Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for July, 2009

Old MacDonald Had a Fleet

Posted by feww on July 31, 2009

submitted by a reader

And on his fleet he had a ship, E-I-E-I-O

With a “leak-leak” here and a “leak-leak” there
Here a “leak” there a “leak”
Everywhere a “leak-leak”

Old Macdonald had a fleet, E-I-E-I-O

Ship leaking fuel off Norway after running aground

Full City, a Chinese-owned dry-bulk vessel, with about 1,120 tons of fuel on board is leaking  after running aground near Langesund on the Norwegian coast during stormy conditions overnight, Reuters reported the rescue authorities as saying on Friday.

“The Joint Rescue Coordination Center said 16 sailors had been evacuated from the vessel and seven remained on the ship. The entire crew are Chinese nationals.” Reuters reported.

“We have put a request to the company (operating the ship) to put pressure on the captain (to abandon the vessel) because Norwegian coast guard reports indicate the ship may not survive,” rescue mission spokesman Stein Solberg told Reuters.

Norway’s television channel TV2 showed pictures of oil reaching the North Sea coastline in southern Norway, reportedly a popular area for holidaymakers west of the Oslo fjord.

“A Norwegian representative of the World Wildlife Fund said the spill could affect a large number of birds from a nearby sanctuary and called on volunteers to help with the clean-up.” The report said.

the Panama-registered “Full City” vessel is operated by Hong Kong-based Cosco shipping.

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Posted in Cosco HK, Langesund, Langesund oil leak, Norwegian coast, Oslo fjord | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Rare Sprinkle of Justice

Posted by feww on July 31, 2009

submitted by a reader

Image of the Day: Rare Sprinkle of Justice From the Court of Ghouls

Eighteen families won their case against toxic exposure


Thirteen-year-old Curtis Thorpe shows media his deformed hand outside the High Court in London after a group of eighteen families won their case against Corby Borough Council in Northamptonshire July 29, 2009. A group of 18 young people who blame deformities they were born with on their mothers’ exposure to toxic materials won a court case on Wednesday against their local council. The court was told that toxic material released into the atmosphere during reclamation works at a former steel plant between 1985 and 1999 could have been inhaled and ingested by pregnant women, leading to serious birth defects in their children. REUTERS/Stephen Hird. Image may be subject to copyright.

Posted in High Court London, Northamptonshire, Pregnant Women, toxic exposure, UK | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Airbus Says Change Speed Sensor Switch

Posted by feww on July 31, 2009

The latest recommendation by Airbus is a positive step in airliner safety, but Airbus should go further and replace its ‘faulty’ on-board computers, too!

The following news item was published by BBC UK, which in view of its public safety features is reproduced in full.

For background information see: Airlines & Aviation Industry, Airline Safety, Air Travel …

.

Airbus urges speed sensor switch

Airbus A340 (file image)

The move will affect about 200 long haul Airbus jets

Page last updated at 22:25 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 23:25 UK

Plane manufacturer Airbus has urged airlines to change the make of the majority of speed sensors on about 200 long haul aircraft.

Airbus has issued a bulletin to airlines recommending that they switch the parts, also known as pitots, to those made by US manufacturer Goodrich.

The moves comes as investigations continue into the cause of the fatal crash of an Air France Airbus in June.

Investigators have said speed sensors, or pitots, may have been a factor.

“Airbus has decided to recommend that A330/A340 operators with Thales pitot tubes, exchange at least two of them with Goodrich probes,” the company said in a statement sent to the BBC.

The company said it was making the recommendation “on the basis of the very limited available information” from the Air France accident, and “despite the fact that the pitot tubes meet the certification objectives”.

“This precautionary measure will allow our customers to benefit from the greater in-service experience of the Goodrich tubes on the A330/A340,” it said.

The move would affect about 200 of the A330 or A340 planes which were fitted with sensors manufactured by France’s Thales company, reported Reuters.

No deadline has been issued for the change to be implemented.

Earlier, the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) said it was to make the same recommendation.

All 228 people on board the Air France plane were killed when it plunged into the ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on 1 June.

French investigators have said faulty speed sensors were “a factor but not the cause” of the crash.

In the wake of the crash, Air France accelerated an existing programme to replace speed monitors on its Airbus planes.  BBC © MMIX

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Posted in air passenger safety, Airline industry, European Aviation Safety Authority, long haul Airbus jets, on-board computers, pitot tubes | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [30 July 2009]

Posted by feww on July 30, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 22 July – 28 July 2009

VOW: Batu Tara

batu tara July 27 2009
Batu Tara remained active in late July 2009. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this photo-like image the volcano releasing a faint plume on July 27, 2009. The distinct segments of the plume suggest that the volcano has released ash and/or steam in pulses. The plume blows toward the northwest over the Flores Sea.  NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.

batutara EO 18 may 2009
Batu Tara remained active in mid-May 2009. On May 17, 2009, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image, the tiny volcanic island released a plume of ash and/or steam. The volcano’s plume forms a counter-clockwise arc north of the volcano. East of that plume is another, fainter plume, almost certainly of the same origin, blowing westward over the Flores Sea. NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.

New activity/unrest:

Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

Notes:

KVERT reported that during 17-18 and 20-24 July seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels. According to news sources, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. late on 25 July. Increased seismicity, powerful ash bursts, and avalanches were also reported.

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 22 July explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE. On 23 July and 27 July pilots observed ash plumes. (Source: GVP)

Ongoing Activity:

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FEWW Links:

Posted in Global Volcanism, Volcanic Activity Report, volcanism, Volcano Hazard, volcanoes, VolcanoWatch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Fire in Spain Stays Mainly in the Forest

Posted by feww on July 30, 2009

Image of the Day: Forest Fire in The Spanish Province of Avila

spanish fires
A forest fire in the Spanish province of Avila continues burning. Thousands of hectares of woodland in France, Greece, Italy (Sardinia),  Spain and Turkey have been destroyed by wildfires fulled by dry conditions, high temperatures and strong winds rage on. At least 8 people have been killed by the fires including six firefighters in Spain were two major fires were still burning, reports said. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in europe forest fires, Greek Fires, Italian fires, rising global temps, Wildfires in Europe | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Arctic Tundra 4ºC Hotter Since 1970

Posted by feww on July 30, 2009

Arctic tundra much warmer, darker and more heat absorbent

Parts of Arctic tundra are heating up very rapidly, releasing more greenhouse gases than forecast, accelerating global warming

AMSR-E - 16 sept 2008
The Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E), a high-resolution passive microwave Instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite, shows the state of Arctic sea ice on September 10 in this file image released September 16, 2008.  REUTERS/NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio/Handout/Files

Parts of Arctic tundra are heating up very rapidly, releasing more greenhouse gases than forecast and accelerating the rate of global warming, said Professor Greg Henry of the University of British Columbia on July 29, 2009.

df 2 manitoba
Thermokarst ponds and drunken forest, Churchill, Manitoba. The thawing of ice-rich permafrost causes subsidence of the land surface, creating ponds and causing trees to tilt, which is shown in this peatland terrain. [Latitude: 58.665 Longitude: -94.034] Physiographic Region: Shield (Lowlands). Photo: Lynda Dredge. Geological Survey of Canada.

Henry said also said higher temperatures are encouraging the spread of larger plants across the tundra, areas normally covered by small shrubs, grasses and lichen. The denser plant cover indicates that the region is getting darker and therefore absorbing more heat.

Tundra covers about 15 percent of Earth’s surface, making up about 30 percent of Canadian territory, Reuters reported Henry as saying.

Henry said for more than three decades he had measured “a very substantial change” in the tundra,  which has been caused by greater emissions and plant growth.

“Since 1970, he said, temperatures in the tundra region had risen by 1 degree Celsius per decade — equal to the highest rates of warming found anywhere on the planet.” Reuters reported.

Henry said:

We’re finding that the tundra is actually giving off a lot more nitrous oxide and methane than anyone had thought before,” Henry told reporters on a conference call from Resolute in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut.

We’re really trying to get a handle on this because if (further tests show) that’s true, this actually changes the entire greenhouse gas budget for the North, and that has global implications.

The effects of climate change in Canada’s North and Arctic regions, enhanced  by an overload of greenhouse gases,  are particularly alarming.

“Henry said his research station in Nunavut had recorded record high temperatures virtually every summer since the early 1990s. The warmer temperatures mean plants are growing bigger and faster, while larger species are spreading northward.” Reuters reported.

Henry, who also chairs an international project studying tundra, said:

The tundra is getting a lot weedier all the way around the globe. This has major implications … You’re changing the color of the surface of the earth by making it darker … so the consequence of that is increased warming again.

Most “independent” researchers say the thawing of  permafrost in the Arctic region would release great amounts carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, leading to a faster rate of [exponential] rise in the climate change. Original report by Reuters.

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Posted in Arctic region, Northern region Canada, Professor Greg Henry | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Shell Leaks in Shabby Style!

Posted by feww on July 29, 2009

Gulf of Mexico Turning into Oil Tailings Pond

The Gulf of Mexico has more utility value as a sewage dump than as body of water for marine life to thrive!

Let’s face it, to the “Real World people” the Gulf of Mexico has more utility value as a sewage dump than as body of water for  marine life to thrive. Where else could you bury your oil pipelines, or let the agricultural runoffs flow to, if the Gulf wasn’t there?

Shell and the U.S. Coast Guard are working to contain a few thousand barrels of crude oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico from its 50cm diameter pipeline,which is buried about 20m under water.

Shell reportedly discovered the leak Saturday on its Eugene Island oil pipeline, some 50 km off the coast of Louisiana (about 100km southwest of Houma, Louisiana).

“The pipeline has been shut down, halting daily supplies of 100,000 barrels a day of Eugene Island oil. The Eugene Island line also was carrying new oil from Chevron’s Tahiti platform which began flowing in May.” Reuters reported.

“The oil spill was among the largest in recent years in U.S. waters, officials said. Helicopters and airplanes that flew over the spill viewed a 16-by-3-mile “rainbow-like” oil sheen, Coast Guard Petty Officer Tom Atkeson said.”

Saturday’s oil spill is compared to a November 2007 bunker fuel spill into the San Francisco Bay that contaminated the local beaches and drew sharp protests from the locals and environmentalists.

“Shell had no estimate on repairs or a target date for restart of the 20-inch diameter pipeline, but people knowledgeable about operations said fixing it in 60-foot-deep water could take a day if the problem is small to weeks if it is big. Restart requires government approval.” The report said

“At this time, we cannot forecast when restart will occur. Our top priorities during the response and restart phases are safety and the environment,” a company spokesman said.

Shell owns a large stake in the pipeline as its operator, with other majors stakeholders being ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips and Marathon.

Axis of Pollution: ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron , ConocoPhillips, Marathon …

Late Print:

As if to prove us right, the U.S. District Court in Washington has just said “it will allow the U.S. Interior Department to move forward with oil and natural gas leasing plans for the Gulf of Mexico that were drawn up by the Bush administration.”

The court said, “leasing plans for the Gulf could continue, as could drilling off Alaska, but the department would have to conduct a review of the environmental risks before approving significant energy development activities.” Reuters reported.

“Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he was pleased [jumping with joy] with the court’s decision and will go forward with a Gulf of Mexico lease sale planned for August 19.”

Salazar said:

President Obama has made clear that a comprehensive energy plan that reduces America’s dependence on foreign oil must include domestic production, and the Court’s ruling allows us to move forward in a balanced way.

The American Petroleum Institute, which sued to allow drilling in the Gulf to continue, said:

The court made the right decision by allowing the continued production of oil and natural gas from Gulf of Mexico,” . “The nation’s energy security depends upon these resources.

Meanwhile, Caroline Cannon, president of a native Alaskan village who sued to block Bush administration’s five-year (2007 to 2012) offshore oil and gas drilling  plan, said:

This drilling plan and the associated seismic testing, increases in vessel traffic, proposed large onshore and offshore infrastructure projects, and projections of oil spills in our unindustrialized homelands is extremely stressful.

But who said anyone was going to buy that truth stuff?

