Thursday, September 23, 2010

U.S. warned of threat worse than Katrina, plague, WWII - Millions could die. Financially it could make the Katrina repairs look like a pocketful of change. And it's not a matter of if, but when. That's the alarming warning being issued by an expert of the dangers of electromagnetic pulse damage to modern society. The issue of EMP dangers to the Earth, either from a CME, a coronal mass ejection, which basically is an eruption of power from the sun, or from a nuclear-triggered EMP wave that truly is intended to destroy a society, have been the subject of multiple reports in recent months.
The U.S. House in Agust had authorized plans to defend America's power grid against such dangers, but the members of the Senate left citizens to fend for themselves, eliminating the contingency plans.
"The severity of the storm we're talking about here [could produce] widespread massive damage to the power grid,.That could cause maybe a 4-10 year sort of damage to the power grid … and an inability to restore that power grid. This is clearly not something you ever want to experience firsthand, it could lead to millions of casualties...Within a matter of just a few hours, you'd worry about the loss of potable water for major metro areas. You'd lose the ability to pump and treat sewage. Within a matter of a day or so you'd be concerned about the loss of perishable foods. With a few days, you would have exhausted the food supplies available. Then within matter of three days you have probably lost total ability to maintain any sort of telecommunication infrastructure. We could be looking at a scenario here that far exceeds the casualties of any war, any natural disaster that humanity has ever experienced. And it may not be limited to North America." Further, the social unrest from diminishing and unstable food and water supplies also could be catastrophic. "The fallout from that would be in a category … we have difficulty thinking about."
Solar events recorded in 1859, and again in 1921, are not only probable to repeat, but inevitable. "There is nothing that has changed in the physics of the sun … that will preclude a large storm from occurring again in the future. These are a certainty to occur in the future."
In addition, "several potential adversaries have the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear-weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse, and others appear to be pursuing efforts to obtain that capability. A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication...Such an attack could be launched from a freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range missile to loft a nuclear warhead to high altitude...Iran has practiced launching a mobile ballistic missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea. Iran has also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode consistent with EMP attack, and described the tests as successful. Iranian military writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States." [see SPACE WEATHER section below for yesterday's wild solar eruptions]

**Seek freedom and become captive of your desires.
Seek discipline and find your liberty.**
Frank Herbert

This morning -

Yesterday -
9/22/10 -

-Tropical depression GEORGETTE was 155 nmi NNW of La Paz, Mexico

-Tropical storm LISA was 1701 nmi ENE of Bridgetown, Barbados
-High chance (60%) of a low pressure area in the Caribbean becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

-Tropical storm MALAKAS was 435 nmi NNW of Agana, Guam

Tropical Storm Lisa continues to meander around the far eastern Atlantic, where it might spend the rest of its life without threatening any land. At 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Lisa was about 390 miles northwest of the Cape Verde Islands, creeping east at 5 mph with sustained winds of 40 mph. The long range forecast calls for the system drift northwest over the next five days. It is then expected to encounter strong wind shear and weaken into a tropical depression.
Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center gives a disturbance in the Caribbean near Venezuela a 60 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm over the next two days. The next named storm will be Matthew. However, a hurricane hunter flight to investigate the system was canceled on Wednesday because "it just wasn't organized enough to warrant the plane." The aircraft is on standby to fly into the disturbance on Thursday. Models indicate the system will aim toward Central America over the next two days and then possibly turn north toward the Gulf of Mexico.

CANADA - Workers have begun cleaning up after Hurricane Igor battered Newfoundland and Labrador province, causing flooding and power cuts. A tropical storm warning was lifted early on Wednesday after Igor was downgraded to a post-tropical storm. Residents in some areas of the province saw more than 200mm (8in) of rain in just a few hours. Winds from Igor hit Canada's east coast at 90mph (145km/h), ripping the roof off a hospital in the town of Holyrood. The heavy rains, flooding and high winds of hurricane Igor have knocked out roads and bridges in the province, precipitating states of emergency in several communities. Forecasters warn the Atlantic coast may see another big hurricane this autumn.


Asia struggles to cope as storms spread destruction - Severe storms and floods sweeping Asia this week have killed dozens of people and displaced hundreds of thousands across large swathes of the continent, with more storms forecast. RECORD MONSOON RAIN and the onslaught of tropical storm Fanapi wreaked devastation from South Korea to India, triggering landslides, washing away thousands of homes and tearing through roads and railways.
Thirty-three people have died and 42 are missing after Fanapi churned through southern China, while 65 people were killed in monsoon rain in India and 100,000 displaced after a lake burst in southern Pakistan. Fanapi made landfall on mainland China on Monday, one day after slamming Taiwan with heavy rain, killing two people and leaving more than 100 injured on the island. All of China's deaths occurred in the southern province of Guangdong, which saw its WORST RAIN IN A CENTURY. Over 78,000 people in Guangdong have been evacuated due to the storm, which destroyed some 1,400 homes. At its strongest point, when it hit Taiwan on Sunday, Fanapi was packing winds of up to 220 kilometres an hour and dumped up to 1,000 millimetres (39 inches) of rain in the south of the island. The storm caused damage estimated at around five billion Taiwan dollars (158 million US).
Two people went missing and thousands of homes flooded when a RECORD RAINSTORM hit parts of South Korea. The storm on Tuesday - the start of the three-day Chuseok harvest festival - dumped almost 300 millimetres of rain on parts of Seoul, an ALL-TIME HIGH FOR LATE SEPTEMBER SINCE RECORDS BEGAN IN 1907. Some 11,800 people were briefly made homeless by the deluge, which flooded roads and subway lines.
Two fishermen were missing in the northeastern province of Gangwon and were feared to have been swept away when a river swelled.
In northern India at least 65 people have died after heavy monsoon rains triggered landslides and flooding. The mountainous northern state of Uttarakhand was worst affected, with 65 people killed over three days. Elsewhere, in the impoverished northern state of Bihar, the river Gandhak burst its banks and displaced thousands of people, destroying paddy crops and houses. "Floods have left thousands of people, mostly the poorest of the poor, homeless in the last 48 hours." In New Delhi, the city experienced iITS WETTEST MONSOON IN MORE THAN THREE DECADES.
Some 100,000 more people have been displaced after a lake burst in southern Pakistan where massive floods have already affected millions of people. The Manchar lake in southern Sindh province overflowed on Friday, forcing people living in the area to seek refuge elsewhere. "More than a hundred thousand (have) been displaced. Not only houses, but boats were also found in pieces, crops are completely washed away." Some 21 million people have been affected by floods that have ravaged Pakistan, including 12 million who need emergency food aid.


