Category Archives: EARTH

Download and Watch Movie Why Him? (2016)

Why Him? (2016) HD

Director : John Hamburg.
Writer : John Hamburg, Ian Helfer, Nicholas Stoller.
Release : December 22, 2016
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : 21 Laps Entertainment, Red Hour Films.
Language : English.
Runtime : 111 min.
Genre : Comedy.

‘Why Him?’ is a movie genre Comedy, was released in December 22, 2016. John Hamburg was directed this movie and starring by James Franco. This movie tell story about Ned, an overprotective dad, visits his daughter at Stanford where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird. A rivalry develops and Ned’s panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns Laird is about to pop the question.

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How fracking caused earthquakes in the UK

How fracking caused earthquakes in the UK – environment – 02 November 2011 – New Scientist.

In April and May this year, two small earthquakes struck the UK near the town of Blackpool. Suspicion immediately fell on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking – a controversial process to extract natural gas by fracturing the surrounding rock. A report has now confirmed that fracking caused the earthquakes.

New Scientist looks at what happened, and whether fracking is likely to cause more earthquakes.

When and where did the earthquakes happen?
A magnitude-2.3 earthquake occurred on 1 April, followed by a magnitude-1.5 quake on 27 May. Both occurred close to the Preese Hall drilling site, where Cuadrilla Resources was using fracking to extract gas from a shale bed.

Initial studies by the British Geological Survey (BGS) suggested that the quakes were linked to Cuadrilla’s fracking activities. The epicentre of the second quake was within 500 metres of the drilling site, at a depth of 2 kilometres. Less information was available on the first quake, but it seems to have been similar.

The link with fracking has now been confirmed by an independent report commissioned by Cuadrilla, Geomechanical Study of Bowland Shale Seismicity, which states: “Most likely, the repeated seismicity was induced by direct injection of fluid into the fault zone.”

The two geologists who wrote the report ran detailed models to show that the fracking could – and most likely did – provoke the quakes.

How did the fracking cause the earthquakes?
Fracking works by injecting huge volumes of water into the rocks surrounding a natural gas deposit. The water fractures the rocks, creating dozens of cracks through which the gas can escape to the surface.

The UK quakes were not caused by the violent rupturing of the rocks, as you might expect, but by the presence of water. This lubricates the rocks and pushes them apart, allowing them to slip past each other. “It’s a bit like oiling the fault,” says Brian Baptie of the BGS.

Seismologists have not been able to find the fault that moved, probably because it is tiny. Baptie says the surface area of the fault is likely to be just 100 metres by 100 metres, and that the rocks moved by about 1 centimetre – the seismological equivalent of a needle in a haystack.

So should we expect lots more earthquakes from fracking?
It’s difficult to say. Fracking has been going on in the US for decades, and has become much more common in recent years, yet evidence that it causes earthquakes has so far been elusive. “This is one of the first times felt earthquakes have been associated with fracking,” Baptie says.

The Cuadrilla report says the earthquakes occurred because of a rare combination of circumstances: the fault was already under stress, was brittle enough to fracture and had space for large amounts of water that could lubricate it. The report says this is unlikely to happen again at the Preese Hall site.

Baptie is not so sure. He says small faults are probably common in deep rocks, but go undetected because of their size. “It seems quite possible, given the same injection scheme in the same well, that there could be further earthquakes,” he says.

Cuadrilla is proposing to monitor seismic activity around its fracking site. If earthquakes begin to occur, it could reduce the flow of water into the well, or even pump it back out, preventing the bigger quakes. Baptie says such monitoring is now necessary to avoid further quakes at fracking sites.

Are these earthquakes dangerous?
Not particularly. Magnitude-2.3 earthquakes can shake the ground enough for people to notice, especially if they occur close to the surface, but damage is normally limited to objects falling off shelves.

According to Baptie, the UK gets an average of 15 magnitude-2.3 earthquakes every year, so the quakes produced by the fracking are not out of the ordinary.

9 Environmental Boundaries We Don’t Want to Cross

9 Environmental Boundaries We Don’t Want to Cross | Wired Science | Wired.com.The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

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Climate change threatens to turn the planet into a stormy, overheated mess: That much we know. But according to 28 leading scientists, greenhouse gas pollution is but one of nine environmental factors critical to humanity’s future. If their boundaries are stretched too far, Earth’s environment could be catastrophically altered — and three have already been broken, with several others soon to follow.

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This grim diagnosis, published Wednesday in Nature, is the most ambitious assessment of planetary health to date. It’s a first-draft users’ manual for an era that scientists dub the “anthropocene,” in which nearly seven billion resource-hungry humans have come to dominate ecological change on Earth. The scientists’ quantifications are open to argument, but not the necessity of their perspective.

“It’s a crude attempt to map the environmental space in which we can operate,” said Jon Foley, director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and one of the paper’s lead authors. “We need to keep our activities in a certain range, or the planet could tip into a state we haven’t seen in the history of our civilization.”

Thresholds for atmospheric carbon dioxide and ozone have already been described, and are widely known to the public. But the scientists say five other factors are just as important: ocean acidification, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, land use, freshwater use and biodiversity. They say chemical pollution and atmospheric aerosols may also be essential, but can’t yet be quantified.

Values for the proposed boundaries are still just estimates, and don’t account for how pushing one could affect another — how, for example, acidification that kills plankton could make it harder for the ocean to absorb CO2 and rebound from nitrogen pollution. Ecological models still can’t capture the entirety of Earth’s biological, geological and chemical processes, and it’s impossible to run whole-Earth experiments — except, arguably, for the experiment that’s going on now.

 

Despite those uncertainties, one aspect of Earth’s behavior is becoming clear. Records of global transitions between geological ages, and of regional changes between environmental stages, suggest that planet-wide change could happen relatively quickly. It might not take thousands or millions of years for Earth’s environment to be altered. It could happen in centuries, perhaps even decades.

Exactly what Earth would look like is difficult to predict in detail, but it could be radically different from the mild environment that has prevailed for the last 10,000 years. It was temperate stability that nurtured the rise of civilization, and it should continue for thousands of years to come, unless humanity keeps pushing the limits.

“The Earth of the last 10,000 years has been more recognizable than the Earth we may have 100 years from now. It won’t be Mars, but it won’t be the Earth that you and I know,” said Foley. “This is the single most defining problem of our time. Will we have the wisdom to be stewards of a world we’ve come to dominate?”

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Foley’s team put the atmospheric carbon dioxide threshold at 350 parts per million, a level the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change says should keep Earth’s average temperature from rising by more than four degrees Fahrenheit. Current atmospheric CO2 levels are already approaching 400 parts per million.

Also exceeded are limits for species loss, which the scientists set at 10 per year per million species, and nitrogen use, pegged at 35 million tons per year. The current extinction rate is ten times higher than advised, ostensibly compromising the ability of ecosystems to process nutrients. The use of nitrogen — which is needed for fertilizer, but causes oxygen-choking algae blooms — is nearly four times higher than recommended.

On the positive side, atmospheric levels of ultraviolet radiation-blocking ozone are safe, thanks to a 1987 ban on ozone-destroying chemicals. Total rates of ocean acidification, freshwater consumption and land use are also acceptable, but those thresholds are expected to be exceeded in coming decades.

The seven boundary points are certain to be controversial, and Nature commissioned seven separate critiques by leading experts in each field.

William Schlesinger, president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, said the recommended nitrogen limit “seems arbitrary.” Echoing his words was Steve Bass of the International Institute for Environment and Development, who said the 15 percent cap on land devoted to agriculture could as easily be 10 or 20 percent.

International Water Management Institute researcher David Molden said the 4,000 cubic kilometer ceiling on freshwater use — roughly one-third of all freshwater — “may be too high.” Myles Allen, an Oxford University climatologist, argued that CO2 emissions should be counted in a different way. Cristian Samper, director of the U.S. Natural History Museum, said that taxonomic family loss is a more relevant measure than species loss.

According to Foley, who called his team’s threshold values a “cave painting” version of the true limits, the paper is less important for its details than its approach. And though the critics argued over the numbers, all agreed that exceeding them will be disastrous.

“Planetary boundaries are a welcome new approach,” wrote Molden. “It is imperative that we act now on several fronts to avert a calamity far greater than what we envision from climate change.”

Peter Brewer, an ocean chemist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, criticized the paper’s lack of proposed solutions. Given the ongoing failure of governments and citizens to follow their scientists’ advice on climate change, more than dire warnings is clearly needed.

“Is it truly useful to create a list of environmental limits without serious plans for how they may be achieved?” Brewer wrote. “Without recognition of what would be needed economically and politically to enforce such limits, they may become just another stick to beat citizens with.”

“It’s unsatisfactory, I agree. We don’t answer the question of how to keep humanity from crossing the boundaries,” said Johan Rockstrom, director of the Stockholm Environment Institute and a lead author of the Nature paper. “That’s the next challenge. To stay within planetary boundaries, we need tremendous social transformation.”

See Also:

Note: The Nature paper is an edited version of the full article, which is available from the Stockholm Resilience Institute.

Citations: “A safe operating space for humanity.” By Johan Rockström, Will Steffen, Kevin Noone, Åsa Persson, F. Stuart Chapin, III, Eric F. Lambin, Timothy M. Lenton, Marten Scheffer, Carl Folke, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Björn Nykvist, Cynthia A. de Wit, Terry Hughes, Sander van der Leeuw, Henning Rodhe, Sverker Sörlin, Peter K. Snyder, Robert Costanza, Uno Svedin, Malin Falkenmark, Louise Karlberg, Robert W. Corell, Victoria J. Fabry, James Hansen, Brian Walker, Diana Liverman, Katherine Richardson, Paul Crutzen, Jonathan A. Foley. Nature, Vol. 461 No. 7263, September 24, 2009.

“Thresholds risk prolonged degradation.” By William Schlesinger. Nature, Vol. 461 No. 7263, September 24, 2009.

“Keep off the grass.” By Steve Bass. Nature, Vol. 461 No. 7263, September 24, 2009.

“Tangible targets are critical.” By Myles Allen. Nature, Vol. 461 No. 7263, September 24, 2009.

“Identifying abrupt change.” By Mario J. Molina. Nature, Vol. 461 No. 7263, September 24, 2009.

“The devil is in the detail.” By David Molden. Nature, Vol. 461 No. 7263, September 24, 2009.

“Consider all consequences.” By Peter Brewer. Nature, Vol. 461 No. 7263, September 24, 2009.

“Rethinking biodiversity.” By Cristian Samper. Nature, Vol. 461 No. 7263, September 24, 2009.

What does 7 Billion People Mean?

Making Sense of 7 Billion People | Wired Science | Wired.com.

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On the last day of October 2011, the global population of an upstart branch of the primate order will reach 7 billion.review smartphone android

What does it mean?

In itself, not much: Seven billion is just a one-digit flicker from 6,999,999,999. But the number carries a deep existential weight, symbolizing themes central to humanity’s relationship with the rest of life on Earth.

For context, let’s consider a few other numbers. The first: 10,000. That’s approximately how many Homo sapiens existed 200,000 years ago, the date at which scientists mark the divergence of our species from the rest of Homo genus, of which we are the sole survivors.

From those humble origins, humans — thanks to our smarts, long-distance running skills, verbal ability and skill with plants — proliferated at an almost inconceivable rate.

 

Some may note that, in a big-picture biological sense, humanity has rivals: In total biomass, ants weigh as much as we do, oceanic krill weigh more than both of us combined, and bacteria dwarf us all. Those are interesting factoids, but they belie a larger point.

We are the .00018 percent, and we use 20 percent.

