Wednesday, August 31, 2011

**All that glitters is not gold.**

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/30/11 -

U.S. Nuclear Panel Expanding Team to Check for Quake Damage - The earthquake last Tuesday in Virginia may have produced stronger shaking at the North Anna nuclear plant than the reactors were designed to withstand.

NEW ZEALAND - Earthquake Commission out of cash. The cost of the Canterbury earthquakes to the Government has risen by $4 billion, as the damage to homes is more severe than earlier estimated. Many brick houses were reduced to rubble by the quakes. Liquefaction damage was widespread.

Japan earthquake 'increases likelihood of Tokyo disaster' - The likelihood of a massive earthquake directly beneath Tokyo has significantly increased thanks to the March 11 disaster in northern Japan.


Mexico volcano blasts out ash - Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City is shooting blasts of ash from its crater, prompting authorities to warn residents that ash could start falling on the city overnight. The Popocatepetl volcano spewed ash more than a kilometre into the sky four times on Tuesday. The agency was urging people to stay at least 12 kilometres from the crater. The volcano is located about 65 kilometres southeast of the Mexican capital.

INDONESIA - Signs of unrest at the famous Tambora Caldera. A new report from the volcanological survey in Indonesia raises the alert level at one of Indonesia's most famous volcanoes, Tambora. In 1815 Tambora produced one of the largest eruptions in the past few thousand years. This eruption threw enough material and aerosols into the atmosphere to cause significant global cooling, producing the "Year without a Summer" documented across the globe. What most people don't know is that after the 1815 eruption, Tambora has erupted at least 3 known times, all in the scale of VEI 0-2 (rather than the VEI 7 of 1815). With any news of increased seismicity and steam plumes at a volcano like Tambora, you can be sure the fear/panic-mongers will come out in full force. The report says that since April 2011, the volcano has seen intermittent swarms of earthquakes and now at the end of August, there seems to be an increase in these shallow, volcanic earthquakes along with the presence of tremor plus observations of steam plumes rising tens of meters over the edge of the caldera rim. Thus the elevation of the alert status from Level I to II. Most likely we would expect something small in terms of activity, akin to the VEI 0-2 eruptions in 1819, 1880 and 1967, which were mainly lava flows and domes confined to the caldera floor, and most definitely not another VEI 7 event like the 1815 eruption.
INDONESIA - Mount Lokon activity declines as Marapi spews out white cloud. Mount Lokon, located on the northern tip of the island of Sulawesi, showed declining activity on Monday after erupting several times last week. Meanwhile, new activity has been reported at Mount Marapi.
Mount Lokon erupted as many as 12 times on Sunday, but it only erupted once on Monday at around 10.35 a.m. local time, spewing out volcanic materials about 250 meters (820 feet) high. On Sunday, monitoring staff recorded 65 deep volcanic earthquakes and 93 shallow earthquakes. During the first six hours of Monday, only seven earthquakes were registered in the area near the volcano. Officials at the Volcanic and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center kept the volcano's alert status at Alert as of early Tuesday morning, but the alert could be lowered if activity continues to decline. On August 17, Mount Lokon began to spew volcanic ash which fell as far away as the Kinilow I village and the Tinoor areas in North Tomohon sub district, which is a short distance from Lokon's crater. Mount Lokon has shown constant volcanic activity since June, prompting authorities to raise its status to Alert on June 27 and Watch on July 10. A series of eruptions in mid-July forced at least 5,269 locals from the villages of Kinilow, Kelurahan Kinilow I and Kakaskasen 1 to evacuate the area.
While most residents returned to their homes later that month, some 222 people remain at temporary refugee camps because their homes are in Mound Lokon's red zone - 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from its crater. After July's activity, Mount Lokon's alert level was lowered from Watch to Alert, and has remained at this level since.
Meanwhile, officials reported thick white smoke coming from Mount Marapi in West Sumatra on Sunday morning. Smoke could be seen gushing out of the crater and reaching up to 100 meters (328 feet). Mount Marapi's alert level remains at level II, banning anyone from being closer than 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) to its crater. Marapi became active in early August. It is located in the Tanahdatar sub-district, of West Sumatra and has been spewing volcanic ash with sulfuric smell up to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) high.
Dozens of active volcanoes in Indonesia are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, known for frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Next to Mount Lokon is its volcanic twin, Mount Empung, just 2.2 kilometers (1.3 miles) away. One of Indonesia's most active volcanoes is Mount Merapi, which is located on the island of Java near Jogjakarta. Last year, more than 300 people were killed in a series of eruptions between October and November which also displaced over 300,000 people.

Alaska Volcano Observatory lowers alert level for remote Aleutian Islands volcano. The eruption appears to have been predominantly effusive rather than explosive and confined to the summit crater. It was likened to an oozing pile of toothpaste. The alert level was raised in July.

-Tropical storm Katia is racing west-northwestward over the tropical Atlantic about 885 mi...1425 km W of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. Katia could become a hurricane today.

-Tropical depression 14w (Nanmadol) was located approximately 135 nm west-southwest of Taipei, Taiwan. This is the final warning on this system by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

-Tropical storm 15w (Talas) was located approximately 510 nm south-southeast of Kyoto, Japan. It is expected to intensify and to make landfall along the coast of Honshu, Japan. The system will weaken considerably as it tracks over the rough terrain of Mainland Japan.

Flood waters surge as states come to grips with Irene's damage - The size of the task still at hand began to sink in as states in the Northeast struggled to rebuild roads and bridges, restore power and tame waterways still coursing with floodwaters brought by Hurricane Irene. Hurricane Irene by the numbers - state by state damage reports.


OKLAHOMA - Oklahoma City fire sends horses, people fleeing. A wildfire in a wooded area of Oklahoma City forced hundreds of homes to be evacuated on Tuesday, destroying some and causing panicked horse owners to let their livestock loose. 12 structures have been destroyed and 600 acres of land burned.


Iinvestigation finds gaps in egg safety system - An investigation has revealed gaps in state and federal egg safety systems, despite new federal regulations designed to reduce Salmonella in shell eggs. A review of records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act found that some of the state's biggest egg producers aren't meeting minimum federal standards designed to reduce the risk of Salmonella enteritidis contamination. For example, the investigation found that egg farm inspections are announced days in advance and that egg producers aren't required to tell government inspectors or state officials when tests for Salmonella are positive. Inspectors at one farm, which was visited by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors in May for the first time, had "immediate concerns" about its written Salmonella prevention plan. In other instances, they found that the FDA redacted some findings, such as the size of rodent infestations and brand names under which the eggs are sold. FDA officials did not comment for the story. Iowa, the nation's top egg producer, has had no egg recalls since the massive one in 2010 that sickened nearly 2,000 people in multiple states. New federal egg safety rules started taking effect in 2010 for the largest farms, those that have 50,000 or more laying hens.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Comet Elenin (C/2010 X1), widely known from inaccurate reports that it was a threat to Earth, appears to be breaking apart. Observations show a rapid dimming and elongation of the comet's nucleus akin to that of Comet LINEAR (C/1999 S4), which also disintegrated when it approached the sun in 2000. Comets are fragile objects, so this development, while unexpected, comes as no surprise.

**Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.**
Nursery ryhme

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/29/11 -

Multiple Virginia Quake Aftershocks - The region continues to feel the effects of last week's quake. Since Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded 5 aftershocks in the area. The strongest of the tremors happened at 11:16 p.m. Sunday evening, registering 2.7 in magnitude. There have been no reports of significant damage. Four of the aftershocks were epicentered near Louisa. The first, a magnitude 2.2, occurred at 4:18 p.m. Sunday. It was followed by a magnitude 2.3 aftershock at 9:06 p.m. Sunday, a 2.0 magnitude aftershock at 11:15 p.m. Sunday and another two minutes later was the one of 2.7 magnitude. A fifth aftershock occurred at 12:19 a.m. Monday 7 miles south of Mineral, the epicenter of last Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude earthquake. The quake was THE STRONGEST IN VIRGINIA SINCE THE 19TH CENTURY. Because of the nature of the East Coast's plate tectonics, quakes are less common than on the West Coast but are felt across a much larger area. Virginia and the surrounding region could continue to feel aftershocks for weeks.


Mount Etna's eruption intensifies a week after the volcano sprang back to life - Mount Etna is spewing out ash and shooting spectacular bursts of lava high into the air as the eruption on the island of Sicily intensifies. This event generated tall lava fountains and an eruption column that caused ash falls in the southeast sector of the volcano, as well as various lava flows down the western slope of the Valle del Bove.

RUSSIA - Ash forces air traffic reroute. Ash thrown kilometres into the sky by an increasingly active volcano in a remote Russian Pacific coast territory has forced a reroute of international air traffic, government officials said on Monday.

-Tropical Depression Twelve was located about 460 mi...740 km SW of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands.
Could become a tropical storm tonight over the far eastern tropical Atlantic.

- Tropical storm 14w (Nanmadol) was located approximately 150 nm west-southwest of Taipei, Taiwan.

