Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits Guam.

5.5 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the South Indian Ocean:

Tropical cyclone 03s Amara.

Tropical cyclone 04s Bruce.

NewsBytes:

Heavy ice storms in Canada have left nearly 500,000 people without electricity including 300,000 in Toronto alone. Some 200 flights have been cancelled at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Sunday. It is expected to take up to three days to restore power to all customers in Toronto.

 

Canada ice storm 2013 photo

Tornadoes and snowstorms in the states of Kentucky, Mississippi and Missouri, USA have claimed lives of at least eight people on Sunday.

Snow and heavy rain have hit the start of the Christmas getaway in Scotland, with roads closed due to snow in the Highlands, and flash flooding in the Borders.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update

On 20 December 2013, WHO has been informed of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Malaria outbreak in Dadeldhura, Nepal.

According to Prasotum Gautam, one of the local experts, the open border with India and the continuous migration of people between the two countries have led to the fresh outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease in the district. No information of how many people were affected was available.

Global Warming

Earth’s Rate Of Global Warming Is 400,000 Hiroshima Bombs A Day

Sensationalist or good metaphor?

How can one convey the Earth’s staggering rate of heat build up from human-caused global warming — 250 trillion Watts (Joules per second)?

Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute. In his TED talk Climatologist James Hansen explained the current rate of increase in global warming is:

“… equivalent to exploding 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day, 365 days per year. That’s how much extra energy Earth is gaining each day.”

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): No significant changes have occurred. Ash emissions, sometimes relatively strong, continued from the NE crater and the tremor shows a very slow gradual rising trend.

El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): The new earthquake swarm that started under the island yesterday continues with now more than 100 quakes above magnitude 2 and several in the magnitude 3 range that were weakly felt on the island in some areas. The earthquakes are located at about 15 km depth under the southeastern central part of the island. Slight inflation is visible as well, suggesting that a new episode of magma inflation beneath the crust of the island has started. Whether or not this could lead to a new eruption is impossible to predict, but the most recent such episodes in the past 2 years occurred with no eruption following.

Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan): The new volcanic island continues to grow thanks to active lava flows and has now reached more than 50 meters and surpassed its mother island in height. Its continuing growth also makes it be at only about 50 meters shallow water distance from the Nishin-Jima island and it seems it might merge with it, rather than remaining an own new island, if activity continues.

Chaitén (Southern Chile and Argentina): The lava dome of the volcano has become more active recently. Incandescent spots are visible at night and a thermal anomaly is visible on satellite data. This suggests that new magma might be rising into the volcano. No explosive activity has (at least so far) occurred.

Palena (Southern Chile and Argentina): A pilot reported a volcanic ash cloud from the Palena volcano last evening. A picture from Andres Gillmore on twitter shows what in fact looks similar to an eruption plume, and that would mean that after Chaiten in 2008, a second volcano with no known historic eruptions has become active. But at this point, it seems more likely that the ash cloud is from a large wildfire instead, in other words, there is no new volcanic eruption. SERNAGEOMIN has not reported on the event which supports this interpretation.

Barren Island (Indian Ocean): A significant thermal anomaly remains present at the volcano which is likely in some sort of eruptive activity (lava flows?). However, no plumes could be detected on satellite imagery. An aerial survey by the Indian Navy could give more clues what is going on.

Heard (Australia, Southern Indian Ocean): Hot spots at Mawson Peak volcano remain visible on satellite imagery, but there are no indications of lava flows. What type of activity IS currently present on the volcano’s summit is unknown.

New volcanic Japanese island isn’t disappearing — it’s growing. Niijima, as it’s called, is now 19.8 acres or five times its initial size. The island sprouted out of the Pacific thanks to an undersea volcanic eruption some 600 miles south of Tokyo last month and might just be here to stay.

1387551253000 AFP 524886847