March 2014 Current Events: Disasters & Science News
Here are the key events in Science and Disasters news for the month of March 2014.
Malaysia Airlines Flight Disappears (Mar. 8): Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, carrying 239 people, loses contact en route to Beijing, China. The plane disappears between Malaysia and Vietnam. (Mar. 10): While rescue crews continue to search for the missing plane, officials report that two passengers on board MH370 had used stolen passports and booked their tickets at the same time. All causes for what happened to the jetliner are being investigated, including hijacking. (Mar. 24): After days of searching, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak announces that satellite data confirms that the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean, a remote location far off course. Many questions remain unanswered, including why the plane ended up where it did and why it went down. The search for the plane will continue.
Washington State Mudslide Kills Dozens (Mar. 22): A mudslide in Oso, Washington, kills at least 41 people. The number of casualties and injuries is expected to rise as officials compile a list of people who are missing. Search and rescue efforts immediately begin after the mudslide occurred. (Mar. 25): National Guard troops arrive to help as the search continues for the people who have been unaccounted for since the mudslide. Rescue teams search through mud that is several stories deep and has a thickness comparable to freshly poured concrete. Officials confirm that a 1.1 magnitude earthquake occurred right behind the mudslide area on March 10. (Mar. 31): The rescue effort has been difficult due to severe weather such as heavy rains in the mudslide area. There have been no signs of life in the area since the day of the disaster.
UN Report Predicts Dire Effects of Climate Change (Mar. 31): The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases an alarming report that predicts dire environmental and economic consequences for the entire world if the world's leading economies do not start to reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately. The repercussions of climate change include a rise in sea level, a shrinking of ice and snow cover, the melting of glaciers, food and water shortages, crop loss, destruction caused by coastal storms, and increased poverty. In addition, the report says drought caused by global warming could contribute to geopolitical conflicts over water and land. In fact, several scholars and experts blame some of the current political instability in the Middle East on drought.