Thursday, July 26, 2012


2012 - Weird Events

The following video is a collection of weird events that have happened on the planet... in just the first three months of 2012. ...... 

How much more proof do you need ??

Drought Worsens, Food Inflation to Rise

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scattered rain brought some relief to parts of the baking U.S. Midwest on Wednesday, but most of the region remained in the grips of the worst drought in half a century as the outlook for world food supplies and prices worsened.
The U.S. Agriculture Department forecast that food prices would now out-pace other consumer costs through 2013 as drought destroys crops and erodes supplies.
"The drought is really going to hit food prices next year," said USDAeconomist Richard Volpe, adding that pressure on food prices would start building later this year.
"It's already affecting corn and soybean prices, but then it has to work its way all the way through the system into feed prices and then animal prices, then wholesale prices and then finally, retail prices," Volpe said in an interview.
The USDA now sees food prices rising between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent in 2012 and another 3-4 percent in 2013.
Food prices will rise more rapidly than overall U.S. inflation, the USDA said, a turnabout from the usual pattern. U.S. inflation is estimated at 2 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2013. Food inflation was 3.7 percent last year but only 0.8 percent in 2010.
On Wednesday, the USDA added another 76 counties to its list of areas designated for disaster aid, bringing the total to 1,369 counties in 31 states across the country. Two-thirds of the United States is now in mild or extreme drought, the agency said.
Forecasters said that after weeks of hot, dry weather the northern Corn Belt from eastern Nebraska through northern Illinois was likely to see a second day of scattered rain. But in the southern Midwest, including Missouri and most of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, more hot, dry weather was likely.
"Most of these areas need an excess of 10 inches of rain to break the drought," said Jim Keeney, aNational Weather Service meteorologist, referring to Kansas through Ohio. "This front is not expected to bring much more than a 1/2 to 1 inch in any particular area. It's not a drought buster by any means."
The central and southern Midwest saw more temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday, with St Louis at 101 F.
"There's no change in the drought pattern, just thunderstorms shifting around," said Andy Karst, a meteorologist for World Weather Inc. "There are no soaking rains seen through August 8."
The outlook sent Chicago Board of Trade grain markets higher after prices had come down from last week's record highs.
Chicago Board of Trade corn for September delivery closed 4-1/2 cents higher at $7.94-1/2 a bushel, compared to the record high of $8.28-3/4 set last week. August soybeans ended 45 cents higher at $16.94-1/4, compared to last week's record of $17.77-3/4. September wheat rose 24-1/2 cents at $9.03-1/4, compared to last week's 4-year high at $9.47-1/4.
The prices have markets around the world concerned that local food costs will soar because imports will be expensive, food aid for countries from China to Egypt will not be available, and food riots could occur as in the past.
The United States is the world's largest exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat.
Major losses in the massive U.S. corn crop, which is used for dozens of products from ethanol fuels to livestock feed, have been reported by field tours this week.
Soybeans, planted later than corn, are struggling to set pods, but if rain that has been forecast falls, soybeans may be saved from the worst effects of the drought.
A Reuters poll on Tuesday showed that U.S. corn yields could fall to a 10-year low, and the harvest could end up being the lowest in six years. Extensive damage has already been reflected in declining weekly crop reports from Corn Belt states.
"Monday's crop ratings showed losses on par with the damage seen during the 1988 drought if these conditions persist," said Bryce Knorr, senior editor for Farm Futures Magazine. "Weather so far has taken almost 4 billion bushels off the corn crop, so a lot of demand must still be rationed."
In Putnam County, Indiana, this week, crop scouts did not even stop to inspect corn fields since a glance convinced them that farmers would plow crops under rather than trying to harvest anything.
On Wednesday, scouts in central Illinois reported that some corn fields were better than expected, having benefited from early planting and pollination after a warm winter and spring.
Tom Womack of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture said some recent rains had helped soybean prospects, but "the damage that has been done to the corn has been done. No amount of rainfall will help us recover what we lost in the corn crop."
Ohio Governor John Kasich signed an order on Wednesday that will allow farmers to cut hay for their livestock from grass growing along highways adjacent to their properties.
Fire threats were growing in portions of the Plains. On Wednesday, firefighters from three north-central Nebraska counties and the National Guard battled expanding wildfires that have consumed more than 60,000 acres in the last week.
On Wednesday, helicopters dumped water on wildfires, ignited by lightning, that have been burning since the weekend in the Niobrara River Valley.
"We are making progress, but continued support is needed," Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said.
In Missouri, one of the nation's driest states, the highway patrol said smoke from grass and brush fires was creating "very dangerous driving conditions." Discarded cigarettes were cited as a factor in those fires.
Across the Midwest, cities and towns restricted water use for gardens and lawns and tried to save stressed trees with drip bags. Reservoir and river levels were low and being carefully watched, and restrictions were placed on barge movements along the Mississippi River and recreational boating.
The U.S. drought has been blamed on the El Nino phenomenon in the western Pacific Ocean, a warming of sea temperatures that affects global atmosphere and can prevent moisture from the Gulf of Mexico from reaching the U.S. Midwest breadbasket.
Some scientists have warned that this year's U.S. drought, already deemed the worst since 1956, is tied to climate factors that could have even worse effects in coming years.
Dangerously hot summer days have become more common across the Midwest in the last 60 years, and the region will face more potentially deadly weather as the climate warms, according to a report issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists (USC) on Wednesday.
The report looked at weather trends in Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis and St. Louis and smaller cities such as Peoria, Illinois, and Toledo, Ohio.
The report found that the number of hot, humid days has increased, on average, across the Midwest since the 1940s and 1950s, while hot, dry days have become hotter.
Finding relief from the heat has become more difficult, as all the cities studied now have fewer cool, dry days in the summer and night-time temperatures have risen.
"Night-time is typically when people get relief, especially those who don't have air conditioning," said Steve Frenkel, UCS's Midwest office director. "The risks of heat-related illness and death increase with high nighttime temperatures."
In Chicago, more than 700 deaths were attributed to a heat wave in July 1995. With more extreme summer heat, annual deaths in Chicago are projected to rise from 143 from 2020-2029 to 300 between 2090-2099, the report said.
(Additional reporting by Christine Stebbins, Kevin Murphy, Michael Hirtzer, Tim Ghianni and Sam Nelson)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Record Greenland Ice Melt in 4 Days


