Thursday, December 27

Are these volcanoes talking to each other, or what?

12/18"Signs that Mount Vesuvius coming back to life"
Recent research shows that “medium scale” eruptions of volcanoes like Vesuvius occur once every four to five centuries. Vesuvius’ most recent medium-scale eruption occurred in 1631 and destroyed a large part of the area around the volcano, leaving thousands dead.
... authorities in Pompeii have discussed a new evacuation plan in case Mount Vesuvius erupts again, the Guardian reports. Under the plan, which was discussed after a recent increase in seismic activity, people living in and around the town on the Italian coast would be evacuated to Sardinia by boat. ...

12/24: "Mount Etna Just Started Erupting From A New Fissure"

12/27: "Mount Etna volcano triggers 4.8-magnitude earthquake in Sicily"
An overnight earthquake, triggered by Mount Etna's eruption two days ago, caused injuries and damage in Eastern Sicily early Wednesday morning. The volcano has been spewing ash, and lava has flowed down its slopes since it began erupting on Monday. ... Officials said the quake was one of about 1,000 tremors, most of them small, related to Etna's eruption.
"Tremors during eruptions are pretty normal here," Gaetano Maenza told the press. "What is unusual is the level of magnitude triggered by Etna. I have no memory of such intensity. It was scary."
Meanwhile, over in the Ring of Fire:

12/26: "Indonesia tsunami: fresh alert for Anak Krakatau volcano as eruptions continue"
Indonesia has raised the danger alert level for the volcano that sparked the devastating Sunda Strait tsunami, adding to a previous warning that fresh activity at the crater threatened to trigger another deadly wave.
Authorities also widened a no-go zone around Anak Krakatau to 5km (three miles) – up from a previous 2km – and warned shell-shocked residents to stay away from the coast, after more than 400 were killed by Saturday night’s killer wave. ...
 12/27: "Satellite images show collapse of Indonesian island volcano"
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Radar data from satellites, converted into images, shows Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau island volcano is dramatically smaller following a weekend eruption that triggered a deadly tsunami.
Satellite photos aren’t available because of cloud cover but radar images from a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency satellite taken before and after the eruption show the volcano’s southwestern flank has disappeared.
Dave Petley, head of research and innovation at Sheffield University who analyzed similar images from a European Space Agency satellite, said they support the theory that a landslide, most of it undersea, caused the tsunami that killed at least 430 people on Saturday evening. ... 
Takeaway? Humanity shares its existence with a planet that has its own life cycles and problems to deal with. So when push comes to shove, it's humans that have to make adjustments, not Earth. 

One of Earth's problems can be the sun's cycles. These cycles can also be a problem for living creatures. But we can't ring up the sun and ask, 'Say, are you heading into a spotless cycle and if so could you tell us for how long?' 

Now what would happen if a Grand Solar Minimum is in the works? Well much cooler weather in many parts of the world. But if it came on top of a major volcano eruption, the kind that generates so much ash that it cools the planet, this is what's known as a problem. A real problem, not the stuff that clutters the news every day.

We'll just have to see. Meanwhile, we should be making hay while the sun shines. That means dealing with our own biggest problems, which have nothing to do with conflicts between regional peoples that have been going on for decades if not centuries.     


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