(by Joel Himelfarb) The issue of an Iranian nuclear strike that could do immense damage to the United States was raised in Israel this week in an opinion piece by U.S. analyst Peter Vincent Pry warning of the possibility of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack targeting the United States.
In the article, published on the Israeli website Arutz Sheva, Pry warned that “Iranian military documents describe such a scenario — including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States.”
A source said that the textbook discusses an EMP attack on America in 20 different places, the Washington Examiner‘s Paul Bedard reported Thursday…Read more from Newsmax
A total solar eclipse over Europe is set for Friday and has officials worried about the integrity of the continent’s electrical grid, which is increasingly being powered by solar panels that rely on sunshine to produce energy.
Germany, Europe’s leading green energy producer, is located for better or worse right where the eclipse is set to be most pronounced. Solar panels produce 7 percent of the country’s electricity when it’s bright out, but questions loom about the grid’s performance when the sun blacks out.
For the 75 minute duration of the eclipse Friday morning, Germans will likely see massive power losses due to solar panels not getting enough sun. Solar power usually sees big decreases at the end of the day when the sun goes down, according to the energy company Opower, but utilities expect that and can compensate…Read more from The Daily Caller
(by Brook Hays) LOS ANGELES — There’s a slightly higher chance than experts previously thought that a mega-quake, an earthquake of 8.0 magnitude or greater, will hit California.
In a report released by the U.S. Geological Survey on Tuesday, scientists raised the chance of a mega-earthquake hitting California within the next 30 years from 4.7 percent to 7 percent.
Researchers with USGS augmented their forecast models to account for the realization that fault lines are interconnected systems — not isolated entities…Read more from UPI
(by Peter Behr) The Energy Department has begun an inquiry into the vulnerability of large power transformers that are crucial to U.S. electricity delivery, officials confirm. The study could lead to a strategy for expanding a strategic stockpile of spare transformers to help the grid recover from major cyber or physical assaults or solar storms and other natural disasters.
The project, at DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), addresses potentially existential threats to the interstate high-voltage transmission network that have been highlighted in government studies as far back as 1990, and increasingly since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The DOE study aims at key, still-unresolved questions that have held up a comprehensive federal response on the issue, according to officials…Read more from E&E Publishing
(by Matthew Campbell, Tim Loh & Mark Chediak) Revolutions that start in the garage are nothing new. The one-car shed in which David Packard and William Hewlett launched the partnership that would grow into Hewlett-Packard Co. is known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley.
So Jason Hughes may be on to something.
In a cluttered four-car garage in suburban Deptford, New Jersey, Hughes spent the better part of last year hacking a 1,400-pound battery recovered from a wrecked Tesla Model S and reworking it into a stacked array that can store energy from his solar-power system. His battery tinkering resolves the issue of intermittency since his green power will be available whenever he needs it, night or day, rain or shine.
A day trader by profession, the 31-year-old doesn’t want to save the world. He just wants to get off the grid. He did his homework and concluded that off-the-shelf batteries just don’t yet have the heft he required to achieve that…Read more from BloombergBusiness
Little-known fault suspected in Northern California quake
(08-24) 15:44 PDT NAPA — The earthquake that rolled through the Bay Area and beyond Sunday is suspected of striking along a little-known section of the West Napa Fault in the seismically active North Bay region, where parallel faults have been rupturing for millions of years, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Scientists said early-detection equipment had sent out alerts of imminent ground shaking to distant locations, raising the possibility that a more extensive system could one day give precious seconds of warning that would save lives.
A network of seismographs maintained by the USGS and UC Berkeley indicated that the quake ruptured underground at a depth of 6.7 miles – typical for temblors in the Bay Area. The Geological Survey said late Sunday that the magnitude was 6.0, though at times during the day it said the quake had been measured at 6.1.
The quake appears to have ruptured along the Browns Valley section of the West Napa Fault, about 3 miles northwest of American Canyon, said USGS seismologist David Oppenheimer…Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle
Short update on Bárðarbunga volcano at 12:07 UTC
(by Jón Frímann) This is a short update on Bárðarbunga volcano. Due to the fast change that is now taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano this information is going to get outdated quickly.
Earthquake activity now is extremely dense. With 3 to 5 earthquakes taking place every second (best estimate that I have made).
Earthquakes have increased in magnitude.
General activity appears to have increased in Bárðarbunga volcano. Even if no major eruption has yet taken place.
There is currently no signs of this activity stopping any time soon.
The dyke in Bárðarbunga volcano continues to get longer and wider, it is now over 40 km long (I think). Formation of this dyke has slowed due to more difficult crust in the area he is now in (that means more earthquakes).
Read more from Iceland Geology | Latest updates from Iceland Geology
Strong magnitude-6.6 quake hits south-central Peru
Lima, Aug. 24. A strong earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale jolted the Andean region of Ayacucho in south-central Peru on Sunday afternoon.
Peru’s Geophysical Institute, or IGP, said the tremor struck about 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) of the Coracora city, in Ayacucho’s Lucanas province, at 18:21 local time (23:21 GMT).
The state-run agency said the 6.6-magnitude quake occurred at a depth of 108 kilometers (67.1 miles)…Read more from Andina (Peru News Agency)
(by Alan Caruba) When Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, was published, the Environmental Protection Agency looked over her claims about the pesticide DDT and concluded she had used manipulated data. EPA concluded that DDT should not be banned, but its first administrator, William Ruckleshaus, overruled the agency and imposed a ban.
Ruckleshaus was a lawyer, not a scientist. He was also politically connected enough to hold a variety of government positions. He got the nod for the EPA job from John Mitchell, Nixon’s Attorney General who later went to jail for his participation in the Watergate cover-up.
Wikipedia says, “With the formation of EPA, authority over pesticides was transferred to it from the Department of Agriculture. The fledgling EPA’s first order of business was whether to issue a ban of DDT. Judge Edmund Sweeney was appointed to examine the case and held testimony hearings for seven months. His conclusion was that DDT “is not a carcinogenic hazard to man” and that “there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT”. However, Ruckelshaus (who had not attended the hearings or read the report himself) overruled Sweeney’s decision and issued the ban nevertheless, claiming that DDT was a ‘potential human carcinogen.’”In 2008, having returned to the practice of law, he endorsed Barack Obama…Read more from CFACT
Snow set to blast Scotland as forecasters warn of ‘coldest August spell in a century’
(by Jenny Awford) Bitter Arctic winds could plunge parts of Britain into the coldest spell of August weather for almost a century.
Thermometers are set to plummet as a stubborn band of low pressure drags air in from the north – with two weeks of wet, windy and cold weather on the horizon.
There is even a chance of snow and sleet over the mountains of Scotland as it dips to near freezing overnight.
Government figures show the last time it was this cold in August was in 1919 when the mercury rose no higher than 8.9C for four days in Yorkshire and Cumbria.
It is not expected to rise above 9C in parts of the north during the day all week with chilly winds making it feel much colder.
The Met Office said Loadpot Hill, in Cumbria, is unlikely to see a maximum daytime temperature of more than 8C on Thursday…Read more from the Daily Mail UK
More Harsh Winters Could Spell Disaster For The Electrical Grid
(by Michael Bastasch) If you thought last winter was bad, get ready for a potentially worse winter in parts of the country this year. But another record-setting winter could mean more than higher heating bills and snow fights.
Harsh winter weather combined with coal-fired power plant closings could spell trouble for many households across the country who will desperately need to keep the lights and heat on this winter.
Joe Bastardi, chief meteorologist at WeatherBELL Analytics, told the Wall Street Journal Live that current weather patterns are “flowing along right now into the type of El Niño situation that is notorious for giving the United States cold, snowy winters, especially in the southern and eastern part of the United States, relative to the averages.”…Read more from The Daily Caller
More than one million affected by Ebola: WHO
With more than one million people affected by the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the WHO has warned that there is “no early end in sight” to the severe health crisis and called for “extraordinary measures” to stop the transmission of the disease.
According to the latest update issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease, as well as 56 deaths, were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone between August 10 and 11, bringing the total number of cases to 1,975 and deaths to 1,069.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said more than one million people are affected by the disease and these people need daily material support, including food.
The infected people are in the “hot zone of disease transmission” on the borders of the three countries most impacted by the disease.
“There is no early end (to the outbreak) in sight. This is an extraordinary outbreak that requires extraordinary measures for containment. This is a severe health crisis, and it can rapidly become a humanitarian crisis if we do not do more to stop transmission,” Ms. Chan said during a briefing in Geneva…Read more from The Hindu