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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 October, 2010

Hurricane Tomas Intensifies to Cat 2

Posted by feww on October 31, 2010

Tomas Strengthens to a Cat 2 Hurricane, Headed Toward Haiti

Hurricane Tomas, the 12th hurricane of 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, has strengthened in the eastern Caribbean and continues moving WNW, possibly toward Haiti.

Hurricane Tomas. IR Satellite Image with projected trajectories superimposed. Source: NOAA/TPC via CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

“The hurricane swept over St. Lucia and St. Vincent on Saturday, damaging homes, knocking out power and blocking roads with flooding and debris. There were no immediate reports of any deaths,” a report said.

“We have over 100 homes that have lost roofs. We expect that to increase,” said Michelle Forbes, head of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) of St. Vincent.

Posted in 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, 2010 Hurricane Season, hurricane, storm, storm disaster | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thailand Flooding Death Toll Tops 100

Posted by feww on October 30, 2010

3 Weeks of Flooding Paralyzes Thailand

Unusually heavy monsoon rains since October10 inundated at least 38 of the country’s 76 provinces, destroying about 650,000 hectares of farmland and causing at least $333 million in damage, Thailand’s disaster prevention and mitigation officials said.

As of posting, at least 22 provinces were still submerged.

At least 100 people have died since the flooding began three weeks ago, mostly from drowning, according to Thailand’s Emergency Medical Institute.

About 250,000 people have so far been treated for flood-related diseases, with half of the patients suffering foot infections, Thailand’s Public Health Minister told reporters.

Flooding has affected at least 600,000 households, or more than 5 million people.

Download large image
(7 MB, JPEG) — Image acquired on October 29, 2010

The two images were acquired by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite showing flood-affected regions in Thailand on October 29, 2010 (top), and October 30, 2009 (bottom). Flooded areas are dark blue.

“Compared to conditions the year before, flooding is most apparent along the Mae Nam Mun River in the east, and along the Chao Phraya River north of Bangkok. Although Bangkok itself avoided major damage, Agence France-Presse reported that more than 1,000 homes north of the city had been partly submerged. In the 2010 image, large areas of standing water are apparent north of the coastal metropolis.” Source: NASA-EO.

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Posted in flash flood, Flash Flooding, monsoon rains | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Mount Merapi Erupts Repeatedly

Posted by feww on October 29, 2010

Mount Merapi erupted at least six times Friday, spewing ash and lava

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano erupted repeatedly on Friday, spewing ash and lava, reports say.

The plume reportedly rose to a height of  about 1,500 meters (~ 5,000 feet).

Mount Merapi volcano spewed lava for the first time in its latest round of activity which began Tuesday.  Photo: AFP/ Getty Images. Image may be subject to copyright.

Mount Merapi, located north of the Yogyakarta, on the densely populated island of Java, is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes.

Mount Merapi volcano eruption in 2006. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Mount Merapi rumbled for many hours before spewing smoke on Tuesday. Photo shows volcano from Balerante, Central Java, Indonesia. Merapi last erupted in 2006. About 1,400 people have been killed as a result of 3 previous eruptions since 1930. Image Credit: AP. Caption: Fire-Earth.

Merapi, one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world’s most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. Merapi is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi volcano beginning during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the volcano’s western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time. The volcano is the object of extensive monitoring efforts by the Merapi Volcano Observatory. Photo by Yustinus Sulistiyo, 1994 (Volcanological Survey of Indonesia); caption: GVP

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Posted in Indonesia quake, Indonesia tsunami, Indonesia volcanoes, Mount Merapi volcano | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Fierce typhoon CHABA may miss Japan

Posted by feww on October 28, 2010

Typhoon CHABA strengthens to a cat. 4A force, may steer away from Japan

CHABA is moving NE with maximum sustained winds of about 225 km/hr [FEWW estimate]

See: FEWW New Hurricane Scale

Click image to enlarge. Source: Digital Typhoon

Typhoon CHABA – IR Satellite Image (NHC Enhancement) – 2km res. Source: CIMSS

Typhoon CHABA – IR Satellite Image (NHC Enhancement) – 4km res. Source: CIMSS

Typhoon CHABA Projected Paths. Source: CIMSS.

