Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits Samar in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Scotia Sea.

5.0 Earthquake hits southeast of Easter Island.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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Tropical Cyclone Chapala (tc) 04a, located approximately 395 nm south-southeast of Masirah Island, is tracking westward at 07 knots.

NewsBytes:

Iraq – A heavy rainstorm has triggered flooding and destruction in and around Baghdad, Iraq leading to the death of a toddler. Flood water swept away a three-year-old girl at a camp for displaced people near Tuz Khurmatu. The storm damaged at least 500 tent houses in Amriyat al-Fallujah, a town in Anbar just west of Baghdad causing the evacuation of 1,000 families

Wildlife

Warming Gulf of Maine Contributes to Cod Collapse

Cod populations off New England are collapsing because waters of the Gulf of Maine have been rising 99 percent faster than anywhere else in the world since 2004, researchers say.

Scientists from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute say they found that the rapid warming has reduced the number of new cod being spawned.

While quotas for fishing fleets are carefully calculated to keep fish stock sustainable under historic conditions, the warming has not been considered as a factor, allowing overfishing to occur in recent years even though fishermen stayed within their quotas.

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Global Warming

New Refrigerant Gases Also Harm Ozone Layer

A class of chemical refrigerants that replaced chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in past decades because they were believed not to damage Earth’s ozone layer has been found to inflict a small but measurable depletion of stratospheric ozone.

The ozone hole is believed to be gradually healing thanks to a global ban on the production of CFCs.

But a new NASA study says the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) now in use are not only a strong greenhouse gas, but they are also weak ozone-depleting substances.

“We are not suggesting HFCs are an existential threat to the ozone layer or to ozone hole recovery, but the impact is not zero as has been claimed,” said NASA’s lead study author Margaret Hurwitz.

Nature – Images

Interesting Images:

The Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth, has exploded into a riot of color thanks to a rare spring flower bloom.

Pink and red atacama blooms

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 119.1 degrees Fahrenheit (48.4 degrees Celsius) at Vredendal, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 76.4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60.2 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) – Saudi Arabia

Between 17 and 24 October 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 12 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death.

Guinea records new cases of Ebola

Three more people in Guinea have been infected with the Ebola virus, a senior health official said on Wednesday, further dampening hopes of an imminent end to the world’s worst recorded outbreak of the disease.

The three were infected in Forecariah in western Guinea from the family of a woman who died of Ebola and whose body was handled without appropriate protection.

In all, nine sick people are being treated at centres throughout the country and most are connected to the dead woman.

Zimbabwe runs out of money to contain outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease

Zimbabwe has run out of money to vaccinate millions of domestic animals to curb the spread of Foot and Mouth and protect against Newcastle Disease, acting Agriculture Secretary John Gondo said.

“We are in the process of vaccinating over 1.5 million cattle and 8 million chickens for FMD and Newcastle Disease, but the challenge is that there’s no money to buy more vaccine from Botswana”.

South Africa, which borders an affected area, has raised pressure on Zimbabwe to prevent further transmission of the disease, which could have an impact on beef exports.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): The volcano’s activity seems to have picked up a bit compared to recent weeks. A partial collapse of the active dome generated a pyroclastic flow that traveled several km to the south, accompanied by an ash plume that rose to 4-4.5 km altitude and drifted east.

Mauna Loa (Big Island, Hawai’i): Seismic unrest continues at the volcano, but at lower levels than during mid-late summer, HVO reports: “Earthquakes occurred beneath Mauna Loa’s upper Southwest Rift Zone at depths less than 13 km (8 miles). Deformation data are still consistent with inflation of magma reservoirs beneath Mauna Loa’s summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone.”

Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): Another (the third) eruptive phase began at the volcano yesterday evening. From 16:00 local time, the volcano observatory recorded an increase in tremor and new lava was seen in the vent after 20:00. Shortly after 04:00 this morning, activity intensified further and formed a new active lava pond inside the large new crater that had formed early in the eruption near Piton Rivals. The activity is currently observable from the path leading to Piton Bert.