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Archive for November, 2009

Recent Climate-Related Disasters

Posted by feww on November 30, 2009

Philippines:

November 28, 2009 – Tropical depression Urduja

Four people were killed and 13 others injured when tropical depression “Urduja” pummeled several provinces in Mindanao, Philippines according to disaster officials.

Three of the fatalities occurred as a result of landslides triggered by heavy rain and flooding.

“A total of 82,324 families or 404,623 persons were affected in 93 barangays, four cities and 23 municipalities in the provinces of Camiguin, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao and Agusan del Norte and Dinagat Island in Caraga Region,” the NDCC reported.

“At the height of Tropical Depression ‘Urduja,’ 3,293 persons, 110 vehicles and 99 vessels were stranded in various ports in Southern Tagalog, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao.”

Northeast Monsoons

In the first week of November,  Northeast Monsoons and strong winds affected up to 120,000 people in 165 districts throughout Mindanao, northern and eastern Luzon and other regions in the Philippines.

Argentina, Uruguay:

Severe flooding caused by the “heaviest rains in 50 years” have killed at least 10 people and forced 15,000 people to evacuate in northern parts of Argentina and Uruguay. The fatalities were caused by drowning and mudslides.

The recent heavy rain in the regions follows months of drought in NE Argentina. Extensive deforestation in the country’s northern regions has impacted the regional climate resulting in  extreme of  droughts and deluge.

The land use change, transforming forests  to agricultural land for growing soybeans, has negatively affected the soil’s water-carrying capacity, environmentalists say.

The local weather service has warned that a severe storm front could bring additional heavy rainfall, wind gusts and  hail this week.

Related Links:

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Posted in argentina, Climate Change, deforestation, El Niño, storms | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dubai: Eco Disaster Topped with Cheese and Money Melt

Posted by feww on November 30, 2009

The Banks That Hadn’t Learned Their Lesson

Dubai Developments: Ecological Disaster that Backfired Financially, Too

Camel Market no Place for Horse Jockeys

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange plunged 7.4% in early Monday trading due to ongoing Dubai debt crisis, while Dubai saw a further 6% fall in its market. The fall came after Dubai’s property developer, Nakheel, requested that trading of its Islamic bonds to be suspended.

Last week, the state-owned Dubai World asked for an extension to repay its debts. It’s not known where they’ll get they money from. The property market is stagnant and prices have fallen substantially.


Dubai, UAE: A sleeping fishing village transformed to a center for Mega Pollution. Public Domain Photo.


Dubai today: A concrete jungle filled with phallic symbols. CC license.

Financial Fact about Dubai Financial Meltdown:

  • Dubai’s total debt: up to $100 billion
  • Dubai World debts:  about $64 billion (of the above)
  • International Bank’s exposure to Dubai World: possibly as high as $20 billion

Now, the English translation of a poem by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the Emir [minor king] of Dubai.

Take wisdom from the wise
It takes a man of vision to write on water
Not everyone who rides a horse is a jockey
Great men rise to greater challenges

FEWW Comment:

The Foolish horse jockeys ignored the wise Emir’s advice
Polluting the Gulf water to its depth
And water washed their hoof-prints off
Before the stupid banks could get their money back


Nakheel’s Grand Wet Dream.
Nakheel
Image may be subject to copyright.

On its website, Nakheel says:  “Nakheel is the force turning the vision of Dubai into reality. When complete, projects such as the Palm Trilogy, the World and Waterfront will add more than 600 miles of beachfront to the Dubai coastline and cover over 2 billion sq ft.  Nakheel’s 1800 employees are delivering US$60 billion of iconic developments, driving thought leadership, pioneering innovation and creating a legacy for generations to come.” [A legacy for the next generation indeed.]

Elsewhere on its website Nakheel “the Master Developer of Dubai” prophesizes:

“The Palm Jebel Ali is a landmark commercial, residential and tourism development for Dubai, which, along with the Waterfront project, will transform an area of empty desert and sea into a bustling international community, with an estimated population of 1.7 million people by 2020. ”

[No doubt all the sewage will be diverted to Saudi Arabia, to save the Gulf ecosystems from total collapse.]

The Palm Jumeirah


Palm Island Resort, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is featured in this image photographed by an astronaut from the space station, while the  resort was still under construction off Dubai’s Persian Gulf coast. Advertised as “being visible from the Moon,” this man-made palm-shaped structure displays 17 huge fronds framed by a 12-kilometer protective barrier. When completed, the resort will sport 2,000 villas, 40 luxury hotels, shopping centers, cinemas, and other facilities,  supporting a population of approximately 500,000 people.  Image and caption: NASA. Edited by FEWW.


Nakheel’s Marina Residences, Palm Jumeirah. Ugly ecological nightmare. Not a single unit sold. Photo: Nakheel. Image may be subject to copyright.

Why Dubai Developments Are a Major Ecological Disaster

  • Could you even imagine an additional 1.7 million people living in one of the most fragile ecosystem in the world?
  • What would their environmental impact be like?
  • Where would they get their food and water from?
  • How about traveling, commuting, shopping and entertainment?
  • Where would an estimated 3 million tons of sewage end up each year?
  • How about 400 billion tons of gray water annually?
  • How will they dispose an estimated 2 million tons of solid municipal waste each year?
  • [That’s a mountain of garbage equivalent to 7  times the volume of Great Pyramid of Giza. ]
  • An estimated 1,500,000 cars, trucks and other vehicles.
  • An estimated 500,000 sailing boats, powerboats, yachts, ski jets…

Palm Jebel Ali

The prices of properties being sold on the Palm Jebel Ali reportedly fell by 40% in September – November 2008, with the fall being attributed to the Financial crisis.  The truth is there are only so many fools prepared to buy a property off the coast of Dubai for at least 5 reasons [to be discussed at another time.]

Related Banks:
Oops!

Related Links:

On April 18, 2011, the Moderators discovered that this page had been hacked with some of the information and one image removed.

Posted in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Dubai Debts, Dubai stock market, ecological disaster, UAE | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Indian Power Workers Drink Radioactive Water

Posted by feww on November 29, 2009

Water Glows at Kaiga Nuke Plant, India

Tritium Leaked into Drinking Water at India’s 660 MW Kaiga Nuclear Plant

Indian authorities revealed that radioactive substance had leaked into drinking water at a nuclear power plant in southwest India.


Officials at the high-security nuclear power plant in Kaiga, near Bangalore, said the leak may have been deliberate. – Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Radioactive tritium leaked into a water cooler at Kaiga nuclear power plant in Uttar Kannada district in Karnataka, exposing at least 55 workers who drank the contaminated water to high doses of radiation.

The authorities at the plant in Kaiga claimed that the leak in high-security plant may have been deliberate. Kaiga nuclear power plant  is located on the southwest coast of India about 450 km from Bangalore.

“Mischief is not ruled out. Investigations are on,” the director of the plant, J.P. Gupta, told Reuters.

The workers were reportedly back at the plant, Gupta said. “This incident has (in) no way affected (the) public, safety, health and environment.”

The dead fish may tell a different story, however.

Later, the Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar, reportedly speaking on the national TV, called the incident “an act of sabotage” and blamed it on “an insider who has played mischief.”

Kaiga plant was closed in October for “routine maintenance,” but will  reopen soon, the authorities said.

XXX
Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant Location Map.

India’s Nuclear Power Industry:

Nuclear power is India’s fourth-largest source of electricity, preceded by thermal (fossil fuels), hydro and renewable sources. India’s existing 17 nuclear power plants generate about 4,120 MW of electricity with at least 6 other under construction with a projected capacity of about 3,160 MW.


India’s Electricity Generation Capacity (MW) by Type of Power Plants. Date: 31 December 2008. Source of Data:  India Ministry of Power – CEA. Chart by FEWW.

India’s Nuclear Power Plants

  • Tarapur Atomic Power Station, Tarapur, Maharashtra
  • Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, Rawatbhata, Rajasthan
  • Madras Atomic Power Station, Kalpakkam, Tamilnadu
  • Narora Atomic Power Station, Narora, Uttar Pradesh
  • Kakrapar Atomic Power Station, Kakrapar, Gujarat
  • Kaiga Atomic Power Station, Kaiga, Karnataka
  • Jaitapur nuclear power project — Maharashtra
  • Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant
  • Mumbai — Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

Related Links:


Posted in Bangalore Glow, india atomic, nuclear power, nuclear power plant, radioactive contamination | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Super Typhoon NIDA Stops for Refueling

Posted by feww on November 28, 2009

STY NIDA Planning to Make the Least Expected Move?

Once again a Super Typhoon in Western Pacific behaves as if guided NOT only by weather conditions, but by a climatic algorithm!


STY NIDA –  MTSAT IR2
– Latest Image as of Posting

STY NIDA (26W) Update:

  • Date and Time: Nov 28, 2009 at 09:00 UTC
  • Position:  Near19.3ºN 139.3ºE
  • Location: About 660 km SSW of Iwo To Island, Japan
  • Movement:   ENE  (060 Degrees)
  • Forward Speed : 3.7 km/h (2 knots) – Dead slow [almost stationery and noticeably wobbling, JTWC said. ]
  • Maximum Sustained Winds: 270 km/h  [Category 5 on FEWW and Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale] – Strengthened since last update, then weakened somewhat, though still higher at 145 knots.
  • Maximum  Wind Gusts: 325 km/h  (175knots) – strengthened since the last update.
  • Maximum Significant Wave Height: ≥ 11 m (34 feet)
  • Formation: The 37-km eye is filling, structure becoming more asymmetrical, and elongated.  Strong radial outflow.
  • Surprises: Probable

FEWW Comment: If  NIDA continues to move in a generally northerly direction, the STY would slowly weaken due to cooler ocean temperatures, as well as increasing vertical wind shear. If on the other hand the storm’s angle of movement becomes more concave, moving in a generally easterly, even ESEasterly direction (close to 20ºN), NIDA could maintain its current strength, even strengthen further slightly, and stay in the region longer than presently expected.


STY NIDA – MTSAT IR – Still Image – Date/Time: 28 Nov 2009 at 11:00 UTC – Click Image to enlarge.

Animation of latest 168 hours : MPEG / WMV


Near real time full disk satellite image. Right Click Image, then select “View Image” to enlarge.


STY NIDA 5-Day forecast track. Source: JTWC

Previous updates:

Full Disk Animation:

Loops/Animations (MTSAT/NOAA/SSD)

See Also:

Posted in NIDA, NIDA Forecast Track, NIDA Projected Path, TC NIDA, TS NIDA | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

S. Arabia Nets Climate Change Q3 Dividends

Posted by feww on November 27, 2009

Saudi Flood Death Toll Tops 88

Saudi Arabia collects at least 88 dead in oil induced climate change Q3 profits

At least 88 people have died in the heaviest flooding to hit Saudi Arabia in in living memory.

As Muslim pilgrims were casting stones at three concrete walls representing the devil on the third day of the annual hajj, torrential rains inundated  the port city of Jeddah, where 80 mm of rain fell in just a few hours, forcing the closure of the main highway to Mecca, and stranding thousands of pilgrims on their way to the Muslims’ holy city.

[The pilgrims efforts might have been more meaningful had they cast their stones at a mock-up of an oil rig, a giant oil drum and effigy of an oil supertanker.]

Most of the deaths reportedly occurred in the shantytowns around Jeddah and along the main highway to Mecca, an area populated by poor immigrants who provide cheap labor and domestic help to the wealthy Saudis.

Most of the victims died from drowning,  and a few others killed by mudslide,  collapsing houses, falling bridges and in car collisions. About 1,000 others were rescued  after being stranded in the floodwaters, the authorities said.


Streets of Jeddah flooded after 88mm of rain fell in just a few hours. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.


Jeddah Under Water. Source: SahilOnlie. Image may be subject to copyright.

Related Links:

Posted in drought and deluge, flood, mudslide, saudi arabia, Saudi Desert | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Super Typhoon NIDA UPDATE

Posted by terres on November 27, 2009

NIDA Weaker, Slower,  But Still a Super Typhoon

  • Date and Time: Nov 26, 2009 at 21:00UTC
  • Position:  Near16.6ºN 139.2ºE
  • Location: About 945 km SSW of Iwo-To Island, Japan
  • Movement:   NNW (325 Degrees)
  • Forward Speed : 11 km/h (6 knots) – very slow
  • Maximum Sustained Winds: 250 km/h  [Category 5 on FEWW and Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale]
  • Maximum  Wind Gusts: 310 km/h  (165knots)
  • Maximum Significant Wave Height: ≥ 13 m (43 feet)
  • Formation: The 37-km eye is filling, structure becoming more asymmetrical, and elongated.  Strong radial outflow.
  • Surprises: Possible

Animation of latest 168 hours : MPEG / WMV


Near real time full disk satellite image.
Right Click Image, then select “View Image” to enlarge.

For more images and satellite links click link below:

Super Typhoon NIDA Boomerangs Away From Philippines

See Also:


Posted in NIDA Projected Path, Tropical storm, TS 26W, typhoon, Typhoon EYE | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Super Typhoon NIDA Boomerangs Away From Philippines

Posted by feww on November 26, 2009

Super Typhoon NIDA Circles 315 Degrees


Super Typhoon NIDA – MTSAT IR – Still Image – Dated 26 November 2009 at 9:00 UTC. Click image to enlarge.

Animation of latest 168 hours : MPEG / WMV

STY NIDA (26W) Status
Date and Time:  Nov. 26, 2009 at 09:00UTC
Position:  Near 15.6ºN 139.7E
Location:  555 km (300nm) WNW of Guam
Max. Sustained Winds: 270 km/h (145 knots)
Max. Wind Gusts: 325 km/h (175 knots)
Max Significant Wave Height: 15 m (44 ft)

The system has weakened during the past six hours, and is expected to continue weakening. STY NIDA is expected to continue in its current track moving NNW (315 degrees), and gradually slow down in forward movement speed. NIDA should become extratropical by December 1, 2009.


STY NIDA 5-Day forecast track. Source: JTWC


Click Image to enlarge and animate.


Click image to enlarge.


Near real time full disk satellite image. Right Click Image, then select “View Image” to enlarge.


Super Typhoon Nida captured by The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite on Nov. 25, 2009 at about 3:55 UTC.  Perfectly symmetrical Nida, seen with a distinct eye, had maximum sustained winds of 280 km/h (150 knots) with gusts of up to 335 km/h (180 knots).  (Photo Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team)

Full Disk Animation:

Loops/Animations (MTSAT/NOAA/SSD)

See Also:

Posted in NIDA, NIDA Forecast Track, NIDA Projected Path, TS NIDA, west pacific ocean | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [25 Nov 2009]

Posted by feww on November 26, 2009

VOW: to be announced…

SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(18 November – 24 November 2009)

New activity/Unrest:

Volcano News (Source: GVP)

An explosive eruption from  detected by the seismic network on 20 November prompted INGEOMINAS to raise the Alert Level. Residents reported five explosions, sound waves, and incandescence from multiple areas in the crater.

During 18-24 November, HVO reported that lava flowed SE from beneath Kilauea’s Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex through a lava tube system, reaching the ocean. On 21 November, a sliver of the rim collapsed and was followed by an explosion that produced a dense brown plume that dissipated after a few minutes. Watch the video here. Source: GVP [Note: The video has .mov format and cannot be run on Windows Media Player.]

Ongoing Activity:

Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia);  Chaitén, Southern Chile;  Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka;  Kilauea, Hawaii;  Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia); Pacaya, Guatemala;  Popocatépetl, México; Rabaul, New Britain; Reventador, Ecuador; Sakura-jima, Kyushu; Santa María, Guatemala; Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia); Soufrière Hills, Montserrat; Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

Related Links:

More Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

Other Related Links:

Recent Posts on Chaitén:

. Tagged: , , , , , ,

Posted in volcanic activity, volcanic hazard, volcanic unrest, volcanism, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Climate Change Feared Twice as Bad, Seas Up 2m

Posted by feww on November 25, 2009

Why Are ‘Scientists’ Deferring Impacts of Global Catastrophes?

Sea level rise projections for 22nd Century sideline impacts of current climatic catastrophes and make them seem like someone else’s problem!

Why don’t scientists report the short term impact of the climate change? What’s happening now? What’s going to happen next year, in 2 years, 3 years and 5 years from now?


Like them or not,  you can’t live without them. Polar bears are ‘canaries in ice’; they tell you how much time you have left.
Photo Credit: Dan Crosbie

Perhaps they have the best of intentions. Perhaps they don’t! Perhaps they want to give the governments a last chance to act. But that’s not the job of scientists.

In February 2005 our colleagues at MSRB postulated that the ‘Point of No Return’ would be reached by about June 2006.

Unless global energy consumption is reduced rapidly—by mid 2006—to levels below 60EJ/year (6E+19 joules/year), the runaway positive feedback loops that are destroying Earth’s ecosystems including ozone holes, global heating, extreme climatic events, toxic pollution, resources depletion, unethical conduct, war, and disease pandemics would reach the point of no return, overwhelm our life support systems and render most of our population centers uninhabitable by as early as 2015, possibly earlier, according to our dynamic energy models.

And argued:

Failure to rein back global energy consumption to levels below 60 exajoules by June 2006 would render the concept of sustainable management redundant (it seems highly unlikely that post industrial civilization would voluntarily sacrifice its perceived privileges and values in favor of sustaining life on Earth).

Then in November 2007 colleagues at EDRO revealed that, based on their models, about 20 percent of the world  cities could collapse partially or completely by as early as 2012, citing a list of probable mechanism that would accelerate the collapse.

[About 20 percent of the] world’s cities [could] collapse completely or partially by or before 2012 in the first wave of collapse. The collapse would be caused by a combination of failing ecosystems, human-enhanced environmental catastrophes; failing infrastructure; food, water and fuel shortages; infectious disease; war, civil conflict and other dynamics. Following the first phase of collapse, massive waves of human migration from the affected areas create a domino effect that causes the collapse of the remaining population centers shortly after.

Now 26 ‘experts’ who have authored a new report [Update] called The Copenhagen Diagnosis have urged world governments to cap rising greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 or 2020 [thanks for the 5-year grace period] to avoid the deadliest impacts of climate change.  Ironically, many of these authors were on the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and they in 2007 effectively downplayed the sea level rises, limiting the upcoming disaster to between 18 cm and 59 cm (7-24 inches) by 2100 [they were completely surprised when melting of Greenland and Antarctica ice accelerated.]

Current sea-level rise underestimated: Satellites show recent global average sea-level rise (3.4 mm/yr over the past 15 years) to be ~80% above past IPCC predictions. This acceleration in sea-level rise is consistent with a doubling in contribution from melting of glaciers, ice caps, and the Greenland and West-Antarctic ice-sheets. —The Copenhagen Diagnosis

In a  joint statement the group citing catastrophic factors including the Arctic sea ice retreat in summer and accelerated melting of  Greenland ice sheets and Antarctica said:

Climate change is accelerating beyond expectations.

Richard C. J. Somerville,  Professor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, and a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report said:

Carbon dioxide emissions cannot be allowed to continue to rise if humanity intends to limit the risk of unacceptable climate change.

For heaven’s sake, give it to them straight: QUANTIFY!

Arguably the most prominent member of the group Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Professor of Theoretical Physics and Director of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) and a longstanding member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said:

This is a final scientific call for the climate negotiators from 192 countries who must embark on the climate protection train in Copenhagen.

The report doesn’t tell us what the members think about the short term impact of climate change. Colleagues at EDRO do! In a recent conversation

EDRO estimated that climate change could directly affect about half the population in the UK  in the next 3 to 5 years.

Related Links:

The Copenhagen Diagnosis, 2009: Updating the world on the Latest Climate

Posted in collapse, Copenhagen Diagnosis, energy consumption, global change, melting of glaciers, sea level rise | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Tonga

Posted by feww on November 25, 2009

Earthquake Measuring Up to M 7.1 Strikes Near NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga

A powerful earthquake measuring up to 7.1 Mw struck  about 135 km (85 miles) ENE of NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga at a depth of 10 km on  November 24, 2009 at 12:47 UTC.

The quake was followed by at least two aftershocks, the stronger of which measured up to 5.8 Mw.

Tsunami Evaluation:

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center/NOAA/NWS Evaluated the Tsunami Hazard as follows:

NO DESTRUCTIVE WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI THREAT EXISTS BASED ON HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA.

HOWEVER – EARTHQUAKES OF THIS SIZE SOMETIMES GENERATE LOCAL TSUNAMIS THAT CAN BE DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTS LOCATED WITHIN A HUNDRED KM OF THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES IN THE REGION OF THE EPICENTER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS POSSIBILITY AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION.

FEWW Comment: Does the SW Pacific region including Tonga, Fiji, and Samoan Islands regions act as a ‘planetary seismic shock damper?’  How much longer will the service last?

10-degree Map Centered at 20°S,175°W


Earthquake location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW.

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude: 6.8  [Maximum quake magnitude estimated at 7.1 Mw by FEWW]
  • Date-Time:
    • Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 12:47:14 UTC
    • Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 02:47:14 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 20.641°S, 174.068°W
  • Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Region: TONGA
  • Distances:
    • 135 km (85 miles) ENE of NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga
    • 220 km (135 miles) S of Neiafu, Tonga
    • 480 km (300 miles) E of Ndoi Island, Fiji
    • 2100 km (1300 miles) NE of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Location: Uncertainty horizontal +/- 5.6 km (3.5 miles); depth fixed by location program
  • Source:  USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009pja1

Related Links:

Posted in earthquake, earthquake forecast, Earthquake news, feww earthquake forecast, tonga quake | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

El Niño Update [23 Nov 2009]

Posted by feww on November 24, 2009

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

The following UPDATE is prepared by

Climate Prediction Center / NCEP –  23 November 2009

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~  1.5ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~  1.7ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 1.2ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ 0.5ºC


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

SST Departures (°C) in the Tropical Pacific During the Last 4 Weeks
During the last 4-weeks, SSTs were at least 1.0°C above average across much of the equatorial Pacific and more than 2.0°C above average between 180°and 140°W. [Expanding across the Tropical Pacific. FEWW ]


[SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

Global SST Departures (°C)
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average across the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also, above-average SSTs covered large areas of the Northern Hemisphere subtropics.


[SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

Weekly SST Departures (°C) for the Last Four Weeks

  • During the last four weeks, positive equatorial SST anomalies persisted across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • During the last 30 days, equatorial SST anomalies increased in some regions across the eastern half of the Pacific.

Upper-Ocean Conditions in the Eq. Pacific

  • The basin-wide equatorial upper ocean (0-300 m) heat content is greatestprior to and during the early stages of a Pacific warm (El Niño) episode (compare top 2 panels) and leastprior to and during the early stages of a cold(La Niña) episode.
  • The slope of the oceanic thermocline is least (greatest) during warm (cold) episodes.
  • Recent values of the upper-ocean heat anomalies (positive) and the thermocline slope index (negative) reflect El Niño.

Sub-Surface Temperature Departures (°C) in the Equatorial Pacific

  • During late September –mid November 2009, temperature anomalies at thermocline depth increased and expanded eastward across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, in response to the downwelling phase of an oceanic Kelvin wave.
  • The most recent period shows a continued eastward expansion of positive anomalies in the equatorial Pacific near 50 -150m depth.

Tropical OLR and Wind Anomalies During the Last 30 Days

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

Click image to enlarge.

Intraseasonal Variability

  • Intraseasonal variability in the atmosphere (wind and pressure), which is often related to the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), can significantly impact surface and subsurface conditions across the Pacific Ocean.
  • Related to this activity
    • significant weakening of the low-level easterly winds usually initiates an eastward-propagating oceanic Kelvin wave.
    • Several Kelvin waves have occurred during the last year (see next slide).

Summary

  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) are at least 1.0ºC-2.0ºC above-average across much of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific.
  • Based on current observations and dynamical model forecasts, El Niño is expected to continue to strengthen and last through at least the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

Information and images on this page are sourced from Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NOAA. Edited by FEWW

Related Links:

El Niño Updates:

Posted in Climate Prediction, El Niño, El Niño latest news, El Niño update, El Niño weekly report, ENSO | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Three Mile Island Cats Have 9 Lives, Too?

Posted by feww on November 23, 2009

Or will it be third time unlucky for the TMI puss?

Radiation leak at TMI, home of the worst U.S. nuclear power disaster: No threat to public health and safety

Those of us who are old enough to remember the 1979 near complete core meltdown at Unit 2 of  TMI, or smart enough to have carefully studied the case of the nuclear industry’s Titanic, are probably also familiar with the routine cover-up the goes on within the nuclear power industry.

Nuclear energy is unsafe and UNNECESSARY. The answer to the US and world energy problems is in the new kind of economy and lifestyle.


Three Mile Island (TMI), on the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. On the right is mothballed Unit 2, which almost completely melted down in 1979, and is now is owned by FirstEnergy. Unit 1, to the left, is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Exelon Corp. Image and Caption [dated March 28, 2004]: Ohio Citizen Action

TORONTO, CANADA — “In May, 1983, my father-in-law, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, told me that at the time of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident, a full report was commissioned by President Jimmy Carter. He [my father-in-law] said that the report, if published in its entirety, would have destroyed the civilian nuclear power industry because the accident at Three Mile Island was infinitely more dangerous than was ever made public. He told me that he had used his enormous personal influence with President Carter to persuade him to publish the report only in a highly ‘diluted’ form. The President himself had originally wished the full report to be made public. In November, 1985, my father-in-law told me that he had come to deeply regret his action in persuading President Carter to suppress the most alarming aspects of that report,” Jane Rickover, sworn statement, July 18, 1986. Source

The following News Release was issued by Exelon Corp the operators of TMI

Exelon Corp News Release: No threat to public health and safety (Nov. 21, 2009)

About 150 employees working inside the shutdown Three Mile Island Unit 1 containment building were sent home about 4:00 p.m. EST Saturday after an airborne radiological contamination alarm inside the reactor building sounded.

The unit has been shut down since Oct. 26 for refueling, maintenance and steam generator replacement.

No contamination was found outside of the containment building. Radiological surveys showed that the contamination was confined to surfaces inside the containment building.

The event posed no threat to public health and safety.

A monitor at the temporary opening cut into the containment building wall to allow the new steam generators to be moved inside showed a slight increase in a reading and then returned to normal. Two other monitors displayed normal readings.  Full Text

Related Links:

Posted in nuclear power, nuclear power plant, public health and safety, radiation leak, radiological contamination | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Strong Quake Strikes Fiji Region

Posted by feww on November 22, 2009

Earthquake measuring up to 6.5 Mw strikes Fiji Region

A strong earthquake measuring up to M 6.5 struck offshore Fiji Region at 17.789°S, 178.435°W at a depth  of about 520 km November 22, 2009 at 07:48 UTC.

The event occurred about 195 km SE of Taveuni volcano which last erupted about 1550 ± 100 yrs.

Taveuni, the 3-rd largest island in Fiji, is a large shield volcano that rises from the Pacific Ocean floor. A popular tourist destination, the Island has a population of less than 10,000.

Tsunami Information

The earthquake was located too deep to generate a tsunami.

10-degree Map Centered at 20°S,180°E


Earthquake location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW.

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude: 6.3 [Maximum quake magnitude estimated at 6.5 Mw by FEWW]
  • Date-Time:
    • Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 07:48:20 UTC
    • Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 07:48:20 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 17.789°S, 178.435°W
  • Depth: 523.1 km (325.1 miles) set by location program
  • Region: FIJI REGION
  • Distances:
    • 275 km (170 miles) ESE of Lambasa, Vanua Levu, Fiji
    • 320 km (195 miles) N of Ndoi Island, Fiji
    • 335 km (210 miles) E of SUVA, Viti Levu, Fiji
    • 2220 km (1380 miles) NNE of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 5.1 km (3.2 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009phaj

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Posted in earthquake, earthquake forecast, Earthquake news, earthquake update, feww earthquake forecast | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kudos to Residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania

Posted by feww on November 22, 2009

Residents of Dimock in rural Pennsylvania sue Cabot Oil & Gas Corp

Residents of Dimock, a small rural Pennsylvania town, have sued Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, claiming the company’s natural-gas drilling has contaminated their wells with deadly chemicals, causing sickness and reducing their property values, Reuters reported.

“The lawsuit accuses the company of violating state environmental laws by allowing drilling chemicals to escape from gas wells, where they are used in a technique called hydraulic fracturing.”

A Cabot spokesman, Ken Komoroski, said the company was in full compliance with Pennsylvania’s environmental laws and “disappointed” by the lawsuit, which he said  they had not had time to study yet.

“We don’t see merit in these claims,” Cabot spokesman said. More …


A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

Residents: ‘WE WANT JUSTICE’

“The suit is the culmination of complaints by residents of the northeastern Pennsylvania community where Cabot has drilled dozens of gas wells in its efforts to develop the Marcellus Shale, a massive gas formation that underlies about two-thirds of Pennsylvania and parts of surrounding states.” The report said.

“These releases, spills and discharges caused the plaintiffs and their property to be exposed to such hazardous gases, chemicals and industrial wastes,” said the complaint.

The residents have suffered neurological, gastrointestinal and dermatological symptoms from exposure to contaminated water, the complaint said. The results of blood samples taken from residents are consistent with exposure to the chemical pollutants.

“Victoria Switzer, a plaintiff who lives about a mile from Carter’s home, said she had joined the lawsuit because she had failed to get satisfaction from the state Department of Environmental Protection or her elected representatives.” Reuters said.

“Lawyers were the last thing I wanted,” she said. “We are not greedy people, we just want some justice.” More …

Background:

EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

FEWW wrote:

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

‘Diarrhea water’

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.

Isn’t it remarkable that two distant communities, one in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and the other in Pavillion, Wyoming, some 2,668 km (1,658 miles) apart, share a common fate by way of their contaminated drinking water, where the only common denominator between them is gas-drilling activities.

Related Links:

 

Posted in doorstep drilling, EPA, fracking, gas drilling, natural gas | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Volcanoes affect life on earth

Posted by feww on November 21, 2009

Volcano Watch: Acting locally causes effects globally

(Volcano Watch is a weekly article written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, HVO.)

A visit to Kilauea can bring a sense of awe and appreciation for the earth’s volcanoes. Over the past weeks, the east rift eruption has produced multiple ocean entries, and photogenic surface flows, which have touched off fiery infernos in the rare remaining kipuka (island of vegetation).


Lava from Kilauea enters the ocean.

The flows came uncomfortably close to the tourist trail that has carried tens of thousands of admiring visitors, and engulfed and destroyed a lone structure. Not to be outdone, the Halemaumau Overlook vent has offered glimpses of a rising and falling lava pond, as well as a landscape of molten, shifting holes opening into a deep cavity within the vent.

In contrast, living downwind of Kilauea’s copious gas emissions, or in the path of lava flows, can bring an exclamation of “auwe” (“oh dear!” or “Alas!”). Since the onset of summit activity in 2008, impacts from Kilauea have increased.

Hawaii County was declared a federal natural disaster area owing to agricultural losses, and air quality in downwind communities frequently exceeded federal and state standards.

While Kilauea does contribute modest amounts of gasses to the atmosphere, most impacts are local to Hawaii. We might count ourselves lucky because growing evidence suggests that very large volcanic eruptions have extreme effects on the global environment.

For example, massive volcanic activity around 60-70 million years ago occurred on the Deccan Plateau in what is now west-central India. This activity, which produced the Deccan Traps (from the Swedish word for stairs, Trappa, which refers to the feature’s step-like landscape), is one of the largest known eruptions to occur since the Earth’s initial formation.


Kilauea – Active Lava Tube. Source: USGS

There are distinct similarities between Kilauea and the Deccan Traps. While Kilauea is being created by the Hawaii hot spot, the Deccan Traps were likely a product of the Reunion hot spot.

The eruptive style of both can be characterized by multiple volcanic events separated by relatively short repose periods. They produce basaltic lava and have flow units with pahoehoe toes as the basic building block.

In fact, scientists have studied Kilauea’s active volcanism as an analog for processes that would have created the Deccan Traps.

During the 0.5 million years or so since Kilauea first began growing from the floor of the ocean, 540 square miles have been covered by lava, or about 1/7 the area of Hawaii Island. The Deccan Traps currently cover 190,000 square miles, an area somewhat greater than that of California.

During its peak, which likely lasted less than 1 million years, the eruption rate of the Deccan Traps was at least 15 times that of Kilauea’s current eruption rate, or at least 25 times that of Kilauea’s more modest lifetime eruption rate.

The timing of the Deccan Traps is intriguing, with the peak in activity occurring at around 65 million years ago.

Movie buffs and dinosaur fans might recall the tagline for the 1993 movie Jurassic Park: “An Adventure 65 Million Years in the Making,” referring to the timing of the transition between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. Known as the K-T boundary, it was characterized by mass extinction of species, including the non-avian dinosaurs.

There is strong evidence that the impact of a large asteroid or comet contributed to this mass extinction due to the presence of enriched iridium in the fossil record at the K-T boundary. Iridium is an element that is much less abundant in the earth’s crust than in meteorites, and, thus, likely originated from space.

The Chicxulub impact crater on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, has been identified as a likely candidate for a K-T impact event.

However, growing evidence suggests that volcanic activity from the Deccan Traps was a significant contributor to the mass extinction event. Recent studies examining the fossil record were able to correlate an abrupt change at the K-T boundary in species of tiny sea creatures known as foraminifera, with the main eruptive pulse in the Deccan Traps.

Volcanoes great and small can affect life on earth, from contributing to the extinction of dinosaurs to impacting Kilauea’s neighbors.

 

KILAUEA VOLCANO (CAVW #1302-01-)
19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH

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Posted in extinction of dinosaurs, K-T impact, life on earth, volcanism, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Big Oil Itching to Drill to the Last Straw

Posted by feww on November 20, 2009

Big Oil Prods Congress for More Offshore Drilling

We’d like to rape and plunder some more before killing the marine environment: Big Oil

Big oil says they must have more offshore areas for oil and natural gas drilling, citing the same old, tired, discredited and pathetic excuse that America would be less reliant on foreign suppliers that way.


Offshore drilling: Rape and plunder in the high seas.
Source of Photo: yourdemocracy.net.au

“There is some hypocrisy in locking these resources away while relying on resources produced in other countries,” said Marvin Odum, the President of Shell Oil Co., the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

“Instead, we should embrace policies that provide access to our own oil and gas resources,” Reuters reported Odum as saying to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at hearing on offshore energy production.

“The U.S. Interior Department is considering a five-year plan that might open new offshore areas to drilling.” Reuters reported.

“But many environmental groups oppose expanded offshore drilling, fearing oil spills could result, especially when energy companies move into the deeper waters of the Gulf of Mexico where platforms are susceptible to hurricanes.”

The recent Australian oil disaster in Timor Sea is but the latest deadly reminder of the perils of offshore oil and gas drilling. For about 11 weeks the leak from the West atlas drilling rig and the Montara wellhead platform, which eventually caught fire early November, spewed oil and gas condensate at a rate of at least 400 barrels a day, polluting the fragile ecosystems in the region leaving tens of thousands of marine creatures dead.


PTTEP Australasia, the company responsible for the major oil disaster in the Timor Sea, said they pumped mud into a relief well in their fourth attempt to plug the leak, which had spewed oil and gas condensate at at least 400 barrels a day for nearly 11 weeks, before extinguishing the platform fire.  (PTTEP Australasia).

“The potentially irreversible effects of oil pollution on marine ecosystems and their dependent economies do not justify the potential short-term economic gains that might accrue from offshore oil and gas development,” said Jeffrey Short with the international marine conservation group Oceana.

The big oil says they have improved their drilling technology which allows oil companies to rape the marine environment in a friendly way.

“These advances enable more production while reducing environmental impacts and allowing for efficient use of existing facilities and infrastructure,” said David Rainey, VP of Gulf of Mexico Exploration at BP America, the U.S. arm of the British giant BP Plc.

And this came on a day when early impact of climate change  wrought havoc on Britain, with torrential rains  and up to 153 km/h wind gusts battering several coastal regions, triggering waist-high floods in several cities.

“Finding oil and gas for the future requires exploring in areas that are ever deeper and more complex,” Rainey boasted.

“We must stop ignoring the fact that oil and gas will play a major part in meeting America’s energy demands for several decades as we transition to a more sustainable energy future,” said Shell’s Odum.

You know full well Mr Odum that  you don’t even have several years, let alone several decades. Stop the mass deception! Quit the unintelligent “transition to a more sustainable energy” mantra. You’re not fooling all of us all the time.

Take your sick economy and shoot her in the head because our oceans simply can’t cope anymore!

Related Links:

Related News Links:

Recent Oil Spills:

Posted in BP, Gulf of Mexico Exploration, oceans pollution, oil pollution, US Economy, US energy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

UK Flooding

Posted by feww on November 20, 2009

Human Induced Planetary Antiphase Events

UK Flooding: Military Helicopters Rescue Hundreds Trapped in Homes

Military helicopters were used to rescue hundreds of people after torrential rain triggered extensive flooding to Cockermouth, Cumbria, the UK.


The raging River Kent, Kendal, Cumbria, UK. Photo: A. Stephenson. Image source: BBC readers photos. Image may be subject to copyright.


Cumbria fire and rescue workers check flooded roads in Keswick after River Greta burst its banks. Photo: PA. Image may be subject to copyright.


Location Map of Keswick and Cockermouth, Cumbria, UK. Original Map from Google Maps. Image may be subject to copyright. Image Enhanced by FEWW.

Heavy rain reportedly battered northern England, northwestern Wales and western Scotland last night.

The village of Seathwaite in Cumbria recorded 173mm (6.8in) of rain in 24 hours, according to the UK Met Office, wich also forecast an additional 150mm (5.9in ) for the Lake District by noon Friday.

UK’s Environment Agency had issued 6 severe flood warnings, 25 flood warnings and 51 less serious flood watches for Cumbria alone.

Several other regions  in northwestern Wales, as well as  in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, also reported flooding.

The effects of  the extreme rain event were worsened by severe gales and wind gusts of 100 – 120km/h (65- 75mp) in the coastal areas and hurricane strength wind gusts of up to 153 km/h (95mph) in the mountainous regions.

Our colleagues at EDRO estimate that climate change could directly affect about half the population in the UK  in the next 3 to 5 years.

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Posted in Climate Change, Collapsing Cities, El Niño, Extreme Rain Events, flooding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Speaking of El Niño, OLR Anomalies in Australia

Posted by feww on November 19, 2009

Another Human Induced Planetary Antiphase Event

El Niño is experiencing a late-fall resurgence


Recent measurements of sea level height from the Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 oceanography satellite showed that a strong wave of warm water, known as a Kelvin wave, had spread from the western to the central and eastern Pacific. This warm wave appears as the large area of higher-than-normal sea surface heights in the area between 170 degrees east and 100 degrees west longitude.

This image was created with data collected OSTM/Jason 2 during a 10-day period centered on November 1, 2009. Red and white areas in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific were 100 to 180 millimeters (4 to 7 inches) above normal. In the western equatorial Pacific, blue and purple areas show where sea levels were between 80 and 150 millimeters (3 and 6 inches) below normal.

Sea surface height is an indication of temperature.The elevated sea levels in the central and eastern Pacific are equivalent to sea surface temperatures more than one to two degrees Celsius above normal (2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit).

The Kelvin wave was triggered by a large-scale, sustained weakening of trade winds in the western and central equatorial Pacific during October. The change in winds disturbs not only the surface currents but also the deeper ocean circulation. The disturbances reverberate along the thermocline—the boundary between warm, surface water and cold, deep water—as large, slow-moving waves. Similar, weaker events that began in June 2009 initially triggered and have sustained the present El Niño.

NASA image by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Ocean Surface Topography Team. Caption adapted from the Planetary Photojournal. Edited by FEWW

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Posted in eastern Pacific, ENSO, Kelvin wave, thermocline, Trade winds | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [18 Nov 2009]

Posted by feww on November 19, 2009

VOW: Mayon


Mayon volcano spews smoke and ash for the second time in a day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009 at Legazpi, Albay province, about 340 kilometers southeast of Manila, Philippines. AP Photo/Nelson Salting. Image may be subject to copyright.

Related News and Posts:

 

SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(11 November – 17 November 2009)

New activity/Unrest:

Volcano News (Source: GVP)

CENAPRED reported that on 14 November an ash plume from Popocatépetl rose to an altitude of 7.4 km (24,300 ft) a.s.l. During 14-17 November, steam-and-gas plumes sometimes contained ash.

INGEOMINAS reported that an overflight of Galeras on 14 November revealed thermal anomalies in the main crater measuring 110 degrees Celsius and very low rates of gas discharge.


Ongoing Activity:

Arenal, Costa Rica; Bagana, Bougainville;  Chaitén, Southern Chile;  Fuego, Guatemala;  Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia);  Kilauea, Hawaii;  Kizimen, Eastern Kamchatka; Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia);  Nevado del Huila, Colombia;  Popocatépetl, México;  Rabaul, New Britain;  Reventador, Ecuador;  Sakura-jima, Kyushu;  Sangay, Ecuador;  Santa María, Guatemala;  Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia);  Soufrière Hills, Montserrat; Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

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FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

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Posted in volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Australia: The Lost Continent?

Posted by feww on November 19, 2009

Human Induced Planetary Antiphase Series

How Much Longer Could Australians Cope?

Australia on catastrophic fires warning

Fire authorities in South Australia have declared a catastrophic fire danger for two districts,  the Flinders and North-West Pastoral districts.

The catastrophic fire warning comes in the wake of February’s bushfires, which killed at least 173 people across Victoria.

Extreme temperatures, low humidity and strong winds arte forecast. The temperature in some parts of Australia have topped 40 C, setting new records for November.

Weekly highest maximum temperature for Australia

Tropical OLR and Wind Anomalies During the Last 30 Days


Positive OLR anomalies (suppressed convection and precipitation, red shading) were present over
Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia.
Source: ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions Update prepared by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP 16 November 2009

Fire Warning UPDATE: Officials downgraded the warnings to severe, 3rd highest on their new scale, Thursday morning.

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Links to HIPAP and Collapse:

Posted in Australia Temps., Australian climate, australian heatwave, Climate Change, Extreme temperatures, Positive OLR anomalies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Looking for Water on Earth

Posted by feww on November 18, 2009

Never Mind Water on the Moon

Image of the Day: Please, can we have some more water?

Her’s another egregious example of science gone awry from its intended purpose of serving humanity. At a time when socially blind NASA “elites” are spending tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money playing space invaders, bombing the moon and looking for water, people are perishing from the lack of water here on Earth, abandoned by science.


A villager walks in the partially dried-up Mahanadi river in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, November 17, 2009. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in Climate Change, Drought, Food Crisis, India, water crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Plastics: Phthalates are true ‘gender benders’

Posted by feww on November 18, 2009

Disappointed Your Last Baby Not a Girl?

Don’t Despair! You may still be in luck (!)

Did you always want to a have a baby girl and are disappointed because the ultrasound revealed your final attempt to be yet another boy?

Phthalates could help your dream come true (!) Phthalates, chemicals found in plastics, are hormone endocrine disruptors. They can alter the brain of baby boys, making them “more feminine,” say University of Rochester researchers.

Chemicals in plastics alter the brains of baby boys, making them “more feminine,” the researchers said.

Male babies who were exposed to high doses of phthalates while still in the womb,  ended up to be less interested in playing with “boys’ toys” such as cars, planes and trains, or join in rough physical activity, such as wrestling, the researchers found.

Luckily (!) phthalates are found in vinyl  flooring, and other household items including plastic furniture, packaging, PVC shower curtains, shopping bags…  as well as medical tubing and hundreds of other plastic items around you.

Two groups of phthalates DEHP and DBP seem to affect play behavior, researchers said.

Boys who were exposed to high levels of DEHP and DBP while in the womb showed less interest playing with “boys’ toys,” or engage in physical  games like playfighting, than other boys who were not exposed to the gender-bending chemicals.

A Scandinavian epidemiologic team discovered in 2004 allergies in children that were caused by phthalates DEHP and BBzP. They also linked exposure to phthalates in the living environment to asthma, especially in children, however, the scope of evidence was said to be  limited by vague data on the  exposure levels.

If you are pregnant with a baby boy, perhaps you could drop us a line and say what you think!

Related and Possibly Related Links:

Posted in BBzP, DBP, DEHP, endocrine disruptors, feminine boys, University of Rochester | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Powerful Quake Strikes Queen Charlotte Islands Region

Posted by feww on November 18, 2009

Earthquake Measuring up to 6.8 Mw followed by a Strong Aftershock Strikes Queen Charlotte Islands Region

A powerful earthquake measuring up to magnitude 6.8 followed by a cluster of aftershocks, the largest of which measured up to M 6.0, struck Queen Charlotte Islands Region on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at about 15:31 UTC, at a shallow depth of about 5 km.

Tsunami Information

The West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer AK, said there was no threat of a damaging tsunami caused by the earthquake. However some neighboring regions could experience non-damaging sea level changes. “In coastal areas of intense shaking locally generated tsunamis can be triggered by underwater landslides.”


Earthquake location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude: 6.6 [Maximum quake magnitude estimated by FEWW at 6.8 Mw]
  • Date-Time:
    • Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 15:30:46 UTC
    • Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 07:30:46 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 52.151°N, 131.378°W
  • Depth: 11.6 km (7.2 miles)
  • Region: QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
  • Distances:
    • 250 km (155 miles) SSW (197°) from Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
    • 315 km (195 miles) WNW (303°) from Port Hardy, BC, Canada
    • 331 km (206 miles) S (178°) from Metlakatla, AK
    • 662 km (411 miles) WNW (302°) from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 5.5 km (3.4 miles); depth +/- 10.5 km (6.5 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID:  us2009pcaq

Historic Seismicity. USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

The Largest Earthquake in Canada

Canada’s largest earthquake (magnitude 8.1) since 1700, occurred on August 22, 1949 off the coast of BC. It occurred on the Queen Charlotte Fault (Canada’s equivalent of the San Andreas Fault) – the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates that runs underwater along the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the west coast of British Columbia. The shaking was so severe on the Queen Charlotte Islands that cows were knocked off their feet, and a geologist with the Geological Survey of Canada working on the north end of Graham Island could not stand up. Chimneys toppled, and an oil tank at Cumshewa Inlet collapsed. In Terrace, on the adjacent mainland, cars were bounced around, and standing on the street was described as “like being on the heaving deck of a ship at sea”. In Prince Rupert, windows were shattered and buildings swayed. —Natural resources of Canada


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Posted in Canada Earthquake, earthquake, earthquake forecast, feww earthquake forecast, seismic activity report, tsunami | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

El Niño Update [16 Nov 2009]

Posted by feww on November 17, 2009

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

The following UPDATE is prepared by

Climate Prediction Center / NCEP –  16 November 2009

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~  1.5ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~  1.7ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 1.2ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ 0.5ºC


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

SST Departures (°C) in the Tropical Pacific During the Last 4
During the last 4-weeks, SSTs were at least 1.0°C above average across much of the equatorial Pacific and more than 2.0°C above average between 175°E and 140°W.

Global SST Departures (°C)
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 subtropics.

Weekly SST Departures (°C) for the Last Four Weeks

  • During the last four weeks, equatorial SST anomalies strengthened across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • During the last 30 days, equatorial SST anomalies increased across much of the central and eastern Pacific.

Central & Eastern Pacific Upper-Ocean (0-300 m) Weekly Heat Content Anomalies
Since April 2009, the upper-ocean heat content has been above average across
the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The heat content was previously below-average from mid-August 2008 through March 2009, with a minimum reached in late December 2008.

Sub-Surface Temperature Departures (°C) in the Equatorial Pacific

  • During late September – early November 2009, temperature anomalies at thermocline depth increased and expanded eastward across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, in response to the downwelling phase of an oceanic Kelvin wave.
  • The most recent period (below) shows a continued eastward expansion of positive anomalies in the equatorial Pacific near 50 – 150m depth.

Tropical OLR and Wind Anomalies During the Last 30 Days

  • Positive OLR anomalies (suppressed convection and precipitation, red shading) were present over Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Negative OLR anomalies (enhanced convection and precipitation, blue shading) were located over the western tropical Pacific Ocean just southeast of Papua New Guinea.
  • Low-level (850-hPa) westerly anomalies were observed over the east-central equatorial Pacific.
  • Upper-level (200-hPa) easterly anomalies were observed across most of the equatorial Pacific. Anomalous anticyclones were evident in the subtropics of both hemispheres, which is consistent with El Niño.

Atmospheric Circulation over the North Pacific & North America During the Last 60 Days
From mid-September through October, anomalous troughing was prevalent over the North Pacific Ocean. During October, the pattern of below-average heights became more zonal over the mid-latitudes and an anomalous ridge developed over the higher latitudes. This pattern contributed to below-average temperatures across Canada and much of the U.S. Since early November, the anomalous zonal pattern of below-average heights at mid-latitudes has been replaced by anomalous ridges with below-average heights across the northernmost latitudes. This pattern has led to above-average temperatures across much of Canada and the United States.

Summary

  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) were at least 1.0ºC above-average across much of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific.
  • Based on current observations and dynamical model forecasts, El Niño is expected to continue to strengthen and last through at least the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

Information and images on this page are sourced from Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NOAA. Edited by FEWW

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El Niño Updates:

Posted in Climate Prediction, El Niño, El Niño weekly report, ENSO, Ocean SST | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Nature’s ‘Deselection’ Engine Revving Up!

Posted by feww on November 16, 2009

submitted by a blog contributor

Thought for the Day:

You may be undergoing natural ‘deselection’ processes at such phenomenal rates you cannot imagine!

  • Are you insane?
  • Following the wrong road map?
  • Your systems too inflexible?
  • Organizations burdensome?
  • Your methods unsustainable?
  • Do your schemes fly in the face of nature?
  • Doing less with more, unaware of your impact on nature?
  • Choosing sight over right?
  • Lost the will to work in harmony with nature?
  • Killing the oceans and polluting the air and ripping the heart out of nature?

If so, then nature wants you—out!

As Human Assault on Nature Accelerates, Nature’s ‘Deselection’ Engine Revs Up!

You may be undergoing natural ‘deselection’ processes at such phenomenal rates you cannot imagine!

Why is that such a bad thing for most everyone else?

‘Collateral Damage!’

How do you avoid the collateral damage?

That depends on your ‘cost-benefit’ analysis!

  • How much money do you make?
  • How often do you fly?
  • On average, how many miles do you clock up per day?
  • What’s your electricity consumption rate?
  • What sort of food do you eat and how much?
  • How much waste do you leave behind?
  • How flexible is your lifestyle?
  • Do you support war?
  • How many people have you killed, or are being killed in your name?
  • Are you single or married?
  • How many children do you have?
  • Really, how much do you love your kids?

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Posted in Assault on Nature, deselection, energy dinosaurs, Failing Ecosystems, natural selection | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »