Anniversaries marked this month include the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that buried Pompeii in 79 A.D., and the monstrous 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia that affected Earth's climate for years afterwards. Most recently, on August 25, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans and other areas along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Also on the list are the devastating Turkish earthquake of 1999, a killer volcanic eruption under Cameroon's Lake Nios in 1986, and the great Charleston earthquake of 1886. The latter was the first major earthquake in the recorded history of the eastern United States.
"We know that the Atlantic Basin hurricane season peaks from August to October, but long term prediction of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes is still a developing science," said Linda Gundersen, Chief Scientist for Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, VA. "These events all point out the urgent need to better understand Earth's natural processes and how to live with them."
Gundersen serves on the U.S. National Committee for International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), a joint initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). IYPE is a triennium event, celebrated around the world from January 2007 to December 2009. The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 2008 as the official year.
According to Gundersen, one of the ten science themes of IYPE is natural hazards, with emphasis on maximizing awareness and minimizing risk.
"IYPE recognizes that Earth can be a dangerous place. As our growing world population tends to settle along the coastal and mountainous areas of the continents, our communities become more vulnerable to the risks of multiple hazards," said Gundersen.
"We have made important strides in hazard science and reducing risk using scientific knowledge coupled with monitoring and warning systems. There is, however, much still to learn," she continued. "It is critical to partner with communities, engineers, government officials, and emergency preparedness personnel to successfully prepare for disasters and build resilient communities."
One example of this kind of effort is the Great Southern California Shake-Out to be held November 12-16, 2008 that will feature the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history. The event is a broad coalition of public and private organizations with the goal of inspiring Southern Californians to be ready for the next large earthquake and prevent disaster from becoming catastrophe.
To learn more, visit:Great Southern California Shake-Out: http://www.shakeout.org/
For more information on International Year of Planet Earth, visit http://www.yearofplanetearth.org.Linda Gundersen,
Ann Cairns | Newswise Science News
Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.06.2017 | Information Technology