic gases rising to the surface, or steam coming from underground hot water channels whose course was diverted by the powerful Mw 6.8 quake Saturday. The Iwate quake struck about 22km NW of the Mt. Kurikoma summit.

“There’s a possibility that volcanic gases that had been confined below ground are gushing out through fissures in the mountain created by the earthquake,” he said. However, he ruled out increased volcanic activity on Mt. Kurikoma, because the plumes were very far from the volcano’s summit.

Kurikoma volcano last erupted in 1950.

MT. KURIKOMA is a dormant stratovolcano stretching across three prefectures (states) of Miyagi, Iwate and Akita, standing high at an altitude of 1,627.7m.

Kurikoma volcano seen from the SSE with its summit at the right-center, the satellitic cone of Daichimori on the left, and Higashi-Kurikoma on the right. On the opposite side of the volcano, the summit is cut by a 4-km-wide caldera breached to the north that is partially filled by the Tsurugi-dake central cone, once mined for sulfur. (Caption: Source) Image Copyright: Shingo Takeuchi (Japanese Quaternary Volcanoes database, RIODB, See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Coordinates: 38° 57′ 0″ N, 140° 46′ 48″ E
Decimal: 38.95°, 140.78°

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Semeru Volcano: Alert Level III

Posted by feww on May 22, 2008

Mount Semeru Volcano Restive, Alert Level III

May 22, 2008

Jakarta – Indonesian authorities on Thursday urged residents living around the slopes of Mount Semeru in Indonesia’s crowded East Java province to keep their distance from the active volcano, which appears to be heating up.

Vulcanologists upgraded the alert status of Mount Semeru volcano to level three, one level below a full state of alert, after the 3,676-metre-high volcano on Wednesday sent hot lava as much as 3,000 metres down its slopes.

Villagers and farmers were urged ‘not to conduct activity at a radius of 4 kilometres from the crater, especially around the south-east of the volcano’s slopes,’ said Surono, head of Indonesia’s Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation at the directorate general of volcanology.

Surono, who like many Indonesians goes only by one name, appealed to residents living on the riverbanks along three different rivers to be cautious of threats posed by lava streams.

However, no immediate evacuation is being considered for residents living in a number villages in the potential danger zone, he said, adding that a team of experts is intensively monitoring Mount Semeru’s activity round-the-clock.

The Mount Semeru volcano, 780 kilometres east of Jakarta, is a popular tourist destination, especially for hikers. Semeru is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes.

The Indonesian archipelago, straddling the seismically active ‘Ring of Fire,’ has the world’s highest density of volcanoes. Of its 500 volcanoes, 128 are active and 65 are listed as dangerous. (Source) Copyright respective author or news agency.

The climb to the summit of Semeru is a 2-3 day walk. The mountain stages minor eruptions (like in the photograph) every 20 – 40 minutes. The photo was taken in late afternoon (August 2003) and simply involved walking from the campsite at the base of the climb to the summit around to the west so that the sun was at my back, then waiting for the eruption to start. The most striking aspect of the photo is the colour caused by the almost perpendicular rays of the sun hitting the cloud of dust and steam escaping a couple of thousand metres into the sky from the crater. The photo typifies the fact that Indonesia sits in the middle of the “Ring of Fire”. The many spectacles presented by the landscapes, the festivals and the people of Indonesia never cease to truly amaze me. Photo and caption credit: Campbell Bridge (via Trek Earth at:

Semeru: The Most Active Volcano of Java

Semeru also Gunung Semeru is the highest and one of most active volcanoes of Java. Known also as Mahameru (Great Mountain), it is very steep and rises abruptly above the coastal plains of eastern Java. Maars containing crater lakes have formed along a line through the summit. Semeru lies at the south end of the Tengger Volcanic Complex. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises abruptly to 3676 m above coastal plains to the south. Semeru’s eruptive history is extensive. Since 1818, at least 55 eruptions have been recorded (10 of which resulted in fatalities) consisting of both lava flows and pyroclastic flows. More than 500 people have been killed by Semeru’s eruptions during the last 30 years. Semeru has been in almost continuous eruption since 1967. (Source 1 and 2 )

Semeru is one of many volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Graphic courtesy of Darwin VAAC.

