Wednesday, May 21, 2014

MONUMENTAL SOLAR SYSTEM CHANGES: The Iconic Great Red Spot - Jupiter's Great Red Storm, The Size Of Three Earths Is SHRINKING Mysteriously?!

May 21, 2014 - PLANET JUPITER - Jupiter's iconic Great Red Spot — a swirling storm larger than Earth — is shrinking. This downsizing, which is changing the shape of the spot from an oval into a circle, has been known about since the 1930s, but now these striking new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images capture the spot at a smaller size than ever before.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a churning anticyclonic storm. It shows up in images of the giant planet as a conspicuous deep red eye embedded in swirling layers of pale yellow, orange and white. Winds inside this Jovian storm rage at immense speeds, reaching several hundreds of kilometres per hour.

Historic observations as far back as the late 1800s gauged this turbulent spot to span about 41 000 kilometres at its widest point — wide enough to fit three Earths comfortably side by side. In 1979 and 1980 the NASA Voyager fly-bys measured the spot at a diminished 23,335 kilometres across. Now, Hubble has spied this feature to be smaller than ever before.

"Recent Hubble Space Telescope observations confirm that the spot is now just under 16 500 kilometres across, the smallest diameter we've ever measured," said Amy Simon of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA.

This composite handout image provided by NASA, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the Great Red Spot
in 2014, left; in 1995, top right; 2009, center right; and 2014, bottom right.AP Photo/NASA

Amateur observations starting in 2012 revealed a noticeable increase in the spot's shrinkage rate. The spot's "waistline" is getting smaller by just under 1000 kilometres per year. The cause of this shrinkage is not yet known.

"In our new observations it is apparent that very small eddies are feeding into the storm," said Simon. "We hypothesised that these may be responsible for the accelerated change by altering the internal dynamics of the Great Red Spot."

Simon's team plan to study the motions of these eddies, and also the internal dynamics of the spot, to determine how the stormy vortex is fed with or sapped of momentum.

This full-disc image of Jupiter was taken on 21 April 2014 with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). - Daily Galaxy

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: "We May Have Had Three Active Volcanoes In The Oahu Region" - New Underwater Volcano Discovered In Hawaii! [PHOTOS]

May 21, 2014 - HAWAII - The sprawling chain of Hawaiian volcanoes just added another underwater branch.

A newly-discovered volcano, named Ka'ena, erupted 5 million years ago in the deep waters south of Kauai. It was the
first of three volcanoes that would form the island of Oahu. Researchers recently showed that Ka'ena was
a separate volcano, distinct from its neighbor, Wai'anae volcano. 

The discovery means Oahu once towered above the ocean with three volcanic peaks, the researchers said. Until now, scientists thought Oahu was built by two volcanoes — Wai'anae on the west and Ko'olau on the east.

"I think we may very well have had three active volcanoes in the Oahu region," said lead study author John Sinton, a geologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The new volcano, named Ka'ena, was born in the deep underwater channel south of Kauai about 5 million years ago, according to the study, published May 2 in the Geological Society of America Bulletin. Sometime later, Wai'anae rose on Ka'ena's flanks and therefore breached the sea first, breaking through the waves 3.9 million years ago. The researchers think Ko'olau surfaced after that, about 3 million years ago. 

The blocky texture of these a'a lavas only forms in air, a clue that Ka'ena volcano once poked
above the ocean surface 3 million years ago.

Researchers snapped images of local marine life while searching for signs of past eruptions.

Ka'ena volcano is about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) high, but only reached about 3,000 feet above sea level, Sinton said. As Oahu's first-born, Ka'ena is the shortest of the three volcanoes because it had to grow farthest from the seafloor to the ocean surface.

But the researchers know Ka'ena was once an island peak, because the underwater mountain is capped by lavas with textures that only form in air. With a remotely operated vehicle, the researchers also spied a sandy beach strewn with shark teeth.

Rock samples collected with a remotely operated vehicle helped prove Ka'ena volcano is older and
chemical distinct from its neighbors.

Sheets of hyaloclastite, a glassy lava that forms where molten rock meets the sea.

Oahu's volcanoes died out about 2 million years ago, and like all of Hawaii's islands, their massive bulk is slowly sinking, hiding Ka'ena beneath the sea.

Disappearing islands

The weight of the Hawaiian volcanoes has pressed down the Earth's crust. The flexing resembles a person standing on a trampoline, causing the springy surface to sag.

"The first ones, because they form in deep water, they kind of escape notice," Sinton said. "We like to think we know how many Hawaiian volcanoes there are, but what we know about what's underwater is a huge area of ignorance," he told Live Science's Our Amazing Planet. - Discovery News

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Hits The Bay Of Bengal - Tremors Felt In East India, Delhi, And Chennai! [MAPS+TECTONIC SUMMARY]

May 21, 2014 - BAY OF BENGAL & THE ANDAMAN SEA BASIN - Mild to moderate tremors were felt in northern and eastern India on Wednesday night.

USGS earthquake location map.

Tremors were felt in places like Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Gaya and Chennai.

In Chennai tremors were felt in parts of Nungambakkam, Porur and Triplicane, according to some reports.

Tremors were also felt in Delhi and NCR.

The epicentre of earthquake was in Bay of Bengal, 275 km South-East of Paradip Garh. Its magnitude was 6:0 on the Richter scale and depth was 10 km, as per India Meterological Department.

The tremors struck around 9:52 pm.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity

The tremor was felt for a few seconds in many areas of Odisha, including state capital Bhubaneshwar but it was enough to trigger panic among people who immediately moved out of buildings, PTI reported.

Panic also gripped several parts of Odisha's Kendrapara district where residents felt the tremors for about 10 seconds.

No reports of damage to human life and property has been reported as yet.  - ZEE News.

Tectonic Setting and Seismotectonic History of the Andaman Sea Basin.
The Andaman Sea is a highly folded and spreading geosynclinal basin, about 650 km wide from east to west and about 1200 km long from north to south. Its total area is estimated to be 600,000 to 800,000 km2.

The Andamans and the Nicobars are a group of 349 islands - summits of a submarine mountain range situated on the western side of the basin, formed by tectonic interactions. The present configuration resulted about 26 million years ago. The islands are the boundary separating the Andaman Sea basin from the Indian Ocean. The Andaman group has a total of 325 islands, while the Nicobar group has 24 islands. Only 38 of these islands are inhabited.

Tectonic Setting - The Andaman Sea Basin, is a seismically active region at the southeastern end of the Alpine-Himalayan belt,. For millions of years the India tectonic plate has moved in a north/northeast direction, colliding with the Eurasian tectonic plate. The Indian plate's eastern boundary, along the Andaman and Nicobar islands and Northern Sumatra, is a diffuse zone of seismicity and deformation, characterized by extensive faulting and numerous large shallow and intermediate earthquakes.

The Burma microplate encompasses the northwest portion of the island of Sumatra, as well as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Further to the east of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, a divergent boundary separates the Burma plate from the Sunda plate.

Seismotectonic History - The seimotectonic history of the region is extensively covered in the scientific literature (Sinvhal et al.1978, Verma et al. 1978). More recent research documents the following regional tectonic evolution. Accordingly, an extensional feature developed along a leaky transform segment of the megashear zone - the Andaman fault - between the Indo-Australian domain and the Sunda-Indochina block (Uyeda and Kanamori, 1979; Taylor and Karner, 1983). This old shear zone acted as a western strike slip guide for the extrusion of the Indochina block about 50-20 My (Tapponnier et al., 1986) - and in response to the indentation of the Indian tectonic plate into Eurasian block.

Collision of Indochina with the Sunda and Australian blocks stopped this crustal extrusion process. Subsequently, the Andaman fault system - recently prolonged through the Sumatra zone (the Sumatra fault) - reactivated due to the lateral escape of the Sumatra forearc sliver plate and as a result of the oblique convergence and subduction with the Indo-Australian plate.

The Indian plate's oblique subduction beneath the Burmese Microplate has created the Andaman segment of the great Sunda Trench. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located within the tectonic sliver near the boundary of the Indian plate and the Burmese Microplate. Similarly the oblique subduction has created the north-south trending West Andaman fault - another strike-slip fault system in the Andaman Sea to the east of the island chain.

The Volcanic Arc - The subduction process has also formed a volcanic arc. There are two known volcanoes along this arc. The one in the North is known as the Barren Island Volcano - considered active as it has erupted within recent times. The other is known as the Narcondum volcano and is considered dormant.

Seismicity of the Region - Shallow and occasional intermediate-depth earthquakes delineate the subducted slab under the Andaman-Nicobar islands joining the seismicity trend of the Indo-Burman ranges. The active seismicity of the Andaman Sea Basin, has caused many minor and intermediate earthquakes, a few major events ,and only one known earthquake with magnitude greater than 8. According to the literature (Bapat 1982) from 1900 to 1980, a total of 348 earthquakes were recorded in the area bounded by 7.0 N to 22.0 N and 88.0 E to 100 E. - Dr. George P.C.

FIRE IN THE SKY: May Camelopardalids - Anticipation Is Extremely High As Earth Approaches Comet 209P/LINEAR's Cloud Of Debris; As Many As 200 METEORS PER HOUR Could Be Produced; Meteoroids Hitting The Moon Could Result In Visible EXPLOSIONS! [MAPS]

May 21, 2014 - SPACE -  Anticipation is building as Earth approaches a cloud of debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR.

This weekend, meteoroids hitting Earth's atmosphere could produce a never-before-seen shower called the "May Camelopardalids" peaking with as many as 200 meteors per hour. The best time to look is on Saturday, May 24th, between 0600 UT and 0800 UT (2 a.m. and 4 a.m. EDT).

Earth won't be the only body passing through the debris zone. The Moon will be, too. Meteoroids hitting the lunar surface could produce explosions visible through backyard telescopes on Earth.

The inset in this picture of an actual lunar meteor shows the region of the crescent Moon on May 24th that could be pelted by May Camelopardalids:

According to NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, the best time for amateur astronomers to scan the Moon for lunar meteors is after 0800 UT (4 a.m. EDT) on May 24th.

Comet 209P/LINEAR may still be faint but it’s a beautiful object in this time exposure by Austrian astrophotographer
Michael Jaeger. The stars appear as trails because the photographer guided on the comet during the exposure.
Visually the comet is a faint, compact fuzzball seen through large amateur telescopes.

As it approaches Earth in the coming nights, comet 209P/LINEAR will move quickly across the sky, traveling from Ursa
Major to southern Hydra in just 10 days. When closest on May 28-29, the comet will cover 10 degrees per day or just
shy of 1/2 degree per hour. All maps created with Chris Marriott’s SkyMap software

There is much uncertainty about the strength of this shower, both on Earth and on the Moon. In recent history, our planet has never passed directly through a debris stream from Comet 209P/LINEAR, so no one knows exactly how much comet dust lies ahead.

This detailed map shows the comet’s path from Leo Minor across the backside of the Sickle of
Leo May 23-26. Hopefully it will be bright enough then to spot in an 8-inch or larger telescope.
On May 25, it passes close to the colorful double star Gamma Leonis and a pair of NGC galaxies.
Stars plotted to magnitude +9. Click to enlarge and then print out for use at the telescope.

A magnificent meteor shower could erupt, with streaks of light in terrestrial skies and sparkling explosions on the Moon--or it could be a complete dud. Stay tuned!  - Space Weather.

THE AGE OF PUTIN & CHILDHOOD'S END: Precursors To The End Of The Petrodollar And The Collapse Of The United States Corporation - Russia And China Seal Historic And Monumental $400 BILLION "Gas Deal Of The Century"!

May 21, 2014 - RUSSIA/CHINA -  After 10 years of negotiations, Russia's Gazprom and China's CNPC have finally signed a historic gas deal which will provide the world's fastest growing economy with the natural gas it needs to keep pace for the next 30 years.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping celebrate 'gas deal of the century' between Russia, China @RT_com

The total value of the contract is $400 billion, Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller said. However, the price of gas stipulated in the document remains a "commercial secret."

Assuming the overall price of the contract includes only the cost of supplies of Russian gas, then the $400 billion price tag means China will pay about $350 per 1,000 cubic meters. Delivery price for the contract will be tied to market oil prices, Putin said from Shanghai on Tuesday.

WATCH: Russia, China sign 'gas deal of the century'.


Infrastructure investment from both sides will be more than $70 billion and will be the world's largest construction project, with Russia providing $55 billion up front and China $22 billion for pipelines on their respective territories.

This is Gazprom's biggest contract to date.

Russia will supply China 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year via the eastern 'Power of Siberia' pipeline, which crosses Siberia and reaches China's populous northeast regions. A separate route that could deliver gas to China's western provinces and provide diversification is also in the works, according to Putin.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of China Xi Jinping on the second day of Putin’s two-day state visit to Shanghai.

According to Miller, the deal was set to go through at 4:00pm Shanghai time when he understood "all fundamental issues were resolved."

RT producers were informed of the landmark energy deal prior to its signing after a conversation with Miller.

The deal comes as a part of Russia’s larger-scale pivot to Asia and especially China as Western economies threaten sanctions over turmoil in Ukraine. Sanctions by the US and the EU have been mostly limited to visa bans and asset freezes on some of Russia’s top officials, while so far only threatening a so-called third round of real economic sanctions against Russian hydrocarbon businesses.

Just ahead of Putin's visit to Shanghai, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave reassurance that the agreed price would be fair.

“One side always wants to sell for a higher price, while the other wants to buy for a lower price,” Medvedev said. “I believe that in the long run, the price will be fair and totally comparable to the price of European supplies.”

A major breakthrough in negotiations came on Sunday as Gazprom chief Aleksey Miller sat down with his CNPC counterpart, Zhou Jiping, in Beijing to discuss final details, including price formulas.

Although Europe is still Russia's largest energy market – buying more than 160 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas in 2013 – Moscow will use every opportunity to diversify gas deliveries and boost its presence in Asian markets.

WATCH: Historic Deal Signed - Russia, China seal $400bn gas contract.


“I wouldn’t look for politics behind this, but I have no doubt that supplying energy to the Asia Pacific Region holds out a great promise in the future,” Medvedev said.

In October 2009, Gazprom and CNPC inked a framework agreement for the Altai project which envisions building a pipeline to supply natural gas from fields in Siberia via the western part of the Russia-China border.

In March 2013, Gazprom and CNPC signed a memorandum of understanding on Russian gas supplies to China along the so-called eastern 'Power of Siberia' route. When both pipelines are activated, Russia can supply Asia with 68 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

Last year, China consumed about 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas and is expected to consume 420 billion cubic meters per year by 2020. - RT.

EXTREME WEATHER ANOMALIES: Increasing Signs Of Monumental Planetary Transformations - Unusually High Volume Of Hail Piles Up On The Streets Of Sao Paulo, Brazil Shocking Residents?! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

May 21, 2014 - BRAZIL - Residents in parts of Sao Paulo, Brazil, were seen Monday frolicking and making small snowmen after a hailstorm struck the city Sunday.

A bulldozer removes the hail in a street after a hailstorm in the Aclimacao neighborhood in
Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 19, 2014. (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

While hail in Sao Paulo is not unheard of, the volume of small hail, washed into large piles by heavy rain, was a sight not seen before by many residents. The city has no snow plows, so bulldozers were called in to remove the hail.

Sao Paulo is near the Tropic of Capricorn, about 23.5 degrees south latitude. Despite being closer to the equator than Key West, Florida, Sao Paulo's altitude – about 2,500 feet above sea level – lends itself to thunderstorms with hail.

Vehicles are trapped after a hailstorm in the Aclimacao neighborhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 19, 2014. After the
severe overnight hailstorm a layer of hailstones as deep as 20 centimeters covered streets and parks, drawing people
to make snowmen and play in the ice, an unusual scene to the city. (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of a family play with hail in a street after a hailstorm in the Aclimacao neighborhood
in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 19, 2014. (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Children play with hail in a street after a hailstorm in the Aclimacao neighborhood in
Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 19, 2014. (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Brazil has been in the grip of a unrelenting drought. The water level at Sao Paulo's main reservoir had plunged to a record low – only 10 percent of capacity in early May – raising fears of water rationing, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. January temperatures in Sao Paulo set all-time record highs.

Children play with hail in a street after a hailstorm in the Aclimacao neighborhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 19, 2014.

A man carries a block of ice left behind by a hailstorm as residents in the Aclimacao neighborhood play in the ice in Sao
Paulo, Brazil, Monday, May 19, 2014. Neighborhoods on the south side of Sao Paulo woke up to their streets
blanketed in white after an unusual hailstorm. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)

A woman makes a tower using ice from an overnight hailstorm in the Aclimacao neighborhood of Sao Paulo, Brazil,
Monday, May 19, 2014. Some told local media their children hadn’t seen hail or played with ice.
(AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)

The phenomenon of hail piles is not as unusual as it sounds.

Parts of the High Plains of the U.S. can see large hail accumulations from a slow-moving thunderstorm each spring and summer.

WATCH: Hailstorm hits Brazil.

Before the July Fourth holiday 2013, a slow-moving hailstorm brought out the snowplows in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Hail glaciers near Clayton, New Mexico, of up to 16 feet tall were observed near Clayton New Mexico in August 2004. - The Weather Channel.

DISASTER PRECURSORS: The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior - Mass Death Of Birds Found Washed Up On The Humboldt National National Reserve In Chile; Species Of Snake Lost For Nearly 80 YEARS Found On Mexican Island; "Sea Anemone" Is Actually A First Known Organism In A NEW ORDER Of Animals; Moose Stomps Two Women Hiking With Their Dogs In Colorado; Woman Attacked By Bear Near Alaska Military Base; Apocalyptically Stunning Invasion Of Millions Of Grasshoppers In Albuquerque, New Mexico; Farmers Concerned Over Dozens Of Cattle And Horses Dying From Disease In Mazatan, Mexico; Masses Of Fish Turn Up Dead In A Marina In Pultneyville, New York; MILLIONS Of Bees Suddenly Die In Nanjing County, China; And Dozens Of Dead Pigs Found Floating Along A River In Minhou, China! [PHOTOS+VIDEOS]

May 21, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Mass Death Of Birds Found Washed Up On Humboldt National National Reserve In Chile
Less than a month after the death of hundreds of cormorants guanay, there was another
mass stranding
of dead birds by inappropriate fishing practices.

"On 15 April this year, inform the community about the massive death and stranding hundreds of guanay Cormorant on the coast of Playa Grande Los Choros, in the Commune of La Higuera, product incompatible with conservation fishing practices marine birds. Today, again we face the same event and we must account for the death of many birds like cormorants and guanay yeko, occurred on Saturday, May 10, less than a month after the alleged killing of cormorants guanay.  We insist on our challenge to the Chilean Navy and in particular the Maritime Governor of the Region of Coquimbo, his duty to protect the Marine Reserve Isla Choros - Ladies, overseeing the fishing activities in the vicinity follow a strict compliance with the legislation. Ensuring the conservation of protected areas is fulfilled in the protection of biodiversity that inhabits and justifies and determines its protected area. It comes down to territoriality, but its multiple habitats, and enriches particularized reason these areas.  The Environmental Defense Movement ( MODEMA ) calls to institutions to not be separated from their responsibility to the death of these animals. In less than a month, the biotic balance of Humboldt Penguin National Reserve and Marine Reserve Isla Choros - Damas has been affected by the massive death of two of its rich bird species. " - Eldinamo. [Translated]

Species Of Snake Lost For Nearly 80 YEARS Found On Mexican Island
A Clarion nightsnake slithers on the ground in the Revillagigedo Islands, over 400 miles off Mexico's Pacific coast.AP

A species of snake that had been "lost" for almost 80 years has been re-discovered on a remote Mexican island.  According to a study published in the PLOS ONE scientific journal, the Clarion nightsnake was found again on one of the Revillagigedo Islands, more than 400 miles off Mexico's Pacific coast.  The original, and until recently the only, spotting of the species was made by American naturalist William Beebe in a 1936 visit to Clarion, one of the four Revillagigedo Islands. He returned with one snake preserved in a glass jar.  Subsequent visits failed to find more nightsnakes, and no further sightings were reported over the years from the island, which is inhabited only by a small detachment of Mexican marines. The existing dead sample was assumed to be a labelling error and the snake was largely struck from taxonomic registries.  But Daniel Mulcahy, a researcher for the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, suspected it might still exist. He and Juan Martinez Gomez of Mexico's Ecology Institute set out to find it.  Martinez Gomez, an expert on the Revillagigedo Islands, noted the islands change a lot from season to season, so they timed the expedition last May to replicate Beebe's steps as they looked for the snake, which blends in with the island's rock formations and is largely active at night. And they used Beebe's original field notes as a guide. "Basically, following those directions, we essentially put ourselves in his place," Martinez Gomez said.  One of his graduate students, Juan Alberto Cervantes, was the first to spot one of the snakes for the first time since 1936.

The researchers performed DNA analysis to establish the long, dark spotted snake as its own species and see where it had come from. The tests showed it is most closely related to snakes from Mexico's Sonora-Sinaloa coast more than 500 miles away. Martinez Gomez said the snake's ancestors may have made the trip from the mainland on a tree trunk felled by a storm and washed out to sea.  The National Museum of Natural History said Mulcahy "uncovered the controversy surrounding the inclusion of this snake in the scientific record, and found that it appears to be the only species ever to be discarded due to a presumed locality error."  Patricia Escalante, a biologist who curates bird collections at Mexico's National Autonomous University and who was not involved in the snake project, said the re-discovery of the Clarion nightsnake was "very interesting" and significant because of the fragility of island ecosystems.  One inhabitant of the Revillagigedo Islands, the Socorro dove, went extinct in its natural habitat sometime in the 1970s. But live specimens had been taken off the islands in the 1920s, and their descendants were recently re-introduced to the islands. - FOX News.

"Sea Anemone" Is Actually A First Known Organism In A NEW ORDER Of Animals
The newly named Relicanthidae sea creature, which lives near hydrothermal vents, was previously thought to
be a giant sea anemone (order Actiniaria). New research places this animal in a new order—
a classification equal to Carnivora in mammals©NERC CHESSO project

Lurking in the deep sea is a marine creature thought to be one of the world's largest sea anemones. But the animal, which has tentacles measuring more than 6 feet long, isn't an anemone but rather the first known organism in a new order of animals, according to new research.  In the four-year study, researchers created a "tree of life" for sea anemones, which are sometimes called "flowers of the sea" but are actually stationary meat-eating animals. In doing so, they examined the DNA of Boloceroides daphneae discovered in 2006 in the deep Pacific Ocean and found the creature stood out as not fitting on the sea anemone tree of life at all.  Researchers have now renamed the species Relicanthus daphneae, placing it into a new order (the equivalent of Carnivoria for mammals, Crocodilia for reptiles or Actiniaria for sea anemones) within the subclass Hexacorallia, which also includes anemones, black corals and stony corals.  "The discovery of this new order of Cnidaria a phylum that includes jellyfish, corals, sea anemones and their relatives is the equivalent to finding the first member of a group like primates or rodents," Estefana Rodrguez, an assistant curator in the American Museum of Natural History, said in a statement. "This amazing finding tells us that we have so much more to learn and discover in the ocean," added Rodriguez, who led the research.

Not an anemone
So why does the oddball look like a sea anemone? Its similarity to anemones is an example of convergent evolution, which means that two different branches of the tree of life form features that look the same, the researchers said. "Both groups of animals lack the same character[istic]s, but our research shows that while the anemones lost those character[istic]s over millions of years of evolution, R. daphneae never had them," Rodriguez said in a statement. The group hopes other members of the same order will be found soon, which will help provide more information on how the tree of life is structured.

From characteristics to DNA
In addition to giving the boot to Boloceroides daphneae, the new study sheds light on sea anemones, a group of animals that are difficult to classify because they have few distinctive structures. "Anemones are very simple animals," Rodrguez said. "Because of this, they are grouped together by their lack of characteristics for example, the absence of a skeleton or the lack of colony-building, like you see in corals. So it wasn't a huge surprise when we began to look at their molecular data and found that the traditional classifications of anemones were wrong." The four-year study aimed to classify the known species of anemones based on their evolutionary relationships with one another. DNA and structural comparisons of more than 112 species worldwide revealed there are only two suborders of anemones (not four, as previously thought).
The findings were published online May 7 in the journal PLOS ONE. - FOX News.

 Moose Stomps 2 Women Hiking With Their Dogs In Colorado
A young moose walks April 1, 2014, past the entrance to Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs,
Colo. Wildlife officials say the Colorado moose population is growing quickly and can attack humans.

(Photo: John F. Russell, AP)

A moose on the rampage attacked two women walking with their dogs, injuring both severely. The animals can weigh a half ton or more.  "We were just moseying along, hiking, enjoying our hike, and then all of a sudden, I looked up and he was looking right at me,"said Jacquie Boron, 50, who was hiking with her neighbor Ellen Marie Divis, 57, near their homes in Black Hawk, Colo., about 35 miles northwest of Denver.  Boron said the moose grunted and immediately charged toward her, hitting her squarely in the chest and knocking her off her feet.  "I knew that they were aggressive, and I knew that I should be very careful with them," she said. "But I didn't expect them just to charge me." The moose repeatedly returned to stomp on her, leaving her with four broken ribs, 15 stitches in her leg and 10 staples in her head.  "He kept coming back for me," Boron said. "I had to get away from him."

WATCH: Moose stomps 2 women hiking with their dogs.


Boron said she tried to get away by hiding behind a tree and then moved from tree to tree until the moose wandered away.  Her neighbor, who was also injured, managed to escape and call for help. Their two dogs ran off as well but are home now.  State wildlife experts said it's possible the dogs triggered the moose's aggressive behavior.  "They do not like having dogs anywhere near them, so very often they will try and stomp the dog or will actually follow the dog," said Jennifer Churchill, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman.  Boron said she won't be hiking around her home any time soon.  "I think I'll stay away from there as long as I know that moose is back there because they're quiet and they're stealthy and they come up on you," she said. "And you can come up on them so quickly and then they react immediately."  Boron expects to be released from the hospital Tuesday. Divis is in fair condition in St. Anthony hospital in this Denver suburb.  State wildlife officials say the moose population is growing fast in Colorado. A hiker who comes across one should walk away and put something large between the two of you. - USA Today.

Woman Attacked By Bear Near Alaska Military Base
A brown bear, similar to the one pictured, attacked a woman who was jogging on a trail near an Anchorage military base.

A woman jogging through an Alaska trail was mauled by a brown bear defending her two cubs before the bloodied woman staggered for 2 miles searching for help, authorities said.  The woman, who did not want to be identified, was attacked after she became separated with her soldier husband as they went for a run near the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage on Monday.  As she rounded a bend in the trail in the wooded area, she encountered a brown bear with two bears in tow.  The bear, fearing the safety of its young, suddenly pounced.  “The bear attacked her, defending her babies, seeing her as a threat,” said Mark Sledge, senior conservation law enforcement officer at the base.  The bear took at least one swipe at the woman and knocked her down, officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear if the woman was knocked unconscious or played dead until the beast finally walked away.  Officials were unsure how long the woman lay on the ground after the attack, but she eventually managed to get to her feet and walked about 2 miles through the rough terrain until a soldier driving in the area spotted her. 

“The survival instinct for that woman is phenomenal,” Sledge said. “The trauma that she went through and the walk out was heroic.”  The Good Samaritan took her to the base hospital, where she was treated before she was transferred to the Alaska Native Medical Center. Her husband, who had turned back to search for his missing wife, was picked up by base security officers and taken to the hospital.  The woman — who had lacerations to her neck arms and legs — was listed in stable condition Monday afternoon.  Sledge said the bear was likely between 7 and 8 feet tall, because of the 7-inch rear paw pads, and that the woman was lucky to be alive.  He said it was unlikely officials will take any action against the bear, because it was simply acting in a defensive way to protect her cubs.  And people need to remember how easy it can be for someone to fall victim to an attack, Sledge said.  “The main message is don’t get complacent. I’m not saying she was,” he told reporters, according to the Alaska Dispatch.  “I don’t care if you’re in downtown Anchorage or on the base, bears are everywhere.” - NY Daily News.

Apocalyptic Invasion Of Millions Of Grasshoppers In Albuquerque, New Mexico
An invasion of grasshoppers in Albuquerque has been disturbing the peace among residents.

Grasshoppers invaded Albuquerque.

- AccuWeather.

Farmers Concerned Over Dozens Of Cattle And Horses Dying From Disease In Mazatan, Mexico
Mazatán Ranchers are concerned about the death of dozens of cattle and horses, which have died from a disease that is affecting people. Humberto Tapia Solis, farmer of this county, said that so far have no attention of the appropriate authorities so fear these deaths are becoming an epidemic. Tapia Solis said in your field is 10 animals have died so far, seriously affecting the rest of its production, and it does not have the resources to hire a vet who can give you advice on the treatment that should have their animals. The farmer who is originally from Ejido Vicente Guerrero noted that in the same way they have killed their fellow ejidatarios a lot of animals , with about more than 100 cows and some horses , suspecting it might be a kind of anger about the conditions under that animals get sick. He said a few days ago arrived staff of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa) to take samples, leaving only the brain of one animal that was dying after presenting " desmayamiento " the body and other conditions that gradually undermine the existence of animals . Finally, he said that so far the authorities maintain complete secrecy regarding this situation, since they should already know the causes of death of the animals to alert if necessary, as there are some producers to avoid losing completely their cattle, when symptoms of illness, selling them to butchers slaughtered at the lowest prices. - Pendulo. [Translated]

Masses Of Fish Turn Up Dead In A Marina In Pultneyville, New York

The Pultneyville Yacht Club was inundated with dead fish and plump, happy seagulls last week leaving local boaters with questions. Why all the dead and dying fish and just how many seagulls can fit in to one square foot?  Yacht Club members and customers of the adjacent Landing at Pultneyville became victims of sudden bird flights and accompanying cars also felt the brunt of bird droppings.  Jim Deatsch, member and Environmental Officer for the Yacht Club said he noticed struggling and dying fish cropping up about 10 days ago. “The gulls were having a field day. I even saw a couple of turkey buzzards come by, but they were chased off by the seagulls,” said Deatsch. “This is not a good thing. The gulls won’t eat the dead ones,” he added.  Yacht Club member Don Byrnes of Walworth said he noticed the tens of thousands of dead fish and accompanying seagulls last Wednesday.

The main channel of the Yacht Club remained clear, but the offshoot dock areas remained cluttered with dead and dying fish.  The small fish, known as alewives, often exhibit seasonal die-offs and can be seen, usually in mid-May, washed up on the shorelines of the Great Lakes. Alewives were introduced to the Great Lakes as food fish for the species such as lake trout and the introduced Pacific salmon.  Ironically, the DEC (Department of Conservation) had poured thousands of 4” to 6” brown trout off the Pultneyville Point a week before.  Was this a case of nature taking its course and an alewives die-off, or was there something amiss with the fish? Why did the fish die just in the Pultneyville channel and nowhere else along the shoreline in either direction?  The DEC was not taking any chances. On Tuesday (5/13) the DEC took samples of the dead fish and sent them to Cornell for testing. Some on the scene believed it could be viral hemorrhagic septicemia, a deadly infectious fish disease that afflicts over 50 species of freshwater and marine fish in several parts of the northern hemisphere.  Webster (Web) Pearsall, the Regional Fishery Manager for the DEC out of the Avon Office, was leaning more to the natural cause of the fish die-off. “This is part of a normal cycle.” The cold winter and warm waters feeding the lake cause a sudden rift in water temperatures that the alewives simply cannot tolerate. He noted that since the fish die-off in the Pultneyville channel, similar reports are now coming in from other Lake Ontario feeds, including the Genesee River outlet. “It is an issue of thermal shock on the fish,” concluded Pearsall. He added that the fish scoop-up and samples sent to Cornell was just to confirm what he believed. Sodus Town Supervisor and longtime boat captain, Steve Leroy, said he has seen this type of fish kill numerous times in his boating career. “I could be wrong, but I believe they will find no contaminants in the fish.” - Wayne Times.

MILLIONS Of Bees Suddenly Die In Nanjing County, China 
A large number of bees died overnight.

The busy honey bees, but now strewn with dead bodies ; originally exudes a faint scent of hives, but now it is the stench. May 2, a pair of Zhangzhou in the peaceful transition of beekeeping couple Jing Nanjing County farm town of Jinfeng flowering rush, a lot of bees died that night. The couple suffered clients suspected poisoning, just three days ago, three agricultural school near Zhangzhou beekeepers suffered similar incidents. Currently, Nanjing County Public Security Bureau of Criminal Investigation Department and Jing town police station has been involved in investigating the matter, whether to initiate an investigation, police said, to have the authority to identify department finds cause of bee deaths.

Buried in the forest bees sporadic bursts of odor.

Around 15:30 yesterday, the reporter came to the incident, in the village of longan farm forest trees neatly stocked with 104 beehives. Ms Tsang said that long ago, they finished flowering rush pomelo from home, it transitions to here. Right here, the couple already familiar with, never appeared unexpectedly. However, this time no one thought that after night, 104 boxes of bees have died 94 boxes, each box according to their home has 10 hives, each have more than 2000 bees calculation, there are about 1.88 million bees died, the remaining small some of the affected honey bees can not properly, the loss of nearly 50,000 yuan . Seeing no hope of harvest, the couple several times tearful, sleep well, and could not eat. Ms Tsang said that on May 2, she and her husband, as usual, around 20 o'clock break, evening 7 o'clock, the husband also viewed once, and found no abnormalities, but woke up the next day they found the bees appeared trembling, different symptoms tongue, etc., and then found a large number of bee hives near death, the couple rushed to the police. In order to prevent infection is still a small part of the bees to survive, the couple will be the death of the bees collect landfill near the forest, there are still some beehives not finishing, there will be a stench blowing approached .
.. - 163. [Translated]

Dozens Of Dead Pigs Found Floating Along A River In Minhou, China
There are a few dead pig stuck in the shore, already rancid.

Oolong river, the river came the stench, passers-by have their noses through.

Dozens dead pigs floating down along the river, the river section in the front side of the float of the company a long time, it is learned that the section of the river belong to the gates of secondary water source protection areas. It was unbearable stench , organizing workers got close to the shore of the dead pig bamboo expelled until the river rose high, most dead pig was only washed downstream. The rest were stranded dead pig , last night the relevant department staff rushed to the scene to be buried . As for the dead pig origin , the relevant departments expressed the need for further investigation. - DNKB. [Translated]

FUK-U-SHIMA: The War On Mother Nature - TEPCO Begins Pumping Contaminated Fukushima Daiichi Groundwater Into The Pacific Ocean?!

May 21, 2014 - JAPAN - The operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has started pumping groundwater into the Pacific ocean in an attempt to manage the large volume of contaminated water at the site.

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan: the buildup of toxic water is the most urgent problem
facing workers at the plant. Photograph: AP

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said it had released 560 tonnes of groundwater pumped from 12 wells located upstream from the damaged reactors. The water had been temporarily stored in a tank so it could undergo safety checks before being released, the firm added.

The buildup of toxic water is the most urgent problem facing workers at the plant, almost two years after the environment ministry said 300 tonnes of contaminated groundwater from Fukushima Daiichi was seeping into the ocean every day.

The groundwater, which flows in from hills behind the plant, mixes with contaminated water used to cool melted fuel before ending up in the sea. Officials concede that decommissioning the reactors will be impossible until the water issue has been resolved.

The bypass system intercepts clean groundwater as it flows downhill toward the sea and reroutes it around the plant. It is expected to reduce the amount of water flowing into the reactor basements by up to 100 tonnes a day – a quarter – and relieve pressure on the storage tanks, which will soon reach their capacity.

But the system does not include the coolant water that becomes dangerously contaminated after it is pumped into the basements of three reactors that suffered meltdown after the plant was struck by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

That water will continue to be stored in more than 1,000 tanks at the site, while officials debate how to safely dispose of it. The problem has been compounded by frequent technical glitches afflicting the plant's water purification system.

Tepco and the government are also preparing to build an underground frozen wall around four reactors to block groundwater, although some experts doubt the technology will work on such a large scale. The utility is also building more tanks to increase storage capacity.

Dale Klein, a senior adviser to Tepco, recently warned the firm that it may have no choice but to eventually dump contaminated water into the Pacific.

The first groundwater release went ahead after Tepco assured local fishermen that levels of radioactive isotopes were far lower than those permitted in drinking water by the World Health Organisation.

Tepco described the move as a "major milestone", adding: "The water's quality is monitored regularly by independent third parties using safety and environmental standards more stringent than those set by Japanese law."

The release comes after a Japanese newspaper revealed that almost all of the workers who were at Fukushima Daiichi when a reactor building exploded in March 2011 panicked and fled, defying orders to remain at the site.

The small number of workers, along with firefighters, and soldiers – nicknamed the Fukushima 50 – who did stay behind, working in shifts around the clock to cool nuclear fuel, have been fêted for their heroics.

But the Asahi Shimbun, citing leaked transcripts of testimony from the plant's then manager, Masao Yoshida, revealed this week that of the 720 workers present when a reactor building exploded on 15 March, 650 fled to another power plant about 10km away. Yoshida died of cancer last July.

While the Fukushima cleanup continues, government plans to restart some nuclear reactors were in doubt on Wednesday when a court ordered the operator of a plant in western Japan not to put the facility back online, citing safety concerns.

In a rare victory for anti-nuclear campaigners, the court in Fukui prefecture said Kansai Electric Power should not restart two reactors at Oi nuclear power plant.

All of Japan's dozens of nuclear reactors are idle after being shut down for safety checks in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

"Plaintiffs have rarely won. This is right in the middle of the restart process … it could have very well have repercussions," said Aileen Mioko Smith, executive director of Green Action.Kansai Electric said it would appeal against the decision. - Guardian.