ESIN

European Small Islands Federation

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Ophelia hits Irish islands with 110kph winds

Globe

“As the southern most community in Ireland we are expecting to get the first whack off Ophelia in the morning and throughout the day.” says Máirtín Ó Méalóid on Cape Clear Island, and continues “Probably going to be without electricity and possibly various communications systems for a few days given the impending grim forecast.  Everybody stay safe and watch out for others! Ná tóg aon seansanna amadacha!”

Ireland is preparing for what could be its worst storm in half a century when the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia make landfall, bringing wind gusts of up to 110 kilometres per hour.

Ophelia is now a post-tropical cyclone but is still forecast to bring hurricane-force winds to Ireland and the United Kingdom on Monday (local time).

On late Sunday (local time), Ophelia’s maximum sustained winds at 140 km/h with higher gusts. The storm weakened to a category one hurricane as it moved north-north-east across the Atlantic, with sustained winds of 145 kilometres per hour.

You can see her here https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-3.54,36.44,290

Ophelia

 

 

#SmallislesThinkbig

ESIN-Orkney

‘Small Islands are “the agents of change”  that can be trusted to make the low carbon revolution happen in Europe’ declared Brendan Devlin, Special adviser to DG Energy,  at the17th  AGM and annual Conference of the European Small Islands Federation.  It was held in Orkney islands on 11-13 September, and contributed an afternoon of talks on the theme of the Smart Islands for the prestigious Orkney International Science Festival.

The Orkney islands are well-known for their cutting edge leadership in Renewable technology, and on Tuesday 12 September, 32 islanders from 13 countries in Europe visited the small island of Shapinsay – 300 inhabitants where a local development trust was set up to bring income to the islanders through wind power. Their wind turbine, “Whorley”  brings  £90 000 annually to be spent on community projects, running a free minibus and electric taxi for islanders and visitors, and a 12 seats ‘out of hours’ ferry to allow islanders more flexibility in their travel to and from Orkney mainland. “ The quality of community engagement is really remarkable here ” enthused delegates from Greece and Brittany, “This is an inspiration to all our island communities.”

Mairtin O Mealoid of Comharchumann Chleire, the island development Cooperative of Cape Clear and Vice Chair of Comhdhail Oilean na hEireann the Irish Islands Federation said ” coming to Orkney and Discovering the Orkney food and produce brand as well as the Danish Island Produce brand was an inspiration. As a small island food producer myself, I am pleased that we are looking to introduce a similar designation for the producers in our small European islands. We have established a working group and intend to have an islands brand up and running in the near future. This will identify authentic island products that meet agreed criteria and will help with marketing and of course additional employment in the food and drink sectors on the islands”….

Best of all, was the quality of the exchanges between islanders from all corners of Europe. They found they had much in common in terms of opportunities and challenges. Discussing these in a formal as well as an informal setting felt to be of huge benefit: “Whenever we meet, we always learn something from each other” says Pia Prost, from FÖSS, the Finnish Southern archipelago, “by developing projects in small clusters and comparing results, we can advance by leaps and bounds.” Camille Dressler, Leader of the Scottish Islands Federation, who was re-elected as ESIN chair said: “We will be taking these results to Brussels next year and in the meantime, we will continue to push for the needs of the smaller islands of Europe to be recognised and addressed, especially in the context of the Territorial Cohesion Policy post 2020 and Brexit.

Camille Dressler, chairman of ESIN

Cast your vote!

The EU Sustainable Energy Awards – EUSEW – recognise outstanding innovation in energy efficiency and renewables. Nominees/finalists are chosen from a shortlist of the year’s most successful projects for clean, secure and efficient energy. This year, in one of the four categories – “Energy Islands” – EUSEW has nominated (1) Tilos, (2) ESIN/Simskala and (3) Bornholm in the category “energy islands”

A high-level jury decides the winner in each of the categories with the help of a public vote. You can cast your vote here: http://eusew.eu/awards-public-vote.

Finland Simskala Island

Tilos

 

The Naming of Storms

PospoderPospoder lighthouse opposite Ouessant, photo Yves-Marie Quemener

A month ago, Norwegian storm ”Thor” hit Sweden while its twin sister ”Gertrude” brought strong winds to Scotland and Northern England with a red warning for wind issued for the Shetland Islands where gusts of up to 105 mph were recorded, delays to road and rail and ferry networks and school closures were widespread.

