Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits Luzon in the Philippines.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical Depression Halola is located about 665 nm east-southeast of Iwo To, and is tracking west-northwestward at 06 knots.

Post Tropical Cyclone Dolores is located about 285 mi…460 km WSW of Punta Eugenia Mexico with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…NNW or 335 degrees at 16 mph…26 km/h.

Invest 99E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

Wildlife

Whale Bonanza Delights San Francisco Bay Area

So many whales are frolicking in the Pacific just outside San Francisco Bay that officials are warning boats and ships to steer clear of the marine mammals.

Experts told the Marin Independent Journal that the whales are being drawn to the area outside the Golden Gate by an unusually large number of shrimplike krill, which are the staple diet of blue whales.

Humpbacks are being attracted to huge schools of anchovies.

Ocean temperatures more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal have contributed to the northward migration of the whales’ food source.

Officials say they observed 115 humpback, blue and fin whales during a single one-hour survey.

Even observers along the coast of San Francisco say they have seen as many as 10 humpbacks at a time spouting and splashing just a mile offshore.

Boaters are advised to remain at least 300 feet from the marine mammals to reduce the chance of impact.

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Environment

Clouds Over Southern Ocean Made by Ocean Creatures

The Southern Ocean is reckoned as the cloudiest region in our planet and it almost nearly blanketed all through the year. But it might be surprising that it is the tiny marine organisms known as Phytoplankton that live in the stormy waters of the ocean that are responsible for creating these clouds.

Measuring how the gases and particles emitted by these tiny creatures entered the atmosphere to become cloud seeds was the subject of a recent study. This study was also the first large scale correlation between cloud formation and biological activity in the Southern ocean. Establishing that link constitutes a significant first move towards understanding the role played by clouds and the tiny particles of air known as aerosols in the context of climate change and climate modelling.

In climate models, aerosols and clouds constitute two important wild cards and comprehending their impact on climate gets further complex when we consider the question of how they interact with each other. Soot is a type of aerosol that comes from human activities, but we also have other natural aerosols like sulphate, sea spray and ammonium salts in the atmosphere. All these particles form the ‘seeds’ and water vapour condenses around these to become tiny droplets and turn into clouds.

Clouds can have a key role when we consider climate – but that role is complicated. The planet tends to get cooled by the low lying clouds that functions as reflectors and bouncing the solar radiation back to space. Higher clouds on the other hand tend to trap the heat and prop up warming. Climate models in the Southern Ocean have been pretty poor in capturing the influence of the clouds by estimating less reflected radiation than what actually exists. Scientists will have to understand more about aerosols that help in formation of the clouds and how they have impacted the climate over the past 2 centuries, to improve these models. But the task gets difficult for tracking in the absence of knowledge on the number of ‘natural’ aerosols present in the atmosphere before industrialisation began.

If concentration of aerosols were higher during the preindustrial times, then the impact from human perturbations to aerosols would be smaller.

This also brings into focus the Southern Ocean. Apart from being the cloudiest place on the planet, it is also one among the cleanest and relatively unharmed by human activity. That makes it the perfect laboratory for examining the interaction between cloud and aerosols.

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Disease

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

On 16 July 2015, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 5 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including 3 deaths.

Dengue Fever in American Samoa

The American Samoa health department has declared that the number of dengue fever infections has reached a level where it is considered to be a epidemic.

The number of suspected dengue cases has reached 122 in the past six weeks. Three deaths have been reported. The Auckland Regional Public Health Service reports 13 confirmed cases of DENV-3 infection.