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!

Posts Tagged ‘Mediterranean’

FIRE-EARTH Alert: Migrant Crisis

Posted by feww on November 3, 2016

  • CJ Members
  • EAC
  • OC Teams

FIRE-EARTH Alert: Hundreds of Migrants Drown in Shipwrecks off Libya

  • UNHCR says 239 migrants, mostly from W. Africa, have drowned in shipwrecks off Libya – 4220 lives have been lost in Mediterranean so far in 2016.
  • Additional details and analysis are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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Holocaust in Mediterranean

Posted by feww on June 7, 2016

10,000 Migrants and refugees killed crossing Mediterranean since 2014: UNHCR

About 10,000 migrants and refugees have been killed or are missing (presumed dead) in the Mediterranean since 2014, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Tuesday.

About 3,500 were killed or reported missing in the Mediterranean Sea in 2014, with the toll climbing to 3,771 in 2015, while an additional 2,800 people lost their lives so far this year.

More than 1 million migrants and refugees entered Europe in 2015, followed at least 206,000 others since the beginning of this year, UN said.

Sent by a Reader in New York

Two Acts of Ultimate Depravity by People in the Big Rotten Apple

Ban Ki-moon Buckles Under Pressure by the Terrorist Saudi Govt.

Following a protest from the terrorist government of Saudi Arabia, the corrupt UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon removed the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen from a list of government forces that have committed “grave violations against children” in 2015.

The annual report on children and armed conflict released last week stated that the U.N. had verified a total of 1,953 youngsters killed or wounded in 2015 (the figure represented a six-fold increase in the number of child casualties in Yemen compared with 2014). About 60 percent of those casualties have been attributed to atrocities committed by the coalition, including 510 kids killed and 667 wounded in attacks on schools and hospitals.

NY Governor Signs Executive Order to ‘Blacklist’ BDS Supporters

Power corrupts, and gubernatorial power corrupts absolutely! New York Gov. Cuomo has signed an executive order that will penalize people and businesses that support non-violent boycott of Israel.

Cuomo said New York would “lead by example,” he said. “We are also a place of action.”

“We want to take immediate action because we want Israel to know that we’re on their side. If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.”

The so-called “anti-BDS” bill is unconstitutional because it violates the basic right of free speech. It’s an affront to American values.

Official Announcement: Governor Cuomo Signs First-in-the-Nation Executive Order Directing Divestment of Public Funds Supporting BDS Campaign Against Israel

https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/EO_157_new.pdf

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900 People May Have Drowned in Mediterranean Last Week

Posted by feww on May 29, 2016

550 people including 40 children drown in one shipwreck alone: Report

Up to 900 refugees and migrants are feared drowned in several shipwrecks off the coast of Libya in the past few days, MSF Sea Group says.

“Around 900 people may have died in the Central Mediterranean in the last week alone. Europe, this is unbearable,” MSF said.

Meanwhile, the Italian officials reported they had rescued about 600 others off Libya on Saturday, making a weekly total of about 13,000.

An estimated 190,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean so far this year. About 156,000 entered Greece and 34,000 went to Italy. About 1,375 people are missing, presumed dead, reported the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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Significant Earthquakes Strike Oklahoma

Posted by feww on December 29, 2013

9 Percent of the day’s global seismicity occurred in Oklahoma, 17 percent in Lower 48!!

M4.1 earthquakes strikes near Langston, Oklahoma

The quake was centered at 35.896°N, 97.306°W and struck at a depth of about 5.0km (3.1mi). 

Earthquake Details

  • Magnitude: 4.1Mw
  • Event Time: 2013-12-29 08:14:36 UTC
  • Location: 35.896°N 97.306°W depth=5.0km (3.1mi)
  • Nearby Cities:
    • 7km (4mi) SW of Langston, Oklahoma
    • 10km (6mi) E of Guthrie, Oklahoma
    • 31km (19mi) NNE of Edmond, Oklahoma
    • 33km (21mi) SW of Stillwater, Oklahoma
    • 51km (32mi) NNE of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Olahoma eq locmap
Oklahoma Earthquakes Location Map.

The event followed two smaller earthquakes measuring

  • M3.4  (Location 36.870°N 97.622°W depth=4.3km; 155km N of Oklahoma City) and
  • M3.1 (36.141°N 97.329°W depth=5.0km; 76km NNE of Oklahoma City).

30 day EQs in Oklahoma and Texas
30 Days, Magnitude 2.5+ Earthquakes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. 40 Earthquakes in the map area. Global map includes 1012 earthquakes – Updated: 2013-12-29 10:06:05UTC. Source: USGS/EHP

About 17  percent of the global seismicity in the past 30 days, in terms of number of events measuring M2.5+, occurred in or near contiguous United States.

Oklahoma Earthquakes in November

At least 41 earthquakes measuring 2.5Mw or greater struck the state of Oklahoma in November 2013, according to data provided by USGS/EHP.

The largest shock in the cluster (No. 11 on the table below) measured 3.8Mw, striking at a depth of 5.9km on November 11, 2013 some 5km WNW of Jones, Oklahoma.

ok quakes nov2013-s
List of Oklahoma Earthquakes measuring 2.5Mw or greater, November 2013.

Tectonic Summary [USGS/EHP]

Induced Seismicity. As is the case elsewhere in the world, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth’s crust sufficiently to induce faulting. Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth’s crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations. In much of eastern and central North America, the number of earthquakes suspected of having been induced is much smaller than the number of natural earthquakes, but in some regions, such as the south-central states of the U.S., a significant majority of recent earthquakes are thought by many seismologists to have been human-induced. Even within areas with many human-induced earthquakes, however, the activity that seems to induce seismicity at one location may be taking place at many other locations without inducing felt earthquakes. In addition, regions with frequent induced earthquakes may also be subject to damaging earthquakes that would have occurred independently of human activity. Making a strong scientific case for a causative link between a particular human activity and a particular sequence of earthquakes typically involves special studies devoted specifically to the question. Such investigations usually address the process by which the suspected triggering activity might have significantly altered stresses in the bedrock at the earthquake source, and they commonly address the ways in which the characteristics of the suspected human-triggered earthquakes differ from the characteristics of natural earthquakes in the region.

one-day quakes worldwide 28-29 december 13
Earthquake Location Map. 1 Day, Magnitude 2.5+ Earthquakes Worldwide. 34 earthquakes shown on the map, updated at 2013-12-29 09:49:36 UTC. Source: USGS/EHP

M5.8 Quake Strikes Off the Coast of Turkey

  • Event Time:2013-12-28 15:21:05 UTC
  • Location: 35.980°N 31.340°E depth=51.1km (31.7mi)
  • Nearby Cities
    • 80km (50mi) SSW of Avsallar, Turkey
    • 204km (127mi) WNW of Nicosia, Cyprus

Tectonic Summary: Seismotectonics of the Mediterranean Region and Vicinity

The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. This convergence began approximately 50 Ma and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea. The modern day remnant of the Tethys Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian subduction zone of southern Italy. Local high rates of convergence at the Hellenic subduction zone (35mm/yr) are associated with back-arc spreading throughout Greece and western Turkey above the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust.

 
The region of the Marmara Sea is a transition zone between this extensional regime, to the west, and the strike-slip regime of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, to the east. The North Anatolian Fault accommodates much of the right-lateral horizontal motion (23-24 mm/yr) between the Anatolian micro-plate and Eurasian plate as the Anatolian micro-plate is being pushed westward to further accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin caused by the collision of the African and Arabian plates in southeastern Turkey. Subduction of the Mediterranean Sea floor beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Calabrian subduction zone causes a significant zone of seismicity around Sicily and southern Italy. Active volcanoes are located above intermediate depth earthquakes in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea and in southern Italy.

In the Mediterranean region there is a written record, several centuries long, documenting pre-instrumental seismicity (pre-20th century). Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, the Nile Delta, Northern Libya, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The 1903 M8.2 Kythera earthquake and the 1926 M7.8 Rhodes earthquakes are the largest instrumentally recorded Mediterranean earthquakes, both of which are associated with subduction zone tectonics. Between 1939 and 1999 a series of devastating M7+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westward along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, beginning with the 1939 M7.8 Erzincan earthquake on the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault system. The 1999 M7.6 Izmit earthquake, located on the westward end of the fault, struck one of Turkey’s most densely populated and industrialized urban areas killing, more than 17,000 people. Although seismicity rates are comparatively low along the northern margin of the African continent, large destructive earthquakes have been recorded and reported from Morocco in the western Mediterranean, to the Dead Sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The 1980 M7.3 El Asnam earthquake was one of Africa’s largest and most destructive earthquakes within the 20th century.

Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is thought to have occurred within or near the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, which defines the boundary between the African and Eurasian plates off the west coast of Morocco and Portugal. The earthquake is notable for both a large death toll of approximately 60,000 people and for generating a tsunami that swept up the Portuguese coast inundating coastal villages and Lisbon. An earthquake of approximately M8.0 near Sicily in 1693 generated a large tsunami wave that destroyed numerous towns along Sicily’s east coast. The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities.  [Source:USGS National Earthquake Information Center.]

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Middle East Narrowly Escaped Major War Tuesday: Russian Expert

Posted by feww on September 6, 2013

Russian expert says Mideast made narrow escape from major war Tuesday

By Itar-Tass World Service writer Tamara Zamyatina

MOSCOW, September 3 (Itar-Tass) – Launching of two ballistic missiles in the Mediterranean water area testifies to the ongoing U.S. preparations for air strikes against Syria, a top-rank Russian military expert said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass Tuesday night.

ivy-mike2.jpg
Original Photo: The mushroom cloud from XX-11 IvyMike (Fusion Bomb). Public domain photo. Source: United States Department of Energy Inset: Tomahawk Block IV Cruise Missiles. Image source: EDRO. Image added by FIRE-EARTH.

The U.S. and Israel actually wanted to watch the reaction to the launch on the part of Russia, China and Iran, said Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, Ret. From 1996 through to 2001, Gen Ivashov was chief of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Main Department for International Defense Cooperation. He is President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems at present.

He believes that the missiles were launched for the purposes of reconnaissance.

“The thing is ballistic missiles won’t be used if the U.S. and their allies begin an intervention in Syria,” Gen Ivashov said. “While a cruise missile can hit directly not only the target as such but even a separate element of it, a ballistic missile very definitely won’t hit the target due to the impact dispersal effect. Hence it’s inefficient for the purpose.”

“Those who launched the two ballistic missiles towards Syria obviously hoped Iran would consider this launch as an attack on Damascus, its ally,” Gen Ivashov went on. “The Pentagon clearly wanted to see if the Iranians would respond to this by delivering a ballistic missile strike at Israel.”

“The provocation would have thus played into Binyamin Netanyahu’s hands and would have helped him to convince his nation Israel should throw its shoulder into a joint aerospace operation conducted by the U.S., Turkey and Saudi Arabia against Syria,” he said.

“Had Iran responded to the challenge, the U.S. would have gotten weighty reasons for attacking Syria by way of support for Israel as its ally, since Barack Obama still doesn’t have congressional support for an operation against the Syrian government either among the rank-and-file Americans or in the Gongress. In the meantime, the necessity of defending Israel would offer an important argument for shaping up public opinion in favor of ousting the Bashar al-Assad regime.”

“From the angle of view of military strategy, the launch of ballistic missiles compels Syria and Iran to bring into full-scale action all the tracking systems they have,” Gen Ivashov said. “Air defense systems, too, start reacting to missile launches.”

“When this happens, the U.S. warships, aircraft, and ground-based tracking systems immediately do the computerized identification of all the locations in Syria and Iran where combat operations control is exercised from – their working frequencies, the places where radar stations are deployed, their coordinates, technical characteristics, and so on.”

“Right after that, radio-electronic jamming of the enemy’s combat control networks goes into action. It is followed by string missile strikes, with the data on location of the enemy’s control and command systems loaded into the programs.”

