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Typhoon heads for Japanese volcano

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Typhoon Goni, which was located just east of Taiwan on Sunday morning, is expected to track across the western side of Kyushu Island in SW Japan through Monday.  There is a risk it could bring up to 200mm of rainfall in 24 hours across Kyushu, leading to a risk of flooding and landslides along with the threat of Hurricane Force winds and a storm surge.  This comes as the Japanese Meteorological Agency issues a level 4 alert for a major volcanic eruption on Mount Sakurajima.

Mount Sakurajima is one of 16 ‘Decade Volcano’ around the globe, meaning that it is a potentially destructive volcano close to populated areas. The level of alert suggests that the local population should prepare for evacuation, which would be made more difficult by a Typhoon impact. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Antarctic research ups sea level rise estimates

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By Brian Kahn

The West Antarctic is one of the most remote places on the planet, but its fate is intimately tied with hundreds of millions living along the world’s coastlines. That’s because it’s frozen expanse contains enough ice to raise sea levels by up to 13 feet.

There have been multiple warnings of growing instability across the region and the possibility of collapse due to a mix of warming water and air and the topography below the ice. But the complexities of how much ice melts and when it disappears are still outstanding.

Simulation showing the major glaciers of the Amundsen Sea Embayment in West Antarctica over three centuries of sustained retreat Credit: Cornford et al., The Cryosphere, 2015

Simulation showing the major glaciers of the Amundsen Sea Embayment in West Antarctica over three centuries of sustained retreat

Credit: Cornford et al., The Cryosphere, 2015 Read the rest of this entry »