Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the Santa Cruz Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Babuyan Islands in the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

Tropical cyclone 09s (Stan), located approximately 157 nm north-northwest of Port Hedland, Australia, is tracking south-southeastward at 05 knots.

Invest 90C is an area of disturbed weather in the Central Pacific that has the potential for tropical development.

NewsBytes:

Florida, USA – At least two people were injured after a tornado touched down in Coconut Creek, Florida. The tornado picked up cars and uprooted several trees at Broward College.

Environment

Locusts Swarming Across Northern Argentina

Argentina’s worst locust swarms since 1954 are threatening to devour crops in three northern provinces.

The insects first appeared last June, when a mild and wet southern winter allowed the swarms to spread to Catamarca, Santiago del Estero and Córdoba provinces.

Farmers complain they had to fight the infestations on their own until the swarms grew so large that the government finally stepped in.

The agricultural inspection agency Senasa says that if they fail to eradicate the pests before the insects develop into flying swarms in early February, the locusts could devour crops like sunflowers and cotton, as well as grasslands for grazing cattle.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 108.7 degrees Fahrenheit (42.6 degrees Celsius) at Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 63.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53.2 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian outpost of Verkhoyansk.

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.

Wildfires

Wildfires Are Burning Some of the World’s Oldest Trees

Northwest Tasmania is home to part of the Gondwana forest. It’s a stretch of primeval-looking temperate rainforest, much like the one found in the Pacific Northwest’s Olympic National Park. Trees more than 1,000 years old tower above ancient ferns, forming a connection to the distant past. It’s why the region has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But that connection is being broken by climate change. Fuelled by extremely dry conditions that stretch back two years, major bushfires have raged across the region, sending a millennia of history up in smoke. As the world gets hotter and drier, it’s likely that the connection to the past could be even more tenuous.

More than 89,000 acres have burned since lightning ignited around 100 bushfires early last week. They were sparked in the wake of the driest spring on record for the region. El Niño likely played a role in that record as the climate phenomenon usually dries out Tasmania and the eastern part of Australia.

Because fire is so rare in these temperate rainforests, the trees that live there are ill-adapted to deal with large blazes. So when the current fires lit up, they attacked a forest with few natural defences.

When the fires die down to embers, they’ll leave behind a landscape vastly different than the one before it. Trees like the King Billy Pine and fagus — a beech tree and the only winter-deciduous tree in Australia — could be burned out of their range on Tasmania. These trees have spent millions of years adapting to slow climate changes. But the current rate of change is unlikely anything the world has seen in millions of years.

Satellite image tasmania bushfires

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Karymsky (Kamchatka): The typically intermittent explosive activity at the volcano has been elevated during the past days. Several ash plumes up to altitudes of up to 22,000 ft (7 km) have been reported by Tokyo VAAC during the past days.

Dukono (Halmahera): The volcano continues to produce near-continuous ash emissions from its crater, that generate plumes drifting up to 100-150 km in various directions.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): No significant changes have occurred during the past weeks at the volcano. Magma is slowly rising and growing a flat dome in the inner summit crater. Trapped, pressurized gasses cause small to moderate explosions with more or less intense ash emissions from time to time, typically a few per day.

Unfavourable wind conditions drifted ash plumes over Puebla’s airport yesterday, prompting its temporary closure between yesterday afternoon and this morning.

During the past 24 hours, CENAPRED recorded 8 explosions, the strongest of which at 01:50 local time ejected many incandescent bombs to up to 900 m on the NE flank.