Chikungunya Map: Areas at Higher Risk in Dhaka

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. It is an RNA virus that belongs to the alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae. The name “chikungunya” derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain (arthralgia). Recently it has been much evident in Dhaka city like other areas of Bangladesh.

Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research or IEDCR gave a list of the locations while presenting a research paper at the Secretariat on Thursday.  The areas are Dhanmondi 32,  Sector 4 and Sector 9 of Uttara, Maddhya Badda, Gulshan 1, Lalmatia, Pallabi, Moghbazar, Malibagh Chowdhury Para, Rampura, Tejgaon, Banani, Noyatola, Kuril, Pirerbag, Rayerbazar, Shyamoli, Monipuripara, Mohammadpur, Mohakhali, Mirpur-1 and Korail slum.

Symptoms

  • Most people infected with chikungunya virus will develop some symptoms.
  • Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
  • The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain.
  • Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
  • Chikungunya disease does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling.
  • Most patients feel better within a week. In some people, the joint pain may persist for months.
  • People at risk for more severe disease include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (≥65 years), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.
  • Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

Diagnosis

  • The symptoms of chikungunya are similar to those of dengue and Zika, diseases spread by the same mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya.
  • See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where chikungunya is found.
  • If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
  • Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for chikungunya or other similar viruses like dengue and Zika.

Treatment

  • There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus.
  • Treat the symptoms:
    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
    • Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain.
    • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding).
    • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
  • If you have chikungunya, prevent mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
    • During the first week of infection, chikungunya virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites.
    • An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.

Source: WHO; CDC

Cyclone Mora : Probable Impact Areas in Bangladesh

Potential storm surge flooding from Tropical Cyclone Mora in southeast Bangladesh indicated by aqua-colored arrows.  (Google Maps)

According to satellite imagery, Mora’s maximum surface sustained winds were about 83 km/h (52 mph) with gusts to 102 km/h (63 mph). The estimated central pressure was about 992 hPa.

Tropical Cyclone Mora forecast track by RSMC New Delhi May 29, 2017

The system is likely to intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during the next 12 hours, the center said. It is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross Bangladesh coast near Chittagong on May 30 (morning, local time).

Bangladesh meteorological department’s special weather bulletin: sl. No. 14 (fourteen), [date: 30.05.2017]

The severe cyclonic storm ‘MORA’ (ecp 990 HPA) over north Bay and adjoining east central Bay moved slightly northwards and lies over the same area (near lat 19.5°n and long 91.3°e) and was centred at midnight last night (the 29 may 2017) about 305 kms south of Chittagong port, 230 kms south of Cox’s bazar port, 380 kms South-Southeast of Mongla port and 300 kms South-Southeast of Payra port. It is likely to intensify further, move in a northerly direction and may cross Chittagong – Cox’s bazar coast by morning of 30 may 2017.

Under the peripheral influence of severe cyclonic storm ‘MORA’ gusty/squally wind with rain/ thunder showers is likely to continue over north bay and the coastal districts and maritime ports of Bangladesh.

Maximum sustained wind speed within 64 kms of the cyclone centre is about 89 kph rising to 117 kph in gusts/squalls. Sea will remain high near the system.

Maritime ports of Chittagong and Cox’s bazar have been advised to keep hoisted great danger signal nubmer ten (r) ten.

Coastal districts of Chittagong, Cox’s bazar, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars will come under danger signal number ten (r) ten.
Maritime ports of Mongla and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted great danger signal nubmer eight (r) eight.

Coastal districts of Bhola, Borguna, Patuakhali, Barisal, Pirozpur, Jhalokathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars will come under danger signal number eight (r) eight.

Mora Impact Area and Shelter Location

Under the influence of the severe cyclonic storm ‘mora’ the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Cox’s bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Borguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barisal, Pirozpur, Jhalokathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 4-5 feet height above normal astronomical tide.

The coastal districts of Cox’s bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Borguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barisal, Pirozpur, Jhalokathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars are likely to experience wind speed up to 89-117 kph in gusts/ squalls with heavy to very heavy falls during the passage of the severe cyclonic storm.

All fishing boats and trawlers over north bay and deep sea have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.

 

Forecast Path

Forecast Path : The red-shaded area denotes the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. Note that impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding) with any tropical cyclone may spread beyond its forecast path.

Torrential rainfall is expected along, north and to the east of the track over eastern Bangladesh, northeast India and western Myanmar, extending northward to the foothills of the Himalayas. This includes the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka, home to over 10 million, one of the world’s most densely populated cities.

This heavy rainfall extending well inland could trigger life-threatening flooding and, in mountainous areas, mudslides.

Rainfall Potential Through Wednesday

Rainfall Potential Through Wednesday

Much heavier rain may occur where rainbands train across the same area for several hours.

Of the 12 tropical cyclones on record that have claimed at least 100,000 lives, eight of those formed in the Bay of Bengal, according to Weather Underground.

One of these, the infamous Great Bhola Cyclone, killed at least 300,000 in November 1970, the world’s deadliest tropical cyclone of record.

In more recent times, Cyclone Nargis in 2008 devasted the Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar, claiming at least 130,000 lives.

Less intense storms have also been very deadly in the region.

In 2015, a tropical storm-strength cyclone, Cyclone Komen, hovered near the coast of Bangladesh and brought flooding rain to six countries that killed nearly 500 people. Cyclone Komen made weeks of heavy rainfall even worse as landslides occurred in Myanmar, and more than a million people were evacuated or displaced from Myanmar alone.

 

Source: weather.com; bmd.gov.bd; watchers news

Years of Living Dangerously Premiere Full Episode

“Years,” created by a pair of producers who worked together on “60 Minutes,” is billed as a documentary series about climate change, but it’s constructed like a newsmagazine, albeit a nine-hour newsmagazine about a single subject. Each episode weaves together several reports, some done by journalists like Lesley Stahl or Chris Hayes, but most by a roster of celebrities that includes Mr. Ford, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Olivia Munn, Jessica Alba and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

You might assume that this meant sacrificing some measure of journalistic credibility in the quest for attention. But the truth is, Mr. Ford and Mr. Cheadle are just as good as any seasoned television correspondent at the newsmagazine drill: Parachute in, digest a lot of material gathered by producers and researchers, ask reasonably intelligent questions, make small talk, look concerned. On the basis of the first episode, they’re probably better.

The series, whose executive producers include Hollywood big shots like James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Mr. Schwarzenegger, is a well-made and, by the looks of it, expensive product, from the crisp graphics to the travel budgets to the jittery opening credits that recall Showtime’s “Homeland.” Conveying information, à la “An Inconvenient Truth,” often takes a back seat to engaging the casual viewer. A report on wildfires entails Mr. Schwarzenegger’s going into action on the fire line; a lot of screen time is given to Mr. Ford’s alternately soulful and acerbic reaction shots.

Of the early reports, Mr. Ford’s is the most successful, largely because it’s the easiest to grasp: huge, smoky fires = deforestation = more carbon dioxide. Mr. Cheadle’s is more complicated, linking climate change to job loss in Texas and taking a long detour into science versus religion.

The most ambitious segment is reported by Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times, who seeks to investigate whether a long drought in Syria was one of the primary causes of that country’s civil war. It’s probably too big and complex a question for 20 minutes of screen time, parts of which are spent on issues of security and border crossings. When it comes to livening up environmental reporting, you can’t beat Mr. Ford in a boat in Borneo.

Hollywood celebrities and respected journalists endorsed in a common thing “Climate Change” and span the globe to explore the issues of climate change and cover intimate stories of human triumph and tragedy. Check out James Cameron’s eye-opening documentary series on climate change, Years of Living Dangerously:

‘Overwhelming’ Climate impacts – UN Says

Scientists fear a growing impact of global warming on humans

The impacts of global warming are likely to be “severe, pervasive and irreversible”, a major report by the UN has warned. Scientists and officials meeting in Japan say the document is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the impacts of climate change on the world.

Members of the UN’s climate panel say it provides overwhelming evidence of the scale of these effects. Natural systems now bear the brunt, but a growing impact on humans is feared. Our health, homes, food and safety are all likely to be threatened by rising temperatures, the summary says. The report was agreed after almost a week of intense discussions here in Yokohama, which included concerns among some authors about the tone of the evolving document.

This is the second of a series from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due out this year that outlines the causes, effects and solutions to global warming. This latest Summary for Policymakers document highlights the fact that the amount of scientific evidence on the impacts of warming has almost doubled since the last report in 2007. Be it the melting of glaciers or warming of permafrost, the summary highlights the fact that on all continents and across the oceans, changes in the climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems in recent decades.

IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri said “the findings in the report were “profound”. Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change” . In the words of the report, “increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts”.

“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told journalists at a news conference in Yokohama. Dr Saleemul Huq, a convening lead author on one of the chapters, commented: “Before this we thought we knew this was happening, but now we have overwhelming evidence that it is happening and it is real.”

Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said that, previously, people could have damaged the Earth’s climate out of “ignorance”. “Now, ignorance is no longer a good excuse,” he said.

Mr Jarraud said the report was based on more than 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies. He said this document was “the most solid evidence you can get in any scientific discipline”.

The report details significant short-term impacts on natural systems in the next 20 to 30 years. It details five reasons for concern that would likely increase as a result of the warming the world is already committed to. These include threats to unique systems such as Arctic sea ice and coral reefs, where risks are said to increase to “very high” with a 2C rise in temperatures.

The summary document outlines impacts on the seas and on freshwater systems as well. The oceans will become more acidic, threatening coral and the many species that they harbour. On land, animals, plants and other species will begin to move towards higher ground or towards the poles as the mercury rises. Humans, though, are also increasingly affected as the century goes on.

Infographic

Food security is highlighted as an area of significant concern. Crop yields for maize, rice and wheat are all hit in the period up to 2050, with around a tenth of projections showing losses over 25%. After 2050, the risk of more severe yield impacts increases, as boom-and-bust cycles affect many regions. All the while, the demand for food from a population estimated to be around nine billion will rise.

Many fish species, a critical food source for many, will also move because of warmer waters. In some parts of the tropics and in Antarctica, potential catches could decline by more than 50%. “This is a sobering assessment,” said Prof Neil Adger from the University of Exeter, another IPCC author. “Going into the future, the risks only increase, and these are about people, the impacts on crops, on the availability of water and particularly, the extreme events on people’s lives and livelihoods.”

People will be affected by flooding and heat related mortality. The report warns of new risks including the threat to those who work outside, such as farmers and construction workers. There are concerns raised over migration linked to climate change, as well as conflict and national security.

Report co-author Maggie Opondo of the University of Nairobi said that in places such as Africa, climate change and extreme events mean “people are going to become more vulnerable to sinking deeper into poverty”.

While the poorer countries are likely to suffer more in the short term, the rich won’t escape. “The rich are going to have to think about climate change. We’re seeing that in the UK, with the floods we had a few months ago, and the storms we had in the US and the drought in California,” said Dr Huq.

“These are multibillion dollar events that the rich are going to have to pay for, and there’s a limit to what they can pay.” But it is not all bad news, as the co-chair of the working group that drew up the report points out.

“I think the really big breakthrough in this report is the new idea of thinking about managing climate change as a problem in managing risks,” said Dr Chris Field.

Infographic

“Climate change is really important but we have a lot of the tools for dealing effectively with it – we just need to be smart about it.” There is far greater emphasis to adapting to the impacts of climate in this new summary. The problem, as ever, is who foots the bill?

“It is not up to IPCC to define that,” said Dr Jose Marengo, a Brazilian government official who attended the talks. “It provides the scientific basis to say this is the bill, somebody has to pay, and with the scientific grounds it is relatively easier now to go to the climate negotiations in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and start making deals about who will pay for adaptation.”

bbcnews.com.

 

OpenStreetMap and GeoGit for Yolanda Recovering

We’ve had several opportunities to refine GeoGit workflows in real-world situations, but among the most fulfilling was assisting with the response to Typhoon Yolanda (also known as Typhoon Haiyan) in the Philippines. It was the strongest cyclone to make landfall in recorded history, resulting in an urgent need to share data about the damage to help with recovery and reconstruction.

Yolanda Data

To meet this need, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) teamed up with the American Red Cross and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and launched an open data platform to gather and share data about Yolanda. The ROGUE project, which helps develop GeoGit, was asked to help manage and distribute extracts of OpenStreetMap data. As described below, we created a powerful bidirectional workflow with OpenStreetMap that enabled us not only to derive and publish up-to-date data for response and recovery efforts but also to contribute back to OpenStreetMap.

Importing OpenStreetMap Data

Thanks largely to HOT’s efforts, a large number of damaged and destroyed buildings were mapped into OpenStreetMap using commercial satellite imagery distributed under the Next View license or the State Department’s Imagery to the Crowd program. GeoGit was used to extract data from OpenStreetMap and transform it into formats more useful to traditional GIS applications.

While GeoGit supports reading and writing from OpenStreetMap data in a variety of ways, the Yolanda efforts started with the daily .pbf downloads from geofabrik that were then imported into a GeoGit repository using the geogit osm import command. This initial import command brings the data into the standard node and way layers in a GeoGit repository with all of the OpenStreetMap tags attached to each feature. During the initial few imports we were able to find and solve some performance bottlenecks that reduced the import time from over an hour to just a few minutes.

