Wednesday, 30 December 2015

El Niño brings Christmas chaos

From Paraguay to the US, Australia to Spain, El Niño brings Christmas chaos 

Weather and climate are, of course, very different things. But the sheer concentration of extreme weather events around the world over the Christmas period has lent yet more weight to the idea that the world’s climate is changing, even if the effects are currently exacerbated by the effects of El Niño.

Read more >>>>

The Tornadoes in the US >>>

Floodings in the South Americas >> 

Monday, 28 December 2015

Also a Deltaplan for the UK ?

[From the Guardian] 
When more than 1,800 people died in the wake of the 1953 North Sea flood in the Netherlands, the national reaction was: never again. The resulting Delta programme to close off the south-western river delta from the sea was so bold that its name became synonymous with dealing with a crisis. 

For the Dutch, water management goes to the core of their national identity.The Netherlands has adapted to the changing nature of the threat. Today, the biggest danger is not the sea swallowing the land but the rain overwhelming it. The main focus no longer is building higher dykes and bigger dams, like they did after the 1953 flood. Instead, the Dutch have spent the past decade deepening and widening rivers, creating new side canals that provide extra capacity, and setting aside land as dedicated flood plains. More about "these projects" >>

Some people say the UK needs now also a Dutch-style national response, with the necessary funding. The British landscape demands it even more than the Dutch flat countryside. With heavy rainfall flowing down the hills into lower-lying areas, those places need investment in rivers and landscapes able to absorb that water, transport it away from homes quickly or temporarily store it on empty flood plains. We need to stop building in at-risk areas, setting those places aside as buffers to protect existing homes.

Different types of  Measures alongside the Dutch Rivers (Maas, Rijn, Waal, IJssel )

 Read more in the Guardian >>>

Saturday, 26 December 2015

The other Christmas Island and El Nino

Except from the "Australian Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean there is also one in the Pacific. This Christmas Island sits about as close to the middle of the Pacific as you can get.

The main island of Kiribati, a small island nation, is 3,300 miles from San Francisco, 3,800 miles from Brisbane and just 140 miles north of the equator. Its closest neighbor of note is Hawaii, which is still 1,250 miles away.

Some might say it’s as close to the middle of nowhere as you can get. But it’s at the center of one of the biggest climate events in decades. A super El Niño has raised water temperatures to unprecedented levels and it’s causing a massive coral die off.

read more >>>>

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Volcanoes on a Webcams

In the USGS Volcano Hazards Program Webcams you are able to follow several US Volcanoes by webcam.

To the list >>>

Monday, 14 December 2015

Population of the World

The 10 Most Populous Countries in the World (2100) India - 1,659,786,000 China - 1,004,392,000 Nigeria - 752,247,000 United States - 450,385,000 Congo - 388,733,000 Pakistan - 364,283,000 Indonesia - 313,648,000 Tanzania - 299,133,000 Ethiopia - 242,644,000 Niger - 209,334,000 Via

Friday, 11 December 2015

Nearly Half of Americans Exposed to Potentially Damaging Earthquakes

More than 143 million Americans living in the 48 contiguous states are exposed to potentially damaging ground shaking from earthquakes. When the people living in the earthquake-prone areas of Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories are added, this number rises to nearly half of all Americans.


Monday, 7 December 2015

Mount Etna erupts again

Europe’s tallest active volcano, Mount Etna, has erupted in spectacular fashion, filling the sky above Sicily with flame, lightning, and a gigantic ash cloud.

Mount Etna has been mostly quiet for two years, but after intensifying volcanic activity in recent weeks, things came to a head with the dramatic eruption you can see in the video below.

Source : Science alert >>

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Heavy smog in Beijing

While the governments of more than 190 countries met in Paris last week for the UN climate change conference to set targets on reducing carbon emissions China’s capital and many cities in the northern part of the country recorded the worst smog of the year with air quality devices in some areas unable to read such high levels of pollutants. Levels of PM 2.5, considered the most hazardous, crossed 600 units in Beijing, nearly 25 times the acceptable standard set by the World Health Organisation. The governments of more than 190 countries met in Paris last week for the UN climate change conference to set targets on reducing carbon emissions

Source >>>

Monday, 30 November 2015

Megacities face megafloods

Between 2030 and 2060, changes in population in coastal zones will leave urban populations in Africa and Asia exposed to flooding from storm surges associated with sea level rise. In Africa, Egypt will be among the worst hit, according to research from Kiel University.

Read more on the Geographical website >>>

Sunday, 29 November 2015

COP21: Why do two degrees matter?

Climate negotiators agreed in Cancun in 2010 to commit their governments to "hold the increase in global average temperatures below 2C above pre-industrial levels". BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath assesses the significance of that figure, and why it is seen as the gateway to dangerous warming - all in less than the time it takes to make a coffee.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Greenland Is Melting Away

Scientists know that the melting of Greenland is accelerating. As the temperature rises, large lakes form on the surface of the ice, which in turn create a network of rivers.

 Read more Times website >>>

Friday, 20 November 2015

The US Racial Dot Map

This map is an American snapshot; it provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country. The map displays 308,745,538 dots, one for each person residing in the United States at the location they were counted during the 2010 Census. Each dot is color-coded by the individual's race and ethnicity. The map is presented in both black and white and full color versions. In the color version, each dot is color-coded by race.

The full interactive map >>>>

About the Racial Dot map >>>

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Paris 13-11-2015

Theatre Bataclan, Le Comptoir Voltaire, Rue de Charonne, Restaurant Le Petit Cambodge , Pizzeria Casa Nostra, Stade de France.

Monday, 9 November 2015

The eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz in 1985

The Colombian volcano Nevado del Ruiz is an active stratovolcano with a history of generating deadly volcanic mudflows (lahars) from relatively small-volume eruptions.

In 1595, a lahar swept down the valleys of the River Guali and the River Lagunillas, killing 636 people.

In 1845, an immense lahar flooded the upper valley of the River Lagunillas, killing over 1000 people. It continued for 70 kilometers downstream before spreading across a plain in the lower valley floor. The young village of Armero was built directly on top of the 1845 mudflow deposit. Over the ensuing years, Armero grew into a vibrant town with over 27,000 residents.

On November 13, 1985, history repeated itself for the third time in 400 years, with another eruption and another deadly lahar racing down the River Lagunillas.

The eruption was not very alarming, but the lava flow combined with melting snow took everything resulting in a high speed Lahar on his way down.
This time, over 23,000 people were killed, including most of the residents of Armero.

More resources :
an Diego State University about the Nevado el Ruis >>>>
BBC "on this day">>>
A video footage about Armero>>
The volcaono that changed the course of risk management >>>

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

What's Up With the Quakes Before a Volcano Erupts?

EARTHQUAKES AND VOLCANOES are intimately linked. They are both products of the plate tectonic process that is constantly reshaping the surface of the Earth. But even beyond that, earthquakes are some of the best clues we have that a volcano might be heading towards an eruption. So, why are there earthquakes in the days-months-years before a volcano erupts and why do some earthquakes lead to an eruption and some don’t? Well, it is a little more complicated than it seems.
The "Whaleback" at Mount St. Helens seen in February 2005. The movement and eruption of this slug of magma generated earthquakes under St. Helens

Erik Klemetti on this issue on Wired >>

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Popocatépetl

The Popocatepetl in Mexico is a active Volcano.

Also last week Popo erupted on Tuesday, belching ash and smoke across blue skies. This mountain is 80km south-east of the capital, Mexico City. A national civil protection coordinator, Luis Felipe Puente, says the eruption rose 2,500 metres above the crater. The recently more active Colima, or Fire, volcano is roughly 400km west of the capital. [Source The Guardian]

More Resources
The Global Volcanism Program >>>
4 types of volcanoes >>> 
More active volcanoes on the world >>>

Friday, 30 October 2015

China announces that the One Child Policy is to end

China's Communist party has scrapped its one-child policy, allowing all couples to have two children for the first time in more than three decades 
In the late 1970s, the Chinese government introduced a number of measures to reduce the country's birth rate and slow the population growth rate. The most important of the new measures was a one-child policy, which decreed that couples in China could only have one child.

More resources:
The One Child Policy in a  Timeline >>>
The One Child Policy in a BBC Case study  >>>
China's One Child Policy explained >>> 
China one-child policy: Trauma and sympathy shared online >>
The China Population Pyramid >>>

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The flow towards Europe

Europe is experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Based on data from the United Nations, we clarify the scale of the crisis. More >>>>

Monday, 26 October 2015

Earrthquake Pakistan

USGS: Earthquake of 7.7 magnitude has struck northern Pakistan - witnesses report shaking buildings in Kabul and across northern India.

A powerful earthquake struck Badakshan Province in Afghanistan today and also affected a large area of Pakistan. According to the US Geological Service the magnitude 7.5 quake struck at 09:09 UTC (UTC), was 196 kilometers (121 miles) deep, and the epicenter was 82 kilometers southeast of Feyzabad, Afganistan in the Hindu Kush mountain range. Considerable shaking was felt in Khyber Paktunkhwa (KP), the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pakistan Administered Kashmir, Punjab, and Balochistan as well as in the capital Islamabad.

More about this earthquake >>>
Live updates >>> 
The effect of this earthquake >>>
Why earthquakes in this area >>
Earthquakes in the region (a animation) >>>
Afghan quake: The corner of a continental collision >>>
Teachable Moment presentation (PPT) by IRIS Portland University >>>

Friday, 23 October 2015

Hurricane Patricia

Category 4 Hurricane Patricia Threatens Major Mexican Resort Cities; Hurricane Warnings Issued

News >>>
WNYC Hurricane Tracker >>>
NOAA about Patricia >>>
Storm track Patricia >>>
Windpattern Patricia >>>

Extra resources
The formation of a Hurricane (Geo-animation) >>>
The formation of Tornadoes (a pearsons animation)  >>>

History of immigration to the US

In 1607, the English established their first permanent settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. Over the coming centuries, millions of people from around the globe were attracted to this New World that came to be the US for a chance at a better life. Today, more than 1 in 8 Americans are immigrants, and almost all are descendants of those born in foreign lands. This video with Animated map shows the history of immigration to the US

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Five migrant stories from Greece

Almost 600,000 refugees and migrants have made their way across the Mediterranean to Europe this year and the majority of those have landed on the Greek islands closest to Turkey.

Migration experts say the numbers arriving on the islands have surged recently to as many as 7,000 a day, trying to reach Europe before the weather worsens. The biggest numbers arriving in Greece are from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and some of the new arrivals on the island of Lesbos told BBC News their stories.

More on the BBC website >>>

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Volumes 1979-2015

This is an animated visualization of the startling decline of Arctic Sea Ice, showing the minimum volume reached every September since 1979, set on a map of New York with a 10km grid to give an idea of scale. It is clear that the trend of Arctic sea ice decline indicates that it'll be ice-free for an increasingly large part of the year, with consequences for the climate. The rate of ice loss in the Arctic is staggering. Since 1979, the volume of Summer Arctic sea ice has declined by more than 80% and accelerating faster than scientists believed it would, or even could melt. Based on the rate of change of volume over the last 30 years, I expect the first ice-free summer day in the Arctic Ocean (defined as having less than 1 million km² of sea ice) to happen between 2016 and 2022, and thereafter occur more regularly with the trend of ice-free duration extending into August and October. Source >>>>

Friday, 9 October 2015

Drone footage: Massive Indonesian forest fires

Forest fires ravaging Indonesia’s rainforests will likely release far more carbon dioxide this year than the entire United Kingdom. Exclusive footage from Greenpeace Indonesia, captured by a drone with a GoPro, shows just how big – and bizarre – the fires and fumes are.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Hurricane Joaquin

It has been raining for much of the week in at the US East Coast.......South Caroline, but a weather system connected to Hurricane Joaquin in the Caribbean is expected to make the situation worse. The storm is not expected to hit the eastern US, but the moisture associated with it is contributing to heavy rainfall, particularly in South Carolina.

 More on the BBC website >>>

The ESRI Public Information Flooding map >>>

Hurricane Joaquin on the world windmap >>>

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Glacier flood on Iceland

The Icelandic Meteorological Office has announced that the eastern Skaftárketill caldera in Vatnajökull glacier is emptying into the Skaftá river.

Large amounts of water collect in the calderas under the glacier due to volcanic and geothermal activity which melts the glacier above. The calderas have emptied on average every two years, causing massive flooding in the Skaftá river.

The Glacier flood may reach the Iceland national ring road

 More about the Glacier flood >>>

Monday, 28 September 2015

Map of the Arctic ocean

From The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC): On September 11, 2015, sea ice extent dropped to 4.41 million square kilometers (1.70 million square miles), the fourth lowest minimum in the satellite record. This appears to be the lowest extent of the year

So.........the Geography of the Arctic is changing......

A Update with this Map of the Arctic ocean with each country’s respective claim, the melting ice and new possible shipping routes

Friday, 25 September 2015

The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained

In a Nutshell Why is the refugee crisis all over the news? How is this related to Syria? Why should we care at all?

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


From the founders of Tomtom .

A mapcode represents a location. Every location on Earth can be represented by a mapcode. Mapcodes were designed to be short, easy to recognise, remember and communicate. They are precise to a few meters, which is good enough for every-day use

Mapcodes are a free, open way to make every house or location on Earth addressable by a short code. With nothing else except your mapcode, for instance, a navigation system will bring someone to within meters of your front door.

By example: my workadress:   
-  latitude/longitude 52.363323, 4.912090
-  mapcode: NLD 4N.0Q 

More >>>

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Where Are the Syrian Refugees?

Hans Rosling from the Gapminder Foundation After the tragic crisis in Syria, more than half of all Syrians have left their homes. Where are they?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Malaysia closes schools caused by smoke from Indonesia

Malaysian schools have been ordered to close as a worsening haze from Indonesian forest fires blankets the capital and neighbouring Singapore.

South-East Asia has suffered for years from annual bouts of smog caused by slash-and-burn practices in Indonesia's Sumatra and Kalimantan islands, but governments in the region have failed to address the problem.

Read more >>>
NASA sattelite images >>>

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Explosive eruption Japanese Volcano

Aso, one of the more dangerous volcanoes in Japan, had an explosive eruption this week. Based on webcam (see above) and news footage of the volcano, Aso produced a large, dark-grey plume of ash and volcanoes gases.

 Read more on Wired >>>
Does Japan's Mount Aso Eruption Affect Global Weather? >>>

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Syrians fleeing war find new route to Europe – via the Arctic Circle

Dozens of Syrian migrants have trekked to the far north of Russia this year in an unlikely bid to reach a little-known Arctic border crossing with Norway Up to 20 Syrians a month are crossing into the tiny Norwegian town of Kirkenes, where the average daily temperature hovers just below freezing.

 They tried the shores of Libya, the islands of Greece, and the plains of the Balkans.

Now it has emerged that Syrians fleeing civil war have found another route to the safety of Europe: the Arctic Circle.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Life on a tea plantation in India


The BBC's South Asia correspondent, Justin Rowlatt encountered obstruction from management when he tried to access a tea plantation in India. Several of the world's biggest tea brands including PG Tips, Lipton, Tetley and Twinings have said they will work to improve the tea estates they buy from in India after a BBC investigation found dangerous, disgusting and degrading living and working conditions. Harrods has stopped selling some tea products in response. The joint investigation by Radio 4's File on Four and BBC News also found that some tea estates break the law by restricting public access to workers' living areas..

Monday, 7 September 2015

How Big The Refugee Crisis Has Grown Since 2011

This GIF shows just how much the number of refugees seeking shelter and asylum in Europe and the Middle East has grown since 2011, when the Syrian civil war broke out.

The red dots show the surge of Syrian refugees into neighboring countries since 2011. The blue dots represent the total number of refugees and migrants that have attempted to enter Europe through the Mediterranean or the Balkans during that same time.

Source BuzzFeedNews >>

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Why Boat Refugees Don't Fly!

Hans Rosling from the Gapminder Fondation This shows you why the refugees crossing the mediterranean by boat, can't just fly to Europe.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Doggerland’s lost world

During the last Ice-age Great Britain was directly connected to the European continent.

About 100 km northwest of the Dutch coast we find today "The Doggersbank". A seabank in the middle of the Nortsea. An that is all what's left from Doggerland, essentially an entire prehistoric European country.
Looking at the area between mainland Europe and the eastern coast of Great Britain, you probably wouldn’t guess it had been anything other than a great expanse of ocean water. But roughly 12,000 years ago, as the last major ice age was reaching its end, the area was very different. Instead of the North Sea, the area was a series of gently sloping hills, marshland, heavily wooded valleys, and swampy lagoons: Doggerland.
However as a result of the sea level rising in the Holocene Doggersland disappeared beneath the North Sea.

National Geographic Education Has now produced a interesting map of Pleistocene Europe


 The Map with explanation >>>

More information about Doggerland >>>>

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Katrina 10 years ago

This week it is 10 years ago the Tropical storm Katrina moved over the caribbean as a very low pressure weather system and strengthened to become a tropical storm a moved west and neared the Florida coast on the evening of 25 August . 

But when Katrina hit the Gulf of Mexico coast of the US the storm had become a hurricane.

On the 29th of august 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans , water from the mississippi and the gulf broke through the levees andinundated the city in a short time.

What Happend in 2005 ? In short >>>
How Tropical Storms are formed >>>>
The Hurricane Katrina timeline >>>
How New Orleans Inundated >>>
The impact of Katrina on New Orleans in a few maps (ESRI) >>>
What Katrina left behind >>
The recovery from New Orleans >>

Hurricane Katrina Video, The Flooding Begins, New Orleans

29 -08-2005 Raw B-Roll shot during Hurricane Katrina as the worst of the hurricane hit east of the city in the Mississippi region, the worst of the destruction was just starting to happen in New Orleans, LA as the levees failed

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Coastal erosion at Skipsea

Evidence of coastal erosion at Skipsea. This footage was recorded in 2011. This section the road which once linked Skipsea with Ulrome has now been eroded away.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Doomes New Orleans Katrina 2005

For years man-made changes to the landscape of New Orleans have affected how well it could withstand the wrath of a powerful storm.

Monday, 24 August 2015

The infant mortality decreased

This data entry visualizes how infant mortality decreased over the last 2 centuries. Visualize the data on a series of world maps if you want to study how infant mortality is now decreasing around the world. This fundamental change contributed to the rapid increase of life expectancy of people around the world. Before the onset of modernity every 4th child died before its first birthday. Over the course of modernity the mortality of infants (children below 1 years of age) declined rapidly – first in the countries that industrialized early and now in countries around the world. This is shown in the following time series plot. [source : Our world in Data by Max Roser )

World Maps of Infant Mortality from 1830 to 2010 >>

Deaths of Infants in their first year of life (per 1,000 life births) >>>

Read the full article + data , diagrams and maps  >>>>

Friday, 21 August 2015

The port of Amsterdam

Every five years, in excess of 600 ships navigate along the North Sea Canal before mooring in and around the IJhaven in Amsterdam.This year with 44 historical Tallships and hundreds other classic sailing ships. The Port of Amsterdam is once again crowded just like the VOC days

Port of Amsterdam 400 years ago 

The port of Amsterdam during Sail 2015

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The 2015 El Nino will get stronger

US scientists announced in April that El Nino had arrived, but it was described then as "weak". Now Australia's Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could become a "substantial" event later in the year. Also NOAA updated in august their outlook for El Niño, calling for at least a strong event and possibly a record strong event by wintertime

Monday, 10 August 2015

Optimism for the Aral Sea ?

The Aral Sea is situated in Central Asia, between the Southern part of Kazakhstan and Northern Uzbekistan. Up until the third quarter of the 20th century it was the world's fourth largest saline lake, and contained 10grams of salt per liter. The two rivers that feed it are the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, respectively reaching the Sea through the South and the North.

 The Soviet government decided in the 1960s to divert those rivers so that they could irrigate the desert region surrounding the Sea in order to favor agriculture rather than supply the Aral Sea basin. The demise of the Aral Sea in central Asia was caused primarily by the diversion of the inflowing Amu Dar’ya and Syr Dar’ya rivers to provide irrigation water for local croplands.

These diversions dramatically reduced the river inflows, causing the Aral Sea to shrink by more than 50%, to lose two-thirds of its volume, and to greatly increase its salinity. At the current rate of decline, the Aral Sea has the potential to disappear
However A new study using data from NASA satellite missions finds that, although the long-term water picture for the Aral Sea watershed in Central Asia remains bleak, short-term prospects are better than previously thought.

Read more on the Science daily website >>

NASA satellite images of the Aralsea >>>

A map about watermanagement in Central Asia >>

Maps, facts & loads of information on CAwaterinfo >>

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Barack Obama’s clean power plan

Hundreds of businesses including eBay, Nestle and General Mills have issued their support for Barack Obama’s clean power plan, billed as the strongest action ever on climate change by a US president.

Barack Obama, in a video address, emphasised the health benefits of reduced air pollution from coal plants, and a duty to future generations as reasons for the clean power rules.

Read more in the Guardian >>

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Shrinking Lakes on the Mongolian Plateau

Lakes on the Mongolian Plateau are shrinking rapidly, according to researchers from Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. After analyzing several decades of satellite imagery, the researchers found that the total lake surface area had declined from 4,160 square kilometers (1,060 square miles) in the late 1980s to 2,900 square kilometers in 2010, a decrease of 30 percent.

Read further >>>>

Monday, 20 July 2015

Dissapearing coastal villages

Coastal erosion is in the UK a serious problem. For the residents of Skipsea, on the Holderness coast in the North East of England, coastal erosion is a fact of life. As the years pass the village has seen the sea claim more and more land and its future is far from certain.


      Some resources:

  • The BBC whith more about Skipsea and other lost villages >>>
  • Coastal erosion at the East Yorkshire coast  >>>>
  • A virtual fieldwork on coastal erosion made by The Georesources   >>>
  • A Geographical animation which shows the interaction between the sea and the coast  >>> 
  • Another Geo-animation about waves / beachdrift and currents  >>>
  • A compilation of aerial videos of Appleton on the Holderness Coast>>>

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The melting season of Greenland’s ice sheet

It appears that Greenland’s melt season is making up for lost time. 

After a cool spring kept Greenland’s massive ice sheet mostly solid, a (comparatively) warm late June and early July have turned half the ice sheet’s surface into liquid, well outside the range of normal for this time of year.

 Despite the ice sheet’s remote location, its slushy fingers reach across the globe, influencing sea levels and how fast the Gulf Stream current moves. As temperatures rise, its influence could grow larger as major summer melt events become regular occurrence.

Recent warming has already contributed to ice loss in some areas previously thought to be stable and sped the trip of some glaciers into the sea.

Read further on Climate Central >>

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Mount Ruang active again

THE ONGOING ERUPTION of Ruang in Indonesia is beginning to become a travel headache across the region surrounding the volcano. Ash from the explosions have now caused multiple airports across Indonesia to close, including in some of the popular tourist area of Bali.

Read further on Wired >>>