Thursday, December 6, 2012

"CATASTROPHIC" STORM: Super Typhoon Bopha Hits the Philippines - Killing Over 500 People, Destroying Homes, Scores Missing in Worst-Hit Areas!

December 06, 2012 - PHILIPPINES - Rescuers were digging through mud and debris Friday to retrieve more bodies strewn across a farming valley in the southern Philippines by a powerful typhoon. The death toll from the storm has surpassed 500, with more than 400 people missing.  More than 310,000 people have lost their homes since Typhoon Bopha struck Tuesday and are crowded inside evacuation centers or staying with their relatives, relying on food and emergency supplies being rushed in by government agencies and aid groups.  "I want to know how this tragedy happened and how to prevent a repeat," President Benigno Aquino III said during a visit to New Bataan town, the ground zero of the disaster, where ferocious winds and rains lashed the area. 

Relatives cross a river to bury their loved one, who died in a flash flood caused by Typhoon Bopha on
Dec. 6, 2012, in the southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez).
Officials have confirmed 252 dead in Compostela Valley, including New Bataan, and 216 in nearby Davao Oriental province. Nearly 40 others died elsewhere and more than 400 are still missing, about two-thirds in New Bataan alone.  Aquino told New Bataan residents gathered in the middle of toppled coconut trees and roofless houses that he was bent on seeking answers in order to improve their conditions and minimize casualties when natural disasters occur. Fatal storms and typhoons blowing from the Pacific are common in the Philippines, but most of them hit northern and central areas, and southern Mindanao Island is usually spared.  "We are going to look at what really happened. There are allegations of illegal mining, there are allegations of the force of nature," said Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who traveled with Aquino. "We will find out why there are homes in these geohazard locations."  Roxas said rescue dogs will be brought to help search for survivors, although only bodies were found Friday.  Government geological hazard maps show that the farming town of New Bataan, population 45,000, was built in 1968 in an area classified as "highly susceptible to flooding and landslides." 


Most of the casualties were killed in the valley surrounded by steep hills and crisscrossed by rivers. Flooding was so widespread here that places people thought were safe, including two emergency shelters, became among the deadliest.  Poverty is widespread in the Philippines, and the disaster highlights the risks that some take in living in dangerous areas in the hope of feeding their families.  "It's not only an environmental issue, it's also a poverty issue," Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said. "The people would say, `We are better off here. At least we have food to eat or money to buy food, even if it is risky.'"  At a government information center in the devastated town, dozens of people waiting for word of missing relatives. Authorities planned to display about 80 newly washed bodies in coffins at a Roman Catholic church, hoping relatives will identify them.  On another part of Mindanao last December, 1,200 people died when a powerful storm overflowed rivers. Then and now, raging flash floods, logs and large rocks carried people to their deaths.  The Bureau of Mines and Geosciences had issued warnings before the typhoon to people living in flood-prone areas, but in the Compostela Valley, nearly every area is flood-prone. - Huffington Post.

WATCH: Philippines death toll rises over 500.

AGE OF OBAMA: The Establishment of Police State America - US Senate Unanimously Passes 2013 NDAA Power to Arrest Americans; New Documents Show Military Is Flying Drones Throughout America, The US Military Wants To Microchip Troops; Cops Want Logs of Americans' Text Messages; Killer Robots, Indestructible Drones, And Flying Eyes That Remain Aloft Indefinitely And Can Fly Through Your Doors And Windows!

December 06, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Lions and tigers and bears have nothing on "killer robots," "indestructible drones" and drones that fly and spy indefinitely. A company called "CyPhy Works," whose CEO and founder Helen Greiner was a cofounder of iRobot, has been working in "stealth mode," secretly building UAVs for years, but just went public with two new drones created for specifically for surveillance. In fact, IEEE Spectrum said the littlest drone (UAV) "can operate for 'unlimited' amounts of time."


Killer Robots, Indestructible Drones, And Flying Eyes That Remain Aloft Indefinitely

The battery is good for 50 minutes, but "hot swapping" batteries at the base station means it is capable of flying and spying indefinitely. But wait, there's more since Technology Review reported that this hover drone, Extreme Access System for Entry (EASE), will soon be able to follow you indoors. Peachy, no? The second drone, a larger insect-like quadrotor called Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC), "has gimbal-mounted gyrostabilized color and thermal cameras." It can hover at 1,000 feet, conducting surveillance for 12 hours on one battery. CyPhy Works drone technology is capable of high definition video, secure communications, and are unjammable. In the image below, PARC is on top and EASE is on bottom.

At one foot across by 16 inches wide, the EASE prototype was designed to fly into windows. How convenient for spying. The oddest part is that EASE is wired, as in a tiny cable attached to it, which also comes with a (cough) "bonus." Greiner told Danger Room, "Being able to stay up aloft without constant interruptions to come down and recharge is a critical new capability." Engadget added that EASE "packs a pair of HD cameras along with a thermal imager and can stay aloft permanently, in theory, thanks to a microfilament tether attached to a ground station -- which also makes it impervious to weather, tracking and interception at the same time." The future of drone surveillance is headed toward swarms of cyborg insect drones, so flying into the window is no doubt the plan for other drones as well. - Network World.

WATCH: HyTAQ Robot (Hybrid Terrestrial and Aerial Quadrotor).


WATCH: CyPhy Works' EASE UAV Test.


New Documents Show Military Is Flying Drones Throughout US.
Thousands of pages of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) documents released under the Freedom Of Information Act highlight that the military is extensively flying surveillance drones in non-restricted skies throughout the country. The records, released by The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), reveal that three branches of the military are operating drones within civillian airspace. Those branches are the Air Force, the Marine Corps, and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). According to EFF, the documents show that the Air Force is testing all manner of UAVs, from small hand launched drones all the way up to the Predator and Reaper drones, the kind that routinely conduct missile strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.


EFF notes that the use of drones capable of extensive surveillance in public airspace is concerning, especially since recent reports have revealed that Air Force drone operators have been conducting practice spying missions by tracking civilian cars along highways adjacent to military bases.
In addition, a recently uncovered Air Force document also raised alarms over military use of spy drones in US skies. The document outlines how to circumvent privacy laws, and clears the way for the Pentagon to use drones to monitor the activities of Americans. EFF notes that the latest FAA documents indicate that the Marine Corps is also flying drones in US skies, but that “it chose to redact so much of the text from its records that we still don’t know much about its programs.” - Info Wars.

The US Military Wants To Microchip Troops.
DARPA is at it again. This time, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has announced plans to create nanochips for monitoring troops health on the battlefield.  Kate Knibbs at Mobiledia reports the sensors are targeted at preventing illness and disease, the two causes of most troops medical evacuations.  What seems like a simple way of cutting costs and increasing efficiency has some people concerned that this is the first step in a "computer chips for all" scenario.  Bob Unruh at WND reports one of those opponents, Katherine Albrecht, co-author of Spychips says “It’s never going to happen that the government at gunpoint says, ‘You’re going to have a tracking chip. It’s always in incremental steps. If you can put a microchip in someone that doesn’t track them … everybody looks and says, ‘Come on, it’ll be interesting seeing where we go.'  - Business Insider.

Shape-Shifting Robot Made By MIT Scientists. 
The tiny robot is powered by magnets.
It may not look like a character from the Transformer franchise, but a tiny robot made in the US is able to change shape.  Built at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it uses magnets to mimic molecules that fold themselves into complex shapes.  The research could lead to robots that could be reconfigured to perform many different tasks.  But one expert said a lot of work was still needed.  Part-funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research was presented at the 2012 Intelligent Robots and Systems conference.  "It's effectively a one-dimensional robot that can be made in a continuous strip, without conventionally moving parts, and then folded into arbitrary shapes," said one of the researchers, Neil Gershenfeld, head of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms. - BBC.

Cops To Congress: We Need Logs of Americans' Text Messages.

 AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to record and store information about Americans' private text messages for at least two years, according to a proposal that police have submitted to the U.S. Congress.  CNET has learned a constellation of law enforcement groups has asked the U.S. Senate to require that wireless companies retain that information, warning that the lack of a current federal requirement "can hinder law enforcement investigations."  They want an SMS retention requirement to be "considered" during congressional discussions over updating a 1986 privacy law for the cloud computing era -- a move that could complicate debate over the measure and erode support for it among civil libertarians. - CNET.

Senate Unanimously Passes 2013 NDAA; Power to Arrest Americans Remains.
Just after 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, the Senate did it again. By a vote of 98-0 (two senators abstained) lawmakers in the upper chamber approved the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Not a single senator objected to the passage once again of a law that purports to permit the president, supported by nothing more substantial than his own belief that the suspect poses a threat to national security, to deploy the U.S. military to arrest an American living in America... the NDAA 2013 is almost law, and the president’s power to send troops to arrest Americans living in America remains intact and unabridged. That is rightfully terrifying to constitutionalists, journalists, and any other American who fears being kidnapped by the military and indefinitely detained. Yes, the Feinstein-Lee Amendment explicitly... authorizes the president to indefinitely detain them, a substantial step beyond even last year’s NDAA and the Authority for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), upon which it builds.  Despite this despicable extension of despotic powers so unconscionable and unconstitutional, The Hill reported after the Tuesday’s vote that this year’s NDAA passed so overwhelmingly because of the “the lack of controversial issues this year.” Most senators were equally gleeful. Prior to the vote, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) bragged that he was “so proud our committee could keep the tradition of passing for 51 times a defense authorization bill.” This was, in fact, only the second time in half a century that an annual defense spending bill has passed unanimously. Last week, President Obama threatened to veto the bill because it “trespasses on his power.” - The New American.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Earthquake "Supercycles" - Hotspots For Huge Earthquakes Revealed!

December 06, 2012 - EARTHQUAKES - The strongest earthquakes that strike the planet, such as the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan last year, occur at particular "hotspot" points of Earth's crust, a new study finds.  About 87 percent of the 15 largest earthquakes in the last century occurred in the intersection between specific areas on spreading ocean plates, called oceanic fracture zones, and subduction zones, where one tectonic plate slides underneath another, according to the paper, published recently in the journal Solid Earth. The scientists used a data mining method to find correlations between locations of earthquakes over the last 100 years, the strength and geological origin.

More than 100 years of earthquakes glow on a world map. © John Nelson, IDV Solutions.
The bottom of the ocean is crossed by underwater ridges, such as the mid-Atlantic ridge, which runs north to south between the Americas and Africa. These ridges divide two tectonic plates that move apart as lava emerges, solidifying and creating new rock. The midocean ridge jogs back and forth at offsets known as transform faults, creating zigzag-shaped plate boundaries. Fracture zones are scars in the ocean floor left by these transform faults.  These fracture zones are often marked by large underwater mountains with valleys between them. Millions of years after forming in the middle of the ocean, these mountains slowly advance all the way to a subduction zone, often at the opposite end of the sea. The researchers hypothesize that these submarine mountains "snag" as they enter subduction zones, causing an enormous amount of pressure to build up over hundreds or thousands of years before finally releasing and creating huge earthquakes, according to the study.


These areas - where the mountains of fracture zones are forced beneath another plate - are prone to earthquake "supercycles," where large earthquakes happen every few hundred or few thousand years, said Dietmar Müller, a study author and researcher at the University of Sydney, in a statement.  Many of these areas may not be known to be particularly risky, since seismic hazard maps are constructed mainly using data collected after 1900, he said. For example, the area that spawned Japan's deadly 9.0-magnitude Tohoku quake in 2011 was not predicted to be of significant risk by previous hazard maps, according to the study.  "The power of our new method is that it does pick up many of these regions and, hence, could contribute to much-needed improvements of long-term seismic hazard maps," Müller said.  While 50 of the largest earthquakes in the past 100 years have also happened in the fraught regions between these fracture zones and subduction zones, the connection doesn't seem to hold for smaller quakes, according to the study. That's because other faults aren't "blocked" in the same way by large underwater features, and don't need to accumulate as much stress before faulting, the researchers say.  The paper hasn't officially been peer-reviewed, although many scientists have commented on the study online. "I find the evidence of positive correlation presented in this paper convincing enough," wrote one scientist. "Given the small amount of data available, the authors have developed an interesting way of testing for correlations." - Our Amazing Planet.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: The Euro-Zone Crisis - Greece Downgraded to 'Selective Default' by S&P, Unemployment Rate Jumps to 26 Percent, Sixth Year of Recession!

