Sunday, June 3, 2012

**We have lived our lives by the assumption
that what was good for us would be good for the world.
We have been wrong. We must change our lives
so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption,
that what is good for the world will be good for us.
And that requires that we make the effort
to know the world and learn what is good for it.
Wendell Berry

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday -
6/2/12 -

6/1/12 -

The risk of a deadly tsunami ravaging the United States is now leading scientists to investigate hazards posed by giant earthquakes off the Alaskan coast.

Italy Quake Victims Try to Rebuild Lives - Quake victims in northern Italy are facing the arduous problem of how to rebuild their lives. Some 14,000 people were forced to leave their homes, and many remain too afraid to return, as constant tremors ripple through the area.

Quake study to pinpoint risks from Italy to China - Quakes in continental interiors claim more lives than those in the oceanic plate boundaries because they often happen on unknown faults, scientists say. The impact is also often greater because many cities and trade routes lie on these faults.

In the Pacific -
Typhoon 04w (Mawar) was located approximately 500 nm south-southwest of Kadena AB, Okinawa.

Tropical storm “Ambo” (international name: Mawar) gained strength as it moved along the eastern coast of Northern Luzon on Saturday afternoon, pompting the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration to raise public storm warning signal No. 2 over the Batanes group of islands. Ambo had maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph.
“Ambo is not expected to make landfall but may continue to gain strength as it continues its path over water.” Public storm warning signal No. 2 has been raised over the Batanes group of islands and Calayan islands which means that winds of 61-100 kph are expected in at least 24 hours in these areas. Meanwhile, winds of 30-60 kph are expected within the next 36 hours in the following areas which are under public storm warning signal No. 1: Northern Aurora, Isabela, and Cagayan, including Babuyan island. “Residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under signals No. 1 and 2 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides."
Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the seaboards of Southern Luzon and the Visayas and the eastern seaboard of Northern and Central Luzon due to the combined effect of the storm and the southwest monsoon. "Ambo," the first tropical cyclone to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility in 2012, is expected to leave the country late Monday or early Tuesday. Some 15 to 25 millimeters of rainfall per hour (heavy) is expected within the 400-km. diameter of the storm and will also enhance the southwest monsoon that will bring rains over Central and Southern Luzon, including Metro Manila and the Visayas.

Low pressure over Arabian Sea delaying monsoon in India - Increasing possibility of a cyclone formation caused by a low pressure area over the Arabian Sea, right on the edge of the monsoon current, is one reason why rains have missed the June 1 date with Kerala.

Three years after Cyclone Aila many Bangladeshis are still struggling. The massive cyclone which hit Bangladesh in May 2009 is still having a devastating effect on the lives of many people in the country three years after the event, international humanitarian agency Oxfam says.

Atlantic storm forecast raised by university team - Colorado State University researchers on Friday raised their forecast for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season to 13 tropical storms, with five hurricanes and two major hurricanes. In April they forecast 10 tropical storms, with four strengthening into hurricanes.
Cool ocean waters may diminish the hurricane threat this year versus other years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration anticipates a 70 percent chance that from nine to 15 storms will reach tropical-storm status and earn names. Between four and eight will become hurricanes.


If it seems as if U.S. Midwestern weather is more extreme and thunderstorms are more often bigger, stronger – and rainier – it's because they are, a new study says. Examining 50 years of precipitation records, the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council’s report, “Double Trouble: More Midwestern Extreme Storms,” says the number of large storms per year – those dumping 3 or more inches of rain in 24 hours – has doubled in the past 50 years.
That kind of heavy rainfall has led to devastating flooding across the Midwest, with the two worst years for extreme storms, 2008 and 1993, being the years with the region’s worst floods in decades, causing $16 billion and $33 billion in damages. The 2008 flooding devastated Columbus, Indiana, filling the first floor of Columbus Regional Hospital with water, flooding 15 percent of the buildings in that city and killing two people. The highest river levels recorded over the past 100 years have almost all been in recent years, but so have the records for lowest river levels, meaning all types of weather seem to be getting more intense.
That affects taxpayers directly, because when huge amounts of rain fall, the storm sewers can be overwhelmed, and they wash the sanitary sewage out into the rivers, polluting them with millions of gallons of waste. “Floods are to the Midwest what hurricanes are to coastal areas – the region’s most widely destructive type of regularly occurring natural disaster,” the report says. “Since 1980, only seven hurricanes were costlier than the flooding of 2008, and only two – Katrina and Andrew – were costlier than the Great Flood of 1993.”
Most cities are just not equipped to deal with the kind of rainfall these storms are dumping. “The report confirms what those of us living in the Midwest have probably already guessed – that violent storms have dramatically increased in the region. This is some really eye-opening stuff that has real consequences.” The number of smaller storms barely changed, while the number of extreme storms doubled since 1960. “The real story is that the increase is all stacked at the high end of the scale. That’s a far greater increase than we expected and a much more marked pattern than we expected.”


U.S. Faces 'Extreme' Wildfire Risk Now and Later - Summer climate outlooks from the federal government and a private weather forecasting firm both suggest that the Rocky Mountains and Southwest are going to have a warmer summer than average.

U.S. - More than 1,200 firefighters battled the nation's largest wildfire Saturday in rugged mountains and canyons of southwestern New Mexico, racing to build lines to corral the huge blaze. The fire has charred more than 354 square miles of the Gila National Forest, and fire managers expected it to start burning down the mountains east of the community of Glenwood. While there was no immediate threat, residents there have been immersed in a thick haze of smoke for days. At night, the ridgeline in the distance lights up with flames. The fire is about 15 percent contained, with much of that being on the fire's northern and northwestern flanks.
The blaze - the LARGEST ON RECORD IN NEW MEXICO - has destroyed a dozen cabins and eight outbuildings. Some pockets of vegetation remain unburned within the fire's perimeter, and members of the incident management team say most of the blaze has produced only minimal to moderate fire scars.
It's too early for the ecologists, soil scientists and hydrologists to get on the ground to start assessing the fire's effects, but they hope much of the area can recover given that only a portion of the fire has burned with the kind of intensity that can vaporize entire stands of trees and damage the soil. Another factor in the fire's behavior is the Gila forest's decades-old strategy of allowing lightning-sparked fires to play more of their natural role in cleaning up the forest's litter. Fires within the Gila Wilderness are often managed rather than immediately extinguished.

Arizona - Excessive Heat Warnings were in effect Friday as temperatures climb to 110-115 degrees across Central and SW Arizona. Phoenix expected to break a current record of 110 with a forecast Friday of 112 degrees.

Drought hits most of Colorado; outlook bleak.

Americans in 2012 are experiencing spurts of extreme weather that match the floods and storms of 2011 and 2010, apparently validating scientific projections that global climate change will generate extreme weather events.