Saturday, September 21, 2013

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 5.6 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Southeast Of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand!

September 21, 2013 - NEW ZEALAND - An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale jolted 242km south of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand at 00:48:59 Hong Kong Time on Sunday (16:48:59 GMT on Saturday), the U.S. Geological Survey said.


USGS earthquake location.

The epicentre, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 33.512 degrees south latitude and 178.0872 degrees west longitude.


USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.


New Zealand is part of the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire" that receives regular seismic activity. A severe earthquake in the city of Christchurch in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed much of the city's downtown. That earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3; however, the epicenter was located just 6 miles southeast of the city.



Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate.
The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.


North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (greater than 120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate again subducts eastwards beneath the Pacific, at the North New Hebrides trench. At the southern end of this trench, east of the Loyalty Islands, the plate boundary curves east into an oceanic transform-like structure analogous to the one north of Tonga.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 80 to 90 mm/yr along the North New Hebrides trench, but the Australia plate consumption rate is increased by extension in the back arc and in the North Fiji Basin. Back arc spreading occurs at a rate of 50 mm/yr along most of the subduction zone, except near ~15°S, where the D'Entrecasteaux ridge intersects the trench and causes localized compression of 50 mm/yr in the back arc. Therefore, the Australia plate subduction velocity ranges from 120 mm/yr at the southern end of the North New Hebrides trench, to 40 mm/yr at the D'Entrecasteaux ridge-trench intersection, to 170 mm/yr at the northern end of the trench.

Large earthquakes are common along the North New Hebrides trench and have mechanisms associated with subduction tectonics, though occasional strike slip earthquakes occur near the subduction of the D'Entrecasteaux ridge. Within the subduction zone 34 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900. On October 7, 2009, a large interplate thrust fault earthquake (M7.6) in the northern North New Hebrides subduction zone was followed 15 minutes later by an even larger interplate event (M7.8) 60 km to the north. It is likely that the first event triggered the second of the so-called earthquake "doublet". - USGS.





ICE AGE NOW: The World's Top Climate Scientists Told To "Cover Up" The Fact That The Earth's Temperature Hasn't Risen For The Last 15 Years - Fears That The Findings Will Encourage Deniers Of Man-Made Climate Change!

September 21, 2013 - UNITED NATIONS - Scientists working on the most authoritative study on climate change were urged to cover up the fact that the world’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years, it is claimed.

A leaked copy of a United Nations report, compiled by hundreds of scientists, shows politicians in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and the United States raised concerns about the final draft.


Concerns: Scientists have been urged to cover up the fact that the Earth's temperature hasn't risen for the
last 15 years amid fears it would provide ammunition for deniers of man-made climate change.


Published next week, it is expected to address the fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record and world temperatures have not yet exceeded it, which scientists have so far struggled to explain.

The report is the result of six years’ work by UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is seen as the world authority on the extent of climate change and what is causing it – on which governments including Britain’s base their green policies.

But leaked documents seen by the Associated Press, yesterday revealed deep concerns among politicians about a lack of global warming over the past few years.

Germany called for the references to the slowdown in warming to be deleted, saying looking at a time span of just 10 or 15 years was ‘misleading’ and they should focus on decades or centuries.

Hungary worried the report would provide ammunition for deniers of man-made climate change.

Belgium objected to using 1998 as a starting year for statistics, as it was exceptionally warm and makes the graph look flat - and suggested using 1999 or 2000 instead to give a more upward-pointing curve.

The United States delegation even weighed in, urging the authors of the report to explain away the lack of warming using the ‘leading hypothesis’ among scientists that the lower warming is down to more heat being absorbed by the ocean – which has got hotter.

The last IPCC ‘assessment report’ was published in 2007 and has been the subject of huge controversy after it had to correct the embarrassing claim that the Himalayas would melt by 2035.

It was then engulfed in the ‘Climategate’ scandal surrounding leaked emails allegedly showing scientists involved in it trying to manipulate their data to make it look more convincing – although several inquiries found no wrongdoing.

The latest report, which runs to 2,000 pages, will be shown to representatives from all 195 governments next week at a meeting in Stockholm, who can discuss alterations they want to make.

But since it was issued to governments in June, they have raised hundreds of objections about the 20-page summary for policymakers, which sums up the findings of the scientists.

What it says will inform renewable energy policies and how much consumers and businesses will pay for them.


A leaked copy of the United Nations report, compiled by hundreds of scientists, shows politicians in Belgium,
Germany, Hungary and the United States have raised concerns about the final draft. Above, the
United Nations headquarters building in New York.


The report is expected to say the rate of warming between 1998 and 2012 was about half of the average rate since 1951 – and put this down to natural variations such as the El Nino and La Nina ocean cycles and the cooling effects of volcanoes.

A German climate scientist - Stefan Rahmstorf, who reviewed the chapter on sea levels - yesterday admitted it was possible the report’s authors were feeling under pressure to address the slowdown in warming due to the ‘public debate’ around the issue.

The draft report, which is not new research but a synthesis of all the work being done by scientists around the world, is likely to be highly disputed at the three-day meeting.

It will make the case that humans are causing global warming with carbon emissions even more strongly upgrading it from ‘very likely’ in 2007 to ‘extremely likely’ it is manmade.

But scientists are under pressure to explain why the warming has not exceeded 1998 levels although the decade 2000-2010 was the hottest on record.

Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists based in Washington, said yesterday: ‘I think to not address it would be a problem because then you basically have the denialists saying: ‘Look the IPCC is silent on this issue.’

Jonathan Lynn, a spokesman for the IPCC said yesterday: ‘This is the culmination of four years’ work by hundreds of scientists, where governments get a chance to ensure the summary for policymakers is clear and concise in a dialogue with the scientists who wrote it, and have the opportunity to raise any topics they think should be highlighted.’ - Daily Mail.


PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Northwest Of Nggilat, Indonesia!

September 21, 2013 - INDONESIA - A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake Indonesia, on the 21st of September, 2013 at 01:39:14 UTC.


USGS earthquake location.

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake hit at a depth of 536.8 kilometres (333.6 miles) in the Flores Sea. The epicentre was situated 119 kilometres (74 miles) northwest of the Nggilat.

Indonesia is vulnerable to earthquakes since it is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region known for its seismic and volcanic activity caused by friction between shifting tectonic plates.


USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

Last year, a 6.4-magnitude quake rocked the west coast of Sumatra Island, killing at least one person. An 8.7-magnitude earthquake also hit off the city of Banda Aceh in Sumatra Island in May 2012, triggering regional tsunami alerts.

A strong quake off the shores of Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 13 countries around the Indian Ocean in 2004.



Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Java Region.
The Sunda convergent margin extends for 5,600 km from the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea in the northwest towards Sumba Island in the southeast, and then continues eastward as the Banda arc system. This tectonically active margin is a result of the India and Australia plates converging with and subducting beneath the Sunda plate at a rate of approximately 50 to 70 mm/yr. The main physiographic feature associated with this convergent margin is the Sunda-Java Trench, which stretches for 3,000 km parallel to the Java and Sumatra land masses and terminates at 120° E. The convergence of the Indo-Australia and Sunda plates produces two active volcanic arcs: Sunda, which extends from 105 to 122° E and Banda, which extends from 122 to 128° E. The Sunda arc results solely from relatively simple oceanic plate subduction, while the Banda arc represents the transition from oceanic subduction to continental collision, where a complex, broad deforming zone is found.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.


Based on modern activity, the Banda arc can be divided into three distinct zones, an inactive section - the Wetar Zone - bound by two active segments, the Flores Zone in the west and the Damar Zone in the east. The lack of volcanism in the Wetar Zone is attributed to the collision of Australia with the Sunda plate. The gap in volcanic activity is underlain by a gap in intermediate depth seismicity, in contrast to nearly continuous deep seismicity below all three sections of the arc. The Flores Zone is characterized by down-dip compression in the subducted slab at intermediate depths and late Quaternary uplift of the forearc. These unusual features, along with GPS data interpretations, show that the Flores Zone marks the transition between subduction of oceanic crust in the west and the collision of continental crust in the east.

The Java section of the Sunda arc is considered relatively aseismic historically when compared to the highly seismically active Sumatra section, despite both areas being located along the same active subduction margin. Shallow (0-20 km) events have occurred historically in the overlying Sunda plate, causing damage to local and regional communities. A recent example was the May 26th, 2006 M6.3 left-lateral strike-slip event, which occurred at a depth of 10 km in central Java, and which caused over 5,700 fatalities. Intermediate depth (70-300 km) earthquakes frequently occur beneath Java as a result of intraplate faulting within the Australia slab. Deep (300-650 km) earthquakes occur beneath the Java Sea and the back-arc region to the north of Java. Like intermediate depth events these earthquakes are also associated with intraslab faulting, though this subduction zone exhibits a gap in seismicity from 250-400 km, interpreted as the transition between extensional and compressional slab stresses. Historic examples of large intraplate events include the 1903 M8.1 event, the 1921 M7.5 event, the 1977 M8.3 event, and the August 2007 M7.5 event.