December 06, 2012 - GREECE - Standard & Poor's on Wednesday cut Greece's sovereign long-term foreign currency credit rating to "selective default" from an already low "CCC" rating.  Last week Greece and its international lenders reached a deal to lower the country's debt burden, which included a debt buyback. 

The decision to lower the sovereign rating follows the government's invitation to private sector bondholders to participate in the debt buyback "which under our criteria we view as a selective default," S&P said in an e-mailed statement.  "When the buyback is consummated (which we understand is scheduled to occur on or about Dec. 17, 2012), we will likely consider the selective default to be cured and raise the sovereign credit rating on Greece to the 'CCC' category," the statement said.


The outlook on the rating remains negative. Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund reached agreement on Nov. 26 for steps to cut Greece's public debt and help the country regain access to international financial markets.  Greece said it would spend 10 billion euros to buy back bonds at a price range that topped market expectations. The move is seen as central to put the near-bankrupt country's debt back on a sustainable footing.  The buyback will be conducted through a modified Dutch auction in which investors declare at what level they are willing to sell their bonds before Athens sets a final price. - CNBC.

Jobless Greeks wait outside an unemployment
 bureau in the capital Athens. (File photo).

Greece Unemployment Rate Jumps to 26 Percent!
The Greek statistics office ELSTAT announced on Thursday that the jobless number rose to 1.295 million in September, pushing up the unemployment rate from 25.3 the previous month and 18.9 percent a year earlier, the Associated Press reported.  The September figures revealed that the number of people employed stood at 3,695,053 while 3,373,692 were listed as financially inactive.  Joblessness is at the highest since the agency began publishing monthly data in 2004. Greek unemployment is now more than double the eurozone average of 11.6 percent in September, surpassing the rate in struggling Spain, which was 25.8 percent in the month, according to data released by Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office. - Press TV.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Humongous Landslide-Driven Mega-Tsunamis Threaten Hawaii!

December 06, 2012 - HAWAII - It's almost unimaginable: a tsunami more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) high bearing down on the island of Hawaii. But scientists have new evidence of these monster waves, called megatsunamis, doing just that. The findings were presented here yesterday (Dec. 5) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Unlike tsunamis from earthquakes, the Hawaiian tsunamis strike when the island chain's massive volcanoes collapse in humongous landslides. This happens about every 100,000 years, and is linked to climate change, said Gary McMurtry, a professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Sunglint surrounds half of the Hawaiian Islands. CREDIT: NASA.
Sitting about 30 feet (10 m) away from today's Ka Le (South Point) seashore are boulders the size of cars. Some 250,000 years ago, a tsunami tossed the enormous rocks 820 feet (250 m) up the island's slopes, said Fernando Marques, a professor at the University of Lisbon in Portugal. (The boulders are closer to the shore now because the main island of Hawaii is one of the world's largest volcanoes, and its massive weight sends it sinking into the Earth at a rate of about 1 millimeter a year.) McMurtry's team found two younger and slightly smaller tsunami deposits at South Point on the main island of Hawaii, one 50,000 years old and one 13,000 years old. He suggests the tsunami source is the two Ka Le submarine landslides, from the flanks of the nearby Mauna Loa volcano. The waves carried corals and 3-foot (1 m) boulders 500 feet (150 m) inland.


Deadly, landslide-triggered tsunamis happen at volcanic islands around the world, and are a potential hazard for the Eastern United States. "We find them everywhere, but we don't know of any historical cases, so we have to go back in time," said Anthony Hildenbrand, a volcanologist at the University of Paris-Sud in France, who helped identify the ancient tsunami deposit. The falling rock acts like a paddle, giving the water a sudden push. While landslide tsunamis may have a devastating local effect, they lose their power in the open ocean and don't destroy distant coastlines like earthquake tsunamis. The giant landslides seem to happen during periods of rising sea levels, when the climate is also warmer and wetter, Hildenbrand told OurAmazingPlanet. Researchers speculate that the change from lower sea level to higher may destabilize a volcanic island's flanks, and heavier rains could soak its steep slopes, helping trigger landslides. There are at least 15 giant landslides that have slid off the Hawaiian Islands in the past 4 million years, with the most recent happening only 100,000 years ago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. One block of rock that slid off Oahu is the size of Manhattan. - Our Amazing Planet.

ICE AGE NOW: Heavy Snow Brings Stockholm to a Complete Standstill - Public, Transportation and Infrastructure in Danger!

December 06, 2012 - SWEDEN - Heavy snowfall in the southeast has disrupted traffic in Stockholm, where planes have been unable to take off and many bus and train lines stopped running. Several schools closed early on Wednesday. The snowfall is expected to continue through the night. The Transport Authority has advised people in the Stockholm region to avoid traveling by car.

A street in central Stockholm on Wednesday. © Jessica Gow/Scanpix.
The weather service issued a class 2 warning for Sweden's southeast due to the heavy snowfall and winds, meaning the weather could put the public in danger and disrupt infrastructure. "Commuters can expect the snowfall to continue," meteorologist Linnea Rehn with the weather service SMHI tells Swedish Radio. There may yet be another 10 centimetres before this evening." Planes could not leave Arlanda airport, Stockholm's biggest, at lunchtime on Wednesday, but one runway was being used for departures. Around 60,000 plane passengers will be affected. Cancellations and delays at Arlanda will affect travellers on Thursday, too. "We cannot receive landing planes at the moment and are prioritizing passengers who have come to Arlanda to leave," Klas Nilsson, press spokesperson at the airport managing company Swedavia, told news agency TT on Wednesday.


Skavsta airport, 90 minutes south of Stockholm, had not cancelled any flights on Wednesday morning, but there were severe disruptions at Bromma airport. Meanwhile, Stockholm's main bus lines stopped running on Wednesday, with shorter lines running as replacements, according to news agency TT. Swedish Railways experienced delays along the eastern coast during the day. The Stockholm subway ran mostly on schedule, but bus lines suffered long delays and cancellations. "Almost all buses are heavily delayed. The subway and other train lines are running as planned. Commuter trains are running smoothly as well, but aren't departing as often as they usually do," Fredrik Cavalli-Björkman, press spokesperson at Stockholm Public Transport, tells the news agency TT. There were several accidents on Wednesday. A woman died north of Borås, in western Sweden, after driving off the road in the snow, TT reports. According to the SOS alarm service one person was severely injured in an accident involving a car and a truck near Uppsala. A chartered bus with around 50 pensioner passengers turned over on the E 18 highway outside Enköping, also in the Uppsala county. According to early reports there were no severe injuries, but the passengers were stuck inside the bus. The Swedish Weather Service expects the snowfall along Sweden's southeastern coast to continue throughout Thursday night. - Sveriges Radio.

RATTLE & HUM: Planetary Transformations - "Loud, Frightening, Thunder and Mysterious" Booms Heard Across 7 American States Within 24 Hours?!

December 06, 2012 - UNITED STATES - The following report constitutes the latest episode in the ongoing anomalies of mysterious loud booms heard across the world. These news items come from seven different states in America during a 24-hour time span.

December 4th, 2012 - Mysterious Loud Noise Baffles Residents and Police in Alabama.
At approximately midnight around Gentilly Mobile Home Park, a mysterious loud bang was heard.  Phone calls to The Plainsman office suggested that the bang was heard over a far larger radius than Gentilly Park.  Residents around the area do not seem to believe the sound was a gunshot or fireworks, as the sound was described as far too loud.  Capt. Tom Stofer of the Auburn Police Department said the department received a call about the noise, but after sending officers out to the area could not find a source or evidence of damage.  "We were really never able to indicate where the sound came from," Stofer said. "As far as we know, nothing was reported afterward as being damaged."  Stofer could not offer any possibilities of what caused the sound.  "The source of the noise or sound is really unknown at this time," Stofer said.  Read more: The Auburn Plainsman - Mysterious loud noise baffles residents police. - The Auburn Plainsman.

December 4th, 2012 - "Loudest Thunder In The World" Explosion Heard In Rhode Island.
While authorities still do not know the source, residents are sticking to their story saying they heard a large explosion coming from Narragansett Bay Monday night.  Reports of the phantom boom kept crews busy in both Barrington and Warwick after residents reported hearing the strange disruption around 11:30 p.m.  “I was downstairs in my basement, I have small windows, and I was able to see a flash of light and it was basically the biggest explosion I’ve ever heard in my whole life,” said Mark Etheridge, an eyewitness who lives near Narragansett Bay in Barrington.  "It shook the windows and made my neighbors alert too. The only way to describe it was like a single loud 'boom' noise that sounded somewhat like an explosion," said an Eyewitness News viewer via ReportIt.  "I thought it was the loudest thunder in the world..we all were jousted but the humm. was scary," wrote Patti Cicerone on WPRI.com's Facebook page.  Several local police and fire departments investigated, even sending boats out on to the bay. But, nothing was ever found.  “I’ve heard a transformer blow, but this thing was ten times that. My whole house shook,” added Etheridge.  "I thought 'oh my God, it must have been a gas explosion, and somebody's house blew up," said Mary McKenna. "That's what it sounded like."  According to investigators, the source of the noise remains a mystery. - WPRI.

WATCH: Thunderous sounds heard in Rhode Island.


December 4th, 2012 - "Frightening" Loud Booms Across Altadena, California.
Was your Tuesday night disturbed by the sounds of loud booms? It was for one Altadena resident, who told Patch via email that she heard these mystery sounds all night:
I live in NW Altadena near Lincoln & Loma Alta Dr & on last evening, Tuesday - Dec 4, 2012, I kept hearing 'loud boom' sounds every 10-15 minutes. These sounds continued all night - very frightening - I called the Sheriff's Dept to report it - I never found out what this noise was. Did anyone else hear this and do you know what it was? I know that street lights are being put up on the corner of Altadena Dr & Lincoln.
The watch commander for the Altadena Sheriff’s Station told Patch Wednesday that nothing else was reported about any loud “boom” sounds and there was no explanation for them.The most notable thing that happened Tuesday night, according to the watch commander’s report of the Altadena crime log, was a call to report a beauty salon fire in town but when fire officials showed up there was no fire to be seen. - Altadena Patch.


December 5, 2012 - Mysterious Booms Rock Verde Valley, Arizona

Jean Swesey was doing homework with her son in Cottonwood when it happened.  "It was a whole series of booms," Swesey said. "Up to six or seven. It was fast, it went loud. We were quiet and then my daughter down the hall screams really loud, ‘Did you hear that?' I sat there for a second and I heard another set."  Swesey wasn't alone. Residents in communities in and around Verde Valley and as far as Flagstaff called 911 or their police and fire departments to report the strange booming sounds.  "It sounded like thunder, but underground," Swesey said. "Like muffled thunder. And all the dogs in the neighborhood, all of them that were outside all started barking at once."  CBS 5 News first received reports of the explosion-like noises shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday and began checking with law enforcement and government sources. The U.S. Geological Survey reports no significant earthquake activity in Arizona that could have created the booms.  The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office had deputies in the area who either heard it or tried to respond to resident calls. They found nothing.  The Sedona Fire District dispatched a crew to check a report of a strange odor, but that was unfounded and may not be related to the sounds.  The Camp Verde Marshal also received a number of phone calls about the booms. Officers found no evidence of any explosions.  But the Verde Valley contains large expanses of uninhabited land. "Maybe when the light comes back they'll find something," said Gary Johnson of Sedona Fire.  Swesey sure hopes so. "It was just, ‘boom-boom-boom-boom-boom all over the Verde Valley."  Did you hear it? Tell CBS 5 News where you are and what it sounded like. - KPHO.

WATCH: Mystery booms in Verde Valley.


December 5, 2012 - Loud Booms Heard Across Texoma (Texas And Oklahoma).
KTEN has had hundreds of reports of loud explosions and the ground shaking in seven counties from north Texas to southern Oklahoma.People tell us, they felt shaking and heard a loud boom just after eight this morning, and then again a little after two this afternoon.Reports range from Cooke County to Love County, Carter, Johnston, Murray, Pontotoc and even Marshall County.After dozens of calls, KTEN has found the culprits.We spoke with the Public relations director for Lockheed Martin, a global leader in the design, manufacture and support of military aircraft. He said they were flying the jets over Southern Oklahoma Wednesday.Sonic booms were likely the cause of the ground shaking and loud sounds. - KTEN.

December 5, 2012 - Several Loud Booms Reported in Columbia County, Georgia.
Columbia County EMA director Pam Tucker tells WJBF News Channel 6, that quarry blasting and earthquakes have been ruled out as causes of loud booms and rumblings in Columbia County. Tucker tells us no blasting or quakes were going on at the times the booms and rumblings were reported.  A seismologist Tucker talked to checked all of his equipment and said that he sees no indication of earthquakes around any of the times he was provided. However, the seismologist said that the report about the lifted driveway and cracks in road/sidewalk sounded most intriguing – but he just doesn't see anything Wednesday night around 9:00 p.m., which was the time reported for that event.  Tucker says she has been notified blasting is planned for the following: • Precision Blasting conducted a blast in Indian Springs Subdivision around noon Thursday. • Aggregates Quarry on Columbia Road is going to blast at 3:00 p.m. Thursday. • Blair Construction will conduct a blast in Stratford Subdivision (behind the last house in the cul-de-sac on Aylesbury) Friday afternoon.  One citizen reports that fighters have been running aerial combat drills...which could account for some of these reports. - WJBF.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Volcano Activity Report For December 06th, 2012!

December 06, 2012 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing report from geologist Richard Wilson who specializes in volcano seismicity and Armand Vervaeck.


KVERT reports that volcanic tremor has strengthened (more than doubling in amplitude) overnight at Plosky Tolbachik (Kamchatka Peninsula).  This latest information, coupled with observations over the past few days of an increasingly localized eruption plume source in addition to a sustained eruptive column to 4 km altitude all suggest eruptive activity along the fissure is becoming focused.  This is characteristic behavior for fissure eruptions.  Vigorous eruption of lava from long fractures (dikes), initially driven by magmatic overpressure, eventually loses out to thermodynamics.  Too much heat is lost across the broad surface areas intrinsic to magmatic dikes. Unless eruption rates remain very high, flowing magma will congeal within fractures leaving a more thermodynamically viable shape, a cylindrical tube.  At the surface, this cooling process leads to point sources of eruption, resulting in the construction of either a large, solitary cinder cone or more often, a chain of smaller cinder cones.  The process also explains the rise in tremor amplitude as the same amount of rising magma must now flow a more restricted pathway (a tube or tubes versus a sheet) to the surface. Further, this indicates magma flow is not waning.

Seismicity also strengthened late yesterday (and continues) beneath the Coso Volcanic Field (CA) with over 50 earthquakes located overnight with magnitudes ranging from M0.0 to M3.0.


The rate of exhalations of gas and ash at Popocatepetl volcano (Mexico) remains low, averaging one explosion per two hours the past few days. The Popo seismogram shows low-level volcanic tremor and a few, small local earthquakes.

Activity at Pacaya volcano (Guatemala) (station PCG) consists of numerous low-frequency earthquakes and short bursts of tremor.  Tremor rose briefly late yesterday at nearby Santa Maria volcano (station STG6), likely signaling a small avalanche at the dome complex (the “spikey” nature of the record is due to an equipment malfunction).  Tremor is relatively low at Fuego volcano (FG3) and views of the volcano this morning show only a weak vapor plume issuing from the crater.

More numerous (but low amplitude) volcanic(?) earthquakes are evident on seismograms from Cerro Negro volcano (Nicaragua) (station CNGN) today.  The volcano has shown an increase in local seismicity the past few days. Tremor intensity appears reduced again at nearby Masaya volcano (station MASN). Small earthquakes and some pulses of volcanic tremor have affected Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) (station OLLZ) during the past 24 hours.  Numerous small earthquakes are again visible on seismograms at Machin volcano (station CIMA).  What appear to be extended pulses of low-level volcanic tremor are visible on seismograms at Galeras volcano (station ANGV) as well.
Intense, co-eruptive seismicity affects Reventador volcano (Ecuador) (station CONE) again today.

Small local earthquakes and some increased volcanic tremor are evident on seismograms at Tongariro volcano (New Zealand).  Strong wind affects seismograms at Ruapehu volcano, while offshore to the north, White Island volcano quivers with continuous volcanic tremor.

Recent satellite imagery shows SO2-enriched plumes drifting from Nevado Del Ruiz (the first in several weeks) and Plosky Tolbachik (Kamchatka), and a pronounced plume near Ambrym volcano (Vanuatu). - EarthQuake Report.

MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Egypt on the Brink, as Wave of Violence Erupts - Protesters Storm, Set Fire To Muslim Brotherhood HQ In Cairo Following Morsi's Address to the Nation!

December 06, 2012 - EGYPT - The Egyptian president has addressed the nation, accusing the foreign-funded opposition of trying to incite violence against his legitimacy. Following the speech, hundreds of protesters stormed and torched the Muslim Brotherhood's Cairo HQ.  ­The president’s speech, which was aimed at restoring stability in the country, has ignited a new escalation in violence. 


Several thousand anti-government protesters have stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, breaking windows and furniture and setting the building on fire.  Protesters also reportedly torched, stormed and looted several Cairo offices of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, who responded with stones and Molotov cocktails. While tensions remain high, additional security personnel were deployed to the epicenter of the clashes.  ­“I separate the legitimate opposition from the vandals who committed violence,” Morsi told the nation. “The opposition thinks Article 6 is a problem. I won’t insist on keeping it, and anyway, the decree ends after the referendum.”  ­Morsi said he will form a new assembly to write the constitution if the current draft is rejected by the referendum.  Morsi mourned those who died in front of the presidential palace, saying his "heart is bleeding for the loss of innocent lives."  "I feel responsible for the riots in Egypt," he said. "My fellow citizens are one body that cannot be separated or torn apart." 


The Egyptian president also attacked those who he says are serving the remnants of the Mubarak regime and trying to bring down the government. He said the reason behind the constitutional declaration was to protect Egypt from such conspiracies.  “These people became rich through the ex-regime and are now spending their fortunes to burn our homeland,” Morsi said, claiming that some of those arrested during the clashes outside the presidential palace have links with opposition parties, while others were paid to add heat to the conflict.  “The ex-regime will not come back again, ever,” Morsi stated.  The president has called for a Saturday meeting with the opposition to defuse the crisis, which he says can only be resolved through dialogue.  Morsi's address follows a wave of heavy clashes beginning on Tuesday between his supporters and opponents, in which at least six people have been killed and over 640 injured.  A curfew has been introduced in Cairo after the country's military moved in tanks and armored troop carriers to quash the violence in the capital. Several tanks are guarding the presidential palace.  The recent wave of street violence is the worst in Egypt following Morsi's November 22 move to vastly expand his powers. - RT.

WATCH: Protests erupt in Egypt following Morsi's address to the nation.

PLANETARY TREMORS: American Geophysical Union - Tsunamis and Mega-Earthquakes Are Long Overdue in Lake Tahoe!

December 06, 2012 - UNITED STATES - A tsunami-producing fault in Lake Tahoe is overdue for another earthquake, scientists said here yesterday (Dec. 4) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The West Tahoe Fault is capable of producing a magnitude-7.3 earthquake and tsunamis up to 30 feet (10 meters) high in the clear blue lake, where million-dollar homes line the shore, researchers said. Earthquakes strike every 3,000 to 4,000 years on the fault, and the most recent shaker was 4,500 years ago, indicating the fault is overdue for another earthquake, said Jillian Maloney, a graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.

A lidar image of Fallen Leaf Lake in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The blue line is the West Tahoe Fault. The rainbow hues reflect the depth of the lake.  © Jillian Maloney, Scripps.
The West Tahoe fault defines the west shore of the lake, coming on shore at Baldwin Beach, passing through the southern third of Fallen Leaf Lake, and then descending into Christmas Valley near Echo Summit. Underwater tracking To trace the fault's history, Maloney and her colleagues examined data from a CHIRP seismic imaging system, which details underwater sediment layers at very high resolution. (CHIRP stands for compressed high intensity radar pulse.) The researchers correlated landslide deposits, which could be related to past earthquakes, throughout western Lake Tahoe and in small lakes immediately to the south with radiocarbon dates from the sediments. The West Tahoe Fault has a complicated history, the analysis reveals. The fault appears to alternate between breaking all at once, in a 31-mile long (50 kilometer) fracture, and in smaller, shorter segments. The discovery has implications for the Tahoe's seismic hazard, because the size of an earthquake relates to the length of a fault rupture, Maloney said.


The biggest earthquakes come from the longest fault fractures. The correlations, while still at an early stage, indicate the last time the fault's entire length ruptured was 7,800 years ago, Maloney told OurAmazingPlanet. More recent quakes occurred on individual segments, she said. Tsunami risk Because the fault crosses the lake, scientists worry a future earthquake will cause a tsunami in Lake Tahoe. The monster waves could form in two ways: by the fault displacing ground under the lake, similar to Japan's Tohoku tsunami, or by causing landslides that displace the water. A combination of both could also create an even bigger wave. Layers of sediment preserved in and around Lake Tahoe record evidence of past tsunamis, said Graham Kent, director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory in Reno. However, having smaller earthquakes on the West Tahoe Fault would be better for the ski town. "If it breaks up into multiple segments, it might not be as great a tsunami risk," Kent told OurAmazingPlanet. The most recent earthquake in the Tahoe region was about 575 years ago, on the Incline Fault, which becomes active about every 10,000 to 15,000 years. Scientists estimate its earthquake size potential at magnitude 7. At more than 1,645 feet (501 meters) deep, Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California and Nevada border in the seismically active Sierra Nevada region, is one of the world's deepest freshwater lakes. - Our Amazing Planet.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "Brighter Than Venus" - Meteor Streaks Across Missouri and Illinois!

December 06, 2012 - SKY - Here is another list from the Lunar Meteor Hunters of several eye-witness reports of a spectacular meteor seen in the skies over the states of Missouri and Illinois in the United States.


04DEC2012 Brian Puyear Kansas City MO, USA 2137 8 seconds E-W, Left to Right, East orange Brighter than a stat. as bright as a plane or helicopter at the very end Thise ar e the facts, but I have to say. that was a big, long fucking meteor.

04DEC2012 Craig Hillis Harviell, Missouri USA 2135 15-20 seconds 2136 Green ball of light with sparks trailing behind it. Large smoke trail afterwards moon yes Second time i have witnessed this in a month and a half.

04DEC2012 loudtrumpet Belleville Illinois USA 2139 CMT 4 seconds N-S Multi-colored - No sound until no longer visable, then faint impact sound Moon No Like a shooting star, but much closer and more colorful.

04DEC2012 Jim Hillsboro, Illinois, USA 2135 US Central appx. 4-6 sec facing S travelled E-W white at start, began to fade, then became orange and brighter brighter than moon, less than sun none observed the color change was amazing!

04DEC2012 Shelby Shariatzadeh Chicago, IL 21:30:00 1-2 seconds North Yellow/White A little brighter than Venus no This was the second one I saw tonight in Chicago which is a bright city and you don't see many stars. - Lunar Meteor Hunters.

EXTREME WEATHER: Ice Age Now - The Coldest U.S. Temperature of Season Recorded in Alaska!

December 06, 2012 - ALASKA - Cold air has been locked up across the interior of Alaska since the middle of November; however, the most intense cold has been in place since Nov. 24, 2012.

Um yeah, so it's kinda cold.... #alaska http://pic.twitter.com/WcwMgJRw
"The cold really kicked in with 20- to 30-degree temperature departures on the 24th and 25th," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.

A large area of high pressure has been dominating Alaska, ushering in air from the arctic and blocking any milder air from the Pacific.

"Persistent high pressure and clear skies with no marine influence have been in place. So, you put that together with the northerly latitude where this time of year there is very little sun, and north of the arctic circle there is no sun. So, it can just keep getting colder until a disturbance comes along that can bring wind and clouds," Andrews said.


Over the next two weeks, it appears that very cold air will stay put across the interior of Alaska as well as northwestern portions of Canada, including Yukon, the Northwestern Territories and northern parts of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Temperatures may be as much as 20 degrees below normal.

Very cold air in Canada & Alaska will push south into US next week & into TX by Dec. 10.
Winter is coming! #txwx #dfwwx http://twitpic.com/biucr7
There has been talk in social media of that cold moving, perhaps into the U.S.

"There will be cold intrusions coming into the U.S., but not gangbusters," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity said. - AccuWeather.

SHADOW WARS: Escalating Towards World War III - Syria Loads Chemical Weapons Into Bombs, Military Awaits Assad's Orders!

December 06, 2012 - MIDDLE EAST - The Syrian military is prepared to use chemical weapons against its own people and is awaiting final orders from President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials told NBC News on Wednesday.  The military has loaded the precursor chemicals for sarin, a deadly nerve gas, into aerial bombs that could be dropped onto the Syrian people from dozens of fighter-bombers, the officials said.   As recently as Tuesday, officials had said there was as yet no evidence that the process of mixing the "precursor" chemicals had begun. But Wednesday, they said their worst fears had been confirmed: The nerve agents were locked and loaded inside the bombs.


Sarin is an extraordinarily lethal agent. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's forces killed 5,000 Kurds with a single sarin attack on Halabja in 1988.  U.S. officials stressed that as of now, the sarin bombs hadn't been loaded onto planes and that Assad hadn't issued a final order to use them. But if he does, one of the officials said, "there's little the outside world can do to stop it."  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterated U.S. warnings to Assad not to use chemical weapons, saying he would be crossing "a red line" if he did so. Speaking Wednesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Clinton said the Syrian government was on the brink of collapse, raising the prospect that "an increasingly desperate Assad regime" might turn to chemical weapons or that the banned weapons could fall into other hands.  "Ultimately, what we should be thinking about is a political transition in Syria and one that should start as soon as possible," Clinton said. "We believe their fall is inevitable. It is just a question of how many people have to die before that occurs."

WATCH: Pentagon sources tell NBC News that the Syrian military is awaiting final orders to launch chemical weapons against its own people after precursor chemicals for deadly sarin gas were loaded into aerial bombs. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports.



Aides told NBC News that Clinton was expected next week to officially recognize the main opposition movement, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, with which she is scheduled to meet in Morocco. Britain, France, Turkey and some key Arab leaders have already recognized the opposition.  Fighting intensified Wednesday in the 21-month civil war, which has left 40,000 people dead. The U.N. withdrew its personnel from Damascus, saying conditions were too dangerous. The government said this week that it wouldn't use chemical weapons on its own people after President Barack Obama warned that doing so would be "totally unacceptable."  But U.S. officials said this week that the government had ordered its Chemical Weapons Corps to "be prepared," which Washington interpreted as a directive to begin bringing together the components needed to weaponize Syria's chemical stockpiles.


U.S. officials had long believed that the Syrian government was stockpiling the banned chemical weapons before it acknowledged possessing them this summer.  NBC News reported in July that U.S. intelligence agencies believed that in addition to sarin, Syria had access to tabun, a chemical nerve agent, as well as traditional chemical weapons like mustard gas and hydrogen cyanide.  Officials told NBC News at the time that the Syrian government was moving the outlawed weapons around the country, leaving foreign intelligence agencies unsure where they might end up.  Syria is one of only seven nations that hasn't ratified the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention, the arms control agreement that outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of such weapons. Bombshells filled with chemicals can be carried by Syrian Air Force fighter-bombers, in particular Sukhoi-22/20, MiG-23 and Sukhoi-24 aircraft. In addition, some reports indicate that unguided short-range Frog-7 artillery rockets may be capable of carrying chemical payloads.  In terms of longer-range delivery systems, Syria has a few dozen SS-21 ballistic missiles with a maximum range of 72 miles; 200 Scud-Bs, with a maximum range of 180 miles; and 60 to 120 Scud-Cs, with a maximum range of 300 miles, all of which are mobile and are capable of carrying chemical weapons, according U.S. intelligence officials. - NBC News.

WATCH: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed President Obama's recent vow to take action if Syrian President Bashar Assad uses chemical weapons during the ongoing clashes within his country. U.S. officials are also concerned about the rising influence of extremist groups within Syria. NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.

ICE AGE NOW: Canada's Capital Region in White-Out as Snowfall Blankets Area - 17 Centimetres in Just 2 Hours!

December 06, 2012 - EDMONTON, CANADA - Motorists in and around the Capital Region are experiencing white-out conditions as a snowfall blankets the area.

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for the City of Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, Spruce Grove, Morinville, Mayerthorpe, Evansburg, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, and Tofield, which ended around 4p.m.


Between nine and 17 centimetres of snow fell in the capital region over the course of about two hours. The heavy band of snow has since moved southeast.

Spruce Grove and Stony Plain RCMP are advising travelers to use caution and avoid highways west and north of Edmonton, if possible.

They say conditions on Highway 43 north of Highway 16 are near white-out, and deteriorating.

The severe snow conditions forced St. Albert Transit to shut down all commuter routes returning from Edmonton at Village Transit Station in St. Albert. Regular service on all routes resumed shortly after 4:30, Wednesday afternoon.

Trucks have been called out to sand area highways, but visibility and road conditions are not helping the situation.


Morinville RCMP are warning motorists, as well, about icy road conditions and poor visibility on Sturgeon County roads.

RCMP officers have been called out to several incidents of cars sliding off the road and into ditches.

So far, no injuries have been reported. Morinville RCMP are asking drivers to avoid travel in the area until conditions improve, though.

Edmonton Police say between 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, there were 85 property damage collisions and nine injury collisions reported citywide. - Global TV Calgary.

WATCH: Canada's capital region in white-out.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Mysterious Tremors in North Texas Leaves Experts Puzzled!

December 06, 2012 - TEXAS, UNITED STATES - Reports of earthquake-like tremors starting Tuesday afternoon and continuing until early Wednesday can’t be confirmed as true earthquakes, but experts can’t say what it is, either.  “We started getting calls at 3:09 p.m. (Tuesday),” said Eric Meyers, Navarro County Emergency Coordinator. “The first calls were north of Corsicana in the Hickory Hollow area with two separate residents out there reporting unusual tremors being felt along with a rumbling type of noise.”  After checking with the U.S. Geological Survey website, Meyers also checked with the National Weather Service and state emergency management offices.


“About two hours later, approximately five o’clock, there were additional reports in the same area of heavier tremors, the same vicinity, the same residents,” Meyers said. Another report came from the western part of the county, near Navarro Mills.  After the second round of reports, Meyers posted it on Facebook and suddenly there were more reports, but coming from all over, including Streetman, Purdon, Pursley and Dawson. Some of the reports came from as far away as Freestone and Limestone counties. The line runs about 50 to 60 miles long, and the tremors didn’t act like any other thing except perhaps earthquake booms, which are shallow sometimes undetectable tremors similar to what’s been happening locally.  The range and the description of houses “popping” and shaking didn’t seem to fit anything, including the disturbances reported around fracking drill-sites.  “This is an unexplained event likely of a natural origin,” Meyers said. “We can’t come up with a point of origin or a cause or explanation of why this is happening.” 


Still, the National Earthquake Information Center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey, located in Golden, Colo., didn’t see anything on its monitors, according to Don Blakeman, an earthquake analyst at the center.  “We had a call earlier, apparently folks have been feeling something out there for about a day, but we couldn’t find anything, we didn’t see anything on our records,” Blakeman said. “That doesn’t mean something hasn’t happened, but we don’t know what it is.”  If the tremors had been as large as the small quakes that took place around Dallas they would have been detected on their equipment, Blakeman said.  “Little earthquakes don’t automatically trigger the computer’s earthquake location,” he said. “If we have an exact time, though, we can scan the records for it.”  Many tremors aren’t necessarily earthquakes but can have man-made causes, both men said.  “We were trying to determine what was going on, any type of military exercises at a higher level than locally, we worked on this throughout the night and we eliminated everything we could think of and continued to do some through today,” Meyers said.  “We went through the process of elimination on what it could be and ruled out all these different things,” he said. “Whatever it was hasn’t occurred since 4 a.m. Wednesday. It’s unusual, to say the least.” - Corsicana Daily Sun.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: The Global Coastal Event - Rising Sea Level Puts Island Nations Like Nauru at Risk!

December 06, 2012 - PACIFIC OCEAN - Kieren Keke remembers growing up on the Pacific island of Nauru, the world's smallest independent republic.  "The weather patterns were predictable," he says. "There was a wet season and a dry season, an annual cycle. When there was drought, it was limited."  "Now it's different," he tells CNN. "There's no predictability -- periods of drought can last seven or eight years, and when we get storms they are more intense. The coastline is being eroded. Now the sea is right up to people's doorsteps."  Keke is now foreign minister of Nauru, and leads the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) at the current U.N. Climate Change conference in Doha, Qatar. The Alliance is fighting a David-and-Goliath battle with the world's biggest polluters -- trying to shame them into tougher action to limit emissions and curb the warming of the planet.

(File photo) The island is 21 square kilometers and has a population of 10,000, almost all of whom live on the coast.
The 43 members of the Alliance include countries that are literally disappearing amid rising sea levels. And they accuse the likes of India, China and the United States of not addressing climate change with enough urgency. The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2007 that sea levels would rise between seven and 23 inches (18 and 59 centimeters) this century, but a rate of ice-melt in the Arctic that is much faster than anticipated has prompted many scientists to raise the projection to about one meter, more than three feet. Among those most threatened are the Marshall Islands, halfway between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. The highest point on the 29 atolls and five islands is 33 feet (10 meters) above sea level. The capital, Majuro, is just three feet above sea level and was inundated by high tides four years ago. "Low-lying atolls across the Pacific are slowly vanishing," Keke says. In Nauru, too, people don't have many places to go. The island -- which on satellite imagery looks like a white pebble in the deep blue expanse of the Pacific -- is eight square miles (21 square kilometers) and has a population of some 10,000, almost all of whom live on the coastline. The highest point is 200 feet above sea level, but much of the interior has been ravaged by the effects of phosphate mining. And the nearest neighbors are some 180 miles (almost 300 kilometers) away.

Keke says the Alliance wants the 190-odd delegations in Doha to "ramp up their ambitions" because current scientific projections about the warming planet will otherwise wipe out a number of low-lying states. But time is pressing. The Kyoto Protocol, the only binding international agreement on emissions, expires in less than four weeks. And the Doha conference is due to end later this week. "Some countries are ready to sign up for a second commitment period to Kyoto," which would last from 2013 to 2020, Keke says. Among them the European Union and Australia. But Canada, Russia and Japan are among governments that have already said they won't sign onto an extension of Kyoto, a stance that Keke says is "very disappointing." They are demanding that countries like China and India -- now the first and third emitters of greenhouse gases -- to be bound by new targets, along with the industrialized world. China and India, as developing nations, were excused from the commitment adopted at Kyoto by some 40 developed nations to cut their carbon emissions by 5% by this year, compared with the level in 1990. Measuring sea levels among the Pacific islands -- and trying to establish trends -- is complicated by the effects of the weather systems known as El Nino and La Nina, according to climatologists. But beyond the threat of higher sea levels, the warming climate produces more extreme storms, and more acidic water bleaches coral reefs.


Then there are the fish. Many of these island states rely on fishing to survive and as a source of revenue, but as ocean temperatures warm, fish move. Tuna don't like it hot and swim toward cooler, nutrient-rich waters. A paper prepared this year by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community forecasts that currents and changes in water temperature will mean that "tuna are likely to move progressively toward the east" -- away from the islands of Oceania. AOSIS is asking U.N. officials at Doha not to allow this conference -- the 17th since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 -- to degenerate into a last-minute take-it-or-leave-it declaration, as have previous sessions of the U.N. Framework on Climate Change. But these conferences have a habit of coming to life only when the main players turn up in the final days, and past meetings have led to shallow agreements that revised the process of negotiation rather than established real commitments. Whether Doha will be much different, and whether Keke and his colleagues from the Alliance of Small Island States will see a glimpse of hope on the horizon, may become clearer by the end of this week. At present they don't sound very optimistic, releasing a statement Monday that reads: "We begin the final week of negotiations in Doha with the sober recognition that time is running out to prevent the loss of entire nations and other calamities in our membership and around the world." - CNN.