A new word of caution for Seattleites: The big quake you’ve been waiting for could be even bigger than expected.
The Seattle Fault, a zone of east-west thrust faults under the Puget Sound and Seattle, last ruptured in a magnitude-7.0 to -7.5 earthquake about 1,100 years ago. It’s due for another one, but scientists don’t know when that might happen.
Whenever it does, the quake — and ensuing hazards like landslides or a tsunami — could be larger and affect a wider area than scientists had calculated, according to recent research from the University of Washington.
“Before, it looked like the Seattle Fault had a very narrow zone that was deformed during the last major earthquake, but this evidence shows that the zone of deformation was actually several kilometers wider,” said Maria Martin Arcos, a geologist with the engineering firm AMEC, who completed the research while she was a doctoral student at the University of Washington.
“This also shows that when you think about an earthquake, you also have to think about and plan for these other things, like landslides and tsunamis, that can come along with it,” Arcos told OurAmazingPlanet.
Native American oral legends recount a major earthquake near Seattle around A.D. 900-930, but those are the only human records of the event. To learn more about the prehistoric quake — and what the Seattle Fault might have in store for future ruptures — researchers have had to dig into the geologic record.
Arcos looked for evidence in a coastal marsh near Gorst, Wash. Geophysical models of the fault predicted that the prehistoric quake didn’t deform this area, but Arcos discovered that parts of the marsh had been lifted about 10 feet (3 meters) during the quake.
She found a layer of big cedar trunks, forest peat and seeds and leaves from land plants directly on top of a layer full of clams, mussels and mud. Together, the two layers are evidence that the quake suddenly lifted land in an intertidal zone, turning it into a forested zone.
Also, a sandy layer deposited by a tsunami and a layer of forest turf torn up during a landslide showed that at least two violent events accompanied the major earthquake, Arcos said.
Bigger danger zone
A better understanding of the Seattle Fault’s structure will help researchers forecast which areas might experience intense ground shaking in future quakes, Arcos said.
Her research indicates that a zone 6 to 7 miles (10 to 12 kilometers) wide could be deformed in a future quake with a magnitude up to 7.5. Previous estimates showed the danger zone was only about 4 to 5 miles (7 to 8 km) wide. [Video: What Earthquake 'Magnitude' Means]
“We know where most of the big plate boundary faults are, and we have some ideas as to how they behave. But for these smaller faults, we don’t really know where all of them are or how all of them behave,” Arcos said. “This fault runs right under the city of Seattle, and we’re still finding new things almost every year.”
Arcos’ research is detailed in the June 2012 issue of the journal Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A magnitude 6.3 quake struck a remote region of western China, close to the Kazakhstan border, early on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.
The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.5, struck at 5:07 a.m. on Saturday (2107 GMT on Friday), and was centered 94 miles southwest of the town of Shihezi in Xinjiang province.
“It’s a very quiet, remote, mountainous area that is sparsely populated. A the moment we have no report of any casualty or damage but we are watching closely,” USGS Geophysicist Chen Shengzao told Reuters by telephone from Golden, Colorado.
The USGS said the quake was very shallow, only 6.1 miles below the Earth’s surface. Chen said that because of its magnitude and very shallow depth, the quake would have been widely felt.
A 6.3 quake is capable of causing severe damage.
(Reporting by Sandra Maler; Editing by Paul Simao and Todd Eastham)
|Today||Earthquake||China||Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, [98 km S Kuytun]|
|A strong earthquake jolted China’s far-western frontier early Saturday, shaking buildings and cutting off electricity in the remote mountainous area and injuring at least 17 people. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake, which hit China’s Xinjiang region, at magnitude-6.3, while China’s Earthquake Networks Center put it at 6.6. The Xinjiang regional government reported no deaths but said 17 people were injured. Most of the victims were tourists. Residents near the epicenter were shaken out of bed in pre-dawn darkness and some households lost electricity. The quake toppled several buildings 300 kilometers (186 miles) to the west in the regional capital, Urumqi, that rescuers had been dispatched to the sparsely populated area to search for casualties. An official from the Xinjiang Earthquake Bureau said the quake was “strongly felt” in Urumqi. The man, who gave only his surname, Jian, said Urumqi residents rushed into the streets when the quake hit but returned home after 6 a.m.|
Siple volcano (Marie Byrd Land, Western Antarctica): possible awakening – steaming detected on 20 June
Mt Siple volcano in Antarctica might have become active and produced a steam plume recently detected on satellite imagery. The latest Smithsonian activity report mentions:
“Infrared imagery from the Metop satellite showed a possible rising steam plume from the area of Siple on 20 June. The imagery, as interpreted by Mark Drapes, indicated that the volcano was about -22 degrees Celsius, about 6 degrees warmer that the surrounding landscape, and the base of the plume was about -55 degrees Celsius.
Sources: Mark Drapes, personal communication, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)”
Extreme Temperatures/ Weather
LOUISVILLE KY WILMINGTON NC LINCOLN IL KANSAS CITY/PLEASANT HILL MO GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC PADUCAH KY WAKEFIELD VA WILMINGTON OH RALEIGH NC INDIANAPOLIS IN PEACHTREE CITY GA NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY NC HUNTSVILLE AL BLACKSBURG VA MOUNT HOLLY NJ ST LOUIS MO PHOENIX AZ
CHARLESTON SC BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY NC COLUMBIA SC PITTSBURGH PA SPRINGFIELD MO LOUISVILLE KY WILMINGTON NC NEW YORK NY GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC JACKSON KY NASHVILLE TN JACKSON MS LITTLE ROCK AR WILMINGTON OH RALEIGH NC PEACHTREE CITY GA HUNTSVILLE AL BLACKSBURG VA BIRMINGHAM AL CHARLESTON WV MORRISTOWN TN MOBILE AL ST LOUIS MO MEMPHIS TN STATE COLLEGE PA TALLAHASSEE FL
The Weather Channel estimated that on Thursday nearly 93 million Americans were in areas under heat advisories and 21 million in areas with excessive heat warnings.
The heat wave smothering the central U.S. on Friday spread east — and for Washington, D.C., that meant topping out at 104 degrees at Reagan National Airport around 5 p.m. ET.
The nation’s capital broke the June 29 record mark by 3 degrees and, with the humidity, it felt like 112, the National Weather Service reported.
The old record of 101 degrees stood for 138 years. Washington’s all-time record is 106.
Nashville, Tenn., saw 109 degrees on Friday — smashing its 60-year record by two degrees.
Triple-digit temperatures across the Mid-Atlantic were expected to break records elsewhere as well, the weather service reported earlier.
Record-breaking heat will continue into the weekend and possibly through the July 4th holiday, it added, “and overnight lows will struggle to drop below 70.”
Much of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast on Friday joined areas in the Plains and Midwest with excessive heat warnings and heat advisories. The Northeast was only slightly cooler.
High humidity could make it feel like 119 degrees in some Carolina coastal areas by Saturday afternoon, the weather service stated.
On Thursday, Norton, Kan., was the hottest spot in the nation, topping out at 118 degrees, according to the National Climatic Data Center. In all, 22 Kansas locations reached 110 or hotter on Thursday.
Over the previous five days, another Kansas town, Hill City, held that hottest spot, reaching 115 degrees on Wednesday.
The Kansas City Star
The Kansas City Health Department announced Thursday that the county medical examiner is investigating the deaths of the child and a 60-year-old man as the first suspected heat-related deaths of the year.
No other [sic] details were available.
The metro area, along with eastern Kansas and all of Missouri, remains under an excessive heat warning expected to continue into next week.
Thursday’s high hit 106 at Charlie Wheeler Downtown Airport and 105 degrees at Kansas City International Airport. The heat index reached as high as 108, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures are expected to back off a little for the weekend, but not much. The lowest we can expect will be about 100 on Sunday.
After that, the forecast is more heat, and lots of it.
Bowman said temperatures will stop climbing for just a few days as the mass of hot, dry air that has settled on the central and southern plains region flattens and expands to the east. By Thursday of next week, he said, it should be built all the way back up past 100.
“It looks pretty brutal,” said Chris Bowman, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Pleasant Hill.
“For the next week, it doesn’t look like there’s any real relief.”
These are late summer weather patterns only seen in June once every five years or so, according to weather service.
The unseasonable heat is driving people all over the area to take precautions and seek shelter.
More than 275 people found relief Thursday at cooling stations opened by the Salvation Army and the YMCA of Greater Kansas City.
The Salvation Army’s eight community centers offer a place to cool off and a cold drink, and will remain open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the excessive heat warning is lifted. The Independence Crossroads location also offers cots to those who need a place to spend the night, and Salvation Army spokeswoman Amanda Waters said she expected at least 12 people to stay there Thursday night because of the heat.
The YMCA cooling stations will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Kansas City Fire Department reported between seven and 10 heat-related medical emergencies by 4 pm. Thursday.
With the weekend forecast, North Kansas City’s centennial festival has changed its schedule and plans to bring in several cooling devices.
“We didn’t anticipate that the temperature would exceed the age of the city,” said Debbie Van Pelt-McEnroe, a spokeswoman for the festival committee.
The carnival will not open until 6 p.m. Friday, but will open at 1 p.m. Saturday. The city plans to provide two misting tents and a mobile, air-conditioned command post with paramedics. The fire station on Howell Street, the North Kansas City Library and the North Kansas City Community Center will be open for festival attendees who need to cool off.
Anyone braving the outdoors Friday or Saturday can expect a heat index between 105 and 110.
Bowman said temperatures will stop climbing for just a few days as the mass of hot, dry air that has settled on the central and southern plains region flattens and expands to the east. By Thursday of next week, he said, it should be built all the way back up.
An ozone alert issued for Kansas City Thursday will continue Friday. The alert, issued by the Mid-America Regional Council, warns of an unhealthy amount of ozone, or smog, in the air at ground level.
FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
BILLINGS MT MEDFORD OR SALT LAKE CITY UT
BOISE ID GREAT FALLS MT POCATELLO ID MISSOULA MT
By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist
A lack of drenching rainfall could continue through much of the summer over Colorado and neighboring areas, adding to wildfire woes.
While there has been some thunderstorm activity of late in the region, not enough rain will fall over a broad enough area to significantly impact tinder-dry conditions.
In many cases the storms have brought and will continue to bring little or no rainfall in the weeks ahead.
The air over the region is much too dry to allow the rain falling at cloud level in the storm to reach the ground.
What happens is that the evaporating rain cools the air, which then races to the ground in the form of strong gusts. In turn, the gusty winds generated nearby from the storms fan the flames of existing fires, while lightning strikes from the storms threaten to start new fires.
According to Paul Pastelok, head of AccuWeather.com’s Long Range Experts, “It appears the zone of high pressure over the region now will last through much of July and could continue through much of August.”
Pastelok pointed out that some moisture will continue and may increase over the Southwest in general in the coming weeks, but it will tend to “go around” rather than through most of Colorado.
Pastelok is referring to the phenomenon known to locals as the monsoon, which brings more humid air up from Mexico, and produces thunderstorm activity.
“It is possible a non-monsoon feature with a more liberal amount of showers and thunderstorms may swing from Texas to New Mexico next week, but only the southern part of Colorado would be grazed,” Pastelok said.
Otherwise, the region will have to wait until the high pressure area breaks down or shifts position and shorter days with lower sun intensity assist with matters.
While temperatures will occasionally throttle back in coming weeks, the overall massive heat pump will remain in place over Colorado through the middle of summer.
Even in areas that manage to get a couple of rainfalls of 0.10 of an inch from one of the spotty thunderstorms the next week or so, long sun-filled days and evaporation rates of 0.25 to 0.50 of an inch per day will rapidly trump rainfall.
Nebraska National Guard crewmembers dump water from a Bambi bucket onto flames of the High Park fire, in Larimer County, Colo., on June 18, 2012.
The National Guard/Flickr
By Paul Shockley
Friday, June 29, 2012
The Daily Sentinel
An overflow crowd of at least 200 De Beque residents heard Thursday night they may be evacuated over the coming days to either Parachute or Palisade, all dependent on the mood of a growing wind-whipped wildfire which closed a smoky Interstate 70.
“I’ve never seen fire do some of things that we’ve seen this year,” Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey told the crowd. “It’s scary here.”
Growing more than tenfold from Wednesday, the 10,000-acre Pine Ridge Fire southwest of De Beque blew up Thursday as winds kicked up over the afternoon, spreading in all directions and coming within a stone’s throw of the westbound traffic lanes of I-70.
A 13-mile stretch of the highway from the Powderhorn exit to the De Beque exit was closed.
The Bureau of Land Management said it planned to map the blaze from the air overnight to get an accurate estimate of acreage burned.
While roughly 50 residents southeast of De Beque were evacuated Thursday afternoon and offered shelter at Palisade High School, Hilkey laid out an uncertain scenario for a possible mandatory evacuation of the entire town De Beque over the coming days. The sheriff said authorities were concerned today’s projected weather may push flames toward De Beque.
“If Interstate 70 is still closed, we’ll go down 45 1/2 Road to the De Beque Cutoff, to Highway 65 and to Grand Junction,” Hilkey said, adding evacuees would be directed to Palisade High School.
“If the fire jumps I-70 and reaches 45 1/2 Road, both of which would be closed, we’ll send people to Parachute,” Hilkey added, saying they’ve receive a commitment from Grand Valley High School to assist.
Hilkey said any evacuation notice will include phone calls from 911 dispatchers in Grand Junction, while some 206 such calls went out late Thursday afternoon to residences and business on the south side of De Beque, closer to I-70.
DeBeque, which registered a population of 504 in the 2010 census, also has other means of notifying residents.
“We have a siren and everyone in town can hear it clearly,” a woman yelled at Hilkey from the back of the De Beque Community Center Thursday night.
“We’ll build that into our contingency plan,” the sheriff replied.
Russell Long, division chief with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management team, said a staff of 100 firefighters and support staff were on the ground, and the number of resources was growing.
With the acceleration of the fire Thursday afternoon, the BLM formally issued a request for a Type 1 overhead management team, Catherine Robertson, Grand Junction BLM Field Office Director, told the crowd Thursday night. Type 1 teams consist of the most skilled federal firefighters.
“This is the same type of team they have on the Front Range right now,” Robertson said. “We’re trying to give you the best resources to work this fire, but we have to be patient.”
Long acknowledged the Pine Ridge blaze was in something of a “competition” for resources with the wildfires charring the Front Range.
Tanker planes were seen throughout Thursday making several passes around the blaze, while officials held out hope that a heavy-duty helicopter capable of dropping 1,500-gallon water bombs on the blaze might be available by Friday.
“We can do bucket drops in the (Colorado) river,” Robertson said. “Part of the reason we have to shut down I-70 is safety.”
Grand Valley Power officials announced late Thursday evening that they may de-energize power lines in the De Beque area should the fire advance toward those lines in order to keep firefighters safe, a move that would leave customers in the area without power for an extended period of time.
The power company said it is working with the incident commander on the fire to monitor it and has dispatched linemen to locations ahead of the fire so that they’re in position to de-energize the lines if it becomes necessary to do so.
In the event lines are de-energized, Grand Valley Power encourages customers to keep refrigerators and freezers closed to minimize the impacts an extended outage could have on food storage. Officials said they will keep customers informed about any action taken with the power lines.
City Editor Mike Wiggins contributed to this report.
Today’s all-time record highs (that I could find, anyway):
Columbia, SC: 109 (nyah-nyah, Augusta … Columbia’s hottest ever is now one hotter than yours)
Nashville, TN: 109
Athens, GA: 109
Paducah, KY: 108 (tie)
Huntsville, AL: 106
Chattanooga, TN: 106 (tie)
Columbus, GA: 105
Greer, SC: 105 (tie)
Raleigh, NC: 105 (tie)
Charlotte, NC: 104 (tie)
Tri-Cities, TN: 102 (tie)
Crossville, TN: 102
Smyrna, TN: 113 (I’ve always thought this thermometer runs a bit hot, but if it is accurate, it ties the Tennessee all-time state record high from Perryville on August 9, 1930)
Columbia, SC (Owens Field): 110 (short period of record, 1 short of the South Carolina state record high)
Bowling Green, KY: 110 (June record high)
Rumor has it that Mount Leconte, TN got to 81 today, the first time they have ever been in the 80s. It will be interesting to see how warm Grandfather Mountain and Mount Mitchell were today. Grandfather Mountain’s warmest is 83 and I believe Mount Mitchell’s is 82.
Today certainly rivals what I used to consider the hottest day ever in the Southeast, August 21, 1983.
I’m looking forward to pouring over the local cooperative reports to see if any state record highs were tied or broken. I think there’s a chance in South Carolina and Tennessee. Someone in Georgia might have gotten close.
Most places in the Southeast will be within a degree or two of what we saw yesterday, some places hotter, others not as hot. So, we’ll take a run at some of these figures again Saturday.
By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
People dealing with scorching temperatures stretched across the Midwest may get a break from the heat wave, but only at the expense of severe thunderstorms.
The storms slammed Illinois with 60-mph winds and heavy rain during the midday Friday and were racing along at nearly 80 mph across Indiana and Ohio, aiming toward West Virginia and western Pennsylvania Friday evening.
High winds from the storms have had a history of numerous power outages, downed trees and property damage.
The heat combining with the severe weather in the atmosphere could also create large hailstones the size of golf balls and frequent lightning strikes.