Ants and krill and bacteria occupy an entirely different ecological level. A more appropriate comparison can be made between humans and other apex predators, which is precisely the ecological role humans evolved to play, and which — beneath our civilized veneer — we still are.

According to a back-of-the-envelope calculation, there are about 1.7 million other top-level, land-dwelling, mammalian predators on Earth. Put another way: For every non-human mammal sharing our niche, there are more than 4,000 of us.

In short, humans are Earth’s great omnivore, and our omnivorous nature can only be understood at global scales. Scientists estimate that 83 percent of the terrestrial biosphere is under direct human influence. Crops cover some 12 percent of Earth’s land surface, and account for more than one-third of terrestrial biomass. One-third of all available fresh water is diverted to human use.

Altogether, roughly 20 percent of Earth’s net terrestrial primary production, the sheer volume of life produced on land on this planet every year, is harvested for human purposes — and, to return to the comparative factoids, it’s all for a species that accounts for .00018 percent of Earth’s non-marine biomass.

We are the .00018 percent, and we use 20 percent. The purpose of that number isn’t to induce guilt, or blame humanity. The point of that number is perspective. At this snapshot in life’s history, at — per the insights of James C. Rettie, who imagined life on Earth as a yearlong movie — a few minutes after 11:45 p.m. on December 31, we are big. Very big.

However, it must be noted that, as we’ve become big, much of life had to get out of the way. When modern Homo sapiens started scrambling out of East Africa, the average extinction rate of other mammals was, in scientific terms, one per million species years. It’s 100 times that now, a number that threatens to make non-human life on Earth collapse.

In regard to that number, environmentalists usually say that humanity’s fate depends on the life around us. That’s debatable. Humans are adaptable and perfectly capable of living in squalor, without clean air or clean water or birds in the trees. If not, there wouldn’t be 7 billion of us. Conservation is a moral question, and probably not a utilitarian imperative.

But the fact remains that, for all of humanity to experience a material standard of living now enjoyed by a tiny fraction, we’d need four more Earths. It’s just not possible. And that, in the end, is the significance of 7 billion. It’s a challenge.

In just a few minutes of evolutionary time, humanity has become a force to be measured in terms of the entirety of life itself. How do we, the God species, want to live? For the answer, check back at 8 billion.

Eruption News and Volcanoes From Space for October 28, 2011 | Wired Science | Wired.com

Vulcan’s View: Eruption News and Volcanoes From Space for October 28, 2011 | Wired Science | Wired.com.

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Chile

 

New Smithsonian/USGS Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, new views of volcanoes from space!

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Chile

The eruption at Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle continues after starting in early June of this year. The current plume is much smaller than during the opening phases of the eruption, topping out at ~4.5 km (some as high as 7.5 km). However, high atmospheric winds are carrying the ash away and disrupting air travel throughout the region. Depending on the wind, the ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle is being carried 120-250 km from the vent, depending on the winds.

Once the ash and volcanic tephra is erupted, it isn’t the end to the hazard they pose. This image shows the accumulation of ash and volcanic tephra (video) on the waterways around Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, especially Lago Huishue, Gris and Constania on the eastern side of the image. Some smaller lakes are completely covered in volcanic debris. These deposits can be easily mobilized into the drainages and produce small lahars and mudflows that bring debris even further away. The drainage in the lower left hand side is grey with ash and volcanic debris that can clearly be seen entering Lago Puyehue as large, grey plumes. These accumulations of volcanic debris will likely be remobilized for years to decades after the eruption ends.

Image: The ash plume from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle seen on October 25, 2011. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory

 

Tungurahua, Ecuador

 

Tungurahua, Ecuador

Tungurahua, one of the more active volcanoes in South America, continues to rumble. Only 140 km from Quito, the volcano produced a 7.3 km / 24,000 ash/steam plume last week. The plume drifted in the opposite direction of the one pictured in this 2004 MODIS image of another eruption at Tungurahua.

Image: Ash plume from Tungurahua in Ecuador seen on January 14, 2004. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

Karymsky and neighboring volcanoes, Russia

 

Karymsky and neighboring volcanoes, Russia

The busy Kamchatka peninsula is well represented yet again in this week’s Volcanic Activity Report. I’ll focus on the activity at Karymsky, which was mostly moderate ash plumes that reached ~3.3 km / 10,000 feet and a thermal anomaly noted at the summit. This likely means a plug or dome of hot magma is the summit of the volcano and is the source for the explosive activity producing the plume. What you see above is a 2006 image of a plume from Karymsky that also captures of its notable volcanic neighbors, including Kronotsky, Krasheninnikov, Kikhpinych, Bolshoi Semiachik and Akademia Nauk.

Image: A collection of Kamchatkan volcanoes seen on November 29, 2006. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

Manam, Papau New Guinea

 

Manam, Papau New Guinea

Manam is an island volcano off Papau New Guinea and really, there is nothing else on the island except the volcano. It has been quite active over the last decade and evacuations of the few people who choose to live in Manam have been problematic with the constant activity, even after fatalities during an eruption in 2004. Currently the volcano is producing 3.7 km / 12,000 ash and steam plumes that drift east over the Pacific.

Image: A close up view of Manam in Papau New Guinea with young dark ash and lava flows on the flanks separated by green, vegetated areas. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

El Hierro, Canary Islands

 

El Hierro, Canary Islands

What Vulcan’s View would be complete without a shot of the ongoing eruption at El Hierro in the Canary Islands? This new image from October 27, 2011 shows the submarine plume from the new vents off the southern coast of El Hierro. Some of the material in the plume has made its way around the western shores to begin to wrap around the island. The most fascinating aspect of this plume is what sort of effect the plume will have on the ocean waters and ocean bottom environments, especially with how well mapped the plume has been by satellite. Be sure to check out the gallery of images from the BBC Mundo.

