Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Colorado wildfire of 'epic proportions' displaces 32,000; tests firefighters

(CNN) -- Predicted thunderstorms could complicate efforts Wednesday to tame an explosive wildfire that has already chased some 32,000 residents from their homes near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The fire doubled in size overnight and by Wednesday morning, 15,324 acres were burning with only 5% contained, said Rich Harvey, incident commander of the Waldo Canyon Fire.
"You saw yesterday as bad a fire behavior as you are going to see anywhere, anytime," he said, referring to extremely dry, hot and windy conditions. "We expect further trouble from the weather today."
Thunderstorms seem like a good thing in the midst of hot, arid conditions, but they bring with them strong winds that can gust in any direction. "That will make work for firefighters more difficult," Harvey said. Read More

Sea levels on US East Coast rising rapidly: Should residents be worried?

The pace of sea-level rise along a swath of the US East Coast – from north of Boston down to North Carolina's Cape Hatteras – is accelerating three to four times faster than the worldwide average, according to a new study from the US Geological Survey (USGS), turning the region into a hot spot for sea-level rise.
At stake: the increased vulnerability of coastal communities to severe damage from storm surges or even high surf caused by storms off shore.
The prime suspect: global warming, through its direct effect on heating water at the ocean surface as well as the effect warmed seawater and air temperatures can have on speeding the pace at which Greenland is losing ice.
Warmer seawater in the North Atlantic and increasing amounts of fresh water from melting Greenland ice can slow ocean-circulation patterns in the ocean basin, which can trigger the accelerated rise, modeling studies have suggested. Read More

1969 meteorite yields material previously unknown to science

[Christian Science Monitor] Scientists have discovered a new mineral embedded in a meteorite that fell to Earth over 40 years ago, and it could be among the oldest minerals, formed in the early days of our solar system. The mineral is a type of titanium oxide and has been named panguite, after Pan Gu, the giant from ancient Chinese mythology who established the world by separating yin from yang to create the Earth and the sky.
“Panguite is an especially exciting discovery since it is not only a new mineral, but also a material previously unknown to science,” says Chi Ma, from Caltech and author of a new paper detailing the discovery.
The Allende meteorite arrived at Earth in 1969 as an exploding fireball in the skies over Mexico, scattering thousands of pieces of meteorites across the state of Chihuahua. The Allende meteorite is the largest carbonaceous chondrite—a diverse class of primitive meteorites—ever found on our planet and is considered by many the best-studied meteorite in history. Read More

Monday, June 18, 2012

Are We Causing Earth Changes?

Deepak Chopra
Natural disasters are not a message from God but a message from ourselves.
The spiritual answer is, “Of course we are, because Mother Nature is disturbed by our lack of love and respect for her.” The scientific answer is, “Of course we are, but only indirectly through decades of reckless pollution.” Everything depends on what level of consciousness dominates your awareness. All answers are tangled, yet in the untangling I believe that science will one day connect Earth changes and human awareness.
The great spiritual traditions have clearly mapped how a person regains the status of a creator. As power returns, everything changes in ways that cannot be guessed at in the state of alienation and separation.
How things get better as consciousness evolves:
  • You begin to feel again; numbness lifts.
  • You regain a sense of being benign. You belong here and are cherished.
  • Your desires turn from self-destructive to self-empowering.
  • Your thoughts have a benign effect on your environment.
  • Reality shifts in an evolutionary direction for everyone else.
  • The laws of creation re-emerge under the control of human awareness.
  • It becomes commonplace to live from the level of the soul.
All these changes occur by degree, steadily growing stronger as a person goes deeper inside. [Source]

Sun Region Releases Two Solar Flares

Two M-class solar flares along with coronal mass ejections (CMEs) have been released by a region on the sun, titled AR 1504, a recent report has revealed.
It has been noted by NASA that the sun has discharged a blow of electrically charged particles towards the planet, which possibly points to the occurrence of a geomagnetic activity on Saturday. However, the agency says that the situation would not be concerning.
While the first flare peaked on June 13 at 9:17 AM EDT and lasted for three hours. The second one lasted for a long while, as per the report, and it peaked at 10:08 AM EDT on June 14.
Goddard’s Space Weather Center, which analyzed the flares, has told that the CME linked with the first flare was at a speed of 375 miles per second. Also, there would be a little effect on Earth because of its slow speed.
Though, on the other hand, the second CME, which was at a high speed of 800 miles per second, is likely to have an adverse effect on Mars and the Spitzer spacecraft.
It is being anticipated by the Space Weather Center that the CMEs would probably reach the planet by June 16. [Source]

City Block-Size Asteroid 2012 LZ1 Zips by Earth as Scientists Watch

A newly discovered asteroid the size of a city block cruised past Earth well beyond the orbit of the moon Thursday night (June 14), providing a rare treat for scientists and telescope-equipped observers.The 1,650-foot-wide (500-meter) near-Earth asteroid 2012 LZ1 came within 3.3 million miles (5.3 million kilometers) of our planet during its closest approach at 8 p.m. EDT Thursday (0000 GMT Friday). Since that's about 14 times the distance between the Earth and the moon, the asteroid was never close enough to threaten Earth, or to be seen by most backyard skywatchers.
But folks who stayed inside could get a good look on their computers. The Slooh Space Camera, an online observatory website, streamed live views of 2012 LZ1's flyby that were captured by a telescope in the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa. [Source]