Thursday, March 29, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
As I previously wrote on this blog the cycle of last 4 major earthquakes happening every 188 days meant we were due for another one. Here it is ... tho 2 days early ...
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
On December 27, 2004, the radiation from an explosion on the surface of SGR 1806-20 reached Earth. In terms of gamma rays, the burst had an absolute magnitude around −291. It was the brightest event known to have been sighted on this planet from an origin outside our solar system. The gamma rays struck the ionosphere and created more ionization, which briefly expanded the ionosphere. The magnetar released more energy in one-tenth of a second (1.3×1039 J) than our sun has released in 100,000 years (4×1026 W × 3.2×1012 s = 1.3×1039
There have been four recent earthquakes, each 188 days apart. The Chile earthquake (February 27, 2010), the New Zealand earthquake (September 4, 2010), the Japan earthquake (March 11, 2011), and the Fiji earthquake (September 15, 2011) are each 188 days from the ones adjacent.
Following this logic, the next one in this pattern would be 3/22/12.
Following this logic, the next one in this pattern would be 3/22/12.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The world's oceans are turning acidic at what could be the fastest pace of any time in the past 300 million years, even more rapidly than during a monster emission of planet-warming carbon 56 million years ago, scientists said on Thursday.
Looking back at that bygone warm period in Earth's history could offer help in forecasting the impact of human-spurred, researchers said of a review of hundreds of studies of ancient climate records published in the journal Science.
Quickly acidifying seawater eats away at coral reefs, which provide habitat for other animals and plants, and makes it harder for mussels and oysters to form protective shells. It can also interfere with small organisms that feed commercial fish like salmon.
The phenomenon has been a top concern of Jane Lubchenco, the head of the acidification during hearings in the U.S. Congress., who has conducted demonstrations about
Oceans get more acidic when more carbon gets into the atmosphere. In pre-industrial times, that occurred periodically in natural pulses of carbon that also pushed up global temperatures, the scientists wrote.
Human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels, have increased the level of atmospheric carbon to 392 parts per million from about 280 parts per million at the start of the. Carbon dioxide is one of several heat-trapping gases that contribute to .
To figure out whatmight have done in the prehistoric past, 21 researchers from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain reviewed studies of the geological record going back 300 million years, looking for signs of climate disruption.
Those indications of climate change included mass extinction events, where substantial percentages of living things on Earth died off, such as the giant asteroid strike thought to have killed the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago.
The events that seemed similar to what is happening now included mass extinctions about 252 million and 201 million years ago, as well as the warming period 56 million years in the past.
The researchers reckoned the 5,000-year hot spell 56 million years ago, likely due to factors like massive volcanism, was the closest parallel to current conditions at any time in the 300 million years.
To detect that, they looked at a layer of brown mud buried under the Southern Ocean off Antarctica. Sandwiched between layers of white plankton fossils, the brown mud indicated an ocean so acidic that the plankton fossils from that particular 5,000-year period dissolved into muck.
During that span, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere doubled and average temperatures rose by 10.8 degrees F (6 degrees C), the researchers said. The oceans became more acidic by about 0.4 unit on the 14-point pH scale over that 5,000-year period, the researchers said.
That is a fast warm-up and a quick acidification, but it is small compared with what has happened on Earth since the start of the industrial revolution some 150 years ago, study author Baerbel Hoenisch of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said by telephone.
EXTINCTIONS ON THE SEAFLOOR
During the warming period 56 million years ago, known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, and occurring about 9 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, acidification for each century was about .008 unit on the pH scale, Hoenisch said.
Back then, many corals went extinct, as did many types of single-celled organisms that lived on the sea floor, which suggests other plants and animals higher on the food chain died out too, researchers said.
By contrast, in the 20th century, oceans acidified by .1 unit of pH, and are projected to get more acidic at the rate of .2 or .3 pH by the year 2100, according to the study.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects world temperatures could rise by 3.2 to 7 degrees F (1.8 to 4 degrees C) this century.
"Given that the rate of change was an order of magnitude smaller (in the PETM) compared to what we're doing today, and still there were these big ecosystem changes, that gives us concern for what is going to happen in the future," Hoenisch said.
Those skeptical of human-caused climate change often point to past warming periods caused by natural events as evidence that the current warming trend is not a result of human activities. Hoenisch noted that natural causes such as massive volcanism were probably responsible for the PETM.
She said, however, that the rate of warming and acidification was much more gradual then, over the course of five millennia compared with one century.
Richard Feely, an oceanographer at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who was not involved in the study, said looking at that distant past was a good way to foresee the future.
"These studies give you a sense of the timing involved in past ocean acidification events - they did not happen quickly," Feely said in a statement. "The decisions we make over the next few decades could have significant implications on a geologic timescale."
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Despite what this article says stellar bodies DO effect earthquakes much like the moon effects tides. This asteroid has been closer than some satellites & will pass by 12,000 + miles away next year if we are to believe NASA.
Despite feverish speculation from doomsayers, the near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 won't slam into our planet next year,researchers say.
The asteroid, which astronomers estimate to be about 150 feet (45 meters) across, will give Earth an uncomfortably close shave on Feb. 15, 2013, coming nearer to our planet than the satellites we've lofted to . But 2012 DA14 poses no real impact danger on that pass, according to NASA scientists.
"Its orbit about the sun can bring it no closer to the Earth's surface than 3.2 Earth radii on February 15, 2013," researchers with the Near-Earth Object Program Office, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., wrote in an update today (March 6).
One Earth radius is roughly 3,963 miles (6,378 kilometers) at the equator. So by this reckoning, the nearest 2012 DA14 can get to us next year is 12,680 miles (20,406 km).
For comparison, satellites in geosynchronous orbit circle our planet at an altitude of 22,245 miles (35,800 km). Other satellites orbit much lower. The International Space Station, for example, flies at around 240 miles (386 km) above the planet.
2012 DA14 was discovered late last month by astronomers at the La Sagra Observatory in southern Spain. Its path around the sun is roughly similar to that of Earth, and it makes relatively close approaches to our planet twice per orbit.
Calculations show that the space rock came within about 1.5 million miles (2.5 million km) this past Feb. 16, or about six times the distance from Earth to the moon.
Next February's much closer encounter has ignited something of a media firestorm, with various outlets publishing stories with headlines such as "Incoming! Asteroid 2012 DA14" and "Tunguska-Sized Asteroid Homing on Earth."
This latter article is referring to the 1908 "Tunguska event," in which a comet or meteoroid exploded above the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia, flattening about 500,000 acres (2,000 square km) of forest.
While 2012 DA14 won't slam into us next February, humanity needs to remain vigilant against the asteroid threat, many researchers say. Huge impacts are a part of our planet's history, after all; one wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and it's just a matter of time before another big space rock lines Earth up in its sights, astronomers say.
The biggest solar storm in five years is battering our planet right now, and may cause disruptions to satellites, power grids and communications networks over the next 24 hours, space weather experts say.
Two strong solar flares erupted from the surface of the sun late Tuesday (March 6), blasting a wave of plasma and charged particles toward Earth. After speeding through space at 4 million mph, this eruption of material — called a coronal mass ejection (CME) — should be hitting Earth now.
The storm is expected to create strong disruptions due to an odd combination of intense magnetic, radio and radiation emissions, making it the strongest overall solar storm since December 2006, even though the flare that triggered it was not the largest, space weather officials said.
The CME reached Earth this morning at about 5:45 a.m. EST (1045 GMT), according to officials at the Space Weather Prediction Center, which is jointly managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service. While the CME did not hit Earth head-on, the material delivered a glancing blow to the planet, and energetic particles will continue to interact with Earth's magnetic field over the course of the day.
The CME will likely trigger geomagnetic and solar radiation storms today, which could interfere with satellites in space and power grids on the ground, said Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist at NOAA. Aircraft that fly over the Earth's polar caps may potentially experience communications issues as well, and some commercial airliners have already taken precautionary steps, Kunches said.
"There is the potential for induced currents in power grids," Kunches told reporters Wednesday. "Power grid operators have all been alerted. It could start to cause some unwanted induced currents."
The effects of this solar storm will likely last for 24 hours, and may possibly linger into Friday (March 9), Kunches said.
"Such a CME could result in a severe geomagnetic storm, causing aurora at low latitudes, with possible disruption to high frequency radio communication, global positioning systems (GPS), and power grids," NASA scientists said in a statement.
Experts also predict that the magnetic storm will likely enhance normal aurora displays (also known as the northern and southern lights). As the effects of the CME bombard Earth, these stunning light shows will be especially visible for people where it is currently night, though the full moon of March, which also occurs Thursday, may interfere with the display.
"Skywatchers at all latitudes should be alert for auroras," astronomer Tony Phillips wrote on his website Spaceweather.com, which regularly monitors space weather events.
If you snap an amazing photo of the northern lights sparked by these sun storms and would like to share it for a possible story or image gallery, please contact SPACE.com managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.