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24 July 2014
Dropped cell phone calls become rain gauges in West Africa
A shaky cell phone connection during a rainstorm can be an annoying nuisance. But now scientists are showing that these weakened signals can be used to monitor rainfall in West Africa, a technique that could help cities in the region better prepare for floods and combat weather-related diseases.
5 December 2012
Tsunamis in the sky
High in the sky seems like an unusual place to look for a tsunami, a natural disaster created deep beneath the ocean’s surface. But an international team of researchers is scanning the atmosphere for signs of these hazards. Looking at the sky, they say, could help scientists and emergency response agencies improve warning systems before they see any problems on land.
21 May 2012
Monitoring earthquakes with GPS could yield faster disaster response
When the March 2011 earthquake shook Japan, scientists needed about 20 minutes to conduct a full analysis. But now, researchers have found a way to shrink that critical analysis time for large earthquakes to two minutes. The speedup results from using data from GPS networks for the initial evaluation, rather than readings of seismometers.
23 March 2012
Tsunami preparedness briefing on Capitol Hill stresses disaster education
A year after the tsunami that devastated the Japanese coastline, the United States still needs to ramp up its tsunami preparedness, experts say. Scientists at a March 21 Capitol Hill briefing in Washington, D.C., stressed the importance of detecting tsunamis before they reach coastlines and educating the public on tsunami dangers.
17 December 2010
Warning: Shaking, rattling, and rolling about to occur
Scientists in Japan have developed an earthquake warning system–and though it doesn’t predict earthquakes, it does provide several seconds of warning time. The warning interval varies, depending on the distance to the quake’s epicenter.
That early warning system, Kinkyu Jishin Sokuhou in Japanese, was the topic of a presentation by Kyoto University’s Jim Mori during Thursday afternoon’s session NH43B: Transmitting Hazard Science to End Users: What Works, What Doesn’t, and What’s Needed? II.
16 December 2010
Strengthening tsunami warning systems
Though it’s hard to imagine a huge wall of water sneaking onshore, tsunamis can catch coastal communities by surprise.
Two posters presented at “NH33A: Transmitting Hazard Science to End Users: What Works, What Doesn’t, and What’s Needed? I” discussed ways to strengthen tsunami prediction and warning that could help save lives.
Hot lava on the move? Maybe not…
Seismic waves emanating from a volcano may be an ominous sign that hot lava is on the move. But then again, maybe not.
Signals resonating from a subterranean pipes system gushing with hot lava should be very different from the signals generated by crushing rock. And they are–but only if you are recording the event close enough to the source. From far away, the signals appear very similar, and one can be easily confused for the other.
15 December 2010
Lightning could help warn aircraft of volcanic eruptions
Some volcanic eruptions emit lightning–volcanic plumes are a lot like dirty thunderclouds. Scientists wonder: Could this lightning be used to help warn airplane pilots of volcanic eruptions so they can avoid ash?