Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Philippine Islands region.

5.1 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits Myanmar.

5.0 Earthquake hits Myanmar.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical storm Henriette is located about 1235 mi (1985 km) E of Hilo, Hawaii.

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical depression Mangkhut is located 77 south-southwestward of Hanoi, Vietnam. It made landfall 80nm south of Hanoi and has started to rapidly erode. It is forecast to continue to tracking west-northwest across northern Vietnam and into northern Laos, all while continuing to weaken as the land interaction from the rugged terrain dissipates the system in the next 24 hours. The last advisory has been issued on this system.

Other News:

A heavy storm in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland has claimed life of a man. More than 29,000 lightning strikes hit within four hours. Storm damages have been reported in the Zurich region and in eastern Switzerland. Winds of more than 100 km/hr hit the Zurich and St Gallen areas. Railway services have been also affected including Lausanne-Geneva rail line.

Lightning storm in Bavaria, Germany killed 250 piglets and damaged several houses/

Global Warming

Global Warming Causing Changes in Ocean Life

Profound changes are taking place in marine life around the planet in response to global warming, an international team of scientists has found.

The study took in research from all the world’s oceans, with a particular focus on what is happening on the east and south coasts of Australia, both US coastlines, the European Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Researchers found phytoplankton, which provide the basic food for all life in the seas, are now blooming an average of six days earlier in the season, compared with land plants. Baby fish appear to be hatching around 11 days earlier in the season.

Marine species – including fish, shellfish, crustaceans, plankton, mangroves and seagrasses – are now shifting the areas they inhabit at an average rate of 72 kilometres per decade as a result of one degree of planetary warming.

Some species have moved up to 470 kms in a decade, according to the report in the journal Nature Climate Change by scientists from Australia, Germany, South Africa, the UK, the US, Denmark, Spain and Canada.

This contrasts with an average 6 km movement by life on land. Most of the movement is towards the poles as sea life searches for cooler waters.

Sea creatures are now going into their seasonal breeding cycles an average of 4.4 days earlier – almost twice as early as land animals – in response to warmer waters, the study found.

The oceans are estimated to have absorbed 80 per cent of the extra heat put into the Earth system by human use of fossil fuels, but have nevertheless warmed more slowly than the land owing to their huge mass.

This makes the very large changes in the behaviour of sea life all the more surprising. The report put it down mainly to the fact that marine organisms often produce substantial numbers of floating larvae that are easily dispersed by ocean currents.

The researchers cautioned that these big shifts in the timing of major events could produce disruption to ocean food webs. This has implications for all sea life, as well as for humans who depend on the sea for food.

Environment

La Niña Confirmed on Peruvian coast

The National Committee to Study El Niño (Enfen) has confirmed the presence of the La Niña climatic phenomenon in Peru’s sea, due to three consecutive months of cold water conditions, it said.

According to the El Niño coastal index values, conditions are of a La Niña event, the severity of which will be confirmed in upcoming days.

The climate phenomenon La Niña is characterized by unusually cold surface water temperature, as opposed to the El Niño phenomenon, which is warm. La Niña tends to provoke extreme rains, floods and droughts in Peru.

Drought

Drought is transforming New Mexico into desert

Drought has seriously affected the Rio Grande Valley, where animals are dying, crops are failing and the Rio Grande has been nicknamed the “Rio Sand.” People are subsisting on trucked-in water or attempting to dig deep wells that cost upwards of $100,000.

The question many here are grappling with is whether the changes are a permanent result of climate change or part of cyclical weather cycle. The governor’s drought task force is cautious about identifying three years of extreme drought as representing a new climate pattern for New Mexico. It could be a multi-year aberration.

Nonetheless, most long-term plans put together by cattle ranchers, farmers and land managers include the probability that the drought is here to stay.

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Drought in Namibia Worsens

A severe drought that sparked a state of emergency in Namibia has left 400,000 people facing hunger.

Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, and only two percent of land receives sufficient rainfall to grow crops.

The southern African country has seen several droughts in the recent decades.

The number of people at risk from hunger has risen from 300,000 in May, when President Hifikepunye Pohamba declared a state of emergency.

In May, the government started handing out maize meal bags to rural areas in a central part of the country and authorities are appealing for international support.

Unicef says more than 778,000 people including 109,000 children under the age of five are at risk of malnutrition.

Wildfires

New Wildfire in California, USA

An out-of-control wildfire growing with great speed in the Southern California mountains Wednesday night burned homes, forced the evacuation of several mountain communities and left three people injured, including two firefighters.

The fire broke out about 2 p.m. near Banning and surged to at least 6,000 acres, or more than 9 square miles, within a few hours. Fire officials said about a dozen structures were damaged or destroyed, but could not say how many were homes.

Wildfires Continue Burning in Idaho

As wildfires die out in south-central Idaho, flames that have been burning since early July continue to consume the state’s forests.

The largest wildfire burning in Idaho is more than 20,300-acre Lodgepole Fire. First sparked on July 20, the fire is burning ten miles west of Challis with only 40 percent of it contained. Firefighters believe lightning caused the fire.

Nearby, the Papoose Fire is up to 9,400 acres since it first started burning on July 8. The fire’s growth has slowed down and is now creeping through grass and brush. Hikes and boaters are encouraged to contact Salmon-Challis Forest personnel for information on trail closures.

In the Payette National Forest, the Thunder City Fire has grown to 1,500 acres. With just 15 percent contained, firefighters are battling against dry conditions as flames climb groups of trees throughout the forest.

The lightning-caused Gold Pan Fire, sparked on July 16, continues to grow inside the Frank Church — River of No Return Wilderness. The fire is now more than 16,300 acres.

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Chirpoi (Kurile Islands, Russia): SVERT maintains yellow alert level, but could not obtain satellite data during the past week to determine whether activity continued.

Ketoi (Kurile Islands, Russia): Steam-gas emissions and a thermal anomaly continue to be detected from satellite data when atmospheric conditions allow.

Chirinkotan (Northern Kuriles): A steam and gas plume remains visible sometimes on satellite data, suggesting that activity (lava effusion?) continues.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano has been stepping up its activity again over the past 2 days. Yesterday alone, at least 6 explosions were registered by VAAC Tokyo, with plumes reaching up to 11,000 ft (3,4 km) altitude.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Activity has been stable with little changes. The rate of emissions decreased yesterday to about 1-2 per hour, but some small to moderate explosions still occur from time to time, producing ash plumes up to about 1.5 km height.