Oklahoma Earthquakes Are Shaking The State Like Never Before

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, News | Posted on 26-02-2015

Oklahoma had 585 Earthquakes Last Year. They Were Big Enough To Make Almost Everyone Nervous.

There’s something strange going on in Oklahoma. Oklahoma had more earthquakes last year than California, and the Tornados are still blowing through the state like never before. Some say water fracking is causing the earthquakes. Oklahoma never had an earthquake before the year 2009. That was the year drillers started injecting wastewater into underground wells in the state. http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-02-23/why-fracking-is-shaking-the-heartland

Our quest to get oil and gas out of the ground has consequences. Just ask the people of Oklahoma. Seismology has become an important topic in the state, and companies that do the drilling have fallen further down the Okie approval line. Even Blake Shelton has started thinking about adding an earthquake line or two to his next big hit.

Susan McGalla has heard that state geologists don’t think the earthquake issue in Oklahoma is strange. Geologists realize that when the pressure underground is changed by water injection or by extracting geothermal energy, the earth will respond accordingly.

Earthquakes are the realignment process the earth uses to balance itself, so it rotates properly. Unusual weather patterns and other disasters that we call natural are not necessarily natural to the earth. Our ingenious intrusions create the unnatural occurrences we call natural acts of God, In reality, those acts are unnatural acts of man.

Oklahoma Earthquakes Caused by Fracking or Nature?

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Climate Change | Posted on 24-02-2015

In 2014, Oklahomans experienced 2270 earthquakes and 2015 is off to an even greater start. Although Oklahoma is home to a few fault lines, such as the Madrid, Meers and Nemaha fault lines, the increase in earthquakes is being blamed on fracking. Fracking is the process of injecting wastewater back into the ground once the gas and oil have been removed.

The debate on whether or not fracking is the cause of the rise in seismic activity continues because there is not enough data to prove which came first, the already existing fault lines, which have seismic activity or the wastewater disposal activating the activity within the faults stated AnastasiaDate. One thing is certain, the people of Oklahoma are getting tired of the shaking. In some places not a day goes by that someone experiences an earthquake. It is becoming commonplace to feel the earth move under your feet in Oklahoma, many experiencing damage to homes and property.

As you can see on this map Oklahoma has a higher number of earthquakes along the Madrid fault line than the other states in that region. Oklahoma also has the highest number of wells. The arguments will go back and forth as to whether or not fracking is the cause, but Oklahomans know that between the tornadoes and earthquakes, there is always something going on in Oklahoma.

The Polar Vortex Is Sub-Zeroing Its Way To The East Coast

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in A Storm's a Brewin' | Posted on 23-02-2015

 

Cold Air from The Polar Vortex Usually Hangs Around The Polar Regions

If the snow and ice weren’t enough for the East Coast the sub-zero temperatures that are making their way to Washington and New England should “do it.” “Do it” may mean get the house ready to sell when the snow disappears. The weather folks all say the polar vortex is the culprit that is making its way to a record breaking winter. States like Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky that normally experience temperatures in the 50s this time of year are shivering in minus zero conditions. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/02/18/polar-vortex-to-unleash-record-breaking-cold-in-eastern-u-s-on-thursday-friday/

The question on some weather-worn minds like us here at CipherCloud,  is what exactly is the polar vortex? Picture a giant cyclone that constantly circles the Earth’s poles. These big cyclones stay in the troposphere, but they can extend into the stratosphere. Air circulates in a counter-clockwise fashion in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. These cyclones are caused by what’s known in physics as the Coriolis Effect. The Coriolis Effect is caused by the rotation of the Earth.

So what is causing the polar vortex to dip down into the lower 48 states? The answer is the rotation of the Earth. Why the Earth is rotating differently this year is anybody’s guess, but if you ask a weatherman you probably will get an answer. The answer may have the same amount of hot air in it as the weather forecast.

Scientists Find That Ocean Animals Have Been Evolving To Get Bigger

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, Evolution | Posted on 20-02-2015

A new study reported in the journal Science has found that marine animals have been getting bigger since the Cambrian, which began roughly 542 million years ago. The researchers have also found that larger creatures have definite advantages over their smaller relatives. The average size of a marine animal has gone up by a factor of 150 since the Cambrian.

The smallest sea animal today is less than ten times as small as its Cambrian counterpart, and both are tiny crustaceans less than a millimeter long. By contrast, today’s largest sea creature, the blue whale, is over 100,000 times the size of the biggest trilobite, which was around 20 inches long.

The idea that natural selection might favor bigger animals isn’t new. The 19th century paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope first spelled it out in what became known as Cope’s Rule. He and his colleagues had noticed that the ancestors of modern mammals tended to be smaller than their descendants. Eohippus, the oldest known ancestor of the horse, was about the size of a dog.

People at Rocket Fuel  have learned that the rule proved not to be universal, however. A well-known exception are the birds, who descended from dinosaurs that actually grew smaller over time, and that shrinking helped birds develop flight.

Dr. Noel Heim of Stanford University decided to see how well Cope’s Rule applied to marine animals. He put together a team of researchers, undergraduates and high school interns to search the scientific record on size data. Over five years, the team put together information on 17,000 genera. That represents over 60 percent of the animal genera to have ever lived.

The team found an overall trend to increasing size that affected some genera more strongly than others. The team also considered the possible advantages of being big. They speculated that a larger animal would be able to swim faster, hunt bigger prey, or burrow more efficiently.