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Posted in Axis of pollution, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Valdez, ExxonMobil, Gulf of Mexico oil Spill, Marathon, San Francisco Bay | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

El Niño Update – 27 July 2009

Posted by feww on July 28, 2009

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

The following UPDATE is prepared by

Climate Prediction Center / NCEP – 27 July 2009

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~ 0.6ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~ 0.9ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 1.0ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ 0.6ºC

El Niño map
El Niño Map. [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

Niño Region SST Departures (ºC) –  Recent Evolution

most recent SST anomalies

Summary

  • El Niño conditions are present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) remain +0.5 to +1.5 above-average across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Current observations and dynamical model forecasts indicate ElNiño conditions will continue to intensify and are expected to last through Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

SST Departures (°C) in the Tropical Pacific

avg SST anomalies - 28 june 25 iuly 2009

During the last 4-weeks, equatorial SSTs were at least +0.5°C above-average across the equatorial Pacific Ocean and at least +1.0°C above average in the east-central and eastern Pacific. [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

Global SST Departures

avg sst anom global 28 jun - 28 jul 2009
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also, above-average SSTs covered large areas of the Northern Hemisphere mid-to-high latitudes. [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

Central & Eastern Pacific Upper-Ocean (0-300 m) Weekly Heat Content Anomalies

Upper Ocean Heat Anoms
The upper ocean heat content was below-average across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean between mid-August 2008 and March 2009, with a minimum reached in late December 2008. The heat content anomalies have remained positive since April 2009. [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEPFull Report

Related Links:

Notes:
1. NOAA Operational Definitions for El Niño and La Niña

  • El Niño:characterized by a positive ONI greater than or equal to +0.5°C.
  • La Niña:characterized by a negative ONI less than or equal to -0.5°C.
  • By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode,these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons.
  • CPC considers El Niño or La Niña conditions to occur when the monthly Niño3.4 SST departures meet or exceed +/-0.5°C along with consistent atmospheric features. These anomalies must also be forecasted to persist for 3 consecutive months.

2. Oceanic Niño Index (ONI)

  • The ONI is based on SST departures from average in the Niño 3.4 region, and is a principal measure for monitoring, assessing, and predicting ENSO.
  • Defined as the three-month running-mean SST departures in the Niño 3.4 region. Departures are based on a set of improved homogeneous historical SST analysis (Extended Reconstructed SST –ERSST.v3b). The SST reconstruction methodology is described in Smith et al., 2008, J. Climate, vol. 21, 2283-2296.)
  • Used to place current events into a historical perspective.
  • NOAA’s operational definitions of El Niño and La Niña are keyed to the ONI index.

3. The most recent ONI value (April –June 2009) is +0.2oºC.

El Niño Conditions Set in Across Pacific Ocean [From NASA’s Earth Observatory]

EO image
El Niño conditions are evident in this sea surface temperature anomaly image based on data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on July 26. The current data are compared to 12-year average temperatures (1985-1997) measured by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers that have flown on several NOAA missions.

Cream-colored places represent near normal temperatures; red is warmer than normal temps; while, blue shows cooler than normal areas. The dark red area on the eastern Pacific off the coast of Peru and Ecuador (north of Peru) indicates much warmer than average temps. Across the Pacific, ocean temperatures around Indonesia were slightly cooler (light blue) than usual.

Earth’s largest ocean, the Pacific is the single biggest influence on the average temperature, rainfall, and vegetation conditions in the tropics. The Pacific’s primary climate pattern, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO),  includes an ocean component (the El Niño/La Niña pattern) and an atmospheric component, the Southern Oscillation.

Every 3-8 years, the prevailing easterly winds over the eastern equatorial Pacific weaken or reverse, surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific climb, and rainfall declines over most tropical land areas. In 1997-98, an El Niño event contributed to devastating fires in Indonesia’s tropical forests, releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which completely destroyed the Mentawai coral reefs west of Sumatra.

El Niño ocean conditions does not guarantee full ENSO event. So far the atmospheric component of the pattern, the Southern Oscillation, isn’t fully cooperating. As of July 26, the trade winds in the western Pacific (near Indonesia) had shifted direction and were blowing weakly toward the east (see NOAA wind anomaly graphic), but across the central and eastern Pacific, easterly trade winds were still of average or slightly above-average strength. For an ENSO event to fully develop, the easterly trades will have to weaken across a much wider area of the Pacific than now.

NASA image by Jesse Allen, using AMSR-E data processed and provided by Chelle Gentemann and Frank Wentz, Remote Sensing Systems. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.  [Edited by FEWW.]

Posted in El Niño, equatorial Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, North Pacific, Ocean SST, Pacific Ocean, Positive SST | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Image of the Day: The Unreal

Posted by feww on July 27, 2009

submitted by a reader

Mr and Mrs Bunny or Virtuosos of Sustainability

A Quiver full of Arrows to pierce the heart of infidels with


The Jeub family poses outside their home in Monument, Colorado July 19, 2009. (R-L) Father [his ‘quiverfullness’] Chris, Cynthia, Lydia, mother [her quiverfullness] Wendy holding Zechariah, Isaiah, Micah, Noah, Tabitha, Keilah, Hannah, Josiah, Joshua, Havilah and Priscialla. Quiverfull believers Wendy and Chris Jeub have 15 children and would be happy to have more if God wills it they say. REUTERS/Rick Wilking. Image may be subject to copyright.

What is Quiverfull

Quiverfull is a movement among conservative evangelical Christian couples chiefly in the United States, but with some adherents in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and elsewhere. Its viewpoint is to receive children eagerly as blessings from God, eschewing all forms of birth control, including natural family planning and sterilization. Someone of this persuasion might call themselves a “quiver full”, “full quiver”, “quiverfull-minded”, or simply “QF” Christian. Some might refer to the Quiverfull position as Providentialism, while the popular press has recently referred to the movement as a manifestation of natalism. The movement and its corpus of literature have grown steadily since its inception. Its adherents most likely number in the “thousands to low tens of thousands”. It began to receive significant attention in the U.S. national press in 2004. (source: Wikipedia).

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Posted in "QF", bunny rabbit family, if God wills it, Jeub family, natalism | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Earth’s scars of human destruction visible: astronaut

Posted by feww on July 27, 2009

Earth’s ice caps have melted a bit —Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk

Oh Really? Well, Einstein, try grounding the white elephant in space, it might just help!


International Space Station [aka, the white elephant.] The International Space Station (ISS) is an internationally developed white elephant project. On-orbit construction of the station began in 1998 and is scheduled to be complete by 2011, with operations continuing until 2015.

Bob Thirsk, the duplicitous Canadian astronaut aboard the $150-300 billion International Space Station said he believes Earth’s ice caps have melted somewhat since he was last in space 12 years ago.

“Most of the time when I look out the window I’m in awe. But there are some effects of the human destruction of the Earth as well.” Thirsk said in an in-orbit news conference. “It’s a very thin veil of atmosphere around the Earth that keeps us alive.”

“This is probably just a perception, but I just have the feeling that the glaciers are melting, the snow capping the mountains is less than it was 12 years ago when I saw it last time… That saddens me a little bit.”  Thrisk said.

The total carbon footprint of the International Space Station over a 30-year period: 300 x 10^9 [dollars] x 584 [g of CO2 per dollar] = 1.75 10^14 g of Co2 [1.75 MTM of CO2]

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Posted in atmosphere, CO2 per dollar, glaciers are melting | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

STOP Chocking Nature to YOUR Death!

Posted by feww on July 26, 2009

Southern Europe Fires Spreading

Wildfires still spreading across France, Greece, Italy,  Spain and Turkey

As temperatures reach the mid-forties Celsius (113ºF) in some Mediterranean areas and  rising more devastation across the region is expected.

fire in sardinia
A fire near Nuoro in the center of Sardinia Island. Photo: GETTY. Image may be subject to copyright.

Thousands of hectares of woodland in France, Greece, Italy (Sardinia),  Spain and Turkey have been destroyed by wildfires fulled by dry conditions, high temperatures and strong winds rage on.

At least 8 people have been killed by the fires including six firefighters in Spain were two major fires were still burning, reports said.

europe fires map
Source EFFIS via BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

Summary of Fire Damage

  • Thousands of hectares of bush, woodland and forest have been destroyed in Spain.
  • At least 10 villages were left without water and electricity in Spain’s southern province of Almeria.
  • As many as 30,000 hectares of bush and woodland have been consumed in Spain.
  • Thousands of people including tourists were evacuated from central Greece and southern Italy as firefighters tried to contain fierce blazes.
  • A major fire is consuming a large tract of forest and bush in the French island of Corsica.
  • As temperatures in southern Europe continue to rise even higher new outbreaks of wildfire are expected.
  • In Greece’s southern Peloponnese and the island of Evia at least 350 fires were reported, destroying thousands of acres of bushes, forests and farmlands.
  • In Turkey, hundreds firefighters worked through the night to control fires in the resort village of Bodrum.

Fires caused by tracer rounds
The fire erupted Wednesday after personnel from the French Military Intelligence used tracer rounds. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

French army rapped over blaze as Europe battles fires

The French army faced mounting flak Friday after a military exercise sparked a sweeping wildfire on the outskirts of Marseille, as firefighters battled blazes across southern Europe.

The French army faced mounting flak Friday after a military exercise sparked a sweeping wildfire on the outskirts of Marseille, as firefighters battled blazes across southern Europe.

“This fire was clearly triggered by a professional mistake,” Prime Minister Francois Fillon said late Thursday after the blaze ripped through 1,300 hectares (3,211 acres) of brush and damaged homes near France’s second city. AFP reported.

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Posted in Bodrum fire, Greek Fires, island of Evia, Italian fires, Peloponnese | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drought Turning Texas Parched Dry

Posted by feww on July 26, 2009

Stop Squeezing Nature to YOUR Death!

Drought is transforming Texas into a large dry parched land

Texas is the most drought-stricken state in the country. Waterways across south-central Texas are drying up, and there’s no telling how much longer the supplies will last. Water levels are down significantly in lakes, rivers and wells throughout Texas.

US Drought Map [As dated]

State of Texas

Drought statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that 77 of Texas’ 254 counties are in extreme or exceptional drought, the two most severe categories, which makes Texas the only state in the continental U.S. falling in those categories.

Climatologists expect the harsh drought conditions to continue for at least another 5 weeks.

Some 230 Texas public water systems are under mandatory water restrictions, covering areas in and around Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Another 70 have urged customers for voluntary cutbacks.

texas drought
Farmer Michael Schaefer of St. Hedwig, Texas, says small ears on his yellow field corn show the effect of drought. ‘‘It’s pretty bad…and the 105-degree temperature doesn’t help either,’’ Schaefer said. Photo: John Davenport/Zuma Press. Image may be subject to copyright.

“In the bone-dry San Antonio-Austin area, the conditions that started in 2007 are being compared to the devastating drought of the 1950s. There have been 36 days of 100 degrees or more this year in an area where there are usually closer to 12.” AP reported.

“Among the most obvious problems are the lack of water in Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan near Austin, two massive reservoirs along the Colorado River that provide drinking water for more than 1 million people and also are popular boating and swimming spots. Streams and tributaries that feed the lakes have ‘all but dried up,’ according to the Lower Colorado River Authority.”

The water level in Lake Travis is down 54 percent, with all but one of the 12 boating ramps closed because they are too far from the edge of the water, “and the last may go soon. The receding waters have even revealed old stolen cars shoved into the lake years ago, authorities said.”

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Posted in Austin, Colorado river, Dallas, Houston, Lake Travis, San Antonio | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Largest Earthquake

Posted by feww on July 25, 2009

Historic Earthquakes

The Largest Earthquake in the World

  • Region: Chile
  • Date and time: 1960 May 22  At 19:11:14 UTC
  • Magnitude: 9.5
  • Location: 38°15’36.00″S, 72° 9’0.00″W
  • Depth: 60km

chile quake-1960_05_22_loc map

Earthquake Location Map. Source: USGS

Casualties

  • Some 1,655 people killed
  • 3,000 injured
  • 2,000,000 left homeless
  • $550 million damage in southern Chile [in 1960 dollar]

Tsunami damage

  • Hawaii: Tsunami caused 61 deaths and $75 million damage [most of the damage occurred at Hilo, with the runup height reaching 10.6 m.]
  • Japan: 185 people dead or missing (53 bodies were never found) and $50 million damage  [“Waves as high as 5.5 m struck northern Honshu about 1 day after the quake, where it destroyed more than 1600 homes.”]
  • The Philippines: 32 dead and missing
  • The west coast of the United State: $500,000 damage
  • Damage also occurred on Easter Island and  in the Samoa Islands

valdivia tsunami
Tsunami-Travel-Time of the earthquake of Valdivia, Chile, May 22, 1960. Contours are one hour intervals. Source: NOAA

The tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, east coast of New Zealand, southeastern Australia and Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

Severe damage from shaking occurred in the Valdivia-Puerto Montt area. Most of the casualties and much of the damage was because of large tsunamis which caused damage along the coast of Chile from Lebu to Puerto Aisen and in many areas of the Pacific Ocean. Puerto Saavedra was completely destroyed by waves which reached heights of 11.5 m (38 ft) and carried remains of houses inland as much as 3 km (2 mi). Wave heights of 8 m (26 ft) caused much damage at Corral.

valdivia - chile quake
Valdivia suffered catastrophic damage because of its proximity to the epicenter of the massive quake. USGS

One to 1.5 m (3-5 ft) of subsidence occurred along the Chilean coast from the south end of the Arauco Peninsula to Quellon on Chiloe Island. As much of 3 m (10 ft) of uplift occurred on Isla Guafo. Many landslides occurred in the Chilean Lake District from Lago Villarica to Lago Todos los Santos.

Eruption of Puyehue - 1960
On May 24, Volcan Puyehue erupted, sending ash and steam as high as 6,000 m. The eruption continued for several weeks.

This quake was preceded by 4 foreshocks bigger than magnitude 7.0, including a magnitude 7.9 on May 21 that caused severe damage in the Concepcion area. Many aftershocks occurred, with 5 of magnitude 7.0 or greater through Nov 1.

This is the largest earthquake of the 20th Century. The rupture zone is estimated to be about 1000 km long, from Lebu to Puerto Aisen.

Note that the tsunami deaths from outside Chile are included in the 1,655 total. This is still considerably fewer than some estimates which were as high as 5,700. However, Rothe and others state that the initial reports were greatly overestimated. The death toll for this huge earthquake was less than it might have been because it it occurred in the middle of the afternoon, many of the structures had been built to be earthquake-resistant and the series of strong foreshocks had made the population wary.

More photos are available at Great Chile Earthquake of May 22, 1960 – Anniversary Edition

[Note: FEWW estimates that if an earthquake of similar magnitude struck, say, New York City about 3 million people could perish.]

total seismic moment released by earthquakes 1906-2005
This pie chart shows how the total seismic moment released by earthquakes over the period 1906-2005 was distributed, with the largest individual earthquakes (left side) and groups of earthquakes (right side). The thin sliver of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake is also depicted for comparison purposes. Mw designates an earthquake’s magnitude on the moment magnitude scale.

Earthquakes referenced in this chart:

  • Alaska (1964): Good Friday Earthquake
  • Chile (1960): Great Chilean Earthquake
  • San Francisco (1906): 1906 San Francisco earthquake
  • Sumatra (2004): 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
  • Author Richard Aster (New Mexico Tech) created this figure using the resources of the IRIS Consortium and the USGS. Additional data was generously provided by Lynn Sykes of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.

    FEWW Forecast: An earthquake of magnitude 9.2 Mw or greater may occur this year.

    Related Links:

    Posted in tsunami | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

    Qantas pilots nix flight as cabin loses pressure

    Posted by feww on July 25, 2009

    Qantas pilots land plane as cabin pressure falls at 7,000 m

    Following a spate of mishaps that have plagued Qantas flights in recent weeks, including incidents of lightening strikes,  a flight was canceled today after plane lost cabin pressure.

    qantas flight
    Pilots of a Qantas plane abandoned flight to Brisbane today after a mechanical fault led to loss of cabin pressure following take-off from Auckland, New Zealand. (July 25, 2009, 4:58 pm). Image: Yahoo News. Image may be subject to copyright.

    The pilots of a Qantas passenger jet abandoned flight to Brisbane today after a mechanical fault led to the loss of cabin pressure within minutes of take-off from Auckland, New Zealand.

    The plane had climbed to 7000 meters when the pilots noticed it was losing cabin pressure. However the landed the plane carrying 91 passengers safely. A report said.

    Related Links:

    Posted in air new zealand, auckland airport, flight safety, flights from auckland, qantas | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Nyiragongo Unrest

    Posted by feww on July 25, 2009

    Plume from Nyiragongo

    nyiragongo_ali_2009178
    Nyiragongo Volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo released a small plume on June 27, 2009, as the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite passed overhead.

    NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors detected hotspots on six different occasions between April 10 and May 4, 2009.  The plume observed by ALI in late June may be a continuation of the low-level activity.

    Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano—a steep-sloped structure made of alternating layers of solidified ash, hardened lava, and rocks released by previous eruptions. In contrast to the low profile of neighboring Nyamuragira, Nyiragongo rises to a height of 3,470 meters (11,384 feet) above sea level. Lava flows from Nyiragongo caused substantial casualties in 1977 and 2002.  NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 Team. Caption by Michon Scott. [Edited by FEWW.]

    Related Links:

    Posted in active volcanoes, lava flow, Nyamuragira, volcanic unrest, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    VolcanoWatch Weekly [23 July 2009]

    Posted by feww on July 23, 2009

    Volcanic Activity Report: 15 July – 21 July 2009

    Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

    VOW: Revisiting Mount Tambora Volcano, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia

    Tambora
    On April 10, 1815, the Tambora Volcano produced the largest eruption in recorded history. An estimated 150 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of tephra—exploded rock and ash—resulted, with ash from the eruption recognized at least 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) away to the northwest. While the April 10 eruption was catastrophic, historical records and geological analysis of eruption deposits indicate that the volcano had been active between 1812 and 1815. Enough ash was put into the atmosphere from the April 10 eruption to reduce incident sunlight on the Earth’s surface, causing global cooling, which resulted in the 1816 “year without a summer.”

