Too Little Water – Too Much Water

Flood and DroughtWow the climate is rapidly changing.  Bah humbug to all those climate deniers. In the Western US they are suffering from a severe drought and on the other side of the world they are having too much rain with sever flooding.  Unfortunately this kind of thing is going to probably get worse.  In the film 2100 it was said that if we did nothing to mitigate carbon levels that by 2050 Lake Mead would dry up and Las Vegas would be abandoned.  Could this happen much sooner than predicted? This kind of thing is happening at an increasing pace and people really should be worried.  But it is amazing to me how everyone just goes on with life as if everything is normal.

Lake Mead drying up:



Flooding in Italy:

It’s amazing how the US media does not really cover all the disasters hitting the rest of the world. It’s only about US disasters giving the impression that the rest of the world is normal. But pretty much what is happening in the US is happening around the world. The whole world seems to be under siege.

Categories: Climate Change, Flooding, Water | Leave a comment

The Okinawa Lights – Colored UFO’s reported over Naha, Okinawa, Japan

okinawa jan 24 - 2014 ufo

What appears to be a very serious sighting of lights over Naha, the capital of Okinawa japan has happened on January 24th, 2014. What is amazing about this sighting is it appears to be very similar to the Phoenix Lights sighting from 15 years ago.  But because of the better camera systems everyday people have we can finally see the ‘colors’ that everyone talks about.  Of course there has been no mention of this sighting in any major news stations that I can tell from Google searches. The only reputable news source is the Okinawa Times.  This is very strange considering the significance of this sighting. It’s amazing. I mean what kind of sighting would it take for news organizations to report it?   You can see here that simultaneous video was taken from at least three sources and I am sure many more. The question is what was it?  It does not appear to be Chinese lanterns because the objects do not appear to move or rise. And at one point three of the objects split in to two and take up a formation.  I don’t think it’s flares for the same reason. They do not appear to drift or anything. They give off really wonderful colors too.  Just amazing how this can happen and no one seems to really care or notice.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Here is the original report from the Okinawa Times translated from RocketNews:

At approximately 9:00pm on 23 January, reports started coming into the Okinawa Times about a strange array of lights over their capital city Naha. Japan’s Self Defense Force and astronomical experts are without answer, yet witness accounts and videos claim a dozen or so bright orange lights appearing to hang and shift around in the sky could be see in the area. The Japan Air Self Defense Force said that all their training exercises had finished at 7:20pm on that day and they never run exercises at such an hour as this phenomenon was said to occur.  Witnesses from the areas around Naha claimed to see “very bright lights moving in a curve, so I think it wasn’t an airplane,” and “10 lights moving until they gathered together and disappeared.”

Takeshi Miyaji, Director of Ishigaki Island Observatory felt that the phenomenon was “not astronomical,” observing that these lights appeared to hang in the air. Typical meteorites would streak across the sky at great speeds before burning out. However, eye-witness reports claim that these particular lights seemed to float around for about 15 minutes before disappearing.  Judging by the video, those lights kind of seem like flares they way they first appear high and then look as if they are gently descending before fading out. Then again, if that were the case, you’d also think that residents of Okinawa and especially those working for the Okinawa Times would be no strangers to such routine testing.  As with any mystery video of this nature, it’s all up to the viewer to decide.

Source: Okinawa Times (Japanese)

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Typhoon Haiyan leaves thousands dead

typhoon_haiyan from space

The Philippines was hit by another Super Store. This time Typhoon Haiyan.  The death tool wil probably be in the tens of thousands as it seems ten thousand died in one island so far.  I don’t know why they didn’t do more to evacuate from his storm, as it was advertised as the most powerful storm to ever make landfall.  It is now headed towards Vietnam and China. So the eventual toll will be even higher.  The Philippines was just hit by a large earthquake  earlier this year.  Another example of escalating global warming. It is sad that so many poor people who had very few choices had to suffer because out the industrialization of the west.

Here is the story from CBS NEWS:

Philippines-Typhoon- damage 4TACLOBAN, Philippines A weakened Typhoon Haiyan headed for Vietnam after devastating the central Philippines as possibly the deadliest natural disaster on record there.

As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone after the storm unleashed ferocious winds and giant waves that washed away homes and schools. Corpses hung from tree branches and were scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings, while looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water.

Vietnamese officials have relocated as many as 800,000 in preparation for the storm.

Philippine officials projected the death toll could climb even higher when emergency crews reach areas cut off by flooding and landslides. Even in the disaster-prone Philippines, which regularly contends with earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical cyclones, Typhoon Haiyan appears to be the deadliest natural disaster on record.

Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippine archipelago on Friday and quickly barreled across its central

islands before exiting into the South China Sea, packing winds of 147 miles per hour that gusted to 170 mph, and a storm surge that caused sea waters to rise 20 feet.

It wasn’t until Sunday that the scale of the devastation became clear, with local officials on hardest-hit Leyte Island saying that there may be 10,000 dead in the provincial capital of Tacloban alone. Reports also trickled in from elsewhere on the island, and from neighboring islands, indicating hundreds, if not thousands more deaths, though it will be days before the full extent of the storm’s impact can be assessed.

“On the way to the airport we saw many bodies along the street,” said Philippine-born Australian Mila Ward, 53, who was waiting at the Tacloban airport to catch a military flight back to Manila. “They were covered with just

anything – tarpaulin, roofing sheets, cardboards.” She said she passed “well over 100″ dead bodies along the way.

In the storm’s aftermath, people wept while retrieving the bodies of loved ones from inside buildings. On a street littered with fallen trees, roofing material and other wreckage, all that was left of one large building were the skeletal remains of its rafters.

haiyanThe airport in Tacloban, about 360 miles southeast of Manila, was a muddy wasteland of debris, with crumpled tin roofs and overturned cars. The airport tower’s glass windows were shattered, and air force helicopters were flying in and out as relief operations got underway. Residential homes lining the road into Tacloban city were all blown or washed away.

“All systems, all vestiges of modern living – communications, power, water – all are down,” Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said after visiting Tacloban on Saturday. “There is no way to communicate with the people.”

Haiyan raced across the eastern and central Philippines, inflicting serious damage to at least six of the archipelago’s more than 7,000 islands, with Leyte, neighboring Samar Island, and the northern part of Cebu appearing to take the hardest hit. It weakened as it crossed the South China Sea before approaching northern Vietnam. It was forecast to hit land Monday morning.

On Leyte, regional police chief Elmer Soria said the provincial governor had told him there were about 10,000 deaths there, primarily from

Super-Typhoon-Haiyan track

drowning and collapsed buildings. Most of the deaths were in Tacloban, a city of about 200,000 that is the biggest on Leyte Island. A mass burial was planned for Sunday in a nearby town.

On Samar, Leo Dacaynos of the provincial disaster office said 300 people were confirmed dead in one town and another 2,000 were missing, while some towns have yet to be reached by rescuers. He pleaded for food and water and said power was out and there was no cellphone signal, making communication possible only by radio.

Reports from the other affected islands indicated dozens, perhaps hundreds more deaths.

The massive casualties occurred even though the government had evacuated nearly 800,000 people ahead of the typhoon. About 4 million people were affected by the storm, the national disaster agency said.

Philippines-Typhoon- damage 4

President Benigno Aquino III flew around Leyte by helicopter on Sunday and landed in Tacloban to get a firsthand look at the disaster. He said the government’s priority was to restore power and communications in isolated areas and deliver relief and medical assistance to victims.

Even by the standards of the Philippines, however, Haiyan is a catastrophe of epic proportions and has shocked the impoverished and densely populated nation of 96 million people. Its winds were among the strongest ever recorded, and it appears to have killed many more people than the previous deadliest Philippine storm, Thelma, which killed around 5,100 people in the central Philippines in 1991.The deadliest disaster on record was the 1976 magnitude-7.9 earthquake that triggered a tsunami in the Moro Gulf in the southern Philippines, killing 5,791.

Philippines-Typhoon- damage 3Haiyan’s winds were so strong that Tacloban residents who sought shelter at a local school tied down the building’s roof, but it was ripped off anyway and the school collapsed, City Administrator Tecson Lim said. It wasn’t clear how many died there.

The city’s two largest malls and groceries were looted and the gasoline stations destroyed by the typhoon. Police were deployed to guard a fuel depot to prevent the theft of fuel. Two hundred additional police officers came to Tacloban on Sunday from elsewhere in the country to help restore law and order.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Aquino was “speechless” when he told him of the devastation the typhoon had wrought in Tacloban.

“I told him all systems are down,” Gazmin said. “There is no power, no water, nothing. People are desperate. They’re looting.”

Tacloban, in the east-central Philippines, is near the Red Beach on Leyte Island where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur waded ashore in 1944 during the Second World War and fulfilled his famous pledge: “I shall return.”

AP-Philippines-Typhoon- damageIt was the first city liberated from the Japanese by U.S. and Filipino forces and served as the Philippines’ temporary capital for several months. It is also the hometown of former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos, whose nephew, Alfred Romualdez, is the city’s mayor.

One Tacloban resident said he and others took refuge inside a parked Jeep to protect themselves from the storm, but the vehicle was swept away by a surging wall of water.

“The water was as high as a coconut tree,” said 44-year-old Sandy Torotoro, a bicycle taxi driver who lives near the airport with his wife and 8-year-old daughter. “I got out of the Jeep and I was swept away by the rampaging water with logs, trees and our house, which was ripped off from its mooring.

“When we were being swept by the water, many people were floating and raising their hands and yelling for help. But what can we do? We also needed to be helped,” Torotoro said.

 

Philippines-Typhoon- damage 2In Torotoro’s village, bodies could be seen lying along the muddy main road, as residents who had lost their homes huddled with the few possessions they had managed to save. The road was lined with trees that had fallen to the ground.

Vice Mayor Jim Pe of Coron town on Busuanga, the last island battered by the typhoon before it blew away to the South China Sea, said most of the houses and buildings there had been destroyed or damaged. Five people drowned in the storm surge and three others were missing, he said by phone.

The sound of the wind “was like a 747 flying just above my roof,” he said. His family and some of his neighbors whose houses were destroyed took shelter in his basement.

Tim Ticar, a local tourism officer, said 6,000 foreign and local tourists were stranded on the popular resort island of Boracay, one of the tourist spots in the typhoon’s path.

UNICEF estimated that about 1.7 million children are living in areas impacted by the typhoon, according to the agency’s representative in the Philippines Tomoo Hozumi. UNICEF’s supply division in Copenhagen was loading 60 metric tons of relief supplies for an emergency airlift expected to arrive in the Philippines on Tuesday.

“The devastation is … I don’t have the words for it,” Interior Secretary Roxas said. “It’s really horrific. It’s a great human tragedy.”

Challenged to respond to a disaster of such magnitude, the Philippine government also accepted help from its U.S. and European allies.

In Washington, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel directed the military’s Pacific Command to deploy ships and aircraft to support search-and-rescue operations and airlift emergency supplies, while European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso sent Aquino a message saying “we stand ready to contribute with urgent relief and assistance if so required in this hour of need.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered his condolences and said U.N. humanitarian agencies were working closely with the Philippine government to respond quickly with emergency assistance, according to a statement.

The Philippines is annually buffeted by tropical storms and typhoons, which are called hurricanes and cyclones elsewhere on the planet. The nation is positioned alongside the warm South Pacific where typhoons are spawned. Many rake the islands with fierce winds and powerful waves each year, and the archipelago’s exposed eastern seaboard often bears the brunt.

Source: CBSNEWS

Categories: 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, Cyclone-Hurricane-Typhoon, Flooding, Mega Disasters, Uncategorized, Water | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Incredible Japanese 2011 Tsunami video shows how fast it can happen.

Japanese 2011 Tsunami
I just stumbled on this video on YouTube which shows 26 minutes of the Japanese Tsunami about a mile or two inland from the shore.  What is amazing in this video is that as soon as the earthquake hit or about ten minutes or so afterwords. People were just milling about.  Then suddenly the government announced a Tsunami warning but many people were complacent and had no idea just how horrendous it would be.  You can understand why, they are in a river inlet about two miles from the shore and it seemed like a safe place.  about 2 minutes after the warning the river starts to rise just a little but there is a five foot barrier that appears to protect people. Who would imagine that the Tsunami would completely over run this town this far inland. 20 minutes into the video the entire town is completely overwhelmed by debris and rising waters that appear to rise about ten feet.  It looks like entire twos from the waterfront are being pushed and washed inland. So in this situation, you have to assume that its going to be bad and not be complacent.  They ran to a school but the water completely took over the first floor. Many two story houses looked like they barely stayed up.  It looks like people had ten to 20 minutes at most to get away.  I saw other video of people in cars stuck in traffic as the Tsunami hit so that may not be a good idea. I also heard many stories of people who went back for belongings and never made it out.  To make matters worse a fire breaks out just at the end of it – now that is a scary situation – earthquake, Tsunami and then fire!  Talk about the end of the world.

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Colordo is getting swamped with flash floods

ss-091213_colorado_flooding-teaseFor the last three days steady rains have caused massive amounts of flash flooding in Colorado especially the boulder area.  It’s funny what’s happening with the rain and weather now a days. used to be it might be hot in one areas and then rain in another. A little here and a little there. Now its all or nothing. It’s either drought and no rain  and scorching heat or it’ rain everyday for a week and flash floods.  This is not normal. But what is amazing to me is how you don’t hear any talk about how this is not normal. Everyone in the media goes on as if everything is normal. Why is that?  Is it just denial or a conspiracy.

The NBC News Report

Storm Chasers

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Something was going on in 2012!

y210892587024990

I watched a lot of YouTube videos in 2012 and a lot was happening back then but what is really amazing is how much as actually going on. it turns out a lot.  In hindsight we can look back and see it was an eventful year.  Here is a YouTube video that gives a small glimpse of just how much was happening.   What the heck were those sounds. Is something or someone underground. Maybe someone or something is doing giant underground work.  But why? I will get more into that later.  I guess we have a new category- “Strange Underground Sounds” and “Strange Sounds”.  That weird thing touching the sun was strange too.

Categories: 2012, Air, Earth, Earthquake, mass extinctions, Signs and Wonders, Tornado | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

At least 51 dead after massive Okla. tornado

A child is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., and passed along to rescuers Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school.
From CBS/AP/ May 20, 2013, 6:41 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY The Oklahoma City Medical Examiner said at least 51 people died when a powerful, 200-mph tornado ripped through the area Monday, and that they expect the death toll to climb.

Two hospitals confirmed they were treating a total of 120 injured, including about 70 children. The Moore City Police Department said it was impossible to put a final number on fatalities because there was still so much area to search, but officials expected the worst.

“Our hearts are broken for parents who are wondering about the state of their children,” said Gov. Mary Fallin at a Monday evening emergency press conference.

The twister, one of several created by a storm system that swept through nation’s midsection the past 36 hours, reduced homes and building to rubble in Moore, Okla., south of Oklahoma City. CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reports much of the area smelled of gas. An elementary, a high school, movie theater and hospital were among buildings hard hit.

A child is pulled from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., and passed along to rescuers Monday, May 20, 2013.

/ AP Photo Sue Ogrocki

CBS affiliate KWTV reported emergency personnel pulled several children out of the rubble after rushing to Plaza Towers Elementary school in Moore. All kids at the school were accounted for, with some minor injuries, but the building was obliterated from receiving a direct blow from the tornado.

One woman told CBS News affiliate KWTV she and her two children survived by hiding in the bathtub of their home.  “Everything is gone,” she said through tears. “Our whole house is gone. Everything except for where we were was gone.”

 

 

Aerials of tornado in Wellston, Okla.

 

Tornado destruction in Carney, Oklahoma

 

 Tornado touches down on Route 66

One emergency responder on the scene told Werner he helped a couple of individuals with lacerations on the back and head, as well as an individual with a spine injury.

“People are crawling from everywhere and anywhere,” he said. “It’s basically just a war zone.

Reporting from Moore, correspondent Anna Werner said people appeared to be in shock as they emerged from their splintered homes.

“There are a couple of people doing the only thing they can do, which is sit in their chairs on their front lawn,” Werner said.

The White House said President Barack Obama called Gov. Fallin to express his concern about the monstrous tornado and that he’s directed the government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide any assistance she needs. FEMA has sent a special team to Oklahoma’s emergency operations center to help out and dispatch resources.

Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999 that killed 36 people. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth’s surface.

Severe weather in Oklahoma on Sunday caused two deaths and at least 21 injuries. Earlier Monday, spokeswoman Amy Elliot of the Oklahoma state medical examiner’s office identified the two people confirmed dead from Sunday’s storms as 79-year-old Glen Irish and 76-year-old Billy Hutchinson. Both men were from Shawnee.

Tornadoes were also reported Sunday in Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma as part of a storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota. Gov. Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 16 counties across the state.

The powerful system spawned baseball-sized hail, and winds strong enough to flip over tractor trailers, littering them across a major interstate, reports Werner.

KWTV Oklahoma City’s Storm Tracker Radar

Forecasters had been warning of bad weather since last Wednesday and on Sunday said conditions had ripened for powerful tornadoes. Wall-to-wall broadcasts of storm information spread the word Sunday, leaving Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth grateful.

“There was a possibility a lot more people could have been injured,” Booth said. “This is the worst I’ve seen in Pottawatomie County in my 25 years of law enforcement.”

 

 

Massive tornado hits Okla.

Since Sunday, local emergency officials have been going from home site to home site in an effort to account for everyone. Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said that, many times in such situations, people who are not found immediately are discovered later to have left the area ahead of the storm.

A storm spotter told the National Weather Service that the tornado in Shawnee left the earth “scoured” at the mobile home park. At the nearby intersection of Interstate 40 and U.S. 177, a half-dozen tractor-trailers were blown over, closing both highways for a time.

Gov. Fallin declared an emergency for 16 Oklahoma counties that suffered from severe storms and flooding during the weekend. The declaration lets local governments acquire goods quickly to respond to their residents’ needs and puts the state in line for federal help if it becomes necessary.

A tornado rips through the Oklahoma City area Monday afternoonA tornado rips through the Oklahoma City area Monday afternoon

/ KWTV

In Wichita, Kan., a tornado touched down near Mid-Content Airport on the city’s southwest side shortly before 4 p.m., knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses but bypassing the most populated areas of Kansas’ biggest city. The Wichita tornado was an EF1 on the enhanced Fujita scale, with winds of 110 mph, according to the weather service.

Sedgwick County Emergency Management Director Randy Duncan said there were no reports of fatalities or injuries in Kansas.

There were also two reports of tornadoes touching down in Iowa on Sunday night, including one near Huxley, about 20 miles north of Des Moines, and one in Grundy County, which is northeast of Des Moines, according to the Des Moines Register. Six mobile homes in Earlham were damaged. Downed power lines have left about 11,000 homes and business without power across the state.

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Comet ISON: The ‘Comet of the Century’

Comet ISON from earthNASA’s iconic Hubble Space Telescope has snapped stunning new photos of Comet ISON, which could become one of the brightest comets ever seen when it zips through the inner solar system this fall.

Hubble captured the new photos on April 10, when Comet ISON was slightly closer than Jupiter. At the time the icy wanderer was about 386 million miles (621 million kilometers) from the sun and 394 million miles (634 million km) from Earth.

The new images are already helping astronomers take a bead on the mysterious Comet ISON, which may shine as brightly as the full moon when it makes its closest pass by the sun in late November. (The comet poses no threat to Earth, NASA has said.) [Photos of Comet ISON in Night Sky]

For example, the Hubble telescope photos show that ISON is already becoming quite active, though it’s still pretty far from our star. The comet’s dusty head, or coma, is about 3,100 miles (5,000 km) wide, and its tail is more than 57,000 miles (92,000 km) long, astronomers said. And ISON sports a dust-blasting jet that extends at least 2,300 miles (3,700 km).

Yet the comet’s nucleus is surprisingly small — no more than 3 or 4 miles (4.8 to 6.5 km) across.

This small core makes the comet’s behavior on its trip around the sun, which will bring ISON within 730,000 miles (nearly 1.2 million km) of the solar surface on Nov. 28, especially tough to predict, researchers said. Also complicating the forecast is the fact that ISON is apparently making its first trip through the inner solar system from the distant, icy Oort cloud.

So it’s difficult to know if ISON will live up to its billing or fizzle out like Comet Kahoutek — another possible “comet of the century” — did in 1973.

But Comet ISON’s relatively pristine state has a real upside to astronomers, who will study the material that sublimates off the comet to gain insight into its composition.

“As a first-time visitor to the inner solar system, Comet C/ISON provides astronomers a rare opportunity to study a fresh comet preserved since the formation of the solar system,” Jian-Yang Li of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., who led a team that imaged the comet, said in a statement. “The expected high brightness of the comet as it nears the sun allows for many important measurements that are impossible for most other fresh comets.”

NASA has organized a Comet ISON Observing Campaign to coordinate the efforts of observatories on the ground and in space. Hubble is seen as a key player in this campaign, along with a number of other instruments.

Comet ISON is officially designated as C/2012 S1 (ISON) and was discovered in September 2012 by Russian amateur astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok.

Hubble’s new ISON photos were taken just two weeks before the telescope’s 23rd anniversary. The Hubble Space Telescope, a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency, launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook or Google+. Originally published on SPACE.com.

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Why 1,600 years of ice melting in 25 years is a bad omen

A glacier in Peru has melted to levels not seen since the end of the last ice age
Ohio State University glaciologist Lonnie Thompson and a colleague examines dried parts of the Quelccya ice cap in this undated photo.
Ohio State University glaciologist Lonnie Thompson and a colleague examines dried parts of the Quelccya ice cap in this undated photo.
AP Photo/Handout photo by Ohio State University, Lonnie Thompson
Ice that took 1,600 years to form in the Peruvian Andes took only 25 years to disappear, according to a new study published in Science.

Lonnie G. Thompson, a glaciologist at Ohio State University, studied plants that had been recently exposed near Quelccaya, the world’s largest tropical ice sheet, located 18,000 feet above sea level. Analysis of the plants showed that the ice cap is smaller than it has been for six thousand years.

Ultimately, Thompson was able to figure out that 1,600 years worth of ice had melted in less than three decades. The culprit? Global warming, scientists told the New York Times:

[T]he melting now under way appears to be at least as fast, if not faster, than anything in the geological record since the end of the last ice age …

Global warming, which scientists say is being caused primarily by the human release of greenhouse gases, is having its largest effects at high latitudes and high altitudes. Sitting at high elevation in the tropics, the Quelccaya ice cap appears to be extremely sensitive to the temperature changes, several scientists said. [New York Times]

The glacier is melting so quickly, Thompson tells The Daily Mail, that he has had to archive some of the ice “at -30ºC so that creative people will have access to it 20 years from now, using instruments and techniques that don’t even exist today.”

That Peru’s glaciers are melting isn’t a surprise. Public Radio International published a story last year about a team of scientists who are doing everything — from covering ice in sawdust, to painting black rocks white to deflect heat — to slow the melting of Peru’s glaciers. According to glaciologist Benjamin Morales, the glaciers have lost at least 25 percent of their ice.

The melting of the glaciers could have a dramatic impact on Peruvians. According to Reuters, the “coastal region west of the Andes range, home to two-thirds of Peru’s population and 80 percent of economic activity, receives just 2 percent of the country’s fresh water.” Many people in the dry regions of Peru depend on the glaciers for fresh water, which is so scarce that the country is considering a $500 million project to drill a 12-mile tunnel through the Andes to bring in water from the Amazon basin.

“How much time do we have before 50 percent of Lima’s or La Paz’s water resources are gone?” researcher Douglas R. Hardy asks the New York Times.

Sadly, there probably isn’t enough sawdust to cover all the mountains in the Andes.

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Pollution linked to 1.2M deaths in China in 2010

A woman rides her bicycle with a protective mask in Beijing. (Getty Images)

A woman rides her bicycle with a protective mask in Beijing. (Getty Images)

By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News

More than 1.2 million people died prematurely in China in 2010 as a result of outdoor air pollution, a new analysis of scientific data shows.

The summary—released Sunday in Beijing and first published by the Lancet, a British medical journal—is based on 2010′s Global Burden of Disease Study and was reported on by The New York Times.

Air pollution led to 3.2 million deaths worldwide in 2010, the study found, with China contributing more than a third of them.

“Ambient particulate matter pollution” was listed fourth among the leading risk factors for deaths in China, the Times noted, behind dietary risks, high blood pressure and smoking.

Reports like these “are politically threatening in the eyes of some Chinese officials,” the Times reported:

Chinese officials cut out sections of a 2007 report called “Cost of Pollution in China” that discussed premature deaths. The report’s authors had concluded that 350,000 to 400,000 people die prematurely in China each year because of outdoor air pollution.

And:

There has been growing outrage in Chinese cities over what many say are untenable levels of air pollution. Cities across the north hit record levels in January, and official Chinese newspapers ran front-page articles on the surge—what some foreigners call the “airpocalypse”—despite earlier limits on such discussion by propaganda officials.

“Since the beginning of this year,” the Atlantic noted, “the levels of air pollution in Beijing have been dangerously high, with thick clouds of smog chasing people indoors, disrupting air travel and affecting the health of millions.”

The problem, of course, is not limited to China. In India, 620,000 deaths were blamed on outdoor air pollution in 2010, according to the study.

Urban air pollution is set to become the top environmental cause of mortality worldwide by 2050, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned last month, jumping ahead of dirty water and lack of sanitation:

Air pollution concentrations in some cities, particularly in Asia, already far exceed World Health Organization safe levels. By 2050, the number of premature deaths from exposure to particulate matter is projected to more than double to reach 3.6 million a year globally, with most deaths occurring in China and India.

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