Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits the western Indian-Antarctic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits Unimak Island, Alaska.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Invest 90C in the central Pacific is an area of disturbed weather with potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Pakistan – Flash floods in a mountainous district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in northwest Pakistan have claimed the lives of at least 10 people. A madrassa and several buildings were also destroyed.

Global Warming

Corals Adapting to Global Warming

Some coral populations already have genetic variants necessary to tolerate warm ocean waters, and humans can help to spread these genes, a team of scientists from The University of Texas at Austin, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Oregon State University have found. The discovery has implications for many reefs now threatened by global warming and shows for the first time that mixing and matching corals from different latitudes may boost reef survival.

The researchers crossed corals from naturally warmer areas of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia with corals from a cooler latitude nearly 300 miles to the south. The scientists found that coral larvae with parents from the north, where waters were about 2 degrees Celsius warmer, were up to 10 times as likely to survive heat stress, compared with those with parents from the south. Using genomic tools, the researchers identified the biological processes responsible for heat tolerance and demonstrated that heat tolerance could evolve rapidly based on existing genetic variation.

Worldwide, coral reefs have been badly damaged by rising sea surface temperatures. Bleaching—a process that can cause widespread coral death due to loss of the symbiotic algae that corals depend on for food—has been linked to warming waters. Some corals, however, have higher tolerance for elevated temperatures, though until now no one understood why some adapted differently than others.

Wildlife

Python Eats Porcupine, Regrets It Later

It isn’t unusual for pythons to eat porcupines, Fuller told Live Science in an email. In fact, many species of snakes eat porcupines and other horned or quilled animals, according to a study published in 2003 in the Phyllomedusa Journal of Herpetology. And while a 30-lb. meal might sound like too much to digest, it isn’t if you’re a python.

Rangers found the snake underneath a rocky ledge, where it had apparently fallen. On impact, the quills inside its engorged belly may have pierced the python’s digestive tract, which probably killed the animal.

Rangers also took measurements of the snake’s massive body, which measured 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) long. The snake’s head features a dual set of lower jaws that move independently of one another, allowing the animal to open wide to swallow large prey.

Python alive 2

Porcupine dead

Environment

Santiago Smog Emergency Shuts Down Chile’s Capital

The first smog emergency for the Chilean capital in 16 years forced officials to shut down 3,000 factories and other businesses, and to order thousands of cars off Santiago’s roadways.

A toxic blanket of gray wintertime smog has covered the sprawling city for much of June, trapped by the Andes to the east and smaller hills around the capital.

A temperature inversion in the lower atmosphere, typical during winter, provided a “cap” for the layer of smog.

The stagnant air has been accompanied by the driest June in four decades, with no rain predicted for at least another week.

Authorities recommended that the city’s 7 million residents avoid outdoor activities due to potential health problems that may be brought on by exposure to the smog.

But the hazardous pollution peaked just as Chile was hosting the Copa America, with Santiago being one of the main venues.

The federation organizing the soccer (football) competition does not allow matches to be canceled because of poor air quality.

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Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Update

On 21 June 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates notified WHO of 2 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Between 24 and 26 June 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of the Republic of Korea notified WHO of 6 additional confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) alongside 4 additional deaths.

To date, a total of 181 MERS-CoV cases, including 31 deaths, have been reported in South Korea.