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Sat, 29 Jan 2022
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Dust storms spread deadly diseases worldwide?

dust storm disease
© Tim Wimborne/Reuters
A dust storm blankets Sydney's iconic Opera House at sunrise
Huge dust storms, like the ones that blanketed Sydney twice last week, hit Queensland yesterday and turned the air red across much of eastern Australia, are spreading lethal epidemics around the world. However, they can also absorb climate change emissions, say researchers studying the little understood but growing phenomenon.

The Sydney storm, which left millions of people choking on some of the worst air pollution in 70 years, was a consequence of the 10-year drought that has turned parts of Australia's interior into a giant dust bowl, providing perfect conditions for high winds to whip loose soil into the air and carry it thousands of miles across the continent.

Cloud Lightning

Philippine storm leaves 106 dead and missing

Image
© AP Photo/Pat Roque
Two women scrape mud from the floor at her home after floodwaters subsides Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009 in Manila's Marikina City, Philippines. More than a month's worth of rain fell in just 12 hours as Tropical Storm Ketsana slammed ashore in the Philippines, killing scores of people and stranding thousands on rooftops in the capital's worst flooding in more than 42 years.
Rescuers plucked bodies from muddy floodwaters and saved drenched survivors from rooftops Sunday after a tropical storm tore through the northern Philippines and left at least 106 people dead and missing.

It was the region's worst flooding in more than four decades. The government declared a "state of calamity" in metropolitan Manila and 25 storm-hit provinces.

Tropical Storm Ketsana roared across the northern Philippines on Saturday, dumping more than a month's worth of rain in just 12 hours. The resulting landslides and flooding have left at least 83 people dead and 23 others missing, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said.

Many parts of the capital remained flooded Sunday, although waters were fast receding.

TV footage shot from military helicopter showed drenched survivors still marooned on top of half-submerged passenger buses and rooftops in the suburbs of Manila. Some dangerously clung on high-voltage power lines while others plodded through waist-high flood waters.

Umbrella

Flash floods kill five in Turkey

Flash floods and landslides caused by heavy rain have killed five people in northeastern Turkey overnight, according to local media reports.

The casualties included three members of one family who died when their house was crushed by a landslide on Wednesday night near the border with Georgia, Anatolia news agency reported.

A five-story building in the town of Kale collapsed and several buildings and a mosque in Demiciler were heavily damaged, DPA reported.

Bizarro Earth

Canada: Earthquake Magnitude 4.8 - Northwest Territories

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Friday, September 25, 2009 at 23:01:35 UTC

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 05:01:35 PM at epicenter

Location:
66.578°N, 131.165°W

Depth:
10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

Distances:
216 km (134 miles) SSE (149°) from Inuvik, NWT, Canada

247 km (154 miles) NW (307°) from Norman Wells, NWT, Canada

473 km (294 miles) NE (50°) from Dawson, Yukon Territory, Canada

779 km (484 miles) ENE (68°) from Fairbanks, AK

Bizarro Earth

Congo-Tanzania: Earthquake Magnitude 5.3 - Lake Tangayika

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 13:26:36 UTC

Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 03:26:36 PM at epicenter

Location:
7.592°S, 30.444°E

Depth:
10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

Distances:
25 km (15 miles) WSW of Kipili, Tanzania

135 km (85 miles) WNW of Sumbawanga, Tanzania

975 km (610 miles) W of DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania

990 km (620 miles) SW of NAIROBI, Kenya

Control Panel

It's Back: More Dust Blankets Australian East Coast

Dust Sotrm
© AAP/John Pryke
Dust to dust: Sydney landmarks have been covered again
Dust storms are moving through Brisbane and other parts of south-east Queensland this evening for the second time this week.

Residents in Brisbane say they can taste the dust in the air and it is visible at Robina on the Gold Coast.

Earlier today it caused more health problems in New South Wales.

Snowman

Leading global warming proponent pulls an about face

Imagine if Pope Benedict gave a speech saying the Catholic Church has had it wrong all these centuries; there is no reason priests shouldn't marry. That might generate the odd headline, no?

Or if Don Cherry claimed suddenly to like European hockey players who wear visors and float around the ice, never bodychecking opponents. Or Jack Layton insisted that unions are ruining the economy by distorting wages and protecting unproductive workers.

Or Stephen Harper began arguing that it makes good economic sense for Ottawa to own a car company. (Oh, wait, that one happened.) But at least, the Tories-buy-GM aberration made all the papers and newscasts.

When a leading proponent for one point of view suddenly starts batting for the other side, it's usually newsworthy. So why was a speech last week by Prof. Mojib Latif of Germany's Leibniz Institute not given more prominence?

Bizarro Earth

US: Earthquake Magnitude 4.1 - Eastern Montana

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Friday, September 25, 2009 at 15:11:34 UTC

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 09:11:34 AM at epicenter

Location:
45.016°N, 104.207°W

Depth:
4.5 km (2.8 miles)

Distances:
48 km (30 miles) NE (40°) from Hulett, WY

48 km (30 miles) NW (324°) from Belle Fourche, SD

56 km (35 miles) NW (314°) from Fruitdale, SD

69 km (43 miles) N (11°) from Sundance, WY

501 km (311 miles) N (8°) from Fort Collins, CO

591 km (368 miles) N (6°) from Denver, CO

Binoculars

Fanged Frog, 162 Other New Species Found in Mekong

Goniurosaurus catbaensis
© AP Photo
In this photo taken Jan. 1, 2008, released by The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) a Cat Ba leopard gecko, known by its scientific name Goniurosaurus catbaensis, is seen in Cat Ba Island National Park in northern Vietnam.
A gecko with leopard-like spots on its body and a fanged frog that eats birds are among 163 new species discovered last year in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia, an environmental group said Friday.

WWF International said that scientists in 2008 discovered 100 plants, 28 fish, 18 reptiles, 14 amphibians, two mammals and one bird species in the region. That works out to be about three species a week and is in addition to the 1,000 new species catalogued there from 1997 to 2007, the group said.

"After millennia in hiding these species are now finally in the spotlight, and there are clearly more waiting to be discovered," said Stuart Chapman, director of the WWF Greater Mekong Program.

Researchers working for WWF warned that the effects of climate change, including an upsurge in droughts and floods, threaten the diverse habitat that supports these species. That is on top of traditional threats such as poaching, pollution and habitat destruction.

Light Saber

U.N. climate meeting was propaganda: Czech president

Czech President Vaclav Klaus sharply criticized a U.N. meeting on climate change on Tuesday at which U.S. President Barack Obama was among the top speakers, describing it as propagandistic and undignified.

"It was sad and it was frustrating," said Klaus, one of the world's most vocal skeptics on the topic of global warming.

"It's a propagandistic exercise where 13-year-old girls from some far-away country perform a pre-rehearsed poem," he said. "It's simply not dignified."

At the opening of the summit attended by nearly 100 world leaders, 13-year-old Yugratna Srivastava of India told the audience that governments were not doing enough to combat the threat of climate change.