Wednesday, July 31, 2013

**Being a fool
is a great luxury
most of us can not afford.**

Live Seismograms - Worldwide

This morning -

Yesterday, 7/30/13 -

Volcano Webcams


In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical storm Gil is located about 845 mi (1360 km) SW of the southern tip of Baja, California. Gil could become a hurricane by Thursday. (maps)

In the Western Pacific -
Tropical depression Nine is located approximately 451 nm south-southeastward of Hong Kong. (maps)

Tropical depression Flossie - A flood advisory remained in effect for Hawaii Island at least through 6:15 p.m. Tuesday as the brunt of Tropical Storm Flossie moved past Hilo and East Hawaii and began pestering Kailua-Kona and West Hawaii with heavy rains and high winds. The lower Puna and Kau areas appeared to be the most badly hit portions of East Hawaii.
More than 6,000 customers of the Hawaii Electrical Light Co., mostly from Volcano to Pahoa, lost power after high winds knocked down power lines in various areas of Puna. At the peak there were about 6,300 homes and businesses without power. Portions of Kona and Kohala began feeling the brunt of the storm about mid-afternoon. It was the first named storm in more than 20 years to strike the Hawaiian Islands.

Tropical Storm Gil swirls off California - It's expected to move farther out to sea to the west-northwest on its current track as it strengthens over the next couple days.

Satellite shows ex-Tropical Storm Dorian's remnants elongated from north to south - Former Tropical Storm Dorian has been hanging around the Caribbean Sea for a couple of days, and appears stretched out on satellite imagery. The showers and thunderstorms are disorganized and extend a few hundred miles east and northeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The National Hurricane Center noted that upper-level winds are not expected to favor re-development over the next couple of days, as Dorian's remnants move west to northwest. The remnant low is moving 10 to 15 mph, and is expected to bring showers and gusty winds across Turks and Caicos as it moves into portions of the Bahamas.


Bad weather leaves Japanese stranded - Severe weather in the form of torrential rain continues to affect residents of Yamaguchi and Shimane prefectures, as the Japan Meteorological Agency has warned people about the risk of mudslides.
Many residents in these areas of the country have been left stranded by rising rivers whose banks are close to bursting as a result of the recent downpours. Search and rescue missions are therefore being carried out in a bid to reach those isolated by the rain. It is estimated that as many as 480 people were left stranded after roads had been flooded.
It has been confirmed that a 79-year-old died in Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture when her house collapsed and a further ten people were injured as a result of the extreme weather conditions. Some 200 people were trapped and then later rescued from a youth centre in Yamaguchi prefecture and a further 200 residents in three districts across Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture were also stranded.

Italy - Tornado Video. A RARE tornado has ripped through a suburb of Milan, injuring 12 people and damaging buildings and vehicles. Video shot by witnesses on their mobile phones captured the twister tearing through an industrial region in Grezzago, leaving a trail of devastation as it destroyed cars, overturned trucks and uprooted telegraph poles.
“We were inside there and a lorry crashed into the wall and came through it. Then all the windows broke and we couldn’t understand what was happening...“Look there is no more roof, no more doors, there’s nothing left.” Witnesses described the incident as terrifying. “It came from over there – the next little town along in Pozzo D’Ada. Then it came through here, Grezzago, then it went towards Trezzo. It lasted, I’m not sure, the time it took, ten minutes or a quarter of an hour.” Firemen, civil protection and other rescue services rushed to the scene. Although no deaths have been reported there are reports of a dozen injuries.


Two Iowa cities saw RECORD-BREAKING LOW TEMPERATURES during an abnormally chilly July weekend. In the early morning hours of Saturday, July 28, 2013 Dubuque and Burlington both had record-breaking cold nights. In Dubuque, Iowa temperatures fell to 50-degrees, beating the old cool-record of 51-degrees set in 2005. Burlington’s old record of 53-degrees, set in 1981, was beaten by a new record low of 51-degrees.


Russia - Did the Arctic region break a heat record? Temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius, or 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit, were recorded in the Siberian city of Norilsk on July 21. The average temperature in July in the region is 13.6 C, or 56.48 F.
The entire Russian Arctic region has seen warm weather as of late. Norilsk has seen its warmest nights in recent days - some 20.2 C, or 68.26 F - and wildfires have erupted in the region. However, experts disagree as to whether the warm weather spell is a record. According to the Siberian Times, the recent spike broke the 31.9 C (89.42 F) record set three decades ago, while another expert believes the current record stands at 32.2 C (89.96 F).
The month of July has shown extremely fluctuating temperatures. July 1 this year was the coldest measured in many years. Norilsk, the northernmost city in the world. The Siberian town houses 175,000 residents and is built on the permafrost. Temperatures of -60 F (-51 C) are no exception in winter in Siberia, making it one of the coldest inhabited places on earth.
The heat is bad news for firefighters in the region. NASA explains that once the snow melts, the remote region is very susceptible to wildfires. 900 specialists are currently fighting several fires that are already raging in the area. Dozens of Russians were killed by fires during a heat-wave in the summer of 2010, when fire gripped over millions of hectares.

Spanish flee 'incredible' forest fires - One-and-a-half minute video. Witnesses have been describing the terror at the wildfires which swept across parts of western Europe.

Canada - Hot, dry weather drives up forest fire risk across British Columbia. Almost the entire southern half of B.C. currently has a high or extreme fire danger rating.

U.S. -
Texas - Drought causing vegetation to grow in parts of Colorado River. Aquatic vegetation is growing on the river, and it's an eyesore. "You can't like, really, get out [into the water] and refresh, because it just gets all over you." In some parts of the river, it's like a green mat growing on the surface.
"Everybody on the river is feeling the pain of this drought." That drought is actually helping this vegetation grow. "With no inflows into the river, and lots of nutrients, you get this. And it's a combination of algae, it's a combination of weeds, and in portions of the river - the river is impassable."
Nearly two weeks ago, the rains helped clear it out, but it didn't last. As soon as the rain stopped - the weeds came back. "The solution to this situation is going to be a large enough flood to dislodge it and scour the river downstream."
Texas drought - According to the US Drought Monitor, over 90 percent of Texas is experiencing a drought and about 30 percent is in an extreme drought. Texas has been in drought since 2011, the driest year on record.
Harsh Drought Is Drying Up New Mexico's Largest Reservoir. The drought in northern New Mexico is AMONG THE WORST IN 180 YEARS.

Australia - Drought and high demand to push beef exports to record numbers. Record Australian beef exports are forecast to continue in 2013, partially due to high slaughter levels due to drought conditions.


Iowa and Nebraska link Cyclospora cases to bagged salad mix - It's not clear if illnesses from the parasite in other states are linked to the same product. The two states were the first to report Cyclospora illnesses and between them have 221 cases.
Epidemiologic and food history interviews with sick patients point to a bagged salad mix containing iceberg and romaine lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage. The DIA's investigation found that about 80% of the sick patients had been exposed to the same prepackaged salad mix that came from a single source. The salad mix is no longer in Iowa's food supply chain. Because of the delay between eating the contaminated food and getting sick, there were no products on shelves to be tested for parasites, and most of the investigation focused on tracing suspected products through the food chain.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services also announced that prepackaged salad mix was the source of its Cyclospora outbreak, which has sickened 78 people in the state so far. Its investigation found that the salad mix, which contained iceberg and romaine lettuce along with carrots and red cabbage, came through national distribution channels, with no indication that locally grown produce was connected to the outbreak.
So far it's not clear if Cyclospora illnesses in other states are linked to the same source. Public health authorities are pursuing all leads. So far Texas investigators have not determined a common source of exposure linking the state's Cyclospora illnesses. Florida epidemiologists also don't have conclusive evidence of a common food item that the state's Cyclospora patients consumed.
So far it's not clear which ingredient was contaminated or if any of the salad components came from imported sources. Cyclospora infections are rare, and past outbreaks have been linked to imported vegetables and fruits. No prepackaged salad products have been recalled as yet.
The only new location that was reported is outstate New York, which notified the CDC of a case in a patient who was likely infected in another state. Some states that had reported cases earlier, such as Florida, Texas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, reported additional cases.The agency has received reports of 372 Cyclospora infections from 15 states and New York City. Meanwhile,Texas health officials today announced 11 more cases beyond the CDC's total. Additional new case reported by Nebraska would raise the unofficial outbreak total to 385.

Lipari Foods of Warren, MI is recalling Wholey peeled, cooked, tail-on 31/40 count shrimp, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

**Never tell your problems to anyone -
20% don't care and the other 80%
are glad you have them.**
Lou Holtz

Live Seismograms - Worldwide

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.
4.6 AEGEAN SEA, followed by 15 moderate aftershocks so far

Yesterday, 7/29/13 -

New Zealand - Another big quake in strait. A "severe" quake yesterday morning in Cook Strait caused damage and was felt as far away as Auckland. It also increased the probability of further severe aftershocks. The 5.0-magnitude quake struck , just over a week since a 6.5 magnitude Cook Strait earthquake, which caused damage around Marlborough. There have been more than 1300 quakes in the Cook Strait region since Friday.
The quake was 12 kilometres deep and 20km east of Seddon in Cook Strait. It was followed by a swarm of smaller quakes. More than 1500 people, mainly in the upper South Island and lower North Island, reported feeling the quake. At least one person reported that it caused damage. "I certainly wouldn't be surprised if this earthquake knocked items off shelves." It was also felt in Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga.
At midday yesterday, GeoNet had downgraded the chance of a 5-5.9 aftershock within 24 hours to 11 per cent. After the quake, when GeoNet reworks its figures, it would increase the likelihood of a 5-5.9 aftershock.

Volcano Webcams


In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical depression Flossie is located about about 145 mi (230 km) NW of Hilo, Hawaii. All tropical storm warnings have been discontinued. Tropical storm force wind gusts were possible overnight. Locally gusty winds will likely continue on Tuesday over the central and Western Islands. (maps)

Tropical storm Flossie - Hawaii braced for FIRST DIRECT HIT IN TWENTY YEARS. Hawaii was bracing for tropical storm Flossie Monday, even as the storm began to weaken. Officials warned that flash floods, mudslides and dangerously large surf could “threaten life and property” when Flossie makes landfall.
The eye of the storm is headed directly for Maui and Oahu, with landfall expected Monday. Wind gusts could reach 60 miles per hour, but the greater threat is rain. Heavy rainfall could cause "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in the mountains." The storm is expected to bring 6 to 10 inches of rain over Maui and the Big Island, with up to 15 inches possible in isolated locations, and 4 to 8 inches of rain over Oahu and Kauai, with isolated maximums of up to 12 inches possible.
Sustained winds up to 45 miles per hour were expected, and the NWS says that "dangerously high surf" is already hammering eastern-facing shores of the Big Island, and will soon spread to the other islands and continue through Tuesday.
Tropical storms are uncommon in Hawaii. On average, between four and five tropical cyclones are observed in the Central Pacific every year. This number has ranged from zero, most recently as 1979, to as many as eleven in 1992 and 1994. August is the peak month, followed by July, then September. Tropical storms and hurricanes are uncommon in the Hawaiian Islands. Only eight named storms have impacted Hawaii in the 34 year period 1979–2012, an average of one storm every four years.

Ex-cyclone Dorian in the Caribbean is re-organizing and may resurface as a new storm in the next 2 days. The remnants of Tropical Storm Dorian died over the weekend in the Atlantic.
NHC gave Dorian's remains a 40% chance of regenerating by Wednesday. The primary impediment to development is the presence of an upper-level trough of low pressure to its west that ex-Dorian is running into. None of the reliable computer models for tropical cyclone genesis predict that ex-Dorian will regenerate. Dorian's remains should continue moving west-northwest during the week, spreading over the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, and over Florida and Central Cuba on Thursday and Friday.

Villagers in remote Fiji islands still recovering from cyclone damage. Villages are still recovering from one of the country's harshest cyclones, which struck last December. There is still plenty of damage visible.


U.S. - Extreme weather was spreading across much of the country Monday morning -- from tropical storm warnings on Hawaii to flooding in the west and along the east coast. People in Philadelphia are finally drying out after the WETTEST DAY IN THE CITY'S HISTORY. At Philadelphia's airport, storms knocked out power. Passengers hauled their bags out of the terminal in the dark.
Philadelphia set its all-time single day rainfall record with an incredible deluge of 8.02" of rain on Sunday. The previous record of 6.63" was set on September 16, 1999 during Tropical Storm Floyd. With a further round of rain after midnight in Philadelphia (bringing the 24-hour record storm total to 8.27”), July has brought 13.25” of precipitation to the city. This surpasses the previous July monthly record (since 1872) of 10.42”set in 1994. The wettest month on record for Philadelphia remains 19.31” in August 2011. Sunday's deluge is an astonishing rainfall total for a location with such a long period of record, considering that it occurred without the benefit of a tropical storm being present. Remarkably, 6.46" of the rain fell in just 3 1/2 hours.
Heavy rain from summer storms has already created dangerous flash floods across the U.S. In southern New Jersey Sunday, the waters turned streets into lakes, stranding drivers on roads. In North Carolina, the floods turned deadly, washing away a 10-year-old girl and 48-year-old man as they swam in a rural creek. "They weren't in for just a few seconds and the current was so strong that it swept them away." The raging water destroyed roads and consumed homes. The sudden surge of rain caught many people off guard. Rapid rainfall at almost an inch an hour also wreaked havoc in Arizona, where a tour bus returning from the grand canyon flipped over in a muddy flood. None of the 33 passengers was injured.
A normally tranquil Hawaiian paradise was bracing for its biggest storm in 20 years. Residents have been stocking up on propane. Emergency supplies have been flying off store shelves. Flossie is poised for a direct hit on Hawaii's big island -- packing a punch not seen since Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Forecasters say Flossie won't be as strong, but could bring up to a foot of rain and winds close to 60 miles per hour.

Extreme weather causes chaos across France - Video. Extreme weather caused a number of incidents across France at the weekend that saw thousands were left without power and houses hit by lightning.
Seven people died Sunday on a series of beaches off France's Mediterranean coast after 80mph winds and unpredictable currents caused treacherous conditions. Another three in 'serious condition' after escaping from the sea. Four victims died on the beaches, while three others died in hospital.
"Conditions were hugely treacherous, yet many people did not seem aware of this. Swimmers who ventured out too far found themselves swept further out by high winds and big waves." At least three other people were in a ‘serious condition’ after escaping from the sea. Like the deceased, they had been enjoying high summer temperatures on the beaches of Palavas-les-Flots, Carnon, La Grande-Motte, Valras and Vendres. ‘We get bad days every summer, but what happened today is ABSOLUTELY EXCEPTIONAL. It has been a terrible day.’ (photos & map)

Masses of plastic found in Great Lakes - Already ravaged by toxic algae, invasive mussels and industrial pollution, North America's Great Lakes face another threat few had imagined until recently: untold millions of bits of plastic litter, some visible only through a microscope. Scientists who have studied gigantic masses of floating plastic in the world's oceans are now reporting similar discoveries in the lakes that make up nearly one-fifth of the world's fresh water.
They retrieved the particles from Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie last year. This summer, they're widening the search to Lakes Michigan and Ontario, skimming the surface with finely meshed netting dragged behind sailing vessels. "If you're out boating in the Great Lakes, you're not going to see large islands of plastic. But all these bits of plastic are out there."
Experts say it's unclear how long "microplastic" pollution has been in the lakes or how it is affecting the environment. Studies are under way to determine whether fish are eating the particles. Through it all, the fishing industry remains a pillar of the region's tourist economy. Until the research is completed, it won't be clear whether the pollution will affect fishing guidelines, the use of certain plastics or cities that discharge treated wastewater into the lakes.
Scientists have already made a couple startling finds. The sheer number of plastic specks in some samples hauled from Lake Erie, the shallowest and smallest by volume, were higher than in comparable samples taken in the oceans. Also, while it's unknown where the ocean plastic came from, microscopic examination of Great Lakes samples has produced a smoking gun: many particles are perfectly round pellets. The scientists suspect they are abrasive "micro beads" used in personal care products such as facial and body washes and toothpaste.
They're so minuscule that they flow through screens at waste treatment plants and wind up in the lakes. At the urging of scientists and advocates, some big companies have agreed to phase them out. In ocean environments, fish and birds are known to feed on microplastics, apparently mistaking them for fish eggs. A more complicated question is whether the particles are soaking up toxins in the water, potentially contaminating fish that eat them - and sending them up the food chain. Lab examination detected two potentially harmful compounds in the Lake Erie plastic debris: PAHs, which are created during incineration of coal or oil products; and PCBs, which were used in electrical transformers and hydraulic systems before they were banned in 1979. Both are capable of causing cancer and birth defects.
For anglers who regularly feast on salmon, perch and other delicacies from the lakes' depths, the most common reaction to the microplastic scare is a resigned shrug. They're used to warnings against overindulging on fish because of mercury, PCBs and other contaminants. "I think people aren't going to be really worried about it until more research is done to see just what we're dealing with. You look in the waters and you see all those cigarette butts - the fish eat them, too."


More states report Cyclospora cases - total reaches 373. The illnesses in four additional states may be linked to the multistate outbreak.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A young man went to the tribal elder for advice: "Grandfather, I keep having this terrible dream, where two dogs are fighting in my heart. One feels like love, and the other fear. Grandfather, can you tell me which one will win?" The old man looked at the young man for a long moment, then said: "The one you feed."

Live Seismograms - Worldwide

This morning -

Yesterday, 7/28/13 -

A widely accepted theory about earthquakes has received a major shakeup - A team of geologists studying the San Andreas fault near Los Angeles found that bigger earthquakes aren't necessarily preceded by longer periods of inactivity on the fault.
The going wisdom about earthquakes is that the longer a fault goes without a major earthquake, the bigger the quake will be when it finally strikes. The theory seems particularly apt for the San Andreas fault, which marks the boundary between two tectonic plates. As the Pacific plate moves northward relative to North America at about 4.5 cm per year, friction stops the fault from slipping. The longer that strain jacks up, the farther the plates will jolt when they finally let go and the larger the resulting earthquake will be. Or so the thinking went. But a group found that the theory doesn't hold up for the segment of the fault near the southern California town of Wrightwood.
The team's analysis provided the most complete long-term record of activity for any fault in the world. And it contradicts the conventional wisdom: Shorter quiet periods of less than a century were generally followed by larger earthquakes, and longer periods of several hundred years preceded smaller quakes. Although this appears counterintuitive, the larger pattern is more logical. It appears that strain is not released entirely with each earthquake but continues to accumulate through four or five or more earthquake cycles. Finally, the strain is released by one big quake or a cluster of smaller shocks.
The authors caution that they don't know yet if the activity at the Wrightwood fault segment is typical of the entire San Andreas fault or of faults in general. But if it is, the research could change the way scientists estimate the probability of earthquakes."My guess is this will force a lot of people to think hard about the assumptions they make about earthquake recurrence."

Volcano Webcams


In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical storm Flossie was located about 320 mi (515 km) E of Hilo, Hawaii. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Hawaii County, Maui County -including the islands of Maui...Molokai...Lanai and Kahoolawe, and Oahu. Heavy rainfall was expected to begin as early as Monday morning over Hawaii County and Monday afternoon over Maui County, with heavy rain spreading to Oahu by Monday night. Flossie is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 6 to 10 inches overThe Big Island and Maui County, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible, mainly windward. (maps)


China landslide - Footage has emerged of a dramatic landslide in China's Shaanxi Province in which four people escaped unharmed. Earlier this month, a car was driving on a mountain pass when it was suddenly swamped by a landslide. Two men escaped from the car once the initial landslide eased and two others were rescued soon after. It has been reported that none of the car's occupants suffered major injuries. Higher than normal rainfall has caused widespread flooding and landslides across China's Shaanxi Province all month.

Arizona floodwaters sweep tour bus off road. Floodwaters in rural northern Arizona swept a Las Vegas- bound tour bus into a wash where it tipped over, but officials said all the passengers escaped safely.A ro und of heavy rains over the weekend put much of northwestern Arizona under a flash-flood watch. The Sunday afternoon incident happened at Pierce Ferry Road, in a rural area about 50 to 75 miles north of Kingman.
The bus, reportedly carrying more than 30 passengers, was returning to Las Vegas after visiting the Grand Canyon. The bus had started to float away while emergency responders were en route, but it came to a halt after rolling onto its side about 300 yards from the road. The people in the bus climbed out through the driver's window onto the side of the vehicle, then jumped onto a nearby road bank. They waited on dry land until emergency responders arrived. "The occupants were extremely lucky to have survived the ordeal and were very fortunate to have no fatalities or injuries due to the remote location.” (photo)


Wild weather in the United States in the past decade has amassed a long list of toppled records and financial disasters. Call it weird, call it extreme, maybe even call it the new normal.
A new study confirms that everywhere, except in the Atlantic Plains region, more rain and snow is falling during wet and dry seasons alike. (The Atlantic Plains are the flatlands along the central and southern Atlantic Coast that stretch from Massachusetts to Mississippi.) On average, the total precipitation in the contiguous United States has increased 5.9 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
What's more, the timing has changed too. In some parts of the United States, dry seasons are arriving earlier and wet seasons are starting later than they did 80 years ago. The time shift does not necessarily extend the length of dry or wet seasons, because most areas have transitional periods in between these precipitation extremes. In the Ohio River Valley, the fall dry season starts two to three weeks earlier today. In east New York, the wet season now kicks off on Jan. 8 instead of Feb. 1. And in the Southwest, the summer monsoon is starting later than it did during the middle of the 20th century.
Altering the timing of dry and wet season starts can significantly affect agriculture and cities. In the Southwest, water contracts rely on the timing of spring snowmelt and summer monsoons to generate hydroelectric power and water for farming and millions of residents. Since 1930, the researchers found an overall drop in dry spells (the number of days without precipitation) between 1930 and 2009 in most regions of the country. For instance, there were 15 more precipitation days (rain or snow) during the dry season in the Central and Great Plains, and 20 more precipitation days during the wet season in the Midwest and intermountain regions today than 80 years ago. However, the length of dry spells during the wet season, a drought indicator, increased by 50 percent in the Atlantic Plains.
The study cannot answer whether climate change is causing the seasonal shifts in precipitations. "This opens many other research doors. We would like to find what is actually affecting this shift. It's probably a mixture of natural variability and climate change."

The Climate Change Real Estate Boom Is Coming - A British futurist predicted a massive real estate boom in fortified "Climate Change Cities," where the global elite go to escape the ravages of rising sea levels and unstable weather patterns.
The fabulously wealthy British futurist donated more than $150 million to Oxford University and lived on his own private Bermudan island, believed one of the biggest land booms in history is on its way - and it will happen in less than 100 years. He said that events like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina will hit major American cities harder and more frequently because of climate change.
Scientists and politicians have come to the conclusion that whole countries such as Mauritius and Tuvalu will need to evacuate due to rising sea levels. But while coastlines in much of the world may suffer, climate change will be a positive development in some areas. Specifically, Canada; northern Europe; Russia; Alaska; Patagonia, Argentina; and southern Africa may all experience real estate booms. These booms, he claimed, will be in “Climate Change Cities” with military fortifications catering to an increasingly displaced global elite.
The idea of climate change-triggered mass migration has been around for a long time. Politicians, charities, and bureaucrats worldwide have quietly (and not so quietly) been gearing up for a torrent of refugees fleeing newly inhabitable lands. As any player of Civilization knows, most major cities anchor trade routes. This means cities are more often than not built seaside or on a riverbank, which puts them at severe risk from rising sea levels. In the United States alone, New York, New Orleans, Chicago, Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and many other cities face the risk of whole neighborhoods becoming uninhabitable because of climate change.
Research shows that climate change is shrinking the Great Lakes, though the phenomenon is expected to worsen Chicago’s floods. In New York, the mayor recently proposed a $20 billion climate change plan for the city. The plan is designed to mitigate damage from another Sandy-sized storm and would drastically change everyday life for New Yorkers, with sharply increased taxes and large construction projects in most seaside neighborhoods. But what happens at that unspecified future date when the climate change mitigation plans fail?
As existing cities and rural regions slowly become uninhabitable due to increasingly inhospitable weather, rising food prices, and skyrocketing utility prices causing a decline in air conditioning, more mass migration is expected. Alongside conventional worries of security, political autonomy, and economy, the proposed climate change cities would also make use of newer technologies. Self-driving cars, for example, will transform living patterns due to convoy features that sharply reduce both commute times and greenhouse gas consumption. Then there are increasingly energy-efficient methods of producing electricity and growing food - but it’s still unclear if these cities, if they ever come to pass, would be more like Singapore or more of a giant suburban gated community.
Will it happen? It’s certainly possible. There is little modern historic precedent for the worst case climate change scenario, where major global cities such as New York and London lose their commercial centers and many residential neighborhoods to rising sea levels. If that indeed comes to pass, frenzied community-building in previously underinhabited regions may occur. But there’s also a more optimistic scenario, where major cities engage in shock construction to mitigate the worst parts of climate change. And the two prospects aren’t mutually exclusive.

Scientist tells senators: Global warming not causing extreme weather - In a Senate hearing Thursday, an environmental scientist said it’s “incorrect” to claim that global warming is spurring more extreme weather disasters.
“It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally. It is further incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases. Hurricanes have not increased in the U.S. in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900. The same holds for tropical cyclones globally since at least 1970.”
U.S. floods have not increased in “frequency or intensity” since 1950 and economic losses from floods have dropped by 75 percent as a percentage of GDP since 1940. Tornado frequency, intensity, and normalized damages have also not increased since 1950, and there is some evidence that this has declined. Droughts have been shorter, less frequent, and have covered a smaller portion of the U.S over the last century. Globally, there has been very little change in the last 60 years.
“The absolute costs of disasters will increase significantly in coming years due to greater wealth and populations in locations exposed to extremes. Consequently, disasters will continue to be an important focus of policy, irrespective of the exact future course of climate change.”
Senators sparred over predictions and claims made about man-made global warming. Democrats argued that the effects of global warming can be felt today and Republicans argued that evidence of human-induced warming is thin. Prior to the hearing, Republicans on the committee released a report that called into question many past global warming claims made by Democrats, as well as Obama administration policy proposals. This didn’t deter Senate Democrats who continued to argue that global warming could be seen today.


Rivers in the air - Winter floods could intensify in Britain, according to new research into powerful weather systems called "atmospheric rivers". Only identified about 20 years ago, atmospheric rivers are intense bands of moisture that flow through the air. Known to be responsible for heavy rainfall, they have been blamed for severe flooding in California and the UK. A new study suggests that warmer conditions could create more rivers - and make them more severe.
Atmospheric rivers are up to 300km wide and can stretch in length for over 1,000-2,000km. They flow invisibly between 1-2.5km above the surface of the ocean. One atmospheric river is believed to have been behind the violent flooding that hit Cockermouth in Cumbria on 19 November 2009. The flooding claimed the life of a policeman who died after a bridge collapsed.
The researchers have estimated the staggering volume of moisture carried by this particular atmospheric river. They calculate that at its peak it was transporting almost 300,000 tonnes of moisture every second. By comparison, the River Thames carries about 65 tonnes of water through London over the same period.
If the rivers make landfall and encounter a steep rise in terrain, the air is forced upwards where it cools and releases the moisture in the form of rain. On top of that, if the river remains on the same course for 24 hours - as it did over Cumbria in 2009 - it will deliver a continuous flow of heavy rain over the same area. The most closely-studied atmospheric river, which flows towards the California coast, has been dubbed the "Pineapple Express" because it usually originates from the region of Hawaii.It ha s been linked to a number of extremely damaging storms along the US West Coast.
Over the last 30 years, there has been an average of 9-11 of the strongest atmospheric river events hitting Britain every year. A warming climate - which allows the atmosphere to hold more moisture - made the rivers more likely. "Five models suggest that there could be a doubling of atmospheric river events in the period 2074-99 and most of those could be expected to make landfall in the UK. One of the big things is that these are the most relevant feature of winter flooding in Britain and the work is certainly suggesting an increase in strength and frequency."
Among the uncertainties about the research are the reliability of the models used to generate the future scenarios and possible shifts in the patterns of the winds - a change of course away from the UK would reduce the risk.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

**The time spent on hating is the time lost
for living a peaceful, happy life.
It is a habit that controls
what you see, what you say,
what you do, and ultimately what you become.**

Live Seismograms - Worldwide

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday, 7/27/13 -

7/26/13 -

Philippines - Earthquake drill in Baguio school goes wrong. About 54 students of the Baguio City National High School were hurt after more than 600 third year students panicked during an earthquake drill conducted by the school Friday morning.

Volcano Webcams

Russia - Ketoi volcano: thermal anomaly, yellow alert. SVERT raised the alert level on Saturday to yellow after a weak thermal anomaly was detected on satellite data at the summit of the volcano. No other details about possible activity are currently known. Ketoi volcano forms a 10 km wide island 19 km NE of Simushir Island across Diana Strait in the Kurile Islands. Last eruption was in 1960.


In the Atlantic Ocean -
Remnants of Dorian were located about 550 mi (890 km) E of the northern Leeward Islands. The last advisory on this system by the National Hurricane Center has been issued.

In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical storm Flossie is located about 775 mi E of Hilo, Hawaii. A tropical storm watch has been issued for Hawaii and Maui counties. Heavy rainfall may begin as early as Monday morning over Hawaii County and Monday afternoon over Maui County. Tropical storm force winds are expected as early as Monday afternoon. Large surf will impact east facing shores possibly as early as Sunday afternoon with the largest surf expected on Monday. (maps)

Flossie weakens, still packs Tropical Storm potential for Hawaii - Tropical Storm Flossie, the sixth named storm of the Pacific hurricane season, was on a track to take it directly over Hawaii.

Philippines - Flash floods threaten as potential cyclone approaches. Residents of Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao were advised to brace for possible flash floods and landslides from a potential cyclone - a low-pressure area - that entered the Philippine area of responsibility early Friday.


China floods - At least 21 people have been killed and four reported missing in floods and mudslides that hit a Chinese province where at least 95 others died this week in twin earthquakes. Thunderstorms have loosened the terraced hillsides that were made unstable by the quake. About 123,000 people were affected by the quake, with 31,600 moved to temporary shelters.

North Carolina floods - A heavy rain system that left flooding in part of North Carolina moved through Orange County Saturday, where people are still cleaning up from flooding last month. Heavy rains have flooded homes and roads.


Illinois (video) - RECORD COLD HITS CHICAGO area. Chicago recorded the COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE EVER on July 27 with a high of only 65 degrees, and could see near record cold Saturday night.

Minnesota - RECORD COLD. Friday had a HIGHLY UNUSUAL July cut-off low, which pinwheeled east on Saturday. The coolest daytime maxes on Saturday were north/east of the Twin Cities - some mid-50s close to Duluth. Highs were milder farther west, nudging 70F over western counties farther away from the cut-off low, where the sun was out part of the day. Unusually cold? Yes. Unprecedented? Probably not. According to NOAA records the last time Minneapolis - St. Paul saw July temperatures as cool as 49F was 1997. Temperatures overnight will approach the record - 50 F set in 1981.
The north-south sweeps of the jet stream are HIGHLY UNUSUAL for late July, over North America and Europe. "What is unusual for this time year is the huge amplitude of the upper-level flow; over 3 sigma deviation from normal over North America." It felt like late September in late July. The buckling jet stream poured near-record chill into the USA, some of the coolest July temperatures in a decade from the Upper Midwest to the Great Lakes, the cool front weakening slightly by the time it reached New England.

European Heat Wave - Highs were forecast to SOAR TO RECORD LEVELS AGAIN Saturday from Italy and Austria into Germany and Poland, some mid to upper 90s possible as a huge ridge of high pressure expands northward. The same high-amplitude pattern affecting the USA and Canada also showing up on the other side of the pond.

UNUSUAL TORNADO on July 22 - National Weather Service Grand Forks Office reported on an unusual tornado earlier this week that struck between Mahnomen and Zerkel (Mahnomen County). This storm was UNUSUAL IN SEVERAL ASPECTS: firstly it struck between 1:50 AM and 2:30 AM on July 22nd (Monday), a VERY RARE TIME OF DAY for tornadoes in our region (less than 2 percent of all tornadoes occur at that time of day); second, wind speeds were estimated to range from 110-120 mph (EF-2 strength), UNUSUALLY STRONG for an overnight storm; thirdly, the storm path was nearly 18 miles in length (though intermittently on the ground), a relatively long storm path for an overnight storm. Thankfully this tornado did not cause any deaths or injuries, but it did damage a home, a number of farm structures, along with some farm equipment. It also caused a good deal of tree damage, especially around Roy Lake. This was the 6th confirmed tornado of the year so far in Minnesota." (charts and maps)


Imported food safety - The FDA proposed two new rules to enhance the safety of imported foods, to positive reviews.

- Zip International Group LLC in New Jersey is recalling herring fillet in oil (FOSFOREL, ATLANTIKA) 400 gram in plastic packaging due to Listeria contamination.
- Gold Star Smoked Fish Corp. in New York is recalling Rybacka Wies Brand Herring Fillets In Oil ("Matjes Sledz w oleju") due to contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

Friday, July 26, 2013

**We shall succeed in ending injustice and abuse
when those who are not the victims
are as outraged about the injustice and harm
as those who are the victims.**
Solon - Greek lawmaker, 2500 years ago

Live Seismograms - Worldwide

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday, 7/26/13 -

Central New Zealand has been rattled by more than 1500 aftershocks in the past week as a previously unknown section of faultline under Cook Strait shakes out the last of its stress. Three aftershock sequences caused by large quakes on Friday morning, Sunday morning and Sunday evening are still rumbling under Wellington and Marlborough, producing more than 200 quakes a day.
The sequence was highly energetic at first, and while there were still some strong shakes - the largest yesterday was a magnitude 4.2 - the sequence was decaying quickly. The aftershocks were expected to die off "quite rapidly". The chance of another magnitude 6 in the next week was lowered yesterday to 9 per cent. Around 10 magnitude 5 quakes and 100 magnitude 4 quakes could be expected to follow a magnitude 6 quake.
Scientists now have a clearer picture of the faultline which generated the biggest quake on Sunday evening. It was believed to be an extension of the London Hills Fault at the north-east edge of the South Island. The aftershock sequence indicated that the fault was roughly 24km long, and 16km of it ruptured to produce the magnitude 6.5 quake at 5.30pm on Sunday. It cut through the earth's crust between 10km and 20km below the seafloor. The fault "unzipped" in a mostly southern direction with most energy released towards the South Island.
The strongest ground acceleration in Wellington was measured in Karori, and reached 14 per cent of the force of gravity. This meant buildings in Karori were shoved with 14 per cent of the acceleration of a stone being dropped from someone's hand. This was far lower than the deadly Christchurch quake in February 2011, where the ground accelerated at twice the force of gravity.
Sunday's quake was a strike-slip event in which the ground was shoved sideways. The other two large quakes on Friday and Sunday mornings were "thrusting events" which pushed the ground upwards. The earth was displaced by around 5cm in parts of Nelson. During the two major quakes in Christchurch in 2010 and 2011, the earth moved 5m. Scientists will now try to measure whether the quakes have relieved or increased the stress on the Wellington Fault, which runs under the CBD and is capable of quakes greater than magnitude 8.
Cars still 'trapped' in quake-hit parking buildings - Cordons continue along Wellington's Featherston St while some central city parking buildings have turned into car prisons, following Sunday's 6.5-magnitude quake. The central city came back to life Monday but there were still some visual reminders of the earthquake.
A dozen buildings in Featherston St remained cordoned off because of the dangers of loose masonry and glass, forcing pedestrians to zigzag across the road to navigate it. Three parking buildings were shut down after the quake, leaving about 1500 parking spaces out of action. "I can certainly understand the frustration of those car owners, but our No 1 priority is safety."
In central Wellington, returning workers admitted to a few nerves but were positive about the city's recovery. Police, fire and urban search and rescue had been stood down to return to normal duties. Out of the 2500 buildings in the Central Business District, 35 were found to have external damage. The BNZ building, on Harbour Quays, remains shut, having suffered internal damage. It is not known when it could reopen.

Deadly China Earthquake Chaos Captured on Surveillance Video - The 6.6 magnitude earthquake rocked the northwest province of Gansu, China on Monday, 22 July, killing 95 people. People in some areas affected by the quake are still facing a shortage of relief supplies.

Volcano Webcams


In the Atlantic Ocean -
Tropical storm Dorian is located about 1550 mi (2500 km) E of the northern Leeward Islands. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast through late Saturday. Dorian is moving in the direction of Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Cuba and Florida. (maps)

In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical Storm Flossie is located about 1355 mi (2185 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja, California. Moving westward towards Hawaii - 1940 mi (3125 km) E of Honolulu. (maps)


Aftermath of strong storms in southern Kansas on Tuesday night - Hail as large as baseballs was reported in east Hutchinson. Winds estimated as high as 100 miles an hour were reported in southern Reno County near Pretty Prairie. The town itself was hit hard by hail and strong winds, knocking down trees and blocking streets.
A hail stone measuring 4.75 inches in diameter fell near Yoder in eastern Reno County and hail as large as tennis balls was also reported. More heavy rain and strong winds struck Argonia in Sumner County Tuesday night, which was still picking up the pieces from Monday night’s microburst storm that ripped portions of the roof off the high school and elementary school. Officially, Wichita recorded 1.02 inches of rain. But heavier amounts were reported elsewhere in the city – including an inch of rain falling in just a half-hour at Central and Ridge Road in west Wichita.
Substantial rain over each of the past two days in the Cheney Lake watershed area is likely to boost water levels at the lake. With the ground already saturated, runoff into the lake – which until recently was Wichita’s primary water source – should be considerable.

European flooding and an earthquake in China are among catastrophes that contributed to about $85 billion of economic losses worldwide in the first half of this year. The figure is $10 billion higher than the same period of 2012 and 15 percent below the 10-year average. Insured losses for the six months through June totaled at least $20 billion, about 20 percent less than last year.
“The costliest natural disaster during the first half of 2013 was, by far, the massive flooding event across Central Europe in May and June.” The storms, which killed at least 23 people, caused about $22 billion of economic losses and as much as $5.3 billion in insured losses on the Continent.
The April 20 China earthquake, 6.6-magnitude, which claimed about 200 lives, was the second-most expensive, with about $14 billion in economic losses. Droughts in Brazil and China and an outbreak of severe weather that spawned tornadoes in the U.S. also fueled losses.


After drought, Illinois' peach crop recovers - The peaches are bigger and the crop is more abundant than last year, when the region was contending with a drought.

New Zealand - The DROUGHT IS THE WORST IN NEARLY 70 YEARS. The 2012-13 drought has been confirmed as the worst in nearly 70 years for large parts of the country.

England - A large amount of fish found dead in the lower Lea river and surrounding waterways were starved of oxygen. The fish were spotted at various locations along the river, including Springfield Marina and Lea Bridge Weir pool in Walthamstow. Recent hot weather reduced oxygen levels in the river.
Storms on Monday night, which swept toxins from nearby roads into the river, meant oxygen levels were further depeleted. Fisheries officers from the agency worked through the night carrying out work to return levels to normal by running water through locks and pumping oxygen into the water at Three Mills Boatyard. The agency reported that oxygen levels have risen around 25 per cent in the area, creating a refuge for fish including bream, perch, pike and roach.

The North Pole is now a lake – An Arctic cyclone, which can rival a hurricane in strength, is forecast for this week, which will further fracture the ice and churn up warm ocean water, hastening the summer melt. Instead of snow and ice whirling on the wind, a foot-deep aquamarine lake now sloshes around a webcam stationed at the North Pole. The meltwater lake started forming July 13, following two weeks of warm weather in the high Arctic. In early July, temperatures were 2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) higher than average over much of the Arctic Ocean, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center.
Meltwater ponds sprout more easily on young, thin ice, which now accounts for more than half of the Arctic's sea ice. The ponds link up across the smooth surface of the ice, creating a network that traps heat from the sun. Thick and wrinkly multi-year ice, which has survived more than one freeze-thaw season, is less likely sport a polka-dot network of ponds because of its rough, uneven surface.
July is the melting month in the Arctic, when sea ice shrinks fastest. The Arctic hit a record low summer ice melt last year on 16 September 2012, the smallest recorded since satellites began tracking the Arctic ice in the 1970s.
Scientists watch Arctic cyclone chew up sea ice - Arctic scientists are watching in awe this week as a raging summer cyclone tears up what could become a record amount of rotting northern sea ice. "We're really watching this year with a lot of fascination."
Arctic cyclones are driven by low-pressure systems in which winds of up to 100 km/h blow counter-clockwise in a spiral more than 1,000 kilometres across. They occur in both winter and summer, but are usually stronger in winter. Cyclones are not unusual in the Arctic, but seem to be changing in recent years. "These cyclones are not getting more frequent, but they are getting deeper -- which means stronger."
And they're getting harder on sea ice, which they break up through wave action associated with high winds and through rainfall, which darkens the ice and makes it absorb more solar energy. The storms also bring up water from the depths, which is actually warmer than surface water.
Cyclones can destroy large amounts of ice very quickly. "In 2009, we actually documented one of these events in which large, multi-year ice floes - Manhattan-sized - broke up in a matter of minutes." Last year, a particularly powerful cyclone is thought to have wiped out 800,000 square kilometres of ice. That contributed to record low sea-ice levels at the end of the 2012 melt year.
This year's storm over the Beaufort Sea formed about mid-week and is expected to die out on the weekend. It isn't as strong as last year's, but the ice is thinner and weaker. As well, the ice has already been pummelled by earlier storms. "The effects of (the storm) are nowhere near what we saw last August. But because the ice is thinner and it's already been pre-conditioned, and because there's less volume, it's much more vulnerable to impacts from this sort of thing."
The ice is getting so weak that new categories have had to be created for it. "We have a whole new class of sea ice in the Arctic, which we're calling 'decayed ice. We started seeing it in 2009. It's extremely weak." Changing sea-ice cover is increasingly being linked to southern weather patterns. The jet stream, which strongly influences weather at mid-latitudes, is driven by temperature differences between the Arctic and the equator, a difference that shrinks with the sea ice. Ice coverage is slightly about last year's record low but still well below the 30-year average.
Much remains unknown about the role of Arctic cyclones in the annual freeze-thaw cycle. Back when the sea was thick and lasted for years, cyclones tended to spread the ice out and actually increase its extent. Now, when ice gets spread out, it simply breaks up and disappears. "As our ice cover has thinned, some of our old rules are changing...This year has been very stormy. The month of August is definitely one to watch in the Arctic."


Solar Cycle 24 is shaping up to be THE WEAKEST SOLAR CYCLE IN MORE THAN 50 YEARS. In 2009, a panel of forecasters led by NOAA and NASA predicted a below-average peak. Now that Solar Max has arrived, however, it is even weaker than they expected.


Ohio, Minnesota report Cyclospora cases - total grows to 285. This raises the number of affected states to 11 and the nation's total to 285 cases. It's not clear if all of the infectious are part of the outbreak first reported by Iowa and Nebraska earlier this month. Those two states and Texas have reported the vast majority of cases.
So far no specific food has been implicated in the outbreak, though Iowa officials suspect a fresh vegetable source. Past outbreaks have been linked to imported fruits or vegetables. Some of the states reporting just a few cases have said their cases were likely acquired in other states linked to the outbreak or from overseas travel. So far Iowa is the hardest hit state, reporting 138 of the cases.

Hepatitis outbreak - A total of 153 people have now been sickened in a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A tied to a frozen berry mix containing pomegranate seeds from Turkey. The total is 4 more cases than a week ago.Sixty-six patients have been hospitalized, but none have died. The affected states, with case numbers, are California, 75; Colorado, 27; Arizona, 22; New Mexico, 9; Hawaii, 8; Nevada, 6; Utah, 3; and Wisconsin, 2. All patients in the outbreak reported eating Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend bought at Costco stores, though the same product was sold at Harris Teeter stores. Investigators said the most likely source of contamination was pomegranate seeds from Goknur Foodstuffs of Turkey.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

**The difference between who you are and
who you want to be, is what you do.**

Live Seismograms - Worldwide

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.

Yesterday, 7/24/13 -

Volcano Webcams

Mexico has lowered the alert level for the Popocatepetl volcano a notch, just weeks after an increased level of explosive activity. Bright glow from the crater and a significant SO2 plume indicate that magma continues to rise within the volcano.


In the Atlantic Ocean -
Tropical storm Dorian is located about about 615 mi (990 km) W of the Cape Verde Islands. (maps)

In the Eastern Pacific -
Tropical depression Six-E is located about 950 mi (1530 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. (maps)

The season's fourth named storm, Tropical Storm Dorian, is here. It currently appears that Dorian will be a potential threat to the Bahama Islands, Bermuda, and the U.S. East Coast next week. Born from a strong tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on Monday, Dorian formed UNUSUALLY FAR EAST FOR SO EARLY IN THE SEASON, at longitude 29.9°W. Only Hurricane Bertha, which became a tropical storm on July 3, 2008, formed farther to the east so early in the year.
Satellite images show that Dorian is a small but well-organized system with a moderate amount of heavy thunderstorms. A large area of dry air lies to Dorian's west, as seen on water vapor satellite images, but Dorian has moistened its environment enough that this dry air should not interfere with development for the next day. Dorian is under a low 5 - 10 knots of wind shear, which will tend to allow slow development. Ocean temperatures are barely adequate for maintaining strength of a tropical storm, about 26.5°C.


France cliff collapse video - Tourists and locals alike in the Normandy region of France are being warned to watch where they step after an estimated 30,000 tons of rock came crashing down onto the sand. The cliff collapse occurred last week near the city of Le Havre on France's northern coast. The cliff had been cordoned off last Monday after the mayor of nearby Saint-Jouin-Bruneval issued a warning that the cliff was unstable.
One beachgoer who continued to brave the area caught the landslide on video. The video shows a loud rumble before the first sign of the collapse, dirt falling down. The entire front-facing section of the cliff then comes tumbling down in a plume of smoke as onlookers can be seen running away. There were no reports of injuries in the collapse.


Arctic methane 'economic time bomb' - Increasing temperatures in the Arctic region are reducing sea ice cover and increasing the possibility of methane leaching from the sea bed. Scientists say that the release of large amounts of methane from thawing permafrost in the Arctic could have huge economic impacts for the world.
The researchers estimate that the climate effects of the release of this gas could cost $60 trillion (£39 trillion), roughly the size of the global economy in 2012. The impacts are most likely to be felt in developing countries they say. Scientists have had concerns about the impact of rising temperatures on permafrost for many years. Large amounts of methane are concentrated in the frozen Arctic tundra but are also found as semi-solid gas hydrates under the sea. Previous work has shown that the diminishing ice cover in the East Siberian sea is allowing the waters to warm and the methane to leach out. Scientists have found plumes of the gas up to a kilometre in diameter rising from these waters.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, even though it lasts less than a decade in the atmosphere. the researchers examined the impact of the release of 50-gigatonnes of methane over a decade. They worked out that this would increase climate impacts such as flooding, sea level rise, damage to agriculture and human health to the tune of $60 trillion. "That's an economic time bomb that at this stage has not been recognised on the world stage. We think its incredibly important for world leaders to really discuss what are the implications of this methane release and what could we indeed do about it to hopefully prevent the whole burst from happening."
The researchers say their study is in marked contrast to other, more upbeat assessments of the economic benefits of warming in the Arctic region. It is thought that up to 30% of the world's undiscovered gas and 13% of undiscovered oil lie in the waters. Transport companies are looking to send increasing numbers of ships through these fast melting seas. Investment in the Arctic could reach $100bn within ten years.
But according to the new work, these benefits would be a fraction of the likely costs of a large scale methane emission. The authors say a release of methane on this scale could bring forward the date when global temperatures increase by 2C by between 15 and 35 years.
New research suggests that permafrost is also melting in Antarctica. Scientists have found that ground ice in the McMurdo Dry Valley Regions has accelerated consistently between 2001 and 2012, rising to about ten times the historical average. The researchers say that rising temperatures do not account for this increased melting but is due to an increase in sunlight caused by changes in weather patterns.
"We are looking at a big effect, a possibly catastrophic effect on global climate that's a consequence of this extremely fast sea ice retreat that's been happening in recent years." Some scientists have cautioned that not enough is known about the likelihood of such a rapid release of methane. Even though it has been detected for a number of years, it has as yet not been found in the atmosphere in large amounts. But the evidence is growing. "We are seeing increasing methane in the atmosphere. When you look at satellite imagery, for instance the Metop satellite, that's gone up significantly in the last three years and the place where the increase is happening most is over the Arctic."
The authors say that the impacts of the extra methane would be felt most in developing countries which are more vulnerable to rising waters, flooding and the agricultural and health impacts of rising temperatures.


Olam Tomato Processors, Inc., announced the voluntary recall of three production codes of Chunky Salsa because it may contain large glass pieces.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

**Buying books would be a good thing
if one could also buy the time to read them
but as a rule the purchase of books
is mistaken for
the appropriation of their contents.**
Arthur Schopenhauer

Live Seismograms - Worldwide

This morning -

Yesterday, 7/23/13 -

No current tropical storms.


Video - Debris-loaded flash flood tears through southern Utah. A large, violent debris flash flood gutted a creek basin in southern Utah Thursday afternoon south of Bryce Canyon National Park.

Britain - Heavy rain has caused flooding across parts of Nottinghamshire. About 2.6in (68mm) of rain fell in the space of 30 minutes on Tuesday evening, causing disruption to roads and public transport services. Many homes have been damaged and flood warnings were in place on the River Leen in Bulwell, following the thunderstorms.
Thurgarton village remains waterlogged after the nearby brook burst its banks, trapping people in their homes. The heavens just opened and they did not stop. The flooding has affected various areas of Southwell. Some people in Easthorpe have taken doors that have been pulled off their hinges and put them in front of their front doors to stop the water getting in. Others have ripped up carpets and left them on railings at the front of their houses.
There is a big thick brown sludge on the road. The after effects of what happened here are quite clear. It really has caused absolute chaos and will take weeks, if not months, to clear up. Emergency services in the county said they had been inundated with calls about flooding Tuesday evening.
"It was awful. I looked outside and the water was coming over the pavement. I told my youngest son to get all the towels he could and we put them under the doors and windowsills in the house. I was about an ankle deep in water so I took my children upstairs and by the time my husband got to us he was waist deep at the road level." It took about 10 minutes for the downstairs of her house to flood.
Flood water also spread across the corridors at Nottingham City Hospital, prompting a call for visitors to stay away for the night. About 100 homes were flooded in Southwell and many roads had to close. In Arnold, a community centre's wall collapsed and shops and businesses on Front Street could not prevent flood water from entering its buildings. "There's damage to the carpets and we have no electricity, no telephone" The county was the wettest place in the UK, according to BBC Weather.

China - A drought since early July has left 384,000 people short of drinking water in central China's Hunan Province, the provincial drought relief headquarters said Tuesday.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

**Faith is taking the first step
even when you don't see the whole staircase.**
Martin Luther King Jr.

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday, 7/22/13 -

New Zealand - Sunday's earthquake sent Kiwis screaming from Wellington buildings shortly after 5 p.m as a magnitude 6.5 earthquake blew out windows and CAUSED PART OF THE CITY'S PORT TO SLIDE INTO THE SEA.
The earthquake struck at 5:09 p.m. local time and was centered offshore, 57 kilometers (35 miles) south-southwest of the capital city, at a depth of 14 kilometers. It was New Zealand’s biggest quake since a magnitude 6.3 killed 185 people in the South Island city of Christchurch two years ago, and THE STRONGEST TO HIT THE CENTRAL REGION OF THE COUNTRY SINCE 1942.
There was an 8 percent chance of another magnitude 6 event or larger in the first 24 hours, and 20 percent over the next seven days. “A large earthquake can increase stress or decrease stress on neighboring faults, that’s what we’re looking closely at.”
The powerful shake, which lasted at least 20 seconds, threw goods from store shelves and caused people to run from buildings such as movie theaters. Four people were hospitalized with minor injuries. There were no reports of fatalities. Downtown Wellington was largely deserted as aftershocks continued to shake the city. Civil Defense advised people to stay at home and many companies and government departments told staff not to come to work. Parts of the Central Business District remain cordoned off as smashed glass and debris is removed from sidewalks and engineers assess the safety of high-rise office towers.
Some 35 Wellington buildings have so far been found to have sustained damage. The city came through the big quake “very well” with largely superficial damage. Initial indications suggest it is “not a major financial event.” The Wellington port was closed in the morning after a stretch of reclaimed land about 200 meters long and as much as 10 meters wide slid into the sea, taking a shipping container with it. The port re-opened in the afternoon and was fully operational. Major services such as water, sewerage, power and gas are running smoothly, though train services were halted to check tracks.
Three major earthquakes have rattled Wellington within three days. A magnitude 5.7 event shook office towers and sent workers diving under desks on July 19, while a 5.8 magnitude tremor woke people shortly after 7 a.m. Saturday. More than 100 aftershocks have been recorded since the magnitude 6.5 quake, some as strong as magnitude 5.2.
The earthquake was the latest in a so-called “swarm” of tremors centered in the Cook Strait that separates New Zealand’s North and South Islands. The nation of 4.4 million people sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of volcanic and quake activity that circles the Pacific Ocean.

China - Updated quake toll: The strong 6.5 earthquake that shook an arid, hilly farming area in northwest China on Monday, sparked landslides and destroyed or damaged thousands of brick-and-mud homes Monday, killing at least 89 people and injuring more than 400. The quake near the city of Dingxi in Gansu province toppled brick walls and telephone lines, shattered mud-and-tile-roofed houses and sent cascades of dirt and rock down hillsides that blocked roads and slowed rescue efforts. A major highway linking the provincial capital of Lanzhou to the south was damaged.
Western China has been struck by several deadly earthquakes in recent years. A quake of the same magnitude hit Sichuan province on April 20, killing at least 196 people. In April 2010 a 6.9-magnitude quake in the Qinghai province killed about 2,700.
New toll update - At least 89 people dead, more than 800 are injured. The majority of casualties in Dingxi city. More than 9,000 houses collapsed. Rescuers were digging through rubble to look for victims buried by landslides and mudslides triggered by the quake. As much of the mud is made of loess, a fine yellow sandy silt, the chance of finding survivors under the landslides is considered slim. By 18:00 (10:00 GMT) on Monday, the region had experienced 422 aftershocks, including one with a magnitude greater than five. About 123,000 people were affected by the quake, with 31,600 moved to temporary shelters.

Volcano Webcams

Indonesia's most volatile volcano spewed smoke and ash Monday, forcing hundreds of people to flee their villages along its slopes. Mount Merapi on the main island of Java rumbled as heavy rain fell around it. The volcano unleashed a column of dark red volcanic material 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) into the air, and the ash made the rain thick and muddy in several villages as terrified residents fled to safety. The sound of the eruption was heard 30 kilometers (18 miles) away. The eruption sent hundreds of residents living around the volcanic mountain to panic and leave their homes to seek shelter at government buildings. However, the residents returned to their houses once the eruptions had died down.


No current tropical storms.

Atlantic Ocean - A tropical wave (98L) accompanied by a surface low pressure system located about 400 miles east-southeast of the Cape Verde islands has a medium, or 40 percent, chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours (by Wednesday). The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the tropical wave that has emerged off of the west coast of Africa. At present, the system is moving westward at about 15 miles per hour.
Two Atlantic tropical waves - The wind shear and drier air over the Caribbean will work to keep one tropical wave (98E) from strengthening and developing into a tropical cyclone. The second wave (98L) in the eastern Atlantic is in an environment of lower wind shear and surrounded by drier air.

Australia - Flood debris clogs harvesters and mills. In January, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald destroyed up to 90 per cent of some crops across southern Queensland, and swept logs, tin and even furniture into fields. Now the debris is proving a headache for harvesters and millers.
A cane and vegetable farmer d was hit by three tornadoes and has found tin, fencing, chairs and wheelie bins in his cane. He said it's disruptive and costly. "They've got to stop every time they find something, we haven't had anyone walking ahead this year - it all costs money." They have to remove and dump it, but there's no guarantee that will be free of charge.
The flood debris isn't just affecting farmers - sugar mills are dealing with extra mud and timber in their deliveries. It's slowed processing a bit. "As far as mud levels, yeah, they're a little higher this year, so that's slowed us down a little. Probably just drops it about 20 per cent on rate when we get a lot of mud through, it just depends on, if there's a shower of rain, then we slow down more around those days." Canegrowers says many farmers will have to resort to cane burning during and after harvest. Industry says the weather events have not had a bad impact on CCS (sugar content) values.


Russia - A month's worth of rain falls in 2 days. A powerful cyclone washed out a road on Russky Island near Vladivostok. Municipal services in Vladivostok are busy eliminating the aftermath of the powerful cyclone that raged for two days in the Primorsky /Maritime/territory. Rains of an almost torrential intensity washed out a section of the automobile road on Russky Island and impeded communications between the city center and several suburban townships on the coast.
Repair teams of the local power were working hard to restore power supplies to three apartment blocks on Cape Basargin. An emergency discharge of water from a local water reservoir resulted in a flooding of several dacha cooperatives. However, no one among the local residents received any bodily damage because of the calamity. An electricity transmission line failure occurred in the Partizansky district due to a washout of a supporting pylon. As a result, the residents of a local town found themselves disconnected from electric power.
Weather forecasters say this is the second cyclone to call into the Primorsky territory since the beginning of the summer. A monthly norm of atmospheric precipitation fell in the southern districts of the region since Saturday morning. The rising water levels have caused floods on several rivers.
In meantime, forecasts say a new cyclone is likely to approach the Primorsky territory in three days' time. It will bring along with it more rainfall accompanied by gusts of wind.


Arctic Cyclone Developing - Over the next few days a large cyclone (low pressure system) will form over the Arctic Ocean, which will start to cause drastic changes in the sea ice in the area. This system strengthen winds to anywhere from 75-100 km/h over the ocean on Wednesday night into Thursday which will start to shift the ice in the area.
Last August a similar system developed in the area which destroyed 800,000 square km of ice. This system looks even stronger than last year's, and much of the ice in the area is thinner first year ice, so there could be drastic changes in the Arctic sea ice over the next week or so.
This system will also bring some weather on shore in Canada. Although the Beaufort communities (Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk) will see warm and quiet weather tomorrow, a cold front will cut through on Wednesday, significantly dropping temperatures and bringing in rain as well. Elsewhere through the North West Territory weather will remain fairly quiet, but with the hot and sunny weather in place. The fire risk elevates this week. (Canadian fire danger map)

Monday, July 22, 2013

**The good things we build end up building us.**

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday, 7/21/13 -
6.0 GANSU, CHINA (22 dead, 200+ injured)
5.0 CENTRAL ITALY (with many aftershocks, largest 4.8)

China - A powerful earthquake has struck China's north-west Gansu province, killing at least 22 people and injuring more than 200. The earthquake near Dingxi city had a magnitude of 6.0 and was shallow, with a depth of just 9.8 km (6 miles).
Dingxi local authorities say many houses have collapsed in the quake. At least 22 were killed and 296 were injured. In Gansu's Zhangxian county, at least 5,600 houses were seriously damaged and 380 collapsed, while some areas suffered from power cuts or mobile communications being disrupted. Crews of fire fighters and rescue dogs have already arrived at the scene.
The earthquake reportedly triggered a series of mudslides and landslides. "You could see the chandeliers wobble and the windows vibrating and making noise, but there aren't any cracks in the walls. Shop assistants all poured out onto the streets when the shaking began." In 2008, an earthquake in Sichuan province left up to 90,000 people dead and millions homeless.

New Zealand - The minute-long 6.5 earthquake shook New Zealand, halting trains and damaging Wellington's parliament building. The tremor was centred 35 miles (57 km) off the coast south of the capital at a depth of 6.3 miles. But while some structural damage and power cuts were reported, officials said there was no risk of a tsunami. More than 100 aftershocks have been recorded - the largest 4.9.
The quake hit at 17:09 (05:09 GMT) and was felt as far north as Auckland. It smashed windows, knocked stock off shop shelves and burst some water pipes, but there have been no reports of serious casualties. "It felt like the house was about to get up and walk down the street. " The earthquake caused power cuts in the city suburbs and prompted the temporary closure of its airport. "There's been a bit of structural damage, lots of shattered glass everywhere. Initially there were a few screams and panic, people thought it was another Christchurch." The 6.3-magnitude earthquake centred near Christchurch in February 2011 killed 185 people.
Sunday's tremor was the latest in a series that have shaken the lower half of New Zealand's North Island in recent days. New Zealand lies on the notorious Ring of Fire, the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim. The quake was the result of "oblique thrust" near the boundary of the Pacific and Australia plates. New Zealand experiences more than 14,000 earthquakes a year, of which only around 20 have a magnitude in excess of 5.0. (map & video)
Video - New Zealanders talking about the quake.
Workers in the New Zealand capital had been urged to stay away from the central city following the earthquake which rattled the Cook Strait on Sunday afternoon. Much of the damage from the 6.5-magnitude quake is centred in Wellington's Central Business District, with windows smashed, and some walls and facades damaged. Most damage is believed to be cosmetic, rather than structural, and Wellington City Council expects to have a better idea of its extent later on Monday.
The Earthquake Commission covers the first $NZ100,000 ($A87,055) of home damage, the first $NZ20,000 of contents damage, and the cost of insured residential land, before other costs fall on private insurers. The Christchurch earthquakes ran the Earthquake Commission's accounts dry, with its obligations reaching about $NZ12.5 billion - more than double the $6b in its natural disaster fund. However, the Earthquake Commission has a government guarantee to be able to meet its insurance obligations.
It's not yet clear how much that will cost the government, or what the impact on its plans for a planned return to surplus in 2014/15. "It's way too early to tell but there aren't indications that that is something that would be extremely material in the context of the government's books." The situation in Wellington is quite different to quake-ravaged Christchurch. "I understand the anxiety people feel and their nervousness, but there are quite different characteristics here."
The Greater Wellington Regional Council chairwoman warned that the 6.5 quake was not "the big one" the capital's been waiting for.


No current tropical storms.


South Carolina - Floods, washed out roads in soggy South Carolina. With soil moisture at near-record levels, emergency officials worry that if a decaying tropical storm moves over the state in the next month and brings more torrential rains, the results could be disastrous. "The ground cannot take much more rain."
A summer of rain has left its mark on South Carolina, undermining dozens of roads, flooding neighborhoods from the mountains to the coast, and ruining the South Carolina Botanical Gardens where 8 inches of rain fell in 4 hours on July 14, causing $200,000 worth of damage to the gardens.
Parts of Pickens County have received more than 60 inches of rain so far in 2013, which is more than the average rainfall for a year in the area. Nearly half of the state's 46 counties, spread all across South Carolina, have seen at least 40 inches of rain during this period. "We've had a 100-YEAR DROUGHT, 100-YEAR HEAT WAVE and 100-YEAR FLOOD all IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS."
Outside of the botanical gardens and a few other pockets of the state, the heavy rains haven't caused major damage. Part of that is because the precipitation has pulled the state out of a long drought.
Lake Hartwell, in the northwest part of the state,. earlier this month, crested at 665 feet, less than 6 inches from the record level set almost 50 years ago. All that water has to go somewhere, and it is causing a slow moving flood downstream.
In Jasper County, the Savannah River is cresting at its HIGHEST POINT IN 20 YEARS, chasing people from their homes. Boats have also become a familiar sight in neighborhoods in Horry County, where the Waccamaw River went over its banks, or in Bamberg, Dorchester and Colleton counties, where the Edisto River is reaching LEVELS NOT SEEN IN 40 YEARS.
The rains have washed out several roads and caused sinkholes to form on others. About 16 roads across the state remained closed this weekend, including U.S. 178 in Pickens County near the North Carolina state line, where crews expect to spend a month cleaning up a mudslide. Dirt roads in rural areas of the state also remain a mess because they will have to dry out before crews can get equipment out to smooth them over.
Road crews have worked plenty of overtime in the past two weeks hustling out barricades to block flooded roads or doing inspections on bridges after heavy rains. "We keep doing the same the thing over again, just in a different place each time we get another storm."
The forecast for the next week or two is similar to conditions all this summer - fast-growing storms with quick bursts of heavy rain. "Not everyone is getting it on the same day, but overall, for these two months, everybody has gotten above average rainfall." That has left soil moisture at near-record levels for this time of year. That means it takes a lot less rain to cause a flood, which could be dangerous as the calendar turns toward August. South Carolina can get dying tropical storms and hurricanes that can bring a foot or more than rain in only a few days.
Lakes, rivers and the ground can't take that type of rain, and catastrophes from inland flooding have happened in the Carolinas before. In 1999, Hurricane Floyd dumped 20 inches of rain on eastern North Carolina, where the ground was already saturated from the rain brought by Hurricane Dennis days earlier. It led to 52 deaths in that state and some $6 billion in damage there. But it is way too early to know if anything like that might happen this year.
If it does happen, South Carolina's amazing yearly rainfall record of 120.21 inches at Hogback Mountain in Greenville County might be broken. That record was set in 1979 when weakening hurricanes David and Frederick moved over the Upstate. "The wild card is always tropical season. We can get one of these things to move through and blow all types of records away."

Arizona - Heavy rains flood Phoenix area; prompt road closures. Flash floods dropped up to two inches of rain in some areas.

Video - Dramatic rescues as floods hit Mexico.


Britain braced for tropical storms - Britain is set to turn tropical with high humidity and the hottest day of the year so far, before "violent" thunderstorms bring a dramatic end to the heatwave. The UK has seen ITS LONGEST PROLONGED HEATWAVE IN SEVEN YEARS, although temperatures dipped slightly over the weekend.
But the mercury is expected to reach 33C on Monday, with the Midlands and the south of England the likely contenders for the hot spots. The hottest day of the year so far had been last Wednesday at Hampton waterworks, south west London, with highs of 32.2C. Conditions will be "very, very humid...So while 33C would be about a degree higher than the hottest temperature so far, it will feel even warmer. It's going to be sticky, oppressive and close, and will make things feel quite uncomfortable."
People should make the most of the sunshine however, with cooler weather on the way, and potentially heavy storms on Tuesday. The Met Office has issued a rain warning for most of England and all of Wales, with localised flooding possible in places. The hot weather has taken its toll on the UK in recent weeks, with grass fires in London, mountain blazes in the Welsh valleys and forest fires in Fife, Scotland. Hundreds of premature deaths are believed to have been caused by the heatwave.

Video - California wildfire continues to rage.

Oklahoma - A smattering of summer showers has provided much-needed rain across much of Oklahoma, but nearly a third of the state, including major agricultural producing counties in western Oklahoma, remains locked in an extreme drought. It is a major improvement from a year ago when nearly the entire state was experiencing at least moderate drought. Thanks to the 2-year-old drought, Oklahoma's beef cow herd has dwindled more than 30 percent. Loss of surface water for cattle to drink in pasture ponds is in some cases more of a problem than a lack of grass for them to graze.