Tag Archive: Mayan Culture


DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Fire, flood or giant calabash… pick your apocalypse

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP)

Devoured by a giant squash, engulfed by flood or flames, frozen in a nuclear winter or new ice age, mankind has looked to The End with fear and fascination since the dawn of civilisation.

Nature’s cycles — day succeeding night, the four seasons — long fed fears of being plunged into eternal darkness, or an endless winter.

“Before the great monotheistic religions, most ancient civilisations lived in fear that these cycles would one day stop,” explained the historian Bernard Sergent, author of a recent book exploring 13 apocalyptic myths.

The Aztecs believed there was a chance that — once every 52 years — the sun would no longer rise, so they ordered copious human sacrifices to ensure it did.

But rather than The End of all things, throughout history a good old apocalypse has often been viewed as a way to reset the clock, divide good from evil and start anew.

Derived from ancient Greek, the word means “revelation”. Chosen to figure in the Bible, the Apocalypse of John is just one of the many world’s end scenarios that were in circulation in early Christian times.

The Book of Revelation, the last in the New Testament, describes a string of cataclysmic events that annihilate part of life on Earth, culminating with the announcement of the Second Coming of Christ.

Islam also offers a repertoire of tales of mass destruction — by sandstorm, invasion or fire.

Plague, famine and brutal wars made Europe in the Middle Ages, to many, seem ripe for extermination — leading to a flourishing of prophecies the world would end in 1,000 AD, just as doomsayers would foretell The End a millennium later.

At the start of the Renaissance, the Anabaptists were convinced the end of the world was nigh, and that it was vital to “rebaptise” adults before it came.

— “It’s part of the human make-up” —

“What is most often at stake is being called to account by the gods, or by nature, it’s about being punished for defying some higher order,” said Jean-Noel Lafargue, author of a study of world’s end myths through history.

“Today we no longer need Gods to make us tremble. Man-made disasters suffice. That’s what changed in the 20th century.”

For thousands of years water was the apocalyptic weapon of choice.

For Judeo-Christians, the flood evokes the biblical story of Noah’s Ark, but the motif of a deluge sent upon man by an angry divinity stretches back deep in time.

In Mesopotamia all-engulfing flood myths date from Sumerian times, between the fourth and second millennium BC, as told in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest surviving works of literature.

Ancient Greece and Rome had their share of floods, too: from the Greek deluge of Ogyges — named after a mythical ruler — to Atlantis, the legendary island swallowed up by the sea, as recounted by the philosopher Plato.

At the dawn of our era, a deluge myth told by a small people from the Near East, the Hebrews, went on to become the most famous of all.

According to the Book of Genesis, God decided to rid Earth of men and animals, instructing a single, “righteous” man, Noah, to build an ark to save himself and a remnant of life.

Fire usually comes just before, or after a flood.

Greece, Scandinavia, India and native American cultures all spoke of the annihilation of early mankind by flames.

Africa and ancient Egypt had no flood myths, but West African folk tales do speak of a “devouring gourd”, or calabash, that swallows up entire settlements, homes, livestock, even the whole of mankind.

“I think it’s part of the human make-up, part of the human psyche somewhere, to have a fascination with the end of the world,” Jocelyn Bell Burnell, visiting professor of astrophysics at Oxford, told AFP.

In the globalised 21st century, the apocalypse — on the silver screen — most often comes as a pandemic or climate cataclysm, but the most enthusiastic doomsayers will doubtless be stockpiling supplies as December 21 supposedly marked by the Mayan calendar as a world’s end moment, draws near.

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Mayan Ac Tah Explains What Will Happen On December 21st, 2012

Piazza della Carina

“Liberal” [sic] still thinking of voting for Obomba ? watch this and then tell me, personally i  could not stop crying, this is your flavor of humanity, accept it and do something about it or suffer the karma ……..

VIDEO: NATO’s gifts to the children of Libya ~ via Lizzie Phelan

 

 

 

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Earthquakes

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 23 23:57 PM
3.6     14.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 23:47 PM
3.7     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 23:42 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 23:37 PM
2.5     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Albania
Apr 23 23:22 PM
2.4     7.0     MAP

GEONET     Canterbury
Apr 23 23:18 PM
3.0     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 23 23:00 PM
4.8     2.0     MAP

GEOFON     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 23 23:00 PM
4.5     10.0     MAP

USGS     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 23 23:00 PM
4.8     9.9     MAP

EMSC     Southern Greece
Apr 23 22:47 PM
3.0     56.0     MAP

USGS     Kuril Islands
Apr 23 22:40 PM
5.6     29.4     MAP

EMSC     Kuril Islands
Apr 23 22:40 PM
5.6     46.0     MAP

GEOFON     Kuril Islands
Apr 23 22:40 PM
5.6     31.0     MAP

USGS     Crete, Greece
Apr 23 22:15 PM
4.7     47.2     MAP

GEOFON     Crete, Greece
Apr 23 22:15 PM
4.6     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Crete, Greece
Apr 23 22:15 PM
4.8     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Southern Greece
Apr 23 21:59 PM
2.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 23 21:34 PM
2.7     10.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 23 21:25 PM
4.2     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 21:24 PM
2.8     5.0     MAP

USGS     Molucca Sea
Apr 23 21:21 PM
5.7     42.6     MAP

EMSC     Molucca Sea
Apr 23 21:21 PM
5.7     60.0     MAP

GEOFON     Northern Molucca Sea
Apr 23 21:21 PM
5.6     68.0     MAP

EMSC     Southern Greece
Apr 23 21:19 PM
2.8     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Southern Greece
Apr 23 21:11 PM
2.9     10.0     MAP

USGS     Kodiak Island Region, Alaska
Apr 23 21:03 PM
2.7     38.8     MAP

EMSC     Poland
Apr 23 21:02 PM
3.2     10.0     MAP

GEOFON     Poland
Apr 23 21:02 PM
3.8     10.0     MAP

USGS     Utah
Apr 23 20:55 PM
2.6     6.3     MAP

EMSC     Kuril Islands
Apr 23 20:53 PM
4.9     89.0     MAP

GEOFON     Kuril Islands
Apr 23 20:53 PM
5.0     93.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 20:14 PM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 19:50 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 19:39 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 19:27 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Mediterranean Sea
Apr 23 19:15 PM
3.2     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 23 19:15 PM
2.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 18:52 PM
3.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 18:38 PM
2.5     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Central Turkey
Apr 23 18:20 PM
2.9     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 23 18:09 PM
2.6     8.0     MAP

EMSC     Southern Xinjiang, China
Apr 23 17:58 PM
4.5     1.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 17:55 PM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 17:51 PM
2.7     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 17:47 PM
3.8     4.0     MAP

EMSC     Ionian Sea
Apr 23 17:42 PM
2.6     5.0     MAP

USGS     Greater Los Angeles Area, California
Apr 23 17:37 PM
3.9     13.1     MAP

USGS     Kermadec Islands Region
Apr 23 17:36 PM
5.8     116.7     MAP

EMSC     Kermadec Islands Region
Apr 23 17:36 PM
5.8     100.0     MAP

GEOFON     Kermadec Islands Region
Apr 23 17:36 PM
5.9     107.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 23 17:34 PM
3.7     26.0     MAP

USGS     Island Of Hawaii, Hawaii
Apr 23 16:53 PM
2.5     38.5     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 16:53 PM
2.6     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 16:50 PM
2.6     3.0     MAP

GEOFON     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 23 16:43 PM
4.2     98.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 23 16:43 PM
4.4     15.0     MAP

USGS     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 23 16:43 PM
4.5     15.3     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 16:41 PM
2.7     5.0     MAP

USGS     Central California
Apr 23 16:36 PM
2.7     9.2     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 23 16:36 PM
3.2     4.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 16:33 PM
2.7     3.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 16:27 PM
3.2     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 16:22 PM
2.4     4.0     MAP

EMSC     Jujuy, Argentina
Apr 23 16:22 PM
4.4     211.0     MAP

USGS     Jujuy, Argentina
Apr 23 16:22 PM
4.4     211.2     MAP

GEOFON     Turkey
Apr 23 16:14 PM
4.3     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 16:14 PM
4.3     2.0     MAP

USGS     Western Turkey
Apr 23 16:14 PM
4.2     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Georgia (sak’art’velo)
Apr 23 15:50 PM
4.1     5.0     MAP

USGS     Georgia (sak’art’velo)
Apr 23 15:50 PM
4.1     10.0     MAP

GEOFON     Central Mediterranean Sea
Apr 23 15:23 PM
4.1     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Central Mediterranean Sea
Apr 23 15:23 PM
4.1     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia
Apr 23 14:54 PM
5.2     117.0     MAP

GEOFON     Banda Sea
Apr 23 14:54 PM
5.1     140.0     MAP

USGS     Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia
Apr 23 14:54 PM
5.2     129.7     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 14:40 PM
2.7     8.0     MAP

USGS     Southern Alaska
Apr 23 14:39 PM
2.6     18.5     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 23 14:32 PM
2.4     17.0     MAP

USGS     Central California
Apr 23 14:19 PM
2.7     9.1     MAP

GEONET     Canterbury
Apr 23 14:15 PM
3.5     5.0     MAP

USGS     Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan
Apr 23 14:00 PM
4.0     39.4     MAP

EMSC     Hindu Kush Region, Afghanistan
Apr 23 14:00 PM
4.0     39.0     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 23 13:57 PM
2.5     1.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 23 13:42 PM
2.6     10.0     MAP

USGS     Dominican Republic Region
Apr 23 13:39 PM
3.2     89.6     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 23 12:59 PM
2.5     1.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 12:47 PM
2.6     9.0     MAP

USGS     Alaska Peninsula
Apr 23 12:38 PM
3.1     0.1     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 23 11:07 AM
2.8     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Corsica, France
Apr 23 11:00 AM
2.8     17.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 10:58 AM
2.4     5.0     MAP

USGS     Tonga Region
Apr 23 10:57 AM
5.0     15.3     MAP

EMSC     Tonga Region
Apr 23 10:57 AM
5.1     16.0     MAP

GEOFON     South Of Tonga Islands
Apr 23 10:57 AM
5.2     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 23 10:43 AM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Romania
Apr 23 10:41 AM
2.9     119.0     MAP

EMSC     Central Turkey
Apr 23 09:53 AM
2.4     5.0     MAP

GEONET     Manawatu
Apr 23 09:52 AM
3.4     50.0     MAP

USGS     Southern California
Apr 23 09:00 AM
2.6     11.7     MAP

GEONET     Hawke’s Bay
Apr 23 08:15 AM
3.3     25.0     MAP

GEOFON     Jujuy Province, Argentina
Apr 23 07:45 AM
4.6     172.0     MAP

EMSC     Jujuy, Argentina
Apr 23 07:45 AM
4.4     182.0     MAP

USGS     Jujuy, Argentina
Apr 23 07:45 AM
4.3     176.9     MAP

USGS     Tonga Region
Apr 23 07:21 AM
4.8     42.9     MAP

EMSC     Tonga Region
Apr 23 07:21 AM
4.8     43.0     MAP

GEOFON     South Of Tonga Islands
Apr 23 07:21 AM
5.0     10.0     MAP

USGS     Kuril Islands
Apr 23 07:18 AM
4.6     50.3     MAP

EMSC     Kuril Islands
Apr 23 07:18 AM
4.6     44.0     MAP

EMSC     Romania
Apr 23 06:57 AM
3.0     138.0     MAP

EMSC     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 23 06:33 AM
2.4     14.0     MAP

GEOFON     Carlsberg Ridge
Apr 23 06:32 AM
4.6     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 06:29 AM
3.1     7.0     MAP

GEOFON     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 23 06:28 AM
4.3     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 23 06:28 AM
4.1     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Tajikistan
Apr 23 06:27 AM
4.6     125.0     MAP

GEOFON     Tajikistan-xinjiang Border Region
Apr 23 06:27 AM
4.8     117.0     MAP

USGS     Tajikistan
Apr 23 06:27 AM
4.5     129.8     MAP

EMSC     Pyrenees
Apr 23 06:17 AM
2.9     1.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 23 06:06 AM
2.8     7.0     MAP

GEOFON     Sumbawa Region, Indonesia
Apr 23 05:37 AM
4.6     71.0     MAP

EMSC     Sumbawa Region, Indonesia
Apr 23 05:37 AM
4.6     71.0     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 23 05:31 AM
2.9     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 23 05:19 AM
2.7     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 23 05:13 AM
2.7     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Ionian Sea
Apr 23 03:56 AM
2.9     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Ionian Sea
Apr 23 03:51 AM
3.8     2.0     MAP

GEOFON     Tonga Islands
Apr 23 03:08 AM
4.8     238.0     MAP

USGS     Tonga
Apr 23 03:08 AM
5.0     192.4     MAP

EMSC     Tonga
Apr 23 03:08 AM
5.0     200.0     MAP

USGS     Puerto Rico Region
Apr 23 03:04 AM
2.9     9.8     MAP

GEOFON     South Sandwich Islands Region
Apr 23 02:57 AM
4.9     10.0     MAP

USGS     South Sandwich Islands Region
Apr 23 02:57 AM
4.9     18.6     MAP

EMSC     South Sandwich Islands Region
Apr 23 02:57 AM
4.9     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 23 02:46 AM
2.4     9.0     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 23 02:38 AM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     South Of Tonga
Apr 23 02:14 AM
5.1     42.0     MAP

USGS     Tonga Region
Apr 23 02:14 AM
5.1     42.8     MAP

GEOFON     South Of Tonga Islands
Apr 23 02:14 AM
5.2     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Poland
Apr 23 02:01 AM
2.6     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Albania
Apr 23 02:00 AM
2.8     80.0     MAP

EMSC     Cyprus Region
Apr 23 01:40 AM
3.2     2.0     MAP

USGS     Oaxaca, Mexico
Apr 23 01:31 AM
4.3     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Oaxaca, Mexico
Apr 23 01:31 AM
4.3     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Mediterranean Sea
Apr 23 01:27 AM
3.3     10.0     MAP

GEOFON     Oaxaca, Mexico
Apr 23 01:13 AM
4.4     13.0     MAP

EMSC     Oaxaca, Mexico
Apr 23 01:13 AM
4.7     10.0     MAP

USGS     Oaxaca, Mexico
Apr 23 01:13 AM
4.6     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Central Turkey
Apr 23 01:00 AM
2.4     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 23 00:40 AM
2.5     11.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 23 00:35 AM
2.5     6.0     MAP

 

 

Sources:  USGSEMSCGFZGEONET

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Volcanic Activity

 

 

  Current Emergencies
Upd. Date (UTC) Event Country Location Level Details
1 19.04.2012 Biological Hazard China Ningxia Autonomous region, [Touying township] Damage level
Details
3 24.04.2012 Epidemic Hazard Vietnam Province of Quang Ngai, [Son Ky Commune] Damage level
Details
12 23.04.2012 Volcano Activity Mexico State of Puebla, [Popocatepetl Volcano] Damage level Photo available! Details

 Short Time Event(s)
Upd. Date (UTC) Event Country Location Level Details
  Today Biological Hazard Australia State of Queensland, [Gordonbrook Dam] Damage level
Details
  Today Landslide Colombia Departmento de Caquetá, [Malvinas section, Florencia region] Damage level
Details
  Today Enviroment Pollution USA State of Washington, [Coastal area] Damage level
Details
  Today Epidemic Hazard USA Capital city, Washington D.C. Damage level
Details
  Today Volcano Activity Indonesia North Sulawesi, [Mt Lokon Volcano] Damage level
Details
  23.04.2012 Volcano Eruption Ecuador Cordillera Oriental , [Tungurahua Volcano] Damage level
Details
  23.04.2012 Explosion Norway Ostfold, Fredrikstad Damage level
Details
  23.04.2012 Heat Wave USA State of Nevada, Las Vegas Damage level
Details
  23.04.2012 Enviroment Pollution Russia [Asia] Nenets Autonomous Okrug, [Trebs oil field, Timan-Pechora Basin] Damage level
Details
  23.04.2012 Flash Flood Kenya State of Rift Valley, [Hells Gate National Park] Damage level
Details
1 24.04.2012 Epidemic Hazard Taiwan Changhua County, [Fangyuan Township] Damage level
Details
3 24.04.2012 Event into space USA States of Nevada and California, [Reno-Sparks area, Carson City, Minden, South Lake Tahoe, Placerville and Truckee]

 

 

 

 

Tungurahua Erupts Launching Gravel to Nearby Town

Tungurahua Erupts Launching Gravel to Nearby TownPhoto: Tungurahua’s recent eruption makes gravel fall on local town.

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Over the weekend, the Tungurahua’s volcanic eruption had a strong explosion that caused gravel to fall down in the nearby town of Pillate, Ecuador.

The explosion, characterized by its loud “cannon ball shot”, was immediately detected by locals and scientists observing the volcano’s progress. The explosion was later followed by a slight tremor and a constant pulsation of “high energy” said reports.

The constant cloud coverage surrounding the volcano has caused scientists, from the Geophysical Institute branch of the National Polytechnic School to have trouble determining its current state. Most of the direct observations are conducted in the Guadalupe Observatory, the closest in the vicinity.

Tungurahua, located in the Andes Mountains in Ecuador, is 5,016 meters high and its eruptions began in 1999. Since then, the volcano has transitioned from times of high activity and those of calm.

However, Tungurahua is not the only volcano causing extreme damage and concern in the Hispanic world. Popocatépetl, located in Mexico City, has also been under close watch due to its recent activity which included ash blasts.

 

 

Residents evacuated over eruption fears

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 04/24/2012 7:31 AM

Local residents around Mount Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, have been asked to evacuate the area, following the mountain’s steady increase of activity since 4 p.m. Monday.

“We are on alert status [Level 3],” National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Monday.

“We ask that local disaster mitigation agencies follow the technical recommendations we have given them. There should be no community activity within a 2.5 kilometer radius of the volcano’s crater.”

Mt Lokon is located on the outskirts of Tomohon. It is 1,580 meters high and is located 20 kilometers west from Manado, North Sulawesi.

According to the Volcanic and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG), Mt Lokon last erupted on June 14, 2011, sending ash and debris 1,500 meters into the sky.

The following day, another eruption threw volcanic material 600 meters into the air. Two residents died as a result of the eruptions.

Other eruptions occurred in 1991 and 2001, with the earlier one causing Rp 1 billion (US$108,000) in damage, as well as the death of Swiss tourist Vivian Clavel.

The 2001 eruption covered Manado in ash and debris. The dust coming from the mountain formed a 400 meter plume. (png)

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Extreme Temperatures/ Weather

Late snow storm sucker-punches US northeast

by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) April 23, 2012

Just as the US northeast was easing from a mild winter into a historically warm spring, a storm left thousands without power and prematurely leafy trees sagging under snow.

The spring storm that started Sunday and moved slowly through on Monday left tens of thousands of people without electricity, including nearly 25,000 in New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

“Outage numbers are likely to continue to climb,” his office said.

The hard-hit areas ranged from upstate New York and Pennsylvania to West Virginia and Maryland.

Flood watches were in place in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the national weather service said, while on higher ground, the rain turned to heavy snow.

An inch (2.5 centimeter) an hour of snow was expected, with 14 inches (35 centimeter) already recorded in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, weather.com reported.

“Winds will combine with heavy snow to reduce visibilities, leading to hazardous driving conditions through Monday night from western New York to northern West Virginia,” the weather site said.

Trees could collapse under the weight of early leaves and wet snow.

This will “likely lead to downed trees and powerlines, leading to power outages, possibly for several days,” weather.com said. “These downed trees may make roads impassable in some areas.”

The region saw record warm spring temperatures after an unusually mild winter.

Related Links
It’s A White Out at TerraDaily.com

 

 

 

Freeze Warning

BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
BLACKSBURG VA
CHARLESTON WV
 MORRISTOWN TN
MOUNT HOLLY NJ
GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC



Red Flag Warning

JACKSONVILLE FL
GRAND JUNCTION CO
CHEYENNE WY
 TALLAHASSEE FL

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Storms, Flooding

By , Senior Meteorologist
Apr 23, 2012; 3:14 PM ET

A small tornado has been caught on video on the ground in the Netherlands.

The twister was stirring up dust over tilled land in southeastern Netherlands, near the Germany border, late last Friday, local time.

Although the video did not clearly show a funnel, it did reveal dark cloud bases, confirming that it was more than a mere “dust devil.”

Weather observations from nearby Maastricht, seen by meteorologists at AccuWeather.com, indicated that a thunderstorm was in the area at the reported time of the tornado.

Even so, temperature and dew point, key markers used in forecasting tornadoes, were relatively low, suggesting that the phenomenon was an example of a “cold air funnel.”

Dutch-language text accompanying the video seemed to indicate that it showed a “confirmed” EF0-rated tornado.

Tornadoes are not unheard-of in western Europe. For instance, “weak” tornadoes are occasionally sighted in the United Kingdom.

 

 

 

Winter Storm Warning

 

BUFFALO NY



Flood Warning

 

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Climate Change

CU research shows warming climate threatens ecology at mountain research site west of Boulder

by Staff Writers
Boulder CO (SPX) Apr 24, 2012


Climate warming is affecting high mountain ecological systems at NSF-funded site west of Boulder. Credit: University of Colorado.

A series of papers published this month on ecological changes at 26 global research sites – including one administered by the University of Colorado Boulder in the high mountains west of the city – indicates that ecosystems dependent on seasonal snow and ice are the most sensitive to changes in climate.

The six papers appeared in the April issue of the journal BioScience. The papers were tied to data gathered at sites in North America, Puerto Rico, the island of Moorea near Tahiti, and Antarctica, which are known as Long-Term Ecological Research, or LTER, sites and are funded by the National Science Foundation.

CU-Boulder’s Niwot Ridge site, one of the five original LTER sites designated by NSF in 1980, encompasses several thousand acres of subalpine forest, tundra, talus slopes, glacial lakes and wetlands stretching up to more than 13,000 feet on top of the Continental Divide.

As part of the new reports, LTER scientists in association with NSF have come up with a new evaluation system of the research sites that brings in the “human dimension,” said CU-Boulder Professor Mark Williams, the principal investigator on CU’s Niwot Ridge LTER site.

“In the past we tried to look at pristine ecosystems, but those are essentially gone,” said Williams. “So we’ve come up with an approach that integrates human activities with our ecological research.”

One of the six papers, “Long-Term Studies Detect Effects of Disappearing Ice and Snow,” was led by Portland State University Professor Andrew Fountain and co-authored by several others, including Williams, a geography professor and a fellow at CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. According to the authors, there are big changes occurring in temperate areas beyond the poles, where warming temperatures have triggered declines in polar bear and penguin populations.

Key measurements at the Niwot Ridge site – which has climate records going back more than 60 years thanks to pioneering work by CU biology Professor John Marr in the 1950s – are temperature and precipitation logs from two stations, one at 12,700 feet in elevation and a second at 10,000 feet.

Although the climate at the higher meteorological station – by far the highest long-term climate station in the United States – has been getting slightly wetter and cooler in recent decades, the station at 10,000 feet in a subalpine forest is getting significantly warmer and drier.

Williams said warming at 10,000 feet and lower may be causing enhanced surface water evaporation and transport that moves westward and higher in the mountains, with the water vapor being converted to snow that falls atop the Continental Divide.

Snow cover increases reflectivity of incoming sunlight, further cooling the alpine area and overriding the overall warming signal in the West, which is believed to be a 2 or 3 degree Fahrenheit rise over the past decade due to rising greenhouse gases.

“These two Niwot Ridge stations are less than five miles away from each other – you can see one from the other – but there are totally different trends occurring,” he said. In many places in the mountainous West, only a small increase in temperature can cause the climate to cross a “threshold” that triggers earlier and more intense snow melting, said Williams, principal investigator on a 2011 grant of $5.9 million from NSF to CU to continue long-term ecological studies at Niwot Ridge.

With snowpack roughly half of normal in 2012 and snow melting in the high country that began more than three months earlier than last year, the outlook is not good for montane and subalpine forests in Colorado and other parts of the West, he said.

Low snowpack and early melt invariably have a huge impact on the Colorado economy, said Williams. Despite near record snowfall in 2010-11, warming temperatures have caused less snow and shorter winters in recent years and affected the ski industry – one of Colorado’s largest economic drivers, said Williams.

As for the future of flora and fauna in subalpine and alpine regions like Niwot Ridge, there will be “winners and losers” as the climate warms, said Williams. Animals like American pikas, potato-sized denizens of alpine talus slopes in the West, need heavy snowpack to insulate them from cold winters as they huddle in hay piles beneath the rocks. In lower, more isolated mountain ranges in Nevada, researchers are already seeing a marked decline in American pika populations.

The predictions of the study authors are that microbes, plants and animals that depend on snow and ice will decrease if they are unable to move higher into areas of snow and ice. But shallower snow could cause big game like deer and elk to move higher in altitude to browse, according to the authors.

A big concern in temperate mountains like Colorado is the heath and welfare of coniferous trees as the climate changes, said Williams. “Trees in Colorado’s mountains are under a tremendous amount of stress due to drought and pine beetle outbreaks. And the fire danger, at least now, is through the roof,” he said.

“If some of these forested areas disappear, I think the chances of them coming back are pretty low,” Williams said. “The climate they grew up in doesn’t exist anymore. As we lose trees to drought, beetles and wildfires, we are likely to see an invasion of grasses and shrubs in areas where we have never seen them, causing a complete restructuring of our forest community.”

As snowline moves up due to warming temperatures, so will parts of alpine tundra in the West, Williams said. “The tundra may be able to function reasonably well for several decades – it will be awhile before warming climate change pushes the tundra off the tops of mountains. But that is the direction we are heading.”

Williams co-authored three of the six BioScience studies, including the main LTER overview paper and a paper on ecosystem and human influences on stream flow in response to climate change at LTER sites. CU-Boulder Professor Tim Seastedt was a co-author on another of the papers, a study on the past, present and future roles of long-term experiments in the LTER network.

Related Links
University of Colorado at Boulder
Climate Science News – Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

Warming set to make corn prices pop

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) April 22, 2012

Climate change will more than quadruple US corn prices in years of peak volatility, environmental scientists said on Sunday.

In a study of the factors that drive up prices in the world’s key market for corn, more frequent heatwaves, predicted as a result of global warming, proved far more important than government policies to promote biofuels or than higher oil prices.

“Severe heat is the big hammer,” said Noah Diffenbaugh of Stanford University in California.

“Even one or two degrees of global warming is likely to substantially increase heatwaves that lead to low-yield years and more price volatility.”

The study found that climate change would increase year-on-year corn price volatility by a factor of 4.1.

The fluctuations were based on a projection for 2020-40 compared to volatility in recent history.

The study, published in Nature Climate Change, used a computer scenario based on warming that ultimately reaches 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times.

Many climate scientists say 2 C (3.6 F), enshrined as a goal by the UN, is an under-estimate.

Current trends of carbon emissions are placing Earth on a track for warming of 3 C (5.4 F) or more, according to some estimates. This figure is the overall global average, so it disguises big regional variations, including seasonal bouts of extreme weather.

Before the results of the study became clear, it was not obvious to Diffenaugh that climate change would be a more important factor than higher oil prices or government policies to promote biofuels.

“Frankly, I was surprised that climate had the largest effect of these three influences. These are substantial changes in price volatility that come from relatively moderate global warming,” Diffenaugh noted.

The researchers found that climate’s yo-yo effect was accentuated by government support for biofuels.

By growing corn for fuel, this removed a buffer of surplus grain, making the market more inelastic.

“Our results suggest that energy policy decisions are likely to interact with climate change to affect corn price volatility, and that the market effect of a binding biofuel mandate is likely to intensify as the climate warms,” said Diffenbaugh.

Unless corn farmers increase their crops’ heat tolerance by as much as 3.3 C (6 F), areas of high production will have to move north from the current US corn belt, the researchers said in a press release.

“By the time today’s elementary schoolers graduate from colleage, the US corn belt could be forced to move to the Canadian border to escape devastating heat waves brought on by rising global temperatures,” it said.

Related Links
Farming Today – Suppliers and Technology

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Solar Activity

2MIN News Apr23: CME Impact, Full Updates, Quake Watch Extended

 

 

Reports of SeaGulls Moving Inland/US & China and Solar Update

Published on Apr 23, 2012 by

Also a Solar Update.
Links @ http://www.mrcometwatch.com

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Space

Space Weather News for April 23, 2012
http://spaceweather.com

SIERRA FIREBALL DECODED:

An explosion over California that rattled homes across at least two states on Sunday, April 22nd, has been analyzed by NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office:  It was a natural meteoroid the size of a mini-van. Analysts say the space rock exploded in the atmosphere with an energy equal to nearly 4 kilotons of TNT and might have sprayed the Sierra Nevada mountains with meteorites.  Visit http://spaceweather.com for more information.

AURORA WATCH:

At the time this alert is being written on April  23rd, a minor geomagnetic storm is underway. The storm is likely due to Earth’s passage through the wake of a CME that swept past our planet earlier in the day.  Sign up for aurora alerts at http://spaceweathertext.com (text) or http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).

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Articles of Interest

Japan chemical plant blast kills one

TOKYO: A blast at a chemical plant in western Japan killed one worker and injured at least fifteen others on Sunday, police said.

The accident occurred at a factory operated by comprehensive chemical manufacturer Mitsui Chemicals in Yamaguchi prefecture, some 700 kilometres (434 miles) southwest of Tokyo, an official at Yamaguchi prefectural police said. The deceased was a 22-year-old male employee, police said, with Jiji Press identifying him as Shota Sunakawa.

Nine other company employees and workers for subcontract companies were severely or slightly injured, while at least four residents in the neighbourhood were slightly injured, police said. “The fire is not extinguished yet as the fire department is cooling the plant while waiting for combustible materials to burn out,” he told.

“It may take more than a few days for us to find out the cause of the accident, but we are investigating it as a case of professional negligence resulting in death and injury,” he said. The plant had been manufacturing materials to make adhesives, he said. afp

 

 

Mayan Culture Holds Secrets for Today (Part I)

Russian researcher looks for answers to earth’s future

By Uliana Kim
Epoch Times Staff

Thousands of people gathered at the Kukulkan Pyramid, in Chichen Itza, Yucatan

Thousands of people gathered at the Kukulkan Pyramid, in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, southeastern Mexico, during the spring equinox celebration 2006. The steps of the pyramid throw the shadow of a snake onto the side wall of the staircases. (Elizabeth Ruiz/AFP/Getty Images)

Kiril Novoselsky, professor of economics and a consultant for several museums, recently conducted a field trip to the Yucatan Peninsula and Cozumel Island, Mexico. On his way through Mayan football fields, pyramids, and prophecies, he came across Russian influence from the past century.

Near the famous Chichen Itza Pyramid, he discovered Pre-Columbian fields that were created for ball games.

“I was very surprised by the fact that the Mayans were obsessed with football,” said Novoselsky, who is also a member of the Russian Geographical Society. “Football was a sacred game. The captain of the winning team was sacrificed to gods, and it was a big honor.”

If I hadn’t read anything about the topic before, I would think that these things aren’t from the current human civilization.

—Kiril Novoselsky

The golden age of classic Mayan civilization ended in the late 9th century. Cities became empty and silent. Lianas and roots of trees penetrated stone walls of temples and pyramids, destroying them.

Archeologists classify several periods of Mayan civilization: pre-classic (2000 to 300 B.C.), classic (300 B.C. to A.D. 900), and post-classic (900 to 1530).

During these last centuries, highly populated and economically developed cities disappeared in jungles. The Mayan city Tikal, mentioned on a stela in 869, was the last historical mention of a Mayan city.

Invasions of other tribes as well as wars are considered possible reasons for the Mayan civilization’s decline. The true reason, however, still remains a mystery to scientists.

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Mayan Culture Holds Secrets for Today (Part II)

Russian researcher looks for answers to earth’s future

By Uliana Kim
Epoch Times Staff

The coastal archaeological site Tulum, located on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, on the Caribbean Sea, is one of the best-preserved Pre-Columbian Mayan sites. (CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Another interesting complex is Fort Tulum, on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. During the time of the Mayan civilization’s decline, several tribes moved to the coast and built Fort Tulum to protect inhabitants from attacks of fellow tribes.

“All those grey stones were once colored in bright colors. Different colors symbolized different nature powers: heaven, earth, moon, sun, fire, and so on,” Novoselsky said.

In my opinion, all these prophecies are a chance to think about our behavior, the meaning of life, about how to improve yourself and other people’s life, and how to live in harmony.

—Kiril Novoselsky

Mayan Prophecies

Mayan life is described in a sacred book called “Popol Vuh.” Novoselsky said it could be compared to the Bible, “but all information is in allegoric form.” “There are some interpretations, but I think they are all far from the truth,” he said.

All commentaries were either destroyed or written with the hieroglyphic script, which is difficult to read. “Most secrets are still hidden. One of the most popular interpretations is the prophecy about the end of the days in 2012,” Novoselsky said.

As to whether he believes in this prophecy, Novoselsky said, “As a scientist, I investigated this question.”

He mentioned the well-known esoteric researcher Drunvalo Melchisedek, who had discussed this question with Guatemalan priests and found out that the predicted transformation would be a process that would happen gradually—not in two days, but during 200 years.

“In their opinion, the year 2012 is a milestone of the old epoch and the beginning of something new, maybe the beginning of a new culture. And they emphasized that this would happen slowly and gradually without cataclysms and earthquakes,” Novoselsky said. “People living in the center of the Mayan civilization haven’t any panic about this prophecy.”

He added, “In my opinion, all these prophecies are a chance to think about our behavior, the meaning of life, about how to improve yourself and other people’s life, and how to live in harmony.”

Hundreds of people gathered at the Kukulkan Pyramid, in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, southeastern Mexico, during the spring equinox celebration 2005. The steps of the pyramid throw the shadow of a snake onto the side wall of the staircases. (LUIS BARRERA/AFP/Getty Images)

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Evidence for a geologic trigger of the Cambrian explosion

by Staff Writers
Madison WI (SPX) Apr 24, 2012


The results of this Cambrian explosion are well documented in the fossil record, but its cause – why and when it happened, and perhaps why nothing similar has happened since – has been a mystery.

The oceans teemed with life 600 million years ago, but the simple, soft-bodied creatures would have been hardly recognizable as the ancestors of nearly all animals on Earth today.

Then something happened. Over several tens of millions of years – a relative blink of an eye in geologic terms – a burst of evolution led to a flurry of diversification and increasing complexity, including the expansion of multicellular organisms and the appearance of the first shells and skeletons.

The results of this Cambrian explosion are well documented in the fossil record, but its cause – why and when it happened, and perhaps why nothing similar has happened since – has been a mystery.

New research shows that the answer may lie in a second geological curiosity – a dramatic boundary, known as the Great Unconformity, between ancient igneous and metamorphic rocks and younger sediments.

“The Great Unconformity is a very prominent geomorphic surface and there’s nothing else like it in the entire rock record,” says Shanan Peters, a geoscience professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who led the new work. Occurring worldwide, the Great Unconformity juxtaposes old rocks, formed billions of years ago deep within the Earth’s crust, with relatively young Cambrian sedimentary rock formed from deposits left by shallow ancient seas that covered the continents just a half billion years ago.

Named in 1869 by explorer and geologist John Wesley Powell during the first documented trip through the Grand Canyon, the Great Unconformity has posed a longstanding puzzle and has been viewed – by Charles Darwin, among others – as a huge gap in the rock record and in our understanding of the Earth’s history.

But Peters says the gap itself – the missing time in the geologic record – may hold the key to understanding what happened.

In the April 19 issue of the journal Nature, he and colleague Robert Gaines of Pomona College report that the same geological forces that formed the Great Unconformity may have also provided the impetus for the burst of biodiversity during the early Cambrian.

“The magnitude of the unconformity is without rival in the rock record,” Gaines says. “When we pieced that together, we realized that its formation must have had profound implications for ocean chemistry at the time when complex life was just proliferating.”

“We’re proposing a triggering mechanism for the Cambrian explosion,” says Peters. “Our hypothesis is that biomineralization evolved as a biogeochemical response to an increased influx of continental weathering products during the last stages in the formation of the Great Unconformity.”

Peters and Gaines looked at data from more than 20,000 rock samples from across North America and found multiple clues, such as unusual mineral deposits with distinct geochemistry, that point to a link between the physical, chemical, and biological effects.

During the early Cambrian, shallow seas repeatedly advanced and retreated across the North American continent, gradually eroding away surface rock to uncover fresh basement rock from within the crust. Exposed to the surface environment for the first time, those crustal rocks reacted with air and water in a chemical weathering process that released ions such as calcium, iron, potassium, and silica into the oceans, changing the seawater chemistry.

The basement rocks were later covered with sedimentary deposits from those Cambrian seas, creating the boundary now recognized as the Great Unconformity.

Evidence of changes in the seawater chemistry is captured in the rock record by high rates of carbonate mineral formation early in the Cambrian, as well as the occurrence of extensive beds of glauconite, a potassium-, silica-, and iron-rich mineral that is much rarer today.

The influx of ions to the oceans also likely posed a challenge to the organisms living there. “Your body has to keep a balance of these ions in order to function properly,” Peters explains. “If you have too much of one you have to get rid of it, and one way to get rid of it is to make a mineral.”

The fossil record shows that the three major biominerals – calcium phosphate, now found in bones and teeth; calcium carbonate, in invertebrate shells; and silicon dioxide, in radiolarians – appeared more or less simultaneously around this time and in a diverse array of distantly related organisms.

The time lag between the first appearance of animals and their subsequent acquisition of biominerals in the Cambrian is notable, Peters says. “It’s likely biomineralization didn’t evolve for something, it evolved in response to something – in this case, changing seawater chemistry during the formation of the Great Unconformity. Then once that happened, evolution took it in another direction.” Today those biominerals play essential roles as varied as protection (shells and spines), stability (bones), and predation (teeth and claws).

Together, the results suggest that the formation of the Great Unconformity may have triggered the Cambrian explosion.

“This feature explains a lot of lingering questions in different arenas, including the odd occurrences of many types of sedimentary rocks and a very remarkable style of fossil preservation. And we can’t help but think this was very influential for early developing life at the time,” Gaines says.

Far from being a lack of information, as Darwin thought, the gaps in the rock record may actually record the mechanism as to why the Cambrian explosion occurred in the first place, Peters says.

“The French composer Claude Debussy said, ‘Music is the space between the notes.’ I think that is the case here,” he says. “The gaps can have more information, in some ways, about the processes driving Earth system change, than the rocks do. It’s both together that give the whole picture.”

Related Links
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Explore The Early Earth at TerraDaily.com

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