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Satellites can spot tsunamis: study

uk.reuters.com

Satellites can spot tsunamis: study

WASHINGTON – Satellites can spot the leading edge of a tsunami, U.S. government researchers said on Wednesday in a study that might lead to better ways of detecting the giant waves and get people out of their way.

They went back and looked at satellite images in the Indian Ocean as the December 2004 tsunami raced across to destroy coastlines in Thailand, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. They found clear patterns in the water.

“We’ve found that roughness of the surface water provides a good measure of the true strength of the tsunami along its entire leading edge,” Oleg Godin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement.

“This is the first time that we can see tsunami propagation in this way across the open ocean.”

A giant earthquake in Indonesia triggered the 2004 tsunami, which killed more than 228,000 people.

Governments have since rushed to complete an early warning system of mid-ocean buoys that would detect such waves as they pass by. But such a system is imperfect and might miss areas, especially as the buoys cannot be placed everywhere.

Tsunamis can only usually be seen when they enter shallow water. In the depths of an ocean, the water they displace barely shows — although this tiny movement can also be detected by satellites.

The satellites that can do this, however, do not cover all the world’s seas.

Godin’s team found that tsunamis crossing the open ocean stir up and darken the surface waters along the leading edge of the wave. Many ordinary satellites can detect the dark pattern, they reported in the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences.

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Instantaneous flash of light, photographers captured images of drinking water bat

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Instantaneous flash of light, photographers captured images of drinking water bat

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BEIJING, September 18 power a thirsty bat toward the pond in preparation for digestion of its pressing of thirst. In this flash of light moments, its shadow clearly reflected in the water on the green.

According to Taiwan’s “Today News” 17 reported that 76-year-old wildlife photographer Tyler (Kim Taylor) in the United Kingdom Guildford in a garden pond before, wait for a few months before we captured images of this exciting moment Ning Zhu.

Because bats flying very fast, up to 32 kilometers per hour, and also fly at night. They are struggling to waving wings, the human eye can not see that pairs of wings.

However, under Taylor in the preparation of comprehensive, using ultra-sonic sensors and the Spirit 3500-volt flash, and finally to capture this wonderful moment.

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Dangerous hurricane heads for Mexico resort

060831_hurricane_hmed_315a.hmedium

Dangerous hurricane heads for Mexico resort

LOS CABOS, Mexico  – Hurricane Jimena grew into a highly dangerous storm as it raced toward Mexico’s Baja California peninsula on Monday, scaring tourists, prompting residents to sandbag homes and disrupting a top-level finance conference.

Jimena’s winds strengthened to nearly 155 mph (250 kph), almost reaching the threshold of a deadly Category 5 storm, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Category 5 hurricanes are the top of the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale and can be devastating if they hit land.

“I’ve never seen a storm this big in the 23 years I have lived here,” said local resident Caterina Acevedo in Los Cabos, a lively resort area at the tip of the peninsula.

“This one is really scary … but when I tried to leave there were no seats on the planes,” she added.

Much of Baja California is sparsely populated desert and mountains that are popular with nature lovers, surfers, sport fishermen and retirees. Los Cabos, which is more built up, attracts tourists to its golf courses, resorts and beaches.

Mexico, a major oil producer, has no oil installations in the Pacific. But ports in the area have started closing due to Jimena, which formed and built up quickly last weekend.

Economy officials from dozens of countries were due to meet in Los Cabos on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss tax havens, but the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development moved the talks to Mexico’s capital as the storm threat grew.

The meeting was “transferred to Mexico City because of the threat of severe damage posed by Hurricane Jimena,” the Paris-based group said in a statement. Jimena was located about 245 miles (390 km) south of Cabo San Lucas and moving northwest, roughly parallel to the Mexican coastline, at 9 mph (15 kph). Hurricane force winds extended outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from its center.

The Hurricane Center forecast it would hit the Los Cabos area on Tuesday and move inland on Wednesday, dumping 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 cm) of rain on southern Baja California. Los Cabos, normally bathed in brilliant sun from dawn to dusk, was overcast and drizzly on Monday.

The port of Cabo San Lucas was shut and a line of trailers formed as yachts, water taxis and glass-bottomed tourist boats were removed from the water for safety reasons.

Colleen Johnson, 55, who had just moved down from Canada, stocked up on water, batteries and canned food as she prepared to take shelter. “We’re a little leery but I think we are doing everything right,” she said at a Wal-Mart store that had run out of rain ponchos.

Civil protection authorities opened emergency shelters in schools for the area’s poorest residents, many of whom live in plywood shacks, but few seemed keen to leave and empty city buses waited for voluntary evacuees.

Mexico issued a hurricane warning for the area. The Hurricane Center predicted significant coastal flooding and said: “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.” Many tourists said they preferred to cut short their vacation than spend two days in a storm shelter.

“I don’t want to get stuck here,” said Neil Freese, 29, from San Francisco, as he hurried to the airport.

Jimena is the second hurricane of the 2009 eastern Pacific season to brush close to Mexico after Andres pounded the coast in June and swept a fisherman to his death in Acapulco.

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