Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits northern Xinjiang, China.

5.2 Earthquake hits the southern Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits San Juan, Argentina.

5.0 Earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 10s (Daya), located approximately 508 nm south of St Denis, La Reunion, is tracking southeastward at 16 knots.

Tropical cyclone 11p (Winston), located approximately 388 nm west of Suva, Fiji, is tracking southward at 06 knots. Fiji Meteorological Service has issued flood warning for all low lying areas along Rakiraki river including Rakiraki town. Several roads and bridges in the Western Division have been closed because of flooding triggered by heavy rain experienced over the past 24 hours. At least 19 roads and bridges in Rakiraki, Tavua, Sigatoka and Ba are flooded.

Tropical cyclone 12p (Tatiana), located approximately 428 nm west-northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking southeastward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

Indonesia – Flooding in Aceh Province in Indonesia has caused the evacuation of 7,597 people in five districts. A heavy downpour for a week has caused the overflow of Kreung Peuto, Kreung Pirak and Kreung Arakundo rivers. At least 24 villages have been submerged in the five districts of Aceh.

Global Warming

January Was the World’s Warmest in Satellite- Era Record

A combination of a near-record El Niño and ongoing climate change brought the world’s average temperature during January to a record high for the month.

Using satellite observations, climatologists from the University of Alabama in Huntsville determined the global average temperature last month was just under 1 degree Fahrenheit above the 30-year average for January.

This eclipses the previous record of 0.88 degree above the satellite-era average set during January 1998, which was near the peak of the strongest El Niño ever measured.

Using data gathered by advanced microwave instruments on NOAA and NASA satellites, atmospheric scientists can determine accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the world.

This includes remote deserts, oceans and rain forests, where reliable climate data are not otherwise available.

The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about 25,000 feet above sea level.

But such readings only go back about 30 years to the early days of satellite monitoring, limiting the ability to determine long-term trends with the technique.

Much of the planet was warmer than normal during January, with a wide swath of the United States bucking the trend. Northern Russia and the Arctic were the warmest above normal, according to satellite data.

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Wildlife

Orangutan’s Team Murder Startles Anthropologists

The first known instance of a female orangutan involved in the killing another female in the wild was observed by anthropologists studying the primates in Borneo.

The murderous female, Kondor, was aided in the assault by a young male, Ekko.

The attack seemed to result from Kondor being bitten by the victim, Sidony, after she attempted to approach Sidony’s daughter.

The brutal assault on Sidony went on for 33 minutes, during which the two attackers took turns beating and biting the victim.

Scientists say while orangutans frequently attack each other, it’s unprecedented for a male to be used as a “hired gun” to protect a female or to kill with her.

Another male eventually intervened to rescue Sidony, but her wounds were too severe and she died two weeks later.

Destruction of the dwindling orangutan habitat through deforestation may have at least partially contributed to the unusual behavior, experts say.

Ekko, top, and Kondor, bottom, teamed up in a Borneo forest to kill Sidony.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 113.4 degrees Fahrenheit (45.2 degrees Celsius) at Dampier, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 65.4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 54.1 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.