Earth

Hurricaine Raymond swirls off Mexico, dumping the southern Pacific coastal area of Acapulco with rain. Sarah Toms reports.

Australian firefighters worked desperately to try and contain a series of massive wildfires burning in mountains west of Sydney ahead of a storm bringing with it high winds and lightning.

The town of Lithgow, Australia has already seen some rain, but the new weather development is adding to the danger for firefighters battling huge fires in the area.

“We’re tracking a fairly active storm cell or some storm activity near Bathurst heading towards the back end of the Blue Mountains,” said Shane Fitzsimmons, New South Wales’s Rural Fire Service Commissioner.

“It’s tracking toward the Blackheath area, which is where they’re doing that very critically important back burning.”

Fears that bush blazes could merge into 'megafire' outside Sydney

Fears that bush blazes could merge into ‘megafire’ outside Sydney

(CNN) – As scores of fierce bush fires threatened communities near Sydney on Monday, Australian officials warned that the hot, dry and windy conditions could create a possible “megafire.” The fires are swallowing up large areas of bush in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, where authorities have declared a state of emergency. More than 200 homes have been damaged… Read more →

(Reuters) – A powerful earthquake measuring 7.2 struck islands popular with tourists in the Philippines on Tuesday, killing at least 74 people, some as they prayed in a centuries-old church, and causing widespread damage to infrastructure, officials said.

Low-rise buildings collapsed on at least two islands and historic churches in the predominantly Catholic country cracked and crumbled during the quake, which sparked panic, cut power and transport links and forced hospitals to evacuate patients.

At least 65 people died in collapsed structures and landslides on the island of Bohol, 630 km (390 miles) south of the capital, according to a report from the region 7 office of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

 

Reuters has the full article

(Reuters) – The death toll from a powerful earthquake in southwest Pakistan rose to 327 on Wednesday after hundreds of mud houses collapsed on residents throughout the remote and thinly populated area, local officials said.

Pakistan’s army airlifted hundreds of soldiers to help with the aftermath of the worst earthquake in the South Asian country since 2005, when about 75,000 people were killed in the country’s north.

Tuesday’s earthquake of magnitude 7.7 struck Baluchistan, a huge earthquake-prone province of deserts and rugged mountains, and was felt across South Asia.

 

Reuters has the full article

Earthquake so powerful it creates island

'Big One' is due, quake experts say

‘Big One’ is due, quake experts say

Sitting on a major fault line, Oregon is “like an eight-and-a-half-month pregnancy, due any time now” for a major earthquake, a geologist with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management told an overflow crowd Friday in Medford. “We’re in the zone, and we’d darn well better get ourselves ready for it,” said Althea Rizzo, geology hazard coordinator for OEM. “A lot… Read more →

Hundreds of residents are stranded by deadly floods that left 19,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

"Biblical" rains trigger flooding that kills 3 in Colo.

“Biblical” rains trigger flooding that kills 3 in Colo.

BOULDER, Colo. — Massive flash flooding along Colorado’s picturesque Front Range mountains, triggered by what the National Weather Service termed “biblical rainfall amounts,” killed at least three people Thursday, cut off small towns and forced countless residents to scramble for high ground. Boulder, home to the University of Colorado, was among the hardest hit by the devastating waters. Classes were… Read more →

Scientists study Gippsland earthquake hotspot

Scientists study Gippsland earthquake hotspot

Scientists in Victoria are attempting to learn more about the increase in the number of earthquakes in the Gippsland region. Seismologists are describing the region as an earthquake hotspot. There were only 50 earthquakes recorded up until 2009, but since then there have been 700. The activity has been particularly high in the Strzelecki Ranges which lie between the Latrobe… Read more →

arctic sea ice 2012 vs 2013.jpg

About a million more square miles of ocean are covered in ice in 2013 than in 2012, a whopping 60 percent increase — and a dramatic deviation from predictions of an “ice-free Arctic in 2013,” the Daily Mail noted.

Arctic sea ice averaged 2.35 million square miles in August 2013, as compared to the low point of 1.32 million square miles recorded on Sept. 16, 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. A chart published Sept. 8 by NSIDC shows the dramatic rise this year, putting total ice cover within two standard deviations of the 30-year average.

Noting the year over year surge, one scientist even argued that “global cooling” was here.

“We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped,” Anastasios Tsonis of the University of Wisconsin told London’s Mail on Sunday.

The surge in Arctic ice is a dramatic change from last year’s record-setting lows, which fueled dire predictions of an imminent ice-free summer. A 2007 BBC report said the Arctic could be ice free in 2013 — a theory NASA still echoes today.

 

Fox News has the full article

NASA satellite images show the changing Artic sea ice coverage. from August 2012 (left) to August 2013 (right) — a growth of about a million square miles. (NASA)