Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic:

Tropical Depression Six is located about 775 mi…1245 km WSW of the Cabo Verde Islands with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…NW or 305 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

In the Eastern Pacific:

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

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical Storm 09w (Chanthu), located approximately 171 nm north-northeast of Yokosuka, Japan, and is tracking north-northwestward at 15 knots.

In the Central Pacific:

Invest 91C is an area of disturbed weather in the Central Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.


Louisiana, USA – Federal officials are expanding a disaster declaration in Louisiana after devastating floods killed at least 11 people and caused widespread property damage. Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday that 20 parishes are now under a disaster declaration with a “historic flood event” damaging some 40,000 homes and leading to the evacuation of 30,000 people from flood-soaked areas.


Neonic pesticide link to long-term wild bee decline

The large-scale, long-term decline in wild bees across England has been linked to the use of neonicotinoid insecticides by a new study. Over 18 years, researchers analysed bees who forage heavily on oilseed rape, a crop widely treated with “neonics”.

The scientists attribute half of the total decline in wild bees to the use of these chemicals while industry sources say the study shows an association, not a cause and effect.

In recent years, several studies, conducted in the lab and in the field, have identified a negative effect on honey bees and bumble bees from the use of neonics. But few researchers have looked at the long term impacts of these substances.

This new paper examined the impacts on populations of 62 species of wild bees across England over the period from 1994-2011. The team, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), used distribution data on wild bees, excluding honey and bumblebees collected by the bees, ants and wasps recording scheme. They were able to compare the locations of these bees and their changing populations with growing patterns of oilseed rape across England over 18 years. The amount of this crop being sown has increased significantly over the period of the study, from around 500,000 hectares in 1994 to over 700,000 in 2011.

A key innovation was the commercial licensing of neonicotinoid insecticides for the crop in the UK in 2002. Seeds are coated with the chemical and every part of the plant becomes toxic to pests.

Manufacturers hailed the development as a major advance, reducing the need for leaf spraying with other insecticides. Around 85% of the oilseed rape crop in England now uses this method for pest protection.

But this new work suggests, for the first time, that the detrimental impacts seen in the lab can be linked to large scale population extinctions of wild bees, especially for those species of bees that spend longer foraging on oilseed rape.

There was a decline in the number of populations of 10%, attributable to neonicotinoids, across the 34 species that forage on oilseed rape. Five of the species showed declines of 20% or more, with the worst affected declining by 30%. Overall, half the total decline in wild bees could be linked to the chemicals.

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Nature – Images

Interesting Images

A purple squid with eyes so googly it could easily be mistaken for a character in the movie “Finding Nemo” was recently spotted by scientists off the coast of Southern California.

The so-called stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) is a species of bobtail squid native to the northern Pacific Ocean. These adorable sea creatures can be found in waters from Japan to Southern California, and typically dwell along the ocean floor, at depths of around 984 feet (300 meters), though they have been spotted as deep as 4,260 feet (1,300 m), according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).



Wildfires Disrupt Olympic Games – Brazil

Wildfires near Deodoro, a suburb of Rio and a site for several events at the Games, caused the precautionary evacuation Monday of Olympic venues for mountain biking, canoe slalom and BMX racing, according to reports. In addition, high winds blew ash onto the field at the stadium where women’s field hockey quarterfinals were being played, although it did not disrupt any games.


High Rate of Syphilis in London, England

Health officials in England say the rate of syphilis diagnoses is 3 times higher in London than anywhere else in England. In 2015, nearly 3,000 cases were diagnosed in the capital, accounting for 56% of all cases in England (5,042), according to a new report published today.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Santiaguito (Guatemala): A particularly strong vulcanian explosion occurred at the Caliente lava dome this morning (at 06_58 local time), sending a massive mushroom-shaped ash plume to several kilometres height that eventually reached approx. 20,000 ft or 7 km altitude). The cone and its immediate surroundings were showered by volcanic blocks and bombs and collapsing material from the eruption produced avalanches that engulfed the cone on several sides (pyroclastic flows). The ash plume drifted to the WNW and caused significant ash falls in areas as far as the border with Mexico (e.g. Cacahotàn, 75 km distance). Light ash fall was even recorded in greater distances, e.g. the Mexican town of Soconusco in 145 km distance. The eruption came bare 48 hours after the previous one on Sunday. It can well be that the volcano is currently entering a phase of particularly increased activity.

Colima (Western Mexico): The volcano’s activity seems to have picked up a little bit. Several explosions occurred today, producing ash plumes that rose to up to 14-18,000 ft (4-6 km) altitude and dispersed into westerly directions. During intervals between eruptions, degassing is visible from several vents inside the summit crater (where a small lava dome is likely continuing to grow slowly).

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The volcano’s activity has been essentially unchanged over the past week. On average, 2-4 explosions have been occurring daily – mostly small events with plumes less than 1 km tall – and about 50-100 pulses of steam emissions (“exhalations”). Glow at night visible from the crater indicates that magma continues to slowly rise and accumulate there. The official alert level remains at “Yellow Phase 2”.