Posted in CHABA Satellite image, Japan Typhoons, severe storm, storm, typhoon CHABA | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Humongous Wind Storm Wreaks Havoc in the Midwest

Posted by feww on October 27, 2010

Massive Storm System Causes Substantial Damage in Parts of the U.S.

A massive wind storm, extending more than 2,000km (1,200 miles) north to south, pummeled the Midwest Tuesday, spawning tornadoes, causing widespread damage, and disrupting air travel throughout the region. Some 31 states were impacted by the storm system.

Click Image to enlarge. (24-Hr FE ED). Click HERE to Animate Image. (Source: SSEC/Wisc-Uni)

IR satellite image of the massive storm system heading north to Canada Tuesday after causing widespread damage in the midwest.Source: NOAA.

The system set a record low barometric pressure of 955.2mb in Minnesota, or the equivalent of cat. 3 hurricane [on land.]  The storm caused significant damage to buildings in Lincoln County, N.C., Racine, Wisconsin and Peotone, Illinois. Some structural damage in St. Louis, Missouri, were also reported.
At least 11 people were injured after a tornado swept through Lincoln County, N.C. causing extensive damage to homes and vehicles, reports say.

Click image to update.


Tornado watches extended from western New York through Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, as well for southern Ontario, Canada. At least 21 tornadoes were reported by Tuesday evening.

National Weather Service Warnings, Watches and Advisories

Click image to enter NOAA portal.

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Tsunami Claims 200 After 7.7Mw Quake Strikes Indonesia

Posted by feww on October 26, 2010

At Least 200 Dead or Missing After Tsunami Created by Powerful Quake Destroys Villages Off Western Indonesia

At least 10 villages were obliterated by a 3-m high tsunami created after a 7.7Mw quake struck off the Mentawai islands, Sumatra, western Indonesia.

A huge white wave which was created by the quake washed away  just about everything in sight, eyewitnesses said.

At least 25 people are confirmed dead with about 170 others [local officials say at least 380 people] reported  as missing.

Earthquake Location Map. Source: USGS-EHP. Enhanced by Fire-Earth.

Mount Merapi Erupts

Meanwhile  the volatile Mount Merapi volcano began erupting Tuesday after rumbling for about 24 hours.

State vulcanologists believe that the pressure buildup withing Merapi could lead to powerful explosions.

About 40,000 people living on the slopes of the volcano have been evacuated.

Mount Merapi rumbled for many hours before spewing smoke on Tuesday. Photo shows volcano from Balerante, Central Java, Indonesia. Merapi last erupted in 2006. About 1,400 people have been killed as a result of 3 previous eruptions since 1930. Image Credit: AP. Caption: Fire-Earth.

New Zealand Earthquake Forecast:

Fire-Earth Moderators believe a large earthquake measuring about 8.8Mw could strike New Zealand Region.

Earthquake Details

  • Magnitude: 7.7
  • Date-Time:
    • Monday, October 25, 2010 at 14:42:22 UTC
    • Monday, October 25, 2010 at 09:42:22 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 3.484°S, 100.114°E
  • Depth: 20.6 km
  • Distances:
    • 240 km (150 miles) W of Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • 280 km (175 miles) S of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • 305 km (190 miles) W of Lubuklinggau, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • 795 km (500 miles) WNW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
  • Location Uncertainty:
    • horizontal +/- 5.3 km (3.3 miles)
    • depth +/- 3.4 km (2.1 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: usa00043nx

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Posted in Indonesia earthquake, Indonesia quake, Indonesia tsunami, Mentawai islands, tsunami, volcano alert | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Remember Rohingya?

Posted by feww on October 25, 2010

Image of the Day:

Drowning the Demonic Deity

Nationwide Floods in Thailand Claim at least 41 Lives

Up to 3 million people across the country have been affected by the flooding that began on October 10 and that now threatens the capital, Bang-kok.

The flooding has inundated at least 30 out of the country’s 76 provinces, according to Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

Photo shows the the 10-rai temple compound in tambon Sai Noi submerged under 2m of water. Credit: SUNTHORNPONGPAO. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in Demonic Deity, Flash Flooding, flooding, monsoon rain | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Naples Garbage Opera – Act III

Posted by feww on October 24, 2010

Images of the Day:

2½ years Later…

It’s NOT Our Problem!