Semeru, a stratovolcano, has erupted at least 55 times since 1818. The eruptions are commonly moderate to moderately large (VEI of 2 to 3) and explosive. This photo, taken November 4, 1982, shows a small cloud associated with a Strombolian eruption (relatively low-level volcanic eruptions) . Photo by Jack Lockwood, U.S. Geological Survey. (Source)

Strombolian eruptions are relatively low-level volcanic eruptions, named after the Italian volcano named Stromboli, where such eruptions consist of ejection of incandescent cinder, lapilli and lava bombs to altitudes of tens to hundreds of meters. They are small to medium in volume, with sporadic violence. (Source). Credit: Wolfgang Beyer GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

Semeru eruptions are commonly moderate to moderately large (VEI of 2 to 3). Some of the eruptions produced lahars (a type of mudflow composed of pyroclastic material and water that flows down from a volcano). Semeru’s most recent eruption began in 1967 and has continued to the present. In August of 1994, explosions occurred at 15-20 minute intervals. In February of 1995, pyroclastic avalanches traveled about 0.6 mile (1 km) from the summit.

Semeru, 1985. A USGS Photo.

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Philippines Taal Volcano Could Erupt Anytime!

Posted by feww on May 19, 2008

UPDATE: Latest From TAAL and other Philippines Volcanoes

Taal May Erupt at Anytime

FEWW team believes there is a strong probability that the Taal Volcano, a Pelean-type active volcano on the island of Luzon, might erupt this month. Taal volcano is designated as one of the 16 Decade Volcanoes by International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI). Located about 50 km south of the capital, Manila, Taal is surrounded by populated areas.

Taal has erupted violently several times (the last eruption was in 1977). The current death toll caused by its activities stands at about 6,000.

More seismic activities in the region should be expected.

Taal Volcano Seen through Lake Taal (Photo: Jhun Taboga)

A cinder cone in an acidic lake on Taal Volcano (Credit: JG Moore of the US Geological Survey)

Major volcanoes of the Philippines

Pacific Ring of Fire

The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions encircling the basin of the Pacific Ocean. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes. Ninety percent of the world’s earthquakes and 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is a direct result and consequence of plate tectonics and the movement and collisions of crustal plates. (Source)

Plate Tectonics

World’s 14 major tectonic plates plus the Scotia plate. Mapped in the second half of the 20th century to explain the observed evidence for large scale motions of the Earth’s lithosphere. The lithosphere is broken up into tectonic plates. The surface of the Earth consists of a further 38 [40] minor plates.

The largest of the major plates are

  • African Plate, containing Africa – Continental plate
  • Antarctic Plate, containing Antarctica – Continental plate
  • Australian Plate, containing Australia (fused with Indian Plate about 50 million years ago) – Continental plate
  • Eurasian Plate containing Asia and Europe – Continental plate
  • North American Plate containing North America and north-east Siberia – Continental plate
  • South American Plate containing South America – Continental plate
  • Pacific Plate, covering the Pacific Ocean – Oceanic plate

See also

Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along plate boundaries. The lateral movement of the plates is typically at speeds of 5 – 10 cm/yr. (Read more …)

Recent Earthquakes [Kurile through Kermadec trenches]

[Time at epicenter]

