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  • 10. June 2007 #####################       mailing list update     ##################
    Fire Display Changed
    I'm using an alternative data feed from the University of Maryland, after their FTP access was blocked. The biggest change, is now that the active fires displayed, are from the last 48 hours, and not 24 hours ago. The discrimination for fire temperature is no longer available. Only fires with a confidence of 90-100 are displayed.

    Global Climate Display
    From now on you'll notice an imprint on the maps in the upper left corner, showing the global average temperature, and the climate change.

    The climate change is expressed as

    "Global Warming", when the average monthly temperature of the randomly selected 122 weather stations worldwide is above normal,


    "Global Chill", if the average temperatures are below average.

    The weather stations used for this calculation of climate change are shown on this page:

    Fire Display
    Sadly no fire data are available at the moment, but this will be fixed soon.

  • 6. June 2007
    Fixing trouble with the screensavers
    I just added a "Middle East 3D" view to the screensaver, website and desktops.
    I noticed that afterwards my Windows 2000 (TM) systems suddenly had trouble changing the views in the screensavers. The problem was solved after emptying the Internet Explorer caches.

  • 31. May 2007
    Data complete for theClimate Change Display:
    the historical data for all 122 weather stations tracked on my website have now been compiled.
    The historical data can be downloaded here . If you have better data please let me know. 
    In the as yet to be written explanation I will describe the rationale behind this project.

    Correction to the historical Mecca data :
    the data for Mecca was confused with data for Jiddah, which lies approx. 60km to the West on the coast, instead of Inland. That led to wrong stats.

  • 2. May 2007  #####################       mailing list update     ##################
    DVD available
    A DVD of animations of various maps over 9 months is in preparation. I chose to create movies from the archived images, because that is the most space saving and attractive method of storing and displaying the data (instead of 50 GB of images the movies contain the same information at one tenth the size).

    Adjustment to the fire display sensitivity
    It turns out that the forest fires in Central Europe are burning at a lower temperature than most tropical fires. Therefore the detection sensitivity had to be increased, to show fires from 310 Kelvin upwards.

    I noticed that the old treshold from 340 Kelvin onwards was too low, when 10km² of German forest was reported to be burning in the news, but nothing was showing on the firemaps.

  • 25. April 2007
    Extreme High April Temperatures in London
    I have been observing for a number of days now the above normal temperatures in London, which are over 7 degrees Celsius for the month of April.

    This is a temperature record for Europe, and I have checked a few times if there are errors in my formula and calculations. But this is not so.

    Nevertheless, I have changed the weather station so that it is easier to compare the temperatures from London City Airport to London Gatwick Airport.

    Gatwick Airport historical temperature data span over a period of over thirty years, from 1961 to 1991.

    As a reminder, the figures which display the average temperature deviation show the difference between historical temperatures average (sometimes climate records of over 200 years!) with the moving current monthly average, which is calculated as the month progresses!

    This first months running average is possibly a bit higher than average, because I am recording the temperatures from the 7th of April, instead of the 1st of April.

  • 15. April 2007
    Global Climate Change Display
    The first 4 stations of the global climate change display are entered. The present display is provisional and will be supplemented by a more graphical map. The first cities are: Koln, Warsaw, St.Petersburg and Bucharest. The format of the display is as follows: Koln 23C | +5,
    where after the "|"
    the mean temperature deviation is shown in +/- degree Celsius.

    There are approx. 121 weather stations being tracked by this website.
    Since the beginning of this month I am recording the daily temperatures,
    to arrive at a monthly average temperature for each station.

    My current data is now being compared with historical temperature data, and the difference is calculated and shown. The historical data can be downloaded here . If you have better data please let me know.

  • 9. April 2007
    Changed behaviour of spoken quake alerts
    The spoken quake alerts are now classified into "heavy" and "all" quakes.

    The heavy quakes which are announced are from both the USGS and EMSC sensor network.  The quakes are stronger than 6 on the Richter scale and not older than 2 hours. When there are no heavy quakes then the alert remains silent.

    All quakes are from both USGS and EMSC networks. Every quake above Richter 2.5 is announced. When there are no quakes in the last 2 hours it is announced that no quakes were reported.
  • 8. April 2007
    Global Warming
    I'm working on a "live" display of average temperatures for the cities, comparing the temperatures with historical average temperatures.  Like this YOU can see whether or not temperatures are really increasing and decide if Global Warming is real.

    Astronomical views
    The navigation on the webpages has been improved.

    The Earth from the Moon

    A five second movie clip has been added, which is updated 2 x daily.

  • 6. April 2007
    Progress of lunar eclipses
    It is possible to watch the progress of lunar eclipses on this website, by visiting any of the pages where the moon is visible. The progress of the lunar eclipse on the 4th March 2007 is captured in a small movie Lunar Eclipse 4.March.2007 download here. (To see all details enlarge to full-screen).

  • 5. April 2007
    Screensavers updated to be Windows Vista compatible
    Even though I have not received complaints the screensaver software
    has been updated to be compatible with Windows Vista. You can simply upgrade your present free software installation by downloading the latest version and installing over the old program.
    (Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.)

    American Screensavers now display temperature in Fahrenheit
    The start screen of the American screensavers is now Fahrenheit, as standard. The scale can still be changed to centigrade, manually.

  • 21. March 2007
    Inclusion of Fire display in the main Earth map
    Because the display of fire activity is very accurate it is now included in the general Earth overview. Fires are just as devastating a natural disaster as storms or earthquakes. With the potential to contribute massively to global warming and have adverse effects on all creatures.

    18. March 2007
    The North of Thailand chokes on smoke from fires :

    Asian Fires March 2007(see Word Fire Map)
    Flights cancelled because of poor visibility; four provinces covered by smoke for more than a week

    The haze was so bad that pilots could not land and flights had to be diverted.

    Asian SmogThe smoke haze choking northern Thailand is caused by dry season stubble burning, forest fires and wood-fired cooking.

    Snaphot Haze Map 18.March
    Thai Haze Online

  • Sunday, 14. January, 2007
    Australian bushfires' colossal effect:
    NASA BushfireAustralian monster bushfires have generated the power of more than 100 atomic bombs and pumped out millions of tonnes of pollution, greenhouse gas and toxic clouds. CSIRO atmospheric scientist Mick Meyer said the fires generated 2.5 million tonnes of carbon monoxide; 300,000 tonnes of volatile organic compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde and hydrocarbons; 85,000 tonnes of methane; 64,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxides; and 59,000 tonnes of smoke.
    above: NASA image

    Methane and nitrogen oxide emissions would add to global
    OPEFS bushfirewarming with the heat-absorbing gases creating an effect equal to 2.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The energy produced by the blazes also dwarfs that produced by humans, according to data provided by the CSIRO and energy agencies.

    Link: Herald Sun

    above: CGI image from data

  • Tuesday, 9. January, 2007
    Debugging of faulty error handling in EMSC data
    Cause: when the European Mediterranean Seismological Center did not show a quake strength next to a location a wrong value was shown.

    The example on which I noticed this was an earthquake near Basel (home to a number of small quakes recently caused by geo-thermal drilling!).

    The strength of 5.2 was way too high to be feasible!
    My script erronously displayed the strength of a quake from Myanmar, further down the list.

  • Sunday, 7. January, 2007 ############ mailing list update ###############
    Global Fire Index
    To be able to better keep an eye on the fire detection rate of the MODIS satellite a running total of all fires found in the past 24 hours is now displayed.

  • Sunday, 7. January, 2007
    Record number of global fires
    As a result of the large number of fires, most of which appear to be located in the equatorial belt in Africa, I needed to reduce the sensitivity of the fire display. My computer was no longer able to compute the necessary calculations for the maps in the time slots available.

    I've only been monitoring the global fires for about 6 months, therefore I can't tell if the number of fires is higher than usual for this time of year, or about normal.

    Now only the brightest fires above 340 Kelvin temperature are shown, whereas before all fires above 300 Kelvin were on the map display.

  • Thursday, 21. December, 2006
    Aegean Sea QuakesEMSC quake warnings online again
    I have adapted my code to read the European Seismological Center data from their new RSS feed, just in time to witness unusual widespread large-scale earthquakes around the Aegean Sea region around Athens.

    Primary Cloud Source online again
    The disruption was only a few minutes long, all told.

  • Wednesday, 20. December, 2006
    Primary Cloud Source offline
    Appears that the cloud server has problems.
    Switching over to secondary data source (low resolution).

  • Friday, 15. December, 2006
    EMSC quake warnings not working
    The European Mediterranean Seismological Center has changed the formatting of its webpage. As a result the quake warnings are temporarily offline from this source.

  • Thursday, 16. November, 2006
    The Global Volcanism Program of USGS and the Smithsonian Institution
    have updated their Volcanism markers to include Mount Etna as an active volcano.

  • Thursday, 9. November, 2006 ############ mailing list update ###############

    Marker for Mount Etna added
    EtnaI've now waited almost two weeks to see if the
    Global Volcanism Program of USGS and the Smithsonian would add Mount Etna in Sicily to the list of their active volcanoes. The Global Volcanism Program is the source for my Active Volcano makers.

    That Etna is an active volcano is quite appparent from the visible Lava outflow detected by the Rapid Response System of MODIS, University of Maryland and Goddard Space Flight Centre. The news also collaborate my observation (9. Nov.:
    Italian News via Google).

  • Wednesday, 18. October, 2006
    Possible lunar causal influence on Hawaiian earthquake and
    Kilauea eruption on 15.Oct 2006
    by Erich Habich,

    During the Hawaiian earthquake magnitude 6.7 on Sunday, 15.Oct. 2006, the Moon was seen passing over the area of Hawaii.
    The earthquake was the strongest in two decades. On these maps and movies the moon image represents the "sublunar point", which is the area where the Moon exerts the greatest gravitational force on Earth: (see

    Sublunar point
    The following sequence of images illustrates the possible effect of the Moons gravity on seismic activity in Hawaii on 15.Oct. 2006:

    16:48 UTC

    17:08 UTC

    17:27 UTC

    17:47 UTC

    18:07 UTC

    18:27 UTC

    The times are accurate to within 10 minutes.
    Download movie of the Hawaiian earthquake and lunar pass

    My take on this is that chaos theory tells us that tiny causes can have huge effects, such as butterflies flapping wings in the Himalayas can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world. Why shouldn't the moon then cause a quake on Earth, especially when it stands precisely over the spot where a magma chamber is weakened to the point of bursting anyways?

    The strictly scientific view that earthquakes should then always happen more often in places over which the moon passes would be a simple mechanistic one, without taking into account chaos theory.


    Pro & contra lunar influences: National Geographic
    Pro lunar influences: Pulse of the Planet Audio Presentation (NatGeo)
    Contra lunar influence: Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Australia

  • Tuesday, 10. October, 2006
    Download JPG of the Nuclear weapons testNorth-Korean Nuclear test
    Visitors to this website were among the first to notice North-Koreas nuclear bomb test. The Earth tremors of Richter 4.2 in Hamgyong province were later confirmed to be the result of an underground atomic bomb.
    Download movie of the nuclear bomb test (watch for the yellow circles titled 4.2 at 4:51 GMT in North Korea).

  • Wednesday, 27. September, 2006 ######### mailing list update #############
    Increase in the screen resolution of the "natural earth map" and "global fire map"
    To take account of the steadily increasing screen resolution caused mainly by the use of LCD displays I've increased the resolution of the quoted maps. Unfortunately maps with text do not scale down very well, (from 1280x1024 to 1024x768), and low resolution maps scale up relatively coarsely.

    Monitor Resolution Share:
    Monitor Resolution Share
    Hopefully users with high definition monitors will watch their screensavers mainly from a distance, so that they don't see the pixels, because if I increased the resolution of all the maps then half of the other users would not be able to decipher the text markers.

  • Sunday, 10. September, 2006
    Debugged the movie display of the freeware screensavers
    Only in the freeware screensavers it was not possible to exit the hurricane movies without exiting the whole screensaver: fixed by including a back button.

    Fully debugged the earthquake warning system
    A few bugs were present in the beginning, but that has been fixed.

  • Monday, 4. September, 2006
    Increase in the resolution of the European Crescent Map
    The resolution of the european sector close-up has been trebled, both day- and night maps.

    Silent Earthquake alerting
    The spoken earthquake announcements have now been turned into "alerts".
    Messages are only spoken at or above a strength of 6 on the Richter scale, else no sound is heard!
    I have not been able to fully debug this feature yet, because presently there are no quakes at or above strength 6, but hopefully everything should work.

  • Wednesday, 9. August, 2006
    Closing the hole in cloud cover over the poles
    This is a cosmetic "improvement". Because the angle of the north- and south pole from the geostationary weather satellites is too steep, the poles are usually shown without cloud cover.
    To improve the visual appearance I am mirroring a small cloud strip to close the polar cloud cover.

    Increase in the resolution of the moon map
    I found a moon map produced by the Clementine spacecraft of the Naval Research Laboratory which shows more detail.

    Starting the German soccer season
    Just in time for the start of the German soccer season the sport page has been re-activated:
    . The seasons plan not yet completed, but the results of the current week are online.

  • Sunday, 23. July, 2006
    World Fire Coverage
    As far as it is possible, the fire data are now displayed on all continents.
    The only thing still missing is the global fire map. I'm surprised at the number of fires in Eastern Europe. Maybe I will eventually do some fine tuning on the display, but I need to see how it develops first.

    Animations for Australia, Africa, South America and Asia
    They are all ready to go and fully set up, but I don't have anymore time today to weave them into the website content.

  • Saturday, 22. July, 2006
    Changes to Global Incidents
    The most controversial item ever on this website was the display of global incidents maps on all maps. Not only did I in response remove those incidents from the detail maps, but also I track only the results of natural catastropies. The incidents are seen now only on the global incidents map, the Middle East pages and on the hurricane close-up pictures.

    In the past I have regularly deleted older happpenings, because the small world map simply got too crowded with events.

    This will change. From now on only the incidents of the current month are displayed on the Global Map. In preparation for a more detailed 2nd level display, equivalent to the current continental maps, the old data are no longer deleted. The historical (and valuable, in terms of a reminder of past catastrophies) global incident data will be displayed there.

    The detailed display of global incidents will only be drawn maybe once per day, after all, I don't update the list more often. I hope this will be ageeable by all.

  • Friday, 21. July, 2006
    A prototype world fire map is here: [click]
    These are the fires from yesterday. There are wildfires, bush fires, and slash and burn practice.I am shocked that this display actually works

    World Weather Movie
    The "animations page" has been updated. Instead of showing a javascript animation with 4 frames animated over a period of 24 hours, I've added a 144 frame movie which shows in fullscreen resolution the last 48 hours: . It doesn't just show the weather, If you search for patterns in quake activities for example, then this movie may be of interest for you, too

  • Thursday, 20. July, 2006
    Upcoming additions: ######### mailing list update #############
    Fire tracking:
    I've been given permission to access satellite data which track global fires. This is at present of special interest to many Americans because of raging wildfires. I will try to add this data a.s.a.p.

    Ship tracking:

    within the next few days a new ship tracking function will be added. Being tracked are famous cruise ships, sailing ships (some take paid crews) and oceanographic research vessels. In addition to showing a boat marker with the name I will try to add a reading for the water temperature. This is of special interest in the arctic and antarctic regions.w

    Addidtions which are ready:
    New menuing system for wallpapers (active desktops):
    Even though Internet Explorer 7 will not support Active Desktops in their current form anymore, I intend to carry on producing the desktops, using a different method. Even though I don't know which method as yet I have updated the existing installations to a new javascript dropdown menu style.

    Movies on the desktop:

    If you have explored the new features of the 2 dropdown menus you may already have found the movie animations. Provided that you have DivX installed, these movies play as fullscreen wallpapers in the background.

    More features, faster
    The reason for installing the new menus is that I can add new content now within minutes, by just change one file in the menu, instead of changing 80 files+ as previously.

    Teething problems
    I noticed when I woke up that my new desktop background still was showing the picture from the day before. A quick "reload" by right clicking on the desktop confirmed my suspicion: the active desktop had not automatically updated.

    Seeking the error
    I quickly realized that the new menu configuration had disabled the auto-refresh feature.
    Scrambling fast I found a new solution which I first tried on three browsers (IE, Firefox, Opera), which was then uploaded.

    It wasn't just the desktops which no longer auto-refreshed since the installation of the new dropdown menu: also the free and pay screensavers were affected.

    All screensavers have now also been issued with the new auto-refresh update fix (Microsoft would call it a patch).

    Improved hurricane tracking :

    Images from the hurricane tracking pages are now imprinted with tracking information.

    Global temperature movie:
    This movie has already been on the "webcam" portion of the site for a few weeks. I find the 48 hour movie very informative because it gives a quick overview of the temperature development, with the hottest and coldest places quickly discovered.

  • Monday, 17. July, 2006
    Hurricane Movies:
    Experimentally added are hurricane movies. A movie is created from a hurricane only after it has been named. When a hurricane is still "fresh", or only just appeared, then in the extreme the movie may be just a few milliseconds long because it is still missing frames to animate.

    Changes to the full screen movie pages:
    A few of you may have been missing controls to return to the previous page, in the full screen screensaver option. This has now been added.

  • Thursday, 13. July, 2006
    Genesis-1 launched and deployed:
    The Genesis-1 habitation module of Bigelow Aerospace is deployed. A private effort of Las Vegas real estate magnate Robert T. Bigelow, this experimental inflatable spacecraft rocketed into orbit yesterday to test technology that could be used to fulfil the dream of building a commercial space station. Robert T. Bigelow owns the Budget Suites of America hotel chain.

    To be able to follow the progress of what may be the seed of the first space hotel chain, I have included a marker showing the progress of the Genesis module on all maps. The status page for the Genesis Project / Bigelow Aerospace is here.

    older postings

A great thanks goes to all the programmers and volunteers around the globe whose work
makes this website possible, especially Hari Nair of
Hans Ecke and Michael Dear. All rights acknowledged.

"Our Planet Earth From Space" Concept and code implementation - Copyright Erich Habich © 2003 - All rights reserved
This website provides a service based upon programs under the GNU General Public license.
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Germany License.
"Our Planet Earth From Space" concept and code implementation - Copyright Erich Habich © 2003-2004.
The images on this website are offered under a Creative Commons Lizenz, the limitation being that you must not download the same image repeatedly in intervals of more often than once every 20 min. Questions ?: Click here to send me an email