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This Is What A Nuclear Explosion Did To A Mountain In North Korea

Beneath Mount Mantap, a feature of the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, the government of North Korea allegedly conducted their largest ever nuclear test underground. As a consequence, the mountain appears to have actually collapsed a certain amount.

The geological changes to the region were observed by geologists from California and South Korea, who reported in Science that the very surface of Mount Mantap was forced outwards by about 11.5 feet, or 2.5 meters at the moment of the explosions.

After that, the mountain sank into the Earth about 1.6 feet, or half a meter. To put it in perspective, the intensity of this atomic bomb was around the intensity of between 120 and 300 kilotons of TNT. The bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima during World War 2 was equivalent to 15 kilotons.

This Korean mountain is 7,220 feet (2,200) meters tall, and this nuclear device is estimated to have been set off directly under the mountain’s summit, at a depth of about 1,300 feet (400-660 meters).

About 8.5 minutes after the device was detonated, it was easily observed that seismic activity characteristic of such a test occurred.

Lead author of the research, Teng Wang of the Earth Observatory of Singapore at Nanyang Technological University said “This is the first time the complete three-dimensional surface displacements associated with an underground nuclear test were imaged and presented to the public.”

A certain type of technology that has yet to become commonplace was actually utilized to detect and report these details. This might mean that independent researchers should more closely examine the alleged proofs of such studies, especially considering the geopolitical and strategic ends to such reports. No government in the world ceases to try and manipulate public perception of its enemy: however, this research seems pretty verifiable and to the point.

The technology used to take some of these measurements is known as SAR, or Synthetic Aperture Radar. The team that performed this study combined research from both the Synthetic Aperture Radar and seismic data.

Germany’s TerraSar-X and Japan’s ALOS-2 equipped with SAR were utilized to create before and after satellite data. If this SAR relies on the data of satellites, there may be a dead end in people’s ability to first hand confirm and reason through the details of this.

A UC Berkeley professor of Earth and planetary science co-authored the paper, Roland Bürgmann of California. He said “As opposed to standard optical imaging satellite imagery, SAR can be used to measure earth deformation day and night and under all weather conditions. By precisely tracking the image pixel offsets in multiple directions, we were able to measure the full three-dimensional surface deformation of Mt Mantap.”

The conclusion drawn by this team is that most likely, on September 3rd, 2017 the mountain violently shook when a nuclear device was detonated by the government of North Korea beneath it. They concluded that it formed a massive cavity probably around the size of a football stadium inside the mountain, literally vaporizing the rock around the blast region.

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake occurred just after the detonation, and the mountain was raised up, the researchers concluded.

After just a couple minutes, another cavity collapsed nearby which is thought to have produced a second, smaller earthquake. Then, the rock proceeded to compact and tighten up, causing the mountain to sink a bit into the Earth.

It was demonstrated by these researchers that this technology can provide details about the nuclear tests going on in the world. Of course this is one sided, because if the technology is as they say it is, and it is centered in countries like Germany and the United States, it will certainly be utilized to observe the activities of countries like North Korea or Iran and their own quiet tests will go unnoticed by it.

If this data is too difficult for any ordinary person, researcher, or a court of law to sift through and confirm to be accurate and mean what people claim it means, then this gap of logic could cause SAR technology to be utilized for faking scenarios against enemy countries of the US and NATO.

They could use this to create fraudulent accusations of nuclear weapons tests by countries like Iran. If you’re familiar with certain geopolitical facts, you may see that as a realistic future scenario.

(Image credit: azaniapost, itv, theworldmountain)

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Sacred sites have a biodiversity advantage that could help world conservation

Since the dawn of history, human societies have ascribed sacred status to certain places. Areas such as ancestral burial grounds, temples and churchyards have been given protection through taboo and religious belief. As many of these places have been carefully managed for many years an interesting side effect has occurred – the sites often retain more of their natural condition than surrounding areas used for farming or human habitation. As a result, they are often called “sacred natural sites” (SNS).

Today, as many other natural habitats have become degraded, researchers worldwide are increasingly interested in the role of SNS in biodiversity conservation. Most of the world’s belief systems, including Christianity, give places sacred status. In Mediterranean Europe, for instance, the grounds of churches – with their associated ancient trees – have become important SNS.

One of the best examples is in the mountainous region of Epirus in north-western Greece. In the municipalities of Zagori and Konitsa almost every village has one or more sacred grove. These places have been protected through religious belief systems for hundreds of years.

The groves are either protective forests that lie uphill from the village, or groups of mature trees surrounding outlying churches, monuments or other works of religious art. Activities such as the cutting of trees or livestock grazing have been either prohibited or strictly regulated in these places (and disobeying these prohibitions sometimes led to excommunication).

The sacred forest of Panagia Aidonolaloussa, ‘Our Lady of the Nightingales’, in Epirus.
Kalliopi Stara, Author provided (No reuse)

Greek investigation

We have recently been studying these Greek SNS as part of our SAGE (SAcred Groves of Epirus) project. Our team wanted to find out, using a rigorous research approach, whether SNS are more biodiverse than other forest areas, and, if so, what lessons conservationists could learn from this.

To do this, our international and multidisciplinary group has recently completed the world’s first replicated systematic investigation into the claims that areas conserved as SNS are more biodiverse for different types of plant and animal.

For our recently published study, we selected eight SNS in Epirus that covered a wide range of environmental conditions. Each was closely matched with a nearby non-sacred “control” forest which had been managed conventionally – sometimes through natural regeneration. We then conducted a detailed inventory in each site, of eight different groups of organisms. These ranged from fungi and lichens, through herbaceous and woody plants to nematodes, insects, bats and passerine birds.

We found that SNS do indeed have a small but persistent biodiversity advantage. This is expressed in a number of ways, most clearly through the existence of more distinct communities of species among the sacred groves than in the control sites (this phenomenon is known as beta diversity).

The group with the most notably higher biodiversity in the SNS than in control sites were the fungi. These often grow in dead wood or old trees, which usually get removed in conventionally managed forests. Of the species of passerine birds (a group that includes many songbirds) that are designated as having special conservation importance at a European level, we found twice as many species present in the SNS as in the control sites.

Because these sacred sites are often quite small it is often said that their conservation benefits are marginal. But we found that the influence of size is relatively weak – even small SNS can play a significant role in biodiversity conservation.

Conserving sacred sites

But Epirus’s sacred sites are now in peril. The rules that linked belief and conservation that once protected the SNS have become difficult to enforce, due to changing population and land-use. The value of forests which protect from landslides and floods is no longer being recognised.

The value of SNS is not just on the land that is sacred itself, these places can act as a nucleus, around which biodiversity can expand. In Epirus, forests have regenerated around many of the sites we studied over the past 70 years – despite humans farming the land. It should be noted that this can increase risks such as fire, as dense young Mediterranean forest is very flammable.

Evidently the already well-conserved SNS are of great environmental importance across the world. So the next step is to link these sites into conventional conservation schemes. But it is vital that such strategies are closely aligned with the cultural status of SNS. Local communities are often highly motivated to maintain their sacred sites and associated belief systems but lack the resources to do so. A fully collaborative approach between conservation professionals and local communities could offer a solution that conserves both biodiversity and local cultural values.

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As It Turns Out, Environmentally ‘Protected’ Lands Really Aren’t

Good news: About fifteen percent of the planet’s landmass is designated as a protected area where threatened wildlife should be able to live free of disruption. Bad news: Humanity seems to have missed the memo.

Over a third of the land officially designated as protected is facing “intensive human activity,” according to research published today in Science. That means that allegedly-preserved areas — so designated for their crucial role as habitats for endangered or threatened species — are being damaged. By tourists, loggers, developers, miners, farmers, and all other sorts of people who have decided to leave their mark.

