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Archive for August 18th, 2009

The Mesopotamian Dust Bowl

Posted by feww on August 18, 2009

Image of the day: Another Dust Storm Over Iraq and Kuwait

Thick clouds of dust blew from the agricultural lands between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in Iraq on August 15, 2009. The pale dust obscures most of Kuwait and culminates in a distinct plume over the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. One plume on the east side of the storm is darker than the rest of the airborne dust. This plume either comes from a different type of source—exposed agricultural soil instead of desert, perhaps—or it is a plume of smoke from a fire. Red dots mark where the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) detected fires, but in this case, a fire may be hidden from the sensor by the dust storm. Ongoing drought may be contributing to the frequent and severe dust storms Iraq has experienced in 2009.

The MODIS sensor flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on August 15, 2009. Twice-daily images of Iraq and Kuwait are available from the MODIS Rapid Response System.  NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

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Posted in desertification, Environmental Catastrophe, global climate change, soil erosion, World’s Collapsing Cities | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

California: Retardant Orange, Red and Fire

Posted by feww on August 18, 2009

Images of California Fire Retardant Nightmare!

One day soon, California would be all retardant orange, red and fire!

bushfire LATIMES
An aerial tanker drops a load of retardant on the northern flank of a fire near Castaic, Calif. Photo: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times. Image may be subject to copyright.

bushfire LATIMES 2
Another aerial tanker, too,  drops its load of retardant on fire near Castaic. Photo: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times. Image may be subject to copyright.

For regularly updated California bushfire news click here.

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Posted in California Bushfires, Castaic, Corral Fire, La Brea Fire, Yuba Fire | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

El Niño Update [17 Aug 2009]

Posted by feww on August 18, 2009

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

The following UPDATE is prepared by

Climate Prediction Center / NCEP – 17 August 2009

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~ 0.7ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~ 0.7ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 0.9ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ 0.5ºC

El Niño Map. [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

Niño Region SST Departures (ºC) –  Recent Evolution

sst departures aug 17

During the last 4-weeks, equatorial SSTs were at least 0.5°C above-average across the Pacific Ocean and at least 1.0°C [0.9°C] above average in the east-central and eastern Pacific.


  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) remain +0.5 to +1.5 above-average across much of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Current observations and dynamical model forecasts indicate El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

See  El Niño Home Page for previous entries and related links.

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El Niño Updates

Posted in El Niño weekly report, equatorial Pacific Ocean. ENSO, Global SST anomalies, Indian Monsoon, wind anomaly | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »