Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ICE AGE NOW: A Year Without Spring - Record Number Of Days At Zero Or Below In Chicago, The Coldest Winter Ever; Lake Michigan 90% Covered In Ice, Highest Ever Recorded; Washington D.C. Sets 141-Year Record Low Temperature; New Orleans Endures One Of The Coldest Mardi Gras Ever; Low Temperature From 1884 Among Shattered State Record In Iowa; And Atlantic City, New Jersey Registers Coldest March Temperature Since 1874!

March 04, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Based on the following stories, 2014 is on track to be the coldest winter ever in the United States. Low temperatures have not been measured since the 1800s. In January, Chicago registered 37 hours of uninterrupted subzero temperatures and nearly a week of school closures. Is subzero temperatures the new normal? It certainly feels that way.

Record Number Of Days At Zero Or Below In Chicago, The Coldest Winter Ever
Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan as temperatures hovered around -10 degrees on January 28, 2014
in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The unrelenting, bitter winter of 2013-14 is by one measure the coldest season in the history of Chicago.

This winter, there have been 26 days in which the low temperature was zero or below.

There were 25 subzero days in 1884-85, but no days at zero. In 2013-14, the low has dipped below zero 23 times, including 16 below on Jan 6, which set a record for that day.

The total below zero days ranks No. 4 all-time. There were two seasons–1935-36 and 1962-63–that had 24 below zero days.

The chances of seeing another day below zero in the next seven days is unlikely.

There have been a few days in mid- to late-March that have been sub-zero, but historically they are rare.

The average temperature for this season is near 19 degrees, the third coldest since records have been kept, starting in the 1800s.

The record is 18.3 degrees set in 1904.

A total of 90 percent of Lake Michigan is covered in ice, equaling the highest level ever. - CBS Chicago.

Lake Michigan 90% Covered In Ice, Highest Ever Recorded
(Credit: NOAA)

After having a meltdown early last week, Lake Michigan is now just over 90 percent covered in ice, which equals the highest levels ever recorded.

The lake was also just over 90 percent frozen in 1976, 1979 and 1994, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The unyielding cold weather has caused the ice on Lake Michigan to continue to expand the last several days.

(Credit: NOAA)

The below high-resolution visible satellite image from March 2 shows widespread ice cover over central Lake Michigan.

A small area of open water remained on the eastern side of the lake, well away from the Michigan shore.

After reaching 80 percent coverage in mid-February, the lake melted during the brief warm up two weeks ago and was down to 40 percent as seen in this Feb. 26 image:

Satellite image of ice coverage on Lake Michigan on Feb. 26, 2014. (Credit: NOAA)

Last week, forecasters predicted the past several days of cold weather would increase coverage by around 15 percent.

Instead, it was more like 50 percent.

The record ice coverage for all five lakes was set in 1979 at nearly 95 percent.

In mid-February, the Great Lakes were nearly 90 percent covered in ice.

Last year, Lake Michigan was only 20 percent covered.

The average ice coverage is around 40 percent.

- CBS Chicago.

Washington D.C. Sets 141-Year Record Low Temperature

The seemingly endless winter dumped a half a foot snow on the ground in parts of the South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and many areas Tuesday morning saw something even more unusual in March: a blast of arctic air that sent temperatures plummeting into the single digits.

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport broke a 141-year-old record low temperature, reaching 4 degrees. The National Weather Service said the low reached early Tuesday broke a 5-degree record set on the day in 1873. It was also a record low for the month of March. Dulles International Airport - also outside Washington - tied a 1993 record for the month at -1 degree.

Both airports broke record lows two days in a row.

Schools and government offices along the East Coast were closed Tuesday or delayed opening. Virginia State Police said slickened roads were factors in three traffic deaths. And authorities in Maryland's Prince George's County said a 60-year-old woman died after shoveling snow there.

Blame it on a return of the "polar vortex."

"That is the buzzword this winter, the polar vortex. That cold air just kind of migrates around the poles and the extreme northern latitudes all the time," said Jim Lee, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. "The jet stream enables that colder air to move down the East Coast."

Monday's snowstorm followed a pattern that's become routine. Schools and government offices were closed. Federal workers stayed home - the fourth weather-related shutdown this season. Young adults gathered on the sloppy, slushy National Mall for a semi-organized, afternoon snowball fight.

Tourists, who flock to the nation's capital 365 days a year, were seeking out whatever activities they could find.

The National Air and Space Museum was the only Smithsonian institution open, and it drew a crowd. Among the visitors were Russ Watters, 60, of St. Louis, and his 14-year-old son, Seth, who was touring Washington with his 8th-grade class.

"We're trying to find stuff that's open, so this is open," Watters said.

The storm had a major effect south of the Mason-Dixon line. Governors declared states of emergency in Virginia and Tennessee, where there were hundreds of traffic accidents and tens of thousands of power outages. Nearly 3,000 flights were canceled Monday.

In Falls Church, Va., daredevils took advantage of another snow day by sledding down a steep hill behind an elementary school. Maya Luera, 11, said she wouldn't be so happy in June, when the school year will be extended because there's been so much snow.

"I'm more of a summer person, so I'd rather have more free time in the summer than the winter," she said. - MyFoxDC.

New Orleans Endures One Of The Coldest Mardi Gras Ever

It was a cold, wet day for Mardi Gras participants in New Orleans Tuesday.

The high temperature hit 40 degrees for the Big Easy, more than 20 degrees below the date's average temperature of 69 degrees. It rests one degree above the coldest high temperature on record for a Mardi Gras, which was 39 degrees on Feb. 14, 1899.

In past years when Fat Tuesday fell on March 4, the temperature was typically in the 60s or even high 70s. The previous coldest high for the celebrations on this date was 56 degrees in 1939.

After a cold front brought a few showers and colder weather to New Orleans on Monday, rain made a quick return just in time for Mardi Gras celebrations.

Rain moved throughout the area Tuesday, starting off as some morning showers followed by a steadier rain in the afternoon.

This rain will continue into the evening before tapering off overnight, making for a wet day.

Not only did people in New Orleans have to endure the rainy weather, but also the chilly weather brought by the passage of Monday's cold front.

The rain looks to clear the area on Wednesday for those heading home or staying to celebrate an extra day with temperatures rebounding to near 60. - AccuWeather.

Low Temperature From 1884 Among Shattered State Record In Iowa
The temperature may not have dropped as low as the minus-12 degrees predicted Monday morning, but it fell far enough to break records set in 1884. Des Moines recorded a low of minus-7 early Monday, just barely beating the previous record low of minus-6 degrees, set on March 3, 1884.

Some other Iowa cities didn’t cut it so close. Waterloo plummeted to minus-19 degrees, down from a 1978 low of minus-6. Ottumwa hit minus-9 degrees. Its previous record low was minus-4, set in 2002.

Temperatures quickly started ticking up after the record-setting morning, and Des Moines is expected to be on the upper end of a 45-degree swing in temperature by Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Des Moines is expected to hit 28 degrees today, although wind chill values could drop as low as 0.

Central Iowa could also see snow late this afternoon and into the evening. Des Moines is expected to get less than one-half inch but other areas, including Mason City and Waterloo, could see up to 2 inches. - DesMoinesRegister.

Atlantic City, New Jersey Registers Coldest March Temperature Since 1874
The low temperature of 2 degrees above zero (-16.7c) at 1133 pm Monday evening March 3rd was a record not only for the date but also the entire month of March.

The previous record low for March 3 was 5 above zero (-15c) in 2009.

The previous all time low for the month of March was 3 above set on March 4 2009.

Official records for the Atlantic City area date back to 1874.

Also a record low daily minimum for Wilmington, Delaware…

The low temperature of 8 degrees (-13.3c)at 1120 pm Monday evening March 3rd was a new record for March 3rd.

The previous record for that date was 9 in 2009 and 1925.

Official records date back to 1894.


- Ice Age Now.

MASS FISH/BIRD DIE-OFF: Latest Incidents Across The Earth - 35 TONS Of Dead Fish Found In A Fish Reservoir In Jiangxi, China; Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In A River In Vinh City, Vietnam; 6.5 MILLION Chickens And Ducks Killed Due To The Outbreak Of Avian Flu In South Korea; Very Large Fish Kills Occurring In Various Lakes Across Missouri, United States; 1,600 Seabirds Washed Up Dead During The Past Month On Beaches In Southwest England; Hundreds Of Dead Ducks Found In Lake Erie And Lake Ontario In North America; 40,000 Birds Killed Due To The Outbreak Of Avian Flu In Flevoland, Holland; And 4 TONS Of Dead Fish Found Floating In A Lake In Kampong Cham, Cambodia!

March 04, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest incidents of mass bird and fish die-offs across the Earth:

35 TONS Of Dead Fish Found In A Reservoir In Jiangxi, China.
Reservoir farmers Yang Xueqing in the salvage of dead fish. Ai Shimin photo

Suspected to have been poisoned reservoir has reached 35,000 kilograms of dead fish salvage. On February 28, Yanshan County, Jiangxi Province, Yang village Tanxiang Toad Mountain Reservoir, farmers Yang Xueqing in the salvage of dead fish. Started on February 17.

Currently, Yang Xueqing couple has reported the matter to the police, the local public
security departments have also been involved in the investigation. Ai Shimin photo

Ai Shimin photo

Ai Shimin photo

The loss of more than 40 million. Currently the local police have launched an investigation investigators initially estimated to be human poisoning. - North News. [Translated]

Thousands Of Dead Fish Found In A River In Vinh City, Vietnam.
White dead fish floating in the river Vinh, running through Central Capital ward. (Vinh City, Nghe An)

Thousands of dead fish abnormalities, white floating on the river and stinks km-long worried that people are the source of water pollution here.

Many days, people in blocks 2 and 3 wards mids (Vinh City, Nghe An), said Vinh River, state fish die-off. Thousands of well-identified white fish the river, loading stench anonymously, making people afraid of the water pollution of this place.

As noted by PV, on the third, the status of dead fish on the river a lot. Determination of dead fish is still the most popular river flows through Central Capital ward, bara Ben Thuy. In 1km range, determine the dead fish scattered everywhere, from 3-4 average 1m2 dead fish carcass.

Tran Van Hoang, 1 the people living in the area said: "Every day I let down the nets on the river. Before it was normal, but recently contaminated water fish die so much. During recent days dead fish floating in the river and then white. Now I do not dare drop their fishing nets on the river to eat again. 'm Scared. "

Status of white dead fish floating in the river caused many area residents fear the contamination
of water supplies to the extent necessary alarm.

According to Hoang, the time from the festival so far, river water unexpected turn smelly and opaque. There are many passages, river water appear black scum much like water and sewer.

Talking to the press, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Huan - Central Ward Chairman Admiral, verify the status of dead fish on the river that flows through the province and can be caused by many water sources have been polluted. "Ch sewer flooding did not detect any waste water from the plant into the river. Could cause fish kills caused by contaminated water." Mr. Lord said.

According to Mr. Lord said, after discovering the incident, authorities have reported to the Department of Natural Resources Environmental Vinh City to ask for help, to clarify the situation cause this mass mortalities. - SOHA. [Translated]

6.5 MILLION Chickens And Ducks Killed Due To Outbreak Of Avian Flu In South Korea.
Weeks have passed since Korea was first hit with a bird flu outbreak that has since led to the culling of millions of ducks and chickens.

The issue had dropped out of the headlines just days before but concerns are mounting that quarantine efforts have failed to completely eradicate the virus.

Korea's agriculture ministry said Sunday that poultry are being culled at a farm owned by the National Institute of Animal Science in South Chungcheongnam-do province, after a duck was confirmed to have died from the H-5-N-8 strain of the virus.

WATCH: Concerns rise again over continued bird flu outbreaks.


This isn't the only case, as reports of another outbreak in the nation's southwestern South Jeollanam-do province led to the culling of 70-thousand birds.

The total number of birds destroyed from this year's outbreak now stands at above six-and-a-half million. - Arirang.

Large Fish Kills Occurring In Various Lakes Across Missouri, United States.
Missouri's cold winter is killing off more fish than usual in
ponds and lakes. (Photo: AFP AFP/Getty Images)
Missouri's cold winter is killing off more fish than usual in ponds and lakes.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says it has received calls about dead fish from people across the state. Fish are dying both in shallow water and in large reservoirs such as Truman, Table Rock, Pomme de Terre, Stockton and the Lake of the Ozarks.

Below-normal temperatures have created thicker-than-usual ice. And that ice has been covered at times with snow.

State conservation scientists say thick ice and snow can prevent sunlight from reaching aquatic plants, which depletes the oxygen levels in water. Fish can eventually suffocate.

Colder-than-usual water also can kill fish, especially smaller ones. - KSDK.

1,600 Seabirds Washed Up Dead During The Past Month On Beaches In Southwest England.

Thousands of rare seabirds died as the result of the storms which swept across the South West, according to the RSPB.

Officials say an estimated 1,600 birds have washed up dead on beaches across Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and West Wales.

A further 1,000 have been strewn across beaches in the Channel Islands, with more 20 species, including guillemots, razorbills, puffins and kittiwakes, among the dead.

The RSPB says a deadly “double whammy” of climate change and winter storms are making it harder for birds to find fish in turbulent seas.

The charity says at least 28,000 birds have perished across the entire northeastern Atlantic region, with nearly 22,000 washed up along the coast of France.

Gannets, fulmars, gulls and shags are also among the dead, with reports of fishermen seeing lifeless birds “carpeting” the Bay of Biscay.

Puffins have fared particularly badly, with more than 30 reported dead around the UK and 97 more found washed up on beaches in Guernsey and Jersey.

Dr Euan Dunn, RSPB principal marine advisor, said: “This seabird wreck, on a scale unprecedented in living memory, could have profound impacts on vulnerable seabird breeding colonies.

“Many of our seabirds are already under pressure because their staple summer diet of sand eels is in decline in response to sea warming, another result of climate change, which is making it a struggle to find enough food for themselves and their chicks.

“Sea warming, along with winter storms, which make it hard for birds to find fish in continually turbulent seas, are inflicting a double whammy.” - Plymouth Herald.

Hundreds Of Dead Ducks Found In Lake Erie And Lake Ontario In North America.
Hundreds of ducks are being found dead along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and the state Department of Environmental Conversation says extensive ice coverage is to blame.

The ducks have been found along the Lake Ontario shoreline, the Niagara River, in the open waters of Lake Erie, and Dunkirk Harbor. Conservationists say the fish eating birds found dead are emaciated and lack water-proofing, which is often a side effect of starvation.

WATCH: Hundreds of ducks found dead around lakes.

Biologists believe the extensive ice coverage on the lakes has forced wintering waterfowl to concentrate in the limited remaining open water. That, in turn, reduces the food for all and, along with severe cold, is killing off the undernourished birds.

Though the mortality rate is difficult to estimate, the DEC categorized it as “extensive. - WIVB.

40,000 Birds Killed Due To Outbreak Of Avian Flu In Flevoland, Holland.
More than 40,000 chickens have been culled on a farm in the Flevoland region of north-west Holland, following a confirmed outbreak of low-pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza.

A report on the World Organisation for Animal Health website explains that the disease was confirmed by the country’s Central Veterinary Institute on 27 February, and reported the next day.

While the source is unknown and no birds had died from the disease, the authorities imposed an immediate 1km protection zone, taking in one other poultry farm, and culled all 40,327 birds on the original farm.

A follow-up report is expected at the end of this week.

In early December, the Dutch also reported two separate cases of low pathogenic H5N3 on two farms in the nearby Groningen region, culling some 9,300 birds on the first and 11,700 on the second.

Hong Kong has been quick to ban imports of Dutch poultrymeat from both the Flevoland and the Groningen regions.

Around the world, in the past month, there have been reports of low pathogenic outbreaks of avian influenza in Portugal and Hong Kong, and high-pathogenic strains in China, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, India and Nepal. - FWI.

4 TONS Of Dead Fish Found Floating In A Lake In Kampong Cham, Cambodia.
About four tons of fish were found dead on the surface of Boeng Vien lake in Kompong Cham province this weekend, leading villagers to collect them to make emergency batches of the fermented fish paste known as prahok.

Srey Santhor district governor Heng Vanny said that local authorities had not yet determined how the fish had died, but believed it could be due to recent fast growth of the invasive aquatic plant known as water hyacinth.

Mr. Vanny said that water levels in the lake were particularly low due to the dry season, leading the water hyacinth to die and rot.

“We think the rotten plants and the weather are the reason,” he said.

Water hyacinth is known to put down vast networks of underwater roots, or “runners,” and can starve water of its oxygen, killing fish. Provincial Fisheries Administration deputy chief Hing Sothanarith said that fish were still dying Wednesday, but in smaller numbers than over the weekend.

“We told people to collect the dead fish to make prahok, and we instructed them not to cook them for eating, because we are worried that the fish will make people sick if the fish really died of poisoning,” he added. - The Cambodia Daily.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Volcano Report For March 4, 2014 - Japan's New Volcanic Island Nishino-Shima Continues To Grow As Two Prominent Cones Have Formed Around The Main Vents; Deflationary Tilt At Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano; And Swarm Of Hybrid Quakes At Peru's Ubinas Volcano Results In Magma Hot Spot At Crater! [PHOTOS]

March 04, 2014 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan): The island continues to grow as lava flows slowly spread into several directions. This is shown nicely by the latest aerial survey pictures the Japanese Coast guard took on February 28, 2014. The most active flow fronts are currently at the southern shore while advance on the northern and eastern margins of the flow field has slowed down.

Part of Nishino-shima island with active flows on the southern shore, forming new bays and
a small lake that once was a bay (Japan Coast guard)

Outlines of the new land on NIshino-shima island at various dates up to February 28, 2014.

Two prominent cones have formed around the main vents, the smaller and younger of which still has strombolian activity as well, judging from the available photos.

One can note the closure of a small bay that had been formed in early Feb by lava flow tongues; eventually, the two flows touched and separated the bay from open water, turning it into a small lake.

View of Nishinoshima from the NW, showing the two cones around the vents

Aerial view of Nishinoshima on February 28, 2014 (Japan Coast Guard)

Several other small bays present now (or, on February 28, 2014, at least) are in the process of forming and probably become lakes as well in the future. The discoloration of the enclosed water comes from dissolved gasses and fine material in suspension. The fate of these lakes will depend on the evolution of the lava flows. If new flows cover them, they might well disappear as well.

Kilauea (Hawai'i): Kilauea summit tiltmeters recorded the start of another DI deflationary tilt at 3:30 am this morning - lava lake at summit drops 3m (6ft).

Ubinas (Peru):
According to the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP), magma has arrived near or at the crater of the volcano. This is indicated by a recent swarm of hybrid earthquakes and a weak thermal anomaly that has been detected at the summit during the past 3 weeks.

MODIS hot spot at Ubinas volcano (ModVolc, Univ. Hawaii)

In a press article, the head of IGP, Orlando Macedo, said that that based on the low energy of the seismic signals recorded, the quantity of new magma that has risen is estimated to be small and that the most likely scenario for the near to medium future are smaller (explosive) eruptions from the volcano.

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for March 4, 2014.

- Volcano Discovery.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Another Banker Killed; Peter Njuguna Mukuria Shot Dead In Kenya?!

March 04, 2014 - GLOBAL ECONOMY - A senior African banker has been gunned down outside a Kenya school in a suspected love triangle murder, according to African news website the Kenya Star.

Peter Njuguna Mukuria was shot dead while in the company of married woman Margaret Nyawira
Nairobi News

Peter Njuguna Mukuria, 42, the deputy retail director at Family Bank's headquarters, was reportedly shot twice in the head and neck as he waited to collect a female friend from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

The woman, Margaret Nyawira, 28, who is also a banker but at a different firm, is reportedly married to Joseph Chege, a Nairobi businessman.

In her testimony to the police, Nyawira said she and Njuguna were accosted by two men as she approached Njuguna's car. The two men then forced their way into the car.

She said they forced him into the back seat, drove away and then shot him.

A guard who was near the scene of the shooting said two gunmen had been standing near to where Njuguna had parked his CRV Honda waiting to pick up the woman.

"One of them had a can of beer that he seemed to sip and when the woman approached the car they also walked there and forced their way in. It was then that we heard gunshots," the guard told the Kenya Star.

Nyawira and another man have been arrested and are being held at the Muthangari Police station for questioning.

"The lady told us that the deceased was supposed to pick her and drop her at her home in Ngong, where she lives with her husband. The deceased lived in Kingerero in Kikuyu," said local policeman Mathews Gwiyo, in the newspaper report.

"We do not know the motive of the shooting so far but love triangle is one of the theories we are investigating."

Chege will also be questioned as part of the investigation into the murder. - Yahoo.

WAR DRUMS: Amid The Escalating Tensions Over Ukraine, Russia Successfully Test-Fires Intercontinental Ballistic Missile - American Officials Didn't Say How Much Notice Was Given, As Is Required By The START Treaty!

March 04, 2014 - RUSSIA - Russia successfully test-fired an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Tuesday, Fox News confirmed.

File Photo of an ICBM. Wikimedia Commons

The Strategic Rocket Forces launched an RS-12M Topol missile from a region near the Caspian Sea, successfully hitting its target in Kazakhstan.

Defense officials told Fox News the test was "not unexpected" and that "START treaty notification occurred."

Russia is required under the START treaty to notify the U.S. of such tests.

Officials did not say how much notice Russia gave.

A Topol-M mobile launcher during rehearsals for the 2012 Moscow Victory Day Parade.
Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this year, the Russian military had announced plans to test around 70 types of rocket and missile weaponry, according to an RIA report.

The tests include about 300 launches of rockets, missiles and aerial drones, according to the report.

The military plans to conduct these tests in southern Russia at the Kapustin Yar range, an area known for tests of tactical ballistic missiles, air defense systems and multiple-launch rocket systems, RIA reported. - FOX News.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Very Close Encounter - Enormous 98-Foot Asteroid To Zip Between Earth And Moon On Wednesday!

March 04, 2014 - SPACE - Talk about a close shave! An asteroid 100 feet wide is set to squeak past the Earth early Wednesday evening, soaring fewer than 218,000 miles from our planet -- slightly closer than the orbit of the moon itself.

An artist's illustration of a large asteroid headed for Earth. (ESA)

Called asteroid 2014 DX110, the extraterrestrial visitor will stay a safe distance away from our planet, experts say. But as it barrels by at 33,000 miles per hour, the comet will present quite a spectacle. You’ll be able to watch the flyby in a live webcast directly through the website of the Slooh space telescope, as well as the VirtualTelescope.com site.

"We continue to discover these potentially hazardous asteroids — sometimes only days before they make their close approaches to Earth," Slooh's technical and research director, Paul Cox said in a statement a few weeks ago, before a very similar asteroid was discovered zipping past our planet.

This NASA image shows an artist's animation that illustrates a massive asteroid belt
(AFP Photo / NASA / JPL Caltech)

"Slooh’s asteroid research campaign is gathering momentum with Slooh members using the Slooh robotic telescopes to monitor this huge population of potentially hazardous space rocks. We need to find them before they find us!"

DX110 will make its closest pass at 5:07 p.m. EST.

The flyby of DX110 comes just over a year after two major near-Earth object (NEO) events on Feb. 15, 2013. That day, as scientists were tracking the extremely close pass of the 98-foot asteroid 2012 DA14, another, unrelated space rock unexpectedly exploded above Chelyabinsk, Russia, causing substantial damage to buildings that injured more than 1,000 people with falling glass.

The asteroid will come very close to Earth on March 5. Image: NASA JPL.

"On a practical level, a previously-unknown, undiscovered asteroid seems to hit our planet and cause damage or injury once a century or so, as we witnessed on June 20, 1908 and February 15, 2013," Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement. "Every few centuries, an even more massive asteroid strikes us — fortunately usually impacting in an ocean or wasteland such an Antarctica."

"But the ongoing threat, and the fact that biosphere-altering events remain a real if small annual possibility, suggests that discovering and tracking all NEOs, as well as setting up contingency plans for deflecting them on short notice should the need arise, would be a wise use of resources." - FOX News.

WORLD WAR III: Putin Warns America, As Russia Marches West - Says Deploying Military Force In Ukraine Is Last Resort, But Russia Reserve Right; Says Sanctions Will Backfire On West; "If I Decide To Use Armed Forces It Will Be In Line With International Law;" Russia Deploys Troops Near Polish And Lithuanian Borders; Ukrainian Troops In Crimea Surrender To Russians!

March 04, 2014 - UKRAINE - Russia will not go to war with the people of Ukraine, but will use its troops to protect citizens, if radicals with clout in Kiev now try to use violence against Ukrainian civilians, particularly ethnic Russians, Putin told the media.

Putin Says Deploying Military Force Is Last Resort, But Russia Reserve Right
 President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia arriving in St. Petersburg with other officials on Monday to
watch a military exercise. Credit Pool photo by Mikhail Klimentyev

Putin, who was given a mandate by the Russian senate to use military force to protect civilians in Ukraine, said there is no need for such an action yet.  Putin cited the actions of radical activists in Ukraine, including the chaining of a governor to a stage as public humiliation and the killing of a technician during an opposition siege of the Party of Regions HQ, as justification for Russia to be concerned for the lives and well-being of people in eastern and southern Ukraine.  Incidents like those are why Russia reserves the option of troop deployment on the table.  “If we see this lawlessness starting in eastern regions, if the people ask us for help – in addition to a plea from a legitimate president, which we already have – then we reserve the right to use all the means we possess to protect those citizens. And we consider it quite legitimate,” he said.  Russia is not planning to go to war with the Ukrainian people, Putin stressed, when a journalist asked if he was afraid of war.

WATCH: Putin - Ukraine coup unconstitutional, an armed takeover of power.


But Russian troops would prevent any attempts to target Ukrainian civilians, should they be deployed.  “We are not going to a war against the Ukrainian people,” he said. “I want you to understand it unambiguously. If we do take a decision, it would only be to protect Ukrainian citizens. Let anybody in the military dare, and they’d be shooting their own people, who would stand up in front of us. Shoot at women and children. I’d like to see anyone try and order such a thing in Ukraine.”  Putin dismissed the notion that the uniformed armed people without insignia who are currently present in Crimea are Russian soldiers. He said they are members of the Crimean self-defense forces and that they are no better equipped and trained than some radical fighters who took part in the ousting of Yanukovich.  He assured that the surprise military drills in Russia’s west which ended on Tuesday had nothing to do with the Ukrainian situation.

Sanction threats are counterproductive

Asked about criticism of Russia over its stance on Ukraine, Putin dismissed the accusations that Russia is acting illegitimately. He stated that even if Russia does use force in Ukraine, it would not violate international law.  At the same time he accused the United States and its allies of having no regard to legitimacy when they use military force in pursuit of their own national interests.  “When I ask them ‘Do you believe you do everything legitimately,’ they say ‘Yes.’ And I have to remind them about the US actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, where they acted either without any UN Security Council mandate or through perverting a mandate, as was the case in Libya,” Putin said.  “Our partners, especially in the United States, always clearly and formulate for themselves their geopolitical and national interests, pursue them relentlessly and then drag the rest of the world in, using the principle ‘You are either with us or against us’. And harass those refuse to be dragged in,” he added.  As for the sanctions Russia faces over Ukraine, Putin said those threatening them should think of the consequences to themselves if they follow that path. In an interconnected world a country may hurt another country if it wishes, but it would be damaged too.  Threats are counterproductive in this situation, Putin warned. He added that if G8 members choose not to go to Sochi for a planned G8 summit, that would be up to them.

 Putin sympathies with Maidan protesters, rejects coup

Putin stressed that the Ukrainian people had a legitimate reason to protest against Yanukovich’s power, considering the overwhelming corruption and other faults of his presidency.  But he objected to the illegitimate way his ouster took place, because it undermined the political stability in the country.  “I strictly object to this form [of transition of power] in Ukraine, and anywhere in the post-Soviet space. This does not help nurturing a culture of law. If someone is allowed to act this way, then everyone is allowed to. And this means chaos. That’s the worst thing that can happen to a country with an unstable economy and an unestablished political system,” Putin explained.

WATCH:  Putin - I agree with Maidan's call for change, crooks replaced crooks for decades.


 He said that while he personally was not fond of months-long streets protests as a means to pressure the government, he sympathized with the Maidan demonstration members, who were genuinely outraged with the situation in Ukraine.  But at the same time he warned that what happens in Ukraine now may be a replacement of one group of crooks with another, citing the appointments of certain wealthy businessmen with questionable reputations.  Asked about the presence of snipers during the violent confrontation in Kiev last month, Putin said he was not aware of any order from the Yanukovich government to use firearms against the protesters. He alleged that the shooters could have been provocateurs from one of the opposition forces. He added that what he was sure of is the fact that police officers were shot at with lethal arms during the confrontation.  Yanukovich is certainly powerless in Ukraine, but legally speaking he is the legitimate president of the country, Putin said. The way the new authorities in Kiev replaced him did not enhance their credibility.

 Asked if he felt for Yanukovich, Putin said “Oh, no. I have absolutely different feelings.” But he declined to publicly explain what those were. He also refrained from commenting on what mistakes he saw in Yanukovich’s actions, explaining that it would not be proper for him to do so.  At the same time Putin does not see any political future for Yanukovich, which he told the ousted Ukrainian president himself. He added that Russia allowed him to come to its territory for humanitarian reasons, because if he remained in Ukraine he could have been summarily executed.

WATCH: Putin - Yanukovich has no political future, I don't sympathize with him.


 Equal participation in Ukraine's future for all Ukrainians 

The Russian government is currently engaging with the self-proclaimed govern of Ukraine with the goal of preserving economic ties between the two countries. However, any normal relations would only be possible after Ukraine has fully legitimate branches of government, Putin said. He considers that he has no counterpart in Kiev now, so he personally has no partner to communicate with.  The Russian president stressed that Russia wants to see equal participation of all citizens of Ukraine in defining the future of the country. The resistance to the authorities in Kiev, which is evident currently in the eastern and southern Ukraine, shows clearly that currently Kiev does not have a nationwide mandate to govern the country.  “Frankly, they should adopt a new constitution through a referendum so that all citizens of Ukraine feel engagement in that process, have an input on the formation of the new principles of how their nation should function,” Putin suggested. “That’s certainly not for us, but for the Ukrainians and the Ukrainian authorities to decide this way or another. I believe after legitimate government is formed, after a new president elected, after a new parliament is elected, they should return to this.”  Russia will be watching the planned presidential election in Ukraine, Putin said. If it is conducted in an atmosphere of terror, Russia will consider it unfair and will not recognize its results, he warned.  Putin commented on the issue of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, which Russia committed to preserve. He said that Western powers reject Russia’s assessment of the events in Ukraine as a coup and insist on calling it a revolution.  Some Russian experts, Putin warned that if Ukraine had undergone a revolution, then the nation that came out of it is not the same that it was before, similarly to how Russia transformed after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.  If this is the case, Moscow may consider itself no longer bound by any treaties it has with Ukraine, Putin warned. - RT.

Russia Deploys Troops Near Polish And Lithuanian Borders

Russia has deployed troops on the Baltic coast near the borders of Poland and Lithuania.

More than 3,500 Russian soldiers have started tactical maneuvers on the Baltic coast of the Kaliningrad region near the borders of Poland and Lithuania, Polish Radio reported on March 3. The unexpected, large-scale military drills began after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a snap inspection of the forces stationed there. In addition to the troops, the exercises involve more than 450 units of military hardware, including bmp-2 armored carriers, T-72 tanks and self-propelled artillery installations. Troops are training for both offensive and defensive operations. Representatives of Lithuania and Poland say the drills pose a direct threat to the security of their nations.

The Lithuanian Army will be set to a higher military readiness level” because of the drills, said Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. “My country is ready for every option and all surprises from Russia.” Polish Gen. Marek Dukaczewski said the drills threaten Poland and violate the international norms, particularly because international observers were not invited. Moscow also neglected to warn Poland and Lithuania about the drills in advance, which prompted Dukaczewski to call on nato to “react urgently” to the situation near the EU border.

Putin’s brazen moves in Kaliningrad come as he carries out an invasion of Ukraine which has the world—especially Europe—on edge. But will Europe “react urgently” as Dukaczewski and many others in Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania say it must? So far, the only things the Europeans have deployed against Putin’s intensifying aggression have been words. Because of the EU’s lack of political and military unity, words are all it can presently dispatch. Putin knows that. He also knows that the U.S. is now in full retreat from the international stage, and that China has Russia’s back. Putin’s understanding of these vital facts has been a significant factor fueling his intensifying aggression. - The Trumpet.

Ukrainian Troops In Crimea Surrender To Russians

The prime minister of Crimea, the autonomous Ukrainian republic seized by Russian military forces, said on Tuesday that most Ukrainian military units on the peninsula had surrendered and pledged allegiance to his pro-Russian government, and that local officials were working to speed up a referendum on independence.  Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said that regional officials were in control of the security situation, even as armed standoffs continued between Russian forces and Ukrainian troops at several military installations, including a base near the airport of Belbek near Sevastopol.  “There is no safety threat to human life in Crimea,” Mr. Aksyonov said.  It was not possible to independently verify Mr. Aksyonov’s claims, and even he did not assert that all military units were now aligned with his administration. He did indicate, however, that he believed enough forces were loyal to him to eliminate the threat of an armed insurrection in Crimea.  He said that a referendum on independence from Ukraine scheduled for March 30 would probably be held sooner, but he offered no details. He said that he had not been in contact with Viktor F. Yanukovych, the ousted president of Ukraine, who fled to Russia but has said he plans to return.

Mr. Aksyonov said that Crimean armed forces were now in a position to ensure the security of the peninsula on their own, but that military officials were working with commanders of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Sevastopol under a long-term lease.  “We are coordinating our activists with the Black Sea Fleet,” he said. “But as of today we are in a position to ensure our own security,”  In recent days, soldiers wearing uniforms with no identifying insignia have taken up positions around military bases and other security installations across the peninsula, including outposts and headquarters of the federal border police and some government buildings. They are assisted by self-defense militia groups in plain clothes wearing armbands.  On Tuesday morning, there were plainclothes security guards controlling access to the regional administration building, as well as a group gathered near the regional Parliament in the center of the city, including Cossacks in ethnic uniforms and some older men in green camouflage, along with volunteers cooking food.  Unofficial vehicle checkpoints have also been established throughout Crimea, often with the red, blue and white Russian flag flying over the barricades, though their purpose was not clear. The people operating the checkpoints say they are providing security.

At the base near the Belbek airport, several hundred Ukrainian and Russian forces were in a standoff that began overnight.  At about 9 a.m., after playing the Ukrainian national anthem, a column of unarmed troops set out from the Belbek garrison in Lubimovka, holding the flags of Ukraine and the Soviet Union. The men periodically sang as they marched, and as they passed half-hidden Russian troops screened behind rusting radar dishes, one man began to sing a Soviet partisan song.  The column of roughly 200 Ukrainian troops approached the Russian positions at the edge of the airfield, where a Russian Humvee and three men stood blocking the road. As they came within about 50 yards, one Russian began to fire into the air and others swiftly took up firing positions along one side of the Ukrainian column.  At the first shot, the Ukrainians flinched but then picked up the pace. At the second and third, the men, clutching their heads and ducking, began to run. One man, pulling himself up, yelled, “We are the masters here!’ ”  Another, brandishing the red Soviet flag, yelled, “This is the Soviet flag, are you going to shoot at the Soviet flag?”

An attack of marines supported by combat vehicles during an exercise held by the Baltic Fleet coastal defense troops
at the Pavenkovo training ground in the Kaliningrad region, March 2, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo)

The troops moved within three feet of the man firing directly over their heads before they pulled up. The Russians continued to shout that they would fire; the Ukrainians replied, “Go on, shoot!”  The commander of the base, Col. Yuli Mamchur, began negotiating with a Russian officer who said his name was Roman but who did not identify himself further.  After about thirty minutes of negotiations, a dozen Ukrainian troops were allowed to enter the base, marching through the cordon of Russians.  The rest of the Ukrainians remained outside with the Russian guns trained on them. Two truckloads of Russian troops later arrived and took up position in the nearby bushes.  The Ukrainians then waited for a response from the Russian command about whether they would be permitted to enter the base and start joint patrols with the Russians. The standoff came to a strange, if inconclusive, end, with the arrival of masked men in plain clothes and camouflage, identifying themselves as members of the Sevastopol self-defense movement. The masked men, some of whose arrival interrupted a soccer game among the Ukrainians, began negotiating with Colonel Mamchur. Eventually, the Ukrainians turned around and returned to their garrison, leaving their officers behind to continue negotiating. Colonel Mamchur, who remained by the Russian line awaiting the arrival of officers from the Black Sea Fleet, said he had sent his troops away to avoid provocation by the self-defense volunteers.

At a port in Sevastopol’s North Bay, two Ukrainian naval vessels, the Slavutych and the Ternipol, were being blockaded by Russian ships.  Under the terms of Russia’s lease for the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, the location and movement of military personnel and equipment is restricted to designated areas. In recent days, however, troop carriers, Humvees and other military equipment with license plates designating them as part of the Black Sea Fleet have appeared throughout the peninsula.  Since Russian soldiers began deploying late last week, beginning at the two main airports, local officials have sought to convey a sense of threat against Crimea from the provisional government in Kiev. They have denounced the toppling of Mr. Yanukovych as a coup and expressed fears of “fascist” right-wing groups that support the uprising in Kiev.  The anti-Yanukovych protests were supported by a number of nationalist groups popular in western Ukraine, including the Svoboda Party, which controls about three dozen seats in the Parliament, and other, more militant right-wing groups known for anti-Russian rhetoric.  Mr. Aksyonov appealed to President Vladimir V. Putin for help in assuring the security of Crimea, and Mr. Putin promptly received authorization from the Russian Parliament to use military force.

Crimea, which has enjoyed a large degree of autonomy since shortly after Ukraine gained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is heavily pro-Russia, and feels close cultural ties to Russia. Most people in the peninsula identify themselves as ethnically Russian, with ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars the largest minority groups. Mr. Aksyonov, at his news conference, said the threat from the new government and its supporters in Kiev was real. “Only the blind do not see that we were threatened during the three months of conflict in Maidan,” he said, referring to Independence Square, the main protest site in Kiev. “Russians were regularly threatened with physical harm.” - NY Times.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: More Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Atlanta Firetruck Gets Stuck In 13 Foot Wide Sinkhole! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

March 04, 2014 - ATLANTA, UNITED STATES - A 13-foot sinkhole opened up beneath a Atlanta firetruck early Monday afternoon in southwest Atlanta.

An Atlanta Fire Department truck was pulled from this sinkhole along Ashby Grove in
southwest Atlanta on Monday, March 3, 2014.

Around 12:45 p.m., Atlanta Fire & Rescue Department spokeswoman Janet Ward said Ladder Truck 1, from Station 1 near Castleberry Hill was going west on Ashby Grove when the road crumbled under the truck.

A sinkhole engulfed the wheel of an Atlanta Fire Department truck on Monday
along Ashby Grove in southwest Atlanta.

No one was hurt, Ward said.

“Miraculously, there are little signs of damage,” she said.

WATCH: Fire truck trapped in sinkhole.

The truck was quickly rescued from the eight-foot deep sinkhole by department vehicles, the street was cordoned off and City of Atlanta officials have been notified, authorities said.

The cause of the sinkhole is unknown at this time. - AJC.

POLE SHIFT: More Signs Of Earth's Magnetic Polar Migration - Most Unusual BLUE Auroras Seen Over Norway?!

March 04, 2014 - SPACE - Northern Lights are usually green, and sometimes red. Those are the colors produced by oxygen when it is excited by electrons raining down from space. On Feb. 22nd, Micha Bäuml of Straumfjord, Norway, witnessed an appariton of aurora-blue:

"All of a sudden the sky exploded," says Micha. "The aurora looked like a giant flame."

In auroras, blue is a sign of nitrogen. Energetic particles striking ionized molecular nitrogen (N2+) at very high altitudes produces a cold azure glow of the type captured in Micha's photo. Why it overwhelmed the usual hues of oxygen on Feb 22nd is unknown. Auroras still have the capacity to surprise.

Any auroras tonight, blue or otherwise, will be a bit of a surprise. Geomagnetic conditions are quiet. NOAA forecasters estimate a scant 5% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on March 3rd. - Space Weather.

WAR DRUMS: World War III And The Ukrainian Catalyst - Poland Deploying Tanks To Its Ukraine Border!

March 04, 2014 - UKRAINE - While countries around the world are decrying Russia for invading Ukraine, Poland is saying NOTHING; but it is deploying TRAINLOADS of tanks and armored personnel carriers to its border with Ukraine.  Poland vows it will never fall to Russia again.

Poland is also mobilizing its mechanized artillery to the Ukraine Border.

The video below, taken in Poland today, shows armored personnel carriers driving on the streets, but more importantly, shows trainloads of tanks parked (night shot, hard to see, look across tracks)  at a commuter rail station, and another trainload of tanks moving by rail toward the Polish border with Ukraine.

WATCH: Poland mobilizing military.


- TRN.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Has Russia Been Attacked - Large Fire Blaze At Nizhnekamsk In Tatarstan; One Of The Largest Oil Refinery In Eurasia?! [PHOTOS+VIDEOS]

March 04, 2014 - RUSSIA - Nizhnekamsk is the largest oil refinery in Europe. It is located in Tatarstan, Russia and today, at 7.00pm Moscow Time, dozens of firemen were urgently summoned as the oil giant started burning. More photos and videos inside.

WATCH: Eye-witnesses capture images of the explosion in Tatarstan.


Summary Information
  • Ownership: Tatneft
  • Website: http://www.tatneft.ru/
  • Wiki Page: TANECO Nizhnekamsk Refinery
  • Location: Nizhnekamsk, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia
  • Capacity: 7.0 million tons/annum & 140,000 bbl/day
  • Nelson Complexity:
  • Project Stage: First phase is completed, whilst the rest is under Construction
  • Expected Completion: 2011
  • Budget:

The Project
  • Project Type: Greenfield
  • Project Summary: The new grassroots complex consists of an oil refinery, aimed at processing seven million tons of crude oil per year, a deep conversion complex and a petrochemical complex. The deep conversion complex includes aromatics units, a fluidised catalytic cracker, a distillate hydrocracker, a delayed coker and a gasification plant.
  • The petrochemical complex will include purified terephthalic acid, polyethylene terephthalate, linear alkylbenzene and polypropylene units, plus the associated power generation plants.
  • Main Contractors:
    • Foster Wheeler: FEED
    • Fluor: Providing project management services and select EPC services
    • VNIPIneft: Development of technical documentation and support services for packaging and delivery of equipment installations hydrocracking, hydrogen production and oils.
    • Lurgi: To manage Technology Coordination for Hydrocracker
    • Giprogazoochistka: Detailed design for combined sulfur recovery unit
  • Licences
    • Chevron Lummus Global: license for Isocracking technology

- English Russia.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Very Rare Polio-Like Paralysis In California Children Alarms Government - US Senator Barbara Boxer Calls CDC To Investigate Mysterious Illness?!

March 04, 2014 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - US Senator Barbara Boxer has called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate a mysterious illness that causes polio-like paralysis in young children. The condition has affected 20 children in California alone in the last 18 months.

Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

Sen. Boxer sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late last week, urging the agency to consider whether the illness is related to a virus or environmental matters, and if there have been similar reports of such paralysis outside of her home state of California.

“These questions must be answered because it is deeply disturbing to read reports of otherwise healthy children experiencing sudden paralysis,” Boxer wrote in the letter to CDC Director Thomas Frieden, according to AP.

The CDC told AP Frieden “will be giving [the letter] careful consideration.”

A study released on Feb. 24 by doctors at the University of California-San Francisco and Stanford University reported on at least five children that have been hit by weakness or paralysis in one or more limbs that mirrored polio effects.

“These five new cases highlight the possibility of an emerging infectious polio-like syndrome in California,” said co-author Emanuelle Waubant, an MD at UCSF.

The symptoms of those afflicted came in rapid fashion, reaching paralysis in a couple of days, the study found. Movement and sensation did not reemerge during the six-month timespan of the study, and spinal evaluations indicated a condition consistent with polio damage.

“They are absolutely not a cluster because they don’t go to the same school or live in the same town,” Waubant said. “These cases have been seen over the past year and a half.”

All of the children had been vaccinated against polio, Waubant said, though two of the children tested positive for enterovirus-68, a virus associated with symptoms akin to polio.

Still, the researchers maintained that the condition is very rare.

“We would like to stress that this syndrome appears to be very, very rare,” said Stanford co-author Keith Van Haren, MD, in a statement. “Any time a parent sees symptoms of paralysis in a child, the child should be seen by a doctor right away.”

The CDC also said that the cases were still quite rare.

“At this time, CDC does not think the situation in California is a cause for public concern,” Jamila H. Jones, a CDC public health educator, said in a statement to AP given before Boxer’s letter was received.

Jones said the CDC is monitoring what is described as acute flaccid paralysis. She added that the number of cases in California falls into a proportional rate considering the overall population. - RT.

MAJOR GLOBAL VOLCANISM ALERT: The Super Volcano That Could Blow Up America - Land Is Rising In Yellowstone National Park As Helium Emissions Increase!

March 04, 2014 - YELLOWSTONE, UNITED STATES - More interestingly, helium-4 emissions have increased dramatically.

During the last five months, station NRWY GPS has recorded about 3.5 inches of lift (the land is rising) and about 1 cm (0.4 in) of movement toward the southeast.

Measurements from other stations in northern Yellowstone show smaller movements forming a circular pattern of deformation of the park floor.

Not only has there been a sudden rise in elevation and the development of new cracks, but Yellowstone has suddenly started issuing huge amounts of helium-4, a very rare form of helium.

It's the presence of this gas that interests scientists.

What surprised scientists is that Helium-4 appears to be the strongest predictor of activity, as demonstrated with other volcanoes.

For example, at the volcanic island of El Hierro , the smallest of the Canary Islands of Spain, which rumbled and shook during seven months in 2011 and 2012, the gas silently filtered through the soil and groundwater on the island.

Eventually, a new underwater volcano erupted off the south coast of the island.

When the eruption started, gas flow at the surface increased dramatically.

The latest reports show that the emission rates of crustal helium- 4 from Yellowstone exceed (by orders of magnitude) any conceivable generation within the crust.

"This means that the helium -4 comes from very far under the ground, a clear sign that something big is happening what did not happen to Yellowstone in our lives.

On top of that, just last week a strong earthquake struck just a few miles from Yellowstone demonstrating that the flow of hot magma is moving. - Ice Age Now.