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A nuclear war between India and Pakistan could put two billion people at risk
The News - War-Draft
December 12, 2013
A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would result in a global famine that could kill over two billion people — a quarter of the world's population — and end human civilisation, a study warned today.

"A nuclear war using only a fraction of existing arsenals would produce massive casualties on a global scale—far more than we had previously believed," said Ira Helfand, the study's author and co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). In a previous study in 2012, the Nobel Peace Prize- winning IPPNW and Physicians for Social Responsibility said that a nuclear famine could kill more than a billion people. [LINK ]

 
Expert : ‘Imagine America Without Los Angeles’
The News - Natural Disasters
December 12, 2013
WEST COAST EARTHQUAKE DISASTER
A leading earthquake expert has issued a dire warning to Californians about the expected impact of a major disruption to the San Andreas fault line. The title of Dr. Lucy Jones’ lecture this week to the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco was titled “Imagine America without Los Angeles.”

As KCAL9′s Dave Bryan reports, Jones, a Science Advisor for Risk Reduction at the U.S. Geological Survey, says when the “Big One” hits Southern California, the damage could be much greater, and could last much longer, than most of us ever imagined.

“Loss of shelter, loss of schools, loss of jobs and emotional hardship. We are risking the ends of our cities,” she said during the presentation. According to a USGS study called the “Shakeout Report,” when a high-magnitude earthquake rocks the San Andreas fault, the damage will go far beyond the collapsed buildings and freeways seen in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

 
Smart phone technology boosts early warning for extreme weather, quakes
The News - Disaster Preparedness
December 11, 2013
smart phones disaster preparedness
The system builds on a dense network of GPS receivers in the western US, initially installed to track changes in stress along the region's earthquake faults. By adding inexpensive temperature, air-pressure, and motion sensors common in today's smart phones, researchers have found that the system can arm forecasters and emergency managers with important information earlier and more frequently than existing techniques.

These same sensors can be installed in buildings, bridges, and other critical pieces of infrastructure to quickly help assess damage after a large earthquake, notes the team, led by Yehuda Bock, a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif.
 
Nuclear War Could Mean ‘Extinction of the Human Race’
The News - War-Draft
December 11, 2013
A war using even a small percentage of the world’s nuclear weapons threatens the lives of two billion people, a new report warns.

“A nuclear war using only a fraction of existing arsenals would produce massive casualties on a global scale—far more than we had previously believed,” said Dr. Ira Helfand.  The findings in the report issued by International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) are based on studies by climate scientists that show how nuclear war would alter the climate and agriculture, thereby threatening one quarter of the world’s population with famine. [RINF]
 
“Solar Flares… Will Short Circuit Satellites, Power Grids, Ground Comm. Equipment”
The News - Science-Astronomy
December 11, 2013
worst case scenario disaster
Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder recently completed analyzing data from a Coronal Mass Ejection that took place in the summer of 2012. The CME, which was reportedly the most powerful electrical discharge ever recorded from the sun, narrowly missed earth. It was not “earth directed,” meaning the electro-magnetic mass was ejected by the sun when it was facing away from our planet. However, had it occurred just a week prior, the highly charged particles would have struck earth and, according to CU-Boulder Professor Daniel Baker, would have led to nothing short of a technological disaster across the globe.

The CME itself was massive… and its speed was unprecedented, clocking in at 7 million miles per hour. [SHTFPLAN]

 
Epic Ice Storm Possible; Millions Could Lose Power
The News - Climate-Environment
December 05, 2013
The forecasts are coming into agreement on a major ice storm over the next week, one that could last for several days, causing “regional” power outages, according to our latest news story (hi-res map). Indeed, some of the ice amounts that the forecasts are printing out are extreme. [PATRIOTRISING]
 
From sunspots to solar eruptions: Amateur astronomer captures incredible images of sun
The News - Science-Astronomy
December 05, 2013
amateur sun pictures amazing
  • Jose Manteca from Begues, near Barcelona, took the photos from a small observatory on the terrace of his house
  • The 54-year-old says he spends hours on the terrace gazing into space, hoping to spot scintillating solar activity
  • He has developed a technique to take 15 images per second using a humble DSLR camera and a solar telescope
  • Images include stunning close-ups of solar prominences, sunspots and even a plane crossing the face of the sun

Despite being 93 million miles from the sun, amateur astronomer Jose Manteca has captured these stunning shots from his back garden. Mr Manteca, who works as a sales representative, installed a small observatory on the terrace of his house in 2011. Ever since he has used a humble DSLR camera to capture breathtaking shots - including solar prominences, sunspots and even a plane crossing the face of the sun.
 
00000000 for Armageddon: USA's launch nuke launch code was frighteningly simple
The News - Weird-Strange
December 01, 2013
nuclear code world war 3 armageddon

For nearly 20 years, the secret code to authorize launching U.S. nuclear missiles, and starting World War III, was terrifyingly simple and even noted down on a checklist.

From 1962, when John F Kennedy instituted PAL encoding on nuclear weapons, until 1977, the combination to fire the devastating missiles at the height of the Cold War was just 00000000.

This was chosen by Strategic Air Command in an effort to make the weapons as quick and as easy to launch as possible, as reported by Today I Found Out.

 
Rise of 'Billionaire Bunkers'...
The News - Disaster Preparedness
November 28, 2013
Paranoid? Perhaps. But also increasingly commonplace. Futuristic security technologies–many developed for the military but sounding as though they came straight from James Bond’s Q–have made their way into the home, available to deep-pocketed owners whose peace of mind comes from knowing that their sensors can detect and adjust for, say, a person lurking in the bushes a half-mile away.
 
Risk of superbugs skyrockets as world enters 'post-antibiotic era'...
The News - Current Events
November 27, 2013
virus plague epidemic antibiotics
Right now, humanity is engaged in an epic battle against fast-adapting and merciless predators. No, zombies are not beating down doors to tear chunks of flesh out of the living. Rather, humanity is being hunted by deadly pathogenic bacteria that have gained resistance to antibiotics. 

And thanks to the peculiar incentives that drive the pharmaceutical industry, it looks like the cavalry may be a long time in coming.

To understand the current state of the antibiotics market, we have to go back millennia. Humans have co-existed with bacteria throughout our history. They live in our bodies from birth to death. It’s estimated that up to three percent of a typical human's body mass is made up of symbiotic bacteria, which assist us with bodily functions like digesting food. [THEWEEK]

 
Calm solar cycle prompts questions about impact on Earth
The News - Science-Astronomy
November 25, 2013
sun solar cycle 2013
The surface of the sun has been surprisingly calm of late -- with fewer sunspots than anytime in in the last century -- prompting curious scientists to wonder just what it might mean here on Earth.

Sunspots have been observed for millennia -- first by Chinese astronomers and then, for the first time with a telescope, by Galileo in 1610.

The sunspots appear in roughly 11-year cycles -- increasing to a daily flurry and then subsiding drastically, before amping up again. But this cycle -- dubbed cycle 24 -- has surprised scientists with its sluggishness. The number of spots counted since it kicked off in December 2008 is well below the average observed over the last 250 years. In fact, it's less than half.

 
Scientists witness massive gamma-ray burst, don't understand it
The News - Science-Astronomy
November 22, 2013
massive gamma ray burst

An exploded star some 3.8 billion light-years away is forcing scientists to overhaul much of what they thought they knew about gamma-ray bursts – intense blasts of radiation triggered, in this case, by a star tens of times more massive than the sun that exhausted its nuclear fuel, exploded, then collapsed to form a black hole.

Last April, gamma rays from the blast struck detectors in gamma-ray observatories orbiting Earth, triggering a frenzy of space- and ground-based observations. Many of them fly in the face of explanations researchers have developed during the past 30 years for the processes driving the evolution of a burst from flash to fade out, according to four research papers appearing Friday in the journal Science. -- "Some of our theories are just going down the drain,” said Charles Dermer, an astrophysicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a member of one of the teams reporting on their observations of the burst, known as GRB 130427A.

 
Seven Volcanoes In Six Different Countries All Start Erupting Within Hours Of Each Other
The News - Natural Disasters
November 21, 2013
seven volcanoes six countries erupt

A new island has appeared in the Pacific. A submarine eruption just off Nishino-Shima Island Japan has erupted for the first time in 40 years. The Japanese Navy noticed the explosions as boiling lava met sea water giving rise to plumes of steam and ash.

Almost 7,000 miles away in Mexico, the Colima volcano blew its top after a period of relative calm. A steam and ash cloud rose two miles into the sky and the grumbling of the mountain could be heard in towns a few miles away. In Guatemala the ‘Fire Mountain’ belched out lava and sent up a moderate ash cloud causing an ash fall over nearby towns. The explosions and shock waves occurring in the volcano can be felt by residents over 6 miles away. Doors and windows are reported to be rattling, but there has been no damage so far.
 
What Caused the Deadly Midwestern Tornado Outbreak?
The News - Natural Disasters
November 19, 2013
midwest tornado outbreak

A slew of tornadoes slammed the state of Illinois and surrounding areas yesterday (Nov. 17), killing six people and damaging or destroying thousands of homes, according to news reports. Eighty-one tornado reports were submitted to the National Weather Service (NWS) yesterday, most of them in the Land of Lincoln, though more than one report could be for the same tornado.

The devastation was significant enough that Gov. Pat Quinn declared seven counties state disaster areas, including Tazewell County, where a twister left parts of the town of Washington in ruins. One of the tornadoes in this area was preliminarily declared an EF-4, the second strongest type of tornado, said Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel. These twisters pack winds between 166 to 200 mph (267 to 322 km/h) and are strong enough to destroy sturdy houses and hurl cars. [LIVESCIENCE]

 
How to Plan For A Disaster Scenario and Survive if You’re Wrong
The News - Disaster Preparedness
November 16, 2013
survive wrong disaster planning

At the center of every prepper is a great planner. Prepping is built around the idea of planning for unforeseen events to be ready when they come. But what if you plan for the wrong disaster and something you didn’t even see coming happens? You could be planning for a bank shutdown and an economic collapse, but instead a random solar flare knocks out all electronics and power.

Planning is great, and with a little help and foresight, you can learn how to plan for a disaster scenario and survive if you’re wrong. [SURVIVALBASED]

 
How to Plan For A Disaster Scenario and Survive if You’re Wrong
The News - Disaster Preparedness
November 16, 2013
survive wrong disaster planning

At the center of every prepper is a great planner. Prepping is built around the idea of planning for unforeseen events to be ready when they come. But what if you plan for the wrong disaster and something you didn’t even see coming happens? You could be planning for a bank shutdown and an economic collapse, but instead a random solar flare knocks out all electronics and power.

Planning is great, and with a little help and foresight, you can learn how to plan for a disaster scenario and survive if you’re wrong. [SURVIVALBASED]

 
How Typhoon Haiyan Compares to the 2004 Tsunami
The News - Natural Disasters
November 12, 2013
Haiyan super typhoon 2013 damage
Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the central Philippines on Friday (Nov. 8), affecting millions and displacing hundreds of thousands.

The tropical cyclone (the blanket term for hurricanes and typhoons) packed sustained winds of up 190 mph (305 km/h) in the hours before it made landfall, according to some accounts. It will likely go down as one of the five strongest storms in the last 50 years, even though estimates of the storm's strength vary, said Brian McNoldy, a tropical storm expert at the University of Miami. Estimates vary because there were no airplanes in the area to drop recording instruments into the storm (the typical way of making such measurements). Jeff Weber, a researcher at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., put Haiyan in the top three strongest storms, as measured by wind speed at landfall. Some compared the storm's devastation to the mayhem caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which resulted from a magnitude-9.1 earthquake that struck west of the island of Sumatra on Dec. 26 of that year.
 
Official: Super Typhoon Death Toll Could Reach 1,200
The News - Natural Disasters
November 09, 2013
super typhoon death toll

In the wake of once-Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda), the death toll is estimated to rise to 1,200 across the Philippines. “We estimate 1,000 people were killed in Tacloban and 200 in Samar province,” Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, said in a report by CNN.

Tacloban was “ground-zero” for Haiyan’s devastation, stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak. There is more bad news for the Philippines as a tropical disturbance, perhaps becoming a tropical storm, will reach the nation during the middle of next week. [LINK]

 
Tsunami Debris 'Island' Headed for US? NOAA Sets Record Straight
The News - Natural Disasters
November 07, 2013
tsunami debris japan earthquake tsunami

Debris from the deadly tsunami that struck Japan in 2011 is drifting across the Pacific Ocean toward North America, and will likely continue to wash onto North American shores over the next few years, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"A significant amount of debris has already arrived on U.S. and Canadian shores, and it will likely continue arriving in the same scattered way over the next several years," NOAA officials said in a statement. "As we get further into the fall and winter storm season, NOAA and partners are expecting to see more debris coming ashore in North America, including tsunami debris mixed in with the 'normal' marine debris that we see every year." -- On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan, triggering a devastating tsunami that killed more than 15,000 people and caused widespread destruction.

 
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