Mapping to a Schema

Once imported, the geogit osm map command was used to map the data into more traditional sets of layers, using the tags as attributes. A JSON mapping file specifies which tags were used to separate out the features into layers and assign attributes to each feature.  The key mapping involved taking nodes and ways tagged with typhoon:damage=yes and translating those into damage_polygons and damage_line layers with associated attributes. Over the course of mapping the data, we were able to make improvements to the codebase and workflow in several areas.

Sharing Up-to-Date Data

Once the repository had the data organized into the right schema, we used the geogit export pg command to load snapshots into a PostGIS database and serve them to the web. Since we wanted to provide the most current data, we used the geogit osm apply-diff command to update the repository with daily updates from OSM planet. This ensured that our repository always reflected recent edits and that layers were exported and updated on the site.

Contributing Back to OpenStreetMap

In addition to staying in sync with the global OpenStreetMap planet, GeoGit made it possible to change layers in our repository and apply them back to OpenStreetMap — enabling a fully round-trip or bidirectional workflow. For example, we found many misspellings or inconsistent use of tags in the data where able to correct them. We fixed these issues against our PostGIS snapshot, applied the changes back to the repository, generated a changeset using the geogit osm create-changeset command, and finally uploaded the changeset using JOSM. In the process, we were once again able to improve these functions based on real-world usage.

GeoGit Advantages

These tools enable a powerful bidirectional workflow with OpenStreetMap. We demonstrated that data can be imported from OpenStreetMap into a local repository, mapped into a set of layers with a well-defined schema, and served via OGC services. Repositories can be kept in sync with OpenStreetMap over time and, if changes are made to the local repository, GeoGit enables us to produce changesets that can be contributed to the global OSM dataset. Using this same workflow, it becomes possible for users to effectively work with a local extract of OSM data for both making and applying local edits as well as incorporating upstream changes.

For more to know about all these above we have to wait until 13th April where Jeff Johnson will present more about GeoGit-based OpenStreetMap import workflows  at State of the Map US.

Mapping the humanitarian crisis in Syria

Placeholder Image for Article Template

US State’s Humanitarian Information Unit collects, analyzes and disseminates unclassified information regarding humanitarian emergencies, and publishes high-quality maps that track relevant variables such as refugee migration and global health initiatives. The HIU team consists of roughly 20 analysts, researchers, geospatial analysts, cartographers and developers under the department’s Office of the Geographer and Global Issues.

The team is known for its accuracy, and HIU’s maps are widely cited by the media. But the work is intensive. In 2013, the team was particularly busy tracking the civil war in Syria. To document the migration of refugees, analysts pooled data from media reports, commercial satellite imagery and internal documents. Then subject-matter experts sifted through the data to ensure its legitimacy, technical staffers built corresponding datasets, GIS analysts compiled the data, and cartographers produced the finished products.

Some maps showed the displacement of refugees over time while others mapped the escape routes and destinations of the 1.8 million Syrian refugees, including the hot spots from which they fled, where they went and where the humanitarian resources were located. The maps gave decision-makers valuable insight into the conflict from a humanitarian standpoint.

“Maps unlock a great cognitive power,” Josh Campbell, GIS architect at HIU said. “Visualization, whether graphical or geographical, simplifies complex relationships. Maps can help people make sense of complex humanitarian emergencies and understand what is happening on the ground.”

http://fcw.com/

GIS is More Than Just Mapping

GIS

Why Use GIS?
When floods in Colorado caused massive damage throughout the state in September 2013, geographic information systems (GIS) and web maps integrated current data, providing a comprehensive view of the constantly evolving situation to government officials and the public.

An interactive public information map posted by Esri, a GIS software company, showed observed flooding, flood warnings, and precipitation and collected citizens’ observations that had been shared on Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. Other government agencies generated interactive web maps that shared information on flooded areas, closed roads, and shelters for evacuees. The City of Longmont created a story map that documented the flooding of the St. Vrain River and Left Hand Creek.

These maps are examples of how GIS has gone from a technology that is nice to have to one that is essential, especially for small- to medium-size jurisdictions dealing with increasing demands and depleted resources.

Established but Evolving
What is GIS?

It is an information system for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced data.

With GIS, data can be viewed, understood, interrogated, interpreted, and visualized on a map in ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends that would not be apparent otherwise. GIS technology can be integrated into any enterprise information system framework and works with common business tools such as Microsoft Excel and IBM Cognos.

GIS is nothing new to many jurisdictions. Beginning in the 1990s, it was implemented in departments such as planning and health. Initially, it often was acquired for a specific project; later, the use of GIS expanded to improve many processes in a department. The benefits of GIS — cost savings and increased efficiency, better decision-making, improved communication, and better record keeping — encouraged the spread of its use across organizations. Public works, planning, land records, facilities management, utilities, transportation, water, wastewater, health and human services, elections, environmental management, economic development, and public safety are just a few of the disciplines in municipal government that use GIS.

Since its initial adoption, GIS technology has evolved from a desktop application to a web-centric platform. While supporting the work of GIS professionals on desktop machines, the web platform makes the benefits of this work available throughout the organization through maps and apps that are stored and accessed from a cloud-based system. This web-centric approach also makes the most current imagery, traffic, and weather data available for use with a jurisdiction’s local data.

Doing More with Less
Even as municipal governments recover from the recent recession, they must deal with tighter budgets and fewer staff members. The need to deliver services in an efficient and cost-effective manner is greater than ever.

Residents expect services from their municipal government, whether a small town or a big city. Small to medium-sized municipalities provide these services with far fewer resources than their bigger counterparts. Many jurisdictions are turning to technology, specifically GIS, to better deliver services to citizens. Governments have expanded the used of GIS to improve not just the way a government works, but the way it works for citizens.

For decades, the entire water system for Princeton, Ill., was documented in a small, carefully guarded sketchbook known as “the Bible.” To respond to emergencies as well as perform routine maintenance, city staff needed access to that information. They also needed a current inventory of the water system infrastructure to support field workers.

However, the city, with a population of just under 8,000, did not have extensive staffing to meet these goals. With the help of a consultant, the original pages were scanned and that information was incorporated into a GIS. The 4,600 photographs documenting the system’s components were added and geocoded, and this information moved to a cloud-based GIS. Now the information contained in the original documents not only has been backed up and updated with the current inventory, but is accessible directly by crews in the field responding to system issues.

Seeing the Big Picture
Interactive web maps provide information in context. They also make the results of GIS analysis available to policy makers without requiring that they become proficient with GIS technology.

Operation dashboards fed by GIS that are automatically updated use maps and charts to monitor, track, and report events. Incorporating live feeds allows the most current data to be visualized and comprehended by knowledge workers and executives.

Government That Works for Citizens
People are now more connected to each other through the web and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. They have come to expect that they can use those same tools to connect to businesses and, increasingly, government. This has been part of a change in the relationship between government and the governed in recent years. Increasingly, citizens lack both the time and inclination to travel to government — they want and expect government to be available and responsive to them.

GIS has helped governments meet these new demands. A Florida city of just 16,000 residents incorporates GIS in a portal that makes its permitting process convenient and transparent to citizens. When the City of Marco issues a new building permit, citizens receive a tweet with information on the permit, with a link to a copy of the permit, and a map of the permit location, as well as other information in the Citizen Access Portal. A real-time database, the portal keeps track of permit and inspection data, relating proposed activity to the existing built environment and landscape.

Web maps are also an effective tool for communicating government operations and programs. For example, mapping capital improvement projects lets citizens know where, when, and how money is being spent on these projects. Direct access to this information promotes transparency and accountability, which in turn builds confidence in government.

In effect, GIS also has added many more eyes to government oversight by enlisting the help of citizens. With smartphone-based, map-centric apps, municipal governments can tap into the power of crowdsourcing by enabling citizens to report problems such as potholes, graffiti, and other concerns. The GPS capabilities in smartphones furnish location information to the app. Citizens fill out the app’s simple form describing the problem and can upload photos of it. Once reported, an incident can be monitored, letting the responding citizen and others track the resolution of that problem. This encourages government responsiveness and demonstrates accountability.

More Than Just Mapping
With the migration of GIS to the web, governments can use GIS-generated maps, apps, and data to improve business processes and inform decision-making. This helps keep communities both safe and sustainable. The advantages of using a geographic framework are not limited to large cities and counties — they are equally available to smaller municipal governments. Web-centric GIS helps small to medium-sized municipal governments be responsive, transparent, and accountable. It encourages citizens to stay informed and engaged with their government.

By Ian Isaacs, Esri regional manager

“Chemtrails” – Fight to global warming !!! Will this geo-engeneering be boon or curse to human kind ?

Fact: Climate scientists lobbying for large-scale geoengineering

According to a news of The Gurdian, the geo-engineers are finally coming out of the “chemtrail” closet, as reports are now emerging about deliberate plans in the works to dump untold tons of sulfate chemicals into the atmosphere for the purported purpose of fighting so-called “global warming.”

The U.K.’s Guardian and others are reporting that a multi-million dollar research fund, which just so happens to have been started and funded by Microsoft founder and vaccine enthusiast Bill Gates, is being used to fund the project. A large balloon hovering at 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico, will release the sulfates into the atmosphere within the next year.

The stated purpose for this massive release of toxic sulfate particles is that doing so will allegedly reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere, and thus cool the planet. But many environmental groups and advocates of common sense are decrying the idea as dangerous, and one that could result in permanent damage to ecosystems all across the globe.

“Impacts include the potential for further damage to the ozone layer, and disruption of rainfall, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions, potentially threatening the food supplies of billions of people,” said Pat Mooney, Executive Director of the ETC Group, a Canadian environmental protection group.

“It will do nothing to decrease levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or halt ocean acidification. And solar geo-engineering is likely to increase the risk of climate-related international conflict, given that the modeling to date shows it poses greater risks to the global south.”

But the Gates-backed cohort is persistent in its efforts to geo-graffiti the world, as its scientists insist that governments are not doing enough to fight back against the supposed environment impacts of global warming. If governments refuse to implement high enough carbon taxes to eliminate greenhouse gases, in other words, then Gates and Co. believes it has no choice but to “save the planet” by polluting it with sulfate particles.

Controversies

chemtrails

Spraying the skies with sulfate particles will destroy the planet faster than ‘global warming’ ever could. Chemtrails Sulfate particles are toxic, though, and constitute the very same type of ambient particulate matter (PM) that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers to be a noxious air pollutant. Deliberately spraying the skies with tiny particles composed of any material, for that matter, is hazardous both to respiratory health in humans and animals, as well as to water sources, soils, and other delicate environmental resources.

“Sulfate particles from acid rain can cause harm to the health of marine life in the rivers and lakes it contaminates, and can result in mortality,” says an online water pollution guide (http://www.water-pollution.org.uk/health.html). A University of Washington (UW) report also explains that sulfate particles “contribute to acid rain, cause lung irritation, and have been a main culprit in causing the haze that obscures a clear view of the Grand Canyon.”

Blocking the sun with reflective particles will also deprive humans of natural sunlight exposure, which is a primary source for naturally generating health-promoting vitamin D in the body. So once again, Bill Gates is at the helms of a project that seeks to control the climate in artificial ways using toxic chemicals, an endeavor that is sure to create all sorts of potentially irreversible problems for humanity and the planet.

France to make older Spot images available to researchers for free

The French government has agreed to open its Spot optical Earth observation data archive and distribute, free of charge to noncommercial users, Spot satellite data that is at least five years old.

The Jan. 23 announcement by the French space agency, CNES, followed a French government commitment made Jan. 17 during a meeting in Geneva of the 80 governments that comprise the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

imagespot France to make older Spot images available to researchers for freeCNES said its decision was made in concert with Airbus Defence and Space, formerly named Astrium Services, which since 2008 has been the majority shareholder in the company that commercializes Spot data.

CNES said the move to open up access to Spot imagery, which dates from 1986, “is the first major contribution from the private sector to the construction of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).”

CNES has already begun processing, at its own charge, a first tranche of 100,000 images that will be available later this year.

The French government decision follows a similar decision, made in 2013, by the European Commission to make freely available much of the data from the future Copernicus series of optical and radar Earth observation satellites. At the same time, the commission is taking steps to protect the still-fragile European private sector that makes a business of selling imagery commercially.

Source: Spacenews

Recent Significant Disasters in the Asia and Pacific Region

he Asia and the Pacific region has experienced some of the most damaging disasters in recent decades, with alarming consequences for human welfare. At the same time, the climate in the region has been changing. Temperatures have been higher, on average, and also more variable and more extreme. Countries in Asia and the Pacific are more prone to natural disasters than those in other parts of the world, with people in the region four times more likely to be affected by natural catastrophe than those in Africa and 25 times more vulnerable than Europeans or North Americans, a United Nations report released  shows. Major natural disasters around Asia and the Pacific in 2013 have caused tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in damages in recent years. This interactive infographic creeated by Asian Development Bank details the scope and scale of these devastating events: