Lava Flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Speeds Up

By: Maria Vargas

In the weekend of October 24th – 26th lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano started spreading, causing local authorities and residents to prepare for possible evacuation. According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, lava flow was falling towards a small village of Pahoa in the night of October 26th and has already advanced through the Pahoa cemetery.

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The volcanic flow is moving at a rate of 15 to 20 yards per hour and shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Residents of Pahoa have not been ordered to evacuate yet, but emergency responders were going house to house to inform the residents about the flow condition and possible evacuation plans. The Red Cross also got involved by opening an emergency shelter in the nearby town of Keaau.

On the night of October 26th, lava flow was just 600 yards from Pahoa Village Road, which caused officials to close a portion of the road. Scientist worry that smoke conditions will burn through grass and vegetation and they also worry about methane explosions that have been observed in the lava flow. The orange edges of the lava flow can reach temperatures higher than 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit. Ever since, 1983 Kilauea has been spilling lava onto surrounding buildings near Puna’s region. Scientist are continuing to monitor the volcanic activity and flow from ground and from a flight over the area as well. 

Source: http://www.livescience.com/48469-kilauea-lava-flow-speeds-up.html

Toxic chemicals found near shuttered army base in Atlanta

by Emily Himes

Some homes near Fort Gillem, south of Atlanta, are accumulating toxic vapor, which could have been caused by Carcinogens that were dumped at the base more than 10 years ago may have migrated into the air these people breathe. Carcinogens are substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue.

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26 out of 29 houses sampled contain dangerous chemicals in the air, and many of them are hazardous to the residents’ health. Affected homeowners will be notified soon by the Army officials, and they will also install ventilation systems.

Nathan Deal, the Georgia governor, said that the level of contamination in the air was “significantly greater than originally anticipated.” He has been encouraging the military to quickly test all the homes and to install ventilation in the ones that need it.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has categorized both chemicals, benzene and trichloroethylene (TCE) as carcinogens.

Source: Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/09/04/4328523/toxic-chemicals-found-in-homes.html

Worries turn to Disease as waters recede in Balkans

BY: KORALY JOSEPH

Rain has been hitting in Balkans Serbia now for 5 days, raising flood levels to an astonishing level. Police officers of the city have been evacuating townspeople into nearby shelters or evacuation centers. With the rise of temperatures Health Prime Minister, Zlatibor Loncar worries that concerns will be shifted to the possible outbreak of disease. Contaminated water has covered the city. Therefore, spreading toxic chemicals on homes, towns, and fields. Loncar fears epidemic outbreaks such as intestinal ailments, respiratory infections, skin disease and many others might surface. To prevent another flooding, the Serbian military chief of staff is reinforcing a 15-mile sandbag wall outs de Sabac.

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Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/world/europe/flood-danger-persists-in-serbia-threatening-power-plant.html?ref=earth&_r=0

Turbines Popping Up on New York Roofs, Along With Questions of Efficiency

Danielle Tobin

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/27/nyregion/turbines-pop-up-on-new-york-roofs-along-with-questions-of-efficiency.html?ref=earth&_r=0

The Big Melt Accelerates

Recent research shows that the changes in earth’s climate have reach a “tipping point”. Some giant glaciers have no return and they could possibly ruin the rest of the ice sheet. Scientists believe that the glaciers will continue to melt until greenhouse gas emissions are released. These glaciers are telling scientists that in the future (centuries away), more land will be covered by water which will cause the sea level to rise.

- Valerie Macaulay 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/science/the-melting-isnt-glacial.html?ref=earth

12 Million Pounds of Trash Collected

During an international coastal cleanup, over 12 million pounds of trash was collected. This is the most trash that has ever been collected at once. These 12 million pounds collected is both negative and positive for us. The positive is that we have many dedicated organizations and people who are fighting to help our environment. The negative side of this is that there is so much trash in the ocean that this much was collected. “Ocean trash truly is a global problem that affects human health and safety, endangers marine wildlife, and costs states and nations countless millions in wasted resources and lost revenue,” said Andreas Merkl, Ocean Conservancy’s president and CEO. This amount of trash is really effecting us all. While swimming and boating is a fun leisurely activity, especially in Miami, it may even begin to become dangerous because of the amount of trash. The trash could fill 38 olympic size pools and weighs more than 800 African elephants. 

 

Gillian Peters

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521111857.htm

How to (Try to) make it rain

redirect lightning

There are five current ways that humans can control the weather. First, is seeding the sky. Seeding the sky involves releasing a bunch of silver iodide into the sky which is done by flares attached to the wings of a plane. Once those silver iodide particles get in the clouds, they collide with supercooled water and form ice, which falls to the ground melting along the way. Another is China’s massive weather-modification program that includes 5,000 rocket launchers that fire particles into the clouds to draw rain. The third way is done by an Abu Dhabi company called Meteo Systems that used electrified umbrella shaped towers to send negatively charge particles into the air increasing the chance that supercooled droplets will collide with freezing nuclei, becoming rain.The fourth is by the French which uses hail cannons to save their fruit from storm damage. Every few seconds a chamber in the cannon fires a loud boom into the air which is said to break the ice before it reaches the ground, not much evidence supports it though. Another one redirects lightning by taking a long wire, tying one end to the ground and the other to a rocket launched into a storm. More recent research at the University of Arizona involves high intensity lasers redirecting lightning like this.

- Sean Sabogal -

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rain-how-to-try-to-make-it-rain/