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Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

Critical Overload Threatens Planet

Posted by feww on July 4, 2014

Collapse of Planetary Life Support Systems Accelerates

HIoN skyrockets to yet another new high

The FIRE-EARTH/CASF Index of Human Impact on Nature (HIoN), an index for calculating the human impact on the planetary life support systems, climbed to a critically high level of 382 this month. In other words, the anthropogenic impact on the living environment exceeded 3.82 times the planet’s diminishing carrying capacity.

  • The index is rising exponentially.
  • HIoN reached 323  in July 2013 .
  • HIoN has risen 97 points, or more than 34 percent, since July 2012 when it reached 285.
  • The index was less than 80 in 1960, and rose to about 100 in 1980.

“According to HIoN projections, our cities and population centers could become almost entirely unsustainable by as early as 2015.”

hion 2014
Diagram shows the exponential growth of Human Impact on Nature (HION) between 1960  and July 2013. Source: FIRE-EARTH Real-Time Earth Models. Copyright: FIRE-EARTH Blog Authors.

RAPID CHANGE IN PROGRESS!

Tidal Surge of Global Change 28 Times Faster in 21st Century: FIRE-EARTH

FIRE-EARTH Models show the rate of global change has intensified by a factor of at least 28 in the last decade compared with the 1960s.

FIRE-EARTH defines ‘global change’ as the deterioration in the planet’s life-support capacity, caused by large-scale anthropogenic impact, which is leading to a total collapse.

HIoN since End June 2012

.

July 4, 2014 – SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN –

614 Days Left

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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Drought Destroys Crops in 11 States

Posted by feww on July 3, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT
RISING TEMPERATURES
FISHERY DISASTERS
CROP DISASTERS
MULTIPLE STATES OF EMERGENCY

SCENARIOS 900, 800, 555, 444, 111, 071, 03
.

Crop Disasters Declared for 62 Additional Counties across 11 states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 62 counties in 11 states as crop disaster areas due to losses caused by the worsening drought.

The disaster designations are as follows:

  • Arizona: Apache County
  • California: Del Norte County
  • Colorado: Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Conejos, Mineral, San Juan, Hinsdale, Rio Grande and  San Miguel counties
  • Idaho: Blaine, Camas, Canyon, Fremont , Minidoka, Ada, Custer, Jefferson, Owyhee, Bingham, Elmore, Jerome, Payette, Butte, Gem, Lincoln, Power, Cassia, Gooding, Madison, Teton, and Clark counties
  • Montana: Beaverhead, Gallatin and Madison counties
  • New Mexico: Rio Arriba and San Juan counties
  • Oregon: Coos, Curry, Douglas,  Josephine and Malheur counties
  • Texas: Matagorda, Brazoria, Calhoun, Jackson and Wharton counties 
  • Utah: San Juan County
  • Washington: Ferry, Kittitas, Chelan, King, Pierce, Douglas, Lincoln, Stevens, Grant, Okanogan and Yakima counties
  • Wyoming: Teton County

Crop Disasters 2014

Beginning January 10, 2014 USDA has declared at least 2,081 separate crop disasters across 29  states. Most of those designations are due to the worsening drought.

  • Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington, Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The total number of counties designated as agricultural disaster areas includes both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Counties may have been designated crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on July 2, 2014.

California Drought Disasters

Other Drought Disaster Links

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Japan Starts Whale Hunt Season

Posted by feww on June 27, 2014

Baird’s Beaked (Hyperoodon ) Whale – AFTER

“Here in Wada we eat whales. Every family eats whale at least once during the summer whaling season,” said a school teacher. “If we are eating whales, we have the responsibility to see and learn how they’re prepared.”

“For us, whale is food. Whaling is a good tradition, and I want to pass on the trade before I die,” said a butcher whose firm processes and sells whale.

The area of Wadaura in Wada (Chiba Prefecture) is infamous for whaling, and is one of several areas in Japan where whaling is highly promoted as a national tradition [symbol against the cultural imperialism of Western nations."]

whaling in wada
Butchers gleefully carve a 9-meter long Baird’s Beaked whale as school kids look on at Wada port in Japan’s coastal town of Minamiboso June 26, 2014. (Source: chinanews.com). More images …

“The court [International Court of Jokers] ruling doesn’t say anything about any kind of whaling except scientific research. Other types of whaling are allowed,” said the butcher.

In the past week alone, his company has butchered six Baird’s beaked (bottlenose) whales, said the report, and plans to o catch 24 more before whaling season ends in late August.

“It’s our right to take and eat whale within our waters,” he added.

Related Links

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May Global Temperature Reaches All-time High

Posted by feww on June 24, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
RISING GLOBAL TEMPERATURES
CROP DISASTERS
SCENARIOS 900, 777, 555, 444, 111, 03
.

Global Temperature Analysis – May 2014

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2014 reached record highest for this month, at 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F), according to NOAA.

“This surpassed the previous record high anomaly of 0.72 degrees Celsius set in 2010,” said NOAA in its monthly state of the climate report.

“Four of the five warmest Mays on record have occurred in the past five years: 2010 (second warmest), 2012 (third warmest), 2013 (fifth warmest), and 2014 (warmest).”

Fourth warmest May on record was in 1998.

Other Global Highlights

  • The global land surface temperature was 1.13°C (2.03°F) above the 20th century average of 11.1°C (52.0°F), the fourth highest for May on record. For the ocean, the May global sea surface temperature was 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average of 16.3°C (61.3°F), making it the record highest for May and tying with June 1998, October 2003, and July 2009 as the highest departure from average for any month on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the March–May period was 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average of 13.7°C (56.7°F), making it the second warmest such period on record, behind 2010.
  • The March–May worldwide land surface temperature was 1.26°C (2.27°F) above the 20th century average, the third warmest such period on record. The global ocean surface temperature for the same period was 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average, also the third warmest March–May on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–May period (year-to-date) was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average of 13.1°C (55.5°F), the fifth warmest such period on record.
  • While most parts of the globe experienced warmer-than-average temperatures in May, record warmth occurred across eastern Kazakhstan, parts of Indonesia, and central and northwestern Australia.
  • May 2014 marked the 39th consecutive May and 351st consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

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Crop Disasters Declared in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania

Posted by feww on June 21, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
EXTREME RAIN EVENTS
FLOODING
DESTRUCTIVE HIGH WINDS
CROP DISASTERS
SCENARIOS 444, 177, 111, 066
.

Severe Weather Destroys Crops in Three States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA has designated a total of 9 counties in three states—New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania—as crop disaster areas due to losses caused by excessive rain, flooding, high winds and hail that occurred on May 22, 2014.

The disaster designations are as follows:

  • New Jersey: Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.
  • Delaware: New Castle County.
  • Pennsylvania: Delaware and Philadelphia counties.

Crop Disasters 2014

Beginning January 10, 2014 USDA has declared at least 2,001 separate crop disasters across 29  states. Most of those designations are due to the worsening drought.

  • Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington, Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The total number of counties designated as agricultural disaster areas includes both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Counties may have been designated crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on June 11, 2014.

California Drought Disasters

Related Links

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India, too, is shrinking!

Posted by feww on June 18, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
DROUGHT
HUMAN IMPACT
DESERTIFICATION
SCENARIOS 900, 800, 444, 111, 071, 03
.

Nearly 2/3 of India Undergoing Desertification, or Land Degradation

More than a quarter of  India’s total land is undergoing desertification, while over a third is facing degradation that has affected its productivity, critically affecting the livelihood and food security of hundreds of millions people across the country, said a report.

About 105.2 million hectares (Mha), or 35.5% of India’s total land area, is being degraded, while 82.2 Mha, or 27.7%,  is undergoing desertification.

Nearly 70 percent of land in India is dry and therefore prone to drought, making it vulnerable to water and wind erosion, salinization and water logging, according to a 2007 report prepared by Indian Space Research Organization.

Soil erosion accounts for about 72 percent of the total degradation in the country, while wind erosion causes over 10 percent of the damage, said the report. Water-logging and salinity/alkalinity are also responsible for the erosion, according to the latest National Report on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought.

The worst affected areas are the states of Rajasthan with 23 Mha desrtified, followed by Gujarat, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir(13 Mha each) and Orissa and Andhra Pradesh (5 Mha each).

“Desertification and loss of biological potential will restrict the transformation of dry lands into productive ecosystem. Climate change will further challenge the livelihood of those living in these sensitive ecosystem and may result in higher levels of resource scarcity,” the report warns.

About 146.82 Mha of the country is severely affected by various kinds of land degradation including water erosion (93.68 Mha), wind erosion (9.48 Mha), waterlogging (14.30 Mha), salinity/alkalinity (5.94 Mha), soil acidity (16.04 Mha) and other causes (7.38 Mha).

Occupying only 2 percent of the world, India is home to 17 percent of the its population.

[NOTE: India's total area is about 3,287,590 km², including 9.6 percent water. However, the official report incorrectly calculates the total area, which makes the percentage of land affected by desertification and degradation smaller than the actual size.]

Related Links

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Drought, Rising Temperatures Force Evacuation of California Trout Hatcheries

Posted by feww on June 18, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
DROUGHT
RISING TEMPERATURES
EVACUATION OF TROUT HATCHERIES
SCENARIOS 555, 111, 071, 03
.

California Evacuating Millions of Trout amid Drought, Rising Temperatures

California wildlife officials are evacuating Millions of young rainbow trout, salmon and steelhead from hatcheries near Sacramento to save the fish from rising water temperatures caused by worsening drought.

They are moving rainbow trout out of the American River Hatchery, having released salmon and steelhead from Nimbus Hatchery into state waterways, according to reports.

California is now in its third year of a catastrophic drought. The entire state is currently under some level of drought, ranging in severity from moderate to exceptional.

“The water is expected to reach lethal temperatures for these fish. We are taking proactive actions to avoid catastrophic fish losses,” Fish and Wildlife’s state hatchery program manager said in a statement. “We’ve engaged in an evacuation plan so these fish don’t just sit here in the hatchery and die.”

“The fish in the warm waters are constantly stressed,” he said. “Their immune systems don’t work well, and a lot of the bacterial pathogens have an advantage.”

The water flows through the hatcheries on the American River normally at about 65 degrees, he said, However the temperature could rise above 78 degrees this year.

Up to 2.5 million fish are being evacuated.

Links to Fishery Disasters

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty - with the critical phase occurring by as early as 2011.

[NOTE: The above forecast and most of the links posted below have previously been filtered/censored by Google, WordPress and others. Editor]

Related Links

 

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Federal Disaster Declared for Nebraska

Posted by feww on June 18, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
DEADLY TORNADOES
MAJOR DISASTER
SCENARIOS 444, 111, 088, 066, 023
FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARED
.

Nebraska Declared Major Disaster Area (DR-4179)

Federal disaster has been declared  for the state of Nebraska affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of May 11-12, 2014.

Areas worst affected by the disasters are the counties of Clay, Fillmore, Saline, Saunders, Seward, and York.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments, said Fema in a statement released by White House.

Latest Federal Disaster Declarations

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Japanese Driving Eel to Extinction

Posted by feww on June 15, 2014

SPECIES EXTINCTION
ENDANGERED SPECIES
SCENARIO 900
.

Japanese eel at risk of extinction:  IUCN

Japanese eel (Anguilla japonicais) is at risk of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a global conservation group based in Switzerland.

The group placed the eel  on its Red List on Thursday, which classes Japanese eels as “endangered.”

An endangered species is one which has been categorized by IUCN as likely to become extinct, or the second most severe conservation status for wild populations, following “critically endangered.”

Overfishing, shrinking  habitats, changes in sea current and deterioration of water quality are cited by IUCN as grounds for the designation.

The list is not legally binding; however, it would probably make little or no difference to the Japanese who have already begun whaling in defiance of the International Court of Justice recent ruling.

Se also: Japan Kills 30 Whales in 1st Hunt Since ICJ Ruling

IUCN Red List

All known mammal species have been assessed using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria, according to the group.

The term “Threatened” refers to those species classified under the IUCN Red List categories of Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered.

Of the 5,487 mammal species assessed, nearly one-quarter of species (22.2 %) are globally threatened or extinct, representing 1,219 species. Seventy-six of the 1,219 species are considered to be Extinct (EX), and two Extinct in the Wild (EW).

Some 3,079 animals and 2,655 plant species are now endangered (EN) globally, compared with about 1,100 in each category, just 15 years ago.

Related Links

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May Disasters in China

Posted by feww on June 13, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
DEADLY FLOODS
EARTHQUAKE DISASTERS
MAJOR DISASTERS
SCENARIOS 444, 177, 111, 101, 070, 066, 023, 09, 08, 03
.

Floods, earthquakes, droughts, hail, storms, landslides, forest fires … destroyed or damaged 400,000 homes across China in May

At least 21.8 million people were affected by human-enhanced natural disasters across China last month, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Commission for Disaster Reduction, Xinhua reported.

The official toll is as follows:

  • No. of people affected by the disasters: 21.8 million
  • Killed or missing: 126 dead, six missing
  • Displaced: 777,000 people
  • Homes destroyed or damaged: 377,000
  • Cropland destroyed: 2.4 million hectares
  • Direct economic losses: 25.64 billion yuan (4.17 billion U.S. dollars)

Floods and earthquakes were the worst disasters to hit the country in May, however, droughts, hailstorms, icy conditions, snowstorms, landslides and forest fires also caused substantial damage, said the report.

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Drought Crop Disasters Declared in 8 States

Posted by feww on June 12, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
WORSENING DROUGHT
MAJOR DISASTERS
SCENARIOS 444, 03
CROP DISASTERS DECLARED
.

Drought Destroys Crops in 79 Counties across Eight States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 79 counties across eight states as crop disaster areas due to worsening drought. USDA issued six separate designations for crop disasters on June 11, 2014.

Drought Disaster Designations are for the following states:

Idaho (18 counties),  Oklahoma (13 counties), Oregon (20 counties), Washington  (14 counties), Nevada (1 County), Utah (1 County), Wyoming(2 counties) and Kansas (10 counties).

Drought Disasters 2014

Beginning January 10, 2014 USDA has declared at least 1,992 separate crop disasters across 27  states. Most of those designations are due to the worsening drought.

  • Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington, Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The total number of counties designated as agricultural disaster areas includes both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Counties may have been designated crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on June 11, 2014.

California Drought Disasters

Related Links

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Federal Disaster Declared in Vermont

Posted by feww on June 12, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
SEVERE STORMS
WIDESPREAD FLOODING
SCENARIOS 111, 066, 023
FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARED
.

Vermont Declared Major Disaster Area (DR-4178)

Federal disaster has been declared  for the state of Vermont in the areas severely affected by powerful storms and flooding during the period of April 15-18, 2014.

Areas worst affected by the disasters are Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans and Washington  counties.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments, said Fema in a statement.

Latest Federal Disaster Declarations

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Worsening Drought Plagues Syria and Region

Posted by feww on June 11, 2014

WORSENING DROUGHT
WATER FAMINE
FOOD SECURITY THREAT
TERRORIST THREATS
MASS DISPLACEMENT
SCENARIOS 202, 04, 03
.

Drought, Lowest Rainfall in 6 Decades, Pose Latest Threats to Children in Syria and Region

Many parts of Syria have had their lowest rainfall in nearly 60 years, placing more than 4 million children in the war-torn country at even greater risk, according to UNICEF.

Water scarcity in Syria is now so acute that it may soon force more people to leave their homes, exacerbating the refugee situation. Some 9.3  million people  have already been displaced by the conflict.

“In Lebanon and Jordan, meanwhile, tensions between local communities and Syrian refugees are being heightened by competition over limited resources, including dwindling water supplies,” said the report by the UN agency.

“The scarcity of safe water—adding to the impact of the ongoing conflict and the intense summer heat—raises the real risk of more population displacement and the spread of disease among vulnerable children,” said the UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Related Links

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Coconut Scale Threatens Food Security in Philippines

Posted by feww on June 9, 2014

CLIMATE CHANGE
CROP DISASTER
FOOD SECURITY THREAT
COCONUT SCALE INSECT INFESTATION
STATE OF EMERGENCY
SCENARIO 123
.

State of Emergency Declared in Philippines as Coconut Scale Insect Infests Million Trees

Coconut scale insects have infested more than a million trees in the country, which are in danger of dying, according to the Philippine Coconut Authority.

The insects have also infested lanzones and banana plants in several regions—Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) and Basilan in Mindanao.

The Philippine President has declared a state of emergency in five provinces so far, but may extend the coverage due to the scale of disaster.

“If the spread of this invasive pest is not contained, it may wipe out the coconut industry not just in Calabarzon but eventually in the rest of the country,” said the president in his executive order declaring the state of emergency.

The loss to the Philippine coconut industry could amount to more than US$ 1 billion.

USDA 5459318-s
Coconut scale Aspidiotus destructor Signoret. Photo credit: Bernhard Loehr/ Bugwood.org

“It is serious enough to ask for emergency measures… If we don’t address this, it could spread to the Bicol region, and also in the Zamboanga peninsula,” said the Presidential Assistant for Food Security. 

The infestation was first reported in 2010 but the authorities failed to stop the spread.  Coconut scale insects are wind-borne and can easily spread to other regions, experts say.

The armored scale insects, known scientifically as Aspidiotus destructor Signoret (Hemiptera: familia Diaspididae), are tiny plant parasites, causing yellowing or chlorosis, wilting, premature nutfall (in coconut) and low yield because they siphons off the plant sap.

The coconut scale is a common pest of coconut and banana, but it also infests other trees and plants including avocado, bird of paradise, breadfruit, ginger, guava, mango, mock orange, mountain apple, palm, papaya, pandanas, plumeria and sugarcane.

The parasite is common to tropical and subtropical regions, especially on islands. The insects have been found in American Samoa, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Irian Jaya, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Western Samoa, and now the Philippine islands.

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FIRE-EARTH Bulletin NO. 104 – June 8, 2014

Posted by feww on June 8, 2014

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

FIRE-EARTH Bulletin NO. 104 has been released.

Related links

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Excessive Heat Warning Issued for Mojave Desert Areas

Posted by feww on June 8, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING
SCENARIO 777
.

Excessive Heat Forecast for Sunday through Tuesday

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued Excessive Heat Warnings for Mojave Desert areas.

Those areas include Lake Havasu, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Death Valley National Park, Desert Hills, Topock, Kingman, Golden Valley, Dolan Springs, Valentine, Wikieup, Yucca, Bullhead City, Mohave Valley, Furnace Creek, Shoshone, Barstow, Daggett, Fort Irwin, Baker, Mountain Pass, Mitchell Caverns, Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, Vidal Junction, Needles, Mesquite, Overton,  Moapa, Pahrump, Indian Springs, Desert Rock, Amargosa Valley, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Summerlin, Nellis, Mountains Edge, Seven Hills, Blue Diamond, Hoover Dam, Laughlin, Primm, Searchlight, and Cal-Nev-Ari.

Other areas covered by the NWS Warning include Lake Havasu and Fort Mohave, Northwest Deserts, Western Mojave Desert, Eastern Mojave Desert, Morongo Basin-Cadiz Basin, San Bernardino County, Upper Colorado River Valley, Northeast Clark County, Western Clark And Southern Nye County, Las Vegas Valley and Southern Clark County.

Forecast Temperatures

  • Death Valley: 118 to 122 (~ 48°C to 50°C)
  • Colorado River Valley: 108 to 114 (~ 42°C to 46°C)
  • Mojave Desert Areas including Las Vegas: 105 to 111 (~ 41°C to 44°C)
  • Kingman: 99 to 102 (~ 37°C to 39°C)

Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect from 11 am PDT to 9 pm PDT Monday.

Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect for elevations below 4000 feet in the Mojave Desert from 11 am to 9 pm Monday.

Monday is expected to be the hottest day, with Unseasonably Hot Temperatures also forecast for Sunday and Tuesday.

An Excessive Heat Warning is issued when temperatures are forecast
to reach dangerous levels…

National High and Low Temperatures (for the contiguous United States)

High and Low Temperatures for Saturday, June 7, 2014, issued 2 am EDT Sunday, June 8, 2014

  • High Temperature: 118 degrees (48°C) at Death Valley, CA
  • Low Temperature:  25 degrees (-4°C) at Stanley, ID

[Source: NWS Weather Prediction Center, College Park, MD]

Related Links

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Hundreds Dead or Missing in Afghanistan Floods

Posted by feww on June 8, 2014

EXTREME RAIN EVENTS
DEADLY FLOODING
MEGA DISASTER
MASS DISPLACEMENT
SCENARIOS 444, 070, 023, 09
.

Another round of deadly floods destroy thousands of homes in Afghanistan

Flash flooding in northern Afghanistan has killed at least 80 people and forced thousands to flee their homes, authorities said.

At least 2,000 homes have been destroyed and roads and bridges washed away in what has been described as a “major disaster.”

Flooding and landslides have plagued northern Afghanistan since late April, affecting tens of thousands of villagers.

In May, two Mega Landslides killed thousands of people and buried a large section of the main north-south road in the Tashkurghan gorge , effectively cutting off the north of the country.

  • At least 2,500 people were killed after the two massive landslides in NE Afghanistan.
  • The landslide site was designated as a ‘mass grave’ by the provincial governor of Badakhshan province.
  • More than 1,000 houses have been destroyed or affected by the massive landslide
  • The landslide buried entire villages and left thousands of people homeless according to the UN mission in Afghanistan.
  • The disaster is the latest in a series of calamities caused by extreme rain events and flooding in which hundreds of people  in north and east Afghanistan have perished.
  • “There were more than 1,000 families living in that village. A total of 2,100 people – men, women and children – are trapped,” a spokesman for the provincial governor told Reuters.
  • “As the part of the mountain which collapsed is so big, we don’t believe anyone would survive. The government and locals from surrounding villagers are helping with the rescue, and so far they have recovered more then a hundred bodies.”

In late April, a major landslide buried entire villages leaving hundreds dead, and many more injured  in northeastern Afghanistan.

Flash floods in northern Afghanistan destroyed dozens of villages and thousands of homes, killing at least 350 people, and leaving many others missing. Hundreds more are injured and tens of thousands reportedly displaced.

The floods followed a two-day extreme rain event, which inundated three provinces of Faryab, Jowzjan and Sar-e Pul, said Afghanistan’s Natural Disaster Management Agency.

The floods destroyed dozens of villages leaving tens of thousands of farm animals dead, the agency said.

Flash flood triggered a massive  landslide in NE Afghanistan destroying  dozens of village and leaving at least 350 people dead. Thousands of farm animals also perished.

Related Links

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Apocalyptic Clouds Over Beijing Prompt Rainstorm Warning

Posted by feww on June 6, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
EXTREME RAIN EVENTS
SEVERE FLOODING
MEGA DISASTERS
MASS DISPLACEMENTS
SCENARIOS  444, 070, 023
.

Beijing issues rainstorm warning

beijing rainstorm warning
Dark clouds shroud buildings in Shijingshan District of Beijing on Friday, June 6, 2014. Local meteorological agency issued a rainstorm warning in the morning. (Xinhua/Li Xin). More images…

Rainstorms Ravage South China

Meantime, rainstorms continued to ravage southwest China, prompting authorities to issue a warning for Chongqing Municipality, reported Xinhua.

“At least nine people had died as of 8 a.m. Friday after downpours swept Chongqing since Saturday, the local bureau of civil affairs said in a statement.”

Extreme Rain Events have affected about one million people, leaving 124,500 homeless.

“The rainstorms, which have caused the collapse of 7,300 houses and damaged 27,400 hectares of crops, have led to direct economic losses of 500 million yuan (80 million U.S. dollars),” said the report.

Earlier today …

MASS EVACUATIONS FORCED BY MEGA FLOODING IN SOUTH CHINA

The latest round of Extreme Rain Events have triggered major flooding across south China affecting about 2 million people, and leaving at least two dozen dead in Guizhou and Sichuan provinces as well as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

In Guizhou Province alone, flooding has severely affected more than 1.2 million people in 44 counties forcing mass evacuation of at least 88,000 people. At least 18,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, said the Guizhou Civil Affairs Department, reported Xinhua.

Power, water and communications lines were cut off across most of Guizhou Province, said reports.

Earlier this week …

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Mad Cow Disease Kills Texan

Posted by feww on June 6, 2014

EMERGING & RE-EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
PRION DISEASES
DEADLY CJD
SCENARIO 011
.

Degenerative, fatal brain disorder, variant CJD, kills Texas man, 4th in the U.S.

A diagnosis of variant CJD (a fatal brain disorder) in a patient who recently died in Texas has been confirmed after laboratory tests of an autopsy of the patient’s brain, reported CDC.

Variant CJD is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder in humans, first discovered in 1996 in the United Kingdom. It is believed to be caused by consumption of products from cows with the disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow” disease).

At least 220 variant CJD patients have been reported worldwide, with a majority of them in the United Kingdom (177 cases) and France (27 cases).

The latest fatality is the fourth to be reported in the United States. In each of the three previous cases, infection likely occurred outside the United States, including the United Kingdom (2 cases) and Saudi Arabia (1 case).

“The history of this fourth patient, including extensive travel to Europe and the Middle East, supports the likelihood that infection occurred outside the United States.”

The disease also spread to many other European countries, and cases in cattle have been identified outside of Europe, in Canada, Israel and Japan, said CDC.

California dairy cow had mad cow disease

In 2012, health officials confirmed that a dairy cow in California’s Central Valley had bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly referred to as the mad cow disease, but insisted that the US beef and dairy products were safe.

  • BSE is a fatal neurodegenerative disease in cattle that can be easily passed on to humans; it has an incubation period of up to 8 year in cattle and about 12 years in humans.
  • The disease is easily transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with the brain, spinal cord or digestive tract of infected carcasses.
  • An outbreak of BSE in the United Kingdom killed at least 166 people (an additional 50 known fatalities occurred in other countries) and about 180,000 cattle in the 1980s, and forced the authorities to destroy about 4.5 million cows at cost of more than $7 billion.
  • BSE prion is not destroyed through cooking and can be transmitted to humans who consume contaminated beef products.
  • An estimated half a million cattle infected with BSE entered the human food chain in the 1980s.
  • A second strain of BSE prion, discovered in 2004, may have also entered the food chain.
  • The diseased animal was he first confirmed case of mad cow disease in the U.S. in 6 years.
  • The first known case of BSE infection in North America was reported in Alberta, Canada in 1993.
  • South Korea has suspended sales of U.S. beef on Wednesday.

Update from APHIS Regarding a Detection of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States

On April 24, 2014 USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the nation’s 4th case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in an animal that was sampled for the disease at a rendering facility in central California.

Through its continuing epidemiological investigation, APHIS–in collaboration with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)–has identified that one progeny born to the positive cow in the last 2 years was stillborn, and another has been located on a site in another state.

Update: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in a U.K. Citizen Who Had Temporarily Resided in Texas, 2001-2005

In November 2005, the U.K. National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about a probable variant CJD diagnosis in a 30-year-old man who resided in Texas during 2001-2005. The patient had onset of symptoms in early 2005 while in Texas. He then returned to the United Kingdom, where his illness progressed, and a diagnosis of variant CJD was made. This diagnosis was confirmed neuropathologically after the patient’s death.

About BSE [mirrored from CDC site]

BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible agent called a prion. The nature of the transmissible agent is not well understood. Currently, the most accepted theory is that the agent is a modified form of a normal protein known as prion protein. For reasons that are not yet understood, the normal prion protein changes into a pathogenic (harmful) form that then damages the central nervous system of cattle.

Research indicates that the first probable infections of BSE in cows occurred during the 1970′s with two cases of BSE being identified in 1986. BSE possibly originated as a result of feeding cattle meat-and-bone meal that contained BSE-infected products from a spontaneously occurring case of BSE or scrapie-infected sheep products. Scrapie is a prion disease of sheep. There is strong evidence and general agreement that the outbreak was then amplified and spread throughout the United Kingdom cattle industry by feeding rendered, prion-infected, bovine meat-and-bone meal to young calves.

The BSE epizootic in the United Kingdom peaked in January 1993 at almost 1,000 new cases per week. Over the next 17 years, the annual numbers of BSE cases has dropped sharply; 14,562 cases in 1995, 1,443 in 2000, 225 in 2005 and 11 cases in 2010. Cumulatively, through the end of 2010, more than 184,500 cases of BSE had been confirmed in the United Kingdom alone in more than 35,000 herds.

There exists strong epidemiologic and laboratory evidence for a causal association between a new human prion disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) that was first reported from the United Kingdom in 1996 and the BSE outbreak in cattle. The interval between the most likely period for the initial extended exposure of the population to potentially BSE-contaminated food (1984-1986) and the onset of initial variant CJD cases (1994-1996) is consistent with known incubation periods for the human forms of prion disease.

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Extreme Weather Events Plague Chile, Guatemala, Mexico

Posted by feww on June 6, 2014

EXTREME RAIN EVENTS
SEVERE FLOODING
MUDSLIDES
SCENARIO 023
.

Severe Flooding Inundates Large parts of Latin America

Extreme Raine Events have flooded large areas of Chile, Guatemala and Mexico since Tuesday, causing significant damage to homes, vehicles and public infrastructure.

Meantime, Tropical Storm BORIS formed off Mexico’s Pacific Coast, forcing  evacuations in mountain and seaside communities prone to flooding and mudslides.

Earlier today, the US National Hurricane Center in Miami said:

Thunderstorm activity has increased slightly near the center of a stationary low pressure system located over the southern Bay of Campeche. Unfavorable upper-level winds are forecast to subside somewhat during the next day or so, and gradual development of this disturbance could occur later today [Friday] before environmental conditions become hostile again on Saturday. [...] Regardless of development, this disturbance will continue to produce extremely  heavy rains, along with life-threatening flash floods and [mudslides,] over portions of southeastern Mexico during the next few days.

  • Formation chance through 48 hours, medium, 50 percent.
  • Formation chance through 5 days, medium, 50 percent.

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MASS EVACUATIONS FORCED BY MEGA FLOODING IN SOUTH CHINA

Posted by feww on June 6, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
EXTREME RAIN EVENTS
SEVERE FLOODING
MEGA DISASTER
MASS DISPLACEMENT
SCENARIOS  444, 070, 023
.

20,000+ homes destroyed or damaged, 100,000 people evacuated in S China

The latest round of Extreme Rain Events have triggered major flooding across south China affecting about 2 million people, and leaving at least two dozen dead in Guizhou and Sichuan provinces as well as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

In Guizhou Province alone, flooding has severely affected more than 1.2 million people in 44 counties forcing mass evacuation of at least 88,000 people. At least 18,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, said the Guizhou Civil Affairs Department, reported Xinhua.

Power, water and communications lines were cut off across most of Guizhou Province, said reports.

 

Continued ….

Earlier this month …

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EMR Kill Dozens, Displace Tens of Thousands in Sri Lanka

Posted by feww on June 5, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
EXTREME MONSOON RAINS
MASS DISPLACEMENT
SCENARIOS  070, 023
.

Extreme Monsoon Rains (EMR), Severe Flooding Devastate Large Swathes of Sri Lanka

Flooding and landslides have left dozens of people dead and tens of thousands of others displaced in western and central parts of Sri Lanka.

Severe flash flooding and mudslides triggered by unusually intense monsoon rains have toppled buildings and washed away bridges and destroyed much of the public infrastructure, forcing hundreds of school closures throughout the country, reports said.

The government has deployed both the navy and air force to help with rescue operations in the affected areas, said reports

sri lanka flood landslide - AP
Sri Lankan men stand on debris of damaged houses in Mathugama, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Many people have died in Sri Lanka from two days of floods and mudslides triggered by unusually heavy monsoon rains, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

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Alaska Flights Grounded amid Continued Activity at Pavlof

Posted by feww on June 5, 2014

VOLCANIC HAZARD
SCENARIO 07
.

Regional Airline Cancels Alaska Flights

Plumes of smoke, steam and ash from Pavlof continue to reach heights  of about 7,500m (24,000 feet),  according to Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO).

Meantime, PenAir, a regional airline, canceled flights from Anchorage to  Cold Bay and Dutch Harbor on the Aleutian Islands on Wednesday.

pavlof 3jun14
Pavlof eruption with lava fountaining, early June 3, 2014, as viewed from Cold Bay. Photo credit: AVO/ Robert Stacy.

So far, no ash has reached any of local communities, according to AVO.

LAST ACTIVITY REPORT: ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

Thursday, June 5, 2014 5:16 AM AKDT (Thursday, June 5, 2014 13:16 UTC)
UPDATED by FIRE-EARTH at 13:35UTC

PAVLOF VOLCANO (VNUM #312030)
55°25’2″ N 161°53’37″ W, Summit Elevation 8261 ft (2518 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Two strong explosions were recorded in seismic data early this morning (10:05 and 10:45 UTC; 02:05 and 02:45 AKDT) at Pavlof. Lightning was detected by the WWLLN system but there is no indication of higher altitude ash in satellite data. Meteorological cloud tops are up to 29,000 ft. ASL and winds are to the west-southwest.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 12:14 PM AKDT (Wednesday, June 4, 2014 20:14 UTC)

The eruption of Pavlof Volcano continues. Seismicity remains stable and unchanged in the past 24 hours. Persistent elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite images. FAA web camera views yesterday afternoon showed a towering steam plume above the vent and lower-level ash from pyroclastic flow activity on the north flank. Wind direction has shifted in the past 24 hours to a more westerly direction and recent satellite views show a plume rich in SO2 gas, steam, and minor ash extending variably between 30 and 100 km downwind and passing over Cold Bay. There have been no reports of ash fall in Cold Bay or any other community. Incandescence from lava fountaining was visible in early morning web camera images, however low-level weather clouds obscure more recent views.

Alerts at Other Alaska Volcanoes

  • Shishaldin: Color Code: ORANGE/ Alert Level WATCH
  • Cleveland: Color Code YELLOW / Alert Level ADVISORY
  • Veniaminof: Color Code YELLOW / Alert Level ADVISORY

Pavlof location map
Index map showing location of Pavlof volcano and other Alaska Peninsula volcanoes.  Credit: Janet Schaefer/AVO

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Killer Sandstorm Engulfs Iran’s Capital

Posted by feww on June 3, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
MAJOR SANDSTORM
SCENARIO 067
.

Mega Sandstorm Whipped by Hurricane-force Winds Kills 6, Injures 30 in Tehran

At least 6 people were killed and more than 30 others injured after a freak sandstorm, whipped by winds of about 110 km/h, engulfed large parts of the Iranian capital.

Three of the victims died as the uprooted tree fell on them and another person fell down from a rooftop, AP reported an official as saying.

sandstorm - tehran-iran
At least 6 people were killed and more than 30 others injured after a major sandstorm engulfed the Iranian capital, Tehran.  Photo dated Monday, June 2, 2014. (Photo credit: Xinhua/Hemmat Khahi). More photos…

The freak storm knocked down trees and cut power and phone lines, plunging the capital into darkness during the afternoon rush hour.

Temperatures plunged from 33°C to 18°C, said the state media.

 

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Extreme Rain Events, Flooding Devastate SW China

Posted by feww on June 3, 2014

EXTREME RAIN EVENTS
SEVERE FLOODING
MEGA DISASTERS
MASS EVACUATIONS
SCENARIOS 444, 070, 023, 09
.

Extreme Rain Events Trigger Severe Flooding in SW China’s Guizhou and Sichuan provinces

Severe flooding and mudslides have affected more than six million people in central and southern China leaving at least 500,000 people homeless since late last month.

Hanan province issued a red alert last week as Extreme Rain Events continued to pound the region unleashing more floods and mudslides.

Floods have claimed at least 12 lives with two people reported missing, officials said.

“More than 1.37 million people in eight cities and prefectures in [Hunan] province have been affected, and 3,431 houses have collapsed [and more than 50,000 people were relocated.] Landslides triggered by rainstorms have occurred on sections of the No.209 national highway in Xiangxi Tu and Miao Autonomous Prefecture,” said a report.

sw china flooding 3june2014
Original caption: Heavy rain batters most areas of Guizhou.  Rescuers transfer children trapped in a flooded elementary school in Pingba County of Anshun city, southwest China’s Guizhou province, June 3, 2014. Heavy rain has battered most areas of Guizhou since Monday. (Xinhua/Ou Dongqu)

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