Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.


Flooding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has claimed the lives of at least three people and displaced more than 2,000 people this week.

Baixada Fluminense located between the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains of Rio de Janeiro is believed to be worst affected by recent floods.

Severe flooding has forced dozens of families in the Gaza Strip to leave their homes as a severe winter storm battered much of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

Heavy Fog Enshrouds London

An impenetrable fog rolled into London Wednesday morning (Dec. 11), which caused some travel woes, and also produced rare views of the city’s skyline from above, with only the tallest buildings poking above the mist.

Met police london fog

Global Warming

Global Warming Has Not Paused: Study

New research finds that while the rate of surface warming of the planet due to climate change has slowed since 1998, the effects of warming are still advancing at a rapid pace.

Climate researchers from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research say it is a myth that global warming has paused, owing to solid evidence that the world’s oceans are now absorbing more than 90 percent of the excess heating of the planet.

Researcher Kevin Trenberth estimates that the oceans are accumulating heat equivalent to about 6 Hiroshima atomic bomb detonations per second on average.

Warming of the planet due to greenhouse emissions is still melting glaciers and ice caps, lifting ocean levels and creating some of the hottest periods on record around the planet.

Writing in the American Geophysical Union open-access journal Earth’s Future, Trenberth and colleague John Fasullo say that “global warming has not stopped; it is merely manifested in different ways.”

Greenhouse gas emissions continue to surge from polluting industry and transportation, setting the stage for even more intense warming in the decades ahead, researchers warn.



Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113.2 degrees Fahrenheit (45.1 degrees Celsius) at Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 48.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 44.7 degrees Celsius) at Eureka, Nunavut (Canada).

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.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna volcano (Sicily): Tremor has started to increase this morning, although so far, no visible activity at the New SE crater has appeared while strong degassing from the NE crater continues. The next hours will probably show whether the volcano is going to prepare its next paroxysm in the near future or not.

Fly-By View of An Eruption

Getting a good wide-angle view of an erupting volcano can be difficult, even for the most accomplished photographers or orbiting satellites.

Views from most locations on the surface aren’t able to provide the full scope of the eruption and resulting ash cloud.

Space satellites are typically looking straight down as they pass over any spewing mountains, resulting in flattened, one-dimensional views.

But astronauts aboard the International Space Station can look off toward the horizon and can occasionally snap a photo like the one to the right.

It was taken on November 16, 2013, with a NASA digital camera as the orbiting laboratory passed to the southwest of Russia’s Klyuchevskoi volcano, located on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The photo gives an almost three-dimensional-type view, similar to what might be seen from a high-flying aircraft.

It not only shows the numerous volcanic peaks surrounding the erupting Klyuchevskoi, but also highlights the enormous plume of volcanic debris that extends outward toward the horizon.

Closer examination reveals that the heavier ash particles were falling from the main plume, and being carried northward by low-level winds.

But stronger winds aloft were blowing from a mainly westerly direction, sending the remaining lighter plume of steam and other gases out across the North Pacific.

Klyuchevskoi has been erupting sporadically since August. It sent another large plume of ash 4 miles into the atmosphere during a December 7 blast, three weeks after this NASA photo was taken.