Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits Nepal.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Thailand – Heavy rain and flooding along the Thai-Malaysian border have left one child dead, two people missing, dozens of villages inundated, and the Sungai Kolok border crossing closed.

Malaysia – Two Malaysian provinces are also suffering from two days of heavy rain across the peninsula. A total of 3,930 people have fled their homes in several areas of Kelantan due to flooding caused by two days of heavy rains. In the adjacent state of Terengganu, 4,209 people fled to evacuation centres after their homes were inundated by floodwaters.

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Wildlife

Carnivore Comeback: Bears and Wolves Are Thriving in Europe

Despite having half the land area of the contiguous United States and double the population density, Europe is home to twice as many wolves as the U.S.

A new study finds that Europe’s other large carnivores are experiencing a resurgence in their numbers, too — and mostly in non-protected areas where the animals coexist alongside humans. The success is owed to cross-border cooperation, strong regulations and a public attitude that brings wildlife into the fold with human society, rather than banishing it to the wilderness.

With the exception of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, every European country in the study has a permanent and reproducing population of at least one of the four large carnivores, the researchers reported. The continent is home to 17,000 brown bears in 10 populations spread over 22 countries. There are 9,000 lynx in 11 populations in 23 countries. Wolves are thriving, with more than 12,000 individuals found in 10 populations in 28 countries.

Wolverines can live only in the cold climates of Scandinavia, so Norway, Sweden and Finland are the only countries in the study that host all four of Europe’s major large carnivore species. There are two populations of wolverines in Europe, with an estimated total of 1,250 individuals.

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Environment

CO2 Map of the Earth

This past summer, NASA launched its first satellite devoted to measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that is driving global warming.

Scientists with the space agency unveiled the first carbon maps obtained by the spacecraft, named the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2.

A map of the globe that uses about 600,000 data points taken by OCO-2 from Oct. 1 through Nov. 17 shows hotspots of carbon dioxide over northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil.

Carbon concentration

Wildfires

Wildfires – Victoria, Australia

Two persistent fires that had destroyed homes and killed animals in the state’s north east were brought under control on Thursday evening. It was the first time Victoria had been without a fire threat in days.

The 5740 hectare Lake Rowan fire, north of Wangaratta, was declared contained after 10pm, with crews halting its spread with containment lines.

Fire conditions also abated at the Creightons Creek fire, near Euroa, which destroyed three homes earlier this week after it was sparked by a dry lightening strike on Tuesday.

Although crews still patrolled the fire ground, residents were being let back into areas that had been affected by the blaze.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112.6 degrees Fahrenheit (44.8 degrees Celsius) at Oodnadatta, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 62.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52.5 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian outpost of Toko.

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

Bardarbunga (Central Iceland): The eruption continues with little variation. The Nornahraun lava field is now almost 80 square km in size. An extensive lava tube system has formed inside it, bringing supply of lava to the outer areas.
Earthquake activity remains significant under the caldera, which continues to subside. Occasional quakes reach magnitudes above 5.

Kilauea (Hawai’i): The lava flow is now less than 1 km (0.7 mi) from the Pahoa marketplace. During yesterday’s overflight, it was seen that had advanced about 340 m during the previous 24 hours.
Its front has split into two branches, one following the steepest descent path in the area and another following a “tributary” path to the north that intersects the main descent path a few hundred meters.