Kepler habitable

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

West Sussex floods prompt more than 600 emergency calls - Chichester Observer

IN the last 24 hours West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has received more than 600 emergency calls.
“Our fire and rescue crews have been working throughout the night and this morning in response to the severe weather conditions experienced across the county,” said a fire service spokeswoman.
Here’s a round-up of the incidents in the Observer area:
Fire crews were called to Lloyds bank in East Street, Chichester, at 3.10pm yesterday (December 23), as one square metre of tiles were loose on the vertical panel at front of building. The tiles were removed by fire crews.
At 7.20pm, firefighters were called to a house in East Street, Petworth, after flooding in a cellar. The water was pumped out by firefighters.
At 8.15pm, Petworth firefighters went to the A285 at Upwaltham to a car stuck in flood water. One person was trapped in the car, and firefighters assisted them, and removed the car from the water.
At 8.15pm firefighters from Midhurst went to the A272 at Midhurst as two people were trapped in a car submerged in flood water. They were rescued by fire crews.
The same thing happened in Heyshott at 8.35pm – two people were trapped in a vehicle which was stuck in fast flowing water.
Petworth firefighters went to Station Road in Petworth at 8.44pm, after a car crashed into a landslide.
The vehicle was dug out and the incident was left with police.
At 9.15pm, Storrington and Petworth firefighters were called to Kirdford after three people were trapped on a bridge in flood water. There was a fallen tree which prevented their escape. They were rescued by firefighters.
At 11pm, a large tree came down on the A283 at Fittleworth.
There were also multiple cars marooned in flood water, so the tree was cut up and removed from the road.
Just past midnight on Christmas Eve, Midhurst firefighters went to a house in Trotton as flood water entered the cellar affecting the boiler. They pumped out the water at left at 1.55am.
East Wittering fire crews were dispatched to Lurgashall at 3.18am after the ground floor of a home in Jobsons Lane was flooded.
The water was reduced to a safe level.
Chichester firefighters were dispatched to Heyshott at 3.30am after a cottage in Bex Lane was flooded. The crew assisted the occupier and diverted the water.
East Wittering firefighters headed to the A272 at Midhurst at 4.40am where a person was trapped in their car which was submerged in flood water.
The car was moved and the person was taken to safety.
A house in Burely Close Loxwood flooded and three people and a dog were rescued by Horsham’s fire crew at 5.50am.
In Wisborough Green, Petworth firefighters rescued a man from his car, which was trapped in flood water on the A272 at 7am.
Then a cottage in Glasshouse Lane, Kirdford was flooded, and Petworth fire crews pumped out the house at 8.30am.
Midhurst firefighters were called to Ashfield Road, in Midhurst, to flood water affecting four homes at 8.20am.
The water was pumped to a safe level.
“A reminder to all that due to the Fire Brigades Union strike between 7pm and midnight tonight West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service will still be responding to 999 calls but will be operating with a reduced number of resources,” said the fire service spokeswoman.
“Advice to everyone is to take extra care and visit our website for free fire and road safety advice.
Click here to visit the fire service website.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Earth's Tides and the Moon

Watch out for climate 'surprises,' scientists warn-10th most at risk: Ethiopia

A farmer and his children plant a field with bean seeds and fertilizer in southern Ethiopia in 2008, a year after severe floods in the country destroyed most of the food crop. Ethiopia is the 10th most vulnerable country to climate change impacts, <a href=''>according to a report by Maplecroft</a>.A farmer and his children plant a field with bean seeds and fertilizer in southern Ethiopia in 2008, a year after severe floods in the country destroyed most of the food crop. Ethiopia is the 10th most vulnerable country to climate change impacts,

The long, slow process of climate change may trigger "surprise" shifts that could threaten human communities in years or decades, researchers from the National Academy of Sciences warned Tuesday. In a 200-page report, the scientists call for an early-warning system that would watch bellwethers like Midwestern aquifers, Antarctic ice sheets and tropical coral reefs for signs that a "tipping point" is coming. Accelerated environmental changes can already be seen in the loss of Arctic sea ice and bigger wildfires since 1980, the authors said. "A lot of these things require not only monitoring what's going on out there in the natural world as well as monitoring what we do in the human-built environment as well; how much dollar-wise do we have at risk?" said Jim White, who led the committee that produced Tuesday's report. The committee didn't calculate the cost of establishing an early climate warning network. But even in a time of tight budgets, White said, the cost would be "trivial compared to the cost of the assets at risk." Media's global warming fail Photos: Climate change and human conflict Photos: Climate change and human conflict Follow CNN Science News Facebook: CNNScience Twitter: @CNNLightYears "We have trillions of dollars of infrastructure in cities along the coast alone," said White, a geochemist and paleoclimatologist at the University of Colorado. When a bank wants to protect the money in its vaults, "You don't crab about how much the cameras cost," he said. But, he added, "at a time when we should be understanding more and observing more about our environment, we're actually observing less." The idea of long-term climate change driven largely by the use of fossil fuels, which release heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, is controversial politically but accepted as fact by most researchers. The concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide hit a concentration unseen since prehistoric times at the benchmark Mauna Loa observatory in May, and scientists reported in 2012 that the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica were losing mass at an accelerating rate. Tuesday's report states that there's a high risk of increased extinctions of land and sea life and the disappearance of the Arctic icecap in summers within this century. There's a moderate risk of increased heat waves, a decline in ocean oxygen levels and rapid changes to ecosystems that would threaten food and water supplies, the scientists note. Watching for those symptoms would give communities that depend on those ecosystems the ability to adapt, White said. City-size iceberg drifts from Antarctica And there's a "probably low" but unknown risk that warmer rising seas could undermine the ice sheet that covers western Antarctica, raising average sea levels far more and more quickly than the roughly 1 meter (3 feet) they're now projected to increase by 2100. That would make it much harder for coastal cities like Miami, which is already seen as the U.S. city most vulnerable to climate change, to adapt in time. "Warm water, as one could imagine, is the enemy of ice, and we don't monitor ocean currents and ocean temperatures near the ice sheet nearly as much as we should," White said. Other feared effects -- such as the sudden release of large volumes of methane from thawing Arctic tundra or the disruption of the Atlantic Ocean currents that carry warm water into the northern latitudes -- were given a low chance of occurring on a rapid scale. That's not to say that they won't happen, just that they're likely to happen gradually, White said. Global average temperatures are up about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) since the 1880s, according to NASA. The United Nations has been trying to get member nations to reduce carbon emissions enough to limit warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 F). But in a paper published the same day as the National Academy's report, NASA's former top climate scientist warned that a 2-degree increase would still inflict "irreparable harm" on future generations. "These growing climate impacts, many more rapid than anticipated and occurring while global warming is less than 1 degree C, imply that society should reassess what constitutes a 'dangerous level' of global warming," James Hansen, now the head of the climate science program at Columbia University in New York, wrote in the online, peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS One. Continuing to burn fossil fuels at today's rates "would be an act of extraordinary witting intergenerational injustice," Hansen and his colleagues concluded.