Polar Shift

  • Cold Temperatures

    OK - It's getting chilly... storms are covering towns in snow, and people are at risk... what can you do?

    Learn about Winter Safety:

    Cold temperatures can affect the entire country in winter, but extreme cold can be especially dangerous. More than 1,300 people die each year from hypothermia. Hypothermia sets in when your body’s temperature drops below 95 degrees. Frostbite may develop on exposed skin when temperatures are below freezing. Strong winds combined with below freezing temperatures can make frostbite occur even quicker. Many times during winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the polar vortex will expand and send very cold air southward into portions of the United States. This occurs fairly regularly during wintertime and is often associated with large outbreaks of Arctic air in the United States. During late January through February 2015, much of the Northeast experienced the coldest conditions in decades. For parts of the Lower Great Lakes and New England some of the greatest total snowfall and coldest temperatures on record, many of which go back well over 100 years, occurred during this time.

    What to Do: Dress for the season: wear loose warm clothing in layers. To prevent frostbite and hypothermia while outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing with water repellent outer garments. Remove layers during your activities to prevent sweating. Change wet clothing as quickly as possible to prevent loss of body heat. Cover all parts of your body, especially your head, hands, face, and mouth to protect your lungs from very cold air. Stay out of the wind when possible. Drink plenty of fluids since hydration increases the blood's volume, which helps prevent frostbite. Hypothermia can even happen inside your home, and is most likely to impact elderly and infants. Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or warmer to avoid hypothermia from happening in your home. Make sure you know the warning signs associated with cold-related illness and what actions to take to protect you and your loved ones.

    Are you Ready for Winter? Are you Ready for Winter?
  • The World Didn't Come to an end in 2012...What's next?

    With National Preparedness Month coming up in September, we reflect back on last year and "The End of The World" as purportedly predicted by the Mayan Calendar for 12/21/12... Hm... Still here, aren't we?

    As NASA put it - If you're reading this story, it means the world didn't end on Dec. 21, 2012. Despite reports of an ancient Maya prophecy, a mysterious planet on a collision course with Earth, or a reverse in Earth's rotation, we're still here.

    Are you prepared for whatever comes next? Preparedness is essential, as we often remind our readers, and you'll hear a lot more in this over the next weeks as the 10th Annual US National Preparedness Month comes up in September 2013 - but first, let's see what else NASA has to say about "The End is Nigh"...

    The Mayan connection "was a misconception from the very beginning," says Dr. John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy. "The Maya calendar did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date."
    › Read More About the Mayans

    Video: Why The World Didn't End - NASA Scientist David Morrison Debunks the Myths
    For years leading up to the supposed apocalypse, NASA scientists worked to dispel the myths and answer questions on a host of 2012 topics:

    Blue Marble - High-Res Image of the Earth › View larger
    A 'Blue Marble' image of the Earth taken from the Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Suomi NPP satellite. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on January 4, 2012. Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

    Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012.

    Answer (A):The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.

    Q: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 2012?

    A: The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 -- hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.

    Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?

    A: Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then -- just as your calendar begins again on January 1 -- another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.

    Q: Is NASA predicting a "total blackout" of Earth on Dec. 23 to Dec. 25?

    A: Absolutely not. Neither NASA nor any other scientific organization is predicting such a blackout. The false reports on this issue claim that some sort of "alignment of the Universe" will cause a blackout. There is no such alignment (see next question). Some versions of this rumor cite an emergency preparedness message from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. This is simply a message encouraging people to be prepared for emergencies, recorded as part of a wider government preparedness campaign. It never mentions a blackout.
    ›Watch the Video

    Q: Could planets align in a way that impacts Earth?

    A: There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. One major alignment occurred in 1962, for example, and two others happened during 1982 and 2000. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.
    › More about alignment

    "There apparently is a great deal of interest in celestial bodies, and their locations and trajectories at the end of the calendar year 2012. Now, I for one love a good book or movie as much as the next guy. But the stuff flying around through cyberspace, TV and the movies is not based on science. There is even a fake NASA news release out there..."
    - Don Yeomans, NASA senior research scientist

    Q: Is there a planet or brown dwarf called Nibiru or Planet X or Eris that is approaching the Earth and threatening our planet with widespread destruction?

    A: Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist. Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.

    Q: What is the polar shift theory? Is it true that the Earth's crust does a 180-degree rotation around the core in a matter of days if not hours?

    A: A reversal in the rotation of Earth is impossible. There are slow movements of the continents (for example Antarctica was near the equator hundreds of millions of years ago), but that is irrelevant to claims of reversal of the rotational poles. However, many of the disaster websites pull a bait-and-switch to fool people. They claim a relationship between the rotation and the magnetic polarity of Earth, which does change irregularly, with a magnetic reversal taking place every 400,000 years on average. As far as we know, such a magnetic reversal doesn’t cause any harm to life on Earth. Scientists believe a magnetic reversal is very unlikely to happen in the next few millennia.
    › More about polar shift

    Q: Is the Earth in danger of being hit by a meteor in 2012?

    A: The Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today NASA astronomers are carrying out a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. We have already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA Near-Earth Object Program Office website, so you can see for yourself that nothing is predicted to hit in 2012.

    Q: How do NASA scientists feel about claims of the world ending in 2012?

    A: For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence? There is none, and for all the fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple fact. There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.
    › Why you need not fear a supernova
    › About super volcanoes

    Q: Is there a danger from giant solar storms predicted for 2012?

    A: Solar activity has a regular cycle, with peaks approximately every 11 years. Near these activity peaks, solar flares can cause some interruption of satellite communications, although engineers are learning how to build electronics that are protected against most solar storms. But there is no special risk associated with 2012. The next solar maximum will occur in the 2012-2014 time frame and is predicted to be an average solar cycle, no different than previous cycles throughout history.
    › Video: Solar Storms
    › More about solar storms

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