Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits the Samoa Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Iceland.

5.0 Earthquake hits northeastern Sakha, Russia.

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

5.0 Earthquake hits Iceland.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Hurricane Marie is located about 550 mi…880 km WSW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…105 mph…165 km/h. Present movement…NW or 310 degrees at 14 mph…22 km/h.

Hazards affecting land: Surf…swells generated by Marie are affecting much of the Baja

California peninsula and the southern Gulf of California. These swells are spreading northwestward and will reach the Southern California later today. Life-threatening surf and rip current conditions are likely as a result of these swells…as well as minor coastal flooding.

Hurricane Cristobal is located about 590 mi…950 km SW of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…75 mph…120 km/h. Present movement…N or 10 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

Hazards affecting land: rainfall…Cristobal is expected to produce additional rainfall

amounts of 1 to 3 inches over the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas. In addition to ongoing rainfall…Cristobal is expected to produce additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches over Bermuda. Wind…tropical storm conditions are possible on Bermuda by Wednesday afternoon. Surf…swells generated by Cristobal are affecting portions of the United States East Coast from central Florida northward to North Carolina…and will spread northward later this week. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

NewsBytes:

Bangladesh – Flooding during Bangladesh’s yearly summer monsoon season has forced 500,000 residents into homelessness and caused scores more to lose their crops. Streets throughout the northern area of the country have reportedly been swept away.

South Korea – Flash floods brought on by heavy rain in southern South Korea have killed at least five people. Monday’s heavy rain also disrupted train services in Busan, and a nuclear power plant was forced to halt operations after a cooling facility became flooded.

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Global Warming

Antarctic Riddle: How Much Will the South Pole Melt?

The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet has long been a relatively minor factor in the steady ascent of high-water marks, responsible for about an eighth of the 3 millimeters of annual sea-level rise. But when it comes to climate change, Antarctica is the elephantine ice sculpture in the boiler room. The ice sheet is so massive that its decline is, according to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment, “the largest potential source” of future sea level rise. Accurately forecasting how much of it will be unleashed as seawater, and when that will happen, could help coastal communities plan for surging flood risks.

A study published Aug. 14 in Earth System Dynamics — one that took more than 2 years and 50,000 computer simulations to complete, combining information from 26 atmospheric, oceanic, and ice sheet models from four polar regions — has helped scientists hone their forecasts for this century’s Antarctic thaw. And the results of the global research effort were more sobering than the findings of most of the more limited studies that came before it.

The world’s seas could rise anywhere from less than half an inch up to more than a foot by the end of this century solely because of the effects of balmier waters fanning Antarctica’s underside, causing ice to melt, icebergs to calve, and ice and snowpack to slough into the sea, the scientists calculated. The upper limit of that projection is more than double earlier estimates, with scientists attributing the change to advances in models.

Those figures do not include additional sea level rise caused by melting glaciers, by the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, by the expansion of warming water, or from the effects of groundwater pumping, which shifts water from aquifers to the seas. If the most recent IPCC projections for those sources of rising seas were combined with the new Antarctic figures, the U.N. group’s upper limit for overall sea level rise by century’s end would increase to 119 cm, or nearly 4 feet. That’s up by more than a fifth compared with the figure included in last year’s assessment.

Antarctic ice

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

The wildfire season appears to be winding down, with crews containing four large blazes in Washington state in the past 24 hours.

The Little Bridge Creek fire west of Winthrop and the Upper Falls fire north of Winthrop are both now 100 percent contained. So is the Carlton Complex south of Twisp, which has been burning over a month and has torched more than 256,100 acres. The other blaze that’s now 100 percent lined is the the Auvil Canyon fire northwest of Waterville, which has scorched more than 600 acres.

In Oregon, the Deception/Stanley complex remains the top priority. Sparked by lightning, the five fires in the complex have charred nearly 470 acres and are 53 percent contained. The fires are burning on steep, rugged terrain, threatening recreational areas and a municipal watershed but no homes.

Elsewhere in Oregon:

The Bald Sisters Fire has burned more than 1,100 acres in Grant County east of Prairie City and remains zero percent contained.

The South Fork complex south of John Day covers more than 66,100 acres but is 96 percent contained.

The 790 fire northeast of Medford has charred more than 1,300 acres and is 5 percent contained.

The Sommers Fire northeast of Enterprise grew has scorched more than 36,100 acres and is 75 percent contained.

In Washington:

The Devil’s Elbow complex northeast of Nespelem has torched more than 26,400 acres and remains 95 percent contained.

The Snag Canyon fire has burned nearly 12,600 acres and is 92 percent contained.

The South Cle Elum Ridge fire southwest of Cle Elum has torched nearly 900 acres and is 97 percent contained.

In California:

Wildfires are surging through the Northern California town of Weaverville, forcing about 150 homeowners to evacuate and threatening another 500 or so with destruction.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): After fluctuating and unstable effusive activity during the last few days, the vent seems to have once again increased its magma effusion rate and triggered a new pathway for the lava to flow down the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco. Whilst on the afternoon of the 23rd of August lava was still flowing down from the plateau in much the same location as it had done since opening of the vent on the 7th of August, the overflow of lava from the ca 600 m plateau onto the Sciara del Fuoco had substantially decreased by the early hours of the 24th of August.

Bárdarbunga (Iceland): The earthquake this morning at the north/northwestern part of the caldera at 6 km depth at 01:26 UTC could have been the biggest in the current swarm. Estimated magnitudes range from 4.1 (IMO) to 5.7 (USGS). The magma intrusion (dyke) north of Dyngjujokull is still migrating and stretches now approx. 10 km outside of the glacier. It will be interesting to see what happens when it reaches the area of the Asjka fissure swarm. A possibility could be that older dykes from that one stop the propagation of the Bardarbunga intrusion, another that it activates Askja as well. The seismic swarm continues to be intense and continues with no significant changes. A magnitude 5 quake occurred this morning 01:26 UTC northeast of the central volcano. Approx 1500 quakes had been registered during yesterday. The tip of the earthquake cluster has migrated further and is now 6-7 km north of Dyngjujökull glacier below ice-free land surface. According to IMO, there are no signs of an impending eruption as the quakes remain mostly at 5-12 km depth.