North America’s freezing winter

The Big Chill
The Big Chill

This winter the central and eastern part of North America experienced very cold temperatures. The latest U.S. climate report stated that it was the 34th-coldest winter on record in USA, 1° F cooler than average, and the coldest in the last four years. The report showed also that there was more snow than usual: in the Northern Hemisphere snow covered 255,000 square miles above the 1981-2010 average and produced the 18th largest winter snow cover. Many claimed that this is evidence against Global Warming: is that true? Continue reading North America’s freezing winter

Pompeii: Crumbling Cradle of Volcanology

With Pauls W.S. Anderson’s blockbuster “Pompeii” still in movie theaters, it may be the right time to reflect upon the need to do whatever it takes to protect Italy’s stunning cultural heritage sites.

Indeed, Pliny the Younger’s description of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which buried Pompeii, Ercolano and Stabia under a thick cover of ash and pumice deposits, might well be regarded as marking the birth of volcanology. Continue reading Pompeii: Crumbling Cradle of Volcanology

8.2-Magnitude earthquake strikes northern Chile, fueling tsunami fears

A very strong earthquake with a Magnitude of 8.2 on the Richter scale has occurred at about 8:46 p.m. (local time) on April 1, 2014, with epicentre in the Pacific Ocean, 60 miles northwest of the town of Iquique. The quake injured tens of people; 5 casualties have been reported, but the number may increase since rescue operations are still underway. Several buildings suffered serious damage, small landslides were triggered, and there was serious concern about the possibility of a tsunami. Continue reading 8.2-Magnitude earthquake strikes northern Chile, fueling tsunami fears

Giant waste landfill in the Italian region of Abruzzo

A huge landfill of toxic waste, 30 hectares filled with 1.8 million tons of substances such as sodium hypochlorite, ammonium chloride, formaldehyde, perchlorates, resulting from decades of industrial processes from a chemical plant in Bussi sul Tirino, has threatened the lives of 700,000 persons living in the southern Italian region of Abruzzo. Continue reading Giant waste landfill in the Italian region of Abruzzo

Aircrafts vs. volcanoes

From satellites the alarm for sudden eruptions  

Every year, hundreds of thousands of passengers and cargo planes fly over areas characterized by the presence of active or “dormant” volcanoes. These volcanoes can lead to explosive eruptions with emission of large quantities of ash up to more than 10-20 km of altitude. If a plane would cross a volcanic ash”cloud”, the engines may undergo failure, as occurred in the past.
Continue reading Aircrafts vs. volcanoes