Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hurricanes: A perfect storm of chance and climate change?

[BBC] The succession of intense and deadly tropical cyclones that have barreled across the Atlantic in recent weeks have left many people wondering if a threshold of some sort has been crossed. Is this chain of hurricanes evidence of some significant new frontier in our changing climate?
The answer is mostly no, but with worrying undertones of yes.
The first thing to note about this season is that it shows the power of science and weather forecasting.
Every year, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) puts out a hurricane forecast for the season that runs from 1 June to 30 November for the north Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
In August, Noaa updated its predictions, stating that there would be 14-19 named storms and of these, 5-9 would become hurricanes.
To date, we've had seven cyclones that have gained category three status or stronger. So this season is unusual but not unprecedented. The bigger picture shows that between 1981 and 2010 the average was six hurricanes per season. 
What has happened this year is that a number of natural variable factors have come together and helped boost the number and power of these cyclones. In the background, climate change has loaded the dice.  
This season has been particularly warm in the region of the Atlantic where hurricanes form with temperatures 0.5 to 1.0C above average, according to Noaa.
A wetter and stronger monsoon in West Africa and a natural cycle called the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) have also helped boost the energy available for the massive, swirling heat engines that hurricanes become.
Another factor that has helped so many storms form is the lack of wind shear.
Some scientists believe that because this is a neutral El Niño year, there has been less wind shear which tends to break these storms apart.
"There haven't been the upper-level wind flow or lower pockets of moisture that can often erode these storms; all these factors have come together this year," said Prof Richard Allan from the department of meteorology at the University of Reading, UK.
"It relates primarily to the weather, but also the slower fluctuations in the ocean that you get from year to year have produced an unusually strong hurricane season."
That view is echoed by Kerry Emanuel, an eminent atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US.
"The number of hurricanes in the Atlantic varies a great deal from year to year for reasons that have to do with natural climate fluctuations like El Niño and also just plain random variability," he told BBC News.  Read More

Hurricane Maria Live Updates: In Puerto Rico, the Storm ‘Destroyed Us’

[New York Times] Puerto Rico remained in the throes of chaos and devastation Thursday as the remnants of Hurricane Maria continued to dump rain on the island — up to three feet in some areas.
Flash flood warnings persisted, according to the National Hurricane Center, with “catastrophic” flooding “especially in areas of mountainous terrain.”
The strikingly powerful storm had rendered an estimated 3.4 million people without power, and with the territory’s energy grid all but destroyed, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló predicted a long period of recovery. Anxious relatives in the mainland United States and elsewhere took to social media in an effort to find news of their loved ones.
Puerto Rico faces numerous obstacles as it begins to emerge from the storm: the weight of an extended debt and bankruptcy crisis; a recovery process begun after Irma, which killed at least three people and left nearly 70 percent of households without power; the difficulty of getting to an island far from the mainland; and the strain on relief efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other groups already spread thin in the wake of several recent storms.
“Irma gave us a break, but Maria destroyed us,” said Edwin Serrano, a construction worker in Old San Juan.
The storm churned off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic as a Category 3 hurricane on Thursday, and the National Hurricane Center repeated hurricane warnings for late Thursday and early Friday morning for the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos. Read More

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Did California's small earthquakes cause Mexico's big one?

[USA Today] A series of earthquakes plagued Southern California in the past 30 days. Then on Tuesday, a 7.1-magnitude temblor rocked Mexico City. Does this mean The Big One could hit the Golden State next? Experts say no, reiterating that earthquakes happen without warning and it is still impossible to predict the big one. "(Magnitude 3) quakes happen somewhere in the world every few mins. 6 in SoCaL last week. No connection to Mexico," seismologist Lucy Jones said in a barrage of tweets following Mexico's earthquake. It was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City. At least 226 were killed in the earthquake, which occurred exactly 32 years after the 1985 quake that ravaged the city. The quake followed the Sept. 7 magnitude 8.1 earthquake that destroyed a large part of Juchitan and killed dozens of people.
Tuesday's earthquake was preceded by about 12 hours by a magnitude 3.6 earthquake that was centered west of Los Angeles in Westwood.  In the past 30 days, there have been about 10 small earthquakes near the Coachella Valley. They were as far southeast as the Salton Sea's southern end and as far northeast as Big Bear. Read More

New Zealand Rocked by Strong 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake: New Zealand has been rocked by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake which struck southwest of Invercargill, followed by a 5.1 magnitude quake northeast of Seddon. The quake caused 'moderate shaking' reported Geonet. Initial classifications called it a strong quake, hitting 585km southwest of Invercargill at a depth of 10km. Tremors may have been felt in Balclutha, Gore, Invercargill, Lumsden, Roxburgh, Te Anau and Tuatapere, while the Seddon quake was felt strongly in Wellington. New Zealand authorities have issued a reminder to 'drop, cover, and hold' in the event of an earthquake. Read More

Magnitude 5.7 hits Eastern Taiwan: A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck eastern Taiwan at 10:29 p.m. Wednesday, creating intensity-five jolts in Taitung County's Changbin and intensity-four quakes in Guangfu, Hualien County, according to the Central Weather Bureau. The bureau data showed that the epicenter of the temblor lied at a depth of 15.3 km in the Pacific Ocean 74.6 km east-southeast of the Hualien City Hall. Read More

7 Stages of Spiritual Ascension ~ Revealing The Ascension Path

[Love Has Won] The ascension process is what you go through as you transition from being solely focused on the physical as a 3D limited physical being into full awareness of your spiritual nature, power and light. As you progress through the levels of ascension, you reconnect with your open heart, gain a greater sense of purpose and awakening, and merge with your higher selves. This stepping back into complete oneness and connection with divine source light is truly beautiful.
The 7 Different Stages of Ascension:
Self-Examination: The first ascension stage is self-examination. This is where you begin to question the external world around you. You ask questions like “Who am I really? Is there more going on here than meets the eye? Is there more to physical reality than society, the media, and maybe even my family are telling me? Why am I really here? There must be something more.”
Spiritual Study: After reflection comes study. You begin to ask questions and search for the answers which carries you into stage two, which is spiritual study. Diving into spiritual books, research on the internet, enrolling in courses, or going through guided meditations, channelings, or programs. You use what you are learning to answer the questions, “Who am I really. Why am I really here? What is really going on?”
Stepping Into Being of Service Toward Others: You’re beginning to understand more of who you really are and how you can give back to the world. You’re beginning to gain a mastery of some spiritual concepts and ideas. You’re then sharing them with others. This is where the cycle of learning and teaching unfolds. As you step into service on your path, you’re still learning, growing, meditating, looking inward, and doing what you can to reconnect with your light. You realize that serving others is a very large part of why you are really here. This service comes from the heart. It’s not an attempt to get anything from others. It’s simply because you’re waking up, you’re on fire, and your heart is opening. You want to serve, assist, and guide others as you continue to progress on your path.
Heart Illumination: Through your service to others and your continued clearing away of limiting beliefs, emotions, and past negative patterns, your heart actually opens. It becomes illuminated and filled with divine light. You literally become awakened through your heart center. When your heart is open, that light is able to rise upward, opening your throat as well as your ability to listen to divine guidance and hear in the realms of spirit. It continues to rise into your third eye, opening your psychic sight or intuition. It continues up to your crown so that you can experience your direct connection with source and begin living life with the heart-based intention to continue to be of service, shine your full light, fully awaken, and embody all that you are.
You are now living life in a state of love. You are flowing forth forgiveness, tuning into gratitude and choosing love in every moment. This means turning away from fear, from the lower vibrational emotions and experiences, and embodying love. Through this, you embody the full light that you are. Read More