The storms will approach quickly. Be sure to seek shelter as soon as you hear thunder.
JACKSONVILLE FL SPOKANE, WA DULUTH MN TALLAHASSEE FL TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
|30.06.2012||Flood||India||State of Assam , [Assam-wide]|
|Gauhati Raging floodwaters fed by monsoon rains have inundated more than 2,000 villages in northeast India, killing at least 27 people and leaving hundreds of thousands more marooned Friday. The Indian air force was delivering food packages to people huddled on patches of dry land along with cattle and wild elephants. Rescuers were being dropped by helicopter into affected areas to help the stranded. About one million people have been forced to evacuate as the floods from the swollen Brahmaputra River – one of Asia’s largest – swamped 2,084 villages across most of Assam state, officials said. Officials have counted 27 people dead so far, but the toll is expected to be much higher as unconfirmed casualty reports mount. Telephone lines were knocked out and some train services were cancelled after their tracks were swamped by mud. As the floods soaked the Kaziranga game reserve east of Assam’s capital of Gauhati, motorists reported seeing a one-horned rhino fleeing along a busy highway. “We never thought the situation would turn this grim when the monsoon-fed rivers swelled a week ago,” said Nilomoni Sen Deka, an Assam government minister. Residents of Majuli – an 800-square-kilometre island in the middle of the Brahmaputra River – watched helplessly as the swirling, grey waters swallowed 50 villages and swept away their homes. “We are left with only the clothes we are wearing,” said 60-year-old Puniram Hazarika, one of about 75,000 island residents now camping in makeshift shelters of bamboo sticks and plastic tarps on top of a mud embankment. A herd of 70 endangered Asiatic elephants, which usually avoid humans, were grouped together nearby, Majuli island wildlife official Atul Das said. “The jumbos have not caused any harm, but we are keeping a close watch,” he said.|
Radiation / Nuclear
TOKYO (Reuters) – Two prominent seismologists said on Tuesday that Japan is ignoring the safety lessons of last year’s Fukushima crisis and warned against restarting two reactors next month.
Japan has approved the restart of the two reactors at the Kansai Electric Power Ohi nuclear plant, northwest of Tokyo, despite mass public opposition.
They will be the first to come back on line after all reactors were shut following a massive earthquake and tsunami last March that caused the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl at Tokyo Electric Power’s Daiichi Fukushima plant.
Seismic modeling by Japan’s nuclear regulator did not properly take into account active fault lines near the Ohi plant, Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist at Kobe University, told reporters.
“The stress tests and new safety guidelines for restarting nuclear power plants both allow for accidents at plants to occur,” Ishibashi told reporters. “Instead of making standards more strict, they both represent a severe setback in safety standards.”
Experts advising Japan’s nuclear industry had underestimated the seismic threat, Mitsuhisa Watanabe, a tectonic geomorphology professor at Toyo University, said at the same news conference.
“The expertise and neutrality of experts advising Japan’s Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency are highly questionable,” Watanabe said.
After an earthquake in 2007 caused radiation leaks at reactors north of Tokyo, Ishibashi said Japan was at risk of a nuclear disaster following a large earthquake, a warning that proved prescient after Fukushima.
While it is impossible to predict when earthquakes will happen, Ishibashi said on Tuesday the magnitude 9 quake last year made it more likely “devastating” earthquakes would follow.
ScienceDaily (June 28, 2012) — A new study published today in Nature by authors from the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre and the Goethe University Frankfurt suggests that large parts of Africa’s savannas may well be forests by 2100. The study suggests that fertilization by atmospheric carbon dioxide is forcing increases in tree cover throughout Africa. A switch from savanna to forest occurs once a critical threshold of CO2 concentration is exceeded, yet each site has its own critical threshold. The implication is that each savanna will switch at different points in time, thereby reducing the risk that a synchronous shock to the earth system will emanate from savannas.
Tropical grasslands, savannas and forests, areas the authors call the savanna complex, are expected to respond sensitively to climate and atmospheric changes. This is because the main players, grasses and trees, differ fundamentally in their response to temperature, carbon dioxide supply and fire and are in an unrelenting struggle for the dominance of the savanna complex. The outcome of this struggle determines whether vast portions of the globe’s tropical and sub-tropical regions are covered with grasslands, savannas or forests. In the past such shifts in dominance have played out in slow motion, but the current wave of atmospheric changes has accelerated the potential rate of change.
Experimental studies have generally shown that plants do not show a large response to CO2 fertilization. “However, most of these studies were conducted in northern ecosystems or on commercially important species” explains Steven Higgins, lead author of the study from the Biodiodversity and Climate Reseach Centre and Goethe-University. “In fact, only one experimental study has investigated how savanna plants will respond to changing CO2 concentrations and this study showed that savanna trees were essentially CO2 starved under pre-industrial CO2 concentrations, and that their growth really starts taking off at the CO2 concentrations we are currently experiencing.“
The vegetation shifts that the Higgins and Scheiter study projects are an example of what some theorists call catastrophic regime shifts. Such catastrophic regime shifts can be triggered by small changes in the factors that regulate the system. These small changes set up a cascade of events that reinforce each other causing the system to change more and more rapidly. The study demonstrated that the savanna complex showed symptoms of catastrophic regime shifts. “The potential for regime shifts in a vegetation formation that covers such vast areas is what is making earth system scientists turn their attention to savannas” comments Higgins.
Knowing when such regime shifts will occur is critical for anticipating change. This study discovered that locations where the temperature rise associated with climate change occurs rapidly, for example in the center of southern Africa, are projected to switch later to forest as the high rate of temperature increase allows the savanna grasses to remain competitive for longer in the face of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. This means that even though a single location may experience its catastrophic regime shift, the vegetation change when averaged over a region will be smoother. Such gradual transitions in regional vegetation patterns will reduce the potential for shocks to the earth system. “While this may seem reassuring, we have to bear in mind that these changes are still rapid when viewed on geological time scales”, says Higgins.
