Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
5.7 Earthquake hits the southern east Pacific rise.
5.4 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.
5.3 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.
5.2 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.
5.0 Earthquake hits Simeulue, Indonesia.
5.0 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.
5.0 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.
5.0 Earthquake hits San Juan, Argentina.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
Tropical Depression Grace is located about 945 mi…1520 km E of the Lesser Antilles with maximum sustained winds…30 mph…45 km/h. Present movement…W or 270 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.
Typhoon Kilo is located 331 nm north of Minami Tori Shima, and is tracking northwestward at 13 knots.
Tropical Storm Etau is located approximately 194 nm west-northwest of Yokosuka, Japan, and is tracking north-northwestward at 23 knots.
Tropical Storm Jimena is located about 355 mi…570 km NNE of Honolulu Hawaii and about 375 mi…605 km NE of Lihue Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…45 mph…75 km/h. Present movement…WSW or 255 degrees at 9 mph…15 km/h.
Hurricane Linda is located about 405 mi…655 km W of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…100 mph…155 km/h. Present movement…NW or 325 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.
Tropical Depression Eight is located about 220 mi…355 km ESE of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…stationary.
Spain – Torrential storms in south east Spain caused flash floods that washed cars and trucks along a street. Fifty homes, 30 shops and 200 cars were damaged when flood waters swept through the town of Adra, in the province of Almeria on Monday. Heavy downfalls particularly affected the regions of Andalucia, Murcia and Valencia with more than 300 rain-related incidents being reported to the emergency services. In the province of Granada, three men drowned when they were caught in rising water.
Middle East – An unprecedented sandstorm has swept across the Middle East, covering Lebanon and Syria in dust and causing the deaths of at least five people. Hundreds more were admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties, according to officials, as cities were blanketed in yellow sand. The unseasonal storm also hit Jordan, Israel and Egypt. In Jordan, schools shut down or cut their days short.
Global warming could shut down major ocean currents
Two new studies are adding to concerns about one of the most troubling scenarios for future climate change: the possibility that global warming could slow or shut down the Atlantic’s great ocean circulation systems, with dramatic implications for North America and Europe.
The research, by separate teams of scientists, bolsters predictions of disruptions to global ocean currents — such as the Gulf Stream — that transfer tropical warmth from the equator to northern latitudes, as well as a larger conveyor system that cycles colder water into the ocean’s depths.
Both systems help ensure relatively mild conditions in parts of Northern Europe that would otherwise be much colder.
The papers offer insight into how rapidly melting Arctic ice could slow or even temporarily halt the ocean’s normal circulation, with possible effects ranging from plunging temperatures in northern latitudes to centuries-long droughts in Southeast Asia.
One study, by three scientists from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute, uses computers to model how Greenland’s rapid thawing could affect the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation — the system that pushes cold, dense saltwater into the deep ocean and helps transport warm water northward, helping to moderate Europe’s climate.
A second paper, by a team of Texas scientists, sheds new light on how the Earth’s climate responded during a similar thaw from the planet’s geological past. About 12,000 years ago, rising temperatures at the end of the last ice age released huge volumes of cold freshwater, disrupting the ocean’s circulation systems and sending parts of the Northern Hemisphere back in to the freezer. Scientists refer to the era as the Younger Dryas period.
Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity
Gamalama (Halmahera): A new eruption occurred at the volcano this morning at 07:53 local time. An explosion produced an ash plume that rose approx. 1.5 km above the summit and drifted NE and dispersed quickly. The Ternate airport was temporarily closed. It is not clear whether the explosion was involving fresh magma or only phreatic in origin (driven by steam). The official alert level of the volcano remains at 2 (on a scale from 1 to 4) and an exclusion zone of 1.5 km radius around the summit is in place.