  • Greenland ice, it seems, can vanish in a flash, with new satellite images showing that over just a few days this month nearly all of the veneer of surface ice atop the island's massive ice sheet had thawed.
    That's a record for the largest area of surface melt on Greenland in more than 30 years of satellite observations, according to NASA and university scientists.
    The images, snapped by three satellites, showed that about 40 percent of the ice sheet had thawed at or near the surface on July 8; just days later, on July 12, images showed a dramatic increase in melting with thawing across 97 percent of the ice sheet surface.
    "This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?" said Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., referring to the July 12 images taken by the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Oceansat-2 satellite.
    Nghiem had reason to be baffled, as this record ice-melt is well above average: About half of Greenland's surface ice tends to melt every summer, with the meltwater at higher elevations quickly refreezing in place and the coastal meltwater either pooling on top of the ice or draining into the sea. [Giant Ice: Photos of Greenland's Glaciers]
    Instruments on two other satellites proved out Nghiem's findings — the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites
    Data from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder on a U.S. Air Force meteorological satellite also confirmed the mind-blowing melt.
    As for what caused the disappearing ice, University of Georgia, Athens climatologist Thomas Mote suggests it could be a ridge or dome of warm air hovering over Greenland that coincided with the extreme melt.
    "Each successive ridge has been stronger than the previous one," Mote said in a NASA statement. The latest in a series of these heat domes, which have dominated Greenland weather since May, began to move over Greenland on July 8, before coming to a halt over the ice sheet some three days later. By July 16, the heat dome had started to dissipate.
    Signs of ice melt were even found around Summit Station in central Greenland, which at 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) above sea level is near to the highest point of the ice sheet.
    "Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average," said study researcher Lora Koenig, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time," Koenig said in a statement.
    The melting of such a huge ice sheet — spanning an area of 656,000 square miles (1.7 million square kilometers) — is important for various reasons, particularly its potential effect on sea levels. If melted completely, the Greenland ice sheet could contribute 23 feet (7 meters) to global sea-level rise, according to a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international body charged with assessing climate change.
    Whether or not this recent massive melt will affect the overall ice loss this summer, and as such bump up sea level, is still an open question.
    Scientists say that man-made global warming, a result of greenhouse gas emissions, is contributing to Greenland ice melt. In fact, past research has suggested that the Greenland ice sheet will vanish in 2,000 years under business-as-usual carbon emissions. If humans managed to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), the disappearance would take 50,000 years.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dr. Doom sticks to 2013 Economy Fail prediction

Add Roubini to the list of names who all predicted the 2008 Crash ... along with Ruppert, Celente, Schiff, Whitney etc ... & who are all saying the same thing ... The economy will fail, crash, burn ... we are headed for the Greatest Depression ... prepare if you desire to survive ... get ready either way ... 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Economist Nouriel Roubini is standing by his prediction for a global "perfect storm" next year as economies the world over slow down or shudder to a complete halt, geopolitical risk grows and the euro zone's debt crisis accelerates.
Roubini, the New York University professor dubbed "Dr Doom" for predicting the 2008 financial crisis, highlighted five factors that could derail the global economy.
Those factors are a worsening of the debt crisis in Europe; tax increases and spending cuts in United Sates that may push the world's biggest economy into recession; a hard landing for China's economy; further slowing in emerging markets; and a military confrontation with Iran.
"Next year is the time when the can becomes too big to kick it down (the road)...then we have a global perfect storm," Roubini said in a television interview with Reuters.
Roubini's gloomy 2013 outlook isn't new, but it's getting more purchase as slowing economies and Europe's debt crisis drive turbulence in financial markets.
After what he expects will be a flat year for U.S. stocks in 2012, Roubini said the equity market could face a sharp correction next year, with little the Federal Reserve can do to stop it.
"There might be a weak rally because people are being cheered by more quantitative easing by (Chairman Ben) Bernanke and the Fed, but if the economy is weakening, that is going to put downward pressure on earnings growth," said Roubini.
Roubini said the Federal Reserve may be pushed toward unconventional policy options as the stimulative effect of successive waves of quantitative easing - effectively printing money to buy government bonds - diminishes over time.
Unconventional policy could include "targeting the 10-year Treasury at 1 percent, doing credit easing rather than quantitative easing, targeting nominal GDP, price-level targeting and lots of stuff that is more esoteric," said Roubini. "Eventually if everything goes wrong, they can even buy equities."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Glacier in north Greenland breaks off huge iceberg

WASHINGTON (AP) — An iceberg twice the size of Manhattan tore off one of Greenland's largest glaciers, illustrating another dramatic change to the warming island.
For several years, scientists had been watching a long crack near the tip of the northerly Petermann Glacier. On Monday, NASA satellites showed it had broken completely, freeing an iceberg measuring 46 square miles.
A massive ice sheet covers about four-fifths of Greenland. Petermann Glacier is mostly on land, but a segment sticks out over water like a frozen tongue, and that's where the break occurred.
The same glacier spawned an iceberg twice that size two years ago. Together, the breaks made a large change that's got the attention of researchers.
"It's dramatic. It's disturbing," said University of Delaware professor Andreas Muenchow, who was one of the first researchers to notice the break. "We have data for 150 years and we see changes that we have not seen before."
"It's one of the manifestations that Greenland is changing very fast," he said.
Researchers suspect global warming is to blame, but can't prove it conclusively yet. Glaciers do calve icebergs naturally, but what's happened in the last three years to Petermann is unprecedented, Muenchow and other scientists say.
"This is not part of natural variations anymore," said NASA glaciologist Eric Rignot, who camped on Petermann 10 years ago.
Ohio State University ice scientist Ian Howat said there is still a chance it could be normal calving, like losing a fingernail that has grown too long, but any further loss would show it's not natural: "We're still in the phase of scratching our heads and figuring out how big a deal this really is."
Many of Greenland's southern glaciers have been melting at an unusually rapid pace. The Petermann break brings large ice loss much farther north than in the past, said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.
If it continues, and more of the Petermann is lost, the melting would push up sea levels, he said. The ice lost so far was already floating, so the breaks don't add to global sea levels.
Northern Greenland and Canada have been warming five times faster than the average global temperature, Muenchow said. Temperatures have increased there by about 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 30 years, Scambos said.
The new iceberg is likely to follow the path of the one in 2010, Muenchow said. That broke apart into smaller icebergs headed north, then west and last year started landing in Newfoundland, he said.
It's more than glaciers in Greenland that are melting. Scientists also reported this week that the Arctic had the largest sea ice loss on record for June.

America Heading Towards a Collapse Worse Than 2008 AND Europe! Says Peter Schiff

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Drought Leads To Fears Over Food Prices

Drought worsens crop damage, raising world food, fuel worry

""We're moving from a crisis to a horror story," said Purdue University agronomist Tony Vyn. "I see an increasing number of fields that will produce zero grain."

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Corn and soybeans in the U.S. Midwest baked in an unrelenting heat wave on Monday with fears rising of big crop losses that will boost food and fuel prices and cut exports and aid from the world's top shipper of the key crops.
The condition of the nation's corn and soybeans as of Sunday deteriorated even more than grain traders had feared, and the U.S. Agriculture Department cuts its weekly corn crop condition rating by the biggest amount in nearly a decade.
After weeks of growing drought some lucky farms have been doused by scattered thunderstorms in the past few days. But weather forecasters warned the heat and dryness would only intensify through the end of July and possibly beyond.
"We're moving from a crisis to a horror story," said Purdue University agronomist Tony Vyn. "I see an increasing number of fields that will produce zero grain."
The drought scorching the U.S. Midwest is the worst since 1956, theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a report posted on its website on Monday. Drought is affecting 55 percent of the land mass in the lower 48 states.
The corn crop is in the greatest danger. Plants are trying to pollinate to let ears fill with kernels, a period when adequate moisture is vital for final yields. The United States ships more than half of all world exports of corn, which is made into dozens of products, from starch and ethanol to livestock feed.
The USDA on Monday rated the corn crop - which had once been estimated to total a record 14 billion bushels this year - at only 31 percent good-to-excellent, down 9 percentage points on last week.
The soybean crop rating was cut to 34 percent good-to-excellent, down 6 percentage points from the previous week.
Chicago Board of Trade corn for December delivery has soared 54 percent since mid-June, reaching a contract high of $7.78 on Monday and approaching its record price near $8.
Soybeans for November delivery soared to a new contract high of $15.97 before slipping back a few cents.
Crop watchers were alarmed that corn rated poor-to-very poor jumped to 38 percent, versus 30 percent last week and 11 percent a year ago.
"They're moving corn from good-and-excellent condition to poor-to-very poor in one week, which skips fair condition. What they're saying is it's a lot worse than they thought," said farmer Larry Winger, who farms along the Illinois-Indiana border 30 miles south of Purdue, commenting on the USDA report.
To make matters worse, Winger said, drought has created ripe conditions for spider mites, which suck the moisture out of soybeans and can slice yields in half. Japanese beetles and other pests were feeding on Midwest corn, which can also develop toxic fungal diseases in drought years, analysts said.
Both grains are exported around the world, raising concerns about global food shortages and inflation. The impact on American grocery and meat case prices may take time to be felt but will likely be seen in inflation in coming months.
Last week, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack designated more than 1,000 counties across the country as natural disaster areas due to the drought conditions, the largest single designation in the history of the USDA loan aid program.
In Nebraska, where most farmers irrigate their corn, flows in streams and rivers had dropped so much that the state on Monday asked 1,100 of Nebraska's 48,000 farmers and ranchers to stop pulling water from the waterways and use wells instead.
Iowa and Illinois produce a third of U.S. corn and soybeans. But prospects there have turned down sharply, raising fears losses will be the worst since 1988, the last major drought.
Prospects for the later-developing Midwest soybean crop were better than that for corn, though substantial rains were needed during the next three weeks to salvage Indiana's crop, Vyn said.
"The window for soybeans is closing," he said.
Soybeans usually go through their key growth period of flowering and pod-setting in August, a few weeks after corn in the Midwest. Soy is used in scores of products, from paints and feeds to edible oils and increasingly for soy-based diesel fuel.
"We need soaking rains now. We need 2 to 3 inches and that's not in the forecast," AgResource Co analyst Dan Basse said.
AccuWeather meteorologist Erik Pindrock said a seemingly immovable ridge of high pressure on Monday kept much of the central Corn Belt in a dome of heat, and he predicted the hot, dry weather would persist through July and possibly into August.
Monday's heat matched high temperature records for the date in many locations including Flint, Michigan, where it was 97 Fahrenheit (37 Celsius), and in Indianapolis, where it was 98 F, he said.
"We've seen Raleigh, North Carolina, tie its all-time record of 105 (F) degrees three times ... so this is definitely a country-wide heat wave," Pindrock said.
(Additional reporting by Kay Henderson in Des Moines, Karl Plume and Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by Peter Bohan and Lisa Shumaker)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Drought Crosses 26 States- Largest Area Ever

The United States Department of Agriculture has declared natural disaster areas in more than 1,000 counties and 26 drought-stricken states, making it the largest natural disaster in America ever.
The declaration—which covers roughly half of the country—gives farmers and ranchers devastated by drought access to federal aid, including low-interest emergency loans.
"Agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsacksaid Wednesday while announcing the assistance program. "We need to be cognizant of the fact that drought and weather conditions have severely impacted farmers around the country."
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than half the country (56 percent) experienced drought conditions—the largest percentage in the 12-year history of the service. And according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the period from January through June was "the warmest first half of any year on record for the contiguous United States."
The average temperature was 52.9 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4.5 degrees above average, NOAA said on Monday. Twenty-eight states east of the Rockies set temperature records for the six-month period.
A heat wave blistered most of the United States in June, with more than 170 all-time temperature records broken or tied during the month. On June 28 in Norton, Kan., for instance, the temperature reached 118 degrees, an all-time high. On June 26, Red Willow, Neb., set a temperature record of 115 degrees, eclipsing the 114-degree mark set in 1932.

Monday, July 9, 2012

First half of year: hottest on record

Frank Moralez sells cold beverages to motorists in Philadelphia, July 7, 2012. (Joseph Kaczmarek/AP)

In what should come as no surprise to many people living in the United States in the last month or so, the first half of 2012 was officially the hottest ever recorded.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the period from January through June was "the warmest first half of any year on record for the contiguous United States."
The average temperature was 52.9 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4.5 degrees above average, the NOAA said on Monday. Twenty-eight states east of the Rockies set temperature records for the six-month period. The 12 months ending on June 30 was the warmest 12-month period of any 12 months on record, according to the NOAA.
[Slideshow: Beating the heat]
Record-breaking temperatures blistered most of the United States in June, with more than 170 all-time temperature records broken or tied during the month. On June 28 in Norton, Kansas, for instance, the temperature reached 118 degrees, an all-time high. On June 26, Red Willow, Nebraska, set a temperature record of 115 degrees, eclipsing the 114-degree mark set in 1932.
The first six months of the year were also drier than most, with precipitation totals 1.62 inches below average. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than half of the country (56 percent) experienced drought conditions--the largest percentage in the 12-year history of the service.
The NOAA report comes on the heels of a heat wave that's been blamed for at least 30 deaths and shattered more than 3,000 temperature records in July alone.
Not all states have experienced the record-breaking heat, however. Washington had its seventh coolest June on record, the NOAA said.



Monday, July 2, 2012

Eurozone Unemployment Hits New Record in May

LONDON (AP) — Unemployment in the 17-country euro currencybloc hit another record in May as the crippling financial crisispushed the continent toward the brink of recession, official figures showed Monday.
Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said unemployment rose to 11.1 percent in May from 11 percent the previous month. May's rate was the highest since the euro was launched in 1999 and adds further urgency to the eurozone countries' plan to create economic growthand cut excessive government debt.
At a summit last Friday, eurozone leaders agreed a set of short- and long-term measures to shore up the euro and unveiled a limited economic growth package. Markets have responded positively with a stock market rally which, if sustained, should help buoy economic confidence in the eurozone — a key step to easing the crisis.
But the unemployment data highlighted the extent of the challenge facing European leaders.
May's unemployment rate compares badly with an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in the United States and 4.4 percent in Japan, and is expected to rise further in the coming months as the eurozone economy is forecast to slide back into recession this year.
In total, 17.6 million people were out of work in the eurozone in May, up 88,000 on the month before and 1.8 million more than the level a year earlier.
"The numbers ... indicate ongoing labour market weakness, with further deterioration highly likely in the second half of the year," said Ashley James, senior European economist at RBC Capital Markets.
Unemployment has been edging higher for over a year as concerns over the debt crisis and the future of the euro currency have weighed on economic activity. Businesses have been cutting jobs or delaying hiring as confidence in the economy waned, while many governments have pursued austerity programs, including big job reductions in the public sector.
There are huge disparities across the eurozone, however.
The labor markets of those countries at the front line of the debt crisis, such as Greece and Spain, are suffering most due to their governments' stringent austerity measures and deep recessions. The highest unemployment rate across the eurozone was recorded in Spain, where 24.6 percent of people were out of work in May. Even more dramatically, 52.1 percent of the country's youth were unemployed. Greece's youth unemployment rate also stands at 52.1 percent at last count in March.
"EU policymakers and stakeholders are aware of this potential catastrophe of creating a lost generation, but so far appear powerless to halt the rising jobless figures among young people," said Andrea Broughton, principal research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies in London.
"This is a huge problem to tackle, but it is essential that young people are encouraged to develop skills that are in demand and that they are given the chance to obtain meaningful work experience that enables them to gain a foothold in the labour market," Broughton added.
Other countries in the eurozone, particularly those in the north, are faring better. Germany's unemployment rate stood at only 5.6 percent. And its youth unemployment rate stood at only 7.9 percent, markedly lower than the more than one in two unemployed in both Greece and Spain.
However, a raft of economic indicators in recent weeks have shown that Europe's biggest economy is not immune to the problems in the rest of the region. Germany's exports to other countries in the eurozone are under pressure and business confidence is waning.
Across the wider 27-country European Union, which includes non-euro countries such as Britain and Poland, unemployment edged up to 10.3 percent in May from 10.2 percent the month before.