Video: Are natural disasters connected?

By Kerry Sanders Correspondent
NBC News
updated 1/11/2005 7:33:43 PM ET 2005-01-12T00:33:43

From space, Mother Earth is seemingly tranquil — the proverbial "big blue marble." But up close it looks like our more than 4 billion-year-old planet is having trouble.

Consider the recent evidence:

Should we be worried?

"The world is not coming to an end," says NASA scientist Dr. David Adamec. "Things are fine."

Adamec studies the Earth and says there is no scientific data to suggest all this violence from the Earth, at the same time, is unusual.

"The planet is alive," he says. "We have a hot core and every once in a while there are weak zones in the crust and we see things like volcanoes and earthquakes happen along those things. It's just a normal part of what a planet does."

But wait a minute — what about all the wicked weather?

Floods are happening everywhere: from western England — the worst in 40 years — to Estonia, Finland and Ohio. Then there's the so-called “pineapple express” battering the Western United States.  Is it the result of another warm Pacific Ocean El Niño event?

"The effect of El Niño on this particular weather pattern is hard to find," says Russell Pfost, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

So, back to those earthquake and volcanoes.  What effect have they had on the weather?

"There's no causal relationship there at all," says University of South Florida professor Dr. Chuck Connor. "The current bad, bad weather we've been having — it's not influenced by volcanoes or earthquakes."

The earthquake that created the tsunami did cause a shift in the earth’s axis, and the North Pole actually moved one inch to the east , yet U.S. experts say there's no evidence it affected the weather.

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