Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity
Ambrym (Vanuatu): The activity at the active vents (mainly Marum and Benbow craters) has been elevated recently. Wellington VAAC reported frequent low-level ash emissions based on satellite data. Geohazards has not updated about the activity in recent days, but maintains alert level 2 (on a scale of 0-5, 5 being highest).
Kilauea (Hawai’i): The active lava flows in the coastal plain are now only about 1 km from the coast. Their advance has slowed down significantly as the lava is now in almost flat terrain and the arriving new lava is mostly “used” to inflate the fresh field and expand its sides, until a main lava tube is established in the coastal flat as well. It is impossible to predict when lava will be hitting the ocean- this could be within few days or even less or still take weeks (if at all, but it is now extremely likely).
Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The activity at the volcano remains essentially unchanged and CENAPRED maintains alert level “Yellow Phase 2”. As magma continues to slowly rise inside the conduit, it accumulates in the inner summit crater as a flat pancake-shaped dome and causes small to moderate intermittent explosions with more or less ash. This activity is not completely stable, of course, but shows sometimes significant variations: a marked increase of seismic activity occurred during the past days, including a swarm of volcano-tectonic earthquakes and prolonged phases of tremor, probably related to the rise of new magma into the volcano’s plumbing system. At the surface, more vigorous ash emissions and more intense glow at the summit were seen and occasionally, stronger explosions were able to throw incandescent bombs outside the crater. The activity has declined again since yesterday.
Santiaguito (Guatemala): Another explosion took place at the volcano yesterday morning (at 01:45 local time), sending an ash plume to 6000 m a.s.l. (18,000 ft), which means it was likely one of the largest in the current series of vulcanian eruptions. As it occurred at night, there seem to be no direct observations, but the ash plume, which drifted west before dissipating over the Pacific, was detected on satellite imagery.
Bromo (Indonesia): Mount Bromo volcanic eruption in Indonesia closed all activities at the Abdurrahman Saleh airport in Malang district. Mount Bromo spewed a column of ash by up to 1,200 meters to the sky on Monday. Tourists are banned from entering the area of 1 kilometre from the crater.
Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
5.5 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.
5.3 Earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.
5.3 Earthquake hits the southwest Indian ridge.
5.0 Earthquake hits Coquimbo, Chile.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
In the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Celia is located about 1260 mi…2025 km WSW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…100 mph…155 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 300 degrees at 10 mph…17 km/h.
Tropical Depression Five-E is located about 310 mi…500 km SW of Manzanillo Mexico and about 515 mi…825 km SSE of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 285 degrees at 9 mph…15 km/h.
India – There was no let up in flood misery in Madhya Pradesh and Assam with the number of deaths climbing to 22 today while heavy rains continued to lash parts of the provinces. 170 000 people have been left homeless.
Climate Change May Already Be Shifting Clouds Toward the Poles
The way clouds cover the Earth may be changing because of global warming, according to a study published Monday that used satellite data to track cloud patterns across about two decades, starting in the 1980s.
Clouds in the mid-latitudes shifted toward the poles during that period, as the subtropical dry zones expanded and the highest cloud-tops got higher. These changes are predicted by most climate models of global warming.
About 70 percent of our planet is covered by clouds, at any given moment. These constantly moving shape-shifters aren’t exactly easy for scientists to study.
Clouds aren’t as simple as their fluffy nature might suggest. To understand them, scientists have to track the behaviour of tiny water droplets, as well as huge masses of clouds that might be hundreds of miles wide. And climate modellers also have to take into account the fact that clouds can have two different effects on temperatures.
During daytime, if there are a lot of clouds present, thick clouds, then that will keep the temperature cooler, because clouds reflect incoming sunlight back to space. But thick clouds can also act like a blanket that keeps the Earth’s warmth in, which is the reason why a cloudy night won’t be as cold at the surface as a clear night.
It’s probably happening primarily because of two influences — human-produced global warming, and also the recovery from the cooling effect of two volcanic eruptions during that time frame.
New Dwarf Planet Discovered Beyond Pluto
Astronomers have discovered another dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt, the ring of icy objects beyond Neptune. This newfound world, dubbed 2015 RR245, is much more distant than Pluto, orbiting the sun once every 700 Earth years, scientists said.
Wildfires – USA
Two campers accused of igniting a Colorado wildfire that has forced the evacuation of 2,000 people. The fire has burned about a square mile in the foothills roughly 20 miles west of Boulder and has destroyed three homes.
In northern Colorado, firefighters say a wildfire near the Wyoming border has burned another 1,000 acres, and they are warning that the fire could spread rapidly on Sunday because high winds are forecast.
Crews spotted an unauthorized drone over a southern Utah wildfire for the fifth time since it ignited nearly a month ago, stirring fears that firefighting aircraft could be at risk of a collision.
Firefighters will still use their airplanes and helicopters but face random, illegal drone flights as one more hazard, said a spokesperson for a team of agencies fighting the 3.6-square-mile fire about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Crews bracing for another round of dry winds are dousing hot spots as they continue to build containment lines around a smoky fire that forced weekend evacuations in the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles. Officials said late Sunday that the blaze in the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains was 65 percent contained after consuming about 1.7 square miles of thick chaparral.
About 2,000 people sent fleeing from homes in the Stevenson Ranch area were allowed to return Saturday night. Aerial photos showed the flames came to the property line of a ridgetop home that was covered in fire retardant. The cause is under investigation.
In the last two months, nearly 100,000 acres have burned in California in as many as nine separate fires at once. The Erskine fire near Lake Isabella killed two people and destroyed more than 280 homes.
Zika Virus – China
The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission and Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province reported its 22nd imported case of Zika Virus infection today.
Bird Flu in Ontario, Canada
Preliminary testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza on a duck farm near St. Catharines, Ontario as a low pathogenic subtype.
Aan Avian Influenza Control Zone has been established in Ontario to control the movement of animals, products and equipment in the area to minimize disease spread.
The boundary of the Avian Influenza Control Zone covers a 3km radius from the single premises confirmed to be infected with avian influenza, located near St. Catharines, Ontario. All premises located within this zone will be placed under quarantine; however, only the initial infected premises has confirmed positive for avian influenza. The Agency is monitoring all premises within the zone for any signs of disease.
Avian influenza does not pose a risk to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked and rarely affects humans.