    This detailed astronaut photograph depicts the summit caldera of the volcano. The huge caldera—6 kilometers (3.7 miles) in diameter and 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) deep—formed when Tambora’s estimated 4,000-meter- (13,123-foot) high peak was removed, and the magma chamber below emptied during the April 10 eruption. Today the crater floor is occupied by an ephemeral freshwater lake, recent sedimentary deposits, and minor lava flows and domes from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Layered tephra deposits are visible along the northwestern crater rim. Active fumaroles, or steam vents, still exist in the caldera.

    In 2004, scientists discovered the remains of a village, and two adults buried under approximately 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) of ash in a gully on Tambora’s flank—remnants of the former Kingdom of Tambora preserved by the 1815 eruption that destroyed it. The similarity of the Tambora remains to those associated with the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius has led to the Tambora site’s description as “the Pompeii of the East.”

    Astronaut photograph ISS020-E-6563 was acquired on June 3, 2009  [photo caption said acquired March 6, 2009] , with a Nikon D3 digital camera fitted with an 800 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 20 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.

    New activity/unrest:

    Ongoing Activity:

    • Bagana, Bougainville
    • Barren Island, Andaman Is
    • Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia)
    • Chaitén, Southern Chile
    • Egon, Flores Island (Indonesia)
    • Ibu, Halmahera
    • Kilauea, Hawaii
    • Makian, Halmahera
    • Rabaul, New Britain
    • Sarychev Peak, Matua Island
    • Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia)
    • Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
    • Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

    Related Links:

    FEWW Links:

    Posted in Batu Tara, Chaiten, Komba Island, Sakura-jima, Sarychev Peak | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Car burial day in S. Korea

    Posted by feww on July 23, 2009

    Car Burial Day in Busan, S. Korea (!)

    Human induced climate change is wreaking havoc across the globe. Extreme rain events and incidents of flooding, landslides … are increasing both in frequency and severity, burying building, cars, humans and everything else in their paths.

    Bury the cars, before the cars bury YOU!

    busan
    Flooding in Busan, South Korea, July 16, 2009. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Torrential rains caused flooding in South Korea triggering landslides, which buried at least a dozen people last week, leaving thousands homeless.  On Thursday a record 266.5 millimeters of rain inundated South Korea’s second-largest city, the port city of Busan [Pusan] causing severe flooding which submerged more than 1,200 homes and 3,000 hectares of farmland, S. Korea’s National Emergency Management Agency said.

    Related Links:

    Posted in Climate Change, drought and deluge, greenhouse gases, landslides, record rainfall | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Heavy rain causes Japan landslides, Killing 6

    Posted by feww on July 23, 2009

    Torrential rains, flooding and landslides strike western Japan

    Days of heavy rain caused flooding and landslides in western Japan. On Tuesday alone 7 cm of rain fell in just one hour in Hofu City, Yamaguchi prefecture [state.]


    Torrential rains triggered floods and landslides in southern Japan, leaving at least six people dead and 10 others missing, including elderly residents at a nursing home, officials said Wednesday. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    At least six people have been killed and nine others are missing after torrential rains caused floods and a landslide in Yamaguchi prefecture, western Japan.

    Japan’s  meteorological agency has issued new warnings for more landslides and flooding in the region.

    Residents of a nursing home were hit by a large landslide in Hofu City, Yamaguchi prefecture, about 750km west-southwest of Tokyo, prompting Japan’s self defense forces to send a rescue unit to the area.

    Three people were killed and four others were missing at the nursing home, which was inundated with mud, according to Yamaguchi police.

    “A total of 99 people had been housed at the nursing home, and we have confirmed 92 are alive,”  officials said.

    “The mountain behind the nursing home collapsed at about 1.30pm and water gushed down in a mixture of red soil, mud and small rocks.” an eye witness was reported as saying.

    A total of seven people were reported missing in Hofu and two more elsewhere in Yamaguchi prefecture, while another person was drowned in a flooded river in the neighboring Tottori prefecture.

    There were some 30  significant landslides with 50 places flooded in and around Hofu city, officials were reported as saying.

    At least 500 homes were flooded, with many buildings and cars engulfed in mud.

    A cluster of medium sized quakes have recently struck the region.

    hofu landslides
    Large mudslide, Hofu City, Japan. Freeze frame from AP video report. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Heavy Rains in Southern Japan [NASA Earth Observatory]

    japan_trm_2009208
    The 2009 summer monsoon brought torrential rains to southwestern Japan in July. This image shows rainfall estimates for southern Japan and the surrounding region from July 20–27, produced by the near-real-time, multi-satellite precipitation analysis at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The analysis is based largely on observations from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite.

    The most prominent feature is a large bull’s-eye of heavy rain centered over the northern part of Kyushu and the southwestern tip of Honshu. Rainfall totals exceeded 600 millimeters (about 24 inches, show in deep blue) at the center of this rain area, with lesser amounts of up to 150 millimeters (about 6 inches, shown in pale green) extending into central Japan. The heavy rains led to widespread flash flooding and numerous landslides. As of late July 2009, eight people were reported to have died as a result, with nine more still missing, according to news reports.

    Each year as the Earth’s orbit brings the Northern Hemisphere back under more direct sunlight, the Asian continent starts to heat up. Land surfaces have less heat capacity than surrounding oceans, and they heat up faster. This land-sea temperature difference causes the winds to shift; warm air rises over the continent, and moist air from over the oceans flows in to replace it. In East Asia, the boundary between the warm, humid air from the ocean to the south and the continental air to the north often becomes more or less stationary.

    This stationary front is known as the Baiu front in Japan and as the Mei-yu front in China. The location of the front migrates slowly northward over eastern China, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan over the course of spring and early summer, providing a focus for showers and rain, especially when waves of low pressure move along the front. Mei-yu means “plum rains” in Chinese, so called because the widespread rains often occur at the time when plums ripen, which is typically May and June. Baiu season in Japan typically runs from June through July.

