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Archive for October 28th, 2009

Bodies of Water in the Western Half of Tibet’s Lakes Region

31.2N 83.5E

October 28th, 2009 Category: Climate Change, Lakes

Tibet, China - September 24th, 2009

Tibet, China - September 24th, 2009

Lakes of various colors interrupt the arid landscape of Tibet’s Lakes Region. The ones visible here, mainly salt or alkaline, are found at an altitude of about 4800 meters on the western side of the region.

Although the bodies of water visible here appear free of ice, lakes in this area often freeze solid due to the high altitude and low temperatures. In fact, the Tibetan Plateau contains the world’s third-largest store of ice.

The China Meteorological Administration has reported that temperatures in Tibet are rising four times faster than elsewhere in China, and that the Tibetan glaciers are retreating at a higher speed than in any other part of the world.

The administration noted that although this may be good for agriculture and tourism in the short term, it will cause also lakes to expand and bring floods and mudflows. In the long run the glaciers, which supply water to Asian rivers such as the Indus and the Ganges, could melt and disappear, putting water supplies in those regions in danger.

The Orinoco River Empyting into the Gulf of Paría Between Venezuela and Trinidad – October 28th, 2009

10.3N 62W

October 28th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Venezuela - September 29th, 2009

Venezuela - September 29th, 2009

Muddy brown sediments pour forth from the mouth of the Orinoco River, in Venezuela, into the Delta Amacuro and the Gulf of Paría, reaching north-northwestward towards the island of Trinidad (upper left).

The Gulf of Paria is a 7800 km2 (3000 square mile) shallow inland sea between the island of Trinidad (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) and the east coast of Venezuela. This sheltered body of water is considered to be one of the best natural harbours on the Atlantic coast of the Americas.

The Gulf of Paria is a brackish water body – wet season salinities are below 23 ppt (parts per thousand). The extensive mangroves along the Venezuelan and Trinidad coastlines are important wildlife habitat and probably play a crucial role in regional fisheries. The Gulf itself is also an important fishery.

Ice Moving Towards the Coast of Greenland

68.0N 31.6W

October 28th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Greenland - September 30th, 2009

Greenland - September 30th, 2009

The total area of Greenland is 2,166,086 km² (836,109 sq mi), of which the Greenland Ice Sheet covers 1,755,637 km² (677,676 sq mi) (81%). The weight of this massive ice sheet has depressed the central land area to form a basin lying more than 300 m (1,000 ft) below sea level.

The ice flows generally from the center of the island to the coast, as can be seen in the image. Most of the left side of the image is covered by ice, which appears light grey. As one moves closer to the coast (right), mountain peaks become visible above the ice, and the ice can be seen flowing between the peaks, downwards towards the ocean.

Typhoon Mirinae (23W) Expected to Make Landfall Over Luzon

15.9N 133.5E

October 28th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Typhoon Mirinae - October 27th, 2009

Typhoon Mirinae - October 27th, 2009

Track of Mirinae - October 27th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Mirinae

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

Typhoon Mirinae (23W), located approximately 305 nautical miles west-northwest of Guam, has tracked westward at 17 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 17 feet.

Animated infrared satellite imagery and an AMSR-E image show a significant increase in organization and intensity over the past 6 hours. A well defined microwave eye is evident in the AMSR-E pass with deep convection extending completely around the southern half of Mirinae.

Upper level analysis shows that the poleward outflow channel has linked with the mid-latitude trough to the north of Mirinae and has helped to fuel rapid intensification over the past 6 hours.

The influence from the trough on the poleward outflow will begin to diminish over the next 12 to 24 hours as the mid-latitude flow re-aligns and becomes more zonal.

TY 23W is expected to continue strengthening through TAU 72 prior to landfall with Luzon; decreasing as it tracks over Luzon into the South China Sea. Land interaction will slow Mirinae from TAU 72 through 120 as it tracks over Luzon, but the cyclone will see a slight increase in track speed upon re-entering the South China Sea.