Main article: Melanesians
The original inhabitants of the group of islands now named Melanesia were likely the ancestors of the present-day Papuan-speaking people. They appear to have occupied these islands as far east as the main islands in the Solomon Islands, including Makira and possibly the smaller islands farther to the east.
It was particularly along the north coast of New Guinea and in the islands north and east of New Guinea that the Austronesian people came into contact with these pre-existing populations of Papuan-speaking peoples, probably around 4,000 years ago. There was probably a long period of interaction that resulted in many complex changes in genetics, languages, and culture. It is possible that from this area a very small group of people (speaking an Austronesian language) departed to the east to become the forebears of the Polynesian people. This finding is, however, contradicted by a study published by Temple University finding that Polynesians and Micronesians have little genetic relation to Melanesians; instead, they found significant distinctions between groups living within the Melanesian islands.
Melanesians, together with Papuan people and Australian Aborigines, are the only known modern humans whose prehistoric ancestors interbred with the Denisova hominin, sharing 4%–6% of their genome with this ancient human species.
In the world, blond hair is exceptionally rare among those without European heritage. However, Melanesians of some islands are one of the few non-European peoples and the only dark-skinned group of people outside Australia known to have blond hair.
Building vanity "Second homes" on dune lines is idiotic and as sea level rise continues, these homes are targets of flooding. WHY do we allow them to be rebuilt when, like the light at Nags HEad, its gotta be realized that the inevitability of trnsgression by the sea is only stopped by cooling of climate.
The models, Fitch went on to say, did not capture the exposure to auto losses as sea salt water produced total loss to thousands of cars, many new or vintage.
“Hurricane models typically produce low automobile losses under the assumption that the majority of vehicles are driven away prior to the storm as part of the evacuation,” says Fitch.
The rating service notes that AIR estimates that more than 230,000 automobiles were affected by the storm, producing insured auto losses between $1 billion and $1.2 billion.
Fitch says that the industry will be reexamining its exposure to the Northeast after back-to-back catastrophe years with Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Sandy last year. The nature of Sandy, producing so much destruction despite being a extra-tropical storm, will force insurers to reevaluate their pricing and terms and conditions of policies.
Fitch does not believe Sandy will be a market-changing event. However, it will help sustain the gradual rate increases that insurers have sought over the past few years, especially in regions of the Northeast impacted by Sandy, where rate increases may be substantial, says Fitch.
Fitch adds that overall losses will fall within the high-end of loss estimates, reaching $20 billion and coming close to the $25 billion mark. It says companies have reported losses of approximately $16 billion to $17 billion so far.
One reinsurance broker, Holborn, says the models are further off the mark and total loss could be closer to $30 billion. That same figure was echoed by former Willis Chief Executive Joe Plumeri in a recent interview.
Lloyd’s of London estimates its net claims could fall between $2 billion and $2.5 billion. American International Group put out a pre-tax net loss estimate of $2 billion, partly because its Lexington Insurance Company provides excess insurance coverage to the New York MTA.
The MTA says it suffered $5 billion in loss to its infrastructure of tunnels, bridges and transit system. The MTA says it expects insurance recovery of $1.075 billion, which has placements with AIG and Lloyd’s.
Using “cool cement” and setting standards for roofing materials are among the actions some cities in the United States are taking to tackle climate change, and the damage it’s causing to their infrastructures.
A sustainability focused organization in the United States has released a fact sheet detailing how 20 cities in the country are dealing with climate change, along with the extreme weather that comes with it.
ICLEI USA, a group focused on sustainability issues, suggests that 2012 was a “wake-up call” for governments, as the year turned out to be the hottest year on record for the continental United States, and saw immense damage from “superstorm” Sandy in the fall.
“As Sandy taught us, local governments are the first responders after storms destroy infrastructure—or heat waves roast apartment buildings, or floodwaters inundate main street,” the organization’s blog notes. “And they are responsible not just for emergency response but proactive planning to create more prepared, resilient communities.”
Changing Climate, Changing Communities: Guide and Workbook for Municipal Climate Adaptation is a compendium of resources that provide a milestone based framework to assist local governments in the creation of adaptation plans to address the relevant climate change impacts associated with their communities. Although climate change adaptation is a complex process, this guide aims to provide a straightforward methodology to adaptation planning using a five-milestone approach.
The wave-on-wave collisions created what are called standing waves, doubling the energy directed at the seafloor, scientists reported today. The ocean gave the seafloor a little shove, sending seismic waves through the Earth.
The tremors are roughly similar to a magnitude-2 or magnitude-3 earthquake....