Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earth hits the north Pacific Ocean.

5.4 Earthquake hits the southwest Indian Ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits northern Colombia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic Ocean:

Tropical storm Fernand is located about 5 mi (10 km) N of Veracruz, Mexico. Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Gulf Coast of Mexico from Veracruz northward to Barra de Nautla. Some additional strengthening is possible before Fernand makes landfall along the Gulf Coast of Mexico early this morning.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Post-Tropical storm Ivo is located about 190 mi (310 km) WNW of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The remnants of Ivo are expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches, across the central and northern portions of the Baja California peninsula. Moisture from this system will also spread into the southwestern United States during the next day or so, bringing a threat of heavy rain and flash flooding. The last advisory has been issued on this system.

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical Depression Fourteen is located approximately 300 nm east-northeastward of Manila, Philippines.

Philippines – Cyclone develops near Surigao, named ‘Nando’. “Nando” is the 14th cyclone to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility this year and the fourth this August.

Punjab’s Chenab River floods 170 villages

170 villages have been flooded along Larkana Aqil Agani Loop embankment in Punjab, Pakistan.

The water flow at Head Panjnad in the river Chenab was recorded at 3,00,000 cusecs.

According to the disaster management officials, Pakistan floods and heavy monsoon rains have claimed the lives of 178 people and affected 1.5 million in the last three weeks. More than 350 relief camps have been set up in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan areas of Pakistan.

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NewsBytes:

Lightning strike has claimed the life of two brothers on a beach in northern Colombia; and lightning in Jefferson County in eastern Oregon, USA has injured at least one person.

Image of lightning over Sydney Harbour wit Fireworks

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Global Warming

Rising ocean acidity will exacerbate global warming

German scientists say they’ve identified a previously overlooked factor in climate change.

In a study published today, they say one effect of global warming is that the oceans will release less of a gas which helps shield the Earth from the sun’s radiation. Carbon dioxide soaked up by seawater will cause plankton to release less cloud-forming compounds back into atmosphere.

The slow and inexorable increase in the oceans’ acidity as they soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could itself have an effect on climate and amplify global warming, according to a new study. Acidification would lead certain marine organisms to emit less of the sulphur compounds that help to seed the formation of clouds and so keep the planet cool.

Atmospheric sulphur, most of which comes from the sea, is a check against global warming. Phytoplankton — photosynthetic microbes that drift in sunlit water — produces a compound called dimethylsulphide (DMS). Some of this enters the atmosphere and reacts to make sulphuric acid, which clumps into aerosols, or microscopic airborne particles. Aerosols seed the formation of clouds, which help cool the Earth by reflecting sunlight.

As more CO2 enters the atmosphere, some dissolves in seawater, forming carbonic acid. This is decreasing the pH of the oceans, which is already down by 0.1 pH units on pre-industrial times, and could be down by another 0.5 in some places by 2100. And studies using ‘mesocosms’ — enclosed volumes of seawater — show that seawater with a lower pH produces less DMS2. On a global scale, a fall in DMS emissions due to acidification could have a major effect on climate, creating a positive-feedback loop and enhancing warming.

Researchers agree that despite the dangers of extrapolating data accumulated over a relatively short time to changes that occur over decades, it remains important to recognize that marine organisms will be affected by environmental changes and that this may impact the climate in return. CO2 that is absorbed by the ocean should be considered to be climate-relevant.

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Wildfires

Wildfires in California. USA

Yosemite National Park Wildfires Continue to Spread

The California wildfire is threatening a major reservoir providing 85% of San Francisco’s water. The fire is burning some four miles away from the reservoir which serves some 2.6 million customers. More than 5000 homes in danger. Only 7% contained. So far it is the 16th-largest wildfire on record in California. The blaze is also threatening power lines that bring electricity to San Francisco.

Evacuations, some voluntary and some mandatory, are taking place.

The “Beaver Creek” fire in Idaho has destroyed some 45,000 hectares near the ski resort of Sun Valley. Meanwhile, five wildfires in Yellowstone National Park have scorched about 18 square miles of mostly remote areas.

Disease

Novel Coronavirus – Saudi Arabia (MERS)

The global Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak has topped 100 cases this week as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put the total count at 103 as of Friday.

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health announced registering two new virus-injured incidences in Asir.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Monte Albano (Italy): What appears to be a new fumarole appeared near Rome’s International Fiumicino airport Saturday morning. A vent producing small geyser-like fountains of steam, water and mud suddenly opened in the ground near a road crossing near Fiumicino. Geologists are currently examining the phenomenon. It is still a bit unclear whether it is not a man-made accident caused by a broken pipe or similar (which might well be the case). As La Repubblica statess, first inspections however indicate that ii is in fact a new natural vent. Obviously, there are also already some speculations whether it could be related to volcanic activity.

Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): Relatively intense strombolian activity continues at the summit. Bright glow can be seen at night. Both webcam images and MODIS hot spot data indicate the occurrence of hot avalanches on the slopes of the volcano as well.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): An explosion at 01:54 GMT was reported by VAAC Tokyo earlier today. The height of the ash plume could not be determined.

Rabaul (Tavurvur) (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): Mild to moderate explosive activity continues. During the past days, several ash plumes reaching 6,000 ft (1,8 km) altitude were reported. MODIS data show a hot spot at Tavurvur cone.

Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): A hot spot remains visible at the volcano, indicating that some activity continues. This is likely mostly effusive in style, because no recent significant ash emissions have been detected.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): Activity at the volcano continues. An explosion earlier today produced an ash plume rising to 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude extending 80 nautical miles to the NW, VAAC Darwin reported. A recent NASA satellite image from 21 August shows two active vents at the summit of the stratovolcano, possibly containing lava lakes.