A University of Utah seismologist analyzed seismic waves that bombarded Earth’s core, and believes he got a look at the earliest roots of Earth’s most cataclysmic kind of volcanic eruption. But don’t worry. He says it won’t happen for perhaps 200 million years.
“What we may be detecting is the start of one of these large eruptive events that – if it ever happens – could cause very massive destruction on Earth,” says seismologist Michael Thorne, the study’s principal author and an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah.
But disaster is “not imminent,” he adds, “This is the type of mechanism that may generate massive plume eruptions, but on the timescale of 100 million to 200 million years from now. So don’t cancel your cruises.” This map shows Earth’s surface superimposed on a depiction of what a new University of Utah study indicates is happening 1,800 miles deep at the boundary between Earth’s warm, rocky mantle and its liquid outer core. Using seismic waves the probe Earth’s deep interior, seismologist Michael Thorne found evidence that two continent-sized piles of rock are colliding as they move atop the core. The merger process isn’t yet complete, so there is a depression or hole between the merging piles. But in that hole, a Florida-sized blob of partly molten rock – called a “mega ultra low velocity zone” – is forming from the collision of smaller blobs on the edges of the continent-sized piles. Thorne believe this process is the beginning stage of massive volcanic eruptions that won’t occur for another 100 million to 2100 million years.
Photo Credit: Michael S. Thorne, University of Utah
The new study, set for Read more…
Night turned briefly into day over a wide area in California and Nevada at 5:21:44 a.m. PST on Thursday morning January 17th, creating hopes of another extraterrestrial surprise delivery of meteorites, but this bright fireball did not drop meteorites on the ground. This was a head-on collision with a small perhaps 1-meter sized comet, rather than the glancing blow of a stronger asteroid. The comet matter was almost instantly turned into dust and gas.
Sunnyvale record of the January 17 fireball. The beginning of the meteor trajectory is visible right of the bright flash that originated well below the field of view.
The fireball that lit up the predawn Northern California sky in late January was a small comet that hit Earth head-on when Read more…
This is a very interesting interview with Dr. Paul LaViolette regarding the superwave theory. The interview is pretty lengthy, however, it provides much insight on how our position in the Milkyway Galaxy will affect us.
Galactic core outbursts are the most energetic phenomenon taking place in the universe. During the early 60′s astronomers began to realize that the massive object that forms the core of a spiral or giant elliptical galaxy periodically becomes active spewing out a fierce barrage of cosmic rays with a total energy output equal to hundreds of thousands of supernova explosions(1, 2). The cosmic ray electron component of such an outburst is always accompanied by synchroton emission which consists of electromagnetic radiation ranging from Read more…
Scientists describe humanity’s global impact as ‘The Great Acceleration’ and offer ominous outlook: An uncertain future on a much hotter world
Time is running out to minimize the risk of setting in motion irreversible and long-term climate change and other dramatic changes to Earth’s life support system, according to scientists speaking at the Planet Under Pressure conference, which began in London today.
The unequivocal warning is delivered on the first day of the four-day conference opening with the latest readings of Earth’s vital signs.
In subsequent days at the meeting, nearly 3,000 experts spanning the spectrum of interconnected scientific interests, will examine solutions, hurdles and ways to break down the barriers to progress. The conference is the largest gathering of experts in development and global environmental changes in advance of June’s UN “Rio+20″ summit in Brazil.
“The last 50 years have without doubt seen one of the most Read more…
The wave of solar storms that has pounded Earth over the past several weeks is only likely to get worse over the next year, according to a NASA scientist.
Sunspot 1429, the active region of the sun responsible for the flares, has been getting larger over the past several weeks, making it less stable and more likely for additional flares to erupt, which can cause damage to GPS satellites and electronic systems on our planet. NASA reported that the sunspot is now more than seven times the width of earth.
“The larger [the active region] is, the more likely it’s going to produce another big flare,” Phillip Chamberlin, deputy project scientist for the Solar Dynamics Observatory says. “It’s growing, and it’s becoming more dynamic, building energy.”
Over the weekend, two large flares erupted from the region. NASA says the wind and energy particles associated with the flare, began to affect Earth Monday. The region is dangerous for Read more…
Categories: Earth, Solar Cycle 24, Sun
earth, electronics, gps, satellites, solar flares, Solar Storms, space weather, sun, Sunspot 1429
(PhysOrg.com) — Earth’s clouds got a little lower — about one percent on average — during the first decade of this century, finds a new NASA-funded university study based on NASA satellite data. The results have potential implications for future global climate.
This image of clouds over the southern Indian Ocean was acquired on July 23, 2007 by one of the backward (northward)-viewing cameras of the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA’s polar-orbiting Terra spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand analyzed the first 10 years of global cloud-top height measurements (from March 2000 to February 2010) from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft. The study, published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, revealed an overall trend of decreasing cloud height. Global average cloud height declined by around one percent over the decade, or by around 100 to 130 feet (30 to 40 meters). Most of the reduction was due to Read more…
Last year the Arctic, which is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth due to global climate change, experienced its warmest twelve months yet. According to recent data by NASA, average Arctic temperatures in 2011 were 2.28 degrees Celsius (4.1 degrees Fahrenheit) above those recorded from 1951-1980. As the Arctic warms, imperiling its biodiversity and indigenous people, researchers are increasingly concerned that the region will hit climatic tipping points that could severely impact the rest of the world. A recent commentary in Nature Climate Change highlighted a number of tipping points that keep scientists awake at night.
“If set in motion, [tipping points] can generate profound climate change which places the Arctic not at the periphery but at the core of the Earth system,” Professor Duarte, a climatologist with the University of Western Australia’s Ocean Institute and co-author other paper, said in a press release. “There is evidence that these forces are starting to Read more…
Earth is getting 50,000 tonnes lighterevery year, even while 40,000 tonnes of space dust fall on our planet’s surface during the same period. So, why are we losing so much weight? You will be surprised.
At least, I never considered this and I was surprised to hear the reasoning in More or Less, a BBC Radio 4 program about statistics and numbers. According to Dr Chris Smith and Cambridge University physicist Dave Ansel’s calculations, despite those 40,000 tonnes of space dust that become part of our planet every year, Earth loses 50,000 tonnes of mass. Is it because we keep launching rockets? No. These are their back-of-the-napkin calculations:
• Earth gains about 40,000 tonnes of dust every year, the remnants of the formation of the solar system, which are attracted by our gravity and become part of the matter in our planet. Our planet is actually made from all that starstuff.
• NASA says that Earth gains about 160 tonnes of matter a year because the global temperature is going up: “If we are adding energy to the system, the mass must Read more…