john's blog

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Eruption at Mt. Sinabung, Indonesia

This term as I teach the course on risk and natural disasters, I am using the social site to store the lectures, as well as to report on disasters occurring during this period of time.  The eruption of Mt. Sinabung on Northern Sumatra is the most damaging event at the moment.

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American Geophysical Union Meeting

Not much blogging this week.  I am at the annual AGU meeting in San Francisco.  I blogged about this some time ago.  It is the major meeting in our field.  My first was in the fall of 1974.  I got off the elevator at the mezzanine level of the old Jack Tar hotel and I saw a huge crowd -- maybe 300 scientists.  That was 39 years ago.  The meeting this week has over 25,000 attendees.  It fills pretty much the entire Moscone center in San Francisco.  Quite a change!  Many great talks on earthquakes, climate change, typhoons, and other disasters.

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A Course on Disasters

This coming winter quarter at UC Davis, I will be teaching a course on disasters.  Because most of the books on this subject cost well over $100 US, and even over $150 US, I decided to produce an online course from sources at Wikipedia pages and various US government sources.  Since these are subject to common use licenses, reproducing subject matter from those courses is within the varous terms of use restrictions.  I will be making the lectures openly available here.  Interested students and faculty can feel free to us

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The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season: Why so few Storms?

As some may recall, the 2013 Hurricane season was expected to see an above average number of storms.  However, this season saw the fewest number of storms and severe storms in decades.  Some possible reasons are discussed here.

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Thanksgiving Week Storm on the US East Coast, 2013

The week before Thanksgiving in the United States is usually a time when many people travel to return home to family and friends.  Last week a major storm threatened to disrupt these travel plans, but fortunately did not to any great extent.  Animation of this weather event was captured by the NASA GOES East satellite as below.  Further details can be found here.

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Summary of Destruction from Super Typhoon Haiyan

A summary of destruction and death from Super Typhoon Haiyan can be found here.  This report is from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA)

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How do they measure those typhoon wind speeds, anyway?

A brief summary and graphic can be found here.

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Will future typhoons be stronger and more destructive?

Storm surge simulations of Haiyan and other cyclones, together with other types of analyses suggest this.  And many climate scientists think so.  What does this mean for countries such as the Philippines, which has seen death and destruction on an unimaginable scale?  For those trying to forecast the future, simulations offer a viable means of scenario-building.

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Death and Destruction from Super Typhoon Haiyan, November 10, 2013

For an update on the dire situation in the Philippines today, November 10, please go here and here.  The extent of the destruction is only now being revealed, and is similar to what was seen in Japan following the devastating earthquake and typhoon of March 11, 2011.

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Damage and Deaths from Typhoon Haiyan November 9, 2013

As of this writing, typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda has moved through the Phiippines, having killed at least 140 persons and possibly many more. Other information can be found here.  Haiyan now threatens Vietnam.  Evacuations are currently ongoing in the Da Nang area.  

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