5 days on, hopes fade in Mexico City quake rescue operations

rescuers search for survivors amid the debris and rubble
RUBBLE. Rescuers search for survivors amid the debris and rubble from a flattened building in Mexico City on September 23, 2017, 4 days after the powerful quake that hit central Mexico. Photo by Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP

Authorities are still listening to anguished families who insist that painstaking rescue operations continue at a handful of sites

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (Sept. 25, 2017) — Hopes of finding more survivors after Mexico City’s devastating quake dwindled to virtually nothing on Sunday, September 24, 5 days after the 7.1 tremor rocked the heart of the mega-city, toppling dozens of buildings and killing more than 300 people. Continue reading 5 days on, hopes fade in Mexico City quake rescue operations

Rohingya in Bangladesh need ‘massive’ assistance – UN

rohingya migrants
INFLUX. In this photograph taken on May 20, 2015, Bangladeshi migrants are transported on a bus in Langsa, Aceh province after they were rescued by Indonesian fishermen off the eastern coast of Aceh. AFP File photo

At least 436,000 Rohingya recently arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state since an outbreak of violence a month ago

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Sept. 25, 2017) — Bangladesh needs “massive international assistance” to feed and shelter the 436,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar in recent weeks, the head of the UN refugee agency said Sunday, September 24. Continue reading Rohingya in Bangladesh need ‘massive’ assistance – UN

Bohol court scraps proposed Panglao reclamation project

panglao island, bohol
In this file photo, the sun rises over boats in Panglao island in Bohol on October 18, 2013. Jay Directo/AFP

The case stemmed from a 2009 plan which would involve a massive reclamation of seashores off Panglao Bay for a supposed leisure and resort park

BOHOL, Philippines (Sept. 25, 2017) — A regional trial court here has shelved a plan to reclaim 450 hectares of seashores off Panglao Island after it junked a case earlier filed against Bohol officials that would have compelled them to enforce a joint-venture agreement forged by the previous local administration and a private entity. Continue reading Bohol court scraps proposed Panglao reclamation project

Giant Snails’ Century-Old Shells Recorded Monsoon Rainfall

giant african land snail
The giant African land snail can grow larger than the size of an adult human hand, as seen here. The species, which has invaded habitats in many parts of the world, may help scientists retrace the rainfall history of monsoons across the Indian subcontinent. Credit: Paul Brown/Rex Features via Associated Press

Researchers explored past precipitation in India using shells from very large land snails collected there in 1918 and preserved in a British museum

September 25, 2017 — The shells of a large, invasive snail in India can provide exceptionally fine grained records of past precipitation in the region, a new study finds. By measuring isotope ratios in shells from some of these snails from as long ago as 1918, the researchers have demonstrated that they could reconstruct the subseasonal rainfall rate of past monsoon seasons. Continue reading Giant Snails’ Century-Old Shells Recorded Monsoon Rainfall

How the Micrometeorology of Alpine Forests Affects Snowmelt

swiss alps
A photograph taken from a drone at a research site in the Swiss Alps shows snow disappearance patterns around a break in the forest canopy. These patterns vary according to tree position, sunlight and shade, and snow-covered and snow-free ground. Credit: Clare Webster

A field study in the Swiss Alps showed considerable spatial and temporal variability in forest air and surface temperatures, with implications for snowmelt models

September 25, 2017 — Warming temperatures in spring herald the melting of snow in mountains and higher-latitude regions. Predicting the timing and speed of snowmelt is important for local communities as they prepare for knock-on effects such as increased river levels or the end of the snow sports season. Continue reading How the Micrometeorology of Alpine Forests Affects Snowmelt

What would an entirely flood-proof city look like

new meadowsland, new jersey
An aerial rendering of New Meadowlands, a proposal to provide flood protection and recreational amenities with a system of berms and marshes in Meadowlands, New Jersey
Photograph: MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN

The wetter the better. From sponge cities in China to ‘berms with benefits’ in New Jersey and floating container classrooms in the slums of Dhaka, we look at a range of projects that treat storm water as a resource rather than a hazard

September 25, 2017 — They call it “pave, pipe, and pump”: the mentality that has dominated urban development for over a century. Continue reading What would an entirely flood-proof city look like

Plastic chunks on Arctic ice show how far pollution has spread

plastic pollution in arctic ocean
Plastic pollution on an ice floe in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Photograph: Conor McDonnell

Discovery by UK scientists prompts fear that melting ice will allow more plastic to be released into the central Arctic Ocean – with huge effects on wildlife

September 25, 2017 — A British-led expedition has discovered sizeable chunks of polystyrene lying on remote frozen ice floes in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Continue reading Plastic chunks on Arctic ice show how far pollution has spread