Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.5 Earthquake hits off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical Storm Erika is located about 750 mi…1205 km E of the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds…45 mph…75 km/h. Present movement…W or 280 degrees at 20 mph…31 km/h.

Tropical Storm 17w (Atsani), located approximately 1065 nm south of Petropavlovsk, Russia, is tracking east-northeastward at 20 knots.

Typhoon 16w (Goni), located approximately 81 nm northwest of Iwakuni, Japan, is tracking north-northeastward at 13 knots.

Tropical Depression Kilo is located about 185 mi…300 km NE of Johnston Island and about 640 mi…1035 km WSW of Honolulu Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…30 mph…45 km/h. Present movement…N or 360 degrees at 8 mph…13 km/h.

Hurricane Loke is located about 205 mi…335 km E of Midway Island and about 120 mi…195 km ENE of Pearl and Hermes Atoll with maximum sustained winds…75 mph…120 km/h. Present movement…NNE or 25 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

Tropical Depression Twelve-E is located about 1610 mi…2595 km ESE of Hilo Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…W or 275 degrees at 5 mph…7 km/h.

Invest 96E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Australia – A tornado in the New South Wales town of Dubbo has damaged at least seven houses, scattered debris and uprooted trees. Roads were flooded across Sydney and the Illawarra, with the emergency services rescuing people stranded in cars after driving into floodwaters.

Dubbo tornado image

Turkey – At least eight people have died and two are missing due to floods and landslides in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Artvin. Heavy rainfall has paralysed life in Artvin and its districts of Arhavi, Hopa and Borça. The main road linking the three districts has also been blocked to traffic due to the floods.

Kent, England – Dead rats are floating in the streets of Tunbridge Wells after flash floods swept the town last evening and more rain is expected to fall tonight.

Environment

Tropical forests almost the size of India set to be axed by 2050

Tropical forests covering an area nearly the size of India are set to be destroyed in the next 35 years, a faster rate of deforestation than previously thought, a study warned on Monday.

The Washington-based Centre for Global Development, using satellite imagery and data from 100 countries, predicted 289 million hectares (714 million acres) of tropical forests would be felled by 2050. The results will have dangerous implications for accelerating climate change, the centre’s study said.

Deforestation contributes to climate change as forests store carbon while acting as a filter taking the heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas out of the atmosphere.

If current trends continue, tropical deforestation will add 169 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050, the equivalent of running 44,000 coal-fired power plants for a year, the study’s lead author said.

Deforestaion k4TC 621x414 LiveMint

Wildlife

Micro-sensors on honey bees to help solve mass deaths

Australian scientists revealed on Tuesday they are using micro-sensors attached to honey bees as part of a global push to understand the key factors driving a worldwide population decline of the pollinators.

There has been a sharp plunge in the population of honey bees, which pollinate about 70 per cent of global crops, or one-third of food that humans eat including fruits and vegetables, raising fears over food security.

Researchers have said the falling hive numbers were caused by threats such as the sudden death of millions of adult insects in beehives — known as “colony collapse disorder” — a bloodsucking mite called Varroa, pesticides and climate change.

The sensors, 2.5 millimetres (0.1 inches) in width and breadth and weighing 5.4 milligrams (0.0002 ounces) — lighter than pollen that bees collect — are glued to the back of European honey bees. Sophisticated data collection receptors are also built into hives.

About 10,000 bees and their hives in the southern island state of Tasmania have been tagged, with others set to be monitored in the cities of Sydney and Canberra.

Around the same number of bees in Brazil were also being monitored by researchers, with interest expressed from scientists in Europe and North America, Fitt said.

Australia’s bee populations have not been devastated as the island continent has yet to be affected by the Varroa mite.

In countries such as the US, beekeepers lost 42 per cent of colonies over the 12 months to May this year — the second-worst year on record for US bee mortality, with the worst season reported in 2012-13, the US Department of Agriculture have estimated.

Disease

Southern Taiwan hit by dengue fever outbreak

The authorities in Taiwan are struggling to cope with an outbreak of dengue fever in the south of the island, with 2 000 infections reported.

More than 100 new cases of dengue fever have been reported everyday in the city of Tainan since Monday last week. The outbreak has killed four people in the city, all elderly in their 70s who had chronic disease.

Dengue fever is spread by mosquito bites and early diagnosis markedly lowers the risk of serious illness, according to the World Health Organisation.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Aso (Kyushu): Activity has been low during the past days, with only intense steaming and dilute ash emissions from the Nakadake crater. Incandescence continues to be visible from the main vent, suggesting magma remains close to the surface.

Sangeang Api (Indonesia): A thermal hot spot of moderate intensity from the volcano’s summit continues to be visible on satellite data, suggesting some weak activity continues there. A steam plume can be seen rising from the volcano’s summit where a small lava dome might be growing.

Ubinas (Peru): A series of small explosions occurred today, producing ash plumes that rose up to approx. 700 m above the crater and drifted northeast.

Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): A new eruption started at the volcano this evening. Following a brief seismic crisis that triggered an eruption alarm, an eruptive fissure opened south of Dolomieu crater at 18:50 local time. It is producing impressive lava fountains and a branching lava flow.