Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the western Indian-Antarctic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the East Pacific:

Invest 92E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the West Pacific:

Tropical depression 27w (Ma-On), located approximately 668 nm east-northeast of Andersen AFB, Guam is tracking west-northwestward at 08 knots.

Newsbytes:

South Africa – The floods that lashed Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni on Wednesday left a trail of destruction, with at least six people killed, dozens of vehicles swept away and dwellings damaged. Several people were recovering in hospital after they were injured. Flights were delayed at OR Tambo International Airport.

Caribbean – Heavy downpours across the Caribbean have caused deadly floods that forced the evacuation of thousands of people, authorities said Wednesday. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, floodwaters swept away two people, including a 6-year-old boy. Authorities said they were still searching for the boy, whose older brother tried to save him despite suffering a broken leg and head injuries as they both got swept out to sea. The government of the eastern Caribbean island also shuttered schools and government offices amid heavy rains after multiple landslides blocked dozens of roads. Meanwhile, at least one person died in the Dominican Republic amid flooding that prompted the evacuation of 26,000 people in the country’s eastern and northern regions. More than 5,200 homes were damaged and some two dozen houses were completely destroyed

Wildlife

Seabirds’ Plastic-Eating Habits Remain Puzzling

Imagine that you are constantly eating, but slowly starving to death. Hundreds of species of marine mammals, fish, birds, and sea turtles face this risk every day when they mistake plastic debris for food.

Plastic debris can be found in oceans around the world. Scientists have estimated that there are over five trillion pieces of plastic weighing more than a quarter of a million tons floating at sea globally. Most of this plastic debris comes from sources on land and ends up in oceans and bays due largely to poor waste management.

Plastic does not biodegrade, but at sea large pieces of plastic break down into increasingly smaller fragments that are easy for animals to consume. Nothing good comes to animals that mistake plastic for a meal. They may suffer from malnutrition, intestinal blockage, or slow poisoning from chemicals in or attached to the plastic.

Despite the pervasiveness and severity of this problem, scientists still do not fully understand why so many marine animals make this mistake in the first place. It has been commonly assumed, but rarely tested, that seabirds eat plastic debris because it looks like the birds’ natural prey. However, in a study that my coauthors and I just published in Science Advances, we propose a new explanation: For many imperiled species, marine plastic debris also produces an odour that the birds associate with food.

A new study, just out in the journal Science Advances, may shed some light on the mystery . The study finds that plastic in the ocean gives off a specific chemical compound with a distinctive smell, signalling to some seabirds that it’s dinnertime.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Many wildfires have begun in the southern United States and NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of them raging in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. The fires that could easily be identified are noted in the image with tags.

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity 2 November – 8 November 2016

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that no activity at Cleveland had been observed following the explosion at Cleveland on 24 October. The Level of Concern Color Code was lowered to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Advisory.

Copahue | Central Chile-Argentina border : Based on satellite and webcam images, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 4-5 and 7-8 November gas and water vapor plumes with minor ash content rose from Copahue to altitudes of 3.3-3.9 km (11,000-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE.

Iya | Flores Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that after an increase on 29 September seismicity at Iya decreased significantly, with the number of deep volcanic earthquakes slowing from a rate of five per day or less, to none on 22 October. On 31 October the Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 1-4).

Langila | New Britian (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 3 November an ash plume from Langila rose to an altitude of 3.3 km (11,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55 km W. Three discreet ash plumes on 4 November all rose to the same altitude as the day before and drifted NW.

Sabancaya | Peru : Based on webcam and satellite views and notices from IGP, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 7-8 November gas-and-water-vapor plumes with minor amounts of ash rose from Sabancaya to a maximum height of 2.2 km above the summit.

Ulawun | New Britian (Papua New Guinea) : RVO reported that during 16-31 October activity at Ulawun was at low levels. Gray and white plumes with varying densities rose 100-200 m above the summit crater and drifted SW, NW, and NE. Low rumbling was heard on 24 October. Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 7 November an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 45 km E.