Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical cyclone 05a (Megh), located approximately 15 nm northeast of Aden, Yemen, is tracking westward at 17 knots.

Tropical Storm Kate is located about 280 mi…450 km NNE of the northwestern Bahamas and about 695 mi…1120 km WSW of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…N or 10 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Iraq – The Iraqi Ministry of Health said 69 people have died across the country over the past two weeks, due to a combination of the country’s dilapidated electrical grid and heavy rains that overwhelmed sewer systems. Many died in their homes as they waded through flooded first-floor rooms. Others were electrocuted in the city streets where electrical lines are haphazard and jerry-rigged, connecting homes to the municipal grid and a network of generators. Most homes in Baghdad receive only nine to 14 hours of electricity a day from the government.

Scotland – Parts of Scotland have been left under water and homes plunged into darkness after the country was battered by torrential rains and strong winds.

Global Warming

Global temperature rises a warning

Global temperatures for 2015 are expected to have risen by 1C for the first time since the industrial revolution started.

Temperatures around the world averaged 1.02C above the 1850-1900 period from January to September this year, the Meteorological Office said.

If the trend continues, it would make this year the first to pass the alarming threshold.

Forecasters said the rising temperatures were caused by an El Nino event, when Pacific waters become so warm they affect the world’s weather, as well as man-made warming.

While future years will not all be 1C above pre-industrial levels, because of natural climate variability, it will eventually become the norm.

Environment

Earth: Magnetic Flip

NASA has found evidence that the Earth’s magnetic fields have weakened significantly in the past 160 years and this could cause a magnetic pole shift that could cause catastrophic effects on humanity.

The weakening of the magnetic fields was prompted by a gradual reverse re-alignment of iron atoms in the Earth’s liquid outer core. Researchers at NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) have indicated that the magnetic flip could happen in as early as 100 years and as long as 1,000 years.

Should this phenomenon happen, compasses pointing to the north could flip to the south but more than this, magnetic flips are feared because it was reportedly the cause of mass extinctions in the past.

According to the report, the Earth will be rendered defenseless against direct exposure to solar radiation, solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) as magnetic fields act as the planet’s shield against these.

“When the polar shift happens, the Earth will have no magnetic field for about 200 years,” NASA MAVEN’s principal investigator Bruce Jakosky said.

However, Niemegk Geomagnetic Observatory at GFZ Potsdam’s Monika Korte explained that the magnetic flip is a gradual process.

“It’s not a sudden flip, but a slow process, during which the field strength becomes weak, very probably the field becomes more complex and might show more than two poles for a while, and then builds up in strength and [aligns] in the opposite direction.”

According to scientists, this will not be the first time the Earth will experience a magnetic flip as it happened around 780,000 years ago and again during the Ice Age some 41,000 years ago.

Space Events

Taurid Meteor Shower

Stargazers should be on the lookout for meteorites and fireballs crossing the night skies from 5 – 12 November 2015, as the annual Taurid meteor shower will be at its peak during this time.

The American Meteor Society says that this week, especially, the cosmic fireballs set to shoot past the Earth will be one of the Universe’s most dramatic meteor displays.

Stargazers can expect two distinct peaks of activity – for the southern Taurids shower the peak period has been outlined between 5 and 12 November, while for the Northern Taurids Shower spikes in activity can be seen until the end of November.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Last night, a marked peak of volcanic tremor occurred as sign of internal unrest at the volcano, but (unlike during many previous occasions) did not result in a paroxysm and was not associated with any particular change in surface activity. urrently, this consists of mild strombolian explosions inside the Voragine summit crater. During the past hours, volcanic tremor has bee rising strongly. In the past, this has often been a sign of an impending paroxysm (violent summit eruptive phase). Whether this is the case now is too early to say. So far, no significant activity is visible from the New SE crater (NSEC), although a hot spot is present on thermal webcam images.

Semeru (East Java, Indonesia): The lava dome inside the summit crater continues to grow slowly. Andi climbed the volcano a few days ago and observed continuous degassing, sometimes followed by minor explosions.