Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5,2 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

Global Warming

Climate change ‘forcing species to move’

Warming temperatures are causing about half of the world’s plants and animals to move location, an international conference in Australia heard Wednesday, with every major type of species affected.

Camille Parmesan, an expert from Britain’s Plymouth University on how climate change impacts wildlife, said data on thousands of species found that many had shifted their ranges toward the poles or up mountains over the past century.

“While about half of all studied species have changed their distributions in response to recent climate change, we are starting to see negative impacts for the most vulnerable species.”

Other changes had been observed such as plants flowering earlier or migratory birds arriving sooner in the year than previously, she added.

Parmesan said areas most at risk included sensitive systems such as polar regions dependent on sea ice and mountainous forests.

Studies showed that about half of species have moved their geographical ranges poleward and/or upward while about two-thirds of species studied have shifted toward earlier spring breeding, migrating, or blooming.

Every major group has been impacted including trees, herbs, butterflies, birds, mammals, amphibians, corals, invertebrates and fish.

Disease

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

On 5 February 2016, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 28 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H7N9) virus, including five deaths.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Oklahoma, USA

Grass fires pushed along by 35 mph wind gusts forced an elementary school to keep some children after hours Tuesday as wildfires threatened Oklahoma ahead of its annual tornado season.