As of Friday August 9th, the heat wave in eastern Asia continues but in central Europe it has subsided. Some of the highlights below.
This map illustrates quite well where the core of the heat wave in China has taken place. It is dated August 1st, so you can now add 9 more days to number of days of “continuous high temperatures” which means days of 35°C+ (95°F+). Map from the Chinese newspaper ‘Global Times’.
On Wednesday August 7th Shanghai once again broke its all-time heat record with a 40.8°C (105.4°F) temperature, besting the record set just the day before (40.6°C/105.1°F), and also on July 26th. Prior to this summer, the record for Shanghai was 40.2°C (104.4°F) during the summer of 1934. Records in Shanghai date back to 1872. On August 8th the Read more…
Federal government announces special oversight for avian flu experiments By Carolyn Y. Johnson / Globe Staff
The federal government announced Wednesday a special oversight process for experiments that involve tinkering with a new strain of avian flu detected in Asia earlier this year, but the decision has not come without controversy.
Such experiments, which can produce forms of the H7N9 virus that are more dangerous to people, are aimed at understanding the pathogen that has infected more than 130 people in China and killed about a third of them. Researchers also announced Wednesday that they had seen the first evidence that the virus had spread from person to person.
The knowledge gained from this type of research could help prepare health officials for a potential pandemic and lead to the development of new therapies or vaccines, but also poses scary what-if scenarios, ranging from the accidental escape of a Read more…
“U.S. policy must create a climate in which a rising China is never tempted to use its growing power coercively within or outside the region.” – Richard Haas, chairman of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations
Ready for World War III with China?
Britain has about 8000 personnel in 6 countries.
France also has bases in 5 countries with 7000 personnel.
The Commonwealth of over 50 nations still are united by language, history and culture, and their shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. There is a movement in some member states seeks to establish a Commonwealth Union (CU) through the creation of a free trade area, visa-free travel area, common foreign policy and representation at the United Nations and Group of 20
Russian-Chinese anti-terror drills are in full swing with the latter’s tanks and gunships training at a military range in the Urals. It comes less than a month after joint naval drills, the largest of their kind China has participated in to date.
The joint counter-terror exercises, codenamed Peace Mission 2013, went live on Saturday and will last until August 15.
“The key goal of the upcoming maneuvers is to organize the joint work by control authority and troops to prepare and conduct military actions during the anti-terrorist operation. The maneuvers will take place in three stages, which include the re-deployment of troops, the planning of the operation and joint military actions,” a military press release said.
Maneuvers have been prepared by the United Strategic Command of the Russian Central Military District and the Shenyang Military Region of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
The drills at the Chebarkul military training area in the Chelyabinsk region involve 1,500 personnel, 600 of whom are Chinese servicemen. Overall 250 pieces of military hardware are taking part in the exercises, as Chinese troops brought along their own tanks, light reconnaissance vehicles, 120-mm self-propelled howitzers, 152-mm self-propelled guns, JH-7A ‘Flying leopard’ fighter-bombers and Harbin Z-9 gunships Read more…
SHANGHAI (AP) – It’s been so hot in China that folks are grilling shrimp on manhole covers, eggs are hatching without incubators and a highway billboard has mysteriously caught fire by itself.
The heat wave — the worst in at least 140 years in some parts — has left dozens of people dead and pushed thermometers above 104 degrees F in at least 40 cities and counties, mostly in the south and east. Authorities for the first time have declared the heat a “level 2″ weather emergency — a label normally invoked for typhoons and flooding.
“It is just hot! Like in a food steamer!” 17-year-old student Xu Sichen said outside the doors of a shopping mall in the southern financial hub of Shanghai while her friend He Jiali, also 17, complained that her Read more…
Governments worldwide are failing to do enough to tackle drought, which lacks the headline-making punch of a hurricane but can have an equally devastating human and economic impact, the UN weather agency warned Thursday.
“A flood or hurricane is over within hours or days. A drought can last weeks, months, a season, a year. But droughts can cause as many deaths over time as any other natural disaster,” said Robert Stefanski, head of World Meteorological Organisation?s (WMO) agriculture division.
Droughts in recent years have struck regions ranging from the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, China, India, Mexico and Brazil to the United States, Russia and southeastern Europe.
Droughts are estimated to affect tens of millions of people and cause tens of billions of dollars in economic losses every year.
They are expected to increase in frequency, area and intensity due to climate change, yet Read more…