Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.7 Earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.7 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Myanmar-India border region.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits the southeast Indian ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Sulu Sea.

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

5.1 Earthquake hits Iceland.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the western Indian-Antarctic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical Depression 15E is located about 245 mi…395 km SW of Acapulco Mexico and about 250 mi…400 km S of Lazaro Cardenas Mexico with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…NNW or 335 degrees at 1 mph…2 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Pakistan, India – Floods and landslides in Pakistan, and the Indian-administered and Pakistan-administered parts of Kashmir have claimed the lives of at least 441 people. So far, 241 have died in Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. At least 200 people have been killed in India, officials said.

Around 2600 villages have been affected in Jammu and Kashmir, out of which 390 villages in Kashmir are completely submerged. According to the Home Ministry of India, several thousand villages across the state have been hit and 350 villages are submerged by the floods.

According to the Pakistani and Indian troops, they have evacuated more than 60,000 people. Pakistani and Indian troops have been using boats and helicopters to drop food supplies for stranded families and evacuate victims.

Authorities in Pakistan say the floods, which began September 3, are the worst since massive flooding killed 1,700 people in 2010.

Pakistan India Kashmir flood 2014 image

Wildlife

Global warming threatens half of U.S. birds

A seven-year study by scientists at the National Audubon Society found that global warming threatens the survival of nearly half the bird species in the continental United States and Canada, including the iconic bald eagle and Florida favourites such as the roseate spoonbill, sandhill crane and woodstork.

Of 588 bird species examined in the study, 314 species are classified “at risk.” Of those, 126 species are at risk of severe declines by 2050, and an additional 188 species face a similar fate by 2080, with the potential for species extinctions if global warming continues on its current trajectory.

About 50 species whose ranges currently include Florida are included in the two categories — climate-endangered and climate-threatened.

The Audubon report, released Tuesday, says that hundreds of species not previously considered at-risk will be challenged to survive in a climate-changed future.

“Climate change is reshaping the birdlife of the continent,” said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida Director of Wildlife Conservation. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns will force many of the continent’s birds to seek out better places to nest and winter. “Some species will shift their range, but others will not have that flexibility.”

Spoonbill

Disease

Ebola death toll rises

The death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in history has jumped by almost 200 in a single day to at least 2,296 and is already likely to be higher than that, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

The WHO said it had recorded 4,293 cases in five West African countries as of Sept. 6, a day after its previous update.

But it still did not have new figures for Liberia, the worst-affected country, suggesting the true toll is already much higher. The WHO has said it expects thousands of new cases in Liberia in the next three weeks.

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Environment

As Arctic Melts, More Traffic and Noise Blasts Wildlife

Year by year, summer sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing. Suddenly an area that has always been largely inaccessible is now opening up to new commercial opportunities: ship traffic, oil exploration and who knows what’s coming next.

The Arctic Ocean is a harsh, unforgiving place, and any industrialization there will be hazardous, raising extreme risks to life and the fragile environment. But the rush is on.

“Everybody’s coming up to stake their claim in the Arctic,” says oceanographer Kate Stafford of the University of Washington. “And without good international regulation and cooperation, it’s going to be like the Wild West.”

With three-fourths of the volume of Arctic sea ice reportedly lost since the 1980s, vast stretches of habitat for animals like the polar bear and walrus have been destroyed. But new economic activity in the region will ensure the consequences for wildlife are even more far-reaching: The Arctic Ocean is becoming noisier, and scientists believe this will have a profound impact on marine mammals that rely on sound to survive.

Official records show that the number of tankers, cargo ships and tugs transiting through the Arctic has more than doubled since 2008. Offshore oil exploration by Royal Dutch Shell and others has added to the increased industrialization. Mostly low-frequency sounds from ship engines, seismic surveys and drilling machinery overlap with and may interfere with sounds produced and received by marine mammals.

“Studies show that whales, for example, respond to anthropogenic [human-caused] noise by leaving the area, reducing respiration or surface time, and decreasing calls to other whales,” Stafford says. “A study of northern right whales suggests they may be chronically stressed from high levels of sounds from ships.”

Also, there is increased risk of collisions between ships and animals that are unable to locate and avoid the vessels because of interference created by the ship sounds. Stafford has been studying sounds in the Arctic Ocean, using hydrophones that record whales, seals, walruses, ship passages and seismic air guns used for seafloor mapping. She says that much more research is needed to assess the sensitivity of marine mammals to industrial noise and to figure out what can be done to minimize its potential impact. Pin It If you’re a topical expert — researcher, business leader, author or innovator — and would like to contribute an op-ed piece, email us here.

More industrialization in the Arctic is inevitable, but there are ways to reduce the risks. Stafford suggests the oil and gas industry should shut down seismic and development activities during periods when high concentrations of marine mammals are present, or impose a sound “budget” to limit the level of sound that can be produced at one time. Shipping traffic should be confined to specific lanes with strict speed limits, and some areas like the Bering Strait should be closed to all traffic during peak whale-migration periods.

Others point out that the native peoples in the region need to be part of the solution. Their way of life depends on ocean resources, hunting and fishing in small boats offshore where they also risk collision with large vessels.

“What we would like to see is a much more sustainable approach that will not impact this ecosystem,” said Marilyn Heiman, the U.S. Arctic program director for the Pew Charitable Trusts, which has taken a leading advocacy role on the Arctic traffic issue. But this is not a challenge that can be addressed solely by the U.S. The Arctic Ocean is shared with Canada, several European nations and Russia, and much of it is considered international waters.

Any solutions will need to be achieved through international agreement. That’s a long and tedious process that needs to start now.