Wednesday Whatzits: Keeping up with Iceland, Etna and Kilauea from space and Central America's geothermal riches
Good morning from a drizzly Ohio!
Been a rather quiet news for much volcano news so far - well, that is beyond the reawakening of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia. I haven't found much more information beyond my update yesterday, but I'll keep my eyes and ears open.
A few quick bits to tide us over:
A new Iceland Blog: If you haven't already, be sure to check out Jon Frimann's new blog - the aptly titled Iceland Volcano and Earthquake Blog. He has information on every noise the volcanoes of Iceland make. Talk about packed full of all the details of the inflation/deflation, earthquakes and rumors about any potential volcanism on the North Atlantic island nation. Hopefully Jon will continue to grace us with updates over here on Eruptions as well if big things are brewing in Iceland.
Images of Etna and Kilauea: The NASA Earth Observatory posted a couple new images this week. The first is of Mt. Etna in Italy, showing the steaming plumes on the summit region. Our friend Boris Behncke assisted with the annotating of the image. Not a lot to report on Etna since the explosions earlier this fall, but Boris, as always, has posted great images of the area around the volcano. The second has an image of the ocean entry of lava at Kilauea, which is creating a lava delta. You can see both the satellite and a land-based image of the ocean entry - and be sure to check out the post on the delta by Brian Romans over at Clastic Detritus.
Geothermal energy in Central America: The Freakonomics Blog at the New York Times had a very brief post on geothermal energy in Guatemala - specifically tapping the heat generated at Pacaya.Much of Central America is trying its hand with geothermal energy thanks to the high heat flow under much of the region.
Top left: Pacaya in Guatamala in a 2005 image.
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The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.
- Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
- To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
- They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
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