Garbage is piling up in Naples‘ city center. Credit:  EPA/CIRO FUSCO. Image may be subject to copyright.

Police riot squads clash with demonstrators in Terzigno, near Naples, Italy.
Demonstrators oppose plans to use a site near Naples as garbage dump . They clashed with the police and set vehicle alight. Credit: Salvatore Laporta /AP Photo. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in mafia business, Naples Garbage Disaster, Nessun dorma, Toxic Asylum, Triangle of Death | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Whooping Cough: Calif Epidemic Claims 10th Life

Posted by feww on October 23, 2010

California whooping cough outbreak claims its tenth victim, a six-week-old baby in San Diego

The outbreak is the worst in 60 years, Calif health officials say.

Whooping cough (pertussis) is highly contagious disease, however infants under the age of 60 days cannot be vaccinated, medical sources say.

As of posting, about 6,000 have been infected in California; however, whooping cough has also become a nationwide concern.

Child with broken blood vessels in eyes and bruising on face due to pertussis coughing. Source: vaccine Information

“Pertussis is a cyclical disease that has had a five-year wave of historic patterns,” a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health said. “We are at the top of the five-year pattern [in California,]” he said.

In the late 1950s a record 13 people died from pertussis in one year, he said.

About 17,000 cases of pertussis were reported nationwide in 2009. In San Diego County 37 new cases have been reported so far this month.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breathes which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age. (Source: CDC)

Pertussis (whooping cough) Progression. Source: CDC. Click image to enlarge.

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WHO’s Disinformation Regime Exposed [AGAIN]

Posted by feww on October 21, 2010

India malaria deaths grossly underestimated: Report

At least 205,000 people die from malaria in India each year, 13 times higher than UN estimates

When the Moderators posted the following CAUTION on Fire-Earth’s display margins, a number of readers called the action “irresponsible”

All technical information and scientific data released by US Government agencies (e.g., NASA, EPA…) are subject to sudden variation because of political expediency. This caution also extends to the fidelity of the information provided by UN organizations (e.g., FAO, WHO…)

New data, published in the Lancet medical journal, indicates that 13 times more malaria deaths occur in India than the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) previously suggested..

The authors reveal that 205,000 people die before the age of 70  by malaria in India each year.

Field workers investigated at least 122,000 premature deaths between 2001 and 2003 for the purpose of this study.

However, and despite the glaring evidence, Dr Robert Newman, the director of its global malaria program at WHO said, the report had “implausibly high case incidence rates”, which indicated that the findings of this study cannot be trusted.

“It is vital to evaluate cause of death correctly because different diseases require different strategies for control,” he added contemptuously.

The report also suggests that huge under-reporting of malaria deaths in other countries including Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan may be occurring.

Going to press…

A reader in Europe has just informed us that Reseaux IP Europeens Network Co-ordination Centre has blocked large sections of Fire-Earth blog  in the  RIPE NCC Region, which includes the following countries:

  • OMAN

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Posted in India malaria deaths, infectious diseases, U.N., World Health Organization | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

NGC 3982

Posted by feww on October 21, 2010

Image of the Day

Spiral Galaxy NGC 3982: So Near, Yet So Far!

Homo erectus accumulated some knowledge, but couldn’t shape it into wisdom, to carve a path into the future…

Original Caption: Though the universe is chock full of spiral-shaped galaxies, no two look exactly the same. This face-on spiral galaxy, called NGC 3982, is striking for its rich tapestry of star birth, along with its winding arms. The arms are lined with pink star-forming regions of glowing hydrogen, newborn blue star clusters, and obscuring dust lanes that provide the raw material for future generations of stars. The bright nucleus is home to an older population of stars, which grow ever more densely packed toward the center.

