Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Antofagasta, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Fiji.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical Depression Twenty is located approximately 366 nm east-northeast of Saipan, and is tracking northwestward at 10 knots.

Invest 90E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

Invest 93L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for tropical development.

Invest 94L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for tropical development.

Invest 95L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Mecca Grand Mosque Crane Collapse Lightning

Saudi Arabia – A crane collapse caused by a lightning storm at Mecca’s Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia has claimed the lives of at least 107 people and injured 238 others. A worker at the mosque told the AFP news agency that he saw the massive construction crane fall after being hit by the storm.

Utah, USA – State officials said seven people were killed and six others missing when two cars were washed away by a flash flood Monday.

Global Warming

Emaciated Polar Bear – Reality of Global Warming

11896034 1045109095501030 4991489562653432165 n

Wildlife photographer Kerstin Langenberger captured this shocking photo of a deathly thin and starving polar bear as it struggles to capture food in the melting icecaps. It shows the effects of climate change better than any explanation . . .

Global warming alert as El Niño returns with a vengeance

The world is starting to heat up again, say British scientists, raising speculation that a 15-year slowdown in the rate of global warming could be coming to an end.

A pause in the rate of global temperature rises since the late 1990s has baffled climate scientists and led some to question whether man-made climate change was a serious problem.

But last year was the warmest on record, according to the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation, and scientists at the UK’s Met Office say both this year and 2016 are shaping up to be just as hot.

The strengthening Pacific weather pattern, El Niño, which some US scientists forecast could be the most powerful in years, is likely to be one reason for the rise in temperatures.

California’s ‘Snow Drought’

In April, statewide measurements of water contents of California’s snowpack — a major source of water for reservoirs during the summers — showed that the water content in the snow was only 5 percent of the normal for that date, making it the lowest in a 75-year record. Further analysis of available data has now shown that the situation is much worse than previously estimated.

According to a new study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, the amount of snow in the Sierra Nevada is now at its lowest level in over 500 years.

California snowpack

Disease

Chikungunya – Senegal

On 9 September 2015, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (MOHSA) of Senegal notified WHO of active circulation of chikungunya virus in the region of Kédougou. The circulation began on 27 August 2015. Samples were collected from 14 suspected cases for laboratory-confirmation at the Institut Pasteur of Dakar. Ten (10) samples tested positive for chikungunya virus. As of 8 September 2015, ten (10) chikungunya confirmed cases were reported. The latest active circulation in the affected area was reported between 2009 and 2010.

Poliovirus in Ukraine and Mali

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently confirmed the occurrence of two vaccine-derived polio cases in Ukraine and one case in Mali. The vaccine-derived polio cases are the ones caused by a mutant from the original wild poliovirus.

Although the number of reported cases of polio has significantly reduced globally, WHO believes that the incidence of three newly reported cases in Mali and Ukraine suggest why no country can be complacent about it and that every child should be immunized against the disease. Ukraine, on the other hand, has very low rates of polio immunization.

Bubonic Plague Case in USA

A Michigan resident recently contracted Bubonic plague after a visit to Colorado, health authorities confirmed Monday. The case is the first reported this year in the state and the 14th diagnosis nationwide.

The life-threatening disease is not native to Michigan and occurs when a person is bitten by an infected flea or rodent with the bacterium Yersinia pestis.

Infected populations often live in Western, rural areas of the country. Bubonic plague cannot travel from person to person.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

The catastrophic wildfires burning in California, which killed at least one person over the weekend and injured several others, are being fuelled by high temperatures, strong winds and years of withering drought influenced by climate change.

The Valley Fire ignited in drought-stricken Northern California early Saturday afternoon, destroying more than 400 homes and scorching 50,000 acres — an area more than twice the size of Manhattan — within about 12 hours.

The wildfires storming California have been four years in the making, as the drought, thought to be heavily influenced by climate change, has been starving California’s forests and mountains of water and snow, turning once-lush woods into crackling tinder that has ignited in explosive and unexpected ways.

The trend in wildfire destruction in California and throughout the West bends toward bigger, more destructive and drought-driven blazes. On average, wildfires burn six times the acreage they did 40 years ago, while the annual number of wildfires over 1,000 acres has doubled from 50 during an average year in the 1970s to more than 100 each year since 2002.

That scenario is playing out in California this week as just two of the state’s 13 most active and catastrophic wildfires — the Valley Fire and the Butte Fire — have burned more than 130,000 acres since Wednesday, leaving behind “mass destruction” and leading to numerous evacuations in the region.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): A moderately large pyroclastic flow occurred this morning (08:22 local time) at the volcano. The associated ash plume rose to 18,000 ft (5.4 km) altitude. During the past months, Sinabung has continued to slowly extrude viscous lava that accumulates at its top in form of a dome with lobes on the upper slopes. When parts of these unstable features collapse, they generate such avalanches. Overall, activity at the volcano has been gradually decreasing recently.