Here’s some of the things we think were especially noteworthy this last week:
Japan’s Mount Ontake erupted this last week. The eruption was a surprise. The National Geographic explains that Mount Ontake belongs to a class of “stratovolcanoes”, which are notoriously hard to predict. They write, “[Stratovolcanoes] are the most lovely and deadly of volcanoes, with gentle lower slower that steepen dramatically at their narrow tips.” The Japan Times reports at least 31 people feared dead.
Don’t forget that we have volcanoes in the US too: Mount St. Helens may be showing signs of reawakening, and Glacier Peak in Washington’s Snohomish County is getting a closer look by scientists. It’s considered one of the “most dangerous but least monitored volcanoes in the country.”
Ebola Outbreak in West Africa
Kim Yi Dionne, Laura Seay and Erin McDaniel write about “AFRICOM’s Response and the Militarization of Humanitarian Aid,” at the Monkey Cage. AFRICOM, for readers unfamiliar with the various acronyms out there, is the US Africa Command. The US military has sent 3,000 troops to West Africa, where an Ebola outbreak has been the focal point for many cries for humanitarian aid since August. Dionne, Seay and McDaniel walk through the current situation and politics, as well as provide an insightful analysis concerning the increased militarization of US policy to Africa.
Storms in the Southwest US
Some amazingly strong storms have been hitting the southwest US very hard of late. AccuWeather has a great summary here.