-Tropical storm 15w (Talas) was located approximately 625 nm south of Tokyo, Japan.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol is heading towards China after leaving a trail of destruction in Taiwan and killing 16 people in the Philippines. Nanmadol was expected to make landfall in the south-eastern province of Fujian this afternoon, bringing heavy rains to the region. Although Nanmadol was downgraded to a tropical storm from a typhoon yesterday after making landfall in Taiwan, it was still packing winds of 80km/h. Fujian province recalled more than 44,000 boats carrying over 119,000 fisherman to harbour.
The province had also suspended shipping services and warned that bullet train services might be slowed or halted.
Yesterday, Taiwan deployed more than 50,000 troops and evacuated thousands of people as Nanmadol pummelled some of the island's most densely populated areas in the island's worst typhoon since 2009. A motorcyclist was killed by falling glass in northern Taiwan after strong winds smashed a window, while landslides trapped more than 300 people in a remote village. In the Philippines, more than 61,000 people were evacuated after Nanmadol lashed the northern edge of the main island of Luzon at the weekend, causing landslides and floods. Most of the 16 killed were buried in landslides.

Death toll from Hurricane Irene keeps rising - The number of people killed by Post-Tropical Cyclone Irene hits 40, as authorities warn flooding may continue for days in some US states.
Swaths of the Northeast still submerged under water face an arduous recovery as hundreds of homes remain clogged with mud and crushed roads isolate deluged communities.

A tropical depression far out in the Atlantic is forecast to become a hurricane this week, but it's too early to know if it'll strike the U.S. or anywhere else. The new depression is forecast to become Tropical Storm Katia early today. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday the depression south of the Cape Verde Islands could reach hurricane strength Thursday, still far out in the Atlantic.


El Nino doubles risk of civil war in tropics - A new study makes a direct connection between the frequency of civil war in tropical countries, and extreme weather patterns. The study suggests the risk of major violence doubles during El Nino.


Bird flu fear as mutant strain hits China and Vietnam - Avian flu shows signs of a resurgence, while a mutant strain - able to sidestep vaccines - could be spreading in Asia, the United Nations has warned. The variant appeared in Vietnam and China and its risk to humans cannot be predicted. Virus circulation in Vietnam threatens Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia, where eight people have died after becoming infected this year, they warned. The World Health Organization says bird flu has killed 331 people since 2003. It has also killed or provoked the culling of more than 400 million domestic poultry worldwide and caused an estimated $20 billion of economic damage.
The virus had been eliminated from most of the 63 countries infected at its 2006 peak, which saw 4,000 outbreaks across the globe, but remains endemic in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. And the number of cases has been rising again since 2008, apparently because of migratory bird movements.
"Wild birds may introduce the virus, but people's actions in poultry production and marketing spread it." Avian flu has in the past two years appeared in poultry or wild birds in countries that had been virus-free for several years: Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Bulgaria, Romania, Nepal and Mongolia are among those recently affected. The new strain has infected most parts of northern and central Vietnam and could also pose a risk to Japan and the Korean peninsula. South Korea began culling hundreds of thousands of chickens and ducks in December last year after confirming its first cases since 2008. The FAO is calling for countries to adopt "heightened readiness and surveillance" against a resurgence of the virus.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene killed at least 21 people from Puerto Rico to Connecticut, caused an estimated $3 billion in damage and cut electric power to more than 4 million homes and businesses across the eastern U.S.
The deaths were concentrated in Virginia and North Carolina, where at least 10 people were killed. Virginia also sustained the second-largest power outage in state history. The storm’s cost to insurers may have fallen to $3 billion in the U.S. as the storm weakened on its path toward New England. An earlier estimate was for insured losses of as much as $14 billion. Federal officials are still assessing damage and haven’t released a value on the damage yet. Maryland is expected to be one of the hardest hit. “The Maryland numbers, from what I know, are going up exponentially."
President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for 11 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was the only area declared a “major disaster” by the agency, a level above an emergency declaration.
Hurricane Irene’s Damage: Deaths, Flooding and Power Losses State-by-State

**Early to bed and early to rise
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.**

**Early to bed and early to rise
Makes the girls go out with other guys!**

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/28/11 -

10,000 earthquakes over three days in West Bohemia, a region located close to the Czech Republic’s western border with Germany. The earthquake swarm started late on Tuesday and continued through Friday. While many have gone unnoticed by the local population, some of the larger tremors, including eight quakes exceeding 3 magnitude, have been felt in the towns of Chemnitz, Karlovy Vary, Birch, and Luby. “The activity started in the evening of 23 August and is almost continuous till now (26 August morning). Almost 10 000 events were recorded in total up to now. Already eight events M>3.0 and 200 M>2.0 occurred. The location of hypocenters directly below the NKC station, so it appears a NEW patch of the fault plane is being activated”.
In recent years, scientists have noted an increase in the movement of magma towards the earth’s surface in the Cheb Basin, western Czech Republic. They say rising magma could be one of the causes of the earthquake swarms, which regularly occur in the Vogtland, North-West Bohemia, the Fichtelgebirge and the Upper Palatinate. The last earthquake swarm to occur before this week’s activity was in 2008.

- Post-Tropical cyclone Irene was located about 50 mi / 80 km N of Berlin, New Hampshire and about 105 mi / 165 km S of Quebec City, Quebec. Gale-force winds are expected to affect coastal areas from eastern Long Island to Maine through early today.

-Tropical storm Jose was located about 190 mi / 305 km NNW of Bermuda. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

-Tropical Storm 14w (Nanmadol) was located approximately 140 nm south-southwest of Taipei, Taiwan.

-Tropical Storm 15w (Talas) was located approximately 700 nautical miles south of Tokyo, Japan.

Typhoon Nanmadol has slammed into Taiwan, closing schools, workplaces and government offices. It has dumped more than half a metre of rain (20 inches) in the mountainous south, where vulnerability to catastrophic landslides prompted the evacuation of some 8000 people. Nanmadol made landfall just before daybreak today in Taidung county in the remote south-east and headed toward heavily populated coastal areas on the west coast. It is packing winds of 108km/h, down from earlier peaks almost twice that high. It is expected to pass about 200km south of Taipei before heading for the Taiwan Strait and the eastern China coast.

Tropical Storm Jose spun over the open Atlantic just to the west of Bermuda on Sunday, buffeting the wealthy British territory with gusty winds and intermittent showers. It is the 10th named storm of the season.

Obama has warned that flooding and power cuts are still a risk as Tropical Storm Irene moves away north towards Canada. The storm, downgraded from a hurricane, passed New York on Sunday, but the danger was not yet over as swollen rivers could burst their banks. More than 300,000 people evacuated from low-lying areas in New York City are being allowed back home. The storm has killed at least 21 people and caused extensive damage. Irene threatened 65 million people along the US east coast - thought to be THE LARGEST NUMBER OF AMERICANS EVER AFFECTED BY A SINGLE STORM. More than three million people have been left without power in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.
Widespread flooding is reported in Vermont where hundreds of people have been told to leave the capital, Montpelier. The city faces flooding, once from Irene, and again if the local water company decides to release water to save the Marshal Reservoir, a local dam where waters are reaching record levels. "It's very serious for us at the moment in Vermont. The top two-thirds of the state are inundated with rapidly rising waters, which we anticipate will be an issue for the next 24 hours." Manhattan avoided major damage, despite some isolated flooding.
Obama said, "Many Americans are still at serious risk of power outages and flooding which could get worse in the coming days as rivers swell past their banks. I want people to understand that this is not over. Response and recovery efforts will be an ongoing operation and I urge Americans in affected areas to continue to listen for the guidance and direction of their state and local officials. I want to underscore that the impacts of this storm will be felt for some time and the recovery effort will last for weeks or longer."
On Sunday, Irene's wind speeds eased to 50mph (80km/h). The storm headed into Canada still packing 50mph (80km/h) winds. Insurance and rebuilding costs would run into billions of dollars. New York City lifted its evacuation order for 370,000 people and said it hoped to have its subway - CLOSED FOR THE FIRST TIME BY A NATURAL DISASTER - operational again by today, although perhaps not early enough for morning commuters. The New York Stock Exchange said it would be open for business and officials at the 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center site said they had not lost a single tree. However, experts said the dire warnings and the evacuations had been justified. "They knew they had to get people out early - I think absolutely lives were saved." In Philadelphia, officials lifted the city's first state of emergency since 1986. Several buildings were destroyed by the storm, but there were no deaths or injuries. Airlines said about 9,000 flights had been cancelled, but services into New York and Boston were due to resume today. Further south in North Carolina, some areas of the state were still unreachable. TV footage showed fallen trees and power lines. Officials in Virginia began the clear-up, but said the damage was not a bad as feared.
Computer models are showing that clouds forming off the coast of Africa could threaten the US east coast in two weeks. The hurricane centre gave it a 40% chance of becoming a named storm over the next two days.
Hurricane Irene Lost Steam as Experts Misjudged Structure and Next Move - It began as something far off and dangerous — a monster storm, a Category 3 hurricane that packed winds of 115 miles an hour as it buzz-sawed through the Caribbean last week, causing more than a billion dollars of destruction in the Bahamas alone. But when Hurricane Irene finally chugged into the New York area on Sunday, it was like an overweight jogger just holding on at the end of a run. Its winds had diminished to barely hurricane strength, and the threat from its storm surge, which officials had once worried might turn Manhattan into Atlantis, was epitomized by television news reports showing small waves lapping over reporters’ feet. All hurricanes evolve, and most weaken, as they track northward, their size and strength affected by water, wind and terrain. And all hurricanes eventually die — a relatively quick downgrade to a tropical storm in the case of those, like Irene, that travel inland, a more lingering demise for those that trail out to the colder waters of the higher latitudes. But Irene’s fall — from potential storm of the century to an also-ran in hurricane lore — was greater than most.
Meteorologists were quick to point out that the hurricane was, as forecast, a huge and severe storm, responsible for at least 16 deaths and damaging property from Florida to New England. Given its potential, they said, evacuations and transit shutdowns were well warranted. And they noted that although it was weakened when it hit New York, it was still a Category 1 storm, as predicted several days before, and was still causing extensive flooding even as a tropical storm. But hurricane forecasters acknowledged that they did not quite call the storm right. “We were expecting a stronger storm to come into North Carolina. We had every reason to believe it would strengthen after the Bahamas. What we got wrong was the structure of the storm.”
Forecasters had expected that a spinning band of clouds near its center, called the inner eyewall, would collapse and be replaced by an outer band that would then slowly contract. Such “eyewall replacement cycles” have been known to cause hurricanes to strengthen. While its eyewall did collapse, Irene never completed the cycle. “There were a lot of rain bands competing for the same energy. So when the eyewall collapsed, there were winds over a large area.” That led the storm to be much larger, but with the winds spread over a larger area, they were less intense. What hurricane specialists had forecast to be a Category 2 or possibly Category 3 storm when it hit eastern North Carolina early Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of 110 m.p.h. or higher, roared across the Outer Banks as a Category 1, with winds that were more than 10 percent slower.
After North Carolina, the storm weakened some more. But forecasters had always expected that. By traveling for a time across part of North Carolina, the hurricane was deprived of the heat and moisture of the ocean that it needed to thrive. Once it headed out over water again, east of Delaware and Maryland, it encountered slightly colder sea surface temperatures, which tend to weaken a storm as well. Finally, its energy was sapped when it encountered winds from an unrelated weather system that originated over the Great Lakes. “Any combination of those factors will prevent a storm from intensifying. We also had a little drier air get wrapped into the system,” which helps explain why most of the rain that fell in the New York area was contained in the front portion of the storm. There was little precipitation once Irene’s center passed.
The effect of unrelated winds on a hurricane, called wind shear, can be enormous. “When the wind is different in either speed or direction at different heights, hurricanes don’t like that." The differential winds can remove moisture from a storm, or distort its shape, which affects its ability to gain energy. Irene “seemed to come naturally into an area of shear.” The hurricane center had done better at forecasting the movement of the storm, the predicted track barely budging in the past few days. But it was not surprising that the strength forecasts were off — the accuracy of such forecasts has hardly improved over the past several decades.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Category 1 Hurricane Irene was drenching the mid-Atlantic states with heavy rains as it skirts the Delmarva Peninsula. The center of Irene will move near or over the mid-Atlantic coast this morning and move over southern New England by this afternoon. Irene is forecast to move into eastern Canada tonight. The hurricane is forecast to weaken after landfall in New England and become a Post-tropical cyclone tonight or early Monday.
Irene is a large tropical cyclone. Hurricane-force winds are located over a relatively small area roughly 125 miles / 205 km to the east of the center. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles / 390 km from the center. A storm surge height of about 4 feet has occurred thus far at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The preliminary water level at the Chesapeake Bay bridge Tunnel has recently peaked near the record level that was established during Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Rainfall amounts of 10 to 14 inches have already occurred over a large portion of eastern North Carolina and extreme southeastern Virginia with the highest amount thus far of 14 inches reported at Bunyan North Carolina. Irene is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches from eastern North Carolina northward through the mid-Atlantic states into eastern New York and interior New England. These rains combined with heavy rains over the past few weeks could cause widespread flooding, life-threatening flash floods and significant uprooting of trees due to rain-softened grounds.
Higher than normal astronomical tides are occurring this weekend. Large swells generated by Irene are affecting much of the East Coast of the United States. These swells will cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Isolated tornadoes were possible over southern Delaware...eastern New Jersey...southeastern New York...and extreme southern New England Saturday night through this morning. Although Irene will be moving over cooler waters, it is still expected to stay a hurricane until landfall again near Long Island, New York, about midday today.
Irene Blamed for At Least 9 Deaths
Storm Damage Photos
Irene - Latest Developments

**Rain, rain, go away.
Come again some other day.**
Nursery rhyme

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/27/11 -

8/26/11 -

Virginia's Governor has declared a state of emergency for areas affected by Tuesday’s earthquake which shook people from Georgia to Canada. He says damage from the 5.8 magnitude earthquake appears to be greater than initial reports. The damage has been exacerbated by aftershocks. Damaged structures could be weakened further by high winds from Hurricane Irene. The earthquake’s epicenter was in Mineral in central Virginia.


CHILE - The Caulle Volcano in the Puyehue mountain range in the Ranco Province of the Los Ríos Region erupted early Friday morning. Media outlets weren’t immediately alarmed and there have been no reports of evacuations or flight delays due to the ash plumes. The alert level remains at red for minor eruptions. Four low intensity eruptions have been recorded, with three-kilometer high plumes of ash. "The seismic activity reveals that the eruptive activity of the Caulle range continues with low intensity, with little particle emissions and apparent obstructions that are generating incrementally and with purpose to the tower of ash. The possibilities of an explosive event still remain, however it is unlikely that it will reach the magnitude of the first eruptive phase.”
Puyehue, a volcano near Caulle, erupted earlier this year in June, causing evacuations of surrounding areas and many domestic and international flight delays in Chile and Argentina. Clouds of ash reaching Australia and New Zealand also caused flight delays. The volcano hadn’t been active before June since 1960, when an earthquake sparked six-mile high clouds of ash. (photos)

ITALY - Stromboli volcano intensified its activity over 24 hours on August 26. There have been explosions, with smoke and lapillus and other lava material billowing out. The monitoring network of the Vesuvius Observatory of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology recorded a total of 11 seismic signals associated with landslides on the Sciara del Fuoco, the stratified magma canyon that slides down towards the sea and along which the lava flows. Tourist trips to the volcano's crater have been suspended for now as a precautionary measure.

CANARY ISLANDS - El Hierro Earthquake Count Exceeds 4200. The number of daily earthquakes recorded on the smallest of the Canary Islands (Spain), El Hierro, has increased considerably in recent days. The Instituto Volcanologico de Canarias has also reported a 1cm inflation over part of the island’s volcano. The total number of tremors recorded during the past five weeks has now exceeded 4200. The majority of the earth tremors range between 1 and 3 magnitude. More than 431 earthquakes, including one measuring 3.5 magnitude on the Richter Scale, were recorded on Monday (22 August) alone.
The vast majority of the tremors have been recorded in the northwest of the 278.5-square-kilometre island at El Golfo, the location of a massive landslide that created a 100-metre high tsunami almost 50,000 years ago.
The earthquake swarm prompted the Canary Islands Government to convene the first ever meeting of the Steering Committee and Volcanic Monitoring on July 22, reflected in the Specific Plan Protection Civil and Emergency for Volcanic Risk, given what it described as “the significant increase in seismic activity”. The Committee met again on July 29 to discuss the low magnitude seismic activity. It reported that it had stepped up its seismic monitoring operations to identify the source of the earthquakes.
It remains unclear if the unprecedented seismic activity on El Hierro is a precursor to a possible future increase in earthquake or volcanic activity. However, the latest surge in recorded earthquakes and the inflation of the volcano could indicate magma rising underneath El Hierro. The massive Hierro shield volcano is truncated by a large NW-facing escarpmen which formed as a result of gravitational collapse of the volcano. The steep-sided 1500-m-high scarp towers above a low lava platform bordering 12-km-wide El Golfo Bay. The latest eruption, during the 18th century, produced a lava flow from a cinder cone on the NW side of El Golfo.
El Hierro is situated in the most southwestern extreme of the Canaries. The island was formed after three successive eruptions. Volcanic activity, principally at the convergence of the three ridges, has resulted in the continual expansion of the island. A mere 50,000 years ago, as a result of seismic tremors which produced massive landslides, a giant piece of the island cracked off, crashed down into the ocean and scattered along the seabed. This landslide caused a tsunami that most likely rose over 100 metres high and probably reached as far as the American coast. (maps, charts and photos)

-Category 1 Hurricane Irene was located about 70 m /115 km SSW of Ocean City Maryland and about 255 mi / 415 km SSW of New York City.

-Typhoon 14w (Nanmadol) was located approximately 500 nm southwest of Kadena AB, Okinawa.

-Tropical storm 15w (Talas) was located approximately 750 nm south of Tokyo, Japan.

Two million homes and businesses were without power early today as Hurricane Irene slammed into the U.S. East Coast and charged north. Winds of up to 115 miles per hour whipped across the Eastern Seaboard, ripping power lines from poles and snapping trees in half. Hospitals, emergency call centers and other crucial facilities were holding up, but officials said it could get much worse as Irene churns north. Gasoline supplies were falling as drivers fill up before leaving town or just top off their tanks as a precaution before the storm hits. New York's biggest utility said it could cut power to the city's most vulnerable areas if the storm causes serious flooding. The New York Stock Exchange has backup generators and can run on its own. The exchange expects to open as usual Monday morning, though it may change plans depending on the severity of the storm.
Irene is expected to be a brutal test for Middle Atlantic States, which haven't seen a hurricane since 1999. The storm is expected to stay just offshore — and thus retain much of its power — as it inches up the coast from North Carolina to New England. When a hurricane hits land, wind speeds diminish. The entire Eastern Seaboard lies in the storm's projected path. Flooding and damage from winds are likely. North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island have declared emergencies. For the first time, New York City ordered people in low-lying areas to evacuate. The storm has already caused gasoline supplies to fall as refueling barges wait out the storm off the coast. Widespread power outages could lead to fuel shortages as gas stations are no longer able to pump gas or have trouble replenishing their own gas supplies. "Power is the lifeblood of oil supply on the East Coast." Refineries, which make fuel from oil, have started to slow operations as Irene approaches. East Coast refineries will cut operating rates 10 to 25 percent in the next few days. Refineries in the Gulf Coast and the West should be able to keep supplies flowing to the rest of the country. Refineries along the Louisiana Coast produce more than three times the gasoline and fuel of their East Coast counterparts, and East Coast demand is going to fall as businesses close and people hunker down at home.

Taiwan and Japan in path of typhoons - Two tropical storms will continue to move northwards through the western Pacific Ocean tomorrow, forecasts say. Typhoon Nanmadol has weakened but could strengthen again to category four strength with winds between 210 and 250km/h. The storm is headed straight for eastern Taiwan, with landfall anticipated tomorrow. To the east, Tropical Cyclone Talas will continue moving northwards towards Japan tomorrow. The system will remain south of Japan but may intensify to a category one typhoon.

A new tropical depression has formed far out over the Atlantic with forecasters saying it will likely become a tropical storm. The depression's maximum sustained winds early Thursday were near 35 mph (55 kph).


Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are disappearing in some parts of Africa, but scientists are unsure as to why. Figures indicate controls such as anti-mosquito bed nets are having a significant impact on the incidence of malaria in some sub-Saharan countries. But researchers say mosquitoes are also disappearing from areas with few controls. They are uncertain if mosquitoes are being eradicated or whether they will return with renewed vigour.
Data from countries such as Tanzania, Eritrea, Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia all indicate that the incidence of malaria is dropping fast. Researchers believe this is due to effective implementation of control programmes, especially the deployment of bed nets treated with insecticide. But a team of scientists say this is not the whole story. For more than 10 years they have been collecting and counting the number of mosquitoes caught in thousands of traps in Tanzania. In 2004 they caught over 5,000 insects. In 2009 that had dropped to just 14. More importantly, these collections took place in villages that weren't using bed nets.
One possibility for the reduction in numbers is climate change. Patterns of rainfall in these years were more chaotic in these regions of Tanzania and often fell outside the rainy season. The scientists say this may have disturbed the natural cycle of mosquito development. But the lead author of the study says that he is not convinced that it is just the changing climate. "It could be partly due to this chaotic rainfall, but personally I don't think it can explain such a dramatic decline in mosquitoes, to the extent we can say that the malaria mosquitoes are almost eradicated in these communities. What we should consider is that there may be a disease among the mosquitoes, a fungi or a virus, or they're may have been some environmental changes in the communities that have resulted in a drop in the number of mosquitoes."
Other scientists are saying they can't test their drugs because there are no children left with malaria. They observed this in communities with no large interventions against malaria or mosquitoes. It may be the same scenario that the specific mosquitoes that carry malaria are declining very fast now." The researchers are unsure if mosquitoes will return to these regions. If they do, one particular cause for concern is the young people who have not been exposed to malaria over the past five or six years since the mosquitoes began to decline. "If the mosquito population starts coming up again and my own assumption is that it will, it is most likely we will have an epidemic of malaria with a higher level of disease and mortality especially amongst these children who have not been exposed."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Can Animals Sense Earthquakes First? Animals at the National Zoo in DC clustered together, let out a cry before the quake. Orangutans, gorillas, flamingos and red-ruffed lemurs acted strangely before humans detected the historic magnitude-5.8 Virginia earthquake. Now the question hovering over the zoo is: What did the animals know, and when did they know it?
Therein lies a scientific mystery, one in which hard facts and solid observations are entangled with lore and legend. There has been talk over the years about mysterious electromagnetic fields generated by rupturing faults. There has been speculation about sounds inaudible to humans, and subtle tilting in rock formations, and the release of vapors that people can’t smell.
But there also may be less to the mystery than meets the eye, with Tuesday’s zoo weirdness merely serving as a reminder that many wild animals are paying close attention to nature while humans are doing whatever it is that humans do. The zoo documented a broad range of animal behavior before, during and after the tremor that began in central Virginia and shook much of the eastern United States. For example, a gorilla shrieked and grabbed her baby, racing to the top of a climbing structure just seconds before the ground began to shake dramatically. Two other apes — an orangutan and a gorilla — already had dropped their food and skedaddled to higher turf.
The 64 flamingos seemed to sense the tumult a number of seconds in advance as well, clustering together in a nervous huddle before the quake hit. One of the zoo’s elephants made a low-pitched noise as if to communicate with two other elephants. And red-ruffed lemurs emitted an alarm cry a full 15 minutes before the temblor. During the quake, the zoo grounds were filled with howls and cries. The snakes, normally inert in the middle of the day, writhed and slithered. Beavers stood on their hind legs and then jumped into a pond. The Komodo dragon ran for cover. Lions resting outside suddenly stood up and stared at their building as the walls shook. A Sumatran tiger leaped as if startled but quickly settled down. Some animals remained agitated for the rest of the day, wouldn’t eat and didn’t go to sleep on their usual schedule.

**How can you defy fear?
Fear is a human instinct, just like hunger.
Whether you like it or not, you become hungry.
Similarly with fear."
Shirin Ebadi

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.
Cluster of moderate quakes (29 so far) in CZECH REPUBLIC. [Interestingly, for the past week, they've seen "UNUSUAL TWILIGHT RAYS probably caused by high-attitude aerosols from Nabro, the volcano which erupted in Eritrea on June 13th...On August 23, around 20 minutes after sunset these significant crepuscular rays appeared like shining fingers in the western sky. The rays were so strong, I could see them almost directly overhead; and in the south, they stretched across the horizon like great red and purple stripes." Purple is one of the telltale colors of a volcanic sunset. Fine volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere scatter blue light which, when mixed with ordinary sunset red, produces a violet hue. Sky watchers in Europe should be alert for the volcanic sunsets. ]

Yesterday -
8/25/11 -

8/24/11 -

The East Coast quake spurred nuclear operators at 12 plants from North Carolina to Michigan to declare “UNUSUAL EVENTS,” the NRC's lowest-level emergency designation.

Earth 'shook like a hammock' in Peru quake - A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck a remote Amazon region of Peru on Wednesday, shaking office buildings in the capital Lima about 370 miles away.
A strong but deep earthquake shook a sparsely populated northern jungle region on Wednesday near Brazil's border. There were no reports of damage or injuries. The quake had a magnitude of 7.0 and was centered 50 miles north of the jungle city of Pucallpa. In Pucallpa, buildings shook, trees swayed, and people headed out into the street. An unidentified local woman said the earth shook "like a hammock." A police spokesman in the Brazilian town of Cruzeiro do Sul, about 135 miles northeast of Pucallpa, said the quake hit hard and buildings trembled. Because of its depth, the quake only felt like a 5-magnitude to Pucallpa's residents. Peru is among the world's most seismically active countries. Its most recent deadly quake occurred on Aug. 15, 2007. The 7.9-magnitude temblor killed 596 people and largely destroyed the coastal city of Pisco just south of Lima.


Niger probes volcanic-like activity in north - Nigerian authorities and France's Areva group have sent experts to investigate eruptions, smoke and fumes spouting from a mountain in the West African nation's northern uranium mining district of Arlit. Earlier this week, residents reported two days of activity. Experts dispatched to take samples found cracks in the mountainside and rocks 400 metres away. There were no reports of injuries or damage to mines.
"According to the witnesses who alerted the authorities, when they heard explosions, they initially thought it was an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. The mountain rumbled, giving the impression that it was collapsing. Black smoke rose and there was a smell of gas, as it was coming from fuel." State radio said local government authorities and geologists and chemists from Areva, which has several uranium mining interests in the region, visited the mountain on Tuesday to take samples. The northeast of Arlit is home to the Air mountains, but volcanic activity in the area is long thought to have ended. There were no further details immediately available.

INDONESIA - Volcano Agency Warns of Likely Papandayan Eruption. Indonesia’s highly active Mount Papandayan volcano is in imminent danger of erupting, the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency warned on Wednesday. The agency said it was likely the volcano in Garut, West Java, would erupt either before or just after Idul Fitri, which marks the end of Ramadan. The prediction was based on the increasing activity of the volcano.
“The volcano has more energy compared to its last eruption in 2002." Papandayan has shown an alarming increase in activities since the volcano’s status was raised to standby. Between Aug. 19 and 20, there were 45 earthquakes. “If the quakes increase to 60, an eruption will happen. If Papandayan erupts, the annual exodus routes will be blocked and 16 subdistricts in Garut will be isolated.” The BNPB has prepared evacuation routes and emergency shelters for people living within 5 kilometers of the crater.

- Hurricane Irene was located about 460 mi / 740 km SSW of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Irene will continue to move away from the northwestern Bahamas and the core of the hurricane will pass well offshore of the coast of Florida today. The hurricane is forecast to approach the coast of North Carolina on Saturday. Irene is a large tropical cyclone. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 80 miles / 130 km from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 290 miles / 465 km.

-Tropical depression 10 continues moving west-northwestward over the eastern Atlantic about 585 mi / 940 km W of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands.

-Typhoon 14w (Nanmadol) was located approximately 620 nm south-southwest of Kadena Air Base.

-Tropical storm 15w (Talas) was located approximately 260 nm south-southwest of Iwo To.

Thousands flee US coast as hurricane nears - Thousands of people have fled the US east coast as it braces for Hurricane Irene, which is threatening up to 65 million people from the Carolinas to New England. Authorities from North Carolina to New York declared states of emergency and thousands of people were ordered to higher ground overnight as Irene packed winds of 185 kilometres per hour in its race toward the US mainland. "There's hardly any excuse for people not to know that there's a hurricane out there. People need to understand that their time will be running out to be prepared and be ready."
The hurricane is set to slam into North Carolina early Saturday local time before roaring toward New York City, accompanied by an "extremely dangerous" storm surge that could raise water levels by as much as 3.4 metres. Hurricane watches have been issued from North Carolina to New Jersey. The US President has declared an emergency in North Carolina and federal authorities say they have stored millions of meals and bottles of water for people who wind up in shelters.
Irene's projected path had it bringing misery to Washington, New York and Boston. Utility providers are preparing for the possibility of widespread and lengthy power outages. Millions of people could be affected by Irene because it is forecast to stay just offshore - and thus retain much of its power - as it moves up the coast.
The former chief of the National Hurricane Center called it one of his three WORST POSSIBLE SITUATIONS. "One of my greatest nightmares was having a major hurricane go up the whole northeast coast." The damage would probably climb into billions of dollars: "This is going to have an impact on the United States economy."
In North Carolina's coastal Dare County, where up to 180,000 people are believed to be present including summer holiday-makers, authorities warned that emergency personnel would not be able to reach anyone who defied the mandatory evacuation by Friday morning. "If you choose to stay, we can't issue a criminal citation, but you are leaving yourself wide open to extreme conditions." By 3am GMT Friday (1pm AEST), Irene had maximum winds of 185km/h and was centred about 785 kilometres south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It was travelling north-northwest at 22km/h. Centre forecasters said a strengthening of Irene was possible later Thursday and Friday.
In New York, the Mayor said skyscrapers would be safe but warned residents to prepare to move to higher ground. "If you have a car and live in a low lying area, park it on a hill. Move stuff upstairs." He authorised the evacuation of hospitals and other vulnerable institutions in the most low-lying areas of New York City, while neighbouring New Jersey ordered 750,000 people out of the remote Cape May area. The hurricane would be the second UNUSUAL scare in a week for the US east coast after a rare 5.8-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday rattled major cities including Washington. While Caribbean and Atlantic islands are accustomed to hurricanes, the northeastern United States usually experiences only the remnants of storms.
Earlier this week, Irene smashed through the Caribbean and then on Wednesday hit the Bahamas, where homes were destroyed, roads were flooded and power was cut off but there were no initial reports of casualties. Haiti, while not directly under Irene's eye, suffered from heavy rains dumped by the hurricane.
Two people died when they were swept away by raging waters in a ravine. The Dominican Republic reported three deaths including that of an 18-year-old pregnant woman, who was washed away in a river. One person was killed in Puerto Rico, where the storm became a hurricane on Monday. Puerto Rican authorities estimated damage at more than $US500 million ($480.22 million).
A large wave caused by Hurricane Irene washed eight people off a north jetty at Boynton Inlet, Florida, nearly causing one person to drown. One of the people swept off the jetty at around 5pm was taken to Delray Medical Center in a serious condition. The other seven victims suffered minor injuries.

'Mina' intensifies further; incoming cyclone monitored - Severe Tropical Storm Mina (Nanmadol) intensified anew early Thursday and may stay until at least Tuesday, even as state weather forecasters monitor the possible entry of a tropical depression just outside Philippine territory.

High chance of cyclone near Cape Verde Islands, Africa - An area of low pressure located 350 miles (563 km) southwest of the Cape Verde Islands has a high 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.


Canadian farmers face effects of RECORD-BREAKING summer - Weather officials in Manitoba said this summer could go down as the driest one on record, posing serious challenges for farmers. Some farmers in the Interlake area say extreme shifts in weather this year have them wondering if they'll able to continue. The wet spring posed issues for many farmers, while the subsequent dry summer has added to troubles. Weather officials said this summer could go down as the driest one on record. "Certainly for agricultural producers now, this is the most stressful year for precipitation in our records, which go back to 1873." In Winnipeg, the previously driest summer on record was in 1961. So far this summer, the city has only had 84 millimetres of rain. The extremely dry conditions this summer extend as far south as Texas. "We do need some precipitation for crops that are still growing like soya beans, corn, and sunflowers to fill out and complete their development...they'll be harvested starting in late September into October."

Arctic sea routes open as ice melts - Two major Arctic shipping routes have opened as summer sea ice melts, European satellites have found. Both Canada's Northwest Passage and Russia's Northern Sea Route are open simultaneously.
This summer's melt could break the 2007 record for the smallest area of sea ice since the satellite era began in 1979. Shipping companies are already eyeing the benefits these routes may bring if they remain open regularly. The two lanes have been used by a number of small craft several times in recent years. But the Northern Sea Route has been free enough of ice this month for a succession of tankers carrying natural gas condensate from the northern port of Murmansk to sail along the Siberian coast en route for Thailand.
"They're often open at the same time in the sense that with some ingenuity you can get through them. "But this time they've really been open, with a proper Suez-size tanker going through the Northern Sea Route with a full cargo - that's a real step forward." A number of major shipping companies are looking to the opening of these routes to shorten journey times and make their businesses more efficient. But environmental groups are concerned that the progressive ice loss will lead to increased exploration for oil and gas.
The Arctic sea ice has been melting fast this year, and for a while it appeared set to break the 2007 record for the smallest minimum area in the satellite record. However, in recent weeks it has been running a narrow second to 2007. "The minimum ice extent is still three to four weeks away, and a lot depends on the weather conditions over the Arctic during those weeks. Whether we reach an absolute minimum or not, this year again confirms that we are in a new regime with substantially less summer ice than before. The last five summers are THE FIVE MINIMUM ICE EXTENT SUMMERS ON RECORD." The volume of sea ice continues to decline annually. The advent of summers where the two sea routes are routinely open is not far away. Some computer models forecast that the Arctic could be completely clear of summer sea ice within a decade, though others recently published say there may be high years and low years en route to the final disappearance. Canada and Russia are among the governments jockeying for position as new areas of the seabed open up for exploitation.


US on alert over tainted Mexican papayas - The Food and Drug Administration has issued an "import alert" after nearly 100 cases of salmonella in 23 states were linked to papayas imported from Mexico. Under the FDA alert, papayas from Mexico can be denied entry into the United States unless the importer proves they have been tested by an independent lab. An FDA analysis found a 15.6 per cent salmonella contamination rate over the last three months in papayas from 28 different companies that included nearly every major papaya producing region in Mexico. Mexico produces 11 per cent of the world's papayas and supplies 65 per cent of US papaya imports.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There will be no update tomorrow, 8/25 -
I've got some business to attend to.

5.8 earthquake LARGEST TO ROCK VIRGINIA IN A CENTURY - The biggest earthquake to hit Virginia in more than 100 years delivered a midday jolt to the East Coast from Georgia to Canada on Tuesday, shaking buildings and sending people scurrying into the streets. Most were wondering: What was that? Cellphone service was temporarily jammed as surprised residents - many of whom were already tracking Hurricane Irene - called family and friends or city emergency operations centers to ask what had happened. Dominion Virginia Power shut down the two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station near the epicenter as a precaution, though its Surry nuclear plant remained online. The North Anna plant issued an "Alert," the third-lowest of four emergency classifications.
The magnitude-5.8 quake struck at 1:51 p.m. near Mineral, Virginia, about 135 miles northwest of South Hampton Roads and 38 miles northwest of Richmond. "This is a big one by any measure of an eastern earthquake." Anything greater than magnitude 5 on the East Coast is AN "EXTRAORDINARY EVENT".
The quake was the second-biggest in Virginia's recorded history. The biggest, a 5.9 tremor near Blacksburg, occurred in 1897. The state's last significant earthquake was a 4.5 near Richmond in 2003. Geologically, because Virginia is in the middle of a tectonic plate, the state does not experience large-magnitude earthquakes such as those that occur in California, which is on a boundary between two plates.
Aftershocks are likely but may not be felt. In fact, a 2.8 tremor was recorded about an hour after Tuesday's quake in the same general area. The 5.8 earthquake was felt over such a large area because East Coast bedrock is more solid than the fractured geology of Western states, which allows reverberations to travel far.
Virginia Department of Transportation staffers are inspecting bridges and tunnels and haven't found any problems. Ports and airports appear unscathed, too. "The very good news is the damage and any injuries that have been reported have been very, very minor - no significant destruction." A Suffolk spokeswoman reported cracks in several city buildings. The quake was reportedly felt in 22 states.

**Salagadoola, mechicka boola, bibbidi-bobbidi-boo."
Cinderella's fairy godmother

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/23/11 -

Washington Monument cracked by quake - Engineers have found a crack near the top of the marble Washington Monument presumably caused by the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that shook the East Coast. Structural engineers found the crack where the 170 metre landmark narrows considerably. The monument will be closed indefinitely to keep the public safe.

LARGEST COLORADO QUAKE SINCE 1973 - The largest earthquake to strike Colorado in almost 40 years has shaken hundreds of people near the New Mexico border. The magnitude 5.3 earthquake was recorded at about 11:46 p.m. MDT Monday about nine miles southwest of Trinidad, Colorado, and about 180 miles south of Denver. The quake followed two smaller ones that hit the area earlier in the day.
The quake is the largest in Colorado since a magnitude 5.7 was recorded in 1973. That one was centered in the northwestern part of the state - about 50 miles north of Grand Junction. A few homes have been damaged and deputies were investigating reports of rockslides along a highway. A magnitude 4.6 quake was felt in the same area at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, and a magnitude 2.9 quake was recorded just before 8 a.m. Two aftershocks - one recorded at 3.5 and another at 3.8 - followed early Tuesday, more than an hour after the 5.3 quake. The last time the area received such a series of earthquakes was in August and September 2001, when about a dozen smaller-sized temblors were recorded. "The area seems to be active again."
The strong earthquake startled thousands of residents along the New Mexico border as it toppled chimneys, cracked walls and triggered minor rockslides in the arid, mountainous region.

-Hurricane Irene was located about 370 mi / 595 km se of Nassau, Bahamas.

-Tropical storm 14w (Nanmadol) was located approximately 605 nm south of Kadena AB, Okinawa. The system has continued to track erratically and slowly. This is expected to continue throughout the forecast period. 14w will eventually begin to interact with another developing system expected to track toward western Japan.

Hurricane Irene strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane early this morning and was expected to strengthen further over the next 24 hours as it continued moving towards the US Atlantic Coast. While previous forecasts had warned that Irene could be on course to hit Florida later this week, the NHC said today it was now more likely the weather system would move over the Bahamas as a major hurricane and then track northward parallel with the US East Coast. Irene was about 650km south-east of Nassau and 1570km south of North Carolina's Cape Hatteras. It was sustaining maximum wind speeds of around 160kmh as it moved north. Irene was predicted to come close to making landfall in North Carolina.
Officials on North Carolina's Ocracoke Island urged visitors and residents to leave the isle yesterday, in advance of a mandatory evacuation order for all non-emergency personnel scheduled for Thursday morning. The island has about 800 permanent residents, but hosts thousands of tourists during the summer. Hurricane warnings were in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas, while a tropical storm warnings was in place in Haiti.

Tropical storm "Mina" (Nanmadol) intensified anew but also slowed to a crawl due to a tropical cyclone just outside Philippine territory.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ran out of time yesterday to do the webpage update. It was a beautiful day......rainy today.

Hurricane Irene heads toward Bahamas - A rapidly strengthening Hurricane Irene has roared off the Dominican Republic's resort-dotted northern coast, whipping up high waves and torrential downpours as it cuts a destructive path through the Caribbean. Irene grew into a category two hurricane today and the US National Hurricane Centre in Miami said it could become a monstrous category three storm as early as tomorrow. "We didn't anticipate it gaining this much strength this early." The ocean's warm temperatures and the current atmosphere is "very conducive" to energising storms.
Forecasters said it could still be that strong when it passes over the Bahamas and slams into the US by the end of the week, possibly landing in Florida, Georgia, or South Carolina. By Monday night, Irene was centered about 200km east of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic with maximum winds of 160km/h. Irene is forecast to grow into a category three hurricane late tomorrow as it moves over the warm waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas. A hurricane warning was in effect for the north coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. All of Haiti was under a tropical storm warning and authorities issued a red alert.
Earlier, the storm slashed directly across Puerto Rico, tearing up trees and knocking out power to more than a million people, then headed out to sea north of the Dominican Republic, where the powerful storm's outer bands were buffeting the north coast with dangerous sea surge and downpours. Police and civil protection officials in the Dominican Republic made their way along the beaches of the country's northern coast to warn people away from the surging sea today. The storm's downpours forced more than 1000 Dominicans to evacuate their homes, with some families in low-lying areas fleeing to churches and public buildings. Dominican officials said the government had emergency food available for 1.5 million people if needed and the country's military and public safety brigades were on alert. During the storm's march through the region, British actress Kate Winslet and others escaped uninjured when a blaze sparked by lightning gutted Richard Branson's home on his private isle in the British Virgin Islands.

**Poor nations are hungry, and rich nations are proud;
and pride and hunger will ever be at variance.**
Jonathan Swift

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/22/11 -

8/21/11 -


Kizimen volcano in Russia generates a lot of seismic activity - Kizimen volcano located on the Kamchatka Peninsula Russia has got a burst of activity August 20/21). Russian scientists have measured more than 900 seismic tremors over the last 24 hours.

Volcanic activity on the rise at Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano - Experts are tracking a 100 year dormant volcano in Costa Rica and are investigating new happenings. The Turrialba Volcano has been dormant for over 100 years but temperatures are rising and plumes of gas are now visible.


-Category 2 Hurricane Irene was located about 100 mi / 155 km E of Puerto Plata Dominican Republic.

-Tropical depression 14 was located approximately 350 nm east of Manila, Philippines.

Florida bracing for arrival of Irene which could strengthen into a hurricane and strike the state on Thursday.
Tropical Storm Irene approached hurricane strength and barreled toward Puerto Rico early Monday after hitting St. Croix, packing heavy rains and winds that closed airports and flooded low-lying areas.

Mina (Tropical depression 14) to bring rains over Bicol, Philippines – A low pressure area (LPA) spotted east of Visayas on Sunday has formed into a tropical depression named “Mina".

Harvey now a tropical depression and moving through Mexico - Tropical Depression Harvey, is moving slowly through Mexico and dumping rain. Even though it is a depression, a tropical storm warning has been issued for the southern coast of Mexico.


Record Breaking Heat Continues in Texas - The pattern of hot and mainly dry weather could move North Texas into second on the list of greatest annual triple digit days by today. On August 11, 2011 temperatures fell below 100 degrees for the first time in 40 days, two days shy of the record.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A strong 6.8 earthquake struck Friday at the northeastern coast of Japan near the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant which was severely damaged by the March 11 super earthquake and tsunami. A tsunami warning was issued in the Fukushima and Miyagi Perfectures but was lifted 35 minutes later. The quake reportedly occurred at 2:36 pm (0536GMT) with its epicenter off Fukushima prefecture at a depth of 20 kilometers. Tokyo Electric Power Company said there were no damages on its Onagawa Plant which has been shut since March.
However, an earlier report says the "GROUND UNDER FUKUSHIMA PLANT IS CRACKING and radioactive steam is coming up - Melted core may be moving out of building." “It’s a very serious and alarming development because this started to happen specifically after two large earthquakes in the last few weeks, there was a 6.4 on the 31 of July 31 and a 6.0 on August 12″. Meanwhile, radioactive contamination in rice was found by Japanese inspectors on Friday. The discovery is likely to fan out growing fears of radioactive contamination on crops and basic agricultural produce and the general safety of Japan's food supply.

**Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody,
I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty
than the person who has nothing to eat.**
Mother Teresa

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/20/11 -

8/19/11 -

Series of quakes rattle Vanuatu - A series of earthquakes struck off the South Pacific island of Vanuatu on Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued. A magnitude-7.1 quake struck at 4.55am (NZ time) at a depth of 40.6 kilometres. Its epicentre was 63 kilometres south-southwest of Vanuatu's capital, Port-Vila. The temblor was followed by several aftershocks, including a magnitude-7.0 quake that struck at 6.19am at a depth of 28.5 kilometres. Its epicentre was 69 kilometres south-southwest of Port-Vila.
Vanuatu, a chain of 83 islands, lies about 2000 kilometres northeast of Sydney. It is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching from South America through Alaska and down through the South Pacific. A magnitude-7.3 quake struck near Vanuatu on December 26, causing a tsunami a few inches high but no damage.


CHILE - Puyehue Cordón Caulle Volcano Continues To Spew Ash. For two and a half months Chile's Puyehue Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex has erupted nearly continuously.

HAWAII - Scientists on the Big Island expect to see more action from Kilauea volcano in the coming days. They've been carefully monitoring a new eruption that began on Aug. 3. That's when a crater at Pu'u O'o collapsed, sending rivers of lava down slope. Since then, lava has been erupting from vents on the western flank of Pu'u O'o , but at a much slower rate. All this may soon change now that Kilauea's summit is no longer deflating.

- Tropical Storm Harvey was located about 40 mi / 65 km NNW of Tikal, Guatemala. Bringing heavy rains to portions of Guatemala and eastern Mexico, it could produce up to 8 inches of rain over the sugar and coffee producing nations of Honduras and Guatemala.

-Tropical Storm Irene was located about 95 mi /150 km E of Dominica. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Puerto Rico...U.S. Virgin Islands...Vieques and Culebra...Saba...St. Eustatius...and St. Maartin...Dominica...Barbuda...St. Kitts...Nevis...Antigua...Anguilla...Montserrat...British Virgin Islands. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the South Coast of the Dominican Republic. Tropical storm conditions could occur elsewhere in the northern Leeward Islands early tonday. Hurricane conditions could occur in the Dominican Republic late on

-Tropical Depression Greg was located about 740 mi / 1190 km WSW of the southern tip of Baja California.

Fernanda Downgraded To A Tropical Depression - Tropical Storm Fernanda was downgraded to a tropical depression Friday, and forecasters expect the system to weaken further this weekend with its remnants passing south of Hawaii Monday.


PENNSYLVANIA - A flash flood killed at least three people in Pittsburgh late on Friday, and the body of a possible fourth victim has been found, authorities said on Saturday. A mother and her two daughters died when water as deep as nine feet engulfed their vehicle on a low-lying section of the city's Washington Boulevard near the Allegheny River. The water pinned their vehicle to a tree and they were unable to escape. Rescue workers also recovered a body from the Allegheny River believed to be that of an older woman reported missing during the flood. During the flood, more than a dozen cars were stranded along the road and paramedics in boats went from car to car to rescue drivers and passengers. Some motorists stood on their vehicles' roofs or clung to trees to avoid the rising water. A severe thunderstorm that triggered the flood caused power outages in parts of the city late Friday afternoon.

KANSAS CITY - Severe storms clobbered the metro area again early Saturday, dumping RECORD AMOUNTS OF RAIN at the airport and downing trees and power lines for the second straight night. No injuries were reported. The storms snarled traffic, flooded streets and sent scores of Kansas City Power & Light crews scrambling to keep up with outage reports. “It’s ONE OF THE BIGGEST STORMS WE'VE EVER HAD, with really high winds and a lot of lightning." The storms of the past two days were the second strongest in the company’s history, behind only the 2002 ice storm. “We’ve never had a summer with this many big storms. We’ve had five this summer that affected 50,000 or more in our service area."
The western half of the metro area appeared to be the hardest hit, with reports of 60 to 70 mph winds. In Leavenworth, there were reports of hail that was 4½ inches in diameter. 2.4 inches of rain fell after midnight Friday at Kansas City International Airport, setting a record for that date. Another 1.5 inches was recorded at the airport from the storm the previous night. The rains brought the totals to 1.37 inches above normal for the year. “The good news is that smoother sailing is ahead for the next three or four days, with low chances of severe weather."


TEXAS - Record-Breaking Heat Continues. The National Weather Service extended the heat advisory for the majority of North Texas through Monday. DFW Airport's thermometer has hit at least 100 degrees 54 times this summer, putting North Texas in third for the most 100 degree days in a year.

Species flee warming faster than previously thought - Animals and plants are shifting their natural home ranges towards the cooler poles three times faster than scientists previously thought. In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers looked at the effects of temperature on over 2,000 species. They report that species experiencing the greatest warming have moved furthest. The results helped to "cement" the link between climate change and shifts in species' global ranges, said the team.
Scientists have consistently told us that as the climate warms we should expect animals to head polewards in search of cooler temperatures. Animals like the British comma butterfly, for example, has moved 220km northward from central England to southern Scotland in the last two decades. There is also evidence that more species seem to be moving up mountains than down. Analysing the range shifts of more than 2,000 species - ranging from butterflies to birds, algae to mammals - across Europe, North and South America and Malaysia over the last four decades, they show that organisms that experience the greatest change in temperatures move the fastest. The team found that on average organisms are shifting their home ranges at a rate of 17km per decade away from the equator; three times the speed previously thought.
"Seeing that species are able to keep up with the warming is a very positive finding." It seems that species were able to seek out cooler habitats as long as there was not an obstacle in their way, like a highway. But what about the animals that already live at the poles, or at the top of mountains? "They die." Take the polar bear, it does most of its hunting off the ice, and that ice is melting - this JULY WAS THE LOWEST ARCTIC ICE COVER EVER RECORDED - it has nowhere to go. However, the loss of this one bear species, although eminently emblematic, seems insignificant when compared to the number of species that are threatened at the top of tropical mountains. On Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, Geometrid moths have moved uphill as temperatures increase. Their natural ranges have shifted by 59m in 42 years. These moths "don't have options; they are being forced up, and at some point they will run out of land...we know that the species which have expanded the most and fastest are the species that are not particularly fussy about where they live."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Within decades, solar storms are likely to become more disruptive to planes and spacecraft, say researchers. The work predicts that once the Sun shifts towards an era of lower solar activity, more hazardous radiation will reach Earth. The team says the Sun is currently at a grand solar maximum. This phase began in the 1920s - and has lasted throughout the space age.
"All the evidence suggests that the Sun will shortly exit from a grand solar maximum that has persisted since before the start of the space age. In a grand solar maximum, the peaks of the 11-year sunspot cycle are larger and the average number of solar flares and associated events such as coronal mass ejections are greater. On the other hand, in a grand solar minimum there are almost no sunspots for several decades. The last time this happened was during the Maunder Minimum, between about 1650 and 1700."
The research indicates that most radiation hits the Earth during periods of middling solar activity. Increased radiation is a particular problem for aviation and communications - technology that did not exist the last time the sun cycle ended its grand maximum. The research is based on evidence from ice cores and tree trunks going back 10,000 years. The team measured levels of nitrates and cosmogenic isotopes which enter our atmosphere and are deposited in ice and organic material. "You can tell by the concentration of nitrates in ice sheets that there has been a solar event. What we showed was that they all cropped up at more middling activity than we have been used to. We used this data to say that an unfortunate combination of solar conditions is coming our way in the next few decades. It's just a question of how much worse the radiation gets and how long it lasts."
The most disruptive radiation is from solar energetic particles, which are carried away from the Sun by coronal mass ejections, or solar storms, which explode from the Sun's surface. The evidence seems to indicate that although there are fewer solar storms once the Sun leaves its grand maximum, they are more powerful, faster and therefore carry more particles. A decline in solar activity also allows more radiation from other parts of the galaxy to enter the Solar System.
In a separate study, a team at Stanford University in California, say they have a developed a technique that could give advance warning of the formation of sunspots before they become visible on the Sun's surface. Sunspots are areas of high magnetic activity. They are significant because these are the areas where solar storms or coronal mass ejections erupt. The Stanford team used a novel technique called helioseismology, which is based on analysis of vibrations on the solar surface. The team discovered that these acoustic signals causing the vibrations moved faster in regions where sunspots were forming up to 65,000km (40,000m) deep.
The resulting sunspots appeared on the surface between one and two days after the differences in vibrations were detected. "It's an early warning for emerging sunspots. This is our main finding. We can also predict the size and strength of the sunspot. And if it is a large sunspot then it is more probable to produce some big space weather events like some strong flares."

**It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing
while we are thoroughly alive.
There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good,
and we must hunger after them.**
George Eliot

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/18/11 -

JAPAN - A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 struck off Japan's northeastern coast today, triggering a tsunami advisory that was later lifted.

In the Atlantic -
-Tropical Depression Eight was located about 40 mi / 60 km NNE of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the coast of Honduras and the coast of Guatemala.

In the Pacific -
-Tropical Storm Fernanda was located about 905 mi /1460 km ESE of South Point Hawaii. Beginning to show signs of weakening.

-Category 1 Hurricane Greg was located about 380 mi /610 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California. Weakening is expected.

Vigorous tropical wave emerges off the west coast of Africa - A storm system over the western Caribbean Sea has a high chance of becoming a tropical cyclone before it moves inland over Central America.

Forecasters calling for Atlantic hurricane next weekend. Maybe a big one. Some models have it hitting Florida and moving inland and up the I-95 corridor as a tropical storm. Others have it missing and heading between the coast and Bermuda.


BELGIUM - At least four people were reported killed and dozens injured when a violent storm struck an outdoor rock festival in northern Belgium overnight, collapsing two stages and sending shocked fans running for cover. The destructive weather uprooted trees and caused a tower with technical equipment to fall onto trucks. Video footage from the site showed stage equipment dangling precariously and soaked revelers desperately fleeing the area. The number of injured was reported at anywhere between 40 and 70 people. More than 65,000 fans had reportedly flocked to the site for the popular music festival. Fans took shelter after the sky suddenly turned pitch black. "Then suddenly, there was a downpour. The wind blew violently. There were hailstones bigger than a centimeter falling ... Trees toppled over. It was unbelievable, the end of the world."
"It looked terrible. All the structures collapsed. There was panic. It was crazy." More than 20 ambulances reportedly went to the scene as the concert came to a halt. The stage collapse and deaths followed a similar incident last Sunday in Indianapolis, in the US, where a huge storm caused the collapse of a towering outdoor stage at the Indiana State Fair, killing five and sending at least 40 to hospitals.

CHILE - This has been THE WETTEST WINTER IN DECADES for Chile's arid northern desert, where fractions of an inch of rain have done major damage in some areas and set the stage for spectacular floral displays in the weeks to come. July came and went with major storms that together dumped more than 5 TIMES THE ANNUAL AVERAGE OF RAIN AND SNOW on parts of the world's driest desert.
Early Auugst's precipitation blocked highways, forced the cancellation of a top Chilean football match and damaged the homes of 1,800 people. A similarly wet stretch in early July dumped FOUR YEAR'S WORTH OF RAIN IN ONE DAY on coastal Antofogasta. That was just a quarter of an inch (more than 6.3 millimeters) but it was still enough to cause collapsed or leaking roofs in homes and businesses that usually have no reason to protect themselves against even minimal precipitation. That storm also brought as much as three feet (a meter) of snow to mountains that normally receive zero precipitation during the southern winter. Soldiers helped rescue 400 people including busloads of foreign visitors who were trapped in snow drifts and 50 mph (80 kph) winds. Some copper mines in the region, including the massive Collahuasi operation, temporarily halted production because of snowfall. Further south in Copiapo, dry riverbeds became torrents, trapping people who tried to drive across. The government helped out by delivering plastic sheeting to shantytown residents. In Iquique, a dust storm surprised residents. "The sky was red with dust at sunset, which was SOMETHING NO ONE HAD EVER SEEN BEFORE...Windstorms devastated some roofs and knocked over big trees." Average annual rainfall in the northern city of Arica is so low that it would take 50 years to accumulate an inch. This July, the city was swamped twice by what would be considered mild showers almost anywhere else on the planet. So far this year, Arica has had 0.13 inch (3.4 millimeters) of rain, MORE THAN 6 TIMES ITS YEARLY AVERAGE during 30 years of record keeping. While climate scientists say global warming has made for increasingly extreme weather worldwide, this rain is PARTICULARLY UNUSUAL for the Atacama, where precipitation has declined over the past century and climate change models predict deserts will expand southward and become even drier. This year's rains and snow are caused by high-pressure systems farther south that have disrupted prevailing wind currents.
From central Santiago southward, Chile is having a very dry year, causing drought conditions in places and draining reservoirs needed for hydroelectricity. The Atacama desert ecosystem normally has very little vegetation or insects, and its flowers don't bloom every year. But July's rains should bring an amazing transformation. "We expect to have to have all these seeds and insects that are latent, that will explode. Probably we will find lots of flowers in many places." When the Atacama does bloom, purple and yellow flowers are most common, with spots of red, as an estimated 200 varieties of flowers burst from the sand. July's ABNORMAL rainfall is expected to cause flowers to bloom starting in late August. Usually, the high season is September through November.


Severe low temperatures devastate coral reefs in Florida Keys - Increased seawater temperatures are known to be a leading cause of the decline of coral reefs all over the world. Now, researchers have found that extreme low temperatures affect certain corals in much the same way that high temperatures do, with potentially catastrophic consequences for coral ecosystems. The study was prompted by an ABNORMAL episode of extended cold weather in January and February 2010. Temperatures on inshore reefs in the upper Florida Keys dropped below 12 C (54 F), and remained below 18 C (64 F) for two weeks. The reef, once abundant in hard and soft corals, was essentially dead. "It was the saddest thing I've ever seen. The large, reef-building corals were gone. Some were estimated to be 200 to 300 years old and had survived other catastrophic events, such as the 1998 El Niño bleaching event. The severe cold water appeared to kill the corals quite rapidly." Offshore coral reefs were less severely affected by the cold air mass that was pushed by an UNUSUAL WEATHER PATTERN over much of the U.S. during that two-week period. The cold-water temperatures off-shore were likely buffered by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. Corals depend on Symbiodinium, a type of symbiotic algae that lives inside them, for nutrition. Through photosynthesis, the algae produce sugars, which are passed on to the corals. "The cold temperatures inhibited photosynthesis in the algae, leading to a potential net loss of carbon transferred from the algae to the coral." Each coral species has its own unique type of Symbiodinium, some of which were better able to tolerate and recover from cold temperatures than others. Siderastrea siderea was the only coral able to recover.
"Corals and their symbiotic algae have a range of stress tolerance. Some can handle moderate stress, some are highly sensitive, and some are in between. But extreme cold is just one stressor among many." Other threats to coral health include increased seawater temperatures, diseases, ocean acidification, and pollution. "Adding stress from wintertime cold episodes could not only quickly kill corals but also may have long-term effects. For corals found in the Florida Keys, winter is typically a 'non-stressful' time and corals bulk up on tissue reserves that are important for surviving potentially 'stressful' summertime conditions (i.e. coral bleaching)."
Researchers at NOAA attribute the RECORD-BREAKING COLD ANOMALY to a negative trend in the North Atlantic oscillation, an atmospheric pressure pattern that influences the weather in the northern hemisphere. "They speculate that if the trend continues, these kinds of extreme cold events may become more frequent..."The study shows that warming may not be the only climate-related problem for coral reefs in the future." It was not only the corals that were devastated by the cold snap. "The corals provide the framework for the entire reef ecosystem. The lobster, shrimp, clams, fish - all the creatures that depend on the reef - were affected too. The potential consequences for coral ecosystems are extremely alarming."


Mysterious orange goo found to be fungal spores - A mysterious orange goo that collected on shorelines in an Alaska village is made up of fungal spores, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have said. Alaska-based NOAA scientists had initially concluded the material was a conglomeration of microscopic eggs or embryos deposited by some form of crustacean.
Scientists did a follow-up examination on a sample sent from Alaska and determined the material was fungal, not the product of crustaceans. The material is consistent with spores from fungi that cause "rust," a disease that infects plants by causing a rust-like color on them.
"The spores are unlike others we and our network of specialists have examined; however, many rust fungi of the Arctic tundra have yet to be identified." The gooey material first appeared early this month in the water and on coastlines of Kivalina, an Inupiat Eskimo village of 400 on the Chukchi Sea coast. Residents initially feared the material might be pollution from the nearby Red Dog Mine, the world's largest zinc producer. But early tests showed it was a biological material, not mining waste or a petroleum product. The sticky orange material, which dried into a powder, has washed away from Kivalina. The material was likely harmless. "Rust is a disease that only affects plants, so there's no cause for alarm." Details about its origins remained a mystery. "There just has not been a lot of research done on rust fungi in the Arctic. THIS IS ONE THAT WE'VE NEVER ENCOUNTERED BEFORE that we know of."


Meteor shower may have been 'caused by Earth-threatening comet' - A meteor shower detected in February was likely caused by an undiscovered long-period comet that could pose a threat to the Earth, a US astronomer said on Monday. Astronomers did not know whether the comet "has already passed us by or is still on approach. The meteors are in a very compact cluster, not wider than our measurement uncertainty. They move in essentially the same orbit." He confirmed his earlier prediction of their possible return in 2016 or 2023, and after that not again until 2076. "This comet survived some prior passages through the inner solar system to get in the orbit where it is now, so the comet is likely still there."

The 100-year Starship Study - 11/11/11 is the culmination of a dual NASA-Darpa plan, started last winter. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the guys behind GPS and the Internet, is awarding a $500,000 grant to one organization willing to take on a 100-year research project for humanity's future. This Fall, one lucky organization will be crowned with the responsibility for leading research into interstellar travel over the next hundred years.
DARPA has made it clear that they are passing the baton and not taking it back. Once the winner is announced there will be no babysitting, and the winning organization had better be up to the task as they’ll be shouldering responsibility for a century. The purpose of the 100-year plan isn’t to immediately build a spaceship, as that may take centuries, but to design a business plan for the eventual development of interstellar travel. Nobody can anticipate what will emerge in 100 years, but the point is to get the ball rolling and the buzz spreading. At this point in research, it would take the 38,000 mph traveling Voyager 1 over 70,000 years to reach the nearest star of Alpha Centauri. The ideas to be examined in this 100-year long research project include: time-distance solutions, biology and space medicine, habitats and environmental science, propaganda plans for building public interest and more. DARPA believes that this research will also lead to many unanticipated consequences which will benefit the Department of Defense, as well as the private and commercial sector.