Image: An October 27, 2011 image of the submarine plume from the eruption at El Hierro. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

Popocatépetl, Mexico

 

Popocatépetl, Mexico

The activity at Popocatépetl isn’t exactly headline grabbing: steam-and-ash plumes with maybe some very minimal ash deposits. Par for the course for the Mexican volcano. I included Popo just to remind people about the threat the volcano poses to Mexico City and its outlying communities.

Image: A January 4, 2011 image of a diffuse steam-and-ash plume from Popocatépetl in Mexico. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

Suwanose-jima, Japan

 

Suwanose-jima, Japan

Another regular in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, Suwanose-jima, is one of the many volcanoes of the Ryukyu Islands. Unlike Sakura-jima, which gets a lot of the attention due to its proximity to a populated area, Suwanose-jima is on an depopulated island. The former population of the island left due to the volcanic threat posed by Suwanose-jima. The 2009 image of the volcano shows a moderate ash plume extending to the northeast from Suwanose-jima.

Image: The thick ash plume from Japan’s Suwanose-jima as seen on July 5, 2009. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

Yellowstone Supervolcano & Caldera

Yellowstone Supervolcano & Caldera ? Volcanic Eruptions & Seismic Activity ? Molten Rock, Magma Plume | Our Amazing Planet.

yellowstone-plume-110411-02.jpg

The volcanic plume of partly molten rock that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano. Yellow and red indicate higher conductivity, green and blue indicate lower conductivity. Made by University of Utah geophysicists and computer scientists, this is the first large-scale ‘geoelectric’ image of the Yellowstone hotspot. Credit: University of Utah.

 

The gigantic underground plume of partly molten rock that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano might be bigger than previously thought, a new image suggests.

The study says nothing about the chances of a cataclysmic eruption at Yellowstone, but it provides scientists with a valuable new perspective on the vast and deep reservoir of fiery material that feeds such eruptions, the last of which occurred more than 600,000 years ago. [Related: Infographic – The Geology of Yellowstone.]

Earlier measurements of the plume were produced by using seismic waves — the waves generated by earthquakes — to create a picture of the underground region. The new picture was produced by examining the Yellowstone plume’s electrical conductivity, which is generated by molten silicate rocks and hot briny water that is naturally present and mixed in with partly molten rock.

“It’s a totally new and different way of imaging and looking at the volcanic roots of Yellowstone,” said study co-author Robert B. Smith, professor emeritus and research professor of geophysics at the University of Utah, and a coordinating scientist of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

Ancient eruptions

Almost 17 million years ago, the deep plume of partly molten rock known as the Yellowstone hot spot first breached the surface in an eruption near what is now the Oregon-Idaho-Nevada border.

As North America drifted slowly southwest over the hot spot, there were more than 140 gargantuan caldera eruptions — the largest kind of eruption on Earth — along a northeast-trending path that is now Idaho’s Snake River Plain.

The hot spot finally reached Yellowstone about 2 million years ago, yielding three huge caldera eruptions about 2 million, 1.3 million and 642,000 years ago.

Two of the eruptions blanketed half of North America with volcanic ash, producing 2,500 times and 1,000 times more ash than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state. Smaller eruptions occurred at Yellowstone in between the big blasts and as recently as 70,000 years ago.

Underground images

Smith said the geoelectric and seismic images of the Yellowstone plume look somewhat different because “we are imaging slightly different things.” Seismic images highlight materials such as molten or partly molten rock that slow seismic waves, while the geoelectric image is sensitive to briny fluids that conduct electricity.

Seismic images of the plume made by Smith in 2009 showed the plume of molten rock dips downward from Yellowstone at a 60-degree angle and extends 150 miles (240 kilometers) west-northwest to a point at least 410 miles (660 km) under the Montana-Idaho border — as far as seismic imaging could “see.”

The new electrical conductivity images show the conductive part of the plume dipping more gently, at an angle of perhaps 40 degrees to the west, and extending perhaps 400 miles (640 km) from east to west. The geoelectric image can “see” to a depth of only 200 miles (320 km).

The lesser tilt of the geoelectric plume image raises the possibility that the seismically imaged plume, shaped somewhat like a tilted tornado, may be enveloped by a broader, underground sheath of partly molten rock and liquids, Zhdanov and Smith say.

“It’s a bigger size” in the geoelectric picture, Smith said. “We can infer there are more fluids” than shown by seismic images. Despite differences, he said, “this body that conducts electricity is in about the same location with similar geometry as the seismically imaged Yellowstone plume.”

The new study has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, which plans to publish it within the next few weeks.

History of deadly earthquakes

BBC News – History of deadly earthquakes.

Does NOT include the 6.9 that just hit Peru…..

 

Christchurch earthquake scene Many of the homes damaged in New Zealand’s Christchurch quake cannot be rebuilt
How earthquakes happen

Earthquakes have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the last 100 years and improvements in technology have only slightly reduced the death toll.

23 October 2011

More than 200 people are killed and 1,000 are injured in a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake which hits south-eastern Turkey; many of the victims are in the town of Ercis, where dozens of buildings have fallen.

11 March 2011

A devastating magnitude 8.9 quake strikes Japan, leaving more than 20,000 people dead or missing. The tremor generates a massive tsunami along the Japanese coast and triggers the world’s biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

22 February 2011

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake shatters the New Zealand city of Christchurch, killing more than 160 people and damaging some 100,000 homes.

14 April 2010

At least 400 people die after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake strikes western China’s Qinghai province.

27 February 2010

A magnitude 8.8 earthquake hits central Chile north-east of the second city, Concepcion. Official figures put the total number of people at over 700.

12 January 2010

About 230,000 die in and around the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes the city.

30 September 2009

At least 1,000 people die and at least 1,000 remain missing after an earthquake strikes the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

6 April 2009

An earthquake hits the historic Italian city of L’Aquila, killing about 300 people.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

29 October 2008

Up to 300 people are killed in the Pakistani province of Balochistan after an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck 45 miles (70km) north of Quetta.

12 May 2008

Up to 87,000 people are killed or missing and as many as 370,000 injured by an earthquake in just one county in China’s south-western Sichuan province.

The tremor, measuring 7.8, struck 57 miles (92km) from the provincial capital Chengdu during the early afternoon.

15 August 2007

At least 519 people are killed in Peru’s coastal province of Ica, as a 7.90-magnitude undersea earthquake strikes about 90 miles (145km) south-east of the capital, Lima.

17 July 2006

A 7.7 magnitude undersea earthquake triggers a tsunami that strikes a 125 miles (200km) stretch of the southern coast of Java, killing more than 650 people on the Indonesian island.

27 May 2006

More than 5,700 people die when a magnitude 6.2 quake hits the Indonesian island of Java, devastating the city of Yogyakarta and surrounding areas.

1 April 2006

Seventy people are killed and some 1,200 injured when an earthquake measuring 6.0 strikes a remote region of western Iran.

8 October 2005

An earthquake measuring 7.6 strikes northern Pakistan and the disputed Kashmir region, killing more than 73,000 people and leaving millions homeless.

28 March 2005

About 1,300 people are killed in an 8.7 magnitude quake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Nias, west of Sumatra.

22 February 2005

Hundreds die in a 6.4 magnitude quake centred in a remote area near Zarand in Iran’s Kerman province.

26 December 2004

Hundreds of thousands are killed across Asia when an earthquake measuring 9.2 triggers sea surges that spread across the region.

24 February 2004

At least 500 people die in an earthquake which strikes towns on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast.

26 December 2003

More than 26,000 people are killed when an earthquake destroys the historic city of Bam in southern Iran.

21 May 2003

Algeria suffers its worst earthquake in more than two decades. More than 2,000 people die and more than 8,000 are injured in a quake felt across the sea in Spain.

1 May 2003

More than 160 people are killed, including 83 children in a collapsed dormitory, in south-eastern Turkey.

24 February 2003

More than 260 people die and almost 10,000 homes are destroyed in Xinjiang region, in western China.

31 October 2002

Italy is traumatised by the loss of an entire class of children, killed in the southern village of San Giuliano di Puglia when their school building collapses on them.

26 January 2001

An earthquake measuring magnitude 7.9 devastates much of Gujarat state in north-western India, killing nearly 20,000 people and making more than a million homeless. Bhuj and Ahmedabad are among the towns worst hit.

12 November 1999

Around 400 people die when an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale strikes Ducze, in north-west Turkey.

21 September 1999

Taiwan is hit by a quake measuring 7.6 that kills nearly 2,500 people and causes damage to every town on the island.

17 August 1999

An magnitude 7.4 earthquake rocks the Turkish cities of Izmit and Istanbul, leaving more than 17,000 dead and many more injured.

30 May 1998

Northern Afghanistan is hit by a major earthquake, killing 4,000 people.

May 1997

More than 1,600 killed in Birjand, eastern Iran, in an earthquake of magnitude 7.1.

27 May 1995

The far eastern island of Sakhalin is hit by a massive earthquake, measuring 7.5, which claims the lives of 1,989 Russians.

17 January 1995

The Hyogo quake hits the city of Kobe in Japan, killing 6,430 people.

30 September 1993

About 10,000 villagers are killed in western and southern India.

21 June 1990

About 40,000 people die in a tremor in the northern Iranian province of Gilan.

7 December 1988

An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale devastates north-west Armenia, killing 25,000 people.

19 September 1985

Mexico City is shaken by a huge earthquake which razes buildings and kills 10,000 people.

4 March 1977

Some 1,500 people are killed in an earthquake that hit close to the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

28 July 1976

The Chinese city of Tangshan is reduced to rubble in a quake that claims at least 250,000 lives.

23 December 1972

Up to 10,000 people are killed in the Nicaraguan capital Managua by an earthquake that measures 6.5 on the Richter scale. The devastation caused by the earthquake was blamed on badly built high-rise buildings that easily collapsed.

31 May 1970

An earthquake high in the Peruvian Andes triggers a landslide burying the town of Yungay and killing 66,000 people.

26 July 1963

An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale strikes the Macedonian capital of Skopje killing 1,000 and leaving 100,000 homeless.

22 May 1960

The world’s strongest recorded earthquake devastates Chile, with a reading of 9.5 on the Richter scale. A tsunami 30ft (10m) high eliminates entire villages in Chile and kills 61 hundreds of miles away in Hawaii.

1 September 1923

The Great Kanto earthquake, with its epicentre just outside Tokyo, claims the lives of 142,800 people in the Japanese capital.

18 April 1906

San Francisco is hit by a series of violent shocks which last up to a minute. Between 700 and 3,000 people die either from collapsing buildings or in the subsequent fire.

Death toll soars from Turkish quake

Death toll soars from Turkish quake – CNN.

The death toll from the massive earthquake that shook eastern Turkey over the weekend rose to 535 Thursday, up from 471 the day before, but crews have been able to rescue 185 people alive from the rubble, Turkish officials said.

In addition, about 2,300 people were injured by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Sunday, according to the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Relief Agency.

Meanwhile, crews rescued 18-year-old Imdat Padak alive from the rubble of an apartment building in Ercis almost 100 hours after the earthquake, the semi-official Anatolian new agency reported.

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After teams from Azerbaijan retrieved him, Padak was taken to a hospital for initial treatment, and then was airlifted by helicopter to Van.

Padak appeared not to have any significant trauma, but was suffering dehydration. He is reported to be a student from the village of Kiziloren and was taking courses while preparing for university entrance exams.

Earlier in the week, crews pulled a 2-week-old baby, Azra Karaduman, alive from the debris.

The developments came as there were reports of a moderate earthquake in the country’s south.

A 5.2 earthquake hit about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the center of Sunday’s quake, near the border with Iraq, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the latest quake.

Padak was the latest of several people found alive in the rubble days after Sunday’s quake. On Wednesday rescuers pulled two people from collapsed buildings.

