Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits western Turkey.

5.2 Earthquake hits the southwestern Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Easter Island.

5.1 Earthquake hits Easter Island.

5.0 Earthquake hits Iceland.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Hurricane Norbert is located about 125 mi…205 km W of Cabo San Lucas Mexico about 130 mi…205 km SSE of Cabo San Lazaro Mexico with maximum sustained winds…90 mph…150 km/h. Present movement…NNW or 330 degrees at 8 mph…13 km/h. .

Hazards affecting land: wind…any deviation of the center of Norbert to the right of the forecast track will bring hurricane force winds to a portion of the Hurricane Warning area by this afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread northward within the Tropical Storm Warning area through tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area tonight and Saturday. Rainfall…Norbert is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches over the southern part of the Baja California peninsula with isolated amounts near 10 inches through Saturday. Surf…large swells will continue to affect portions of the southwestern coast of Mexico and the southern portion of the Gulf of California through today. Large swells affecting the coast of the southern Baja California peninsula will spread northward along the West Coast of the peninsula through the weekend. These swells will produce dangerous surf conditions and rip currents.

NewsBytes:

El Nino – For months now, the tropical Pacific Ocean has been flirting with blossoming into a full-fledged El Niño state: Waters off the coast of South America have warmed, a hallmark of the climate phenomenon, but then cooled, only to warm once again. Winds, which normally blow east-to-west have made tentative moves in the other direction, another key criteria, but the bottom line is that the whole El Niño package hasn’t come together. The forecast remains “most likely”.

Bulgaria – Heavy rains have flooded parts of Bulgaria on Wednesday night. Rainfall of up to 75 litres per square meter has flooded basements and ground floors of private homes in Sliven municipality. Fire brigade teams worked all night long to drain the flooded properties.

India – At least 70 people are feared dead and property worth thousands of crores of rupees has been damaged in the floods caused by incessant rains in Jammu and Kashmir. Most parts of the Valley and Rajouri, Poonch, Reasi and Doda districts have been receiving moderate to heavy rainfall since last 48 hours.

PTI9 4 2014 000180B

Wildlife

California Blue Whales population recovers

Researchers have considered that numbers of California blue whales have returned to safe levels. It is estimated that there are 2,200 of these huge creatures at present on the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean.

Blue whale grows up to 33m long and weighs up to 190 tons. The California variety is usually seen feeding near the coast of the state, but they are now found all the way from the Gulf of Alaska down to Costa Rica.

According to the researchers from the University of Washington, California blue whales are at 97% of their historical levels at present. Whaling nations focused their hunting efforts on the colder waters of the Antarctic until the practice was prohibited in 1966 when 346 000 animals were killed by harpoon.

California Blue Whales

Space Events

Asteroid Close Shave

Earth is about to have a close encounter with a house-sized asteroid on Sunday (Sept. 7), when a space rock discovered just days ago will zoom by our planet at a range closer than some satellites. But NASA says the asteroid won’t hit Earth.

The asteroid 2014 RC will safely buzz Earth at 2:18 p.m. EDT (1818 GMT) on Sunday. At that time, the asteroid will pass over New Zealand and fly just inside the orbits of the geosynchronous communications and weather satellites orbiting Earth about 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the planet’s surface, according to a NASA statement.

During its close pass, 2014 RC will be about 21,126 miles (34,000 km) from Earth’s surface. That’s about 10 times closer to the Earth than the moon.

The asteroid will be very dim when it passes by Earth. Observers on the ground won’t be able to catch sight of it with the naked eye, but, weather permitting, intrepid amateur astronomers should be able to catch a glimpse of the fast-moving space rock through telescopes.

Asteroid 2014rc sky map

Disease

Ebola virus disease outbreak – West Africa

As of 31 August 2014, 3685 (probable, confirmed and suspected) cases and 1841 deaths have been reported in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease by the Ministries of Health of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In Nigeria, there have been 21 cases and 7 deaths.

In Senegal, one case has been confirmed and there have been no Ebola deaths or further suspected cases.

A 51-year-old doctor who resides in Boston has become the third American health care worker to contract Ebola during the current outbreak in West Africa.

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

On 2 September 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China notified WHO of 2 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118.9 degrees Fahrenheit (48.3 degrees Celsius) at Qaysumah, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 77.1 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60.6 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Lava effusion from the 650 m vent at the northern base of the NE crater has dropped strongly or even (almost) stopped during the past days. At the same time, weak explosions and ash emissions have become more frequent from the summit vents. Whether this is already the end of the effusive eruption that started a month ago (7 Aug) and a return to “normal” activity, i.e. intermittent strombolian explosions at the summit vents, is too early to say. According to INGV Catania, weak effusive activity still continued last evening.

Bardarbunga (Iceland): 2 new eruptive fissures have opened south of the existing one and feed additional lava flows. They are located approx. 1.5 km south of the fissure from last Sunday and only 2 km north of the glacier rim. Volcanologist Thorvaldur Thordarson said to the national televion that the eruption is changing and seems to be spreading towards the glacier, where already a graben (depression bounded by 2 parallel extension faults) ahd been observed during the previous days. Part of this structure is under the glacier. The eruption continues with little changes. Earthquake and deformation activity also continue, but on a decreasing trend. Two earthquakes of magnitude 4.3 and 5.2 occurred on the rim of the Bárðarbunga caldera during the night. Civil Protection decided to lift the restrictions on traffic in the area for scientists and journalist with special permissions.

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): Sporadic ash emissions are still being observed. Yesterday morning, VAAC Tokyo reported a low-level ash plume extending SE from the volcano.

Slamet (Central Java): Strombolian explosions are continuing from the new cone inside the summit crater. Some of them produce small ash plumes spotted on satellite imagery by VAAC Darwin who monitor the (volcanically very busy) region for volcanic ash plumes.

Dukono (Halmahera): Ash eruptions continue. A volcanic ash plume was spotted this morning extending 50 km to the NE from the volcano by Darwin VAAC.