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Analysis and Comment (12)

There is more freedom and more reasons to smile in Burma than in the past – but will this girl and others in her generation share the spoils of the nation’s resources boom? There is more freedom and more reasons to smile in Burma than in the past – but will this girl and others in her generation share the spoils of the nation’s resources boom? Dietmar Temps

Burma emerges from a shadowy past, but real progress lies ahead

Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the final in a four-part series about…
Disasters such as the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami show how vulnerable cities are. Sendai pictured here. Disasters such as the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami show how vulnerable cities are. Sendai pictured here. U.S. Pacific Fleet/Flickr

Cities are failing to cope with global challenges

The old German saying Stadt Luft Macht Frei (“urban air makes you free”) is the defining injunction of modernity. Modern western cities were launched as the vessels of liberation from a human era darkened…
Fishing boats stranded by the 2011 tsunami, with the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the background. Fishing boats stranded by the 2011 tsunami, with the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the background. EPA/Kimimasa Mayama

Book review: Fukushima

Three years ago today, Japan was hit by the strongest earthquake ever measured in that country – and Fukushima became an international by-word for disaster. Now, as Japan tries to put its past behind it…
Women: first to mobilise, last to be considered. Women: first to mobilise, last to be considered. Simminch

Women worse off when it comes to natural disasters

The Philippines. Pakistan. New Orleans. Sri Lanka. All have suffered catastrophic disasters in recent times. And the emergence of “climate refugees” – populations displaced by extreme weather events…
A prison official examines damage to the prison wall that collapsed after this week’s earthquake in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. A prison official examines damage to the prison wall that collapsed after this week’s earthquake in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Hotli Simanjuntak/EPA

The Sumatran earthquake didn’t cause a tsunami because …

The earthquake that struck roughly 400km off the coast of Sumatra on Wednesday reminded us all that our planet hasn’t gone to sleep. Big earthquakes can happen at any time and often have severe consequences…
The carpet of sludge and debris left by 2011’s tsunami wreaked havoc on paddyfields. The carpet of sludge and debris left by 2011’s tsunami wreaked havoc on paddyfields. AAP

Swamped with saltwater: what a tsunami does to rice farmers

Japan’s tsunami of March 11 2011 brought a wall of water laden with debris up to 5 kilometres inland from the sea. After the surge receded, the surrounding farming area was left covered in debris and a…
We know how much damage tsunamis can cause, we need to know more about when and where they come from. We know how much damage tsunamis can cause, we need to know more about when and where they come from. AAP

We should have been prepared for the Fukushima tsunami

A year ago yesterday the Tōhoku-Oki earthquake and resultant tsunami hit the Japanese coastline, triggering the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster. A year on, many questions are being asked about how bad…
We can’t tame the oceans, but modelling can help us better understand them. We can’t tame the oceans, but modelling can help us better understand them. Badruddeen

Super models – using maths to mitigate natural disasters

Last year will go on record as one of significant natural disasters both in Australia and overseas. Indeed, the flooding of the Brisbane River in January is still making news as the Queensland floods inquiry…
How does Queensland tourism recover after a cyclone and floods earlier this year? How does Queensland tourism recover after a cyclone and floods earlier this year? AFP Photo/Paul Crcok

Danger in paradise: resurrecting tourism after natural disasters

This year’s natural disasters have been an omnipresent and unwelcome theme impacting on tourism to Japan, New Zealand, Queensland and Thailand. Long after the initial horror of a natural disaster, the…
Despite the clear benefits, Japan’s agricultural sector seems resistent to an FTA with Australia. Despite the clear benefits, Japan’s agricultural sector seems resistent to an FTA with Australia. AAP

After the disasters, can we revive a free trade agreement with Japan?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard was one of the first world leaders to visit Japan after the nation was stricken on 3 March by the earthquake-tsunami-radiation triple disaster. But the Australian government…
Is earthquake prediction even possible? Is earthquake prediction even possible? Soe Than WIN/AFP

Revealing cracks in seismology

Why have so many lives been lost in Japan and New Zealand recently? And why have so many survivors – the so-called “lucky ones” – had their livelihoods and homes destroyed? As a seismologist, I ask myself…
Should we be able to better “manage” extreme events? Should we be able to better “manage” extreme events? Kimimasa Mayama/EPA

Learning from the Japan tsunami

What lessons can we learn from the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami? Well, hindsight is a wonderful thing. We can, of course, question the wisdom of placing nuclear power plants in coastal locations…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (3)