Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are volcanic eruptions on the rise? - Not according to the director of the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program. Charged with documenting, analyzing and disseminating information about Earth's active volcanoes, the GVP boasts 40 years of data to indicate it's business as usual under the crust. "If you plot data from the last 200 years, there's a clear increase in the number of eruptions over time, but that's not a function of the actual number of eruptions but rather due to reporting effects."
Specifically, the GVP found that the increase in volcanic eruptions paralleled the rise in global population. It paralleled human encroachment of volcanic areas and improvements in communication technologies. Think of it as the "if a tree falls in the forest" effect. With more people around, and better technology, it became harder for a volcanic eruption to go unnoticed. Observation bias aside, global volcanism has remained steady throughout recorded history. You have to view the planet from a geologic perspective, spanning millions and billions of years, to glimpse any major changes - or pinpoint an eruption higher than a seven on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. "Those are the Yellowstone-type eruptions, sometimes referred to as 'supervolcanoes. None of those have occurred in historical time."
So what typically causes global volcanism to increase? Nothing short of titanic movements in the planet's crust.
"The tectonic plates are driving volcanism for the most part. And over geologic time, those processes are turning on and off. Subduction zones begin and end. Hot spots are generated and thrive for millions of years and then just stop. So as a result of those effects, you get increased volcanism or decreased volcanism in certain areas and even globally." The formation and melting of glacier ice can also theoretically affect volcanism. But to find a possible example of this you'll have to look back to the beginning of the Holocene epoch 10,000 years ago. Still, the relationship between melting glacier ice and increased volcanism is far from cut-and-dry. "It's a lot more complicated because ice is melting in one place, and the water is going somewhere else. So you might have a decrease in pressure in the northern latitudes as a result of ice melting, but you also might have an increase in the ocean depths in the south that might keep magma from erupting. And even then, it's not a simple relationship between increased pressure and decreased volcanism." Several other factors also influence the planet's volcanism, some of which scientists don't fully understand. So while a few studies predict future climate change may generate a rebound effect, climate typically plays an indirect role. "Volcanism typically influences climate, not the other way around."

**While seeking revenge, dig two graves - one for yourself.**
Doug Horton

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/30/10 -


COLUMBIA - Galeras Volcano erupted last Wednesday, forcing authorities to order the evacuation of thousands, but only a few residents trickled from nearby villages to shelters. Seated in Colombia's Andes near the frontier with Ecuador, Galeras coughed ash over neighboring towns. Authorities reported no injuries or damage after the latest eruption. Around 8,000 people live in risky areas, but often refuse to leave because they are used to frequent activity at the volcano and fear their homes will be ransacked. The volcano erupted ten times last year, mostly with little impact on surrounding areas. In previous eruptions, local residents reported large columns of smoke billowing over the volcano and towns have been covered with layers of ash. The National Geological Institute said it would keep monitoring the volcano's activity before deciding whether to lift the warning it issued after the dawn eruption. "The ash has slowed though it is still coming out,. The area is normal except for the areas where ash hit earlier in the day." The nearest large town, Pasto, has a population of 400,000 but is away from the area considered at risk from an eruption of Galeras.

-Tropical storm DANIELLE was 610 nmi ESE of Halifax, Nova Scotia and 833 nmi NE of Hamilton, Bermuda.
-Category 4 Hurricane EARL was 87 nmi NNE of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
-Tropical storm FIONA 526 nmi ENE of Bridgetown, Barbados. [Only a slow increase in strength is forecast for the next day or so. After that, the increasing shear may halt any further develpment, plus the cyclone could be moving over cooler waters that were upwelled by Earl.]

-Typhoon KOMPASU was 116 nmi SE of Kadena AB, Okinawa.
-Tropical storm LIONROCK was 230 nmi SE of Hong Kong.
-Tropical storm NAMTHEUN was 32 nmi WNW of Taipei, Taiwan.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - In the midst of hurricane Earl, the Governor on Monday (August 30) evening said that officials will not take down their guard as hurricane Earl passes through the BVI. The Governor was at the time preparing for a meeting in preparation for Tropical Storm Fiona which is expected to reach the BVI within the next 48 hours.
"We are just about to meet now and have a further discussion and to see what our steps are, and what we will do tomorrow (Tuesday). But we have been getting indications of a further storm on the heels of Earl. Its tropical storm Fiona and that is moving on a broadly similar course to Earl and it could be with us here in the next 40 to 48 hours."
This, the Governor lamented is worrying, "We are at level four at the moment and might reduce to that over the next few hours, but with Fiona around the corner we certainly want to keep that under constant review." Level five would be when there is no warning, for example in the event of an earthquake, while for an impacting hurricane , "we would be at the level four because remember you would have had a warning...So it´s really the highest level for hurricane impact." Fiona is moving toward the west near 24 mph and a turn toward the west-northwest is expected on Tuesday followed by a turn toward the northwest and a decrease in forward speed on Wednesday. On This track Fiona could be near or just to the northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands by early Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles to the northeast of the center. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 MB.

Tropical storm Kompasu strengthened to a typhoon as it approached Okinawa, while another storm is forecast to intensify off China’s southern coast. Kompasu, the eighth storm of the northwest Pacific season, was 528 kilometers southeast of Naha in Okinawa. Kompasu had sustained winds of 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour and is forecast to cross the main island of Okinawa today.
About 1,500 kilometers west of Kompasu, Tropical Storm Lionrock is forecast to strengthen as it approaches China’s southern coast. Lionrock, the seventh storm of the season, was 256 kilometers south of the city of Shantou in southeastern China. Lionrock has maximum sustained winds of 83 kilometers per hour and was moving northeast at 4 kph. The storm’s winds are forecast to strengthen to 102 kph today and Lionrock may cross the coast near Shantou on Sept. 1. The storm may bring more heavy rain to China, where thousands of people have died in floods and mudslides as downpours inundated many parts of the country.

Namtheun - Taiwan officials issued land and sea warnings on Tuesday for a severe tropical storm, the island's first this year, with heavy rain and wind gusts up to 90 kph (60 mph) expected before it heads to China. Although the storm falls one level short of a full-blown typhoon, Taiwan authorities are especially on guard after the island's worst typhoon in 50 years, also forecast as a relatively weak storm, killed about 700 people in August 2009. That prompted a cabinet reshuffle as citizens accused the government of reacting too slowly.
The storm dubbed Namtheun, centred 50 km (31 miles) north of Taiwan at 2015 GMT, was expected to reach northern areas of the island by early Wednesday with sustained winds up to 65 kph. Namtheun will pass over the capital Taipei and the island's major northern port city Keelung. The weather bureau warned of mudslides, rockfalls and sudden swelling of rivers. The storm could grow to a category 1 typhoon, the mildest on a 1-5 scale, and reach the coast of southeast China. Typhoons regularly hit China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan in the second half of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean or South China Sea.


FDA reports show multiple biosecurity gaps at two egg farms - Federal officials released their initial inspection reports of the two Iowa companies linked to the nation's biggest egg recall, which reveal multiple biosecurity breaches, such as rodent infestation, wild birds in poultry barns, and instances in which chicken manure could have contaminated egg-laying areas. Both companies failed to follow and implement their written Salmonella Enteritidis prevention programs. The national outbreak has sickened nearly 1,500 people so far and led to the recall of about 550 million eggs.
Live mice were found inside laying houses at four sites, and numerous live and dead flies were observed in egg-laying houses at three locations. Evidence of wild birds, including pigeons, was found at two locations.
Chicken manure accumulated 4 to 8 feet high underneath the cages at two locations. The weight of the manure at the two locations pushed out access doors, allowing open access for wildlife and other farm animals. At one location, uncaged birds were using tall manure piles to access egg-laying areas. The federal inspectors also saw employees not changing or not wearing protective clothing when moving from laying house to laying house.
The inspection at three Hillandale Farms locations revealed unsealed rodent holes with evidence of live rodents at one of the facilities, with gaps in walls and doors at other sites. Standing water was observed near a manure pit at one of the locations, and liquid manure leaks were noted at two sites. As at Wright County Egg, uncaged chickens were observed tracking manure into the caged hen areas.
The FDA has received one more positive lab result that matches the outbreak strain from spent egg wash water from a facility at Hillandale Farms. Federal officials didn't comment on what further action they may take, which could include seizure, injunction, or even criminal prosecution, based on the inspection findings. Though the FDA has no reason to believe the practices that investigators turned up are common at all egg-producing facilities, inspectors will be inspecting about 600 large egg producers, those that have 50,000 or more laying hens, over the next several months starting in September with what it believes may be the highest-risk facilities.
The food safety watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest called the FDA's 483 inspection report "stomach churning." "Equally troubling is that the inspections occurred the month following the date that the new egg-safety regulation went into effect. Both companies involved had been on notice that they needed to meet requirements of the new egg-safety rule for over a year." The "decrepit" conditions in the hen houses suggests that the companies assumed that FDA inspections are so rare, despite the new egg safety rules, that they saw no urgency to fix their buildings to ensure compliance with the new requirements.
In other developments, Sparboe Farms, based in Lichfield, Minnesota, recalled eggs that it received from both Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The eggs were distributed to grocery stores and foodservice companies in Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota under the following five brand names: Albertson, Sparboe Farms, Liborio Market, Shamrock Foods, and Glenview Farms.

Monday, August 30, 2010

**Never make your home in a place.
Make a home for yourself inside your own head.
You’ll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things.
That way it will go with you wherever you journey.**
Tad Williams

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/29/10 -


INDONESIA - Mount Sinabung volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has erupted again, sending ash and smoke several kilometres into the atmosphere. The volcano erupted again early on Monday, spewing black ash and soot two kilometres (1.24 miles) into the air. The eruption was bigger than Sunday's and has affected some local flights. Domestic flights that were due to fly over the volcano have been suspended until further notice. Meanwhile, relief workers are now providing shelter and medical aid to the villagers who have been affected by the volcano's eruptions. The majority of villagers within a 6km (3.7 miles) radius of Mount Sinabung have been evacuated. More than 18,000 people are now living in camps and government shelters. Workers say that the immediate danger the villagers face is respiratory problems. Thousands of face masks have been handed out to protect them from the thick ash and smoke that has permeated the atmosphere.

Hurricane DANIELLE was 571 nmi ESE of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Hurricane EARL was 197 nmi N of Fort de France, Martinique.
Tropical storm KOMPASU was 520 nmi S of Kagoshima, Japan.
Tropical storm LIONROCK was 169 nmi SE of Hong Kong.

Hurricane Earl, churning toward the Caribbean, has intensified and reached Category Two strength. "Further strengthening is forecast ... and Earl is expected to become a major hurricane by late Monday." The centre of Earl was currently located 80km east northeast of Barbuda, moving west northwest at 24km/ph.
Forecast to gain "major" Category 3 status, outer rainbands association with a strengthening Hurricane Earl were affecting the islands of Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday.

Even five years after Hurricane Katrina, the names of hundreds of the dead remain a mystery and the death toll is mired in dispute. Of an estimated 1,464 victims officially recognized by the state of Louisiana, more than 500 names have not been publicly released. And Louisiana's once-ambitious efforts to tackle dozens of related cases of missing persons and unidentified bodies ran out of money in 2006 and has never been revived. DNA, X-rays and other technology mean that identification remains possible years from now if additional remains get found or family members of the missing submit evidence that gets linked to the nameless. Yet no state or federal agency today keeps track of those who remain missing from Katrina - or have since been confirmed dead. There is no central place for scattered surviving families to call. In New Orleans, 31 unidentified victims' bodies were buried in a $1.5 million monument in 2008. None has been identified since then.
Hundreds of victims of the nation's most deadly modern natural disaster remain anonymous for unknown reasons. Many were elderly and poor. Around 64 percent of the storm victims were older than 65. Most came from New Orleans Parish. The dead were racially diverse: 56 percent black; 40 percent white; 4 percent Asian; 4 percent Native American and 2 percent Hispanic. "We present that a lesson learned is about those left behind due to lack of physical or financial means."
A Columbia University professor estimates the true death toll will top 3,500 if those killed by the storm and by its many after-effects are accurately tallied. And yet other counts put the toll at an estimated 1,800. "This is a mass fatality event - one that is more common in the Third World. To find another one as large in the U.S. in terms of the people who died - you have to go back to 1900 to the Galveston flood when there was no (National Weather Service), there was no Internet ... and there were no automobiles. Why on earth did so many people die in 2005? The injustice of it is just amazing."


PAKISTAN town submerged amid fight to rebuild levees. Sujawal, a town of some 250,000 people, has been totally submerged while people battle to save the nearby city of Thatta which is being used as a key staging post for flood relief workers. Authorities are still trying to rebuild levees around Thatta against the raging Indus river. But water is still advancing on the all-but-abandoned city. "We fled so hastily that we could not even pick up our belongings. We are sitting in this graveyard under the blazing sun, looking for shade here and there. We have nothing to eat. The floodwater swept away our cows and buffalo."
Pakistan will face devastating problems in the future, unless flood reconstruction efforts begin immediately. A month after the floods began, the effort is still focused on the first stage of relief, rescuing and evacuating people. But farmers have only a small window in which to plant the next harvest's crops, and that is fast closing, raising fears of future hunger. "Pakistan doesn't have the luxury of waiting for the emergency phase to be over before starting the reconstruction." The massive floods have left some 8 million people in need of emergency relief. Four weeks since the flooding began, the scale of this humanitarian crisis is still growing. And on the ground, the amount of aid available is a long way from meeting the need. Across the country, some 17 million people have been affected. "Every day we hear that new areas are affected. '



Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. has recalled about 8,500 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli. The move came after three people, two in Maine and one in New York, were identified as becoming ill from a strain of E. coli. None of the three required hospitalization. The USDA says it believes certain BJ's Wholesale Club stores in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Virginia received the products. The recalled ground beef was shipped June 11 to distribution centers, where it was repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names. The USDA did not identify the brands. The government "strongly encourages consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any product subject to this recall." The government lists the recall as Class 1, meaning "there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death." Consumers with questions regarding the recall should contact the Cargill consumer line at (877) 788-4953.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

INDONESIA was on red alert yesterday after the Sinabung volcano on the island of Sumatra erupted, spewing smoke and ash 1500 metres into the air and forcing the evacuation of at least 12,000 people. "Initially we thought the ash and smoke were triggered by rain but now we know the driving pressure was from magma. It's clearly dangerous so we've raised the warning to the highest level, or red level." Sinabung, in northern Sumatra, has not erupted for more than 400 years but had shown "some volcanic activity" since Friday.

**To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/28/10 -

8/27/10 -

IRAN - Three people, including two children, have been killed and 40 others injured in an earthquake which struck Iran's biggest desert, Dasht-e Kavir. The 5.9-magnitude quake struck south of the northern city of Damghan. Six villages near Damghan were damaged in the quake which was about 278km east of Tehran. The tremor was also felt in the capital Tehran.


PHILIPPINES - Taal shows increased activity but remains at lowest alert level.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has recorded increased activity in Taal Volcano in Tagaytay, Batangas in the last 24 hours, but said an eruption is not expected soon. In a bulletin issued Friday, the Phivolcs said there were 20 volcanic earthquakes in the past day. From August 16-22, there were only 24 volcanic earthquakes monitored in the area. Despite the intensified seismic activity, Taal Volcano remains at alert level 1, the lowest alert level. “This means that hazardous eruption is not imminent." Water temperature at the main crater lake was still at 34 C, the same as last week. Phivolcs said it has yet to update its report on ground deformation. The agency also noted that there has been no steaming activity in the area. Taal Volcano, a popular tourist destination in Batangas, is the nearest active volcano to Manila. Phivolcs placed the volcano on alert level 1 early this August, two months after the agency put the volcano on level 2 after a series of intense activities in the volcano area were recorded. The government had to put several towns surrounding the volcano on alert in case of eruption. It has declared the entire volcano island a permanent danger zone.

RUSSIA - The Klyuchevsky volcano in the Russian Far East has sent a plume of smoke and ash billowing 1 km up into the sky and hot lava streaming down its southwestern slope. More than 100 small quakes have been registered on and around Eurasia's biggest active volcano. The volcano usually erupts once every five or six years. Two other nearby volcanoes - Shiveluch and Karymsky - are also active. (photo)

INDONESIA - The mud eruptions in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara that started last June in Sulamu Subdistrict have now contaminated one of the main source of clean water in the region, the Noekiboko River. Cold mud from the eruption has swamped into the river, the only source of drink water and irrigation water for Sulamu residents.
Eruptions from eight points in Sulamu Scering are said have formed at least two mudlakes about 4 - 6 meters deep, which residents feared would expand and swamp their homes. Some cattle have been drowned in the mudlakes.
There were previously seven eruption points located in an elevated area within Pantai Beringin Village, which recently became eight as the newest point of eruption emerged on a transregional road connecting the area with Oecusse District which now disrupting traffic at the particular section.

-Hurricane DANIELLE was 267 nmi E of Hamilton, Bermuda. [not expected to hit the U.S. But likely to become a large and powerful extratropical hurricane over the North Atlantic.]
-Tropical storm EARL was 322 nmi NE of Bridgetown, Barbados. [Earl should become a major hurricane by 72 hours, if not earlier. Models differ on whether Earl will maintain its strength or shear apart as it approaches the U.S.]
-[A low pressure area has an 80% chance today of becoming a third cyclone in the Atlantic.]

Tropical depression FRANK was 182 nmi SW of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

-Tropical storm LIONROCK was 213 nmi SE of Hong Kong.
-Tropical storm 08W was 574 nmi SE of Kadena AB, Okinawa.

Tropical Storm Earl barreled towards the eastern fringe of the Caribbean Saturday, threatening to gain hurricane status, as Hurricane Danielle weakened far from land in the Atlantic. Earl could become a hurricane as early as this afternoon.
The eye of the storm was located about 660 miles (1,060 km) east of the Northern Leeward Islands - which it was expected to approach today - heading west at 23 miles (37 km) per hour. A tropical storm watch was already in effect for several eastern Caribbean islands including Saint Martin, Antigua, Barbuda and Montserrat. Earl was forecast to make a turn to the west-northwest and decrease somewhat in forward speed over the next couple of days.
Meanwhile, east of Bermuda, Hurricane Danielle weakened to a Category Two storm and headed north-northeast, far from land. It was expected to pass well east of Bermuda later Saturday. The weather system was still producing sustained winds of 110 miles (175 kilometers) per hour and gradual weakening is expected to commence today.
Danielle was a Category Four storm on Friday, but its passage has tracked far away from land. Still, the NHC warned that tropical storm-force winds could hit Bermuda later Saturday, with ripple effects on the US east coast. "Large waves and dangerous surf conditions will affect Bermuda over the next few days. "Swells from Danielle will begin to arrive on the east coast of the United States later today. These swells are likely to cause dangerous rip currents through the weekend."
Forecasters were also closely watching a low pressure system "associated with a vigorous tropical wave" that was located about 350 miles (560 km) west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde islands and could likely form a tropical depression later Saturday or today. Forecasters said there was an 80 percent chance the system would form a tropical cyclone by Monday afternoon.

Extreme autumn weather to hit Norway - A leading climate researcher has warned that the hurricane system in the Atlantic Ocean could cause extreme weather conditions in Norway this autumn. “We expect heavy rain will fall in a short time when the tail end hits our coast, giving up to 100 millimetres in a day." The system is currently on its way eastwards but is expected to change towards the north-east sometime soon. Norway has seen a 20 percent increase in the amount of rain in the last 100 years.

JAPAN - Okinawa entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness-3 at 10 a.m. Sunday, as Tropical Storm 08W formed overnight Saturday and began rumbling toward the island. Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight forecasts call for the worst to hit on Tuesday, with destructive 58-mph winds or greater starting around 3 a.m. with sustained 58-mph winds and 80-mph gusts occuring between 6 and 9 a.m. 08W is forecast to track 16 miles south of Kadena at 2 a.m Tuesday, which means the island will likely get the east and southeast quadrants of the storm - generally the worst ones because they contain the more nasty stuff. Sustained 58-mph winds and 80-mph gusts forecast for between 1 and 6 a.m. Tuesday, with between 3 to 5 inches of rain. Okinawa has not entered TCCOR 1-E since July 13, 2007, when Typhoon Man-yi belted the island with 100 mph-plus winds and heavy rain.


Fears for Pakistani town after new flood levee breaches - Officials in southern Pakistan are battling to save the town of Thatta, where the raging Indus river has breached more of its levees. Tens of thousands of people have fled the town in the past few days and some outlying districts were reported to already be under water. The town in Sindh province is now all but abandoned, reports say. The massive floods in Pakistan have lasted for more than a month, leaving 8m people in need of emergency relief.
A local official in Thatta said it could take up to three days to repair the breaches. But even if they can be repaired, the thousands who have fled their homes are now without shelter. As the waters start to recede in the north of the country, the full extent of the damage has begun to emerge.
The Indus river in the south has swollen to 40 times its usual capacity. More than seven million people have now been displaced in southern Sindh province - one million in the past few days alone. Out of the 23 districts in the province, 19 have so far been badly affected by the floods. Across the country, some 17 million people have been affected.
Flood victims in Sindh have complained that not enough help is arriving. Survivors have blocked roads demanding more aid from the government. The relief commissioner of Sindh has appealed for more help to deal with the crisis, saying some 2.3 million people had still received no food or emergency shelter. "The magnitude of this catastrophe is so huge that the government cannot cope with it alone. We are trying to grapple it, but we need international support."
Health officials say there is also a growing risk of disease and malnutrition among the millions of displaced people, most of whom have little or no access to clean water, sanitation and food supplies. "If nothing is done, an estimated 72,000 children, currently affected by severe acute malnutrition in the flood-affected areas, are at high risk of death."
The monsoon floods started in the mountainous north and have steadily surged south, destroying 1.2m homes and damaging 3.2m hectares (7.9m acres) of farmland - about 14% of Pakistan's land under cultivation. The Pakistani government has so far confirmed that 1,600 people have been killed. (photos / map / video)

Twelve dead in northern Turkey landslides after torrential rain. At least one other person is reported to be missing after rains which began on Thursday triggered landslides in the town of Gundogdu in the Black Sea province of Rize. Emergency crews have evacuated dozens of people who were trapped in their homes. Buildings, homes and vehicles were buried and communications were cut across the affected area. Several roads were shut down. Many residents had been eating when the landslides hit, after fasting all day as part of Ramadan. (photo)


Last week NASA was warning that the massive flare that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month was just a precursor to a massive solar storm building that had the potential to wipe out the entire planet's power grid. NASA has since rebutted those reports, saying it could come "100 years away or just 100 days", but an Australian astronomer says the space community is betting on the sooner scenario rather than the latter. Despite its rebuttal, NASA's been watching out for this storm since 2006 and reports from the US claim the storms could hit on that most Hollywood of disaster dates - 2012.
Similar storms back in 1859 and 1921 caused worldwide chaos, wiping out telegraph wires on a massive scale. The 2012 storm has the potential to be even more disruptive. "The general consensus among general astronomers (and certainly solar astronomers) is that this coming Solar maximum (2012 but possibly later into 2013) will be the most violent in 100 years. A bold statement and one taken seriously by those it will affect most, namely airline companies, communications companies and anyone working with modern GPS systems. They can even trip circuit breakers and knock out orbiting satellites, as has already been done this year." Regardless, it doesn't matter if the next Solar Max isn't the worst in history, or even as bad as the 1859 storms. It's a fact that there hasn't been one since the mid-80s. No one really knows what effect the 2012-2013 Solar Max will have on today's digital-reliant society.
The super storm would hit like "a bolt of lightning”, causing catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken. US government officials earlier this year took part in a "tabletop exercise" in Boulder, Colorado, to map out what might happen if the Earth was hit with a storm as intense as the 1859 and 1921 storms. The 1859 storm was of a similar size to that predicted by NASA to hit within the next three years – one of decreased activity, but more powerful eruptions. NASA said that a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause “$1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to 10 years for complete recovery”. Satellites will be aged by 50 years, rendering GPS even more useless than ever, and the blast will have the equivalent energy of 100 million hydrogen bombs.
All the alarming news building around the event is being fuelled by two things. The first is a book by disaster expert Lawrence E. Joseph, Guilty of Apocalypse: The Case Against 2012, in which he claims the "Hurricane Katrina for the Earth" may cause unprecedented planetwide upheaval. The second is a theory that claims sunspots travel through the sun on a "conveyor belt" similar to the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt which controls weather on Earth. The belt carries magnetic fields through the sun. When they hit the surface, they explode as sunspots. Weakened, they then travel back through the sun's core to recharge. It all happens on a rough 40-50-year cycle, according to solar physicist David Hathaway of the National Space Science and Technology Center in the US. He says when the belt speeds up, lots of magnetic fields are collected, which points to more intense future activity. "The belt was turning fast in 1986-1996. Old magnetic fields swept up then should reappear as big sunspots in 2010-2011." Most experts agree. “We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be. Systems will just not work. The flares change the magnetic field on the Earth and it’s rapid, just like a lightning bolt."

Double meteorite strike 'caused dinosaur extinction' - The dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago by at least two meteorite impacts, rather than a single strike, a new study suggests. Previously, scientists had identified a huge impact crater in the Gulf of Mexico [Chicxulub] as the event that spelled doom for the dinosaurs. Now evidence for a second impact in Ukraine has been uncovered. This raises the possibility that the Earth may have been bombarded by a whole shower of meteorites.
The Boltysh Crater in Ukraine was first reported in 2002. However, until now it was uncertain exactly how the timing of this event related to the Chicxulub impact. In the current study, scientists examined the "pollen and spores" of fossil plants in the layers of mud that infilled the crater. They found that immediately after the impact, ferns quickly colonised the devastated landscape. Ferns have an amazing ability to bounce back after catastrophe. However, there was an unexpected discovery in store for the scientists. They located a second "fern spike" in a layer one metre above the first, suggesting another later impact event. "We interpret this second layer as the aftermath of the Chicxulub impact." This shows that the Boltysh and Chicxulub impacts did not happen at exactly the same time. They struck several thousand years apart, the length of time between the two "fern spikes".
"It is quite possible that in the future we will find evidence for more impact events." Rather than being wiped out by a single hit, the researchers think that dinosaurs may have fallen victim to a meteorite shower raining down over thousands of years. What might have caused this bombardment is highly uncertain. "One possibility might be the collison of Near Earth Objects." Recently, Nasa launched a program dubbed "Spaceguard". It aims to monitor such Near Earth Objects as an early warning system of possible future collisons.


