Sunday, August 4, 2013

ICE AGE NOW: A Year Without Summer - North Pole Sees Unprecedented July Cold; Arctic Sees Shortest Summer On Record!

August 04, 2013 - ARCTIC - “Normally the high Arctic has about 90 days above freezing. This year there was less than half that,”  says Steven Goddard website.

Daily mean temperature and climate north of the 80th northern parallel, as a function of the day of year.
Graph courtesy of COI | Centre for Ocean and Ice | Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

“The Arctic ice extent is showing a remarkable recovery from the great oscillations of 2012,” says F. Guimaraes. “Compare with the previous years listed there, you’ll see that 2004 is the year that is closest to 2013 in terms of average temps during the summer.”

You can compare by looking at the Archives (Arkiv) HERE (on the left of the page).

Calculation of the Arctic Mean Temperature
The daily mean temperature of the Arctic area north of the 80th northern parallel is estimated from the average of the 00z and 12z analysis for all model grid points inside that area. The ERA40 reanalysis data set from ECMWF, has been applied to calculate daily mean temperatures for the period from 1958 to 2002, from 2002 to 2006 data from the global NWP model T511 is used and from 2006 to 2010 T799 data are used and from 2010 to present the T1279 model data are used.

The ERA40 reanalysis data, has been applied to calculation of daily climate values that are plotted along with the daily analysis values in all plots. The data used to determine climate values is the full ERA40 data set, from 1958 to 2002.

More information can be found here.

Pay no attention to those sunspots.

SOURCES: Real Science | Ice Age Now | Centre for Ocean and Ice.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Monster Sinkhole Swallows Up Kansas Pasture; 90 Feet Deep By 200 Feet Across; AND IT'S GETTING BIGGER!

August 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Residents in western Kansas are being warned to watch their step after a gigantic sinkhole opened up overnight this week in the area, swallowing an entire pasture.

Freak sinkhole: This massive chasm opened up seemingly overnight near Sharon Springs in western Kansas.

In a shocking development that has left many in the area scratching their heads, the Wallace County Sheriff's officials say the enormous 90-feet-deep chasm measuring 200 across feet has since continued spreading, gobbling up more land.

The freak sinkhole has left many people in the rural area on edge while drawing others to gape at the odd phenomenon north of Sharon Springs.

Awe-inspiring: The monster pit is 90 feet deep and measures 200 feet across.

Growing: Cracks surrounding the sinkhole suggest that it is expanding.

 Ravenous: The gigantic hole swallowed Dalton Hoss' large pasture.

A few days ago, Dalton Hoss first noticed cracks in the ground on his property. A short time later, his meadow was gone, replaced by a gigantic pit in the ground.

‘Actually, my brother found it.  He called me up and his voice was quaking and he said, “You'll never believe what I just saw,"’ Hoss told the station KWCH.

 Sheriff Larry Townsend said the void is surrounded by cracks, suggesting that it is getting bigger, and at this time, there is no telling when it will stop expanding.

‘Man had nothing to do with this.  This is a God thing,’ the sheriff stated. ‘ There's no oil well around here, there are no irrigation wells anywhere near.  This is something that just happened.’

It remains unknown what caused the ground to open up in the first place, or how to prevent the sinkhole from swallowing more land. Experts are set to visit the site in the coming days to examine the ground.

Mystery: No one knows what caused the ground to open up or when the sinkhole is going to stop expanding.

Act of God? There are no oil wells or irrigation wells in the area that could have caused the sinkhole to open up.

Local attraction: Visitors have been flocking to the area to take a peek at the awe-inspiring pit.

No injuries have been reported in connection to the sinkhole so far, but concerns have been raised that people who have been flocking to the site to catch a glimpse of the awe-inspiring tourist attraction may be putting themselves in harm's way.

Hoss is attempting to prevent curious visitors from approaching the yawning chasm on his land for their safety.

There have been several incidents in recent months involving larger-than-life sinkholes. In July, a chasm in Toledo, Ohio, swallowed a woman's car as she was driving. Luckily, she was able to escape the vehicle alive.

Professional help: Experts are set to visit the site in the coming days to examine chasm.

Safety concerns: The owner of the land is attempting to prevent curious visitors from
approaching the pit for fear that they might get hurt.

In May, a New Jersey man was killed when the ground opened up beneath the warehouse where he worked.

Earlier this year, a Florida resident perished under similar circumstances when a giant chasm swallowed his home while he was sleeping inside. - Daily Mail.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant In Japan Shaken By Strong Undersea 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake!

August 04, 2013 - JAPAN - A strong undersea earthquake has hit the same northeastern region of Japan that was devastated by a deadly 2011 tsunami. No damage or injuries have been reported in the affected area, including the Fukushima prefecture.

USGS earthquake location.

The 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Miyagi prefecture on Sunday. The epicenter was 50 kilometers below the seabed.  No tsunami warning was issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Some roads and railways were, however, temporarily closed for safety checks, according to NHK TV broadcaster, cited by AP.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

The quake struck at approximately the same location where a 9.0 magnitude  earthquake  hit in March 2011, triggering a massive tsunami which led to multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant.  Over 15,000 people died as a result of the natural disaster and more than 3,200 went missing.  

The Fukushima reactors were not impacted by the tremors on Sunday, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which runs the facility.  Another nuclear power plant in the earthquake-hit area, the Onagawa facility in Miyagi prefecture, has also reported no damages.

An aerial view shows the No.3 reactor building at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 18, 2013. (Reuters/Kyodo)

Following the meltdowns of two and a half years ago, crews at the Fukushima nuclear plant have been struggling hard to clear up the damage done by the natural disaster. TEPCO has recently acknowledged that one of the problems it cannot solve is that crippled reactors continue to leak highly contaminated radioactive waters into the Pacific Ocean.  The process of decommissioning the reactors is likely to take several decades, and according to recent estimates, it is going to cost Japan up to $58 billion. - RT.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of Japan and Vicinity.
Japan and the surrounding islands straddle four major tectonic plates: Pacific plate; North America plate; Eurasia plate; and Philippine Sea plate. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, beneath Hokkaido and northern Honshu, along the eastern margin of the Okhotsk microplate, a proposed subdivision of the North America plate. Farther south, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath volcanic islands along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This 2,200 km-long zone of subduction of the Pacific plate is responsible for the creation of the deep offshore Ogasawara and Japan trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of Circumpacific island arcs. Similarly, the Philippine Sea plate is itself subducting under the Eurasia plate along a zone, extending from Taiwan to southern Honshu that comprises the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto trench.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Subduction zones at the Japanese island arcs are geologically complex and produce numerous earthquakes from multiple sources. Deformation of the overriding plates generates shallow crustal earthquakes, whereas slip at the interface of the plates generates interplate earthquakes that extend from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 km. At greater depths, Japanese arc earthquakes occur within the subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea plates and can reach depths of nearly 700 km. Since 1900, three great earthquakes occurred off Japan and three north of Hokkaido. They are the M8.4 1933 Sanriku-oki earthquake, the M8.3 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, the M9.0 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the M8.4 1958 Etorofu earthquake, the M8.5 1963 Kuril earthquake, and the M8.3 1994 Shikotan earthquake. - USGS.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Latest Reports Of Mysterious Fish Kills Across Europe - Mass Fish Die-Off In Lagoon In Santa Giusta, Italy; Thousands Of Dead Fish Found Floating In River Spree In Berlin, Germany And Massive Die-Off Of Oysters Due To "Unknown Disease" Along The Coast Of France?!

August 04, 2013 - EUROPE - Here are two of the latest incidents of mass fish die-offs across Europe:

Mass Fish Die-Off In A Lagoon In Santa Giusta, Italy.

New environmental alarm Santa Giusta pond.
Yesterday morning the cooperative fishermen have identified a new and troubling morìa of fish.

The phenomenon is now concentrated only within the Pesaria channel.
On the surface of the pond and along the reeds are visible the first species killed perhaps from the usual lack of oxygen. In particular he died of juvenile fish, sea bass, eels and even the first mullet.

The alarm was launched yesterday morning from the fishermen's cooperative in granting the pond and fish pond.
The first signs of morìa had been noted a few days but in the evening of Tuesday the problem is accentuated. "The situation worries but for now is not as bad as in the past, explained the Mayor of Santa Giusta Fin – Angel, moria has affected several tons of fish within the channel and in the Winter Palace. We have not lost temper invaluable and we proceeded to inform all competent authorities, the Asl the Arpas and forestry '.

WATCH: Mass fish die-off in Santa Giusta.

In the late morning at Santa Giusta came also professor Cao of the University of Cagliari, who met the President of the cooperative Tonino Muroni and other fishermen to take stock of the State of the environment and to give suggestions in order to limit the damage.
In the evening, the networks have been set up to prevent the mass of rotting fish in the sea.The causes may be the usual, the lack of oxygen. On the spot they arrived the Asl and Arpas, have made withdrawals of water samples of dead fish. The situation is still under control and will be monitored constantly. - Lanuovasardegna. [Translated]

Thousands Of Dead Fish Found Floating In The River Spree In Berlin, Germany.
Dead fish floating in Spandau Canal on the water surface.

After the storms earlier this week there have been several places in Berlin to a fish kill.
Especially in Spandau Canal between West and North Port, but also between the Spree and Gotzkowskybrücke Cross and the Teltow Canal (Bäkebrücke) drove a total of thousands of lifeless fish in the water.

"This is due to the heavy rain on Monday and the overflow of the combined sewer system," said the biologist Jens Puchmüller from the Fisheries Department on Thursday.
Rain and canal water flows untreated from the crowded sump into the Spree. The nutrients are broken down by microorganisms carried along - but then lacked the needed oxygen to the fish. - BZ. [Translated]

Massive Die-Off Of Oysters Due To "Unknown Disease" Along The Coast Of France.
Oyster production in Corsica. Experts are at a loss to explain the causes of the recent illness in French oysters 
Photo: ALAMY

For the past month, oyster farmers have watched powerless as their shellfish have died in droves with experts at a loss to explain the causes. "In some areas, 50 to 80 per cent of saleable oysters aged between two to three years have died out," said Olivier Laban, president of the shellfish producers' federation of Arcachon-Aquitaine, western France. "We have no idea what the origin of this blight is," he told Le Figaro.

Tests are under way at Ifremer, France's marine research institute, with samples taken from oysters along the West coast and the Mediterranean "All the samples show mortality rates that are higher than normal," said Tristan Renault, mollusc specialist at Ifremer.

  "All contain a deadly bacteria (for oysters): Vibro aesturianus. That's probably the murder weapon, but we still don't know who the murderer is. The unusual weather conditions this year are probably behind the phenomenon," he said. Some oyster farmers blame brutal temperature rises after a "rubbish" Spring and a sudden drop in salt levels in the water due to heavy rains.

They say adult oysters are increasingly fragile.

The profession is still recovering from a plague that has wiped out billions of baby oysters since it first struck in the Spring of 2008. The culprit was fond to be Oyster Herpes virus type 1, or OsHV-1. It triggered the worst crisis since the native European or "Portuguese" oyster was all but wiped out 30 years ago. Since the 1970s blight, almost all oyster farms in Europe have been restocked with the Pacific "creuse" oyster from Japan and British Columbia.

In the wake of the 2008 virus, annual production has fallen from 120,000 tonnes to 80,000 tonnes. "Oyster farmers have tried to adapt, but this (latest attack) is a different story," said Laurent Champeau, shellfish producers' spokesman in the Poitou-Charentes region. "These losses that are coming at the end of (the oyster life) cycle are much harder to mitigate. It means three years of work down the drain and almost inexistent room for manoeuvre." - Telegraph.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Latest Reports Of Mysterious Fish Kills In China - Hundreds Of Thousands Of Fish Found Floating Dead In A Lake In Guizhou And Tens Of Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In A Pond In Qingyuan?!

August 04, 2013 - CHINA - Here are a two of the latest incidents of mass fish die-offs in China:

Hundreds Of Thousands Of Fish Found Floating Dead In A Lake In Guizhou.

Apart the lush corn leaves, along a muddy farm road ahead. Hongfeng Lake shore at a distance of less than one hundred meters upstream where stench assailed my nostrils.  "The taste is dead issue." Poke corn stalks villagers Zheng brother said pointing to the lake.  Refers to the direction along the Big Brother Cheng look at the past, hundreds of thousands of dead fish floating on the lake, the stench no match.  Reporters learned that the July 25 date, Qingzhen City, a small group of Hongfeng Zaojiaoshu Kawamura upstream lake, a large number of dead fish every day. The lake next to a factory sewage pipes, occasionally out of yellow sewage into the lake.  Site:  Hongfeng a large number of dead fish  Cheng Big Brother house through cornfields behind the house, the reporter went to find dead fish Lake District. Approximately 300 meters of this water, everywhere has swollen, smelly dead fish. As the afternoon comes, dead fish smell emitted into the nose very. Reporters rough estimate, there are hundreds of fish - can distinguish.

While Zheng brother said, two days before had been salvaged, and now these are the last two days before appearing.  40-year-old Zheng Big Brother is a small village Zaojiaoshu Qingzhen City, two groups of villagers. From the beginning grandparents, Zheng brother a Hongfeng Lake behind the house on the dependent life. "Not only is our family, which number more than a thousand Gleditsia group of villagers, are used to drink this water."  At 7:00 on July 26 too, loves fishing Zheng brother out the door as usual, you can go to a place after a few tens of meters from the lake and smell a stench.  "Dead fish everywhere on the lake, and more fundamentally untold." Big Brother Cheng said, when the lake white one, large and small layers of dead fish floating on the shore, the pungent stench of rotting fish from body to float. "Sewage pipe near mingled with dead fish and oil."  Scene in front of Big Brother Cheng Dai Li for a long time, then he realized that the emergence of a large number of dead fish, and the lake is likely to be pollution. So he dialed the hotline 12319 environmental Guiyang.  Cause of death:  Rising temperatures cause fish die?  July 27, Qingzhen City Environmental Protection Bureau sent staff came to the scene to view the site conditions and effluent sampling and testing carried out.  "They say the hot weather caused." Zheng brother said, EPA staff situation in view of the lake, said after days of high temperature water as hypoxia, a lot of fish vitality is weak, there came a collective death. "Is a normal phenomenon, does not exist in the case of water contamination." 

For this argument, the residents living in the vicinity unacceptable. They lived here for generations, also appeared before the phenomenon of sustained high temperatures, but the death phenomenon and not so serious. Moreover, in addition to the vitality of the death of the weaker fish catfish, there are in the shallow water areas of the toughest fish.  In this regard, Zheng brother along the lakeshore to explore together. He found the dead fish are mainly concentrated in the waters near their homes, and other places did not see a similar situation. Place in the event of dead fish, the water there is oil, there is a an indescribable odor.  This makes the hearts of more and more disturbed brother Cheng, this began last week, he continuous to the Guiyang Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, Qingzhen City Environmental Protection Bureau, Guiyang lakes reflect a Library Administration and other departments, hoping to thoroughly investigate the cause of dead fish.  Wonder:  Caused by sewage plant  "We feel very likely with the surrounding a ferroalloy plant related." Zheng brother said, he found a factory near the lake there is a drain, occasionally discharge of sewage into the lake.  Zheng led by Big Brother, the reporter in the lake on the left edge of a red brick wall, saw the drain. At this point drain did not drain, it can be concluded that the mark through the wall, Recently the drain had been conducted emissions.  "I think the sewage polluted lake." Big Brother Cheng said the outfall called from within the walls of an Innovative Industrial Co., Ltd. Guizhou ferroalloy production plant. "Every few days, which will drain drainage.

Discharged some yellow color of the water, and accompanied by an oil spill, with the appearance of dead fish on the lake are very similar."  It is understood that the ferroalloy plant formerly known as Guizhou ferroalloy plant, have been here for decades, has gone bankrupt years ago because the effectiveness of this year, re-production. This is the time of dead fish appeared very consistent.  Factory:  That is rainwater outlet  15:00 yesterday, the reporter found Guizhou Industrial Co., Ltd. Environmental Innovation Division is responsible for hair forever. Raised by the villagers plant sewage water caused massive death of fish saying, Mao Yong said their companies have improved pollution control measures, a variety of indicators have reached the national standard.  "The villagers had said plant sewage pipes, in fact, is our rainwater discharge pipe, not the production of sewage discharged." Mao Yong said the factory is definitely not water discharged water will not cause massive death of fish the lake.  As for the oil appeared on the lake, Mao Yong explained that he was not clear how the oil is coming. Probably in a few months ago, a car overturned in the factory, followed by a large number of oil spill situation, they had already been to the relevant departments to reflect the situation.  Later, Mao Yong also suggested that he was in a small village near the gas station and saw the yellow water flows into the lake.  Environmental Protection Department:  Publish the findings within two weeks  Yesterday afternoon, the reporter received reflect upon Guiyang lakes a library deputy director Wang Bo led law enforcement officers immediately rushed to the scene to investigate the enterprise.  "We came to the scene last Wednesday sampling." Bo said, when he led law enforcement officers arrived lakes a library saponins Shue respective Regional checked, they found a small amount of fish in the case of death.  "This is a unannounced visits."

Bo said, they were found at the scene, honey locust tree near the village of Guizhou ferroalloy plant has two drain directly at Hongfeng Lake upstream region, but the two did no drainage outlet, they sampling of the two drain some of the substances, back to investigate. "There are three indicators released, these three indicators are in line with requirements."  Order two lakes a library law enforcement officers did not expect is that the unannounced visits to the end of the two days later, they received a report Gleditsia Shue villagers, said the number of dead fish appeared in the lake. Subsequently, the law enforcement officers to check the scene again. Law enforcement officers saw outfall drainage immediately after they tested samples.  "This could be considered an unannounced visits." Bo said, they did not notify the person in charge of the case of the factory to obtain water samples. However, the responsible person rushed to the scene, but it does not want to sign in the water sampling. He said this was when he did not arrive at the scene drawn, therefore, not operands.  To ensure fairness, Guiyang lakes a library Authority law enforcement officers in front of the factory once again face the person in charge, water samples taken, then there is, and reporters came to visit inside the factory.  In the factory, the reporter learned that previously had four boilers work, currently only one at work. A worker in the factory, led by reporter saw this outfall, "Our industrial water not discharged to the lake to go inside." 

Subsequently, Bo led law enforcement officers found the factory two outfalls. After inspection, they found two outfalls really no emissions of industrial water to the lake, just discharged from the rain. However, Bo said that they will still detect these samples brought back, if you find a superscalar project, the same plant would be punished, the survey results will be released in two weeks.  Follow-up:  Why is a large area of ​​dead fish?  "We are also the cause of death to guess the fish." Bo said. A large area of ​​dead fish incident occur, they immediately contacted the Department of Fisheries Guizhou University professor to investigate.  In the sample of dead fish samples and found that all the fish are dead carp. At the same time, also found in the lakes also appeared in other fish, not all of the fish have suffered death.  "Fish and weather-related deaths may." Said the professor of Guiyang in recent days there has been cold and hot weather, this weather is extremely likely to cause death of fish hypoxia.  However, this reason is just a guess. The professor said that does not rule out the enterprise due to illegal discharges.  Will not affect the drinking water source?  Hongfeng Lake in Guiyang City, the source of drinking water, the fish will affect the collective deaths Hongfeng Lake water quality?  In this regard, Wang Bo explained, in fact, this piece of fish mass death Hongfeng Lake and the interval of a dam, the water only when the Hongfeng Lake rose to a certain extent when the two lakes will be mixed with water . 

Yesterday afternoon, the reporter came to the dam, the dam is presented across two very different scenarios. In the end the death of the fish, you can clearly see, the water is showing green tea with sewage quality. While the other end, which is the source of drinking water Guiyang show is green, very bright and clean.  "Unless the next heavy rain, two lakes water to mix." Bo told reporters, pointing across the dam, and hence does not affect the Hongfeng Lake water quality.  Sewerage companies have standards?  In Hongfeng Lake in Guizhou ferroalloy plant next to the sewage facilities whether it is a standard?  "He still has some irregularities." After checking, lakes a library Authority law enforcement officers said, "They should not have contingency pool is filled with water, but now fitted with water."  Meanwhile, the staff also told reporters that the emergency pool area is too small, can not put on too much water. In addition, many factory production materials placed directly on the ground, these production materials directly eroded by rain, and then routed through stormwater outfall lake.  "There are many places to rectification." Bo said they will urge the rectification of the factory as soon as possible, while also on the plant's sewage facilities for acceptance. - Shuichan.  [Translated]

Tens Of Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In A Pond In Qingyuan.

Recently, the reporter received a tip lines, said Pioneer Road and Shuguang Road, is located at the junction of the East Gate hordes of dead fish floating above the pond, the stench from time to time, the surrounding residents and tourists have a negative impact, I hope the relevant personnel in a timely manner clean up these dead fish, but also passers-by a comfortable environment. Reporter heard the news rushed to the scene from afar, across the edge of the East Gate pond water were little glowing white light. Closer inspection, a large number of floating on the East Gate of the pond, it is already dead tilapia, these fish probably palm, some waving white belly. Affected by dead fish, floating on the pond floor Gate yellowish oil, not when bubbles emerge. Breeze out of the stench will be filled to around passers partly out of curiosity, could not stop watching, but most of the passers-by or conceal odor, their noses and brisk walking.

An anonymous passers introduced, these dead fish are only appeared two days, is said to be the masters of ponds do not want to raise tilapia, so its own poison, but some passers-by this argument to be negative, that fish are being deliberately poisoned. "Although tilapia expensive, but so many fish, if to get the market to sell, but also a substantial amount of revenue, the owner can not be looked at the money they do not." This band is the administrative and cultural center of Qingyuan city, surrounded by shopping malls, cinemas, parks, hotels, etc., every day after passers flocked so smelly Who can?" For the cause of a large area of ​​dead fish have different opinions, but the road per capita expressed the same wish: I hope the staff can give this attention, timely salvage these dead fish, but also the surrounding residents and visitors a comfortable environment. - Shuichan.  [Translated]

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Global Volcano Report For August 3, 2013 - Updates On Shiveluch, Sakurajima, Veniaminof, Popocatépetl And Tungurahua!

August 04, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): An explosion and/or dome collapse event occurred last night at 19:36 UTC, with a likely ash plume rising to possibly up to 20,000 ft (estimated from seismic signals).

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano seems to have become less active during the past days, following its own rhythm of alternating phases of weak and strong activity, each lasting from days to weeks typically.

Suddenly, the volcano explodes with a very loud detonation and ejects a mass of lava, rocks and a
quickly rising ash plume (21 July 11:02 UTC). (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)

After a still very productive 31 July, the rate of explosions has gone down to 0-2 per day during the past days. Also, average sizes of explosions have been weaker recently, compared to mid July.

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): The eruption has been decreasing during the past days, and looks as if it could soon end. Seismic activity has decreased as well, but still indicates that some activity continues to take place.

"Elevated surface temperatures were observed during clear periods over the past week, and indicate the continued eruption of lava. Minor ash and steam emissions up to 3.6 km (12,000 ft) above sea level and extending for 20 km (12.4 miles) were reported by pilots and observed in satellite data from July 27-29. Clouds have mostly obscured views of the volcano since then." (AVO)

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has been more or less stable at relatively low levels. During 1-2 Aug, the rate of emissions climbed to about 3 per hour, and some tremor episodes were recorded as well as at least one (non observed) explosion event.

VAAC Washington reported short but strong ash emissions rising to 28,000 ft (5.5 km) altitude, i.e. not much above the summit elevation of the volcano, at 11:36 and 14:34 UTC yesterday.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): The trend of increasing activity has continued over the past days. The volcano has been producing nearly constant steam and ash emissions to a maximum height of 2 km height, as well as discrete strombolian to vulcanian-type explosions accompanied by atmospheric shock waves and ground vibration.

Current seismic signal from Tungurahua (RETU station, IGPEN).

Ash fall has affected numerous inhabited and cultivated areas near the volcano. Heavy rains have been causing trouble, too, because a series of mud flows were generated, especially inside the ravines of the western flank... [read more]

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for August 3, 2013.

- Volcano Discovery.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Land Subsidence Continues In China - Car Nearly Falls Into Giant Sinkhole In Southern China!

August 04, 2013 - CHINA - A driver had a lucky escape in southern China when a giant sinkhole opened up just inches in front of his car.

The 20ft wide hole - more than 20ft deep - appeared in Nanning city just days after local TV and phone companies had laid new cables under the highway.

"One second the road was there, the next it was just a hole," said one witness.

"The driver managed to stop just in time just as one of his wheels was touching the edge," they added.

And a giant truck ahead of the motor was almost pulled into the hole when its rear wheels were caught in the other side.

A police spokesman said: "We are investigating the cause of the collapse." - Orange.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Impending Eruption - What Will Really Happen When The Yellowstone Supervolcano Erupts?

August 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Lurking beneath Yellowstone National Park is a massive underground reservoir of magma, capped by the park's famous caldera. 640,000 years ago, a super eruption rocked the region. What would happen if another such event blasted the park today? We asked USGS geologist Jake Lowenstern, scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

Photo by Nina B via Shutterstock

Most volcanic activity in Yellowstone would not qualify as "super eruptions," in which 1,000 km3 or more material is ejected from a volcano. Lowenstern told io9 that supervolcanoes are "very large, single eruptions" that usually last for about a week. But, unlike what you'll see in certain television specials and Hollywood films, even a super eruption at Yellowstone wouldn't endanger the whole United States. It also wouldn't cause the kind catastrophe you might expect.

Damage from the Super Eruption

A super eruption might come fast and the Yellowstone magma source is enormous. But don't expect walls of lava pouring across the continent. Lava flows would be likely be "within the vicinity of the park," Lowenstern said, limited to a 30-40 mile radius. When a volcano erupts, he added, at least a third of the liquid rock that's ejected falls right back into the volcano's maw. The rest lands nearby, or goes up into the atmosphere.

Most of the real damage comes from ejecta that's airborne. But it's not fiery death from above. Instead, most damage would come from "cold ash" and pumice borne on the wind. Lowenstern and his colleagues consider it "disastrous" when enough ash rains down that it creates a layer of 10 or more centimeters on the ground — and that would happen in a radius of about 500 miles or so. This ash might reach so far that you'd see a fine dusting of it on your car in New York.

Air traffic would be grounded, of course, as we saw after the 2010 eruption in Iceland. But mostly this ash would pollute farms in the midwest, as well as the Mississippi River. In a sense, it would be like an industrial accident, clogging waterways and agricultural areas with toxic sludge. The worst outcome of this event would be the destruction of our food supplies and waterways.

What would it look like?

A super eruption, like all volcanic eruptions, begins with an earthquake. "A lot of earthquakes have to occur to break the rocks and allow magma to get to the surface," Lowenstern said, adding that we'd need some big ones in the weeks or months leading up to the eruption. That means there would be many warning signs before it happened — this eruption wouldn't come out of nowhere.

Next, enormous vents or fissures in the Earth would break open near the caldera, perhaps in a ring around it or maybe as far as 10 kilometers away. Lava and superheated gasses would shoot out of these vents very rapidly, draining the magma reservoir beneath the caldera. As the the magma quickly drained, the caldera would begin to crumble. Eventually, it would collapse in an oval-shaped sinkhole that might be roughly 50 miles long by 30 miles wide.

Yellowstone hotspot upper mantle magma and heat source.

After the vents released their gasses and the ground collapsed, it's likely that we'd see a global effect on temperatures. "Any big eruption causes a cooling of the atmoshpere, especially especially with that much ash," said Lowenstern. In 1812, the Mount Tambora super volcano eruption in Indonesia lowered global temperatures. A caldera-forming eruption in Yellowstone would be bigger than the one in Tambora, so climate change would almost certainly follow. The cooling, however, would only last for a few years.

Lowenstern said there's no reason to expect that we'll have an eruption of this size any time soon, especially because the caldera has gone through many regular eruptions that release pressure. "It may be done, or it may move on to another area," he said. "In a couple million years, [the volcano] might start in the northeast." As continental plates shift, so too do volcanoes — so the Yellowstone supervolcano might not go off until it's far beyond the area we call Yellowstone today. "A more likely eruption is going to be a lava flow, a small event," Lowenstern said.

Are there signs of an impending eruption?

Currently, the Yellowstone caldera shows no signs of preparing for a super eruption. That doesn't mean that there aren't regular earthquakes in the area — that's just a natural part of being in a volcanic region. And the caldera itself rises and falls all the time, the ground moving up and down as pressure increases and decreases in the magma reservoir below. "It rose about 27 centimeters max over the past 6 years," Lowenstern said. "Calderas are big and hot, so they don't break very easily and they just move up and down. It's the way heat and gas get out of these deep systems — the system breathes."

He added that if a super eruption were coming, "you'd need extraordinary activity," something that went way beyond centimeters of movement and a few small quakes. Right now, the Yellowstone caldera is breathing normally, exhibiting behaviors typical of any massive hydrothermal system. Lowenstern and the team of scientists at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory are constantly studying the caldera, looking for changes and working on projections of what the next eruption might be like.

An eruption could "come at any time," Lowenstern admitted. But would it be a super eruption? Probably not. And even if it were, the damage wouldn't be the inferno you might be expecting. Instead of fleeing from hell on Earth, you'd just be slogging through lots and lots of ash cleanup. - iO9.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Dead Blue Gill Sunfish Found Floating In Grenadier Pond In High Park Pond, Canada?!

August 04, 2013 - CANADA - City crews will begin cleaning up the hundreds of dead fish that are floating along the shores of High Park’s Grenadier Pond on Saturday in a phenomenon conservation officials call a die-off.

“Small die-offs are not uncommon, but this seems to be bigger than usual,” according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Die-offs can occur in hot or stormy weather, from temperature shifts in the water or a change in oxygen levels, a spokesperson says.

WATCH: City to remove hundreds of dead fish in High Park pond.


But there is no immediate explanation for the deaths of the blue gill sunfish in Grenadier Pond this week.

Three city staff will begin removing the dead fish from the water early Saturday morning using skimmers.

David Chapman, parks supervisor for the York Etobicoke District, said the workers won’t be venturing into the water and will return in the coming days to see if more fish have surfaced.

Fish sent for testing

The fish are visible all along the edge of the water, and there is a strong smell coming from the pond. Four fish have been sent to the University of Guelph to uncover the cause of the mass death.

Water samples were also taken to check for contaminants in the water. Test results will come back in several weeks.

Until then, it’s up to the city to clean up the dead fish. The ministry says both humans and pets are asked to avoid eating any dead or dying fish. - CBC.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Bright Meteor Streaks Across The Sky Over Northeastern Pennsylvania!

August 04, 2013 - SPACE - A fireball seen streaking over Northeastern Pennsylvania early Friday was a meteor, according John Sabia, an assistant at Keystone College's Thomas G. Cupillari Observatory.

File illustration.

The meteor, which was seen Friday about 12:52 a.m., was photographed by an observatory sky camera traveling across the night sky for 17 seconds.

He described the meteor as slow moving and one of the brightest the camera has photographed. - The Times Tribune.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Extreme Weather - Frost Damages Nearly Fifth Of Brazil Sugar Cane Crop!

August 04, 2013 - BRAZIL - Last week's frosts in southern Brazil damaged nearly a fifth of the unharvested cane crop in the principal growing region, an event likely to cut sugar exports from the world's largest producer, agriculture research company Datagro said Wednesday.

Severe early morning frosts on July 24 and 25 in three of Brazil's top sugar-cane states devastated large areas, Datagro President Plinio Nastari told Reuters. The cold blight comes at the peak the crushing season when more than half of Brazil's expected record 590-million-tonne crop remains unharvested.

Although Nastari was unable to say how much mill-output will drop or reduce a global sugar glut that has pushed prices to three-year lows, he said 65 million metric tons, or 18 percent of the cane standing uncut in fields was damaged by the frost.

Frost in tropical Brazil has long been a weather risk for global coffee markets. This frost, though, is the first in recent history that threatens to significantly cut sugar output and it's impact will likely extend into the next harvest too.

"We don't know how much of the affected ... cane has been lost yet; we should know in about a week," Nastari said by telephone. "In some cases the ratoons (young shoots) were hit and will need to be replanted, so the impact will carry over into next year's crop."

New York ICE front month sugar futures recovered from an early morning low of 16.68 cents/lb soon after Reuters reported news of the potential frost damage. Prices later pierced the 17-cent threshold for the first time in a month to settle nearly flat with Tuesday at 16.92.

Alphaville, Brazil-based Nastari, one of Brazil's most respected sugar experts, has a PhD in agricultural economics from Iowa State University and hosts widely attended sugar and ethanol conferences in Brazil and abroad.

Saving the crop will depend on speed, Nastari said, as some fields, where frost has killed the core, or gem, of the cane plants, will likely rot before they can be harvested.

"The most serious damage from the two days of frost occurred over 70 to 80 percent of the cane still standing in the states of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul," Nastari said. "A cane plant's gem is its center of growth. When the frost kills the top gem of a cane plant, it stops growing and begins to die."

He added that 15 million to 16 million metric tons in Brazil's fourth-largest cane state Parana and 16 million to 18 million metric tons in Mato Grosso do Sul, the fifth-largest cane producer, were seriously affected.

Before the frost hit, the government's crop supply agency, Conab, expected the two states to produce nearly 90 million metric tons of cane this harvest. The center-south cane crush, which accounts for nearly 90 percent of Brazil's sugar and ethanol output, is roughly 40 percent complete.

Nastari said an additional 30 million metric tons of cane in the Paranapanema Valley in Sao Paulo, Brazil's top-producing cane state, had been affected, but to a lesser degree. Only lower slopes were hit by frost he said.

According to data published by Brazil's cane industry association Unica on July 24, the main center-south cane region in question has harvested 223 million metric tons of an expected 590 million metric ton crop. Market estimates for center-south output average about 585 million metric tons and are being revised lower.

Nastari said that mills will be able to crush some of the cane that frost killed, but the frost-damage was extensive in Parana and Mato Grosso, and on some Paranapanema Valley farms.

"It will be too much for mills to reach before the cane begins to rot," said Nastari. "Their costs will also rise now because they will try to harvest on many fronts to try to reach the affected cane. This will require a lot of moving around of equipment, which is expensive."

Sugar and ethanol companies such as Louis Dreyfus' Biosev SA, Odebrecht's ETH Bioenergia, and Cosan SA, Brazil's largest sugar producer, will face higher costs and potentially smaller profits.

Nastari said the cold that dropped to zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) and below for at least two days last week, combined with rain, has also reversed the normal composition of sugars in the cane. This will cause mills to favor ethanol production even more than they already have.

Mills use just less than half of the cane crop to produce sugar and slightly more than half to make ethanol for the local flex-fuel car fleet and to blend into gasoline.

"Now we have more glucose and fructose and less sucrose in the cane, so mills will push for ethanol production over sugar because they will have a hard time getting crystallization," he added. - News Daily.

EXTREME WEATHER: Violent Storms Strike France - Hail Storms Damage Crops, Homes And Vineyards Leaving Thousands Without Power!

August 04, 2013 - FRANCE - Around 2,000 homes are without power after violent hail storms struck southwestern France on Friday night, causing damage to crops and vineyards.

Residents reported hail the size of cherries in Dordogne. DR.

Emergency services in Dordogne, a major agricultural and wine-producing region, received more than 300 calls for help for fallen trees, damaged roofs and flooded homes.

Residents posted photos on twitter showing hail stones ranging in size from cherries to golf balls.

The electricity company ERDF says around 120 of its repair staff are working to restore all power by Saturday evening.

The hailstorm caused roof damage to two retirement homes.

Météo-France said storm cells dumped between 30 and 50 millimetres of rain on the country’s south-west. It had issued storm warnings on Friday to 33 departments stretching from the south-west to the north-east coast. - RFI.

One week ago,...

As severe summer storms swept through France this weekend, over 100,000 people are left without electricity. Heavy winds blew down a pavilion in one town and 30 people were injured.

France was hit with severe weather this weekend as a summer storm arrived on Friday night and left "at least 135,000 homes" without power, according to France 24. Friday night's stormy weather continued into Saturday morning.

In the town of Joinville, located in the northeastern Haute-Marne region, 30 people were injured after a large pavilion was blown over into a crowd of 300-400 people.

At least six of the injured are reported to be in serious condition. According to France 24, the country's national weather service is issuing warnings of additional alerts through Sunday into Monday morning.

These warnings include hail, heavy rain and high winds for some regions. Accuweather reported the highest risks associated with this storm are the strong wind gusts.

Several areas of the country are still without power. Currently 1,000 utility employees are out working to restore electricity. "The goal is to do everything possible to restore the maximum number of customers with power by tomorrow night," an ERDF spokesman told AFP. - Digital Journal.

WATCH: Storm chaos in France, as other European countries face record temperatures.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "Ball Of Flames" - Spectacular Fireball Blazes Over Eastern Australia!

August 04, 2013 - AUSTRALIA - Stargazers were treated to a rare sighting of a meteor fireball in the skies over the Hastings on Tuesday night.

A Delta Aquarid meteor.  © Jimmy Westlake

Port Macquarie resident Jeff Clare phoned the Port News to report what he described as a 'ball of flames' in the night sky sometime between 7pm and 8pm which moved slowly north before arching in shape and disappearing.

Jeff's story prompted some lively discussion on Facebook, with several residents also reporting having seen the bright, firey light.

However, according to Mid North Coast Astronomy Group founder and space expert David Reneke, anyone who managed to catch a glimpse of the fireball was extremely lucky.

"We have just gone through an intense period of meteor shower activity," Mr Reneke explained.

"We have about eight to 10 of these meteor showers every year, but the one that has just passed, and another coming up this month, are two of the best."

The Delta Aquarids meteor shower passed over the southern hemisphere on July 28 and 29 and Mr Reneke believes the fireball over Port Macquarie is a remnant of that activity. The next meteor shower, the Perseids, has the space community excited with an estimated 50 to 80 meteor sightings expected every hour during the early hours of the morning between August 10 and 12.

"Meteor showers are the left over tails of comets which have passed by Earth.

"These comets spin around the sun and as they do, they shed dust, rocks, dirt and ice which leaves behind an invisible smoke ring around the sun," Mr Reneke said.

"On some occasions, Earth intercepts this material and that's when we see greater meteor activity."

Mr Reneke said meteor fireballs are not common, but can be spectacular if spotted in the night sky.

He describes them as slow moving, projecting bright colours and on some occasions, can make a sound.

"You've just got to be in the right place at the right time to see one of these," he added. "They can be quite startling."

The Mid North Coast Astronomy Group will be hosting a free viewing night on August 10 between 5.30pm and 8.30pm at North Brother Mountain for interested stargazers. Anyone wanting to attend can contact David on 0400 636 363. - Port Macquarie News.

DELUGE: Heavy Rains And Floods In India, Afghanistan And Pakistan - 5-Inch Rainfall In Just Two Hours In India; Monsoon Rainfall Wrecks Havoc In Pakistan And Afghanistan, Kills 80 People!

August 04, 2013 - INDIA & PAKISTAN - The following constitutes two reports of deadly deluge of rain related incidents in India and Pakistan.

Five-Inch Rainfall In Just Two Hours In India.

In a matter of just two hours, Ahmedabad found itself inundated after recording 5 inches of rainfall on Friday. The clouds began gathering early in the afternoon but it was around 2 pm when it started raining.

Earlier, the city had recorded heavy rains in the early morning too. And with the Met department predicting intermittent but heavy rainfall for Ahmedabad in the next 24 hours, this will be the second consecutive rainy weekend for the city.

It was the central zone that received highest rainfall at 30 mm followed by the east and west zone that recorded 27 and 23 mm respectively. Interestingly, the west and central zone received one inch of rainfall in a period of just 30 minutes leaving several roads water-logged.

Due to heavy rains, the Akhbarnagar and Mithakali underpass were closed down. The latter was opened after an hour but the Akhbarnagar underpass continued to be out of bounds for traffic.

Amdavadis who have got used to the intermittent rains meanwhile welcomed it despite the traffic chaos and water-logging. Ashutosh Mishra, a chartered accountant, had to cancel his client meeting due to the showers.

"It was a sunny day today so I was out meeting a client at an open cafe when it started raining. I called off the meeting despite being in the middle of it and enjoyed rains from inside my office with a mug of coffee," said Mishra.

Nirav Bajoria, a finance manager, decided to relive his childhood days by getting drenched. "I could have escaped the rain as it was my weekly off. Instead, I went on my terrace and got drenched before proceeding for a hot cup of coffee and bhutta (corn crop)," said Bajoria.

Thanks to the heavy rain the water-level in the Vasna Barrage has gone up to 129.5 ft. Eight doors of the barrage have been opened by 3 ft while several villages located downstream have already been issued an alert.

According to the GSDMA, the city has so far received 743mm of its average 769 mm of rainfall. This means the city has received 96.56 per cent of its average rainfall so far. - DNA India.

Torrential Rainfall Wrecks Havoc In Pakistan, Killing 25.

Heavy rains and flashfloods played havoc across the country rendering widespread damages affecting normal life in Karachi, Balochistan, DG Khan and several parts of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa with more areas coming under water and water reaching at dangerous level in rivers and nullahs. According to reports atleast 25 more people were killed in roof collapse, electrocution and drowning incidents bringing the total to more than 100 in the last three days of heavy rains.

Heavy rains resulting in flooding nullahs washed away dozens of residential houses while partially damaging hundreds other in different areas of KP, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh. The gushing water also destroyed crops cultivated on thousands of acres of cultivated land. Maize and rice crops were adversely destroyed in Pasrur, Rajanpur, Sanghar, and other areas. Life in Karachi, the teeming metropolis of over 16 million, came to a grinding halt as it received heavy downpour of the current monsoon on Sunday. One of the city's main avenues, Shahrah-e Faisal, submerged in rainwater while floodwater entered the airport from Bhataiabad.

At least 20 people died in rain-related incidents as provincial authorities called in army troops to help drain out rainwater from different neighbourhoods. Most of the fatalities were caused by electrocution and drowning. Another person was electrocuted and three died due to a roof collapse.

The rain caused dozens of feeders of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) to trip, which resulted in power outages in almost half of the city.

Meanwhile 100 out of 225 feeders have been restored so far. The areas that continue to face blackout includes North Karachi, North Nazimabad, Abul Hassan Isphani road, Gulistan-e-Johar, Gulshan Iqbal, Surjani Town, Baldia, Nusrat Bhutto colony, Lyari and Landhi.

As most drains were clogged, rainwater and sewage flooded the busiest arteries and thoroughfares of the city, causing gridlocks at different places. Several cars and mini-buses also broke down in the middle of the roads adding to the traffic mess.

Although the posh and residential neighbourhoods were no exception, the worst-hit were the slums and villages on the edge of the city. Pakistan Navy personnel were called in to take part in rescue operation after rain water entered houses in different parts of the city, leaving a large number of people stranded.

According to reports, people in Saadi Town, Amoroha Society, Safoora Goth, Gulshan-e-Mamar, Bhittayi Abad, Gulistan-e-Jauher and those leaving near Lyari and Malir rivers were stranded as rain water from Saturday s heavy downpour entered their houses.

People in various affected localities moved to safer places. A vast area of Balochistan came under flood water after heavy rain in various districts of Balochistan. In Sibi, a high level flood is passing through Narhi river. An emergency cell has been established at the office of Commissioner Sibi. Low lying areas came under flood water in Jhal Magsi.

Balochistan government has dispatched rescue teams to the area. The Met Office said the current monsoon system in moving toward Balochistan from Sindh and the torrential rains are now expected in Gwadar, Jiwani, Turbat and adjoining areas.

Torrential rains lashed the Punjab provincial capital city and its adjoining areas overnight turning the weather pleasant, but several low-lying localities in the city were flooded due to heavy rain and roads were submerged under rainwater causing much inconvenience to the citizens.

Most of the adjoining areas of the city were severely hit as standing water on the roads and streets entered into the houses, while markets were inundated without any immediate help and rescue from the city administration.

Met department forecast that this monsoon spell to continue for 3/ 4 days more, when the city would be receiving intermittent rains In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rain has played havoc in Peshawar, Chitral, Charsaddah and Nowshera along with others area. Many areas remained cut-off after road links and suspension bridges were washed away in the province.

Following an unprecedented rainfall and floods, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has got active in facilitating the victims. Provincial Disaster Management Authority of KPK has dispatched relief goods for the floods-hit people in Chitral. Commissioner Peshawar Sahabzada Anis is supervising the rescue operation along with other high ups.

The package for the victims include 200 blankets, 150 mats, 200 tents and 50 Jerricans for drinking water.

The torrential rains coupled with heavy floods have affected hundreds of families who have been forced to shift to safer places. - The Nation.

Pakistan And Afghanistan Monsoon Floods Kill Dozens.
Eastern Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan have been hit by torrential rain, causing floods which have killed at least 80 people. Officials said 34 died in the Sarobi district alone, around 65 km (40 miles) east of the Afghan capital Kabul.  Pakistan's biggest city Karachi was also badly affected, with at least 16 killed after days of flooding.  The region has suffered devastating floods during the monsoon period for the past three years.  Afghan officials said that emergency teams and supplies were being dispatched to affected areas. 

Hundreds have been displaced in eastern areas of Afghanistan and hundreds of hectares of farmland destroyed, Ghulam Farooq, the head of emergency operations for Afghanistan's National Disaster Management Authority, told AFP news agency.  The floods have caused extensive damage to property in both countries.  The Pakistani army was called in to help the clean-up in Karachi, where local media reports say sewage and rainwater have blocked some of the main roads.

WATCH: Pakistan And Afghanistan Monsoon Floods Kill Dozens.

The fatalities in the city have been mostly due to electrocution or collapsing roofs and walls. The floods are also reported to have left many areas of the city without power.  In Pakistan's north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, many houses were swept away by the torrent, officials said.  Pakistani disaster response officials have warned that more rain may be on the way over the coming days.  In 2010, Pakistan was hit by the worst monsoon floods in 80 years. Almost 1,800 people were killed and 21 million people affected.  Flooding in each of the following two years also left hundreds dead. - BBC.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Fish Found Dead In Lower Owens River In California - State Wildlife Authorities Are Investigating?!

August 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The state Department of Fish and Wildlife on Friday that said it is investigating why hundreds of smallmouth bass have been found floating belly up in a stretch of the Lower Owens River just south of the eastern Sierra community of Lone Pine.

Owens Valley environmentalist Mike Prather and Inyo County projects manager navigate the Lower
Owens River in kayaks. (Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times / August 2, 2013)

“We are working with our own biologists and multiple agencies to determnine what happened and why,” Fish and Wildlife Lt. William Bailey said. “We’re also looking at permits and agreements governing uses of that river.”

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which manages the Lower Owens River, believes the fish suffocated from a lack of dissolved oxygen caused by mud and debris flows triggered by unusually heavy rains and flash-flooding in the Owens Valley region during the week of July 22.

However, local environmentalists and fishing enthusiasts point out that the inclement weather coincided with scheduled maintenance and repair work that required draining a five-mile-long section of the nearby Los Angeles Aqueduct.

They suggest that combination of bad weather and water surges from the aqueduct may have triggered turbidity that clogged the southern end of the 62-mile-long river with sediment.

“It was caused by a combination of factors having to do with the weather and the DWP spilling contents of the aqueduct into the Lower Owens River,” said Bob Harrington, director of the Inyo County Water Department. “We’re still trying to determine the magnitude of the

Francis Pedneau, a resident of Lone Pine and lifelong bass fisherman, recently counted hundreds of dead bass in the area, about 190 miles north of Los Angeles. Many of the bass were more than 12 inches in length.

A year ago, he said he caught nearly 100 bass there within two hours.

“For the DWP to blame it all on storms is business as usual,” Pedneau said. “This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a fish kill like this. It takes about five to six years for the fishery to rebound, and a lot longer than that for fishing to reach the quality it was prior to the incident.”

The Lower Owens River was revived in one of the largest river restorations ever attempted in the West -- intended to support wildlife and outdoor activities including fishing.

Then-L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa turned a knob in 2006 that opened a diversion dam gate, putting water back into the river essentially left dry after its flows of Sierra snow melt were diverted to the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913. - LA Times.

FIRE IN THE SKY: "Lazarus Comets" - "Dead" Comets Closer To Earth Than Previously Thought, Return To Life After Million Of Years!

August 04, 2013 - SPACE - Millions of years ago the the main belt of asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter was populated by thousands of active comets. This population aged and the activity subsided. What we see today is the residual activity of that past. Twelve of those rocks are true comets that were rejuvenated after their minimum distance from the Sun was reduced a little. The little extra energy they received from the Sun was then sufficient to revive them from the graveyard. "These objects are the 'Lazarus comets', returning to life after being dormant for thousands or even millions of years," says astronomer Prof. Ignacio Ferrin. "Potentially any one of the many thousands of their quiet neighbors could do the same thing."

"We found a graveyard of comets," said Ferrín. "Imagine all these asteroids going around the Sun for aeons, with no hint of activity. We have found that some of these are not dead rocks after all, but are dormant comets that may yet come back to life if the energy that they receive from the Sun increases by a few per cent."

The researchers, led by Anitoquia's Ignacio Ferrin, describe how some of these objects, inactive for millions of years, have returned to life. The team publish their results in the Oxford University Press journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Comets are amongst the smallest objects in the Solar System, typically a few km across and composed of a mixture of rock and ices. If they come close to the Sun, then some of the ices turn to gas, before being swept back by the light of the Sun and the solar wind to form a characteristic tail of gas and dust.

Most observed comets have highly elliptical orbits, meaning that they only rarely approach the Sun. Some of these so-called long period comets take thousands of years to complete each orbit around our nearest star. There is also a population of about 500 short period comets, created when long period comets pass near Jupiter and are deflected in orbits that last anything between 3 and 200 years. Although uncommon events, comets also collide with Earth from time to time and may have helped bring water to our planet.

The new work looked at a third and distinct region of the Solar System, the main belt of asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter shown below. This volume of space contains more than 1 million objects ranging in size from 1 m to 800 km. The traditional explanation for asteroids is that they are the building blocks of a planet that never formed, as the movement of the pieces was disrupted by the strong gravitational field of Jupiter.

In the last decade 12 active comets have been discovered in the asteroid main belt region. This was something of a surprise and the Medellin team set out to investigate their origin. The team, made up of Prof. Ferrin and his colleagues Profs. Jorge Zuluaga and Pablo Cuartas, now think they have an explanation.

Surprisingly, this "rebirth" can occur fairly easily, as the orbits of many objects in the asteroid belt are nudged by the gravity of Jupiter. The shape of their orbits can then change, leading to a decrease in the minimum distance between the object and the Sun (perihelion) and a slight increase in average temperature. - Daily Galaxy.