Friday, March 26, 2010

You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.
Navajo Proverb

This morning -

Yesterday -
3/25/10 -


ICELAND - The erupting volcano is between two glaciers and it could spread to both ice sheets, causing major flooding. The flow of floodwater could reach 10,000 cubic metres. That could flood an area of 100 square kilometres and could also spark an eruption at the bigger, adjacent Katla volcano. A state of emergency is in force in southern Iceland and more than 500 people in villages and farms in the area have been evacuated.
When Katla last produced a major eruption in 1918, the flood water flow was of Amazon proportions at 250,000 cubic metres.
The potential eruption of Iceland's volcano Katla would likely send the world, including the USA, into an extended deep freeze. "When Katla went off in the 1700s, the USA suffered a very cold winter. To the point, the Mississippi River froze just north of New Orleans, and the East Coast, especially New England, had an extremely cold winter. Depending on a new eruption, Katla could cause some serious weather changes."
Scientists say history has proven that whenever the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupts, Katla always follows -- the only question is how soon. "If it (Eyjafjallajokull) continues to belch, then you worry." What's key in having volcanic eruptions affect the weather is both the duration of the eruption, and how high the ash gets blasted into the stratosphere. "When volcanic ash reaches the stratosphere, it remains for a long time. The ash becomes a very effective block of the incoming solar radiation, thus cooling the atmosphere's temperatures."

RUSSIA - A belching of ash to the altitude of seven kilometers above sea level has been registered over the crater of the Shiveluch, Kamchatka’s northernmost active volcano. The exuding of ash does not pose any risks for nearby population centers, as no data on the fallout of volcanic dust there has been reported. The belching was not seen visually and scientists drew a conclusion that it had taken place on the basis of information from seismic observation stations located in the vicinity of the volcano. They registered “a surface seismic event at the volcano” having a four minutes’ duration. At this moment, the volcano displays weak or moderate eruption periods lasting from several months to two to three years. The periods of its activation were registered in 1980 to 1981 and 1993 to 1995. The last eruption ranking among disasters occurred in November 1964. The Shiveluch activated again in 2001, with a growth of the extrusive cupola – a towering of viscose lava -- evidenced in its crater. Geophysical services and agencies keep the giant under permanent watch.
Klyuchevskaya volcano continues to be active - emitting steam, ash, and lava in early 2010.

MONTSERRAT - Passengers on a jet flying over the Caribbean have received a close-up look at a massive volcanic eruption sending ash and dust higher than the plane itself. The 737 jet was flying to the holiday destination of St Lucia when it passed the Soufriere Hills volcano on the island of Monserrat midway through its eruption. Passengers rushed to the windows to see the explosion and subsequent mushroom cloud. The volcano sent a plume of ash as high as 12,000 metres, prompting other flight delays after fears the dust would get into the engines.
The partial collapse of the volcano's lava dome is believed to be responsible for the ash cloud. (photo)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA - A task force has been set up to find permanent homes for thousands of Papua New Guineans affected by a series of volcanic explosions. Around 15,000 people fled their homes on Manam Island off PNG's north coast after a series of volcanic explosions in late 2004. They have been wallowing in temporary care centres on the mainland ever since, but their presence has angered local villagers. Tension regularly explodes into violence and earlier this month one person was murdered and a mob destroyed 160 homes at one of the care centres.

Cyclone IMANI was 1123 nmi SE of Diego Garcia.
Tropical depression OMAIS was 570 nmi SSE of Kadena AB, Okinawa.

AUSTRALIA - A "disorganised low" in the Arafura Sea off the Northern Terrority could form into a cyclone and move towards the Gulf of Carpentaria, northwest of Cairns. The bureau's latest cyclone outlook notes there is a small chance, or up to 20 per cent possibility. By Sunday, there is up to a 50 per cent chance a cyclone will form in that region. "By mid next week, it could swing around and head towards the Gulf. We are expecting it to track west and intensify over the weekend and in the short-term it is unlikely to head towards the Gulf." The low was currently over warm water and surface winds were ideal for the formation of a cyclone. "Right now it's disorganised. There are a clump of thunder storms with gaps between them and at this stage it is not spinning on a particular axis."


Masks and N-95s performed equally in study - An observational study of health workers at a Singapore hospital suggests that surgical masks were as effective as N-95 respirators against pandemic H1N1 infections. For one month last summer workers wore N-95s in emergency and isolation areas, and the following month they wore surgical masks. Few workers got sick, and all transmission occurred outside the hospital. The CDC recommends N-95s for health workers caring for H1N1 patients.

Does 'man flu' really exist? - Men may have a weaker immune system and could be more vulnerable to so-called 'man flu', scientists propose. Their theory suggests there is a trade-off between a strong immune system and reproductive success. Previous experiments have found differences in the ability of females and males to deal with infection. Across a range of animal species, males tend to be the 'weaker sex' in terms of immune defences. This is usually explained by the difference in hormones.
But a leading flu expert says there is no difference in men's immunity. His team at the University of London deliberately infected men and women with the flu virus. He says there was no noticeable difference between their recovery times or their immunity. "But the women did complain more."