In fact, the only protected areas that aren’t facing human-induced devastation are those far from human habitation, according to the new research and existing work to analyze ecosystem health.

So, congratulations everyone — we haven’t screwed up northeastern Greenland (yet).

In an article that they wrote for The Conversation, the researchers call for conservationists to hold national governments accountable, while also demanding transparent, honest assessments of areas crucial for biodiversity and a functioning ecosystem (but subject to the whims of political and economic leaders).

The protected areas that face the worst human-related damage are the ones given their “protected” designations before the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity. Those regions were likely to be smaller pockets — ecological “islands” — of preserved space that don’t accurately reflect and meet the needs of the plants and animals who live there and may be cut off from nearby populations as a result. Also, the areas that were protected before 1992 were subject to weaker and more lenient rules.

Over half of these areas have faced growing pressure from human activity, according to the new research. Meanwhile, areas protected after the Convention on Biological Diversity was ratified have fared somewhat better. Of note: Many of those areas encompass larger expanses of land than the ones to receive protection before them.

What’s all this mean? Above all else, it means we need to impose stricter rules on ourselves, because we just can’t seem to keep ourselves from screwing up the planet at every turn. Calling something “protected” isn’t enough — we have to enforce laws around it. If we viewed damage to the planet’s protected areas the same way we viewed damage to one’s property or home, people might be more reluctant to engage in environmentally-damaging behaviors. And after all, what’s the planet — for now — if it isn’t our home?

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‘Explosive Eruption’ at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Sending Plume Of Ash 30,000 Feet Into Sky

[ZHE] Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has erupted from its summit, shooting a dusty plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the sky.

KTLA reports that people are being told to shelter in place. …

As AP reports, Mike Poland, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, confirmed the explosion on Thursday.

The volcano is sending “ballistic blocks” out hundreds of metres – and they could reach several tonnes in weight

It comes after more than a dozen fissures recently opened miles to the east of the crater and spewed lava into neighborhoods.

Those areas were evacuated as lava destroyed at least 26 homes and 10 other structures.

Officials have said they didn’t expect the explosion to be deadly as long as people remained out of park.

Perhaps luckily, as SHTFplan’s Mac Slavo noted before this latest eruption, the massive plume of ash rising from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano prompted a warning yesterday to pilots planning to fly over the area. The eruption isn’t just dangerous to people on the ground anymore — it could also bring down planes. A code red warning has been issued, as the eruption continues to intensify.

Kilauea has been spurting lava, molten rock, and poisonous gases from multiple massive fissures on the island of Hawaii since May 3rd. On Tuesday morning, the Halema’uma’u crater on Kilauea’s summit also began continuously gushing ash — creating a plume that rose up to 10,000 feet in the air. Rocks falling into the vent may be responsible for more intense ash spurts. But that’s not even the worst of it, the US Geological Survey warned:

At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent.”

In addition to dangers from the bubbling, scalding-hot lava from the Kilauea volcano, residents on the Big Island of Hawaii are enduring threats from both vog and volcanic ashfall. The U.S. Geological Survey issued a “code red” for ashfall late Tuesday, due to the hazard it poses for airplanes and jets. Vog, short for volcanic smog, is the haze formed by gas and fine particle emissions from volcanoes, according to the American Meteorological Society.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory warned pilots about the gigantic ash plume by changing the aviation color code to red — which means that an eruption hazardous to air travel is happening, or could happen soon. This morning, local time, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory announced that the color code would stay red for the time being. “It sounds a little bit alarming,” USGS volcanologist Michelle Coombs said in a video statement. But the “code red” is just a warning to aviators flying by the island. “It doesn’t mean that a really big eruption is imminent,” she says. “It’s really just characterizing that aviation situation.”

Although Coombs says a big eruption is not imminent, the USGS’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) said in a statement that a red alert means otherwise. A red alert, according to the agency, means a “major volcanic eruption is imminent, underway or suspected, with hazardous activity both on the ground and in the air.”

And now it has …

Meanwhile, the lav keep sflowing …

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