Thursday, August 4, 2011

Our Biggest Security Threat Is Global Warming-Induced Extreme Weather - We risk losing our country to permanent droughts and extreme natural disasters. Scientists have been predicting for years that global warming would produce record-breaking extremes on either side of the thermometer. This past winter, America survived its so-called snowpocalypse, and now that summer has arrived, we've got a heat dome.
If you're wondering what the heck that is - it's just another obvious climate change assassin that we could see coming miles away, if some of us were paying better attention. If you're looking for a more technical definition, according to National Geographic a heat dome is a seasonal high-pressure system of dense hot air, albeit one with a highly unusual (for now) strength and size, stretching one million square miles from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast. It's already killed a couple dozen people, adding to a swelling death toll resulting from recent tornadoes and floods that bedeviled the nation this year.
It conforms easily to the ravages of Kevin Borden and Susan Cutter's so-called Death Map - academically known as "Spatial patterns of natural hazards mortality in the United States" - which in 2008 peered into climate change's crystal ball and found INTENSIFYING NATURAL DISASTERS CAPABLE OF REGIONALLY RESHAPING THE NATION WITH EVERY CATASTROPHE. Heat and drought were the main death-dealers, along with extreme summer and winter events. Borden now works for a homeland security risk management specialist.
In other words, the heat dome may be really bad news, but it's only part of a much bigger picture: We are facing extreme weather from climate change that is challenging life as we know it. "I think we need absolutely realistic reporting on what's going on now, and what we can expect in the future. I think the fact that the climate is coming unhinged already is starting to break through. How could it not with simultaneous Dust Bowl-scale drought in the Southwest, and Noah-scale flooding in the middle of the country?"
Scientists have been right in predicting that things are going to be bad, but just how bad is a more complicated scenario. Next time a report or study divulging the latest lethality of climate change surfaces, check for a quote from a well-intentioned scientist explaining that everything is happening faster than previously thought. It won't take long, whether you're reading about how nature is not as efficient in slowing global warming as once assumed, or that the North Pole is melting much faster than everyone thought it would. For all of its supposedly radical activism, if you ask the denialists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), along with most other scientists have all been extremely efficient at one thing: Underestimating the severity of global warming. "Scientists are by nature conservative, so it doesn't surprise me that the earliest estimates of climate change's impact would be underestimates. But since the rapid melt of Arctic ice in the summer of 2007, scientists have been trying to send the message that things are happening faster and more violently than expected. The political community, including the United Nations bureaucracy administering the climate talks, hasn't caught up."
It could be too late for them to counteract that fatal mistake. "The scientific community is demoralized by its realization that the public and our leaders are not sane and rational. The so-called Climategate scandal of 2009, organized by right-wing denialists, pretty much did in the scientists' hopeful sense of activism. They're just stuck now with the awful results of the science, and nobody wants to hear about it." Even the scientists are starting to crack under the pressure. University of Washington paleontologist Peter Ward, who is continuing his study of planetary mass extinction this summer by studying the 500-million-year-old living fossil Nautilus in the remote Pacific, is severely pained by his ability to be right on the data but wrong on people actually caring enough about it to awake from their mediated, medicated stupor. "I wrote a book in 1994 called The End of Evolution: A Journey in Search of Clues to the Third Mass Extinction Facing Earth that said, within in a decade or two, we'd be seeing these monumental destructions, and people laughed at it. I wrote just last year about sea-level rise in The Flooded Earth saying that things look pretty desperate for the next 60 to 80 years, and got almost no reviews. Luckily, I'm not going to be alive to see the worst of it. But the sad thing is that it's horrible to be right, just horrible. Somebody gave me the foresight to see what's coming, and I don't like it." We're headed toward a great extinction. "The only question is how great. That still remains within our ability to influence. Job one is to stop pouring more carbon into the air."
The other job? Stop pouring more people onto the planet. "The single driver going on here is the increase in human population. Everything goes back to that. It explains every one of these phenomena: Global warming, marine extinction, changes in living patterns and even in the economies of the world. Way too many people, way too fast. And it's running away." All of these problems are interconnected. Our continuing economic recession was specifically built upon hyper-real stratagems designed to distract people from the fact that they were - like pretty much everything we're doing these days - wholly unsustainable, and would benefit only the filthy-rich global elite who have disconnected from national interests altogether.

**Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head,
and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.**
Saint Basil

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/3/11 -

Indonesia's West Sumatra Anticipating Huge Quake - Research shows that major earthquakes in Mentawai sub-duction zones, Sumatra, follows a recurring 200-year cycle. The last two major earthquakes occurred in the region in 1797 and 1833. Although the date of future disaster cannot be ascertained, the government has been on alert. "The research on 200-year-cycled Mentawai earthquake is the most advanced and complete seismic research, so it is trustworthy. This research became the official reference for the government in disaster mitigation in this area, especially the risk of a tsunami."
Indonesia's tsunami early warning system has been built since 2007 but until now it has not been completed. "Based on the risk potential analysis, approximately 600 pieces of sirens are required, assuming one siren for each village or nagari along the coast of West Sumatra. Six units have been installed, one percent only of the total needed."
Meanwhile, Padang City has targeted the construction of 100 shelters in anticipation of earthquakes and tsunamis. At least eight buildings are being prepared to accommodate tens of thousands of citizens residing in the Indian Ocean coastlines. There are still a number of shelters built by residents as one of disaster mitigation efforts. A number of private-owned public buildings are also designed to be shelters.


Alaska officials watch volcano as lava dome grows - The Alaska Volcano Observatory says the observation increases the possibility but doesn't guarantee an eruption at Cleveland Volcano. Officials say the dome has grown from about 131 feet to 164 feet in diameter since Friday.

TANZANIA - The government, through Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa), will soon conduct a research on Mount Kilimanjaro’s Kibo peak to check signs of volcanic eruption following recent volcanic incidents in different parts of the world. “The government through Tanapa is planning to look for experts who will conduct research at the Kibo peak to check whether there was any possibility of volcanic eruption in the future." Mt Kilimanjaro had three peaks which occurred due to volcanic eruptions about one million years ago. “Experts’ reports have confirmed that Mawenzi and Shira peaks had dead volcanic and there is no possibility of eruption." However, the Kibo peak was reportedly active as ashes and fire had been spotted recently. “The last incident of eruption at this peak occurred 200 years ago resulting in ash pit which exists until today." Latest experts’ reports indicated that Mt. Kilimanjaro’s glacier would disappear by 2025. The Minister admitted that it was true that the ice cap the mountain was melting due to climate changes, but used the opportunity to request the people to preserve the environment to contain the problem.


Australia Prepares World-First Tsunami Warning System - Australian scientists are putting the finishing touches on a highly advanced tsunami warning system in a remote desert region north of Perth. Researchers say the array of sensors is the first in the world able to make predictions on where and when tsunamis may strike. The system being installed in the red dust of the Pilbara region in Western Australia will monitor earthquakes around the Indian Ocean. In particular, it will look for signs of underground ruptures along the Indonesian archipelago to the north.
Scientists say it is the first seismic array built specifically to predict both when tsunamis may occur, but also where they might strike. Information is transmitted in real time back to a tsunami-warning center in Melbourne and to Geoscience Australia in Canberra, the government’s official geological agency. The seismic array is a network of interconnected seismographs that measure and record the force and duration of earthquakes. They are arranged in a geometric pattern to increase sensitivity to events underground.
The system is unique. “An array is distinct from a station that has a single sensor in that it doesn't only see the incoming wave but it can also track the direction of incoming energy. So as energy comes into the sensor it can sort of track the direction from which that energy is coming and that will let us sort of map out the rupture from some of these large earthquakes that might occur to our north or even elsewhere.”
After the 2004 Indonesian tsunami disaster, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System was established, which the Australian system will complement. It is expected to be operational by the end of the year. The Indian Ocean system is designed to provide the sort of accurate information that the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has provided to countries in the Pacific basin since the 1960s. Australia experiences on average about one earthquake each day -- most too small to be noticed without instrumentation. Although the country sits in the middle of the Indo-Australian tectonic plate, it is not prone to damaging earthquakes that many of its Asia-Pacific neighbors are.

- Tropical Storm Merbok was located approximately 540 nm west-northwest of Wake Island. [Far out in the Pacific Ocean]

- Typhoon Muifa was located approximately 140 nm southeast of Kadena air base, Japan.

- Hurricane Eugene was located about 620 mi/1000 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California.

- Tropical storm Emily was located in the Carribean. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, southeastern and central Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and eastern Cuba. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas. Interests in east-central Cuba and South Florida should monitor the progress of Emily.

Tropical Storm Emily took aim at vulnerable Haiti on Wednesday. After battering the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Tropical Storm Emily is headed toward the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Emily, the fifth tropical storm of this year's hurricane season, may reach the Florida coast this weekend. Although the storm looks unlikely to become the season's first Atlantic hurricane, it has prompted forecasters to warn coastal residents about this year's season all the same.
The National Hurricane Center has not issued any advisories for the U.S. yet, but, the five-day forecast puts the center of the storm just off the Florida coast by early morning Saturday


The National Weather Service has confirmed 753 tornadoes touched down in the United States this April, SMASHING BOTH THE RECORD FOR TORNADO TUOCHDOWNS IN APRIL and TOUCHDOWNS IN ANY MONTH IN RECORDED HISTORY.


AUSTRALIA - Melbourne's warm weather is BREAKING RECORDS, but the cold weather is set to return. Yesterday's top temperature of 23.2 degrees was THE HIGHEST EVER FOR THE FIRST HALF OF AUGUST IN 157 YEARS. It was also THE WARMEST AUGUST NIGHT ON RECORD, with a minimum temperature of 17.3 degrees. The previous record high was 16.2 degrees, set in 1885. "So it's an EXCEPTIONALLY WARM spell for early August."
The warm weather is due to a high pressure system in the Tasman Sea. "That drags air a long way north, up over central Australia and southern Queensland all the way south to Victoria." But the unseasonable weather will not stay around. "Today is the last of those warm days but certainly it's been quite exceptional for this time of the year." Canberra has had some wild swings in weather this winter, recording its COLDEST MORNING IN 17 YEARS last week and its HOTTEST START TO AUGUST ON RECORD yesterday. It hit almost 21 degrees.


M6-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot 1261 unleashed another strong solar flare Wednesday morning -- an M6-class flash at 1348 UT. Like Tuesday's eruption from the same active region, this explosion propelled a CME in the general direction of Earth. Estimated time of arrival for both coronal mass ejections is Friday, August 5th. A listening station above the Arctic Circle in Norway reports ionospheric waves and VHF radio noise associated with Tuesday's M6-flare.That CME left the sun traveling 900 km/s and should reach Earth at 0300 UT plus or minus 7 hours. Another cloud produced by Wednes's M-flare may be right behind it.. Mild to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible when these CMEs arrive. A solar wind stream flowing from a coronal hole should reach Earth on Aug. 7th or 8th
"The size and broiling movement of these sunspots just boggles the mind. You could fit every planet in the solar system with all of the known asteroids neatly inside the largest!" Caution: Even when the sun is dimmed by low-hanging clouds or haze, focused sunlight can still damage your eyes. Do not look at the sun through unfiltered optics of any kind.

The idea that other universes - as well as our own - lie within "bubbles" of space and time has received a boost. Studies of the low-temperature glow left from the Big Bang suggest that several of these "bubble universes" may have left marks on our own. This "multiverse" idea is popular in modern physics, but experimental tests have been hard to come by.
The theory that invokes these bubble universes - a theory formally called "eternal inflation" - holds that such universes are popping into and out of existence and colliding all the time, with the space between them rapidly expanding - meaning that they are forever out of reach of one another. But when these universes are created adjacent to our own, they may leave a characteristic pattern in the CMB. This program found four particular areas that look likely to be signatures of the bubble universes - where the bubbles were 10 times more likely than the standard theory to explain the variations that the team saw in the CMB. "Finding just four patches is not necessarily going to give you a good probability on the full sky. That's not statistically strong enough to either rule it out or to say that there is a collision."
Data from the Planck telescope - a next-generation space telescope designed to study the CMB with far greater sensitivity - would put the idea on a firmer footing, or refute it. However, the data from Planck cannot be discussed publicly before January 2013. Data from the Planck telescope should resolve the question once and for all. The theories that invoked the multiverse were fraught with problems, because they dealt in so many intangible or immeasurable quantities. "But just because there are profound theory difficulties doesn't mean one shouldn't take the picture seriously." Even if these bubble universes were confirmed, we could never learn anything further about them. "It would be wonderful to be able to go outside our bubble, but it's not going to be possible. They're born close together - that's when the collision happens - and this same inflation happens between the bubbles. They're being hurled apart and space-time is expanding faster than light between them." "It would be a pretty amazing thing to show that we have actually made physical contact in another universe. It's a long shot, but it would be very profound for physics."


36 million pounds of Cargill ground turkey were being recalled after a salmonella outbreak that killed at least one person. The turkey linked to the outbreak comes from a single plant in Springdale, Arkansas, and the recall stretches from early February to August 2.
Retailers will be notified and a consumer alert will be published shortly. The USDA had issued a public health alert late on Friday after ground turkey was implicated in an estimated 77 infections in 26 states, including one death in California. The strain involved in this outbreak, salmonella Heidelberg, is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, which can increase the risk of hospitalisation or treatment failure.