”This was somewhat of a surprise,” writes chief scientist Örjan Gustafsson, Stockholm University, in his latest blog entry. He speculates that the leaking methane from the seafloor of the continental slope may have its origins in collapsing “methane hydrates,” clusters of methane trapped in frozen water due to high pressure and low temperature.

The discovery was made while the icebreaker Oden crosscut the Laptev Sea along a depth gradient from 1000m to just 100m following the continental slope upward to reach the shallow waters of the outer Laptev Sea Shelf. By use of acoustic techniques and geochemical analyses of water samples, the scientists found vast methane plumes escaping from the seafloor at depths between 500 m and 150 m. At several places, the methane “bubbles“ even rose to the ocean surface. What’s more, results of preliminary analyses of seawater samples pointed towards levels of dissolved methane 10–50 times higher than background levels.

“While there has been much speculation about the vulnerability of regular marine hydrates along the continental slopes of the Arctic rim, very few actual observations of methane releases due to collapsing marine hydrates on the Arctic slope have been made,” writes Örjan Gustafsson.

more at the link

At the playground on Flickr.

At the playground

Typhoon Cobra, also known as the Typhoon of 1944 or Halsey’s Typhoon (named after Admiral William ‘Bull’ Halsey), was the United States Navy designation for a tropical cyclone which struck the United States Pacific Fleet in December 1944 during World War II.
Task Force 38 (TF 38) had been operating about 300 mi (260 nmi; 480 km) east of Luzon in the Philippine Sea conducting air raids against Japanese airfields in the Philippines. The fleet was attempting to refuel its ships, especially the lighter destroyers, which had limited fuel carrying capacity. As the weather worsened it became increasingly difficult to refuel, and the attempts had to be discontinued. Despite warning signs of worsening conditions, the ships of the fleet remained in their stations. Worse, the information given to Halsey about the location and direction of the typhoon was inaccurate. On December 17, Admiral Halsey unwittingly sailed Third Fleet into the heart of the typhoon.
Because of 100 mph (87 kn; 160 km/h) winds, very high seas and torrential rain, three destroyers capsized and sank, and a total of 790 lives were lost. Nine other warships were damaged, and over 100 aircraft were wrecked or washed overboard; the aircraft carrier Monterey was forced to battle a serious fire that was caused by a plane hitting a bulkhead.
USS Tabberer—a small John C. Butler-class destroyer escort—lost her mast and radio antennas. Though damaged and unable to radio for help, she took the initiative to remain on the scene to recover 55 of the 93 total that were rescued. Captain Henry Lee Plage earned the Legion of Merit, while the entire crew earned the Navy’s Unit Commendation Ribbon, which was presented to them by Admiral Halsey.
In the words of Admiral Chester Nimitz, the typhoon’s impact “represented a more crippling blow to the Third Fleet than it might be expected to suffer in anything less than a major action”. The events surrounding Typhoon Cobra were similar to those the Japanese navy itself faced some nine years earlier in what they termed the “Fourth Fleet Incident.”
A typhoon plays an important role in the novel The Caine Mutiny, which is thought to be based on the author’s own experience surviving Typhoon Cobra.

005 Typhoon COBRA Dec 1944 (by kaviski1)


Massive Mudslide in Mesa County #Colorado #COwx #GJCO #MCMudslide

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is known to influence global surface temperatures, with El Niño conditions leading to warmer temperatures and La Niña conditions leading to colder temperatures.

(From ScienceDaily) – However, a new study in Geophysical Research Lettersshows that some types of El Niño do not have this effect, a finding that could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming.

The authors examine three historical temperature data sets and classify past El Niño events as traditional or central Pacific.

They find that global surface temperatures were anomalously warm during traditional El Niño events but not during the central Pacific El Niño events.

They note that in the past few decades, the frequencies of the two types of El Niño events have changed, with the central Pacific type occurring more often than it had in the past, and suggest that this could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming.