Wednesday, November 21, 2012

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Land Subsidence Continues in China - Shanghai Legislature Reviews Draft to Curb Land Sinking, Some Areas Sank as Much as 3 Meters!

November 21, 2012 - CHINA - The Shanghai Municipal People's Congress is reviewing a draft regulation that aims to alleviate one of the city's major geological problems - it is sinking, local media reported Tuesday.  The problem, whose technical name is land subsidence, is a side effect from the rapid construction that the city has undergone over the last three decades. It can knock subway tracks out of alignment, make it easier for the city to flood and, in its worst cases, cause buildings to collapse.

FILE: August 2012 - Sinkhole depth of 15 meters in Huangshi, Hubei, China.
If approved, the draft regulation would require construction firms to conduct a hazard assessment on projects that require digging seven meters or more into the earth, if the ground in the surrounding area is prone to sinking, according to the report. In other areas, firms would have to do the assessment if they dig more than 15 meters deep.  If the assessment reveals potential dangers, the construction firm would have to take measures such as reinforcing the ground around the foundation, said Lou Xiaoming, a professor at the School of Civil Engineering at Tongji University.  Under the draft regulation, a construction firm can be fined up to 500,000 yuan ($80,150) for failing to make government-stipulated changes following an assessment.

Shanghai's land level has sunk 0.29 meters on average from 1966 to 2011, according to the Shanghai Evening Post. In some places, the ground sank as much as three meters over the period.  "The development of the underground areas and large-scale construction projects such as high-rise buildings and subways are what has caused the land to sink," Lou told the Global Times.  In February, land subsidence caused several major cracks to appear in the ground near the construction site of the 632-meter Shanghai Tower in Pudong New Area. During the construction of metro Line 4 in 2003, land subsidence at the Nanpu Bridge Station near to the Huangpu River caused a major collapse. A 60-meter section of the Huangpu flood prevention barrier was damaged and three six-story apartment buildings had to be demolished.   "The lower ground level will also make it easier for the city to flood," Lou added.  Shanghai has set up a land subsidence monitoring network and facilities to manage the problem. - Global Times.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mount Lokon Erupts - Spew Volcanic Ash Twice 1,200 Metres High!

November 21, 2012 - JAKARTA, INDONESIA - Mount Lokon in North Sulawesi, one of the most active volcano in Indonesia, erupted twice Wednesday morning.


The first eruption occurred at 9.51 am followed by the second one several minutes later, said Lokon and Mahawu Volcano Observation monitoring post chief Farid Ruskanda Bina.

The eruptions spew volcanic ash 1,200 metres into the air that sent shudders down the spine of Tomohon residents.

The volcanic ash drifted north from Mount Lokon.

The Tomohon local government asked residents to be on the alert and not to approach the crater in Tompaluan within a radius of 2.5 km. - Bernama.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Land Subsidence Continues in Indonesia - Houses and Lands in Kampung Pulo and Jakarta Inundated and Submerged Under Water!

November 21, 2012 - INDONESIA - Residents in Kampung Pulo, East Jakarta, have been friends with flooding. See, flooding continues to inundate the region does not preclude Haslan boy named Ali playing soccer with his friends.

Flood waters or not, it is business as usual at Pasar Ikan in Penjaringan, North Jakarta, on Friday. Increasing
land subsidence constantly inundated several parts of the northern coast of Jakarta. (Antara/Wahyu Putro A).
However, flooding becomes prohibitive Haslan to go to school. School textbooks he had saved from the flood, but shoes and his uniform is still wet.  Friends with flooding, residents of Kampung Pulo around this by making a two-story house. That's what thousands of households in the region. As Haslan family home, while floods inundated houses, all members of the family lived on the second floor. All activities performed on the pool of water, ranging from cooking, washing clothes and other household activities. 

Residents of Kampung Pulo are friends with the flood.
Hopes are now pinned on the new governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo. Through the Public Works Department he had prepared several strategies to overcome flooding.  Monitoring systems will be done in the short term, ie within the period of six to eight hours of rain made the checking of waste and sediment in the river as well as the provision of water pumps on standby 24 hours.  While the long term is to rob the construction of embankments, construction of dams, as well as development plans and programs Jakarta Great Wall row house that is still in the planning stages.  In addition to the steps and the government plans, awareness of citizens are also required to preserve the environment. Garbage became inundated lack of awareness of evidence Capital prevent flooding. - Liputan [Translated].

MASS UFO SIGHTINGS: The Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around the World?!

November 21, 2012 - WORLDWIDE UFOs - Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.


Mexico City, Mexico - 18th of November, 2012.


Chicago, Illinois, United States - 19th of November, 2012.


Curico, Chile - 19th of November, 2012.


Punta Arenas, Chile - 19th of November, 2012.


Tenterden, Kent, England - 19th of November, 2012.

 

Fresno, California, United States - 20th of November, 2012.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Scientists Baffled by Dead Birds in Missouri?!

November 21, 2012 - UNITED STATES - "I can't think of any explanation for what happened." says Judy Carmicheal who lives just about a hundred feet from where a flock of starlings died. On Saturday she came out to see the birds dead in the road on Fremont and Erie Street away from power lines and trees.


"None were on the sidewalk. There weren't any in the grass. They were just all right there and I just about counted everyone." says Carmichael. She counted about 100 birds. Garrett Lane works along the intersection and when he showed up some of the birds were still alive. "Most of the birds were standing right here just leaning up against the wall so when I walked up they wouldn't fly away so that was kind of odd to me. Why aren't the birds flying away--they just weren't able to fly." says Lane. There were no dead birds on his lawn. He doesn't know what happened to the birds that couldn't fly. Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation said in the winter starlings are usually in a flock for protection but they don't know what happened.

"When a bad event happens it impacts the whole flock and in this case the mystery is what was that event." says Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation. The event couldn't have been weather related since on Saturday morning conditions were mild and calm with a lot of sunshine. Theories are a truck could have hit the birds that were in the road. Also, something could have messed with a protective layer of oil on the bird's feathers. "If something gets on the feathers, it can disperse that oil and it can cause them to get hypothermia and die." says Skalicky. Other theories are the birds could have died from exhaustion while migrating. These ideas are just speculations. The experts we spoke to disagreed with each other on what could have caused the deaths. "If they were sick, they wouldn't all just die right then and there." says Carmichael. Similar starling die offs have occurred in Arkansas. Scientists think fireworks caused the deaths but no one knows for sure. There were no reports of any booms or firework explosions on Saturday. The Missouri Department of Conservation collected a few of the birds and put them in a freezer. It hopes to find some one to test the birds. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department only tests birds with rabies and doesn't plan to test these birds. - 12 News Now.

WATCH: Scientists baffled by dead birds in Missouri.

DELUGE: Pervasively Extreme Weather - Britain to Face Floods for 100 Years, Experts Warn!

November 21, 2012 - BRITAIN - Torrential rain and fierce winds will wreak havoc across Britain over the next three days, forecasters warned last night. Swaths of the country are on flood alert with as much as four inches of rain likely to fall in just 48 hours.  Already flood-hit regions face a massive deluge in a matter of hours while gale-force gusts of 80mph are expected to cause structural damage and travel misery.  The Met Office yesterday issued a rare four-day severe weather warning for rain in the South-west and North-west, expected to get the worst of the deluge.  However the entire country is braced for a “very wet and windy” few days with no let up at least until the weekend.  The dire prediction comes as scientists warn flooding could

Britain is set to face 100 years of wet weather due to climate change, experts have warned.
German researchers at the Institute of Physics’ journal Environmental Research Letters have warned climate change could trigger “extreme rainfall patterns” with the greatest impact in western regions.  The warning comes as the UK braves hurricane-force winds and up to two weeks’ worth of rain in just 24 hours.  Scores of families have been forced from their homes with firefighters on Tayside, Scotland, dealt with a “major incident” after a river burst its banks.  Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, said: “We are looking at a very slight lull on Wednesday before the wind and rain charge back with a vengeance on Thursday.

“Another low pressure system is due to take over bringing back heavy rain for a good swathe of the country with winds of up to 80mph.  “Areas that have not already flooded should be aware that this next hammering is likely to trigger some by the end of Friday.”  The Met Office said some regions could see more than an inch of rain today (Wednesday) with up to three more tomorrow.  Forecaster Sarah Holland said: “It is going to be a very unsettled week with rain raising the risk of flooding and some quite string gusts on the way.  “It is possible we will see some disruption to transport, and in some places the rain is going to be quite slow-moving leading to 40mm [1.5 inches] or more falling.  “The tomorrow there is the potential for another 60mm [2.3inches] at the top end of the scale tomorrow.

“The reason for this is another band of low pressure from the Atlantic making for very wet and windy weather.”  Netweather forecaster Paul Michaelwaite said: “Staying generally unsettled for the rest of the week, with further wind and rain moving in across the north and west on Thursday, then spreading southeast across other areas on Friday before clearing in the evening to drier conditions from the west.”  The Environment Agency last night issued 24 flood alerts and four more serious flood warnings covering most of the South-west, central and eastern regions.  It warned people in Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire to be extra vigilant.  There are also warnings for the public to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through floodwater.  A spokesman said: “Successive bands of heavy and slow moving rain could lead to flooding in the coming days across parts of central, southern and south west England and south east Wales. 

“Heavy rain falling on already saturated ground could lead to river and groundwater flooding, and strong winds could worsen surface water flooding, as wind-blown leaves and debris block water drainage.  “Environment Agency teams have been mobilised across the country to check on flood defences, clear any river blockages and closely monitor river levels. These teams work around the clock to reduce the risk of flooding, and will be out in force over the coming days.”  The study, by the German scientists in the Institute of Physics’ journal Environmental Research Letters, also found the pattern of rainfall around the UK is set to shift.  It claims heavy rain which usually arrives late summer in south-eastern regions will gradually move to autumn, while north-western regions will see rainfall in November rather than December.  Lead author of the study Anne Schindler said: “We looked at precipitation rates and the results show a shift from season to season.  “This brings the higher risk of flooding because heavy rain will coincide with when rivers are at full capacity and ground moisture is at a peak.  “It follows that there could be more extreme patterns of rainfall and these could be caused by other factors, although this needs further investigation.”  Britain’s extreme weather this year is set to continue with some experts predicting the coldest winter for 100 years. James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said much of Britain can also expected the snowiest winter for a century. - Express.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Over 4,000 Birds Killed Due to Outbreak of Avian Flu in Dhaka, Bangladesh!

November 21, 2012 - BANGLADESH - An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus caused by the H5N1 virus has been reported at a commercial farm near Dhaka to the OIE.


The outbreak was reported by Dr Musaddique Hossain, Director (Animal Health & Administration), Department of Livestock Services, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The outbreak occurred at Brothers poultry farm, a commericla poultry farm in Pabur, Kapasia, Gazipur, Dhaka.

In total, 156 birds died out of 4191 susceptible birds. The remaining 4035 birds were destroyed as a result.

The following measures were applied:
Stamping out
Movement control inside the country
Disinfection of infected premises/establishment(s)
Vaccination prohibited
No treatment of affected animals
- The Poultry Site.

ICE AGE NOW: Monumental Earth Changes - Global Cooling Predicted For The Next 30 Years!

November 21, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Dr. Norman Page says that "The earth is entering a cooling phase which is likely to last about 30 years and possibly longer." See his detailed analysis here. Page's prediction is based on observation of the geologic record. He notes that there has been no net warming since 1997 even thought carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has risen 8.5%. Page says that atmospheric temperature is driven by sea surface temperature (SST) which is, itself, solar driven. The oceanic oscillations control the general climate. There is good correlation between solar cycles and SST, but note that because of the enthalpy and thermal inertia of the oceans, there is a 10 - 12 year lag between solar cycle troughs and global SSTs. This lag time definitely establishes cause and effect similar to the lag in carbon dioxide changes following temperature changes in the major glacial cycles as shown in ice cores The graph below shows the variations in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the major oceanic oscillation (the red line is actual measurement, the blue line is predictive modeling.) (Graph source here.)

© TallBloke Wordpress

Page says than in the figure "an approximate 60 year cycle is obvious by inspection and this coincides well with the 30 year +/- positive (warm) and 30year +/- negative (cold) phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation." The graph "shows warming from about 1910 to 1940-45, cooling from then to about 1975, warming to about 2003-5 and cooling since then. Total warming during the 20th century was about 0.8 degrees C." He also says that it is clear that we are entering the beginning of a 30-year cool phase of the PDO. Page goes on to say:
"The major ice age climate cycles are controlled by the sun - earth orbital eccentricity, and the earth's obliquity and precession. These cycles are approximately 100,000, 41,000 and 21,000 years in length respectively and are well documented in the ice core and geological record. It is useful to keep in mind that the warmest temperatures in the current interglacial occurred about 7500+/- years ago and the general trend is now a cooling towards the next ice age."

"These long term cycles are modulated by quasi cyclic trends in solar activity which may be decadal, centennial, or millennial in length. Of particular interest in deciding where we are with regard to the solar cycles is the approximately 1000 +/- year cycle which produced successively the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Ages, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the recent 20th century warming."
These cycles are shown in the 2,000-year temperature reconstruction below (the white line is the smoothed curve):

© TusconCitizen
Page says that "A reasonable case can be made that the warming peaks of a 60 year PDO cycle and the 1000 year solar cycle coincided at 2000 +/- and we are likely on the cooling slope of both." For a broader view, the graph below shows a temperature reconstruction for the past 11,000 years:

© TusconCitizen
In his conclusion, Page says "Often the signal for a climate direction change is a see-saw effect between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. The Arctic is still reflecting the peak in the warming trend with low summer ice values. The first indication of a cooling event is however the increase in Antarctic sea ice which has already occurred." (See my post: The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw) Page is not alone is his prediction. Two years ago I reported that NASA was also predicting a cooling period based on the same natural parameters. (See NASA Says Earth Is Entering A Cooling Period). If this predicted cooling trend comes to pass, it will show, once again, that the forces of natural variation easily overcome the weak warming effect of carbon dioxide. And, by the way, if indeed the predicted cooling trend proceeds, atmospheric carbon dioxide will decrease because a cooler ocean can absorb more carbon dioxide. This phase shift has some policy implications. It shows that curbing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels is unnecessary and perhaps contraindicated. If you believe that such emissions do have a significant effect on global temperature, we should continue and perhaps even increase emissions to forestall or lessen the effect of the cooling trend lest we find ourselves in another "little ice age."Tucson Citizen.

EXTREME WEATHER: Hundreds of Homes Ravaged by Deadly Storms in Alabama - 2 Dead, Over 100 Injured, Some 400 Homes Destroyed or Damaged!

November 21, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Storms that spawned at least one twister were responsible for 2 deaths, more than 100 injuries and some 400 homes and buildings destroyed or damaged early Monday in the area around Birmingham, Ala. -- less than a year after the state saw 240 lives taken by tornadoes. More than 200 homes were destroyed, the Red Cross said, and as many were damaged. Jefferson County appeared hardest hit, especially the town of Clay, where the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado with 150-mph winds had struck. "We have major, major damage," said a Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency official, Bob Ammons, in reference to the region.

This neighborhood in Trussville, Ala., was among those hit by a suspected tornado overnight. Butch Dill / AP.
Two people were confirmed killed in the county, and officials were looking at a report of a third death there as well. In the town of Center Point, the elementary school was 80 percent destroyed and officials said it would have to be bulldozed, The Birmingham News reported. Last April, massive tornadoes tore through Alabama killing 241 people, including 64 in the Jefferson and Tuscaloosa areas. The storms flattened homes and peeled off roofs in the middle of the night in the rural community of Oak Grove. As dawn broke, residents surveyed the damage and began cleaning up across parts of central Alabama, an area that has a history of tornadoes going back decades. In a sign that Alabama has become all too familiar with severe weather, officials had to reschedule a meeting Monday to receive a report on their response to deadly twisters last spring. Alabama's governor declared a state of emergency for the entire state. Oak Grove was hit hard last April, though officials said none of the same neighborhoods was struck again. Amber Butler and her family hid in her sister's brick home as the storm approached. Butler's own home was destroyed. "I am just so speechless now, I don't know what to do," she said. "God Bless our friends and neighbors who have come to help. We've lost everything we had."

Butler lived near 83-year-old Bobby Frank Sims, who was killed when his home was leveled by a tree. In Clay, northeast of Birmingham, 16-year-old Christina Nicole Heichelbech died, the Jefferson County coroner's office said. Rescue workers said her parents were injured. The storm system stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, producing hail, strong winds and rain. Possible tornadoes were reported in Arkansas on Sunday night. In Alabama, searchers went door-to-door calling out to residents, many of whom were trapped by trees that crisscrossed their driveways. Jefferson County, where Oak Grove and Clay are located, suffered the most damage, followed by Chilton County, with most of the damage around Maplesville. Oak Grove, a sprawling unincorporated area in the western part of the county was nearly wiped out on April 8, 1998, by a powerful tornado that killed 34 people and left about 260 people injured. It spread a wide path of destruction that left much of the previously heavily wooded western section of the county looking barren. The tornado destroyed Oak Grove High School, which has been rebuilt. This general section of Jefferson County has been infamous for destructive tornadoes dating back to the 1930s. State Climatologist John Christy said there seems to be a general path from central Mississippi going into north Alabama that gets attention for a large number of tornadoes - and their intensity. One theory has to do with the distance from the Gulf of Mexico, just far enough to be effected by cold air coming from the north. "It's the frequency and intensity of the storms that tend to align on this corridor," said Christy, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. - MSNBC.

WATCH: Storm kills at least 2 in Alabama.

SOLAR WATCH: Sunspot 1618 is Crackling and Popping with M-Class Solar Flares - Erupts With M3.5 Flare, Second of the Day From the Active Region! UPDATE: Geomagnetic Storm Category G2 Predicted!

November 21, 2012 - SUN - Only a few days ago, Sunspot 1618 was almost invisible. Now it is a behemoth more than 10 times wider than Earth. The magnetic canopy of the sunspot is crackling with M-class solar flares.


Region 1618 is popping one M-class solar flare after another. On November 21, 2012 it erupted with M3.5 solar flare peaking at 15:30 UTC. This is second M-class solar flare of the day, the second M-class from Region 1618 today, and fourth M-class solar flare in last 24 hours.

A Type II and IV Radio Emissions were reported. Type IV Radio Emissions occur in association with major eruptions on the Sun and are typically associated with strong Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and solar radiation storms. A 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) was associated with the event. This can be indicative of significant radio noise in association with a solar flare. The more intense solar flares are associated with TenFlares. Almost all major flares are associated with them. Generally, the greater the intensity of the burst of noise observed at the 10.7 cm wavelength band, the more significant the flare is said to be.

NOAA/SWPC forecasters estimated there was 70% chance of an M-class event today, and 15% chance of an X-class event. Region 1618 is now ten times wider than Earth. It’s continually growing and still has Beta-Gamma magnetic configuration capable of producing strong solar flares. It is now located in the center of the solar disk, in perfect position for Earth directed Coronal Mass Ejections (CME).

A 10cm radio burst indicates that the electromagnetic burst associated with a solar flare at the 10cm wavelength was double or greater than the initial 10cm radio background. This can be indicative of significant radio noise in association with a solar flare. This noise is generally short-lived but can cause interference for sensitive receivers including radar, GPS, and satellite communications. Type IV radio emissions occur in association with major eruptions on the sun and are typically associated with strong coronal mass ejections and solar radiation storms. Type II radio emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event. - NOAA/SWPC.

WATCH: M3.5 Solar Flare - Sunspot 1618.


UPDATE: Geomagnetic Storm Category G2 Predicted!
The geomagnetic field has been at quiet to unsettled levels for the past 24 hours. Solar wind speed, as measured by the ACE spacecraft, reached a peak speed of 488 km/s at 21/0307Z. Total IMF reached 7 nT at 20/2228Z. The maximum southward component of Bz reached -6.4 nT at 20/2350Z. Electrons greater than 2 MeV at geosynchronous orbit reached a peak level of 857 pfu. IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet to unsettled levels on day one (22 Nov). On day two (23 Nov) conditions are expected to increase to unsettled to minor storm levels with a chance for major storm levels due to the arrival of 21 and 22 Nov CMEs. Conditions are expected to decrease to unsettled to active with a chance for minor storm levels on day three (24 Nov) with CME effects combined with a favorably positioned coronal hole. A chance for a proton event exists on days one, two, and three (22 Nov, 23 Nov, 24 Nov) due to a chance of high solar flare activity and a favorable position of Region 1618.

Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
Nov 22: None (Below G1) Nov 23: G2 (Moderate) Nov 24: G1 (Minor)

THIS SUPERSEDES ANY/ALL PRIOR WATCHES IN EFFECT

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.
Spacecraft - Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.
Radio - HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.
Aurora - Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
www.swpc.noaa.gov/NOAAscales - NOAA/SWPC.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.1 Magnitude Quake Hits Southwest of San Antonio, Chile!

November 21, 2012 - CHILE - A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's central-north area on Wednesday, but authorities said no injuries or damage were reported and discounted the possibility of a tsunami.


The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake's epicentre was 34 miles (54 kilometres) southwest of San Antonio, Chile, and had a depth of 9.7 miles (15.6 kilometres). It struck at 21:36:22 UTC and was mildly felt in the capital of Santiago, where it shook buildings and in several regions from the Atacama desert in the north to the port of Valparaiso. Early reports from Chile's emergency services office, said no damage to infrastructure were immediately reported and NOAA's West Coast and Alaska Tsunamic Warning Center has issued no watch, warning, or advisory on the tremor event.

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. - USGS.

MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: CEASEFIRE - Egypt Announces Peace Deal Between Israel and Hamas, to Take Effect At 9 P.M.!

November 21, 2012 - CAIRO, EGYPT - Egypt has announced a cease-fire agreement to end a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.  Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr said the truce would take effect at 9 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EDT.)


He made the announcement alongside visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the deal, saying he had agreed after consulting with President Barack Obama.  The deal is to end a week of fighting that has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.  A Palestinian official says a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas will be announced within hours in Cairo.  The truce agreement would end the weeklong fighting between the two sides.  In details of the agreement obtained exclusively by The Associated Press, the official said Israel would cease all military activity against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Palestinian militants would cease rocket attacks into Israel. After 24 hours of quiet, Gaza's border crossings with Israel would be opened further to allow freer movement of goods and people.  Egypt would be the guarantor of the deal, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. - Huffington Post.

A cease-fire agreement has been reached to end the hostilities in Gaza, Egypt's foreign minister announced Wednesday at a news conference.  The cease-fire was scheduled to take effect at 9 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said.  The agreement came hours after militants exploded a bomb on a public transport bus in Tel Aviv, injuring 24 people.  The blast shook up the Israeli public and drew immediate condemnation from world leaders, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who called it "shocking." The White House labeled the strike a "terrorist attack," and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States "stands ready to provide any assistance that Israel requires." Hamas praised the attack, which struck close to the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF. But the group did not claim responsibility. "We told you #IDF that our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are," the al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said on Twitter. "You opened the Gates of Hell on Yourselves." Later, in an interview on the Hamas TV station al Aqsa, the group's spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called on Palestinians for more such attacks.  "We need more of these painful strikes inside the depths of Israel, in all the towns and cities and villages of Israel," he said. Meanwhile, overnight and into Wednesday, Israeli bombs and artillery turned buildings, tunnels and bridges in Gaza into rubble in 100 strikes confirmed by Israeli authorities. Hamas struck back with at least 62 rockets aimed at southern Israel, according to the Israeli military.  Israel launched the conflict eight days ago with a stated goal of ending the frequent rocket attacks on southern Israel from inside Gaza. Hamas officials have termed it a criminal expansion of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory. - CNN.

WATCH: Russia Today's Live Stream From Gaza.





GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Tracking the Louisiana Sinkhole - High Levels Of ‘Extremely Dangerous Gas’ Reported Near Giant Sinkhole!

November 21, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Texas Brine Co. has shut down one of its two vent wells burning off methane trapped under the Bayou Corne community in Assumption Parish after a small amount of potentially deadly hydrogen sulfide gas was released to the atmosphere, company officials confirmed Tuesday.


Sonny Cranch, spokesman for Houston-based Texas Brine, said the well was sealed about 7 p.m. Monday immediately after detection and remained closed Tuesday as company officials worked on their next steps, adding the small gas release did not present a risk to the public.  “It was barely a minimum amount that went into the air,” Cranch said.  Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas that is flammable and poisonous at sufficiently high concentrations. The naturally occurring gas has a foul rotten-egg odor, can occur in natural gas deposits and is a known risk with oil and gas exploration.  Parish officials said in a separate blog post Tuesday that no community air monitors detected hydrogen sulfide, but warned residents about the discovery, saying high concentrations of the gas were found inside the vent well.  “Please be advised that H2S (hydrogen sulfide) is an extremely dangerous gas. Unlike methane, it is heavier than air and collects at low-to-the-ground levels,” the blog post says. - The Advocate.

Officials: High Levels Of ‘Extremely Dangerous Gas’ Reported Near Giant Sinkhole!
Texas Brine has reported high levels of H2S from their sonic vent well that is drilled into the cap rock. The well was shut in due to these levels. DNR’s contractor, The Shaw Group, is currently investigating. We are currently waiting on additional details from DNR.  Please be advised that H2S is an extremely dangerous gas. Unlike methane, it is heavier than air and collects at low to the ground levels. No community air monitors have detected H2S. Monitoring will continue as usual. - Assumption Parish Police Jury.

The following video presentation, provided courtesy of fellow YouTube contributor rainbeaudais, features the residential meeting of the Bayou Corne/Assumption Parish community with geologist Dr. Gary Hecox.
The people are frustrated and angry, and emotional after Dr Hecox explains how all homes on slabs will need ventilation improvements and industrial methane monitors in their homes, that will be ONLINE monitored 24/7 by an outside company, and that this event is still months away from resolution, and the mandatory evacuation is still "appropriate" among other things.
WATCH: Bayou Corne/Assumption Parish Resident Meeting - November 13, 2012.


Expert: It Is Dangerous To Live On A Salt Dome - It Can Flow Like Toothpaste When Under Pressure.
Louisiana has over 120 salt domes and many different drilling operations on them. The residents of Bayou Corne know the reality of a potential disaster is all too real.  "Who'd buy here," Ernest Boudreaux Jr., Bayou Corne resident, said. "I wouldn't have bought here if I would have know the salt dome ran this far." LSU geology professor Jeffrey Nunn explained that a crew drilling for oil on the salt dome miscalculated and sent the water from the lake rushing into a salt mine underneath the surface.  "Every time you drill a well there is risk," said Nunn. "In South Louisiana, over the last century, literally tens of thousands of wells have been drilled and there are relatively small numbers of instances."  Over 120 salt domes lie underneath the ground in Louisiana.  "The simplest way to think of a salt dome is it's really a mountain of salt that's underground," said Nunn.  Scientists believe these domes formed millions of years ago...

Today these domes are used for oil and gas storage. Others are used for drilling including mining for brine. Nunn says living on a salt dome is relatively safe, but there is always a risk operators could make a mistake.  "You are dissolving salt. You are creating a big cavern, You're also drilling for oil and gas, which, in some instances, may be under pressure and not being controlled properly could come spewing up to the surface," Nunn said. "Most of the risk would come from some sort of seepage or leak from the cavern."     Patrick Courreges with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources agrees there are some risks associated with salt domes.  "[The biggest risk] is poorly designed, poorly operated, poorly maintained - that would be your worst risk," he said... In October, scientist with the Shaw Group explained to residents at a community meeting in Bayou Corne that they believe one reason for the giant sinkhole is a pressure issue at the failed Texas Brine cavern. They explained that pressure around the cavern was too great and caused cracks or "fractures" in the side of the cavern closest to the sinkhole. The pressure went through these cracks and pushed upward eventually causing the collapse and the sinkhole.     Professor Nunn explained in an interview held prior to that meeting that salt domes, especially the walls of salt caverns, are extremely ductile. He says the wrong mix of pressure and exposed periods of time could cause a problem.  "If you put pressure on one end of a tube of toothpaste and you took the cap off so it's free to flow, it's just going to flow out one side," he said. "If you did the same thing to most other solids, nothing would happen." - FOX44.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Catastrophic Developments in Japan - Extremely Grim Fukushima Disaster Update!

November 21, 2012 - JAPAN - Major news in Japan has been relatively quiet but many bits of smaller news do piece together a picture of what is going on now. The disaster continues to evolve and is far from going away.


Lake Kasumigaura in the northern are of Tokyo’s metro area has been concentrating cesium (and probably other isotopes) from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Various rivers run into the lake, those rivers are fed by other rivers and streams. This has turned the lake into a hot spot for contamination in the mud and sediment. Levels in the lake were as high as 5,800 Bq/kg in February. The Onagawa river that runs into the lake was found to have 13,200 Bq/kg of cesium in May. Levels gradually went up and some of the levels went back down slightly on the last round of testing leading some government officials to prematurely declare the problem to be over. Experts say the runoff into the lake is slow and sediment is greatly varied leading to readings that can show a range of readings. The river is a major source of fresh water, 960,00 people depend on it for drinking water. Fish in the lake are also being found to be over limit. Catfish and carp (both bottom dwellers) have tested over the legal limit for consumption. This should have been expected. Radioactive contamination that falls over land will have some of it wash away with soil and debris. This will follow the natural water routes taking the contamination with.  Some have suggested opening a dam to drain down the lake but this would not solve the problem as the contamination has settled in as mud in the lake. As was found in Russia with lake Karachay, lower levels of water turn that sediment to dust that then blows around causing more problems. Any contamination that would run downstream doesn’t solve anything, it just moves the contamination somewhere else. In this case the river that drains into the Pacific, causing the river to be more contaminated and adding to the Pacific contamination.

Radiation in various freshwater fish around the region are also showing up as highly contaminated. Trout found in one river were 11,400 bq/kg of cesium Radiation testing done soon after the start of the disaster showed that people outside the evacuation areas also had high levels of exposure. Government dose reconstructions found a woman in the north of Fukushima prefecture had an 11 mSv exposure during the early days of the disaster. Local government staff shortages as high as 30% are hindering recovery in the north east region of Japan. This seems to be a combination of displaced residents and people unwilling to move the the heavily damaged contaminated region. The Environment Ministry is planning on using children in Nagasaki as a control group study to compare thyroid damage to children in the Tohoku region of Japan. Information about who or how the study would be conducted was not available. There was a 2001 study of children in Nagasaki for thyroid abnormalities but the study cohort was quite small. That small study found extremely low incidence of thyroid abnormalities of about 1% or less.

Japan’s upcoming election has considerable speculation that the LDP party will take back over from the DPJ and that this will cause even more stagnation in the country. The LDP is frequently blamed with being too entrenched and unable to change, contributing to Japan’s economic problems that existed before the Fukushima crisis. An even worse potential is seen lurking among the election. Osaka’s governor Hashimoto and Tokyo’s former governor Ishihara recently teamed up for a new political party. Now they are busy talking about Japan needing nuclear weapons. Both politicians have a reputation for crazy behavior with Hashimoto going on a witch hunt for public workers with tattoos and Ishihara frequently stoking up the Senkaku Island dispute. Head of the Fukushima Health Survey, Dr. Yamashita has apologized for the Health Survey Committee holding secret meetings though gave no assurances anything with the health survey would change. Kansai Electric has removed fuel from a number of their reactors indicating they don’t see them restarting any time soon. Mihama Unit 1 (121 assemblies) Unit 3  (157 assemblies), No. 1 Oi ( 193 assemblies),, and Takahama Unit 1 (157 assemblies). Better late than never, TEPCO has admitted that March 16th, 2011 there was a considerable spike in radiation that had not been reported. At the time radiation jumped suddenly from about 20 mSv to 80 mSv over about 10 minutes. This was the same time white steam was seen pouring out of the reactor well of unit 3. TEPCO claims they do not know the cause of the two events at this point but they will investigate. - SimplyInfo.

WATCH: Dr. Helen Caldicott - "The truth is, scientifically, they will never clean it up. It’s impossible".

WEATHER ANOMALIES: High Strangeness - Scientists Observe Anticlockwise Rotation of Sea-Surface Height Near Norway’s West Coast?!

November 21, 2012 - NORWAY - An anticlockwise rotation of sea-surface height patterns has been observed near Norway’s west coast. Archived data from radar altimeters on the ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat satellites show the wave-like motion around the centre of the Lofoten Basin.

The Lofoten Basin is a topographic depression about 3500 m deep in the Norwegian Sea. It is known to be the major heat reservoir for the Nordic Seas (Greenland, Norwegian and Iceland Seas), where large interactions between the ocean and atmosphere occur. (Credits: D. Volkov/ESA).
The Lofoten Basin is a topographic depression about 3500 m deep in the Norwegian Sea and plays an important role in sustaining global ocean circulation. It is a transit area for the warm and saline Atlantic Water on its way to the Arctic Ocean. Here, the inflowing Atlantic Water loses its heat to the atmosphere and mixes with surrounding water. This causes the water to become dense and sink, forming ‘deep water’ in adjacent regions – another important step in ocean circulation.  Using satellite data, scientists have observed topographic waves in the Lofoten Basin that are largely responsible for the amplification of sea-surface height variability in the area. The waves are approximately 10 cm high and propagate in an anticlockwise direction.  Most of the waves observed had a wavelength of about 500 km, and moved from two to eight km per day.  The waves could be affected by different disturbances like wind or the meandering of the Norwegian Atlantic Current.  It is likely that they can increase the mixing of water masses and even affect the low-frequency variability of local biological processes.

All three ESA satellites used in the study carried radar altimeters – an instrument that can provide precise measurements of sea-surface height, as well as freshwater bodies, land and ice.  The ERS-1/2 and Envisat measurements enabled the provision of sea-surface height with an accuracy of a few centimetres from their orbits around 800 km above Earth.  “The next step in our study will be to investigate the factors that may affect the amplitude of the observed topographic waves,” said Denis Volkov, an oceanographer from the University of California Los Angeles.  “We will investigate the sensitivity of the waves to the variability of the nearby Norwegian Atlantic Current and to wind forcing.”  The findings were recently presented at the ‘20 Years of Progress in Radar Altimetry’ symposium in Venice, Italy. - ESA.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Large Fish Kill Found in Barangay Estefania Rivers, Down to Barangay Villamonte, Bacolod City, in the Philippines!

November 21, 2012 - PHILIPPINES - Residents and students complained of foul smell from a fish kill from the rivers of Barangay Estefania down to Barangay Villamonte, Bacolod City.  The fish kill was reportedly composed mostly of janitor fishes.

FILE:  A fish pond worker scoops up dead milkfish after thousands of them were found floating on
Taal Lake, south of Manila, Philippines in 2011. Picture: AP/Bullit Marquez Source: AP.
Bacolod City Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said he will have the report checked today, Monday, so that proper action can be taken on the matter.  Students at St. Joseph cannot concentrate on their lessons due to the foul smell. It worsens when the wind blows at the direction of the school building, they added.  Also the residents of Barangays Estefania, Montevista and Villamonte in Bacolod City have complained about the foul odor coming from the Cabacawan creek Friday.  Estefania Barangay Captain Elsie Valenzuela said Sunday they have received complaints from the residents of Bethany Court and Greensville I, including those living beside the creek about the foul odor. 

She said Villamonte Barangay Captain Andre Victor Las Piñas has also complained about it, including residents living near the bridge along La Salle.  Villanueva said they have discovered dead janitor fishes and tilapias floating in the creek in Estefania and they are trying to find out the cause of the fish kill.  Councilor Roberto Rojas, chairman of the Sangguniang Committee on Heath and Sanitation, said he has sent his staff to check on the reported fish kill in Estefania Friday.  He also called up City Health Officer Dr. Salome Biñas and requested her to conduct water sampling in the area, he said.  Rojas said they will also send a health inspector today to verify reports that the fish kill was caused by water waste that was discharged into the creek and to submit an evaluation to his office. - Sun Star.

THE AGE OF OBAMA & THE END OF AMERICA: Secession Movement Explodes - The White House "Secede" Petitions Have Reach 700,000 Signatures, 50-State Participation!

November 21, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of Americans seeking permission for their states to peacefully secede from the union have now been filed for all 50 states on the White House website. 


The secession petition push began last week on the site's We The People section after a Slidell, La., man filed a petition on Nov. 7 to allow Louisiana to secede. Residents from other states followed suit.  As of Wednesday afternoon, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas—all states that voted for former Gov. Mitt Romney—as well as Florida each had accumulated more than 25,000 signatures, the threshold needed to trigger an official response from the Obama administration. Collectively, the secession petitions now have more than 700,000 digital signatures. 

Texas is in the lead with more than 99,000, but Gov. Rick Perry said on Tuesday that he does not support secession.  "Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it," a statement from the governor's office read. "But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government."  Meanwhile, residents of Austin, Texas' stubbornly liberal stronghold, have petitioned the White House to allow the city to "withdraw from the state of Texas [and] remain part of the United States." 

Of course, the petitions are little more than symbolic—and nothing new. Similar petitions were filed after the 2004 and 2008 elections. And at least one petition filed on the site asks that the president sign an executive order to strip U.S. citizenship from anyone who signed a petition to secede and requests that they are "peacefully deported."  Secession, though, is not the only thing people are petitioning the White House for. Included among the 140 petitions currently displayed on the site: two seeking federal legalization of marijuana, one asking for the halt of U.S. drone strikes and one demanding a recount of the election. - Yahoo.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: 50,000 Chickens Killed Due to Bird Flu Outbreak in New South Wales - Australian Authorities Quarantines Farm For Containment!

November 21, 2012 - AUSTRALIA - Australia's first outbreak of a highly pathogenic bird flu virus in 15 years should be contained by a cull of 50,000 chickens, the authorities said yesterday, although they do not know what caused the case at an egg farm in New South Wales state. 


The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said all chickens at the property in Maitland, 160km north of Sydney, will be destroyed after the H7 virus was detected last week.  The H7 strain is highly pathogenic to birds but is not related to the H5N1 strain, which was first detected in 1997 in Hong Kong and has since caused hundreds of human deaths.  DPI Chief Veterinary Officer Ian Roth said the strain did not present any risks to food safety from poultry and eggs.  The owners of the infected farm have been quarantined as experts try to find the source of the virus, often wild birds.  Australia's Agriculture Ministry reported the outbreak to the Paris-based animal health body OIE on Thursday. 

Australia's Chicken Meat Federation said that the industry produced approximately 1.12 million tonnes a year, worth around A$1.9 billion (S$2.4 billion), with most used domestically and only approximately 5 per cent exported.  Chicken Meat Federation Executive Director Andreas Dubs said that most exports were for pet food, while chicken feet were exported to some countries where they are consumed by humans.  Major export destinations are Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Vietnam and South Africa, who will be in discussions with Australian authorities to check if the outbreak is contained and exports can be restored.  Japan has banned the import of poultry and eggs from Australia after the outbreak, the country's Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement late on Thursday. It is asking Australian authorities to provide more details about the outbreak.  South Korea, which imported 5.2 tonnes of Australian poultry last year, is conducting a review, an official said.  Hong Kong and China have not issued a ban on imports. - Today Online.

THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Apocalypse Now - Bus Explodes in Tel Aviv Bus, Blast Injures 10 Across From Military Headquarters; Israel Escalate Attacks; Palestinian Death Toll Rises to 130!

November 21, 2012 - TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding at least 10 people, Israeli officials said.  The attack came as diplomats, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, shuttled around the region to try to broker a cease fire following a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza that has killed more than 130 Palestinians.

Israeli rescue workers and paramedics carry a wounded person from the site of a bombing in
Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty).
Militant rocket fire into Israel has killed five Israelis.  The bus exploded about noon on one of the coastal city's busiest arteries, near the Tel Aviv museum and across from an entrance to Israel's national defense headquarters.  The bus was charred and blackened, its side windows blown out and its glass scattered on the asphalt. The wounded were evacuated and blood was splattered on the sidewalk.  An Israeli driver who witnessed the explosion told Army Radio the bus was "completely charred inside." Another witness said there were few passengers on the bus when it exploded. The witnesses spoke to Israeli TV and were not identified.  Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said authorities were investigating whether the bomb had been planted and left on the bus or whether it was the work of a suicide bomber.  "We strongly believe that this was a terror attack," he said.

He said that of the 10 wounded, three were moderately to seriously hurt.  More than 1,000 Israelis were killed during the violent Palestinian uprising in the last decade in bombings and shooting attacks. More than 5,000 Palestinians were killed as well.  The last bombing in Tel Aviv was in April 2006, when a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11 people at a sandwich stand near the city's old central bus station. A bomb left at a bus stand in Jerusalem last year killed one person.  In Gaza, the Tel Aviv bombing was praised from mosque loudspeakers, while Hamas' television interviewed people praising the attack as a return of militants' trademark tactics.  There was no official comment from Hamas or Islamic Jihad. - Huffington Post.

WATCH:  Tel Aviv Bus Bombing - Explosion rocks Israeli city center.


WATCH: Russia Today's Live Stream From Gaza.



ALIEN INVASION: Kelly-Hopkinsville Close Encounter - Did Extraterrestrials Attack a Kentucky Town?!

November 21, 2012 - UNITED STATES - A mysterious event back in 1955 inspired some of Hollywood's most famous movies, including E.T. and Poltergeist. The event? A Kentucky family claimed to have been visited by aliens from outer space. LEX 18's Adam Winer took a trip back the the scene of this alleged alien encounter for LEX 18's Mystery Monday. They said that for four hours, they fought off the aliens by shooting at them. Back in 1955, everyone thought the Sutton family was crazy.


The family claimed to have been visited by a flying saucer and creatures they described as small goblins. And the Sutton story has never wavered - even 55 years later. Geraldine Sutton Stith wasn't yet born when her father had the unexplained encounter. "They were keeping it hid from us if you want to know the truth about the whole thing," she said. It happened, her father Elmer Lucky Sutton one day explained to her, on the night of August 21, 1955. "The family actually battled with something for that long a period of time," said Stith. They battled for several hours. They ran to Hopkinsville to get help. Then they battled again until 5:15 in the morning.

"It was like a horror movie. These little suckers were like being shot and being hit and coming back," she said. Word spread like wildfire all over the area that a spaceship from Mars loaded with aliens had landed in the yard of the Sutton home on the northeast side of Kelly. Local historian William Turner was a teenager at the time, and says the story turned the town upside down. "The media descending upon Hopkinsville," said Turner. "The involvement the military via Fort Campbell. The participation by the state police." The story gripped the imagination of the country, says Turner. But is it true? Geraldine says of course it is. "These were quiet people that didn't want nobody messing in their business," she said. "And, something happened. Something visited them that night.' Police said there was no evidence the family had been drinking, and no evidence ever proved their story wrong either. - NBC Kentucky.

WATCH: Investigation into the 1955 close encounter case.

SOLAR WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G1 is Predicted - Sunspot 1618 is Crackling With M-Class Solar Flares, Propelling Earth Directed Coronal Mass Ejections!

November 21, 2012 - SUN - A medium-speed (~425 km/s) stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field. The solar wind is not blowing hard enough to ignite a full-fledged geomagnetic storm, but it is stirring up some beautiful auroras around the Arctic Circle.


M-CLASS SOLAR FLARES: The magnetic canopy of big sunspot AR1618 is crackling with M-class solar flares. The image above was taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the extreme ultraviolet flash from one of them, an M1.6-class flare on Nov. 20th at 1928 UT. This eruption, and another one like it about 7 hours earlier, might have propelled faint coronal mass ejections (CMEs) toward Earth. If so, the impacts would likely commence on Nov. 23rd, with a chance of high-latitude geomagnetic storms following their arrival. Stay tuned for updates. - Spaceweather.

SUNSPOT 1618: Sunspot 1618 continues to expand in the northern hemisphere and is currently producing C-Class Solar flares. This region did also just produce a moderate M1.6 solar flare at 19:28 UTC Tuesday afternoon. This region could produce a stronger solar flare within the next 12-24 hours. A coronal mass ejection (CME) is visible in the new images released by STEREO Ahead COR2. This plasma cloud looks to be the result of an eruption near Sunspot 1619 in the northern hemisphere. The plasma cloud initially appeared to have an Earth directed component. - Solar Ham.

GEOMAGNETIC STORM CATEGORY G1 PREDICTED: Solar activity has been at moderate levels for the past 24 hours. The largest solar event of the period was a M1 event, with an associated Earth-directed CME (estimated velocity of 664 km/s), observed at 20/1241Z. There are currently 7 numbered sunspot regions on the disk. Region 1618 (N08E14) has retained its beta-gamma magnetic complexity. New Region 1620 (S08E59) was numbered. IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be at moderate levels on days one, two, and three (21 Nov, 22 Nov, 23 Nov). The geomagnetic field has been at quiet to active levels for the past 24 hours. Solar wind speed, as measured by the ACE spacecraft, reached a peak speed of 461 km/s at 20/1958Z. Total IMF reached 7.8 nT at 19/2347Z. The maximum southward component of Bz reached -7.2 nT at 20/1725Z. Electrons greater than 2 MeV at geosynchronous orbit reached a peak level of 1277 pfu. IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be at mostly quiet levels for the next three days (21 Nov, 22 Nov, 23 Nov). Protons have a slight chance to cross alert threshold on days one, two, and three (21 Nov, 22 Nov, 23 Nov) due to expected solar flare activity from Region 1618. Further analysis is needed to determine the geoeffectiveness of today's CME.

EVENT PROBABILITIES 21 Nov-23 Nov
Class M 70/70/70
Class X 15/15/15
Proton 15/15/15
PCAF green

Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
Nov 22: None (Below G1) Nov 23: None (Below G1) Nov 24: G1 (Minor)

THIS SUPERSEDES ANY/ALL PRIOR WATCHES IN EFFECT

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft - Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora - Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine. - NOAA. http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/

WATCH: M-Class Solar Flares and Earth Directed CME.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Hikers Flee in Panic as Mount Tongariro Erupts - Potential Alert Issued in New Zealand!

November 21, 2012 - NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand's Mount Tongariro volcano in the central North Island has erupted, sending a black plume of gas and ash up to 2km into the air, the Department of Conservation says.

Close-up and spectacular experience of the Mt Tongario eruption. LOMI SCHAUMKEL/Tamatea Intermediate School.
The department closed the popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing walking track on Wednesday afternoon (local time) and staff and police were urging people hiking the crossing to leave the mountain as quickly as possible. An eruption earlier this year sent rocks smashing into a trampers hut. Wednesday's fine weather meant hundreds could be in the vicinity, but as the eruption happened in the afternoon most people would already be making their way down, department spokeswoman Kim Turia told AAP. "It's not a large-scale search and rescue exercise, there are no volcanic rocks in the eruption, just ash and gas." Staff were trying to get people off the crossing with a minimum of panic, she said. The crossing would reopen once GNS Science had given the all clear.

Civil Defence is monitoring the situation, but described the event as minor. GNS Science said a plume of smoke from the Te Maari Crater, on the northern side of Tongariro, was captured on web camera about 1.30pm (1130 AEDT). A light wind was blowing it towards the Kaimanawa Ranges to the east. The eruption prompted the volcanic alert level to be raised to "minor eruptive activity" and the aviation colour code to red - "eruption is forecast to be imminent and significant ash emission into the atmosphere likely". Some media reported sources saying the eruption did not last long. A spokeswoman for Airways, the organisation responsible for air traffic management, said flights over the central North Island were being diverted away from the volcano. There were clear skies in the area and pilots could see the eruption smoke. Airways was waiting on more information from GNS before deciding if aircraft would be diverted even further from the volcano. Last week, GNS warned there was increased activity underneath nearby Mt Ruapehu. In August, the upper Te Maari Crater erupted for the first time in more than a century, sending rocks falling within 1km of the crater, damaging Ketetahi Hut - one of four hikers' huts on the mountain. Light ash fell as far away as Taupo and Napier, while the smell of gas - similar to the "rotten eggs" smell experienced in Rotorua - had drifted to Wellington. - Herald Sun.

WATCH: New Zealand's Mount Tongariro Erupts.