Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 Earthquake hits the Santa Cruz Islands.

5.4 Earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.4 Earthquake hits the north Indian Ocean.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

Global Warming

Global Warming Has Accelerated and Will Go On for Centuries

According to the head of the UN World Meteorological Organization, global warming has not reached a standstill – in fact, it has accelerated. Our planet will continue to warm for centuries to come, with disastrous consequences.

On Monday, the UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) issued its annual statement on the Status of the Climate. UN weather agency chief Michel Jarraud spoke out against climate skeptics, stating that “There is no standstill in global warming,” and pointing to some of the extreme climate events of 2013.

“The warming of our oceans has accelerated, and at lower depths,” Jarraud said. “More than 90% of the excess energy trapped by greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans.

“Levels of these greenhouse gases are at a record, meaning that our atmosphere and oceans will continue to warm for centuries to come. The laws of physics are non-negotiable.”

Droughts, heat waves, rising seas, floods and tropical cyclones around the globe last year are just a glimpse of what may be coming in the future, the WMO’s statement pointed out.

While skeptics point to natural phenomena like volcanoes or the El Niño or La Niña weather patterns as an explanation for the observed warming and disasters, Jarraud rejects their arguments. “Many of the extreme events of 2013 were consistent with what we would expect as a result of human-induced climate change,” he said, pointing to the destruction wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Other 2013 examples that Jarraud pointed to were huge bush fires in Australia, winter freezes in the US south-east and Europe, heavy rains and floods in north-east China and eastern Russia, snow across the Middle East and drought in south-east Africa.



Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Guinea – Update

TThe total number of suspected cases in the ongoing Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreak in Guinea remains 86. Two more cases died bringing total deaths to 62 (CFR: 72%). The cases are spread across three districts in south-east Guinea (Guekedou, Macenta, and Kissidougou districts). Seven of the cases are currently undergoing treatment in isolation units in Guekedou district. Investigations on reported cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone along the border with Guinea are ongoing.

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

On 23 March 2014, the National IHR Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) notified WHO of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Additional Outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in North Korea

The World Organization for Animal Health says deadly foot-and-mouth disease has spread to another farm in the North Korean capital Pyongyang.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:

Slamet (Central Java): Strombolian explosions of generally small size continue at irregular intervals. According to our correspondent Oystein, who visited the volcano last weekend, “the eruptions observed were fairly small (strombolian activity) and the interval between the eruptions ranged from 30min to 3 hours, during the periods I had clear views and were able to observe. No booming noises could be heard during the eruptions or incandescent material observed.”

Fuego (Guatemala): (26 Mar) The volcano’s activity has increased, INSIVUMEH and CONRED reported. The number of explosions rose to 8-14 per hour over the past days and the strongest ones produce ash plumes rising more than 1 km above the summit and drifted 12 km to westerly directions. Seismic data also show an increase in tremor (internal vibration). INSIVUMEH thinks that a new lava flow and / or another paroxysmal phase at the volcano could occur soon. The explosions at the volcano generated rumblings and shock waves that rattled ceilings and windows in villages Panimaché, Panimaché II, Morelia, Santa Sofia and others in the area at distances of more than 8 km.

Reventador (Ecuador): The volcano has entered a new eruptive phase since yesterday, Ecuador’s Institute of Geophysics (IGP) reported. Starting from 15:00 local time yesterday, increasing tremor was registered and steady ash emissions were observed. At night, incandescent blocks could be seen and heard rolling down from the crater where probably a new lava dome has started to appear. Small pyroclastic flows descended on the eastern, southeastern and southern flanks of the volcano, probably as a result of re-mobilization of fresh lava and tephra deposits. These so-called secondary pyroclastic flows reached lengths of 500 m below the summit. IGP assumes the most likely scenario for the evolution of the new eruptive episode is that activity continues at similar levels for a while. So far, lava avalanches and pyroclastic flows have been confined within the caldera, near the flanks of the main cone. So far, no reports of ash falls became available from communities in the nearby areas, suggesting that the eruption is still small. An important hazard remains in the form of lahars (mud flows), which can be generated by re-mobilization of loose material during heavy rainfall and would most likely threaten the bed and banks of the Quijo river.