Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits north of Honduras.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Banda Sea.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Mid-Indian ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical Cyclone Victor is located approximately 391 nm southeast of Pago Pago, and is tracking southward at 09 knots.

Global Warming

Global warming in December

Dec 2015 anom 1

As the graph from the Japan Meteorological Agency above shows, global warming last month really did blow the previous record for December right out of the water — which was astonishingly warm itself (speaking of the oceans here), as the underlying image suggests.

The graph shows how the global average temperature in December, measured across land and sea surfaces, varied from the long-term average for the month. By the JMA’s calculation, it was 0.67°C above the 1981-2010 average, and 1.05°C above the 20th century average — the warmest by far since 1891.

There is no question that exceedingly warm waters along the equator in the Pacific Ocean contributed to December’s record warmth for the month. These are associated with the ongoing super El Niño.

 

JMA temp anom

But the map also shows that other parts of the Pacific were exceedingly warm too, as was the entire Indian Ocean and parts of the Atlantic.

On land, the remarkable warmth experienced across the eastern half of the United States really stands out. And look at that swath of red from Europe all the way across Russia.

I think this graphically illustrates a sobering fact: El Niño’s impact is coming on top of significant global warming from human activities.

Wildfires

Wildfires – South Africa

A fire in the Elgin area in the Western Cape has swept over more than 3,000 hectares of vegetation. Several structures have also been destroyed. The fire broke out on Saturday and has yet to be brought under control.

Wildfires – Australia

A fast-moving bushfire poses a possible risk to lives and homes in Western Australia’s South West.

A watch and act alert has been issued in the Shire of Boddington in Taree Forest Block as more than 50 firefighters work to contain the out of control blaze. People in an area bounded by Siding Road, Hotham River, Pinjarra-Williams Road, George Road and Pindalup Road have been advised to leave or prepare to actively defend their homes.

The fire, sparked by lightning, was reported at 10.30am on Sunday.

Smoke pall from more than 50 Tasmanian fires

Residents in parts of northern and western Tasmania have been warned of the dangers of smoke from dozens of bushfires.

More than 50 fires, sparked by lightning last week, are burning across the region, with most not threatening communities, the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) said on Sunday.

People with respiratory ailments should stay indoors with doors and windows closed, the TFS said.

Disease

Legionnaires disease outbreak in Spain

Two new patients suffering from the deadly Legionnaires disease are being treated at a Spanish hospital.

They are being treated at the Hospital de Manzanares near Madrid, and bring to 222 the number of people affected since the outbreak began this month.

Two people have died in the outbreak so far. Five patients remain in intensive care, with two in serious condition.