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Monday, August 27, 2012

CAN GLOBAL WARMING BE BLAMED FOR THE SUDDEN FLURRY OF HURRICANES AND EARTHQUAKES?

Is global warming responsible for all those sudden hurricanes and earthquakes?  Well, hurricanes, maybe, but not those quakes.


There were about a hundred earthquakes of at least 2.4 yesterday, mostly centered from Southern California to El Salvador, with the 7.4 off the coast the most severe.  Chile, Andaman Islands (India) and Indonesia each had a couple of 5.0+ tremors.  At one time, the Richter Scale was used.  The current standard of measurement is called moment momentum (I will use MM, or nothing)

You can feel a 2.0, and will begin to panic at 5.5.  Report your experience to "Earthquake-Report."  You need to scroll to the bottom.

Go to my posting of 14April2010 for everything you wish to calculate about earthquakes.  Compared to a 5.5, the largest earthquake ever, Chile in 1960, was a 9.5.  Subtracting 5.5 from 9.5 gives a difference of 4.  A 4 difference means that (you need to know what to do with the 4 to get you to one million) the Chile earthquake was about a million times more powerful than that 5.5, which merely scares you a bit.  Or another way of looking at this is that a million 5.5 earthquakes would release as much energy as one 9.5 can, with the graph above showing that that the 1960 Chilean itself produced a quarter of all the earthquake energy during the past century.

The Great Tohoku Earthquake on 11March2011 was a 9.0.  Thus, that earthquake generated less than one-fifth the energy generated by the Chilean monster.  Can you imagine an earthquake 560% more powerful than that Japanese quake?  Well, yes, for there was a TV movie in 2004 entitled 10.5 Apocalypse, with tsunamis, etc.  The greater tragedy of the Japan earthquake, however, was Fukushima and the resultant nuclear cataclysm.  As all of Japan's and most nuclear powerplants around the world are located next to the ocean (for cooling water), it is possible that the combination of earthquake-tsunami-nuclear has eliminated this option into the future for the Pacific.

Here are where the largest earthquakes have struck since 1900:


All the top ten earthquakes in the USA occurred on or off Alaska (with the biggest being a 9.2), except that 1700 (approx.) 9.0 at the Cascadia subduction zone off the Pacific Northwest coast.  (Hawaii made the list at #12 with a 7.9 under Kau in 1868.)  For those living along the West Coast, how's this for comfort:

...researchers at Oregon State University, and published online by the U.S. Geological Survey, the study concludes that there is a 40 percent chance of a major earthquake in the Coos Bay, Ore., region during the next 50 years. And that earthquake could approach the intensity of the Tohoku quake that devastated Japan in March of 2011.



That flurry of Southern California earthquakes (said to be in the hundreds) between the San Andreas and Imperial Faults?  All those newspaper articles comfort the reader by indicating that there is no reason to particularly worry, as these micro-events naturally occur every few years.  According to the latest USGS report, though, large earthquakes strike every 150 years on the southern San Andreas Fault.  The last one occurred in 1857.  Let's see now, if you subtract 1857 from 2012 you get 155 years.  Hmm....


Okay, now that there will be some exodus from Oregon/Washington and Southern California, keep in mind that the nuclear reactors in near San Luis Obispo are not that far away from the San Andreas Fault.  Not counting the ingress from Mexico, the population of Arizona has been declining for several very good reasons reasons.  So, where to go?

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Okay, the latest projection is that soon to be hurricane Isaac, now at 70 MPH, is scheduled to make landfall slightly west of New Orleans early Wednesday morning, or exactly on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (left). The strongest quarter of any hurricane is the noon to 3 quadrant, so this means the city could be especially affected by higher tides.  Katrina made an eastern veer at the end as a Category 3, but only the less dangerous 9 to midnight quarter impacted the levees.  Supposedly a sum of $15 billion was spent to shore up the weakness.  My personal best guess is that Category 2 Hurricane Isaac will sway even further west, so New Orleans might again just miss the full brunt:


Well, Tembin suddenly weakened into a tropical storm at 65 MPH and moved off the coast of eastern Taiwan, largely sparing the country from truly massive floods.  It could have been worse.  Tembin will very closely track Bolaven into North Korea.


Typhoon Bolaven resulted in a few blackouts on Okinawa, and will largely miss Cheju Island and South Korea.  North Korea will get some rain and wind, but they are in a drought so can use the water.


The U.S. has largely been spared this year, but the eastern Pacific has been overwhelmed by 15 major ocean storms this season.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The fastest mitigation to climate change is to severely reduce consumption of animal foods. About 1/2 of human induced warming is attributable to animal agriculture. Methane is 24 times more potent than CO2 and takes only 7 years to cycle out of the atmosphere. CO2 takes around 100 years to come out. Human pursuit of animal protein is the leading cause of methane release and a primary cause of CO2 concentrating in the atmosphere. Check the facts and act!

"As environmental science has advanced, it has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease." Worldwatch Institute, "Is Meat Sustainable?"

"The livestock sector emerges as one of the top contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency." UN Food and Agricultural Organization's report "Livestock's Long Shadow"

“If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains... the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.” Environmental Defense Fund

Why would someone choose to be vegan? To slow global warming for one! Here are two uplifting videos to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE and http://www.veganvideo.org

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." ~ Albert Einstein

PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY said...

Well, I eat a lot more vegetables these days, and enjoy them. A lot healthier, certainly. In a century we'll instead be consuming manufactured meat. More so, perhaps my whale shark concept:

http://planetearthandhumanity.blogspot.com/2012/03/have-you-seen-whale-shark.html

might someday replace cattle ranches.

I've long been concerned about methane, and one of my Huffington Post articles

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patrick-takahashi/the-venus-syndrome-part-o_b_106120.html

reports on this danger. I'm writing a novel based on what I call THE VENUS SYNDROME.