Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Pakistan.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Andaman region off India.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the South Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone Amara. Amara threatens Rodrigues Island. The Mauritius Meteorological Service has already put a cyclone class 2 warning in effect.

Tropical cyclone Bruce.

Tropical Cyclone Bruce was still maintaining hurricane-force in the Southern Indian Ocean when NASA’s Terra satellite passed over the eye of the storm on Thursday. Although Bruce’s eye seemed to have some high clouds, the eye was still visible. Also visible were thick bands of thunderstorms wrapping around the storm’s northern quadrant. Convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) was seen strengthening around the eyewall.

Global Warming

Climate Change Melt Shifting Location of North Pole

The melting of ice caps and glaciers due to climate change is causing a shift in the Earth’s axis, according to new research.

Wobbles in the planet’s rotation are due to various influences, including the distribution of mass.

Observations conducted since 1899 have shown that the North Pole has been drifting south toward eastern parts of Canada at the rate of about 4 inches per year.

But that drift jogged abruptly eastward in 2005 and has totaled about 4 feet in distance since then.

Jianli Chen of the University of Texas at Austin and colleagues collected data from NASA’s GRACE satellite, which measures changes in Earth’s gravity field over time in an attempt to find out why the shift occurred.

The measurements allowed them to calculate how melting of the Greenland and Arctic ice sheets and mountain glaciers, and the resulting rise in sea level, caused a redistribution of mass on the Earth’s surface.

Computer analysis determined that it matched perfectly what it would take to cause the observed shift in the North Pole’s position.

“Ice melting and sea level change can explain 90 per cent of the (eastward shift),” Chen told the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. “The driving force for the sudden change is climate change.”

His team determined that the largest contributing factor of the shift is the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which is losing about 250 gigatons of ice each year.

North pole webcam: The location of the North Pole has begun to shift eastward from a slow drift down toward Quebec.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 114.1 degrees Fahrenheit (45.6 degrees Celsius) at Esperance, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 49.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 45.0 degrees Celsius) at Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organisation sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.