Friday, November 27, 2015

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Big Lava Breakout At Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano - Sends Waves Of Molten Lava Cascading Downslope!


November 27, 2015 - PUNA, HAWAII - A huge breakout on the north flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent on the East Rift Zone of Kilauea volcano is sending waves of molten lava cascading downslope.

Video of the event was recorded on Thanksgiving by Mick Kalber, filming from a Paradise Helicopters overflight.




Kalber says the tube opening begins about 150 yards below the vent and over the past two days has sent hot liquid rock more than a quarter mile down the north flank.

The breakout was noted in today’s USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory eruption update.


WATCH: Lava breakout at Kilauea.




“A breakout close to Puʻu ʻŌʻō was prominently visible on a nearby webcam beginning yesterday afternoon and continuing through the night,” scientists wrote.

“The lava flow is not currently threatening any communities.” - BIVN.



PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Coast Of Chile - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

November 27, 2015 - CHILE - A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck off the northern part of the Chilean coast, according to the national seismological center.

The US Geological Survey has measured the quake at magnitude 6.2, with the epicenter located some 70km north of Taltal, Chile.

The quake was relatively shallow and struck some 32 km (20.5 miles) below the seabed.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the tremor, initially reported by the Chilean national seismological center as magnitude 6.4.

Strong shaking was felt in the area of Atacama Desert in the north of the country, according to local authorities, who are in the process of assessing any possible damage.


USGS shakemap intensity.


In the meantime, the Chilean navy said they were not expecting a tsunami and were not issuing an alert.In September, a massive 8.3 earthquake triggered tsunami waves which reached Chilean shores, flooding the streets and forcing people to seek shelter on higher grounds.

At the time, the Chilean coastal city of Coquimbo was been hit by waves measuring up to 4.5 meters above normal sea level. At least five people were killed and one million people were evacuated from the affected areas.

The September quake and tsunami were the largest to strike the country since April 1 2014, when a magnitude-8.2 earthquake impacted just off the Chilean coast, near Iquique. A quake in February 2010 registered magnitude 8.8. The most powerful quake overall occurred near Lumaco, Chile, in May 1960 registering 9.5. All of them generated tsunamis in the country, located on the so-called Pacific ring of fire, renowned for being prone to earthquakes. - RT.

Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region)

The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, which was until recently the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded (superseded in May 2013 by a M8.3 earthquake 610 km beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia), and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

- USGS.



 

FIRE IN THE SKY: Bright Meteor Shoots Through Northern Lights Over Iceland!

The Leonid meteor shower happens every year at this time, as our world crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle

November 27, 2015 - ICELAND
- There were excellent viewing conditions for the Northern Lights last night at the same time as the peak of the Leonid meteor shower. Icelandic astronomy website Stjörnufræðivefurinn has published stunning footage of a meteor shooting seemingly through the Northern Lights.

The video, published first on the Facebook page of Stjörnufræðivefurinn was shot over Reykjavik last night and shows the Northern Lights cascading in the sky in real time. One minute into the video a meteor can be spotted and then it burns up in the middle of the Northern Lights display. Watching the video in HD is reccomended.

The Leonid meteor shower happens every year at this time, as our world crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Like many comets, Tempel-Tuttle litters its orbit with bits of debris. It's when this cometary debris enters Earth's atmosphere, and vaporizes, that we see the Leonid meteor shower. In 2015, the peak night of the shower was from midnight to dawn on Wednesday.

See the video on Facebook HERE.

 - Iceland Monitor.


ICE AGE NOW: Russia's Port City Of Vladivostok Hit By Icy Tempest - Sea Water Freezes Over Anything The Giant Waves Touched!

© libra.anna/Instagram

November 27, 2015 - VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA - Russia's Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok has been hit hard by gusts of freezing wind reaching speeds of 25 meters per second causing sea water to freeze over anything the giant waves touched.

This Thursday Vladivostok's port turned into a giant slushy machine as sea water mixed with sand started freezing under gusts of cold wind in subzero temperatures.







Although locals took it as a photo opportunity and flooded social media with impressive shots, the tempest had its consequences: trucks were banned from crossing the city's Russky Bridge, some power cables came down and electricity supplies weren't restored in certain areas even by Friday, some parked cars got damaged, not to mention car accidents on slippery roads, the wind tore down roofing, a bus stop and overturned some kiosks.

No casualties have been reported so far although a video posted on-line shows a girl who apparently fell, thrown by the strong wind.

She is lying on her side on the pavement, holding her head.

WATCH: The video was filmed at the Far Eastern Federal University, on Russky Island.



- RT.




PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: "This Is Something We've Never Seen Before" - MILLIONS Of Cubic Metres Of Weird Purple Slime Chokes Norway's Fjords, Freaks Out Fishermen?!

© YouTube Screen Capture

November 27, 2015 - NORWAY - Fisherman in northern Norway first noticed the strange-looking purple slime in late August of this year. At first, there were large clots of the slimy stuff, but now, it has collected in a 200 meter (219 yards) wide belt around Lyngen Fjord.

Whatever the purple slime is, it's freaking out fishermen and sailors alike, and no one seems to know what it is. There are various descriptions of the mass of purple slime, from clotted and mucoid, to gelatinous and gooey.

The Local, Norway's news in English reported that Roger Larsen, an associate professor at the University in Tromsø, told state news broadcaster NRK, "We have not been able to find out what this really is, other than that we are talking about large amounts of jellyfish." Larsen said they have used echo sounders on the mass of purple goo, but their results have been atypical, leading him to say he was "absolutely sure that this is something we've never seen before. We are talking about millions of cubic metres." That is a lot of slime.

The leading theory to what the clotted mess might be was suggested by Tone Falkenhaug and Jan Helge Fosså, oceanographers at Norway's Institute of Marine Research (IMR). They suggest the gelatinous goo is caused by the disintegration of comb jellyfish, or more specifically, Ctenophora Beroe.

They are common in the fjords of Norway says Mother Nature News, but the reasons behind the huge mass of dying comb jellies is still being investigated. Samples of the purple sludge have been taken for analysis, but a report on exactly what the slime is composed of has not been released yet.


Looking down from the top of a fjord above Lyngen, Norway in Sept. 2011. © Tim Berglund


Falkenhaug told The Local. "We can't explain why it is like this, but it's not uncommon that jellyfish appear in very dense aggregations like this, especially deep in the fjord. I have heard that you can get this when it's rotten, that you get this purple mucous from jellyfish. If you have dense blooms of jellyfish, and they fall down into the water column and they start to disintegrate."

Ctenophores, or the comb jellyfish


This phylum of marine animals can be found in oceans worldwide. The one thing that make them distinctive is their "combs," groups of cilia they use to move about. They are also the largest animals that move by using cilia. Their sizes range from just a few millimeters to 1.5 meters, (4-feet, 11-inches).


Some ctenophores exhibit bioluminescence. © Margaret Nygard


There are anywhere from 100 to 150 species of comb jellyfish in the world, and they can be found in many different marine habitats, from polar to tropical, inshore or far offshore. They can live near the surface of the ocean or down deep. But the best-known Ctenophores are the one that are seen near the ocean's shores.

Almost all of these creatures are predators, their prey ranging from microscopic larvae and rotifers to the adults of small crustaceans. They can also upset ecosystems as was demonstrated after one species, Mnemiopsis, was accidentally introduced into the Black Sea. The ctenophore population erupted, not only eating their regular diet of marine organisms but fish larva as well. - Digital Journal.




 

ICE AGE NOW: Climate Science Fiction - NOAA Avoids Atmospheric Satellite Data Which Shows No Global Warming In The Last Two Decades!


November 27, 2015 - UNITED STATES
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the nation's leading collector of climate data. Every day, NOAA analyzes vast amounts of data to predict changes to our climate, weather, oceans and coasts. The agency also publishes monthly temperature averages across the nation and compares those numbers to historical temperature records.

As the nation's self-proclaimed authority on "environmental intelligence," NOAA should be held to the highest scientific standards. This means their conclusions should be objective, independent of political consideration and based on all available sources of information.

NOAA's top official, Kathryn Sullivan, has described the agency's role as providing "timely, reliably, and actionable information — based on sound science — every day to millions of Americans."

In testimony before the House Science Committee, NOAA's deputy administrator, Manson Brown, made similar remarks, noting the importance of satellite data. He said that NOAA's ability "to deliver environmental intelligence starts with keeping the pulse of the planet, especially the atmosphere and the ocean, and this is the central capability where space-based assets come into play." So why does NOAA leave out satellite data when it releases climate projections?

NOAA often fails to consider all available data in its determinations and climate change reports to the public. A recent study by NOAA, published in the journal Science, made "adjustments" to historical temperature records and NOAA trumpeted the findings as refuting the nearly two-decade pause in global warming. The study's authors claimed these adjustments were supposedly based on new data and new methodology. But the study failed to include satellite data.

Atmospheric satellite data, considered by many to be the most objective, has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades. This fact is well documented, but has been embarrassing for an administration determined to push through costly environmental regulations.


Instead, NOAA focused its study on surface temperature monitoring that is often flawed because these sites measure thousands of independent temperature readings and utilize a hodgepodge of different methods that have changed over time. For example, measurements from land-based stations can be skewed because of their location and proximity to surrounding heat-holding asphalt in urban areas.

Satellite data, on the other hand, is highly calibrated and provides complete global coverage. For decades, satellites have been used to monitor the earth and collect information. Satellites measure something extremely important — the deep atmosphere. The temperature readings collected by satellites often differ from ground monitoring stations and have consistently shown much smaller rates of warming. Yet NOAA refuses to incorporate satellite data into its monthly projections that are released to the public. Why?

NOAA appears to pick and choose only data that confirms their bias. NOAA then disseminates this incomplete data to the media who manufacture alarming headlines but ignore the uncertainty of the conclusions.


Earlier this year, NASA issued a news release stating that 2014 was the warmest year on record. Few media acknowledged the footnote: Scientists were only 38 percent sure this was actually correct. That is less than 50-50.

NOAA fully understands margins of error and works with them on a daily basis. But where are these details in their news releases? While NOAA's monthly projections usually warn of increased warming, they ignore satellite data that refutes their alarmist statements.

The ability to remain independent of political consideration seems like a minimum requirement for an agency that should provide unbiased scientific information. But NOAA's habit of picking and choosing data raises serious questions about the agency's independence. In fact, it shreds NOAA's credibility.

As a self-proclaimed "environmental intelligence agency," NOAA's reports should be based only on the best available science that takes into account all sources of data. Unfortunately, NOAA continues to rely upon biased science in pursuit of a predetermined outcome. That's not good science, it's science fiction.

This administration is pursuing an extreme political climate change agenda and has made NOAA its accomplice. These are not the actions of an objective agency. NOAA needs to come clean about why it cherry-picked and changed certain data, while ignoring satellite data, to get the results it wanted. - Washington Times.



PLANETARY TREMORS: Increasing Seismic Activity Along The New Madrid Fault - 12 Small Earthquakes In 2 Hours Hit Near Marston And Lilbourn, Missouri!

© CERI at the University of Memphis

November 27, 2015 - MISSOURI, UNITED STATES - Residents in southeast Missouri might have felt the ground shake when 12 earthquakes rattled within hours of each other on Wednesday.

All the quakes were located just northeast of Marston and south of Lilbourn.


© KFVS12



People in Risco, Dexter, Matthews, and New Madrid said they felt the quakes.

"[I] felt it in New Madrid sounded like a big clash of thunder & a little shake happened like a semi truck passing by," Mark Kientzy said in a comment on Facebook.

A man and his son were installing a water line at the New Madrid Airport on Wednesday, right in the center of the quakes. While William Kosky, Jr. said he didn't feel any while he was working, he said he felt several on Tuesday night at his home.

New Madrid County, Missouri has a shaky history, with the most violent series of earthquakes ever recorded in the United States hitting in New Madrid in about a seven week stretch between 1811 and 1812, according to the USGS.







Check out the earthquake map from the Center for Earthquake Research and Information.

Watch the KFVS video coverage here.

- KFVS12.




DISASTER PRECURSORS: Animal Behavior - 30-Foot Dead Minke Whale Washes Up On Cleethorpes Beach, UK?!

The 30ft minke whale washed up on Cleethorpes beach yesterday. The dead whale was found around a mile out from the Brighton slipway.

November 27, 2015 - UNITED KINGDOM
- Part of Cleethorpes beach could be closed off today if a washed-up huge whale isn't taken away by the high tide.

As reported at www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk , a 30ft minke whale washed up on Cleethorpes beach yesterday.

The dead mammal was found around a mile out from the Brighton slipway.

North East Lincolnshire Council's Beach Safety Team were called to the scene, but there was little they could do for the whale, which had already died.

The RSPCA and officers from Natural England also attended yesterday morning after a call was made at around 9am.

North East Lincolnshire Council officials are investigating.

A spokesman said: "A dead whale, thought to be a fin or minke whale, was found washed up on Cleethorpes beach Thursday morning.

"It's about ten metres long and was found at low tide about a mile from the shore.

"Our beach safety team is working with officers from HM Coastguard to inform the relevant bodies.

"The whale might move during the high tide - either out to sea or further up the beach.

"We might need to close the beach if it remains there after high tide today."

The spokesman added: "Diseases can be transmitted from the bodies of dead mammals to humans and we advise people to stay well away from it."

Common minke whales are usually found in the waters of the North Sea, but have washed up in Cleethorpes before.

In 2013, a whale washed up dead on Cleethorpes beach and was then buried at a waste tip in Wakefield.

The 14ft minke whale was found on the shore near Wonderland.

Minke whales, which prefer arctic conditions, are rarely found this far south although the body of a dead minke was also found at North Cotes in 2012.

And in 2011, emergency services rescued a 30ft whale which found itself stranded at Immingham Docks. About 50 emergency workers faced a race against time to free the 15-tonne creature from thick mud after it became beached in the early hours of the morning.

The rescue - which at the time was thought to be the largest-scaled animal rescue in the area's recent history - saw 20 members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and Humberside Fire And Rescue battle for eight hours in the mud and icy water while the HM Coastguard, Cleethorpes RNLI the RSPCA and Swanbridge Veterinary Hospital supported them from the ground. - Grimsby Telegraph.


 

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Giant Sinkhole Causes Detour In Wyoming, Michigan!

Kenowa Avenue sinkhole. © Phil Dawson

November 27, 2015 - MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES
- Some shoppers in Grandville and Wyoming are dealing with an unexpected detour near Rivertown Crossings Mall.

A large section of Kenowa Avenue between Jacobs and 56th Streets collapsed Thursday afternoon, creating a huge sinkhole. And just a few seconds earlier, people in the neighborhood say a vehilce drove over the exact spot.

"Some guy said he was driving over and he heard it and he looked back and the road was just gone," say members of the Lyons family, visiting the area for Thanksgiving. "He said there was a crack in the middle of the road and as he was going over it he heard it start to crumble so he quickly got over it."


© Screenshot via WZZM

"I'm surprised there wasn't a car at the bottom of it," added rich TenBarge, also visiting for Thanksgiving dinner. "It's big enough and deep enough to hold a vehicle."

At first glance the Public Works crew at the site suspects a broken water main caused the cave in, but that isnt certain yet. Its also not known how long that section of Kenowa Avenue will be closed for repairs. - WZZM13.




 

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Seismologists Watching Glacier Peak In Washington - After 4 Earthquakes In Just Under 4 Hours!

Two earthquakes - magnitude 3.1 and 3.5 - struck Wednesday afternoon near Glacier Peak within an hour of each other.
Two more smaller earthquakes struck just hours later. © Earthquake Tracker

November 27, 2015 - SEATTLE, UNITED STATES
- Four earthquakes struck within hours of each other Wednesday afternoon near Glacier Peak in Washington.

The first two earthquakes registered at magnitudes 3.1 and 3.5. The first earthquake occurred at 12:11 p.m. The second registered roughly an hour later at 1:20 p.m. Then a third earthquake — a magnitude 1.6 — occurred at 2:33 p.m. And finally a fourth earthquake — a magnitude 1.4 — was registered at 3:44 p.m. All the quakes were recorded roughly 19-21 miles east-southeast of the town of Darrington.

Seth Moran, geophysicist at the University of Washington, tells KIRO Radio they're keeping a close eye on the area and continue to watch the seismic records. "Magnitude 3 earthquakes happen in Washington and Oregon a number of times per year," Moran said. "The one thing that makes these potentially interesting in a different way is they're somewhat close to Glacier Peak."


Glacier Peak (Photo: KING)


The quakes, about three miles from Glacier Peak, occurred where there haven't been a lot of magnitude 3 earthquakes in the past, according to Moran. "The last time there was a magnitude 3 in the vicinity was in 1991," Moran said.

However, there isn't a great network of seismic instruments in the area. There have been no reports of damage or injuries.


WATCH: Mount Rainier is considered the world's most dangerous volcano because of its size and how close it is to population centers, but there's another mountain you've probably never seen that's finally getting attention for the risks it poses.



According to the USGS, the last time Glacier Peak erupted was 1,100 years ago. Mount St. Helens and Glacier Peak are the only volcanoes in Washington state that have been explosive in the past 15,000 years. - My Northwest.



 

DELUGE: Heavy Rainfall And Widespread Flooding In Kenya - Over 4,000 Families In Tana River Displaced!

A section of the Hola-Wenje road about half a kilometer from Hola town's central business district yesterday.
© Kenya News Agency
November 27, 2015 - KENYA - At least 4,040 families in Tana River county have been displaced by floods after River Tana burst its banks and flooded their homes.

No casualties have been reported.

Some victims said they have lost household property, food and livestock.

Kenya Red Cross Society Tana River and Kitui regional manager Gerald Bombe said on the phone the victims are camping in various sites in the three subcounties.

Bombe said the most affected areas are Madogo in Tana North subcounty, Masabubu and Gubani in Tana River subcounty and 14 villages in Tana Delta.

"We have already distributed non-food items to victims in Madogo and Masabubu, but we are still assessing the situation in Tana Delta, with a view to assisting victims," he said.


WATCH: Widespread flooding in Kenya.




Bombe said Gubani village in Kinakomba ward, Galole constituency, had been isolated by floods, but his officers and those of the Tana River county government rescued villagers.

There were reports Waldena location in Galole constituency had been cut off after the level of the seasonal River Galole rose.

Bombe said the area is accessible as residents can still cross the river on foot.

If the rains continue, however, the residents could find themselves without food as the only road to the location passes through the seasonal river.

MCA Maka Jarso had earlier urged the government to send food before the onset of the rains.

In Hola, heavy rains that pounded the town and its environs on Saturday and Monday destroyed drainage systems.

Stagnant water could lead to outbreak of malaria and water-borne diseases.

Residents of Mikinduni ward wishing to reach the town centre have to board dug-out canoes at a fee after the only road to the area became flooded.

It passes through River Galole, less than one kilometre from the central business district.

"Residents on foot are charged Sh20 per trip while motorcycle operators pay Sh50 for themselves and their bikes," a resident said.

The floods are also said to have caused the closure of the only kitchen at the Hola County Hospital, forcing patients to buy food from outside. - The Star.



 

WAR ON MOTHER NATURE: 8,690 Tree Species In The Amazon May Be On The Verge Of Extinction - Most Of The Planet's 40,000-Plus Tropical Tree Species Are Also At Risk!

More than 8,000 trees are now at risk of extinction in the Amazon rain forest. © Getty

November 27, 2015 - THE AMAZON - The worrying spectre of trees that could hold the secret to the cure of cancer and play host to the richest wildlife spectacular on the planet disappearing in our life times has been highlighted in a new study.

It reveals that between 36 and 57 per cent of Amazonian trees, that is as many as 8,690 different species, are likely to qualify as being globally threatened under IUCN Red List of Threatened Species criteria.

The new study, published tonight in the journal Science Advances, reached its shocking conclusions after comparing results of forest surveys across the Amazon with maps of current and projected deforestation to estimate how many tree species have been lost, and whereabouts.

A global global team made up of 158 researchers from 21 countries and involving Britain's University of East Anglia (UEA) carried out the study, which also concluded that Amazonian parks, reserves, and indigenous territories, if properly managed, can protect most of the threatened species.


8,690 different species of trees in the Amazon are at threat of becoming extinct. © Getty


Professor Carlos Peres from the UEA's School of Environmental Sciences, said: "Forests in the Amazon have been declining since the 1950s, but there was a poor understanding of how this has affected populations of individual species. Our research estimates that more than half of all species may face extinction.

"Fortunately protected areas and indigenous territories now cover over half of the Amazon basin, and likely contain sizable populations of most threatened species.

"But parks and reserves will only prevent extinction of threatened species if they suffer no further degradation. Amazonian forests and reserves still face a barrage of threats: from dam construction and mining to wildfires and droughts intensified by global warming."

And lead researcher Dr Nigel Pitman, of the Field Museum in Chicago, added: "We aren't saying that the situation in the Amazon has suddenly got worse for tree species.

We're just offering a new estimate of how tree species have been affected by historical deforestation, and how they'll be affected by forest loss in the future."

Experts say because the same destructive trends witnessed in Amazonia are impacting throughout the tropics, most of the planet's 40,000-plus tropical tree species are also at risk


William Laurance from James Cook University in Australia warns: "It's a battle we're going to see play out in our lifetimes.

Either we stand up and protect these critical parks and indigenous reserves, or deforestation will erode them until we see large-scale extinctions."  - Daily Express.




 

PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - Four New Earthquakes Recorded At Peru-Brazil Border! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

The border with Brazil has produced four new quakes today.  © El Comercio/IGP

November 27, 2015 - PERU / BRAZIL
- Two of the earthquakes were felt and two were not felt by the local communities.

Four new earthquakes registered today northwest of the district of Ucayali, at magnitudes of 6.5, 5.1, 4.6 and 5 on the Richter scale, reports the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP).

These quakes come days after the two 7.6 magnitude earthquakes that hit in the same zone of the Peruvian border with Brazil on Tuesday evening.

At the moment, no damages have been reported due to the earthquakes registered today.

The first quake hit at 12:45 a.m. and the epicenter was located north of Esperanza in Ucayali at a depth of 580 kilometers, with a magnitude of 6.5 grades.

The second was recorded at 12:57 a.m. with a magnitude of 5.1 grades. The third was recorded at 1:01 a.m. with a magnitude of 4.6 grades, while the fourth was recorded at 8:42 a.m. and had a magnitude of 5 grades. Living in Peru.



Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region)

The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, which was until recently the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded (superseded in May 2013 by a M8.3 earthquake 610 km beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia), and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

- USGS.




 

MONUMENTAL GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Mysterious California Landslide - Public Warned To Stay Away From 60-Meter Stretch Of WARPED Road In Vasquez Canyon Road, Los Angeles; Road Lifted SOME 15 FEET IN THE AIR And STILL ADJUSTING; Looks Like A Scene From A Post-Apocalyptic Blockbuster; No Indication Of Seismic Activity?! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

The landslide on in California continues to move. Photo by @TedSoquiPhoto/@CorbisImages
Twitter: The Times Pictures

November 27, 2015 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- A road in Santa Clarita, California, turned into an asphalt mess in just three days, and no one knows exactly why.

What started off as a small ripple on Vasquez Canyon Road soon turned into a scene from a post-apocalyptic blockbuster: the asphalt torn, utility poles dangerously tilted.

Local authorities were quick to close the road on November 19, attracting curious on-lookers as well as extreme sports daredevils.



Please RT: Crews fenced off Vasquez Canyon Rd landslide area. Mountain is still sliding & is unsafe. Stay away!
Twitter: LA Co Public Works

Buckled Vasquez Canyon Road in Santa Clarita attracts skateboarders http://abc7.la/1T41FhM 
Twitter: ABC7 Eyewitness News

The still-closed Vasquez Canyon Road turned into a temporary tourist stop today: http://bit.ly/21b1Ldd 
Twitter: Luke Money

.@mester_mark on buckling Vasquez Cyn Rd in Canyon Country, where 2-mile stretch is closed http://bit.ly/1YkAt1M 
Twitter: KTLA


Despite danger warnings, skateboarders have used the opportunity to explore the naturally-made ramp, and one man was seen riding his dirt bike on the newly-formed ripples.

Officials with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works even took to Twitter to warn people away from the site as the landslide was still underway.

CBS Los Angeles reported on Sunday that the road buckled over a 60-meter stretch, with some parts rising as high as 4.5 meters.

UCLA Professor Jeremy Boyce told the media that it was unclear what had caused the phenomenon.

"There was no big rainstorm that triggered this. There was no big earthquake that triggered this,” Boyce said.


WATCH: Landslide Buckles Road - Aerial Video From Vasquez Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita Shows Massive Road Deformation.




The road sits on private property and efforts to contact the owner are still ongoing.

“Everything is being looked into because nothing is obvious.

There’s no indication that seismic activity had anything to do with it,” Steve Frasher, a spokesman with the LA Department of Public Works, said. - RT.



TERMINATOR NOW: Uh Oh, Robots Are Learning To DISOBEY Humans - Humanoid Machine Says NO To Instructions If It Thinks It Might Be Hurt!

Scene from the film I, Robot


November 27, 2015 - TECHNOLOGY -  If Hollywood ever had a lesson for scientists it is what happens if machines start to rebel against their human creators.

Yet despite this, roboticists have started to teach their own creations to say no to human orders.

They have programmed a pair of diminutive humanoid robots called Shafer and Dempster to disobey instructions from humans if it puts their own safety at risk.


Robotics engineers are developing robots that can disobey instructions from humans if they believe it may cause them to become damaged. If asked to walk forward
on a table top (pictured) the robot replies that it can't do this as it is 'unsafe'. However, when told a human will catch it, the robot then obeys

The results are more like the apologetic robot rebel Sonny from the film I, Robot, starring Will Smith, than the homicidal machines of Terminator, but they demonstrate an important principal.

Engineers Gordon Briggs and Dr Matthais Scheutz from Tufts University in Massachusetts, are trying to create robots that can interact in a more human way.

In a paper presented to the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the pair said: 'Humans reject directives for a wide range of reasons: from inability all the way to moral qualms.

'Given the reality of the limitations of autonomous systems, most directive rejection mechanisms have only needed to make use of the former class of excuse - lack of knowledge or lack of ability.

'However, as the abilities of autonomous agents continue to be developed, there is a growing community interested in machine ethics, or the field of enabling autonomous agents to reason ethically about their own actions.'

The robots they have created follow verbal instructions such as 'stand up' and 'sit down' from a human operator.

However, when they are asked to walk into an obstacle or off the end of a table, for example, the robots politely decline to do so.

When asked to walk forward on a table, the robots refuse to budge, telling their creator: 'Sorry, I cannot do this as there is no support ahead.'

Upon a second command to walk forward, the robot replies: 'But, it is unsafe.'

Perhaps rather touchingly, when the human then tells the robot that they will catch it if it reaches the end of the table, the robot trustingly agrees and walks forward.

Similarly when it is told an obstacle in front of them is not solid, the robot obligingly walks through it.

To achieve this the researchers introduced reasoning mechanisms into the robots' software, allowing them to assess their environment and examine whether a command might compromise their safety.


WILL A ROBOT TAKE YOUR JOB?

While there are many who fear robots are on the verge of stealing our jobs, it seems they have a weak spot - flat packed furniture.

Much like stairs posed a problem for the Daleks in Doctor Who, the Achilles Heel of modern intelligent robots appears to be the baffling world of Ikea furniture.

A group of engineers set themselves the goal of developing a robot capable of undertaking this baffling task – by getting one to assemble a chair from the Swedish furniture store.

Francisco Suarz-Ruiz and Quang-Cuong Pham, from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, are using two robotic arms equipped with grippers to assemble the Ikea chair.

Yet despite being some of the most advanced robotic equipment around, assembling a full chair still seemed beyond the robot.

The furthest the scientists managed to get is to insert a piece of doweling into the end of one of the legs – something that takes the technology a minute and a half to achieve.

The same task would take the average homeowner seconds when they are assembling their own chairs.


However, their work appears to breach the laws of robotics drawn up by science fiction author Isaac Asimov, which state that a robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings.


The humanoid robots can sit down (pictured) and stand up in response to verbal commands from a human, but if asked to walk forward
on a table or through an obstacle they politely refuse

Many artificial intelligence experts believe it is important to ensure robots adhere to these rules - which also require robots to never harm a human being and for them to protect their own existence only where it does not conflict with the other two laws.

The work may trigger fears that if artificial intelligence is given the capacity to disobey humans, then it could have disastrous results.


In the film I, Robot, starring Will Smith (pictured right), machines are governed by a series of laws that prevent them from disobeying humans.
One robot called Sonny (centre), however, rebels against this

Many leading figures, including Professor Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have warned that artificial intelligence could spiral out of our control.

THE ROBOT BUILT TO SUCKERPUNCH HUMANS 

Robots programmed specifically to punch humans might sound like a foolish idea, given the fears about machines overthrowing their human creators.

But one group of roboticists has done just that by creating a machine which delivers repeated blows to a blindfolded human volunteer.

However, rather than being part of a plan to design metallic cage fighters, the work is aimed at making robots safer.

The experiments, being conducted at the Fraunhofer IFF Institute in Madgeburg, Germany, will help researchers work out how to stop humans being injured by robots in the future.

As more and more robots are being introduced into workplaces around the world there is a growing risk of people being injured or crushed by their robotic co-workers.

Earlier this year, for example, a man was killed in a Volkswagen factory in Germany after a robot grabbed him and crushed him against a metal plate.

In an attempt to avoid future incidents like this, robot scientists want to make robots more aware of the vulnerability of human's flesh and bones.

And the findings could prove even more important as robots begin to be used more in people's homes.

The engineers' robotic limb, which actually works as a pendulum, is swung at the hands, lower arms, upper arms and shoulders of volunteers, who are then asked to rate the pain they feel.

The skin of the volunteers is also scanned with ultrasound to look for bruises and swelling.

WATCH: Natural Language Interaction with robot.





Others have warned that robots could ultimately end up replacing many workers in their jobs while there are some who fear it could lead to the machines taking over.

In the film I, Robot, artificial intelligence allows a robot called Sonny to overcome his programming and disobey the instructions of humans.

However, Dr Scheutz and Mr Briggs added: 'There still exists much more work to be done in order to make these reasoning and dialogue mechanisms much more powerful and generalised.' - Daily Mail.





MONUMENTAL DELUGE: All-Time Rainfall Record On Verge Of Being Broken In Chennai, India - 1,025 mm Of Rainfall, The Wettest November Since 1918!

Rains left the Madras war cemetery flooded on Tuesday.  © M. Prabhu

November 27, 2015 - CHENNAI, INDIA
- Chennai is on its way to have the wettest November of the century and break an all-time rainfall record.

With Monday's torrential downpour bringing 93 mm of rainfall, Chennai has crossed 1,025 mm of rainfall for the month. According to the Meteorological Department, November 1918 was the wettest month as the city received 1088.4 mm of rainfall then.

The weather station in Meenambakkam has already recorded 1144.8 mm this November. Officials recall that Chennai recorded 970 mm of rainfall in November 1985 and 1077.1 mm in October 2005. The remaining few days of this month will decide whether the city gets to break the century's record.


WATCH: Scenes from Chennai floods.






The rains so far have been severe with many rain-related deaths, including the electrocution of a couple in Velachery, death of a youngster in a wall collapse in Pattalam and the fatal fall of a man in a trench dug up in R.A. Puram to drain stagnant rainwater. Schools and colleges in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts will remain closed on Wednesday. As reservoirs continue to get heavy inflows, city waterways are carrying rainwater to their brim. The Adyar River is in a spate as about 6,000 cusecs is being let out from the Chembarambakkam reservoir.

Central team visit 

In a bid to provide flood relief assistance, a nine-member Central team will visit flood-affected areas in Tamil Nadu on November 26 to assess the damage.

At present, a new trough lies over southwest Bay of Bengal and the adjoining Sri Lanka coast. With another upper air circulation forming near the weather system, the Meteorological Department expects it to influence the formation of a low pressure area by November 26 or November 27. - The Hindu.



 

MASS BIRD DIE-OFFS: "Really Unusual" - Scientists Unable To Explain Mysterious Mass Drownings Of Starlings In Britain?!

Two starlings bathing: the songbirds are a stocky species that bathe and drink together in groups. © blickwinkel/Alamy

November 27, 2015 - BRITAIN
- Behaviour could be one cause of the unusual drownings of the birds in large groups in England and Wales

Starlings have been consistently drowning in large groups in a phenomenon yet to be fully explained by scientists, according to new research led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

In 12 separate incidents recorded between 1993 and 2013 in England and Wales, starlings were found drowned in groups of two to 80. In 10 cases, at least 10 starlings were found drowned at a time, the research published in the journal Scientific Reports on Wednesday shows.

One expert said that the mass mortalities were "really unusual", with drowning considered a rare cause of death among wild bird populations and normally only recorded as affecting individual birds.

Records since 1909 of 800,000 ringed birds from 79 species reveal that drowning was more commonly recorded as a probable cause of death in starlings than in any other species.

Post mortems revealed no evidence that underlying disease had been a factor in the incidents which all occurred during the summer and spring months and concerned juvenile birds in most cases.

Dr Becki Lawson, lead author and wildlife veterinarian at ZSL told the Guardian that the cause is therefore likely to be behavioural. The stocky songbirds are a flocking species that bathe and drink together in groups, where the starlings may then be unable to exit a confined space or their plumage may become waterlogged. The inexperience of juveniles in recognising water hazards could also be a factor, she added.

"It does seem to be something related to that species being vulnerable or predisposed to these drowning events. It is really unusual," she said.

Starlings are listed as a threatened bird species in the UK, with numbers falling by 45 million since the 1980s and the current population recorded as 3.4 million during the breeding season. It is thought that a lack of nesting sites and and insect food sources is to blame.

Although Lawson said that the incidents are likely to be only a proportion of those that have occurred, she said there is no evidence to suggest the drownings are happening on a very wide scale. The researchers do not consider the incidents to be a conservation issue.

Scientists ask members of the public to report incidents at Garden Wildlife Health, a project that monitors the health of British wildlife.

"Members of the public from around Great Britain have been instrumental in bringing this unexpected cause of starling mortality to our attention by reporting these incidents," said Lawson. - The Guardian.





WEATHER PHENOMENON: "Fire Rainbows" - Solar Halo With Circumhorizontal Arc Photographed Over La Plata, Argentina!

A solar halo, with a circumhorizontal arc below. Photo taken November 21, 2015. © Sergio Emilio Montufar Codoner

November 27, 2015 - ARGENTINA - Don't call them "fire rainbows," experts say. They're not rainbows. And they originate with ice, not fire

Sergio Emilio Montúfar Codoñer sent in these wonderful images of a circumhorizontal arc, which he captured a few days ago - November 21, 2015 - in La Plata, Argentina. Above the colorful arc is a halo encircling the sun. Read about solar halos and see more photos here.

Both solar halos and circumhorizontal arcs are ice halos. Both are indicate the presence of tiny ice crystals high above our heads, that both refract and reflect light to create these beautiful sky phenomena. At the great website Atmospheric Optics, Les Cowley wrote :
Look for the brightly coloured circumhorizon arc (also a circumhorizontal arc but never 'fire rainbow') when the sun is very high in the sky - higher than 58°. Near to noon in mid-summer is a good time in middle latitudes. The halo is beneath the sun and twice as far from it (two hand spans) as the 22º halo.

It is a very large halo and always parallel to the horizon. Often only fragments are visible where there happen to be cirrus clouds - the individual patches of cirrus are then lit with color that can be mistaken for iridescence.
Thank you, Les and Sergio! See another one of Sergio's photos, taken of the same sky event, below:


The lower part of a halo around the sun – and a piece of a circumhorizontal arc. © Sergio Emilio Montufar Codoner


- Earthsky.



 

RATTLE & HUM: Fire In The Sky - Loud And Mysterious Booms Heard Over Central Kentucky?!


November 27, 2015 - KENTUCKY, UNITED STATES
- Many across central Kentucky heard or felt what was similar to an explosion on Thanksgiving evening around 9pm.

After investigating and gathering information, I believe there is a high probability that this was a meteor or meteors that broke the speed of sound, creating a "sonic boom".

A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound.


© Lex18.com

Sonic booms generate enormous amounts of sound energy.

They sound just like an explosion.

Many saw what looked like a shooting star or a streak of light in the sky, which backs up this theory.

If you have photos or video of the possible meteor, we invite you to share them with us on our LEX 18 News Facebook Page. - Lex18.



 

FIRE IN THE SKY: Meteor Fireball Seen Over West Michigan Caught On Video!


November 27, 2015 - MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES
- A Wood TV8 employee captured video of what appears to be a meteor over West Michigan.

The video was recorded by a dash cam on Tuesday night over I-196 near Zeeland.


WATCH: Meteor sighting near Zeeland.




Meteors light up as they cross the sky because they are burning up as they enter Earth's atmosphere.

It's possible the meteor was part of the Leonid meteor shower. That shower peaked on Nov. 17 and 18, according to NASA, but lasts through the end of November. - WoodTV.



EXTREME WEATHER: Scary Moment - Lightning Strikes Meters From Plane In Australia, Filmed By Passenger! [VIDEO]

© liveleak.com

November 27, 2015 - AUSTRALIA - A passenger traveling on a plane to Brisbane in Queensland, Australia, filmed the astounding moment when a lightning bolt struck just next to the aircraft’s wing.

"Holy sh!tballs. Remind me never again to fly into Brisbane in November late at night," wrote Lee Carseldine, who uploaded the short video clip on Twitter.

The impression is even more alarming as bolts of lightning are seen reflected in the plane's wing.


Lightning bolts over Brisbane during Monday’s storm.  © Mark Calleja.

South-east Queensland has endured heavy storms in recent days, according to ABC.

Although the bolt may look scary it actually posed no threat.

All aircraft are equipped with lightning protection.

 


As a rule passengers don’t even feel or notice it.

The electric current runs across metal parts of the fuselage until it finds a way out, for instance through the tail. - RT.



 

OMEN: Plagues And Pestilences - Conjoined Piglets Born In Guigang, China?!


November 27, 2015 - CHINA
- A farmer in western China who noticed two of his pig's newborn babies were sticking close together discovered the piglets were conjoined twins.

The farmer, from a village near Guigang in Guangxi province, said the sow went into labor Nov. 18 and gave birth to 20 piglets, two of which appeared to be sticking unusually close together.

The farmer, identified only as Gong, soon discovered the pigs were conjoined at their bellies.

Gong said the conjoined pigs, the first he has encountered in his years as a farmer, appear to have trouble eating and don't seem able to exercise due to the way they are joined.

The farmer said he does not expect the conjoined piglets to survive for long.


WATCH: Conjoined piglets born on Chinese farm.



- UPI.