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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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U.S. Report Says Humans Cause Climate Change, Contradicting Top Trump Officials

           

Smoke rose from trees burned in a wildfire in Wrightwood, Calif., last year. A report from 13 federal agencies says extreme weather events have cost the United States $1.1 trillion since 1980. Credit Jonathan Alcorn/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CLICK HERE - Climate Science Special Report - Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I

nytimes.com - by Lisa Friedman and Glenn Thrush - November. 3, 2017

Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report on Friday that says humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.

Over the past 115 years global average temperatures have increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to record-breaking weather events and temperature extremes, the report says. The global, long-term warming trend is “unambiguous,” it says, and there is “no convincing alternative explanation” that anything other than humans — the cars we drive, the power plants we operate, the forests we destroy — are to blame.

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Where Does the Ebola Virus Hide Between Outbreaks?

           

Photo by Steve Babuljak

ucsf.edu - by Samantha Ancona Esselmann, Samantha Hindle and Ben Mansky - October 24, 2017

Joe DeRisi, PhD, is a master detective of infectious diseases. No matter how obscure or complex, he says he’ll take on the challenge because “it could lead to new biology that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.”

That's precisely what happened when he stumbled on a clue to cracking the decades-long search for the place – or creature – where the Ebola virus hides between deadly outbreaks. . . .

 . . . In 2009, DeRisi began studying an incurable disease that was killing reptiles raised in captivity, a disease that caused strange neurological symptoms ranging from vomiting to uncontrollable contortions. They found the culprit – a previously undescribed arenavirus – and uncovered something surprising: the Arenavirus’s glycoprotein, a viral “access badge” to the secure insides of a cell, actually belonged to the Ebola virus.

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India’s Rising Temperatures are Worsening Its Dengue Crisis

           

Cases of dengue have risen sharply in India.(Reuters/Paulo Whitaker)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Dengue burden in India: recent trends and importance of climatic parameters

CLICK HERE - Increasing probability of mortality during Indian heat waves

qz.com - by Priyanka Vora - November 2, 2017

Even as several parts of India are in the grip of severe dengue outbreaks, a team of researchers has found clues to why the mosquito-borne disease might be spreading across the country faster than before. The answer lies in increased temperatures, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances.

A rise in temperature results in a shorter “extrinsic incubation period” or EIP, which is the time required for the virus to develop in the mosquito, the study by scientists from Hyderabad, Guwahati, and Liverpool shows. A shorter incubation period leads to higher transmission rates of dengue infection in a community, the authors said.

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Climate Change Isn’t Just Hurting the Planet – It’s a Public Health Emergency

           

‘Local air pollution around the world kills about 6.5 million people annually.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Doctors have revealed that millions are already suffering the effects, in the spread of infectious diseases, uneven crop yields and longer allergy seasons

CLICK HERE - STUDY - The Lancet - Health and climate change - The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: from 25 years of inaction to a global transformation for public health

theguardian.com - by Christiana Figueres - October 31, 2017

A report just published in the Lancet from the specially created Lancet Countdown initiative, reveals just how bad climate change is for public health. The diagnosis reveals that hundreds of millions of people are already suffering the health impacts of climate change. Its insidious creep is being felt in multiple ways: rising temperatures are hastening the spread of infectious diseases; crop yields are becoming uneven and unpredictable, worsening the hunger and malnourishment for some of the most vulnerable people on the planet; allergy seasons are getting longer; and at times it is simply too hot for farmers to work in the fields.

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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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Sea Levels to Rise 1.3m Unless Coal Power Ends by 2050, Report Says

           

The extra contribution to sea level rise from Antarctica will not kick in if warming is kept at less than 1.9C above preindustrial levels, the researchers found. Photograph: IceBridge/Nasa

University of Melbourne paper combines latest understanding on Antarctica and current emissions projection scenarios

CLICK HERE - Linking sea level rise and socioeconomic indicators under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways

theguardian.com - by Michael Slezak - October 26, 2017

Coastal cities around the world could be devastated by 1.3m of sea level rise this century unless coal-generated electricity is virtually eliminated by 2050, according to a new paper that combines the latest understanding of Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise and the latest emissions projection scenarios.

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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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