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Did China Just Announce the End of U.S. Primacy in the Pacific?

Did China Just Announce the End of U.S. Primacy in the Pacific?

Last week’s military parade previewed a series of game-changing weapons that could neutralize American seapower.

Military vehicles carrying DF-17 ballistic missiles march during a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China at Tiananmen Square on October 1, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Sheng Jiapeng/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images) 

For decades, the United States has taken China’s ballistic missile capability for granted, assessing it as a low-capability force with limited regional impact and virtually no strategic value. But on October 1, during a massive military parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Beijing put the U.S., and the world, on notice that this assessment was no longer valid. 

In one fell swoop, China may have nullified America’s strategic nuclear deterrent, the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and U.S. missile defense capability. Through its impressive display of new weapons systems, China has underscored the reality that while the United States has spent the last two decades squandering trillions of dollars fighting insurgents in the Middle East, Beijing was singularly focused on overcoming American military superiority in the Pacific. If the capabilities of these new weapons are taken at face value, China will have succeeded on this front. 

In the West, it is called RMA, short for “Revolution in Military Affairs.” The term was first coined by Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov in the early 1980s. Ogarkov, who was at the time serving as the chief of the Soviet general staff, spoke of “developments in nonnuclear means of destruction [which] promise to make it possible to sharply increase (by at least an order of magnitude) the destructive potential of conventional weapons, bringing them closer, so to speak, to weapons of mass destruction in terms of effectiveness.” 

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Temperatures In The Pacific Ocean Have Shot Up To Dangerous Levels, And Scientists Are Blaming A “Strange Anomaly”

Temperatures In The Pacific Ocean Have Shot Up To Dangerous Levels, And Scientists Are Blaming A “Strange Anomaly”

It is being called “the Pacific marine heatwave of 2019”, and officials are warning that it could have very frightening implications if it does not dissipate soon.  Right now, there is a vast expanse of water stretching from northern Alaska all the way to southern California where the water temperatures have rapidly risen to very dangerous levels.  In fact, in some spots the water temperature is already “as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit above normal”, and there is a tremendous amount of concern about what will happen if the water continues to become even warmer.  At this point things are already so bad that we are being warned that this strange anomaly could “ravage marine life and decimate commercial fishing” all along the west coast.  The following comes from NPR

A huge new marine heat wave has gripped the waters off the U.S. West Coast, threatening to ravage marine life and decimate commercial fishing over an expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

We are being told that this new anomaly is probably similar to another “marine heatwave” known as “the Blob” that made global headlines when it struck the region in 2014.

And if that is true, then things will definitely get very uncomfortable for marine life, but conditions will eventually go back to normal.  Although for the near future we are being warned that this anomaly is “on a trajectory to be as strong as the prior event”

“It’s on a trajectory to be as strong as the prior event,” said Andrew Leising, a research scientist at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. About five years ago, sea temperatures peaked at close to 7 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Radioactive ‘Nuclear Coffin’ May Be Leaking Into The Pacific

Radioactive ‘Nuclear Coffin’ May Be Leaking Into The Pacific

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has sounded the alarm over a giant concrete dome built 40 years ago in the Marshall Islands to contain radioactive waste from Cold War-era atomic tests. 

According to Guterres, the dome – which houses approximately 73,000 cubic meters of debris on Runit island, part of the Enewetak Atoll – may be leaking radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean, as the porous ground underneath the 18″ thick dome was never lined as originally planned. It was constructed in the crater formed by the 18-kt Cactus test. 

“The Pacific was victimised in the past as we all know,” Guterres told students in the island nation of Figi while on a tour of the South Pacific. “I’ve just been with the President of the Marshall Islands (Hilda Heine), who is very worried because there is a risk of leaking of radioactive materials that are contained in a kind of coffin in the area.” DoE report, 2013

Residents of the Islands were relocated from their ancestral lands shortly after the United States began what would become 67 nuclear weapons tests from 1946 – 1958 at Bikini and Enewetak atolls. Despite US efforts to move people to safety, thousands of islanders were exposed to radioactive fallout from above-ground tests conducted before a moratorium was enacted in 1958. 

The tests included the 15 Megaton Castle Bravo on the Bikini Atoll, which was detonated on March 1, 1954. It was the most powerful ever detonated by the United States – and around 1,000 times bigger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima just nine years before. 

An Oceanic Problem: the Atlantic Overturning Current is Slowing

An Oceanic Problem: the Atlantic Overturning Current is Slowing

Photo by Michael Mayer | CC BY 2.0

The Atlantic Overturning Current is part of a worldwide twisted loop of ocean water, called the thermohaline cycle (thermo = heat, haline = salt), which emerges very salty and warm out of the Gulf of Mexico, travels north as a surface current along the east coast of North America, veers east in the North Atlantic toward Europe, then loops back west to a region just south of Greenland where it cools and sinks to the ocean floor – because it has become denser than the surrounding and less salty North Atlantic waters (colder water is denser than warmer water, and saltier water is denser than fresher water of equal temperature). The dense highly salted descending water then runs as a cold deep ocean current south along the east coast of South America, and continues in a complicated path along the ocean floor into the Pacific Ocean, where it warms and eventually rises to become a surface current of more buoyant less salty water. This current distributes solar heat collected by ocean waters in tropical latitudes to higher latitudes (closer to the poles).

In 2004, Peter Schwartz and Douglas Randall described the thermohaline cycle this way: “In this thousand-year cycle, water from the surface in tropical areas becomes more saline through evaporation. When it circulates to the poles and becomes cold (“thermo”), the greater density still present from higher salt (“haline”) concentration causes the water to sink to great depths. As with most large-scale geological processes, the thermohaline cycle is not thoroughly understood. Wallace Broecker has been studying the cycle for decades and, according to the December 1996 issue of Discover magazine, he has shown that the thermohaline cycle has not always been in operation, and that it has a strong effect on global climate.”

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“One Typhoon Away From Full Breach” – US Nuke-Test Dome Leaking Fatal Radiation Into Pacific Ocean

Before the 1970s, the United States and other nuclear-armed countries conducted more than 500 atomic weapons tests in the atmosphere.

During these tests, radioactive debris and gases were flung up into the atmosphere and traveled around the world.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that people around the world have had exposure to radioactive fallout from these nuclear tests. Even today, radioactive fallout is present in many parts of the world, but in small amounts.

In the early 2000s, the CDC released a global radioactive fallout report and found that any person living in the US since 1951 has been “exposed to some radioactive fallout, and all of a person’s organs and tissues have received some exposure.”

The costs associated with nuclear tests for any country have been quite devastating for surrounding communities. Take, for instance, the Enewetak Atoll, a large coral atoll of 40 islands in the Pacific Ocean, where the U.S. government detonated 30 megatons of weapons – equivalent to 2,000 Hiroshima blasts – between 1948 and 1958.

In total, sixty-seven nuclear bombs detonated on Enewetak Atoll and Bikini Atoll of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Beginning in 1977, more than 8,000 people worked to clean up the Marshall Islands, shifting 110,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris into a blast crater.

This thirty-foot-deep crater is called the Runit Dome, on Enewetak Atoll, also called “Cactus Dome” or locally “The Tomb.”

The dome of death spans 350-feet across with an 18-inch concrete cap covering radioactive debris from 12-years of U.S. government nuclear tests.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

3 major hurricanes recorded over the Pacific for first time ever

3 major hurricanes recorded over the Pacific for first time ever

In a historic development this weekend, three major hurricanes were recorded over the Pacific Ocean for the first time since records have been kept.

Hurricane Kilo, Hurricane Ignacio and Hurricane Jimena were all classified as Category 4 storms on Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the second highest classification on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

It was the first time on record that there were three Category 4 hurricanes in the Pacific at the same time, and the first time three major hurricanes—defined as Category 3 or higher—were recorded over the Pacific, according to Weather.com.

“Sea surface temperatures are extremely warm, averaging 2 to 5 degrees above normal,” said meteorologist Chris Robbins, a former NHC forecaster and founder of Robbins Meteorological Consulting and iWeatherNet.com. “This anomaly is well north of the oceanic warming associated with a typical El Niño.”

The rare event was greeted with some enthusiasm by hurricane expert Eric Blake of the NHC on Twitter:


Historic central/eastern Pacific outbreak- 3 major hurricanes at once for the first time on record! pic.twitter.com/t4fdIZwhOO

@ntxweathersoonr one can’t use enough superlatives to talk about how unusual it is. Cpac has no business looking like this

By 8 a.m. Eastern time Monday, Hurricane Jimena, still classified as Category 4, was moving west with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. The hurricane was not expected to lose much strength in the next couple of days, according to the NHC’s latest advisory.

Hurricane Kilo also remained a Category 4 and was heading toward the international dateline, according to the NHC. The storm was located about 1,370 miles west of Honolulu and had maximum sustained winds of 135 miles per hour.

The Saffir-Simpson scale

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California Drought and Strengthening El Nino Accelerate Statewide Water Transition

California Drought and Strengthening El Nino Accelerate Statewide Water Transition

California Kern County canal agriculture drought farming Central Valley carl ganter circle of blue

Photo © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue
California’s canal system moves water hundreds of miles from the Sierra Nevada foothills to Los Angeles and San Diego. Adapting to 21st century water conditions requires less reliance on energy-hungry water imports and more sharing of water between users, according to panelists who participated in Circle of Blue’s August 18 town hall. Click image to enlarge.

As perhaps the strongest El Nino on record forms in the eastern Pacific Ocean, public officials in California are preparing for a winter in which the state’s drought emergency might be interrupted by disastrous floods.

Yet even a “Godzilla” El Nino, as one NASA scientist dubbed the warming ocean waters, will not solve the state’s water supply imbalances that preceded the current drought and will persist long after, according to experts who spoke Tuesday at a virtual town hall, hosted by Circle of Blue and Maestro Conference.

Godzilla unfortunately doesn’t have freezing breath ensure that all the rain we get is going to restore the snowpack in our mountains.”

–Kevin Klowden, managing director
Milken Institute’s California Center

“Godzilla can’t dig cisterns and build us water storage infrastructure, and Godzilla unfortunately doesn’t have freezing breath ensure that all the rain we get is going to restore the snowpack in our mountains,” said Kevin Klowden, managing director of the Milken Institute’s California Center in Santa Monica, at the Catalyst: California town hall.

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Toxic algae blooming off West Coast endangering marine life and forcing seafood bans

Toxic algae blooming off West Coast endangering marine life and forcing seafood bans

Algae bloom is 64 km wide and 198 metres deep in places

A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago, according to surveyors aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel.

This coastal ribbon of microscopic algae, up to 64 kilometres wide and 198 metres deep in places, is flourishing amid unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures. It now stretches from at least California to Alaska and has shut down lucrative fisheries.

Shellfish managers on Tuesday doubled the area off Washington’s coast that is closed to Dungeness crab fishing, after finding elevated levels of marine toxins in tested crab meat.

So-called “red tides” are cyclical and have happened many times before, but ocean researchers say this one is much larger and persisting much longer, with higher levels of neurotoxins bringing severe consequences for the Pacific seafood industry, coastal tourism and marine ecosystems.

Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the area now closed to crab fishing includes more than half the state’s 253-kilometre-long coast, and likely will bring a premature end to this year’s crab season.

“We think it’s just sitting and lingering out there,” said Anthony Odell, a University of Washington research analyst who is part of the U.S.’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association-led team surveying the harmful algae bloom, which was first detected in May. “It’s farther offshore, but it’s still there.”

 

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Why B.C. may be in for a long, hot summer

Why B.C. may be in for a long, hot summer

A dry spring, a warmer than usual Pacific Ocean, and an El Niño means the hot weather could be here to stay

Whenever temperatures approach 30 C in Metro Vancouver, it’s a talker.

While the thermostat does get close once or twice each summer, this particular heat wave has a lot of added factors. First of all, it’s early, as seasonal highs for Vancouver right now are just 20 C.

And the forecast temperatures will likely end up 10 degrees above that this weekend — numbers more reminiscent of July or August.

This heat wave will also be intense. Temperatures will steadily climb right across southern B.C. over the next few days, peaking on Sunday at 30 degrees for the South Coast and approaching the 40s in the Interior.

Daily temperature records will fall, but so too will many all-time hottest June day records. It looks like we will, at least, get close for places like Vancouver (30.6 C), Kelowna (38 C) and Kamloops (39.1 C).

Finally, this heat is just the latest ‘extreme’ in what has been an incredibly warm and dry year overall. Most of B.C. is coming out of a winter of record low snow packs.

Long range forecast calls for hot summer

This past May was the driest on record for most of the province. So far, just a fraction of expected June rain has fallen. And in general, temperatures have been above seasonal for weeks on end.

This provides that much more of an impact for the hot weather forecast when it comes to fire danger and drought concerns. After an explosive start to the fire season, and reservoirs dropping at an alarming speed, a dry forecast ramps up the danger and a hot one means evaporation of any moisture happens at a faster rate.

 

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Unprecedented Mass Die Offs as Pacific Ocean “Turning Into a Desert” Off California Coast

Unprecedented Mass Die Offs as Pacific Ocean “Turning Into a Desert” Off California Coast

mass-die-offs-california

“Ocean’s dying, plankton’s dying… it’s people. Soylent Green is made out of people. They’re making our food out of people. Next thing they’ll be breeding us like cattle for food. You’ve gotta tell them. You’ve gotta tell them!”

It was the dying cry of Charlton Heston in the creepy 1973 film Soylent Green… and it could resemble our desperate near future.

The ocean is dying, by all accounts – and if so, the food supply along with it. The causes are numerous, and overlapping. And massive numbers of wild animal populations are dying as a result of it.

Natural causes in the environment are partly to blame; so too are the corporations of man; the effects of Fukushima, unleashing untold levels of radiation into the ocean and onto Pacific shores; the cumulative effect of modern chemicals and agricultural waste tainting the water and disrupting reproduction.

A startling new report says in no uncertain terms that the Pacific Ocean off the California coast is turning into a desert. Once full of life, it is now becoming barren, and marine mammals, seabirds and fish are starving as a result. According to Ocean Health:

The waters of the Pacific off the coast of California are a clear, shimmering blue today, so transparent it’s possible to see the sandy bottom below […] clear water is a sign that the ocean is turning into a desert, and the chain reaction that causes that bitter clarity is perhaps most obvious on the beaches of the Golden State, where thousands of emaciated sea lion pups are stranded.

[…]

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A 1,000 Mile Stretch Of The Pacific Ocean Has Heated Up Several Degrees And Scientists Don’t Know Why

A 1,000 Mile Stretch Of The Pacific Ocean Has Heated Up Several Degrees And Scientists Don’t Know Why

According to two University of Washington scientific research papers that were recently released, a 1,000 mile stretch of the Pacific Ocean has warmed up by several degrees, and nobody seems to know why this is happening.  This giant “blob” of warm water was first observed in late 2013, and it is playing havoc with our climate.  And since this giant “blob” first showed up, fish and other sea creatures have been dying in absolutely massive numbers.  So could there be a connection?  And what is going to happen if the Pacific Ocean continues to warm up?  Could we potentially be facing the greatest holocaust of sea life in the Pacific that anyone has ever observed?  If so, what would that mean for the food chain and for our food supply?

For a large portion of the Pacific Ocean to suddenly start significantly heating up without any known explanation is a really big deal.  The following information about this new research comes from the University of Washington

“In the fall of 2013 and early 2014 we started to notice a big, almost circular mass of water that just didn’t cool off as much as it usually did, so by spring of 2014 it was warmer than we had ever seen it for that time of year,” said Nick Bond, a climate scientist at the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, a joint research center of the UW and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Bond coined the term “the blob” last June in his monthly newsletter as Washington’s state climatologist. He said the huge patch of water – 1,000 miles in each direction and 300 feet deep – had contributed to Washington’s mild 2014 winter and might signal a warmer summer.

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