“As a result, the Syrian and Iranian Armed Forces should lose control and coordination and lose the war eventually,” Gen Ivashov said.

This is a technological side of the provocation but there is a political side to the missile launch, too.

“Israel is demonstrating blatant disregard for the norms of international law,” Gen Ivashov said. “The Israeli Defense Ministry did not issue a warning to the countries, the ships of which were cruising in the Mediterranean at the moment. More than that, Israel has a bigger arsenal of nukes than France although it is not a member of the world nuclear club.”

“Nonetheless, Israeli government was prepared to set the machine of a major war in the Middle East into motion Tuesday – with support from the Pentagon,” he said.

Another Russian military expert commented earlier this year on the role that an element of spontaneity may play in triggering a large-scale armed conflict.

Major-General Pavel Zolotaryov, Ret., a deputy director of the Moscow-based Institute for the U.S. and Canada Studies made the comment in spring 2013 with regard to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. “The Korean crisis may pose a danger to the world due a possibility of haphazard developments,” he said.

“When two countries, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea keep their Armed Forces in a huge tension, a factor of spontaneity can play a very bad role,” Gen Zolotaryov said. “Suppose someone has a nervous breakdown and fires a shot and then unpredictable developments start snowballing.”

A risk of a chain of haphazard events is looming in the situation around Syria, too.  [http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c39/863249.html]

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The Next Phase of Collapse: Wars initiated by Israel/US for Hegemony Over World’s Resources Posted by edro on March 10, 2008

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What’s Happening in Cyprus?

Posted by feww on March 23, 2013

In 2008, CASF Team analyzed  the impact of “extreme environmental stress” in Cyprus and forecast the island’s early collapse triggered by the ecological time bomb.

The post is reproduced below with the permission of our CASF and EDRO:

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Cyprus Collapse May Be Imminent!

Posted by edro on July 19, 2008 – Submitted by a CASF Member

Cyprus’s extreme environmental stress may lead to early collapse!

Ex-govt official: “We are going through a visual process of desertification.”

Main Causes of Collapse

Climate Change
– Persistent Droughts
– Disruption in climatic patterns
– Low Precipitation
– Higher than normal temperatures
– Heatwaves
– Wildfires and other natural phenomena [disasters] exacerbated by warming

Land
– Urbanization
– Land use and land cover change
– Loss of topsoil
– Soil degradation, especially salination
– Soil erosion caused by high temperatures, low precipitation and hot dry winds

Water
– Extreme water shortages throughout the island worsened by additional [including unforeseen] factors

Tourism
– Causing additional environmental stress
– Creating excessive waste and pollution
– Weakening the Island’s natural defense mechanisms

Main Effects

– Reduced ability to produce food
– Crop failure
– Continued water scarcity (compounded by economic/monetary issues)
– Breakdown of sewage, water and sanitation systems
– Spread of disease pandemics
– Overshoot of Carrying Capacity: The Island may have already passed the tipping point
– Resumption of the Cypriot civil war between the north and south enclaves reignited by the specter of ecological collapse
– Collapse of local ecosystems
– Desertification
– Land abandonment
– Population displacement/climate refugees

Possible Timeline

2011- 2013

Country Data

Estimated Population: 793,000 (July 2008 Estimate)
Area:
Total: 9,250 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in north Cyprus)
Land: 9,240 sq km
Water: 10 sq km

No. of Tourists: About 3,000,000

Land use:
Arable land: 10.81%
Permanent crops: 4.32%
Other: 84.87% (2005)

Irrigated land: 400 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
: 0.4 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.21 cu km/yr (27%/1%/71%)
Per capita: 250 cu m/yr (2000)

Primary Energy Consumption year 2007: 0.13 Quad BTU [CASF estimate based on EIA data]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 20.8 percent

Fossil Fuel consumption (excluding aviation fuel) year 2007: 2,431,399 tonnes of oil [source]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 18.4 percent

CO2 Emissions From Consumption of Fossil Fuels year 2007 : 9.65 MMT [CASF estimate for 2007]
Percentage rise compared to year 2000: 22.5 percent

Natural hazards: moderate earthquake activity; droughts

Environment – current issues:
water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to island’s largest aquifer, increased salination in the north); water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes; coastal degradation; loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization.

Human Rights Issues
Cyprus [like New Zealand] is primarily a destination country for a large number of women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of sexual exploitation; traffickers continued to fraudulently recruit victims for work as dancers in cabarets and nightclubs on short-term “artiste” visas, for work in pubs and bars on employment visas, or for illegal work on tourist or student visas. (Source CIA Factbook, Wikipedia, others)

Population density: It is estimated that at peak tourist season, the effective population density of [Southern] Cyprus exceeds that of the Netherlands (ranked world’s 25th most densely populated).


Location map: Cyprus (dark green) / European Union (light green) / Europe (dark grey). Credit: User 3meandEr, via Wikimedia Commons

Water Facts

  • After little winter rainfall, the drought in Cyprus is now in its fifth year.
  • Cypriot water reserves are at their lowest for 100 years; however, the effective population of Cyprus (citizens and tourists) have multiplied by about 150 folds.
  • “As long as the population remained [as] low [as] in the pre-industrial period, the water was sufficient for supplying cities which received water either from the mountains through the aqueducts or through the groundwater supply.” Said Chris Schabel, medieval historian at the University of Cyprus.
  • The entire island including both the Turkish Cypriot north and the Greek Cypriot south divisions are drought stricken.
  • The Island has an annual requirement of about 210 million cubic meters of water.
  • As of July 16, 2008 the water reservoirs were only about 6.5 percent full. Down one percent in the last three weeks (33 percent of the level 12 months ago).
  • Southern Cyprus’ 17 main reservoirs currently contain a paltry 17,733 cubic meters of water, some of which may be unsuitable for drinking.
  • Emergency measures have limited the supply of running water to homes to only twice weekly.
  • Most of the municipal wells have been shut down to avoid the risk of seawater contamination.
  • “The British policy of drilling boreholes throughout the island resulted in a serious depletion, due to excessive pumping of the groundwater reserves, in the main water bearing areas of Famagusta, Morphou and Akrotiri. It was calculated a few years ago that groundwater resources of Cyprus are over-pumped every year by 40 per cent over the allowable safe yield.” (Source)
  • Cyprus is buying from Greece 8 million cubic meters (2.1 billion gallons) of water to be delivered by November 2008 at a cost of €40 million (US$64 million). The water will only be distributed in the Greek Cypriot south.
  • The first ship carrying water from Greece arrived June 30 at Limassol (Cyprus’ main port). The officials then realized they could not pump the water from tanker because their makeshift pipeline was 10 feet short. Because of the delay, the water turned “odorous” and was deemed unsafe for drinking. The entire tanker load of 40,000 cubic meters was subsequently pumped into the ground, instead of the city’s water network due to contamination fears!
  • Under the initial agreement, two water-laden tankers were scheduled to leave Elefsina near Athens bound for Cyprus every day for six months (6 tankers delivering 200 shipments) between June and November 2008.
  • The Turkish Cypriot north is negotiating a separate arrangement with Turkey for their water needs.
  • The Greek Cypriot south plans to build a third desalination plant.

Agriculture, Wildfires, Desertification

“Extremely hot and dry weather conditions in Cyprus, combined with strong winds led to a disastrous upsurge of forest fires and wildfires in the Troodos Montain area on 29 June 2007. … Small villages had to be evacuated. Some houses were destroyed. Cyprus reported severe material damages in the area. Moreover, two forest fires hit Cyprus on 16 July 2007 in touristic areas of the Island. The first hit the vicinity of the Kalavasos village area … The other was close to Kornos village, which is located 20 km south of Nicosia [capital city]. The total burnt area … in Cyprus measured from satellite imagery on 31 July 2007 was 12 286 hectares.” European Civil Protection.

Climate change is pointing at us “like a loaded gun,” warned the EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel at a conference on water policy last week.

“Global warming is happening,” she said. “It’s taken thousands of years for global temperatures to rise by just one degree. In this century we expect to see an increase in global temperatures of between two and six degrees Celsius.”

“Climate change has arrived. Drought has arrived. We need to take out insurance now. Good business sense demands better use of water. For those farmers caught unprepared, climate change could be a sledge hammer,” said Boel. “Maybe there are areas that will benefit from this, like in the north, but we expect climate change to leave a wave of destruction. We expect more heat waves, drought, floods and crop failures.”

We are going through a visual process of desertification. Krasochorio near Limassol, has lost its environment [Ecosystems have collapsed]. Around 85 per cent of the population has left. In Lania, 30 villas are surrounded by burnt land after the fires. What can the villagers do with them now?” Said the former Cypriot Agriculture Ministry official, Antonis Constantinou.

“What Cyprus is not good at is holding water, avoiding erosion, adapting to water shortage, and not giving incentives which can’t guarantee a better future for the island. We are also not so good at keeping greenery, avoiding fires, fighting fires, giving incentives to people to manage land, even non-agricultural land owners,” he added. (Source)

Recent History

Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean south of Turkey, north of Egypt, and east-southeast of Greece, It is the third-largest Mediterranean island and a busy tourist destination, attracting about 3 million tourists each year.

A former British colony, it gained independence from the UK in 1960 claiming sovereignty over 97% of the island and surrounding waters, with the United Kingdom controlling the remaining three percent. It became a member of the European Union May 1, 2004.

In 1974, following a period of violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and an attempted Greek Cypriot coup d’état aimed at annexing the island to Greece and sponsored by the Greek military junta of 1967-1974, Turkey invaded and occupied one-third of the island. This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. Cyprus is thus divided to:

  • The area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island
  • The Turkish-occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey)
  • The United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two
  • Two “Sovereign Base Areas” or military bases Akrotiri and Dhekelia, where United Kingdom is the sovereign despite Cypriot independence. (Source: Wikimedia)


Map of Cyprus: WSBA and ESBA (British military bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia) are in pink, UN buffer zone dividing the northern (Turkish) and southern (Greek) administrations is shown in gray. The map is adapted from the CIA World Factbook map. (Source).

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edro

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Flooding Forces Mass Evacuations in Southern Spain

Posted by feww on September 29, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,264 Days Left

[September 29, 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016. 

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,264 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Thousands evacuated as severe flooding swamps drought-stricken southern Spain

Mega-flooding in southern Spain has claimed at least a dozen lives, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.

  • Triggered by an extreme rain event, flooding throughout the region has transformed roads into rivers, inundating thousands of homes and destroying public infrastructure.
  • The worst-hit areas are provinces of Andalusia, Almeria and Murcia in  southern and southeastern Spain.
  • About 245mm of rain fell in the area on Friday morning alone, said Spain’s national weather agency, AEMET.
  • AEMAT has forecast stormy weather and intense rains for the southern half of the Iberian peninsula and the Mediterranean area, next week.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

GLOBAL WARNING

Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part IV

Posted by feww on May 26, 2008

Wild Facts Series: Just when you thought the oceans were dying painlessly!

Carbon Emissions Make Oceans Corrosive!

‘Acidified’ Water Threatens Marine Life on the Continental Shelf from Canada to Mexico: NOAA

Researchers found evidence of corrosive water about 20 miles off the west coast of North America from Canada to Mexico last summer. The ocean water on the western North American continental shelf was previously thought not to be “acidified.”

“Ocean acidification” is caused by the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, a process which makes water corrosive.


Effects of increasing carbon dioxide and temperature on coral reefs. (NOAA Coral Reef Watch)

“Acidification of the Earth’s ocean water could have far-reaching impacts on the health of our near-shore environment, and on the sustainability of ecosystems that support human populations through nourishment and jobs,” said Richard W. Spinrad, NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research. “This research is vital to understanding the processes within the ocean, as well as the consequences of a carbon-rich atmosphere.”

“Our findings represent the first evidence that a large section of the North American continental shelf is seasonally impacted by ocean acidification,” said Feely. “This means that ocean acidification may be seriously impacting marine life on our continental shelf right now.”

“While this absorption provides a great service to humans by significantly reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and decreasing the effects of global warming, the change in the ocean chemistry affects marine life, particularly organisms with calcium carbonate shells, such as corals, mussels, mollusks, and small creatures in the early stages of the food chain,” said Feely.

NOAA said: “Previous studies found ocean acidification at deeper depths farther from shore. The researchers said that the movement of the corrosive water appears to happen during the upwhelling season during the spring and summer, when winds bring CO2 -rich water up from depths of about 400-600 feet onto the continental shelf. The water that upwells off of the North American Pacific coast has been away from the surface for about 50 years.


Typical coral-reef community observed in the U.S. Virgin Islands. [Species lables: the image to view labels: Ma, boulder star coral (Montastrea annularis); Dc, knobby brain coral (Diploria clivosa); Pa, mustard hill coral (Porites astreoides); Pp, finger coral (Porites porites); D, dead coral (probably Porites astreoides); O, octocoral (soft coral); S, sponge.] Photograph by Nathan Smiley, USGS.

The field study collected samples from Queen Charlotte Sound, Canada, to San Gregorio Baja California Sur, Mexico. The closest they found corrosive water was about four miles off of the northern California coast.”

“We did not expect to see this extent of ocean acidification until the middle to the end of the century,” said Sabine. “Because of this effort, we have a baseline for future observations as we continue to study and monitor the relationship of biological and physical processes and their ability to respond to ocean acidification.”

“We did not expect to see this extent of ocean acidification until the middle to the end of the century,” said Sabine. “Because of this effort, we have a baseline for future observations as we continue to study and monitor the relationship of biological and physical processes and their ability to respond to ocean acidification.”

“When the upwelled water was last at the surface, it was exposed to an atmosphere with much less CO2 than today and future upwelled waters will probably be more acidic than today’s because of increasing atmospheric CO2,” said Hales, a professor of chemical oceanography, who is also funded by NASA.

“We don’t know how this will affect species living in the zone below the level of the lowest tides, out to the edge of the continental shelf,” said Ianson, an oceanographer. “We do know that organisms like corals or pteropods are affected by water saturated with CO2. The impacts on other species, such as shellfish and other juvenile fish that have economic significance, are not yet fully understood.”

“In Baja California, we have several Mediterranean-climate coastal lagoons where the main external physical and biogeochemical forcing is from the neighboring coastal ocean, strongly influenced by upwelling,” said Hernandez-Ayon, a coastal oceanographer. “We are concerned about these areas because they play an important role as nurseries and feeding grounds of juvenile fish populations but are also are ideal sites for shellfish aquaculture.” More …

What is Bleaching?

Corals are very sensitive to temperature change: a 1–2º C change in local temperature above their normal summer maximum can lead to a phenomenon called ‘bleaching’, whereby the corals expel their vital algal symbionts (algae which live in the cells of the coral), leaving the coral tissues translucent.


Bleached Coral (Pocillopora) NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

In 1998, a single bleaching event led to the loss of almost 20% of the world’s living coral. Corals can recover from these events but repeated episodes are likely to weaken the coral ecosystem, making them more susceptible to disease and causing a loss of biodiversity. (Source)

How will ocean acidification affect marine life?

Corals, calcareous phytoplankton, mussels, snails, sea urchins and other marine organisms use calcium (Ca) and carbonate (CO3) in seawater to construct their calcium carbonate (CaCO3) shells or skeletons. As the pH decreases, carbonate becomes less available, which makes it more difficult for organisms to secrete CaCO3 to form their skeletal material. For animals in general, including invertebrates and some fish, CO2 accumulation and lowered pH may result in acidosis, or a build up of carbonic acid in the organism’s body fluids. This can lead to lowered immune response, metabolic depression, behavioral depression affecting physical activity and reproduction, and asphyxiation. Since the oceans have never experienced such a rapid acidification, it is not clear if ecosystems have the ability to adapt to these changes (1,2). Effects of ocean acidification on organisms and ecosystems are still poorly understood. Over the last few years, research has intensified significantly to fill the many knowledge gaps. (Source)

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