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Typhoon Bopha (26W) Over Palawan Island, Philippines – December 7th, 2012

9.8N 118.7E

December 7th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Cyclones

Typhoon Bopha (26W) – December 5th, 2012

Enhanced image

Typhoon Bopha (26W) - December 6th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TY 26W

Typhoon Bopha (TY 26W) is located approximately 320 nautical miles west of Manila, Philippines. The system has tracked north-northwestward at 08 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 20 feet.

Also visible in these images is the use of the Chelys Satellite Rapid Response System (SRRS) “borders” feature, which allows users to download images with countries’ outlines superimposed over cloudcover. Although the typhoon obscures the land and sea below it, thanks to this feature, the outline of Palawan Island can be seen directly below the center of the storm (best observed upon opening full image).

Palawan Island is the largest island of the Palawan Province, Philippines. The northern coast of the island is along the South China Sea, while the southern coast forms part of the northern limit of the Sulu Sea. This island has abundant wildlife, jungle mountains, and white sandy beaches.

Topography of Palawan Island, Philippines

9.8N 118.7E

February 20th, 2012 Category: Mountains

Philippines - February 7th, 2012

This orthoctified wide-swath ASAR image focuses on Palawan, an island province of the Philippines. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island, measuring 450 kilometres (280 mi) long, and 50 kilometres (31 mi) wide.

Palawan is composed of the long and narrow Palawan Island, plus a number of other smaller islands surrounding the main island. The Calamianes Group of Islands, to the northeast consists of Busuanga Island, Culion Island, and Coron Island. Durangan Island almost touches the westernmost part of Palawan Island, while Balabac Island is located off the southern tip, separated from Borneo by the Balabac Strait. In addition, Palawan covers the Cuyo Islands in the Sulu Sea. The disputed Spratly Islands, located a few hundred kilometres to the west is considered part of Palawan by the Philippines, and is locally called the Kalayaan Group of Islands.

Palawan’s almost 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) of irregular coastline are dotted with roughly 1,780 islands and islets, rocky coves, and sugar-white sandy beaches. It also harbors a vast stretch of virgin forests that carpet its chain of mountain ranges. The mountain heights average 3,500 feet (1,100 m) in altitude, with the highest peak rising to 6,843 feet (2,086 m) at Mount Mantalingahan. The vast mountain areas are the source of valuable timber. The terrain is a mix of coastal plain, craggy foothills, valley deltas, and heavy forest interspersed with riverine arteries that serve as irrigation

Global Warming Threatens Coral Triangle

7.9N 117.0E

May 20th, 2009 Category: Climate Change

Palawan and Balabac Islands, Philippines - May 12th, 2009

Palawan and Balabac Islands, Philippines - May 12th, 2009

Balabac Island (bottom) and the southern tip of Palawan Island (top), in the Philippines, are located on the western edge of the Coral Triange.

The Coral Triangle is a geographical term referring to an area covering more than 5.4 million square kilometers in the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste with an abundance of coral reef.

Although the Coral Triangle covers only 1% of the earth’s surface, it contains a third of all the world’s coral, and three-quarters of its coral reef species.

It is the most diverse marine environment in the world, with over 600 reef-building coral species and more than 3,000 species of fish.

The world’s most important coral region is in danger of being wiped out by the end of this century unless fast action is taken, reports the BBC.

The international conservation group WWF warns that 40% of coral reefs and mangroves in the Coral Triangle have already been lost. Problems such as pollution and the inappropriate use of coastal areas are trapping CO2 in the ocean and causing water temperatures to rise (a 0.7 degree increase in temperature has already changed water currents), thus destroying the ocean’s productivity.

If the world’s richest coral reef is destroyed, the fish that people rely on for food could be gone. In the worst-case scenario, this means that by the end of the century, 100 million people across South East Asia could be on the march, looking for something to eat, thus breaking communities apart and ruining economies.

The WWF is calling for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and better controls on fishing and coastal areas in order to avoid this worst-case scenario.

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