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New study reveals the possibility of hurricanes ‘unlike anything you’ve seen in history’

Gray Swan Hurricane
September 2015CLIMATE Last week, the nation focused its attention on the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive hurricane in U.S. history. As bad as the storm was, though, it wasn’t the worst storm that could have possibly hit New Orleans. That’s true of many, many other places, too. And now, in a new study in Nature Climate Change, Princeton’s Ning Lin and MIT’s Kerry Emanuel demonstrate that when it comes to three global cities in particular — Tampa, Fla., Cairns, Australia, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates — there could come a storm that is much worse than anything in recent memory (or in any memory).
Granted, these theoretical storms are also highly unlikely to occur — in some cases, they are 1-in-10,000-year events, or even rarer. The researchers refer to these possible storms as “gray swans,” riffing on the concept of a “black swan” event, an unpredictable catastrophe, or highly impactful event. A “gray swan,” by contrast, can indeed be predicted, even if it is extremely rare. The purpose of the study is “to raise awareness of what a very low probability, very high impact hurricane event might look like,” said Emanuel. The gray swan storms were generated by a computer model that “coupled” together, in the researchers’ parlance, a very high-resolution hurricane model with a global climate model. That allowed the researchers to populate the simulated world with oodles of different storms.
“When you do hundreds and hundreds of thousands of events, you’re going to see hurricanes that are unlike anything you’ve seen in history,” said Emanuel, a key theoretician behind the equations determining the “maximum potential intensity” of a hurricane in a given climate. Indeed, he has published in the past that a theoretical “hypercane” with winds approaching 500 miles per hour is possible in scenarios where an asteroid hits the Earth and radically heats up ocean waters, far beyond their normal temperature.
So what did the researchers see? Let’s take Tampa Bay, first. It hasn’t been hit by a major hurricane since 1921 — but that storm drove a 3- to 3.5-meter (10- to 11-foot) storm surge and caused dramatic damage. Earlier, in 1848, another storm produced a 4.6-meter surge (about 15 feet). Why is Tampa Bay so vulnerable? Check out any good map that shows the water depth (the bathymetry) around the Florida peninsula. It’s deep off the east coast. But there’s an extraordinarily broad continental shelf off the west coast. And although the city of Tampa, proper, sits at the head of Tampa Bay, relatively far from the mouth and well removed from the barrier islands that get battered by the waves from the Gulf of Mexico, that’s a more vulnerable spot than you’d think.
“One can get much larger surges where the offshore waters are shallow, as is true along the west, but not the east coast of Florida. Also, surges can amplify by being funneled into bays,” Emanuel said Monday in an e-mail. The new method allows the researchers to show that a worse storm than these historical examples is possible, especially with sea level rise and global warming. They simulated 2,100 possible Tampa Bay hurricanes in the current climate, and then 3,100 each for three time periods (2006 through 2036, 2037 through 2067, and 2068 through 2098) in an unchecked global warming scenario.
In the current climate, the study found that a 5.9-meter (19-foot) storm surge is possible, in a strong Category 3 hurricane following a similar track to Tampa’s classic 1921 and 1848 storms. Moreover, in a late 21st century climate with global warming run amok, the worst-case scenario generated by the model included a very different storm track, moving north along Florida’s Gulf Coast and then swerving inland at Tampa, that generated an 11.1-meter (nearly 37-foot) surge. –Washington Post
Posted in Black Swan Event, Civilizations unraveling, Climate unraveling, Cloudburst storms with flashflooding, Cyclone or Hurricane, Deluge from torrential rains, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Extreme Weather Event, Flooding, Gale-force winds and gusts, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Record rainfall, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Strange high tides & freak waves, Time - Event Acceleration, Tornado Outbreak, Unseasonable Weather Event | Leave a comment

At least 4 dead after Mexico hit by apocalyptic hailstorm

Mexico
September 2015MEXICO Authorities in Mexico State said Monday that at least four victims were killed when an unusually strong hailstorm hit the capital suburb. A 45-day baby and two homeless people were amongst the victims of Sunday night’s storm, state government said in a press release. Gov. Eruviel Avila said the baby died in a car accident but the parents and another five-year child survived. The most affected towns in the region received 53 millimeters (2 inches) of precipitation in 50 minutes – an amount three times more than the municipalities’ ability to drain.
By Monday afternoon, piles of hail were still blocking streets in the towns of Coacalco, Tultitlan and Ecatepec. Avila estimated that 100 houses suffered damages, and 35 trees and two billboards were also damaged by storm. The rising waters also carried vehicles and streetlights. State government has advised residents in the region to continue to be careful. More precipitation is forecast for Monday night. –Turkish Week

Posted in Black Swan Event, Catastrophic Insurance losses mount, Civilizations unraveling, Climate unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Extreme Weather Event, Hailstorm, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Infrastructure collapse, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Record rainfall, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration, Unseasonable Weather Event | Leave a comment

Mount Lokon erupts – ash cloud closes airport

Lokon Volcano
August 2015INDONESIA , Jakarta – Officials at a key North Sulawesi airport were forced to shut down operations on Sunday after a 1,580-meter volcano erupted on Saturday, sending ash into the skies and hampering visibility. Mount Lokon erupted on Saturday at around 11.50 p.m. local time and gushed volcanic ash across northern and northeastern areas of Sulawesi, forcing officials to close down Manado’s Sam Ratulangi International Airport.
“We’re closing down the airport until 1 p.m.” Ilham Sakti, spokesman of state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I, which runs the Manado airport, was quoted as saying on Sunday by news portal Bisnis.com. Ash clouds were hampering visibility on runways and in the skies, Ilham said. Thousands of passengers were reportedly stuck at the airport due to the sudden closure, waiting for further information. In July, ash clouds from Mount Raung in eastern Java prompted multiple closures at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. – Jakarta Globe
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Magma Plume activity, New volcanic activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Eruption, Volcanic gas emissions, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | Leave a comment

4.3 magnitude earthquake strikes wildfire zone in Central Washington

Washington Quake
September 2015 WASHINGTONA 4.3 magnitude earthquake has hit the wildfire zone in north central Washington. The quake, which was six miles deep, hit 26 miles east of Okanogan and 25 miles north of Grand Coulee at 9:42 a.m. There are no reports of any injuries or damage. The dam, built between 1933 and 1942, was built to withstand large earthquakes, according to The Wenatchee World. A local engineer told the World that large concrete dams, such as the Grand Coulee, keep their shape and contain their reservoirs even in an earthquake measuring 8.0.
“In general, the dams are very, very robust,” Kevin Marshall at the Grant County PUD, told The Wenatchee World. “It’s not like a building. The building codes have you design a skyscraper so you can exit in a one-in-500-year event. We hold the dams to a higher standard. That ‘wall of water’ is a very, very low probability thing.” According to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and KIRO 7 meteorologist Morgan Palmer the 4.3 magnitude earthquake of that depth was considered shallow and was likely felt as a jolt. – My Northwest
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Climate unraveling, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Landslide & geological deformation, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration | 1 Comment

CDC reports most human hearts are actually older than their age

Tin Man Heart
September 2015HEALTH Most adults in the U.S. have hearts that are older than they are because of risk factors for heart attack and stroke, such as unhealthy diet, smoking, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle and diabetes, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published Tuesday. “Your heart may be older than you are. For most adults in the United States, it is,” CDC director Thomas Frieden told Reuters. Based on data gathered from every state and existing data from the Framingham Heart Study, the CDC found that on average, 69 million Americans who have not experienced stroke or heart attack have hearts that are 7 years older than their age. The CDC used “a simple risk calculation for having or dying of heart attack or stroke,” according to Frieden. The results showed that one in two men have hearts five years older or more, the average being eight years older than their actual age.
Two in five women have hearts 5 years older on average. Furthermore, about three out of four cases of heart attack and stroke are caused by risk factors that make the heart grow “old.” Older heart age was found across racial and ethnic groups. However, it was most prevalent among African-American adults, whose average heart age was 11 years older than their real age. Older heart age was also more pronounced in the southern states, with Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia having the highest percentage of adults with older heart age. California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Utah had the lowest percentage of adults with older heart age. The CDC gave recommendations on how to lower heart age, such as maintaining an ideal blood pressure less than 120/80 and reducing the risk factors for heart attack and stroke. It also provided a heart age calculator that people can use to determine their heart age. –HNGN
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Disease outbreak, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Emerging disease threat, Environmental Threat, Extinction Threat, Hazardous chemical exposure, Health guideliness issued, High-risk potential hazard zone, Pollution and Waste, Prophecies referenced, Reality Check, Time - Event Acceleration | Leave a comment

Study finds over 90 per cent of seabirds have consumed plastic

Seabird pollution
September 2015POLLUTIONMajority of the world seabird species have plastic in their gut and 99 per cent will have gobbled down plastic by 2050, according to a new study. Researchers assessed how widespread the threat of plastic is for the world’s seabirds, including albatrosses, shearwaters and penguins, and found the majority of seabird species have plastic in their gut. Based on analysis of published studies since the early 1960s, the researchers found that plastic is increasingly common in seabird’s stomachs. In 1960, plastic was found in the stomach of less than 5 per cent of individual seabirds, rising to 80 per cent by 2010. The researchers predict that plastic ingestion will affect 99 per cent of the world’s seabird species by 2050, based on current trends.
The scientists estimate that over 90 per cent of all seabirds alive today have eaten plastic of some kind. This includes bags, bottle caps, and plastic fibers from synthetic clothes, which have washed out into the ocean from urban rivers, sewers and waste deposits. Birds mistake the brightly colored items for food, or swallow them by accident, and this causes gut impaction, weight loss and sometimes even death. “For the first time, we have a global prediction of how wide-reaching plastic impacts may be on marine species – and the results are striking,” senior research scientist at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Oceans and Atmosphere Dr Chris Wilcox said.
“We predict, using historical observations, that 90 per cent of individual seabirds have eaten plastic. This is a huge amount and really points to the ubiquity of plastic pollution,” said Wilcox. Dr Denise Hardesty from CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere said seabirds were excellent indicators of ecosystem health. “Finding such widespread estimates of plastic in seabirds is borne out by some of the fieldwork we’ve carried out where I’ve found nearly 200 pieces of plastic in a single seabird,” Hardesty said. The researchers found plastics will have the greatest impact on wildlife where they gather in the Southern Ocean, in a band around the southern edges of Australia, South Africa and South America. Dr Erik van Sebille, from the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, said the plastics had the most devastating impact in the areas where there was the greatest diversity of species.
“We are very concerned about species such as penguins and giant albatrosses, which live in these areas,” van Sebille said. “While the infamous garbage patches in the middle of the oceans have strikingly high densities of plastic, very few animals live here,” said van Sebille. The study was published in the journal PNAS. –Financial Express

Plastic ocean

Posted in Acquatic Ecosystem crash, Chemical Pollution, Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Ecology overturn, Environmental Threat, Food chain unraveling, Hazardous chemical exposure, High-risk potential hazard zone, Marine animal strandings, Pollution and Waste, Prophecies referenced, Time - Event Acceleration | Leave a comment

Tropical Storm Erika leaves 20 dead, as it plows through the Caribbean

Erika
September 2015 DOMINICAN REPUBLICDominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said Friday at least 20 people had been killed by Tropical Storm Erika as it passed over his tiny Caribbean nation sowing a trail of “monumental” destruction. “The visual damage I saw today, I fear, may have set our development process back by 20 years,” Skerrit said in an address to the nation, after surveying the island. “Of greatest concern however, is the loss of life. So far we have confirmed that at least 20 citizens have died, and some are missing,” he said.
Skerrit reported that massive damage had been inflicted on key infrastructure facilities and roads, and that “hundreds of homes around the country have been destroyed or rendered unsafe to occupy.” Highways had sustained widespread damage and bridges had been washed away, he said. “I have been assessing the damage all day. The extent of devastation is monumental. It is far worse that expected,” he said.
Tropical storm Erika broke up as it raked across Cuba on Saturday, drenching the drought-parched island in heavy rain after killing at least 20 people on the Caribbean island of Dominica. The Miami-based National Hurricane Center later called off all coastal watches and warnings and said the storm had “dissipated” — a relief for a dozen Caribbean island nations stalked in recent days by Erika. But it did caution that Florida should keep an eye on “the remnants.” The storm dumped heavy rains on the Dominican Republic and Haiti in recent days, but its deadliest impact was on the tiny island nation of Dominica, which is still recovering from the assault and where the death toll could yet climb.
Floods and mudslides unleashed by the storm left scenes of devastation in the island of about 72,000 people. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said Friday after surveying the damage. After pounding Dominica on Friday, Erika let loose on Haiti, where authorities set up emergency shelters across the country. According to an initial tally, one person was killed in a landslide and two people were injured in the Port-au-Prince region when a house collapsed. Flooding was reported in two regions after heavy rains.
Many homes in Haiti are rickety at best and more than 60,000 people are still living in emergency housing around Port-au-Prince following the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people and crippled the nation’s infrastructure.   –Space Daily
Posted in Climate unraveling, Cloudburst storms with flashflooding, Cyclone or Hurricane, Deluge from torrential rains, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Emerging disease threat, Extreme Weather Event, Gale-force winds and gusts, High-risk potential hazard zone, Pestilence Watch, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Record rainfall, Strange high tides & freak waves, Time - Event Acceleration | Leave a comment