Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 Earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.2 Earthquake hits Luzon in the Philippines.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Andaman Islands off India.

5.1 Earthquake hits Lake Kivu, Congo.

5.1 Earthquake hits Luzon in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Pagan region in the North Mariana Islands.

Three 5.0 Earthquakes hit offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Georgia, USA – A tornado touched down at an Army post in southeast Georgia at about 4:55 p.m Wednesday evening, Fort Stewart emergency officials confirmed. The storm damaged numerous houses, displacing forty to fifty people.

South Africa – Heavy rainfall accompanied with hail claimed the life of an elderly woman and damaged houses in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The hailstorm caused damage in Mount Frere and Mount Ayliff on Wednesday night.

Wildlife

Florida’s Light Pollution Rules Helping Turtles to Nest

Efforts by some Florida seaside communities to reduce light pollution in turtle nesting areas have overwhelmingly resulted in more turtle-friendly conditions during the past 20 years.

Inspired by a science fair project by high school students, researchers from the University of Central Florida gathered data on artificial light at night between 1992 and 2012 from the Defence Meteorological Satellite Program.

They compared it to the extensive data on nesting sea turtles collected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The study found that even with a 40 percent increase in Florida’s human population during that period, two-thirds of beaches in communities with light pollution regulations had darker and more turtle-friendly beaches.

Light pollution is known to reduce the number of nesting sites and to confuse hatchlings during their scramble from the nest to the water.

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Spread of bee disease ‘largely manmade’

The global trade in bees is driving a pandemic that threatens hives and wild bees, UK scientists say.

A deadly bee disease, Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), has spread worldwide through imports of infected honeybees, according to genetic evidence.

Lead researcher Dr Lena Bayer-Wilfert of the University of Exeter said European bees are at the heart of the global spread of what she calls a “double blow” for colonies.

“This is clearly linked to the human movement of honeybee colonies around the globe,”

Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) was a major threat to honeybee populations across the world with the epidemic “driven by the trade and movement of honeybee colonies”.

In the research, scientists at the University of Exeter, Sheffield and Salford tracked the emergence of DWV by analysing genetic samples from honeybees and Varroa mites in 32 locations of 17 countries.

They found that the epidemic largely spread from Europe to North America and countries such as New Zealand, with the European honeybee as the main transmitter.

“It supports the idea that DWV is the main cause for the colony losses associated with Varroa and that this comes from European bees,” he said.

Scientists believe the combination is particularly deadly because the parasite feeds on bee larvae, while also injecting the deadly virus into the body of grown bees.

The double threat is thought to have wiped out millions of honeybee colonies over recent decades.

Bee infected with the virus

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110.8 degrees Fahrenheit (43.8 degrees Celsius) at Riversdale, Western Cape Province, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 66.3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 54.6 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian community of Oimyakon.

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.

Space Events

100-Foot Asteroid to Buzz Earth Next Month

The near-Earth asteroid 2013 TX68, which is thought to be about 100 feet long, will zoom past our planet on March 5. The space rock could come as close as 11,000 miles or stay up to 9 million miles away during the flyby, researchers say.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Colombia

Massive fires continued to envelop forests surrounding the Colombian capital of Bogota on Tuesday. The city was gasping in thick smoke, forcing the authorities to evacuate Congress, universities and schools in the downtown area. Supported by aerial units, firefighters, together with military troops and locals, have been trying to extinguish the fires. The disaster was caused by the dry season, which has intensified under the weather phenomenon El-Nino.

Volcanos

Peruvian Volcano Waking Up from Nearly 600-Year Sleep

Peru’s typically snow-capped El Misti volcano, also known as Putina, is showing signs of awakening from a period of relative slumber that goes back to the 15th century.

While gas emissions have occurred since eruptions around 1440 and 1470, the volcano is now showing signs of rising magma.

El Misti is considered the most dangerous volcano in Peru, with about 1 million people around Arequipa under threat.