Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits northwest of the Ryukyu Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Nicobar islands off India.

5.2 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits Jujuy, Argentina.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Invest 99E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Kenya – Over 700 families in Mulot, Narok County are counting losses following heavy rains that pounded the area causing massive landslides and destroying crops in their farms. Over 1,900 households have also been displaced and over 1,800 livestock lost.

Floods

Environment

Winter snowpack decline may cut water supplies

A decline in winter snowpacks in many mountainous regions of the world may soon lead to a reduction in many nations’ water supplies, according to a new study.

Water from snow-dependent drainage basins in the Northern Hemisphere currently serving over two billion people run the risk of being critically imperilled in the coming years as winter snowpacks decline due to a changing climate.

In the Northern hemisphere, the maximum area usually covered by winter snow is about 45.2 million square kilometres (486,528,751 sq. ft.). In the U.S., snow melt from drainage basins in large parts of the west provides the major source of water for about 75 percent of the population. This is also true of drainage basins in southern Europe, the Mideast and central Asia.

As we have seen in the American west and in western Canada, winter snow pack is an important seasonal water source, not only for drinking water, but for farms, cities and ecosystems. Snow falling in the higher elevations of large mountain systems around the world gradually melts and the water runs into the lowlands during the spring and summer seasons.

This is when water is most needed by all of humankind, for drinking, storage, agriculture and our fragile ecosystems. But the study suggests that global warming is turning this system on its head, upsetting the balance. Studies are showing that winter precipitation is falling as rain, not snow in many parts of the world, and washing away, while snow that does fall is settling at higher elevations, yet melting earlier.

With a warming world, scientists have been studying declining snowpacks in a number of regions across the world, from the disappearing snowfields in the Rocky Mountains from Colorado to northern Montana, as well as in the Himalayas and other areas.

The basins most sensitive to change and having the most at stake for humans are: “The basins of northern and central California, where much of U.S. produce is grown; the basins of the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers, which serve much of the American West and northern Mexico; the Atlas basin of Morocco; the Ebro-Duero basin, which feeds water to Portugal and much of Spain and southern France; and a series of basins covering eastern Italy, the southern Balkans, several Caucasus nations, and northern Turkey.”

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Karangetang (Siau Island, Sangihe Islands, Indonesia): Activity at the volcano has decreased a bit, judging from the overall thermal signal, but continues with slow lava extrusion and small explosions at the summit crater, generating incandescent avalanches. The alert level is kept at 3 (out of 4). VSI in its latest bulletin from 11 Nov mentioned that there is no significant increase or decrease of activity based on evaluation of visual and instrumental observations.

Bromo (East Java, Indonesia): A phase of increased unrest seems to have started at the volcano. On 1 November, the local volcano observatory issued a warning not to approach Bromo within 1 km radius, as changes in seismic activity and increased steaming/degassing (including sulfur dioxide) had been noted. The alert status of the volcano remains at 2 (“waspada”,”watch”) on a scale of 1-4.