Europe probes swine flu jab, sleep disorder link - The European Medicines Agency is investigating a possible link between the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine and the sleeping disorder narcolepsy amid concerns in Finland and Sweden. "The European Medicines Agency has launched a review of Pandemrix on the request of the European Commission to investigate whether there is a link between cases of narcolepsy and vaccination with Pandemrix. A limited number of cases was reported, all collected through spontaneous reporting systems, mainly in Sweden and Finland."
Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare on Tuesday recommended halting the use of Pandemrix until a probe into a possible link to narcolepsy among children is concluded. Last week, neighbouring Sweden's Medical Products Agency also opened an inquiry into the Pandemrix vaccine following reports of young people having developed symptoms consistent with narcolepsy after getting their shot. Narcolepsy is a condition in which sufferers suddenly fall into a deep sleep. "Its precise cause is unknown, but it is generally considered to be triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, including infections." Pandemrix - produced by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline - has been used since September 2009 to vaccinate at least 30.8 million Europeans against H1N1 influenza.

West Nile infections raise preparedness concerns in Europe - A West Nile virus study of Italian organ donors revealed that 1.2% of 1,248 samples were positive and that some of the donors who had been exposed to the virus were from regions where infection wasn't thought to be a risk. The findings were unexpected and gaps in mosquito and disease surveillance systems could have masked a broader reach of West Nile virus. The data raise concerns about the risk of WNV transmission to organ recipients, and the finding of antibodies in those from low-risk areas illuminates concern about a wider scope of the disease.
The first human cases of WNV infection surfaced in Italy in September 2008, and by the following summer infections were thought to be limited to just four provinces, Bologna, Ferrara, Modeno, and Reggio-Emilia. Based on those findings, health officials issued WNV screening guidance that focused on donors from those areas. A case of WNV transmission to a liver donation recipient shortly before the guidelines went into effect prompted health officials to seek a nationwide survey of WNV prevalence. Their review found antibody responses in donors from Piedmont, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Marche, and Basilicata regions, which surprised the researchers and suggested that WNV infections are occurring in several areas of Italy. Italy needs a more accurate nationwide approach to transplantation risk assessment, as well as better illness and mosquito surveillance, the group concluded.
In another report, researchers reported the first human WNV infections in Greece. The cases were identified this summer between early July and the middle of August. Researchers identified 99 cases, 81 of them with neuroinvasive WNV in the Central Macedonia region of northern Greece. They occurred mainly in patients age 50 and older; the median age was 70. The authors suggested that increased rainfall, high temperatures, and high humidity this summer in some parts of the Central Macedonia region might have contributed to a greater number of Culex mosquitoes. The emergence of WNV cases in Greece serves as a reminder that the virus is a reemerging pathogen in Europe. The events show the need for stronger surveillance systems and response plans. Public health officials need a better picture of WNV risk area in Europe and neighboring areas so they can launch control measures, especially guidelines for blood donation and organ transplants.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Today in History - 8/27/1883 - The island volcano Krakatoa erupted in a massive explosion following cataclysmic eruptions the day before.

**Following the crowd will not get you anything but a view of their backside.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/26/10 -

CHINA - A unique landform susceptible to erosion was the main reason behind the deadly landslide in Zhouqu in Northwest China's Gansu Province early this month. Authorities made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday after sending a group of experts to examine the cause of the disaster that took the lives of 1,447 people. Authorities said there was a high occurrence of natural disasters in Zhouqu due to its special geological structure.
Zhouqu is located at the junction of two major valleys where rock erosion is very serious, and geological structures are inherently unstable. In addition, authorities said that Zhouqu was one of the most seriously affected regions of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, leaving mountain rocks in the area looser and more fragile. Normally, it would take three to five years before they regain their stability. Poor vegetation and persistent drought also led to disintegration and cracks in rocks. The torrential rain that followed added excessive weight to soil and debris in Zhouqu county, which led to the disaster.
"The heavy rain on August 7 that caused a catchment area of 40 square kilometers in the Sanyanyu valley and Luojiayu valley had a tremendous impact on the rocks and mountains, directly triggering the landslide." However, local villagers claim the construction of nearby hydroelectric power plants was the real cause of the devasting landslide. Residents said that the reservoir dam had been shoddily built, using inferior materials that were easily destroyed by the landslide. "We didn't see any reinforcement bars in the dam ruins, so how could it prevent a flood?"

Tropical storm EARL was 1314 nmi E of Bridgetown, Barbados.
Hurricane FRANK was 302 nmi SW of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. [WEAKENING]


China's heavy rains blamed on UNUSUAL CLIMATE PATTERNS - Helicopters were crucial in evacuating more than 250,000 people in China's northeastern Liaoning province days ago. Torrential rains battered the area and led to severe flooding along the border with North Korea. Weather experts and Chinese officials attribute the heavier than usual rainfall to unusual climate patterns and global warming.
This was the latest of what has become a summer of natural disasters for China. Official media call it the country's worst flooding in a decade, leaving more than 1,500 dead and hundreds of thousands of others displaced and experts say unusual weather patterns are to blame. Earlier in August, heavy rains in northwestern Gansu province triggered landslides that killed more than 1,400 people and left more than 300 others missing. Rain caused smaller mudslides in southwestern China, including in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. Some of the affected areas in Sichuan were previously damaged by a massive earthquake in 2008.
Devastating floods also hurt farm production. Floods wiped out many rice paddies in central Hunan province, one of China's top rice-growing regions, and damaged crops in northeastern Jilin province, China's main grain-growing region.
The Dean of Hong Kong City University's School of Energy and Environment said this much rain is JUST NOT NORMAL. "But it is in a way expected because this is a year following an El Nino." El Nino describes a climate pattern in which warmer surface temperatures of the water in the Pacific Ocean cause UNUSUAL weather around the world. The El Nino pattern showed up in 2009. China's Ministry of Land and Resources blames "extreme weather" for this year's tenfold increase in geological disasters, such as landslides. August and September are the main flooding months and there is still a possibility of more heavy rains.

AUSTRALIA - Adelaide has enjoyed its WETTEST AUGUST IN ALMOST TWO DECADES. The city has already logged rainfall of 112 millimetres so far this month, THE HIGHEST TALLY IN 18 YEARS. In the Adelaide Hills falls of up to 230mm were recorded. "Adelaide and most of South Australia have received well above average rain in August due to the regular passage of cold fronts across the state." Adelaide had been cold during the month, with the city's top temperature averaging just 14.6C, two degrees below the long-term average.

Pakistan floods prompt new alerts - Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis are ordered to evacuate their homes as flood waters threaten several cities in the south of the country.


CALIFORNIA - A flash-flood warning was issued Thursday afternoon for portions of northern Los Angeles County. It was turning out to be a day of extreme weather around the region. Excessive-heat warnings have been issued for some parts of Southern California, and high surf has been pounding the coast. Forecasters say the heat wave should give way to cooler temperatures later this week.


Upper atmosphere shrinking say scientists - The upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere are unexpectedly shrinking and cooling due to lower ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The sun's energy output dropped to UNUSUALLY low levels from 2007 to 2009, a significantly long spell with virtually no sunspots or solar storms. During that period, the thermosphere, whose altitude ranges from about 90-500km, shrank and contracted from the sharp drop in ultraviolet radiation. The thermosphere cooled by 41 Celsius in 2008 compared to 1996, and shrank by 30 per cent, "MORE THAN AT ANY TIME IN THE 43-YEAR ERA OF SPACE EXPLORATION."
"Our work demonstrates that the solar cycle not only varies on the typical 11-year time scale, but also can vary from one solar minimum to another." A narrower, less dense thermosphere is good news for satellites orbiting Earth, including the International Space Station, since reduced friction means they can remain aloft longer. "This is good news for those satellites that are actually operating, but it is also bad because of the thousands of non-operating objects (debris) remaining in space that could potentially have collisions with our working satellites."
The research shows the sun could be going through a period of relatively low activity, as it did in the early 19th and 20th centuries. "If it is indeed similar to certain patterns in the past, THEN WE EXPECT TO HAVE LOW SOLAR CYCLES FOR THE NEXT 10 TO 30 YEARS."


Estimate lowered of typical seasonal flu toll - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday substantially lowered its often-quoted estimate of how many people die in a typical flu season to 24,000 from 36,000.

