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Showing posts from June, 2008

{Press Release} KMD REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE “LONG RAINS” (MARCH-MAY) 2008 SEASON AND OUTLOOK FOR JUNE - AUGUST 2008

Kenya Meteorological Department
REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE “LONG RAINS” (MARCH-MAY) 2008 SEASON AND OUTLOOK FOR JUNE - AUGUST 2008
1. HIGHLIGHTS
- La- Niña conditions (cool sea surface temperatures) that prevailed during the Long Rains (March – May 2008) rainfall season started to show signs of decaying.
- The West Indian Ocean Sea surface Temperatures Anomalies are now neutral with pockets of negative anomalies over Eastern Indian Ocean.
- The outlook for June to August 2008 indicates that the Coastal Strip of Kenya is likely to experience near normal rainfall with a tendency towards above normal (i.e. enhanced rainfall.) while Western, Nyanza Provinces and some parts Rift Valley are likely to experience near normal rainfall with a tendency towards below normal (i.e. depressed rainfall). The rest of the country is expected to be generally dry. Temperatures over most parts of the country are expected to be normal to slightly cooler that average. The day-to- day variations in tempera…

{Press release} 080630 IMD Long range forecast update for the 2008 Southwest monsoon rainfall

INDIA METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT
Long range forecast update for the 2008 Southwest monsoon rainfall
1. Background
India Meteorological Department (IMD) has been following a two-stage forecast strategy for the southwest monsoon rainfall over the country as a whole, in which the first forecast is issued in April and the forecast update is issued by end of June. Based on a 5-parameter ensemble statistical model, IMD issued the following forecast for the 2008 southwest monsoon rainfall over the country as a whole.
IMD’s long range forecast for the 2008 south-west monsoon season (June to September) is that the rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be Near Normal. Quantitatively, monsoon season rainfall is likely to be 99% of the long period average with a model error of ± 5%. The Long period average rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1941-1990 is 89 cm.
2. Second Stage Forecasts
IMD has now prepared the following forecasts, which are being released now:
a) Forecast u…

{News} 080630 Dipole event prompts monsoon outlook upgrade

Dipole event prompts monsoon outlook upgrade

Vinson Kurian

Thiruvananthapuram, June 30 India Meteorological Department (IMD) has upgraded projections about this year’s monsoon to be 100 per cent of the long-period average (LPA) with a model error of plus or minus 4 per cent.

This would go to make it a ‘normal’ monsoon year and is an improvement on the first long-range forecast made in April that quantified the season to be 99-per cent of LPA or ‘near-normal’.
Releasing its long-term forecast update on Monday, the IMD observed that factors such as sea surface temperatures over the Indian Ocean (resulting in Indian Ocean Dipole, or IOD events) also influence Indian monsoon rainfall in addition to the El Nino or La Nina in the equatorial Pacific.

IOD FACTORED IN
A few climate models suggest the possibility of development of a positive IOD, which is said to favour good performance of Indian monsoon, especially during September. Equatorial Pacific conditions and the possible evolution of IOD str…

Sumatra & Java Satellite Images! 30 June 2008

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{News} 080624 Villagers learn to fight forest fires

Villagers learn to fight forest fires
Benget Besalicto Tnb. , Contributor , Seruyan, Central Kalimantan Tue, 06/24/2008 10:01 AM Environment
The lingering rainy season this year may mean people have forgotten the big problems triggered by forest fires. But the problem is fresh in the mind of Asron.
The 45-year-old recently attended a forest fire awareness training program in Terawan village of Seruyan regency, Central Kalimantan.
"I come from a village behind this club house," he said, referring to an Agro Group's building which is sandwiched between leafy palm oil plantation to the west and sparse forest to the east.
Asron was one out of 200 people taking part in the program jointly organized by the Agro Group, WWF Indonesia, Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS), Care International, Indonesian Council for Palm Oil (DMSI), Association of Indonesian and Malaysian Palm Oil Investors (AIPIMI) and Forestry Ministry's Natural Resources Conservation Board (BKS…

{News} 080622 Money might just grow on trees

Money might just grow on trees
Belinda Lopez , The Jakarta Post , Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan Sun, 06/22/2008 10:44 AM Current Issues
Taking a step into the tropical peat swamp of Central Kalimantan can be a dangerous affair. A firm surface is never guaranteed, and losing your boots in the quicksand-like mud is inevitable -- but the least of your concerns.
There are snakes, spiders and a particularly nasty variety of ant that proved itself talented at getting into one's pants for a salutary welcome bite. Stories of orangutans and hikers will be left to the reader's imagination.
But the alternative to such a thriving forest is a desert-like field of peat, the extinction of Indonesia's array of wildlife and fires that make the country the third highest carbon producer in the world. This too can be found in Central Kalimantan.
It's a situation Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appear to want to halt. A new …

{News} 080619 Forestry Ministry asks Japan to check air quality

Forestry Ministry asks Japan to check air quality
Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Thu, 06/19/2008 9:59 AM National
Indonesia has challenged Japanese scientists to check the balance between the amount of fresh oxygen produced by Indonesia's protected forests, and amounts of forest fire haze affecting neighboring countries.
This information could be an important way to counter repeated international protests over haze problems, the Forestry Ministry claimed in a dialog on research cooperation between Indonesia and Japan, here Wednesday.
"We need to conduct research to check the balance between the 'amounts' of haze and fresh oxygen 'sent' by Indonesian forests to neighboring countries," the ministry forest fire prevention unit chief, Herman Prayitno, said.
"We need this data to create a balanced view," he said, "which would show that our forests also create fresh oxygen and could improve our bargaining position in resp…

{News} 080527 Using human rights to combat palm oil's hazards

Using human rights to combat palm oil's hazards
Irene Hadiprayitno , Utrecht Tue, 05/27/2008 3:16 PM Opinion
The palm oil industry is not only popular in the discourse of biofuels, but it is also economically lucrative.
In Indonesia alone the industry covers 17 provinces, employing about 2 million workers. The industry has generated an income amounting to Rp 7.779 million.
However, while examining the situation at the grassroots level, the effect is to the contrary, rather than improving it is victimizing.
Millions of hectares of tropical forests have been burned to make way for oil palm plantations; an annual haze is being experienced by people living in the vicinity. According to Sawit Watch, Indonesia has increased its palm estates to 7.3 million hectares and is planning to expand the area by a further 20 million hectares -- an area the size of England, the Netherlands and Switzerland combined.
Moreover, the industry is also notoriously known as the cause of local conflicts. In …

{News} 080524 Malaysia to train Indonesian farmers to avoid forest fires

Malaysia to train Indonesian farmers to avoid forest fires
The Associated Press , Kuala Lumpur Sat, 05/24/2008 4:11 PM World
Malaysia will advise Indonesian farmers on how to avoid starting forest fires when they clear land as part of efforts to curb the smoky cross-border haze released nearly every year, a news report said Saturday.
Malaysian Environment Minister Douglas Unggah Embas said his country will sign a pact with Indonesia next month to boost anti-haze cooperation, which will include training Indonesian farmers to practice controlled burning instead of slash-and-burn activities.
"We (will) either train Indonesians in their country or bring them here for training," Embas was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper.
Ministry officials who could comment on the issue were not immediately available. The report quoted Embas as saying that Malaysia expects to spend 2 million ringgit (US$620,000) to conduct the training.
Officials from both countries have warned people to br…

{News} 080525 Major forest fires in sight as more hotspots detected

Major forest fires in sight as more hotspots detected
Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Sun, 05/25/2008 12:01 PM Headlines
Indonesia has been placed on alert for widespread forest fires, with satellite images showing a rise in the number of hotspots in the past three weeks.
The U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration satellite has detected about 555 hotspots in Riau alone in the past 32 days, Dedi Hariri, the forest fire monitoring officer at the World Wildlife Fund Indonesia, said Saturday.
A hotspot is a fire covering at least one hectare.
"The number of hotspots has grown really quickly because of the long-standing problem of massive slash-and-burn practices by farmers, timber firms and plantation companies," Dedi told The Jakarta Post.
As of Saturday, the number of hotspots in West Kalimantan had reached 339, while the numbers detected in West Sumatra and North Sumatra had risen to 200 and 67, respectively.
Riau Governor Rusli Zaenal has called for th…

{News} 090522 North Sumatra again blanketed in haze

North Sumatra again blanketed in hazeApriadi Gunawan and Rizal Harahap , The Jakarta Post , Medan, Pekanbaru Thu, 05/22/2008Choking haze from forest fires in Riau and Jambi has blanketed North Sumatra for several days and threatens to spread to neighboring countries.
Based on reports from the Meteorological and Geophysics Agency (BMG), the haze has reduced visibility to between three and five kilometers since May 18, from around 8 km previously, but has yet to disrupt flight schedules thus far.
The recent poor visibility in North Sumatra was attributed to haze from forest fires in Riau and Jambi, BMG Medan data division head Firman said.
Riau and Jambi contributed most to the situation despite the declining number of hotspots recorded in Sumatra over the past week, he said.
"Based on satellite images, we recorded 372 hotspots in Sumatra on May 17. This number had decreased to 207 the following day, and had further declined to 97 by May 20, but most of these were in Riau and Jambi,&qu…

{News} 080531 'Ocean fertilisation' or extreme pollution?

'Ocean fertilisation' or extreme pollution?JULIO GODOY BONN, GERMANY - May 30 2008 16:05
Mail & Guardian Online
When some multinational companies dump chemicals into the sea, they call it "ocean fertilisation". This practice is near the top of the agenda at the United Nations conference on biological diversity in Bonn that ends on Friday.
"Ocean fertilisation simply means dumping into the ocean particles of iron, nitrogen or urea allegedly to transform the ecological balance of particular marine habitats, to encourage additional phytoplankton growth, and increase absorption of carbon dioxide," says Saskia Richartz, ocean expert at Greenpeace.
Practically all developing countries want the UN conference to approve a global moratorium on ocean fertilisation until scientific evidence can prove that the practice does not bring new pollution risks. But some industrialised countries, led by Australia, want to avoid a strong ban.
Phytoplankton collectively accoun…

Vietnam Satellite Images! 29 June 2008

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Sumatra and Java Satellite Images! 29 June 2008

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Malacca Straits and Andaman Sea Satellite Images! 28 June 2008

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Vietnam Satellite Images! 28 June 2008

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Sumatra and Java Satellite Images! 28 June 2008

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Sulu Sea Satellite Images! 28 June 2008

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{News} 071018 Rough Weather

Rough Weather

The Indian monsoon cycles are more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought, a new study shows. From eastern Africa to Australia, this may mean drought in some areas and more flooding in others.

Rebecca Hall
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Updated: 12:00 PM ET Oct 18, 2007

The Indian monsoon has always been a matter of intense interest to farmers on the subcontinent because it brings the summer rains, which account for 80 percent of annual rainfall. The phenomenon also drives weather patterns for a vast region that stretches from eastern Africa to Indonesia. Now scientists have found that global warming may have a much bigger impact on this key driver of Asian weather than previously thought. In a paper published today in the journal Science, researchers have now found that the climate system in the entire region is tightly linked to water temperatures in the Indian Ocean. This means that as global temperatures rise, Asia will undergo an upheaval in climate patterns, causi…

Sulu Sea Satellite Images! 27 June 2008

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Northern Borneo Satellite Images! 27 June 2008

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Sumatra and Java Satellite Images! 27 June 2008

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{News} 080627 Rain outlook bleak for winter months

Rain outlook bleak for winter months

EUGENE DUFFY
Fairfax Media, 27/06/2008 8:49:00 AM

BENDIGO has received only 60 per cent of its average rainfall for the first half of the year and the outlook is bleak. But the prospects of a wet winter after a dry autumn are diminishing with the latest Bureau of Meteorology rainfall outlook predicting only a 35 to 40 per cent chance of average rainfall over the nest three months.
The six-month total of 128mm of rain - the second lowest in the past 16 years - is a bad start to the year where inflows into the Murray River systems, including the Campaspe, Loddon and Coliban catchments are again under pressure.
Coliban Water continues to use water from the Goulburn system and the Superpipe to supply Bendigo, enabling reserves at the Lauriston Reservoir to remain about 40 per cent and its overall storages at 13.4 per cent more than twice last year’s level.
But good above average rains in May and July last year helped build these water reserves, a situation t…

Vietnam Satellite Images! 26 June 2008

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