Tuesday, November 29, 2011

**I look forward to a great future for America -
a future in which our country will match
its military strength with our moral restraint,
its wealth with our wisdom,
its power with our purpose.**
John F. Kennedy

This morning -

Yesterday -
11/28/11 -
Swarm of 40 quakes in Puerto Rico after one measuring 4.9, with a later one of 5.2

Oklahoma Continues String of Recent Mild Earthquakes - Oklahoma has been hit by nine earthquakes since last Monday, most of them concentrated in the area just east of Oklahoma City.


ECUADOR'S government is urging four villages to evacuate because of increased activity in the Tungurahua volcano not far from the country's capital. About 700 people live in the mainly farming communities on the slopes of the volcano in the Andes. Ecuador's Geophysical Institute says increased activity that began yesterday is billowing columns of ash, sending super-heated clouds of gas down the slopes and cascading hot rocks from the summit. It is recording a gradual accumulation of lava in the mountain. The volcano is in a sparsely populated area about 135km south-east of the capital, Quito. It has been active since 1999.

In the Pacific -
Tropical cyclone 05a was located approximately 550 nm south of Karachi, Pakistan.


- Eight killed in Durban floods. A violent storm killed six people in Durban and Pietermaritzburg on Sunday night and destroyed scores of homes. The extreme weather, which struck hours before the opening of the UN climate change conference in Durban, caused flooding and widespread damage. The Sunday night deaths brought the number of people killed by floods in KwaZulul-Natal to 11 in less than two weeks. Last week, five people died in the province due to heavy rains.
Six people were killed in Umlazi and Clermont townships, south and west of the city, on Sunday night. "We have been told they died when their houses collapsed. We have also been told that about 100 homes were flooded and damaged in Isipingo." Homes were flooded in Durban's affluent areas such as Umhlanga and Newlands. "This shows that even the posh areas are not spared of the effects of climate change." Several people, including a one-year-old baby, were rescued from their Durban homes early on Monday after flash floods. Paulpietersburg, Gingindlovu, Nkandla and Eshowe were the most affected during last week's floods. Three people died in Paulpietersburg, and two in the eThekwini municipality. Up to 20,000 delegates from more than 190 countries are gathered in Durban to thrash out a plan to counter global warming and the catastrophic climate change, including extreme weather, it is causing in many parts of the world.


NEW YORK had RECORD-BREAKING WARM WEATHER to be thankful for over the holiday weekend, and those temperatures continued into the work week. The National Weather Service recorded a temperature of 68 degrees on Long Island. The temperature in New York City hit 70 degrees, breaking the record set in 1896, and making New York one of several areas to see record-breaking warm temperatures in the past couple days.
Warm weather in Washington - Temperature Sunday hit RECORD 70 degrees at Dulles. It was UNUSUALLY warm in the Washington area Sunday, warm enough to set a record at one of the area’s airports and warmer than it might get for the rest of the year. Temperatures at all three of the area’s airports reached into the 70s, and at Dulles International Airport, the maximum of 70 was a record. The old record at Dulles was 68, set in 1976. At Reagan National Airport, where Washington’s official readings are made, it was even warmer, 72 degrees. That fell three degrees short of the record of 75, set 115 years ago. According to a National Weather Service analysis of Washington weather data, 2011 has about a 50-50 chance of ending without another day quite so warm or atmospherically amazing as Sunday.
An examination of Washington records going back to 1872 shows that in all the years since then, temperatures from Nov. 28 to Dec. 31 have reached 70 only 70 times. That means that a 70-degree day from now to year’s end occurs, on average, about once every two years. Sunday was Washington’s second-warmest day this month at National, one degree short of the high of 73 reached Nov. 14.

In the past few weeks, Zimbabwe experienced RECORD-BREAKING TEMPERATURES which saw temperatures in some parts of the country soaring to 46 degrees Celsius, pretty extreme than ever in the last half a century. The country was abuzz with talk over the sweltering heat. But does a mere variation in temperature mean that Zimbabwe is now experiencing climate change? People's perception of climate change usually differ from the one held by academics and the scientific community. To most people, the fact that temperatures hit the 46 degree barrier in Chiredzi and Buffalo Range is a sure indicator of climate change in Zimbabwe. But for scientists, it is not enough to conclude that Zimbabwe is now experiencing climate change because of this sudden upsurge in temperature.
"An extreme event is sometimes confused with climate change, although there might be some correlations, but this does not necessarily mean a changed climate. We should not confuse temperature variations with climate change." Climate change can be described as an identifiable statistical change in the state of the climate which persists for an extended period of time. "For example, Harare has an average mean rainfall of 600mm per year and if this mean falls to 550mm then we can conclude that climate change has taken place. If this mean (600mm) does not change over say a 30-year period, then no climate change has taken place."
Zimbabwe is increasingly experiencing temperature changes as a result of global warming or global climate disruption, as some meteorologists would argue. The Zimbabwe average minimum temperatures increased from 13 degrees Celsius in 1962 to 14 degrees Celsius by 2008 while average maximum temperatures went up from 26 degrees Celsius in 1962 to 27,2 degrees Celsius by 2008. "The temperature data base goes back to 1962. Zimbabwe is experiencing a gradual increase in temperatures - year to year variability. It's showing an increasing trend."
A University of Zimbabwe CTDT study report on the perception of smallholder farmers from UMP, Murehwa, Chiredzi and Tsholotsho of climate change indicated that the most prominent feature they identified as a sign of climate change included rainfall distribution change in rainfall patterns in the last 30 years, changes in temperature, changes in forest vegetation, recurrent droughts and very high ambient temperature, drying up of water sources, warm winter season and the extension of the winter season. "In all districts, farmers stated that rainfall amounts, and distribution, have changed in the past ten years. They say there has been a general decline in the rainfall amounts, recurrent droughts, drastic changes in the rainfall distribution - delayed onset dates of the rainy season and increased frequency and length of mid-season dry spells." Farmers stated that the climate had become warmer in recent years with higher than normal day time temperatures, warm nights and warm winter seasons. "Farmers' perceptions of climate change generally agree with findings of analyses of rainfall and temperature data. These show that in the last 20-30 years, there has been an increase in rainfall variability and frequency and severity of droughts." There was an observed delay in the onset dates of the rainy season in Chiredzi and UMP, shortening of the length of the growing period in these districts something that tallied with farmers' perceptions.Findings also suggest that there was general warming of temperatures in all the three districts by about 0.3 to 0.4 Degrees Celsius and that most of the warming occurred during the period after 1980 the period with higher than usual occurrences of droughts.


A line of sunspots stretching across the sun's northern hemisphere appears to be an independent sequence of dark cores. A telescope tuned to the red glow of solar hydrogen, however, reveals something different. The sunspots are connected by sinuous filaments of magnetism. "These sunspots writhe and squirm energetically as they rotate away from us!" The connections suggest an interesting possibility. While each sunspot individually poses little threat for strong solar flares, an instability in one could start a chain reaction involving all, leading to a widespread eruption.