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
World's first solar fuels reactor for night passes test
21.02.2018 | SolarPACES
Geophysicists and atmospheric scientists partner to track typhoons' seismic footprints
16.02.2018 | Princeton University
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences