Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for the ‘Environmental Catastrophe’ Category

Killing Life in Beijing

Posted by feww on March 26, 2014


‘The great virtue of Heaven and Earth is creating life’  —I Ching

China issued a “yellow alert” yesterday amid 5th consecutive day of deadly air pollution in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Provinc . Beijing AQI reached a peak of of 417 at 11:00 am local time on Wednesday.

“Foggy weather will appear in north China and areas along the Yellow and Huaihe rivers, while some parts of Beijing and Tianjin, and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong and Liaoning will see heavy air pollution until Wednesday morning, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said on Tuesday,” Xinhua reported.

“Yellow” is the 2nd lowest [despite the life-threatening smog] of a four-tier alert system—red, orange, yellow, blue—indicating the severity of air pollution.

The reoccurring heavy smog episodes have been described as “Apocalyptic” by Beijing residents.

beijing aqi 26-03-14
AQI for Beijing and surrounding areas. Source:

Related Links

For earlier posts on Beijing AQI, search blog content.

Posted in Environmental Catastrophe, environmental disaster, Environmental Holocaust, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global health catastrophe, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

7 Million People Killed by Air Pollution in 2012

Posted by feww on March 25, 2014


Air pollution the world’s worst environmental hazard: WHO

Based on its environmental models, FIRE-EARTH team believes the estimate by World Health Organization (WHO) is grossly underestimated.

“[About] 1 in 8 of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk,” said WHO.

The latest data reveal a more robust link between air pollution and cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, “in addition to air pollution’s role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases,” as well as between air pollution and cancer, said WHO.

Unsustainable Policies

“Excessive air pollution is often a by-product of unsustainable policies in sectors such as transport, energy, waste management and industry,” said a WHO public health expert.

“In most cases, healthier strategies will also be more economical in the long term due to healthcare cost savings as well as climate gains.”

Outdoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 40% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 40% – stroke;
  • 11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • 6% – lung cancer; and
  • 3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children.

Indoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 34% – stroke;
  • 26% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 22% – COPD;
  • 12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children; and
  • 6% – lung cancer.

Related Links

Posted in environment, Environmental Catastrophe, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global health catastrophe, health | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by feww on November 18, 2010

Bleeding Heart!

How to Turn the World’s Fourth Largest Lake into a Desert

The Bleeding Heart of Central Asia! The vast salt plain that encompasses what was once the Aral Sea is now called the Aralkum Desert.
Image Source: ESA. Click image to enlarge. Download HI-RES (JPEG 818 kb)

Original caption: This Landsat image features the heart-shaped northern tip of the western half of the Large Aral Sea (or South Aral Sea) in Central Asia. The whitish area surrounding the lakebed is a vast salt plain, now called the Aralkum Desert, left behind by the evaporating sea. The Thematic Mapper on Landsat 5, jointly managed by NASA and the US Geological Survey, acquired this image on 24 July 2010. ESA supports the Landsat series as a Third Party Mission, meaning it uses its ground infrastructure and expertise to acquire, process and distribute Landsat data to users.

Map of Aral Sea. Source: World Bank.

Once described as the world’s fourth largest lake, fed by two major rivers of Amu Darya in the south, and the Syr Darya in the north,  Aral Sea spanned an area of about  70,000 km² with a total volume of more than 1 trillion cubic meters  (1,000 cubic km) in 1960. The bountiful sea provided annual catches of about 50,000 tons without fail.  The scenic deltas of its major tributaries, dotted with dozens of smaller lakes, were rich wetlands and marshes teeming with life, covering an area larger than half a million hectares.

The Aral Sea has been shrinking steadily since 1960, as water was diverted for irrigation. It reduced to a pond measuring about 8% of its original size in 2007, and split into three lakes: North Aral Sea, and the two heavily shrunk eastern and western basins of the South Aral Sea.

The south-eastern lake completely disappeared last year, leaving behind the south-western lake, now a thin strip of shallow water. (See image).

Aral Sea captured by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite –  true-color image dated March 26, 2010. A plume of dust blows from the sediments of the South Aral Sea toward the southeast, along the Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan border. Northeast of the plume, two red outlines indicate hotspots associated with fires.The lakebed sediments, prone to forming dust plumes, have become a repository for salt, fertilizers, and pesticides and pose a threat to human health in the region. Source: Nasa/Modis website.

Two images of Aral Sea. L: 2008. R:1989.  Source: Nasa

This natural-color satellite image shows the Aral Sea on August 16, 2008. The colored contour lines show the approximate shorelines of the sea since 2000. The image is from the MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The contour lines are based on MODIS data. The image documents the progress of a conservation plan to stabilize the North Aral Sea, and the continued decline of the South Aral Sea. Deeper, clearer waters are darker blue; shallower, murkier waters are greenish. Source: NASA

Related Links:

Posted in Aral Sea, Aralkum Desert, Environment Holocaust, Environmental Catastrophe, environmental disaster | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Related Links:

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