**"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence -
is the key to unlocking our potential.**
LARGEST QUAKES so far today -
5.1 WESTERN UZBEKISTAN
5.0 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.3 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.4 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
6.3 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
Yesterday, 3/20/14 -
5.0 SOUTH OF BALI, INDONESIA
5.7 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.6 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE
5.2 NEAR COAST OF NICARAGUA
5.4 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.0 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G.
TROPICAL STORMS -
Current tropical storms - maps and details.
* In the Indian Ocean -
- Tropical cyclone Gillian is located approximately 834 nm north-northwest of Learmonth, Australia. The system consolidated as it tracked away from land with improved convective banding wrapping into a well-defined center, therefore, the system has been regenerated.
Philippines - Signal No. 1 up over 4 Mindanao provinces as tropical depression 'Caloy' heads for land. Eleven areas have been placed under public storm warning Signal No. 1 as “Caloy” accelerated slightly as it continued to move closer to Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental in eastern Mindanao late Friday morning.
In its 11 a.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Caloy was last tracked 330 kilometers east-northeast of Davao City packing winds of 45 kilometers per hour near the center as it moved west at 11 kph. The places under Signal No. 1 can expect 30-60 kph winds over the next 36 hours.
Such winds are strong enough to break twigs and branches, significantly damage rice crops in the flowering stage, unroof nipa or cogon houses, and make travel by fishing boats and other small sea craft risky. The storm is expected to generate moderate to heavy rainfall of 5-15 millimeters per hour within its 300-km diameter. By Saturday morning, Caloy is forecast to be 95 km northeast of Davao City and is expected to be 70 km north of Cotabato City on Sunday morning.
By Monday, Caloy will be 150 km northwest of Zamboanga City. The weather bureau warned residents in low-lying and mountainous areas of possible flashfloods and landslides. It also warned fishing boats and other small sea craft from venturing out to sea.
Number of hurricanes reaches 30-year low - The “hurricane drought” in the U.S. continues, as last year saw the lowest number of hurricanes since 1982, according to government storm data.
For the 2013 hurricane season — which runs from June 1st to November 30th — thirteen named storms formed in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Only two of those storms reached hurricane strength, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The National Hurricane Center reports: “BASED ON THE 30-YEAR CLIMATOLOGY THE AVERAGE LEVEL OF ACTIVITY IN THE BASIN IS 12 NAMED STORMS…6 HURRICANES…AND 3 MAJOR HURRICANES.
FOR 2013 THE NUMBER OF NAMED STORMS WAS NEAR AVERAGE, BUT THE NUMBERS OF HURRICANES AND MAJOR HURRICANES WERE WELL BELOW AVERAGE. THERE WERE NO MAJOR HURRICANES IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC BASIN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1994. AND THE NUMBER OF HURRICANES THIS YEAR WAS THE LOWEST SINCE 1982.”
Last year not only saw the fewest hurricanes since the 1980s, but it was also the THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR FOR RECORD LOW TORNADO ACTIVITY. Last year also saw NEW LOWS for tropical cyclone activity in the Eastern North Pacific.
The National Hurricane Center reports that accumulated cyclone energy, which measures the combined strength and duration of these storms, was about 67 percent below the 1981-2010 average. In 2013, it was the lowest since 1994. The Center concludes that while the number of named storms was slightly above normal, the numbers of hurricanes was near normal and major hurricanes were significantly below normal.
SEVERE RAIN STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
U.S. Spring Flood Forecast - No Widespread Major Flooding Expected. Though the calendar says it's spring, the latest 10-day forecast from the GFS model calls for winter-like weather over the snow-covered northern tier of states in the U.S. through March 26, followed by a slow warm-up.
'GLOBAL WEIRDNESS' / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Linking storms to climate change a 'distraction', say experts - Connecting extreme weather to climate change distracts from the need to protect society from high-impact weather events which will continue to happen irrespective of human-induced climate change, say experts.
The researchers argue that cutting greenhouse gas emissions, while crucial to reducing humanity's longer-term impact on the planet, will not eliminate violent storms, tornadoes or flooding and the damage they cause. The authors suggest that developing greater resilience to extreme weather events must be given greater priority if the socioeconomic impact of storms, like those that have ravaged Britain this winter, is to be reduced.
"One of the long-term effects of climate change is often predicted to be an increase in the intensity and frequency of many high-impact weather events, so reducing greenhouse gas emissions is often seen to be the response to the problem. Reducing humanity's impact on our planet should be pursued as a matter of urgency, but more emphasis must also be placed on being resilient to individual weather events, as this year's storms in Britain have so devastatingly shown."
In the past, say the authors, society responded to weather disasters with calls for greater resilience, but public awareness of manmade climate change has given climate timescales (decades and centuries) far greater importance than weather timescales (days and years). The short-term, large variability from year to year in high-impact weather makes it difficult, if not impossible, to draw conclusions about the correlation to longer-term climate change.
They argue that while large public investments in dams and flood defences, for example, must account for the possibilities of how weather might change in the future, this should not prevent short-term thinking to address more immediate vulnerability to inevitable high-impact weather events. "Avoiding construction in floodplains, implementing strong building codes, and increasing preparedness can make society more resilient to extreme weather events. But compounding the problem is that finding money for recovery is easier than spending on prevention, even if the costs of recovery are much higher."
This bias, say the authors, has a tendency to diminish the political dedication for preventative measures against extreme weather, regardless of whether they are caused or intensified by manmade influences. Yet, steps taken to protect society from the weather can protect the planet as well, they argue. "Improving forecasting, increasing preparedness or building better infrastructure can increase resilience and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. For example, greening neighbourhoods or painting roofs lighter colours will both reduce the urban heat-island effect and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions through reduced air-conditioning costs, while making cities more resistant to storm damage would reduce emissions generated from rebuilding devastated areas."
"Linking high-impact weather events with climate change can be distracting; perpetuating the idea that reducing greenhouse gases would be enough to reduce increasingly vulnerable world populations, in our view, only confuses the public and policy-makers as to the socio-economic susceptibility to extreme weather. With or without mitigation, there is no quick-fix, single-cause solution for the problem of human vulnerability to socio-environmental change, nor is there a reasonable prospect of attenuating high-impact weather. Addressing such issues would give the world an opportunity to develop a two-pronged policy in climate security, reducing longer-term climate risks in conjunction with preventing shorter-term weather disasters."
Nine US Fisheries Waste ‘Almost Half A Billion Seafood Meals,’ - New Oceana Bycatch Report Claims. What the United States WASTES annually is nearly equivalent to what the rest of the world catches in the same time period.
A new report published by the nonprofit conservation group Oceana exposes nine of the "dirtiest" U.S. fisheries. When fishermen target a specific fish, it’s common for other species to get caught in their nets. This is known as bycatch, and it's a growing concern among nine U.S. fisheries.
“Anything can be bycatch. Whether it’s the thousands of sea turtles that are caught to bring you shrimp or the millions of pounds of cod and halibut that are thrown overboard after fishermen have reached their quota, bycatch is a waste of our ocean’s resources.” Depending on the type of fishing gear used, fishermen tend to catch everything from dolphins to sea turtles and sharks. These inadvertent catches are usually thrown overboard and tend to be injured, dead or dying.
The majority of bycatch tends to come from open ocean trawl, longline and gillnet fisheries. Researchers estimate that 20 percent of what fishermen catch in the U.S. is thrown away each year. This amounts to 2 billion pounds of wasted seafood. “The figures are astounding -- four fisheries discard 63 to 66 percent of everything they catch. If you can't quite grasp just how much that is, think of it this way: These nine fisheries waste almost half a billion seafood meals.”
The nine fisheries are: Southeast Snapper-Grouper Longline Fishery; California Set Gillnet Fishery; Southeast Shrimp Trawl Fishery; California Drift Gillnet Fishery; Gulf of Alaska Flatfish Trawl Fishery; Northeast Bottom Trawl; Mid-Atlantic Bottom Trawl Fishery Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Longline Fishery; and the New England and Mid-Atlantic Gillnet Fishery.
According to the report, the Southeast Snapper-Grouper Longline Fishery is the biggest offender, discarding 66 percent of whatever is caught. In one year, more than 400,000 sharks were caught attached to longlines. Despite the staggering numbers, the group maintains there's a solution to bycatch.
“The good news is that bycatch is a fixable problem. We need to accurately count everything that we catch, limit the amount of wasted catch in each fishery using science-based limits, and avoid catching non-target species by using more selective fishing gear.”
Besides benefiting ocean life, reducing bycatch will help fishermen too. “By eliminating wasteful and harmful fishing practices we can restore and maintain fish populations that are essential to renewed abundance and healthy oceans, while also preventing the deaths of whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles."
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