Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 Earthquake hits near the coast of Ecuador.

A strong earthquake has shaken the northwestern coastal area of Ecuador. Authorities say there are no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Some slight shaking was felt in Ecuador’s capital of Quito, which is 153 kilometres to the southeast.

5.7 Earthquake hits near the coast of Ecuador.

5.5 Earthquake his Samoa.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.5 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits southeast of the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Pakistan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Celia is located about 1095 mi…1765 km WSW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…W or 270 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

Invest 97E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

Newsbytes:

Nepal – Locals have been asked to stay alert after a massive landslide blocked the Tamor River at Malbase Mitlung in Sawadin-1 of the Taplejung district on Sunday. Personnel from the Nepal Army have been deployed to the disaster area.

Migrating Dust – Large clouds of Saharan dust traversing the Atlantic are keeping the tropics quiet in the western Atlantic. Meanwhile, the Pacific remains active with Hurricane Celia and another area that could develop into a tropical depression over the next 48 hours. The cloud of Saharan dust moving into southeast Texas will increase the haze and reduce the air quality, which could trigger allergies in highly sensitive individuals. Another plume of dust could reach the area later this week.

China – Troops were deployed as the latest wave of floods and mudslides endangered lives across China, hitting the Henan, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces.

Global Warming

“The blob” — A havoc-wreaking oceanic phenomenon — is back.

The mass of warm ocean water, which got its moniker from meteorologists, was believed to have dissipated, along with its disastrous effects on ocean ecosystems. But it has simply receded to deeper waters.

The unusually warm water conditions result in less nutrient-dense water, which causes ripple effects throughout the food chain. It’s believed to be behind the deaths of young sea lions in southern California and die-offs of starving sea birds along the Oregon and Washington coasts.

The warm blob was also linked to unusual weather patterns on land. It’s likely behind the West Coast’s warm winters and record-low snowpack levels in 2014 and 2015, oceanographers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans found.

The cooling effect of La Niña might be enough to bring ocean temperatures back to normal levels.

Scientists do not attribute the phenomenon directly to global warming but is a taste of what the ocean will be like in future decades once the effect of global warming firmly takes root within out environment.

“The blob,” a mass of orange ocean water, is shown in an oceanic temperature map.

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Wildlife

Death of Australia’s other great reef a bad sign for world’s kelp forests

Alarms sounded across the world when marine scientists discovered in April that more than 90 percent of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef, had bleached. As the scientific community, the Australian government, and even President Obama placed calls to action to save one of the Earth’s great natural wonders, the death of the country’s other reef, the 1,400-mile Great Southern Reef, went unnoticed.

Nearly all of the kelp forests along about 62 miles of coastline off western Australia have become extinct following a heat wave in 2011 that killed 43 percent of kelp there, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science. And five years later, there are no signs of recovery, said the study’s lead author, Thomas Wernberg of the University of Western Australia’s Ocean Institute, in a statement.

The extinction of the expanse of kelp forests in the northwest tip of the reef shows the sensitivity of the ecosystem, and demonstrates how a slight rise in water temperatures (4 degrees F) can turn an underwater forest, teeming with life, into a desert of turf seaweed. Because the temperature of the Indian Ocean, the current of which flows south to the Great Southern Reef, is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world’s waters, the demise of the ecosystem also foreshadows the effect a further rise in water temperatures could have on kelp forests around the world, including in Japan and Europe.

The Great Southern Reef is composed of a system of rocky reefs that stretch more than 1,400 miles, from Brisbane in eastern Australia to Kalbarri above Perth in western Australia. The forests, whose seaweed branches extend to the surface like trees, are a global diversity hotspot, with 30 to 80 percent of species there not found anywhere else in the world.

The reef’s rock lobster and abalone fisheries also bring in four times the wealth of all the commercial fishing combined in the Great Barrier Reef.

For now, kelp forests further south along the reef are healthier, though there are concerns that more heat waves will continue to push the destruction southward. Scientists can mitigate the effects of warmer water, however, by controlling factors such as sewage run-offs, which weaken kelp.

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