Britain has pledged emergency tents for more than 5,500 people whose homes were destroyed, Home Secretary Theresa May said during a visit to Turkey Thursday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15457897

Turkey will accept offers of aid from foreign countries to cope with the aftermath of the Van earthquake, after initially declining offers of help.

Officials said that, with more than 2,000 buildings destroyed, there was an urgent need for accommodation.

The death toll from the disaster stood at 461 but the Red Crescent fears hundreds are still trapped under rubble, feared dead.

A teacher, 27, and a student, 18, were rescued on Wednesday in Ercis.

Gozde Bahar, an English-language teacher, was rescued as her mother watched in tears.

University student Eyup Erdem was found using tiny cameras mounted on sticks.

Rescuers broke into applause as he emerged from the debris.

Caravans needed

Turkey is seeking assistance for reconstruction and temporary accommodation for the thousands who have been left homeless, the semi-official news agency Anatolia reports.

Analysis

From the start, the Turkish government has insisted it can deal with the impact of the earthquake on its own. It is a relatively wealthy and modern country, with experienced disaster management teams in place.

Now it has reversed course, requesting aid even from Israel, with which it has had difficult relations in recent years.

The reason is that Turkey is short of some items, like prefabricated housing, vital for areas of eastern Turkey where tens of thousands have either lost their homes or cannot risk going back to damaged houses.

The weather is already cold, and will become much colder in a couple of months. Rescue workers are continuing to dig in the rubble of collapsed buildings, spurred on by finding a handful of survivors, among them a two-week-old baby.

The government is seeking tents, prefabricated houses and living containers, it says.

Israel will be among the first to send aid, according to AFP news agency.

Ties with Turkey have been strained since May 2010, when Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla trying to sail to Gaza in defiance of a blockade, killing nine Turks.

“Turkey has asked us for caravans for the homeless after the earthquake,” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP.

He said they had accepted the request and would seek to supply them as quickly as possible.

Israel’s defence ministry said a first Boeing 747 would transport mobile homes to Turkey on Wednesday, and other planes would follow in the coming days.

The Japanese embassy in Ankara said its government would send around $400,000 (£250,000), Anatolia reports.

The BBC’s Jonathan Head, in Ercis, says that the government has recognised that it now needs specific help in technical areas where it lacks the resources to get things up fast enough.

Aid trucks looted

The Turkish government has pledged more aid to the thousands made homeless and aid agencies have set up field hospitals and kitchens and distributed thousands of tents and blankets.

But survivors, many now living in camps, have fought over shipments of aid and blocked aid shipments.

Health officials have urged them to drink bottled water after detecting an increase in diarrhoea cases, especially among children.

Nazmi Gur, a local politician in Van, told the BBC News website that “hundreds of thousands of people” needed help.

Two people were pulled from the rubble on Wednesday

“We can provide food but they desperately need shelter,” he added.

The Turkish Red Crescent said that 17 trucks carrying aid had been looted in Van and Ercis.

People in Ercis, which bore the full brunt of the quake, told AFP that unidentified individuals had stopped a truck carrying tents. They told AFP they suspected the goods would be sold on the black market.

Local officials in Van said that early on Wednesday, dozens of survivors, furious at not receiving aid supplies, had raided trucks carrying food and blankets in the city of Van.

Turkish officials have warned that the death toll is likely to rise but there has been no official estimate of the number of people missing.

Turkey is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because it sits on major geological fault lines.

The latest disaster struck on Sunday at 13:41 (10:41 GMT) at a depth of 20km (12 miles), with its epicentre 16km north-east of the city of Van.

Turkey earthquake map

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/27/us-turkey-quake-idUSTRE79M10Z20111027

ERCIS, Turkey | Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:05pm EDT

(Reuters) – Rescue workers pulled a man from the rubble alive on Thursday, more than four days after a huge quake killed at least 534 in Turkey, while homeless survivors fearing death from cold begged for aid and some accused the government of a slow response.

“Praise be to Allah!” cried the uncle of 18-year-old Imdat, whose name means “help” in Turkish, as hundreds of onlookers gave shouts of joy in the town of Ercis, the place worst hit by Sunday’s 7.2 magnitude quake in eastern Turkey.

A military rescue team from Azerbaijan rescued Imdat after burrowing deep into the rubble for more than two days.

Freed at last after more than 100 hours buried alive, Imdat was lifted onto a stretcher by medical workers who carried him through cheering crowds crying “Allahu Akbar!” to a waiting ambulance, which whisked him away to hospital.

The dramatic scene was a brief moment of joy after an earthquake that has devastated towns and villages and left thousands sleeping in the open, as the government struggles to deliver tents, food and other aid to distraught families.

Some survivors — who had stood in long queues only to be told there were no tents left — accused officials in the mostly Kurdish region of handing aid to supporters of the ruling AK party. Others said profiteers were hoarding tents and reselling them.

“Everyone is getting sick and wet. We have been waiting in line for four days like this and still nothing. It gets to our turn and they say they have run out,” said Fetih Zengin, 38, an estate agent whose house was badly damaged in Ercis, a town of 100,000.

“We slept under a piece of plastic erected on some wood boards we found. We have 10 children in our family, they are getting sick. Everyone needs a tent, snow is coming. It’s a disaster.”

Ergun Ozmen, 37, was carrying loaves of bread after queuing for food. “People are taking 10 tents and selling them. It’s a disgrace. I slept in the municipal park all night in the rain. My shoes are filled with water. I only registered to get a tent this morning as I have been busy burying the dead,” he said.

The death toll rose to 534, with 2,300 injured in the biggest quake in more than a decade in Turkey. The Disaster and Emergency Administration said 185 people had been rescued alive from collapsed buildings since the quake.

Searches for survivors went on at some sites but at others rescuers stopped work. The bodies of a mother and her baby were pulled out from one building during the night, witnesses said.

Answering Turkey’s call for help in the form of tents, prefabricated housing and containers, foreign aid began pouring in with the first planeloads landing from France, Ukraine — and Israel, despite poor relations between the two countries.

British Home Secretary Theresa May, who is visiting Turkey, said London would send 1,144 protective winter tents. Saudi television reported Saudi Arabia would give Turkey $50 million for quake relief.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA) was providing 400 winterized tents, each able to hold five people.

An OCHA spokeswoman said Erzurum, a city 260 km (160 miles) northwest of Ercis, would be a hub for international assistance sent by plane. Van had been asked to establish a center for assistance coming overland, she said.

“MORE DISCIPLINED”

After days of survivors lining up and sometimes arguing outside distribution centers, the government announced it would no longer hand out tents but would deliver them to those whose homes were deemed unsafe to make sure the neediest got them.

“We will no longer give a tent to whoever asks for one. We will identify the buildings that are unusable and we will deliver the tents ourselves,” Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdogan Bayraktar said, urging survivors to return to homes that were not structurally damaged.

“We will be distributing the tents in a more disciplined manner. We have 6,000 tents in hand and more are coming. Soon we will start the delivery of containers to villages.”

But Mehmet Yildiz, a 50-year-old shop owner who has a two-storey house in the city of Van, said he and his family of 10 were too afraid to go back to his house.

“My house is full of cracks. Whatever the government thinks I am not going inside the house. We are having our kids sleep in the car and the rest of us roam all night long in the streets. They say they won’t give me a tent because my house is not destroyed,” he told Reuters under an umbrella in the rain.

Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker said the government would distribute special tents to house cattle and sheep in mud-brick villages, which have suffered the worst damage and where 3,088 barns have been destroyed.

CLINGING TO HOPE

Exhausted relatives clung to the hope that loved ones would be found, keeping vigil at the site of their destroyed homes as the search for any sign of life went on.

Overnight, groups of shell-shocked people with no home to go to roamed aimlessly, huddling round fires as temperatures dropped to freezing. Others congregated in relief camps.

“After 15 days, half of the people here will die, freeze to death,” said Orhan Ogunc, a 37-year-old man in Guvencli, a village of some 200 homes deep in the hills between Ercis and the city of Van. His family had a Red Crescent tent, but were sharing it with five other families.

Few are ready to leave their land.

“They say we will get prefabricated houses in one-and-a-half months,” said Zeki Yatkin, 46, who lost his father in the quake. “We can’t tolerate the cold, but what else can we do?”

Bayraktar said 5,250 homes had been destroyed or badly damaged and 20,000 other households were “affected” in Van, Ercis and outlying villages.

A 5.4 magnitude quake hit the region on Thursday morning but there were no immediate reports of further damage.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in a Kurdish separatist insurgency in the region that has lasted three decades. Last week militants killed 24 troops in neighboring Hakkari province.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government wants to build bridges with minority Kurds, so any accusations of neglect or ineptitude are politically sensitive.

The governor of Van province, Munir Karaloglu, who is a central government appointee, has rejected criticism of the relief efforts. He said the number of tents distributed would reach 28,000 by Thursday, adding that was far more than needed.

Deputy mayor Cahit Bozbay, a member of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, gave a bleaker assessment and criticised the governor’s office for not working with officials.

“We are short of tents. It’s a major problem,” Bozbay said. “We lack supplies, but honestly the aid delivery organization is also problematic.”

(Additional reporting Humeyra Pamuk and Evrim Ergin in Van; Writing by Ibon Villelabeitia, Simon Cameron-Moore and Daren Butler; Editing by Tim Pearce)

El Hierro Submarine Eruption

El Hierro Submarine Eruption : Natural Hazards.

El Hierro Submarine Eruption

acquired October 23, 2011 download large image (779 KB, JPEG)
acquired October 23, 2011 download GeoTIFF file (3 MB, TIFF)

Off the coast of El Hierro, in the southwest reaches of the Canary Islands, Earth has been spewing gas and rock into the ocean. The island off the Atlantic coast of North Africa—built mostly from a shield volcano—has been rocked by thousands of tremors and earthquakes since July 2011, and an underwater volcanic eruption started in mid-October. The eruption is the first in the island chain in nearly 40 years.

On October 23, 2011, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color view of El Hierro and the North Atlantic Ocean surrounding it. A milky green plume in the water stretches 25-30 kilometers at its widest and perhaps 100 kilometers long, from a large mass near the coast to thin tendrils as it spreads to the southwest. The plume is likely a mix of volcanic gases and a blend of crushed pumice and seafloor rock.

Tremors were reported for the past several months from seismic stations on El Hierro, particularly in the northwest of the island. Then on October 12, 2011, the strength of the tremors significantly decreased while foaming, rock-strewn plumes appeared in the sea to the south of the island. The underwater plume of volcanic debris has persisted for nearly two weeks and has been mixed and dispersed by ocean surface currents. The eruption is occurring in water that is tens to a few hundred meters deep.

Geologist and blogger Erik Klemetti offered this analysis: “It looks like the main fissure might be 2-3 kilometers in length and is close to on strike with the rift axis for the main El Hierro edifice. Ramon Ortiz, coordinator of a government scientific team, said that if/when the eruption reaches shallower water, we should expect to see the surface water start to steam, followed by explosions of steam and magma and finally the emergence of an island.”

For local seismic information from El Hierro (in Spanish), visit the Instituto Geografico Nacional.

  1. References

  2. The Daily Mail (2011, September 29) Earthquake swarm on Canary Island of El Hierro sparks fears of volcanic eruption. Accessed October 25, 2011.
  3. Global Volcanism Program (2011, October 18) Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: Hierro. Accessed October 25, 2011.
  4. Klemetti, Erik (2011, October 21) Eruptions Blog: Vulcan’s View: Eruption News and Volcanoes From Space. Accessed October 25, 2011.

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data from the MODIS Rapid Response team. Caption by Mike Carlowicz.

Instrument: 
Terra – MODIS

Fallout forensics hike radiation toll

Fallout forensics hike radiation toll : Nature News.

The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March released far more radiation than the Japanese government has claimed. So concludes a study1 that combines radioactivity data from across the globe to estimate the scale and fate of emissions from the shattered plant.

The study also suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137, which could have been prevented by prompt action. The analysis has been posted online for open peer review by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Andreas Stohl, an atmospheric scientist with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Kjeller, who led the research, believes that the analysis is the most comprehensive effort yet to understand how much radiation was released from Fukushima Daiichi. “It’s a very valuable contribution,” says Lars-Erik De Geer, an atmospheric modeller with the Swedish Defense Research Agency in Stockholm, who was not involved with the study.

The reconstruction relies on data from dozens of radiation monitoring stations in Japan and around the world. Many are part of a global network to watch for tests of nuclear weapons that is run by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna. The scientists added data from independent stations in Canada, Japan and Europe, and then combined those with large European and American caches of global meteorological data.

Stohl cautions that the resulting model is far from perfect. Measurements were scarce in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima accident, and some monitoring posts were too contaminated by radioactivity to provide reliable data. More importantly, exactly what happened inside the reactors — a crucial part of understanding what they emitted — remains a mystery that may never be solved. “If you look at the estimates for Chernobyl, you still have a large uncertainty 25 years later,” says Stohl.

Nevertheless, the study provides a sweeping view of the accident. “They really took a global view and used all the data available,” says De Geer.

Challenging numbers

Japanese investigators had already developed a detailed timeline of events following the 11 March earthquake that precipitated the disaster. Hours after the quake rocked the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, the tsunami arrived, knocking out crucial diesel back-up generators designed to cool the reactors in an emergency. Within days, the three reactors operating at the time of the accident overheated and released hydrogen gas, leading to massive explosions. Radioactive fuel recently removed from a fourth reactor was being held in a storage pool at the time of the quake, and on 14 March the pool overheated, possibly sparking fires in the building over the next few days.

Click for larger image

But accounting for the radiation that came from the plants has proved much harder than reconstructing this chain of events. The latest report from the Japanese government, published in June, says that the plant released 1.5?×?1016?bequerels of caesium-137, an isotope with a 30-year half-life that is responsible for most of the long-term contamination from the plant2. A far larger amount of xenon-133, 1.1?×?1019?Bq, was released, according to official government estimates.

The new study challenges those numbers. On the basis of its reconstructions, the team claims that the accident released around 1.7?×?1019?Bq of xenon-133, greater than the estimated total radioactive release of 1.4?×?1019? Bq from Chernobyl. The fact that three reactors exploded in the Fukushima accident accounts for the huge xenon tally, says De Geer.

Xenon-133 does not pose serious health risks because it is not absorbed by the body or the environment. Caesium-137 fallout, however, is a much greater concern because it will linger in the environment for decades. The new model shows that Fukushima released 3.5?×?1016? Bq caesium-137, roughly twice the official government figure, and half the release from Chernobyl. The higher number is obviously worrying, says De Geer, although ongoing ground surveys are the only way to truly establish the public-health risk.

Stohl believes that the discrepancy between the team’s results and those of the Japanese government can be partly explained by the larger data set used. Japanese estimates rely primarily on data from monitoring posts inside Japan3, which never recorded the large quantities of radioactivity that blew out over the Pacific Ocean, and eventually reached North America and Europe. “Taking account of the radiation that has drifted out to the Pacific is essential for getting a real picture of the size and character of the accident,” says Tomoya Yamauchi, a radiation physicist at Kobe University who has been measuring radioisotope contamination in soil around Fukushima.

Click for full image

Stohl adds that he is sympathetic to the Japanese teams responsible for the official estimate. “They wanted to get something out quickly,” he says. The differences between the two studies may seem large, notes Yukio Hayakawa, a volcanologist at Gunma University who has also modelled the accident, but uncertainties in the models mean that the estimates are actually quite similar.

The new analysis also claims that the spent fuel being stored in the unit 4 pool emitted copious quantities of caesium-137. Japanese officials have maintained that virtually no radioactivity leaked from the pool. Yet Stohl’s model clearly shows that dousing the pool with water caused the plant’s caesium-137 emissions to drop markedly (see ‘Radiation crisis’). The finding implies that much of the fallout could have been prevented by flooding the pool earlier.

The Japanese authorities continue to maintain that the spent fuel was not a significant source of contamination, because the pool itself did not seem to suffer major damage. “I think the release from unit 4 is not important,” says Masamichi Chino, a scientist with the Japanese Atomic Energy Authority in Ibaraki, who helped to develop the Japanese official estimate. But De Geer says the new analysis implicating the fuel pool “looks convincing”.

The latest analysis also presents evidence that xenon-133 began to vent from Fukushima Daiichi immediately after the quake, and before the tsunami swamped the area. This implies that even without the devastating flood, the earthquake alone was sufficient to cause damage at the plant.

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The Japanese government’s report has already acknowledged that the shaking at Fukushima Daiichi exceeded the plant’s design specifications. Anti-nuclear activists have long been concerned that the government has failed to adequately address geological hazards when licensing nuclear plants (see Nature 448, 392–393; 2007), and the whiff of xenon could prompt a major rethink of reactor safety assessments, says Yamauchi.

The model also shows that the accident could easily have had a much more devastating impact on the people of Tokyo. In the first days after the accident the wind was blowing out to sea, but on the afternoon of 14 March it turned back towards shore, bringing clouds of radioactive caesium-137 over a huge swathe of the country (see ‘Radioisotope reconstruction’). Where precipitation fell, along the country’s central mountain ranges and to the northwest of the plant, higher levels of radioactivity were later recorded in the soil; thankfully, the capital and other densely populated areas had dry weather. “There was a period when quite a high concentration went over Tokyo, but it didn’t rain,” says Stohl. “It could have been much worse.” 

Additional reporting by David Cyranoski and Rina Nozawa.