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Scientists: ‘Extreme’ solar storm heading to Earth
The News - Science-Astronomy
September 10, 2014

Scientists say an extreme solar flare is blasting its way to Earth and could mess up some power grids, satellites and radio transmissions.

Forecasters at the Space Weather Prediction Center don't yet know when Wednesday's solar storm will arrive here and which part of the planet will be facing the sun and bear the brunt of the effects. It could be as early as Thursday morning to a few days.

Prediction Center director Tom Berger said scientists will have a better idea after they get more satellite data.

The flare is considered extreme on forecasters' scale, but just barely. Flares like this cause geomagnetic storms which can knock some power grids offline temporarily. They also can damage satellites and disrupt radio transmissions. But they expand the colorful northern lights.

solar storm september 2014

 
EBOLA OUTBREAK : “Worse Case Scenario… An Extinction Event”
The News - Current Events
September 09, 2014

Health officials around the world are scrambling to contain the Ebola virus with many, including the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, now preparing for its eventual escape out of West Africa.

According to CDC director Tom Frieden, the ‘window of opportunity’ for stopping the spread of Ebola is closing rapidly. In July, as the virus surged across west African borders, Frieden downplayed its potential to reach U.S. shores. “It is not a potential of Ebola spreading widely in the U.S.,” claimed Frieden in a preemptive effort to prevent panic. “That is not in the cards.”

 The cards, apparently, have been reshuffled, as Frieden now joins a growing chorus of concerned officials around the world. “This is not just a problem for West Africa, it’s not just a problem for Africa,” Frieden said last week. “It’s a problem for the world, and the world needs to respond.”

In the United States, hospitals are quietly preparing Ebola infection wards and procedures for what many believe is the inevitable arrival of the virus on U.S. shores.

Mathematical models performed by numerous researchers suggest that anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 people globally could contract the virus by December of this year.

FULL ARTICLE

 

 
Stephen Hawking: God particle could wipe out the universe
The News - Science-Astronomy
September 08, 2014

.hawking98.png

Is Stephen Hawking offering only a theoretical doomsday scenario for the Higgs Boson?

Stephen Hawking seems to have turned into the man with the sandwich board that says: "The end is nigh."

Not only has he warned us that aliens might destroy us, but he's also been worrying that artificial intelligence might do the same.

Now he's perceiving a threat that might not merely put an end to Earth, but to the whole Universe.

 
4 Ways the World Can Actually End (That Would Be Worth It)
The News - Humor
September 07, 2014

You are going to die. All of us will, eventually. It's inevitable. With that in mind, have you thought about how you'd like to see it happen? If you're anything like me, you've spent the past couple of weeks thinking about that very thing. Maybe you're still thinking about it. Maybe you hope it happens right fucking now. Who knows?

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
Yes, please!

Except not "yes, please" (start reading captions if you don't know what I'm referring to here), because what you see above is an image of a nuclear blast, and as I discussed in this column the last time I was hoping the world would open up and swallow me whole, a nuclear blast is absurdly survivable. If I'm being completely honest, this strikes me as the most pronounced and recognizable failing of nuclear technology. Scary? Sure. Scary enough? Nope.

At least, it's not scary enough if death is what you fear, because there's a good chance that, instead of killing you, it's just going to make everything terrible around you. You probably have enough "nuclear weapons" capable of doing that in your life right now. If shit is really going to go down, you want it to go down. We sort of talk about that on this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast in that one of the guests once went through an exorcism ...

.. which is something you might want to look into if you expect to be dead soon. Get right with who you need to get right with, you know? Otherwise, it doesn't have much to do with what's happening here. Listen to it anyway.

Now, here's how I hope I die someday.

 

 
Killer robots a small step away and must be outlawed, says top UN official
The News - Science-Astronomy
August 27, 2014

A senior UN official says battlefield robots that can kill without human control are a 'small step' away and should be banned

Killer robots programmed to open fire without human control are just a “small step” from the battlefield and military powers should agree to outlaw them, a top United Nations official has said.

Angela Kane, the UN’s high representative for disarmament, said governments should be more open about programmes to develop the technology and she favoured a pre-emptive ban before it was too late.

She said: “Any weapon of war is terrible, and if you can launch this without human intervention, I think it’s even worse. It compounds the problem and dehumanises it in a way.

“It becomes a faceless war and I think that’s really terrible and so to my mind I think it should be outlawed. The decision is really in the hands of the states who have the capability to develop them."

Ms Kane said there was “a great deal of concern” about the prospect of killer robots being developed that would commit war crimes on the battlefield.

 
Asteroid that 'could wipe out human life' heading for Earth!
The News - Science-Astronomy
August 15, 2014

asteroid 1950 DA

 

Scientists have moved closer to being able to stop a huge asteroid colliding with the Earth and potentially wiping out human life.

Researchers at the University of Tennessee have discovered that blowing the space rock up could make the collision worse by causing several devastating impacts.

Instead, small changes could be made to its surface to disrupt the forces keeping it together and cause it to break up in outer space.

They were studying asteroid 1950 DA, which has a one in 300 chance of hitting the planet on 16 March, 2880.

 
Apocalypse NOW: Killer solar superstorm could destroy Earth at ANY MOMENT
The News - Science-Astronomy
August 02, 2014
VIOLENT solar superstorms could destroy life as we know it at ANY MOMENT, shocked scientists have warned today.

A solar flare could destroy the earth at any moment

Solar flares could destroy the earth at any moment[GETTY]

It is “only a matter of time” before a catastrophic eruption on the surface of the sun hurtles towards the planet with devastating consequences.

The Earth could be the target of an explosion equivalent to “10 billion Hiroshima bombs exploding at the same time”.

It has emerged crisis meetings have been held to discuss how to limit the damage of solar superstorms which present a “long-lasting” threat to all forms of life.

Scientists warn communication systems will be crippled, vital services such as transport, sanitation and medicine will close, and loss of power will plunge the planet into darkness.

Ashley Dale, member of international task force SolarMAX set up to identify the risks of a solar storm, said: “Without power, people would struggle to fuel their cars at petrol stations, get money from cash dispensers or pay online.

“Water and sewage systems would be affected too, meaning that health epidemics in urbanised areas would quickly take a grip, with diseases we thought we had left behind centuries ago soon returning.”

A solar flare eruption that was captured by NASA

An eruption was captured here by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory [NASA]

The earth would be obliterated if the sun was to send out a flare

The earth would be obliterated if the sun was to send out a flare [NASA]

The warning comes as Britain is experiencing one of the hottest summers on record. Scientists have warned of "highly unusual activity" on the surface of the sun which has already sent smaller solar flares spiralling towards earth.

Solar storms are triggered when coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the sun tear into the earths magnetic field ripping it apart.

This triggers huge surges of electrical currents which lead to widespread power outages and destroy machinery which use electricity.

Mr Dale, currently writing a doctorate on aerospace engineering at Bristol University, said it is only a “matter of time” before a violent solar storm smashes into Earth.

He warned the planet is facing a repeat of the devastating solar superstorm of 1859 - dubbed the Carrington Event after English astronomer Richard Carrington.

Carrington spotted a solar flare before terrifying fireballs hurtled across the atmosphere making people think it was the end of the world.

Reports followed of sparks showering from telegraph machines, out of control fires and electrical operators being injured.

Around 10^22 kJ of energy catapulted around a trillion kilos of charged particles towards the Earth at speeds of up to 1,900 miles per second.

 
Hedge fund manager issues EMP warning to investors
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 29, 2014
Concept image of an electromagnetic field

Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer has issued an unusual warning for investors, calling the threat of a widespread blackout from an electromagnetic surge the "most significant danger" in the world. Called an "electromagnetic pulse" or EMP, the events can occur naturally from solar storms or artificially from a high-altitude explosion of nuclear weapons. -- "While these pages are typically chock full of scary or depressing scenarios, there is one risk that is head-and-shoulders above all the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence," Singer wrote to clients of his $24.8 billion Elliott Management on Monday in a standard investment update letter. "Even horrendous nuclear war, except in its most extreme form, can [be] a relatively localized issue, and the threat from asteroids can (possibly) be mitigated."

 
Water Wars: Southwestern United States Running out of Water
The News - Climate-Environment
July 24, 2014

A new study from NASA and the University of California suggests the entire Southwestern United States may be in for some major trouble in the very near future.

Picture of Lake Mead's falling water level

Over the last decade, much of the water that the Southwest depends on has been depleted to levels that may soon cripple the entire region

This month Lake Mead, the country’s largest reservoir, dropped to its lowest level since it was filled after the completion of the Hoover Dam in the 1930’s. In fact, it’s getting so bad that the lake is now dropping at a rate of one foot a week.

Historic Drought & Unrelenting Migration of People Could Spell Disaster

The entire southwest region of the United States, most of which is a desert to begin with, is in the middle of a historic 14-year drought. The extreme drought conditions, combined with an unrelenting migration of people into areas that were never meant to sustain this much development, have caused water levels in Lake Mead to drop over 130 feet since the year 2000.

Lake Mead water level

10 years ago almost everything in this picture would have been under water. Just 2 months ago, the truck in this picture would have been 10 feet under water.

Lake Mead provides fresh drinking water to over 20 million people in southern Nevada, southern California and Arizona. Things are so out of control that the two intake pipes that provide water to Nevada could soon be above water, which has local water officials rushing to build a third emergency intake pipe. Without these water intake pipes, Las Vegas would not exist. FULL ARTICLE

 
How a solar storm two years ago nearly caused a catastrophe on Earth
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 24, 2014
Solar flare preceding CMEs on July 22, 2012 (NASA)

On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.  These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA.

 
Are we alone? Alien pollution might reveal the answer
The News - Weird-Strange
July 23, 2014
Earthlings often wonder if life exists on other planets, and researchers said Wednesday that hunting for traces of pollution from distant worlds could provide the answer.
 
Computer models map out fate of Earth after nuclear war
The News - War-Draft
July 21, 2014

earth after nuclear war

Life after a nuclear war revealed: Computer models reveal Earth would suffer a 20-year-long winter and worldwide famine

 

  • Researchers from Colorado studied the effects of nuclear conflict on Earth
  • They used climate models to predict what would become of the planet
  • Their research looked at the detonation of 100 'small' nuclear warheads
  • In their paper they conclude humanity would have been affected for decades
  • There would be worldwide famine, deadly frosts and huge ozone losses
  • The results would be the death of hundreds of millions or billions
  • They hope their research will be an incentive for superpowers to disarm
 
Suddenly, the sun is eerily quiet: Where did the sunspots go?
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 19, 2014

A few weeks ago it was teeming with sunspots, as you would expect since we are supposed to be in the middle of solar maximum -- the time in the sun's 11-year cycle when it is the most active.

A nearly spotless sun

But now, there is hardly a sunspot in sight. If you look closely at the image above, taken on July 18 by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, you will see a tiny smidge of brown just right of center where a small sunspot appears to be developing. But just one day before, there truly was nothing. It was a totally spotless day.

 
USGS: Risk of earthquake increased for half of USA
The News - Natural Disasters
July 17, 2014

 A new federal earthquake map dials up the shaking hazard just a bit for about half of the United States and lowers it for nearly a quarter of the nation.

The U.S. Geologic Survey updated Thursday its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor.

Most of the changes are slight. Project chief Mark Petersen said parts of Washington, Oregon, Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming and Tennessee moved into the top two hazard zones.

Parts of 16 states have the highest risk for earthquakes: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina.

earthquake risk US

 
U.S. Plans for Power-Grid Crippling Sun Storm
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 07, 2014

Corporations and the federal government may not be prepared for a severe geomagnetic storm..

U.S. Plans for Power-Grid Crippling Sun Storm

At Delta Air Lines’ (DAL) operations center in Atlanta, meteorologists do more than monitor the usual wind, rain, and snow. They also keep a close eye out for a less common but potentially more dangerous phenomenon known as space weather. The sun’s eruptions can send billions of tons of superheated, electrically charged gas hurtling through the solar system. When these clouds hit the earth’s magnetic field, they can result in geomagnetic storms that disrupt electric power and communications systems.

 
Tsunami Warning Issued After 8.0 Magnitude Quake Near Alaska
The News - Natural Disasters
June 23, 2014
8.0 Alaska Quake 6-23-2014

 A tsunami warning has been issued for parts of Alaska after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake was recorded off of Little Sitkin Island.

Tsunami.gov has issued a warning for coastal areas of Alaska, warning that “significant inundation is possible or is already occurring.” Residents of the area were being warned to move inland, or to higher ground.

The quake was originally recorded as an 7.1 but was quickly upgraded to a 8.0. according to the USGS, in a change from the usual pattern where quakes are downgraded.  An 8.0 quake is exponentially stronger.

The extreme depth of the quake at over 70 miles deep prevented a more widespread Pacific-wide tsunami.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center does warn that some coastal areas in Alaska and the Northwest may experience “non-destructive sea level changes” for several hours.

The earthquake was reported at 11:53 a.m. local time.

 
Author Claims Earthquakes Predictable, Says Next Big Ones This Summer...
The News - Natural Disasters
May 31, 2014
They are pretty rare in our area, but every few years the Pittsburgh area will feel an earthquake that will shake the ground enough to give us a scare. Mainstream science says that earthquakes cannot be predicted, but David Nabhan author of “Earthquake Prediction: Answers in Plain Slight” says otherwise.

Nabhan is a former teacher in California and now lives in Pittsburgh. He became interested in earthquakes while he was the earthquake preparedness coordinator for the school he worked at. He says he noticed every earthquake happened at dusk or dawn.

“I realized this sort of conscience doesn’t happen in science. These dawn and dusk quakes during new and full moons are the paradigm on the west coast,” he said. “All six great quakes that have struck in Los Angeles that have killed people since the 30s, all of them, dawn or dusk [quakes].

How can earthquakes be predicted? Nabhan says that it is the, “conjoined lunar and solar gravitational tides,” are what cause them.

 
Massive Indonesian volcano eruption grounds flights
The News - Natural Disasters
May 31, 2014

A huge volcanic eruption in Indonesia has covered the region in a vast cloud of ash, grounding flights in Australia and south east Asia.

 
Secret Weapon? Conspiracy Theories Abound as US Military Closes HAARP
The News - Cover-Up-Conspiracy
May 22, 2014

HAARP in Alaska

The U.S. Air Force has notified Congress that it intends to shut down HAARP, a controversial Alaska-based research facility that studies an energetic and active region of the upper atmosphere.

Conspiracy theorists are abuzz about the news, given that HAARP (short for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) has long been the center of wild speculation that the program is designed to control the weather — or worse. In 2010, Venezuelan leader Huge Chavez claimed that HAARP or a program like it triggered the Haiti earthquake.

For the record, the Haitian quake of 2010 was caused by the slippage of a previously unmapped fault along the border of the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates.

 
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