Sunday, November 17, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan from space and other climate news

While I made Super Typhoon Haiyan a lead story on Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday at Daily Kos, I haven't blogged about it here at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Time to remedy that error with stories from that OND as well as tonight's Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Dog origins).

First, NASA Television shows Super-Typhoon Haiyan Seen From International Space Station.

On Friday Nov. 8, external cameras on the International Space Station captured views of Super-Typhoon Haiyan which struck the central Philippines municipality of Guiuan at the southern tip of the province of Eastern Samar with a force equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.
Follow over the jump for what was breaking news last week, a University of Iowa story about the math of the recovery effort (yes, really), and other climate-related news.

Here's what the Chicago Tribune had to say at this time last week: Philippines typhoon kills at least 10,000.
Tribune wire reports
10:49 p.m. CST, November 9, 2013
Manila—One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines province of Leyte, a senior police official said on Sunday, with coastal towns and the regional capital devastated by huge waves.

Super typhoon Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of the area in its path as it tore through the province on Friday, said chief superintendent Elmer Soria, a regional police director.

Most of the deaths appear to have been caused by surging sea water strewn with debris that many described as similar to a tsunami, which leveled houses and drowned hundreds of people.
DarkSyde on Daily Kos made the storm his lead story last week in This week in science: Super Typhoon.  In this week's edition, he linked to the following article at NBC News.

Typhoon death toll rises above 4,400 as hospitals struggle to treat victims
By Alastair Jamieson, Susan Kroll and Erin McClam, NBC News
Storm-damaged hospitals in the Philippines struggled to treat patients as the United Nations on Thursday raised the death toll from the monster typhoon that ravaged the country to more than 4,400 — almost double the previous figure and far higher than an estimate given by the Filipino president.
The U.N. also said that more than 900,000 people had been displaced by the storm, perhaps the most powerful ever to strike land, and that nearly 12 million people had been affected in some way.

It warned that fuel in the devastated city of Tacloban was expected to run out within days.

The U.N. put the death toll at 4,460, up from the government's 2,360 figure, said Amanda Pitt, a spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. She cited the Filipino government in reporting the figure.
The good news is that the official death toll hasn't reached the estimated 10,000.  The bad news is that it is still rising rapidly.

The University of Iowa describes how one of its faculty is contributing her expertise to the relief effort in Typhoon Haiyan highlights disaster relief logistics.
UI researcher looks at better ways of bringing relief to disaster sites like the Philippines
By: Tom Snee
2013.11.12 | 11:31 AM
Typhoon Haiyan’s trail of destruction in the Philippines last weekend is drawing attention to the difficulty of providing relief services in a place where roads, ports, and airports are all but destroyed.

Ann Campbell, a professor of management sciences in the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, is an expert on transportation logistics, and one of her research focuses is finding more efficient methods for governments, agencies, NGOs, and businesses to transport relief supplies to disaster areas.

Campbell is using the tools of her trade to find a better idea. Her specialty—vehicle routing—uses mathematical modeling and high-powered computing to develop quicker, more efficient ways to move something from one place to another.

Most of her research is aimed at helping businesses build supply chains that reduce transportation costs and increases profits. But few transportation logistics problems are as challenging as disaster logistics, which deal in many more unknown factors and turns the objective of supply chain management—maximizing profit—on its head.
That's not the only climate efforts U of I is making.  The institution is also educating people at home about the risk, as described in Symposium addresses adapting to extreme weather in Iowa
December event will examine costs of climate change in the state
By: Leslie Gannon
2013.11.12 | 10:14 AM
Over the past few years, Iowa has been experiencing swings from one weather extreme to another. Scientists and others say the climactic fluctuations are expensive and impact Iowa agriculture, businesses, government, and people. A symposium next month will examine the challenges and costs the state faces in adapting to extreme weather.
The objectives of the symposium are to:
  • Better understand the current and future challenges facing Iowa due to extreme weather.
  • Identify leading challenges to key sectors of Iowa’s economy affected by extreme weather, the costs of these impacts, and how these sectors are mitigating and adapting to change.
  • Facilitate productive discussions among government and business leaders, policy makers and citizens about strategies for mitigating and adapting to extreme weather.
  • Generate policy options for adapting to weather extremes in Iowa.
Louisiana State University is another campus on the campaign trail working on surviving natural disasters, as LSU Geographers Launch Renewed Effort to Understand Community Resilience on the Gulf Coast describes.
LSU geographers recently received a grant to enhance research on community resilience along the Gulf Coast. This effort will supplement an existing project funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, or NIEHS, a division of the National Institutes of Health, for more than $25 million, carried out in collaboration with specialists from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

For the past two years, these researchers have been investigating records to identify resilient practices. The new research will augment that work by bringing in commentary by coastal residents who can speak about their actual experiences, providing more depth and insight than records can share.

A major benefit of this work will be to document what coastal residents have done to cope with extreme events like oil spills and hurricanes.
Keep up the good work.

Finally, Meteor Blades has several more stories on Haiyan under the category "climate chaos" in Green diary rescue: Residential solar in Arizona, climate conference in Warsaw, bad fish everywhere.  I recommend surfing over to his diary to read them and the rest of last week's environmental news.

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