Contaminated chicken feed is likely to blame for the salmonella outbreak at two major US egg producers that has already sickened some 1,700 people. "We don't know if the feeding ingredients came to the facility contaminated or if the feed got contaminated at the facility." The chicken feed in question had only gone to two Iowa farms - Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms - and not been distributed elsewhere in the country. The two farms recalled more than half a billion eggs last week - the industry's biggest such recall in US history. Several dozen egg brands in 22 US states were affected by the move. "We are looking at all possibilities here of how contamination could have gone into the feed or on to the farm. This contamination can come in through numerous routes -- including rodents, shared equipment, workers - so we are looking into all those possibilities in our investigation."
Some 1,700 people have fallen ill in the United States from salmonella found in fresh eggs between May 1 and August 25. An estimated 400,000 people are infected with food-borne salmonella each year in the United States. It can be deadly to vulnerable populations such as the young, elderly, or those with compromised immune systems. Recent years have seen various massive food recalls in the United States - from salmonella-tainted peanut butter to pistachios to frozen spinach and milk - amid criticism that America's food regulation regime is under-staffed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This year, RECORD HEAT has occurred in 17 countries, including Pakistan, where on May 26, the mercury hit 53.5° C - suffocating four people to death. Since then, the heat has given way to the unthinkable: catastrophic floods, which have killed at least 1,600 Pakistanis and ruined the homes and livelihoods of more than 20 million others. There are concerns of a cholera outbreak, and the country is now facing a shortage of drinking water. The UN, which has appealed for $460 million in immediate international aid, has called this the greatest humanitarian crisis in history - more devastating than the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake combined. Worse still, there is no end in sight: forecasters warn more floods are coming, and urge “all the concerned authorities to take necessary precautionary measures to avoid/minimize loss of lives and infrastructure.”
On the spectrum of extreme weather, Pakistan and Russia are obviously the worst effected. But new data shows that the whole world is experiencing UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS OF RADICAL WEATHER. In June, the global land and ocean average surface temperature was the HOTTEST IT'S BEEN SINCE 1880, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States began keeping records. And July was the 305th consecutive month that the global temperature was above average, meaning the last time the mercury dipped unusually low was in February 1985. Even Canada’s distinction as a moderate country hasn’t safeguarded them from outrageous weather patterns: heat waves in Ontario and Quebec have caused power outages this summer and sent a record 158 people to one Ottawa ER in a single day. Hundreds of wildfires are engulfing portions of British Columbia. And after severe droughts in the spring, the Prairies have been flooded.
If this strange and severe weather was once hard to imagine, it’s now hard to ignore. “Extreme events are becoming more common." What is happening in Russia and Pakistan may not feel like a real threat to North America, but “it should feel real.” As the Earth continues to heat up, “who is to say that couldn’t happen in Canada or the United States? It will happen eventually.” “We will see more extremes, and they’ll last longer and be very strong.” In other words, in the future “anything is possible.”

**Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind.
If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you,
as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox.
Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.**
The Buddha

This morning -
Back in time

Yesterday -
8/25/10 -

BAJA - A magnitude 4.2 earthquake occurred at 2:43 p.m. in northern Baja California, at a point roughly 20 miles south-southeast of Mexicali. The quake, which began 3 miles deep, is an apparent aftershock of the 7.2 Easter Sunday shaker. It produced seismic energy that was lightly felt in San Diego, San Marcos, La Jolla, and Escondido.
Such aftershocks are a normal consequence of major quakes, and in some instances they occur, on-and-off, for years. The quake does not appear to be related to the 4.0 shaker that occurred beneath the seafloor, 38 miles south-southwest of Malibu, at 10:42 a.m. That quake happened on an unidentified fault located west of the Santa Cruz-Santa Catalina Island ridge system.

Southern California warned to prepare now for major earthquake - A major earthquake on the San Andreas fault northwest of Los Angeles is likely to happen "soon" warn scientists who have charted quakes there dating back 700 years. Large ruptures have occurred on the Carrizo Plain partion of the fault, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, as often as every 45 to 144 years. The accepted scientific wisdom has predicted major earthquakes along this part of the San Andreas fault every 250 to 450 years. The new study found big quakes occurred much more often - every 88 years, on average. The last major earthquake was the magnitude 7.8 Fort Tejon quake in 1857, more than 150 years ago. "If you're waiting for somebody to tell you when we're close to the next San Andreas earthquake, just look at the data." "While earthquakes may be more frequent, they may also be smaller. That's a bit of good news to offset the bad."

WEST VIRGINIA - Earthquakes may be tied to gas drilling activity. It was early in April when a 3.4 magnitude earthquake rattled the ground in southern Braxton County. Since then, about a half dozen earthquakes have hit the area this year. It's a pattern that's caught the attention of the state geologist. "The main area where earthquake risk is a little bit above the rest of the state is more in the southeastern part, which made us notice when earthquakes started occurring in Braxton County; that's generally a quiet area as far as seismic activity." The earthquakes at first puzzled local residents.
The Department of Environmental Protection has permitted Chesapeake Energy to use a nearby well to dispose of the drilling fluid. The agency is now in discussion with Chesapeake Energy to try to determine whether the injection well is causing the earthquakes. "We don't have any conclusive evidence to connect the two as of this point. The only thing we have to go on is there have been incidents similar to this in other states related to underground injection wells, one in Texas and one in Arkansas." Local wells have also not been tested to see if the earthquakes have caused the disposal well to crack or leak fluid.
The company has already injected about ten million gallons of drilling fluid into the well since spring of 2009. "They can put as much water in the ground in Frametown, West Virginia as it will hold, as long as the static pressure at the well head does not exceed 2100 pounds; that could be astronomical. Both of the geologists I have talked with at length say Frametown is vulnerable because that site sits directly on top of a fault." Although it's unusual, normally static faults and fractures deep below the earth's surface can move when liquid is injected underground. "It's more than just lubricating the fault face, but it has a similar effect of essentially making it possible for the earthquake to take place, for the fault to move slightly." If this is what's happening in Braxton County, then other areas should take notice. As our nation's huge energy appetite continues and natural gas helps to feed it, much more drilling in the Marcellus shale formation is expected. "Tapping that Marcellus shale for that benefit for our society is a great thing, but when you start putting millions of gallons of water under pressure in the ground, I don't think you have to be a geologist to think something's going to happen."


COLUMBIA raised Wednesday the alert status of its most active volcano to its highest level and ordered the evacuation of 8,000 people after it began spewing smoke and ash. Although the pre-dawn eruption at 4:00 am local time (0900 GMT) was not considered major, officials placed the Galeras volcano in the western department of Narino near the border with Ecuador on red alert. "The volcano is in a very unstable phase." It was "emitting ash, and lava has been detected in the crater."
Galeras is the country's most active volcano with a half dozen eruptions over the past two years and officials said it was difficult to know what to expect. "There's no way of knowing if it's going to be the same or worse than earlier ones." So far, some 332 people have moved to shelters in the area. Officials from Colombia's Institute of Geology and Mining say the once-dormant volcano reactivated in 2004. Most recently, the mountain rumbled back to life briefly last January.

ALASKA - A secluded island in the Aleutian chain is revealing secrets of how land and marine ecosystems react to and recover from a catastrophic volcanic eruption that appeared at first glance to destroy all life on the island. Little by little – a wingless beetle here, a tuft of grass there - Kasatochi, an island in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, rarely studied by scientists before its Aug. 7, 2008, volcanic eruption, is showing signs of recovery. After the eruption, other than sea lions loafing on a newly formed beach, the island appeared to be completely devoid of life. The entire island and neighboring seafloor were covered with thick layers of volcanic ash and deposits from the eruption. Thousands of seabirds returned to the island that first summer, although none nested successfully.

Category 2 Hurricane DANIELLE was 613 nmi NE of Fort de France, Martinique. [ It is a little surprising that the hurricane has been intensifying with this wind shear. But the shear is forecast to abate by late today and Danielle is expected to near major hurricane strength on Friday.]
Tropical storm EARL was 1484 nmi SSW of Lajes, Azores. [expected to become a hurricane]
Hurricane FRANK was 212 nmi WSW of Manzanillo, Mexico. [may approach Baja California]


AUSTRALIA - RECORD SNOWFALLS in Victoria's alps have set the scene for some magnificent spring skiing. In Victoria's largest ski resort, Falls Creek, 54cm of snow has fallen in the past 24 hours, taking accumulated snowfall to 226cm this month - the best since 1992. "The resort's natural snow depth is now a whopping 177cm...powderhounds are going to be relishing THE MOST AMAZING LAST WINTER SNOW CONDITIONS IN NEARLY TWO DECADES." Mt Hotham received 47cm of fresh snow overnight - the most since 2003. It has received a total of 202cm of snowfall to date this month - the best August since 1992. Another 30cm is due to fall on the weekend.


German grain harvest slumps with Russia’s due to weather - Germany, the European Union’s second-biggest wheat grower, will likely follow Russia in reporting a slump in grain harvests this year after crops were stricken by both drought and flooding. Grain harvests will fall to 43.9 million tons in 2010 from 49.7 million tons last yeart. Prices for some grains have increased, including wheat for making bread, which has risen to 181 euros ($230) a ton from 107 euros in March.
Like many European countries, Germany experienced RECORD TEMPERATURES of almost 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) accompanied by drought in June and July, followed by heavy rains in August. Russia declared a drought emergency in 32 crop-producing regions this month and slashed its grain crop forecast to 60 million to 65 million metric tons because of water scarcity. Russia’s ban on shipments helped drive wheat to a 23-month high on Aug. 6. This year’s harvest in Germany is also affected by “losses in quality” because grains ripened too early and then were drenched by rains. Most farmers won’t benefit from the higher prices because they signed contracts before the price increases.

Wheat for December delivery declined, reversing earlier gains, on speculation that rains forecast in Russia may help the sowing of winter crops after the worst drought in at least 50 years slashed output and prompted a ban on grain exports. Showers are expected in Russia, Kazakhstan and East Ukraine in the five days from Aug. 24, helping to replenish soil moisture for planting winter wheat in northern areas. Russian farmers began sowing some winter crops after rain fell in central regions last week, though planting conditions will mostly stay worse than usual in the next 10 days. The government was forced to lower its forecast for the national grain crop by 38 percent to as little as 60 million metric tons after the drought parched crops. Farmers have delayed sowing winter grains because of the drought and may have to boost the area planted with lower-yielding spring grains.

Study predicts massive impact of drought tolerant maize in Africa - As climate change intensifies drought conditions in Africa and sparks fears of a new cycle of crippling food shortages, a study found widespread adoption of recently developed drought-tolerant varieties of maize could boost harvests in 13 African countries by 10 to 34 percent and generate up to 1.5 billion in benefits for producers and consumers. ""We need to move deliberately, but with urgency, to get these new varieties from the breeders to the farmers, because their potential to avert crises is considerable. Our analysis shows that with high rates of adoption, more than four million producers and consumers would see their poverty level drop significantly by 2016." Farmers and consumers in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe would see the greatest benefits, the authors note, because maize dominates local diets and livelihoods, and farmers in these countries have a history of rapidly adopting improved maize varieties. A study published last year warned that by 2050, growing conditions in most African countries will be hotter than any year on record and that many varieties of maize now under cultivation will no longer be viable.


AUSTRALIA - Meteor explosion wows community. Many residents heard the loud rumble, and some were even lucky enough to see something in the sky, but simply everyone is talking about the supposed meteor that exploded over the Tombong area last Tuesday afternoon. A huge number of locals report having heard a loud unexplained “thundering” noise on Tuesday at around 2pm, while others tell of seeing a light falling through the sky at around the same time. No one got quite as close as a local Country Energy worker who was preparing to climb a power pole to make repairs. He suddenly noticed a light in the sky, which started travelling straight towards him in an east to west direction. He knew the bright object was travelling far too quickly to be an aircraft, and he watched in astonishment for over 20 seconds as it flew over the top of him, making a loud hissing or “swooshing” sound. He said the initially bright object dulled and broke up into four or five pieces, with a huge roar to be heard.
“Everything shook. I’ve never been in an earthquake, but it was that kind of a thing.”
Two reports had been registered on the Sydney Observatory ‘Lights in the Sky’ blog page that most likely related to the occurrence. The reports tell of sightings of a daytime meteor between 1.50pm and 2pm on the Tuesday. “A meteor bright enough to be seen during the day may well be sufficiently large to survive the journey through the atmosphere and become a meteorite on the ground. However, unless it was seen to land we are unlikely to ever find out.”



States affected by egg recall grow to 23.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

**Never confuse thoughtlessness with malice.**
Robert Charles Whitehead

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/24/10 -

CALIFORNIA - There are true believers in the concept of hot and dry earthquake weather. They got some fodder for their theory when a 4.0 struck the Santa Monica Bay Monday night. The quake centered three miles north-northeast of Santa Barbara Island struck at 10:42 p.m.


COLUMBIAN authorities announced the evacuation of almost 8,000 people who live on the slopes of the Galeras volcano in the southern department of Nariño on Tuesday after the Colombian Institute of Mining and Geology issued a code orange alert level for the volcano. "Orange means that an eruption is probable in days or weeks." Locals who could be affected by lava flows were called to "urgently" move to temporary lodging provided by the state in the municipalities of Pasto, La Florida, and Nariño. Ingeominas raised the alert to orange after a tremor measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale was registered close to Galeras' summit, as well as almost 400 tremors of varying intensity. Galeras last erupted in January. The eruption did not cause any deaths or injuries, but lava flows running down the sides of the volcano caused forest fires. In 2009, the volcano, considered the most active in Colombia, erupted three times
TURKEY - The volcano that formed Turkey’s largest lake is still active despite not having erupted in nearly 600 years, according to a group of international researchers working in the eastern province of Van. “We determined that a lot of volcanic activity has occurred in the last 100,000 years in Lake Van, which is 400,000 years old. “This place is not only risky for volcanism but also for earthquakes.”
Mount Nemrut, a peak in the Tatvan district of the eastern province of Bitlis that shares its name with a more famous mountain in southeastern Turkey, most recently erupted in 1440 and will likely erupt again. The lake is a key site because researchers believe its sedimentary record could reveal a long and continuous continental sequence that covers several glacial–interglacial cycles and thus help establish new findings on the dynamics of lake-level fluctuations and the history of volcanic, paleoseismic and earthquake activities. “We found a thick layer of volcanic deposits at the bottom of Lake Van. With this, we will make a risk analysis and will be able to know how often the eruptions occurred. When geophysicists, geologists and risk analyzers conduct research together, we will be able to predict what will happen in the forthcoming years.”

Hurricane DANIELLE was 643 nmi ENE of Bridgetown, Barbados.
[An additional area of low pressure following Danielle has a 90% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours.]
Tropical storm FRANK was 178 nmi WSW of Acapulco, Mexico.
Tropical storm MINDULLE was 124 nmi S of Hanoi, Vietnam.

Tropical Storm Mindulle came ashore in northern Vietnam, bringing heavy rain and strong winds that destroyed rice crops and blew roofs of schools and clinics. Flooding submerged thousands of hectares of rice fields worth “hundreds of millions of dong." Mindulle dumped as much as 273 millimeters (11 inches) of rain in some areas after coming ashore.
The storm left one person seriously injured near the city of Vinh and damaged schools, houses and clinics. A 1,000- ton cargo boat with 12 sailors onboard was in danger of sinking off Vietnam’s east coast. Mindulle came ashore near the city of Vinh, south of Hanoi, just before 7 p.m. local time. Winds from the storm were forecast to drop below tropical storm status as it crosses northern Vietnam toward Laos. Heavy rain may continue to cause flooding and landslides in mountainous areas.


URUGUAY's wool clip is forecasted to drop 20% in 2010/11 because of a fall in the number of sheep and extreme weather conditions. “Lambing is going to be one of the lowest in recent years because extreme weather conditions killed many sheep. In the last three weeks winter was particularly punishing with below zero temperatures, too much rain and too much mud." A lower wool production per sheep “has been recorded in the first shearing experience of this year” since wool is considerably lighter “less greasy and cleaner. Evidence that ewes faced a very tough winter”. Wool experts estimate the loss in weight could average almost a kilo per sheep.
“We estimate this coming season’s wool production at 34 million kilos, which is A RECORD LOW for Uruguay, but there are signs that sheep farming is again becoming attractive." Uruguay recently resumed sales of boneless lamb and mutton to Canada, which together with Brazil, Mexico and the Arab countries have been strong demanders of the Uruguayan product. Sales to Canada (and the other Nafta associates, United States and Mexico) were interrupted back in 2002 when a breakout of foot and mouth disease that started in Argentina rapidly expanded to neighbouring Uruguay and the south of Brazil. Uruguay’s flock has been falling for several years and has been reduced to basalt areas given the more profitable option of cattle breeding and agriculture such as soy, barley and wheat.

CHINA - Crazy climates will continue the rest of 2010 - The country will likely experience ABNORMALLY LOW temperatures and freezes this winter, warned a senior official with the China Meteorological Administration. The country might face the La Nina in the second half of the year, which could cause abundant rainfall in autumn, and little rainfall and low temperatures in winter. La Nina refers to a large pool of unusually cold water in the equatorial Pacific that develops every few years and influences global weather. It is the climatic opposite of El Nino, which is a warming of the Pacific.
Based on current monitoring, China this year faces a climate condition similar to 1998. That summer, China experienced its worst-ever flooding, which killed 4,150. China has been facing an UNUSUAL climate this year and has suffered constant natural disasters, especially after the flood season began. So far this year, 14 rounds of torrential rain have hit the southern region of China and areas along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. In July, North China also suffered five rounds of rainstorms successively.
On early Aug 8, devastating rain-triggered landslides hit Zhouqu county in Northwest China's Gansu province, killing at least 1,435 people and leaving 330 others missing. The most immediate cause of the current unusual climate is ABNORMAL ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION. Global warming also plays a role, which has caused more frequent extreme weather conditions.
Meanwhile, similar UNUSUAL CLIMATE EVENTS have also happened in some neighboring countries, such as severe flooding disasters triggered by torrential rains in Pakistan and forest fires in Russia due to rainfall shortages and droughts. China has made great improvements in the forecasting of natural disasters, such as droughts, typhoons and rainstorms, but predicting the exact amount of rainfall or the specific place that the disaster will happen is still quite difficult.


Finland suspends H1N1 vaccine over narcolepsy cases - Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare recommended suspending GlaxoSmithKline's Pandemrix pandemic 2009 H1N1 vaccine as a precaution until a link to narcolepsy cases has been ruled out. "Indications of a time link between vaccinations and narcolepsy cases have been seen, but an actual link has not been established. In light of international information, a connection would even seem unlikely." The vaccine can be given to people traveling to areas experiencing novel H1N1 flu or for other exceptions. There are reports of 15 cases of narcolepsy, six of which "are more clearly associated with the vaccination than are the remainder."


Walmart announced the recall of 380,000 pounds of deli meat products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall involves Marketside Grab and Go sandwiches, but not individual packages of deli meat. No illnesses have been connected to the ham, beef, salami, pepperoni, and bacon products, which were distributed nationwide solely to Walmart outlets. Although a spokesman said most of the meat is likely already consumed, it has been pulled from shelves nonetheless. A Walmart spokesperson could not say how widely the recalled products were distributed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

**Some things you miss and some things you lose by keeping your arm outstretched.**
Author Unknown

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/23/10 -


COLUMBIA - Authorities and inhabitants in the south of Colombia fear an eruption of the Galeras volcano after four tremors shook the area on Sunday and Monday. The tremors are related to the activity of the volcano and an eruption is likely within days or weeks. The quakes took place in the area surrounding the active volcano just outside the city of Pasto. The Galeras volcano erputed last in January, after which 8,000 people were forced to evacuate.

JAPAN - By mid-August, Sakurajima Volcano-one of Japan's most active-had erupted ash at least once every week during 2010. On August 19, an ash plume was sighted at 9,000 feet (2,700 meters). The gray plume moved west from the volcano's summit. Simultaneously, a pyroclastic flow descended the eastern slopes.
Although Sakurajima's activity since 1955 has been characterized by frequent small eruptions, the volcano still poses a danger to the densely-populated surroundings. Roughly 7,000 years ago Sakurajima erupted with a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 6, equivalent to the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. (satellite photo)

AFRICA - Battle to de-gas deadly lakes continues. Funding shortage is biggest hurdle for those striving to disarm three RARE but lethal geological hazards. After nearly a decade, a scheme to suck a deadly build-up of carbon dioxide out of Lake Nyos is nearing its final stages say project scientists. But two other African lakes may still harbour serious dangers - now or in the future.
Located in a volcanic crater in a remote area of Cameroon, Lake Nyos captured the world's attention in 1986, when an explosive release of CO2 from the lake's depths asphyxiated 1,700 people in the surrounding villages. Gas had been seeping into the lake over decades or possibly centuries from the magma deep below. The mass suffocation drew attention to a rare but lethal natural hazard and prompted scientists to consider ways of reducing the risk of it reoccurring.
In 2001, a team inserted a long pipe into the middle of Lake Nyos and started to siphon up the gassy water from the lake depths. The siphoned water releases its CO2 as it spews champagne-like from the top of the pipe, then falls harmlessly back onto the lake. In this way, the size of the gas-charged layer below and the risk it poses steadily decrease. Despite setbacks, the basic strategy is working. But one pipe makes for a slow extraction, leaving villagers at risk. The plan called for more pipes to be installed, but funds were not forthcoming. New pipes should make the region around Lake Nyos safe from a limnic eruption within 5 years.
Other lakes still pose a threat. "We haven't solved all the problems. We need to remind government officials that scientists are still worried." At nearby Lake Monoun, where a similar limnic eruption killed 37 people in 1984, three pipes have succeeded in degassing the deep waters. But new problems may lie ahead. Now that years of siphoning have effectively eliminated the separation of the lake's waters into layers, new gas entering from the lake bed could mix into a larger volume of water than before.
The problems are different at Lake Kivu, which borders Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lake Kivu's deep waters hold CO2 and methane. Several commercial projects are under way to extract the methane and turn it into energy. Both are small demonstration projects compared with what may come: several hundred-megawatt-scale plants are being planned.
A far greater threat lurks in the Gulf of Kabuno, which is connected to Lake Kivu by a narrow strait and holds a dangerous amount of gas just 12 metres below its surface. "It contains ten times more carbon dioxide than Nyos and is located in a very populated area."

VANUATU in the South Pacific - the Mount Yasur volcano cracks like thunder, spewing molten rock and billowing clouds of ash. Amid the roars from the abyss, the hiss of steam, and the thud of large pieces of magma hitting the ashen dust on the other side of the vent, more visitors arrive to view the eruptions in the pre-dawn dark.
The track to the crater's edge is strewn with rocks tossed skyward by the volcanic eruptions - ranging from the size of house bricks to one as large as a car door which almost blocks the ashen path.
In May, visiting the crater was banned and the huge plume of volcanic ash which fell over Tanna Island, clouding windscreens as people drove, disrupted international flights. One of the most accessible volcanos on Earth, the 361-metre Mount Yasur is also nearly always active - its super-hot crater a warm glow seen from around the island.
Officials say no one has ever fallen into the molten pit but acknowledge that at least two people have been killed by flying lava after venturing towards the more dangerous sites on the ashen mountain. The volcano has also been known to cause a tsunami and locals live with the constant nuisance of falling ash destroying the crops they need for their survival on the island, where most still live in traditional villages. Many of the poor roads which link the island communities are cut into the volcanic ash, meaning heavy downpours can make travel impossible, while the ash mud also has the potential for landslides which could bury villages. But the volcano, reached via a barren moonscape covered in ash and dotted with rocks of lava, also ensures that Tanna has some of the most fertile soil in the country and the island produces coffee, coconut and copra.

Hurricane DANIELLE was 965 nmi E of Bridgetown, Barbados.
Tropical storm FRANK was 98 nmi S of Acapulco, Mexico .
Tropical storm MINDULLE was 130 nmi NNW of Da Nang, Vietnam.

Tropical storm Frank weakened off the Mexican Pacific Coast on Monday but was expected to regain strength by midweek. Frank was expected to move along the Pacific coast of Mexico this week before heading out to sea by the weekend. The coast is lined with resorts popular with foreign tourists.Frank was moving west-northwest at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Mexican Pacific Coast between Zijuatanejo and Lagunas de Chacahua. Mexico's oil industry, which has the bulk of its operations in the Gulf of Mexico, was unaffected by the storm.

Hurricane Danielle strengthened early today as it churned through the middle of the Atlantic, far from land. The storm is expected to become a major hurricane by late today, but is forecast to stay east of Bermuda. When it becomes a major hurricane, Danielle would be a Category 3 storm, with top sustained winds of at least 111 mph and it would be capable of causing devastating damage. Danielle, the second hurricane of the Atlantic season, is currently a Category 1 storm. Danielle was moving toward the west-northwest near 20 mph (32 km/hr), with maximum sustained winds near 85 mph. The storm is forecast to take a turn more to the northwest during the day.
Will Hurricane Danielle Bear Down on New York City? - New York City, which could be in the cross hairs off Danielle, is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes. It is far too early to predict Hurricane Danielle's path. As of Monday evening, it could stay safely out to sea, particularly if it meets with a cold front currently traveling eastward across the United States, or it could head directly to the eastern seaboard of the United States, landing somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic states. While New York City has only been brushed by hurricanes for many decades, eventually one will hit directly. The United States Landfalling Hurricane Probability Project says there is a 90% probability of a major (Category 3 or higher) hurricane hitting the New York City area within the next fifty years.
New York City is vulnerable to major damage from a hurricane on a number of fronts and based on several factors. One is the value of the property in and around the New York metropolitan area. According to a 2007 study, the area has over $3.8 trillion worth of property that would be vulnerable during a direct hit to the city. The other dynamic at play in New York is the infrequency of major hurricanes making a direct hit. The last major hurricane to hit New York City directly occurred in 1938; few today remember it and as a result have no experience to draw upon. This leads to a certain complacency and lack of awareness of the dangers and threat. Another important factor in considering the potential damage done to New York City is the area's reliance on bridges and tunnels. Damage to the infrastructure could make escape and rescue efforts incredibly difficult and dangerous. Manhattan, after all, is surrounded by rivers and New York Bay.

Tropical Storm Mindulle gained strength off the eastern coast of Vietnam as the government issued a warning for floods and landslides and ordered the evacuation of people living near river mouths. Mindulle was 173 kilometers (107 miles) southeast of Vinh, Vietnam, at about 7 a.m. Hanoi time. Maximum sustained winds were 111 kilometers per hour and the storm was moving northwest in the South China Sea at 22 kilometers per hour.
Mindulle is expected to make landfall south of Hanoi near Vinh at about 7 p.m. today. The storm is dumping heavy rain on Vietnam’s coast around Hue. “The storm’s development is very complicated and keeps getting stronger.”
Mindulle will bring heavy rain to coastal provinces from Thai Binh to Ha Tinh today, which may cause floods and landslides. Vessels working offshore were ordered to seek shelter. The storm may bring heavy rain to southern parts of China near the border with Vietnam. Thousands of people have died in floods and mudslides this year in China as downpours inundated the country. Winds generated by the storm are forecast to maintain strength as it approaches land. Mindulle, the Korean word for dandelion, will be upgraded to a typhoon if winds exceed 117 kilometers per hour.
Coffee prices SET AN ABSOLUTE RECORD - Coffee futures have reached a 12-year high. The futures of Arabica coffee have reached the uptick of 12 years in New York. Robusta coffee also hit it's highest level in two years in London due to the tropical storm closing on the coffee-producing countries. It is worth noting that the tropical storm, which formed in the South China Sea, is heading towards Vietnam, the second-largest coffee producer, while Frank, another tropical storm, is approaching the southern coast of Mexico, the fifth-largest coffee producing country.


NIGER has been hit by a double disaster as recent floods compound an existing food crisis. Nearly eight million people, or HALF THE POPULATION, are already facing hunger because of failed harvests. Now more than 100,000 people have been left homeless after heavy rains washed away their homes earlier this month. Floods have destroyed crops, and thousands of animals have drowned. Flooding is also hindering the delivery of aid in remote areas. Floods will increase the risk of diseases, especially among young children suffering from acute malnutrition. The World Food Programme recently acknowledged that it was forced to limit its food distribution to only 40% of those in need because of a funding shortfall. Floods have hit many areas of West and Central Africa. The situation is stretching resources to the limit.


The US food safety agency has predicted more egg recalls as it investigates the source of salmonella-tainted eggs that have sickened as many as 2,000 people. The agency did not yet know how salmonella had entered the egg supply. Since May, the US has seen a fourfold increase in salmonella infections. In the last 10 days roughly 500 million eggs traced to two Iowa companies have been recalled across the country.
"As we move forward with the recall, we may see some additional sub-recalls over the next couple of days, maybe even weeks as we better understand the sort of network of distribution of these eggs that are potentially contaminated. We are in the midst of probably the largest egg recall that has happened in recent history."
Eggs from farms in Iowa were sold under different brand names across the country, making it difficult for regulators to trace tainted eggs through the food distribution network.
On 13 August Iowa-based Wright County Egg recalled 380 million eggs distributed under more than a dozen brand names. And on Friday, a second Iowa egg farm, Hillandale Farms, voluntarily recalled 170 million eggs after they were linked to more than 300 salmonella cases across the country. Americans are urged to avoid eating undercooked eggs.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pakistan's temperatures soar; Europe braces for storms - As Pakistan flood recovery efforts continue, the temperatures and heat indices are soaring. On Sunday the heat indices were once again in the mid 50s Celsius (130 Fahrenheit) across much of southern and central Pakistan. Although most of the country has seen little rain over the past few days, the incredibly high temperatures and humidity have made for difficult living conditions for the millions of people that have been displaced from their homes. Temperatures above 40 C (104 F) and heat indices into the lower 50s C (120s F) will continue at least into the early part of this week.
In Europe, a strong low pressure will move across the United Kingdom and towards Scandinavia today. Severe weather warnings are in place for southern England, including London. Strong winds and up to 8 centimeters (3 inches) of rain will be possible, which could lead to flash flooding. Afternoon heating will likely destabilize the atmosphere and lead to more severe storms from France to Poland. Strong winds, large hail, excessive rainfall, and isolated tornadoes will be possible.
Around the globe, the tropics are beginning to heat up. On Sunday, Tropical Depression Six formed in the South China Sea and it is likely to become a tropical storm on Monday. Although it isn't expected to gain much strength before moving into northern Vietnam by the middle of the week, it will bring heavy rain and the threat of flooding.
In the East Pacific, Tropical Storm Frank was about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Puerto Angel, Mexico, on Sunday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 95 kph (60 mph), and Frank is expected to become a hurricane by Monday afternoon. Frank is moving parallel to the southern Mexico coast and is not expected to make a direct landfall. However, heavy rain and gusty winds from the outer bands have led to tropical storm watches and warnings being issued along the coast, including for Acapulco.
In the Atlantic, Danielle became the fourth tropical storm of the season on Sunday. Located about 1,165 kilometers (725 miles) west of the Cape Verde Islands, Danielle is not a threat to any land over the next five days. Danielle will likely become a hurricane by the middle of the week as it moves to the west-northwest and eventually northwest. Although it is early, computer models are currently forecasting Danielle to curve out into the north Atlantic without threatening the United States.

**When you're one step ahead of the crowd you're a genius.
When you're two steps ahead, you're a crackpot.**
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/22/10 -

Strong quake rattles Greece, but no damage - The U.S. Geological Survey said the 5.7 magnitude quake struck at 1023 GMT (6:23 am EDT) at a depth of 20.5 miles. The Athens Geodynamic Institute said a moderate magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck off the coast of the Greek island of Zakynthos.

Tropical storm 06W was 161 nmi E of Da Nang, Vietnam.
Tropical storm DANIELLE was 1383 nmi E of Bridgetown, Barbados.
Tropical storm FRANK was 160 nmi SW of Salina Cruz, Mexico.

Danielle forecast to be hurricane mid-week - Tropical Storm Danielle formed Sunday afternoon in the far eastern Atlantic, the fourth named storm of the 2010 season. Late Sunday, the storm's sustained winds were 50 mph. It was about 3,000 miles southeast of Miami. The hurricane center predicted that Danielle will become the Atlantic's second hurricane of the season by late Tuesday. Its potential effect on the USA is uncertain.
Regardless of what Danielle does, the Atlantic hurricane season, which includes the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, is entering the traditional peak period in what is predicted to be a very active year for tropical storms and hurricanes. "There are signs that the Atlantic is acting like it should in August and September. We're seeing more activity than we did earlier in the season."
Danielle could be the start of what AccuWeather.com calls "an upcoming frenzy of storms, days with two or three storms on the chart." Tropical waves are starting to move from Africa into the Atlantic with more regularity. "Tropical waves are the seedlings for the hurricanes that move across the Atlantic." In a typical year, about 60-70 tropical waves form off the West African coast, but only a small fraction become hurricanes. This is the prime time of year for storms to develop from those waves because of the warm ocean water and absence of strong wind shear that can shred even the strongest hurricane. Most major hurricanes that have struck the USA have come after mid-August. Before Sunday, there had been three named storms: Hurricane Alex and tropical storms Bonnie and Colin. Alex lashed the southern Texas and northeastern Mexican coasts in June.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Frank is developing off Mexico. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Mexico issued a tropical storm warning for the coast from Puerto Angel to Tecpan de Galeana.


China and North Korea have evacuated thousands of people from their homes after heavy rains burst the Yalu river, flooding areas near their border. North Korean state media reported that 5,000 people had been moved in the city of Sinuiju and nearby villages.
China is continuing mass evacuations, with 94,000 people in the Dandong area being taken to safety after the Yalu burst its banks on Saturday. Further rain is expected in the region, putting more pressure on rescue work.
North Korea's official KCNA news agency reported that water from Yalu - or Amnok, as it is known in Korean - had destroyed homes and buildings in five villages. Sinuiju, in the North Pyongan province, was said to have been "severely affected", with residents trying to find safety on roof-tops or on higher ground. Sinuiju lies on a vital trade route for North Korea and previous flooding has exacerbated problems in a country where millions have died in famines over the last two decades.
More than 1,500 people have died in China in recent months. The latest flooding comes after the deaths of more than 700 people in China in a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Zhouqu county, Gansu, last week.


Natural disasters and other extreme events have to a large degree dominated the news in 2010. They include devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, unrelenting heat in much of the United States and three major winter storms that dumped more than 20 inches of snow in New Jersey. Several of the world's regions are dealing with an UNPRECEDENTED STRING OF EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Strong monsoon rains have spawned the HIGHEST WATER LEVELS IN 110 YEARS in the Indus River in northern Pakistan. The nation's central and southern areas are also beset by flooding, and millions of people are affected overall. China also is enduring its WORST FLOODING IN DECADES. Russia is afflicted by a RECORD-BREAKING HEAT WAVE that has led to massive peat and forest fires, while sub-Saharan Africa is coping with severe droughts.
According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, around 48 massive floods, 85 tropical storms, typhoons, heavy rains and hurricanes and more than 30 wild fires have been reported so far this year. The affected areas and countries include Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Kazakhstan, North-South Dakota, Southern Queensland, Spain, the Madeira Islands, Peru, Tanzania, Brazil, Southern China, Azerbaijan, Kentucky, North-eastern United States, Pakistan, Mexico and China-North Korea border.
Given the unpredictability of the weather patterns, countries should be prepared to face extreme situations.
“Floods, droughts, thunder and lightning, landslides, sea erosion, storms and tornadoes have been there since ancient times. But THE SITUATION TODAY IS DIFFERENT. They are becoming more intense and more people are being affected. The extreme weather conditions are unpredictable."


FIREBALL ON JUPITER - On August 20th at 18:22 UT, an amateur astronomer in Japan video-recorded an apparent impact on Jupiter. This is the third time in only 13 months that amateur astronomers have detected signs of impact on Jupiter. The earlier events occured on July 19, 2009, and June 3, 2010. Jupiter is getting hit more often than conventional wisdom would suggest, leading many researchers to call for a global network of telescopes to monitor Jupiter 24/7 and measure the impact rate. "Like the event of June 3rd, this fireball did not produce any visible debris."