Let there be daily renovation.**
LARGEST QUAKES -
This morning -
5.1 IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGIO
5.2 PERU-ECUADOR BORDER REGION
5.0 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.2 PAGAN REGION, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.8 COSTA RICA
6.1 HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
5.0 TOCANTINS-GOIAS BORDER REGION, BRAZIL
5.1 KODIAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA
5.1 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.2 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
5.7 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
6.1 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
6.4 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
TROPICAL STORMS -
Tropical storm OTTO was 778 nmi ENE of Hamilton, Bermuda
Australian cyclone season could be the worst in 27 years - and the fall-out from cyclones may extend further south than normal. The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that a La Niña event in the tropical Pacific Ocean and high Southern Oscillation Index could result in the worst cyclone season for 27 years, and also a season starting up to two eeks earlier than normal. "The forecast number of tropical cyclones in the Australian region in the 2010-11 season is in the range 17-22, compared with 12 in an average year. The season we are drawing a parallel with is 1998-99 when Cyclone Thelma threatened Darwin in early December, but luckily didn’t hit the capital city." Cyclone Thelma was one of the most intense tropical cyclones (a Category 5) to be observed off the coast of Australia and the most intense cyclone to threaten Darwin since Cyclone Tracy in 1974.
"In the Northern Territory monsoonal activity normally starts around Christmas and the first cyclone not long afterwards, but this year you can expect it a couple of weeks earlier and that will go for the Indian Ocean as well."
Normally the cyclone season starts on November 1 and ends on April 30 and the cyclone belt runs from Shark Bay north and east in WA and from Brisbane north in Queensland, including all the coast of the Northern Territory. However, another downside of an La Niña event is that fall-out from cyclones can extend further south.
"While the damaging effects of tropical cyclones do not impact New South Wales very often, they are more likely to occur in La Niña summers." La Niña is the flipside to the well known drought-producing El Niño. In addition to causing higher sea temperatures and increasing the Southern Oscillation Index and risk of cyclone, La Nina events usually also bring wetter than average spring and summer conditions to much of eastern Australia. Sydney, for instance, can expect half the number of days above 35 degrees when compared to El Niño years like last year.
With the 2010 North Atlantic hurricane season winding down without a United States hurricane landfall, the Drudge Report posted a headline suggesting that the seasonal hurricane forecasters blew it. Indeed, he has written this headline for 4-years in a row now. While the number of storms has been accurately predicted by the soothsayer, the lack of impact upon the US mainland has left many wondering: is this it?
While the North Atlantic sees 10 storms per year, the annual global total is 80 to 90. So, how is the rest of the globe doing in terms of tropical cyclone activity? Absolutely cratering - and the Western North Pacific typhoon basin is at HISTORICAL LOWS. Indeed, with the Earth undergoing Global Climate Disruption, natural climate variability has played the ultimate trump card and left GLOBAL TROPICAL CYCLONE ACTIVITY AT 33-YEAR LOWS.
While the North Atlantic has seen 15 tropical storms / hurricanes of various intensity and duration, the Pacific basin as a whole is at historical lows. In the Western North Pacific stretching from Guam to Japan and the Philippines and China, the current ACE value of 48 is the LOWEST SEEN SINCE RELIABLE RECORDS BECAME AVAILABLE IN 1945 and is 78% below normal. The next lowest was an ACE of 78 in 1998. The Northern Hemisphere overall (including the North Atlantic) has the lowest ACE since 1977, the year of the Great Climate Shift and flip in the phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE -
UNPRECEDENTED challenges for U.S. states that depend on water from the Colorado River - The convergence in the coming year of three cyclical conditions affecting ocean temperatures and weather is likely to create unprecedented challenges for states that depend on water from the Colorado River, a new UCLA study suggests. "If I were concocting a recipe for a perfect drought, this would be it." The combination of La Nina with two less commonly known ocean conditions - the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation - tends to result in drought in the upper reaches of the Colorado River. The ocean conditions have been known to diminish precipitation in the Southwest but, examined separately, have proven to be poor indicators of drought conditions in the upper reaches of the river. "It's the combination that's key."
The convergence of these patterns in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans may well drive water levels in the Lake Mead reservoir below a critical threshold and could potentially result in reduced water allocations for Arizona and Nevada. Essentially all of the Colorado River water used by Southern California passes through the reservoir, which is the largest in the nation. Fed primarily by snowpack melt from its upper reaches, the river is Southern California's chief source of water. "Declines in water availability of this magnitude during the coming winter could be devastating for states that depend on the Colorado River for their water."
During a La Nina episode, the sea-surface temperature across the Pacific Ocean at the equator plummets by as much 18 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in drops in precipitation rates of as much as 50 percent across the southwestern and southeastern United States for between five and 18 months.
The PDO is a pattern of climate variability with longer-term shifts that last between 20 and 30 years and also affect weather. A negative PDO is characterized by cooler sea-surface temperatures off the Pacific Coast of North America that can result in below-average precipitation in the southwestern U.S. The effect can be thought of as an extended La Nina event.
Each phase of the AMO can last for more than 60 years and is characterized by temperature changes in the North Atlantic Ocean. In its positive phase, the AMO has little impact on California weather if it occurs in absence of a negative PDO. But the positive AMO has been linked to past occurrence of major droughts in the Midwest and the Southwest, including the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. "It's three different things working on different times scales. You may not get them to line up that frequently."
Researchers found a "striking and significant propensity" for droughts in northeastern Utah when cool sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific associated with La Nina and the negative phase of the PDO were coupled with warm temperatures in the North Atlantic linked to the positive phase of the AMO. During such episodes, snowpack declined on average between 9 percent and 10 percent, and river discharge decreased on average by 18 percent. The three conditions last converged at least five times between 1945 and 1965, a period that was characterized by generally depressed but variable flows in the river.
The findings are troublesome because not only are all three conditions predicted for 2010-11, but they are expected to be particularly strong. The coming year's La Nina and AMO are at this point supposed to be the STRONGEST IN 10 YEARS, and a strong negative PDO is also building. The convergence increases the likelihood that Lake Mead, already diminished by 11 years of drought, will fall below 1,075 feet above sea level - a threshold that can result in the reduction of water allocations in Nevada and Arizona. Under a series of agreements among seven U.S. states along the Colorado River and Mexico, California has first rights to the water, so it would not face the same restrictions. Water levels at Lake Mead currently stand just nine feet from the critical threshold, at 1,084 feet above sea level. "We're looking at a situation that could pit us against our neighbors. We've never had to face such a severe decline in Lake Mead and resulting reductions in Colorado River allocations before...That means these states might have to find many millions of gallons to make up what seem like relatively small-percentage reductions, and they have to do so at a time when they are already in a drought of considerable duration. That's going to be a real problem."
HEALTH THREATS -
Scientists Discover That Inflammation Helps To Heal Wounds - A new research study may change how sports injuries involving muscle tissue are treated, as well as how much patient monitoring is necessary when potent anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for a long time. That's because the study shows for the first time that inflammation actually helps to heal damaged muscle tissue, turning conventional wisdom on its head that inflammation must be largely controlled to encourage healing. These findings could lead to new therapies for acute muscle injuries caused by trauma, chemicals, infections, freeze damage, and exposure to medications which cause muscle damage as a side effect. In addition, these findings suggest that existing and future therapies used to combat inflammation should be closely examined to ensure that the benefits of inflammation are not eliminated.
The presence of inflammatory cells (macrophages) in acute muscle injury produce a high level of a growth factor called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which significantly increases the rate of muscle regeneration. The research report shows that muscle inflammatory cells produce the highest levels of IGF-1, which improves muscle injury repair. "For wounds to heal we need controlled inflammation, not too much, and not too little. It's been known for a long time that excess anti-inflammatory medication, such as cortisone, slows wound healing. This study goes a long way to telling us why: insulin-like growth factor and other materials released by inflammatory cells helps wound to heal."
RECALLS & ALERTS:
-Montalvan's Sales, Inc. of Ontario, CA has recalled "La Nuestra" brand frozen Mamey Ice Cream due to a potential health risk from Salmonella Typhi.
-D & M Smoked Fish, Inc. (DBA Haifa Smoked Fish) in Jamaica, NY is recalling specific lots of Haifa Smoked Fish brand products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
-Living Foods, Inc. of Ionia, Michigan is recalling bulk and retail-size packages of Alfalfa Sprouts, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.