Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Afghanistan – At least 21 people have died in avalanches in the Daykundi province in Afghanistan. Another 10 people have been injured. About 50 houses have been destroyed by the avalanches.

Indonesia – At least 422 residents of Penajam district in North Penajam Paser regency – the planned location of Indonesia’s new capital in East Kalimantan – have been affected by floods that hit the area on Tuesday morning.

Disease

Novel Coronavirus

The number of deaths from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China rose by 136, pushing the nationwide death toll to 2,004, the country’s National Health Commission reported on Wednesday.

At least 132 of the fatalities were from Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic.

Nationwide, there were a further 1,749 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of infections across the country to 74,185.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits north of Svalbard.

5.2 earthquake hits the Bonin Islands off Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits offshore Male, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 16s (Gabekile), located approximately 827 nm south-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking east-southeastward at 02 knots.

NewsBytes:

Europe – After battering the UK with force winds and flooding, Storm Dennis moved further north with strong winds and heavy rains which caused flooding, road closures and electricity outages across the Nordic and Baltic regions and forced the cancellation of several ferries between Denmark and Norway. In Denmark, the southwestern city of Kolding was flooded as gale force winds and heavy rains battered the area. In nearby Horsens, police protectively evacuated residents near Bygholm Lake out of fear that a levee would collapse.

Global Warming

Permafrost is thawing so fast it’s gouging holes in the Arctic

Residents of the small Alaskan town Kongiganak can no longer bury their dead. Their cemetery has become a marshy swamp, sucking graves into the once frozen ground. On the island of Sarichef near the Bering Strait, the village of Shishmaref is shrinking so fast locals are considering relocating it entirely.

Global warming has shown that permafrost is not so permanent after all. And as it begins to melt, it is reshaping the Arctic. The rapidly thawing ice layer is creating great sinkholes and hollows across the region as the ground begins to collapse in on itself. Erosion and landslides have become a problem without the ice that once held the soil together.

Permafrost – any area of land that remains frozen for at least two years – can vary from less than a metre thick to more than 1,500 metres. Some of it is tens of thousands of years old. In some areas, it is simply frozen rock. But in other parts, soils and organic matter have acted like a sponge and taken in water which has subsequently frozen. As ice, water takes up a larger volume than its liquid form, but once melted, great pits are created in the land.

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Disease

Novel Coronavirus

Today, Chinese officials reported 1886 new confirmed cases and 98 new deaths (93 in Hubei, and 3 in Henan). To date, 72,436 confirmed cases have been reported in China, including 1,868 deaths.

Monkeypox – DR Congo

From the beginning of the year through January 26, 2020, 222 monkeypox cases were reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Four deaths have been recorded.

Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever – Uganda

he World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting a Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Uganda.

Typhoid – Haiti

The Mayor of the commune of Mont-Organisé , in North-East department, said todaythat Typhoid fever is raging because of the poor quality of the water consumed by the population.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.5 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.2 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 16s (Gabekile), located approximately 809 nm south of Diego Garcia, is tracking north-northeastward at 04 knots.

NewsBytes:

UK – Major incidents have been declared in south Wales and parts of England, as Storm Dennis batters the UK. South Wales Police has been dealing with “multiple” landslides and floods – some trapping residents. Homes have also been flooded, while police in Worcestershire are searching for a person who is feared to have been swept into the River Teme. More than 700 flood warnings and alerts are in place across the UK, as of 23:45 GMT on Sunday. There are currently eight severe flood warnings in England, which mean there is a danger to life.

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Indian Ocean Dipole

Many parts of Kenya have been experiencing torrential rainfall for a couple of months now. This has resulted in floods and landslides.

The unusual weather can be attributed to the Indian Ocean Dipole. This is the difference in sea surface temperatures between the eastern and western tropical Indian Ocean.

In Kenya, when warmer sea surface temperatures are experienced heavy rainfall occurs, while hot dry conditions (conducive for wildfires) are experienced in Australia. When warmer sea surface temperatures are experienced off the West Coast of Australia, Australia is likely to experience heavy rainfall, while Kenya experiences drought conditions.

The larger the difference in temperatures between the eastern and western tropical Indian Ocean, the more severe the climatic effects will be.

This event is similar to the El Niño Southern Oscillation that occurs in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Global Warming

Climate change opens up ‘frontier’ farmland

Kenya’s livestock herders planting chilli peppers, Pakistan’s mountain farmers rearing fish and tropical fruits in Sicily – farmers around the world are already shifting what they grow and breed to cope with rising temperatures and erratic weather.

In a few more decades, potatoes from the Russian tundra and corn from once-frigid areas of Canada could be added to the list as vast swathes of land previously unsuited to agriculture open up to farmers on a hotter planet.

Climate change could expand farmland globally by almost a third, a study by international researchers found this week.

They examined which new areas may become suitable for growing 12 key crops including rice, sugar, wheat, oil palm, cassava and soy.

“In a warming world, Canada’s North may become our breadbasket of the future,” the scientists wrote.

But, they warned, opening up new “agricultural frontiers” would also bring significant environmental threats, including a risk of increased planet-warming emissions from soils.

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Disease

Novel Coronavirus

China’s National Health Commission has announced that the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China reached 1,770 as of the end of Sunday, up by 105 from the previous day. At least 100 of the new deaths were from the province of Hubei, the epicentre of the epidemic, the Commission said on Monday morning. Across the country, there were 2,048 new confirmed infections, about 1,933 from Hubei alone, pushing the new total to 70,548.

Dengue Fever – Philippines

Health officials with the Philippines reported a cumulative 15,817 dengue fever cases, including 45 deaths through February 7 this year.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.5 earthquake hits the Cream Sea, Indonesia.

5.5 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.2 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.2 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.1 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits the Batan Islands in the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 16s (Gabekile), located approximately 689 nm south of Diego Garcia, is tracking south-southeastward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

UK – Storm Dennis is expected to batter the UK this weekend with winds of up to 70mph and more than a month’s rain expected to fall in just two days in some areas, with hundreds of homes at risk of flooding. With the country hit by horrendous weather for the second weekend in a row, the military is being sent to Calderdale, West Yorkshire, on Saturday to support the recovery and bolster preparations for the latest storm. More than 200 flights have been cancelled, with amber and yellow warnings for rain and wind in place across large swaths of the country from Saturday lunchtime until Sunday evening.

Zimbabwe – Heavy rains have once again hit the eastern province as flash floods damaged bypasses erected to allow for repair works on bridges destroyed by last year’s violent rains. At least two bridges have been swept away in Chimanimani, while cases of flash floods were also reported in Chipinge.

Global Warming

Global warming may cut lifespan of many species

Global warming could reduce the lifespan of hundreds of cold-blooded species around the world, a study by Israeli and Irish researchers has warned.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University and Queen’s University Belfast analyzed data from more than 4,100 land vertebrate species to test the long-accepted “rate of living” theory, which predicts that the faster the metabolic rate of an organism, the shorter the lifespan.

The researchers found that rates of aging in cold-blooded organisms are linked to high temperatures. Proposing an alternative hypothesis, their findings suggest that the hotter the environment is, the faster the rate of living – which in turn leads to more accelerated aging and a shorter lifespan. If increasing ambient temperatures reduces longevity, it may make these species more prone to go extinct as the climate warms.

Accordingly, global warming could reduce the lifespan of many cold-blooded species, subject to accelerated aging. The findings were published on Friday in Global Ecology and Biogeography, a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Busy Week for Antarctica

This week, an iceberg the size of Atlanta broke off the Pine glacier. Researchers discovered a dramatic decline in Antarctic penguin colonies. And Antarctica may have just registered its hottest temperature ever.

These events are all consistent with trends seen in Antarctica over the past few years. The Antarctic Peninsula, where the potentially record-breaking February temperatures were logged, is one of the fastest-warming regions on the planet.

The decline of the Antarctic penguin colonies provides evidence of the effects of this broader warming on the animals that inhabit these sensitive regions. The number of penguins on Elephant Island, where a recently released survey took place, is half what it was at the last survey in 1971. Climate change has removed these penguins’ primary food source, krill. Penguins, seals and whales all depend on krill, which depends on ice. So if climate change affects the ice, that impacts on everything else.

Another unusually high temperature was logged in the Antarctic Peninsula on February 9, when a weather station on Seymour Island produced a reading of almost 70 degrees.

Disease

Novel Coronavirus

France – French health officials have reported the first death due to the new coronavirus. The case is a 80-year-old Chinese tourist who has been hospitalized for some three weeks. To date, France has reported 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases- 7 men, 4 women.

China – More than 1,700 health workers in China have been infected with the new coronavirus, according to Chinese officials and six have died from the disease.