Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What If The World Went Vegetarian?

Could 'Planet X' Cause Comet Catastrophes on Earth?

[Discovery News] As astronomers track down more clues as to the existence of a large world orbiting the sun in the outer fringes of the solar system, a classic planetary purveyor of doom has been resurrected as a possible trigger behind mass extinctions on Earth.
Yes, I’m talking about “Planet X.” And yes, there’s going to be hype.
Before we dive into comet impacts, extinctions and possible exciting planet discoveries, let’s look at the dramatic history of Planet X.
At the turn of the 20th Century, astronomers were trying to track down massive planets in the outer solar system using a neat trick of planetary discovery that had already been developed by studying the orbits of known planets to see if they display any strange anomalies.
In 1846, Neptune was discovered in this way after French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier and British mathematician and astronomer John Couch Adams independently calculated the precise location of the planet by looking at orbital perturbations in Uranus’ orbit. The gravitational bulk of Neptune was intermittently tugging on Uranus, producing anomalies in its motion. Naturally, when Neptune was known, astronomers tried that trick again by precisely following Neptune’s orbit. Anomalies were found and the hunt for yet another as-yet-to-be-seen massive planet was on. This was the original hunt for Planet X.
When Pluto was discovered in 1930 by US astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, it was thought the distant world was another massive planet. However, over the years, it became clear that Neptune’s orbital perturbations were down to observational error and Pluto was actually a planetary lightweight and could have no gravitational influence over Neptune’s orbit — a factor that contributed to its re-classification as a dwarf planet in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
Although many more small objects have been discovered in the solar system’s hinterland (a region known as the Kuiper belt), evidence for a massive world has been wanting. The hunt for a massive Planet X pretty much ended with the discovery of Pluto.
But the mysteries of the outer solar system kept beckoning scientists and conspiracy theorists alike. Some oddities in the distribution of Kuiper belt objects, for example, appeared to hint at a massive object slowly plodding in an orbit beyond Pluto. Also, by studying the paleontological record of Earth, our planet appears to have been impacted by quasi-periodic mass extinction events. Could an undiscovered planetary body be rampaging through the Kuiper belt (or even the more distant Oort cloud), destabilizing the orbits of comets, which are then sent hurtling into the inner solar system causing all kinds of havoc to life on our planet every few million years? Read More

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Longing for Love

Scientists: Idaho volcanic explosion rivaled Yellowstone

[Post Register] Before the hotspot that created Yellowstone National Park’s incredible geysers, fumaroles and mud pots arrived in what is now northwestern Wyoming, it made a rowdy passage through southern Idaho.
Recent research has looked at that ancient geological history in greater detail and identified 12 major eruptions in southern Idaho, one of which was a super eruption similar in scale to Yellowstone’s most recent caldera-forming explosion about 640,000 years ago.
“Initially, people thought there were a lot more eruptions that were smaller,” said David Finn, a graduate student at the University of California Santa Cruz who took part in the study. “We’ve shown there were fewer and they were bigger — some of the largest in North America.”
The research is outlined in a recently published paper in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, of which Finn was a co-author. The lead author was Thomas Knott of the University of Leicester.
Over the course of its 17-million-year lifespan, the Yellowstone hotspot has migrated across the Snake River Plain in southern Idaho and northern Nevada to its present location.
“The Great Basin, formed 20 to 30 million years ago, was in existence before Yellowstone was formed and it was already fractured,” explained Bob Smith, a University of Utah scientist who has studied the geodynamics of Yellowstone for 60 years.
About 20 million years ago the Great Basin began stretching to what is now twice its original width, Smith said, fracturing the Earth’s crust and upper mantle in the region. Those fractures and thinning of the lithosphere made it easier for the Yellowstone magma plume to push to the surface and create a series of about 150 volcanic eruptions.
“What we showed were the volcanic eruptions were most intense in early years, then got smaller as they came across the Snake River Plain,” Smith said of some of his earlier research. Read More

A Massive Alaskan Volcano Eruption Could Throw the US Into Travel Chaos

[GizModo] A very active volcano erupted in Alaska yesterday afternoon, sending a giant ash cloud up 37,000 feet in the air. Although the eruption is diverting some flights in the area, it will likely only serve as the subject of some beautiful photos—unless a bunch of ash gets sucked into the jet stream.
Located at the very tip of the Aleutian Islands, Pavlof Volcano is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the region, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Pavlof saw eruptions of similar size in 2013 and 2014.
Although this sort of thing is relatively common, this morning the volcano alert level was raised to “warning,” meaning it’s a potentially hazardous eruption with significant emissions being spewed into the atmosphere. The USGS also raised the aviation code to “red,” meaning that flights are being re-routed to avoid the ash plume. Incredible shots are being captured by the local scientists and by passengers on planes that traveled near the volcano before the alert was raised.
According to volcanologist Ben Edwards, there’s a possibility that Pavlof could morph into something more menacing, but that has to do more with our weather than the eruption. Right now, the plume is moving towards the northeast, towards mainland Alaska. Most of the flights in this area are regional or commuter planes, some of which are being canceled.  Read More

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Scientists warn of perilous climate shift and violent megastorms within decades — not centuries

[National Post] An influential group of scientists led by James Hansen, the former NASA scientist often credited with having drawn the first major attention to climate change in 1988 congressional testimony, has published a dire climate study that suggests the impact of global warming will be quicker and more catastrophic than generally envisioned.
The research invokes collapsing ice sheets, violent megastorms and even the hurling of boulders by giant waves in its quest to suggest that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels would be far too much. Hansen has called it the most important work he has ever done.
The sweeping paper, 52 pages in length and with 19 authors, draws on evidence from ancient climate change or “paleo-climatology,” as well as climate experiments using computer models and some modern observations. Calling it a “paper” really isn’t quite right – it’s actually a synthesis of a wide range of old, and new, evidence.
“I think almost everybody who’s really familiar with both paleo and modern is now very concerned that we are approaching, if we have not passed, the points at which we have locked in really big changes for young people and future generations,” Hansen said in an interview. Read More
Read the Study 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rising seas to displace millions on coasts, demographers warn

[SF Gate] Millions of Americans living along the nation’s coasts will be forced to move inland by the end of the century as sea levels rise and storm surges become more frequent in this era of global climate change, a team of demographers foresees.
And nearly 700,000 coastal residents in the Bay Area would be forced to move from their low-lying neighborhoods under the most extreme conditions, the forecasters say.
According to their study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, America’s coastal areas, where as many as 13.1 million people will be living, could be prone to flooding by 2100. In the Bay Area, 250,000 people living in low-lying parts of San Mateo County would be forced to move, and in San Francisco some 33,000 would be affected, the researchers calculate.
The county-by-county analysis of America’s coastal states was put together by demographers at the University of Georgia who have tracked future population trends facing the predicted rise of oceans as the world grows warmer.
Their forecasts, they say, indicate that that if sea levels rise 3 feet by the end of this century, many sections of America’s coastal lands will be underwater and a total of 4.2 million people will have been forced to move toward higher ground.
And if the oceans rise by as much as 6 feet, the drowning lands will have sent 13.1 million Americans moving to higher ground, the demographers say.
Climate records show that sea levels around the world have been rising steadily since at least 1900, and NASA satellites have determined that the rate has doubled in the past 20 years.
Glaciers melting on Greenland and throughout the world, Antarctica’s vast ice sheets falling into the sea, and the ocean water itself expanding as temperatures warm are among the causes, climate scientists say.
Mathew E. Hauer, a demographer at the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, said he and his colleagues made their detailed forecasts by studying population trends in every American census block in every county of the 23 coastal states and the District of Columbia that could be affected by rising sea levels.
In the Bay Area’s nine counties, for example, Hauer’s group estimates that more than 350,000 people will be forced to move to higher elevations before a sea level rise of 3 feet drowns their homes by the end of this century. If sea level rise reaches 6 feet, the total forced to move will reach more than 680,000, the group estimates.
One of those people could well be Katharine Mach, a Stanford climate specialist and senior research associate at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford, who lives in San Mateo County. Read More

Thursday, March 10, 2016

THE BLAZING HEART - A portrait of Amma Sri Karunamayi

Climate Engineering, Final Fatal Folly Of The Human Race

[GeoEngineering Watch]Planet Earth, and all that live on it, are in the throws of unimaginable and immediate upheavals.  Even at this late hour, with the walls closing in from every side, the vast majority are completely oblivious to the tidal wave that is towering above our heads. Earth's climate and life support systems are unraveling at unimaginable speed as we free fall into the 6th great mass extinction on our planet.  In spite of all this verifiably and undeniably occurring, for the vast majority the immediate threat of a lifeless planet is not even on the radar as the graph below clearly indicates. 
The total moral depravity, deception and betrayal by mainstream media  has now ensured that the population as a whole has no idea how close the current reality is to completely and permanently disintegrating. 
Our planet is dying, this is a statistical and mathematical fact. The life that Earth has supported for untold millions of years will soon perish if there is not an immediate and total change of direction for the human race.
As anthropogenic activity began to overburden and heat the biosphere (since the onset of the industrial revolution),  some 70+ years ago those in power made the fateful decision to attempt the engineering of Earth's climate system in the self-serving and suicidal effort to keep "business as usual" and to use the weather as a weapon of war. Aside from the inarguable destruction of weather warfare, the ever expanding global geoengineering/solar radiation management/ocean fertilization programs have now manifested into the greatest and most immediate threat to life on Earth short of nuclear cataclysm. Recent studies confirm that  geoengineering and ocean fertilization CAN'T WORK. After 70+ years of climate engineering and weather warfare, the planet now appears to be descending into a runaway greenhouse event, an "abrupt climate shift" that could lead to "Venus Syndrome". Read More

The Lesson of the Drought

[Patriot Post] Here in Northern California we have finally had some serious storms with steady and prolonged rain, and we pray for much, much more and hope that this will become a “March miracle.” We are years into a drought in a state and in a region (the West) that is overpopulated. The long-term rainfall patterns and the current El Nino event gave us hope for relief, but, thus far, it has been a disappointment. Last summer I caught shower water in plastic containers and carried it out to try to keep some of our lawn alive. If the rains continue for another six or eight weeks we may be able to avoid severe water rationing this summer and fall. If they do not continue, we are in trouble. The quality of life here will suffer if lawns and gardens die, farmers and ranchers are ruined and food becomes scarcer and more expensive, and if even Sacramento’s beautiful and abundant trees begin to die. There is even a chance that in another year or two the taps may run dry in many towns and even in the larger cities. California will become uninhabitable, and our homes will become worthless. The most extreme and very remote possibility is that ten or twenty million people will have no food to eat, no water to drink, and no place to go. Needless to say, all of this would hurt the rest of the nation as well.
Perhaps I fear drought more than most, for when I was a child we lived on a farm/ranch for three years in South Texas during one of the worst droughts ever to hit that state, with conditions rivaling the Dust Bowl of the nineteen thirties, including apocalyptic dust storms that seeped into our house, covering everything. We were all but ruined and experienced a kind of poverty unknown to today’s pampered and privileged inner city welfare types. Read More

Terrifying simulation shows how the Pacific Northwest could be decimated by a megaquake caused by the Cascadia fault

[Daily Mail] The threat of the ‘Big One’ has loomed over the Pacific Northwest for years.
A powerful earthquake thought to be as large as 9.2 magnitude ripped through the earth in 1700, along the 620 mile stretch of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, causing severe shaking and a massive tsunami.
Now, a terrifying new simulation from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has plotted the path of the tsunami as it traveled from the US to Japan.
Experts say an event of this kind occurs roughly every 400-600 years, and the area is now overdue for a similar quake that could leave thousands dead or displaced.
The historical tsunami struck the coasts of Japan just before midnight on January 27, 1700.
Scientists have finally traced the origins of this ‘orphan tsunami’ to a powerful seismic event in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, along the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
The researchers analysed sediment deposits and the ‘ghost forests’ of drowned trees, along with historical records from Japan and the oral histories of Native Americans, according to the PTWC.
Comparing the tree rings of dead trees with those still living allowed scientists to pinpoint the date of the last devastating earthquake.
The trees all died in the winter of 1699-1700, and the Pacific Northwest from Northern California to Washington suddenly sank up to 6 feet, flooding the area with seawater.
The animation from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, an effort by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, shows the real time path of the earthquake waves through the ocean, and what happens when the resulting tsunami waves hit land. 
Researchers call this a RIFT model, Real-Time Forecasting of Tsunamis.  
Using the earthquake information, the RIFT model shows movement, and predicts the speed, wavelength, and amplitude of the waves.
Wavelengths as well as height are indicated by colour.
The coastlines are all mapped with blue points at first, to represent normal sea level. 
As the tsunami waves reach them, the points will change colour to indicate the height of the incoming waves.
Blue to green points indicate no hazard, yellow to orange indicates low hazard, light red to bright red means significant hazard which requires evacuation, with waves of up to 10 feet, and dark red indicates severe hazard, with waves reaching heights over 10 feet.
In the severe hazard zone, a second-tier evacuation may even be necessary. Read More

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Preparing for the Inevitable Sea-Level Rise

[The Atlantic] Between 1901 and 2010, global sea levels rose an average of 0.19 meters, or roughly seven inches. Over the next century, they’ll continue to rise—but at this point, that’s one of the few things scientists know for certain. Less understood is how fast they’ll rise, or where in the world these changes will be the most pronounced—information that will be crucial in helping coastal communities adapt to climate change.
“This is the burning question,” said Andrea Dutton, an assistant professor of geology at University of Florida. “How quickly will the sea levels rise, and by how much?”
To figure it out, Dutton and other scientists across the United States are studying sea-level changes dating back 125,000 to 400,000 years ago, when global mean temperatures were 1.5 or two degrees Celsius higher than they are today. In some cases, the global mean sea levels during these eras peaked at 20-30 feet above present rates.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the planet is likely to reach those temperatures again by 2100—which means understanding the past millennia could help researchers determine how best to protect vulnerable areas from the rising tides.
The IPCC estimates a maximum 2.69-foot increase over the next hundred years or so, though other estimates are as high as three or four feet. In the meantime, some places have already begun to feel the impact. In southeast Florida, for example, four counties—including Miami Dade and Palm Beach—have formed a coalition called the Southeast Florida Regional Compact to develop strategies for problems like nuisance flooding, land subsidence, and saltwater intrusion into fresh water sources. Similar local efforts are taking place in the communities surrounding the Chesapeake Bay, and in other flooding hotspots around the country. Read More

Preparing for the Really Big One: Cascadia Earthquake, Tsunami Drill

[Emergency MGT] The last damaging earthquake in Washington struck 15 years ago, on Feb. 28, 2001.
The next one is scheduled for June 7.
The ground isn’t expected to actually shake this spring. But nearly 6,000 emergency and military personnel will pretend it is during a four-day exercise to test response to a seismic event that will dwarf the 2001 Nisqually quake: A Cascadia megaquake and tsunami.
Called “Cascadia Rising,” the exercise will be the biggest ever conducted in the Pacific Northwest. Which is fitting, because a rupture on the offshore fault called the Cascadia Subduction Zone could be the biggest natural disaster in U.S. history.
“It’s really going to require the entire nation to respond to an event like this,” said Kenneth Murphy, regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is coordinating the exercise.
While the Nisqually earthquake measured magnitude 6.8, a Cascadia megaquake is likely to hit magnitude 9 — which is nearly 2,000 times more powerful. It will affect the entire West Coast from British Columbia to Northern California, including Seattle, Portland, Tacoma and Vancouver, B.C. The quake will be closely followed by tsunamis 30 feet high — or bigger — that will slam into oceanfront communities. Read More

Alien DNA Raining Down on Earth could Mix with Zika Virus

[The Mirror] Genetic material falling on Earth from outer space could create a supercharged version of the Zika virus, scientists have warned.
Experts claim that the virus, which is spreading across the globe, will become more prevalent and deadly in the future.
Changes in Zika have already been noted, as it's changed to be passable through sexual contact.
The disease, first discovered in monkeys in 1947, had previously only been transferable by mosquito bite.
But now, scientists are warning that it could mutate, growing stronger and spreading more easily - with its victims suffering more serious consequences. Read More

Arctic Sea Ice Growth Could Be Lowest On Record Again

[Think] During wintertime in the northern hemisphere, temperatures drop and Arctic sea ice steadily grows before it starts melting in March. Yet every winter for the past several years, its growth appears to be slowing. This season is proving no different.
The latest reports available Monday show that the Arctic sea ice was at the lowest it’s ever been for this time of year since records began more than three decades ago, according to daily readings from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
“I have a feeling the February sea ice might be the lowest, continuing the record lowest in January,” said Julienne Stroeve, senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. “Air temperatures in the Arctic are warmer than normal … near the poles, for example, about 8 Celsius above normal.”
Sea ice is frozen water that grows and melts on the ocean surface. During its life cycle, sea ice becomes the solid base that wildlife and native communities need to survive. So diminishing sea ice is problematic for the Arctic ecology that includes everything from sea ice algae to migratory birds to marine mammals.
“The seals pup on the ice, so they need it to reproduce. Bears hunt on the ice. They hunt the seals. All these things are very tightly correlated with the extent of the sea ice,” said Raymond Sambrotto, associate research professor at Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in an interview with ThinkProgress.
But sea ice also helps moderate planetary climate with the albedo effect that reflects excessive sunlight back into space. In turn, dwindling sea ice creates large areas of open water that causes the Earth to absorb more of the sun’s solar energy, warming the ocean, the region, and thawing permafrost that holds harmful greenhouse gasses. Read More