resilience starts with information
The La Tuna Canyon fire burns over Burbank, California, U.S. (Image: Reuters)
A cluster of particularly destructive natural disasters in 2017 has pockmarked the nation with devastation. Numbers for Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria have yet to be finalized, and 2017 is already on track to reach the record for the most billion-dollar climate disasters in the nation’s history, according to an October report from the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
To date, 2011 has netted the most billion-dollar natural disasters — a record-breaking 16. Now, a new wave of wildfires in Southern California, which by Friday had devoured about 132,000 acres, may also help push 2017 into the top spot.
From January to September of 2017 alone, the nation experienced two floods, a freeze, seven severe storms, three tropical cyclones, a drought and wildfire — all 15 of which cost the nation over a billion dollars in insured and uninsured damages each, according to NCEI. In just the first weeks…
Experts Stress the Importance of mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in Education
Disasters, risk and resilience need to be brought into curriculum at various levels of education, and different disciplines should integrated them within the education system. This was the dominant theme of the two-day conference on “Mainstreaming Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction in Education” organized at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on 1-2 December 2017.
Delivering the opening remark, Mr. Bernard Philip, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Australia to Thailand spoke about the importance of concerted global action by the civil society, academia and the private sector in tackling emerging challenges. Speaking about Pacific Island countries, Mr. Bernard Philip stated that people in the region had suffered two of the largest cyclones in recorded history. Elaborating on the recently released Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper, he mentioned that Australia is dedicating a significant portion of aid to promote growth and stability. “Institutions like AIT can play a role in building connections and strengthening partnerships,” he added…
One-third of forests aren’t growing back after wildfires
American West are having a harder time recovering from wildfires because of (what else?) climate change, according to new research published in Ecology Letters.
Researchers measured the growth of seedlings in 1,500 wildfire-scorched areas in Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Across the board, they found “significant decreases” in tree regeneration, a benchmark for forest resilience. In one-third of the sites, researchers found zero seedlings.
The warmest, driest forests were hit especially hard.
“Seedlings are more sensitive to warm, dry conditions than mature trees, so if the right conditions don’t exist within a few years following a wildfire, tree seedlings may not establish,” said Philip Higuera, a coauthor of the study.
Earlier this month, a separate study found that ponderosa pine and pinyon forests in the West are becoming less resilient…