Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Indonesia, Jakarta – The mouth of the Cisadane River was hit by landslides in two different locations as the river’s water levels kept rising due to high intensity rainfall and water flowing from Bogor. Flooding occurred again at several points in Tangerang. The landslide saw two houses, including occupants swept away by the river. The occupants remain unaccounted for.

Global Warming

Stronger Trade Winds Brought Global Warming Pause

A new and detailed study into the recent 13-year pause in the rise of global surface temperatures points to stronger trade winds in the central Pacific as a primary cause.

Scientists recently explained that the deep oceans have been absorbing the brunt of excess solar radiation due to higher greenhouse gas levels. But they didn’t know exactly how that was happening.

Research just published in Nature Climate Change shows that the strengthening of the trade winds has churned the Pacific so much that heat is being drawn from the air down to waters between about 300 and 1,000 feet in depth.

The same churning brings up cooler waters from the deep, cooling the air above the ocean surface.

Further accumulation of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere is expected to eventually overpower the factors behind the pause in global warming.

Sea-surface temperature anomaly graphic. Stronger Pacific trade winds churned excess heat from greenhouse warming into the deep oceans. The resulting currents also brought cooler waters to the surface. Both heat transfers have caused a pause in land-surface warming:

Ew140221c

Space Events

Solar Flare

Long-lived sunspot AR1967 returned to the Earthside of the sun on Feb. 25th and promptly erupted, producing an X4.9-class solar flare. This is the strongest flare of the year so far and one of the strongest of the current solar cycle.

Earth isn’t totally out of the woods yet, however. This region of the sun is set to rotate more fully into view of Earth over the next week, according to officials with the NOAA-led Space Weather Prediction Centre.

X-class solar flares are the most powerful kinds of solar storms. If directed at Earth, last night’s solar flare could have caused a serious geomagnetic storm, created when charged particles slam into the planet’s magnetic field. When aimed at Earth, strong solar flares can harm satellites and astronauts in orbit around Earth. A powerful solar flare delayed the launch of a private cargo ship to the International Space Station in January.

X4 9 solar flare feb 25 gmt teal

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits the Carlsberg ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Carlsberg ridge.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Carlsberg ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Carlsberg ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Carlsberg ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Carlsberg ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Carlsberg ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

The Carlsberg ridge is located in the north-western Indian Ocean.

361705 global thumb

Fukushima’s Radioactive Ocean Water Arrives At West Coast

Radiation from Japan’s leaking Fukushima nuclear power plant has reached waters offshore Canada, researchers said today at the annual American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu.

Two radioactive cesium isotopes, cesium-134 and cesium-137, have been detected offshore of Vancouver, British Columbia, researchers said at a news conference. The detected concentrations are much lower than the Canadian safety limit for cesium levels in drinking water, said John Smith, a research scientist at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Tests conducted at U.S. beaches indicate that Fukushima radioactivity has not yet reached Washington, California or Hawaii, said Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Mass.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Canada – An avalanche in Kootenay Pass area in Canada has claimed the life of one person and seriously injured a woman.

Wildlife

A Sanctuary for Manta Rays

Last month, Indonesia established the world’s largest sanctuary for manta rays — those enormous, finned fortresses that can reach nearly 30 feet across. For the first time, manta ray hunting and export is banned within the entire 2.3 million square miles of Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.

The sanctuary is a victory for conservationists and the manta rays, as Indonesia was home to some of the largest ray fisheries in the world.

But the decree may not have been motivated solely by the plight of the rays, whose populations are dwindling in the archipelago. A study published last May in PLoS ONE calculated the measure of a manta and concluded the immense rays are worth much more alive than dead. For starters, the study reports that Indonesia earns an estimated $15 million in manta ray tourist revenues annually — compared to the ray fisheries, worth about $500,000.

6 ShawnHeinrichs 20131001 120905 V3T2040

Wildfires

Indonesian Forest Fires

Forest fires in Riau, Indonesia affect 20,000, while the haze drops visibility to 50 meters. At least 20,000 people in Riau province of Indonesia have suffered respiratory problems due to thick smog from the recent forest fires. The thick smog has also caused delay of flights in the Sultan Syarif Kasim airport.

Riaus disaster mitigation office has declared a state of emergency in the districts of Pelalawan, Bengkalis, Dumai city, and Meranti islands.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Marsili Seamount (Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy): A recently published study shows that submarine explosive eruptions have occurred at the underwater volcano in historical times. Therefore, the volcano should be included as one of Italy’s still active volcanoes.

Kilauea (Hawai’i): (24 Feb) The Kahauale`a 2 lava flow reached 7.8 km (4.8 mi) northeast of Pu`u `O`o by mid-January before stalling. Recent surface flows have been active as small scattered breakouts behind the flow front.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits Sumbawa, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

France – Landslide in Isola, southern France has claimed the lives of two children. A giant boulder crushed a chalet in the French Alps where two families were staying. Three survivors managed to escape, while the remaining two were freed by emergency services.

Indonesia – Landslide in Jayapura, Indonesia has claimed the lives of at least 11 people and left two others missing. Three rivers burst their banks and caused flash flooding in the area. Heavy rainfall caused landslides in several parts of Jayapura. Floodwater swept away houses when the Anafri River burst its banks in Kloofkamp. The State-owned electricity company PT PLN has been asked to suspend the electricity supply in the city to avoid accidents.

Florida, USA – A heavy storm damaged several houses in Hollister in Putnam County, Florida, United States. Lightning strikes killed four cows. According to the Putnam County Emergency Management Agency, straight line winds caused the damage in the area.

Solomon Islands – Heavy rainfall has caused flooding in Choiseul and Isabel provinces in Solomon Islands. Several houses have been flooded in Gizo, the capital of the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.

Indonesia, Jakarta – Incessant heavy rain since Saturday (2/22) triggered floods that inundated some areas in the capital city.

Disease

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update

On 20 and 21 February 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of nine additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Activity has remained more or less unchanged. The lava flows from the fissure vents on the eastern flank of the New SE crater continue to be weakly alimented and produce overlapping smaller flows. Most of them only reach only few hundred meters length, and rarely descend into the steeper western wall of Valle del Bove. As a result, most lava accumulates in the less steep area at the foot of the cone. Weak intermittent strombolian activity continued at the summit vent. Tremor has risen a bit over the past 24 hours, but overall is low.

Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands): (21 Feb) The island continues to grow by progressing lava flows into several directions, as the latest images by the Japanese Coast Guard from 16 Feb show. Its highest peak, formed by the western of the 2 active vents, was measured at 66 m, i.e. it now reached almost twice the height of the peak of the old island. The new addition has more than doubled the size of the island so far. It also formed a black-sand beach on the NE shore of the old part, as a result of lava fragments washed up by currents and waves.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano has increasingly strong explosions. A vulcanian eruption this evening around 23:10 local time (see video) produced an ash column rising approx 3 km and was accompanied by abundant eruption lightning and ejections of lots of incandescent material. Constant ash emissions constant ash emissions (probably from deep-seated strombolian activity) has been following the explosion.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): Activity has declined a lot over the past weeks. Sporadic smaller explosion still occur from time to time, such as this morning at around 11am (local time).

Kelud (East Java): (21 Feb) A MODIS hot spot is visible at the crater, suggesting that a new lava dome could be forming there. This would be the effusive continuation of the recent explosion on 13 Feb, as magma with much less gas content continues to arrive at the vent. Activity at the volcano has decreased, but it is still unknown what exactly the situation at the vent is, whether or not a new lava dome is forming there. The thermal hot spot visible on satellite data could also be caused by hot gasses. A picture showing the new crater at the place of the 2007 lava dome has emerged on our friend Øystein Lund Andersen’s website, but of course, it is impossible to see what the bottom of the new pit looks like.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): Activity remained similar to the previous days with an overall decreasing tendency. Slow lava extrusion continues to feed the viscous lava lobe, where small rockfalls occur at the sides and its front. At the summit, steaming and small to moderate ash emissions can be seen.

Dukono (Halmahera): Elevated strombolian, perhaps weak vulcanian-type activity at the volcano continues to produce frequent ash plumes at approx. 2 km altitude.

Fuego (Guatemala): Strombolian activity remains intense and can now be followed in near-real time on a new webcam. Explosions occur at rates of one every 30 minutes approx. and shower many incandescent material onto the upper slopes, where they generate avalanches up to 2 km length. No lava flows, however, is active at the moment.

San Miguel (El Salvador): (21 Feb) The situation has remained essentially unchanged and the volcano has (not yet) erupted again. Seismic activity remains high and continues to increase overall, while surface activity consists of pulsating gas emissions reaching a height of 200 m.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

New Zealand – Hail storm and tornado swept through Amberley in north Christchurch damaging several houses. Lightning strikes also caused a small fire in Halswell.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the southern East Pacific Rise.

5.1 Earthquake hits offshore Falcon, Venezuela.

5.1 Earthquake hits La Rioja, Argentina.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec islands.