Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 Earthquake hits Fiji.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre did not issue a warning, explaining that the quake was centred too far underground.

5.5 Earthquake hits Jilin, China.

5.5 Earthquake hits off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.4 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Iran-Iraq border region.

5.3 Earthquake hits the eastern Sea of Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Kyrgyzstan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Jilin, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Chiapas, Mexico.

5.0 Earthquake hits east of North Island, New Zealand.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

There are no active storms or areas of interest in the eastern Pacific or the Atlantic.

NewsBytes:

Cyclone Helen has claimed lives of at least seven people and left others 20 fisherman missing in coastal area of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Wildlife

Butterflies in danger of global warming

Research by a University of B.C. student on 48,000 individual butterflies through more than a century of records found global warming causes them to emerge from hibernation earlier.

Heather Kharouba said Wednesday butterflies that wake from hibernation too quickly could run into sudden cold snaps or — if their feeding plants aren’t in bloom — die from lack of food. Her research examined samples of butterflies from 1880 to now, comparing the creatures with weather station data over the course of 130 years.

She found that every time the mercury rises one degree Celsius, butterflies take flight 2.4 days earlier — an accelerating trend in recent years.

“They could hit an early frost and just get killed,” Kharouba said. “Or their host plants might not come out yet and they might not have food and they might starve.”

Her research was published Tuesday in the Journal of Global Change Biology. She said the next steps include determining if the food plants are blooming faster with the temperature rise.

One problem is the lack of butterfly data in Canada, she said, adding websites such as bcbutterflyatlas.ca are attempting to engage the community by getting the public to snap photos of butterflies and record where they’re found.

NewImage

Global Warming

Mass Walk-Out at UN Climate Talks Protests Lack of Progress

A massive walk-out of 800 delegates from non-governmental organisations characterised the second-last day of the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the Kyoto Protocol in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday. The delegates were protesting against the low ambition of the conference, the influence of dirty energy and the lack of new financing.

Many of the 800 people involved are members of national delegations and are an important part of pushing the negotiations to a successful conclusion.

The groups concerned, some of them—like ActionAid, Oxfam and World Wildlife Fund—normally considered moderate, issued a joint statement saying that the climate talks here were set to “achieve virtually nothing.”

The statement said:

The actions of many rich countries here in Warsaw are directly undermining the Climate Change Convention itself, which is an important multilateral process that must succeed if we are to fix the global climate crisis.

The Warsaw Conference has put the interests of dirty energy industries over that of global citizens—with a Coal & Climate Summit being held in conjunction; corporate sponsorship from big polluters plastered all over the venue; and a presidency (Poland) that is beholden to the coal and fracking industry.

When Japan announced that it was following Canada and backtracking on emission cuts commitments previously made, and Australia gave multiple signals that it was utterly unwilling to take the UN climate process seriously, the integrity of the talks was further jeopardised.

WalkoutFI

Disease

MERS Update

The deadly MERS respiratory virus that has killed at least 65 people, mainly in the Middle East, often goes undetected among those infected, according to a new study. European re- searchers estimate that for each of the roughly 155 confirmed cases of the respiratory disease, five to 10 may have been infected and gone unidentified. World Health Organisation MERS expert Anthony Mounts says his agency has been told Saudi health officials are focusing their testing on people with MERS-like symptoms who are gravely ill. This possibly leads to many other sufferers remaining un- der the radar. The scientists say they still aren’t able to rule out that person- to-person infection is spreading the disease in addition to contact with infected animals. Camels around Saudi Arabia have been found to be infected with the flulike virus.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): The latest paroxysm (number 17 in 2013) at the New SE crater started this morning, just less than one week after the previous one.
Strombolian explosions increased quickly earlier during the night and are now merging into lava fountains. The tremor is steeply rising.