Monday, February 25, 2013

**It is not death that a man should fear,
but he should fear never beginning to live.**
Marcus Aurelius

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
2/24/13 -

In the South Indian Ocean -
- Tropical Cyclone 16s (Haruna) was located approximately 360 nm south-southwest of La Reunion. The final warning has been issued on this system. The system will be closely monitored for signs of regeneration.

- Tropical Cyclone Rusty was located approximately 160 nm north of Port Hedland, Australia.

- Tropical Cyclone Eighteen was located approximately 120 nm southeast of Cocos Island, Australia.

Tropical Cyclone Rusty is forecast to strike Australia as a tropical cyclone at about 06:00 GMT on 26 February. Rusty has intensified to a Category Two storm packing 130km/h winds and has the potential to develop into a destructive cyclone. A Blue Alert has been issued for people in communities between Broome and Mardie, including Port Hedland. The cyclone could bring 600 millimetres of rain.


Australia - About 70 residents from a storm-ravaged town on the NSW south coast will be evacuated because of fears that strewn debris is contaminated by asbestos. More than 170 homes were damaged, including three which were destroyed, when a mini-cyclone ripped through the seaside town of Kiama on Sunday morning. Gale-force winds uprooted trees and stripped roofs, with fears much of the debris contains asbestos.
About 70 people lived in the asbestos exclusion zone created by debris from the leisure centre and a house that "blew up" on the edge of town. They will be evacuated on Monday. "They will have to stay out of there until the area has been cleared. We're very concerned and we've got major problems with the leisure centre which is largely built of asbestos materials." The asbestos hadn't posed a problem while it was wet but there were concerns the fibres could spread as the debris dried out. "Obviously we are seeing now the conditions are becoming sunnier ... and we are looking at a number of local evacuations. As soon as they commence the evacuations then we will bring in teams to do the clean-up."
Affected locals would have to keep away from their homes for two days. Another seven homes were expected to be deemed uninhabitable. "When you talk to the volunteers and the locals, everyone is saying it was AN EXTRAORDINARY EVENT NEVER SEEN BEFORE."
"It's just an extraordinary scene from the air - the swathe this storm or event took through this area. Seeing the roof of the fire station missing, seeing mature trees that look like they have been through a mixmaster, seeing blue tarpaulins along a defined corridor: this is an event that you associate with a tornado going through parts of America." A number of homes in Kiama and surrounding suburbs remained without power.
Swift-water rescue teams have saved 16 children after their bus was trapped by flash flooding in southern Brisbane in a huge storm dumping heavy rain on southeast Queensland. The bus became stranded between two parts of a road that were rapidly flooding on Monday morning. Three crews including swift-water technicians used inflatable boats to ferry the children to safety. The rescue is the only call for help to the DCS since a huge trough crossed the coast about 12.30am on Monday.
"People are heeding the safety messages - if it's flooded, forget it." The storm is expected to dump up to 200 millimetres of rain on parts of the state's southeast into the early hours of Tuesday. Torrential rain between Brisbane and Bundaberg may cause flash flooding over the next 24 hours. The Mary River, in southeast Queensland, has had about 40-60mm of rain in six hours. The town of Gympie is expecting a minor flood peak of six metres on Monday night. The Brisbane City Council has set up sandbag distribution points at four locations in the city as people prepare for heavier rain from Tuesday.

Greece - Rain of an INTENSITY NOT SEEN IN DECADES flooded roads in Athens, overturning parked cars and stranding dozens of motorists. More than six hours of solid rainfall starting at 5am flooded the streets of the capital, caused two rivers to break their bankds and paralyzed public transportation. Two electricty substations were deluged, prompting power cuts. Video (woman rescued from Athens floods)


Climate change could threaten, transform Long Island, New York - Scientists say the Long Island of the future will have shorter, wetter winters and oppressively hot summers, with seas rising and storm surges so strong they will threaten beaches, salt water marshes and infrastructure.

Siberian permafrost thaw warning sparked by cave data - Evidence from Siberian caves suggests that a global temperature rise of 1.5C could see permafrost thaw over a large area of Siberia. A study shows that more than a trillion tonnes of the greenhouse gases CO2 and methane could be released into the atmosphere as a result.
The evidence comes from analysis of stalactites and stalagmites in caves along the "permafrost frontier". This is where ground begins to be permanently frozen in layers that can be tens to hundreds of metres thick. Stalactites and stalagmites only grow when liquid rainwater and snowmelt drip into the caves. So these formations record 500,000 years of changing permafrost conditions - including warmer periods similar to the climate of today.
The records from a particularly warm period called Marine Isotopic Stage 11, which occurred around 400,000 years ago, suggest that warming of 1.5C compared to the present is enough to cause substantial thawing of permafrost - even in areas far north from its present-day southern limit. "As permafrost covers 24% of the land surface of the Northern Hemisphere, significant thawing could affect vast areas and release (billions of tonnes) of carbon. This has huge implications for ecosystems in the region, and for aspects of the human environment. For instance, natural gas facilities in the region, as well as power lines, roads, railways and buildings are all built on permafrost and are vulnerable to thawing. Such a thaw could damage this infrastructure with obvious economic implications."