Five tropical systems developing in the Central and Eastern Pacific

A train of developing tropical low pressure areas currently stretches from the Eastern Pacific Ocean into the Central Pacific. Five tropical lows include the remnants of “zombie” Tropical Storm “Genevieve” and newly developed Tropical Storm “Iselle”.NOAA’s GOES-West satellite captured an image of the Pacific ocean on August 1 at 12:00 UTC that showed post-tropical cyclone Genevieve’s remnants between three other systems. The GOES-West image shows the train of storms with a well-developed “Iselle” near the end of the train.This NOAA GOES-West satellite image from August 1 shows a train of 5 developing tropical systems in the Eastern and Central Pacific (l to r): System 91C, Genevieve, System 96E, Iselle, and a tropical wave. Image cr… »

Source: Solar News

"We are sniffing methane" - vast methane plumes discovered escaping from the seafloor of Arctic ocean

Just a week into the methane sampling program and SWERUS-C3 Arctic expedition scientists have discovered vast methane plumes escaping from the seafloor of the Laptev continental slope. These early glimpses of what may be in store for a warming Arctic Ocean could help scientists project the future releases of the strong greenhouse gas methane from the Arctic ocean, their press release states. Results of preliminary analyses of seawater samples pointed towards levels of dissolved methane 10–50 times higher than background levels. ​Methane megaflare on Laptev Sea slope at around 62m depth.”We are “sniffing” methane. We see the bubbles on video from the camera mounted on the CTD or the Multicorer. All analysis tells the signs. We are in a Mega flare. We see i… »

Source: Solar News

Second M-class solar flare of the day - long duration M1.5 from Region 2127

A second M-class solar flare of the day erupted at 18:13 UTC. The source of this latest event was ‘beta-gamma’ classified Active Region 2127 capable of producing strong eruptions on the Sun. The event started at 17:55, peaked at 18:13 as M1.5 solar flare and ended at 18:48 UTC, almost a full hour.This is now the third M-class solar flare in a row since M2.5 at 11:41 UTC on July 31, 2014.A Type II and IV radio emissions were associated with the event. Type IV emissions occur in association with major eruptions on the sun and are typically associated with strong coronal mass ejections and solar radiation storms.Region 2127 is located near the center of the disk which makes it more geoeffective than AR 2130, the source of previous two M-class so… »

Source: Solar News

M2.0 solar flare erupts from Region 2130

Moderately strong solar flare measuring M2.0 erupted from Active Region 2130 on August 1, 2014, at 14:48 UTC. The event started at 14:43, peaked at 14:48 and ended at 14:57 UTC. After almost 3 weeks without solar flares of this magnitude, this is now the second M-class solar flare in last 27 hours. Both of them erupted from Region 2130.A 10cm Radio Burst lasting 1 minute, with peak flux of 340 sfu, was associated with the event. 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 … »

Source: Solar News

Ebola Virus Out Breaks by Year

The rate of infection has slowed in Guinea, but it has increased in neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia.

As infection accelerates, some aid groups are pulling out to protect their own.

Samaritan’s Purse and the missionary group Serving in Mission have recalled all nonessential personnel from Liberia.

The Peace Corps announced Wednesday it is doing the same, removing its 340 volunteers from the three severely affected nations.

While there are no confirmed cases, a Peace Corps spokeswoman said two volunteers came into contact with someone who ended up dying from the virus.

Those Americans haven’t shown signs of Ebola but are being isolated just in case. The spokeswoman said they can’t return home until they get medical clearance.

Ebola is outstripping control efforts, top WHO official warns

Fears rose Friday that the Ebola virus may have spread as Nigerian authorities said they have quarantined two people who may have the disease and have another 69 under observation.

With fears the disease may get a toehold in Nigeria’s most populous city, Lagos, the head of the World Health Organization warned that the virus in West Africa was outstripping efforts to control it.

Dr. Margaret Chan was speaking at a meeting of the leaders of four West African countries in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, to discuss measures to bring the disease under control. The WHO said it planned to release $100 million to deploy hundreds of medical staff to fight the disease.

More than 1,300 people have been infected in the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the worst Ebola outbreak on record. Of those, 729 have died, according to the WHO.

In recent weeks the epicenter of the outbreak has shifted from Guinea to Sierra Leone.

“This outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries,” Chan said. “This meeting must mark a turning point in the outbreak response.”

In Nigeria, authorities insisted they had the situation under control after a Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, 40, became ill with Ebola while flying into the commercial capital, Lagos, and later died there in a hospital. The spread of the disease to Lagos has raised fears that cases may emerge farther afield in other parts of Africa, Europe, the United States or elsewhere.

The immediate worst-case scenario would be for the disease to take hold in Lagos – crowded, poverty-stricken in many areas, and at times chaotic, posing the risk it could spread throughout Africa’s most populous country.

“It would be foolish for us to think it couldn’t spread. I think this is a potential worldwide threat,” said Ebola expert G. Richard Olds, dean of the School of Medicine at UC Riverside, noting that in past outbreaks of highly infectious diseases, including SARS, AIDS and monkey pox, the diseases eventually reached the U.S.

“If it takes hold in Nigeria, we have a real problem on our hands. I’d be very concerned about that because Lagos would be the most concerning situation: It’s a very densely populated area and is in a situation where the healthcare infrastructure is probably ill prepared to deal with this type of virus.”

The chief medical officer of the Lagos Teaching Hospital, Akin Osibogun, said the hospital had tested 20 blood samples for possible Ebola cases, all of which tested negative, Nigerian media reported Friday.

However, there were signs of panic and chaos. A man’s corpse was brought into Anambra state in recent days as cargo from Liberia, underscoring doubts about whether adequate measures are in place to control the disease. The cause of the man’s death wasn’t known.

Authorities on Thursday cordoned off the morgue where the body was being held.

“We are surprised how the corpse came into Nigeria and Anambra state. It is shocking to us,” a local health official, Josephat Akabike, said. “We have directed the police to cordon off the area. Ebola is a very big threat and that is why we are taking all the measures.”

Uganda, Kenya and South Africa all said Friday they had no suspected cases of the disease.

South African authorities warned they would not allow anyone into the country who knowingly arrived with the Ebola virus — but said they would admit and treat anyone who arrived with symptoms if they were not aware they had the disease. The country has thermal scanners at airports capable of detecting people with elevated temperatures.

South Africa has had two reports of Ebola-like symptoms, both which turned out not to be Ebola, according to South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Desease.

Ebola initially presents with common, flu-like symptoms — fever, headache and body aches. The disease, while highly contagious, is not airborne and is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, including sweat and blood.

The terror in West Africa has hampered efforts to control it, with people running away rather than going into isolation wards, which are associated with death.

In her remarks, Chan said it was important to combat the popular view that Ebola was a certain death sentence, which impeded efforts to get people to seek help in hospitals and treatment facilities. People instead keep their loved ones hidden at home or turn to traditional healers, causing the virus to spread.

She warned that “public attitudes can create a security threat to response teams when fear and misunderstanding turn to anger, hostility, or violence.”

Chan also said it was also important to change cultural attitudes around burial.

For relatives of victims, washing and burying the body is culturally important, but also highly dangerous and one way in which the disease has spun out of control.

Olds said that while the disease has a high fatality rate – more than 50% – and was highly contagious, it is not as contagious as SARS, because it is not an airborne virus.

Previous outbreaks had occurred in remote areas of Africa, where the population wasn’t mobile, making it easier to contain, but this outbreak occurred in a more densely populated region with a highly mobile population, accounting for the rapid spread of the disease and difficulties containing it.

“It’s particularly dangerous when it gets into areas that are densely populated and have weak health infrastructure,” he said.

<A NOTE FROM DOOM> An aid worker  with Ebola was flown into Atlanta yesterday for experimental treatment.

Research finds Arctic thermokarst lakes are "net climate coolers", contradicts widely-held scientific view

A recently published study in journal Nature, and supported by National Science Foundation (NSF), counters a widely-held scientific view that thawing permafrost uniformly accelerates atmospheric warming. Instead, the study indicates that certain Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere.The study focuses on thermokarst lakes, which occur as permafrost thaws and creates surface depressions that fill with melted fresh water, converting what was previously frozen land into lakes.It suggests that Arctic thermokarst lakes are “net climate coolers” when observed over longer, millennial, time scales.”Until now, we’ve only thought of thermokarst lakes as positive contributors to climate warming,” said lead… »

Source: Solar News

Comet 67P too hot to be covered in ice

ESA’s comet chaser Rosetta has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, and found that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.The observations of the comet were made by Rosetta’s visible, infrared and thermal imaging spectrometer, VIRTIS, between July 13 and 21, when Rosetta closed in from 14 000 km to the comet to just over 5 000 km. The comet was roughly 555 million kilometres from the Sun at the time – more than three times further away than Earth, meaning that sunlight is only about a tenth as bright.At these distances, the comet covered only a few pixels in the field of view and so it was not possible to determine the temperatures of individual features… »

Source: Solar News