NGC 3982 is located about 68 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The galaxy spans about 30,000 light-years, one-third of the size of our Milky Way galaxy. This color image is composed of exposures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). The observations were taken between March 2000 and August 2009. The rich color range comes from the fact that the galaxy was photographed invisible and near-infrared light. Also used was a filter that isolates hydrogen emission that emanates from bright star-forming regions dotting the spiral arms.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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MEGI Re-Intensifies to Cat 4

Posted by feww on October 20, 2010

Humongous typhoon MEGI has restrengthened to cat 4 with sustained winds of about 200 km/hr

In all likelihood, MEGI could re-intensify to a super typhoon before striking her next targets.

Typhoon MEGI IR Satellite Image Acquired at 10:00 UTC on 10-20-2010. Source: Digital Typhoon.
Click image to enlarge.

Profile of a Restrengthening Deadly Typhoon. IR/WV Difference satellite Image.
Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

As usual, the UKM forecast was made by comedians (!)

Typhoon MEGI Projected Paths as of  10-20-2010. Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

Heat-seeking MEGI restrengthening in warmer waters of South China Sea

Sea Surface Temperatures in South China Sea.
Source:NCEP via CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

MEGI could deliver about 1,000 mm of rain to its target destinations in southern China

Typhoon MEGI – Total Precipitable Water.
Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

Typhoon MEGI – Visible image captured by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite at 1:30 a.m. EDT on October 20, 2010 . Source: NASA-EO.  Click image to enlarge. Download large image (5 MB, JPEG)

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Posted in MEGI forecast track, Satellite Image of typhoon Megi, Super Typhoon Megi, typhoon, Typhoon Megi projected paths | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

MEGI Regaining Strength, Headed Toward China

Posted by feww on October 19, 2010

Typhoon MEGI Regaining Strength on the Way to China

MEGI killed at least a dozen people in the Philippines; it has now cleared Luzon, and is expected to strike China’s southern Guangdong province, possibly as a cat 4 to 5 hurricane in the next 72 hours.

Typhoon MEGI Regaining Strength in South China Sea. IR Satellite Image (NHC Enhancement). Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

The super typhoon cut a swathe of destruction through northern Luzon, the main island of the Philippines, destroying tens of thousands of homes, uprooting trees, cutting power and communication lines and affecting at least  a million people in five of the country’s northern provinces and the resort city Baguio.

The typhoon also caused extensive flooding and triggererd landslides throughout the region.

About 80 percent of homes “in rice-producing Ilagan and Tumauini towns were destroyed or damaged,” a report said.

“We’ll try to reach coastal towns facing the Pacific, because there were reports 90 percent of the houses there were wiped out,” a senior official told reporters.

Typhoon MEGI Forecast paths. Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

As of posting Vietnam and Thailand’s northeast have seen extensive flooding, leaving thousands of people homeless with four reported deaths so far, reports say.

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Posted in Cagayan, Ilagan, Isabela province, Luzon, Tumauini, typhoon | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

State of calamity declared in Isabela, Philippines

Posted by feww on October 18, 2010

Super Typhoon MEGI Strikes Northern Luzon, Philippines

Super Typhoon MEGI – VIS/IR Satellite Image . Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

Super typhoon MEGI (the 13th typhoon of the year in the region,) the 10th and strongest typhoon to strike the Philippines this year, hit Isabela province this morning and led to the state’s governor declaring a state of disaster.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from two northern states of Isabela and Cagayan.

MEGI uprooted trees, destroyed houses, cut off power and communication lines, and forced dozens of flight cancellations across Luzon island, and may have cause substantial damage to the region’s rice crop.

“In six hours from 8 a.m. (0000 GMT), the city of Tuguegarao in Cagayan had 54 mm (2.2 inch) of rain, while Baguio City on the western side of Luzon had 28 mm, the weather bureau said,” Reuters reported.

The typhoon has already claimed at least one life, local media reported. Up to 100,000 metric tons of rice may have been lost.

MEGI should enter the South China Sea Tuesday, according to China’s meteorological authorities, a report said, where “torrential rains have already forced the evacuation of almost 140,000 people in the southern island province of Hainan.”

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Posted in environment, Satellite Image of typhoon Megi, Super Typhoon JUAN, Super Typhoon Megi, typhoon | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Super Typhoon MEGI

Posted by feww on October 17, 2010

Super Typhoon MEGI Heads Toward Northern Luzon, Philippines

With sustained winds of more than 260 km/hr, cat. 5 MEGI could be one of the most powerful typhoons to strike the northern Philippines.

