Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.3 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.2 Earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of Kamchatka, Russia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Ireland – Storm Jonas, which is responsible for at least 19 deaths in the US, will make its way to Ireland in the coming days prompting a flood warning from the Irish Met Office. Significant downpours are expected tomorrow, with heavy rain in all areas at times. That rainfall is expected to continue into tomorrow night and Wednesday morning.

Israel – Monday rainfall raised the level of the Sea of Galilee and shut desert roads over flash-flood fears as the nation braced for a chill night that blanketed many elevated areas in snow.

Thailand – Storms have hit the Southern islands including two popular tourist destinations – Kho Samui and Koh Phangan – causing floods and suspension of ferry services between Surat Thani and Koh Samui.

Global Warming

Ocean warming worse than previously thought

The amount of sea level rise that comes from the oceans warming and expanding has been underestimated, and is likely about twice as much as previously calculated, German researchers said on Monday.

The findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal, suggest that increasingly severe storm surges could be anticipated as a result.

Sea level can mount due to two factors – melting ice and the thermal expansion of water as it warms.

Until now, researchers have believed the oceans rose between 0.7 to one millimeter per year due to thermal expansion.

But a fresh look at the latest satellite data from 2002 to 2014 shows the seas are expanding about 1.4 millimetres a year, said the study.

“To date, we have underestimated how much the heat-related expansion of the water mass in the oceans contributes to a global rise in sea level,” said co-author Jurgen Kusche, a professor at the University of Bonn.

The overall sea level rise rate is about 2.74mm per year, combining both thermal expansion and melting ice.

Sea level rise was also found to vary substantially from place to place, with the rate around the Philippines “five times the global rate.”

Meanwhile, sea level on the US West Coast is largely stable because there is hardly any ocean warming in that area, said the findings.