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Tag Archive: Offspring


Earthquakes

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Four Earthquakes in One Day: The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica Trembles

CostaRica Star

As of 10:20 pm (04:20 Greenwich Mean Time) on Sunday, June 3rd, the Observatory of Volcanology and Seismology (OVSICORI in Spanish) of the National University in Costa Rica had reported the following seismic readings:

  • 02:52 – Magnitude 2.6 Richter at a depth of 12 kilometers, epicenter located 36 kilometers southwest of Estero Garita in Aguirre, province of Puntarenas.
  • 05:55 – Magnitude 3.6 Richter at a depth of 21 kilometers, epicenter located 173 kilometers south of Puerto La Playa in Golfito, province of Puntarenas.
  • 18:45 – Magnitude 5.3 Richter at a depth of 21 kilometers, epicenter located 21 kilometers southwest of Puerto La Playa in Golfito, province of Puntarenas.
  • 21:15 – Magnitude 6.0 Richter at a depth of 3 kilometers, epicenter located 428 kilometers south of Puerto La Playa in Golfito, province of Puntarenas.

All four earthquakes had epicenters off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and the seismometer at Puerto La Playa has been busy. The seismic events are originating on the ocean floor and have been increasing in magnitude, although no tsunami alerts have been posted.

As usual, the National Seismological Network (RSN) of the University of Costa Rica collected social media reports on the intensity of the earthquakes. No reports came in from the early morning earthquake, as most Ticos were peacefully cradled in the arms of Morpheus at that time.

The 6:45 pm earthquake, however, was felt by neighbors in Alajuela, Heredia, Aserri, Ciudad Quesada, Perez Zeledon, and other communities. Reports trickled in from Panama of greater intensity felt. Most of the reports surrounding the 6:45 pm tremor agreed that it lasted for quite some time, although the intensity was low.

The 6:45 pm tremor originated between the tectonic plates of Nazca and Coco, in the Panama Fracture Zone -an area of high seismic activity.

The 21:15 pm earthquake was registered by the United States Geological Survey at a 6.6 magnitude on the Richter scale, with an epicenter located 9 kilometers south of Panama. Scattered reports of intensity from that quake are trickling in.

The typically quiet Sunday night in David and Bugaba was disrupted by the quake, which some Ticos on the Paso Canoas side of the border also felt. No damages or injuries have been reported as of this time, although some people will probably not rest easy tonight.

New observations on the San Andreas Fault in Santa Cruz Mountains, Seattle Fault Zone

by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX)


The 900-930 AD rupture is the only known large earthquake along the Seattle Fault, making geological records of prehistoric events the only clues to the earthquake potential of the fault.

Recent paleoseismic work has documented four surface-rupturing earthquakes that occurred across the Santa Cruz Mountains section of the San Andreas Fault (SAF) in the past 500 years.

The research, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, with assistance from the California Geological Survey, suggests an average recurrence rate of 125 years, indicating the seismic hazard for the area may be significantly higher than currently recognized. The observations help fill a gap in data on the seismic activity of the SAF in northern California, particularly south of San Francisco.

Geologists Thomas Fumal and Tim Dawson conducted paleoseismic studies at Mill Canyon, near Watsonville, California. They documented evidence for four earthquakes, the most recent being the 1906 M 7.8 San Francisco event.

They conclude that each of the three earthquakes prior to the 1906 quake was a large magnitude event that likely ruptured most, or all, of the Santa Cruz Mountains segment, producing similar physical deformation as the 1906 quake.

In addition to filling in a data gap about the SAF in this region, this research adds to the understanding of how the SAF behaves, in particular whether individual segments of the fault system can produce destructive earthquakes and how often.

This study joins to a growing body of work that suggests the SAF produces a wider array of magnitudes than previously appreciated in the current seismic hazard models.

Seattle Fault Zone – 900-930 AD earthquake larger than previously thought
A fresh look at sedimentary evidence suggests the 900-930 AD rupture of the Seattle fault possibly produced a larger earthquake than previously recognized. The Seattle fault zone, a series of active-east-west trending thrust faults, poses seismic threat to the Puget Sound region.

The 900-930 AD rupture is the only known large earthquake along the Seattle Fault, making geological records of prehistoric events the only clues to the earthquake potential of the fault.

While a graduate student at the University of Washington, Maria Arcos looked at tsunami and debris flow deposits – both evidence of a paleo-quake – in the coastal marsh at Gorst, Washington.

She also identified evidence of at least three meters of uplift that preceded a tsunami, which was followed by a sandy debris flow from Gorst Creek, and suggests that the 900-930 AD quake covered a greater geographic area than previous fault interpretations.

The revised height and width of deformation caused by the quake may influence current interpretations of the Seattle fault’s structure. This study found a minimum of three meters of uplift at Gorst, which is double the amount of previous fault models for the same location.

A broader zone of deformation, says Arcos, may indicate either a wider zone of slip along the dip of the fault, a shallower dip or splay faults farther to the south.

“Timing of Large Earthquakes during the past 500 years along the Santa Cruz Mountains Segment of the San Andreas Fault at Mill Canyon, near Watsonville, California,” published by BSSA, Vol. 102:3. Author: Thomas Fumal, U.S. Geological Survey.

“The A.D. 900 – 930 Seattle Fault Zone Earthquake with a Wider Coseismic Rupture Patch and Postseismic Submergence: Inferences from New Sedimentary Evidence,” published in BSSA Vol 102:3; DOI number 10.1785/0120110123.

Related Links
Seismological Society of America
Tectonic Science and News
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Extreme Temperatures/ Weather

Winter Hits Europe – Stockholm Has Coldest Day in 84 Years! Sweden Coldest Temperature In 20 Years!

By P Gosselin  

Parts of Europe are being gripped by unusual cold, even though the calendar says it’s meteorological summer. Now children in Sweden are finding out what snow is like – in June! Strangest warming I’ve ever seen.

Winter pounds Sweden – and it’s summer!

The English language The Local here writes that “Stockholm broke an 84-year-old cold record on Saturday, as the capital’s temperature only reached 6 degrees Celsius, the lowest June maximum daily temperature the city has seen since 1928.”

Indeed, you could be excused for thinking that the current chill is more like winter than summer. It was actually colder in the capital yesterday than on Christmas Eve. ‘The temperature was a degree lower than it was at Christmas in Stockholm, so it is colder. And it’s windier, too,’ said SMHI’s meteorologist Lisa Frost to newspaper Dagens Nyheter.”

Just two days ago The Local here reported that snow blanketed northern parts.

Residents in northern Sweden were forced to grab shovels rather than sun lotion on what was supposed to be the first day of summer, as much of the region was left covered in a thick blanket of snow on Friday. As much as 20 centimetres of thick, wet snow fell in parts of Västerbotten County, giving residents quite a shock when they woke up Friday morning.”

The mercury also dropped to minus 6 degrees Celsius in one town, making it the coldest June Sweden recording in 20 years. The Local adds:

The weathThree dead, six missing as typhoon passes Philippines
by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) June 4, 2012

 

Three children were killed and six fishermen were missing after typhoon Mawar brought heavy rains and rough waters to parts of the Philippines, the civil defence office said Monday.

Two siblings were carried off by an overflowing river in the western island of Palawan while a seven-year-old boy drowned in a river east of Manila, the office’s deputy director, Florentino Sison, said.

A search is continuing for six fishermen on three separate boats who went missing after setting off before the storm hit, he added.

Thirty-two fishermen were rescued in rough waters off the eastern island of Catanduanes on Saturday after their boat ran out of fuel during the storm.

Mawar became a typhoon early on Sunday with maximum winds of 120 kilometres (75 miles) an hour as it passed near the eastern side of the Philippines.

Although Mawar did not hit the country directly it brought heavy rains, particularly over eastern parts of the archipelago, raising fears of flashfloods and landslides.

As the typhoon moved away from the Philippines, the government weather station warned of “gale force winds” in the northern and central coasts of the country.

Mawar was 660 kilometres northeast of Manila just before dawn Monday, moving northeast at 15 kph.

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempester agency forecasts that the first weekend in June will feel more like the start of winter than the start of summer.”

 

 

 

  04.06.2012 Forest / Wild Fire USA State of California, [Sequoia National Forest] Damage level
Details

 

 

Forest / Wild Fire in USA on Monday, 04 June, 2012 at 02:33 (02:33 AM) UTC.

Description
Afternoon winds are being blamed for helping a wildfire burning in a remote area of the Sequoia National Forest nearly double in size. U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Denise Alonzo says the winds Sunday afternoon pushed the fire over control lines, helping it expand to more than 1,000 acres. Earlier Sunday the fire had consumed about 522 acres. About 250 firefighters are battling the blaze, which was first reported around 4 p.m. Friday. No structures are threatened by the blaze. The wildfire has crossed Lloyd Meadow Road, a dead-end road that provides access to two trailheads into the Golden Trout Wilderness area, a remote area that spans both sides of the Sierra crest. The exact cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials have determined it was caused by a human, though it’s not known if the fire was sparked accidentally.

 

 

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Storms, Flooding, Tsunami

 

  Active tropical storm system(s)
 
Name of storm system Location Formed Last update Last category Course Wind Speed Gust Wave Source Details
Mawar (04W) Pacific Ocean 02.06.2012 05.06.2012 Typhoon I. 50 ° 120 km/h 148 km/h 6.10 m JTWC Details

 

 

 

 

 

Tropical Storm data

Storm name: Mawar (04W)
Area: Pacific Ocean
Start up location: N 16° 6.000, E 124° 42.000
Start up: 02nd June 2012
Status: Active
Track long: 736.43 km
Top category.:
Report by: JTWC
Useful links:

Past track
Date Time Position Speed
km/h
Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Category Course Wave Pressure Source
02nd Jun 2012 01:06:01 N 16° 6.000, E 124° 42.000 11 83 102 Tropical Storm 315 12 JTWC
02nd Jun 2012 10:06:17 N 17° 12.000, E 124° 0.000 11 120 148 Typhoon I. 340 12 JTWC
03rd Jun 2012 06:06:11 N 18° 48.000, E 125° 0.000 11 167 204 Typhoon II. 20 16 JTWC
03rd Jun 2012 09:06:00 N 19° 24.000, E 125° 30.000 15 176 213 Typhoon II. 40 16 JTWC
Current position
Date Time Position Speed
km/h
Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Category Course Wave
feet
Pressure Source
05th Jun 2012 15:06:02 N 27° 30.000, E 132° 18.000 43 120 148 Typhoon I. 50 ° 20 JTWC
Forecast track
Date Time Position Category Wind
km/h
Gust
km/h
Source
06th Jun 2012 06:00:00 N 32° 54.000, E 142° 54.000 Tropical Storm 93 120 JTWC

 

 

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Three dead, six missing as typhoon passes Philippines

by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP)

 

Three children were killed and six fishermen were missing after typhoon Mawar brought heavy rains and rough waters to parts of the Philippines, the civil defence office said Monday.

Two siblings were carried off by an overflowing river in the western island of Palawan while a seven-year-old boy drowned in a river east of Manila, the office’s deputy director, Florentino Sison, said.

A search is continuing for six fishermen on three separate boats who went missing after setting off before the storm hit, he added.

Thirty-two fishermen were rescued in rough waters off the eastern island of Catanduanes on Saturday after their boat ran out of fuel during the storm.

Mawar became a typhoon early on Sunday with maximum winds of 120 kilometres (75 miles) an hour as it passed near the eastern side of the Philippines.

Although Mawar did not hit the country directly it brought heavy rains, particularly over eastern parts of the archipelago, raising fears of flashfloods and landslides.

As the typhoon moved away from the Philippines, the government weather station warned of “gale force winds” in the northern and central coasts of the country.

Mawar was 660 kilometres northeast of Manila just before dawn Monday, moving northeast at 15 kph.

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

China braces for floods

TwoCircles

China may face huge flooding this year due to increased rainfall, an official said.

Floods have already occurred in areas along the Yangtze river tributaries this year.

The water level on middle and lower reaches of Yangtze was one to three meters higher than the historical average, said Wu Daoxi, in charge of Yangtze flood control office.

The Yangtze river valley was last hit by massive floods in 1998 when some 4,000 people died. The chance for large-scale flooding is significantly higher now, Wu said.

Precipitation levels are likely to increase by 20 to 50 percent above normal in Huaihe and Yellow river valleys this summer, Xinhua reported.

Authorities have discharged water from some reservoirs, including Three Gorges reservoir, to prepare them for storing floodwaters.(IANS)

 

 

 

  Tsunami Information
 
Pacific Ocean Region
Date/Time (UTC) Message Location Magnitude Depth Status Details
04.06.2012 03:22 AM Tsunami Information Bulletin South Of Panama 6.6 10 km Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tsunami Information Bulletin in South Of Panama, Pacific Ocean

GuID: pacific.TIBPAC.2012.06.04.0322
Date/Time: 2012-06-04 03:22:51
Source: PTWC
Area: Pacific Ocean
Location: South Of Panama
Magnitude: M 6.6
Depth: 10 km
Tsunami observed: Not observed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tsunami Information Bulletin in South Of Panama, Pacific Ocean

 

000
WEPA42 PHEB 040322
TIBPAC

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 001
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 0322Z 04 JUN 2012

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS...EXCEPT ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...
WASHINGTON...OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

... TSUNAMI INFORMATION BULLETIN ...

THIS BULLETIN IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY.

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.  ONLY
NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE
DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND
ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

 ORIGIN TIME -  0315Z 04 JUN 2012
 COORDINATES -   5.4 NORTH   82.7 WEST
 DEPTH       -   10 KM
 LOCATION    -  SOUTH OF PANAMA
 MAGNITUDE   -  6.6

EVALUATION

 NO DESTRUCTIVE WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI THREAT EXISTS BASED ON
 HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA.

 HOWEVER - EARTHQUAKES OF THIS SIZE SOMETIMES GENERATE LOCAL
 TSUNAMIS THAT CAN BE DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTS LOCATED WITHIN
 A HUNDRED KILOMETERS OF THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES
 IN THE REGION OF THE EPICENTER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS
 POSSIBILITY AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY BULLETIN ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.

THE WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE PRODUCTS
FOR ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...WASHINGTON...OREGON...CALIFORNIA.

 

 

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Nuclear

US, European nuclear and coal-fired electrical plants vulnerable to climate change: study

 

Warmer water and reduced river flows in the United States and Europe in recent years have led to reduced production, or temporary shutdown, of several thermoelectric power plants. For instance, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama had to shut down more than once last summer because the Tennessee River’s water was too warm to use it for cooling.

A study by European and University of Washington scientists published today in Nature Climate Change projects that in the next 50 years warmer water and lower flows will lead to more such power disruptions. The authors predict that thermoelectric power generating capacity from 2031 to 2060 will decrease by between 4 and 16 percent in the U.S. and 6 to 19 percent in Europe due to lack of cooling water. The likelihood of extreme drops in power generation—complete or almost-total shutdowns—is projected to almost triple.

“This study suggests that our reliance on thermal cooling is something that we’re going to have to revisit,” said co-author Dennis Lettenmaier, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Thermoelectric plants, which use nuclear or fossil fuels to heat water into steam that turns a turbine, supply more than 90 percent of U.S. electricity and account for 40 percent of the nation’s freshwater usage. In Europe, these plants supply three-quarters of the electricity and account for about half of the freshwater use.

While much of this water is “recycled,” the power plants rely on consistent volumes of water, at a particular temperature, to prevent the turbines from overheating.

Reduced water availability and warmer water, caused by increasing air temperatures associated with climate change, mean higher electricity costs and less reliability.

While plants with cooling towers will be affected, results show older plants that rely on “once-through cooling” are the most vulnerable. These plants pump water directly from rivers or lakes to cool the turbines before returning the water to its source, and require high flow volumes.

The study projects the most significant U.S. effects at power plants situated inland on major rivers in the Southeast that use once-through cooling, such as the Browns Ferry plant in Alabama and the New Madrid coal-fired plant in southeastern Missouri.

“The worst-case scenarios in the Southeast come from heat waves where you need the power for air conditioning,” Lettenmaier said. “If you have really high power demand and the river temperature’s too high so you need to shut your power plant down, you have a problem.”
  Read Full Article Here

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Epidemic Hazards / Diseases

 

 

2 04.06.2012 Epidemic Hazard China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong Damage level
Details

 

 

Epidemic Hazard in China on Saturday, 02 June, 2012 at 07:00 (07:00 AM) UTC.

Description
HONG Kong hospitals are on alert after a two-year-old boy was confirmed to have contracted bird flu. The boy was admitted to hospital a week ago with convulsions after arriving from the southern Chinese city of Guangdong. The Centre for Health Protection said he had tested positive for the AH5 strain of bird flu. More tests were being conducted to determine whether it is the deadly H5N1 sub-strain of the virus, which has been responsible for 356 deaths since 2003, according to the World Health Organisation. The boy is being treated in isolation and is described as being in a stable condition.
Biohazard name: A/H5N1
Biohazard level: 4/4 Hazardous
Biohazard desc.: Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

 

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Solar Activity

2MIN News June4: Earth Shakes, Major Spaceweather Afoot

Published on Jun 4, 2012 by

TODAYS LINKS
Venus Ring of Fire: http://youtu.be/ZsmnzFwHUzY
Nuclear Climate Change: http://phys.org/news/2012-06-european-energy-vulnerable-climate.html
EU Money: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/04/us-eurozone-union-idUSBRE85207J2012…
Arsenic/Pregnancy: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531200820.htm

REPEAT LINKS
Spaceweather: http://spaceweather.com/ [Look on the left at the X-ray Flux and Solar Wind Speed/Density]

HAARP: http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/data.html [Click online data, and have a little fun]

SDO: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/ [Place to find Solar Images and Videos – as seen from earth]

SOHO: http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/soho_movie_theater [SOHO; Lasco and EIT – as seen from earth]

Stereo: http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/images [Stereo; Cor, EUVI, HI – as seen from the side]

SunAEON:http://www.sunaeon.com/#/solarsystem/ [Just click it… trust me]

SOLARIMG: http://solarimg.org/artis/ [All purpose data viewing site]

iSWA: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov/iswa/iSWA.html [Free Application; for advanced sun watchers]

NOAA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wsa-enlil/cme-based/ [CME Evolution]

RSOE: http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php [That cool alert map I use]

LISS: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/monitoring/operations/heliplots_gsn.php

Gamma Ray Bursts: http://grb.sonoma.edu/ [Really? You can’t figure out what this one is for?]

BARTOL Cosmic Rays: http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//spaceweather/welcome.html [Top left box, look for BIG blue circles]

TORCON: http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-torcon-index [Tornado Forecast for the day]

GOES Weather: http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/goes/ [Clouds over America]

INTELLICAST: http://www.intellicast.com/ [Weather site used by many youtubers]

NASA News: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/

PHYSORG: http://phys.org/ [GREAT News Site!]

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 Space

 

 

  Earth approaching objects (objects that are known in the next 30 days)

Object Name Apporach Date Left AU Distance LD Distance Estimated Diameter* Relative Velocity
(2012 KN18) 05th June 2012 0 day(s) 0.0425 16.6 31 m – 70 m 10.17 km/s 36612 km/h
(2008 MG1) 05th June 2012 0 day(s) 0.1268 49.3 290 m – 640 m 22.32 km/s 80352 km/h
(2009 LE) 06th June 2012 1 day(s) 0.1150 44.8 50 m – 110 m 13.61 km/s 48996 km/h
(2006 SG7) 06th June 2012 1 day(s) 0.0857 33.4 71 m – 160 m 16.47 km/s 59292 km/h
(2001 LB) 07th June 2012 2 day(s) 0.0729 28.4 200 m – 450 m 11.56 km/s 41616 km/h
(2012 JU11) 09th June 2012 4 day(s) 0.0736 28.6 27 m – 60 m 3.80 km/s 13680 km/h
(2012 GX11) 10th June 2012 5 day(s) 0.1556 60.5 170 m – 380 m 6.38 km/s 22968 km/h
(2012 KM11) 14th June 2012 9 day(s) 0.0942 36.7 30 m – 67 m 5.92 km/s 21312 km/h
(2012 HN40) 15th June 2012 10 day(s) 0.1182 46.0 230 m – 510 m 13.79 km/s 49644 km/h
(2002 AC) 16th June 2012 11 day(s) 0.1598 62.2 740 m – 1.7 km 26.71 km/s 96156 km/h
137120 (1999 BJ8) 16th June 2012 11 day(s) 0.1769 68.8 670 m – 1.5 km 14.88 km/s 53568 km/h
(2011 KR12) 19th June 2012 14 day(s) 0.1318 51.3 140 m – 310 m 10.10 km/s 36360 km/h
(2004 HB39) 20th June 2012 15 day(s) 0.1605 62.5 77 m – 170 m 8.88 km/s 31968 km/h
(2008 CE119) 21st June 2012 16 day(s) 0.1811 70.5 21 m – 46 m 3.22 km/s 11592 km/h
308242 (2005 GO21) 21st June 2012 16 day(s) 0.0440 17.1 1.4 km – 3.1 km 13.27 km/s 47772 km/h
(2011 AH5) 25th June 2012 20 day(s) 0.1670 65.0 17 m – 39 m 5.84 km/s 21024 km/h
(2012 FA14) 25th June 2012 20 day(s) 0.0322 12.5 75 m – 170 m 5.28 km/s 19008 km/h
(2004 YG1) 25th June 2012 20 day(s) 0.0890 34.7 140 m – 310 m 11.34 km/s 40824 km/h
(2010 AF3) 25th June 2012 20 day(s) 0.1190 46.3 16 m – 36 m 6.54 km/s 23544 km/h
(2008 YT30) 26th June 2012 21 day(s) 0.0715 27.8 370 m – 820 m 10.70 km/s 38520 km/h
(2010 NY65) 27th June 2012 22 day(s) 0.1023 39.8 120 m – 270 m 15.09 km/s 54324 km/h
(2008 WM64) 28th June 2012 23 day(s) 0.1449 56.4 200 m – 440 m 17.31 km/s 62316 km/h
(2010 CD55) 28th June 2012 23 day(s) 0.1975 76.8 64 m – 140 m 6.33 km/s 22788 km/h
(2004 CL) 30th June 2012 25 day(s) 0.1113 43.3 220 m – 480 m 20.75 km/s 74700 km/h
(2008 YQ2) 03rd July 2012 28 day(s) 0.1057 41.1 29 m – 65 m 15.60 km/s 56160 km/h
1 AU = ~150 million kilometers,1 LD = Lunar Distance = ~384,000 kilometers Source: NASA-NEO

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Articles of Interest

 

1 05.06.2012 Environment Pollution Russia [Asia] Nenets Autonomous Okrug, [Trebs oil field, Timan-Pechora Basin] Damage level
Details

 

 

Environment Pollution in Russia [Asia] on Monday, 23 April, 2012 at 13:40 (01:40 PM) UTC.

Description
Russian authorities said they were able to control an oil spill from the Trebs oil field in the arctic two days after a leak was reported. “An accident occurred at the oilfield at 5:30 p.m. Moscow time on Friday, oil began rushing,” a spokesman for the regional Emergencies Ministry was quoted by Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying. “Rescuers arrived on Saturday and the rush of oil was terminated on Sunday.” Trebs and the nearby Titov deposits are among the most lucrative in a region just south of the Pechora Sea. Moscow estimates the region contains as much as 1 billion barrels of oil. Russian energy company Lukoil has invested about $1 billion to develop the region. It signed an agreement last year with Russian oil company Bashneft to develop the fields. The Russian report didn’t provide a spill volume or indicate how the spill was controlled. There was no fire reported and nobody was injured.

 

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Safe’ Levels of Arsenic in Drinking Water Found to Compromise Pregnant/Lactating Mothers, Offspring

ScienceDaily (May 31, 2012) — Exposure to arsenic in drinking water at the level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently deems as safe in the United States (10 parts per billion) induces adverse health outcomes in pregnant and lactating mice and their offspring, concludes a study led by Joshua Hamilton of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and Courtney Kozul-Horvath at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.


The team is part of the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program on Toxic Metals.

Pregnant and/or breastfeeding mothers who consumed low levels (10 ppb) of arsenic in their drinking water, the scientists found, exhibited significant disruption in their lipid metabolism, leading to diminished nutrients in their blood and in their breast milk. As a result, their offspring showed significant growth and development deficits during the postnatal period before weaning. Birth outcomes such as litter size and length of gestation were unaffected.

“The pups were essentially malnourished; they were small and underdeveloped,” Hamilton says. Once the pups were switched to milk from a mother who had not consumed arsenic, their growth deficits reversed, although only the males fully caught up with the pups that had had no arsenic exposure.

The U.S. EPA recently lowered the Maximum Contaminant Level for arsenic to 10 ppb in public water supplies — a regulated level that is considered “safe” for a lifetime of exposure — yet concentrations of 100 ppb and higher are commonly found in private, unregulated well water in regions where arsenic is geologically abundant, including upper New England (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine), Florida, and large parts of the Upper Midwest, the Southwest, and the Rocky Mountains.

“This study raises a couple of issues. First, we have to think again about whether 10 ppb arsenic as a U.S. drinking water standard is safe and protective of human health,” says Hamilton, who is the MBL’s chief academic and scientific officer and a senior scientist in the MBL Bay Paul Center.

Read Full Article Here

Peru needs glacier loss monitoring: dire UN warning

by Staff Writers
Lima (AFP)

 

Peru needs a permanent monitoring system to gauge Andean mountain glacier shrinkage caused by global warming, and its effect on people who depend on the ice for water, UN experts warned.

“We have spoken with Peruvian government institutions, and there is no sufficient monitoring system to tell us the current trend in glacier shrinkage, and its consequences,” said Anil Mishra, a UNESCO specialist in hydrological systems.

Mishra took part this week in a conference called “Impact of Glacier Retreat in the Andes” with Thomas Shaaf, of Germany, who leads the UNESCO biodiversity science department. It aimed to deliver policy recommendations to regional governments.

“We are in Peru to work with scientists from the region, with their specialists, to identify and understand the process of glacier shrinkage,” Mishra added.

Experts say the monitoring system should include scientists, high-tech equipment and hydrologists to identify the degree of ice melting, the degree to which rivers fed by them are losing water supplies; and which down-mountain areas will be affected by the loss of water supplies and how much.

“In the Andes, runoff from glaciated basins is an important element of the regional water budget, and is essential to the integrity of mountain ecosystems,” UNESCO said in a statement on the gathering last week.

A 2009 World Bank report said that in the last 35 years, Peru’s glaciers have shrunk by 22 percent, leading to a 12 percent loss in the amount of fresh water reaching the coast, home to most of the desert country’s citizens who depend on the water supplies downstream.

And the local Glacier Science Office has reported that the glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca in northern Peru, the highest tropical mountain chain in the world, have shrunk by 30 percent in the past 40 years due to climate change.

“The scientific community and governments have got to understand what the consequences will be for river systems when the glaciers no longer exist,” Mishra warned.

Shaaf added that with the passing years there is less snow falling on the high mountains even as the ice is shrinking “and so less water is going into river systems, even if the population has not felt it yet.

Many scientists believe that with climate change, rain cycles will speed up and rains will be heavier in tropical and already wet areas but that dry and semiarid areas will see less and less precipitation.

Peru’s population is almost 30 million.

Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age

 

Unmanned NASA Storm Sentinels set for Hurricane Study

by Rob Gutro for Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt MD (SPX)


NASA’s Global Hawk soars aloft from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The NASA Global Hawk is well-suited for hurricane investigations because it can over-fly hurricanes at altitudes greater than 60,000 feet with flight durations of up to 28 hours – something piloted aircraft would find nearly impossible to do. Photo: ED-10-0233-22 Credit: NASA/Tony Landis.

Ah, June. It marks the end of school, the start of summer…and the official start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, which got off to an early start in May with the formation of Tropical Storms Alberto and Beryl. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters are calling for a near-normal hurricane season this year.

But whether the season turns out to be wild or wimpy, understanding what makes these ferocious storms form and rapidly intensify is a continuing area of scientific research, and is the focus of the NASA-led Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) airborne mission that kicks off this summer.

Beginning in late August through early October and continuing for the next several years during the Atlantic hurricane season, NASA will dispatch two unmanned aircraft equipped with specialized instruments high above tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean basin.

These “severe storm sentinels” will investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will join several other NASA centers and numerous federal and university partners in the HS3 mission.

The autonomously-flown NASA Global Hawk aircraft are well-suited for hurricane investigations. They can over-fly hurricanes at altitudes greater than 18,300 meters (60,000 feet), and fly up to 28 hours at a time – something piloted aircraft would find nearly impossible to do.

Global Hawks were used in the agency’s 2010 Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) hurricane mission and the Global Hawk Pacific (GloPac) environmental science mission.

The Global Hawks will deploy from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and are based at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

“Hurricane intensity can be very hard to predict because of an insufficient understanding of how clouds and wind patterns within a storm interact with the storm’s environment,” said Scott Braun, HS3 mission principal investigator and research meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

“HS3 seeks to improve our understanding of these processes by taking advantage of the surveillance capabilities of the Global Hawk along with measurements from a suite of advanced instruments.

“One aircraft will sample the environment of storms while the other will measure eyewall and rainband winds and precipitation,” Braun continued. HS3 will examine the large-scale environment that tropical storms form in and move through and how that environment affects the inner workings of the storms.

HS3 will address the controversial role of the hot, dry and dusty Saharan Air Layer in tropical storm formation and intensification. Past studies have suggested the layer can both favor and suppress intensification.

In addition, HS3 will examine the extent to which deep convection in the inner-core region of storms is a key driver of intensity change or just a response to storms finding favorable sources of energy.

JPL’s High-Altitude Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit Sounding Radiometer (HAMSR) microwave sounder instrument will be one of a set of instruments aboard the Global Hawk that will focus on the inner region of the storms.

Most of these instruments represent advanced technology developed by NASA that in some cases are precursors to sensors planned for future NASA satellite missions.

HAMSR, an advanced water vapor sensor, analyzes the heat radiation emitted by oxygen and water molecules in the atmosphere to determine their density and temperature.

The instrument operates at microwave frequencies that can penetrate clouds, enabling it to determine temperature, humidity and cloud structure under all weather conditions. This capability is critical for studying atmospheric processes associated with bad weather, like the conditions present during hurricanes.

 

Related Links
HS3 Mission
NASA’s hurricane research
NASA’s Airborne Science Program
Global Hawks at NASA
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

 

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

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Environmental

Toxic fears in Malaysia over rare earth plant

Published on Jun 3, 2012 by

Activists have launched a court case against Australian mining firm Lynas in Kuantan, on the east coast of Malaysia.

The Australian company has decided to operate a rare earth refining plant there, but residents in the area are worried about the impact of radiation from the waste created by the refining process.

Production has been delayed at the plant, which can potentially meet up to 20 per cent of global demand for the minerals – used to make high-tech gadgets like smartphones.

Local community and activists say the plant, tipped to be the world’s biggest rare earth processing facility, will generate radioactive waste.

The company says the raw material and residue have low levels of radiation, and that it will recycle some of the waste into fertiliser.

Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi reports from Gebeng.

Safe’ Levels of Arsenic in Drinking Water Found to Compromise Pregnant/Lactating Mothers, Offspring

ScienceDaily (May 31, 2012) — Exposure to arsenic in drinking water at the level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently deems as safe in the United States (10 parts per billion) induces adverse health outcomes in pregnant and lactating mice and their offspring, concludes a study led by Joshua Hamilton of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and Courtney Kozul-Horvath at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.


The team is part of the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program on Toxic Metals.

Pregnant and/or breastfeeding mothers who consumed low levels (10 ppb) of arsenic in their drinking water, the scientists found, exhibited significant disruption in their lipid metabolism, leading to diminished nutrients in their blood and in their breast milk. As a result, their offspring showed significant growth and development deficits during the postnatal period before weaning. Birth outcomes such as litter size and length of gestation were unaffected.

“The pups were essentially malnourished; they were small and underdeveloped,” Hamilton says. Once the pups were switched to milk from a mother who had not consumed arsenic, their growth deficits reversed, although only the males fully caught up with the pups that had had no arsenic exposure.

The U.S. EPA recently lowered the Maximum Contaminant Level for arsenic to 10 ppb in public water supplies — a regulated level that is considered “safe” for a lifetime of exposure — yet concentrations of 100 ppb and higher are commonly found in private, unregulated well water in regions where arsenic is geologically abundant, including upper New England (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine), Florida, and large parts of the Upper Midwest, the Southwest, and the Rocky Mountains.

“This study raises a couple of issues. First, we have to think again about whether 10 ppb arsenic as a U.S. drinking water standard is safe and protective of human health,” says Hamilton, who is the MBL’s chief academic and scientific officer and a senior scientist in the MBL Bay Paul Center.

Read Full Article Here

US, European nuclear and coal-fired electrical plants vulnerable to climate change: study

 

Warmer water and reduced river flows in the United States and Europe in recent years have led to reduced production, or temporary shutdown, of several thermoelectric power plants. For instance, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama had to shut down more than once last summer because the Tennessee River’s water was too warm to use it for cooling.

A study by European and University of Washington scientists published today in Nature Climate Change projects that in the next 50 years warmer water and lower flows will lead to more such power disruptions. The authors predict that thermoelectric power generating capacity from 2031 to 2060 will decrease by between 4 and 16 percent in the U.S. and 6 to 19 percent in Europe due to lack of cooling water. The likelihood of extreme drops in power generation—complete or almost-total shutdowns—is projected to almost triple.

“This study suggests that our reliance on thermal cooling is something that we’re going to have to revisit,” said co-author Dennis Lettenmaier, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Thermoelectric plants, which use nuclear or fossil fuels to heat water into steam that turns a turbine, supply more than 90 percent of U.S. electricity and account for 40 percent of the nation’s freshwater usage. In Europe, these plants supply three-quarters of the electricity and account for about half of the freshwater use.

While much of this water is “recycled,” the power plants rely on consistent volumes of water, at a particular temperature, to prevent the turbines from overheating.

Reduced water availability and warmer water, caused by increasing air temperatures associated with climate change, mean higher electricity costs and less reliability.

While plants with cooling towers will be affected, results show older plants that rely on “once-through cooling” are the most vulnerable. These plants pump water directly from rivers or lakes to cool the turbines before returning the water to its source, and require high flow volumes.

The study projects the most significant U.S. effects at power plants situated inland on major rivers in the Southeast that use once-through cooling, such as the Browns Ferry plant in Alabama and the New Madrid coal-fired plant in southeastern Missouri.

“The worst-case scenarios in the Southeast come from heat waves where you need the power for air conditioning,” Lettenmaier said. “If you have really high power demand and the river temperature’s too high so you need to shut your power plant down, you have a problem.”
  Read Full Article Here

Greenland’s current loss of ice mass

by Staff Writers
Potsdam, Germany (SPX)


File image.

The Greenland ice sheet continues to lose mass and thus contributes at about 0.7 millimeters per year to the currently observed sea level change of about 3 mm per year. This trend increases each year by a further 0.07 millimeters per year. The pattern and temporal nature of loss is complex.

The mass loss is largest in southwest and northwest Greenland; the respective contributions of melting, iceberg calving and fluctuations in snow accumulation differing considerably. This result has been published by an international research group led by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in the latest issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 1 June 2012.

The result was made possible by a new comparison of three different types of satellite observations: measurements of the change in gravity by changes in ice mass with the satellite pair GRACE, height variation with the laser altimeter on the NASA satellite ICESat and determination of the difference between the accumulation of regional atmospheric models and the glacier discharge, as measured by satellite radar data.

For the first time and for each region, the researchers could determine with unprecedented precision which percentage melting, iceberg calving and fluctuations in rainfall have on the current mass loss.

“Such an increase in mass loss in the northwest after 2005 is partly due to heavy snowfall in the years before”, says GFZ scientist Ingo Sasgen, head of the study. “The previous mass gain was reduced in subsequent years. Similarly in eastern Greenland: In the years 2008 and 2009 there was even a mass increase”.

As the researchers were able to show, this was not due to decreased glacier velocities, but because of two winters with very heavy snowfall. Meanwhile, the loss of ice mass continues here. For all studied regions the melting and calving periods between 2002 and 2011 are extraordinarily high compared to those of the last five decades.

The work was created in the framework of the Helmholtz Climate Initiative REKLIMof the Helmholtz Association and the EU project ice2sea. Due to the study, the researchers can get a little closer to understanding the current developments of the Greenland ice sheet.

Ingo Sasgen: “We now know very well how calving glaciers and melting contribute to the current mass balance, and when regional trends are largely caused by rainfall variations. And we also know where our measurements must be improved.”

One such area is north-western Greenland, where the comparison of data indicates an abrupt increase in the calving rate, which was detected by the radar data inadequately.

The REKLIM/ice2sea scientists want to find out what causes this increase and if it has a continuous or episodic character.

A necessary prerequisite is a sufficiently long time series of measurements that is to be created by the continued precise gravity measurements in the context of the new satellite mission GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment – Follow On).

Ingo Sasgen et al., “Timing and Origin of Recent Regional Ice-Mass Loss in Greenland”, Earth and Planetary Science Letters (EPSL), doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.03.033, Volumes 333-334, 1 June 2012, Pages 293-303

Related Links
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Beyond the Ice Age

Brazil farmers in legal feud with Monsanto over GM soy

by Staff Writers
Campo Novo De Parecis, Brazil (AFP)

Illegally smuggled into Brazil 14 years ago, transgenic soy has proved a boon to domestic farmers and now accounts for 85 percent of total production.

But five million Brazilian farmers are now locked in a legal feud with US biotech giant Monsanto, the GM soy seed manufacturer, and are refusing to pay crop royalties.

In the mid-1990s Monsanto began commercializing its genetically modified soy in the United States.

Monsanto’s soy seeds are spliced with a bacterium’s gene that makes the plants immune to the company’s popular herbicide Roundup, which farmers can then use to kill weeds while the soy plants flourish.

The first transgenic soy seeds were illegally smuggled into Brazil from neighboring Argentina in 1998 and their use was banned and subject to prosecution until the last decade, according to the state-owned Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA).

The ban has since been lifted and now 85 percent of the country’s soybean crop (25 million hectares or 62 million acres) is genetically modified, according to Alexandre Cattelan, an EMBRAPA researcher.

Last year, Brazil was the world’s second producer and exporter of soybean, behind the United States.

Sales of GM soy — which is used for animal feed, soybean oil or biofuel — reached a whopping $24.1 billion and made up 26 percent of Brazil’s farm exports last year. China is the main customer of Brazilian soy.

But four years ago, five million big and small Brazilian producers filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, accusing the US chemical giant of unduly collecting two percent of sales of their annual harvest.

Since 2003-2004, Monsanto has demanded that producers of transgenic soy pay it two percent of their sales as crop royalties, Neri Perin, a representative of big producers, told AFP.

Lawyers for the producers say this means that their clients end up paying twice for the seed.

“Monsanto gets paid when it sell the seeds. The law gives producers the right to multiply the seeds they buy and nowhere in the world is there a requirement to pay (again). Producers are in effect paying a private tax on production,” said lawyer Jane Berwanger.

In April, a judge in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Giovanni Conti, ruled in favor of the producers and ordered Monsanto to return royalties paid since 2004 or a minimum of $2 billion.

Monsanto appealed and a federal court is to rule on the case by 2014.

In the meantime, the US company said it was still being paid crop royalties.

At the same time, transgenic soy cultivation is spreading like wildfire across Brazil, despite protests from environmentalists who say it leads to increased deforestation and from experts who say it results in less farm jobs.

“Transgenic soy occupies 44 percent of land under grain cultivation but represents only 5.5 percent of farm jobs,” said Sergio Schlesinger, a researcher who slammed the advance of soybean monoculture in his book “the grain that grew too much.”

He said this highly mechanized monoculture requires little labor and leads to the expulsion of thousands of farm workers.

After its initial ban on GM soy, the Brazilian government is now investing in research to develop this type of technology.

Transgenic soy is now grown in 17 of the country’s 26 states, with the largest production in Mato Grosso, Parana and Rio Grande do Sul.

Although still the largest exporting country, the United States has lost the dominant position it once had in the global soy trade. Brazil, Argentina, China and India have all become major players as the world’s demand for soy as food, vegetable oil, and animal feed has continued to increase.

Given the amount of available arable land and water resources in Brazil, experts expect this South American giant to eventually become the number one soybean-producing nation.

Related Links
Farming Today – Suppliers and Technology

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Cyber Space

Microsoft Just Made the Internet a Little More Private for Everyone

Internet Explorer 10 will ship with Do Not Track settings turned on by default. That’s good news for you and me; not so good for the online ad industry.

By Dan Tynan, ITworld

Break out the champagne and put on your party hats: A software heavyweight just struck a major blow for the concept of Privacy by Design.

Microsoft has elected to release Internet Explorer 10.0 with Do Not Track as the default setting. Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch blogged about the decision here. He said, in part:

We believe that consumers should have more control over how information about their online behavior is tracked, shared and used. Online advertising is an important part of the economy supporting publishers and content owners and helping businesses of all shapes and sizes to go to market. There is also value for consumers in personalized experiences and receiving advertising that is relevant to them.

Of course, we hope that many consumers will see this value and make a conscious choice to share information in order to receive more personalized ad content. For us, that is the key distinction. Consumers should be empowered to make an informed choice and, for these reasons, we believe that for IE10 in Windows 8, a privacy-by-default state for online behavioral advertising is the right approach.

While both Chrome and Firefox have Do Not Track capabilities built in, they’re turned off by default. Microsoft is making its mark by turning that setting on. Safari also blocks tracking cookies by default, but who outside of the Mac universe uses Safari?

The online advertising industry reacted about the way you’d expect — by implying that if we don’t all let advertisers follow us around the Web jotting down every site we visit and what we do there, the “free” Internet will shrivel up and die.

The Digital Advertising Alliance, a consortium of online ad networks and data gatherers that has been pushing for self-regulation of Web tracking for the past several years (and was apparently blindsided by Microsoft’s announcement), issued a vigorous response. Here’s the money quote:

The DAA is very concerned that this unilateral decision by one browser maker – made without consultation within the self-regulatory process – may ultimately narrow the scope of consumer choices, undercut thriving business models, and reduce the availability and diversity of the Internet products and services that millions of American consumers currently enjoy at no charge.

DAA spokeshuman Stu Ingis went on to tell the Wall Street Journal’s Julia Angwin that online advertisers support “consumer choice, not a choice made by one browser or technology vendor.” Essentially he’s saying that by making IE 10 private by default Microsoft is taking the choice out of users’ hands.

Which is, of course, utter horse manure. Microsoft is in fact giving users a choice – a choice to use a browser where privacy is the default setting. It’s the advertising industry that’s make the decision for consumers about whether they will be tracked by making that the default setting for the vast majority of Web surfers.

But before I get any further into this, let’s get a few things straight, shall we?

1, When advertising groups say they support Do Not Track (DNT), what they really mean is they support “Do Not Target Me With Ads But Continue To Hoover Up All My Anonymous Web Behavior” (or DNTMWABCTHUAMAWB for short). They’re still collecting data on users, they’re just not delivering ads to you based on that data. In other words, they remove the key benefit of tracking (more relevant ads) while keeping the primary threat (creating a profile of your online habits).

Some members of Congress are calling on the FTC to draw up rules that explicitly block data collection as well as ad targeting, something the tracking companies are resisting.

2. The DAA does represent most of the major US companies in the whole Web tracking ecosystem. But they represent less than a quarter of the companies listed in Evidon’s database of some 800 Web trackers. So even in the best case scenario, many of the smaller no-name companies that are tracking me are wholly unaffected by the DAA’s voluntary program.

The fact is, some people – even diehard privacy types — will choose tracking over not tracking in some instances. For example, I installed Abine’s Do Not Track Plus several months ago in my primary browser, and I’ve probably shut it off for individual sites more often than I’ve kept it on. Why? Because DNT+ prevented me from sharing that page on Facebook or Twitter, or kept me from being able to log in to leave Comments, or inconvenienced me in some other way. That’s because Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Disqus, and all the others are also Web trackers that can capture big chunks of your Web surfing history. A better option in this instance is probably Ghostery, which offers more fine grained blocking of advertisers, trackers, and widgets.

Bottom line: If tracking really is so essential to the “free Internet,” as the ad industry claims, then what’s the problem? Won’t people naturally choose to be tracked in order to get access to all those relevant ads and free content? I think we all know the answer to that, which is why the DAA is so spooked by Microsoft’s decision.

Facebook May Welcome Preteen Members

By Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld

Speculation is flying that Facebook executives may be developing technology that would enable kids under the age of 13 to join the site with parental supervision.

Intetrest by Facebook in lowering the minimum age to under 13 years old to join the world’s most popular social network was first reported in the Wall Street Journal. The network is reportedly testing ways to link a child’s Facebook page to his or her parents’, along with tools that would enable parents to decide who their children can “friend” and what apps they can use.

A Facebook spokesman told Computerworld that the company is investigating this complicated issue, but has not made any decisions.

“Many recent reports have highlighted just how difficult it is to enforce age restrictions on the Internet, especially when parents want their children to access online content and services,” said the spokesman. “We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment.”

“That would certainly drive up subscribers,” said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. “But I don’t know how valuable they would be, since kids under 13 don’t have much purchasing power.”

However, Kerravala noted that many kids now lie about their age to join the social network and this might curb that problem to some extent. And it also would draw kids in and get them connected earlier so they’re loyal users when they get old enough to have more money to spend, increasing the power of Facebook’s ads.

“The problem for Facebook is the under-13 set might find something else to use when they hit 13,” he added. “The idea may be to get them connected now.”

Any such move would mean that Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has had a change of mind.

In May 2011, Zuckerberg, speaking to the world’s top Internet leaders during the closing keynote at the e-G8 Internet forum in Paris, said he wasn’t interested in working to get younger users on the site.

“We’re not trying to work on the ability for people under the age of 13 to sign up,” Zuckerberg said. “That’s just not on the list of things for us to figure out right now.” However, he did say that he’d like to look more deeply into the issue at some point in the future.

If Facebook is working to include younger users, it may be because of competition from Google+, which in January widened its potential user base by lowering its age requirement from 18 to 13 years old.

Google+ executives did not mention moving to add users under the age of 13.

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Survival / Sustainability

EatTheWeeds: Episode 06: Peppergrass, Lepidium Virginicum

Uploaded by on Feb 11, 2008

http://www.eattheweeds.com/peppergrass-potent-pipsqueak/

Learn how to recognize and use the wild food peppergrass, Lepidium virginicum springtime salad ingredient, pot herb, and spice from http://www.eattheweeds.com

 

EatTheWeeds: Episode 07: Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana

Uploaded by on Feb 11, 2008

http://www.eattheweeds.com/can-be-deadly-but-oh-so-delicious-pokeweed-2/

Learn with Green Deane how to recognize and prepare pokeweed, a controversial spring green and wild food from http://www.eattheweeds.com


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Articles of Interest

U.S. N.R.C. Considering Giving 80-year Operating Licenses to Nuclear Power Plants

By Karl Grossman

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be holding a meeting this week to consider having nuclear power plants run 80 years—although they were never seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems.

“The idea of keeping these reactors going for 80 years is crazy!” declares Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and former senior policy advisor at the U.S, Department of Energy and a U.S. Senate senior investigator. He is also an author of the book Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation. “To double the design life of these plants—which operate under high-pressure, high heat conditions and are subject to radiation fatigue—is an example of out-of-control hubris, of believing your own lies.”

“In a post-Fukushima world, the NRC has no case to renew life-spans of old, danger-prone nuke plants. Rather, they must be shut down,” says Priscilla Star, director of the Coalition Against Nukes.

“This is an absurdity and shows the extent to which the NRC is captured,” says Jim Riccio, nuclear policy analyst at Greenpeace. “Nuclear regulators know that embrittlement of the reactor vessels limits nuclear plant life but are willing to expose the public to greater risks from decrepit, old and leaking reactors. As we learned from Fukushima, the nuclear industry is willing to expose the public to catastrophic risks.”

Nevertheless, on Thursday at its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, the NRC is to hold a meeting with the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute, which does studies for the nuclear industry, “to discuss and coordinate long-term operability research programs,” says the NRC, which could lead to it letting nuclear plants run for 80 years.

For more than a decade, the NRC has been extending the operating licenses of nuclear plants from 40 years to 60 years. And just as the NRC has never denied a construction or operating license for a nuclear plant anywhere, anytime in the U.S., it has rubber-stamped every application that has come before it for a 20-year extension of the plant’s original 40-year license. It has now approved 60-year operating licenses for 73 of the 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S.

When the NRC in 2009 OK’d extending the operating license to 60 years of the oldest nuclear plant in the U.S., Oyster Creek in New Jersey, Jeff Titel, president of the New Jersey Sierra Club, declared: “This decision is radioactive. To keep open the nation’s oldest nuclear power plant for another 20 years is just going to lead to a disaster. We could easily replace the plant with 200 windmills that will not pose a danger.” With the same General Electric design as the six Fukushima nuclear power plants, the plant is 60 miles south of New York City.

The first nuclear plants given permission by the NRC to operate for 60 years were the two Calvert Cliffs plants located on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay near Lusby, Maryland, 45 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. That came in 1999. The NRC license extension program is “blind to how these machines are breaking apart at the molecular level…they embrittle, crack and corrode,” said Paul Gunter, then with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service and now director of the Reactor Oversight Project of the organization Beyond Nuclear. The NRC in its “rigged game” is driving the nation toward a nuclear disaster, said Gunter. “The term ‘nuclear safety’ is an oxymoron. It’s an inherently dangerous process and an inherently dangerous industry that has been aging.”

Read Full Article Here

Mother Nature Doesn’t Quit

By Jim Hightower

Rather than find ways to cooperate with the natural world, America’s agribusiness giants reach for the next quick fix in a futile effort to overpower nature. Their attitude is that if brute force isn’t working, they’re probably not using enough of it.

Monsanto, for example, has banked a fortune by selling a corn seed that it genetically manipulated to produce corn plants that won’t die when sprayed with the Roundup toxic weedkiller. Not coincidentally, Monsanto also happens to manufacture Roundup. It profits from the seed and from the huge jump in Roundup sales that the seed generates. Slick.

But Mother Nature, darn it, has rebelled. So much of Monsanto’s poison was spread in the past decade that weeds naturally began to resist it. As a Dow Chemical agronomist explained, “The real need here is to diversify our weed management systems.”

Exactly right! We need non-chemical, sustainable systems that work with nature and without genetically altered crops.

But, no, the Dow man didn’t mean that at all. He was calling for more brute force in the form of Dow’s new genetically altered corn seed that can absorb Dow’s super-potent 2,4-D weedkiller, which it markets under the “Enlist” brand name. Use this stuff, he says, and nature will be defeated.

Wrong. Nature doesn’t quit. The weeds will keep evolving and will adapt to Dow’s high-tech fix, too. By pushing the same old thing relentlessly, says an independent crop scientist, agribusiness interests “ratchet up [America’s] dependence on the use of herbicides, which is very much a treadmill.”

It’s time to start listening to the weeds — and cooperating with Mother Nature. To advance this common sense approach, a national coalition is backing a California “Right to Know” initiative requiring the labeling of genetically altered foods. To help, go to the Organic Consumers Association at http://www.OrganicConsumers.org.

This article was published at NationofChange at: http://www.nationofchange.org/mother-nature-doesn-t-quit-1338824786. All rights are reserved.

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]