View PhotoA survivor of an earthquake searches his belongings from the rubble of a mud house …Play VideoRaw: Deadly Bomb Blast in Northern Pakistan AP Canada 0:58 ARAWAN, Pakistan (Reuters) – The death toll from an earthquake in southwestern Pakistan has reached 515, a provincial official said Friday, as insurgent attacks threaten relief efforts and survivors complain of lack of shelter from the scorching sun.Babar Yaqoob, the Chief Secretary of Baluchistan, gave the updated death toll as he toured the destroyed region of Awaran, where the 7.7 magnitude quake struck on Tuesday.Bodies were still being discovered in houses whose mud walls and wooden roof beams had collapsed.”My daughter was killed when my house collapsed – I was also inside my house but manage to run out,” said 70-year-old Gul January „We are sitting under the scorching sun and need shelter.”In Labash village near Awaran, more than half of the 3,000 houses have collapsed and those still standing have wide cracks.”Everywhere we go people are asking for tents,” legislator Abdul Qadeer Baloch said.The arid area is also a stronghold of separatist Baluch insurgents, who have twice shot at helicopters carrying military officials in charge of responding to the disaster.On Thursday, two rockets narrowly missed the helicopter carrying the general in charge of the National Disaster Management Agency and on Friday shots were fired at two helicopters carrying aid, the military said.”There is a law and order situation here and other hurdles but despite everything, we will get to every last person,” said Lt. Gen. Nasir Janjua, the highest ranking military official in the province.Aid must travel by pitted roads that cut through mountains held by the insurgents.The rebels, who have killed many civilians and members of the security forces, are fighting for independence from Pakistan. They accuse the central government of stealing the province’s rich mineral deposits and the security forces of widespread human rights abuses.(Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Nick Macfie)
India building collapse-A multi-story residential building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai early Friday, killing at least three people and sending rescuers racing to reach dozens of people feared trapped in the rubble. It was the third deadly building collapse in six months in Mumbai, in a country where shoddy construction and lax inspections make such disasters all too common. (AP)Hide thumbnails1 – 8 of 12 1 of 12 photosNextpreviousnext Photo By DANISH SIDDIQUI/REUTERS 8 hours ago Rescue crews search for survivors at the site of a collapsed residential building in Mumbai September 27, 2013. The five-story apartment block collapsed on Friday in the Indian financial center of Mumbai, killing one person with dozens feared trapped in the latest accident to underscore shoddy building standards in Asia’s third-largest economy. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)
Greenpeace to appeal jailing of activists, including 2 Canadians, in Russia MOSCOW – Greenpeace said Friday it will appeal against the rulings of a Russian court that led to the jailing of its activists for a protest near an oil platform in the Arctic.On Thursday, the court in the city of Murmansk jailed 28 Greenpeace activists, including two Canadians, who protested last week near the platform owned by the Russian state energy giant, Gazprom, along with a freelance Russian photographer and a freelance British videographer. Greenpeace said in a statement Friday that it will appeal and is seeking the crew’s immediate release.”These detentions are like the Russian oil industry itself, a relic from an earlier era,” Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said in a statement. „Our peaceful activists are in prison tonight for shining a light on Gazprom’s recklessness. The Arctic is melting before our eyes, and these brave activists stand in defiance of those who wish to exploit this unfolding crisis to drill for more oil.”Of the 30 people jailed by court, 22 were put in custody for two months pending an official probe and the remaining eight were detained for three days pending a new hearing.No charges have been brought against anyone in the group. Russian authorities are looking into whether they could be charged with piracy, among other offences.The Russian Coast Guard disrupted an attempt by the activists Sept. 18 to scale the platform. The next day, Russian authorities seized Greenpeace’s ship, the Arctic Sunrise, and towed it with the crew aboard to Murmansk.Paul Ruzycki of Port Colborne, Ont., was serving as the ship’s chief mate when it was seized last Thursday. Montrealer Alexandre Paul was also on board.Paul’s mother, Nicole Paul, expressed concern Thursday about her son’s plight.”Let’s just say it’s not easy,” she told The Canadian Press. „Things are getting down to the nitty-gritty.”Where is it all going to end? We don’t know what the (detention) conditions are. We’re told they’re together, fine, but that’s not that reassuring. Russia is another reality.”She urged the federal government to get more involved.Reporters Without Borders on Thursday protested the jailing of freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov who is a contributor to various international and Russian media outlets, saying his arrest was „an unacceptable violation of freedom of information.” The top transatlantic security and rights group, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, also voiced concern and demanded Sinyakov’s immediate release.Several Russian media outlets including the country’s private TV station, NTV, took all pictures off their websites in a show of solidarity with the jailed photographer.The platform, which belongs to Gazprom’s oil subsidiary, is the first offshore rig in the Arctic. It was deployed to the vast Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea in 2011, but its launch has been delayed by technological challenges. Gazprom said earlier this month it was to start pumping oil this year, but no precise date has been set.The Arctic Sunrise sails under the Dutch flag. Greenpeace lawyer Daniel Simons said that the group had appealed to the Netherlands to negotiate the team’s release._ With files from The Canadian Press.
Climate report by international panel says warming ‘extremely likely’ man-madeBy Karl Ritter, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 3 hours agoView PhotoFrench Michel Jarraud, left, Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization, …STOCKHOLM – Scientists can now say with extreme confidence that human activity is the dominant cause of the global warming observed since the 1950s, a new report by an international scientific group said Friday.Calling man-made warming „extremely likely,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used the strongest words yet on the issue as it adopted its assessment on the state of the climate system.In its previous assessment, in 2007, the U.N.-sponsored panel said it was „very likely” that global warming was man-made.One of the most controversial subjects in the report was how to deal with a purported slowdown in warming in the past 15 years. Climate skeptics say this „hiatus” casts doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change.Many governments had objections over how the issue was treated in earlier drafts and some had called for it to be deleted altogether.In the end, the IPCC made only a brief mention of the issue in the summary for policymakers, stressing that short-term records are sensitive to natural variability and don’t in general reflect long-term trends.”An old rule says that climate-relevant trends should not be calculated for periods less than around 30 years,” said Thomas Stocker, co-chair of the group that wrote the report.Many scientists say the purported slowdown reflects random climate fluctuations and an unusually hot year, 1998, picked as a starting point for charting temperatures. Another leading hypothesis is that heat is settling temporarily in the oceans, but that wasn’t included in the summary.Stocker said there wasn’t enough literature on „this emerging question.”The IPCC said the evidence of climate change has grown thanks to more and better observations, a clearer understanding of the climate system and improved models to analyze the impact of rising temperatures.”Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased,” said Qin Dahe, co-chair of the working group that wrote the report.The full 2,000-page report isn’t going to be released until Monday, but the summary for policymakers with the key findings was published Friday. It contained few surprises as many of the findings had been leaked in advance.As expected, the IPCC raised its projections of the rise in sea levels to 10-32 inches (26-82 centimetres) by the end of the century. The previous report predicted a rise of 7-23 inches (18-59 centimetres).But it also changed its estimate of how sensitive the climate is to an increase in CO2 concentrations, lowering the lower end of a range given in the previous report. In 2007, the IPCC said that a doubling of CO2 concentrations would likely result in 2-4.5 C (3.6-8.1 F) degrees of warming. This time it restored the lower end of that range to what it was in previous reports, 1.5 C (2.7 F).The IPCC assessments are important because they form the scientific basis of U.N. negotiations on a new climate deal. Governments are supposed to finish that agreement in 2015, but it’s unclear whether they will commit to the emissions cuts that scientists say will be necessary to keep the temperature below a limit at which the worst effects of climate change can be avoided.Using four scenarios with different emissions controls, the report projected that global average temperatures would rise by 0.3 to 4.8 degrees C by the end of the century. That’s 0.5-8.6 F.Only the lowest scenario, which was based on major cuts in CO2 emissions and is considered unlikely, came in below the 2-degree C (3.6 F) limit that countries have set as their target in the climate talks to avoid the worst impacts of warming.”This is yet another wakeup call: Those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. „Once again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or common sense should be willing to even contemplate.”At this point, emissions keep rising mainly due to rapid growth in China and other emerging economies. They say rich countries should take the lead on emissions cuts because they’ve pumped carbon into the atmosphere for longer.Climate activists said the report should spur governments to action.”There are few surprises in this report but the increase in the confidence around many observations just validates what we are seeing happening around us,” said Samantha Smith, of the World Wildlife Fund.The report adopted Friday deals with the physical science of climate change. Next year, the IPCC will adopt reports on the impacts of global warming, strategies to fight it and a synthesis of all three reports.
Japanese utility TEPCO seeks restart of 2 reactors as lawmakers query handling of nuke crisisBy Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 7 hours agoView PhotoFILE – In this July 18, 2007 file photo, the pavement of an access road in the compound …TOKYO – Tokyo Electric Power Co. requested on Friday that safety inspections be carried out to allow it to restart two nuclear reactors, despite concerns over how it has handled the catastrophe at the Fukushima plant.All of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors are offline while regulators consider restarts under safety rules revised after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant.Restarts will require approvals from the Nuclear Regulation Authority and local governments.The request to restart two reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, in Niigata Prefecture on the Japan Sea coast, brings to 14 the number of reactors that utilities want assessed.Located 200 kilometres (125 miles) northwest of Tokyo, the plant is the world’s largest atomic power plant, whose seven reactors have a combined output capacity of 8.2 million kilowatts. TEPCO is seeking restarts of reactor Nos. 6 and 7, advanced boiling water reactors that are the newest at the plant.The plant suffered a long list of radioactive leaks and malfunctions during from a magnitude 6.8 quake on July 16, 2007, but underwent repairs and tests after that.TEPCO and other utilities are eager to restart at least some of the country’s 50 operable reactors to help defray rising costs both from maintaining the nuclear plants and also from increased imports of gas and oil for conventional power plants needed to offset lost generating capacity.The request comes as a parliamentary panel questions TEPCO’s president, Naomi Hirose, on Friday over the company’s handling of the accident, as radiation leaks and other troubles persist.Opposition lawmakers of the lower house grilled Hirose over a decision by TEPCO to delay use of measures now being considered to prevent radiation-tainted water from escaping into groundwater and the sea.”You knew of this radioactive water problem more than two years ago,” Masato Imai of the Democratic Party of Japan, which was in power at the time of the accident, told Hirose.”It appears your risk awareness was way too low,” he said. „Why did you not act then?”While apologizing repeatedly for the leaks and other mishaps at the plant, Hirose said that the heaps of rubble and other waste from the tsunami and explosions at the plant, and high levels of radiation, prevented some work from being done. Worries over cost and feasibility also have slowed progress on stabilizing the situation at the plant, he said.Meanwhile, the water continues to accumulate as TEPCO struggles to keep the damaged reactors cool and prevent further meltdowns.”The water is unable to escape, but it is still accumulating. It is a very difficult situation,” Hirose said.”It’s really a ‘whack-a-mole’ situation,” he said, pledging to „do what needs doing” and avoid delays and failures in the future.Post-Fukushima worries over disaster preparedness prompted the government to revise safety requirements for all nuclear plants. Information from TEPCO about its application for the Niigata plants includes details about its ability to withstand earthquakes, tsunami, tornados and volcanic eruptions.Before the 2011 disaster, the Fukushima plant was deemed earthquake and tsunami-safe, but the wall of water that hit the coast crippled emergency generators used to run cooling systems, allowing several reactors to overheat and melt down.
Asylum seeker boat sinks off Indonesia, killing at least 21 ahead of meetings with AustraliaBy The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 19 minutes agoView PhotoIn this photo taken with a mobile phone, villagers stand around the bodies of the …JAKARTA, Indonesia – A boat carrying dozens of asylum seekers sank off the coast of Indonesia’s main island of Java on Friday, killing at least 21 people, an official said.Twenty-five people were rescued and transported to the Sukabumi immigration office for identification, said Cianjur police chief Lt. Col. Dedy Kusuma Bakti. The search for survivors was continuing.Some survivors told officials that more than 100 asylum seekers from Lebanon, Pakistan and Iraq were believed to be aboard the boat, but the exact number of passengers was not known, Bakti said. Survivors said the boat was headed for Australia’s Christmas Island.Lebanon’s official National News Agency said 17 Lebanese drowned in the incident. Nine members of a single family were among the Lebanese victims, with a woman and her eight children dying and her husband surviving, the agency reported.The incident came ahead of new Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s first visit to Indonesia next week. He is expected to meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.Indonesia has said that the Australian navy’s plan to intercept and force back Indonesian fishing boats crowded with asylum seekers could breach Indonesian sovereignty.Scores of people from war-torn countries use Indonesia as a transit point every year, boarding rickety fishing boats bound for Christmas Island, located 500 kilometres (310 miles) south of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.
IPCC climate report 95% certain that global warming caused by humansBy Scott Sutherland | Geekquinox – 2 hours 5 minutes ago The newest report on the state of Earth’s climate sends the strongest message yet on how human activities are affecting the planet, saying that it’s extremely likely that we are the dominant cause of the warming we’ve been seeing in the climate since the mid-20th century.The statements coming from the newly released IPCC climate change report are clear: the signs we are seeing in the Earth’s climate system leave no doubt that it is warming, many of the changes we have been seeing since 1950 are unprecedented, and it is extremely likely — with a 95-100% certainty — that the greenhouse gases we are putting into the atmosphere are having a stronger effect on these changes than any natural influence.Highlights of the report include strong statements that we have been seeing successively warmer temperatures each of the last three decades, with all three decades the warmest going back for 160 years and that 30-years period likely being the warmest the Northern Hemisphere has seen is nearly 600 years. It also says that the oceans are seeing the majority of the warming, acidity levels in the water are rising due to the absorption of carbon dioxide, and the rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been higher than the average rate set during the past two millennia. Additionally, the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are melting, glaciers around the world are shrinking, the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice are getting smaller, and the spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere is decreasing.All of this due to the impact of the greenhouse gases we are putting into the atmosphere, which are at levels higher than the past 800,000 years.The consequences of all this?We are likely to see an increase in global temperatures of more than 1.5°C by the end of this century, with some projections putting that at over 2.0°C. We can expect to see more, longer-lasting heat waves. Regions that see wetter weather will tend to see even more, while drier regions will likely see even less rain than they already do. Ocean levels are expected to rise at an even faster rate, as the oceans continue to warm and glaciers and ice sheets continue to melt.The dire conclusion of the report, as stated by Thomas Stocker, one of the world’s leading climate scientists: „As a result of our past, present and expected future emissions of CO2, we are committed to climate change, and effects will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 stop.”[ More Geekquinox: Cricket Reactors: The innovative idea behind a $1 million prize dispute ]Those that try to deny that our activities are pushing the Earth’s climate towards disaster will no doubt be pulling out their tackle box of tactics to spin this in a way that they think will strengthen their position, or at least weaken the consensus on the science and the message of this report.However, the report represents decades of solid science and studies by the world’s leading researchers, and it delivers a powerful message that we need to change the way we live our lives and how we treat the planet that is our home.To put its message in another way that might have more of an impact: the chances that nature itself is the main cause of the changes we’re seeing — the increased temperatures, the melting ice, the worsening droughts, increase in the number of unprecedented weather events — are considered extremely unlikely. That translates to a less than 5% chance.With what’s at stake — our health and welfare, our homes, our livelihoods and even our lives — betting on odds that small that we can just keep going as we have been is a really bad move.Geek out with the latest in science and weather.Follow @ygeekquinox on Twitter!
Hurricane Season 2013: Year Without a Major Hurricane?
By Chris Dolce Published: Sep 27, 2013, 10:44 AM EDT weather.comWhere Are the Hurricanes?Four Hurricanes at OnceMassive Insurance Hike ComingJim Cantore vs. Cat. 5 WindsSo far this hurricane season, the Atlantic basin has produced nine named storms, two of which have become hurricanes
.2013 Named Storm Tracks
(MORE: Hurricane Central)Based on long-term averages from 1966-2009, the Atlantic has typically seen nine named storms by Oct. 4 and five hurricanes by Oct. 7. As you can see, the 2013 season is fairly close to average when it comes to the number of named storms, but lagging behind in the hurricane category.Neither of this season’s two hurricanes, Humberto and Ingrid, reached major hurricane status, a Category 3 or higher rating on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.Since 1851, roughly 75 percent of all the major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) have formed during the months of August and September. Given that we’ve almost made it through September, and are headed for the final two months of the hurricane season, this raises the question of how rare it would be to go an entire season without a major hurricane in the Atlantic.Last Time Was Nearly Two Decades Ago Since the satellite era began in 1960, only four years have had no major hurricanes. That’s an average of about once every 13 years that we see an Atlantic hurricane season with no majors.You have to go back almost 20 years to 1994 to find the last time we did not have a major hurricane in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. That hurricane season had only seven named storms and three hurricanes, which is much lower than the long-term seasonal average of 11 named storms and six hurricanes. This was also the last year before the current so-called active era for tropical storms and hurricanes began in 1995.The other seasons since 1960 with no major hurricanes were 1986, 1972 and 1968.Atlantic Major Hurricanes
Could 2013 join this small group of years since 1960 with no major hurricanes? While it’s possible, we should note that October has produced about 18 percent (57 total) of the known major hurricanes since 1851. Even November has seen the formation of seven major hurricanes since 1851.So there’s still time left in the 2013 season for a major hurricane to form, but the odds get lower and lower the farther you head into October and November.Of course, tracking statistics on the number of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes in a given season is only important for historical record-keeping, what matters most is where they track.Therefore, it’s important to remain prepared for the final two months of the hurricane season. Senior meteorologist Stu Ostro (Facebook | Twitter) of The Weather Channel reinforces this point: „On the one hand, the vast majority of hurricanes that hit the U.S. do so prior to October. In the past 50 years, more than 80 percent of them have. On the other hand, that’s not 100 percent, and there have been deadly and destructive ones late in the season, so we need to remain vigilant.”U.S. October and November Hurricane History
Typical Oct. Formation Areas and Tracks
A total of 53 hurricanes have struck the United States in October since 1851. Of these, 16 have been major Category 3 or higher hurricanes. Only three hurricanes have struck the United States in November since 1851.Hurricane Kate in 1985 was the latest-in-the-season hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. on record, coming onshore a week before Thanksgiving. The latest a major Category 3 or higher hurricane has made a U.S. landfall was the 1921 Tampa hurricane, which hit the west-central coast of Florida on Oct. 25. Wilma from 2005 was the second-latest major hurricane landfall on Oct. 24.For South Florida, October is actually the month with the most hurricane direct hits. Since 1851, a total of 21 hurricanes have passed within 100 nautical miles of Miami.Click through the slideshow below to see some examples of significant October and November Atlantic hurricanes from the past.
Hurricane Wilma Oct. 15-25, 2005
Severe Storm Threat in Plains Published: Sep 27, 2013, 6:29 AM EDT weather.com ShareStrong Storms Firing Up FridayStrong Storms Firing Up FridayStorm WatchTornado Hits Paradise
A storm system ejecting out of the Rockies will fire up thunderstorms in the Plains Friday afternoon and evening.
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NOAAOne of the oldest known photographs of a tornado. It is probable this image has been „doctored” from the original. At this time, the oldest known photograph of a tornado was taken on April 26, 1884 at Garnett, Kansas. byTaboola More from Weather.comFrom Around the Web
Soyuz Delivers 3 Astronauts to International Space Station Nataliya Vasilyeva Published: Sep 26, 2013, 3:37 PM EDT Associated Press