Archive for the ‘Ecology’ Category

This week is a big one for our world

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels climbed above the 400 parts per million (ppm) and it’s distinctly possible they won’t be back below that level again in our lifetimes.

“As a human, though, passing both the 400 ppm and (potentially) the 1°C threshold within such a short time period makes it clear we are already living in a different world. We have blown past targets that were being considered as viable when I entered graduate school. We have significantly reduced the options available to us in the future. If we aren’t going to blow past the next set of thresholds — 500 ppm and 2°C — within just a few more decades, we have a lot of work to do in Paris in two weeks and beyond.” Katharine Hayhoe, atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University.

Philippines’ volcano started up

It is reporting that yesterday the most active Philippines’ volcano Mayon, 2,640-metre (8,070-foot) Mayon, located about 330 kilometres (200 miles) southwest of Manila, had been awoke and lava cascaded from the hill. The volcano’s world-renowned perfect cone appeared to have been deformed, swollen with lava that had risen from the Earth’s core.

Soldiers went from house to house asking residents to evacuate, after authorities on Monday raised the third highest alert in a five-step scale, meaning a full-scale eruption is possible “within weeks”. At least 8,000 of the target 50,000 people had been moved to temporary shelters, with the operation expected to run for three days, regional civil defence director Bernardo Alejandro told AFP.

The home we’ve ever known

We succeeded taking that picture (Voyager 1, in 1990 (NASA)from deep space), and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

From Dr. Sagan’s book Pale Blue Dot

Nuclear reactor means

“…A nuclear reactor means bring fissile material to a point at which it is hot enough to boil water (in a light-water reactor) and not enough to melt and go supercritical (China syndrome or a Chernobyl incident). You simply cannot let it get away from you because if it does, you can’t stop it.

The Japanese are still talking about days or weeks to clean this up. That’s not true. They cannot clean it up. And no one will live in that area again for dozens or maybe hundreds of years.”

This is taken from the article ‘When The Fukushima Meltdown Hits Groundwater’ by Dr. Tom Burnett. You can read it on http://rense.com/general93/whent.htm

The Sun "Announced" Global Cataclysm

Canadian scientists reported about the sun intensive nuclear fusion. The researchers recorded the acceleration of fusion reaction of light nuclei into heavier nuclei, which occurs at ultra-high temperature and accompanied with a huge amounts of energy.
According to scientific concepts, the main source of energy of the sun and other stars is nuclear fusion reaction. In terrestrial conditions, this reaction carries out like the explosion of the hydrogen bomb. Such solar nuclear fusion links to the upcoming a new cycle of stars. Traditionally, the solar cycle lasts 11 years, As a result of increasing activity of the star, the energy generated by the Sun, will bring next few years the splash of global warming.
The last solar activity was recorded in 1998 and accompanied with unusual daily limit temperature.
By the way at the beginning of April this year, American scientists from American Academy of Sciences (NASA) figured out a hypothetical scenario entitled “Threats to Space Weather: social and economic consequences’, where researchers predicted that the “doomsday” will happen on Sept. 22, 2012.
On that day, the study’s authors believe, the sun will be occurred a series of heavy outbreaks. The consequence would be unheard of geomagnetic storms on the planet.
The alarm signal from the satellite observing the Sun has to come to the center of space research in Houston. At the disposal of mankind will be just a few minutes, the researchers said, but all efforts will be futile.
As they say, people will see lights, like the Arctic ones, but much brighter. As far as all power transformers will come down only in the U.S. in 90 seconds after the sun’s impact will be destroyed up 300 key transformers then more than 130 million people would be without electricity will.
Nobody dies in that very moment, just shutting water, petrol station, oil and gas pipelines. Independent power systems will work for three days then also stop. But later, as a result, millions people will die because of the global paralysis of the economy.

One day we will run out of oil

Independent has published an interview with Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris where he said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.

“One day we will run out of oil, it is not today or tomorrow, but one day we will run out of oil and we have to leave oil before oil leaves us, and we have to prepare ourselves for that day,” Dr Birol said. “The earlier we start, the better, because all of our economic and social system is based on oil, so to change from that will take a lot of time and a lot of money and we should take this issue very seriously,” he said.

“The market power of the very few oil-producing countries, mainly in the Middle East, will increase very quickly. They already have about 40 per cent share of the oil market and this will increase much more strongly in the future,” he said.

Earthquakes 2009

Statistic shows that earthquakes have become more often, more massive and more unpredicted during last years.

An earthquake struck off the coast of Honduras on Thursday, May 28, 2009, 125 km (75 miles) NNE of La Ceiba, Honduras, Magnitude 7.3

At least 7 people killed, 40 injured and more than 130 buildings damaged or destroyed in northern Honduras. The central span of a major bridge at El Progreso was destroyed. At least 5 buildings destroyed and 25 damaged in Belize. Felt in much of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Also felt in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Virgin Islands and in parts of Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama. Seiches were reported in swimming pools at La Ceiba and Roatan and ground cracks and possible liquefaction was observed at Monkey River, Belize.
The shallow, magnitude 4.7 seismic event that occurred on 25 May 2009 at 00:54:43 UTC is linked to the claim of a nuclear test by North Korean officials. While the USGS cannot positively identify the seismic event as a nuclear test, it was shallow and located in the vicinity of the 9 October 2006 North Korean nuclear test (magnitude 4.3). Moreover, comparisons of the seismograms of the 9 October 2006 and 25 May 2009 events at individual seismic stations shows similar features, suggesting that the two events are in close spatial proximity and are the same type of source, although the more recent event is larger.
A magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck about 3 miles east of Los Angeles International airport at 8:39 p.m. (PDT) local time, at a depth of 8.5 miles. Given that the location is in a densely populated part of the Los Angeles basin, it was widely felt. Initial estimates from the USGS ShakeMap indicate that although strong shaking will have been felt by many people, damage is expected to be light.
An earthquake occurred 95 km (60 miles) NE of ROME, Italy on April 6, 2009. The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available.
At least 287 people killed, 1,000 injured, 40,000 homeless and 10,000 buildings damaged or destroyed in the L’Aquila area. Felt throughout central Italy.
The April 6th 2009 earthquake in Central Italy occurred as a result of normal faulting on a NW-SE oriented structure in the central Apennines, a mountain belt that runs from the Gulf of Taranto in the south to the southern edge of the Po basin in northern Italy.
You can check out amount of recent, this year earthquakes on the site of scientists of the changing world http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqarchives/significant/sig_2009.php
Look at last massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that have been taking place just last week moved the south of New Zealand closer to Australia, scientists said Wednesday. Ken Gledhill, scientist of GNS Science said the shift illustrated the huge force of the tremor, the biggest in the world so far this year.

“Basically, New Zealand just got a little bit bigger is another way to think about it,” he told AFP. Actually the South Island moved about 30 centimetres closer to Australia, the east coast of the island moved only one centimetre westwards, he said. “For a very large earthquake, although it was very widely felt, there were very few areas that were severely shaken,” Gledhill said

The latest quake was the biggest since February 2, 1931 when a 7.8 quake killed at least 256 people in the North Island city of Napier, APN reports.

The biggest quake recorded here measured 8.2 and caused major damage in 1855 in the fledgling European settlement that later became the capital Wellington.

The latest quake was unusual in striking right on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific plates and will be important in researching earthquake hazards, Gledhill said.

September 22, 2012 Catastrophe

According to newscientist.com it is midnight on September 22, 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colorful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L9Arjmclz8″]

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation’s infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event – a violent storm, 150 million kilometers away on the surface of the sun.

It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn’t create so profound a disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that.

Over the last few decades, western civilizations have busily sown the seeds of their own destruction. Our modern way of life, with its reliance on technology, has unwittingly exposed us to an extraordinary danger: plasma balls spewed from the surface of the sun could wipe out our power grids, with catastrophic consequences.

The projections of just how catastrophic make chilling reading. “We’re moving closer and closer to the edge of a possible disaster,” says Daniel Baker, a space weather expert based at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and chair of the NAS committee responsible for the report.

It is hard to conceive of the sun wiping out a large amount of our hard-earned progress. Nevertheless, it is possible. The surface of the sun is a roiling mass of plasma – charged high-energy particles – some of which escape the surface and travel through space as the solar wind. From time to time, that wind carries a billion-tonne glob of plasma, a fireball known as a coronal mass ejection. If one should hit the Earth’s magnetic shield, the result could be truly devastating.

The incursion of the plasma into our atmosphere causes rapid changes in the configuration of Earth’s magnetic field which, in turn, induce currents in the long wires of the power grids. The grids were not built to handle this sort of direct current electricity. The greatest danger is at the step-up and step-down transformers used to convert power from its transport voltage to domestically useful voltage. The increased DC current creates strong magnetic fields that saturate a transformer’s magnetic core. The result is runaway current in the transformer’s copper wiring, which rapidly heats up and melts. This is exactly what happened in the Canadian province of Quebec in March 1989, and six million people spent 9 hours without electricity. But things could get much, much worse than that.

Hurricanes Lessons.

There are a lot of information you can find now online about a current tropical cyclone Gustav that has intensified rapidly into a strong Category 1 Hurricane. It’s powerful natural phenomenon and not one to be trifled with. Many people who have lived in the area must leave their houses running away.

But what is Hurricane and where do they come from?
The study shows that the formation of hurricanes comes under the general heading of the formation of tropical cyclones, more properly known as “tropical cyclogenesis”. Musk (1988) has identified a list of factors which aid tropical cyclogenesis. The primary factor is the temperature of the sea, since this is where the hurricane derives most energy. So the origin of a hurricane is interaction warm ocean waters with rapidly cooling atmosphere therefore cyclones only occur in distinct seasons when the sea is warm enough.

. There are two ways of measuring hurricane energy; total energy released through cloud/rain formation; average hurricane produces 1.5cm/day of rain within a 665km radius. This would require 600 000 000 000 000 Watts of energy – 200 times the world’s electrical generating capacity Total kinetic energy of the wind; By complicated meteorological calculation, and using some very tricky maths, the average dissipation rate is about 1 500 000 000 000 Watts; equivalent to half the electrical generating capacity of the world.

So is it inevitable? Perhaps, yeas. Hurricanes are one of the most destructive natural hazards, both in terms of frequency and death toll. Very little can be done to stop a hurricane, because it has more power than all of the electrical capacity of the world. Even if all the nuclear weapons in the world were detonated simultaneously, they would only power a medium (Cat 2-3) hurricane for 6-12 hours.

Ecologically Better Way Construction.

Five designs have been shortlisted in a competition to create an iconic visitor centre for a Lancashire wildlife haven. Lancashire Wildlife Trust has won the race to save Brockholes Wetland, a former gravel extraction site near Preston. The first phase will include the restoration of the wetlands, creation of ponds, seeding of meadows, planting new hedgerows and trees, making access paths and building proper bird watching hides.

It is hoped that the most urgent works can be completed in about three months, when there will be a grand opening by the Partners. However, this will only be the beginning of a project that will be measured in years. Local people will be encouraged to become involved in the reserve, trained and assisted by Wildlife Trust staff on site.

Brockholes will be an inspirational visitor attraction: a mosaic of lakes, reed beds, flower-rich grassland and woodland. It is encircled by the River Ribble, where otters are returning and is bordered by the largest ancient woodland in Lancashire, where badgers and bluebells thrive. It is already one of the finest sites for bird watching in the North West of England.

Critically, the development of Brockholes will also have a significant economic impact at both a local and regional level – dramatically enhancing a key gateway into the region (the site sits along side the M6), driving increased investment into the area through the extensive visitor and tourism facilities that will be developed on site and by providing an attractive and well managed area of green space for local people.

It is already home to a fantastic variety of birdlife including Lapwing, Sand Martin and Kingfisher, together with more vulnerable species such as Whimbrel, Skylark and Reed Bunting. The rich diversity of wildlife will include Great Crested Newts, bats, dragonflies and damselflies.