Windstorm Xaver struck the coastal countries of western Europe on Thursday with gale force winds and intense rain. Thousands of people were evacuated from coastal towns and cities in the UK.
Wind gusts of more than 140 mph (225 km/h) were recorded in the Scottish Highlands on Thursday 5th December.
The Thames Barrier was shut to prevent flooding in the capital from, what is thought to be, potentially the worst storm surge in 60 years.
Luckily the improved flood defences, early warning systems and rapid action from the authorities helped minimise losses from the storm in the UK.
Image: Computer model showing a large area of high winds in the lower atmosphere, pushing the waters of the North Sea into the coasts around western Europe.
(Picture credit: WeatherBELL Analytics)
Global damage from extreme weather and other natural disasters is set to break the $200 billion a year mark!
The cause behind this trend is a complex combination of many factors including increased population and urban migration, better economies, increased vulnerability and climate change.
The Risk equation is: Risk = Vulnerability x Hazard
We must act to reduce our vulnerability to natural hazards if we are to minimise our losses from these events.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I press video has been released!
Check it out here and find out how we know for sure that climate change is real and human induced greenhouse warming is making it worse.
The new Working Group I (WG1) report was released earlier last month and is one of the 3 main reports published as part of the fifth assessment report (AR5) which details our current understanding of the climate system and human induced climate change. The WG1 Summary for Policymakers can be found here.
Multiple academics from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds have contributed towards the IPCC AR5 reports. CGS’ Professor Piers Forster is one of a select group of academics chosen to lead the report.
The last few weeks have seen a number of eruptions from Italy’s Mount Etna volcano. The most recent eruptions occurred last weekend and were videoed by Dr. Boris Behncke.
At 3329m Etna is one of the largest active volcanoes in Europe and is constantly monitored for activity. Due its close proximity to dense populations and history of large destructive eruptions it has been identified as one of 16 decade volcanoes in the world.
This video captures not only the sights of a strombolian eruption but also the deep booming sounds. So be sure to watch this with the volume up!
Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung erupts in a series of large eruptions over the last few days.
The andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano lies in the Karo region on the island of Sumatra. More than 5,000 people have been evacuated from nearby towns and villages over the last week.
(Photo credit: THE INDEPENDENT)
With wind speeds of 195mph and a diameter exceeding 1000km the category 5 super typhoon Haiyan could well be the largest storm in history!
Although the record books are probably the last thing the people of Philippines are worried about right now as the storm ravages the country.
The above image from the Guardian website shows the expected path of the typhoon over the next few days. The storm is expected to decrease in strength as it moves across the South China Sea.
CGS and Leeds academic Professor Piers Forster giving an excellent overview of the new IPCC fifth assessment report (AR5) on climate change. This was the largest public gathering in the UK since the release of the report in Stockholm earlier in the month.
Piers is one of the lead authors of the new report.
“Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” is agreed by experts to be the most basic and consistent way to reduce your risk of injury during strong ground motion (earthquakes).
Marketing this message over different countries has produced many varied ways of getting the message across. Here’s a video released by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Authority.
Landslides are one of the more frequent geohazards. They often occur after heavy rainfalls in mountainous areas. Earthquakes are also notorious for triggering landslides. The Great Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 (over 70,000 deaths) triggered more than 60,000 landslides.
Landslides can be generally termed as secondary hazards; in that they often occur after a primary hazard such as an earthquake or heavy rainfall due to large storms.
They are a very important consideration when assessing for disaster risk reduction. Many lives were lost after the Wenchuan earthquake because landslides had covered up roads and blocked access routes for aid workers.
Photo credits: The Big Picture: An earthquake triggered landslide after the 2013 M6.6 earthquake in the Ghansu Province of China.