Friday, November 19, 2010

MORE MYSTERY BOOMS IN NORTH CAROLINA - 11/17/10 - Residents are once again reporting strange, loud noises that shake their homes. Several people in the Supply and Holden Beach area in Brunswick County said they heard two loud "booms" around 11:00 Wednesday morning. One said the racket woke her up and vibration from the booms knocked items off of her furniture and TV. Some call the noises "Seneca guns," but no one seems to have a solid explanation for why they happen. Reasoning for the booms range from military practice to earthquakes below the ocean surface. The noises have been startling residents along the Carolina coast for years.
Residents report boom in Horry County - A Little River resident was at his home when he felt a mysterious boom Wednesday morning. “It was nothing subtle about it. I felt the [four-story] building shake. It felt more from the ground up, almost like an explosion under you, almost as if a plane hit the side of the building...To have the earth and land move in the amount of distance it did without an explanation is crazy and kind of strange.” When he called 911 to report the incident, which happened around 11 a.m. Wednesday, he said he was told that similar calls had come in from as far south as North Myrtle Beach, but they could not verify where it was coming from. Similar to booms reported earlier this month in Brunswick County, but no one seems to know what is causing it. If it was an earthquake, the director of Horry County Emergency Management said he would have received such reports, but he hasn’t.

**The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and science.**
Albert Einstein

This morning -

Yesterday -
11/18/10 -

Scientists find new seismic fault in Rocky Mountains - The Rocky Mountains extend from British Columbia south to the US state of New Mexico. Scientists have mapped a new, active seismic fault in the Rocky Mountains in the US state of Idaho capable of unleashing a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. A university official has warned the fault could release a damaging earthquake within the next few decades. The 40-mile fracture runs close to the small town of Stanley, a community with roughly 100 year-round residents. A 7.5 tremor is capable of devastating areas along a fault. If a quake did occur, shaking would extend to the state capital of Boise.
Scientists believe two earthquakes have taken place along the fault in the past 10,000 years, with one occurring 7,000 years ago and the other 4,000 years ago. This information has led researchers to believe significant seismic activity takes place in the region every several thousand years. The Northern Rocky Mountain region in Idaho, Wyoming and Western Montana is a seismically-heavy area capable of producing some very large earthquakes. "Since we don't know when the next earthquake will occur, we simply need to prepare for it."

No current tropical cyclones.


Dust Storm off Alaska - Dust storms generally call to mind places like the Sahara Desert or the Gobi Desert, but dust storms occur at high latitudes as well. One such storm left streamers over the Gulf of Alaska in mid-November. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite captured an image on November 17, 2010. Thin plumes of beige dust blow off the Alaskan coast toward the south-southwest. Farther to the south, lines of clouds mimic the shape and direction of the dust plumes, and even cast shadows on them. The dust plumes and clouds were likely shaped by the same winds. Malaspina is just one of many glaciers fringing the Alaskan coastline. As glaciers grind over rocks, they pulverize some of the rock into glacial flour. Melt water percolating through glaciers often deposits glacial flour in mud plains. When the plains dry out, winds sometimes carry dust particles aloft. (satellite photo)

Scientists warn to expect wilder weather - The number of RECORD-BREAKING HOT DAYS is twice as high as the RECORD COLD days. "Heat records are outpacing cold records at a factor of two to one now. That number is expected to increase to 20 to one by late this century if we continue on the course that we are on with fossil fuel burning." Some events, such as the 2003 European heat wave which killed about 35,000 people and this year's heat wave in Moscow would be "extremely unlikely to happen in the absence of climate change."
A hurricane expert said the fiercest storms are already showing an uptick in frequency, and more powerful hurricanes lie ahead. "If you just look at the Atlantic in the last 10 years, we have experienced three times as many Category 5 hurricanes as have occurred in previous history on a relative basis. We now have consensus statements coming out from the scientists and indeed a lot of regional research is pointing all in the same direction. There is nothing going in the other direction. And that is the very intense hurricanes, the very intense (Category) fours and fives are going to increase and they could be doubling or tripling."
More rain and drought in the coming years is also predicted. "As the earth warms up the atmosphere can hold more water, if there is more water available there will be more rain. Paradoxically of course there is as a result of that more drought because the land dries out quicker." The reduction of sea ice in the Arctic will have a growing impact on temperatures in the rest of the world. "What we have seen is a rather pronounced reduction in the extent of sea ice. At the end of summer now we have 40 per cent less sea ice than we had say during the 1970s. We are losing that insulator so what we are seeing now are big fluxes in heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. Since everything is connected together in the climate system what happens up there can influence what happens down here and I am talking about in the middle latitudes."
The other thing that the scientists said is changing, along with climate, is how they confront skeptics who question the reality of climate change and the extent of humans' role in causing it. "There are still many of us who like to sit in our office or go into the field and just do our science and not enter into the fray, but I think that is changing. We have to become more involved. We have to become better communicators. Scientists are not always good communicators of the issues but this is part of a learning curve and we have got to face that."


For the second time in less than a week, a comet is diving toward the sun. It's no coincidence that this comet is following the same path as its predecessor on Nov. 14th. They are both fragments of a single giant comet that broke apart about 2000 years ago. Astronomers call them "Kruetz sungrazers" after the 19th century German researcher, Heinrich Kreutz, who studied them in detail. "November is one of the best months to discover Kreutz comets. It's because the field of view of the SOHO coronagraph covers a larger-than-usual portion of the Kreutz track. December, May, and June are good, too." With SOHO staring at just the right patch of sky, more sungrazers are probably in the offing. First, however, this one has a date with destiny, and it probably won't survive. Solar heating is expected to obliterate the icy sundiver later today or tomorrow.