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‘Catastrophic collapse’ of Mount Etna could trigger tsunami, scientists warn

Danger that Europe’s biggest active volcano could ‘form a landslide that moves really fast into the sea’, although researchers have no idea when

Europe’s biggest active volcano is slipping into the ocean, and it’s feared the recent discovery could trigger a tsunami.

Scientists are concerned the slow movements that have been measured on Mount Etna’s southeastern flank could escalate and result in part of it collapsing into the water.

Such an event would put neighbouring communities in Sicily at risk as debris enters the surrounding ocean, possibly causing devastating waves.

However, researchers monitoring the site say all they can do for now is “keep an eye” on the active volcano as there is no way of telling whether this acceleration will come within years or centuries.

Previous work suggested Etna’s movement was the result of magma swirling inside the volcano, meaning the movement would be confined to its summit.

However, careful monitoring of the seafloor around the site has revealed that Etna’s gradual sliding movements affected a far wider area – a finding the scientists say increases the risk of “catastrophic collapse”.

“Mount Etna is huge. It’s over 3,000m high and it rises up from below sea level,” said Dr Morelia Urlaub from Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research. “It’s really heavy, and it grows continuously.”

Illustration of devastation caused by Tsunami

Past work has only focused on Etna’s above-ground component, but gathering the new underwater measurements confirmed the movement is due to gravity acting on its growing, and unstable, flank.

“You can think of a slow landslide at the moment – we had 4cm in 15 months, so it moves really slowly, but there is a danger that it could accelerate and form a landslide that moves really fast into the sea,” Dr Urlaub told The Independent.

There are historic accounts of such collapses happening on smaller volcanoes, but the geological record has evidence of it affecting large areas in Hawaii and the Canary Islands millions of years ago.

To understand whether something similar was going on in real-time at Etna, the scientists collected data from pressure sensors over several months, publishing their results in the journal Science Advances.

While this data gives them a better idea of the volcano’s movements, Dr Urlaub said that it is difficult to calculate the risk of disaster from these measurements given its immense age.

Indonesia volcano Mount Soputan erupts on same island as earthquake-stricken city of Palu“We have been monitoring Etna on shore for around 30 years now, but 30 years is nothing compared to the age of Etna, which is 500,000 years old,” she said.

“It could happen in 10 or 100 or 100,000 years – we can’t tell.”

With this in mind, she said for now it is very important to keep monitoring the volcano and try to get an idea of what level of movement could indicate an imminent collapse.

“There is much more research to be done,” Dr Urlaub said, noting they would try “to be aware there is a hazard, and keep an eye on Etna’s flank”.

Source www.independent.co.uk

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Planet Earth

40,000-Year-Old Tree Shows What Happened During Earth’s Last Magnetic Pole Reversal

Most people think tree rings are primarily used to tell the age of a tree and secondarily to make furniture look better. Believe it or not, there’s so much more that can be found in tree rings that an entire scientific field – dendroclimatology – is devoted to the study of climate and atmospheric conditions during different periods in history that can be revealed by analyzing tree rings. Excited dendroclimatologists are shaking like redwoods in a California quake at what they might find in the rings of a well-preserved kauri tree from about 41,000 years ago found buried in a swamp in New Zealand. One thing they won’t find is end tables and bookcases. However, what they will find is a bark-encased picture of Earth’s last magnetic polar shift – an event that is quickly occurring again. Did the rings reverse too?

“Over a period of 200 to 300 years, the virtual geomagnetic pole moved in clockwise fashion from its original northern position, traveling well into the Southern Hemisphere before swinging north again. If this were to occur at present, it would probably have significant implications for modern technology because very much stronger cosmic radiation impinging on the Earth’s surface would almost certainly impact upon satellites and communication. We do not need to be alarmist over this but it is important to know just how quickly these changes can occur.”

Kauri tree

It’s too late to not be alarmist, since the news about the magnetic North Pole moving to Siberia and on to the Southern Hemisphere has already been on Twitter, conspiracy sites and the mainstream media. However, Alan Hogg, director of Waikato University’s Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, say studying the rings throughout this monstrous 16-meter-long (52.5 feet), 2.5 meters wide (8.2 feet), 60-ton log will reveal exactly how radiocarbon changed during its life span. That life span, which was estimated to be between 1500 and 200 years, began about 42,5000 years ago near what is now Kaikohe, a town in the Far North District of New Zealand. The kauri (Agathis australis) was found in late March in a massive swamp during excavations for a new geothermal power station near Ngāwhā Springs. The tree was preserved in clay 9 meters (29.5 feet) underground and the ends had to be cut off to move it. during site works for the new power station.

”It feels like it’s being returned to its rightful owners.”

Project site manager Mike Ohs gave the tree to local Maori leaders, who, after finding out it may be the only tree ever discovered from the Laschamp Event, the most recent reversal of the Earth’s north and south magnetic poles, allowed researchers like Alan Hogg and Professor Chris Turney from the University of New South Wales, an expert in paleoclimatology and climate change over the past 40,000 years, to study it. their initial reports in early July confirmed the tree’s age.

“We will be comparing results from dating this tree with dating from other sites to build a clearer picture of past climate changes.”

The tree was part of a vast kauri forest which covered the upper North Island and was exposed to the climate change caused by the Laschamp Event. While traumatic, it obviously survived, as did the kauri forests until the 1820 arrival of Europeans with axes, saws and a burning desire to cut down trees. It’s estimated that only 4 per cent of that original forest now remains.

What will this tree reveal about the last magnetic pole reversal … and the next one? What will it tell us … and possibly warn us … about climate change?

Forget the phony time travelers. This kauri is a true time machine.

Source: Mysterious Universe

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Planet Earth

One Of The Largest Dog Meat Markets In South Korea Has Shut Down

After many years of controversy, Gupo Livestock Market in South Korea has finally agreed to stop selling dog meat. Gupo Market has been one of the largest dog meat markets in the country, which has made it a regular target for animal rights activists. The market was home to 19 different dog meat distributors, all of whom agreed to close their shops by July 11.

The dog meat sellers will be compensated by the government to the tune of 3.1 million won each month, which converts into about $2,700. Each of the sellers will receive the payments until December 2020. These payments are a part of a government plan to peacefully persuade the dog meat sellers to open up other businesses.

One Of The Largest Dog Meat Markets In South Korea Has Shut Down 1

Dogs waiting to be sold as food are in kept in a cage on a truck in Songnam. Photo Credit: Reuters

In a joint statement among four of the largest animal rights groups in the country, activists called the closure of the market a “big step forward.”

“We wholeheartedly welcome and support the district office’s effort to end the trade of dog meat in Korea. It is a big step forward, but Korea still has many such markets, including Chilseong Market in Daegu … We will continue to work with everyone to end the practice of eating dog meat,” the statement read, according to Korea Times.

It is estimated that anywhere between 1 and 2 million dogs are raised on farms across South Korea for the sole purpose of providing meat. Across Asia as a whole, roughly 30 million dogs are killed and eaten each year, many of them stray dogs or stolen pets.

The farmers and dog meat sellers in this industry are also said to be extremely cruel with the animals. Witnesses say that farmers torture dogs to death in front of the other dogs.

One Of The Largest Dog Meat Markets In South Korea Has Shut Down 2

Wonju, South Korea — A caged dog looks out of an opening of a dog farm in rural South Korea in February 2018. Photo Credit: Sandy Hooper of USA Today

Animal rights activist Nara Kim celebrated the closure of the Gupo Market in a recent statement. Kim said:

“The closure plan is the result of months of hard work between the local authorities and the market vendors, and both sides are to be commended for working towards this goal that will not only bring to an end to Gupo’s dog meat era, but will also see the area regenerated with new amenities and businesses for the benefit of the local, modern economy,” Kim said. 

Kim also pointed to the changing opinions in the country about dog meat.

“HSI has been working with dog meat farmers in South Korea for nearly four years helping them close their flagging businesses as more people in the county turn away from dog meat, so the closure of Gupo’s grimly iconic dog market, which follows the demolition last year of the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse complex, is a sign of more compassionate times,” Kim said.

survey by Gallup Korea conducted in June 2018 showed that 70 percent of South Koreans say they will not eat dog meat in the future. Experts say that people in the country are beginning to see these animals more as pets than as food.

One Of The Largest Dog Meat Markets In South Korea Has Shut Down 3

Activists from animal rights groups ‘Animal Liberation Wave’ and ‘Last Chance for Animals’ hold dead puppies retrieved from a dog meat farm, as they protest against the dog meat trade in Gwanghwamun Plaza in central Seoul, South Korea, on July 17, 2018. Photo Credit: Ed Jones of the AFP

On November 21st, 2018, South Korea closed the country’s main dog slaughterhouse, known as Taepyeong-dong. Now, the former slaughterhouse will be turned into a community park.

The consumption of dog meat in Asia can be traced all the way back to the times of the Mongol invasions.

Still, despite all these closures, there are roughly 17,000 dog markets remaining in South Korea.

While the practice was incredibly rare in the United States, killing dogs and cats for food was actually still legal until 2018. In December of last year, US President Donald Trump signed the Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act, which makes it a federal offense to slaughter, trade, import or export dogs and cats for human consumption. However, Native American tribes are still exempted for religious rituals.

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Bear Cub Feels Grass For First Time After Being Rescued From Filthy Basement [Video]

By Mandy Froelich / Truth Theory

An adorable bear cub has a new lease on life, thanks to the animal welfare group Four Paws International and Kosovo authorities. After living in a dark, filthy basement for most of its life, the bear cub now lives at the Bear Sanctuary Prishtina. Recently, he experienced grass for the first time ever. 

As GoodNewsNetwork reports, the cub had been liberated from a dark basement enclosure in Kosovo. Someone had been keeping him as a pet, which is against the law. After the cub was rescued, he was transported to his new home at the bear sanctuary.  The specialized sanctuary is home to other bears who have also been saved from neglectful situations.

Before he was allowed to experience the joys of nature, the bear cub underwent a thorough medical examination. Once he was deemed “healthy,” he was transported outside. The video below shows him running through the grass, feeling the sun on his face, and exploring his new home.

Safe haven for the bear cub in Kosovo!

A safe haven last! 🐻The recent tragic story about the bear cub in Kosovo, who was found to be living in terrible conditions in a dark garage, was not only touching for us, but it also moved many of your hearts.🧡Two weeks ago, we got the news we had all been hoping for, and we were finally able to bring him to our Bear Sanctuary Prishtina. Here you can see the emotional moment when the little bear explores his new beautiful enclosure for the first time! 🌳➡️ Please help us to look after this little wild animal in the future!

Gepostet von FOUR PAWS International am Dienstag, 25. Juni 2019

https://www.facebook.com/fourpaws.org/videos/464367954330208/

“We thank Ministry of Environment and Agency for Environment Protection for the trust in our professionalism to continue with the right treatment for the cub,” said Afrim Mahmuti, manager of the Bear Sanctuary Prishtina.

For the next six months, Four Paws International will care for the cub until he matures into adolescence. At that point, it will be determined whether or not the bear can be released into the wild. For now, he seems happy simply living at the sanctuary.

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