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After Hurricane Maria, Dominica Seeks to Rebuild Itself Better

           

A woman walks through the streets of Roseau, the capital of Dominica, shattered by the passage of two category five hurricanes  - UNICEF / Moreno Gonzalez

via Google Translate:
un.org - reliefweb.int - 28 December 2017

Three months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Dominica, the population remains very affected. However, the post-emergency phase represents a series of opportunities to rebuild better and increase the resilience of the Caribbean island.

Hurricane Maria, of category 5, hit Dominica on September 18, leaving 15 people dead and about 57,000 people affected.

"Three months after the disaster, the situation is much better, but it is still difficult for many," said Luca Renda, the leader of the United Nations response team to the crisis in Dominica, in an interview with UN News.

"The basic needs are covered. The vast majority of children go to school and shops and markets have reopened. However, a third of the population remains displaced, staying at home with family or friends. Only 10% have electricity, and a third do not have direct access to water (potable), "said Renda, who is also coordinator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on the island.

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Humidity May Prove Breaking Point for Some Areas as Temperatures Rise, Says Study

           

Large swaths of the tropics and beyond may see crushing combinations of heat and humidity in coming decades, according to a new study.  Credit: Ethan Coffel

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Temperature and humidity based projections of a rapid rise in global heat stress exposure during the 21st century

sciencedaily.com - Source: The Earth Institute at Columbia University - December 22, 2017

Summary: Climate scientists say that killer heat waves will become increasingly prevalent in many regions as climate warms. However, most projections leave out a major factor that could worsen things: humidity, which can greatly magnify the effects of heat alone. Now, a new global study projects that in coming decades the effects of high humidity in many areas will dramatically increase.

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Scientists Link Hurricane Harvey’s Record Rainfall to Climate Change

           

Evading a wave in Houston after Hurricane Harvey hit on Aug. 25. Credit Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Attributable human-induced changes in the likelihood and magnitude of the observed extreme precipitation during Hurricane Harvey

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Attribution of extreme rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, August 2017

nytimes.com - by Henry Fountain - December 13, 2017

Climate change made the torrential rains that flooded Houston after Hurricane Harvey last summer much worse, scientists reported Wednesday.

Two research groups found that the record rainfall as Harvey stalled over Texas in late August, which totaled more than 50 inches in some areas, was as much as 38 percent higher than would be expected in a world that was not warming.

While many scientists had said at the time that Harvey was probably affected by climate change, because warmer air holds more moisture, the size of the increase surprised some.

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Hurricane Maria Has Made Puerto Rico the Land of Opportunity for Solar Power

           

Leaning on the lines.(Raquel Pérez Puig for Quartz)

qz.com - by Ana Campoy - November 11, 2017

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Seven weeks after hurricane Maria, the traffic lights are still down in San Juan. The narrow, cobbled streets of the city’s historic center, one of the island’s top tourist attractions, turn pitch black as soon as the sun sets. With appliances useless during the blackout, many of the city’s residents can’t cook, store food, or take a real shower.

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Power Line Fails; Darkness Returns to San Juan

           

A main power line failed Thursday in Puerto Rico, plunging several cities, including San Juan, into darkness. Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by Frances Robles - November 10, 2017

SAN JUAN, P.R. — A main power line that serves the northern half of Puerto Rico failed Thursday, knocking out electricity to seven cities that had only recently regained service and dealing a major setback to the island’s desperate efforts to regain normality.

Seven weeks after Hurricane Maria completely disabled Puerto Rico’s power grid, the island was generating just 18 percent of its electrical capacity, returning service to where it had been two and half weeks ago. On Thursday morning, the island had been at about 43.2 percent of capacity.

The disruption also me ant that many people no longer had running water, because pumping stations are powered by electricity.

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Puerto Rico's Storm of Misery

cbsnews.com - by Steve Kroft - November 5, 2017

Many Puerto Ricans have endured the longest blackout in American history following a direct hit from Hurricane Maria. Due to a multitude of factors, some say the lights won't be coming back on anytime soon.

It's safe to say that of all the places in the country, the one that is suffering the most right now is the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico . . . For the past 46 days, most of them have been without power, the longest blackout in American history. FEMA says it has distributed more food and water there than any disaster its ever been involved in.

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Is It Possible to Predict the Next Pandemic?

submitted by Carrie La Jeunesse

           

A livestock market in India - Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Large initiatives are underway to pinpoint the next big viral threats—but some virologists believe the task is too hard.

theatlantic.com - by Ed Yong - October 25, 2017

It’s been two years since an epidemic of Zika began in Brazil, three since the largest Ebola outbreak in history erupted in West Africa, eight since a pandemic of H1N1 flu swept the world, and almost a hundred since a different H1N1 flu pandemic killed 50 million people worldwide. Those viruses were all known, but no one knew when or where they’d trigger epidemics. Other diseases, like SARS, MERS, and HIV, emerged out of the blue.

Sick of being perpetually caught off guard, some scientists want to fully catalogue all viral threats, and predict which are likely to cause tomorrow’s outbreaks.

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Ocean Acidification Poses Threat to Sea Life, Research Finds

CLICK HERE - BROCHURE SUMMARY - Exploring Ocean Change - BIOACID - Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification (24 page .PDF file)

CLICK HERE - BIOACID - Exploring Ocean Change

news.sky.com - by Rebecca Taylor - October 23, 2017

Increased acidity in the oceans could affect many species including molluscs and corals, an eight-year study has found.

The research from more than 250 scientists also highlighted the risk of knock-on effect up the food chain.

Increased acidity in the oceans, called by some the "evil twin of global warming", compounds the effect of rising temperatures.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - More acidic oceans 'will affect all sea life'

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Warning of 'Ecological Armageddon' After Dramatic Plunge in Insect Numbers

           

Flying insects caught in a malaise trap, used by entomologists to collect samples. Photograph: Entomologisher Verein Krefeld

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Plos One - More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas

theguardian.com - by Darian Carrington - October 18, 2017

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

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The Great Thaw of America's North is Coming

Vladimir Romanovsky crouches as he collects temperature recordings beneath the forest floor (Credit: Anthony Rhoades)

Image: Vladimir Romanovsky crouches as he collects temperature recordings beneath the forest floor (Credit: Anthony Rhoades)

bbc.com - Sara Goudarzi - October 17th 2017

Vladimir Romanovsky walks through the dense black spruce forest with ease. Not once does he stop or slow down to balance himself on the cushy moss beneath his feet insulating the permafrost.

It’s a warm day in July, and the scientist is looking for a box that he and his team have installed on the ground.

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