Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits the southern east Pacific rise.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Hurricane Joaquin is located about 30 mi…50 km NNE of Clarence Long Island Bahamas and about 45 mi…70 km SSW of San Salvador Bahamas with maximum sustained winds…130 mph…215 km/h. Present movement…NW or 315 degrees at 3 mph…6 km/h.

Tropical Storm Mujigae is located approximately 158 nm northwest of Manila, Philippines, and is tracking west-northwestward at 09 knots.

Invest 94E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

Invest 90L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for tropical development.

Invest 97C is an area of disturbed weather in the Central Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

Invest 98C is an area of disturbed weather in the Central Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

Gl sst mm

Environment

Diatom Numbers Dwindling in Some of World’s Oceans

Populations of the largest phytoplankton in the ocean declined by more than 1 percent per year between 1998 and 2012, possibly reducing the amount of greenhouse gas being removed from the atmosphere, a new NASA study says.

Diatoms are at the base of most marine food chains. They also play a major role in pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere and depositing its carbon on the deep ocean floor.

Using a complex computer model to examine satellite observations, NASA was able to single out the chlorophyll of diatoms from other phytoplankton blooms.

Writing in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Goddard Space Flight Center researchers say they don’t know exactly why the diatom populations have declined, mostly in the northern Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.

But they have linked the decline to a more shallow mixing layer of the upper ocean, where sunlight from above and nutrients churned up from below provide the best environment for phytoplankton growth.

They believe changing ocean and wind currents could be involved.

When diatoms die, they carry carbon from the atmospheric carbon dioxide they have absorbed to the deep ocean floor, where it remains in a reservoir called a “carbon sink.”

Ew151002c

Global Warming

Africa: Millions Face Hunger Due to Climate Change and ‘Super El Nino’

At least 10 million poor people face hunger this year and next because of droughts and erratic rains linked to record global temperatures and an expected “super” version of the evolving El Nino weather pattern, aid charity Oxfam has warned.

In Ethiopia alone, 4.5 million people need food aid because a combination of El Nino and long-term climate change has made the rainy season more unpredictable, according to United Nations agencies.

El Nino, caused by Pacific Ocean warming, leads to dry weather in some parts of the world and causes floods in others.

This year the phenomenon is expected to peak between October and January and could turn into one of the strongest on record. The last “super El Nino” was in 1997-8.

“Rice and maize crops are both at risk, with serious implications for millions of poor people from Southern Africa to Central America who are dependent on these staples,” Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB’s chief executive, said in a statement on Thursday.

A scorching drought has ravaged crops in southern Africa already, with South Africa’s key maize crop falling by a third and poor yields set to continue into the southern hemisphere summer, according to the country’s weather service.

In neighbouring Zimbabwe, where the maize harvest is 35 percent below average, the government blamed the drought-stricken farm sector for a halving of its economic growth forecast in July.

Harvests in Central America have fallen by as much as 60 percent for maize and 80 percent for beans this year due to prolonged dry spells linked to El Nino, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Southeast Asia is also affected, Oxfam said.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113.7 degrees Fahrenheit (45.4 degrees Celsius) at Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 98.1 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 72.3 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Disease

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

Between 21 and 23 September 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of Jordan notified WHO of 4 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): Over the past day, seismicity at Veniaminof has increased and is ongoing in the form of volcanic tremor, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) reported. The Aviation Colour Code was raised to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory.