UCI, NASA Researchers Find Link Between Amazon Fire Risk, Devastating Hurricanes

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This map of ocean surface temperatures shows how warm waters in the North Atlantic fueled Hurricane Katrina. UCI researchers have found that the same conditions...

Warmer-than-usual waters in North Atlantic contribute to both phenomena

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Geophysical Research Letters


Newswise — Irvine, Calif., Aug. 18, 2015 – Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and NASA have uncovered a remarkably strong link between high wildfire risk in the Amazon basin and the devastating hurricanes that ravage North Atlantic shorelines. The climate scientists’ findings appear in the journal Geophysical Research Letters near the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s calamitous August 2005 landfall at New Orleans.

“Hurricane Katrina is indeed part of this story,” said James Randerson, Chancellor’s Professor of Earth system science at UCI and senior author on the paper. “The ocean conditions that led to a severe hurricane season in 2005 also reduced atmospheric moisture flow to South America, contributing to a once-in-a-century dry spell in the Amazon. The timing of these events is perfectly consistent with our research findings.”

Lead author Yang Chen discovered that in addition to the well-understood east-west influence of El Niño on the Amazon, there’s also a north-south control on fire activity that’s set by the state of the tropical North Atlantic. Warm ocean waters help hurricanes develop and gather strength and speed on their way to North American shores. They also tend to pull a large belt of tropical rainfall – known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone – to the north, Chen said, drawing moisture away from the southern Amazon and leading to heightened fire risk over time.

“North Atlantic hurricanes and Amazon fires are related to one another through shared linkages to ocean-atmosphere interactions in the tropical Atlantic Ocean,” he said.

The mechanics of the ocean-fire link in the Amazon are fairly straightforward. When the North Atlantic sea surface temperatures are warmer than normal, less rain falls in the southern Amazon. As a consequence, groundwater is not fully recharged by the end of the rainy season. Coming into the next dry spell, when there’s less water stored away in the soil, plants can’t evaporate and transpire as much water out through their stems and leaves. As a result, the atmosphere gets drier and drier, creating conditions in which fires can spread rapidly. Ground-clearing fires set by farmers for agricultural purposes can easily jump from fields to dense forests under these conditions.

“Understory fires in Amazon forests are extremely damaging, since most rainforest trees are not adapted to fire,” noted co-author Douglas Morton of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “The synchronization of forest damages from fires in South America and tropical storms in North America highlights how important it is to consider the Earth as a system.”

The team pored over years of historical storm and sea surface temperature data from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and fire data gathered by NASA satellites. The results showed a striking pattern, a progression over the course of several months from warm waters in the tropical North Atlantic to a dry and fire-prone southern Amazon and more destructive hurricane landfalls in North and Central America.

According to Randerson, the importance of this study is that it may help meteorologists develop better seasonal outlooks for drought and fire risk in the Amazon, leveraging investments by NOAA and other agencies in understanding hurricanes. The research findings also give policymakers throughout the hemisphere a basis for decisions about coastal protections in hurricane-prone areas and fire management in drought-affected areas.

“The fires we see in the U.S. West are generally lightning-ignited, whereas they’re mostly human-ignited in the Amazon, but climate change can have really large effects on the fire situation in both regions,” Randerson said. “Keeping fire out of the Amazon basin is critical from a carbon-cycle perspective. There’s a huge amount of carbon stored in tropical forests; we really want to keep the forests intact.”

Randerson and Chen credit NASA and NOAA for providing free public access to real-time data from their satellites and other sensors and the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science for research support.

“Drought in the Amazon and hurricanes in the North Atlantic are such costly and potentially catastrophic disturbances [that] we really rely on NASA and NOAA for help in making accurate forecasts and long-range predictions,” Randerson said.

About the University of California, Irvine: Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UC Irvine faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UC Irvine news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.

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NRC cancels health study around nuclear plants, including San Onofre

“I’m disappointed and disbelieving,” San Clemente Councilwoman Lori Donchak said. This probe was to remedy deep flaws in the 1990 study by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, which examined more than 900,000 cancer deaths between 1950 and 1984. The agency is balancing the desire to provide updated answers on cancer risk with its responsibility to use taxpayer funds as wisely as possible, Brian Sheron, director of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, said in a statement.

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Dave Matthews Band displays two sides in Irvine concert

USC as well as UCLA functioned Saturday night, transmitting overmatched challengers, as well as went up a few areas when the current Associated Press Top 25 positions were released Sunday morning., which hammered Idaho, 59-9, went up 2 areas to No. 6 as well as UCLA, which controlled UNLV, 37-3, went up 3 areas to No.

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The Big Ashley Madison Hacking Non-Scandal


. Ashley Madison Hacking Scandal . . So the cyberpunk group that unlawfully hacked Ashley Madison’s data source of customers as well as took their info publicly released that details today in a massive data dump. The details has been offered with an internet site the hackers produced called Have I Been Pwned?. Wire service and various other reporting institutions have actually been scooting to scour the information in order to be the initial to locate and report on celebs and also various other individuals of notoriety that were leading secret as well as careless lives. Already reports are appearing on a host of Christian leaders who were participants of the sites, together with information concerning their perverted possibilities. While I certainly see the sense in outing a person for their hypocrisy, and whens it come to these Christian leaders the details is helpful during that regard, the remainder of it is actually a large non-scandal. The whole collection of occasions is tantamount to salacious media records on people’s individual sex

lives as well as activities, personal details about unknown people that I have no passion in which is honestly none of my company … as long as the sex-related habits concerned isn’t really criminal. This non-scandal rankings up there with other innocuous celeb sex detraction. I care as much concerning that got on Ashley Madison as I do the baby-sitter Ben Affleck was making love with, Bruce Jenner’s transgender proclivities, or Miley Cyrus ‘lesbian interludes … i.e. no to not. Actually, this entire non-scandal merely leaves me

asking yourself once again– Why do individuals care regarding complete strangers as well as their sex lives so much? And also that’s exactly just what these celebs and also people in the public eye are … unknown people. Simplydue to the fact that their names maintain popping up in the media, due to the fact that many of them have a specific degree of personality condition, common individuals seem to think they understand these unknown people. The reality is , they actually do not. Are people truly that tired? Are they, as a whole, truly that perverse themselves that it matters to them that some stranger is having a fling on the side? One fascinating fact worth looking right into, that is being greatly ignored, is that a big portion of the exposed accounts were developed using.gov and.edu e-mail addresses. Since I pay tax money to support these public servant and academic employees, I’m not too delighted to figure out that numerous of these people are losing time using federal government and also public resources to rip off on their partners, rather of concentrating on executing much better at their tasks. If these individuals have that much time to goof about on the job,

after that we need to clearly re-evaluate the need for these individuals as well as their placements. Presently in the UNITED STATE, 60 % of marital relationships end up in divorce. The hackers boast to have launched information on 30+million Ashley Madison accounts. The real tale here is not the scandal of who is ripping off on whom or which is even more perverted compared to another person … the genuine tale is that there clearly is a prevalence of evidence that states a bunch of people in this world are miserable for some factor. Since basic despair, that’s an actual concern, and really worth looking into.

Less for many: ‘Opportunity gap’, income disparity, poverty grows in Orange County

Orange Region destitution is expanding dramatically, together with earnings disparity, homelessness and also chock-full housing, according to a comprehensive survey by federal government firms and charitable companies.

The yearly Orange County Neighborhood Indicators report, launched this week, sets out in 52 web pages of plain information the intensifying predicament of a growing portion of regional families.

The outcome: an “possibility space,” seen in “bountiful supports and resources for the youngsters of higher-income families as well as stalled or declining social flexibility for the youngsters of lower-income and also much less educated families,” the report states.

To make sure, an enhancing economic climate has brought about lower unemployment and, specifically, even more high-paying works for the well-read, the survey notes.

Nevertheless, a dire real estate scarcity for the mid course as well as the poor is spurring an exodus of breadwinner that intimidates the county’s lasting economic health.

“The fewer individuals of functioning age, the less there are to sustain colleges, pension plans as well as other assistances to the youngest as well as earliest members of a populace,” the report advises. It keeps in mind that individuals over 65 make up the only age in the county whose percentage of the populace will expand in the following 25 years.

“The picture on TV is that everybody in Orange Region is rich as well as has a fantastic lifestyle,” said Fred Smoller, a Chapman University political science teacher. “This record penetrates the myth. We have a two-tiered economic situation, with a growing number of wide range focused in fewer and also fewer families.”

The county’s typical revenue, changed for inflation, lost 6 percent to $74,163 from 2006 to 2013. Incomes for lower-paid line of works such as management assistants and retail sales clerks declined, as well as salaries for such higher-paid works as computer system programmers increased, the survey shows.

Educational disparity is an essential issue for businesses, the record notes.

The proportion of Latinos in Orange Region will grow to 41 percent by 2040, yet the scholastic gap between Latino pupils and their schoolmates “continues to be sizable as well as relentless, showing little long lasting renovation,” the record said.

One from 10 Latinos quits of high school, and of those who stay, just a 3rd are eligible to register in a College of California or The golden state State College college.

“If our neighborhood graduates are improperly enlightened as well as trained or mismatched for works in key Orange Area industries, companies will certainly need to import skilled employees or locations will certainly go unfilled for longer time periods, influencing performance,” the record stated.

The study was commissioned by 2 public companies– the Children & & Households Compensation of Orange County and CalOptima, which takes care of health and wellness care for the poor– in addition to two private charities, Orange Area United Method and also Orange Area Neighborhood Structure.

It draws on U.S. Census Bureau information and other government, state and also academic studies, in addition to study by the Orange Area Company Council and also other regional teams.

The survey concentrated on numerous essential areas.


By federal government standards, Orange Region’s poverty rate has actually risen to 13.5 percent of homeowners from 8.8 percent in the past nine years. For a family members of four, that implies an annual earnings here $24,000.

Yet Orange County’s expense of living is 46 percent more than the national standard.

The even more focused The golden state Hardship Procedure, which represents a variety of local elements, consisting of housing prices, secures Orange Region’s destitution rate at 24.3 percent.

Kids experience one of the most. A 3rd of Orange Region young people under 12 stay in poverty– a greater percentage compared to in the bordering regions of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.

Anaheim, the home of Disneyland, the area’s largest company, together with nearby Stanton, have the highest focus of poverty-plagued communities, complied with by La Habra, Santa Ana as well as Westminster.

“Personally, I enjoy that L.a is increasing the base pay,” stated United Means Head of state and Chief Executive Officer Max Gardner. “I wish to see that take place in Orange County.”

Gardner kept in mind the record’s conclusion that an employee making California’s $9 hourly minimum wage would need to function 110 hrs a week to afford a typical one-bedroom Orange Area flat, which rents out for $1,238 a month.

Nonetheless, although L.a and a number of other California cities are raising their minimal incomes to $15 a hr over the following couple of years, Orange Region authorities, citing the concern on businesses, have actually shown no disposition to do similarly.

In Could, Irvine repealed its 7-year-old “living wage” legislation— the area’s just such regulation– which called for city staff members as well as service providers to be paid at the very least $10.82 a hr, or $13.43 if their companies supplied no health insurance coverage.


For prospective homeowners, potential customers have boosted because the real estate bubble. By 2014, 44 percent of households could afford an entry-level residence, up from 24 percent in 2006.

Nonetheless, Orange Area proceeds to deal with an alarming real estate shortage. From 2006 to 2014, contractors supplied just 40 percent of the new housing required for all earnings degrees and also just 10 percent of needed low-income devices. That rate has picked up in the past year.

The shortage-driven high price of housing, 142 percent above the nationwide average, “will certainly discourage current grads, youthful entrepreneurs, as well as talented employees from remaining and motivate them to relocate to even more economical areas as well as states,” the report alerts.

In addition, the failure to develop inexpensive housing has actually resulted in a dramatic surge in the variety of family members that are increasing up as well as tripling up in houses along with a spike in homeless and inadequately housed children. Partially as a result of government budget plan cuts, more compared to 100,000 Orange Region families get on waiting listings for rental support.

Steve PonTell, president and Chief Executive Officer of National Neighborhood Renaissance, which develops cost effective housing, stated Orange Region cities are obstructing jobs due to the fact that of “NIMBYism lower selfishness. It’s: I got mine as well as I do not want ‘those individuals’ living in my community.”

Cities obtain more sales tax obligation from brand-new retail centers, he said, and political leaders see new real estate as requiring expensive solutions. “It’s untrustworthy,” he claimed. “Do they want an area where their grandchildren can not pay for to live?”

Lucy Dunn, head of state as well as Chief Executive Officer of the Orange Region Company Council, slammed the Huntington Beach City Council’s recent ballot to block the construction of 2,400 apartments at a recently approved task near Bella Terra. “We are not offering the future generation,” she said.

Dunn’s organization has supporteded a The golden state costs to raise even more compared to $300 million for budget friendly real estate statewide by treking the declaring charge for some realty papers to $75 from $18. The Orange Region Board of Supervisors elected in Might to resist the bill.

“This isn’t merely an issue for the inadequate,” Dunn stated. “Picture if one-third of the labor force at Goal Health center in south O.C. does not live in O.C. Then you have an earthquake as well as the team cannot arrive to triage people.”


Orange Region’s high college failure rate of 6.4 percent is reduced compared to the state’s 11.6 percent rate, and the portion of pupils eligible for UC as well as CSU admission is increasing.

Yet the total statistics mask large racial, ethnic and also geographical gulfs. In Laguna Coastline Unified School District, 72 percent of pupils are qualified to go to UC and CSU schools, compared to 39 percent in Anaheim Unified.

Much less compared to half of low-income pupils are proficient in English, a truth that “is concerning for employers which significantly ask for so-called ‘soft abilities,’ that include the capability to interact effectively in creating and speech,” the record notes.


In line with nationwide trends, a third of Orange Region kids are overweight or overweight, as well as in low-income cities, as many as half of the children are.

Diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease, 2 obesity-related illness, are on the surge, “a pattern that is most likely to continue if we don’t discover methods to decrease childhood excessive weight,” the report advises.

Mental health is an increasing issue. A hospital stay for major anxiety among youngsters has actually hopped 28 percent since 2003. Fatalities from medication misuse, suicide as well as alcohol-related liver illness are on the surge.

“In spite of enhancing need,” the record noted, “Orange Area has a ratio of 804 individuals per psychological healthcare service provider, compared with the statewide standard of 623 locals.”

Whether on poverty, real estate, education or wellness, the goal of the record is to spur action to “make the community more powerful for all of us,” stated Gardner, the United Method Chief Executive Officer. “Several of these concerns cannot be addressed by charity. We need the management of chosen officials.”

Call the author: mroosevelt@ocregister.com!.?.! Twitter: @MargotRoosevelt