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NASA: This year's Arctic melt won't be setting any records

© NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio
Visualization of Arctic sea ice extent on Aug. 13, 2016.
From Walt Meier at NASA Goddard:

This year's melt season in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas started with a bang, with a record low maximum extent in March and relatively rapid ice loss through May. The melt slowed down in June, however, making it highly unlikely that this year's summertime sea ice minimum extent will set a new record.

"Even when it's likely that we won't have a record low, the sea ice is not showing any kind of recovery. It's still in a continued decline over the long term," said Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "It's just not going to be as extreme as other years because the weather conditions in the Arctic were not as extreme as in other years."

"A decade ago, this year's sea ice extent would have set a new record low and by a fair amount. Now, we're kind of used to these low levels of sea ice - it's the new normal."

This year's sea ice cover of the Barents and Kara seas north of Russia opened up early, in April, exposing the surface ocean waters to the energy from the sun weeks ahead of schedule. By May 31, the extent of the Arctic sea ice cover was comparable to end-of-June average levels. But the Arctic weather changed in June and slowed the sea ice loss. A persistent area of low atmospheric pressure, accompanied by cloudiness, winds that dispersed ice and lower-than-average temperatures, didn't favor melt.

Comment: NASA's predictive ability is not only limited but completely irrelevant with their use of faulty computer models, cooked record keeping, distorted interpretations, and denial of the historical patterns leading to ice ages. One doesn't even need to be a keen reader to see how much Meier really wants a drastic Arctic ice melt to occur.


Seven killed, two missing in typhoon Dianmu flash flooding, landslides in northern Vietnam

© Tuoitre News
Landslides in the northern Vietnamese province of Yen Bai caused by tropical storm Dianmu.
Seven people have been killed, two are missing, and eight have been wounded by the impact of tropical storm Dianmu in northern Vietnam over the weekend. The Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has sent a brief report to leaders of northern provinces, confirming the number of casualties in the aftermath of the typhoon.

The storm made landfall on Friday afternoon in Hai Phong City and Thai Binh Province with winds near the eye of the storm reaching 60 - 90kph, according to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. Dianmu began weakening by 7:00 pm on the same day and eventually dissipated en route to the northern mountains, with anticipated heavy rainfall, flash floods, and landslides.

The two missing victims were swept away by flood water while the injured were caught under fallen trees, muds, and collapsed homes, The Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said.

A total of 44 houses were knocked down entirely or washed away, while the roofs of 651 residences were damaged by strong winds, it continued, adding that 1,511 houses had been submerged in flood and 2,154 households had been evacuated.

The tropical storm also ravaged 8,843 hectares of paddy field and 1,189 hectares of other crops, while uprooting 252 trees planted across the region. About 14 small bridges were destroyed and many sections of national and provincial highways were damaged in the provinces, creating problems for local traffic.Several electric lines were also impacted and about 63 utility posts broken, according to the report.


Pennsylvania residents abuzz by cause of mystery 'sonic boom'

© Via YouTube/World Cities
Things are certainly booming in Hazleton — the question is, what caused the loud blast heard by many throughout the area? At approximately 12:15 a.m. Sunday many residents across the Hazleton area reported experiencing what sounded and felt like a "sonic boom" — rattling windows, and "echoing like an explosion," according to concerned resident Tom Heller.

"I've been hearing people report about it from all over," he said. "McAdoo, Hazleton, Packer Township ... even the Valley." The noise went viral on social media, drawing hypotheses from concerned residents as to what caused such a boom.

"We've haven't gotten any calls or responded to any incidents that were related to any type of boom like that," Hazleton Fire Chief Donald Leshko said. "We've heard people talking about this explosion, but there's nothing that we're sure of, or that we responded to."

While some cite a "sonic boom," "a meteor exploding in atmosphere" or "a high-tension power line breaking," the most popular guess points to the ignition of a methane gas pocket at the site of the Jeanesville mine fire, burning underground in Banks Township.

Many local residents also cite smelling sulfur — something common in methane-related incidents. "I wish we had some answers, but nothing was reported in that region for the past few days," Colleen Connolly of the Department of Environmental Protection told the Standard-Speaker on Sunday evening.

Ice Cube

8,000 blue lakes appear in Antarctica worrying scientists

© DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Satellite image of lakes on Langhovde Glacier, East Antarctica
Scientists have discovered that thousands of blue lakes of melt water have formed on the surface of Antarctica's glaciers over the past decade, an unprecedented event which threatens the stability of the largest ice mass on Earth.

Researchers from the Durham University in the UK analyzed hundreds of satellite images and meteorological observations of Langhovde Glacier, on the coast of East Antarctica's Dronning Maud Land. The study revealed that between 2000 and 2013, about 8,000 new blue lakes have appeared in Antarctica.

The scientists suspect that the water of some lakes could seep under the glacier's surface, potentially weakening it and making it more likely to fracture and break apart.

Previously it was thought that East Antarctica's ice hadn't been affected by global warming; therefore, more attention has been paid to the changes taking place in the Antarctic Peninsula. It is known that the occurrence of such lakes has led to melting of glaciers in Greenland, where 1 trillion metric tons of ice have melted between 2011 and 2014.


Brown bear mauls 2 guides near Sitka, Alaska

Grizzly bear
Alaska State Troopers say a brown bear that mauled two wilderness guides who were leading cruise ship passengers on a hiking excursion went on the attack after the group came between the female animal and her cub.

The guides injured Thursday are crew members of the 74-passenger cruise vessel Wilderness Explorer who were leading 22 people on a hike about 30 miles north of Sitka in southeast Alaska.

A statement from the troopers say two guides "were conducting a guided nature hike for several tourists when they were confronted by a sow and cub brown bear and ultimately mauled. One of the victims did deploy pepper spray and the bears eventually departed the area."

Spokeswoman Sarah Scoltock with vessel operator UnCruise Adventures of Seattle says no one else was injured and she doesn't know if anyone witnessed the mauling on the Sitkoh Creek Trail.


Raging wildfires in eastern Washington destroy homes, force evacuations

© Spokane Co. Fire District 8
Wildfires Spread in Washington State, Forcing Hundreds to Flee
Firefighters battled fast-moving wildfires in eastern Washington that have destroyed homes and forced hundreds of residents to flee the flames.

Three blazes in the Spokane region erupted Sunday afternoon, sending families rushing to pile pets and keepsakes into vehicles and hit the road.

The Spokesman-Review reported that homes burned in the Beacon Hill area of Spokane, in wheat country near Spangle and north of Davenport in nearby Lincoln County.

But the extent of the losses and number of evacuees was unclear as firefighters prepared to work through the night and into Monday morning. No injuries have been reported.

Together the three blazes scorched nearly seven square miles of terrain and sent plumes of smoke billowing high over the region.


'Wall of dirt': Huge dust storm rolls over Phoenix, Arizona

© Flashwing / YouTube
A dust storm swept through Arizona's largest city Sunday, delaying flights at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport and creating spectacular visuals. The phenomenon is also known by its Arabic name, "haboob."

Phoenix on Sunday evening resembled a scene from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. While such sandstorms cannot actually happen in Dubai, as depicted in the movie, they are fairly common in the American Southwest.

Visibility at Sky Harbor International Airport was reduced to a quarter-mile or less, with winds gusting to 60 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. At least 16 flights were delayed, with the average delay running about 49 minutes, according to FlightAware.

"It was impressive. I've been watching it on the news, and it looks pretty imposing as you see it rolling through the Valley, and then you look outside and it's all hazy and orange with the sunset," Simon Norton, who was traveling through Sky Harbor, told KNXV-TV.


Discharge event? Bright flashes of circular 'light' seen via telescope over Pacific Ocean

© Via YouTube/MrBB333
The bright flashes you will see in this video transpired over the course of 40 minutes. It is not a fireball and is not thunderstorm related. Very odd...

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills two and injures five in Bajaur, Pakistan

Two persons were killed and five others sustained injuries when lightning struck them in Adad Banda in tehsil of Bajaur Agency on Sunday.

The two persons identified as Kashif and Inam were killed and five others injured when they were struck by lightning.

The Frontier Corps personnel reached the area and shifted the injured to the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Khar.

The torrential rain also destroyed crops in several villages of the Bajaur tribal region.

Cloud Lightning

Man dies after being struck by lightning in Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado

An Arvada man died after being struck by lighting Friday in the Roosevelt National Forest in northern Colorado.

Chad Trover, 45, was at a cabin near Red Feathers Lakes in Larimer County Friday afternoon when a storm rolled through.

A friend who was with Trover at the time told FOX31 Denver the storm seemed mild and they did not see a lot of lightning.

Trover was talking to his daughter on his cell phone while standing between two 60-feet-tall trees when he was struck.