Earthquakes

5.3 Earthquake hits the Guam region.

5.1 Earthquake hits south of the Mariana Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the central Mid-atlantic ridge.

News spread over social media (mainly twitter) about “Happy 11,000th Christchurch earthquake”. Today’s minor aftershock with magnitude 3.3 is so far the 11,000th earthquake felt by Cantabrians following the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that sparked the Canterbury earthquake sequence more than two years ago.

Wildlife

Pacific Tuna Being Severely Overfished

Decades of overfishing in the Pacific have caused populations of tuna and similar species there to plummet.

The joint Japan-U.S. fisheries research organization cautions that Pacific bluefin “is near historically low levels” and being fished beyond its ability to reproduce.

Most international attention to overfishing has been focused recently on varieties in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

But overfishing to meet the demand for sushi has put all of the world’s fish in the mackerel, tuna and bonito family on the endangered list.

Sushi shops in Japan will pay well over $1 million for a single bluefin tuna to increase prestige.

Tuna

Wildfires

Sydney Bakes In Hottest Day On Record As Bushfires Rage.

The Australian city of Sydney is experiencing its hottest day on record, with temperatures reaching nearly 46C. A temperature of 45.8C was recorded at Observatory Hill in the city at 14:55 local time (01:55 GMT). Some areas in the wider Sydney region were even hotter, with the town of Penrith, to the west, registering a temperature of 46.5C (116 F).

Firefighters are still battling dozens of wildfires sparked by the intense heat in New South Wales and Victoria. The small town of Licola in eastern Victoria is reported to have been cut off by a 44,500-hectare fire, as its sole access road is blocked. Officials said dozens of people had been evacuated but 10 locals were still there.

The heatwave across Australia in recent weeks has been so intense that the Bureau of Meteorology has had to add a new shade to its colour-coded temperature chart, so the scale now reaches above 50C (122 F). However, meteorologists have forecast a dramatic change in weather overnight in Sydney, with thunder storms expected to bring a rapid drop in temperatures.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 121.3 degrees Fahrenheit (49.6 degrees Celsius) at Moomba, New South Wales, Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 66.3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 54.6 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian outpost of Oimyakon.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Italy): Another brief, but probably strong eruptive phase – a small paroxysm – occurred on the evening of 16 Jan at Bocca Nuova.

Stromboli (Italy): Activity has been lower today and yesterday. No new lava overflow was seen. Both tremor and explosion intensity have decreased compared to during the past week.

Kilauea (Hawai’i): Lava flows continue entering the ocean since November 2012 in multiple points, due to increased pressure on the volcano which is also causing other lava breakouts on the coast and the lava lakes within Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō & Halema‘uma‘u craters to rise and potentially spill over.

Medvezhia (Kurile Islands, Russia): A thermal anomaly was detected over Kudriavy, a stratovolcano of the Medvezhia volcanic complex, on 11 January. Strong steam-and-gas plumes were also observed.

Tolbachik (Kamchatka, Russia): Continued elevated levels of volcanic tremor and active lava flows from the southern fissure.

Storms and Floods

Flooding in Demerara region of Guyana

Strong winds and high tides caused flooding in Cornelia Ida and Anna Catherina, on the West Coast of Demerara, Guyana.

Giant wave in South Atlantic Ocean

A giant sea wave between Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica injured four crew members of a ship. The ship was carrying 133 passengers and 113 crew members. All others are safe and the ship has returned to Ushuaia in Argentina where the cruise was cancelled by the operator.

United Kingdom – Snow

Schools and transport hit by disruption. A blanket of snow was expected to cover the UK today, with up to 30cm falling on higher ground. Hundreds of schools have been closed and transport disrupted as a band of heavy snow affects most of the UK. Cardiff, Bristol and Southampton airports are closed and part of the M4 is shut in Wales. Train companies have put revised timetables in place.