Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 Earthquake hits northern Xinjiang, China.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Ceran Sea, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the southwestern Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 05b (Vardah), located approximately 660 nm south of Chittagong, Bangladesh is tracking north-northwestward at 02 knots.

Gl sst mm

Environment

California’s Long Drought Has Killed 100 Million Trees

The lingering drought in California has killed more than 100 million trees, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s latest aerial survey.

The recent death count found that 62 million trees have died just this year in California, bringing the six-year total to more than 102 million. More than five years of drought are to blame for the tree deaths, scientists said, adding that tree “fatalities” increased by 100 percent in 2016.

The agency said that millions of additional trees are expected to die in the coming months and years. California’s drought has affected 7.7 million acres of forests, putting the region’s whole ecology at risk.

With more dead trees in forests, wildfires have a “fuel buildup” that could lead to large, unpredictable fires. California has experienced longer, hotter fire seasons in recent years, and USFS scientists said that they expect tree mortality to continue at elevated levels in 2017.

Unnamed

Wildlife

Giraffes, Rarer Than Elephants, Put on Extinction Watch List

The giraffe, the tallest land animal, is now at risk of extinction, biologists say.

Because the giraffe population has shrunk nearly 40 percent in just 30 years, scientists put it on the official watch list of threatened and endangered species worldwide, calling it “vulnerable.” That’s two steps up the danger ladder from its previous designation of being a species of least concern. In 1985, there were between 151,000 and 163,000 giraffes but in 2015 the number was down to 97,562, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

While everyone worries about elephants, Earth has four times as many pachyderms as giraffes.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Oman

On 29 November 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Oman reported one (1) additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Human infections with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus – China

The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China has notified WHO of two laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N6) virus.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 30 November-6 December 2016

Sabancaya | Peru : The Technical and Scientific Committee for volcanic risk management of the Arequipa region (comprised of five groups including IGP’s OVS and INGEMMET’s OVI) reported that during 30 November-2 December and 5-6 December explosions at Sabancaya generated ash-and-gas plumes that rose as high as 4.5 km above the crater rim and drifted around 40 km in multiple directions. Inflation at the SE flank continued to be detected. Seismic activity remained constant; tremor amplitude greatly increased on 2 December.

Langila | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 1-6 December ash plumes from Langila rose to altitudes of 2.1-3 km (7,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, NW, and W. The plumes on 3 December drifted almost 40 km.

Copahue | Central Chile-Argentina border : Based on satellite and webcam images, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 30 November-4 December and on 6 December diffuse gas, water vapor, and ash plumes from Copahue rose to altitudes of 3.3-4.2 km (11,000-14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SE, and E. On 2 December OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that activity at Copahue continued to be dominated by weak Strombolian explosions likely from a pyroclastic cone forming on the floor of El Agrio crater. The Alert Level remained at Yellow (second highest level on a four-colour scale); SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry into a restricted area within 1.5 km of the crater. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the municipality of Alto Biobío.

Chirinkotan | Kuril Islands (Russia) : SVERT reported that no additional activity at Chirinkotan was detected after the 29 November ash emission. The Aviation Colour Code was lowered to Green (on a four-colour scale) on 2 December.

Cerro Hudson | Chile : Based on OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN notices from 1 and 30 November, ONEMI reported on 2 December that, although the rate of seismicity at Cerro Hudson had remained at normal levels and similar to previous periods, the magnitude of the highest energy events had steadily increased during the last months. Additionally the earthquakes were occurring in the same general area as those detected during the 2011 volcanic crisis. OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN raised the Alert Level to Yellow (second highest level on a four-colour scale), and ONEMI declared an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the communities of Aysén, Río Ibáñez, and Chile Chico.