Tuesday, November 13, 2012

UFO SIGHTINGS: "Extraordinary" Flying Saucers Seen Over the Permian Basin, West Texas!

November 13, 2012 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - A man is making an extraordinary claim that he's seen UFOs fly over the Basin. The person NewsWest 9 interviewed wanted to remain anonymous and he's associated with the Laredo Paranormal Research Society.

"The facts are above our skies in the Permian Basin. We are seeing the lights, we are seeing stars, we are seeing crafts. My belief is that they're transporting something or someone, and depending on how in depth you would like to open Pandora's box, we're thinking of course, they're aliens," the man said. He said the lights that he's been seeing going across the sky are following each other at different altitudes and he's able to do that with a special type of night vision binoculars that the military uses. "What do you say to those people who say you're crazy?" NewsWest 9 asked. "Seeing is believing, but if you don't believe that's ok. We're not out here to win anyone, win anybody over and prove to anybody anything. It is what it is. There's enough facts, there's enough proof out there that we know that they're there, we don't know what they want. We know that the government is covering all of this up," he said. There's tons of video of possible UFO sightings all over the Internet.

There are possible UFO images that were captured by third generation night vision technology from the Laredo Paranormal Research Society. The organization claims the crafts resemble a triangle with spheres at each of its vortices and cruising at an altitude of 1,000 feet going 80 miles per hour. They enhanced the video to prove it with color spectrums and temperature filters. Our source says these crafts are appearing and disappearing in our solar systems through portals. "At times, it's in an area where there are no stars. Simple blackness and what I've been noticing, even though you see the light go across the sky, it may be very bright, all of the sudden it starts to fade out and completely disappears. There wont be any moon out or there may be a full moon out, but nevertheless, they're appearing out of nowhere and they're disappearing out of thin air," he said. NewsWest 9 took a shot to see if we could see any crafts through his binoculars but we couldn't see anything that night but stars. What keeps the man interested is the unknown. "Different, millions of solar systems out there. There's no way that we can be the only ones here," he said. He added that after December 21 is when we'll start to see more of them and they'll more visible. - News West 9.

WATCH: UFOs Seen Over West Texas.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: The Celestial Convergence - Total Eclipse of the Sun! UPDATE: Total Solar Eclipse 2012 - Live Stream Of Celestial Event!

November 9, 2012 - NASA - People from around the world are converging on the coast of northeast Australia.  The attraction isn't the Great Barrier Reef, just offshore, or the surrounding rain forests full of wildlife and exotic plants. They're going to see a total eclipse of the sun.  On the morning of Nov. 14th (Australia time), about an hour after sunrise, the Moon will pass directly in front of the sun. Residents and visitors of the city of Cairns, also known as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, will enjoy an early morning eclipse lasting 2 minutes with the sun only 14 degrees above the eastern horizon.

NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak has a rating scheme for natural wonders.  "On a scale of 1 to 10," he says, "total eclipses are a million."  Even the reef itself will be momentarily forgotten by onlookers as the Moon's cool shadow sweeps across the beach and the ghostly tendrils of the solar corona surround the black lunar disk.  But there's more to this event than tourism. Scientists are attending, too.  For researchers, the brief minutes of totality offer a window into one of the deepest mysteries of solar physics: The mystery of coronal heating. In plain language, they'd like to know why the sun's outer atmosphere or "corona" is so hot.  The surface temperature of the sun is only 6000 degrees C.  Yet the corona above it is much warmer, a million degrees Celsius or even more. To understand the physics involved, astronomers have developed instruments called coronagraphs, which block the glare of the sun to reveal the faint corona.  Three spacecraft, SOHO and the twin STEREO probes, currently monitor the solar corona using these devices. But no manmade instrument can match Earth’s natural satellite.  The Moon is nature's greatest coronagraph. During an eclipse, "the moon reveals the innermost corona, which manmade coronagraphs have trouble seeing,” explains Shadia Habbal of the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii.  “That is where all the magnetic field and physical processes responsible for heating the corona are evolving most rapidly."

 On Nov. 12th, Habbal will be in Palm Cove, Australia, to deliver a keynote speech at a solar physics conference sponsored in part by NASA's Living with a Star Program.  The title of her talk is "The unique scientific advantages of total solar eclipse observations."  Two days later, Habbal and her colleagues will be inside the path of totality, monitoring the eclipse with a variety of telescopes and spectrometers at 6 different wavelengths from 2 different sites.  Astronomy professor Jay Pasachoff, chair of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Eclipses will be there, too.  He has observed an astounding 55 solar eclipses.  "The Australia eclipse will be my 56th," he notes.  Over the years, Pasachoff and colleagues have developed techniques to photograph the corona with a clarity and resolution that coronagraphs on current spacecraft cannot match.  Using these techniques, "we are learning how the wonderfully-detailed structures we see in the corona are shaped by the sun's magnetic field," he explains. The shapes vary in a regular way during the sun's 11-year sunspot cycle. “We can use this information to improve predictions of the next solar cycle."  That's a lot of science in two minutes of shadowy darkness.  After totality is over, the moon's shadow will sweep out across the South Pacific Ocean, tracing a line thousands of miles long across uninhabited waters, reaching almost, but not quite, the coast of South America. Back on the beach, scientists will be taking a first look at their data while tourists starting thinking about breakfast--and snorkeling in the reef.  For all concerned, it's a great way to begin the day. - NASA.
WATCH: Total Eclipse of the Sun.

UPDATE: Total Solar Eclipse 2012 - Live Stream Of Celestial Event!

A total solar eclipse will occur this afternoon, when the moon passes briefly between the Earth and the Sun, obscuring the solar rays and creating a 95-mile-wide shadow over parts of the Southern Hemisphere.  Only people who are lucky enough to be in northern Australia or somehow find themselves in the Indian or Pacific Oceans along the path of the eclipse -- where it will actually be early Wednesday morning -- will be able to see the celestial event.  But don't worry if you're not there in the flesh -- broadcasts of the eclipse will be available on several live streams and The CELESTIAL Convergence is documenting the event, bringing updates from astronomers and other experts, some of whom are on the ground in Australia.

WATCH: Total Solar Eclipse 2012.

THE AGE OF OBAMA: The End of America - Secession Petitions Seeking White House Approval Now Come From 47 States!

November 13, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Conservatives have voted more than 375,000 times since Election Day to pick up their marbles and go home. That’s how many virtual signatures appeared Monday night, as clocks in Washington, D.C. chimed midnight, on petitions asking President Barack Obama’s administration to allow 47 of the 50 U.S. states to secede from the country.

A petition from an Arlington, Texas man, launched Nov. 9 via the Obama White House website’s “We the People”  tool, had more than 58,000 signatures. That’s more than twice the 25,000 it had Monday morning, a number required to trigger an automatic White House review, according to the administration’s own published rules. A similar petition from a Louisiana native crossed the 25,000 threshold as Monday drew to a close on the East Coast.  Launched Nov. 7, the day after Obama won re-election, the Pelican State’s spark set off an Internet-driven cascade of disaffected tea partiers and other conservatives looking — as one petition organizer told The Daily Caller via a “direct message” on Twitter — “just to do something, anything, to show we’re not going away quietly.”  It’s not clear whether, or to what extent, individuals are signing more than one petition.

The White House’s online rules do not prohibit Americans from signing a petition that would not affect states where they live.  The complete list of states with open petitions includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  Nine states’ “We the People” entries include multiple competing petitions, The Daily Caller determined. California, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin are each represented by at least two petitions. TheDC was able to locate three for Pennsylvania.  The only three states that lack secession petitions are Maine, Vermont and Washington. According to the White House, petitions have 30 days to gather 25,000 signatures before the administration will automatically review them. One at least one occasion, however, President Obama responded to a petition that collected only 12,240 signatures: a request for the White House’s beer recipe. - Daily Caller.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Kilimanjaro's Glaciers Shrink and Crack by 85 Percent Over the Last Century - Scientists Warn That Africa's Highest Mountain May Soon be Ice Free!

November 13, 2012 - AFRICA - The peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's highest free-standing mountain, may soon be ice free, scientists warn. Between 1912 and 2011, the mass of ice on the summit of the 19,341ft dormant stratovolcano in Tanzania decreased by more than 85 per cent, say researchers with NASA's Earth Observatory. Kimberly Casey, a glaciologist based at the U.S. space agency's Goddard Space Flight Centre, who visited the mountain earlier this year, also noticed Kilimanjaro's north ice field had separated.

Shrinking: The ice fields of Kilimanjaro as pictured by the Advanced Land Imager on NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite. In 100 years the mountain the amount of ice on the mountain has decreased by 85 per cent.
The glacier had been developing a hole since the Seventies, but this is the first year in which it had been seen to divide in two. 'We were able to walk on land — or we could have even ridden a bicycle — directly through the rift,' Dr Casey said. Scientists now warn it’s no longer a question of whether Kilimanjaro's ice will disappear, but when. Estimates vary, but several scientists predict it will be gone by 2060. The views from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro are as surreal as they are spectacular. After ascending through multiple ecosystems — including cropland, lush rainforest, alpine desert, and a virtual dead zone near the summit — climbers can find themselves peering down on a thick blanket of clouds below that seems to stretch endlessly in the distance. But in the immediate foreground, ice dominates the view. Looking north, a shelf-like block of ice with a sharp vertical cliff sits on an otherwise featureless, sand-covered plateau. In the other direction, a second ice field spills off the edge of the plateau, down the mountain’s southern face.

Despite Mount Kilimanjaro’s location in the tropics, the dry and cold air at the top of the mountain has sustained large quantities of ice for more than 10,000 years. At points, ice has completely surrounded the crater. Studies of ice core samples show that Kilimanjaro’s ice has persisted through multiple warm spells, droughts, and periods of abrupt climate change. Rising air temperatures due to global warming could be contributing to the ice loss, researchers say, but a number of other factors are just as important, if not more so. An increasingly dry regional atmosphere, for example, is starving the mountain of the fresh snow needed to sustain the ice fields. Drier air is also reducing cloud cover and allowing more solar energy to warm the ice surfaces. Dr Casey visited Kilimanjaro as part of a research expedition in September this year. - Daily Mail.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Japan's Endless Battle With Radiation - The "Mind-Blowing and Truly Outrageous" Massive Pools of Contaminated Water Spread Around the Nuclear Plant, "Seemingly Infinite Damage to the Daily Life of Residents"!

November 13, 2012 - JAPAN - For over a year, Japan has fought an unrelenting enemy: the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.  On March 11, 2011, Japan faced three catastrophes:  an earthquake, a tsunami, and then nuclear meltdowns and the dispersion of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.  Now, the nation struggles with the reprecussions of these unfortunate events and they face the challenge of storing radioactive water, posing  serious health risks to the Japanese people.

“It’s a time-pressing issue because the storage of contaminated water has its limits,” Yuichi Okamura, manager of the Water Treatment System Department at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, told the Associated Press. “There is only limited storage space.”  According to AP, Okamura helped devise steps to cool the overheating reactors by injecting water and using spent fuel pools. “Water works well for this system since it has a very high capacity … and can be treated if it is contaminated,” said Angie Moore, associate professor of geology. “However, when there is a reactor accident like at the Fukushima, the systems that prevent nuclear contamination of the cooling water have failed and there is direct contact between the water and the radioactive material... There are pools of some 10,000 or 20,000 tons of contaminated water in each plant, and there are many of these,” said nuclear engineer Masasahi Goto to news source Al Jazeera... To bring all these to one place would mean you would have to treat hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated water which is mind-blowing in itself,” continued Goto. “It’s an outrageous amount, truly outrageous.” - The Guilfordian.

The severe accident that broke out at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power stations on March 11, 2011, caused seemingly infinite damage to the daily life of residents. Serious and widespread contamination of the environment occurred due to radioactive materials discharged from nuclear power stations (NPSs)... The accident has seriously contaminated the environment, such as houses, farmland, forests and seacoasts, resulting in significant radiation exposure to residents. After one year, there seems to be no concrete program to recover from the damage to the environment and to nuclear power applications, while the nation is forced to struggle with a desperate, seemingly endless battle with radiation. - Shun-ichi Tanaka (PDF).

WORLD WAR III: Gathering of Forces - Iran Launches "Biggest Ever" War Drills, as Israel and the United States Simulates Syrian-Iranian Attack!

November 13, 2012 - IRAN - Iran launched military drills across half the country on Monday, warning it would act against aggressors less than a week after Washington accused Iranian warplanes of firing on a U.S. drone.  The manoeuvres take place this week across 850,000 square kilometres of Iran’s northeast, east, and southeast regions, Iranian media reported.

Iran Launches Massive War Simulation

About 8,000 elite and regular army troops will participate, backed by bombers and fighter planes, while missile, artillery and surveillance systems will be tested, they said.  Played out against a backdrop of high tension between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program, the “Velayat-4″ manoeuvres will involve the biggest air drills the country has ever held, Iran’s English-language Press TV said. Western experts have challenged some of Iran’s military assertions, saying it often exaggerates its capabilities.  “These drills convey a message of peace and security to regional countries,” Shahrokh Shahram, spokesman for the exercises, told Press TV on Monday. “At the same time they send out a strong warning to those threatening Iran.”  Last week, the U.S. Pentagon said Iranian planes opened fire on an unarmed U.S. drone over international waters on November 1. Iran said it had repelled “an enemy’s unmanned aircraft” violating its airspace. - National Post.

Iran Unveils New Missile Systems On Second Day Of Drills
Iran unveiled new missile and artillery systems on Tuesday, Iranian media reported, on the second day of large-scale military exercises which officials said were aimed at sending a warning to those threatening the Islamic Republic...  The three domestically-built missile and artillery systems would be a significant boost to Iran's military defenses, said Farzad Esmaili, head of Iran's air defense headquarters.  "The low-altitude missile system 'Ya Zahra 3' is completely indigenous and Iranian and has been designed and produced to suit internal needs," Esmaili was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).  He said the second missile system named 'Qader' was highly mobile and could be deployed in less than 30 minutes, while a new artillery system named 'Safat' could escape detection by enemy surveillance.  "Today and tomorrow, the most significant firing of missiles in the ... exercises will take place," Esmaili said, according to state television. - Reuters.

Iran VP: "We Will Break Obama's 'Grasping Hands'"!
Iran's vice president said Monday that Tehran will break the `grasping hands' of newly re-elected President Barack Obama, the official IRNA news agency reported.  Mohammad Reza Rahimi also said Iran will overcome U.S.-led sanctions against the country.  "We will break grasping hands of Obama and we will be successful in bypassing the sanctions," Rahimi was quoted as saying during a research and scientific exhibition at Tehran University. - AP.

Israel-US Drill Simulates Syrian-Iranian Attack

Israel conducted an air defense drill on Monday, simulating a possible attack on the country by Syrian and Iranian long-range missiles.  The exercise, overseen by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and performed in conjunction with the United States, saw the successful test launch of four Patriot missiles from central Israel into the Mediterranean sea.  About 2,500 American troops, and an equal number of IDF personnel, took part in the drill.  “It is, first of all, an expression of the deep cooperation between our two countries,” Barak said of the launch. The defense minister explained that the exercise was designed to test older systems of missile defense and ensure that they work in conjunction with “the most modern,” the Iron Dome.  “Iron Dome is repeatedly intercepting missiles aimed at our communities,” Barak added, speaking about the dramatic escalation of rocket attacks from Gaza since Saturday, in which the Iron Dome system has been deployed to intercept a series of missiles heading for population centers in Beersheba, Ashkelon and other southern areas.  These are very important days, both for advancing our collaboration [with the US] on missile defense, and for our ongoing response to Hamas and the terror organizations in Gaza — which may intensify and expand.” - Times of Israel.

BIG BROTHER NOW: "Minority Report" is Here - DARPA Sponsors Surveillance Technology Program For Department Of Pre-Crime To Predict Future Behavior!

November 13, 2012 - UNITED STATES - The dizzying speed of the growth of the surveillance state and the increasing sophistication of the tools used to build it are paid for in large measure by funds doled out by the Army’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

At The New American we have chronicled the various projects sponsored by the über-secret research and development arm of the military. One of the newest technologies being pursued by DARPA will not only widen the field of vision of government’s never-blinking eye, but it purports to predict the behavior of those being watched. Forbes reports that DARPA has contracted with scientists at Carnegie Mellon University to develop “an artificial intelligence system that can watch and predict what a person will ‘likely’ do in the future using specially programmed software designed to analyze various real-time video surveillance feeds. The system can automatically identify and notify officials if it recognized that an action is not permitted, detecting what is described as anomalous behaviors.”

Deployment of the devices is anticipated at “airports and bus stations,” but there is little doubt that should these predictive monitors prove successful, they will be installed right there next to the red light cameras already mounted at nearly every intersection in America. Forbes also reports that “Carnegie Mellon is one of 15 research teams and commercial integrators that is participating in a five-year program, started in 2010, to develop smart video software.” Several aspects of this "Minority Report" come-to-life sound substantially similar to another contest of sorts being concurrently sponsored by DARPA at a secret campus near George Mason University in Virginia. In a statement announcing the progress of the research, DARPA spokesmen Mark Geertsen said the goal of the project was “to invent new approaches to the identification of people, places, things and activities from still or moving defense and open-source imagery.” - New American.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Meteor Shower Expected To Put On Unusual Show - At Least 10 to 15 Meteors Per Hour Will Be Seen, Peaking Saturday Morning and Tuesday Morning!

November 13, 2012 - SPACE - One of the best of the annual meteor displays will be reaching its peak this week — the annual Leonid meteor shower. While the Leonid meteor shower has a history of putting on stupendous displays, this year will not be one of them; at best 10 to 15 meteors per hour may be seen. This year is a bit unusual in that the Leonids are expected to show two peaks of activity, one on Saturday morning (Nov. 17) and another on Tuesday morning (Nov. 20).

Photographer Chris Gruhusko captured this view of the Leonid meteor shower in November 2001 over
the north face of Wind Mountain in the Cornudas Mountain of Southern New Mexico.
In the public mind the term "meteor shower" conjures up a vision of shooting stars streaming through the heavens like rain. Such meteor stormshave indeed occurred, when tens of thousands of meteors per hour flare into view. But most showers are a thousand times weaker. Watching one consists of lying back, gazing up into the stars, and waiting. A very good shower will produce about one meteor per minute for a given observer under a dark country sky. Any light pollution or moonlight can reduce the count considerable. This year the moon will not be a problem for the Leonid meteor shower. It will set well before the constellation Leo, where the meteors appear to radiate out from, climbs high into the sky. The Leonids are tiny, sand-grain- to pea-sized bits of rocky debris shed long ago by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. This comet, like all others, is slowly disintegrating.

Over the centuries its crumbly remains have spread all along its orbit to form a moving river of rubble millions of miles wide and hundreds of millions of miles long. The Earth's orbit carries us through this meteor stream every year in mid-November. The particles are traveling at 45 miles (72 kilometers) per second with respect to the Earth. When one of them strikes the Earth's upper atmosphere, about 50 to 80 miles up (80 to 130 km), air friction vaporizes it in quick, white-hot streak. Scientists believe that cometary meteoroids (such as the Leonids) are not structurally strong enough to survive their atmospheric flight and as such they cannot reach the surface of the Earth to become a meteorite. The Earth's orbit carries us through this meteor stream every year in mid-November. The particles are traveling at 45 miles (72 kilometers) per second with respect to the Earth. When one of them strikes the Earth's upper atmosphere, about 50 to 80 miles up (80 to 130 km), air friction vaporizes it in quick, white-hot streak. Scientists believe that cometary meteoroids (such as the Leonids) are not structurally strong enough to survive their atmospheric flight and as such they cannot reach the surface of the Earth to become a meteorite. - Huffington Post.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Alert Level Has Been Raised For Cleveland Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands - Possible Eruptions and Ash Clouds Over 20,000 Feet Above Sea Level!

November 13, 2012 - ALASKA - The alert level for a remote volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands has been raised after a small ash cloud was detected.

Geophysicist Rick Wessels at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said Monday no further emissions have been released from Cleveland Volcano since the ash was detected Saturday. The cloud prompted the alert level to be raised to orange, which means a volcano is under way with minor ash emissions.

According to the volcano observatory, infrasound data suggests a small explosion occurred at 11:25 a.m. Saturday.

Cleveland Volcano is a 5,675-foot peak on an uninhabited island 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The volcano observatory says additional eruptions are still possible with little warning, and ash clouds 20,000 feet above sea level are possible. - KTOO.

DELUGE: Three Dead as "Unusual" Flooding Hits Tuscany, Italy - Sixth Highest Level Since Records Began in 1872!

November 13, 2012 - ITALY - The flooding in central Italy followed heavy rain and an unusually high tide in Venice – the sixth highest level since records began in 1872 – which left nearly three-quarters of the lagoon city under water. The three people feared to have drowned – two men and a woman – were believed to be employees of Enel, Italy's biggest electricity company. The car they were travelling in was swept off a collapsed bridge in Grosseto, a few miles inland from the Tuscan coast.

The swollen River Arno flows under the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
The deaths brought the death toll from the bad weather to four – on Monday a 73-year old man was swept away in his car by floodwaters near the town of Capalbio, also on the coast of Tuscany. Elsewhere in the region, normally known for its sun-baked summers and idyllic landscapes, people were plucked from their roofs of their flooded homes by rescue helicopters. As rivers broke their banks, more than 100 people were forced to flee their homes and take refuge in emergency shelters. The towns of Orbetello and Albinia were inundated with water, with the latter "looking like Venice", according to Italian news reports. In Rome, the Tiber was so swollen that it was no longer possible to walk or cycle along its banks. Major roads and railway lines were blocked. Enrico Rossi, the head of Tuscany's regional government, said the flooding was so severe that it required intervention by the army.

He said floods had worsened in recent years and blamed global warming. "Climate change is causing ever more serious flooding," Mr Rossi told Corriere della Sera. "We can no longer postpone the work that needs to be done." He called for 50 million euros a year for the next 10 years to build new bridges and embankments. The flooding in Venice on Sunday and Monday allowed tourists to pull on their swimming costumes and go take a dip in St Mark's Square, the lowest lying part of the city. The level of the water reached 149 centimetres – the highest since 2008. The flooding underlined the need for a multi-billion pound flood protection barrier to be completed as quickly as possible, the consortium behind the project said. The Moses flood prevent project entails the construction of giant steel gates across the three inlets through which water from the Adriatic surges into Venice's lagoon. The 300-tonne hinged panels will be fixed to massive concrete bases dug into the sea bed and will be raised whenever a dangerously high tide is predicted. Inaugurated by Silvio Berlusconi, the then prime minister, in 2003, it was due to be completed this year but is now expected to be operational in 2016. The consortium, the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, said that had the much-delayed project been up and running on Sunday, Venice would have remained dry. "This high tide underlines the urgency and necessity of completing the project quickly," it said in a statement. - Telegraph.

WATCH: Flooding has devastated parts of Tuscany - this video has no commentary.

SOLAR WATCH: Solar Activity Picks Up - Sun Produces Two M-Class Solar Flares as a CME is Expected to Impact the Earth! UPDATE: Sunspot 1613 Produces Third M-Class Solar Flares - Possible Radio Blackouts Expected!

November 13, 2012 - SUN - A rapid growth from Active Region 11613 produced a two impulsive M-Class Solar Flares.  A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is expected to impact the Earth in the coming hours and a G1 or G2 class geomagnetic storm is possible.

Sunspot 1613.

TWO M-CLASS SOLAR FLARES: Solar activity picked up in a hurry with the emergence of Sunspot 1613 located in the southern hemisphere. A solar flare reaching M2.0 was detected at 23:28 UTC late monday, followed by an impulsive M6.0 event at 02:04 UTC early Tuesday morning. M6.0 Movie.

ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2012 Nov 13 0204 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 1193 km/s
Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.

CME IMPACT: The ACE Spacecraft detected an interplanetary shock at 22:20 UTC Monday evening. Almost an hour later, A geomagnetic sudden impulse was detected by the ground based magnetometer located in Boulder, Colorado (16 nT @ 23:16 UTC). This signalled the passage of the Coronal Mass Ejection past Earth. The impact has been fairly minor thus far. The Solar Wind is between 400 and 500 km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is currently pointed North. The Kp index (4) is currently just below the G1 Geomagnetic Storm threshold. Should the Bz tip south for long durations, this could help intensify geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. Skywatchers at very high latitudes should be alert for Aurora.

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 4
Threshold Reached: 2012 Nov 13 0103 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0000-0300 UTC
Active Warning: Yes

WARNING SUMMARY: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse
Observed: 2012 Nov 12, 2316 UTC
Deviation: 16 nT
Station: Boulder  - Solar Ham.

WATCH: Sun Produces Two M-Class Solar Flares.

UPDATE: Sunspot 1613 Produces Third M-Class Solar Flares - Radio Blackouts Expected!

Active Region 1613, located in southern hemisphere, produced three M-class solar flares in last 6 hours. At 23:28 UTC, November 12, 2012 it peaked with M2.0 solar flare, then on November 13, 2012 at 02:04 an impulsive M6.0 peaked followed by M2.5 at 05:50 UTC. A Type II Radio Emission was associated with first two events. Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event. NOAA/SWPC issued Moderate R2 Radio Blackout level following an M6.0 flare at 02:04 UTC – possible limited blackout of HF radio communication on sunlit side, loss of radio contact for tens of minutes, degradation of low-frequency navigation signals for tens of minutes. Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.

Potential Impacts: Area of impact centered on sub-solar point on the sunlit side of Earth. Extent of blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication dependent upon current X-ray Flux intensity. - NOAA SWPC.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Coffee Threatened By Climate Change - Plant Could Go Extinct By 2080!

November 13, 2012 - AFRICA - The wild Arabica coffee plant, the parent of the bushes on coffee farms, could go extinct as soon as 2080, according to a study by researchers from the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens published in PLoS One on Wednesday.  To generate their predictions, the researchers used a computer to simulate the potential impact of climate change on the regions that are home to the wild coffee plant, in the mountains of East Africa.

They found that by 2080, global warming was likely to reduce the number of "bioclimatically suitable localities" for wild coffee growth by between 65 and 100 percent. In other words, if their worst-case scenario comes true, there will be nowhere on earth for wild coffee to grow. In the long term, that spells almost certain extinction.  The researchers also identified a few spots that were the most likely to resist the deleterious effects of climate change, and so provide a possible home for Arabica coffee beyond 2080. They suggest that these "core localities," which include the Yayu Coffee Forest in Ethiopia, could "serve as long-term in situ storehouses for coffee genetic resources." 

The researchers did not specifically model how climate change would affect cultivated coffee, which is what most of us actually drink, though they note that the outlook is "assumed to be profoundly negative." Quality and yield are both likely to decrease as the climate heats up. A study on the issue back in 2010 predicted that coffee farmers in Mexico and Central America would lose about a third of their current growing area to climate change by 2050.  Moreover, the extinction of the wild coffee plant could eventually spell serious trouble for domesticated coffee. The wild versions of the plant have far more genetic diversity than the domesticated ones, making the wild population much more resistent overall to the effects of pests and diseases. The dangers of agricultural commodities with too little genetic diversity have already been amply demonstrated by banana trees, which may be completely wiped out by a devastating blight within the next 20 years. - Huffington Post.

WATCH: Coffee extinction in the wild spurred by climate change.

EXTREME WEATHER: Winter Storm Brutus Breaks Snowfall Record in Helena, Montana - 8.8 Inches of Snow, Highest Since 1903!

November 13, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Helena crushed a snowfall record Thursday, and was on the way to doing the same Friday as winter storm Brutus brutalized the town. Helena saw 8.8 inches of snow Thursday. The previous snowfall record for Nov. 8 was 2.3 inches, set in 1903. Zach Uttech, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Great Falls, said the south-west flowing air mass from Canada has created an ideal scenario for widespread snow over the region, blanketing Montana with an abundance of snow.

Maintenance crews work to remove snow from Nelson Stadium Friday for Carroll College's final game of the
season Saturday against Dickerson State. In the last 48 hours the Helena area has received about 12 inches
of snow, which made for intense work to clear the stands and field.
Total snow accumulation could hit nearly 14 inches in downtown Helena, which would put Thursday and Friday among the top for highest snowfall in a two-day period for the month of November, Uttech said. As of noon on Friday, the two-day total was 12.6 inches. Higher elevations should see an additional 5-10 inches, he added. The City of Helena said they will be plowing and sanding the streets throughout the weekend. If it's possible, they are requesting residents to remove their vehicles from the streets to allow snow plows clear access. Emergency Snow Routes, arterial and collector roads will be cleared first, and then, as time allows, residential areas. The snow has been so plentiful that Kevin Taylor, owner of Great Divide Ski Area, is opening the Good Luck Chair from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will be $20. "The snow started at 8 a.m. (Thursday)," Taylor said Friday. "We now have about 20 inches on the ground and it's still snowing, 1,100-foot visibility right now. No wind, that's just snow. It's as good as you could hope for. It's a fabulous start." Bruce Parker, athletic director at Carroll College, said Saturday's game against Dickenson State is a go-ahead. "First of all, this isn't our first snow game and people here really put the jets on to get on board." Even though Carroll College has experience with winter games, Parker said this storm has been especially difficult getting the field ready because the snow was wet and heavy. "We have probably 40 people on the ground preparing the stadium and the stands," he said. "The track team and student work force are clearing out the stands, so people will be comfortable." He said there were also three machines being used Friday to move snow.

The storm has thrown a wrench in other sports teams' as well. The Rocky Mountain College and MSU Northern football game has been moved from Herb Klindt Field, which was scheduled for a noon kickoff, to Daylis Stadium at 6 p.m. "It didn't make any sense to put anyone at risk with this weather, so we'd rather MSU Northern arrive safely to play," Robert Beers, Rocky Mountain College athletic director, said in a press release. The Class AA football playoff game between Great Falls C.M. Russell High School and Butte High has also been rescheduled. They will play Saturday at 1 p.m in Butte at Naranche Stadium. Montana High School Association reported the rescheduling occurred because the Montana Department of Transportation had issued a severe driving conditions warning on Interstate 15 between Great Falls and Wolf Creek. As of 4 p.m. Friday, Montana Highway Patrol reported 46 wrecks across the whole state, including four jack-knifed semitrailers. According to NWS on Friday, the snowfall should start tapering off in the evening, slowing down to scattered showers Saturday. "The main thing now is preparing for the cold temperatures," Uttech said. "After the wind dies down, Helena could get into the single digits Saturday." He also said Saturday night will probably dip below zero with a 15 to 20 below zero wind chill. Uttech said Sunday and Monday should be sunny, which would help clear off the roads and sidewalks. But he did emphasize that the melted water will probably refreeze after sundown, making things slippery. The temperatures over the next week or so should stay low, primarily because as Uttech explained it, "When we get this much snow on the ground, it's hard to warm up." - Helenair.

DISASTER IMPACT: Devastating Floods in St. Mary, Jamaica - Preliminary Damage Estimated at 560 Million Dollars!

November 13, 2012 - JAMAICA - The State Minister for Transport and Works, Richard Azan, says preliminary estimates of the damage caused by the weekend rains in Port Maria, St Mary is $560 million.

Images of destruction in St. Mary. Ricardo Makyn / Jamaica Gleaner Staff Photographer.
Azan who is leading a technical team on a tour into the area, says he expects the final figure to be higher.  On Saturday, the St Mary capital and several other communities were flooded as a stationary front produced heavy rainfall. 

The residents have complained that the failure of the authorities to clean the drains have contributed to the problem.  Azan says he has given the team instructions to clean all drains.  But he says this will put a further strain on the money already budgeted to help areas affected by Sandy. - Jamaica Gleaner.

SEE: Photo gallery of Port Maria, St Mary after the flood HERE.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Struck Off the Coast of Aisen, Chile!

November 13, 2012 - CHILE - According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a strong earthquake measured as magnitude 6.0 struck off the coast of Aisen, Chile.

USGS map.

The tremor was located at 45.744°S 77.142°W, with a shallow depth of 9.7km (6.0miles). The epicentre was at a distance of  338km (210miles) W of Puerto Chacabuco, Chile; 348km (216miles) W of Puerto Aisen, Chile; 395km (245miles) W of Coihaique, Chile; 404km (251miles) SW of Puerto Quellon, Chile; and 1472km (915miles) SSW of Santiago, Chile.

No tsunami warning was issued and the USGS indicated that despite the Green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses, there is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region):
The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America. - USGS.