89 research outputs found

    A comparison of the 31 January–1 February 1953 and 5–6 December 2013 coastal flood events around the UK

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    A North Sea storm surge during 31 January–1 February 1953 caused Northwest Europe's most severe coastal floods in living memory. This event killed more than 2000 people on the coasts of England, the Netherlands, and Belgium. In the UK, where this study focuses, this event was a pivotal influence for flood risk management. Subsequent progress included a national tide gauge network, a storm surge forecasting and warning service, and major defense upgrades such as the Thames Barrier. Almost 60-years later, on 5–6 December 2013 Storm “Xaver” generated a surge event of similar magnitude. This paper describes a detailed comparison of these two events in the UK in terms of: (1) the meteorological conditions; (2) the observed high sea levels; and (3) the coastal flooding and impacts. The 1953 storm had a more southerly track and generated bigger waves due to the north-northwesterly onshore winds off East Anglia. The 2013 storm had a more west-to-east path from the north Atlantic to Scandinavia. Consequently, the 1953 high waters were more extreme in the southern North Sea. However, the 2013 event coincided with larger astronomical tides, resulting in a larger spatial “footprint”. The extreme sea levels impacted communities on the west, east, and south coasts, with 2800 properties flooded during the 2013 event, compared to 24,000 properties (mainly between the Humber and Thames) in 1953. The 1953 floods remain a benchmark in the UK as an event which included failed defenses, damaged property and infrastructure and loss of life. Measures taken after 1953 greatly reduced the consequences of the 5–6 December 2013 storm. Continued monitoring of extreme sea levels and their consequences is important to inform a realistic perspective on future planning and resilience

    An improved database of coastal flooding in the United Kingdom from 1915 to 2016

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    Coastal flooding caused by extreme sea levels can produce devastating and wide-ranging consequences. The ‘SurgeWatch’ v1.0 database systematically documents and assesses the consequences of historical coastal flood events around the UK. The original database was inevitably biased due to the inconsistent spatial and temporal coverage of sea-level observations utilised. Therefore, we present an improved version integrating a variety of ‘soft’ data such as journal papers, newspapers, weather reports, and social media. SurgeWatch2.0 identifies 329 coastal flooding events from 1915 to 2016, a more than fivefold increase compared to the 59 events in v1.0. Moreover, each flood event is now ranked using a multi-level categorisation based on inundation, transport disruption, costs, and fatalities: from 1 (Nuisance) to 6 (Disaster). For the 53 most severe events ranked Category 3 and above, an accompanying event description based upon the Source-Pathway-Receptor-Consequence framework was produced. Thus, SurgeWatch v2.0 provides the most comprehensive and coherent historical record of UK coastal flooding. It is designed to be a resource for research, planning, management and education

    Spatial and temporal analysis of extreme sea level and storm surge events around the coastline of the UK

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    In this paper we analyse the spatial footprint and temporal clustering of extreme sea level and skew surge events around the UK coast over the last 100 years (1915-2014). The vast majority of the extreme sea level events are generated by moderate, rather than extreme skew surges, combined with spring astronomical high tides. We distinguish four broad categories of spatial footprints of events and the distinct storm tracks that generated them. There have been rare events when extreme levels have occurred along two unconnected coastal regions during the same storm. The events that occur in closest succession (< 4 days) typically impact different stretches of coastline. The spring/neap tidal cycle prevents successive extreme sea level events from happening within 4-8 days. Finally, the 2013/14 season was highly unusual in the context of the last 100 years from an extreme sea level perspective

    A user-friendly database of coastal flooding in the United Kingdom from 1915–2014

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    Coastal flooding caused by extreme sea levels can be devastating, with long-lasting and diverse consequences. Historically, the UK has suffered major flooding events, and at present 2.5 million properties and £150 billion of assets are potentially exposed to coastal flooding. However, no formal system is in place to catalogue which storms and high sea level events progress to coastal flooding. Furthermore, information on the extent of flooding and associated damages is not systematically documented nationwide. Here we present a database and online tool called ‘SurgeWatch’, which provides a systematic UK-wide record of high sea level and coastal flood events over the last 100 years (1915-2014). Using records from the National Tide Gauge Network, with a dataset of exceedance probabilities and meteorological fields, SurgeWatch captures information of 96 storms during this period, the highest sea levels they produced, and the occurrence and severity of coastal flooding. The data are presented to be easily assessable and understandable to a range of users including, scientists, coastal engineers, managers and planners and concerned citizens

    Does clinical management improve outcomes following self-Harm? Results from the multicentre study of self-harm in England

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    Background Evidence to guide clinical management of self-harm is sparse, trials have recruited selected samples, and psychological treatments that are suggested in guidelines may not be available in routine practice. Aims To examine how the management that patients receive in hospital relates to subsequent outcome. Methods We identified episodes of self-harm presenting to three UK centres (Derby, Manchester, Oxford) over a 10 year period (2000 to 2009). We used established data collection systems to investigate the relationship between four aspects of management (psychosocial assessment, medical admission, psychiatric admission, referral for specialist mental health follow up) and repetition of self-harm within 12 months, adjusted for differences in baseline demographic and clinical characteristics. Results 35,938 individuals presented with self-harm during the study period. In two of the three centres, receiving a psychosocial assessment was associated with a 40% lower risk of repetition, Hazard Ratios (95% CIs): Centre A 0.99 (0.90–1.09); Centre B 0.59 (0.48–0.74); Centre C 0.59 (0.52–0.68). There was little indication that the apparent protective effects were mediated through referral and follow up arrangements. The association between psychosocial assessment and a reduced risk of repetition appeared to be least evident in those from the most deprived areas. Conclusion These findings add to the growing body of evidence that thorough assessment is central to the management of self-harm, but further work is needed to elucidate the possible mechanisms and explore the effects in different clinical subgroups

    Lymphocytes from rheumatoid arthritis patients have elevated levels of intracellular peroxiredoxin 2, and a greater frequency of cells with exofacial peroxiredoxin 2, compared with healthy human lymphocytes

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    AbstractPeroxiredoxin 2 has immune regulatory functions, but its expression in human peripheral blood lymphocytes and levels in extracellular fluid in healthy subjects and rheumatoid arthritis patients are poorly described. In the present study, the median intracellular peroxiredoxin 2 protein content of lymphocytes from rheumatoid arthritis patients was more than two-fold higher compared with healthy subjects’ lymphocytes. Intracellular peroxiredoxin 3 levels were similar in healthy and rheumatoid arthritis lymphocytes. Flow cytometry detected peroxiredoxin 2 on the surface of ca. 8% of T cells and ca. 56% of B cells (median % values) of all subjects analyzed. Exofacial thioredoxin-1 was also observed. In the total lymphocyte population from rheumatoid arthritis patients, few cells (median, 6%) displayed surface peroxiredoxin 2. In contrast, a significantly increased proportion of interleukin-17+ve lymphocytes were exofacially peroxiredoxin 2+ve (median, 39%). Prdx2 was also detected in human extracellular fluids. We suggest that crucial inflammatory cell subsets, i.e. interleukin-17+ve T cells, exhibit increased exofacial redox-regulating enzymes and that peroxiredoxin 2 may be involved in the persistence of pro-inflammatory cells in chronic inflammation

    St Helena marine water quality: Background conditions and development of assessment levels for coastal pollutants

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    St Helena is an isolated oceanic island located in the tropical South Atlantic, and knowledge of broadscale oceanography and productivity in its surrounding waters is limited. This study used model outputs (2007-2017), remote sensing data (1998-2017) and survey measurements (April 2018 and 2019) to determine background conditions for nutrients, chlorophyll and suspended particulate matter (SPM) in offshore waters and propose standards (thresholds) for assessing inshore water quality based on 50% deviation from seasonal (usually June to November) or annual averages. Seasonal thresholds were proposed for surface nitrate (average 0.18 mu M), phosphate (average 0.26 mu M), silicate (average 2.60 mu M), chlorophyll (average 0.45 mu g chl l(-1)), and SPM (average 0.96 mg l(-1)). Associated background values for most surface parameters (phosphate 0.17 mu M, silicate 1.57 mu M, chlorophyll 0.30 mu g chl l(-1); from model outputs and remote sensing) were slightly higher than offshore observations (April 2019). For nitrate, the average background value (0.12 mu M) was lower than the observed average (0.24 mu M). At depth (150-500 m), annual background values from model outputs were high (nitrate 26.8 mu M, phosphate 1.8 mu M, silicate 17.3 mu M). Observed water masses at depths >150 m, identified to be of Antarctic and Atlantic origin, were nutrient-rich (e.g., 16 mu M for nitrate, April 2019) and oxygen deficient (<4-6 mg l(-1)). A thermocline layer (between ca. 10 and 230 m), characterized by a sub-surface chlorophyll maximum (average 0.3-0.5 mu g chl l(-1)) near the bottom of the euphotic zone (ca. 100 m), is likely to sustain primary and secondary production at St Helena. For assessing inshore levels of chemical contaminants and fecal bacteria estimated from survey measurements, standards were derived from the literature. A preliminary assessment of inshore observations using proposed thresholds from surface offshore waters and relevant literature standards indicated concerns regarding levels of nutrients and fecal bacteria at some locations. More detailed modeling and/or field-based studies are required to investigate seasonal trends and nutrient availability to inshore primary producers and to establish accurate levels of any contaminants of interest or risk to the marine environment

    Enhanced pre-operative axillary staging using intradermal microbubbles and contrast-enhanced ultrasound to detect and biopsy sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer: a potential replacement for axillary surgery.

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    OBJECTIVE: To compare the experience of four UK Centres in the use of intradermal microbubbles and contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) to pre-operatively identify and biopsy sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) in patients with breast cancer. METHODS: In all centres, breast cancer patients had a microbubble/CEUS SLN core biopsy prior to axillary surgery and patients in Centres 1 and 2 had a normal greyscale axillary ultrasound. Data were collected between 2010 and 2016; 1361 from Centre 1 (prospective, sequential), 376 from Centre 2 (retrospective, sequential), 121 from Centre 3 (retrospective, selected) and 48 from Centre 4 (prospective, selected). RESULTS: SLN were successfully core biopsied in 80% (Centre 1), 79.6% (Centre 2), 77.5% (Centre 3) and 88% (Centre 4). The sensitivities to identify all SLN metastases were 46.9% [95% confidence intervals (CI) (39.4-55.1)], 52.5% [95% CI (39.1-65.7)], 46.4% [95% CI (27.5-66.1)] and 45.5% [95% CI (16.7-76.6)], respectively. The specificities were 99.7% [95% CI (I98.9-100)], 98.1% [95% CI (94.5-99.6)], 100% [95% CI (93.2-100%)] and 96.3% [95% CI (81-99.9)], respectively.The negative predictive values were 87.0% [95% CI (84.3-89.3)], 84.5% [95% CI (78.4-89.5)], 86.9% [95% CI (82.4-90.3)] and 86.2% [95% CI (78.4-91.5)], respectively. At Centres 1 and 2, 12/730 (1.6%) and 7/181 (4%), respectively, of patients with a benign microbubble/CEUS SLN core biopsy had two or more lymph node (LN) macrometastases found at the end of primary surgical treatment. CONCLUSION: The identification and biopsy of SLN using CEUS is a reproducible technique. Advances in knowledge: In the era of axillary conservation, microbubble/CEUS SLN core biopsy has the potential to succeed surgical staging of the axilla

    The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment: Exploring Fundamental Symmetries of the Universe

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    The preponderance of matter over antimatter in the early Universe, the dynamics of the supernova bursts that produced the heavy elements necessary for life and whether protons eventually decay --- these mysteries at the forefront of particle physics and astrophysics are key to understanding the early evolution of our Universe, its current state and its eventual fate. The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) represents an extensively developed plan for a world-class experiment dedicated to addressing these questions. LBNE is conceived around three central components: (1) a new, high-intensity neutrino source generated from a megawatt-class proton accelerator at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, (2) a near neutrino detector just downstream of the source, and (3) a massive liquid argon time-projection chamber deployed as a far detector deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. This facility, located at the site of the former Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, is approximately 1,300 km from the neutrino source at Fermilab -- a distance (baseline) that delivers optimal sensitivity to neutrino charge-parity symmetry violation and mass ordering effects. This ambitious yet cost-effective design incorporates scalability and flexibility and can accommodate a variety of upgrades and contributions. With its exceptional combination of experimental configuration, technical capabilities, and potential for transformative discoveries, LBNE promises to be a vital facility for the field of particle physics worldwide, providing physicists from around the globe with opportunities to collaborate in a twenty to thirty year program of exciting science. In this document we provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess.Comment: Major update of previous version. This is the reference document for LBNE science program and current status. Chapters 1, 3, and 9 provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess. 288 pages, 116 figure
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