Yellowstone Volcano rumbling as Swarm of Earthquakes continues

Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Important Takeaways:

  • Yellowstone Volcano Hit by over 1,000 Earthquakes in Ongoing Swarm
  • The swarm was most active between late August and mid-September. In the month of September alone, for example, the swarm, which is located around 12 miles south-south-west of Mammoth Hot Springs near Grizzly Lake, produced more than 500 earthquakes.
  • In the month of October, the University of Utah recorded 238 earthquakes as part of this swarm, out of a total of 344 in the entire Yellowstone region.
  • The Yellowstone region averages about 1,500-2,500 earthquakes every year, with around half of them occurring as part of swarms.
  • This year, the ongoing swarm near Grizzly Lake has produced more than 1,000 events and counting, according to Farrell.

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Chemical signal for locust swarming identified in step toward curbing plagues

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Scientists have identified a chemical compound released by locusts that causes them to swarm, opening the door to possible new ways to prevent these insects from devouring crops vital to human sustenance as they have for millennia.

Researchers said on Wednesday they identified the pheromone – a chemical produced by an animal that affects the behavior of others of its own species – in the world’s most widespread locust species, the migratory locust, or Locusta migratoria.

Called 4-vinylanisole (4VA), it is primarily released from the hind legs and is detected by the antennae of other locusts and sensed by odorant receptors, the researchers said.

4VA powerfully attracted locusts regardless of age or sex, the research published in the journal Nature showed. Its production was triggered in the insects when as few as four to five solitary locusts came together, precipitating swarming behavior.

“In human history, locust plagues, drought and flood were considered as three major natural disasters which caused serious agricultural and economic losses all over the world,” said research leader Le Kang, a professor of entomology and ecology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Zoology.

“As the most widely distributed and one of the most dangerous locust species, the migratory locust represents a serious threat to agriculture worldwide,” Kang added.

Swarms can include billions of locusts and span hundreds of square miles (km) as the insects voraciously consume crops, imperiling food security. Migratory locusts inhabit Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, attacking pastures and critical crops such as wheat, rice, corn, millet, barley, oats, sugarcane and sorghum.

Kang said further research is needed on whether 4VA exists in other locust species such as the desert locust, called Schistocerca gregaria, that currently is ravaging parts of Africa and the Middle East.

The chemical insecticides currently used to suppress locust outbreaks raise concerns about human health and safety. The identification of 4VA could inspire new methods.

A chemical could be developed to block 4VA’s effects to prevent swarming, Kang said, or a synthetic version could lure locusts into traps to be killed. Locusts genetically modified not to respond to 4VA could be developed and released to establish wild non-swarming populations, “subject to biosecurity evaluation,” Kang added.

(Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Tarrant County Texas Swarmed With Insects

Tiny black insects have taken over parts of Tarrant County, Texas leaving residents wondering where they came from and when they will leave.

The bugs, called hackberry nipple-gall makers, are looking for a warm spot to spend the winter according to an etymologist with Texas A&M. The insects are so small that they can pass through many common window and door screens and also cracks in siding, paint and windowsills.

The bugs traditionally hide within tree bark but cannot distinguish the difference between the warmth under tree bark and the wood of someone’s home.

Pest control experts say that while the bugs don’t bite or sting, they can swarm which makes them annoying. They can get easily get into cars through air vents and are so small they can get into nasal passages and ear canals.

The bugs are also a nuisance because once they get into a car or home, they tend to die quickly and can pile up on surfaces. Experts say the best thing to do if you find the bugs in your home is to vacuum them up.