weather and earth changes round the globe
Great Barrier Reef is under siege from climate
change and coal,
confirming that 93 percent of
the world heritage area is now suffering from severe coral
diver checking out the bleaching at Heron Island in February 2016.
This area was one of the first to bleach at Heron Island which is
located close to the southern most point of the Great Barrier
credit: XL Catlin Seaview Survey
Floods in Jizan City, Saudi Arabia
The third record-breaking storm in under a year might owe its ferocity to human activity.
Winds of 170 mph can lift and hurl heavy cars, even peel the bark from trees. So it’s a good thing not many people are in the waters north of Madagascar right now, where Tropical Cyclone Fantala just made history as the strongest-known storm in the Indian Ocean.
The mighty tempest spun itself up to 150 knots (173 mph) on Monday, surpassing the 145-knot (167 mph) barrage of Super Cyclonic Storm Gonu in 2007. (Reliable records only date to 1990, for what it’s worth.) That would make it a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale. It simmered down to about 85 knots on Wednesday, and is expected to wander southeast for a couple days before running out of steam.
Fires destroy 1.3 million hectares of Nepal forests in 15 days – ‘The fire situation is out of control’
Satellite view of smoke and fires in Nepal, 11 April 2016. As many as 1.3 million hectares (over 3.7 million acres) of forest cover in Nepal was destroyed by wild fires in the previous two weeks. Photo: NASA
11 April 2016
KATHMANDU (newkerala.com) – As many as 1.3 million hectares of forest cover in Nepal has been destroyed by wild fires within a fortnight, officials said on Monday.
The home ministry said at least two people have been killed and huge loss to private properties reported from many parts of the country.
Forest fires were more concentrated in the southern Terai districts of the Himalayan country, destroying flora and fauna on hundreds of hectares of land and posing significant threat to human settlements.
Eighty percent of the forest fires in Nepal are recorded in April and May. On Sunday, a record number of forest fires were reported in the country.
On Monday, Nepal army and police personnel were unable to control a massive fire in Rupandehi district.
The Nepalese ministry of forests and soil conservation's forests department digector General Resham Dangi told IANS that fire has played havoc in the Terai region, where dense forest covers the Chure area and some districts like Mahottari, Argakhanchi, Sindhuli, Bardiya, Dhanusha and others between Terai and Chure.
"The fire situation is out of control. If prolonged dry conditions continue in the absence of rains, we are likely to experience a state of emergency in the coming days," Dangi said.
The worst affected is Sindhuli, whose 40 percent forest cover has been reduced to ashes.
Forests in Sindhuli, Argakhanchi, Rupandehi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Bardiya and Dang have been ravaged by fires in the past week, department officials said. The satellite imagery showed that 457 forests across the country were affected by fires, they added.
Even the National Human Rights Commission has brought to the government notice the forest fires across the country, calling for increased surveillance and deployment of adequate fire-fighting equipment and other logistics to minimise damage to forests and property of the area's people.
Forest officials warned of more forest fires in coming days since April is the peak summer month in the Himalayan nation.
Every year, forest fires destroy hundreds of hectares of forests and cause huge economic loss in the country.
Nepal came up with a forest fire management strategy in 2011 but failed to formulate a suitable action plan to implement it on the ground.
At the community forestry level, only 67 of the total 19,000 community forestry user groups across the country are equipped with fire-fighting tools and the training required to mitigate the risks.
A large landslide triggered by heavy rains has killed at least 16 people in the north-eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, officials said. One person is still missing.
High temperatures and a crippling shortage of rainfall in India is forcing schools to close and communities to ration drinking water. In Chennai, the oppressive heat currently gripping the southern Indian city has led to workers demanding an allowance for working in stifling factories and vets offering advice on caring for pets to avoid dehydration. “While some rains would have been a blessing in disguise, the rain gods have ditched Chennai,” writes a reporter for Skymet, which provides weather forecasts in India.
It would have been hard to imagine such a situation four-and-a-half months ago. Following the heaviest rainfall in more than a century at the end of last November, the Adyar river – which runs through the centre of Chennai – surged, causing muddy water to pour over the walls of nearby apartment blocks and into the streets. Thousands were forced to flee their homes, and hundreds died.....[ ]
There is a gap of 47 per cent between demand and supply of water in the city
The sudden decrease in the water level in reservoirs has led to a rise in dependence on groundwater (Photo credit: iStock)
Water emergency in Hyderabad is getting worse with ever increasing temperatures, deadly heat wave conditions and the state’s third consecutive drought. In the last 30 years, four major reservoirs—Singanoor, Manjira, Osmansagar and Himayatsagar—have run dry. There is a gap of 47 per cent between demand and supply of water in the city. People in many parts of Hyderabad are getting water only on alternate days.
Many fishing villages in central Vietnam are eerily quiet these days. Boats stop sailing. Seafood restaurants are empty.
After fish kept dying en mass with all signs pointing to an environmental disaster, locals in at least four provinces have avoided eating fish.
Between April 18 and 20, huge crowds of fishers flocked to a beach stretching around 20 kilometers from Vinh Thai Commune to Cua Tung Town in Quang Tri Province to pick up fish that were found dead on the shore.
April 15, 2016
Disastrous floods in the Balkans two years ago are likely linked to the temporary slowdown of giant airstreams, scientists found. These wind patterns, circling the globe in the form of huge waves between the Equator and the North Pole, normally move eastwards, but practically stopped for several days then—at the same time, a weather system got stuck over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia that poured out record amounts of rain. The study adds evidence that so-called planetary wave resonance is a key mechanism for causing extreme weather events in summer. Further, the scientists showed that extreme rainfall events are strongly increasing in the Balkans, even more than the globally observed rise.
"We were surprised to see how long the weather system that led to the flooding stayed over the region - it's like the Vb cyclone 'Yvette' was trapped there," says Lisa Stadtherr from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), lead-author of the study to be published in Science Advances. "Day after day the rain was soaking the soil until it was saturated, which lead to the flooding that reportedly caused several dozen casualties and 3.5 billion Euro of damages."
While the mean daily rainfall in the Balkans has increased only a little since 1950, the intensity of the strongest rainfall events rose by one third, the scientists found. In May 2014, daily rainfall amounts were locally bigger than ever before in the observed period. The frequency of such potentially devastating extremes in the Balkans, though they're still rare, doubled over the past sixty years...[ ]
Smoke from the Shenandoah wildfire is wafting into the Washington region on Thursday after winds shifted overnight. Hazy skies and the smell of smoke could last into Friday before a cold front passes later in the night.
To prevent sending out firefighters on false alarms, authorities are asking people to refrain from calling 911 unless they actually see a fire burning.
'El Nino' to blame – lies and half-truths from Canadian authorities
REGINA — Large swaths of red — meaning extreme risk — cover Alberta and Saskatchewan on the latest fire danger map from Natural Resources Canada.
After a lull late this week, severe thunderstorms and flooding downpours are likely to return to parts of the central United States next week and continue into May.
The flooding experienced over parts of Texas early this week may be a sign of things to come over a larger area of the nation.
"The weather pattern is going to get wild and crazy during the last part of April and into May," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity.
Multiple rounds of storms will affect the Plains states and the Mississippi Valley starting next week.