Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.9 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.9 Earthquake hits the Philippine Islands.

5.7 Earthquake hits the Myanmar-India border region.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

New York, USA – A state of emergency has been declared after the freak snowstorm in New York State claimed lives of at least eight people in three days.

Guyana – Heavy rains have flooded thousands of homes in the South American country of Guyana and forced the closure of schools and businesses in the capital, officials said Thursday. More than 7 inches (18 centimetres) of rain fell on the capital of Georgetown in less than 24 hours, and more rain was predicted for the coming days, meteorologists said. Many streets were impassable in Georgetown and there were widespread reports of flooding in the lower floors of buildings throughout the city. No deaths were reported.

Thailand – Military officers have been put on standby in flood-prone areas in southern provinces as heavy rains continue to batter the region. Krabi, Narathiwat, Trang and Phatthalung provinces have all been hit by floods over the past few days resulting from torrential rains.

Global Warming

Small Volcanic Eruptions Slow Global Warming

Small volcanic eruptions are also responsible for the global warming slowdown since 2000, claims a new study. Over the years, the impact of small volcanic blasts was overlooked because their planet-cooling particles cluster below the reach of satellites, scientists said.

The study included small volcanic eruptions from 2000 to 2013. It stated that small eruptions would have discharged larger amounts of sulfur dioxide gas into the upper atmosphere than previously thought.

Sulphur dioxide gas cools the Earth by blocking some of the Sun’s solar radiation and reflecting it back into space. The stratosphere is the second layer of Earth’s atmosphere and is above the one in which humans live (the troposphere).

The study said one or two eruptions each year could help prevent a doubling of the solar radiation reaching Earth.

“The effects of these smaller volcanoes is part of the solution to the warming hiatus or why the climate models didn’t predict that this was going to happen,” said David Ridley, lead author the study and atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

These small volcanic eruptions create droplets of sulfuric acid that combines with oxygen in the upper atmosphere and stay there for a long time. They also reflect sunlight away from the Earth.

Ridley and his colleagues also traced the source of aerosols found in the lower stratosphere and put there by volcanic eruptions early this century. The eruptions were much smaller than 1991’s massive Mount Pinatubo outburst in the Philippines, which had a noticeable cooling effect on the global climate.

Findings indicate a lot of small eruptions do pump aerosols into the stratosphere, especially eruptions of high-latitude volcanoes.

Volcanic eruption

Wildlife

Bats Drop Dead From Trees in Blistering Australian Heat

Thousands of fruit bats fell dead from trees in one area of eastern Australia as a heat wave pushed temperatures as high as 111 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday.

The dead mammals, also known as flying foxes, piled up on the ground in Casino and the Richmond Valley of northern New South Wales, where wildlife officials warned residents not to touch the animals due to the danger of catching viruses or other illnesses.

Hundreds of infant bats left orphaned were being cared for by animal-rescue workers who said they were overwhelmed by the environmental disaster.

“Some areas along the riverbank are inaccessible, and the stench from the rotting carcasses will be quite unbearable for some time yet,” council manager John Walker told Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph.

Last January, an unprecedented heat wave in neighbouring Queensland killed as many as 100,000 flying foxes.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit (44.0 degrees Celsius) at Walgett, New South Wales, Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 67.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 55.2 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian outpost of Turukhansk.

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

Chirpoi (Kurile Islands, Russia): Satellite images showed a weak thermal anomaly over Snow volcano on 16 November.

Sinarka (Shiashkotan Island ): The alert level of the volcano was raised to Yellow. SVERT reported steam-and-gas emissions visible on satellite images. The plume drifted 40 km E on 11 November. The next day a weak thermal anomaly was detected. Gas-and-steam activity became more robust; emissions drifted NE. A weak thermal anomaly was again detected on 16 November.

Aso (Kyushu): Mild activity continues at the volcano. During 10-14 November, white plumes were seen rising 400 m and incandescence was visible from Nakadake Crater at night.