Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits offshore Chiapas, Mexico.

5.6 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.5 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.4 Earthquake hits Salta, Argentina.

5.0 Earthquake hits France.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Batan Islands in the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Ecuador – Natural disasters continue to take their toll on Ecuador after two rivers overflowed, claiming the lives of four people Wednesday. The Damas and Toachi rivers, located near the city of Santo Domingo, caused around 25 landslides in the area after torrential rainfall struck the region Tuesday. The storm hit the town of Alluriquin, around 74 miles to the west of Quito. Much of the area was engulfed by rapidly rising waters as roads were quickly flooded, hampering the rescue operation. Around 80 homes were damaged by the mudslides while scores of cars and buses were unable to complete their journeys after becoming submerged in mud along the Aloag Highway. Meanwhile, Uruguay’s National Emergency System reported earlier this week that 11,943 people have been displaced after heavy rains and floods lashed the country over the past 11 days. Of Uruguay’s 19 provinces 16 have recorded evacuations as heavy rainfall continues to pelt the small South American nation. The Durazno province has been the worst affected with 5,163 people leaving their homes.

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Greenland Warming brings Storms to Britain

Soaring temperatures in Greenland – one of the fastest-warming parts of the planet – are causing storms and floods in Britain, according to a new study that provides further evidence climate change is already happening.

The west coast of the island has seen temperatures rise by up to a staggering 10 degrees Celsius during winter in just two decades.

This surge helps create static areas of high pressure that can block the jet stream which heavily influences the northern hemisphere’s weather. If forced to go south, the jet stream picks up warm and wet air – and Britain can expect heavy rain and flooding. If forced north, the UK is likely to be hit by cold air from the Arctic.

Global Warming

Some Plants Are Adapting To Global Warming

Plants are much more adaptable to temperature changes and global warming than previously thought, according to a 30-year long study by Norwegian scientists published Wednesday.

The study showed that a tree called the Norwegian spruce can adjust its growth rate to cope with different environmental conditions and temperature extremes, rebutting the claim that plants won’t be able to adapt to changing climate conditions.

“There is a kind of flexibility in the genetic material. Environmental conditions during seed development create a memory of those temperature conditions. Much like a ‘molecular thermostat’ that can shift the growth cycle of the plant”, Carl Gunnar Fossdal, a senior research scientist with the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, said in a press statment. “This phenomenon has great importance for the discussion around climate change. It shows that the memory mechanism at least in these plants, and maybe in all, adapt to changes in the environment.”

The Norwegian spruces and other trees may even pass these adaptions to their offspring, according to the research. The scientists suggest that many animals may also have similar ways to adapt to changing global temperatures.