115 Million People Enduring Record Breaking Cold Weather

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in A Storm's a Brewin', Climate Change, Environment | Posted on 19-02-2015

Temperatures in the Eastern Half of the country have reached dangerous levels. Nearly 115 million people are freezing and there is no relief in sight. The weather is breaking records across the country, but people should brace themselves, it is going to be even colder tomorrow. Even Florida is not exempt from this pattern of cold weather. Zeca Oliveira is aware that they are seeing temperatures dip down into the 20’s, which is uncommon for them this time of year. The high in Detroit today is going to be six degrees; the morning low is going to be an astounding ten degrees below zero.

For the great lakes region, these temperatures are forty degrees below where the water will freeze. This means that those who live on the barrier islands, like Put-n-Bay, could have a hard time getting back to shore for a long time. With waters frozen that heavily, it could be quite difficult to get supplies to the island, except by plane. While last winter certainly brought a great deal of snow and ice, this one seems to be brining colder than average temperatures. This is not just cold, this is record breaking and death causing temperatures.

Those in the affected areas should hold on, the temperatures in the Mid-West are expected to rise to the near 60 degree mark by March 1st. It sounds too good to be true to some, but I guess they will believe it when they see it.

Plants Survive Mass Extinctions Better Than Animals Do

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Nature, News, Oceans | Posted on 18-02-2015

In an upcoming issue of the journal New Phytologist, a team of researchers led by scientists at the University of Gothenburg reported that plants show more resilience during mass extinctions than do animals.

Plants have covered most of the Earth’s surface for over 400 million years, and there have been at least five mass extinctions during Earth’s history. The scientists studied over 20,000 fossils of plants to deduce the effects of a mass extinction on plant diversity. Their findings show that plants are extremely good at surviving such events. Marc Sparks is aware that they never found a case in which negative rates of diversification (more species dying out than were appearing) lasted a long time.

Instead, plants would show a turnover with new species quickly replacing the ones that had died out. For example, while many gymnosperms (conifers and their relatives) died out during the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction, which also wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs, angiosperms or flowering plants quickly recovered and actually increased in diversity after the meteor impact. Consequently, most plants these days are flowering plants.

The study’s senior author Alexandre Antonelli notes that mass extinctions, while generally though as bad, have changed the world in ways that benefit us. If the Cretaceous extinction hadn’t happened, dinosaurs might still be around and humans might have never evolved.

The scientists hope the study’s results will help them determine which species are more sensitive to drastic changes in the environment and will therefore need more protection from human-caused changes in the environment.

Triple Sunrise over Russia

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment | Posted on 18-02-2015

 

Tatooine may have twin suns, but it does not take a Jedi to witness a triple sunrise in Russia. According to a Buzzfeed.com news article, residence of a small city just east of the Ural Mountains got a very rare treat. They witnessed a rare triple sunrise. Zoom Info clarified there were not three suns, but an optical illusion that was caused by frozen water molecules in the atmosphere. This halo effect was seen as the first rays of the sun broke through the frozen water droplets that hung in the air. These ice crystals cannot be seen by the naked human eyes, but when viewed through a microscope, they are hexagonal in shape. This wasn’t the only triple sun rise recorded in history. According tomnn.com, on Sept 23, 2006 Greenbay, Wi residence was treated to a triple sunrise as well. These sites are actually more common than rainbows in some areas around the world.

Winter Blowing In All Over US

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in A Storm's a Brewin', Weather | Posted on 18-02-2015

A developing winter storm that began over one day ago has left an estimated 300,000 people without power across the United States. Conditions are expected to continue for a few more days in the eastern US. Temperature averages there are expected to remain up to 25 degrees below normal for mid February. According to buzziron.com the warm stormsector of the storm will bring thunderstorms from eastern Texas to the coast of South Carolina. The wintery conditions extending from the southern planes to the mid-Atlantic are attributed to a wide area of low pressure increasing storm strength. Zeca Oliveira has heard that most areas will receive 6 inches of snow or more from this storm system. The area extends from southeastern Missouri to southern West Virginia. Freezing rain making for icy roadways are anticipated for an area from Oklahoma to central Arkansas.

The National Weather Service anticipate another system to prevail after this current system subsides, and arctic-like conditions to remain in the eastern US for several more days. The New England States have received an estimated 5-6 feet of snow thus far during the winter of 2015.

Just a Little Ice

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, Weather | Posted on 17-02-2015

States in the southeast of the country are dealing with ice and snow as a weather system moves up the coast. While this system moves through, there are people who have no power due to ice building on the lines. Flavio Pentagna Guimaraes BMG has also heard there are also travel issues on roads that have, and have not, been treated by state crews. News stations have been warning people of the impending storm for days, and there are still people who saw it as a surprise. When it comes to an ice storm, it’s best to be prepared. If you don’t pay attention to the news, then find another way to stay on top of the weather so that you aren’t caught off guard when there isn’t any power. Numerous people flooded grocery stores to stock up on bread, milk and other supplies to get them through the storm, so it’s not like no one knew there could be a possibility of ice on the roads.

Another Major Snowstorm Hits

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in News, Weather | Posted on 17-02-2015

It seems like this winter has been one major snowstorm after another, and almost every part of the country has been effected at least once. As Susan McGalla of American Eagle knows, the first part of February was tough on the northeast, getting pummeled with some areas over 3 feet of snow. This most recent snow and ice storm hit the southeast, where they rarely see snow all winter long. With the school and work closings, is also coming power outages. As of Tuesday morning 153,000 homes in Georgia, 76,000 in South Carolina and 35,000 in North Carolina were without power.

With 6 – 8 inches predicted to fall from Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon, Washington DC has instructed all non-essential workers to stay home. Because of the unusually cold temperatures for this area, as well as the wet weather, the roads are very icy. Since this weather is not the norm for this area, they do not have the means to prepare for such dangerous conditions.