Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A powerful coalition wants to engineer the world's climate - Businessmen, scientists and right-wing thinktanks are joining forces to promote 'geo-engineering' ideas to cool the planet's climate. A powerful coalition of forces is quietly constellating around the idea of transforming the Earth's atmosphere by simulating volcanic eruptions to counter the warming effects of carbon pollution. Despite the enormity of what is being proposed — nothing less than taking control of Earth's climate system — the public has been almost entirely excluded from the planning.
Techniques ranging from the intriguing to the wacky have been proposed to remove carbon from the atmosphere, including fertilising the oceans with iron filings to promote the growth of tiny marine plants that absorb carbon dioxide, installing in the ocean a vast number of floating funnels that draw nutrient-rich cold water from the deep to encourage algal blooms that suck carbon dioxide from the air, and construction of thousands of 'sodium trees' that extract carbon dioxide directly from the air and turn it into sodium bicarbonate.
But the option that is taken most seriously is altogether grander in conception and scale. The scheme proposes nothing less than the transformation of the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere so that humans can regulate the temperature of the planet as desired. Like volcanic eruptions, it involves injecting sulphur dioxide gas into the stratosphere to blanket the Earth with tiny particles that reflect solar radiation. If the nations of the world resort to climate engineering, and in doing so relieve pressure to cut carbon emissions, then the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would continue to rise and so would the latent warming that would need suppressing. It would then become impossible to call a halt to sulphur injections into the stratosphere, even for a year or two, without an immediate jump in temperature.
In March this year a private meeting of leading climate engineers, held in California, aimed to develop guidelines to govern research and testing. The invitees wanted a voluntary code of conduct that would forestall regulation by governments and the international community so that the experts could work unhindered at their task of understanding how to control of the Earth's climate system. Indeed, one wealthy individual could transform the atmosphere and, with enough determination, bring on an ice age.
(very long article)

**Tough and funny and a little bit kind:
that is as near to perfection as a human being can be.
Mignon McLaughlin

This morning -

Yesterday -
9/13/10 -


ALASKA - The Alaska Volcano Observatory twitter account mentioned that a ~7.5 km / 25,000 foot ash plume has been detected from Cleveland volcano in the Aleutian Islands. They have noted potential activity from Cleveland over the last few months, but there is little in the way of instrumentation for the remote volcano. Sadly the Cleveland webcam looks out of commission (not related to any eruption). Cleveland is quite an active volcano, even for the Aleutians high standards, with VEI 2-3 eruptions almost every year for the past decade (and possibly longer).

-Tropical storm JULIA was1841 nmi E of Bridgetown, Barbados.


CHAD - Some 70,000 people have been left homeless by flooding triggered by heavy rains in the central African nation of Chad. wenty-four people have been killed and 29 others injured. Forty-six others have died from cholera that broke out in the wake of the floods. Some 700 people are suffering from cholera. Overall, nearly 145,000 people in Chad have been affected by the flooding, and that number is rising. "Today is the worst, and it's getting more and more out of hand. This is the crisis point, at the moment." Flooding has affected more than half of Chad's regions. The same regions were hit by extreme drought last year. About 31,500 hectares (77,000 acres) of crops have been destroyed. About 6,000 people have been displaced. They have moved in with family or sought shelter in schools and open areas. Most roads are closed in the affected areas, meaning aid has to be airlifted. Chad's rainy season typically stretches from June through the end of September, but it began earlier than usual this year. Rains were very heavy from the beginning.


Intense Summer Heat Balances Winter's Big Chill - Weather normals are often an average of extreme weather events. Take the past 12 months in the Deep South in the U.S., for example. Although the region endured THE HOTTEST SUMMER ON RECORD, temperatures have been average or below average during the past 12 months. The entire eastern half of the country was much hotter than normal from June through August, with all-time record heat - the hottest summer in the past 116 years - extending from Tennessee and Alabama northeastward to New Jersey. Rhode Island also had its hottest summer on record. In total, 35 of the 48 states in the continental U.S. had one of the top 16 hottest summers on record. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this has been the fourth warmest summer nationally.
What might be surprising, given the intensity of the summer heat, is that temperatures during the past 12 months (September 2009 through August 2010) were close to average or even below average in the Southern states that had all-time record heat this summer. The yearly rankings in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia are all below normal, having the 31st, 35th and 33rd warmest years on record, respectively. The reason for the low 12-month rankings in the South is the intensity of the cold last winter, which was ONE OF THE TOP 10 COLDEST ON RECORD in many Southern states. Nationally, it was also much colder than average, being the 18th coldest winter on record.
In the Northeast and the upper Midwest, the summer has been much warmer than average following a winter that was not as cold (relative to average) as areas farther to the south. September 2009 through August 2010 was the second hottest on record in Maine, for instance. While the winter and summer extremes of the past 12 months have largely balanced each other across the United States, the global trend of warm weather continues. During the first seven months of 2010, JANUARY THROUGH JULY HAS BEEN THE HOTTEST ON RECORD GLOBALLY, according to the NOAA. (maps)


Bird Flu - Reversing a trend that began in 2007, the number of countries affected by H5N1 avian influenza and the number of reported H5N1 outbreaks in birds have increased this year. Sixteen countries (plus Hong Kong) had H5N1 outbreaks this year through August, compared with about 11 in all of 2009. In the first 6 months of this year, 390 H5N1 outbreaks were reported, versus 297 for all of 2009. However, those numbers do not include Indonesia, which reports the majority of H5N1 poultry outbreaks worldwide, because Indonesia, unlike other countries, counts outbreaks at the village level rather than the household level.
The report says a big increase in reported H5N1 outbreaks in Egypt this year "is most likely the result of improved surveillance through the effectiveness of the CAHO [Community Animal Health Outreach] programme." (Egypt has had 264 poultry outbreaks this year, compared with 71 for the same period last year.) The peak month for outbreaks this year was February, with close to 150, which was well above last year's 1-month peak of about 70 outbreaks, also in February.
H5N1 outbreaks have occurred this year in several countries where the disease was thought to have been eliminated: Cambodia, Israel, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Romania. The only country newly affected by the virus so far this year is Bhutan. As for H5N1 outbreaks in Indonesia, the FAO does not list specific numbers of outbreaks reported, but a chart shows that Indonesia has had the majority of reported outbreaks every month since April 2009. Sixty-three countries and territories have had outbreaks since 2003.

-Midland Farms, located in Menands, New York, is voluntarily recalling certain milk products due to the potential of improper pasteurization.
-Whole Foods Market's North Atlantic Region regarding the voluntary recall of Morningland Dairy of Mountain View, Missouri, Raw Goat Milk Mild Cheddar Cheese. Whole Foods Market's North Atlantic region is announcing a voluntary recall Morningland Dairy and Ozark Hills Farm Raw Goat Milk Mild Cheddar Cheese due to possible contamination by Listeria and Staphylococcus aureus.

-Morningland Dairy of Mountain View, Missouri, is recalling 68,957 pounds of cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogene and also has the potential to be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus.
-QUESERIA CHIPILO INC. is announcing a recall of cheese products - Fresco and Oaxaca, Oaxaca String Cheese Queso Fresco, Queso Fresco, Hoja De Platano.
-Azteca Linda Corp. of Brooklyn, NY, is recalling QUESO FRESCO (FRESH WHITE CHEESE) and QUESO HEBRA (FRESH WHITE STRING CHEESE) and Queso El Azteca brand REQUESON (RICOTTA CHEESE) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

-GloryBee Foods, Inc., of Eugene, Oregon recalled Aunt Patty's brand 5 pound bags of Whole Raw Pistachios and 25 lb. boxes of Specialty Commodities brand Whole Raw Pistachios Kernels, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
-Real Taste Noodle Manufacture of Chicago, IL is recalling bags of Egg Noodle (5lbs per bag), because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
-Good Taste Noodle MFG. of Chicago, IL, is recalling its "EGG NOODLES and WONTON SKINS because they have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella.
-Recall of Goya Foods, Inc. frozen mamey pulp; therefore Fruiti Pops, Inc. of Santa Fe Springs, CA is recalling its Fruiti Pops 4 oz. Mamey frozen fruit bars due to a potential health risk from Salmonella typhi.

- The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) is voluntarily recalling a small number of bags from a specific lot of one of its dry cat food products due to potential salmonella exposure.
-Hartz Mountain Corporation is recalling one specific lot of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs due to concerns that one or more bags within the lot may have been potentially contaminated with Salmonella.
-Merrick Pet Care, Inc. of Amarillo, Texas recalled all lots of its 10 oz "Beef Filet Squares" for Dogs and "Texas Hold'ems" pet treats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.