  • Magnitude 4.8; Depth of 48.7 km; SOUTHEAST OF THE LOYALTY ISLANDS; Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 10:03:52 PM
  • Magnitude 5.6; Depth of 35 km; SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA; May 18, 2008 at 07:17:24 PM
  • Magnitude 4.6; Depth of 74.1km; MINDORO, PHILIPPINES; Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 07:24:17 PM
  • Magnitude 4.9; Depth of 10 km; SABAH, MALAYSIA; Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 02:26:41 PM
  • Magnitude 4.9; Depth of 31.3 km; NIAS REGION, INDONESIA; Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 09:59:59 AM
  • Magnitude 4.4; Depth of 242.4 km;KYUSHU, JAPAN; Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 07:15:06 AM
  • Magnitude 5.2; Depth of 127.1 km, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES, Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 10:17:30 PM
  • Magnitude 5.1; Depth of 151.2 km; SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS; Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 02:23:17 PM
  • Magnitude 5.3; Depth of 150.4 km; NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA; Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 03:35:14 AM
  • Magnitude 5.4; Depth of 35 km; SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS; Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:06:51 PM
  • Magnitude 5.3; Depth of 41 km; SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS REGION; Friday, May 16, 2008 at 09:19:07 AM
  • Magnitude 4.9; Depth of 606.3 km; FIJI REGION; Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 10:46:02 AM
  • Magnitude 5.1; Depth of 35 km; TONGA; Friday, May 16, 2008 at 03:06:15 AM
  • Magnitude 5.0; Depth of 25.8 km; KURIL ISLANDS; Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 08:20:43 AM
  • Magnitude 5.2; Depth of 52.5 km; LUZON, PHILIPPINES; Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 05:48:32 AM
  • Magnitude 5.2; Depth of 40.8 km; LUZON, PHILIPPINES; Depth of 40.8 km; Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 10:14:30 PM
  • Magnitude 5.4; Depth of 35 km; NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA; Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 05:29:19 PM
  • Magnitude 5.0; Depth of 36.7 km; TAIWAN REGION; Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 06:57:46 AM
  • Magnitude 4.6; Depth of 509 km; SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS; Monday, May 12, 2008 at 04:34:05 AM

[Source: USGS]

Global earthquake epicentres, 1963–1998 (Image: NASA)

Philippines Other Major Volcanoes: Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano as viewed from Lingñon Hill in Daraga, Albay. Mayon, located between the Eurasian and the Philippine Plate, is a convergent plate boundary. It is the most active volcano in the Philippines, having erupted over 47 times in the past 400 years. Last eruption: 2006. (Copyrigh by Tam3rd via Wikimedia)

Canlaon Volcano

Canlaon, a stratovolcano, is located in the north central part of the island of Negros.
Last eruption: 2006.

Weather clouds drape the sparsely vegetated summit of Kanlaon volcano (also spelled Canlaon). Kanlaon is the most active of the central Philippines and forms the highest point on the island of Negros. The massive 2435-m-high stratovolcano is dotted with fissure-controlled pyroclastic cones and craters, many of which are filled by lakes. Historical eruptions, recorded since 1866, have typically consisted of phreatic explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor ashfalls near the volcano. Photo courtesy of PHIVOLCS. Caption GVP

Ragang volcano

Ragang volcano (above and to the right of the center of image) is located in central Mindanao. Last eruption: 1916. Thanks mainly to the Filipino government and its education authorities, no other image of Ragnag Volcano could be found at the time of writing. NASA Space Shuttle image STS61A-40-71, 1985 (

There are 22 active volcanoes in the Philippines: Babuyan Claro, Banahaw, Bulusan, Mount Biliran, Bud Dajo, Cagua, Camiguin de Babuyanes, Didicas, Hibok-Hibok, Iraya, Mount Iriga, Mount Kanlaon, Leonard Kniaseff, Makaturing, Matutum, Mayon, Musuan, Mount Parker (Cotabato), Pinatubo, Ragang, Smith Volcano, Taal.

See also: List of volcanoes in the Philippines

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Philippines Taal Volcano Could Erupt Anytime!

Posted by feww on May 18, 2008

Page Updated:

Philippines Taal Volcano Could Erupt Anytime!

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Tropical storm Halong pounds northern Philippines

Posted by feww on May 18, 2008

Halong triggers floods and landslides

Tropical storm Halong lashes northern Philippines with 95 km per hour winds on Sunday, triggering floods and landslides.

Rescuers are seen pushing their jeep through a street submerged by floodwaters in Iloilo City, central Philippines, on May 15. Tropical storm Halong battered the northern Philippines on Sunday with powerful winds triggering floods and landslides and displacing about 6,000 people, relief officials said.
(AFP/File/Tara Yap)
Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Large areas of the northwestern coast of Luzon, the main Philippine island, experienced a blackout while about 6,000 people were displaced. Residents of low-lying areas and those living near mountain slopes throughout Luzon were urged to “take all the necessary precautions against possible flashfloods and landslides,” as the storm was intensifying the seasonal southwest monsoon winds. (Source)

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