Day 36: This week (02/05/2017) in Earth News

Let’s kick off this week’s news with the explosive. The Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii has been spewing lava into the sea via an exposed tube since New Year’s Eve. The result is is simply spectacular: a “firehose” of lava was visible for over a month, until a piece of the sea cliff collapsed and buried the tube of lava this week. Watch this video to see it in action.


Source: USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Volcanoes are pretty awesome – they tunnel molten rock from the Earth’s innards up to the surface. In a similar mechanism, the heat brought upwards in the convection cells of our lithosphere is responsible for moving tectonic plates around. We can map out most of them because of ocean rifts and continental faults, but recentyl scientists discovered an unknown fragment of a continent under Mauritius  (an island off the East Coast of Africa). When they dated it, surprise!  It turned out to be really, really old (3 billion years old!) It was probably left behind during a continental breakup 200 million years ago and then blanketed by lava to form Mauritius.

Talking about hidden beauties – did you know that there’s a huge coral reef off Brazil, near the Amazon delta? We’re just beginning to explore it. Greenpeace used a submarine to collect images and you can check some of it out in this French video or fantastic images like the one below on this Brazilian website. You can also sign a Brazilian petition to protect the coral reef from being ruined by petroleum exploitation here.


Source: Greenpeace

The Earth sure is beautiful, but remember 97% of scientists say that we are changing it for the worst (climate change). According to a survey done by the University of New Hampshire, only 65% of adults believe that climate change is happening now and is related to human activity. Where are the people that don’t believe in man-made climate change? It seems that they are among Trump supporters (only 25% of Trump supporters responded that they believed in climate change). Therefore, we can say that the Trump administration’s notions of the climate are in accord with the people who voted for him.

Hopefully the beautiful, the explosive, and the humans can reconcile their ideas for a better planet. Don’t forget to do your part – signing the petition above to protect the coral reefs, for example, is a great way to start.


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