Thursday, June 26, 2014

Global Disaster Watch - daily natural disaster reports.

**A lie told often enough becomes truth.**
Vladimir Lenin

LARGEST QUAKES so far today -

Yesterday, 6/25/14 -

Current tropical storms - maps and details.

No current tropical storms.


Canada - Heavy rain washes out roads, causes flooding in southern Quebec. Several spots around Quebec are coping with the aftermath of heavy rainfall on Wednesday with one town declaring a local emergency.


Drought brings disaster declaration for all of Utah - Every county in Utah will be covered by a disaster declaration because of the ongoing drought.

Drought Nudges Nevada Wildlife Toward Urban Areas - Three years of drought in Nevada is drying up fisheries in the valleys and pushing some animals to urban areas looking for food and water.

The heat is on in Greenland, where the high temperature on Tuesday hit an UNUSUALLY WARM 67°F at Kangerlussuaq (Sønder Strømfjord) in southwestern Greenland.
It's been a hot June at Kangerlussuaq, where the temperature peaked at 73°F on June 15. That's not far below the all-time hottest temperature ever recorded in Greenland of 78.6°F, set just last year on July 30 at nearby Maniitsoq Mittarfia. The unusual warmth this year melted nearly 40% of the Greenland Ice Sheet in mid-June - far above the usual 15% figure.
The warm June temperatures could be setting the stage for a big Greenland melt season this summer, and scientists with the Dark Snow Project are on the ice, 48 miles east Kangerlussuaq, conducting a two-month field experiment on the causes and implications of Greenland ice melt. The results, soon to be published, showed a pronounced spike in black carbon at the critical layer, and indicated the strong need for more research.
The "burning question": How much does wildfire and industrial soot darken the ice, increasing melt? Was the record melt and record darkness of the ice sheet in 2012 a harbinger of the future? A darker ice sheet absorbs more solar energy, in a vicious cycle that raises temperatures, melts more ice, and further darkens the ice sheet.
The amount of melting that was caused by soot from forest fires is important to know, since global warming is likely to increase the amount of forest fires in coming decades. However, the amount of forest fire soot landing on the Greenland Ice Sheet is almost completely unknown.
Greenland's ice sheet holds enough water to raise global sea levels by 7.36 meters (24.15 feet) were it all to melt, and civilization would be hard-pressed to deal with 10 - 13 feet of sea level rise from West Antarctica, let alone another 20+ feet from Greenland. "If we've committed to 3.3 meters (10.8') from West Antarctica, we haven't committed to losing Greenland, we haven't committed to losing most of East Antarctica. Those are still out there for us."
Unfortunately, the Greenland Ice Sheet is much more vulnerable to melting than previously thought, found a May 2014 study. Deeply incised submarine glacial valleys beneath the Greenland ice sheet. The researchers found that widespread ice-covered valleys extend much deeper below sea level and farther inland than previously thought, and would likely melt significantly from steadily warming waters lapping at Greenland's shores.
The iice core study found that black carbon from forest fires helped caused a RARE, near-ice-sheet-wide surface melt event that melted 97% of Greenland's surface on July 11 - 12 2012, and a similar event in 1889. Another factor contributing to a darker Greenland Ice Sheet and more melting may be additional wind-blown dust landing on the ice. "Our hypothesis is that now that seasonal snow cover in the Arctic is retreating earlier than before, and bare soil is available earlier in the Spring for dust transport."


Coming Collapse - Oceans at Risk From Overfishing and Pollution. The Global Ocean Commission is out with a scathing report on the state of our oceans. To put it bluntly, our oceans are on the brink of collapse.


Trio of Monster Black Holes Rumble Spacetime - For the first time, three supermassive black holes have been discovered in a tight orbital dance inside the center of a galaxy 4 billion light-years away. The discovery was made by radio telescopes located in Europe, Asia and South Africa, and astronomers believe that it’s extreme gravitational environments such as these that rumble spacetime, generating gravitational waves that are theorized to propagate throughout the cosmos.
“What remains extraordinary to me is that these black holes, which are at the very extreme of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, are orbiting one another at 300 times the speed of sound on Earth. Not only that, but using the combined signals from radio telescopes on four continents we are able to observe this exotic system one third of the way across the Universe.”
Two of the black holes are orbiting very close to one another, creating corkscrew-like jets of emissions from one of the black holes as they interact. The third black hole has a wider orbit and emits straight jets from its poles that aren’t impacted significantly by the other pair of black holes.
Supermassive black holes are massive objects, ‘weighing-in’ at between 1 million to 10 billion times the mass of our sun. The majority of galaxies are known to contain these objects at their cores and are thought to have a key impact on galactic evolution and star formation. When galaxies merge, it is thought that the central black holes spiral in toward one another, eventually merging themselves.
“Our research shows that close-pair black holes may be much more common than previously thought." Although gravitational waves have been in the news a lot lately, astrophysicists predict that extreme environments such as these are powerful gravitational wave sources, as predicted by Einstein’s general relativity. So as sensitive detectors — such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory — attempt to track down these minute spacetime ripples, it is paramount that radio observations of orbiting supermassive black holes are carried out.

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