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Posts Tagged ‘Asia’

Super typhoon Haiyan just broke all scientific intensity scales

November 8, 2013 Comments off

gizmodo.com

Writing for Quartz, meteorologist Eric Holthaus says that the super typhoon Haiyan about to hit the Philippines is the worst storm he has ever seen. With sustained winds of 190mph (305km/h) and staggering gusts of 230mph (370km/h), its “intensity has actually ticked slightly above the maximum to 8.1 on an 8.0 scale.” Updated: It broke 235mph. Videos of the impact added.

Holthaus says that Yolanda—its Filipino name—beats “Wilma (2005) in intensity by 5mph—that was the strongest storm ever in the Atlantic,” which makes it a member of the select club of Worst Storms Ever in the Planet. Only three other storms since 1969 have reached this intensity.

That’s certainly foreboding enough, but the humanitarian disaster that may Read more…

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Global increase in record-breaking monthly-mean temperatures

January 22, 2013 Comments off

springer.com  legalbrief

The last decade has produced record-breaking heat waves in many parts of the world. At the same time, it was globally the warmest since sufficient measurements started in the 19th century. Here we show that, worldwide, the number of local record-breaking monthly temperature extremes is now on average five times larger than expected in a climate with no long-term warming. This implies that on average there is an 80 % chance that a new monthly heat record is due to climatic change. Large regional differences exist in the number of observed records. Summertime records, which are associated with prolonged heat waves, increased by more than a factor of ten in some continental regions including parts of Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Amazonia. Overall, these high record numbers are quantitatively consistent with those expected for the observed climatic warming trend with Read more…

China Lashes Talk of Asian Missile Shield

April 12, 2012 Comments off

gsn

A senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official on Wednesday lashed potential U.S. plans to collaborate with partner nations in developing a ballistic missile shield covering Asia, China Daily reported (see GSN, March 27).

U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary Madelyn Creedon in March said the Obama administration was discussing cooperative missile defense with Australia, Japan and South Korea, according to earlier reporting. Any antimissile system for the region would be based on the developing U.S. “phased adaptive approach” program to deploy land- and sea-based missile interceptors around Europe, Creedon told lawmakers.

“The Chinese government always insists that (countries) should start by maintaining global strategic stability and promoting strategic mutual trust between major powers to handle the issue of missile defense prudently,” according to Luo Zhaohui, Asian affairs chief for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

“Building a missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific region will have negative effects on global and regional strategic stability, and go against the Read more…

Military spending in South-East Asia

March 23, 2012 Comments off

economist.com

THE tiny island-state of Singapore, home to just over 5m people, has a well-deserved reputation as a quiet, clean-cut hub for banking, lawyering and golf. Yet beyond the fairways it bristles with weapons.

According to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Singapore is now the fifth-largest arms importer in the world, bested only by some obvious behemoths—China, India and Pakistan—plus South Korea. Singapore accounts for 4% of the world’s total spending on arms imports. Its defence spending per head beats every country bar America, Israel and Kuwait. This year $9.7 billion, or 24% of the national budget, will go on defence.

These are striking figures, but then Singapore has been one of the Read more…

China Ups Military Spending

March 12, 2012 Comments off

the-diplomat.com

China’s announcement of a more than 11 percent increase in declared military spending, following two full decades of double-digit increases, raises several uncomfortable questions for Asia and the West. It’s natural for a rising power like China to develop capabilities to defend its expanding array of interests. On the other hand, China’s ascent has been made possible by a benign security environment that well served China’s goal of “peaceful development.” China’s growing military capabilities now threaten to upset that order in ways that, ironically, could complicate China’s security environment at the same time as slowing economic growth intensifies its internal challenges.

China’s defense spending – now officially $106 billion but estimated by the Pentagon and independent researchers to be more than $160 billion – is on track to exceed that of all its Asian neighbors combined within a few years. This is particularly striking in light of a wider Asian arms race: India is the world’s Read more…

With the Keystone Pipeline Stalled, Canada Turns to China

January 21, 2012 2 comments

as-coa.org

Canada plans to expand oil shipments from Alberta to British Columbia, in order to increase trade with Asia.(AP Photo)

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration denied the application for the Keystone XL pipeline, running from Canada’s tar sands to the U.S. Gulf coast. The proposed 1,700-mile-long pipeline would cost $7 billion and channel up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta to Oklahoma and Texas. Environmentalists raised concerns about the route of the pipeline, which would cross the ecologically delicate Sandhills wetland region, and could endanger the water reserve in the Ogallala Aquifer. In a statement, Obama said that the U.S. State Department did not have enough time to consider the application due to a February 21 deadline set by Congress. TransCanada, the company proposing the pipeline, can resubmit an application, with a route that would avoid the environmentally sensitive region. The 2012 U.S. elections also played a role. Nicole Spencer, director of energy policy at Council of the Americas, said: “[It’s] possible that once the (rather unusual) fervor over the pipeline has had a chance to wind down and the elections have passed, cooler heads will prevail.” With Keystone delayed, Canada—the United States’ top energy supplier—could seek a Read more…

India orders cull to tackle bird flu outbreak

September 21, 2011 Comments off

afp

Fresh bird flu outbreaks have been confirmed in two villages in West Bengal (AFP/File, Diptendu Dutta)

NEW DELHI — India has ordered the immediate culling of chickens in an eastern part of the country in a bid to contain an outbreak of bird flu.

Outbreaks were confirmed in two villages in West Bengal, which has been severely hit by the virus in previous years, a government statement said late Tuesday.

Samples tested positive for the H5 strain of avian influenza, popularly known as bird flu.

All chickens will be culled within a three kilometre (nearly two mile) radius of the focal point of the infection, the statement said, without giving numbers.

Eggs and chicken feed will Read more…