Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits Leyte in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Owen Fracture Zone.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic: Tropical Storm Gaston is located about 820 mi…1325 km ESE of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…65 mph…100 km/h. Present movement…NW or 310 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

Invest 91L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

Invest 99L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Eastern Pacific: Tropical Storm Lester is located about 595 mi…960 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…W or 280 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

Tropical Storm Madeline is located about 1160 mi…1865 km ESE of Hilo Hawaii and about 1185 mi…1905 km ESE of South Point Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 300 degrees at 10 mph…17 km/h.

In the Western Pacific: Typhoon 12w (Lionrock), located approximately 742 nm south-southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, is tracking east-northeastward at 08 knots.

Newsbytes:

Missouri, USA – Footage showing entire parking lots under water is emerging from nearby Kansas City, Missouri, where a flash flood emergency warning from the National Weather Service has been issued. ater levels have been described as going above car doors and emergency crews have been dispatched to assist stranded motorists and pedestrians.

Global Warming

Artic Study Reveals World’s Worst Mass Extinction Due to Global Warming

A new study reveals that the world’s last mass extinction happened because of global warming. This mass extinction, called the Great Dying Event, saw the demise of 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of terrestrial life.

Jochen Knies, a researcher at CAGE who conducted the study in the Arctic, said the cause of this mass extinction is an “explosive event of volcanic eruptions” that happened in Siberia. He also said that amounts of volatiles such as carbon dioxides and methane were emitted by several eruptions that lasted for a million years. This emission made our planet “unbearably hot” during that time, Heritage Daily reports.

The Great Dying Event happened 252 million years ago, and it took nine million years after for life on Earth to recover from the catastrophe. The new study found clues in the Arctic and can now reveal why it took such a long time for recovery.

“What used to be the northwestern continental margin of the super continent Pangaea is now Canadian High Arctic. There we found evidence in geological records for a significant nutrient gap during this period. This means that global oceans were severely poor in nutrients such as nitrogen,” Knies said via Science Daily.

During the Great Dying, the oceans’ temperature (thermoclines) and nutrients (nutricline) suffered greatly because of high temperatures. Oceans are not a single body of water. There are actually layers and boundaries that are based on thermoclines and nutriclines. Both thermoclines and nutriclines deepened, ceasing the upwelling of nutrients from the bottom of the oceans. As a result, marine algae productivity decreased, crumbling down the base of the food chain.

Only around six to seven million years after the extinction did the oceans started cooling off. The boundaries that prevented nutrients from going up to the surface were weakened. This paved way for the nutrients to return to the surface and sustain life again.

The study also proves how global warming can affect marine ecosystems in the long haul. The Great Dying Event or Permian-Triassic mass extinction has reset evolution. After this event, dinosaurs came but they also died out due to another mass extinction. The study notes that it’s possible that humanity is facing another impending mass extinction due to human activity.

Wildfires

Russian pilots put out 17 wildfires endangering Portugal

Seventeen blazes, charring a total area of 2,000 hectares in Portugal, have been extinguished by the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s aircraft over the past two weeks.

Wildfires – USA

Thirty-five large, uncontained wildfires were burning in the West, and firefighters were making initial attacks on another 112 new blazes to prevent them from spreading.

Firefighters in the region mostly faced windy, dry conditions that have fanned flames that destroyed buildings and forced evacuations in California, Washington, Idaho and elsewhere. Here’s a look at the major wildfires in the West:

CALIFORNIA – Authorities say a wildfire that destroyed 45 homes on California’s central coast was not intentionally set but they were still trying to determine the cause. Cal Fire says arson has been ruled out in the 10-day blaze that has charred 64 square miles of dry brush and timber. The fire was 39 percent surrounded and at least 2,400 people were under evacuation orders in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. Additional warnings for people to be ready to flee were issued Wednesday and one arm of Lake Nacimiento was closed to boaters. Cal Fire’s Rich Eagan says flames were more than two miles from Hearst Castle, which remains closed but was no longer at immediate risk.

A fire burning for a month north of Big Sur grew again to 135 square miles. Hundreds of homes remain threatened by the fire in rugged wilderness coast along Highway 1. The blaze was sparked by an illegal campfire. It is 60 percent contained.

IDAHO – A fast-moving rangeland wildfire in eastern Idaho expanded to nearly 70 square miles Wednesday, forcing evacuations, threatening a windfarm and burning habitat needed by sage grouse, a federally protected bird. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office says evacuations are in place, with up to 70 buildings along U.S. Highway 26 threatened.

Officials say the human-caused fire reported Sunday about 7 miles east of Idaho Falls is making wind-driven runs to the north and east.

In central Idaho, a 160-square-mile wildfire in a remote, mountainous area continues to defy containment and burn through timbered slopes that are difficult for firefighters to reach.

MONTANA – Cooler weather has slowed Montana’s largest wildfire, though 45 homes are still evacuated and 130 more are on alert. The fire northeast of Thompson Falls had burned 33 square miles as of Wednesday morning. Fire officials say crews have made progress in securing fire lines and protecting structures. The weather was cooperating again Wednesday with lighter winds and higher relative humidity forecast.

Minimal fire activity is also being reported from a fire burning west of Lakeside. About 75 homes and other structures are within a half-mile of the fire’s perimeter. No evacuations have been ordered.

UTAH – Firefighters in northern Utah are working to contain a growing wildfire near a ski resort that’s now crossed the border into southern Idaho. Fire spokeswoman Sierra Hellstrom said Wednesday that wind and high temperatures Tuesday afternoon had pushed the fire to 1.4 square miles. It’s burning about 23 miles northwest of Logan, and about one-fourth of a mile from the Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, which was on pre-evacuation notice this week. Hellstrom says no buildings are imminently threatened at the resort.

WASHINGTON – Favorable weather conditions helped crews make progress Wednesday against a series of wildfires in Eastern Washington that have burned at least 18 homes this week.

A fire burning on the Spokane Indian Reservation was 30 percent contained. That fire covered more than 27 square miles and had destroyed at least 13 homes on the reservation, said Jamie Sijohn, a spokeswoman for the tribe. “The devastating fire jumped the Spokane River from Lincoln County onto the Spokane reservation in three separate locations,” Sijohn said. It roared toward the town of Wellpinit, forcing the evacuation of the entire town on Sunday. But that order has since been lifted, Sijohn said.

Meanwhile, a fire near the town of Davenport in Lincoln County covered 6.5 square miles, and was 20 percent contained.

Another fire south of Spokane, in the Valleyford area, was 50 percent contained. It had burned more than 10 square miles and destroyed at least five homes, officials said. Mandatory evacuations ended on that fire on Tuesday night.

WYOMING – Some tourists heading to Yellowstone National Park during the busy summer season were facing an hourlong detour Wednesday as a wildfire in neighbouring Grand Teton National Park kept a highway closed. Major tourist areas in both parks are open as the National Park Service holds events to celebrate its 100th anniversary this week. A route leading into Yellowstone’s South Entrance was shut down, so visitors coming from the south through Wyoming had to take a detour into Idaho. But firefighters hope cooler weather slows the flames over the next couple of days.

Disease

White-nose Syndrome Research: Grants Awarded

Bat Conservation International (BCI) and the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are pleased to award $100,000 in funding to support critical research in the fight against White-nose Syndrome (WNS). Together, BCI and TNC reviewed and selected three solution-oriented projects that aim to identify and develop tools to improve survival of bats vulnerable to WNS.

White-nose Syndrome is a devastating disease that has killed more than six million bats in North America since its arrival in 2006. The disease is confirmed in seven different species of bats and is in 29 states and five Canadian provinces.