    Global satellite-based observations of heavy rain and flood inundation potential (calculated from a hydrological model) are updated every three hours and posted online on the Global Flood and Landslide Monitoring page on the TRMM Website.

    NASA image by Jesse Allen, using near-real-time data provided courtesy of TRMM Science Data and Information System at Goddard Space Flight Center. Animations by Hal Pierce. Caption by Steve Lang.

    Related Links:

    Posted in Earthquakes, Extreme Rain Events, flooding rivers, mudslide, Tottori prefecture | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Jupiter Bombarded

    Posted by feww on July 22, 2009

    Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet, was bombarded by a Small Solar System Body (SSSB)

    Jupiter, the “biggest guy at the door,” as if functioning as a major part of the solar system’s “defense labyrinth,” protecting the inner planets, took a massive pounding from an  asteroid or comet, which left a dark bruise the size of Pacific Ocean [and growing.]

    The event is the first of its kind in 15 years, planetary scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

    Jupiter scar
    Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet, took a massive pounding from an asteroid or comet which left a scar the size of Pacific Ocean [and growing.]

    Original caption: This image shows a large impact shown on the bottom left on Jupiter’s south polar region captured on July 20, 2009, by NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Infrared Telescope Facility

    About 15 years ago, a fragments of the Shoemaker-Levy comet, made up mostly of hydrogen and helium, plunged into the large gaseous  planet.The astronomical object that struck the planet went unobserved. However, the impact “was most likely the result of a single asteroid, not a chain of fragments” striking Jupiter, as was the case with Shoemaker-Levy, Franck Marchis, a University of California-Berkeley astronomer, was reported as saying.


    Jupiter Portrait – This true color mosaic of Jupiter was constructed from images taken by the narrow angle camera onboard NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on December 29, 2000, during its closest approach to the giant planet at a distance of approximately 10 million kilometers (6.2 million miles).  It is the most detailed global color portrait of Jupiter ever produced; the smallest visible features are approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) across. The mosaic is composed of 27 images: nine images were required to cover the entire planet in a tic-tac-toe pattern, and each of those locations was imaged in red, green, and blue to provide true color. Although Cassini’s camera can see more colors than humans can, Jupiter’s colors in this new view look very close to the way the human eye would see them. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute


    Planets and dwarf planets of the Solar System. Sizes are to scale, but relative distances from the Sun are not. Source NASA via Wikipedia.


    Visible Planet Orbits. This diagram shows the relative size of the orbits of the seven planets visible to the naked eye. All the orbits are nearly circular (but slightly elliptical) and nearly in the same plane as Earth’s orbit (called the ecliptic).  The diagram is from a view out of the ecliptic plane and away from the perpendicular axis that goes through the Sun.  Image Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute via NASA Solar System Exploration.


    The inner planets [aka, terrestrial planets, telluric planets, rocky planets,] Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, their sizes to scale.

    Related Links:


    Posted in astronomy, color mosaic of Jupiter, Solar System Exploration, telluric planets, terrestrial planets | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

    We Have an Eclipse!

    Posted by feww on July 22, 2009

    The Longest Eclipse of 21st Century

    Totality or total  solar eclipse occurs when the moon, passing between Earth and sun, totally hides the latter. [See also occultation and Syzygy]

    eclipse
    The solar eclipse is seen in Yinchuan, capital of north-west China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, at 08:33 local time today. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    Eclipse Shadows Southeastern China [NASA Earth Observatory]

    eclipse_MTS_2009jul22
    Images provided by WebGMS–MTSAT/GMS (HIMAWARI) Website, Institute of Industrial Science & Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Japan.

    The eclipse  was visible only in Asia reaching totality in India about 06:20 local time, moving on to north and east to Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China.

    To see a longer eclipse you’ll have to wait for about 123 years!


    Source: NASA Eclipse Page. See also special web page on the Total Solar Eclipse of 2009 Jul 22


    Total Solar Eclipse Paths: 1001-2000. Image composed of 50 seperate NASA images.

    Related Links:

    Posted in Hangzhou, Yinchuan | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    UK’s Waitrose refuses to stock NZ-caught hoki

    Posted by feww on July 21, 2009

    British supermarket chain Waitrose confirmed it refuses to stock New Zealand-caught hoki

    Waitrose, a large British supermarket chain, confirmed that it is refusing to stock New Zealand-caught hoki because bottom trawling is used in New Zealand fisheries.

    NZ hoki - nz gov photo
    Waitrose supermarkets say “NO” to NZ-caught hoki.
    Image NZ govt.

    Fishing for hoki – The deep-sea fish hoki, also known as blue hake or blue grenadier, is one of New Zealand’s biggest fish exports. Hoki fishing began in the Tasman Sea, but has expanded to include Cook Strait, the Chatham Rise and subantarctic waters. In the decade to 2002 the annual quota for the catch was 200,000 tonnes. In 2004 the Tasman Sea stock was estimated to be down to about 13% of the biomass before fishing developed in 1972, with a warming trend in the Tasman likely to be a contributing factor. The quota was reduced to 180,000, then to 100,000 tonnes in 2004. Caption: NZ govt.

    “There are some MSC fisheries that we don’t stock, such as the MSC New Zealand hoki fishery, which conducts bottom trawling,” Jeremy Langley, specialist fish buyer for Waitrose said in a report by Seafoodsource.com.

    At least a dozen other supermarket chains in Europe and North America have also removed New Zealand caught orange roughy from their shelves because it goes against their sustainability policies. “Orange roughy is also caught by bottom trawling, dragging large, weighted nets across the ocean floor which lays waste to seabed communities, particularly on the seamounts where some fish species gather to feed and reproduce, and is considered one of the most destructive forms of fishing.” A report said.

    “Waitrose has also pledged to buy only pole-and-line caught canned tuna.” Seafood News said.


    Orange Roughy, one of the most commercially fished deep-water species. Orange Roughy can live for around 150 years and do not begin to breed until they are around 25 years old, making them extremely susceptible to over-fishing. Image courtesy of R. Waller in the NE Atlantic. Caption: NOAA Ocean Explorer.

    The time has come for ALL supermarket chains to consider refusing to stock New Zealand meat products, too!

    Related Links:

    Posted in eco-terrorism, Eco-Terrorism in Antarctica, New Zealand meat, Orange Roughy, tasman sea | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

    How Taklamakan Desert Enriches Oceans

    Posted by feww on July 21, 2009

    A huge dust storm in China’s Taklamakan desert in 2007 generated dust clouds  that circled the globe more than once in just 13 days: Study

    “Asian dust is usually deposited near the Yellow Sea, around the Japan area, while Sahara dust ends up around the Atlantic Ocean and coast of Africa,” said Itsushi Uno of Kyushu University’s Research Institute for Applied Mechanics.


    Taklamakan by NASA World Wind . One of the largest sandy deserts in the world, Taklamakan covers an area of 270,000 km² (three quarters) of the Tarim Basin.

    Astronaut Photography of Earth – Display Record – STS059-84-51


    Taklamakan Dust Storm.

    “But this study shows that China dust can be deposited into the (Pacific Ocean),” Reuters reported him as saying. “Dust clouds contain 5 percent iron, that is important for the ocean.”

    “The most important achievement is that we tracked this through one full circuit round the globe, nobody has done this before. After half a circuit, usually the dust concentration gets very low and you can’t track it,” Uno told Reuters.

    “This means that dust concentration, dust lifetime is very long, more than two weeks.”

    The dust cloud envelope, measuring about 3 km high and 2,000 km long, retained its structure even after it had circled the globe once.

    “The reason why the cloud structure was very well maintained was because the dust was uplifted … where the atmosphere is very stable,” Uno said.

    Previously …


    Dust storm over China’s Taklamakan Desert, on April 14, 2002, from the MODIS Instrument on NASA’s Terra Satellite.

    Researches using an atmospheric computer model previously showed that dust from the TaklaMakan desert in China traveled more than 20,000 kilometers over two weeks landing on the French Alps. “Chinese dust plumes have been known to reach North America and even Greenland, but have never been reported before in Europe.” (Source).


    A DUSTY PATH FROM CHINA TO FRANCE — The spiked line shows the dust’s 315 hour (13+ days) trip from the TaklaMakan desert in China, circling the world (counterclockwise) and landing in the French Alps on March 6, 1990. The black star is where scientists gathered samples.

    Related Links:

    Posted in China dust cloud, cirrus clouds, coast of Africa, dust lifetime, iron-rich dust | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    El Niño Update – 20 July 2009

    Posted by feww on July 21, 2009

    Summary

    • El Niño conditions are present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

    • Positive sea surface temperature (SST) departures continue to increase across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

    • Current observations and dynamical model forecasts indicate ElNiño conditions will continue to intensify and are expected to last through Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

    Global SST Departures (ºC)

    average SSr anomalies

    During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also, above-average SSTs covered much of the Northern Hemisphere mid-to-high latitudes.

    Atmospheric Circulation over the North Pacific & North America During the Last 60 Days

    atmo circ NP- NA - 60 days
    During late May and early June, below-average heights persisted over Canada contributing to below-average temperatures over central and eastern Canada. During early June through mid-July, an anomalous north-south dipole in height anomalies (below-average heights over the eastern U.S. and above-average heights over eastern Canada) contributed to near or below-average temperatures over portions of New England and across the Great Lakes and to above-average temperatures in eastern Canada. Credit: All diagrams and captions by NOAA.

    Related Links:


    Posted in Canada, El Niño weekly report, Global SST anomalies, New England, TAO Diagrams | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Landslide Consumes Homes

    Posted by feww on July 20, 2009

    Landslide undermines a house in Nachterstedt, Germany

    A large landslide undermined a house and caused a second one to partially collapse, slipping down some 100m into a large crater next to Lake Concordia,  Nachterstedt, Germany. Three people who lived in the houses are missing, presumed swept away into the lake.

    landslide germany
    House slipped into a large crater in Nachterstedt, Germany. Everything must have happened within a few seconds, a local official said. (Getty Images). Image may be subject to copyright.

    The landslide which struck without warning, buried the debris in a massive crater next to the lake.  The lake was reportedly formed in what was  a disused opencast coalmine.

    The threat of further landslides hampered the search and rescue team.

    “It is too dangerous to search for the missing persons, the hillside is still moving,” local fire department spokesman said.

    Related Video:

    Related Links:

    Posted in house swallowed, Mining Earthquake, mudslide | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    40th Anniversary of Moon Landing and Taking Off [Again!]

    Posted by feww on July 20, 2009

    submitted by ‘Cosmonaut  Air Moonbrush’

    40 years ago two NASA astronauts landed on the moon and THEN blasted off back into the space without a moon crew

    For the skeptics who don’t believe a word of NASA claims, see image below


    Original Caption: LRO image of Apollo 11 landing site. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University. Apollo 11 lunar module, Eagle.
    Image width: 282 meters (about 925 ft.)
    › Larger image

    Apollo 11 guidance computer

    The NASA achievement becomes even more interesting when you learn that Apollo 11 guidance computer had a grand old memory of 36kB (some sources say the memory was 72kB).


    This Display and Keyboard unit, or DSKY, was the interface for the Apollo computers. The ‘Verb’ and ‘Noun’ buttons are on the lower left-hand side of the unit.

    Buzz Aldrin Lightyear


    This image is a screenshot from a copyrighted film. For copyright details see: Buzz Lightyear

    Related Links:

    From NASA website:

    On Jul 17, 2009 3:14 PM Chad Barth wrote:

    Where are the Moon Buggies (LRVs) at? I believe they were about 7 square meters, so they should theoretically show up in the 15-17 images as at least a couple pixels. I wonder where they were located when the crews departed.

    Great pictures, I’ve been waiting a long time to see these!

    NASA Moderator: Buggies should be visible in some later images. This is just a taste of what’s to come.

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/apollosites.html

    Posted in BUZZ aldrin, buzz lightyear, giant leap for mankind, moon landing conspiracy theories, Open Challenge to NASA | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »