Geophysical

Could US survive an EMP attack?

CANDIA, N.H. (CBS) — Janine Richardson couldn’t believe it when she and her husband went to bring in some firewood to heat their home and it was all gone.

“We don’t use oil at all,” said Richardson. “We heat by wood solely so it was cold, it was cold that night, luckily we had little scraps around so we burnt that for the night.”

Police in Candia New Hampshire says it’s happened at least twice this month. Heavy piles of firewood have been stolen from people’s property.

“I haven’t seen that in this area,” said Candia Police Chief Mike McGillen. “I can’t recall having many investigations like this.”

 

CBS Boston has the full article

California Drought: Higher Food Prices, Fewer Jobs, Less Power

California Drought: Higher Food Prices, Fewer Jobs, Less Power

California’s severe drought could have wide-ranging effects beyond familiar water restrictions, ranging from higher food prices to a power shortage in the state. The Fresno Bee reports that farmers in parts of California are leaving fields to lie fallow, bulldozing fruit trees and selling cattle stocks prematurely–all of which could add up to higher food prices around the country if production… Read more →

Sun releases first X class flare of 2014

NASA reports the first significant solar flare of 2014. The flare, which occurred at 1:32 p.m. EST on Tuesday Jan. 7, is listed as a X1.2-class. Solar flares release significant amounts of radiation and, while is not harmful to humans, as it does not penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere, it can cause disruption to GPS and other communication signals.

Niagara Falls freezes over

Tourists who braved record low temperatures to visit Niagara Falls have been treated to a spectacular sight.

Water turned to ice as it plunged over the 34-metre-high American Falls – one of three waterfalls which form the popular tourist attraction on the border between the United States and Canada.

Icy chunks tumbled over the crest of the falls and long icicles were left dangling above the frozen Niagara River below.

The unusual sight came as a polar vortex that gripped the US for four days, plunging temperatures to -37C (-35F) and leaving at least 21 people dead, finally began to ease its grip.

The crippling cold, which affected more than half the US population as it spread from the Midwest to the East and South, has been pushed northwards, leaving warmer weather and calmer winds in its wake.

White House blames 'polar vortex' on global warming

White House blames ‘polar vortex’ on global warming

The Obama administration is pushing back against skeptics who claim this week’s “polar vortex” of cold weather is proof global warming is a myth, saying weather patterns such as these are actually a result of climate change. In a post on the official White House blog Wednesday, the administration starts by saying no single weather event proves or disproves climate… Read more →

Supervolcano eruption mystery solved

Supervolcano eruption mystery solved

Scientists have made a breakthrough in their efforts to understand what causes so-called supervolcanoes to erupt. Supervolcanoes are capable of eruptions thousands of times larger than normal outpourings. It was thought that an external trigger, such as an earthquake, was needed to bring about a giant blast. But tests at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble show the sheer… Read more →

Dangerously low temperatures across Midwest; Northeast next

 

Heavy snow, dangerous cold bite northeastern U.S.

Heavy snow, dangerous cold bite northeastern U.S.

(Reuters) – A heavy snowstorm and dangerously cold conditions gripped the northeastern United States on Friday, delaying flights, paralyzing road travel and closing schools and government offices across the region. Boston was hardest-hit by the first major winter storm of 2014, getting nearly 14 inches of snow, while some towns north of New England’s largest city saw close to two… Read more →

Sun ‘flips upside down’ while reversing magnetic poles

Sun ‘flips upside down’ while reversing magnetic poles

The sun has undergone a “complete field reversal,” with its north and south poles changing places as it marks the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24. “A reversal of the sun’s magnetic field is, literally, a big event,” NASA’s Dr. Tony Phillips said in a statement issued on the space agency’s website. “The sun’s polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero and… Read more →