Extreme Weather and Disasters

West Antarctic Ice Sheet exposed to Warmer than expected Temperatures

Henry Brecher, Ohio State University, research associate (now retired) at Byrd Polar Research Center, took this picture in winter 1959-1960. The sign reads: Astronomical Position Observed Here. Credit: Photo by Henry Brecher, courtesy of Ohio State University. Usage Restrictions: None

(Best Syndication News) - The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) has the potential of melting at a faster pace because the temperature increased twice as much as expected. The average annual temperatures recorded at the Byrd Station increased 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit compared to 1958. The research findings were published in the online edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.

This temperature increase is three times faster than the average temperature rise around the world. David Bromwich, professor of geography at Ohio State University and senior research scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center, noticed the warming trends were occurring during the summer months – December through February – and the temperature increase is almost double what previous research had suggested.

December 21, 2012 marks the End of the Mayan Calendar

December 21, 2012 end of Mayan Calendar - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - For years, the doomsday soothsayers have been forewarning of a doomsday scenario for December 21, 2012. NASA has received so many inquiries about this doomsday event that they have presented several discussions disputing the end of the world. NASA is so certain the end is not coming that they have created several videos debunking the doomsday predictions.

NASA says people are contacting them with various scenarios. One reason the agency has been contacted involves the idea that ancient Sumarians talked about a planet called Nibiru (or Planet X) that will enter into Earth's orbit. This Planet X could supposedly change the way the Earth spins; some people think that Noah's flood was caused by Nibiru. The Nibiru prediction failed the first time in May 2003, and then the prediction was moved to December 2012. NASA said that no such planet has been spotted heading our way.

6.3 Magnitude Earthquake shakes offshore of Southern California Coast

Map closeup of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake location - credit: USGS

(Best Syndication News) - A 6.3 magnitude earthquake occurred off the Pacific Coast near the boarder of California and Mexico. The quake occurred on December 14, 2012 at 2:36:02 a.m. (local time to the event). The sizeable earthquake was initially recorded as a 6.4 magnitude, but was later downgraded to a 6.3 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The epicenter of the event was located at 31.213°N, 119.560°W. The USGS explained that the earthquake came from normal fault movement of the Pacific plate in the oceanic lithosphere. The focus of the earthquake was 7.0 miles deep. This earthquake was not associated with San Andreas Fault system which experts predict is overdue for a sizeable tremor.

Scientists Predict more Wildfires in the United States by 2050

Brush fire - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Scientists have created a climate model to determine whether there will be an increased amount of wildfires across the United States in the coming years. The climate model calculates the expected number of fires through 2050 using NASA satellite data along with climate models to determine the drier conditions nationwide.

Information was presented today by Doug Morton, from the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

The findings were based on current trends in wildfires and predicted greenhouse gas emissions in the years to come. Morton explained that the model suggests an increased fire risk nationwide by 2050.

6.5 Magnitude Earthquake occurs offshore of Guatemala

Recent Guatemala Earthquake Activity Map Nov. 11, 2012 - Credit: USGS

(Best Syndication News) - A sizeable 6.5 magnitude and a 5.0 magnitude aftershock shook off the shores of Guatemala this Sunday, November 11, 2012. Many aftershocks have occurred days after a 7.4 earthquake event, which happened on November 7, 2012.

The US Geological Survey reported that the 6.5 magnitude earthquake event occurred at 4:15 p.m. local time on Sunday at 14.164°N, 92.167°W with a depth of 16.8 miles. Residents in the surrounding areas reported feeling light to moderate shaking with very little damage. The earthquake was in the same area as the large 7.4 earthquake.

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