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Yellowstone Supervolcano Alert: Most Dangerous Volcano In America Is Roaring To Life
The News - Climate-Environment
October 04, 2013
yellowstone super volcano 2013
Right now, the ground underneath Yellowstone National Park is rising at a record rate.  In fact, it is rising at the rate of about three inches per year.  The reason why this is such a concern is because underneath the park sits the Yellowstone supervolcano – the largest volcano in North America.  Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that it will erupt again one day, and when it does the devastation will be almost unimaginable.

A full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would dump a 10 foot deep layer of volcanic ash up to 1,000 miles away, and it would render much of the United States uninhabitable.  When most Americans think of Yellowstone, they tend to conjure up images of Yogi Bear and “Old Faithful”, but the truth is that sleeping underneath Yellowstone is a volcanic beast that could destroy our nation in a single day and now that beast is starting to wake up. The Yellowstone supervolcano is so vast that it is hard to put it into words.  According to the Daily Mail, the magma “hotspot” underneath Yellowstone is approximately 300 miles wide…
 
Government Employees Responsible For Saving Us From Hurricanes Working For No Pay
The News - Natural Disasters
October 03, 2013
Tropical Storm Hurricane Karen 2013
Tropical Storm Karen, currently swirling around the Gulf of Mexico, "is the first tropical storm, possibly hurricane, that's really, truly threatened the U.S. coast in 2013," says Angela Fritz of weather information service Weather Underground. This season was predicted to be a rough one for hurricanes, and it's turned out oddly mild, which has left everyone especially on their toes. Karen is projected to make landfall somewhere between New Orleans and Tallahassee, possibly as a Category 1 hurricane. And most of the people responsible for tracking the storm, warning the public, and studying the storm for use in the future are either not allowed to work or forced to work for no pay.

Storm tracking is a difficult science, handled by several branches of government as well as scores of private companies. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the National Weather Service (NWS) are departments within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, pronounced like the name "Noah"), which in turn is under the control of the U.S. Department of Commerce (though President Obama, noting that this makes no sense, announced plans to move NOAA under the control of the Department of the Interior). Then there's FEMA, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security. All of these organizations work with companies like Weather Underground, the Weather Channel, and various laboratories and researchers and university departments. The NWS gets most of the raw data from satellites and radar, which is shared with the private companies. In turn, the private companies can get much more granular on-the-ground data, which they share with the NWS, NHC, and FEMA. It's enormously complex in the best of times, and right now is far from the best of times.
 
Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant operator says another tank leaked toxic water
The News - Climate-Environment
October 03, 2013
Japan Fukushima toxic water leak
The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Thursday another tank holding highly contaminated water overflowed, probably sending the liquid into the Pacific Ocean, in the second such breach in less than two months.

Recent site mishaps have returned Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, to the spotlight, calling into question its ability to execute a complex cleanup that could last decades. The company has vowed to monitor the tanks more closely and improve its water management. Amid mounting international alarm, Japan's government stepped in last month and said it would fund efforts to improvement water management at the plant.
 
The Growing Threat of Space Junk
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 02, 2013
space debris threat
Like many other modern marvels, space exploration has yielded huge technological benefits for humankind, but it can’t help but have the same major side effect as many other advances: It has left a trail of garbage in its groundbreaking wake. The rockets, satellites and probes we have sent into orbit over the decades have created a fast-moving debris field that contains hundreds of thousands of pieces of space junk—even a one-centimeter piece of which can damage or destroy a spacecraft worth millions, or even billions, of dollars. The International Space Station and its crew have had to dodge dangerous debris several times in the past few years. [SCIAM]
 
Gov't Shutdown Science: Why Human Nature Is to Blame
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 02, 2013
government shutdown science
The failure of Congress to reach the agreement needed to avoid a government shutdown, in some ways, can be seen as the result of human nature, and the way people act when they form groups such as political parties, psychologists and sociologists say.

Humans are very tribal beings, and like to form groups, which is great for cooperation and community building, but can have negative consequences in terms of conflict, said Matt Motyl, a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of Virginia. "We become better able to fight off other tribes," when we form groups, Motyl said. Problems arise when one group perceives that its members or values are threatened in some way. When this happens, people in parties may act in ways that they wouldn't act as individuals, experts say.
 
Supervolcanoes ripped up early Mars
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 02, 2013
mars supervolcano
Mars may have had giant explosive volcanoes in its ancient past that spewed billions upon billions of tonnes of rock and ash into the sky. Vast areas of collapsed ground in a region of the planet called Arabia Terra are their likely remains, believe Joe Michalski and Jacob Bleacher.

The two scientists report their findings in this week's Nature journal. They say such supervolcanoes would have had a profound impact on the early evolution of Mars. Their gases would have influenced the make-up of the atmosphere and perturbed the climate. And the ashfall would have covered the landscape across great swathes of the planet. It is quite likely some of the deposits the rovers are now encountering on Mars have their origin in colossal blasts.
 
5 Ways the World Might End
The News - Humor
October 01, 2013
SPACE VIRUS
For all of humanity's moxie, optimism, and drive to build a better future, a lot of us spend an extraordinary amount of time imagining how we're going to snuff it en masse. This modern-day parlor game has created armies of "armchair survivalists" -- people who aren't really motivated to do anything proactive to save their own skins, but are really committed to DVRing television shows about preppers prepping. We've become pretty good at imagining what we might do in a variety of apocalyptic events -- if we weren't too lazy to live.

There are plenty of humanity-ending scenarios where there's a relative consensus for the best place to ride it out. Zombie outbreak? Shopping mall. New Ice Age? New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Kingdom of spiders? Hunting lodge by Shatner's side. Mayan apocalypse rain date? John Cusack's limo. Here are a few still up for debate. [CRACKED]
 
Scientists pinpoint volcanic explosion EIGHT times bigger than Krakatoa
The News - Natural Disasters
October 01, 2013
samalas volcano indonesia 8 times
  • Eruption thought to be from Samalas volcano on Indonesia's Lombok Island
  • Blast was so large that it left its mark in ice of the Arctic and the Antarctic
  • Historical evidence shows how it disturbed the climate for at least two years
  • Mystery city, preserved in same way as Pompeii, may be buried on the island

An Indonesian volcano is thought be the source of a massive ‘mystery eruption’- the largest that has occurred in the last 3,700 years. The enormous blast, which took place nearly 800 years ago, may have created a ‘Pompeii of the Far East’, according to researchers. They believe this mystery city may lie buried waiting to be discovered on an Indonesian island.
 
What happened to hurricane season? And why we should keep forecasting itů
The News - Natural Disasters
October 01, 2013
2013 hurricane season
As we wrap up September, there have been just two short-lived Category 1 hurricanes in the Atlantic. Yet seasonal forecasts predicted an extremely active season. What’s going on? Before diving into the seasonal forecasts, let’s take inventory on where the season stands.

In an average season,  8 tropical storms, 4 hurricanes, and 1 major (category 3 or higher) hurricane form by this date. This year, we’ve experienced 10 tropical storms, 2 hurricanes, and no major hurricanes. Though we’ve had close to the average number of total storms, most have been short-lived and/or weak. If you went out for a cup of coffee at any time this hurricane season, you would’ve missed many of them. [WP]
 
Could your smartphone detect earthquakes?
The News - Natural Disasters
September 30, 2013
detect earthquake smartphone
  • Sensors can detect earthquakes greater than a magnitude of 5
  • The chip is used in smartphones to change the orientation of the screen
  • The technology will soon be advanced enough to detect smaller quakes

Collecting accurate, real-time data on earthquakes has always been a problem for seismologists. But a tiny sensor found in smartphones could help fill in the gaps by instantly turning your mobile phone into an earthquake sensor. The chip, originally intended to change the orientation of the screen, can detect earthquakes greater than a magnitude of 5, according to a new study.
 
'Killer 50ft-wide asteroid narrowly misses Earth'
The News - Science-Astronomy
September 30, 2013
near earth asteroid 2013
An asteroid similar in size to the one which injured more than a thousand people in Russia in February has narrowly missed the Earth.

Russian experts claim they spotted the 50ft-wide rock pass above the planet travelling at 16km per second. It is believed to have been similar in scale to the one which exploded in the skies above the town of Chelyabinsk, leaving 1,500 people hurt.
 
Shutdown May Hinder California's Rim Fire Cleanup
The News - Climate-Environment
September 30, 2013
california wildfire government shutdown
One of the worst wildfires in California's history continues to burn in Yosemite National Park, where employees will be furloughed if the government can't pass a budget tomorrow (Oct. 1). The Rim Fire has burned more than 257,000 acres (1,040 square kilometers) and is 92 percent contained. (Containment means the fire can still burn, but the flames are trapped within a perimeter, with little chance of escape.)

Very little is left of the extreme blaze, which consumed entire canyons. Now, a few hot spots char the ground in Yosemite National Park, where Park Service policy allows nonthreatening fires to burn themselves out, renewing the forest. "It's burning at very, very low intensity," said Michelle Carbonaro, fire information officer for the Rim Fire. "We suspect they're not calling it [as] out because there are some unsettled weather patterns coming that could stir up fire activity," Carbonaro told LiveScience.
 
Mystery AD1257 eruption traced to Lombok, Indonesia
The News - Natural Disasters
September 30, 2013
AD 1257 volcano eruption
Scientists think they have found the volcano responsible for a huge eruption that occurred in AD1257. The mystery event was so large its chemical signature is recorded in the ice of both the Arctic and the Antarctic.

European medieval texts talk of a sudden cooling of the climate, and of failed harvests. In the PNAS journal, an international team points the finger at the Samalas Volcano on Lombok Island, Indonesia. Little remains of the original mountain structure - just a huge crater lake.
 
Meteor Sightings in the 1000's across the U.S.
The News - Science-Astronomy
September 30, 2013
2013 meteors
Reports of meteor sightings are coming into the American Meteor Society by the thousands. According to one of the latest reports posted at the American Meteor Society website, “Its been a busy week for the AMS as we are bombarded by fireball reports from all different parts of the country. The latest event took place over Alabama and Georgia last night September 28th 7:30 PM local time. Over 250 witnesses from Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia have reported the event so far. Below is a heat map of the witnesses who saw the event. Click the image below for the event detail page and witness reports.”
 
The Sixth Mass Extinction Is Upon Us: Can Humans Survive?
The News - Current Events
September 30, 2013
sixth mass extinction
Over the past four years, bee colonies have undergone a disturbing transformation. As helpless beekeepers looked on, the machinelike efficiency of these communal insects devolved into inexplicable disorganization. Worker bees would fly away, never to return; adolescent bees wandered aimlessly in the hive; and the daily jobs in the colony were left undone until honey production stopped and eggs died of neglect. Colony collapse disorder, as it is known, has claimed roughly 30 percent of bee colonies every winter since 2007.

If bees go extinct, their loss will trigger an extinction domino effect, because crops from apples to broccoli rely on these insects for pollination. At the same time, over a third of the world’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction, and Harvard evolutionary biologist and conservationist E.O. Wilson estimates that 27,000 species of all kinds go extinct per year. Are we in the first act of a mass extinction that will end in the death of millions of plant and animal species across the planet, including us? Proponents of the “sixth extinction” theory believe the answer is yes.
 
Typhoon Wutip prompts Vietnam evacuations
The News - Natural Disasters
September 30, 2013
Typhoon Wutip
Tens of thousands of people in high-risk areas in central Vietnam are being evacuated before a typhoon strikes, Vietnamese officials have said. Local weather forecasts predict Typhoon Wutip, with sustained wind speed of up to 93 miles an hour will hit central Vietnam on Monday.

Vietnamese disaster official Le Tri Cong said more than 8,000 villagers in Quang Tri province's coastal areas were taken to safe ground on Sunday night and 35,000 others from areas facing serious flooding, landslides and flash floods are being moved. The central floods and storms control committee said on its website on Monday that more than 140,000 people in four other central provinces were scheduled for evacuation on Monday.
 
The Collapse Of Detroit, a Glimpse Of Our Future?
The News - Disaster Preparedness
September 30, 2013
detroit collapse
The city of Detroit was built in the same way our country was built; our country was founded on the belief of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is the collapse of Detroit a glimpse of our future? On a larger scale the events that have been adding up over the years that are putting Detroit “out of business” resemble the very same events we face on a national level today.

Government corruption funded by corrupt unions and inept government micromanagement took a thriving city and brought it to its knees. [LINK]
 
Earthquake Detection: Smartphone Tech Could Improve Response
The News - Natural Disasters
September 30, 2013
earthquake prediction planning
Small sensors found in most smartphones and laptops are sensitive enough to detect the movement of moderate and large earthquakes, and could vastly expand the information gathered during seismic events in densely populated cities, new research suggests.

The devices, called micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers, measure movement in three dimensions and tell the phone's screen to flip from horizontal to vertical when the phone tilts. In laptops, they detect the motion of falling, and force the hard drive into a safe mode prior to impact. Given the widespread use of laptops and smartphones containing these devices, researchers at Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology decided to test whether the sensors could adequately record earthquake movements.
 
Hurricane Season 2013: Year Without a Major Hurricane?
The News - Natural Disasters
September 27, 2013
2013 no major hurricanes
So far this hurricane season, the Atlantic basin has produced nine named storms, two of which have become hurricanes.

Based on long-term averages from 1966-2009, the Atlantic has typically seen nine named storms by Oct. 4 and five hurricanes by Oct. 7. As you can see, the 2013 season is fairly close to average when it comes to the number of named storms, but lagging behind in the hurricane category. Neither of this season's two hurricanes, Humberto and Ingrid, reached major hurricane status, a Category 3 or higher rating on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Since 1851, roughly 75 percent of all the major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) have formed during the months of August and September. Given that we've almost made it through September, and are headed for the final two months of the hurricane season, this raises the question of how rare it would be to go an entire season without a major hurricane in the Atlantic.
 
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