Friday, August 9, 2013

**You cannot change what you refuse to confront.**

Global Disaster Watch is on Facebook .

Live Seismograms - Worldwide

This morning -

Yesterday, 8/8/13 -

False alarm for Massive 7.8 Earthquake Hitting Nara Prefecture in Japan. Japanese news sites were either down or made unusable as the nation looked for information about what happened. Most notably down was Japan's #1 site,
Bloggers and tweeters began lighting up the net wondering and speculating what exactly just happened and why the Japanese government system sent this warning. NHK reported that the Japanese government is now investigating the reason as to why their system sent this message when the quake ended up only being a 2.3 magnitude.


In the Eastern Pacific -
Hurricane Henriette is located about 980 mi (1580 km) E of Hilo, Hawaii. A small-sized storm, Henriette is expected to become a tropical storm by Friday night or early Saturday. (maps)

In the Western Pacific -
Tropical depression Eleven is located approximately 362 nm northward of Koror, Palau. (maps)

Tropical Storm Mangkhut Soaks Vietnam and South China - Poorly organized Tropical Storm Mangkhut was seen swirling across the South China Sea before striking northern Vietnam on Wednesday.The northern half of Vietnam and China's island province of Hainan were drenched by the second tropical storm to pass through the region within a week's time.
Tropical Storm Mangkhut made landfall abouth 65 miles south of the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi as a minimal storm on Wednesday. The r estimated maximum sustained winds near the center of Mangkhut were 40 mph when the storm made landfall. It later lost force over the interior of Vietnam and neighboring areas of Laos. Mangkhut took a slightly more southerly course than Tropical Storm Jebi, which struck during the previous week with minimal effects. (map)
The Thailand Meteorological Department issued an warning for provinces in the North and Northeast, as it’s expected that “Mangkhut” would cause heavy rain and wind in those regions. It was reported that the tropical storm is traveling at a speed of 75 km/h and it will eventually turn into a tropical depression. Between August 8 and 9, provinces were warned heavy rain and wind was expected to hit. Residents were advised to stay alerted at all times, as electrical outages were expected.

Henriette weakening; 'westbound train' of storms following - Tropical Storm Henriette was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane earlier this week as it reportedly became the strongest storm of the 2013 U.S. hurricane season. Hurricane Henriette is starting to weaken as it moves into the Central Pacific. Henriette continues on a track to pass south of Hawaii early next week.
National Hurricane Center forecasters area tracking two other storm systems behind Henriette - what NASA called a “westbound train of developing storms” - that could intensify in the next two to five days. What's left of Post Tropical Cyclone Gil and Hurricane Henriette may to bring muggy weather, stronger trade winds and an increased chance of windward showers to the islands, especially the Big island, this weekend.
Henriette is also expected to bring some surf to east shores. At 5 p.m. Thursday, Henriette was a category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph, down from 105 mph earlier in the day. Tropical storm force winds extend 75 miles from the center. Henriette was 980 miles east of Hilo, heading west at 12 mph. The storm is forecast to take a turn to the west-southwest.
“Henriette appears to have peaked in intensity as the eye is no longer apparent. The cyclone should continue to gradually weaken through the forecast period as it moves over cooler waters during the next couple of days and then encounters an increase in southwesterly shear and a drier and more stable airmass.” Henriette should no longer be a hurricane on Saturday and may weaken into a post tropical cyclone by Monday.
A NASA satellite image shows two other low pressure systems behind Henriette with the potential to develop into tropical cyclones. The system immediately east of Henriette has a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in 48 hours and a 30 percent chance of developing over the next five days. Another area of disturbed weather about 700 miles south southeast of Manzanillo, Mexico has a 50 percent chance of intensifying into a tropical cyclone over the next two days and a 70 percent chance of becoming a named storm during the next five days. If it does intensify, it will be named Ivo.
The National Weather Service cautions that the margin of error on the 5-day forecast track is about 175 miles in any direction and conditions are likely to change in long-range forecasts.


Nashville, Tennessee flood video

Deadly floods hit central US with Missouri worst affected - Up to three people have died in flash floods that have sparked alerts in several US states.A child was killed and his mother is presumed dead after their car was swept away in Missouri, which has suffered the worst of the deluge. Another woman died as her car drove over a bridge in rapidly rising waters in the same state. Flash flood warnings are also in place in parts of Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. More heavy rains are forecast into the weekend.
Nashville residents took to their roofs to avoid the rising water. The rains turned a normally placid creek into "a Class V whitewater river". Some 15 inches (38cm) of rain was recorded in a 48-hour period near Waynesville. At least 100 homes and businesses in Hollister, Missouri, were damaged when a creek flooded. Scores of people were evacuated, some of whom had to be rescued by boat.
The Interstate 44 motorway in central Missouri reopened on Thursday after floodwaters receded, but many other roads remained inundated in the south of the state. In Nashville, Tennessee, firefighters had to wade through waist-deep floodwaters to rescue residents of one apartment building, after up to 8in of rain fell in a few hours. Arkansas saw about 10in of rain fall in Benton County, while parts of Kansas and Oklahoma saw 6 inches of rain.


Hundreds flee uncontained Banning, California wildfire - Fire officials said about a dozen structures have been damaged or destroyed. About 1,500 people have been forced to flee their homes in southern California as the wildfire rages out of control.
Two firefighters and a civilian have been injured since the fire started on Wednesday near the city of Banning. The rapidly spreading blaze covered about 10,000 acres (4,047 ha) and was uncontained on Thursday morning. Fire officials said 15 structures had been damaged and aerial news footage showed several houses burning. The injured civilian suffered severe burns.
The fire, first reported early on Wednesday afternoon, exploded in size as winds fanned the flames across the dry ground. Some fleeing residents were forced to "shelter in place" as the moving fire cut off escape paths. About 1,000 firefighters were on the scene and were supported by six air tankers and 13 helicopters. "The smoke was so bad you couldn't see. There were embers and ash coming down all over the sky. I was starting not to be able to breathe."

Drought leads to tighter Colorado wheat seed supply - Exceptional drought conditions and untimely freezes that have left some southeast Colorado winter wheat fields with nothing to harvest also have limited the certified seed supply for next season. “It’s going to be very tight.”
Certified seed is sold by growers authorized to raise new varieties that have patent-like protections. Customers usually are allowed to save some seed after the harvest to replant in their own fields, but it’s illegal for them to resell the seed to others. This year, some farmers didn’t have enough of a harvest for grain, let alone seeds.
Certified seed growers in northeast Colorado, which got a little more moisture than southeast Colorado this season, have been fielding calls from southeast Colorado, western Kansas, and the panhandles of Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas to see if they have surplus certified seeds they can sell. “We’ll still have some to sell, but most of the time, we’ve never been this far sold out this early.”
Kansas, the nation’s top winter wheat producer, dealt with exceptional drought on the state’s western side. However growers in the central part of the state fared better and should be able to supply their counterparts in western Kansas with seeds. About 43 percent of Colorado winter wheat is grown from certified seed, while the rest is from seed that farmers saved from previous harvests.

Drought, now floods: South-central Kansas sees extremes. Wichita has seen 13.4 inches since July 21. More wet weather is on the way for drenched counties in central Kansas, where swollen rivers are raising new fears of flooding.
Heavy rains that began last week have already caused flash flooding and swamped some homes, but people are now more concerned about the next wave of storms that were expected to begin Wednesday and stretch into the weekend. It could include severe thunderstorms, flooding, tornadoes, microbursts and large hail throughout the state.
Among the places seeing the worst of the flash flooding is Hutchinson, where the National Weather Service reported 7 inches of rain fell from Saturday through Monday. “My real concern is that it is going to continue to rain - and it seems like I should be building an ark, but don’t have the plans. We have been in a drought for the last couple of years and I think we are trying to make up for it in a week.”
An as-yet-undetermined number of homes in Reno County have flooded. Several dozen roads in Reno County remain closed and two bridges, one over the Little Arkansas River and the other over the Ninnescah River, were damaged and will remain closed until the river recedes enough so they can be inspected and repaired. The floodwaters also poured into city hall in Newton. Storms also damaged automated systems at the wastewater treatment plant and the city’s water system, requiring staff to manually run the systems and check water levels in towers for Newton, Halstead and Sedgwick.
It has been raining off and on in Kansas since July 21, with Wichita getting 13.4 inches from that date through Monday - the second highest amount of rain for the period since 1888. “It was not until we got to the last week of the month that many locations saw day after day of significant rainfall and then as you got into the first part of August it is like, ‘All right we have finally filled the bucket and now we have started to overflow.’ “ Winds ranging from 80 to 100 mph were reported Monday night in Pratt and Butler counties, causing extensive damage at the Shady Creek marina at El Dorado Lake. Power outages were reported. South-central and southeast Kansas has flooding on the Little Arkansas River and the Arkansas River.
Local disaster declarations have been issued in Barton, Bourbon, Clay, Cloud, Greenwood, Harvey, McPherson, Reno and Rice counties. The drought monitor update, to be issued later this week, will show the end of drought conditions in central, orth-central and parts of southeast Kansas, Knapp said. The drought persists in far western Kansas. “A week of rain, while it is very welcome, still has a long way to go to make improvements in the western third of the state."

Climate change is impacting California - Coastal waters off California are getting more acidic. Fall-run chinook salmon populations to the Sacramento River are on the decline. Conifer forests on the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada have moved to higher elevations over the past half century. That's just a snapshot of how climate change is affecting California's natural resources, a report released Thursday found.
"There's certainly reason for concern." Among the known impacts: Butterflies in the Central Valley are emerging from hiding earlier in the spring. Glaciers in the Sierra Nevada have shrunk. Spring runoff from snowmelt has declined, affecting Central Valley farmers and hydroelectric plants that rely on snowmelt to produce power.
Officials hope it will spur the state and local governments to plan ahead and adapt to a hotter future. Monitoring should continue "to reduce the impacts of climate change and to prepare for those effects that we cannot avoid." Annual average temperatures across the state have risen by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, with the greatest warming seen in portions of the Central Valley and Southern California.
Levels of carbon dioxide, methane and other heat-trapping gases in the state increased between 1990 and 2011. In recent years, there has been a slight drop — the result of industries and vehicles becoming more energy efficient, the report said. Some of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is being absorbed by the ocean, altering its chemistry. Scientists have documented changes to waters at Monterey Bay, which have turned more acidic in recent years, raising concerns about impact to marine life.
Ocean warming, among other factors, may be behind the dramatic drop of chinook salmon in Central California since 2004. And certain plant and animals species — such as conifers in the Sierra Nevada and small mammals in Yosemite National Park — have responded to a changing climate by moving to higher ground. Expect more heat waves, wildfires and higher sea levels as the state warms, the report said.
The report "vastly overstates the impacts of greenhouse gases," said a professor of atmospheric sciences who holds a minority view among climate scientists. An acknowledged leader in the field of climate impacts, said the observations in the report "are more or less the gold standard of where we are now today" and provide a peek of the future.

2012 Proves We're On A Collision Course With Dramatic Climate Change - A new massive federal study says the world in 2012 sweltered with continued signs of climate change. Rising sea levels, snow melt, heat buildup in the oceans, and melting Arctic sea ice and Greenland ice sheets, all broke or nearly broke records, but temperatures only sneaked into the top 10.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday issued a peer-reviewed 260-page report, which is its annual "checking on the pulse of the planet." The report, written by 384 scientists around the world, compiles data already released, but it puts them in context of what's been happening to Earth over decades. "It's critically important to compile a big picture. The signs that we see are of a warming world."
What is noticeable "are remarkable changes in key climate indicators" - dramatic spikes in ocean heat content, a RECORD MELT of Arctic sea ice in the summer, and whopping temporary melts of ice in most of Greenland last year. The data also shows a RECORD-HIGH SEA LEVEL. The most noticeable and startling changes seen were in the Arctic. Breaking records in the Arctic is so common that it is becoming the new normal.
When looked at together, all the indicators show a climate that is changing over the decades. Individually, however, the story isn't as simple. Surface temperatures haven't risen in the last 10 years, but that is only a blip in time due to natural variability. When looking at more scientifically meaningful time frames of 30 years, 50 years and more than 100 years, temperatures are rising quite a bit. Since records have been kept in 1880, all 10 of the warmest years ever have been in the past 15 years, NOAA records show.
Depending on which of four independent analyses are used, 2012 ranked the eighth or ninth warmest year on record, the report says. Last year was warmer than every year in the previous century, except for 1998 when a record El Nino spiked temperatures globally. NOAA ranks 2010 as the warmest year on record.
They don't have to be records every year. Overall the climate indicators "are all singing the same song that we live in a warming world. Some indicators take a few years off from their increase. The system is telling us in more than one place we're seeing rapid change." The report purposely doesn't address why the world is warming.


Asteroid 2013 PS13 , newly discovered and 13 meters wide, passes by earth today at one-half the distance to the moon. (bottom of page at the link)


Turtles eating record amounts of plastic - Green turtles are swallowing plastic at twice the rate they did 25 years ago, a new study shows. The finding is based on data collected across the globe since the late 1980s.
Green and leatherback turtles are eating more plastic than ever before and more than any other form of debris. The ages of turtles and their habitats are also factors. "Our research revealed that young ocean-going turtles were more likely to eat plastic than their older, coastal-dwelling relatives." Amazingly, stranded turtles found adjacent to heavily populated New York City showed little or no evidence of debris ingestion. But all stranded turtles found near an undeveloped area of southern Brazil had eaten debris.
"This means conducting coastal clean-ups is not the single answer to the problem of debris ingestion for local sea turtle populations." But it is an important step in preventing marine debris input into the ocean. An estimated 80 percent of debris comes from land-based sources. That fact showed how critical it is to manage man-made debris at every point, from its manufacture to the point of a product's consumption.

So many dead bottlenose dolphins are washing up on the Mid-Atlantic coast from New York to Maryland that federal government scientists have declared an “UNUSUAL MORTALITY EVENT” and are investigating what is responsible for these deaths.
All ages of bottlenose dolphins are involved and strandings range from a few live animals to mostly dead animals with many very decomposed. The strandings started at the beginning of July, and have accelerated in the past two weeks. 124 dolphins stranded in July, MORE THAN SEVEN TIMES THE AVERAGE NUMBER for this period. At least 35 additional strandings occurred in the month of August.
The highest numbers of dolphin strandings have happened on the beaches of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. There are no unifying gross necropsy findings although several dolphins have been found with lesions on their lungs. Although the cause of these deaths is not yet known, the primary suspect is morbillivirus, an infectious pathogen. Many of the animals are too decomposed to offer much information. Samples from several fresher animals have been collected and will be analyzed, but it could be weeks before test results are available.
One dead dolphin, in New Jersey, has tested positive for morbillivirus, a naturally occurring virus in dolphin populations that in 1987 was linked to the deaths of 90 dolphins off New Jersey. Investigators will test for pollutants in the water, but New Jersey’s Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program, a joint state, local and federal effort, conducts routine testing of bathing beaches. Officials with the monitoring program say water quality has been “excellent, with no closures of ocean beaches due to elevated bacteria levels.”
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center has responded to the high number of dead and dying bottlenose dolphins on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. The Stranding Response Team is working with the NOAA Fisheries to investigate the cause. Aquarium officials say the Stranding Response Team picks up an average of 99 marine mammals during a calendar year – 64 of them bottlenose dolphins. To date this year they have responded to 82 dolphins, with 44 in July alone. The average number of dolphin strandings for July is seven.
The director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center says he believes disease is the culprit in this die-off as it has been in the past. “Dolphins swim close together in pods. Diseases spread between animals when they surface to breathe. There is no evidence that the deaths we are seeing this summer are in any way related to water quality.” The dolphins that have been affected live in inshore waters. Dolphins that stay offshore in water more than 50 meters deep appear not to have been affected.
Scientists from all agencies emphasize that citizens should not approach a dolphin if they see one lying on the beach, because the animal could have an infectious disease. They should not allow their pets to approach the marine mammal or try to return a dolphin to the water.


Blood study suggest camels could be MERS-CoV carriers.

Common kitchen items harbor pathogens - Unsafe levels of Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria, yeast, and mold are present in such common kitchen items as blender gaskets and rubber spatulas, say the findings of a study released by a global public health and safety organization.
The study analyzed 14 common kitchen items. It found that consumers often know what kitchen items may harbor the most germs but still do not clean those items properly, which could be unwittingly making themselves and others sick. Items found to be "germiest," ranked from highest to lowest in germ count, are refrigerator water dispenser; rubber spatula; blender; refrigerator vegetable compartment, ice dispenser, and meat compartment; knife block; food storage container with rubber seal; can opener; and refrigerator insulating seal. More than 20% of foodborne illness outbreaks originate from food eaten at home. (This article is the last item at the link)