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EUROGEO News: 50 “Hazards” Stories from 2014


50 Hazards News Stories from 2014

In 2014, EUROGEO (the European Association of Geographers) completed 35 years of operation. This is the latest of a series of blog posts celebrating this anniversary by looking back at the newsletter posts in 2014 highlighting some links examining different natural hazards. Subscribe to the EUROGEO newsletter

Extreme flooding across southern parts of the UK dominated “hazards” news stories early in the year, including the long-term devastation in the south west UK (Somerset levels).  There were interesting articles on the negative impact of dredging rivers in stopping floods and the role of the Thames barrier.  There was reflection on the sensible medieval town & abbey development decisions of our ancestors in the aerial photos of Tewkesbury at flood time and experiments in escaping floods as defenders go back to nature to keep vulnerable homes dry. The importance of open data was highlighted in USGS Flood data resources and Alert notification services. Antarctic iceberg image

Controversy and concern was raised in earthquake studies, as “predictions” and pattern recognition are attempted and deadly flaws were found in earthquake hazards map research. Predicting earthquakes is simply too difficult as the Guardian explains why seismologists have a mountain to climb. The number of big earthquakes doubled in 2014, but scientists say they’re not linked and Chile was said to be long overdue For ‘The Big One‘.

Many other different types of hazards were featured, tornadoes, permafrost, lightening strikes, Antarctic icebergs, the Luisi mud volcano and Louisiana sinkholes. Also reported was a colossal dust storm in China and immense plague of locusts in Madagascar and a glacial outburst flood in Skafta, Iceland.

The critical use of GIS in hazard mitigation was explained in How geoinformation services can help in disasters. and also in Mapping the California Drought with Open Data. Crowd mapping was featured in Helping the Red Cross in the Philippines. Remote sensing was important in Taking the ‘pulse’ of volcanoes using satellite images and the role of High-Resolution Imagery and GIS in Flood Relief Efforts in Colorado. Sentinel-1 was aiding the response to the Namibian floods.real-time lightening map

All 50 selected Hazards Geography stories are  available at http://eurogeography.eu/eurogeo-newsletter/news-2014-hazards.html

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