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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
4/24/2019 6:02:52 PM

Earth's magnetic north pole is moving too fast for experts to keep up. Now scientists might know why.

  • Aylin Woodward
  • Apr 22, 2019, 11:05 AM

  • The Earth's magnetic field is anchored by the north and south magnetic poles.
    Shutterstock
  • In the Hollywood blockbuster "The Core," the planet's core suddenly stops rotating, causing Earth's magnetic field to collapse. Then bursts of deadly microwaves cook the Colosseum and melt the Golden Gate Bridge.

    While "nearly everything in the movie is wrong," according to Justin Revenaugh, a seismologist from the University of Minnesota, it is true that Earth's magnetic field shields the planet from deadly and destructive solar radiation. Without it, solar winds could strip Earth of its oceans and atmosphere.

    But the planet's magnetic field isn't static.

    The Earth's north magnetic pole (which is not the same as geographic north) has led scientists on something of a goose chase over the past century. Each year, it moves north by an average of about 30 miles.



    Magnetic North Pole
    The magnetic north pole has shifted north since the 1900s.
    Wikimedia Commons

    That movement made the World Magnetic Model - which tracks the field and informs compasses, smartphone GPS, and navigation systems on planes and ships - inaccurate. Since the next planned update of the WMM wasn't until 2020, the US military requested an unprecedented early update to account for magnetic north's accelerated gambol.

    Now authors of a new study have gained insight into why magnetic north might be moving - and are learning how to predict these shifts.

    Tracking movement in the Earth's core

    Earth's magnetic field exists thanks to swirling liquid nickel and iron in the planet's outer core some 1,800 miles beneath the surface. Anchored by the north and south magnetic poles (which tend to shift around and even reverse every million years or so), the field waxes and wanes in strength, undulating based on what's going on in the core.

    Periodic and sometimes random changes in the distribution of that turbulent liquid metal can cause idiosyncrasies in the magnetic field. If you imagine the magnetic field as a series of rubber bands that thread through the magnetic poles and the Earth's core, then changes in the core essentially tug on different rubber bands in various places.

    Those geomagnetic tugs influence the north magnetic pole's migration and can even cause it to veer wildly from its position.

    Read more: Earth's north magnetic pole has moved - here's what that means for our navigation systems

    geomagnetic field
    A visualization of the interior of the Earth's core, as represented by a computer simulation.
    Aubert et al./IPGP/CNRS Photo library

    So far, predicting these magnetic-field shifts has been a challenge. But in the new study, the geophysicists Julien Aubert and Christopher Finlay attempted to simulate the physical conditions of Earth's core by having supercomputers crunch 4 million hours' worth of calculations.

    The researchers knew that the movement of heat from the planet's interior outward could influence the magnetic field. In general, this happens at 6 miles per year. But they found that sometimes there are pockets of liquid iron in the core that happen to be much warmer and lighter than the surrounding fluid. If the difference between these hot, less dense bits of fluid and their colder, denser counterparts is great enough, the warm liquid can rise very quickly.

    That rapid motion then triggers magnetic waves that careen toward the core's surface, causing geomagnetic jerks.

    "Think about these waves like vibrating strings of a musical instrument," Aubert told Business Insider.

    Magnetic north is important for navigational models

    Keeping tabs on magnetic north is imperative for European and American militaries because their navigation systems rely on the WMM. So too do commercial airlines and smartphone GPS apps, to help pilots and users pinpoint their locations and navigate accordingly.

    That's why the British Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration update the WMM every five years. The early update requested by the US military was completed February 4.

    But even with these periodic updates, geomagnetic jerks make it tough to keep the model accurate, Aubert said.

    google maps iphone gps
    Magnetic north is important for smartphone GPS apps.
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    His group's new model could address that problem by helping to predict how Earth's magnetic field might evolve.

    "Within the next few years, we envision that it should indeed be possible for our groups ... to capture past jerks and predict the future ones with improved accuracy," Aubert said.

    Could the magnetic field ever collapse?

    Earth's magnetic field shields its atmosphere, which does "a bulk of the work" of keeping out solar radiation, as Revenaugh put it. If we lost our magnetic field, we'd eventually lose our atmosphere.

    But according to Revenaugh, that's extremely unlikely to happen, since the Earth's core would never stop rotating.

    Even if the field did collapse, the devastating effects depicted in "The Core" - people with pacemakers dropping dead, out-of-control lightning storms, eviscerated national landmarks - wouldn't follow.

    solar storms
    Without its atmosphere and magnetic field, Earth would constantly be bombarded by cosmic radiation.
    NASA

    A far more likely scenario, Revenaugh suggested, would involve the magnetic poles reversing as they did 780,000 years ago. When such reversals happen (there have been several in Earth's history), the magnetic field drops to about 30% of its full strength, he said.

    Though that's a far-away scenario, Revenaugh added that it's still important to improve scientists' understanding of the magnetic field today.

    "The better we can model it, the better we can understand what's it's up to," he said.

  • "Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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    Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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    RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
    4/24/2019 6:45:16 PM

    Sri Lanka Attack ‘Is the Wave of the Future’

    Returning Islamic State fighters are spreading “a really viral ideology” and looking for vulnerable countries to target, says terrorism expert Anne Speckhard.

    Among those least surprised, perhaps, by the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed at least 321 people in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka was Anne Speckhard, the head of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism think tank. During her career Speckhard has interviewed more than 600 terrorists and their associates, including dozens of Islamic State defectors and returnees. She said she was at a United Nations conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, in February when a Sri Lankan intelligence officer approached her expressing concern about rising Islamist extremism in the island nation, which has been largely peaceful since a civil war ended about a decade ago. On Tuesday, in a statement issued on the social media app Telegram, the Islamic State said it had targeted Christians as well as citizens from countries involved in the coalition to fight the Islamic State.

    In the hours after the attack, the Sri Lankan government attributed blame to a little-known Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jamaath, but there was almost immediate suspicion that the nature of the bombings suggested the attackers had received guidance from elsewhere. The country’s junior defense minister also suggested that a second group, Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim, may have been involved. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that some of the people involved in Sunday’s attack had traveled to Syria, but he did not say whether they had fought for Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS. In 2016, the Sri Lankan government acknowledged that 32 Muslims from “well-educated and elite” families had gone to Syria to join the Islamic State.




    "Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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    Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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    RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
    4/26/2019 6:51:07 PM


    Zakir Chowdhury / Getty Images
    NOT COOL

    Study: Climate change makes rich countries richer and poor ones poorer

    It’s not just capitalism that’s making the rich richer and the poor poorer: Climate change is exacerbating the trend worldwide. The economic gap between the richest and poorest nations, in terms of per capita income, is now about 25 percent larger than it would have been without human-caused climate change, according to a new study from Stanford University.

    “Our results show that most of the poorest countries on Earth are considerably poorer than they would have been without global warming,” climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, lead author of the study, said in a statement. Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, some rich countries have actually benefited economically from global warming.

    Between 1961 and 2010, warming temperatures have significantly slowed economic growth in tropical countries like India and Nigeria, while aiding economic growth in cooler countries like Canada and the U.K., according to the study, which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.

    “The historical data clearly show that crops are more productive, people are healthier, and we are more productive at work when temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold,” said study co-author Marshall Burke, a Stanford assistant professor of Earth system science, in a press release. “This means that in cold countries, a little bit of warming can help. The opposite is true in places that are already hot.”

    While it’s been well-documented that low-income communities bear the brunt of flooding, famine, and other climate change-related horrors, this study endeavors to show the big picture of which countries win and which lose out as a result of global warming.

    The researchers drew on several previous studies, analyzing annual temperature changes over 50 years and 165 countries’ economic growth data to estimate how the shifting climate has affected growth. The U.S. was middle of the road: Climate change dragged down its GDP by just 0.2 percent from 1961 to 2010.

    Sudan was the biggest loser, so to speak. The researchers estimated that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is 36 percent smaller today because of global warming. India closely followed, with a 31 percent loss, and Nigeria, with a 29 percent blow.

    Norway was the big winner: Researchers estimated that its current GDP is 34 percent higher because of climate change. Canada’s is 32 percent higher, and in recent years, Russia’s has also seen a boost due to warming.

    The numbers the study produced are stark, shocking even (India’s GDP could have grown by almost third more over the past half-century, if not for climate change!?). And they don’t represent outliers in the data. The Stanford researchers drew these estimates of climate change’s economic effects from a wide range of projections — 20,000 versions per country, to be precise.

    “For most countries, whether global warming has helped or hurt economic growth is pretty certain,” Burke said.

    Tropical countries truly got the short end of the stick. They tend to contribute far less to greenhouse gas emissions than more economically well-off nations. And, according to Burke, “There’s essentially no uncertainty that they’ve been harmed.”

    The economic loss some countries faced “is on par with the decline in economic output seen in the U.S. during the Great Depression,” Burke said. “It’s a huge loss compared to where these countries would have been otherwise.”


    (grist)



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    Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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    RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
    4/28/2019 7:53:32 PM


    Jeff Lemelin / EyeEm / Getty Images


    SIGHT UNSEEN

    Climate change’s deadliest effects are unfolding under the sea


    Think of the dangers climate change poses to animals, and you’ll likely picture skinny polar bears or cliff-diving walruses (collective sob). But it turns out that our overheating planet is actually wreaking the most havoc on creatures out of our sight: marine life.

    Sea animals like crabs, lobster, and fish are dying off at twice the rate of land animals, according to a study published in Nature on Wednesday.

    The researchers looked at more than 400 cold-blooded animals on land and sea, including lizards, dragonflies, lobsters, and mussels. They found that creatures that people rely on for food (fish, mollusks, shellfish) are among the most vulnerable, especially in the developing world, where many rely on them for a regular protein source.

    So what’s going on here? Part of the explanation is that cold-blooded marine species have a higher sensitivity to warming, and many are already living at the edge of their species’ heat tolerance, according to the scientists. This is especially true for fish in tropical zones near the equator, where they are an important local food source.

    Another problem is that sea creatures have just one option for refuge if they’ve reached their capacity for heat: seek deeper, colder water. And as the ocean continues to absorb extra heat from carbon pollution, finding cold water will only get more difficult. Cold-blooded land animals, while also in danger, can save themselves by crawling under a rock, for example, or seeking out the shade of a forest.

    Some species that can move to cooler zones have already done so, like the summer flounder off the coast of North Carolina, Malin Pinksy, one of the study’s lead authors, told Inside Climate News. The flounder have moved so far north that some fishermen have to travel up to 600 miles to catch the same fish. But not all shallow-dwelling creatures can move hundreds of miles in search of a similar but cooler habitat, nor can all creatures travel through deep water seeking the shallows that is their habitat.

    Others, like sea anemones or coral, can’t move at all, so are likely to go extinct when the ocean gets too warm for them, the study said.


    (GRIST)


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    Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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    RE: ARE WE NOW IN THE END TIMES?
    5/1/2019 7:03:33 PM
    USCBNNEWS.COM
    Brutal Storm Unleashes Damage Across US, 25 Reported Tornadoes, Flooding, More to Come
    05-01-2019





    A brutal storm system bringing tornadoes, heavy rains and flooding to the country is slowly moving through the central US.

    ABC News reports the system caused a tornado outbreak, hurling 25 twisters across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas.

    Within the last 24 hours, 73 damaging storm reports have been released from Texas to Illinois.

    Meteorologists say the system is ongoing with more severe storms and flooding expected to potentially affect 13 million people from northeastern Texas to Missouri today.

    The damage so far has left multiple buildings damaged, power outages, and flooding. Over 30,000 homes and businesses were without power early Wednesday in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, according to poweroutage.us.

    In Oklahoma, a tornado left two people injured and structural damage to several homes.

    Embedded video

    MUST WATCH: Drone follows a tornado crossing through Oklahoma earlier today.







    In Texas, a tornado ripped through the Red River community of Charlie. A farmer reportedly lost close to 300 peach trees to the storm according to Weather.com.

    Amazing view of a tornado in Texas just moments ago.

    Taken by: @aspenwx21.

    Embedded video






























    In Kansas, a tornado left a church damaged while 65mph winds and heavy rains left damage and flooding in Davenport, Iowa.

    (cbnnews)


    "Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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