Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.3 Earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

6.0 Earthquake hits the Pagan region in the North Mariana Islands.

5.8 Earthquake hits the State of Yap in Micronesia.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Andaman Islands off India.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the State of Yap, Micronesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic:

Subtropical storm Melissa is located about 725 mi. (1165 km) E of Bermuda. Melissa, the 13th Atlantic named storm of 2013, is slowly transitioning to a tropical storm as it heads north over the Central North Atlantic, far from land. Ocean temperatures are near 25°C, which is barely warm enough to support a tropical storm, but wind shear is a moderate 10 – 20 knots, which may allow Melissa to become fully tropical by Wednesday morning. Conditions should cause Melissa to rapidly deteriorate on Wednesday. Satellite loops show that Melissa has a large circulation, but only limited heavy thunderstorm activity near the centre. Melissa will not be a threat to any land areas.

In the North India Ocean :

Tropical cyclone 04b is located approximately 240 nm east-northeast Chennai, India. The fourth tropical cyclone of the Northern Indian Ocean season has formed and is headed for landfall in India. Tropical storm Four is forecast to strike India at about 06:00 GMT on Thursday, November 21.

Tornadoes Plough Through Illinois, Indiana

at least 14 tornadoes struck Illinois and northwest Indiana on Sunday, as Gov. Pat Quinn declared six more counties as state disaster areas, including Will.

The weather service determined that three EF-2 tornadoes, packing winds of 111 to 135 mph, hit Coal City, Diamond, Manhattan and Frankfort. The hardest hit was Coal City and Diamond, where top winds were estimated at 122 mph.

Four weaker EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes, with winds topping at 110 mph, struck areas from southeast Iroquois County to near Rensselaer, Ind.

The strongest of the tornadoes to hit Illinois slammed into the town of Washington near Peoria, where one person was killed, 120 others injured and as many as 500 homes damaged. The tornado was rated an EF-4, one shy of the strongest on the charts, with winds of 190 mph and a path of destruction that stretched for more than 46 miles through Tazewell and Woodford counties, according to the weather service.

Two other tornadoes were reported in central Illinois.

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NewsBytes:

The worst snowstorm in 50 years has hit Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province for 60 hours claiming the lives of at least four people.

Global Warming

2013 Global Carbon Emissions to Reach Record Level

The world is on track to emit record levels of carbon dioxide this year, according to a new report announced yesterday (Nov. 18).

The study, to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Earth System Science Data Discussions, found that the world is set to emit nearly 40 billion tons (36 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide by the end of 2013.

The estimate represents a 2.1 percent increase over last year’s emissions levels, and a 61 percent increase over 1990 levels.

The researchers found that China was the biggest contributor to emissions in 2012, followed by the United States, the European Union and India. But China and India, developing nations with rapidly growing economies, showed the biggest increase in their carbon emissions.

Some of those carbon emissions are outsourced from wealthier nations that have moved manufacturing centres to poorer countries.

U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions decreased by 3.7 percent in 2012, in part because the economy has been in a slump for several years and the country has shifted from producing coal-fired power to energy fuelled by burning natural gas, which emits less carbon dioxide. Cars have also been getting more fuel-efficient.

Still, the United States has the largest per capita emissions in the world: Each person in the United States has a carbon footprint of 17.6 tons (16 metric tons), compared to just 2 tons (1.8 metric tons) for people in India, the study found. U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions from January through July of this year were at 3.13 trillion tons, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, up slightly from the 3.064 trillion tons emitted during the same period in 2012.

In 2012, about 43 percent of the global carbon emissions came from burning coal, and 33 percent came from oil. Another 18 percent came from natural gas, and deforestation was responsible for another 8 percent of the emissions.

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Wildfires

Wildfire – North Carolina, USA

Crews worked Tuesday to build containment lines along the south side of a wildfire that has burned 2,275 acres in the Pisgah National Forest in Burke County.

U.S. Forest Service officials said the fire’s size remained the same Tuesday, but they are concerned about the possibility of the blaze spreading along the south side.

The fire, which started Nov. 11, is burning near Table Rock Mountain, in the central part of the forest between Spruce Pine and Morganton. Crews were able to build containment lines around all but the south side of the blaze last weekend.

Nearly 200 people are working to battle the blaze. The fire has closed a number of roads and trails in the area, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.

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Disease

Health authorities caution against syphilis outbreak – Canada

A Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and the B. C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is running a campaign to warn gay and bisexual men of a recent outbreak of syphilis.

The VCH and BCCDC also recommend that men who share sexual intimacy with other men should get tested every three to six months.

VCH restorative health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson in a discharge said that Syphilis rates are at plague extents in the Lower Mainland.

A total of 371 cases were accounted for in B. C. in the year 2013 and a majority are gay and androgynous men. This is the largest number of cases recorded in 30 years.

Cholera in Nigeria – Update

The death toll from the cholera outbreak in Benue State has hit 30. Residents of Otukpo local government area have appealed for urgent government intervention on the cholera outbreak in the area, while the Commissioner of Health has denied the seriousness of the outbreak.

Space Events

Space Weather

The sun shot out a powerful solar flare early Tuesday (Nov. 19) morning. Though the flare was not pointed directly at Earth, it did cause a radio blackout at 5:26 a.m. EST (1026 GMT).

The solar flare ranked as an X1-class event, one of the strongest types of storms the sun can have. It erupted from an active sunspot region called 1893, and space weather experts suspect it may have produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) — an explosion of solar plasma freed during a flare.

X1 Solar Flare Nov 19 2013

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): (19 Nov) Weak explosive (sporadic small strombolian eruptions) and effusive activity (weakly alimented lava flow from eastern fissure vent) continues at a decreasing trend. There are interesting small surges of activity at rhythmic intervals of 3-4 hours (visible as the smaller peaks in the tremor signal).

Klyuchevskoy (Kamchatka): Eruptive activity remains high with ongoing mild to strong explosions at the summit. A particularly intense phase yesterday produced a plume rising to 10-12 km altitude that extended SE. Today, activity has decreased, but plumes continue to reach 5-6 km altitude and drift N and NE.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): A new explosion was reported this morning (around 7:30 UTC), sending an ash plume to estimated 30,000 ft (9 km) altitude.

Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): Geohazards reports that the volcano continues to produce near-continuous ash emissions while explosions are relatively weak. This phase of ash emissions began on 3 November and are likely to continue into the coming days and weeks. Yasur Alert Level is still maintained at Level 1. Villages and communities located close and far away from the volcano, especially those in the prevailing trade winds direction (NW) are likely to receive ash falls.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): No significant changes in activity have occurred over the past days. INSIVUMEH reports weak explosions and continuing incandescent block avalanches from the active lava flow on the NE side of the Caliente dome.

Pacaya (Guatemala): INSIVUMEH reports ongoing mild to moderate strombolian activity with ejections of lava to up to 75 meters. Intervals between bursts are 20 seconds to one minute.

Fuego (Guatemala): Two lava flows are active on the upper slopes of the volcano at the moment, to the Taniluya (south) and Ceniza canyon (SE). The effusive activity started on 11 Nov and increased on 18 November, reaching a length of 600 m. Constant avalanches detach from the flow fronts. At the same time, explosive activity at the summit crater remained at low to moderate levels, with strombolian explosions that produce ash plumes of up to 800 m height and incandescent jets visible from distance. Some of the explosions generate shock waves that can be felt and heard in up to 15 km distance, causing roofs, doors and windows of houses to rattle. Fine ash fall occurred in Panimaché, Morelia abd Sangre de Cristo.