Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits the Samoa Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits the central west Pacific rise.

5.4 Earthquake hits Iceland.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Cayman Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits eastern Honshu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical Depression Dolly is located about 65 mi…110 km WSW of Tampico Mexico with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…W or 260 degrees at 8 mph…13 km/h.

Hazards affecting land: rainfall…Dolly is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across much of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon…as well as northern Veracruz and eastern San Luis Potosi Mexico through Wednesday evening. This rainfall is expected to cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides in areas of mountainous terrain.

Tropical Storm Norbert is located about 245 mi…395 km SSE of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 295 degrees at 8 mph…13 km/h.

Hazards affecting land: wind…tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by Thursday afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area by Thursday night. Rainfall…Norbert is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches over Colima and western parts of Michoacan and Jalisco in southwestern Mexico through Wednesday. Surf…large swells will affect portions of the southwestern coast of Mexico today and Thursday…and produce dangerous surf conditions and rip currents. Large swells will gradually spread northward into the southern Gulf of California and affect the southern portions of Baja California Sur by Thursday.

Global Warming

New Observations Confirm Greenland, Antarctica Losing Land Ice Rapidly

A new study just published shows that—using more accurate measurements than ever before—Greenland and Antarctica are together losing ice at incredible rates: Together, over 500 (±107) cubic kilometres of ice are melting from them every year.

That means 450 billion tons of ice are lost every year, melted away into the oceans. That’s staggering.

CryoSat-2 satellite measures the height of the ice over the two land masses. As they lose ice, the height drops, and that change is seen by the satellite.

 

Cryosat greenland iceloss jpg CROP original original

They also found that West Antarctica—the focus of much concern lately—is losing ice three times faster now than it was in the time period from 2003–2009. Note that they did find a mild increase in ice in eastern Antarctica, which was known before as well, but it’s not nearly enough to compensate for the huge losses elsewhere.

Disease

Ebola Outbreak in DRC – Update

The death toll in the Democratic Republic of Congo from the Ebola virus has reached 31 people. The virus was confirmed in the northern region of Djera, a collection of villages, last week and is a different strain of the disease than that which is currently effecting the nations of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in West Africa.

The first reports of the outbreak in the Congo came on August 25, 2014, however the virus is supposed to have started in the area a couple of weeks previous to this. The first reported deaths were from the small town of Boende, an isolated town in the Equateur province, heavily surrounded by tropical forest.

Ebola “Out of Control”

The director for the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention says that the Ebola outbreak is going to get worse.

Speaking to “CBS This Morning” following his trip to the West African countries dealing with the outbreak, Dr. Tom Frieden explained that they have to act now to try to get Ebola under control.

“It is the world’s first Ebola epidemic and it is spiraling out of control. It’s bad now and it’s going to get worse in the very near future,”.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Bardarbunga (Iceland): Important changes seem to be under way. The fissure eruption with its spectacular lava emission at the surface still continues, but has decreased a lot since the first two days.

At the same time, earthquake and deformation activity that had decreased yesterday have picked up again. This is likely because the internal pressure is no longer efficiently released and intruding magma no longer erupted at the same rate as added underground.

The scenario of a new eruption along new fissures, possibly under the ice, or even at Bárdarbunga or Asjka volcanoes, is considered a possible scenario.