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Sediments in Gulf of Martaban, Myanmar

16.5N 97.0E

February 5th, 2013 Category: Sediments

Myanmar – January 27th, 2013

Here, sediments can be seen in the Gulf of Martaban (right), in Myanmar. Although in the clear at the moment, the Myanmar coast (Gulf of Martaban, Irrawaddy estuary) tends to be exposed to very damaging cyclones several times per year.  One of the major reasons for this is the serious storm surge problems along coast. A tropical cyclone usually produces a higher storm surge in this region compared to  elsewhere in the world. This is because of the special nature of the coastline, the shallow coastal ocean topography and the characteristics of tide. Furthermore, the high density of population adds to the severity of the problem.

Haze Over Bangladesh and Bay of Bengal

21.6N 90.7E

January 18th, 2013 Category: Clouds

Bangladesh and Myanmar – January 7th, 2013

Haze hangs over Bangladesh (above center) and the Bay of Bengal, but does not quite reach Myanmar (right). The haze is likely caused by a combination of factors, including smoke from agricultural fires and pollution, as well as temperature inversion, a meteorological phenomenon that affects the region in winter and prevents pollutants from dispering.

Fires in Northeastern India and Northern Myanmar

26.1N 94.5E

December 31st, 2012 Category: Fires

India and Myanmar – December 28th, 2012

Fires can be seen in northeastern India (left) and northern Myanmar (right) in this image. The fires in India are in the state of Nagaland, which is mostly mountainous except the areas bordering Assam valley. While the smoke from all the fires is blowing towards the east, the fires in India have farther reaching plumes.

Gulf of Martaban Considered for Ramsar List; Problems of Coral Bleaching in Andaman Sea

16.5N 97.0E

December 21st, 2012 Category: Climate Change, Wetlands

Myanmar – December 19th, 2012

While this image focuses on the Gulf of Martaban, in southern Myanmar, more of the Andaman Sea can be observed in the full image. The gulf is currently being considered to be added to the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance. Reasons for including  the Gulf of Martaban include the fact that it supports a number of vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered species, including 50-70 spoon-billed sandpipers and more than 36 species of wading birds.

While the gulf is looking at increased environmental protection, other parts of the Andaman Sea are facing degradation. Coral reefs in the Andaman Sea, throughout the length and breadth of the Andaman group of islands, are losing their colour, owing to extensive bleaching. Experts say global warming is to blame, and that the bleaching problem in the area has existed since the late 1990s. Though a partial recovery has been observed, bleaching of coral reefs remains, nevertheless, a matter of grave concern since the damaged reefs will disturb the delicate ecological balance of the archipelago.

Coral bleaching occurs when there is a disturbance in the delicate symbiotic relationship between corals, which are living creatures, and the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) they host. Both draw nutrients from each other for survival, and the coral’s beautiful colours are due to the zooxanthellae residing inside them. When a disturbance occurs, the zooxanthellae is ejected from the corals, leaving the white calcium carbonate of their skeletons visible – a phenomenon known as coral bleaching.


Sediments by Mouths of Ganges and in Gulf of Martaban, Bangladesh and Myanmar

16.5N 97.0E

December 17th, 2012 Category: Fires, Rivers, Sediments

Myanmar and Bangladesh – December 17th, 2012

Sediments full the Gulf of Martaban, in southern Myanmar, appearing as a tan triangular indentation along the coastline in the lower right quadrant. Visible in the upper left quadrant are more sediments, from the mouths of the Ganges River in southern Bangladesh. These sediments are partially veiled by smoke that has blown eastward from fires in northern India.