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Pictures: Extremely Wild Weather
The News - Climate-Environment
July 10, 2013
Volcano Lightning, Landslides, Tornadoes, and More...
 
Pandemic Risk? Troubling Traits of H7N9 Avian Flu Virus
The News - Current Events
July 10, 2013
H7N9 virus
The emerging H7N9 avian influenza virus responsible for at least 37 deaths in China has qualities that could potentially spark a global outbreak of flu, according to a new study published July 10, 2013 in the journal Nature.

An international team led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tokyo conducted a comprehensive analysis of two of the first human isolates of the virus from patients in China. Their efforts revealed the H7N9 virus's ability to infect and replicate in several species of mammals, including ferrets and monkeys, and to transmit in ferrets -- data that suggests H7N9 viruses have the potential to become a worldwide threat to human health.
 
Animated: How The West Coast Will Look Under 25 Feet Of Water
The News - Climate-Environment
July 10, 2013
west coast under water
Back in April, artist Nickolay Lamm put together a collection of illustrations of what some of the East Coast's popular tourist destinations would look like under 25 feet of water, the potential sea level rise expected in the next few centuries. Since then, he's added a few new destinations along the West Coast in California.

Lamm, who used sea level rise data and maps from Climate Central, first posted the images on the blog for StorageFront.com, a search engine for self storage. We went ahead and put them into GIF form to really show the difference in water levels. The basic moral: Head for the hills, California beach bunnies. [POPSCI]
 
China floods trigger landslide that buries 30 people
The News - Natural Disasters
July 10, 2013
china landslides
Flooding in western China, the worst in 50 years for some areas, has triggered a landslide that buried about 30 people, trapped hundreds in a road tunnel and destroyed a high-profile memorial to a devastating 2008 earthquake. Meanwhile, to the north-east, at least 12 workers were killed when a violent rainstorm caused the collapse of a workshop they were building at a coal mine in Jinzhong. The accident on Tuesday night came amid heavy rain and high winds across a swath of northern China, including the capital, Beijing.

There was no immediate word on the chances of survival for the 30 or so people buried in Wednesday's landslide in the city of Dujiangyan in Sichuan province, but rescue workers with search dogs rushed to the area, the official Xinhua news agency said.
 
How to Survive a Plane Crash
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 09, 2013
survive plane crash
Your chances of surviving an airplane crash, like the recent crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport, are surprisingly good.

More than 95 percent of the airplane passengers involved in a crash survive, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Despite this reassuring statistic, many people adopt a fatalistic attitude toward plane crashes — which can result in a dangerous level of apathy, especially regarding preflight safety briefings.
 
Why Toronto Was Drenched by Record Rainfall
The News - Climate-Environment
July 09, 2013
Toronto Flooding 2013
The torrential rain that soaked parts of Toronto yesterday (July 8), causing widespread flooding on major highways and hobbling the city's transit system, broke Toronto's nearly 60-year-old single-day rainfall record, meteorologists said.

Nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain fell in just two hours yesterday in and around Toronto, triggering severe flash floods and stranding some commuter-train passengers for hours before police could rescue them in boats. At Toronto's Pearson International Airport, almost 5 inches (13 cm) of rain were recorded, which is more than the average rainfall the city typically receives for the entire month of July. The heavy rain was generated by two separate storms that collided over the Greater Toronto area, a region that encompasses the city of Toronto and four surrounding regional municipalities.
 
Why People Don't Learn from Natural Disasters
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 09, 2013
why people don't learn from natural disasters
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the New York subways were flooded and unusable, and much of the city lost power for several days. But despite such powerful scenes of destruction, most people don't think these disasters will happen to them, so they aren't prepared for them, or for recovering from them.

That lack of preparation, combined with the steady uptick in coastal populations, exacerbates the devastation caused by natural disasters. As the population grows, becomes more urbanized and builds infrastructure in hazardous areas like the coast, natural hazards pose an increasing threat. A panel of experts, speaking June 25 at a science policy conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), called for greater resilience in facing such hazards.

Resilience means not only preparedness for a threat, but also the ability to absorb, recover from or adapt to one, said Gene Whitney, a member of the Committee on Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters at the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council. The committee recently published a report on disaster resilience. [LS]
 
'A month's worth of rain' in under four hours triggers flash flooding, chaos in Toronto
The News - Natural Disasters
July 09, 2013
toronto flash flooding
A month’s worth of rain in a matter of hours caused chaos in Toronto on Monday, as flash flooding triggered widespread power outages, subway closures and left almost 1,500 people stranded on a commuter train filled with gushing water.

The deluge of more than 3.5 inches in just three-and-a-half hours forced motorists to abandon cars and left 400,000 homes without electricity late into the night. Environment Canada officials said they expected the official tally to top 4 inches.   The city’s police Marine Unit was called into action to rescue more than 1,400 people from a 10-car GO transit train that stalled as it tried to reverse away from the rising torrents.   
 
Water, do you take it for granted?
The News - Climate-Environment
July 09, 2013
polluted water
As technology improves, scientists are able to detect more pollutants, and at smaller concentrations, in Earth’s freshwater bodies. Containing traces of contaminants ranging from birth control pills and sunscreen to pesticides and petroleum, our planet's lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater are often a chemical cocktail.

Beyond synthetic pollution, freshwater is also the end point for biological waste, in the form of human sewage, animal excrement, and rainwater runoff flavored by nutrient-rich fertilizers from yards and farms. These nutrients find their way through river systems into seas, sometimes creating coastal ocean zones void of oxygen—and therefore aquatic life—and making the connection between land and sea painfully obvious. When you dump paint down the drain, it often ends up in the ocean, via freshwater systems.
 
Tropical Storm Chantal Picking Up Speed
The News - Natural Disasters
July 09, 2013
Tropical Storm Chantale
Tropical Storm Chantal formed in the tropical Atlantic Ocean late Sunday night (Eastern U.S. time) and has already made its way into the Windward Islands.

The system developed as a strong tropical wave with tropical storm force winds before finally developing a closed circulation late Sunday night, thus bypassing the tropical depression phase and becoming Tropical Storm Chantal straightaway. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Windward Islands today and are possible in parts of Puerto Rico tonight into early Wednesday.
 
The 7 Habits For Survival Preparedness
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 09, 2013
7 habits survival preparedness
These seven habits are the secret to being highly effective in what you do while adapting to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

Survival preparedness is marginally to do with supplies and preps, while true survival and preparedness has to do with one’s ability to adapt and to produce results.

Here’s how you do it… [MSB]
 
Selecting the right gun for teaching a new shooter
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 08, 2013
picking first gun
Learning to shoot can be stressful even for adults. Guns can be heavy, ranges are usually noisy, and managing recoil and muzzle blast requires concentration. The learning challenge is that much greater for kids who are often much smaller than adult shooters, may lack the strength to hold up a firearm or to operate some of its controls. Add to this shorter attention span and the impressionable nature of children and the first range trip becomes a high-stakes proposition for the coach. Start out wrong and the interest can quickly change to aversion. Here are the things to consider when picking out a firearm for your child’s first range trip. [ALLOUTDOOR]
 
More Major Hurricanes Coming This Century
The News - Natural Disasters
July 08, 2013
stronger and stronger hurricanes
Strong hurricanes could hit Asia and the U.S. East Coast more often this century, a new study finds.

The research adds to a growing body of evidence that hurricanes are becoming more intense as global warming heats the oceans. This means Category 1, 2 and 3 storms will have fiercer winds, bumping them up to Category 3, 4 and higher. Overall, the study's modeling approach predicts a 40 percent global increase in tropical cyclones of Category 3 and higher during the 21st century. The findings were published in today's (July 8) issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
How to Protect Outdoor Workers (and yourself) from Heat Stroke
The News - Climate-Environment
July 08, 2013
deadly heat
In a typical year 658 Americans die from heat-related causes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This summer extreme heat in the Southwest has left one man dead from heat stroke and dozens of people hospitalized due to heat-related illnesses. Researchers at Columbia University predict an increase in the number of heat waves over the next few years, suggesting a growing need for those who work or play outside to learn how to recognize and avoid heat-related illnesses.
 
The day the earth exploded : Moon created by nuclear blast?
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 08, 2013
moon creation nuclear blast
  • Controversial new theory suggests that a giant explosion originating from the Earth's core somehow led to the formation of the moon
  • Planetary scientist Wim van Westrenen believes that this violent event took place approximately four-and-a-half billion years ago
  • Some scientists agree that a nuclear blast is the only thing that could produce the necessary energy quickly enough to blast the moon into space
  • There are many theories about the origin of the moon, including the 'big splat' theory
 
101 Million Americans Get Food Aid from Federal Govít
The News - Economy
July 08, 2013
101 million american food stamps
The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012. That means the number of Americans receiving food assistance has surpassed the number of private sector workers in the U.S.
 
It Begins : Tropical Storm Chantal Aims for Caribbean
The News - Natural Disasters
July 08, 2013
Tropical storm Chantal 2013
Newly formed Tropical Storm Chantal is taking aim at the Caribbean this week. The Atlantic Basin has been void of a tropical depression or storm since mid-June, until Sunday evening that is.

Tropical Storm Chantal has developed in the Atlantic Ocean and is currently 470 miles east-southeast of Barbados. The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center has been keeping a close eye on this tropical system over the past few days as it has been moving from near Africa across the Atlantic Ocean.
 
9 Desolate Ghost Towns (PHOTOS) -- Abandoned Places, No Humans
The News - Weird-Strange
June 22, 2013
It doesn't take long for nature and the elements to overtake the cities and towns humans have built. In an interview with Living on Earth, Alan Weisman, the author of the bestselling nonfiction book The World Without Us, described what would happen if humans no longer existed. In a house without people, "suddenly no one is there in fighting off mold, keeping the insects out, keeping the mice out, keeping the woodpeckers out, keeping the water out," Weisman said. In ghost towns around the world, nature has picked up where humans left off, slowly bringing down cement and iron constructions or filling in homes with water or sand. Whether people leave because of natural disasters or man-made ones, the outcome is usually the same: the town falls apart.

The UFO houses of Sanzhi, named for their odd shape, were abandoned just a few years after their construction. According to France24, the owner went bankrupt before completing the homes, which were meant to be a tourist destination on the coast. There are also rumors that the construction came to a halt because thousands of skeletons were found at the site, and that it was the scene of several murders, reported the Taipei Times. Although these rumors were never substantiated, the eerie, empty buildings became popular with tourists and photographers, such as the Taiwanese photographer Cypherone. But the Taipei County Government demolished the site in 2008 and 2009 in order to use the site for a new development project, laying to rest all of the ghost stories, said the Taipei Times.
 
Humans ARE directly to blame for a rise in the number of endangered species
The News - Climate-Environment
June 22, 2013
endangered species 2013
  • Research finds a direct link between an increase in population size and the amount of animals becoming endangered
  • Number of endangered species increases by 3% every ten years
  • Predicted 11% of animals worldwide will be endangered by 2050
  • Study shows humans are the leading cause of animal extinction

Humans are directly responsible for the extinction and endangerment of certain animals, according to a new study. Researchers from Ohio State University discovered that as human numbers rise, the number of animals and species in the same region decrease with the study predicting that 11% of animals will be endangered by 2050. Previous studies have suspected that the number of threatened species could be linked to the size, density and growth of the human population yet research from Ohio State University is the first to have confirmed the theory.
 
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