Tag Archive: Tuvalu

Google Tsunami Alert

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

Google Tsunami Alert

Google Tsunami Alert

Following this morning’s (using GMT) earthquake just off Japan (now set at 8.8 on the Richter Scale, but it keeps rising as more information is analysed), I noticed that the Google search page has a Tsunami warning for all to see.

I thought I’d capture it for posterity.

Enormity

This truly is an enormous event, the TV videos this morning of the wave’s advance making this perfectly clear.  How and when it finishes, we can only watch and wait as one of the great forces of nature plays out before us.

Tsunami Transit Time for Japanese Tsunami of 11/3/11

Tsunami Transit Time for Japanese Tsunami of 11/3/11

Fortunately, the Tsunami warning system seems to be doing its job, and hopefully, those countries around the Pacific and the small Pacific Islands within have had enough time to warn folks to get to high ground.  This image shows how much time they’ve got!

 

NOAA Tsunami Warning @ 10:30 GMT

This is the state of play a short time ago and the actual alert, showing wave heights and periods out at sea.  When they hit the coast, things are very, very different.

000

WEPA40 PHEB 111030

TSUPAC

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 006

PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS

ISSUED AT 1030Z 11 MAR 2011

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC

OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS…EXCEPT ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…

WASHINGTON…OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

… A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT …

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR

JAPAN / RUSSIA / MARCUS IS. / N. MARIANAS / GUAM / WAKE IS. /

TAIWAN / YAP / PHILIPPINES / MARSHALL IS. / BELAU / MIDWAY IS. /

POHNPEI / CHUUK / KOSRAE / INDONESIA / PAPUA NEW GUINEA /

NAURU / JOHNSTON IS. / SOLOMON IS. / KIRIBATI / HOWLAND-BAKER /

HAWAII / TUVALU / PALMYRA IS. / VANUATU / TOKELAU / JARVIS IS. /

WALLIS-FUTUNA / SAMOA / AMERICAN SAMOA / COOK ISLANDS / NIUE /

FIJI / NEW CALEDONIA / TONGA / MEXICO /

KERMADEC IS / FR. POLYNESIA / PITCAIRN /

GUATEMALA / EL SALVADOR / COSTA RICA / NICARAGUA / ANTARCTICA /

PANAMA / HONDURAS / CHILE / ECUADOR / COLOMBIA / PERU

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ONLY

NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE

DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND

ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME – 0546Z 11 MAR 2011

COORDINATES – 38.3 NORTH 142.4 EAST

DEPTH – 24 KM

LOCATION – NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU JAPAN

MAGNITUDE – 8.9

MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY

GAUGE LOCATION LAT LON TIME AMPL PER

DART 21415 50.2N 171.8E 0845Z 0.27M / 0.9FT 52MIN

WAKE US 19.3N 166.6E 0928Z 0.39M / 1.3FT 14MIN

NAHA OKINAWA JP 26.2N 127.7E 0901Z 0.25M / 0.8FT 60MIN

SAIPAN US 15.2N 145.7E 0916Z 0.65M / 2.1FT 30MIN

TOSASHIMIZU SHIKOKU 32.8N 133.0E 0753Z 0.92M / 3.0FT 68MIN

OMAEZAKI HONSHU JP 34.6N 138.2E 0818Z 1.42M / 4.6FT 56MIN

DART 21419 44.5N 155.7E 0716Z 0.40M / 1.3FT 20MIN

DART 21413 30.5N 152.1E 0659Z 0.76M / 2.5FT 32MIN

HANASAKI HOKKAIDO J 43.3N 145.6E 0657Z 2.79M / 9.2FT 76MIN

DART 21401 42.6N 152.6E 0643Z 0.67M / 2.2FT 40MIN

DART 21418 38.7N 148.7E 0619Z 1.08M / 3.5FT 06MIN

LAT – LATITUDE (N-NORTH, S-SOUTH)

LON – LONGITUDE (E-EAST, W-WEST)

TIME – TIME OF THE MEASUREMENT (Z IS UTC IS GREENWICH TIME)

AMPL – TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.

IT IS …NOT… CREST-TO-TROUGH WAVE HEIGHT.

VALUES ARE GIVEN IN BOTH METERS(M) AND FEET(FT).

PER – PERIOD OF TIME IN MINUTES(MIN) FROM ONE WAVE TO THE NEXT.

NOTE – DART MEASUREMENTS ARE FROM THE DEEP OCEAN AND THEY

ARE GENERALLY MUCH SMALLER THAN WOULD BE COASTAL

MEASUREMENTS AT SIMILAR LOCATIONS.

EVALUATION

SEA LEVEL READINGS CONFIRM THAT A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED

WHICH COULD CAUSE WIDESPREAD DAMAGE. AUTHORITIES SHOULD TAKE

APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS THREAT. THIS CENTER WILL

CONTINUE TO MONITOR SEA LEVEL DATA TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT AND

SEVERITY OF THE THREAT.

A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE

LARGEST. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND CAN VARY

SIGNIFICANTLY ALONG A COAST DUE TO LOCAL EFFECTS. THE TIME FROM

ONE TSUNAMI WAVE TO THE NEXT CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO AN HOUR, AND

THE THREAT CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AS MULTIPLE WAVES ARRIVE.

FOR ALL AREAS – WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS

AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT

OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME

THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN

CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL

CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE

ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

BULLETINS WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.

THE TSUNAMI WARNING WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

THE JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY MAY ALSO ISSUE TSUNAMI MESSAGES

FOR THIS EVENT TO COUNTRIES IN THE NORTHWEST PACIFIC AND SOUTH

CHINA SEA REGION. IN CASE OF CONFLICTING INFORMATION… THE

MORE CONSERVATIVE INFORMATION SHOULD BE USED FOR SAFETY.

THE WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE PRODUCTS

FOR ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…WASHINGTON…OREGON…CALIFORNIA.

 

Wake Island

I wonder how Wake Island is getting on?  The highest point on the island is only 20 feet and the wave should be there about now….

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Islands ‘Defy’ Sea-Level Rise

Glittering IslandsIntroduction

This week will see some news that will be twisted and churned by the climate change sceptics…

Apparently, the coral islands are responding well to sea-level rises, which are real, make no mistake.

The New Scientist article is here and the BBC News item is here.

The Reality

Angaga Island Resort & Spa, MaldivesIn my previous post, The Maldives and Tuvalu will be Alright Without People, I pointed out just such a fact.  My reasoning was based on the not-so-recent research and conclusion of Charles Darwin into the creation and maintenance of coral islands, reefs, atolls and submerged sea mounts.

Now, recent measurements as described in the New Scientist prove this is so.

But there’s still no room for optimism because the reason that islands like Tuvala and The Maldives are suffering is because of human interference…  How so?

A. Because people keep using the coral for building materials, and smooth out it’s natural deposits into runways and hotels for tourists and the like!

This far beyond what the coral can naturally replenish by accretion from storms and it’s natural growth.

Ancient History

One other aspect comes into the “coral equation”.

Coral almost disappeared following a major extinction event!

we warned you......Dinosaurs and Coral

The KT event which wiped out the dinosaurs and left room for our own eventual evolution, also wiped out 90% of coral species.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/…Tertia…event#Marine

Quoting from this source,

Further analysis of the coral extinctions shows that approximately 98% of colonial species, ones that inhabit warm, shallow tropical waters, became extinct.

Prior to this, in the greatest known extinction event at the end of the Permian Era, far worse damage was done to corals.  See link.  Quoting from the article:

The event had a profound effect on the terrestrial ecosystem, which is still being felt today, a quarter of a billion years later….

Nothing resembling a coral reef shows up until 10 million years after the Permian extinction, and full recovery of marine life took about 100 million years…

Dishonour not the bones of those who trod this earth before us, lest one day they return...Now this is serious shit!  Because we are right now part of a mass extinction event, started by our own human activity, that will one day show up as such in the geological record.

Currently the coral can keep pace with increasing water temperatures and rising sea levels as it did at the end of the recent glacial period ~12k years ago.

But for how long?

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The Maldives and Tuvalu will be Alright Without People

A recent article on coral growth has confirmed my opinions that I’ve had for years that the assumptions about the environmental degradation and collapse of coral reefs have nothing to do with global warming, sea level rises or ice ages.

News Article: Coral springs back from tsunami – BBC News

Background from WCS.org:  Conservation Opportunity

Instead, the coral reef collapse is purely from direct human actions.

How can this be?  A: Simply, by observation and the principle of cause and effect.

Charles Darwin proposed many years ago a mechanism for the evolution of coral atolls and the large numbers of submerged seamounts.  My observations are that Darwin’s theory has been almost completely accepted in it’s entirety and that there is copious geological and other evidence for many variances in sea level over time.

The theory goes that the corals grow until they’re right at wave height.  Then the tops get chopped off in storms and piled up to make beaches.  That’s the steady-state.

If the land rises, the exposed corals die but new ones grow in the sea.  If the land falls, the corals grow towards the sunlight again.

But corals can only grow so fast.

If the land falls too fast, the corals are trapped in darkness and die.  There are hundreds of submerged tropical seamounts, topped with dead coral at depths of around 1000m, that prove this.  The same goes for steady-state.  If coral is left to grow, it naturally makes harbours, beaches and islands under the influence of staorms and tides.

What this means is that corals are actually very robust creatures.  They’ve existed this way for millions of years.

During these times the sea has gone up and down as well as the land.  There have been several ice ages.  There have been countless tsunamis as well.  The coral recovers, well, by definition;  it’s still there!!!

And this is what has been observed to happen in Indonesia.

The tsunami came in 2004, killed a lot of coral, but crucially, it killed a lot of fishermen as well and the whole tourist industry! And it’s really people that kill coral.  These last few years have a been a welcome breather for the coral as an escape from people.

They overfish, chip away at it, use it to build houses, concrete and ports.  Sell it as trinkets.  Build airports on it.  This is what’s happened in the Maldives. This BBC Country profile: The Maldives, makes it clear that following the 2004 tsunami, there has been a massive rebuilding!    It’s a red-herring that the hot water is responsible for coral’s demise.   Or starfish.  The world has been hotter in the coral’s past – and they’ve always had predators like the starfish.  Coral seeds itself in the water.  If it’s too hot for a certain species of coral, another will take it’s place.

Left alone, the Maldives and Tuvalu will still be there.  As the sea rises, and without human intervention, the coral should grow and be smashed to bits by storms, cast up to make new beaches.  But people, with their feet and their animals, their cars and houses, their aeroairplanes and boats, their work and their play, whittle slowly away at the coral when it should be growing!   When the big storm comes, the coral and thus the islands are more vulnerable.

In that respect, it’s a shame that the tsunami didn’t wash right over The Maldives.  Thousands more people would have died and the tourist industry would have completely collapsed.  As it was, a complete physical disaster for the islands was thwarted (i.e. it could have been much worse).

But the coral could have re-grown.  The Maldives wouldn’t dissappear like they are now assumed to do so…

As an allegorical story, the tsunami wiping away the fishermen and tourists of Banda Aceh etc to save the coral reefs would make a fantastic script.  But many years ago I read a real story much like this.

Buy on Amazon: The Curse of The Wise Woman, by Lord DunsanyIt’s set in the bogs of Ireland and was written by Lord Dunsany.  It is called “The Curse of the Wise Woman“, and is well worth a read as a Gaia-like warning to look after the world by letting the world look after us.  To work with nature, not against it.  That’s surely a good goal.

In this respect, the destructive fishermen of Indonesia are in no way different to those that wiped out the North Sea and Grand Banks fisheries of the last century.  High latitudes don’t grow coral though.  What we have done however, is made huge increases in atmospheric CO2.  We mine the crust on an industrial scale.  We have the ice sheets.  We have the warming. We have huge industries and complex civilisations.   What will Gaia do?

Read the Curse of the Wise Woman.

Daisaku Ikeda has said; “Life is a chain. All things are related. When any link is harmed, the other links are affected. We should think of the environment as our mother. There is no crime worse than harming one’s mother.”

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