Large thrust earthquakes close to the Java trench are typically interplate faulting events along the slab interface between the Australia and Sunda plates. These earthquakes also generally have high tsunamigenic potential due to their shallow hypocentral depths. In some cases, these events have demonstrated slow moment-release, and have been defined as ‘tsunami’ earthquakes, where rupture is large in the weak crustal layers very close to the seafloor. These events are categorized by tsunamis that are significantly larger than predicted by the earthquake?s magnitude. The most notable tsunami earthquakes in the Java region occurred on June 2nd, 1994 (M7.8) and July 17th, 2006 (M7.7). The 1994 event produced a tsunami with wave run-up heights of 13 m, killing over 200 people. The 2006 event produced a tsunami of up to 15 m, and killed 730 people. While both of these tsunami earthquakes were characterized by rupture along thrust faults, they were followed by an abundance of normal faulting aftershocks. These aftershocks are interpreted to result from extension within the subducting Australia plate, while the mainshocks represented interplate faulting between the Australia and Sunda plates. - USGS.





MASS FISH/ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Dead Turtles, Dolphins And Fish Found Floating Off The Coast Of Nicaragua?!

September 21, 2013 - NICARAGUA - Hundreds of turtles were found dead and floating about 12 nautical miles from the resort of San Juan del Sur, on the Pacific Ocean of Nicaragua, Nicaraguan denounced today a biologist dedicated to the protection of animals.


Hundreds of turtles, fish and dolphins were found dead floating in the Pacific Ocean near
the coast of Nicaragua.
(Archive)



"You see the turtles belly up, dead, are many," Efe said biologist Fabio Buitrago, the Nicaraguan Foundation for Sustainable Development (FUNDENIC-Sos).

The complaint was upheld by the expert members of the Federation of Sea San Juan del Sur, who complained that North Pacific fishermen Nicaragua move to that area artisanal fishing with explosives.

"We suspect that they are using bombs to fish.'ve Found jacks, parrot fish, turtles floating dead with," he told reporters Delfina Ulloa, a member of the Federation.

But Buitrago said he had no doubts about using homemade bombs underwater, especially because it is not a new practice, but felt that there may be other factors.

"I'm sure you are fishing with bombs, because not only have appeared dead turtles, fish and dolphins also different," noted biologist.

The Seafarers Federation also confirmed that turtles were found entangled in nets buoys and known as "long line" and "longline".

"These are networks 40 miles long, with 1,000 to 1,500 hooks each," Buitrago said.

The expert explained that this is part of the "mystery" surrounding the massive arrivals absence of turtles on Nicaragua's Pacific beaches, as happens every year at this time.

Some 250,000 turtles can nest in one season from August to December, with arrivals of 5,000 individuals in one night on some beaches of Nicaragua, however, this year the arrival of turtles down at a rate of 1.000 to 50 turtles, as agencies environmentalists. - El Nuevodia. [Translated]





MAJOR ALERT: Quake Experts Warn Oregonians To Prepare For The "Big One" - Mega-Quake Will Cut Off Roads For FIVE YEARS, With No Electricity For THREE MONTHS, And No Gas For SIX MONTHS!

September 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Sitting on a major fault line, Oregon is "like an eight-and-a-half-month pregnancy, due any time now" for a major earthquake, a geologist with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management told an overflow crowd Friday in Medford.


Cascadia Earthquake Animation - Courtesy of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.


"We're in the zone, and we'd darn well better get ourselves ready for it," said Althea Rizzo, geology hazard coordinator for OEM. "A lot of you may have moved here from California to escape them, but the fact is, Oregon is earthquake country."

About half the hands went up when Rizzo asked how many had been through a California earthquake.

Rizzo said there's a 37 percent chance the Big One will happen in the next 50 years.

A major earthquake would cripple transportation on Interstate 5 as bridges and overpasses collapse from two to four minutes of ground shaking, possible very severe, with stressful aftershocks for weeks.

"It's going to shake here," she said. "Single-family homes will bounce off their foundations. Landslides will cause transportation between I-5 and (Highway) 101 on the coast to be cut off for three to five years."

A big quake will cause liquefaction, in which the ground, if saturated with water, will "turn to pudding," causing hardware, such as sewer systems, septic lines and gas tanks, to rise up out of the earth.

Lines from Washington state gasoline refineries cross 15 rivers, leaving them vulnerable to quake tremors, she says. Most of these were built in the mid-20th century, with no thought to making them quake-resistant, she says, adding that they would be offline for at least six months.

Electrical power would be down from one to three months until transformers and the electrical grid get going again, she says.

A region's markets have food enough for only three days, so families should store at least three weeks of nonperishable food — tuna, beans, freeze-dried items — and other vital commodities, such as toilet paper.

Rizzo advocates planning on the household, regional and statewide levels before the inevitable quake emanates from the "big, bad, ugly" Cascadia Subduction Zone, which runs 600 miles from about Eureka, Calif., to the north end of Vancouver Island.

The North American tectonic plate, on which the Rogue Valley rests, is moving southwesterly a couple of inches a year, overriding oceanic plates and building up tension. When the tension is released, she said, it causes far-reaching land quakes and lifts an enormous amount of sea water, which will slam the Oregon Coast with tsunamis.

Partial quakes happen on an average of every 240 years. The last one was in 1700, so it's been 213 years. Quakes of the entire length of the zone come every 500 to 600 years and governments should expect those to be 9.0 or more on the Richter scale — tremendously devastating.

They cannot be predicted, Rizzo said.

Another blow to Oregon would come if vital utilities and transportation were cut off for so long that major businesses left the state and took jobs and money with them.

A dozen years ago, Oregon authorized $2 billion in bonds to bolster infrastructure in schools, community colleges and emergency services, but the recession, she said, took that off-track.

Rizzo urged several hundred local residents to spread the word to family and friends to take first-aid and Community Emergency Response Team training, store supplies and get to know your neighbors and people who have training and tools.


WATCH: Cascadia Earthquake Animation.





Communities must assess risks to buildings, roads, power, water and sewer lines, she said, adding that people should learn to "drop, cover and hold" and practice getting to safe places in their homes. Wall art should be screwed down, big furniture, water heater and bookcases secured, and heavy items kept close to the floor, not up high where they could fall on people.

"You need to practice this over and over because when it's happening you're not going to be able to think," she said.

The Great Oregon Shake-Out will be held at 10:17 a.m. Oct. 17 to do the "drop, cover and hold on" drill. Details of this and all other quake information can be found at www.oregon.gov/omd/oem. - Mail Tribune.




PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Brain-Eating Amoeba Found In The Water Supply, Rattles Nerves In Louisiana!

September 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A deadly, brain-eating amoeba has been found in the water supply of a Louisiana community near New Orleans, scaring residents and sending officials on the hunt for its source.


The features that appear to be eyes and a mouth are actually the feeding and attachment
structures of the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

Experts say the only danger is to people who manage to get the microscopic organism way up their noses. Its only entry to the brain is through tiny openings in a bone about level with the top of the eyeball, said Dr. Raoult Ratard, Louisiana's state epidemiologist.

The state Department of Health and Hospitals on Thursday tried to dispel common "myths and rumors" about the amoeba Naegleria fowleri — starting with the notion that the St. Bernard Parish water isn't safe to drink.

The worries began Sept. 12, when the state health department reported that water in the Violet and Arabi communities outside New Orleans tested positive for the amoeba that killed a 4-year-old Mississippi boy in August after he visited St. Bernard Parish.

Jonathan Yoder, an epidemiologist in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's waterborne disease prevention branch, said Naegleria has never before been found in water treated by a U.S. water system.

There have been 132 documented infections from the amoeba since 1962, almost all of them fatal, health officials say.

Both of Louisiana's 2011 infections were of people who used tap water to flush out their sinuses. In those cases, Yoder said the amoeba was found in the house's hot water system but not in municipal water or water coming from the home's cold-water tap.

But still, people worry.

"Nobody's washing their faces in the showers anymore. Nobody's drinking the water," Angela Miller said Thursday. "My neighbor has a pool that they have emptied. And they have no water in there now until this matter is cleared up."

That's not necessary, experts say. Stomach acids, boiling and chlorine all will kill the amoeba.

Investigators may never know just how Naegleria got into the pipes. - MSN.





DRONE WARS: Chinese Hackers Target American Technology - Chinese Military Capable Of Jamming U.S. Communications System!

September 21, 2013 - UNITED STATES - For almost two years, hackers based in Shanghai went after one foreign defense contractor after another, at least 20 in all. Their target, according to an American cybersecurity company that monitored the attacks, was the technology behind the United States’ clear lead in military drones.





“I believe this is the largest campaign we’ve seen that has been focused on drone technology,” said Darien Kindlund, manager of threat intelligence at the company, FireEye, based in California. “It seems to align pretty well with the focus of the Chinese government to build up their own drone technology capabilities.”

The hacking operation, conducted by a group called “Comment Crew,” was one of the most recent signs of the ambitions of China’s drone development program. The government and military are striving to put China at the forefront of drone manufacturing, for their own use and for export, and have made an all-out push to gather domestic and international technology to support the program.

Foreign Ministry officials have said China does not sanction hacking, and is itself a victim, but another American cybersecurity company has tracked members of Comment Crew to a building of the People’s Liberation Army outside Shanghai.

China is now dispatching its own drones into potential combat arenas. Every major arms manufacturer in China has a research center devoted to drones, according to Chinese and foreign military analysts. Those companies have shown off dozens of models to potential foreign buyers at international air shows.

Chinese officials this month sent a drone near disputed islands administered by Japan; debated using a weaponized drone last year to kill a criminal suspect in Myanmar; and sold homemade drones resembling the Predator, an American model, to other countries for less than a million dollars each. Meanwhile, online photographs reveal a stealth combat drone, the Lijian, or Stealth Sword, in a runway test in May.

Military analysts say China has long tried to replicate foreign drone designs. Some Chinese drones appearing at recent air shows have closely resembled foreign ones. Ian M. Easton, a military analyst at the Project 2049 Institute in Virginia, said cyberespionage was one tool in an extensive effort over years to purchase or develop drones domestically using all available technology, foreign and domestic.

Chinese engineers and officials have done reverse engineering, studied open source material and debriefed American drone experts who attend conferences and other meetings in China. “This can save them years of design work and mistakes,” Mr. Easton said.

The Chinese military has not released statistics on the size of its drone fleet, but a Taiwan Defense Ministry report said that as of mid-2011, the Chinese Air Force alone had more than 280 drone units, and analysts say the other branches have thousands, which means China’s fleet count is second only to the 7,000 or so of the United States. “The military significance of China’s move into unmanned systems is alarming,” said a 2012 report by the Defense Science Board, a Pentagon advisory committee.

China’s domestic security apparatus, whose $124 billion official budget this year is larger than that of the military, is also keenly interested in drones, which raises questions about the potential use of drones for surveillance and possibly even attacks inside China, including in restive areas of Xinjiang and Tibet. Drone technology conferences here are attended by both military and domestic security officials. An international conference on nonmilitary drones is scheduled to take place in Beijing from Sept. 25 to 28.

  A hacking operation run by a unit of the People’s
Liberation Army was tracked to this building
outside of Shanghai. Associated Press
A signal moment in China’s drone use came on Sept. 9, when the navy sent a surveillance drone near the disputed Diaoyu Islands, which Japan administers and calls the Senkakus. Japanese interceptor jets scrambled to confront it. This was the first time China had ever deployed a drone over the East China Sea. The Chinese Defense Ministry said “regular drills” had taken place “at relevant areas in the East China Sea, which conform to relevant international laws and practices.”

The drone appeared to be a BZK-005, a long-range aircraft used by the Chinese Navy that made its public debut in 2006 at China’s air show in Zhuhai, said an American official.

Mr. Easton said deploying the drone near disputed waters and islands “was very much a first” for China and had caught Japanese officials off guard.

“I think this is really just the beginning of a much broader trend we’re going to see — for China to increase its ability to monitor the East China Sea and the Western Pacific, beyond the Philippines, and to increase the operational envelope of their strike capabilities,” he said.

The Chinese military, with its constant focus on potential war over Taiwan and an eye on China’s growing territorial disputes, is at the vanguard of preparing drones for use in maritime situations. That is unlike the United States, which has used drones to hunt and kill suspected terrorists and guerrilla fighters, mostly in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

American drones “are not designed to enter into contested or denied air space,” Mr. Easton said. “So they would be unable to fight in any conflict with China.”

China, on the other hand, is building drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles, precisely to operate in contested spaces. “It’s a very useful instrument for safeguarding maritime sovereignty,” said Xu Guangyu, a retired major general and director of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association. “China will gradually step up its use of U.A.V.’s in this area.”

Chinese strategists have discussed using drones in attack situations if war with the United States were to break out in the Pacific, according to the Project 2049 report. Citing Chinese military technical material, the report said the People’s Liberation Army’s “operational thinkers and scientists envision attacking U.S. aircraft-carrier battle groups with swarms of multimission U.A.V.’s in the event of conflict.”

University research centers are at the core of China’s drone program. The oldest research and production center for drones is the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an, where design work began in 1958. The ASN Technology Group, linked to the school, said on its Web site that it produces 90 percent of Chinese drones.

At the program’s start, China reverse-engineered drones it had acquired from the Soviet Union in the 1950s. It also got its hands on American drones that crashed in Vietnam in the 1960s and in China while monitoring China’s nuclear weapons program. China bought 100 Harpy armed drones from Israel in the 1990s — its only significant purchase of foreign-made drones — and the Pentagon later pressured Israel not to upgrade those drones for China.

In recent years, China has continued to acquire foreign drone technology and is especially focused on studying American models. “American U.A.V. technology is very sophisticated,” Mr. Xu said. “We can only envy their technology. Right now, we’re learning from them.”

For the Obama administration and American business executives, no method of Chinese technology acquisition is more worrisome than cyberespionage. An American official confirmed that drone technology had been stolen by hackers.

FireEye, the cybersecurity company in California, called the drone theft campaign Operation Beebus, traced back to a command-and-control node at bee.businessconsults.net. Cybersecurity experts say that general address and tools linked to it are associated with the Comment Crew, the Chinese hacker unit that Mandiant, another cybersecurity company, discussed in a report in February. Mandiant said the group was part of Unit 61398 of the People’s Liberation Army, based in Shanghai.

Though the initial victims in Operation Beebus were large defense contractors, the hackers began to pick out companies that specialized in drone technology, said Mr. Kindlund, FireEye’s threat intelligence manager. They then alternated between large companies that made a wide range of military technology and boutique firms that focused on drones.

In China, it is not just the military that is looking at uses for drones. In February, Liu Yuejin, the director of the antidrugs bureau in the Ministry of Public Security, which is responsible for domestic security, told Global Times, a state-run newspaper, that the ministry had considered using a drone armed with 44 pounds of explosives to kill a Burmese man in northern Myanmar suspected of ordering the murders of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River. In the end, the idea was shelved because senior Chinese officials wanted the suspect, Naw Kham, captured alive.

Chinese drones are increasingly appearing in the arsenals of other nations. The Chinese version of the Predator, the Wing Loong, or Pterodactyl, was first exported in 2011, according to People’s Daily. At the Paris Air Show in June, the president of a Chinese aeronautics company told Global Times that the drone could carry two laser-guided missiles and was the equal of the Predator in endurance and flight range, but was much cheaper. - NY Times.




Chinese Military Capable of Jamming U.S. Communications System.


China’s military is using stolen U.S. military secrets obtained from a convicted spy to defeat a high-technology communications system used in joint warfighting, combined arms warfare, and missile defenses, according to U.S. officials.

The disclosure that China has the capability of jamming the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, or JTIDS, was revealed in a Chinese military technical article published in July.

JTIDS is part of a group of military communications systems called Link 16 that gives U.S. military forces jam-resistant communications, a key strategic advantage used in joint warfighting, a specialty of the American military.

JTIDS allows for a nearly unlimited number of military commanders and operators to share information, such as precision location or position data, critical in tracking, monitoring, and targeting. It is also resistant to electronic warfare attacks by rapidly jumping to different frequencies.

The Chinese article reveals that the People’s Liberation Army is studying this feature and working to defeat it.

The article, “Anti-Jamming Performance of JTIDS-Type Waveform,” was published July 10 in the journal Aerospace Electronic Warfare, a publication of Institute 8511, a unit of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).

The article states that Chinese researchers have studied the JTIDS anti-jamming capabilities and formulated an “optimal jamming strategy from the point of view of the interferer.”

The Chinese article reveals that researchers have extensively studied JTIDS and produced several technical articles on the system. The article discussed “broadband barrage jamming” and “partial-band interference” of JTIDS.

As a result, the researchers “discovered that the only way to obtain a good interference result is to increase the interference power.”

A footnote to the article notes other work has been done on how to interfere with JTIDS communications.

According to court papers, Gregg Bergersen, a weapons system analyst with the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, sold secrets on a JTIDS variant known as Po Sheng that was sold to Taiwan in the early 2000s.

An FBI affidavit in the case revealed that Bergersen “discussed Po Sheng and communications security” during a dinner meeting on March 3, 2007 with a Chinese agent identified as Tai Shenkuo. The affidavit said the talks involved disclosure of classified information.

Bergersen was director of command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence programs for the Navy. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of disclosing national defense secrets to China. He was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Michelle Van Cleave, national counterintelligence executive under President George W. Bush, said China’s military has targeted U.S. military communications technology for collection.

“China would like nothing better than to be able to disrupt or corrupt sensitive U.S. military communications—it is at the heart of their military strategies of information dominance and anti-access/area-denial,” Van Cleave said in an email. “So they send spies to steal what they need with the help of traitors like Bergerson who blithely sell it to them.”

Mark Stokes, a former Pentagon official and specialist on Chinese military affairs said the Chinese military for years has invested large sums in electronic countermeasures technology.

“The denial of U.S., Japan, South Korea, Taiwan abilities to employ JTIDS is only one goal,” Stokes said. “Satellite jamming is another area of focus. The PLA also is investing into R&D on a range of communications technologies, including tactical data links.”

Richard Fisher, an expert on China’s military with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said in addition to countermeasures, China likely used the military technology secrets obtained from Bergersen to develop its own jam-proof tactical communications system.

“It’s a fact the Chinese are developing their own JTIDS-like Link 16 system for distributed command and control operations,” Fisher said, adding that an early version is probably in use now by Chinese military forces.

“Right now Link 16 is a crucial force multiplier that allows the United States to fight jointly,” he said. “It is the main linkage between different kind of forces and different services. Taking away Link 16 makes our defensive challenge far more difficult and makes it far more expensive in terms of casualties” in any future conflict with China.

Stokes said Link 16 communications are a “backbone” for advance data links for the military rooted in German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s North Africa campaign in World War II when a flexible system of tactical communications connected individual tanks.

The communications allowed greater situational awareness and allowed junior officers to take independent and decentralized action.

Today, the U.S. military has applied this concept to what it calls network centric operations.

Recent Chinese military writings indicate the People’s Liberation Army is focused on attacking the United States using electronic and other means targeting network centric operations, like Link 16.

Network-centric warfare gives military forces the ability to “synchronize action, without necessarily having to wait for orders, which in turn reduces their reaction time,” Stokes wrote in a recent paper for the Project 2049 Institute, where he is an analyst.

The communications also are used in missile defenses, which require rapid transference of data on targets to guidance systems.

China is known to be targeting U.S. missile defenses and is also developing its own missile defenses. - Free Beacon.





MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds Of Dead Fish Found In A Stream Causes Concern In Fredonia, Colombia!

September 21, 2013 - COLOMBIA - Hundreds of dead fish in the barrel woke Calicanto, which runs between 17th Street and Island Bethlehem sector Fredonia neighborhood.


The fish kill is a common phenomenon in the rainy season, as stated by the EPA.


According to Sara Cabarcas, president of the Community Action Committee of the district is the second time a similar event this year is presented in the body of water.

The mortality rate of the unknown inhabitants of the community. However, the strong odor emanating from the rotting, according to the president of the Jac, begins to affect children's health sector.

Do not give solution



Cabarcas also manifested repeatedly have communicated with the District Health Department Administrative Dadis, but this institution said that the solution to the problem must give them the District Valuation Office.

In this communication medium with George Cohn, Program leader Dadis Environment and Health, this indicated that the institution was not aware of the problem and programmed a visit, although the issue was mostly Epa competition, because it of an environmental issue.

The Epa, similarly, by Gabriel Luna, a biologist with the establishment, also said he was unaware of the emergency.

He explained that during the rainy season such mortalities often occur. This is because the organic matter entering the Cienaga de la Virgen is consumed by bacteria and that ends up deplete oxygen, causing the death of species.

Epa is expected to make a visit to assess the emergency and proceed to remove the dead fish the pipe. - El Universal. [Translate]