Japan Times and Fukushima Diary
Thu, 10 May 2012 00:00 UTC
The Daily Mail
Wed, 09 May 2012 21:14 UTC
During a 2009 expedition, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers took water samples 1,000 miles west of California, and then compared the amount of plastic they detected with samples dating back to 1972.
While many of the samples taken 40 years ago included little or no plastic, vast stretches of the North Pacific are now polluted with billions of tiny pieces of confetti-like trash that come from flotsam and jetsam that is swept into the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone by circulating ocean currents known as a gyre, and is then broken down by winds and waves.
The particles of 'microplastic' - pieces of plastic smaller than 5 milometer in diameter - sit on or near the surface, where they are consumed by fish, sea turtles and other marine animals.
The latest samples show that the garbage patch - which is about the size of Texas - has become much denser: There are roughly 100 times more pieces of plastic per cubic meter of water than were in samples during the 1970s, according to the study cited by the San Jose Mercury News.
'We were really surprised. It is a very large increase,' said Miriam Goldstein, a Ph.D. graduate student in biological oceanography and lead author of the study.
The image shows the activity on Pagan Island, the largest and one of the most active of the Marianas volcanoes, a NASA release reported Thursday.
Fires and smoke on the island was imaged on Tuesday by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite.
The last time May was colder was in 1698, at 8.5C over the whole month.
And the Met Office has warned that weeks of wet weather ahead could wash out the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations.
The Environment Agency issued two flood warnings and 14 alerts, warning of high tides swamping coastlines across South Wales.
Up to 2cm of rain will fall across the south and Midlands today. Severe weather warnings have been issued in the south-west. Wednesday and Thursday will see many parts hit by another 3cm of rain - totalling 5cm, or a month's worth, in 24 hours - with localised flooding and transport problems expected. Warnings have been issued.
Gales hitting 50mph will buffet vehicles, rip branches from trees and threaten property damage.
The tornadoes formed at the front edge of a powerful storm system that moved across the region yesterday afternoon.
Tim Osborn, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coast Survey was just finishing up a meeting on Grand Isle when he spied a man out the window do a double-take and point to the skies.
"He came running in and said, 'There's a waterspout out there!'" Osborn told OurAmazingPlanet. So Osborn grabbed his camera and started snapping, catching the birth of not one, but two waterspouts as they spun up over waters just north of the island.
"You could clearly see them forming in the sky," he said, "and I was able to get them on the camera as they were starting to drop."
This is from a year ago:
Amazing waterspout 'tornadoes' caught on camera off Australia
Not one or two but THREE waterspouts!
Destabilization: Scientists discover new unstable region the size of New Jersey under Antarctica Ice Sheet
Thu, 10 May 2012 12:12 UTC
Team members at The University of Texas at Austin compared data about the newly discovered basin to data they previously collected from other parts of the WAIS that also appear highly vulnerable, including Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier. Although the amount of ice stored in the new basin is less than the ice stored in previously studied areas, it might be closer to a tipping point.
"If we were to invent a set of conditions conducive to retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, this would be it," said Don Blankenship, senior research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Geophysics and co-author on the new paper. "With its smooth bed that slopes steeply toward the interior, we could find no other region in West Antarctica more poised for change than this newly discovered basin at the head of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. The only saving grace is that losing the ice over this new basin would only raise sea level by a small percentage of the several meters that would result if the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet destabilized."
Global Cooling on the Way? Lake Sediment Proves Sun Cooled Earth 2,800 Years Ago and Could Happen Again Soon!
The Daily Mail
Wed, 09 May 2012 18:23 UTC
- Lake sediment proves 'solar minimum' caused 200 years of cooling 2,800 years ago
- New minimum due soon - after this year's increased sunspot activity
- Sun's activity CAN cause changes in Earth's climate, claim scientists
- May throw predictions of global warming out of whack
Scientists at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences analysed lake sediment in Lake Meerfelder Maar, and found direct evidence of a sudden cooling caused by a 'solar minimum'.
Some scientists suspect that the current period of high solar activity - including increased sunspots and solar storms thsi year - will be followed by a 'minimum' period, which could even cause an Ice Age.
If the GFZ research is correct, a new 'solar minimum' could have a direct impact on Earth's climate - cooling our planet drastically, and knocking the predictions of global-warming alarmists out of whack.
Comment: Interesting that the main stream media is slowly letting the news out. Quite a number of real scientists are in agreement that the earth has actually been cooling and that we are due for another ice age in the very near future (among other things!):
Ice Ages Start and End So Suddenly, "It's Like a Button Was Pressed," Say Scientists
Reflections on the Coming Ice Age
'Forget global warming, prepare for Ice Age'
Scientist predicts 'mini Ice Age'
Wed, 09 May 2012 18:16 UTC
Florida Fish and Wildlife biologists collected two of the dead pelicans after at least eleven of the birds have been found along the bank in Palm Shores near Melbourne, and people are puzzled as to why they died.
Wildlife officials said there have been no reports of fish kills, algae blooms or other factors that could have contributed to the deaths.
Meantime, the mystery remains.
"I might see one once in a blue moon," said Tim Carlisle of Palm Shores Public Works. "But for this many popping up on the shore, it's unexplained."
Palm Shores Public Works says they've gotten many calls lately from resident complaining about the problem. Another resident who contacted News 13 said they found more than a dozen just a couple miles along the river north. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say tests are being done on the animals to try and determine the cause of death.
"We were thinking maybe it's the fish, or somebody doing something to them. But it's in a lot of different place," said Carlisle.
Meanwhile overseas, Peru's health ministry is asking people to avoid beaches in Lima and north of the capital until officials can determine what is killing hundreds of pelicans.
Last month, the country's production ministry said the authorities were investigating the deaths of more than 538 pelicans, and other birds, on the northern coast.
The Asia-Pacific Journal
Mon, 07 May 2012 11:03 UTC
The press pack has disappeared like a ghost since this April. The influx of foreign media has suddenly stopped, as I can attest since I worked as a translator and aid to many foreign journalists in the year up to the 3.11 anniversary in 2012. Using the keywords 'Fukushima' and 'nuclear plant' in Japanese to scour the Nikkei TELECOM 21 search engine shows 9,981 domestic news items in April 2012, just over half the 17,272 stories the previous month.
As if to take advantage of the precise timing of the media evacuation, the municipal government of Minami-soma city, Fukushima Prefecture began implementing a blueprint planned some time earlier. In the dead of night on Monday April 16th, the city lifted the no-entry regulations and changed evacuation zone designations that had stood since March 12, 2011. The decision allowed people to return to the district of Odaka and some parts of the Haramachi district.
Watanabe Ichie, a volunteer from Tokyo who witnessed the scene near the roadblock into the zone observed that: "several police vehicles with flashing red lights arrived after 23:00 on April 15th. By 0:15, all the vehicles had gone". "After that, all that remained was the light from the traffic signals." The following morning, cars moved freely inside the once-prohibited area.
Wed, 09 May 2012 05:14 UTC
The contiguous United States had a national average temperature of 55.7 F (13.2 C) from May 2011 to April 2012, 2.8 F (1.6 C) above the 20th century average, NOAA said in a statement.
It was the warmest ever May-to-April period in the lower 48 states. It included the second-hottest summer, fourth-warmest winter and the warmest March. Twenty-two states posted record warmth for the period.
The first four months of the 2012 were the warmest on record. The average temperature for the contiguous states during these months was 45.4 F (7.4 C), 5.4 F (3 C) above normal.