Storms and Floods

Flooding in Nicosia, Cyprus

A thunderstorm caused basement flooding, trapped motorists in their cars in capital city of Cyprus Nicosia. Hailstorm and street flooding was also reported in Strovolos, Dasoupolis and Lakatamia.

Lightning in Dabel, Germany

A lightning strike in Germany has injured at least 39 people with eight in serious condition. About 500 people were at the fairground in Dabel, east of Schwerin celebrating a Father’s Day party when the lightning struck. Most of the people suffered burns and shocks.

Other News:

Hailstorms have damaged over 200 houses with tin- roofed and asbestos walls in Mizoram, India. A landslide caused by heavy rainfall has also blocked roads in Kolasib town.

A tornado touched down in Bakersfield, California, USA for the first time since 1999.

Storms caused heavy rain, hail and street flooding in Temple area of Texas, USA.

Recent flash floods in Somalia have killed seven children and displaced 50,000 others, the UN says. Flash foods have also made thousands homeless in the Middle Shebelle area of southern Somalia.

Flash floods kill nine people, displace 25 000 others in western Uganda.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits north-eastern Sakha, Russia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Rat Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

This image was captured a few hours ago by photographer Geoffrey Sims, who was watching the May 9-10 annular solar eclipse in Newman, Western Australia.

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This stunning image taken on 12 April by Nasa’s Operation Ice Bridge project shows an ice-covered fjord on Baffin island (Canada), with Davis strait in the background.

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This picture taken on 29 April shows an ash cloud spewing from the Paluweh volcano that sits on the five-mile-wide island in Indonesia’s Flores sea.

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Global Warming

Greenhouse Gas Milestone to Be Reached This Month

Greenhouse gas emissions are accelerating even as their effects on climate are becoming more evident.

The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is on the verge of exceeding 400 parts per million (ppm) this month, a concentration of the climate-warming gas not seen on the planet in 3 million years.

That projection is based on observations made at Mauna Loa Observatory, the volcano-top Hawaiian lab where measurements of atmospheric CO2 have been collected since 1958.

Since then, the seasonally fluctuating levels have risen from 316 ppm at an escalating rate.

According to Ralph Keeling, a geochemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the surpassing of the 400-ppm mark should serve as a warning that despite increased public awareness of the danger posed by global warming, worldwide carbon dioxide emissions show no sign of reversing.

“We are starting to move toward alternate fossil energy — non-conventional fossil fuels like tar sands and so forth,” warns Keeling. “And that’s a little troubling because it reflects our willingness to expand and use reserves of fossil fuels that probably ought to stay in the ground if we take this problem seriously.”

Exceeding 400 ppm does not correspond to any specific climatological event. However, as politicians, scientists, and activists around the world push for new policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate global warming, the new record-breaking figure may increase the sense of urgency for some.

Prior to the mid-18th century, when humans first began burning carbon-based fuels for industrial use, concentration of carbon dioxide is thought to have been stable at approximately 280 ppm.

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Space Events

Asteroid Defense for Earth Planned

Measures to protect Earth from a catastrophic impact by an asteroid or other near-Earth objects (NEO) are being developed in a four-year plan by the European Space Agency (ESA). The plan comes less than three months after a meteor exploded over Russia’s Ural region, injuring hundreds.

There are currently 10,000 NEO’s that have orbits that bring them relatively close to Earth.

Detlef Koschny, head of the agency’s NEO study office, says more coordinated scans of the sky each night are necessary to find currently undiscovered NEOs.

Studies to determine if it would be more effective to deflect threatening asteroids with an explosion or an impact with a large object are also being planned.

The proposals were being discussed in a conference near Madrid at a meeting set up by Seimos Space, an industrial partner working with the ESA.

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Environment

Global Hottest and Coldest Temperatures

The week’s hottest temperature was 116.6 degrees Fahrenheit (47.0 degrees Celsius) at Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 104.3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 75.6 degrees Celsius) at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, in Antarctica.

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.

Disease

Novel Coronavirus Reaches France

French health authorities say they fear the country’s first case of a new SARS-like virus that has killed 18 people, mostly in Saudi Arabia, may have infected two other people.