The practical implications of the study are far reaching. For example, the study identified a belt that spans northern central Africa where fire suppression would encourage savannas to transition to forests. “So if you wanted to sequester carbon as part of a carbon mitigation action, this is where you should do it” explained Higgins “with the caveat that where this will work is shifting as atmospheric conditions change.” A worrying implication is that the grasslands and open savannas of Africa, areas with unique floras and faunas, are set to be replaced by closed savannas or forests. Hence it appears that atmospheric change represents a major threat to systems that are already threatened by over-grazing, plantation forestry and crop production.
2MIN News June 29, 2012: Maya, M Flares, and the Canary Islands
Published on Jun 29, 2012 by Suspicious0bservers
African Rainforests: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120628130643.htm
Debbie Rain Totals: http://phys.org/news/2012-06-trmm-satellite-debby-drenching-florida.html
Chinese Astronauts: http://phys.org/news/2012-06-chinese-astronauts-parachute-mission.html
Secret Space Mission: http://www.universetoday.com/96033/mighty-delta-4-heavy-rocket-and-clandestin…
Tital Ocean: http://www.universetoday.com/96027/titans-tides-suggest-a-subsurface-sea/
June Heat: http://www.weather.com/news/weather-forecast/record-heat-all-time-monthly-201…
Spaceweather: http://spaceweather.com/ [Look on the left at the X-ray Flux and Solar Wind Speed/Density]
HAARP: http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/data.html [Click online data, and have a little fun]
SDO: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/ [Place to find Solar Images and Videos - as seen from earth]
SOHO: http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/soho_movie_theater [SOHO; Lasco and EIT - as seen from earth]
Stereo: http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/images [Stereo; Cor, EUVI, HI - as seen from the side]
SunAEON:http://www.sunaeon.com/#/solarsystem/ [Just click it... trust me]
SOLARIMG: http://solarimg.org/artis/ [All purpose data viewing site]
iSWA: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov/iswa/iSWA.html [Free Application; for advanced sun watchers]
NOAA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wsa-enlil/cme-based/ [CME Evolution]
RSOE: http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php [That cool alert map I use]
JAPAN Radiation Map: http://jciv.iidj.net/map/
Gamma Ray Bursts: http://grb.sonoma.edu/ [Really? You can't figure out what this one is for?]
BARTOL Cosmic Rays: http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//spaceweather/welcome.html [Top left box, look for BIG blue circles]
TORCON: http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-torcon-index [Tornado Forecast for the day]
GOES Weather: http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/goes/ [Clouds over America]
INTELLICAST: http://www.intellicast.com/ [Weather site used by many youtubers]
PHYSORG: http://phys.org/ [GREAT News Site!]
M2.4 Solar Flare & CME’s June 28-29, 2012
Published on Jun 29, 2012 by SolarWatcher
Newly numbered Active Region 11513 unleashed an Impulsive M2.4 Solar Flare yesterday, this blast was followed up with several halo coronal mass ejection’s (CME’s) all of which are not earth directed. Solar activity is now picking up with impulsive C-Class flares while the Xray background increases strongly as this new active region shows sign of growth and magnetic complexity.
Earthquake Forecasting Channel
Earthquake Reporting Channel
Solar Soft website
Solar Terrestrial Activity Report
WSA-Enlil Solar Wind Prediction
Quality Solar Website
Estimated Planetary K index information
GOES Xray Flux Data
Sunspot Information from Solar Monitor
Quality Weather Website
Space Weather Website
Music Used is ‘illumination’ by West One Music
|Object Name||Apporach Date||Left||AU Distance||LD Distance||Estimated Diameter*||Relative Velocity|
|(2004 CL)||30th June 2012||0 day(s)||0.1113||43.3||220 m – 480 m||20.75 km/s||74700 km/h|
|(2008 YQ2)||03rd July 2012||3 day(s)||0.1057||41.1||29 m – 65 m||15.60 km/s||56160 km/h|
|(2005 QQ30)||06th July 2012||6 day(s)||0.1765||68.7||280 m – 620 m||13.13 km/s||47268 km/h|
|(2011 YJ28)||06th July 2012||6 day(s)||0.1383||53.8||150 m – 330 m||14.19 km/s||51084 km/h|
|276392 (2002 XH4)||07th July 2012||7 day(s)||0.1851||72.0||370 m – 840 m||7.76 km/s||27936 km/h|
|(2003 MK4)||08th July 2012||8 day(s)||0.1673||65.1||180 m – 410 m||14.35 km/s||51660 km/h|
|(1999 NW2)||08th July 2012||8 day(s)||0.0853||33.2||62 m – 140 m||6.66 km/s||23976 km/h|
|189P/NEAT||09th July 2012||9 day(s)||0.1720||66.9||n/a||12.47 km/s||44892 km/h|
|(2000 JB6)||10th July 2012||10 day(s)||0.1780||69.3||490 m – 1.1 km||6.42 km/s||23112 km/h|
|(2010 MJ1)||10th July 2012||10 day(s)||0.1533||59.7||52 m – 120 m||10.35 km/s||37260 km/h|
|(2008 NP3)||12th July 2012||12 day(s)||0.1572||61.2||57 m – 130 m||6.08 km/s||21888 km/h|
|(2006 BV39)||12th July 2012||12 day(s)||0.1132||44.1||4.2 m – 9.5 m||11.11 km/s||39996 km/h|
|(2005 NE21)||15th July 2012||15 day(s)||0.1555||60.5||140 m – 320 m||10.77 km/s||38772 km/h|
|(2003 KU2)||15th July 2012||15 day(s)||0.1034||40.2||770 m – 1.7 km||17.12 km/s||61632 km/h|
|(2007 TN74)||16th July 2012||16 day(s)||0.1718||66.9||20 m – 45 m||7.36 km/s||26496 km/h|
|(2007 DD)||16th July 2012||16 day(s)||0.1101||42.8||19 m – 42 m||6.47 km/s||23292 km/h|
|(2006 BC8)||16th July 2012||16 day(s)||0.1584||61.6||25 m – 56 m||17.71 km/s||63756 km/h|
|144411 (2004 EW9)||16th July 2012||16 day(s)||0.1202||46.8||1.3 km – 2.9 km||10.90 km/s||39240 km/h|
|(2012 BV26)||18th July 2012||18 day(s)||0.1759||68.4||94 m – 210 m||10.88 km/s||39168 km/h|
|(2010 OB101)||19th July 2012||19 day(s)||0.1196||46.6||200 m – 450 m||13.34 km/s||48024 km/h|
|(2008 OX1)||20th July 2012||20 day(s)||0.1873||72.9||130 m – 300 m||15.35 km/s||55260 km/h|
|(2010 GK65)||21st July 2012||21 day(s)||0.1696||66.0||34 m – 75 m||17.80 km/s||64080 km/h|
|(2011 OJ45)||21st July 2012||21 day(s)||0.1367||53.2||18 m – 39 m||3.79 km/s||13644 km/h|
|153958 (2002 AM31)||22nd July 2012||22 day(s)||0.0351||13.7||630 m – 1.4 km||9.55 km/s||34380 km/h|
|(2011 CA7)||23rd July 2012||23 day(s)||0.1492||58.1||2.3 m – 5.1 m||5.43 km/s||19548 km/h|
|(2012 BB124)||24th July 2012||24 day(s)||0.1610||62.7||170 m – 380 m||8.78 km/s||31608 km/h|
|(2009 PC)||28th July 2012||28 day(s)||0.1772||68.9||61 m – 140 m||7.34 km/s||26424 km/h|
by Jason Major
Saturn’s hazy Titan is now on the short list of moons that likely harbor a subsurface ocean of water, based on new findings from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
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As Titan travels around Saturn during its 16-day elliptical orbits, it gets rhythmically squeezed by the gravitational pull of the giant planet — an effect known as tidal flexing (see video below.) If the moon were mostly composed of rock, the flexing would be in the neighborhood of around 3 feet (1 meter.) But based on measurements taken by the Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, Titan exhibits much more intense flexing — ten times more, in fact, as much as 30 feet (10 meters) — indicating that it’s not entirely solid at all.
Instead, Cassini scientists estimate that there’s a moon-wide ocean of liquid water beneath the frozen crust of Titan, possibly sandwiched between layers of ice or rock.
“Short of being able to drill on Titan’s surface, the gravity measurements provide the best data we have of Titan’s internal structure.”
– Sami Asmar, Cassini team member at JPL
“Cassini’s detection of large tides on Titan leads to the almost inescapable conclusion that there is a hidden ocean at depth,” said Luciano Iess, the paper’s lead author and a Cassini team member at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. “The search for water is an important goal in solar system exploration, and now we’ve spotted another place where it is abundant.”
Although liquid water is a necessity for the development of life, the presence of it alone does not guarantee that alien organisms are swimming around in a Titanic underground ocean. It’s thought that water must be in contact with rock in order to create the necessary building blocks of life, and as yet it’s not known what situations may exist around Titan’s inner sea. But the presence of such an ocean — possibly containing trace amounts of ammonia – would help explain how methane gets replenished into the moon’s thick atmosphere.
“The presence of a liquid water layer in Titan is important because we want to understand how methane is stored in Titan’s interior and how it may outgas to the surface,” said Jonathan Lunine, a Cassini team member at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. “This is important because everything that is unique about Titan derives from the presence of abundant methane, yet the methane in the atmosphere is unstable and will be destroyed on geologically short timescales.”
disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
China says it will invest $81 million to build a national network to monitor movement in the Earth’s crust and for other Earth sciences in the next four years.
The program will use more than 3,000 technicians to build a three-dimensional and dynamic “geodetic” network with high precision, the country’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation announced Tuesday.
The national geodetic network aims to build 360 Global Positioning System reference stations and a satellite-geodesy control network consisting of 4,500 control points, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
The network will ensure people can get timely geodetic information for any point in the country’s land area, surveying administration Deputy Directory Li Weisen said.
China lags behind developed countries in terms of surveying and mapping technologies.
While the United States’ “geoid” determination network can reach an accuracy of 1 inch, China can only determine geoid at an accuracy of 1 foot in its eastern part and 2 feet in its western region, Xinhua said.
Mysterious Booms / Rumblings
Strange Sound Reported in San Diego
The sound was felt or heard in all corners of San Diego County
Residents from Chula Vista to Oceanside reported a large rumble around 12:45 p.m. Friday.
The mysterious sensation was described by some people as sounding like a door slamming while others said it was strong enough to rattle windows.
A check of the U.S. Geological Survey website showed no earthquake activity.
Two months ago, when San Diegans heard a similar sound, there was evidence of chaff on weather radar. Chaff is a material sometimes emitted during military exercises.
On Friday, however, Tina Stall with the National Weather Service said there was no visible chaff in the area at the time the noise was reported.
The mysterious sound had both residents and experts scratching their heads. Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist Kristoffer Walker said he felt it too, and looked into microphones recorded from MCAS Miramar.
Evidence from his research revealed an answer.
“There was indeed an atmospheric tremor, or ‘skyquake,’” Walker said. “The likely cause of these ‘skyquakes’ is routine military activity very far off the coast of San Diego (at least 50 miles away) in zones that are designated military training zones.”
Typically, we don’t hear these “skyquakes.” But when the wind reaches speeds of over 100 miles per hour, the sound can reach parts of San Diego, Walker said.
A spokesperson from Camp Pendleton said Marines are not training with anything unusual. They often train with various military equipment and will be training with tanks both Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday evening, the U.S. Naval Air Forces official Facebook page posted the following message regarding the mysterious boom heard around San Diego:
“San Diego, it looks like the boom that was heard and felt today was likely due to some aircraft associated with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) family day cruise. As part of a flight demonstration two F/A-18 aircraft went supersonic about 35 miles off the coast. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. — LT Aaron Kakiel, media officer.”
So, according to the Navy, it appears Friday’s San Diego boom mystery has finally been solved.
Biological Hazards / Wildlife / Hazmat
AN OUTBREAK of American Foulbrood, a disease affecting colonies of honeybees, has been found in an apiary in Inverness-shire.
The disease was confirmed following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture. Other outbreaks of AFB have previously been reported – and dealt with – in this area over the last three years.
The movement of bees and related equipment into or out of the affected apiary is prohibited. As there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK, the infected hive will be destroyed. There are no risks to public health from AFB and no implications for the quality and safety of honey.
Bee farmers and beekeepers are being urged to be vigilant for signs of the disease, to maintain good husbandry practices and to notify any suspicion of disease to BeesMailbox@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. In order to assist Scottish Government Bee Inspectors to control this and other diseases, beekeepers are urged to register on BeeBase, the national bee database.
|Today||Biological Hazard||USA||State of California, Los Angeles [Huntington Park]|
|Three people have been sent to the hospital for bee stings after a swarm invaded a park in Huntington Park Friday. According to Sheriff’s officials, there were about 75 people at Miles Park when the bees descended around 3 p.m. Witnesses say the bees started flying out of the trees and attacking people. Three people were hospitalized with about 50 to 75 stings each. They are expected to survive. The park has been closed as bee experts and Sheriff’s officials are on scene to diffuse the swarm.|
|Biohazard name:||Bees attack|
|Biohazard level:||0/4 —|
|Biohazard desc.:||This does not included biological hazard category.|
|Today||HAZMAT||Canada||Province of Manitoba, St. Vital [Victor Mager School]|
|Twenty children and five adults were taken to hospital Friday afternoon after a chemical was released in a school’s ventilation system in St. Vital. Emergency officials were called to Victor Mager School just before noon. Some of the victims who suffered from the fumes remain in hospital and are being assessed for respiratory damage. Hospital officials said they believe some people may suffer from inhalation of an air conditioning coolant. Hassa Anbabar, who was admitted to the hospital, said she realized something was wrong when she smelled something different in the air “It was a little scary seeing all the people freaked,” said Anbabar. “But it was okay once we knew everyone was going to be okay.” The entire school was cleared, and about 20 students between the ages of 10 and 12 were taken to the hospital in a medical bus along with handful of staff members. Robyn McLeod, who’s daughter was one of the children hospitalized said she was “freaking out” and almost crying. McLeod’s daughter said the smell gave her a stomach ache. After the evacuation, everyone else in the school waited at a nearby high school. School officials are investigating what happened, they said they suspect the problem started on the roof. “It was probably an air conditioning unit on the school where a fuse burned out and caused an electrical short in the unit, and some smoke entered the building,” said Terry Borys, superintendent of Louis Riel School Division. Officials are concerned students and staff may have some respiratory damage, but at this point it does not appear that anyone was seriously injured. A number of those taken to hospital have been sent home, others will have to stay overnight for observation.|
Articles of Interest
ASSUMPTION PARISH, LA (WAFB) -
Mysterious bubbles are rising up out of an Assumption Parish bayou. Officials are trying to figure what’s causing them.
Take a ride down Bayou Corne, and there are bubbles of all sizes along the waterway.
“We have reported on May 30th a pipeline leak, which started us coming out and investigating a bubbling in Bayou Corne,” said Assumption Parish Homeland Security Director John Boudreaux.
Since then though, pipeline officials have not ruled that out just yet, but said it’s unlikely. So now, investigators are going through the process of elimination.
By coincidence, since the bubbling began, many in Assumption Parish are worried
“Our houses shifting and cracks in our sheet rock and our foundation,” said Jason Hugh.
“My home moved, and my home shook. My home moved, and I’m on cement,” said Debra Charlet.
Officials don’t know yet whether the two are related. Boudreaux has taken samples of the bubbles and sent them off for testing. Those samples are expected back in the next couple of weeks.
Officials are monitoring the bubbles twice a day. As for now, no evacuations have been issued and the waterways remain open.
Press Release #1
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Bubbling has been noticed in the water in the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou areas. Parish officials have determined that this bubbling is caused by a release of natural gas and not “swamp gas”.
The origin of the gas is presently unknown. Potential causes could perhaps be a pipeline leak or a potential leak from an adjacent storage cavern. Presently, it has not been established that this gas is a residual gas leak from the Gulf South incident of 2003-2004.
Government officials including the LA Department of Natural Resources, LA State Police, LA Department of Environmental Quality, Assumption Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, and the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office are continuously working with local industry to determine the origin of the leak. The immediate task at hand is to isolate the problem so that repair and mitigation can commence to resolve the problem.
Daily readings are being taken and recorded from all known bubbling locations for ignition risk. At present time, no readings have suggested any ignition risk; therefore, all waterways remain open to boat traffic. If readings change, waterways may be closed for a period of time.
If anyone has information on bubbling locations or about a potential origin of the gas, please contact the Assumption Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at (985) 369-7386.
Mysterious bare spots called “fairy circles” dotting the sandy desert grasslands of Namibia have long stumped scientists who have no idea how the strange patterns form.
In the sandy desert grasslands of Namibia in southern Africa, mysterious bare spots known as “fairy circles” will form and then disappear years later for no reason anyone can determine. A new look at these strange patterns doesn’t solve the wistful mystery but at least reveals that the largest of the circles can linger for a lifetime.
Small fairy circles stick around an average of 24 years, while larger ones can exist as long as 75 years, according to research detailed today (June 27) in the journal PLoS ONE. Still, the study sheds little light on why the circles form, persist and then vanish into the landscape after decades.
“The why question is very difficult,” said study researcher Walter Tschinkel, a biologist at Florida State University. “There are a number of hypotheses on the table, and the evidence for none of them is convincing.” [See Photos of Fairy Circles]
Circles of life (and death)
Tschinkel grew interested in fairy circles during a 2005 safari to NamibRand Nature Reserve in southwest Namibia, in the Namib Desert. It was his first experience with the round clearings, tens of thousands of which expose the red sandy soil in the area. A short time after the circles form, a tall ring of grass grows around the border, highlighting the bare area.
Few researchers have studied fairy circles, in part because of their remoteness, 111 miles (180 km) from the nearest village. It’s an arid landscape where springbok, ostriches, leopards and other large animals roam, Tschinkel told LIveScience.
“It’s like dying and going to heaven if you like remote, beautiful desert places,” he said.
At first glance, Tschinkel assumed the circles marked underground nests of harvester termites. But digs have shown no evidence of termite nests under fairy circles. Other explanations, such as differences in soil nutrients or the death of seedlings by toxic vapors from the ground, have likewise failed to hold up to study.
Assuming that the overall number of fairy circles on the landscape is fairly steady, Tschinkel used the satellite photos to look at how quickly the circles go from birth to maturity to revegetation. That yielded rough estimates of the circles’ life spans. Most probably exist for 30 to 60 years, Tschinkel said.
Tschinkel was able to bolster these estimates thanks to a fundraising effort by the Namib Rand Nature Reserve, which sells sponsorships to fairy circles. The sponsored circles are marked with a ceramic plate, and their GPS coordinates are recorded. Over the 10 years of the sponsorship program, staff members have checked on the status of the sold circles. Their data yielded similar age ranges for fairy circles as the satellite images did, Tschinkel found.
He also determined that the circles form only on sandy soil with minimal stoniness, and that they don’t form on shifting dunes or alluvial fans, where sands are deposited by water.
Some of Tschinkel’s experiments are still ongoing, but so far, they’ve generated no leads on the circles’ origins. Tschinkel suspects the circles are the product of some form of natural self-organization by plants.
“There are some mathematical models that are based on the idea that plants can withdraw resources toward themselves, which has a positive feedback on plant growth where they’re located, but it has a negative effect on plants at a greater distance,” he said.
Computer models based on this math can generate landscapes that look a bit like the fairy circle fields of Namibia, he said. But even if that hypothesis is on the right track, it doesn’t explain how the plants are creating this pattern, not when hoarding soil nutrients and some other possible factors have already been ruled out.
With few people studying the circles – and no funding for chasing down the mysteries of the landscape of southern Africa – Tschinkel said the fairy circles will likely remain an enigma.
“I’m not too worried that this mystery is going to be solved anytime soon,” he said. And the persistence of the mystery makes it ever more intriguing.
“That’s science, isn’t it?” Tschinkel said. “If you knew the answer ahead of time, it wouldn’t be much fun.”
|Around 80,000 customers of Indiana Michigan Power either suffered power outages or remained without electricity, hours after a powerful storm rolled through the Fort Wayne area. According to a news release from I&M, those without power might have to do without for an extended period, as well, with the release stating: “Due to the large area affected by the storm and the severity of damage, those affected by the storm should prepare for the possibility of a prolonged restoration process.” A severe thunderstorm watch continues through 7 p.m. for Allen, Huntington, Whitley, Noble, Wells and Adams counties. I&M would work to assess the damage before sending crews to fix power lines, I&M community relations director Sarah Bodner said, adding that many people should expect to be without power for at least a day. “People should prepare for a prolonged outage,” she said. “Power’s not coming back on tonight.” As vendors were setting up Friday afternoon for the weekly Historic Main Street Farmers Market, their eyes were on the furiously darkening sky. “That’s it,” said one woman setting up as she immediately started to pull down her tent.
Within moments, Main Street was covered in darkness as dirt flew in every direction and trees snapped. A black power line hung over West Main Street just east of the Carole Lombard Bridge. Fort Wayne Police officers were reporting down trees on streets including Clinton Street and Scott Road south of Illinois Road. Carroll east of Johnson and Carroll north of Johnson was also blocked by a down tree. Downtown, people scrambled indoors to get away from flying dust and debris, and powerful gusts tore large plates of sheet metal from the side of the Anthony Wayne Building, which is under renovation. “The wind was pretty much ripping and roaring through downtown,” said Michael Barranda, a lawyer who works in the 1st Source Banking Center at 200 E. Main St. “I looked out my blinds and saw pieces of sheet metal flying off the Anthony Wayne Building two at a time,” he said. “There were a bunch of us huddled together in the office hoping nobody got hurt.” Witnesses said the high winds tore down at least one billboard on Illinois Road and felled countless trees, blocking streets in many Fort Wayne neighborhoods. Traffic was at a near-standstill on Hillegas Road and Spy Run Avenue shortly after the storm ripped through town, other witnesses reported on Twitter.
Two left-hand lanes of Spy Run near Tennessee Avenue were blocked by downed trees earlier this afternoon. Every traffic signal on Hillegas from West Coliseum Boulevard south to West State Boulevard was knocked offline. Interstate 69 was closed at the 99 mile marker just north of the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly plant on the city’s southwest end but had reopened by about 4:30 p.m. The National Weather Service reported wind speeds of 63 mph with gusts up to 91 mph at 3:05 p.m. The weather-radio transmitter at Fort Wayne International Airport was knocked off the air at about the same time the storm came through. According to weather service precipitation maps, between a third of an inch and half an inch of rain fell during the brief but powerful storm. Temperature dropped from 91 degrees at 2 p.m. to 68 degrees at 4 p.m., according to the weather service. Wind was so powerful that some people said their cars were almost uncontrollable in the wind. In restaurants and stores around the city, people huddled indoors as the storm rolled through. Many of Fort Wayne’s radio stations were knocked off the air by the storm.
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