Wednesday, March 02, 2016

ApriEco Gea Headlines (April 2016)

Scientists warned that low level coral bleaching are occurring on Australia's Great Barrier Reef due to high sea surface temperatures, and it could be exacerbated if the area continues to experience still and calm conditions for the next few weeks.......Great Barrier Reef hit by coral bleaching


  1. La population adulte mondiale est de plus en plus obèse...

    Selon une étude médicale publiée vendredi, l’obésité touche 13 % de la population adulte mondiale et pourrait atteindre 20 % en 2025. Cette explosion est liée à une alimentation industrielle et trop riche, mais aussi à des prédispositions génétiques.

    L’obésité connaît un essor dans le monde. D’après une étude publiée vendredi 1er avril par la revue médicale britannique The Lancet, ces problèmes d’extrême surpoids touchent aujourd'hui près de 650 millions d'adultes, soit 13 % de la population mondiale adulte. Ce pourcentage pourrait atteindre 20 % d'ici 2025 si le rythme de progression actuelle de cette épidémie se maintenait, prédisent les experts.

    "En 40 ans, nous sommes passés d'un monde où l'insuffisance pondérale était deux fois plus importante que l'obésité à un monde où les personnes obèses sont plus nombreuses que celles en sous-poids", souligne le Pr Majid Ezzati, de l'Imperial College de Londres, qui a coordonné cette étude.

    Présentée comme l'une des plus complètes réalisées à ce jour sur le sujet, elle se fonde sur des données concernant quelque 19 millions de personnes âgées de 18 ans et plus, vivant dans 186 pays. Par extrapolation, elle évalue le nombre d'obèses adultes à 641 millions en 2014, dont 375 millions de femmes et 266 millions d'hommes. En 1975, ils n'étaient que 105 millions. Une explosion liée notamment à une alimentation industrielle et trop riche, mais aussi à des prédispositions géné

  2. A total of 63 people have been killed and hundreds of acres of farmlands have been destroyed by flash floods triggered by torrential rains in northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan, the countries' officials said Sunday...

    Latif ur Rehman said that the rains started overnight and caused flash flooding Sunday in several areas of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killing 36 people. He added that another 27 people have been admitted to hospitals with injuries.

    Meanwhile in Afghanistan, the floods killed 30 people, destroyed over 20 homes, while communications were knocked out and several roads blocked by flooding, said Wais Barmak, state minister for the Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority.

    Most casualties have been recorded in the central Daikundi, Uruzgan and Ghazni provinces.

    Last year, avalanches and flash floods claimed the lives of at least 129 people in various provinces of Afghanistan, with the central Panjsher province being the hardest hit.

    Flash floods are commonly triggered during South Asia's summer monsoon season. Rehman says residents of scores of villages close to rivers have been given warning to vacate and leave for safer places.

  3. Les îles Palaos menacées de pénurie d'eau totale...

    L'archipel des Palaos, en Micronésie, frappé par une sécheresse due au phénomène El Niño, risque très vite de manquer totalement d'eau, ont averti lundi les autorités de ce petit Etat océanique qui ont appelé à l'aide le Japon et Taïwan.

    L'archipel de 18.000 habitants a déclaré le mois dernier l'état d'urgence en raison de la sécheresse. "Nous sommes en état d'urgence, il y a urgence face à la crise", a déclaré un porte-parole du gouvernement alors que se réunissait le Comité national d'urgence (CNU).....

  4. Vitamin D supplements may help people with diseased hearts, a study suggests...

    A trial on 163 heart failure patients found supplements of the vitamin, which is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight, improved their hearts' ability to pump blood around the body.

    The Leeds Teaching Hospitals team, who presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, described the results as "stunning".

    The British Heart Foundation called for longer trials to assess the pills.

    Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones and teeth and may have important health benefits throughout the body but many people are deficient...............

  5. UN: Over 130 countries will sign climate agreement...

    A record number of more than 130 countries will sign the landmark agreement to tackle climate change at a ceremony at UN headquarters on April 22, the United Nations said Thursday.

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the signing ceremony on the first day that the agreement reached in Paris in December opens for signature.

    The UN chief, French President Francois Hollande and French Environment Minister Segolene Royal, who is in charge of global climate negotiations, have invited leaders from all 193 UN member states to the event.

    The UN said signatures from over 130 countries, including more than 60 heads of state and government, would surpass the previous record of 119 signatures on the opening day for signing an international agreement. That record is held by the opening day signing of the Law of the Sea treaty in 1994.

    The UN stressed that the signing ceremony is the first step in ensuring that the agreement enters into force as soon as possible.

    It will take effect 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the secretary-general.

    A number of countries have indicated that they will deposit their instruments of ratification immediately after signing the agreement, the UN said.

    “Paris was historic,” Ban said in a statement. “But it’s only the beginning. We must urgently accelerate our efforts to tackle climate change.”

    The agreement sets a collective goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). It requires all countries to submit plans for climate action and to update them every five years, though such plans are not legally binding.
    AP -

  6. SpaceX successfully lands rocket on ocean platform for 1st time...

    SpaceX resumed station deliveries for NASA on Friday, and in a double triumph, successfully landed its booster rocket on an ocean platform for the first time.

    The unmanned Falcon rocket soared into a clear afternoon sky, carrying a full load of supplies for the International Space Station as well as a futuristic pop-up room.

    After sending the Dragon capsule on its way, the first-stage booster peeled away. Instead of dropping into the Atlantic like leftover junk, the 15-story booster steered to a vertical touchdown on the barge, named "Of Course I Still Love You."

  7. SpaceX-Rakete landet auf Ozean-Plattform: Punktlandung bei Seegang ...

    Zum ersten Mal ist die Landung einer Raketenstufe auf einem unbemannten Boot im Atlantik geglückt. Sie war Teil eines Versorgungsflugs zur Raumstation ISS - und musste bei Seegang genau auf einer schmalen Fläche niedergehen.

    Wenn eine Rakete von SpaceX startet, bekommt man den Firmengründer Elon Musk eigentlich nicht zu sehen. Höchstens kann man von ihm bei Twitter lesen, wie das ganze aus seiner Sicht gelaufen ist.

    Nun war das anders: Zum ersten Mal landete SpaceX eine Raketenstufe auf einer Plattform im Meer - und kurze Zeit später lächelte Musk bei der NASA in die Kameras und sprach von einem "Meilenstein für die Zukunft der Raumfahrt": "Ein weiterer Schritt zu den Sternen. Um den Zugang zum Weltall wirklich zu erweitern, müssen wir die volle und schnelle Wiedernutzung erreichen."

  8. An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale jolted 39 km off Ashkasham of northeastern Afghanistan's Badakhshan province on Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey said...

    The epicenter, with a depth of 210.42 km, was initially determined to be at 36.492 degrees north latitude and 71.1563 degrees east longitude.

    Strong tremors were also felt in Afghan capital Kabul, parts of Pakistan and India around 16:00 p.m. New Delhi time.

    Indian media reported that the strong quake hit the Hindu Kush region.

    Tremors were also felt in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Indian-controlled Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, said meteorological officials in New Delhi.

    People rushed outside from their homes and offices in New Delhi and Kabul, Xinhua's reporters witnessed.

  9. Cargo spacecraft Progress MS-02 has propelled the International Space State (ISS) upwards approximately by one kilometer, Mission Control near Moscow has said...

    "The orbit adjustment is over," a Mission Control official announced, adding that according to specialists the station would go up by another 900 meters to 404.3 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

    The adjustment of the ISS’s orbit was required to ensure the best ballistic conditions for the re-entry of the manned Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft (due on June 5, 17:14) and for the launch of the first space vehicle of the new series Soyuz MS-01 (due at the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan on June 21 10:46 Moscow time), Mission Control said.

    The Soyuz TMA-19M will bring back to earth Russia’s Yuri Malencheko, NASA’a astronaut Timothy Kopra, and the European Space Agency’s astronaut Timothy Peake, of Britain.

    The Soyuz MS-01 will take to the ISS the crew of the next space mission, Russia’s Anatoly Ivanishin, the United States’ Kathleen Rubens and Japan’s Takuya Onishi.

  10. At least 18 people were killed and 18 others injured on Thursday when a 80-tonne crane collapsed on a temporary structure during a thunderstorm in southeast China...

    The gantry at a factory in Dongguan city in Guangdong province fell on the two-storey building made of containers during the thunderstorm, which brought with it winds of up to 100kmph, said Luo Bin, deputy secretary-general of Dongguan municipal government.

    In all, 139 workers were in the building when the accident happened, said Luo, also the rescue department spokesperson......

  11. Eighteen people have been killed during heavy rains and floods over the past week in Saudi Arabia, the civil defence agency said on Thursday...

    In a statement, it said the toll covered much of the country, from Riyadh to Hail, Mecca, Medina, Al-Baha, Asir, Najran and Jazan.

    The agency said it rescued 915 people.

    Among the dead were two people reported by state television earlier Thursday as killed in the southwestern Jazan region, which borders Yemen.

    The pair died when three areas in the mountainous district were inundated by flood waters, Al-Ekhbaria news channel reported on its Twitter feed.

    The Saudi Red Crescent separately reported one death in Al-Baha, more than 300 kilometres (180 miles) north of Jazan city.

    Another 27 people in Al-Baha were injured over three days because of accidents during heavy rains.

    Severe downpours have struck Saudi Arabia this week, including in the desert capital Riyadh where schools closed on Wednesday after floods caused traffic chaos during a storm.

    1. Heavy storms have claimed the lives of at least 42 people over the past week in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, officials in the two neighbouring states said Thursday...

      Twenty-four people were killed in northern Yemen, while 18 lives were lost in Saudi Arabia in flooding caused by heavy rains, the officials said.

      Security sources said 10 people died in the province of Amran, north of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, and more people were missing.

      Flooding damaged several houses and cut off roads in both Amran and Hajjah, northwest of Sanaa, where 14 people were killed, some of them in landslides.

      South of Hajjah in the province of Al-Mahwit, a dam burst causing flooding of farmland and the collapse of bridges, the sources

  12. At least nine people have died and some 1,150 homes have been damaged in flooding triggered by torrential downpours in the Houston area this week, officials said on Wednesday, as forecasts called for more rain...

    Eight of those killed were found in vehicles that had been in flooded areas, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences and a local sheriff said, adding that medical examiners were working to confirm the causes of death.

    The National Weather Service said more rain is on tap for the city, the country's fourth largest, after a record-setting drenching that dumped as much as 18 inches (45 cm) on some parts of the Houston area on Monday.

    The weather service has issued a flood watch from central Texas through Houston and into large parts of Louisiana.

    There have been more than 1,200 water rescues during the recent flooding, with emergency crews shuttling people by boat to dry ground and picking up motorists whose cars were caught in rushing waters.....REUTERS

  13. Weeks of sweltering temperatures have caused more than 160 deaths in southern and eastern India, officials said Tuesday, warning that any relief from monsoon rains was still likely weeks away...

    Most of the heat-wave victims were laborers and farmers in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, though temperatures elsewhere in India have also hit 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).

    Schools were closed last week in Orissa until at least April 26. Officials in Andhra Pradesh were giving out free water and buttermilk to help people stay hydrated. And everywhere, people have been urged to stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day....AP

  14. Coral bleaching hits 93% of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef...

    Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering its worst coral bleaching in recorded history with 93 percent of the World Heritage site affected, scientists said Wednesday, as they revealed the phenomenon is also hitting the other side of the country.

    After extensive aerial and underwater surveys, researchers at James Cook University said only 7 percent of the huge reef had escaped the whitening triggered by warmer water temperatures.

    “We’ve never seen anything like this scale of bleaching before,” said Terry Hughes, convenor of the National Coral Bleaching Task Force.

    The damage ranges from minor in the southern areas — which are expected to recover soon — to very severe in the northern and most pristine reaches of the 2,300-km-long (1,430-mile-long) site off the east

  15. Historic climate deal to be signed in New York...

    Ireland is to join more than 165 countries at the UN Headquarters in New York later today in signing up to the historic climate change agreement reached in Paris last December.

    The agreement commits countries to cut global greenhouse gas emissions and slow the warming of the planet to just 2 degrees, or 1.5 degrees if possible.

    196 nations were party to the talks in Paris, with the 165 signatories representing a record number of countries to sign an international agreement.

    The previous record was set in 1982 when 119 countries signed the Law of the Sea Convention.

    However, signing up to the landmark deal, on Earth Day, is just the first step - countries must then ratify its contents within national policies.

    13 countries - mostly small island developing nations - have already done that..........

  16. Tchernobyl: 30 ans après le pire accident nucléaire de l'histoire ...

    Le nom de Tchernobyl restera pour toujours lié au risque nucléaire. Le 26 avril 1986, le réacteur n°4 de cette centrale ukrainienne éclatait. Il ne s’agissait pas d’une explosion nucléaire proprement dite, mais elle va projeter dans l’atmosphère plusieurs tonnes d’uranium. Un nuage radioactif se formera au-dessus de la centrale puis se répandra sur l’Europe entière. C’est le plus grave accident nucléaire de l’histoire.

    Le 26 avril 1986, les ingénieurs de la centrale de Tchernobyl se livrent à un test de sécurité sur le réacteur numéro 4. L‘expérience tourne mal. Le réacteur échappe à tout contrôle et explose. Une immense colonne de poussière radioactive est projetée vers le ciel. Dans les années 80, l’Ukraine fait partie de l’Union soviétique. Fidèle à sa doctrine du secret, le gouvernement de Moscou va d’abord essayer de dissimuler la catastrophe, mais il n’y parviendra pas bien

    1. Ukraine has held memorial services to mark the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster...

      In the early hours of 26 April 1986, a botched test at the nuclear plant in then-Soviet Ukraine triggered a meltdown that spewed deadly clouds of atomic material into the atmosphere, forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.

      Relatives of those who died as a result of the world's worst nuclear accident attended a candle-lit vigil in a Kiev church, built in their memory.

      Others gathered for a service in Slavutych, a town 50km from Chernobyl that was established to house many of those who had to leave their homes for ever.

      The founder of Chernobyl Children International, Adi Roche, is to address the United Nations General Assembly at an event to mark the anniversary.

      She has been invited to speak by the Belarusian government during its allocated time.

      More than half a million civilian and military personnel were drafted in from across the former Soviet Union as so-called liquidators to clean-up and contain the nuclear fallout, according to the World Health Organization.

      Thirty-one plant workers and firemen died in the immediate aftermath of the accident, most from acute radiation

  17. A magnitude 5.2 earthquake rattled the southwestern French city of La Rochelle on Thursday in the strongest quake in mainland France since April 2014, the Central French Seismic Office said...

    Local press reported witnesses saying the quake, which struck at 0845 local time (2.45pm, SGT), had caused buildings to shake, but there was no immediate reports of important damage.

    Though smaller tremors are frequent in mainland France, strong earthquakes are rare.

  18. Kosmodrom Wostotschnij Russlands neues Fenster zu den Sternen...

    Der zivile Weltraumbahnhof Wostotschnij im Osten Sibiriens ist Russlands Prestigeobjekt. Am Donnerstag hob die erste Sojus-Rakete nun endlich ab. Doch der Routinebetrieb wird noch auf sich warten lassen.

    Wo in Sowjetzeiten noch Atomraketen in ihren Silos auf ihren Einsatzbefehl warteten, ist heute morgen erstmals eine zivile Trägerrakete mit drei Forschungssatelliten an Bord gestartet. Pünktlich um 4.01 Uhr mitteleuropäischer Zeit hob eine Sojus-2.1a vom neuen russischen Weltraumbahnhof Wostotschnij ab. Der ursprünglich für Mittwoch angesetzte Start musste wegen technischer Probleme gestern früh zwei Minuten vor dem finalen Countdown abgebrochen werden. Mit dem geglückten Start heute konnten nun auch die um einen Tag verschobenen offiziellen Feierlichkeiten zur Eröffnung von Wostotschnij begangen werden – im Beisein des russischen Präsidenten Wladimir

  19. Helicopter firms are carrying out unauthorised sightseeing flights over the upper reaches of Mount Everest, Nepalese officials say...

    Sherpas have expressed concerns that vibrations caused by the helicopters could trigger avalanches.

    Tourist flights are not allowed to places above Base Camp which is at an altitude of 5,364 metres (17,600ft).

    But helicopter companies say they only overfly sights like the Khumbu Icefall and their flights are allowed.

    There has been no expedition on Everest for the past two years because of a series of disasters.

    Sixteen Sherpas died on their way to Camp One in an icefall in 2014. At least 18 climbers died at Base Camp after a major earthquake triggered a huge avalanche last year.

    After the 2014 disaster, authorities moved the climbing route to the middle of the Khumbu Icefall.

    It is a treacherous section that mountaineers must cross on their way up to the summit of Everest....BBC


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