Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.7 Earthquake hits south of Java, Indonesia.

There were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

5.6 Earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.4 Earthquake hits south of Java, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storm Yagi

Some remote Japanese islands were drenched by the spiralling bands of Tropical Storm Yagi as the disturbance passed about 200 miles to the south of Tokyo. Yagi brought locally heavy rain to a long stretch of coastline of Japan’s Honshu Island.

Landslide in Uttarakhand, India

Around 15,000 tourists were stranded along Rishikesh-Gangotri National Highway, following a landslide in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India, which washed away part of Rishikesh-Gangotri highway along the Maneri Sainji village which is a highly landslide-prone area. More than 15 hours continuous rainfall also caused flooding in the Bhagirathi river.

Thousands of tourists and pilgrims in 900 different buses were stranded for over 16 hours before being rescued by Border Road Organisation personnel.

Other News:

At least two people have died and five others were injured in a storm in Penang, Malaysia. The thunderstorm also damaged more than 100 houses in Seberang Perai Utara, SP Tengah and SP Selatan areas.

A tornado touched down in Montgomery County late Thursday afternoon as a bruising storm front raced eastward through the Washington region, USA.

Environment

Oceans melt Antarctica’s ice from below

The Antarctic ice sheet (shown here in a three-dimensional NASA image that exaggerates the vertical scale) is losing more ice from oceanic currents eating at it from below than from the breaking off of large blocks of ice.

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They may be less dramatic than the events in which icebergs break off, but everyday interactions with warm ocean currents could cause more than half of the ice melt along Antarctica’s coastline.

Ice shelves are portions of the larger ice sheet that extend over the ocean, floating on seawater. Conventional wisdom once held that calving, the break off of large chunks of ice, was the main factor driving ice-shelf dynamics, but recent research has underscored the role of melting from below, or ‘basal’ melting. A team of scientists led by Eric Rignot at the University of California, Irvine, has for the first time quantified this effect for the entire continent.

The results, which appear in Science, suggest that warm ocean currents are melting ice shelves predominantly at certain locations around the continent, to an extent that accounts for 55% of the annual meltwater. The findings will help scientists to tackle larger questions about how the Antarctic ice sheet might change in future and its contribution to global sea-level rise.

Rignot suggests that the ice shelves act like stoppers, stemming the slow flow of continental ice. “If they thin and disappear, then the continental ice will accelerate its movement to the sea.”

Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

Rare clouds sighted ahead of Andrea

Tropical Storm Andrea has come and gone. All eyes were on the skies on Saturday as the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season barreled through but did you happen to look up on Friday, the day before the storm? Some people did, and what they saw both scared and impressed them.

Image

A broad band of Undulatus Asperatus clouds covered our skies about 24 hours ahead of Post Tropical storm Andrea. They look scary, but these clouds generally lead or follow a storm rather than become one. The wave affect comes from turbulent differing air masses pushing cloud into shapes like rough waves on the sea

Despite their stormy end-of-the-world-is-nigh appearance, these clouds do not produce rain or a storm. They are most likely to be seen following convective thunderstorm activity. Asperatus clouds are formed by warm and cold air meeting, this causes a turbulant effect.

This surreal looking cloud is a new discovery, the first since 1951. The cloud formation was proposed in 2009 as a separate cloud classification by the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. If successful it will be the first cloud formation added since cirrus intortus in 1951 to the International Cloud Atlas of the World Meteorological Organization.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118.4 degrees Fahrenheit (48.0 degrees Celsius) at Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 108.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 78.1 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

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.

Wildfires

Wildfires in Colorado – Update

Two people are dead due to the Black Forest fire, which continues to rage virtually unchecked about five miles northeast of Colorado Springs. More than 360 homes have now been destroyed and around 38,000 people have been evacuated.

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According to the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, the fire continues to burn juniper and pinon trees on both sides of the Royal Gorge Bridge and is only 5% contained.

The fires had burned more than 15,000 acres by late Thursday morning.

Wildfires in Oregon

Two large wildfires burning about 25 miles west of the Owyhee Reservoir in eastern Oregon have burned more than 25 000 acres but should be contained sometime Friday.

Disease

Novel Coronavirus – Saudi Arabia – Update

The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has announced an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases, including one death with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Mumps Outbreak in New South Wales, Australia

NSW Health has warned of a current outbreak of mumps across the state, urging members of the public to check their vaccination status. 15 reported cases of mumps have been confirmed.

Volcanos

 

Tolbachik (Kamchatka): KVERT reports no changes in the activity of any of the currently active volcanoes in Kamchatka.

Chirinkotan (Northern Kuriles): Some activity is occurring at the volcano. On MODIS Terra satellite images from 5 June, a moderately large steam plume can be seen drifting from the volcano. SVERT has raised the alert level to yellow on 8 June.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): After 10 days of almost no activity, the volcano has woken up violently with 3 powerful explosions last night (at 22:05 and 23:58 UTC, ash plumes to 10-13,000 ft) and this morning at 04:26. The eruption this morning appears to be one of the largest explosions for a long time, producing an ash plume rising to 16-20,000 ft (5-6 km) altitude. An SO2 plume is also visible on satellite data.

Taal (Luzon, Philippines): A pulse of more frequent earthquakes (7-9 per day) has been detected under the volcano in recent days. Other parameters show at present no significant changes. A slight increase in water temperature (from 33.0 to 33.9 deg C) and the level of the crater lake were measured on 6 June.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): A SO2-enriched plume is visible at Manam today.

Pavlov (Alaska Peninsula, USA): Activity (external and internal) has been decreasing, although now intermittent ash emissions and possibly effusion of lava continue, AVO reports.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The rate of emissions has dropped to less than 1 per hour, but more (small) earthquakes have occurred and a large SO2 plume is visible yesterday on satellite images, suggesting that new magma could be currently intruding at depth. Weak glow is visible from the crater at night.

Pacaya (Guatemala): The volcano has been quiet yesterday. No explosions occurred. INSIVUMEH reports moderate steaming only.

Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): Two shallow volcanic-tectonic earthquakes of magnitudes 2.8 and 2.9 occurred this morning at 05:39 local time. Quake hypocentres were at 5 km SW beneath the Arenas crater.