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Archive for February 24th, 2015

Who Needs BioChemical Weapons?

Posted by feww on February 24, 2015

Large clouds of yellow sand, smog from China plaguing Korean Peninsula, Japan

Westerly winds are blowing high levels of yellow sand and smog from China across Korean Peninsula and Japan, posing a potential hazard across the region.

Korean Peninsula has received massive levels of yellow sand and smog since Sunday, while much of Japan is experiencing varying degrees of air pollution imports from China.

The smog prompted Korea Meteorological Administration to issue yellow dust warnings and advisories for much of the country, including Seoul, Incheon, Gwangju and several other surrounding cities on Sunday.

The massive clouds of yellow dust, which originate in the deserts of Mongolia, northern China and Kazakhstan, are often laden with potentially deadly cocktails of bacteria and industrial pollutants.

smog map 24feb2015
Air Pollution in Asia: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map. Source: – Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 16:00UTC.

yellow dust buries SK- US Govt
Hwangsa, also known as ‘yellow sand,’ ‘Asian dust,’ or ‘yellow wind,’ originates in the deserts of Mongolia, northern China and Kazakhstan, usually engulfing cities in Korean Peninsula and Japan during early spring. Image source: U.S. Govt.

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Drought Disaster Declared for Counties in Georgia, Florida

Posted by feww on February 24, 2015

Drought destroys or damages crops in 15 counties across two states

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 15 counties in two states—Georgia and Florida—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessively dry weather and drought that occurred from June 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2014.

The disaster designations are for the following areas:

  • Georgia. Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee,Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Pierce,Telfair and Ware counties.
  • Florida. Baker County.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 746 counties across 16 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

All of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

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

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as 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 February 18, 2015.

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