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WEATHER | NATURAL DISASTERS | EARTHQUAKES | TSUNAMIS

WEATHER & NATURAL DISASTERS


Bad weather warnings most effective if probability included, new research suggests

Risk researchers find that the public may respond best to severe weather warnings if they include a probability estimate, an important finding not only for the present but also for the longer-term future as climate change brings more frequent and severe threats.

How do small birds survive cold winters?

Norway’s small birds face many challenges during the winter, including short days and long energy-intensive nights, tough weather conditions and food shortages, along with the risk of becoming a meal for hungry predators. Many at a tiny size, how do they survive?

Global warming doubles risk of extreme La Niña event, research shows

The risk of extreme La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean could double due to global warming, new research has shown. El Niño and La Niña events are opposite phases of the natural climate phenomenon, the El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Extreme La Niña events occur when cold sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean contrast with the warming land areas of Maritime Southeast Asia in the west and create a strong temperature gradient.

Partly wrong with a chance of being right: Weather forecast

The inaccuracy of weather forecasts has personal implications for people around the world. New research from Tel Aviv University prioritizes, for the first time, the reasons for forecasting failures across different regions of the planet, quantifying the causes — man-made and natural — for weather prediction inaccuracies.

Meteosat-7 becomes EUMETSAT’s longest-serving operational satellite

On 24 January 2015, Meteosat-7 becomes the longest-serving operational satellite in EUMETSAT history, clocking up 17 years of monitoring the weather from space.

When it comes to variations in crop yield, climate has a big say

What impact will future climate change have on food supply? That depends in part on the extent to which variations in crop yield are attributable to variations in climate. A new report has found that climate variability historically accounts for one-third of yield variability for maize, rice, wheat and soybeans worldwide — the equivalent of 36 million metric tons of food each year.

Giant atmospheric rivers add mass to Antarctica’s ice sheet

Extreme weather phenomena called atmospheric rivers were behind intense snowstorms recorded in 2009 and 2011 in East Antarctica. The resulting snow accumulation partly offset recent ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet, report researchers.

EARTHQUAKES


Geophysicists find the crusty culprits behind sudden tectonic plate movements

New research may have solved one of the biggest mysteries in geology — namely, why do tectonic plates beneath the Earth’s surface, which normally shift over the course of tens to hundreds of millions of years, sometimes move abruptly?

How the ‘beast quake’ is helping scientists track real earthquakes

Seismologists will again be monitoring the ground-shaking cheers of Seahawks fans, this year with a bigger team, better technology and faster response times. Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network will install instruments to provide real-time monitoring of the stadium’s movement during the 2015 NFL playoffs.

Fracking in Ohio confirmed as cause of rare earthquake strong enough to be felt

A new study links the March 2014 earthquakes in Poland Township, Ohio, to hydraulic fracturing that activated a previously unknown fault. The induced seismic sequence included a rare felt earthquake of magnitude 3.0, according to new research.

The tsunami-early warning system for the indian ocean: Ten years after

The day after Christmas this year will mark the 10 anniversary of the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean. On 26 December 2004, a quarter of a million people lost their lives, five million required immediate aid and 1.8 million citizens were rendered homeless. The natural disaster, which caused extreme devastation over huge areas and the accompanying grief and anxiety, especially in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka exceeded the imaginable and reached such drastic dimensions, mainly due to the lack of a warning facility and a disaster management plan for the entire Indian Ocean region at this time.

Scientists observe the Earth grow a new layer under an Icelandic volcano

New research into an Icelandic eruption has shed light on how the Earth’s crust forms, according to a new article.

2011 Japan earthquake: Fault had been relieving stress at accelerating rate for years

Scientists have found evidence that sections of the fault responsible for the 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake that devastated northern Japan in 2011 were relieving seismic stress at a gradually accelerating rate for years before the quake.

Re-thinking Southern California earthquake scenarios in Coachella Valley, San Andreas Fault

New 3-D numerical modeling that captures far more geometric complexity of an active fault segment in southern California than any other, suggests that the overall earthquake hazard for towns on the west side of the Coachella Valley such as Palm Springs and Palm Desert may be slightly lower than previously believed.

TSUNAMIS


The tsunami-early warning system for the indian ocean: Ten years after

The day after Christmas this year will mark the 10 anniversary of the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean. On 26 December 2004, a quarter of a million people lost their lives, five million required immediate aid and 1.8 million citizens were rendered homeless. The natural disaster, which caused extreme devastation over huge areas and the accompanying grief and anxiety, especially in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka exceeded the imaginable and reached such drastic dimensions, mainly due to the lack of a warning facility and a disaster management plan for the entire Indian Ocean region at this time.

High earthquake danger in Tianjin, China

With a population of 11 million and located about 100 km from Beijing (22 million people) and Tangshan (7 million people), Tianjin lies on top of the Tangshan-Hejian-Cixian fault that has been the site of 15 devastating earthquakes in the past 1,000 years. An example of the disastrous events is the 1976 magnitude 7.6 Tangshan Earthquake, which killed a quarter million people.

Subtle shifts in the Earth could forecast earthquakes, tsunamis

Earthquakes and tsunamis can be giant disasters no one sees coming, but now an international team of scientists has found that subtle shifts in Earth’s offshore plates can be a harbinger of the size of the disaster.

Offshore islands amplify, rather than dissipate, a tsunami’s power

A long-held belief that offshore islands protect the mainland from tsunamis turns out to be the exact opposite of the truth, according to a new study.

Study of Chile earthquake finds new rock structure that affects earthquake rupture

An unusual mass of rock deep in the active fault line beneath Chile has been found. Researchers say that this mass influenced the rupture size of a massive earthquake that struck the region in 2010.

Rising above the risk: America’s first tsunami refuge

Washington’s coast is so close to the seismically active Cascadia Subduction Zone that if a megathrust earthquake were to occur, a tsunami would hit the Washington shoreline in just 25 minutes. One coastal community is preparing for such a disaster by starting construction on the nation’s first tsunami evacuation refuge, large enough to shelter more than 1,000 people who are within 20-minute walking distance.

A global surge of great earthquakes from 2004-2014 and implications for Cascadia

The last ten years have been a remarkable time for great earthquakes. Since December 2004 there have been no less than 18 quakes of Mw8.0 or greater — a rate of more than twice that seen from 1900 to mid-2004. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and massive damage has resulted from these great earthquakes.

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