A few days ago, ”weather bomb Doris” came in over Britain with gales and snow. Continuing to France, she changed her name to ”Zeus” and hit Brittany with  hurricane-force winds. Yesterday, winds reaching 191 km/h (119 mph = 53 m/s) were recorded in Ouessant, 180 km/h (112 mph = 50 m/s) in l’Ile de Groix.

In the beginning, storms were given arbitrary names. An Atlantic storm that ripped the mast off a boat named Antje became known as Antje’s hurricane. Then, in the mid-1900s, people started using female names for storms.

Then, meteorologists decided to introduce a more organised and efficient system, taking names instead from a list arranged alphabetically. The first storm to occur in a year would be assigned a name beginning with A, and so on. Before the end of the 1900s, forecasters used male names for storms forming in the southern hemisphere.

Since 1953, storms in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic have been named from lists drawn up by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the WMO. The original list featured only women’s names and in 1979, men’s names were introduced – and now they alternate each year. Six lists are used in rotation, so the list for 2016 will be used again in 2022.

When a storm is deemed to be particularly deadly or costly, its name is removed from the list. This is the case of Flora (1963), Gilbert (1988), Hugo (1989), and Andrew (1992). Another name is chosen to replace it at an annual meeting of the WMO Tropical Cyclone Committees.

There are no storms that begin with the less common letters Q, U, X, Y or Z.

Senator Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas argues that current hurricane names are too “lily white,” and is seeking to have better representation for names reflecting “African-Americans and other ethnic groups . All racial groups should be represented,” Lee says, hoping federal weather officials “would try to be inclusive of African-American names” such as Keisha, Jamal and Deshawn (http://www.wnd.com/2003/08/20096/#MFT1G46k7mZzIutH.99.

Meanwhile, ”Zeus” will exit into the Mediterranean Sea and rapidly deepen as it moves toward Italy. We have no records of what her Italian name will be.

Weather MapWeather map 8 of March 2017

Repair

Frag(îles)

nima-shaieste

Vinter i skärgården / Winter in Stockholm archipelago

The first boat has arrived at the Tilos pier, while the Stockholm archipelago piers in the north of Europe are still surrounded by melting ice.

Thanks Nina Shaieste for the southern pic and Mats Lindfors for the northern one.

This site

esin-site

During 2016, we made 76 postings on this ESIN site https://europeansmallislands.com. 16 of these were about events taking place in Greece, 8 in Scotland, 9 in Sweden, 7 each in France and Ireland, 6 in Finland, 3 in Denmark, and 2 in Estonia, Åland and Italy respectively.

The subjects were mixed: 7 out of 76 posts were about renewable energy (plus 2 about Smilegov), 5 about island schools, 4 about island kids, 3 about agriculture, 8 about literature and art, 5 about transports, 6 about ISISA, 4 about CPMR and 2 about waste. The intention is to give an overall picture of life on a small European island, its joys and hardships.

We had almost twelve thousand (11.824) visits by five thousand (5,375) visitors. Most of them came from the UK (c:a 2,000), Sweden (c:a 800), the US (c:a 750), Ireland, Greece and Germany (c:a 700 each), France (c:a 500), Italy, Estonia, Åland and Maldives (c:a 300 each).

Everything posted on this site is mirrored on our Facebook page which had an amazing 34,927 views during 2016. Most popular posts were: the letter from Arranmore on September 15 (seen by 1,478 people), Inishbofin’s ecoturism award on May 4 (1,138 views), the ESIN AGM in Brussels on October, 2 (1,010 views) and the opportunity for young islanders to study tourism in Palermo published on March 8 (1,005 views).

DG Energy’s Marie Donnely island pledge on December 2 reached 751 people, ESIN’s Elefteris Kechagioglou’s attendance to the CPMR 36th Annual General Meeting on May 19 was seen by 696 people and the recent link to “Islands of the Future” documentary films stirred the interest of 686 people.

 

Happy New Year

karlby

A winter view from ESIN’s office in Karlby, Kökar. The temperature is just below minus and the sea is beginning to freeze. Wishing all islanders and island-friends a Happy New Year!