MEGI is expected to make a landfall on Monday (local time) in Cagayan province in NE corner of the Philippines main island of Luzon.

Super Typhoon MEGI
IR Satellite Image (NHC Enhancement). Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

Super Typhoon MEGI Forecast paths. Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

MEGI (known locally as Juan) is expected to bring giant waves of greater than 14 meters (46 ft) off the east coast of Luzon, causing flash floods, landslides and storm surges to the disaster prone island.

The super typhoon could dump about 20 mm (8 inches) of rain per hour, forecasters said.

Posted in Super Typhoon JUAN, typhoon | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

T-Rex NO Different to Homo Economicus

Posted by feww on October 16, 2010

Tyrannosaurus Rex May Have Been Cannibals Like the Homo Economicus

Image of the Day:

The marks are interpreted as feeding traces and these fossils therefore record instances of cannibalism. Given that this behavior has a low preservation potential, cannibalism seems to have been a surprisingly common behavior in Tyrannosaurus, and this behavior may have been relatively common in carnivorous dinosaurs.

“They’re the kind of marks that any big carnivore could have made, but T. rex was the only big carnivore in western North America 65 million years ago.”

Citation: Longrich NR, Horner JR, Erickson GM, Currie PJ (2010) Cannibalism in Tyrannosaurus rex. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13419. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013419

Tyrannosaurus rex

“The tyrannosaurids are a highly specialized group of carnivorous dinosaurs characterized by massive skulls, elongate hindlimbs, and highly reduced, didactyl forelimbs [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]. During the Late Cretaceous, they were the dominant large carnivores in North America and Asia [4], [5], with Tyrannosaurus rex being the last and the largest known member of the Tyrannosauridae.”

Figure 1.
Tooth marks made by Tyrannosaurus rex.

A, hadrosaurid metatarsal (UCMP uncatalogued) and closeup of tooth marks on distal articular surface. B, fragment of hadrosaurid pubis (CM 105) showing tooth marks on prepubic process. C, ceratopsid? frill element (TMP 1998.102.2) showing tooth mark. D, Triceratops right squamosal (YPM 53263) showing tooth marks on edge.


Figure 2.
Tyrannosaurus rex bones bearing tooth marks made by Tyrannosaurus rex.

A1, A2: UCMP 137538, pedal phalanx in dorsal view. B1, B2: Pedal phalanx, MOR 1126, dorsal view. C1, C2, Humerus of MOR 902 in caudal view. D1, D2 metatarsal III of T. rex MOR 1602, medial view.


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CO2 Controls Earth’s Temperature

Posted by feww on October 15, 2010

Atmospheric CO2  acts as Earth’s thermostat: Study

A new modeling study shows that the planet’s temperature is controlled by the atmospheric CO2, NASA says.

Various atmospheric components differ in their contributions to the greenhouse effect, some through feedbacks and some through forcings. Without carbon dioxide and other non-condensing greenhouse gases, water vapor and clouds would be unable to provide the feedback mechanisms that amplify the greenhouse effect. Source: NASA GISS

Water vapor and clouds are the major contributors to Earth’s greenhouse effect, but a new atmosphere-ocean climate modeling study shows that the planet’s temperature ultimately depends on the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide.

The study, conducted by Andrew Lacis and colleagues at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, examined the nature of Earth’s greenhouse effect and clarified the role that greenhouse gases and clouds play in absorbing outgoing infrared radiation. Notably, the team identified non-condensing greenhouse gases — such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons — as providing the core support for the terrestrial greenhouse effect.

Without non-condensing greenhouse gases, water vapor and clouds would be unable to provide the feedback mechanisms that amplify the greenhouse effect. The study’s results will be published Friday, Oct. 15 in Science.

A companion study led by GISS co-author Gavin Schmidt that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research shows that carbon dioxide accounts for about 20 percent of the greenhouse effect, water vapor and clouds together account for 75 percent, and minor gases and aerosols make up the remaining five percent. However, it is the 25 percent non-condensing greenhouse gas component, which includes carbon dioxide, that is the key factor in sustaining Earth’s greenhouse effect. By this accounting, carbon dioxide is responsible for 80 percent of the radiative forcing that sustains the Earth’s greenhouse effect.

The climate forcing experiment described in Science was simple in design and concept — all of the non-condensing greenhouse gases and aerosols were zeroed out, and the global climate model was run forward in time to see what would happen to the greenhouse effect. Without the sustaining support by the non-condensing greenhouse gases, Earth’s greenhouse effect collapsed as water vapor quickly precipitated from the atmosphere, plunging the model Earth into an icebound state — a clear demonstration that water vapor, although contributing 50 percent of the total greenhouse warming, acts as a feedback process, and as such, cannot by itself uphold the Earth’s greenhouse effect.

“Our climate modeling simulation should be viewed as an experiment in atmospheric physics, illustrating a cause and effect problem which allowed us to gain a better understanding of the working mechanics of Earth’s greenhouse effect, and enabled us to demonstrate the direct relationship that exists between rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising global temperature,” Lacis said.

The study ties in to the geologic record in which carbon dioxide levels have oscillated between approximately 180 parts per million during ice ages, and about 280 parts per million during warmer interglacial periods. To provide perspective to the nearly 1 C (1.8 F) increase in global temperature over the past century, it is estimated that the global mean temperature difference between the extremes of the ice age and interglacial periods is only about 5 C (9 F).

“When carbon dioxide increases, more water vapor returns to the atmosphere. This is what helped to melt the glaciers that once covered New York City,” said co-author David Rind, of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “Today we are in uncharted territory as carbon dioxide approaches 390 parts per million in what has been referred to as the ‘superinterglacial.'”

“The bottom line is that atmospheric carbon dioxide acts as a thermostat in regulating the temperature of Earth,” Lacis said. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has fully documented the fact that industrial activity is responsible for the rapidly increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It is not surprising then that global warming can be linked directly to the observed increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and to human industrial activity in general.”

More Reading

by Kathryn Hansen, NASA’s Earth Science News

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Posted in anthropogenic CO2, feedbacks, forcings, Global Warming, greenhouse effect, superinterglacial | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

HK’s Air Pollution Claims 600 Lives

Posted by feww on October 14, 2010

Hong Kong’s roadside air pollution breaks yet another record

Hong Kong Air Pollution. Source:
Crazy Hong Kong. Image may be subject to copyright. Click images to enlarge.

At least 594 people have died prematurely in 2010 from the effects of worsening pollution levels in HK, the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health has reported.

“The figure has already surpassed the official death toll of the SARS epidemic, which is believed to have killed 299 people in Hong Kong seven years ago,” a report said.

Roadside pollution set a new record in the March quarter, teh report said.

The University of Hong Kong’s Hedley Environmental Index (HEI) shows that the 2010 air pollution has already cost the region HK$1.3 billion (US$167.54 million). The deadly smog has also been responsible for 4.36 million doctor visits and about  45,000 hospital stays, the report said.

Deadly Smog Over China

Download large image
(5 MB, JPEG) — images were  acquired October 8, 2010

A high-pressure weather system over eastern China led to air pollution accumulating in the region for about a week. China’s National Environmental Monitoring Center declared air quality “hazardous” around Beijing and in 11 eastern provinces on October 10, as visibility was reduced to about 100 meters (330 feet). The poor visibility also led to  at least 32 deaths in traffic accident, reports say. “On October 8, 2010, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites captured this natural color view of the smog event in China. The milky white and gray covering the center of the image is smog and fog, while the brighter whites at the left and right edges are clouds.” NASA EO said. “The Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA’s Aura satellite detected extremely high levels of aerosol particles (lower left image) and sulfur dioxide (lower right) on October 8. The sulfur dioxide typically comes from coal-burning power plants and smelters, and the peak concentrations—6 to 8 Dobson Units—were six to eight times the norm for China and 20 times the norm for the United States. The Aerosol Index indicates the presence of ultraviolet light-absorbing aerosols, most likely smoke from fires and industrial processes. At an AI value of 4, aerosols are so dense that you would have difficulty seeing the midday sun.”

“More than half of China’s total water supply is undrinkable. And nearly a quarter of China’s surface water is considered unsafe even for industrial use. Acid rain is also threatening major cities like Shanghai,” a report said.

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Hurricane PAULA

Posted by feww on October 13, 2010

Image of the Day:

PAULA Strengthens to a Cat. 2 Hurricane, Threatens Cuba

Hurricane PAULA IR Satellite Image (NHC Enhancement). Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

Hurricane PAULA Projected Paths. Source: CIMSS. Click image to enlarge.

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Energy Dinosaurs Fight for 2nd Place

Posted by feww on October 12, 2010

‘China has overtaken the U.S. as world’s largest energy user’

“China is now the largest energy consumer by our definition,” the China-bashing Japanese head of the discredited International Energy Agency (IEA), Nobuo Tanaka, reported.

“Probably half of the oil demand increase comes from China. Nobody knows when it (will) slow down.”

A Chinese energy official has since rejected the claim made by the Japanese director of the IEA.

“IEA’s data on China’s energy use is unreliable,” Zhou Xian, an official at China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), told reporters.

IEA says China consumed 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent (toe) in 2009, compared with United State’s 2.17 billion tons.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics  reported in February that the country’s 2009 energy consumption was 3.1 billion tons of standard coal equivalent, or 2.132 billion tons of oil equivalent.

Regardless of the bitching and hysterics, the fact remains that between them the two energy tyrannosaurs are devouring the planet into oblivion, jointly consuming about 43 percent of the world’s energy output.

Editor’s Notes:

1. The IEA (OECD)  defines one toe as 41.868 gigajoules (GJ) , or 11.63 MWh.

2. A ton of coal equivalent (TCE) has a conventional value of 7 gigacalories, or 29.3076 GJ.

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Posted in Nobuo Tanaka, world energy consumption | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mystery Virus Kills 256 in India

Posted by feww on October 11, 2010

Mystery fever in India’s state of Uttar Pradesh kills 256 people in just a ‘few days’

At least 13 more deaths have been reported since yesterday, pushing the death toll to 256, as hundreds of people infected with the unidentified virus swarm the district hospital in Akbarpur, Ramabai Nagar district (Kanpur Dehat), a report said.

At least 400 children have been infected with the mystery bug, district officials have reported.

“The disease started from Ahrauli Sheikh village in Amraudha block and within a month’s time spread to 48 villages, housing 3,000 families. It was also learnt that the infants who fell victims to the disease were suffering from acute malnutrition. ‘The infants were suffering from malnutrition and that made some of them vulnerable to the killer virus,’ said district nodal officer (epidemic) Arvind Sachan.” Times of India (TOI) reported.

“The new public health centres (PHC) in Sandalpur, Ursan, Musanagar, Gujrain, Kurwa Khurd and Baraur are operating without doctors and proper para-medical staff. Doctors sit at their private dispensaries in other villages. Our loved ones have died for no fault of theirs. Even none of the senior representatives from the state came here to take a note of the situation,”  a social activist and a resident of Ahrauli Sheikh village told TOI.

Posted in killer bug, mystery bug, Mystery fever, Ramabai Nagar district, unidentified virus | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The hidden fires of the Flame Nebula

Posted by feww on October 10, 2010

Image of the Day:

Flame Nebula (NGC 2024)

Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), the star-forming region in the constellation of Orion (the Hunter), and its surroundings are shown in this infrared light image released by VISTA, reportedly the world’s largest survey telescope. Image shows the cluster of very young stars at the object’s heart. “The wide-field VISTA view also includes the glow of the reflection nebula NGC 2023, just below centre, and the ghostly outline of the Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) towards the lower right. The bright bluish star towards the right is one of the three bright stars forming the Belt of Orion.” Source: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA.

VISTA ― the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy ― is the newest telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile.

Posted in Belt of Orion, constellation of Orion, Horsehead Nebula, NGC 2024, VISTA | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hungarian Rhapsody in Red Major

Posted by feww on October 9, 2010

Hungary’s toxic reservoir may collapse

Hungarian town evacuated as cracks appear on reservoir walls

“Last night the interior minister informed us that cracks have appeared in the northern wall of the reservoir, whose corner collapsed, which make it likely that the entire wall will collapse,” Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban said.

An aerial view shows houses affected by a toxic red sludge spill from a Hungarian alumina plant, in Devecser, near Ajka, 100 miles (160 kilometres) southwest of Budapest October 7, 2010. Source: Greenpeace via Reuters

Up to a dozen people have been killed and scores more injured after one million cubic meters of toxic waste sludge escaped from Hungary’s MAL Zrt alumina plant reservoir inundating seven villages, local waterways and six rivers earlier this week.

The damaged reservoir near Hungary’s MAL Zrt alumina plant is seen from the air in Kolontar, 150 km (93.2 miles) west of Budapest, October 9, 2010.
Credit: REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh,. Image may be subject to copyright.

Up to half a million cubic meters of even deadlier sludge could now escape from the reservoir as a wall in the dam appears to be collapsing, Mr Orban said.

“The detached parts of the dam are growing apart, the distance between them widened by 7 cm from late last night until this morning … so it is very likely that we have to reckon on this wall collapsing.”

Some 715 people have been evacuated from the village of Kolontar, the worst affected area from the first wave of the spill on Monday.

Disaster teams are on stand by to evacuate the town of Devecser (population of 6,000), if necessary,  Reuters quoted Hungary’s national news agency (MTI) as saying.

An aerial view shows a toxic red sludge spill from a Hungarian alumina plant, near Ajka, 100 miles (160 kilometres) southwest of Budapest October 7, 2010.  Source: Greenpeace via Reuters

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Posted in environment, Hungary disaster, Hungary sludge spill, Mosoni branch of the Danube, Veszprem | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

China determined to go all the way!

Posted by feww on October 8, 2010

Polluting the earth day in day out, and expecting ‘miracles’

Business as usual in the world’s top GHG polluter, despite the evident consequences

Image of the Day:

Thought Hainan Was an Island!!

Original Caption: A woman walks in a water-flooded residence community after heavy rainfall in Haikou, capital of south China’s Hainan Province, Oct. 8, 2010. Haikou witnessed successive heavy rainfall for eight days and the rainfall flooded many roads and streets here. Local meteorological department forecasted that the rain won’t stop until Oct. 11. (Xinhua/Fu Yongtao). Image may be subject to copyright. More images…

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Posted in carbon emissions, carbon footprint, Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar, extreme climatic events, extreme rain event, hainan | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Painting the Danube Alkaline Red

Posted by feww on October 7, 2010

Hungary’s Toxic Sludge Spill Has Killed All the Fish in the Marcal River

“It’s a serious ecological catastrophe,” Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.

Hungary’s Deadly Red Sludge Moves Toward the Danube. Freeze frame from a a BBC UK news video clip. Image may be subject to copyright. Click image to enlarge.

The Spill

At least seven villages were inundated by the deadly sludge on Monday after an alumina plant reservoir burst in the western county of Veszprem in Hungary.

The death toll currently stands at 4, with at least 3 people reported as missing and more than 120 injured, some of them with  severe burns.

“Visiting the village of Kolontar on Thursday, he said the worst-hit areas would have to be abandoned,” the report said.

As of Thursday morning the deadly sludge had reached the Raba river, and the Mosoni branch of the Danube, some 10km from the main branch, by early afternoon, Tibor Dobson, head of disaster relief in the area was quoted as saying.

The government suspended production at the MAL Zrt alumina plant on Tuesday, and declared a state of emergency in three counties.

Map of Danube.

The Danube

The Danube originates in Germany’s the Black Forest as two small rivers: Brigach and Breg. The Danube then flows southeastward for about 3,000 km passing through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, before emptying into the Black Sea at the Danube Delta shared by Romania and Ukraine.

Danube passes through the following cities:

Cities Ulm, Ingolstadt, Regensburg, Passau, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Mohács, Vukovar, Bačka Palanka, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Vidin, Rousse, Galaţi.

The Disaster Area

Source BBC.  Image may be subject to copyright.

A House in the Kotontar Village

A man stands in his destroyed home in the flooded village of Kolontar, 150 km (93 miles) west of Budapest October 6, 2010.  Credit: REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh. Image may be subject to copyright.

Posted in danube, ecological catastrophe, Hungary disaster, Kolontar disaster, MAL Zrt | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »