Tuesday, December 30, 2014

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong Magnitude 6.1 Earthquake Strikes Northeast Of Ndoi Island, Fiji! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location map.

December 30, 2014 - FIJI
- A strong magnitude-6.1 earthquake has struck in waters near Fiji on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey says, but there are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

No tsunami warning was in effect after the undersea quake struck 23 miles (37 km) north-northeast of Ndoi Island, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre website.

USGS shakemap intensity.

The temblor struck at 21:17:23 UTC time at a depth of 371.7 miles (598.2 kilometres).

Earthquakes are common to the region, as Fiji lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire,"  an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (greater than 120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate again subducts eastwards beneath the Pacific, at the North New Hebrides trench. At the southern end of this trench, east of the Loyalty Islands, the plate boundary curves east into an oceanic transform-like structure analogous to the one north of Tonga.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 80 to 90 mm/yr along the North New Hebrides trench, but the Australia plate consumption rate is increased by extension in the back arc and in the North Fiji Basin. Back arc spreading occurs at a rate of 50 mm/yr along most of the subduction zone, except near ~15°S, where the D'Entrecasteaux ridge intersects the trench and causes localized compression of 50 mm/yr in the back arc. Therefore, the Australia plate subduction velocity ranges from 120 mm/yr at the southern end of the North New Hebrides trench, to 40 mm/yr at the D'Entrecasteaux ridge-trench intersection, to 170 mm/yr at the northern end of the trench.

Large earthquakes are common along the North New Hebrides trench and have mechanisms associated with subduction tectonics, though occasional strike slip earthquakes occur near the subduction of the D'Entrecasteaux ridge. Within the subduction zone 34 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900. On October 7, 2009, a large interplate thrust fault earthquake (M7.6) in the northern North New Hebrides subduction zone was followed 15 minutes later by an even larger interplate event (M7.8) 60 km to the north. It is likely that the first event triggered the second of the so-called earthquake "doublet".

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


ICE AGE NOW: Arctic Cold Grips California - Rare Snow, Rain And Frost Freeze To Impact Southwest!

December 30, 2014 - CALIFORNIA - A storm and cold air forecast to develop at the end of 2014 and linger into the start of 2015 will deliver snow, rain and a frost or freeze to portions of California.

The coldest air of the winter months so far will settle over California during the middle part of this week.
At the same time, a storm will form nearby and bring snow and slippery travel to the passes and high deserts of California.

While temperatures are not forecast to drop to record-low territory for much of the state, the air will get cold enough long enough to bring a frost and freeze to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, as well as part of the central coast of California.

Record lows over much of the area range from the upper teens to the middle 20s during the end of December into the first part of January. Temperatures are not forecast to drop as low as that of mid-December of 2013.

According to AccuWeather.com Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler, "We expect temperatures to drop to between 24 and 29 degrees F over the San Joaquin Valley with a few isolated cold pockets dipping to 22 F each night through Thursday night."

"Temperatures will drop below 28 F for two to five hours in some locations, which is the level where damage can occur to the citrus crop if preventative measures are not taken," Mohler said.

Temperatures are forecast to drop as low as the middle 20s to near 30 degrees for a couple of hours in agricultural areas of Southern California Thursday night into Friday night.

According to California Citrus Mutual (CCM), the rind on California citrus crops is thicker and offers more protection from freezing temperatures, when compared to those in Florida. Brief episodes with temperatures near or just below freezing contribute to a sweeter crop.

Other fruit, vegetable and flower plants in the state, if left unprotected, could be damaged.

While frosty and freezing temperatures will cause its share of concerns, snow will also visit the region.

Enough snow is forecast to fall on the passes of the state to cause slippery travel and delays.

While a few inches of snow forecast for Donner Pass will be a minor problem for crews and travelers on Interstate 80, even a small amount of snow can lead to major troubles for commuters over Tejon Pass on I-5 and Cajon Pass on I-15.

The snow is forecast to fall over the northern Sierra Nevada along with locally gusty winds on Tuesday and over the mountains of Southern California Tuesday evening into Wednesday.

Showers of rain and wet snow are possible over the high deserts and could reach lower elevations over the interior of Southern California, such as Palm Springs and the Mojave Desert.

The storm will also bring some cold rain showers to coastal Southern California on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, the amount of rain is not likely to significantly impact drought conditions in the region. Little to no rain is forecast in lower elevations with the storm over northern and central California.

More significant rain and snow will fall farther inland over the Southwest. A small amount of snow is forecast to fall on Las Vegas, with heavy snow likely in the mountains of northern Arizona, southern Nevada and the Four Corners region in general.

When combined with brisk winds, AccuWeather.com RealFeel® Temperatures will dip into the 30s at times around Los Angeles and San Diego at midweek for New Year's Eve revelers.

For the thousands of people lining the streets of Pasadena, California, for the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day, temperatures will dip to near the freezing mark during the early morning hours and will climb through the 40s later in the morning with a return of sunshine.

For college football fans heading to the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, temperatures prior to the start of the game will be well into the 50s under sunshine, but will drop back to chilly levels in the evening as the sun goes down.

After the storm finishes its wintry task in the Southwest, it will take aim on the Central and Eastern states this weekend and most likely cause widespread travel problems. - AccuWeather.

POLE SHIFT: Magnetic Polar Migration And Animal Behavior Patterns - Undeniable Evidence That Earth's Magnetic Fields Is Now Twisting, Effects Showing! [VIDEO]

December 30, 2014 - EARTH
- During the 20th century the geomagnetic North Pole moved 1100 km, and since 1970 its rate of motion has accelerated from 9 km/year to approximately 52 km/year (2001–2007 average; see also Polar drift).

NOAA made some significant and apparently linear changes to the pole location data going back to the years 2001 through 2010. The most noticeable result of the changes that they made was an overall linear slow down of the shift during the past decade, although still at a high rate of speed. They have projected positional data through 2015 and have slowed the pace of movement each subsequent year from 30 miles (2012) to 24 miles (2015).

WATCH: Earth's Magnetic Fields Now Twisting, Effects Showing.

Skyception Chapter Three http://twoicefloes.com/your-turn/cont...

Pole Flip AMO cold

Field Line Images http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomagne...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth ...

Maps of Magnetic Field Elements

South Pole

Magnetic Data Change

Polar North

Polar South

Full List of Pole Coordinates

- Adapt 2030.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE & ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Monumental Crisises In Ukraine - Chernobyl-Type Radioactive Leak At Major Nuclear Plant, "Radiation Is 16 TIMES HIGHER Than Acceptable Norm", Second Accident At Plant This Month; And The National Bank Head Declares That The County Is In A "FULL-BLOWN FINANCIAL CRISIS"!

Zaporozhskaya nuclear plant (Photo from www.npp.zp.ua)

December 30, 2014 - UKRAINE
- A radioactive leak has been detected at Ukraine’s Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe, a media report says, citing the country’s emergency services. The report claims that levels of radiation are 16 times the legally permitted norm.

published a leaked report by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, which denies an earlier assessment by the plant’s authorities that the radiation at the facility is equal to the natural background following an incident on Sunday.

RT is trying to verify the report.

On Sunday, one reactor at the plant was automatically shut down after a glitch, becoming the second halt in operations in recent weeks. The reactor was running at 40 percent of nominal power, the plant's official website said, adding that radiation at the facility being at the level of 8-12 microroentgens an hour.

The error was later announced to have been corrected, and the troubled unit – Power Block # 6 – was plugged back into the network.

On November 28, Zaporizhia's Unit 3 was switched off for almost a week. The shutdown, which was reportedly caused by a short circuit, was made public five days later, when Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk revealed it during the first meeting of his new Cabinet.

Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is one of the four nuclear power plants in the country, which together supply a large part of Ukraine's energy needs. The Zaporizhia plant alone, Europe's largest, supplies at least one-fifth of the country’s power needs. It is the world’s fifth-largest nuclear power plant. - RT.

One unit of Ukraine’s Zaporozhiya nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has been taken offline… State nuclear power company Energoatom says the unit was disconnected… to prevent internal damage to the generator. It did not give further details, but said radiation in the area is within acceptable limits. It is the second time this month that a unit at the plant has been taken out of service… - AP.

Ukraine turns off reactor at its most powerful nuclear plant after ‘accident’
; Prime Minister calls for the truth as electrical fault revives memories of Chernobyl… An official statement said the plant was “operating at 40 per cent power… The reasons for the outage are being investigated”… Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, noted the previous outage… urging ministers to tell the truth about “the accident”… In May the power station was the backdrop to an armed confrontation… the pro-Ukrainian paramilitary force… said it had come to remove “pro-Russian” agitators who, it claimed, had been operating inside the plant. - The Independent.

Radiation Levels Spike at Zaporhizhia Nuclear Plant: DPR Official
— According to Donetsk People’s Republic official radiation spike was caused by a failed attempt to replace Russian-made fuel rods with US components. Radiation levels at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant are 14 times higher than normal, according to DPR representative Denis Pushilin… Energoatom denied Pushilin’s claims… - Rossiya Segodnya.

Interfax reported that in a statement on Dec. 28, Pushilin said Ukraine faces “a second Chornobyl” due to Kyiv’s decision to use nuclear fuel supplied by Westinghouse… Westinghouse has a contract to supply some 10 percent to 15 percent of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel. - RFE.

Separatist Official Warns Of Second Chornobyl
… Pushilin said “currently the level of radiation is 14 times higher than the acceptable norm” in the area… [Interfax] noted that it could not confirm “from any other source” the separatist official’s claim of dangerous levels of radioactivity. - RFE.

Emergency shutdown at Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant
This accident took place on Sunday morning… Causes are still being investigated Two Zaporizhia NPP reactors are to be decommissioned for complete overhaul in February 2015… Throughout 2014 Zaporizhzhya NPP came into the spotlight of world media on several occasions. In May, Ukrainian police prevented a group of armed men… from entering… Then the news came that Kiev had signed a new deal with America’s leading nuclear fuel producer, Westinghouse… This was done despite the fact that using US fuel rods was banned in 2012 due to dangerous incompatibility In August, Greenpeace expressed concern that Zaporizhia NPP is vulnerable to ‘direct bombardment’ in Ukraine if caught in the conflict. - RT.

Video about the initial incident here.

Several of the reports above were compiled by ENE News.

Ukraine in ‘full-blown financial crisis’ – National Bank head

Valeria Gontareva, the head of Ukraine's Central Bank, attends a news conference in Kiev December 30, 2014 (Reuters / Konstantin Grishin)

Ukraine’s GDP shrank by 7.5 percent from January till November 2014, as foreign exchange reserves fell to their lowest level since 2009, and inflation jumped to 21 percent by November, admits the head of the Ukraine’s National Bank, Valeriya Gontareva.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves shrank to $9.9 billion, as Kiev gave Naftogaz an estimated $8.6 billion to buy gas and settle state guaranteed Eurobonds. $3.1 billion went to settle the debt with Russia’s Gazprom, Gontareva explained.

The conflict over Russia’s reunification with Crimea has killed more than 4,700 people has also killed the economy.

“There is a full-blown financial crisis,”
Gontareva told reporters Tuesday. “We can only overcome it if we implement quick and even extreme reforms.”

economy: 'Worst year since WWII'

Ukraine’s national currency, the hryvnia, has lost half of its value by November.

“…. There’s almost 100 percent devaluation in the country. From the economic territory, it’s called a 50 percent devaluation,”
Gontareva said.

She said it is impossible to keep the hryvnia stable.

“This is simply an unrealistic task, because it’s not fixed in any constitution.”

Earlier in the week, after the unprecedented 10–hour session the Ukrainian parliament adopted the 2015 budget that sees a number of drastic cuts and import duty raised to 10 percent, which should give way to new IMF funds. The last IMF estimate showed that Ukraine needs another $15 billion, on top of the $17 billion the Fund had already agreed to allocate. - RT.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Precursors To A Major Solar System Disturbance - Huge Fireball Lights Up The North American East Coast; American Meteor Society Received Over 330 Reports! [VIDEO]

December 30, 2014 - NORTH AMERICA
- People along the East Coast reported seeing a bright fireball in the skies on Monday evening at about 6:35 p.m.

The American Meteor Society says it received more than 330 reports.

The fireball was seen from Montreal, Canada to Maryland and Delaware.

Peter Czech captured video of the fireball on a dashcam as he drove near I-287 and the Route 10 interchange.

One person in New Hampshire reported seeing flames.

A person in Sicklerville, New Jersey reported that they were driving in their car and were not sure if it was a fireball or a spent firework because of what they saw.

Peter Czech captured video of the fireball on a Garmin camera as he drove near I-287 and the Route 10 interchange in Hanover.

WATCH: Huge fireball lights up East Coast.

If you saw the fireball and you would like to report it, you can go to the AMS website. - MYFOXNY.

DELUGE & GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tropical Storm Jangmi Triggers Widespread Flash Flooding And Massive Landslides In Disaster-Ravaged Philippines - At Least 31 Dead, 7 Missing; 13,000 Displaced; STATE OF CALAMITY Declared!

A policewoman helps a boy wade through floodwaters during heavy flooding brought by tropical storm Seniang in Misamis Oriental,
Mindanao island in southern Philippines December 29, 2014 (Reuters / Erwin Frames)

December 30, 2014 - THE PHILIPPINES
- Tropical storm Jangmi has left 31 people dead and seven missing after triggering massive landslides and flash floods in the Philippines, officials said Tuesday.

The storm, known locally as Seniang, first made landfall Monday morning in Surigao del Sur, a southeastern province, according to government officials. Prior to landfall, torrents of rain and wind plagued the region for three days, causing Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Piemenel to declare “a state of calamity.”

The storm sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour, with gusts reaching 80 kilometers an hour lashing through the central Philippines on Tuesday, according to AP.

WATCH: Tropical Storm Jangmi Becomes Deadly.

An estimated 13,000 people were displaced from their homes due to flood concerns as Jangmi drifted northwest, AFP reported. Some 1,700 had been evacuated prior to the storm’s arrival, Gulf News reported.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, the eye of the storm was 140 kilometers southwest of central Iloilo City, moving west at 19 kilometers an hour toward western Palawan Island, according to the government weather bureau. Officials have reported that water in some areas is “neck deep.”

National civil defense chief Alexander Pama warned that floods and landslides pose the greatest danger to the population.

Policemen evacuate families trapped in their home during heavy flooding brought by tropical storm Seniang in Misamis Oriental, Mindanao
island in southern Philippines December 29, 2014 (Reuters / Erwin Frames)

Residents help each other out from their inundated neighborhoods after rains spawned by a tropical storm, locally known as Seniang, caused flooding in
Misamis Oriental on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on December 29, 2014 (AFP Photo / Erwin Mascarinas)

(REUTERS/ Erwin Frames)

“We are focused on floods and landslides because, while the storm’s winds are weak, it will bring heavy rain,”
he told local radio.

Olive Luces, a regional civil defense official, quoted in the AP, said that 11 members of a family were killed when their house was washed away by flash floods in central Cebu province.

An eight-year-old Cebu girl drowned after floodwaters washed her home away, while two teenage boys were electrocuted to death when wading through floodwaters in the Bohol province, according to regional civil defense officer Allen Cabaron, Gulf News reported. Many houses, meanwhile, have been buried in landslides.

This image obtained from NASA, shows Tropical Storm Jangmi over the Philippines on December 29, 2014 (AFP Photo / NASA)

Burst riverbanks inundated roads and highways in knee-deep waters while washing away bridges and cars, Cabaron said.

Ten flights to and from the affected areas were canceled Tuesday, the Manila airport authority said in a statement. Jangmi is expected to turn away from the Philippines by New Year’s Day.

The Philippines suffers a particularly high volume of tropical cyclones. On average about 20 storms per year hit the country.

WATCH: Tropical Storm Jangmi / Seniang Moves in to the Sulu Sea.

Just last month, Super Typhoon Hagupit killed 18 people and caused $114 million in damage as it slammed across the country.

Last year Super Typhoon Haiyan left over 7,000 people dead and wiped out entire villages. - RT.

CONTAGION: Ebola Scare - Health Worker Taken To London Clinic After Virus Confirmed!

A picture shows a general view of The Royal Free hospital in north London on December 30, 2014, where the first Ebola patient to be diagnosed
in the UK will be treated after being airlifted from Glasgow (AFP Photo / Leon Neal)

December 30, 2014 - ENGLAND
- A British health worker who contracted the Ebola virus has been taken to a specialist treatment center in London after returning from Sierra Leone.

Pauline Cafferkey, originally from Glasgow, had traveled via Casablanca to London Heathrow. When authorities confirmed she had Ebola, it is understood she returned to London from Glasgow in an RAF military plane.

While British officials say the risk of Ebola spreading is “very low,” passengers on board flights taken by the woman are being traced. The government has also affirmed it is doing “absolutely everything it needs to” to ensure public safety.

“We are also reviewing our procedures and protocols for all the other NHS workers who are working at the moment in Sierra Leone,”
said UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

An Ebola patient is transferred on to a Hercules transport plane at Glasgow Airport in Scotland December 30, 2014, to be transported to London
(Reuters / Stringer)

Cafferkey, who has worked as a nurse for 16 years, had been volunteering with the charity Save the Children in Sierra Leone, one of the countries most severely hit by the virus since the outbreak earlier this year.

She was working in the 'Red Zone'- an area near Freetown, considered to be one of the most dangerous territories in the country.

The new case follows the successful treatment of William Pooley, a British nurse who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone. Pooley was cleared of the virus in September after receiving treatment at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

While Ebola has affected few people in the West, it has claimed more than 7,000 lives across West Africa, in what is seen as one of the region’s biggest humanitarian disasters in history.

In October, Hunt told MPs that the UK was likely to see several cases of people who have contracted Ebola, and introduced mandatory testing in British airports for individuals traveling to and from West Africa.

“The risk of the general public in this country catching Ebola remains very low. However, we still estimate that there could be a handful of cases in this country over the coming months,”
said the chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies.

“The NHS is very well prepared for Ebola and the requirement for screening at selected ports of entry is being kept continually under review.”

Two other Britons, one of whom is believed to be an aid worker, are also being tested for Ebola in Scotland and Cornwall, after both experienced symptoms linked to the virus. - RT.

Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak

ICE AGE NOW: Increasing Signs Of Global Cooling - Large Volumes Of Methane Being Released In The Arctic Ocean, Due To Melting Of Permafrost On The Seafloor Of The Kara Sea!

Kara Sea is a section of the Arctic Ocean between Novaya Zemlya and the Yamal Peninsula on the Siberian mainland.
Siberian permafrost extends to the seabed of the Kara Sea, and it is thawing.  © NASA

December 30, 2014 - ARCTIC OCEAN
- Researchers from Norway and Russia have found significant amount of the greenhouse gas methane is leaking from an area of the Arctic seabed off the northern coast of Siberia.

According to the team's report in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, the melting of permafrost on the seafloor of the Kara Sea is releasing previously-sequestered methane.

"The thawing of permafrost on the ocean floor is an ongoing process, likely to be exaggerated by the global warming of the world´s oceans," said study author Alexey Portnov at Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment (CAGE) at The Arctic University of Norway.

Permafrost is considered soil that has been permanently frozen for at least two years and is usually much thicker on land where temperatures can stay far below the freezing point for months on end.

"Bottom water temperature is usually close to or above zero. Theoretically, therefore, we could never have thick permafrost under the sea," Portnov explained.

He added that 20,000 years ago, during the last ice age, the sea level dropped nearly 400 feet.

"It means that today´s shallow shelf area was land. It was Siberia. And Siberia was frozen," Portnov said. "The permafrost on the ocean floor today was established in that period."

When the last ice age ended around 12,000 years ago, the Kara Sea became submerged by water - kicking off a slow thaw of the previously-terrestrial permafrost. While previous research has shown that this permafrost extends down around 330 feet, the new study has found evidence of methane leaking from much shallower depths - between 66 and 100 feet.

"The permafrost is thawing from two sides," Portnov said. "The interior of the Earth is warm and is warming the permafrost from the bottom up. It is called geothermal heat flux and it is happening all the time, regardless of human influence."

Using mathematical models based on expected conditions, the study team concluded that the maximal possible permafrost thickness would take around 9000 years to thaw. If Arctic Ocean temperatures were to increase due to global warming, the process would accelerate, the researchers noted.

"If the temperature of the oceans increases by two degrees as suggested by some reports, it will accelerate the thawing to the extreme," Portnov said. "A warming climate could lead to an explosive gas release from the shallow areas."
In addition to containing methane in seafloor sediments, permafrost also serves to stabilize ice-like structures called gas hydrates that form under high pressure and low temperatures.

"Gas hydrates normally form in water depths over 300 meters (980 feet), because they depend on high pressure," Portnov said. "But under permafrost the gas hydrate may stay stable even where the pressure is not that high, because of the constantly low temperatures."

Gas hydrates typically contain large volumes of gas and their release would generate massive sinkholes like those currently being formed by melting permafrost on the Siberian mainland. - Red Orbit.

CONTAGION: Second Patient Being Tested For Ebola In Scotland - Patient Is A Returning Healthcare Worker From West Africa; First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Says Patient Had No Known Contact With The Deadly Virus?!

An Ebola patient is transferred on to a Hercules transport plane at Glasgow Airport in Scotland December 30, 2014, to be transported to London
(Reuters / Stringer)

December 30, 2014 - SCOTLAND
- A second patient in Scotland is being tested for Ebola after returning from West Africa, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, Reuters reported.

Sturgeon said there was a low risk of Ebola being confirmed in this case, as the patient had no known contact with the virus.

"Although this is another returning healthcare worker from West Africa, the patient here has had no, as far as we're aware, direct contact with people infected with Ebola,"
Sturgeon told BBC radio.

Earlier on Tuesday a female health worker who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in Britain was taken from a hospital in Scotland and will be transferred to London.

The woman will be treated in an isolation unit at the capital's Royal Free Hospital, Britain's designated Ebola treatment center, Reuters cited government officials as saying.

Earlier this year another British aid worker, William Pooley, who was diagnosed with Ebola in Sierra Leone was transported to London, where he was successfully treated.

He later agreed to donate blood plasma to try and combat the disease. He subsequently returned to Sierra Leone to continue helping local health workers. - RT.

Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak

RATTLE & HUM: Another Mysterious Explosion Heard In Bingham County, Idaho - Two Incidents In One Week Unnerve Residents, As Loud Booms Shook Their Homes?!

December 30, 2014 - IDAHO, UNITED STATES
- Bingham County residents are reporting a second mysterious explosion less than a week after the first blast triggered several 911 calls.

Residents in the town of Riverside reported to the local media Sunday evening that they not only heard a loud explosion but the boom was powerful enough to shake their homes.

However, the Bingham County Sheriff's Office says that it did not receive any calls from residents about Sunday night's alleged blast.

This is in stark contrast to the explosion that several Groveland residents reported to the Sheriff's Office on Wednesday afternoon.

Those reports prompted sheriff's deputies, Blackfoot fire units and Idaho State Police to respond to Groveland to find what blew up.

But their search of the area turned up nothing.

Riverside is located about three miles west of Blackfoot, while Groveland is about two miles northwest of Blackfoot. Riverside and Groveland have about 850 residents each.

Because no one reported Sunday night's explosion to the Sheriff's Office it's unclear if the incident is going to be investigated.

When contacted Friday about the Wednesday explosion, the Sheriff's Office had no leads on what caused the blast.

Dozens of Groveland and Riverside residents have commented about the explosions on social media. - Idaho State Journal.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Plane Wreckage Found - Over 40 Bodies Recovered!

Indonesian military pilots look at a flight plan before setting out for a search mission for AirAsia's Flight QZ8501 in Pangkal Pinang,
Bangka island December 30, 2014 (Reuters / Darren Whiteside)

December 30, 2014 - INDONESIA
- Over 40 bodies have been recovered from the missing AirAsia flight, the Indonesian Navy said. Objects resembling parts of the plane, as well as what was thought to be the plane’s outline underwater, were seen in the search area.

“There was a man swaying on the waves. After I looked at the photo carefully on my laptop, I understood it was a human body,”
a lieutenant of the Indonesian Air Force told local media.

The bodies so far found have been brought to an Indonesian Navy ship, National Search and Rescue Director Supriyadi told. The corpses were swollen, but intact, and did not have life jackets on, he said, as cited by AP.

WATCH: Graphic video - AirAsia wreckage found, dozens of bodies recovered.

Several family members of missing passengers burst into tears or fainted when they saw footage of bodies floating in the water.

It comes after objects that resemble an emergency slide, plane door, and a square box-like item have been spotted 10km from the last position of the missing AirAsia jet, according to Indonesian authorities.

“We spotted about 10 big objects and many more small white-colored objects which we could not photograph,” Indonesian Air Force official Agus Dwi Putranto said at a press conference.

An AFP photographer from the same search flight said he had observed objects in the sea resembling a life raft, life jackets and long orange tubes.

A screen grab from TV One shows a rescuer evacuates a victim body of AirAsia

: Objects seen in sea resembling life raft, life jackets

: Objects seen in sea resembling life raft, life jackets

Indonesian officials have expressed concern over the currents in the sea, saying if bad weather persists, debris could be spread before crews get to it.

The sea depth where the debris was found is between 25 and 30 meters, so divers will be used in the recovery operation, Indonesian search and rescue agency BASARNAS stated.

At least 20 divers are preparing and will be deployed to the site immediately, Indonesia’s search and rescue chief stated.

An Airbus A320-200 carrying 162 people and operated by Indonesia AirAsia disappeared in poor weather on Sunday morning during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Airforce soldiers onboard a Hercules C130 stand monitor the Belitung Timur sea during search operations for AirAsia flight QZ8501
near Belitung island (Reuters / Wahyu Putro)

: '10 big objects spotted', not yet clear if part of missing plane

Reuters / Wahyu Putro

"Hopefully we will find something definite because I haven't received anything else,"
an Air Force official told MetroTV referring to the reported debris. "Other aircraft are still carrying out searches."

Currently, at least 30 vessels, 15 planes, and seven choppers are looking for the AirAsia jet, Indonesian officials have stated.

Most of the search is conducted by Indonesia, but Singapore, Malaysia and Australia are taking part as well.
Thailand is planning to join the search, while the US has sent a warship to help. - RT.

DISASTER PRECURSORS: Omen – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Mass Animal Die-Offs, Appearance Of Rare Creatures And Warnings From Mother Nature!

December 30, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

100,000 dead starfish found washed ashore on Fripp Island, S.Carolina, United States

Photo: Rick Stein

Thousands of starfish were stranded on Fripp Island on Christmas Eve, likely because of the day's stormy weather, according to a marine veterinarian.

Al Segars of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources said he had not looked into the stranding, but said strong winds could have caused the creatures, also known as sea stars, to wash ashore. Christmas Day beachgoers estimated that roughly 100,000 sea stars were on the beach.

The Sea Islands experienced the same thing last year, Segars said.

"I wouldn't say it's anything out of the ordinary," he said. "These guys are just sitting on the bottom, so if you've got a strong wave action, they can't fight the current."

George Sedberry, a science coordinator in national Office of Marine Sanctuaries, said he has not studied this stranding but offered other possible explanations for the sea stars' deaths.

The creatures have poor tolerance for water with low dissolved oxygen, which can wreck a population, Sedberry said. Those events are commonly reported in the Myrtle Beach area, but a dip in oxygen levels is unlikely to occur in the winter or as far south as Fripp, Sedberry said.

Some of the sea stars could also have been unintentionally caught by shrimp trawlers and then discarded, Sedberry said. He noted there may have been increased fishing to meet seafood demand for the holidays, as well as to prepare for the upcoming end of commercial shrimping season.

Segars said it's possible fishing played a role in the stranding, though he's seen similar events before when no trawling was occurring.

"I don't know how you would differentiate between the two (causes)," he added.

A wasting disease has decimated Pacific starfish populations in recent years, but Segars said he is confident a virus is not to blame."We haven't seen any evidence of that" in this area, he said.  - The State.

Bean goose from Eurasia takes a wrong turn and winds up on the Oregon Coast, United States

A tundra bean-goose (top) has been spotted at the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.   © Sarah Swanson

A bird rarely seen in North America has turned a small bay on the Oregon Coast into a major destination for bird watchers this winter.

Sarah Swanson and her husband Max Smith run a blog in Portland called the Must-See Bird Blog. They tried to explain what it's like to spot a tundra bean-goose at Nestucca Bay in Oregon.

"It's just so exciting, I'm trying to compare it something for a non-birder," Swanson said.

"Maybe it's like running into a celebrity at the mall, someone you've always idolized," Smith suggested.

Yes, in the celebrity news of bird watching this has been a top story. It's the first-ever confirmed sighting of a tundra bean-goose in the lower 48. Usually these brown and gray geese spend their winters in Asia and Europe.

In birding parlance, seeing one here is a "mega-rarity."

WATCH: Tundra Bean Goose at Nestucca.

A bird rarely seen in North America has turned a small bay on the Oregon Coast into a major destination for bird watchers this winter.

Sarah Swanson and her husband Max Smith run a blog in Portland called the Must-See Bird Blog. They tried to explain what it's like to spot a tundra bean-goose at Nestucca Bay in Oregon.

"It's just so exciting, I'm trying to compare it something for a non-birder," Swanson said.

Distribution map

"Maybe it's like running into a celebrity at the mall, someone you've always idolized," Smith suggested.

Yes, in the celebrity news of bird watching this has been a top story. It's the first-ever confirmed sighting of a tundra bean-goose in the lower 48. Usually these brown and gray geese spend their winters in Asia and Europe.

In birding parlance, seeing one here is a "mega-rarity." - NW News Network.

Warbler that should be wintering in western Mexico turns up in Louisiana, United States

Lucy's Warbler. It is normally found in the Sonoran desert and winters along the Pacific coast of northern Mexico.

A bird rarely seen in Louisiana was among 130 species heard or spotted on Grand Isle during the National Audubon Society's annual winter bird count.

Range Map

A Lucy's warbler, which normally lives in the U.S. Southwest or in Mexico, was the exciting find of the day on Grand Isle, said Chris Brantley, who organized the count on Louisiana's only inhabited barrier island and one of nearly 30 planned around Louisiana between mid-December and Jan. 5.

There are only a few records of the bird ever being seen in Louisiana, Brantley said. - The Courier.

100 TONS of fish suddenly die in Lake Maninjau, Indonesia

Fishermen sell their catch fish

Padang-Farmers fish cages in the area of Lake Maninjau, Agam, West Sumatra received another bullet at the end of this year.
Due to bad weather around 100 tonnes of fish belonging to the farmer died suddenly.
Head of Marine and Fisheries (DKP) Erwanto Agam said heavy rain and strong winds over the last few days in the area, led to the reversal of water to the surface resulting in a lack of oxygen.

"It is causing the fish to die. Because the water flow conditions in Maninjau is very vulnerable to bad weather, "he said on Monday (29/12).

He said the dead fish are located in Bayua and Nagari Nagari Maninjau, District of Tanjung Raya each of 70 tons and 30 tons.

The fish deaths caused losses of farmers reached 2.9 billion, with prices at the farm level Rp29,000 per kilogram.

It is estimated that the potential of fish die due to bad weather will continue until a few days ahead. Because of heavy rainfall and strong winds are still potentially hit Maninjau area until early next year.

Erwanto previously mentioned Agam District Government has issued a circular to farmers to be aware of extreme weather throughout October 2014 until January 2015, by not stocking.

"We've asked people not to spread the seeds throughout the period, because the weather is not good that cause fish to die," he said.

However, himbaun it, said Erwanto not too heard the people who mostly work as a fish farmer.

To avoid greater losses, he asked farmers fish cages in Maninjau early harvesting and reduce seeding until the end of January. Until recently the number of cages in the area of ​​Lake Maninjau reach 18,000 units with an overall production capacity of 18,000 tons of fish or one ton per unit cage with a size of 5 x 5 meters. - Kabar 24. [Translated]

3 residents attacked by possibly sick coyote in Fremont, California, United States

Residential street in Fremont where a coyote was killed by police after attacking three people on Christmas Day.  © ABC7 News

On Christmas afternoon, Fremont police received several calls about coyote attacks.

The first call came in at 5:41 p.m. about a 42-year-old man who was walking to his car parked in front of a home in the 3100 block of Starr Street when a coyote bit his leg, according to police.

The man apparently ran with his children toward a house and the coyote followed the group. Everyone was able to get inside before the coyote followed, police said.

The man was then driven to a hospital to treat the bite.

Officers responded to the area, but could not find the animal.

Then at 6:28 p.m. a second call came in from a man who said he was running near his home on Montevideo Circle when he thought a wolf was chasing him. The man apparently kicked the animal off him and safely returned home.

Officers responded to the area, which was near where the first attack occurred, and looked for the animal.

During the search a third call came about a boy who had been bitten around 5:30 p.m. while walking on Via Oporto, about a block away. The boy's father had scared off the coyote, police said.

Officers eventually found the coyote on Nido Court, about a mile away, around 6:50 p.m. The animal looked sick and possibly injured, police said.

Officers killed the coyote and took its body to the Tri-City Animal Shelter in Fremont where animal service officers tested the animal for rabies and other diseases.

The victims attacked by the coyote were not seriously injured. All were treated and released from the hospital, police said.  - ABC 7 News.

Mass die off of fish in fish farms of Jakarta, Indonesia

Photo: dock bppt

Mass death of fish in the reservoir allegedly caused water pollution leading to a reduction of dissolved oxygen (Dissolved Oxygen / DO).

Pollution of the waters of the reservoir is not only due to the existence of floating net cages exceed the carrying capacity of the environment, but because it is a downstream reservoir watershed that has been contaminated by sewage.

Floating net cage fish farmers (KJA) in waters Cirata, West Java, helm obtain weather forecast information hostile conditions the next few weeks. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) predicts the peak of the rainy season occurs early January to February 2015.

Learning from the experience of previous years, entered the peak of the rainy season means it will appear threat of mass death of fish (KMI) in waters Cirata. Signs before the events of the IMA, usually cloudy sky for a few days with the wind.

Therefore, these days most of the farmers did not dare to speculate with the weather conditions. "Because the weather is getting a bit ugly, some farmers to harvest fish early KJA. There are also farmers who plant the seeds reduce fish so great loss, "said fish farmers KJA, Maman, told The Jakarta, last week.

Farmer losses could reach millions of dollars for failing to harvest fish cultivation KJA. Head of the Regional Office Technical Implementation Unit (UPTD) Aquaculture Fisheries Development Center Public Bodies Cirata, Ade Durahman, giving examples of November occurred KMI around 153 tonnes due to the quality of water decreases dramatically.

Of the total of KMI, which absorbed about 85 percent of the market price of six thousand dollars per kilogram. "Dead fish only sold six thousand dollars, whereas fish fresh condition can be sold up to 18 thousand dollars per kilogram," said Ade, last week.

In fact, said Ade, dead fish could not have prices so the majority of farmers accidentally let it rot in the waters of the reservoir. This fish spoilage and polluting the waters thereby increasing the environmental burden in the reservoir.

"The carcasses of dead fish are left to rot in the waters of the reservoir can cause odor and make the water reservoir becomes rancid and slimy," said researcher Associate environmental technology Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), Nawa Suwendi, told The Jakarta, recently .

To prevent pollution of the water reservoir once the IMA, originally was published in West Java Governor Decree No. 41 of 2002 on Development and Utilization of Agricultural Land and Reservoir Region. KJA development in Cirata limited to 12 thousand plots. "In fact, now this number reached 53 thousand plots KJA," said Ade.

Approach is difficult to apply the law, deception Ade, because Cirata wide. This reservoir has a total area of ​​7,111 hectares (ha) (including land) and a broad pool of approximately 6,200 ha. In addition, the presence of reservoirs in the three districts, namely West Bandung, Purwakarta, and Cianjur it difficult for enforcement.
Reduced DO

When law enforcement does not work, the researchers tried to find the root causes of the IMA to offer a solution. KMI in Cirata allegedly caused water pollution leading to a reduction of dissolved oxygen (Dissolved Oxygen / DO).

Investigate a investigate, water pollution Cirata not only due to the presence of KJA which exceeds the carrying capacity of the environment, more so because Cirata is downstream of the flow of water from the River (Citarum and Cicendo) actually has contaminated domestic and industrial waste in the form of organic materials and inorganic.

"The level of pollution of the waters of the reservoir influenced their activities in the upstream watershed (DAS) that goes into the reservoir and the activity in the reservoir itself," said Nawa. The effects of increasing pollution of reservoirs in the form of organic load and downs of the carrying capacity of the environment may cause a reduction in DO.

DO condition that usually gets worse when the weather is less friendly. Nawa explain the rainy season like now it will affect the discharge of rivers that flow into the reservoir to be able to cause the flow pattern in the waters of the reservoir. Flow pattern in this reservoir can cause the spread of pollution and sediments in the reservoir teraduknya.

"Teraduknya reservoir bottom sediment (organic matter) can interfere with the process of photosynthesis in aquatic organisms resulting in lower levels of DO," said with a doctorate from the University of Indonesia.

Decreased levels of DO in the rainy season, said Nawa, compounded when the winds blowing parallel to the coast resulting in flows perpendicular to the coast, causing upwelling. Occurrence will result in the lifting of the upwelling of nutrients that exist in the base to the surface. The high nutrients in the surface can lead to hinder the process of photosynthesis organisms that live in the waters.

"Disruption of the process of photosynthesis means that inhibits the production of oxygen in aquatic organisms," explained Nawa. The process of photosynthesis is also disturbed when clumps of clouds covering the sun rays to the Earth's surface.

Nawa continue lasting cloud cover also affect the temperature of the air at the surface. The surface air temperature would then affect the temperature of the water reservoir, causing reduction in DO. "Reduced DO is what causes the IMA," said Nawa.
Sustainable Production

Based on the research Nawa, KMI in Cirata in a year can occur more than once.
In addition to the environmental impact, a negative impact on the economy KMI KJA owners who lost their capital and workers who have lost their livelihoods.

The collectors and fish traders are also affected because they could not sell. In the end, the supply source of protein ordinary people who eat fish also disrupted.

Cirata fish production, said Ade, so far to supply the protein source community in West Java, Central Java, and Jakarta. "Cirata fish production reached 240 tons per day," he said.

Therefore, Nawa KJA suggested that fish farmers should not lose money in producing fish farming remains the balance between environmental, economic, and social. The balance of these three aspects are the pillars of sustainable development. That is, when building a fish farming business KJA still consider the carrying capacity of the environment to the economy they are not disturbed because acaman KMI. No less important than that, the supply of protein for fish consumption did not break down. - Koran Jakarta. [Translated]

42,000 Chickens culled after another avian flu outbreak in Miyazaki, Japan

Japan's Miyazaki prefectural government has ordered the culling of 42,000 chickens on a farm after a second bird flu outbreak, media reported Monday.

Chickens at the poultry farm in the Uranomyo area in Miyazaki tested positive for the H5 strain of the bird flu, the prefectural government said Sunday.

The prefectural government has set up 10 sterilisation points around the affected farm.

The latest case marks the second time a highly pathogenic bird flu strain has been confirmed in Japan this year, Japan Times reported.

On Dec 16, the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus was confirmed at a poultry farm in the city of Nobeoka, also in Miyazaki prefecture, where about 4,000 chickens were killed.

A prefectural official said it was uncertain whether the latest case is linked to the Nobeoka one.

On Sunday, the poultry farm in Uranomyo first reported to the Miyazaki government that chicken deaths seemed to be on the rise there. As the prefecture conducted a test on five dead chickens and another five that were alive, all the dead chickens tested positive for bird flu.

The government has prohibited moving chickens within a radius of three km of the outbreak and shipments of another 1.93 million chickens in other areas within 10 km have been banned.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed related ministries to ensure that proper quarantine measures are taken. The central government will soon dispatch an emergency assistance team to the affected area. - Business Standard.

FUK-U-SHIMA: National Academy of Sciences - The Radiation From Fukushima Will Likely See Peak By End Of 2015 Along The United States West Coast?!

A crane works on the building covering No. 1 reactor (L) at the TEPCO's tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi
nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture in November.

December 30, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- Scientists keeping tabs on the eastward voyage of radioactive byproducts from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power-station disaster in Japan suggest that radioactivity from the byproducts should peak off the US and Canadian coasts by the end of next year. After that, they are expected to begin a gradual decline to background levels.

The chief concern: Radioactivity from cesium-137, the longest-lived of two forms of cesium released in the disaster, which ocean surface currents have carried east. At its peak, levels of radioactivity from cesium-137 will still fall far below levels that the US and Canadian governments deem safe for drinking water, according to data in a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The nuclear power station lost emergency power when it was hit by a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9 earthquake offshore on March 11, 2011. As a result, the plant couldn't keep reactors cool or spent-fuel pools filled. Three of four reactors partially melted, while hydrogen explosions wracked buildings containing the reactors. The event released significant amounts of radiation, including leaks of radioactive water to the ocean.

Combined with background levels of cesium-137 radiation that remain from above-ground nuclear-weapons tests conducted in the 1950s and '60s, the additional cesium-137 from Fukushima is projected to push the isotope's watery radiation levels back up to where they were in the 1980s, the study indicates. At that time, radiation from cesium-137 in fish tissue was so low that people were far more concerned about mercury in tuna than cesium.

The team looked for cesium-134 to herald the arrival of Fukushima's cesium-137. Nuclear reactors produce both, but cesium-134 loses half its radioactivity every two years. Cesium-137, with its 30-year half life, is the more worrisome of the two forms isotopes. If researchers detected only cesium-137, they knew they were looking at the post-nuclear-testing background. If they saw both forms of cesium at the same time, they knew Fukushima's cesium-137 had arrived and could estimate its contribution beyond background cesium radiation levels.

Cesium-137 from Fukushima reached the western end of the sampling string in 2012, and by June 2013 had reached sampling sites on the continental shelf, noted John Smith, a chemical oceanographer at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, at the time.

The new study includes additional data taken in February 2014, data that the team finished processing during the summer, writes Dr. Smith in an e-mail.

"The conclusions haven't changed," he writes, referring to projections that even at its peak, radiation from cesium-137 should remain far below levels that are deemed a threat to human health or to the environment.

The background level runs about 1 Becquerel – the decay of one cesium-137 nucleus each second – per cubic meter of water. At its peak, the radiation level is expected to reach about 3 to 5 Becquerels per cubic meter of water. By contrast, Canada's drinking-water standard for cesium-137 is 10,000 Becquerels per cubic meter.

If the added data haven't altered the team's basic conclusion, they have helped sift among competing projections offered by other research teams. In one projection, cesium-137 levels were slated to begin rising in late 2014 with a peak around 2017. The other had an earlier onset to the increase, with the peak coming in late 2015.

Data available last February were too sparse to provide a reality check on the models. With the additional data, however, the second projection seems the most likely, providing "greater certainty in future projections of the Fukushima radioactivity signal in the eastern North Pacific Ocean," Smith writes.

Meanwhile, Fukushima's cesium-137 also has appeared off the northern California coast, Ken Buesseler, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, reported in early November.

Dr. Buesseler and colleagues have enlisted citizen scientists to gather water samples for analysis in a monitoring project that uses crowd-sourced funding to underwrite the effort.

The sample was collected in August about 100 miles west of Eureka. It contained cesium-134, whose radiation was recorded at 2 Becquerels per cubic meter of water, more than 1,000 times less than the US Environmental Protections Agency's maximum level for drinking water.  - CS Monitor.