Monday, April 18, 2011

Scientists develop tool to predict tsunamis, landslides

Sydney: Natural disasters strike when they are least expected, causing untold devastation and disruption of life, besides laying waste huge swathes of land. Now, meteorologists have developed sophisticated tools to help minimise casualties and damage.

Curtin University's geofluid flow experts, Lance Leslie and Diandong Ren focused on climate change and its impact through interpretation of observations and output from climate and weather models, the Journal of Climate reports.

'Our estimates into glacier shrinkage will provide information about whether or not the fresh water supply to one-third of the world's population... in the Sino-Indian mountain regions will remain at sustainable levels,' said Leslie, a professor.

'We can predict landslide and mudslide probabilities by establishing rainstorm threshold totals for any area on the globe,' said Leslie, according to a Curtin statement.

'This means that if we can predict at least several days in advance how much rain there will be and if the rainfall exceeds the threshold, it will help governments and communities to be better prepared in the event of an evacuation.'

Leslie said his research was also aimed at providing more accurate estimates of how fast and to what extent the Greenland ice sheet and glaciers would shrink and therefore the impact upon the rest of the world.

'Sea level rises can seriously affect low-lying, often heavily populated coastal areas which we can estimate more accurately from the predicted melting of the Greenland ice sheet in the expected future warming climate,' he said.

Source: ANI

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