Mount Sinabung: Volcano Eruption Warnings After Huge Column Of Ash Prompts Panic In Indonesia

A huge column of ash was blasted almost five miles into the sky above the Indonesian island of Sumatra after an active volcano erupted.

Mount Sinabung blew for nine minutes on Sunday, causing panic among the island’s residents.

Indonesian officials warned that further volcanic activity was possible, although the volanco’s alert level remained unchanged.

“After the eruption, from midnight until 6 am, there were a few aftershocks,” said Willy, a scientist at a Sinabung observatory.

Residents have been told to stay indoors and to wear face masks, if venturing outside, to protect themselves from volcanic ashfall.

Standing at 2,460m tall, Sinabung was inactive for around 400 years before it erupted in 2010, killing two people.

Since then it has become one of south east Asian nation’s most active volcanoes.

More than a dozen people were killed and thousands were forced to flee when it erupted in 2014 and during a February 2018 eruption it released a plume of ash which blew away much of its summit.

The volcanic activity was accompanied by multiple earthquakes felt in nearby villages.

No casualties have been reported in the latest eruption.

Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country.

It is particularly prone to seismic activity due to its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

NOAA Predicts Near-Normal 2019 Hurricane Season

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year. This outlook forecasts a 40 percent chance of a near normal season, a 30 percent chance of an above normal season and a 30 percent chance of a below normal season. The hurricane season officially extends from June 1 to Nov. 30.

For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of nine to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which four to eight could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including two to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70 percent confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

“With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, NOAA is leveraging cutting edge tools to help secure Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

“Throughout hurricane season, dedicated NOAA staff will remain on alert for any dan-ger to American lives and communities.”

This outlook reflects competing climate factors. The ongoing El Niño is expected to persist and suppress the intensity of the hurricane season. Countering El Niño is the expected combination of warmer than av-erage sea surface temperatures in the trop-ical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and an enhanced west African monsoon, both of which favor increased hurricane activity.

“New satellite data and other upgrades to products and services from NOAA enable a more Weather-Ready Nation by providing the public and decision makers with the information needed to take action before, during, and after a hurricane,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator.

The 2019 hurricane season marks the first time NOAA’s fleet of Earth observ-
ing satellites includes three operational next generation satellites. Unique and valuable data from these satellites feed the hurricane forecast models used by forecasters to help users make critical decisions days in advance.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is making a planned upgrade to its Global Forecast System (GFS) flagship weather model — often called the American model — early in the 2019 hurricane season. This marks the first major upgrade to the dynamical core of the model in almost 40 years and will improve tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts. “NOAA is driving toward a community based devel opment program for future weather and climate modeling to deliver the very best forecasts, by leveraging new investments in research and working with the weather enterprise,” added Jacobs.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and NWS office in San Juan will expand the coastal storm surge watches and warnings in 2019 to include Puerto Rico and the
U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, NHC will display excessive rainfall outlooks on its website, providing greater visibility of one of the most dangerous inland threats from hurricanes.

Also, this season, NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft will collect higher-resolution data from upgraded onboard radar systems. These enhanced observations will be transmitted in near-real time to hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and forecasters at NWS Weather Forecast Offices.

In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. A 70 percent chance of an above normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions. The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70 percent probability of 15 to 22 named storms, of which eight to 13 are expected to become hurricanes, including four to eight major hurricanes. The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70 percent probability of five to eight tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

NOAA’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Hurricane preparedness is critically important for the 2019 hurricane season, just as it is every year. Visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at hurricanes.gov throughout the season to stay current on any watches and warnings.

“Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector, and the public,” said Daniel Kaniewski, Ph.D., FEMA deputy administrator for resilience. “It only takes one event to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare. Do you have cash on hand? Do you have adequate insurance, including flood insurance? Does your family have communication and evacuation plans? Stay tuned to your local news and download the FEMA app to get alerts, and make sure you heed any warnings issued by local officials.”

Rain And Wind Warnings As Storm Miguel Lashes Finland

Warnings have been issued in Central Finland throughout the weekend for heavy rain and strong winds from severe thunderstorms, the remains of Storm Miguel, an unusual out-of-season depression that already brought gales and torrential rain to northwest France and the British Isles.

High temperatures were measured in Finland this week, with a record seasonal high of 32.2 degrees Celsius measured in the northwest coastal city of Oulu on Friday. That beat the June record by 0.5C and was more than 14 degrees above average.

Lightning bolts struck Finland about 16,000 times on Saturday. Matti Huutonen, a meteorologist at Finland’s public broadcaster Yle, said that is a large number for this time of year, equivalent to nearly half of the monthly average for June.

Crews were working on Sunday to repair power outages following bands of thunderstorms late on Saturday that left some 20,000 customers without electricity.

Early next week, colder conditions bring a chance of snow into northernmost Finland. Temperatures in southern and central Finland should be near 20C on Monday, a 10-degree drop. Wednesday night may even bring severe frosts to central and northern parts of the country.

‘2018 hottest year’
The Finnish Meteorological Institute has confirmed that 2018 was the hottest year in Finland since records began over 150 years ago, fuelling further concerns over the pace of climate change.

The institute has also confirmed that “about half” of the warmest years on record were all in the previous decade, with 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015 all shattering heat records.

The summer of 2018 in Finland was unique in that not only did the heatwave last for an extended unbroken period, but there was also exceptionally little rain.

The institute says the trend is further supported by the report’s evidence that winter days with abnormally low temperatures are becoming a thing of the past.

Finland’s top meteorologists even say that daily cold records will soon become “etched in stone”, in that there is little chance that they will ever be surpassed.

Ways on How Particles Travel Nearly the Speed of Light

In the field of science, it is a common knowledge that nothing can ever surpass the speed of light, as what Albert Einstein theory of special relativity suggests. However, only small particles can get near the speed of light.

On May 29, 1919, after confirming Einstein’s work, NASA offered ways in accelerating particles in an amazing speed including electromagnetic field, magnetic explosion, and wave-particle interactions. These fundamental ways can be observed in the Sun. It’s a kind of real laboratory that allows scientists to even watch how nuclear reactions occur. Electromagnetic and magnetic fields have the ability to accelerate particles near the speed of light by electric charges. Examples, where this process can be done, are the particle accelerator at the Department of Energy Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Large Hadun Collides at the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The accelerators are able to pulse electromagnetic fields. Also, the particles are often crashed to find out what kind of energy they release.

Above the Sun interface is a tangle of magnetic fields. The magnetic field can send plums of solar material off the surface when it intersects and snaps. This kind of interaction also gives the particles its charge, according to Space.

“When tension between the crossed line becomes too great, the lines explosively snap and realign in a process known as “magnetic reconnection”,” explained NASA officials.

“The rapid change in a region’s magnetic field creates electric fields, which causes all the attendant charged particles to be flung away at high speeds,” they explained. The magnetic reconnection also happens to planets such as Jupiter and Saturn. The earth’s magnetic field can be measured using NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission with the aid of four spacecrafts. Their results indicate that the magnetic field will help in understanding how particles in the universe accelerate. For instance, a magnetic connection can be observed with the solar wind specifically the constant stream of charged particles emitted by the Sun into the solar system.

Aside from the magnetic reconnection, other factors which are also capable of accelerating particles near the speed of light is the wave-particle interactions. The wave-particle interaction phenomena are driven when electromagnetic waves collide. “When electromagnetic waves collide, their fields can become compressed. Charged particles bouncing back and forth between the waves can gain energy similar to a ball bouncing between two merging walls,” stated NASA’s officials.

Another factor which can create an environment for a wave-particle interaction is the explosion of stars like supernovas. According to scientists, when a star explodes, it creates a blast wave shell of hot, dense compressed gas that can zoom away at a great speed from the stellar core. The process ejects high energy cosmic rays which are composed of particles at velocities close to the speed of light.

New Findings On Earth’s Magnetic Field

The huge magnetic field which surrounds the Earth, protecting it from radiation and charged particles from space — and which many animals even use for orientation purposes — is changing constantly, which is why geoscientists keep it constantly under surveillance. The old well-known sources of the Earth’s magnetic field are the Earth’s core — down to 6,000 kilometres deep down inside the Earth — and the Earth’s crust: in other words, the ground we stand on. The Earth’s mantle, on the other hand, stretching from 35 to 2,900 kilometres below the Earth’s surface, has so far largely been regarded as “magnetically dead.” An international team of researchers from Germany, France, Denmark and the USA has now demonstrated that a form of iron oxide, hematite, can retain its magnetic properties even deep down in the Earth’s mantle. This occurs in relatively cold tectonic plates, called slabs, which are found especially beneath the western Pacific Ocean.

“This new knowledge about the Earth’s mantle and the strongly magnetic region in the western Pacific could throw new light on any observations of the Earth’s magnetic field,” says mineral physicist and first author Dr. Ilya Kupenko from the University of Münster (Germany). The new findings could, for example, be relevant for any future observations of the magnetic anomalies on the Earth and on other planets such as Mars. This is because Mars has no longer a dynamo and thus no source enabling a strong magnetic field originating from the core to be built up such as that on Earth. It might, therefore, now be worth taking a more detailed look on its mantle. The study has been published in the “Nature” journal.

Background and methods used:

Deep in the metallic core of the Earth, it is liquid iron alloy that triggers electrical flows. In the outermost crust of the Earth, rocks cause magnetic signal. In the deeper regions of the Earth’s interior, however, it was believed that the rocks lose their magnetic properties due to the very high temperatures and pressures.

The researchers now took a closer look at the main potential sources for magnetism in the Earth’s mantle: iron oxides, which have a high critical temperature — i.e. the temperature above which material is no longer magnetic. In the Earth’s mantle, iron oxides occur in slabs that are buried from the Earth’s crust further into the mantle, as a result of tectonic shifts, a process called subduction. They can reach a depth within the Earth’s interior of between 410 and 660 kilometres — the so-called transition zone between the upper and the lower mantle of the Earth. Previously, however, no one had succeeded in measuring the magnetic properties of the iron oxides at the extreme conditions of pressure and temperature found in this region.

Now the scientists combined two methods. Using a so-called diamond anvil cell, they squeezed micrometric-sized samples of iron oxide hematite between two diamonds, and heated them with lasers to reach pressures of up to 90 gigapascal and temperatures of over 1,000 °C (1,300 K). The researchers combined this method with so-called Mössbauer spectroscopy to probe the magnetic state of the samples by means of synchrotron radiation. This part of the study was carried out at the ESRF synchrotron facility in Grenoble, France, and this made it possible to observe the changes of the magnetic order in iron oxide.

The surprising result was that the hematite remained magnetic up to a temperature of around 925 °C (1,200 K) — the temperature prevailing in the subducted slabs beneath the western part of Pacific Ocean at the Earth’s transition zone depth. “As a result, we are able to demonstrate that the Earth’s mantle is not nearly as magnetically ‘dead’ as has so far been assumed,” says Prof. Carmen Sanchez-Valle from the Institute of Mineralogy at Münster University. “These findings might justify other conclusions relating to the Earth’s entire magnetic field,” she adds.

Relevance for investigations of the Earth’s magnetic field and the movement of the poles

By using satellites and studying rocks, researchers observe the Earth’s magnetic field, as well as the local and regional changes in magnetic strength. Background: The geomagnetic poles of the Earth — not to be confused with the geographic poles — are constantly moving. As a result of this movement they have actually changed positions with each other every 200,000 to 300,000 years in the recent history of the Earth. The last poles flip happened 780,000 years ago, and last decades scientists report acceleration in the movement of the Earth magnetic poles. Flip of magnetic poles would have profound effect on modern human civilisation. Factors which control movements and flip of the magnetic poles, as well as directions they follow during overturn are not understood yet.

One of the poles’ routes observed during the flips runs over the western Pacific, corresponding very noticeably to the proposed electromagnetic sources in the Earth’s mantle. The researchers are therefore considering the possibility that the magnetic fields observed in the Pacific with the aid of rock records do not represent the migration route of the poles measured on the Earth’s surface, but originate from the hitherto unknown electromagnetic source of hematite-containing rocks in the Earth’s mantle beneath the West Pacific.

“What we now know — that there are magnetically ordered materials down there in the Earth’s mantle — should be taken into account in any future analysis of the Earth’s magnetic field and of the movement of the poles,” says co-author Prof. Leonid Dubrovinsky at the Bavarian Research Institute of Experimental Geochemistry and Geophysics at Bayreuth University.

Part VII – Coming Back Around to Earth’s Magnetic Reversal

New findings suggest a series of current events are weakening the Earth’s magnetic field. Above the liquid outer core is the mantle – made up of viscous rock composition which can be molded or shaped due to intense heat and high pressure, this is called convection. At the boundary between Earth’s core and mantle there is an intense heat exchange – this is called convection.

What creates Earth’s magnetic field is the process through which a rotating, convecting, and electrically conducting fluid which makes up the geodynamo mechanism. Recent studies indicate a slow flowing solid mantle and its reciprocal connection with a hot fast flowing outer core – is the central focus of Earth’s magnetic field weakening. The outcome of this convection between Earth’s outer core and mantle is the production of mantle plumes and the formation of fluid ‘crystallization’. Mantle plumes are a reaction to the Earth’s dipole magnetic core acting as a thermostat.

As a result of a weakened magnetic field coupled with a deep solar minimum, is allowing an alarming amount of galactic cosmic rays to enter our planets environment. In a paper published in the journal American Geophysical Union (AGU) Space Weather, associate professor Nathan Schwadron of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) and the department of physics; says that due to this solar cycles vast drop in solar activity, a stream of cosmic ray particles are flooding Earth’s atmosphere – and further driving in and through Earth’s core.

Additionally, a major consequence of a weakened magnetic field, in conjunction with an inundation of space radiation, allows for the redistribution of gas and fluids which could contribute to Earth’s tilt and wobble. It is this action/reaction which could affect the convection process allowing for the north/south magnetic field lines to bounce around northern latitudes. This is known as geomagnetic excursion.

My research suggests radiation produced by GCRs has a significant influence on Earth’s core by increasing temperatures. In viewing Earth as a living entity, a natural reaction to overheating would be to find a way to cool down. And that’s exactly what Earth does. When our planet becomes overheated…it sweats. Yes, just like us humans when we get overheated, we sweat through our pores. When Earth becomes overheated it sweats through its pores called ‘mantle plumes’. Earth, just like humans is always seeking to maintain its ambient temperature.

In relation to this current moderate-term cycle i.e. 20,000-40,000 years – in conjunction with this long-term cycle i.e. 22myr -60myr (million years) my study’s identify a pattern of a weakening magnetic field, and influx of highly charged particles sets up the perfect conditions to produce a magnetic excursion followed by a magnetic reversal.

**Thank you for your much needed contributions. Every little bit helps, and those of you who have the means to sponsor this research, please step forward. Go to the click here button to support this work.  CLICK HERE

Part – VIII How Far Along Are We In This Cycle?

 

Solving The Sun’s Super-Heating Mystery With Parker Solar Probe

It’s one of the greatest and longest-running mysteries surrounding, quite literally, our sun — why is its outer atmosphere hotter than its fiery surface?

University of Michigan researchers believe they have the answer, and hope to prove it with help from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe.

In roughly two years, the probe will be the first human-made craft to enter the zone surrounding the sun where heating looks fundamentally different that what has previously been seen in space. This will allow them to test their theory that the heating is due to small magnetic waves traveling back and forth within the zone.

Solving the riddle would allow scientists to better understand and predict solar weather, which can pose serious threats to Earth’s power grid. And step one is determining where the heating of the sun’s outer atmosphere begins and ends — a puzzle with no shortage of theories.

“Whatever the physics is behind this superheating, it’s a puzzle that has been staring us in the eye for 500 years,” said Justin Kasper, a U-M professor of climate and space sciences and a principal investigator for the Parker mission. “In just two more years, Parker Solar Probe will finally reveal the answer.”

The U-M theory, and how the team will use Parker to test it, is laid out in a paper published June 4 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

In this “zone of preferential heating” above the sun’s surface, temperatures rise overall. More bizarre still, individual elements are heated to different temperatures, or preferentially. Some heavier ions are superheated until they’re 10 times hotter than the hydrogen that is everywhere in this area — hotter than the core of the sun.

Such high temperatures cause the solar atmosphere to swell to many times the diameter of the sun and they’re the reason we see the extended corona during solar eclipses. In that sense, Kasper says, the coronal heating mystery has been visible to astronomers for more than a half millenium, even if the high temperatures were only appreciated within the last century.

This same zone features hydromagnetic “Alfvén waves” moving back and forth between its outermost edge and the sun’s surface. At the outermost edge, called the Alfvén point, the solar wind moves faster than the Alfvén speed, and the waves can no longer travel back to the sun.

“When you’re below the Alfvén point, you’re in this soup of waves,” Kasper said. “Charged particles are deflected and accelerated by waves coming from all directions.”

In trying to estimate how far from the sun’s surface this preferential heating stops, U-M’s team examined decades of observations of the solar wind by NASA’s Wind spacecraft.

They looked at how much of helium’s increased temperature close to the sun was washed out by collisions between ions in the solar wind as they traveled out to Earth. Watching the helium temperature decay allowed them to measure the distance to the outer edge of the zone.

“We take all of the data and treat it as a stopwatch to figure out how much time had elapsed since the wind was superheated,” Kasper said. “Since I know how fast that wind is moving, I can convert the information to a distance.”

Those calculations put the outer edge of the superheating zone roughly 10 to 50 solar radii from the surface. It was impossible to be more definitive since some values could only be guessed at.

Initially, Kasper didn’t think to compare his estimate of the zone’s location with the Alfvén point, but he wanted to know if there was a physically meaningful location in space that produced the outer boundary.

After reading that the Alfvén point and other surfaces have been observed to expand and contract with solar activity, Kasper and co-author Kristopher Klein, a former U-M postdoc and new faculty at University of Arizona, reworked their analysis looking at year-to-year changes rather than considering the entire Wind Mission.

“To my shock, the outer boundary of the zone of preferential heating and the Alfvén point moved in lockstep in a totally predictable fashion despite being completely independent calculations,” Kasper said. “You overplot them, and they’re doing the exact same thing over time.”

So does the Alfvén point mark the outer edge of the heating zone? And what exactly is changing under the Alfvén point that superheats heavy ions? We should know in the next couple of years. The Parker Solar Probe lifted off in August 2018 and had its first rendezvous with the sun in November 2018 — already getting closer to the sun than any other human-made object.

In the coming years, Parker will get even closer with each pass until the probe falls below the Alfvén point. In their paper, Kasper and Klein predict it should enter the zone of preferential heating in 2021 as the boundary expands with increasing solar activity. Then NASA will have information direct from the source to answer all manner of long-standing questions.

“With Parker Solar Probe we will be able to definitively determine through local measurements what processes lead to the acceleration of the solar wind and the preferential heating of certain elements,” Klein said. “The predictions in this paper suggest that these processes are operating below the Alfvén surface, a region close to the sun that no spacecraft has visited, meaning that these preferential heating processes have never before been directly measured.”

Kasper is the principal investigator of the Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons Investigation on the Parker Solar Probe. SWEAP’s sensors scoop up the solar wind and coronal particles during each encounter to measure velocity, temperature and density, and shed light on the heating mystery.

The research is funded by NASA’s Wind Mission.