Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits west of the Mariana Islands.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits east of the Kuril Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Peru-Ecuador border region.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Santa Cruz Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone Nathan is located approximately 208 nm northwest of Cairns, Australia and is tracking westward at 09 knots.

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Wildlife

Thousands of Snow Geese Die in Migration Over Idaho

About 2,000 snow geese fell dead from the sky in southeastern Idaho from an outbreak of what officials say was probably avian cholera.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game told reporters that the bacterial infection can cause convulsions and erratic flight among infected birds.

The geese were en route from their winter homes in the southwestern U.S. or Mexico to their summer breeding grounds in Alaska or Canada.

It’s unclear where they picked up the bacteria, which poses only a small risk to humans but can quickly spread through bird populations.

“The important thing is to quickly collect as many of the carcasses as possible, to prevent other birds from feeding on the infected birds,” said Steve Schmidt, a regional Idaho Fish and Game supervisor.

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Environment

This Winter Was Warmest on Record

This winter may have brought a deep freeze to much of the northeastern United States — including record-breaking snowfall in Boston — but it was the planet’s warmest winter on record, climate scientists announced.

The average global temperature from December to February was 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit (0.79 degrees Celsius) higher than the 20th-century average of 53.8 degrees F (12.1 degrees C), according to a newly released report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Centre.

These stats make December 2014 to February 2015 the warmest winter since record keeping began in 1880, surpassing the previous record set in 2007 by 0.05 degrees F (0.03 degrees C).

Global Warming

Arctic sea ice hits record low

Arctic sea ice has reached its lowest winter point since satellite observations began in the late 1970s, raising concerns about faster ice melt and rising seas due to global warming, US officials have said.

The maximum extent of sea ice observed was 5.6 million square miles (14.5 million square kilometres) on February 25, earlier than scientists had expected, said the report by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre yesterday.

Below-average ice conditions were observed everywhere except in the Labrador Sea and Davis Strait. The sea ice was about 425,000 square miles below the average from 1981 to 2010, a loss equal to more than twice the size of Sweden. It was also 50,200 square miles below the previous lowest maximum that occurred in 2011.

Environmentalists said the report offered more evidence of worsening global warming, and urged action to curb the burning of fossil fuels that send greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 109.2 degrees Fahrenheit (42.9 degrees Celsius) at Twee Riviere, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 83.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 63.9 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.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 3 and 10 March 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 15 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 5 deaths.