BRITAIN - So far 2010 has been a year of extremes - the COLDEST WINTER IN 30 YEARS, the FIRST LATE SPRING SINCE 1976, a heatwave in late June and THE COLDEST AUGUST IN 17 YEARS. The upside is that now, in time for today's autumnal equinox, the nation's trees and hedgerows are bursting with fruit, berries and nuts. Not only is this good news for orchard owners, home gardeners and foragers alike, it means birds, insects and other animals can stock up before winter's chill descends. "This relates back to the wonderful late spring and - incredibly by modern standards - the long period of settled weather we had until mid-July, when the wheels fell off somewhat." Throughout August an area of low pressure sat over or near to the UK, making it a cloudy, cool and wet month. "But we had nothing nasty all the way through May, June and early July - no gales, no late frosts, nothing. In this 10 to 12-week period free from foul and abusive weather, the trees had time to flower profusely, be amply pollinated and then set well with fruit." While early blackberries suffered in August's rains, those ripening now are in plentiful supply.
Also abundant are apples, pears and the last of the plums - albeit perhaps a little weather damaged from the inclement turn last month - along with hazelnuts, rosehips and sloe berries. Some may worry that plentiful holly berries signal vicious weather come Christmas, but this is a myth. "It reflects the good spring we had, it's not prophesying anything."
Some plants suffered when summer took a turn for the worst, including sweet chestnuts. "And oak trees - acorn crops aren't as good as I'd thought." Meanwhile, experts at the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire say Britain could be in line for a prolonged display of autumn colours. Its log books show the weather patterns this year most closely resemble those of 1929, which had vivid leaves on the trees until November. While the professional forecasters at the Met Office are reluctant to predict what the coming winter will be like, signs are that September's weather will continue to be relatively pleasant. "We haven't had a wet September since 2000. At its worst, this one is going to be mixed."

Businesses should use climate risk data to plan for disruption to their supply chains caused by the results of global warming, UK government advisers have said. The Committee on Climate Change’s adaption sub-committee, a body that advises government on coping with global warming, found that although some progress had been made in raising awareness of climate change, “very little tangible action” had taken.
In a report the committee argues that extreme weather such as floods, heatwaves and droughts are likely to become more frequent as a result of future climate change.
By 2080, sea levels could rise by around 25cm near Edinburgh and Belfast and by around 40cm near London and Cardiff, if the world does not mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Organisations should develop “business continuity plans based on high-quality climate risk information so that businesses can cope better with disruptions to their supply chains during floods and damage to assets from severe weather." The UK needs to ensure there is resilience to cope with climate change by focusing on five key areas: land use planning, infrastructure, buildings, natural resources and emergency planning. “The UK must start acting now to prepare for climate change. If we wait, it will be too late. It is not necessarily about spending more but about spending smart and investing to save. If we get it right, we can save money in the short term and avoid large extra costs in the future.”


GLOBAL ERUPTION - Wednesday morning between 0230 UT and 0600 UT, the northern hemisphere of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. At least two dark magnetic filaments became unstable and lifted off the stellar surface, a B8-class solar flare flashed from sunspot 1109, and a bright coronal mass ejection billowed into space. The eruption is reminiscent of the global event of August 1st, which hurled a CME toward Earth and sparked Northern Lights in the United States as far south as Iowa. This time, however, the CME will miss Earth (unless it veers off course) so there should be no resulting geostorms. (photo)

SOUTHWESTERN U.S. FIREBALL - 9/21/10 - Tuesday night around 09:01 pm MDT, a dazzling fireball glided across the skies of New Mexico and west Texas. "We’ve been getting a lot of calls in the newsroom about an object – maybe a meteorite – falling from the sky." An all-sky camera outside Santa Fe caught the object in flight. "It took 23 seconds to cross the sky and was nearly as bright as the full Moon. The fireball made a sonic boom loud enough to be heard inside above fan noise and household din. At first I thought it was thunder." After passing over New Mexico, the fireball apparently continued on to Texas. And then a second fireball appeared: "About 7 or 8 min later we saw another fireball moving in the same direction directly over Amarillo. It was bright white and shedding white sparks." US Space Command reports no satellites or pieces of space junk decaying at the time of the sightings. This was probably a random meteoroid -- and maybe two -- disintegrating in Earth's atmosphere. ( video)


Certain Similac-brand powder infant formulas in Guam, Puerto Rico, the USA and some parts of the Caribbean are being recalled by Abbot Labs because there is a "remote" possibility of contamination with a small common beetle.

-Hallmark Fisheries, Charleston, Ore., is recalling several packaged crab meat products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.