Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

8.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

Hundreds of people in remote parts of the Solomon Islands have had their homes damaged or destroyed by a powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake that struck Friday. There have been no deaths reported from the quake, which also caused some small tsunami waves in the Solomon Islands and other Pacific islands.

There are some initial reports that 3,000 people have been affected. Many of the structures are traditional houses that are on stilts, and made with vegetation. The quake also caused some power failures throughout the country.

Tsunami warnings for several Pacific islands, including Hawaii, were canceled Friday after authorities determined the earthquake didn’t pose a broad tsunami threat.

85

6.8 Earthquake hits off the coast of northern California.

6.1 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.7 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

Two 5.5 Earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

Three 5.3 Earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits offshore Coquimbo, Chile.

Four 5.2 Earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits off the coast of El Salvador.

Seven 5.1 Earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands.

Four 5.0 Earthquakes hit the Solomon Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the coast of northern California.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 05b (Vardah), located approximately 990 km SE of Visakhapatnam, 1090 km ESE of Machilipatnam and 250 km WNW of Port Blair is tracking northwestward at 04 knots.

Newsbytes:

Indonesia – Bad weather has continued to hit regions across the country, leading to overflowing rivers, landslides and floods that have resulted in thousands of people leaving their houses and farmers suffering crop failures. Heavy downpours in West Sumatra caused rivers in the northern part of the province to overflow and inundate hundreds of houses and farming areas, covering hundreds of hectares. Landslides have cut off access to major roads in Agam regency.

Hurricane Shift

Changing weather patterns may be placing the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada under greater threat of more frequent and more powerful hurricanes in the future, according to a new study.

Researchers from Britain’s Durham University examined records dating back 450 years and found that average hurricane tracks have drifted northward from the western Caribbean, toward the Atlantic coast of northern North America.

The research suggests the carbon emissions that have accelerated since the late 19th century are the main drivers of the shifting hurricane tracks due to their effects on global weather systems.

Global Warming

Tibetan glaciers are being destroyed by global warming

Scientists have issued a grave warning about the future of glaciers in western Tibet after nine yak herders were killed in an avalanche. They say global warming is destabilising the dense ice formations that they once thought were immune from rising temperatures.

Meltwater seeping under glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau triggered a deadly avalanche this year, sweeping the nomadic yak herders to their deaths. Two months later a neighbouring glacier in the same mountain range without warning gave way.

Researchers have now found the meltwater in the first avalanche acted as a lubricant between the ground and the ice allowing it to slide down the mountain at speed with devastating effects.

Glaciers in Western Tibet

Half the world’s species failing to cope with global warming

Nearly half the species on the planet are failing to cope with global warming the world has already experienced, according to an alarming new study that suggests the sixth mass extinction of animal life in the Earth’s history could take place in as little as 50 years.

A leading evolutionary biologist, Professor John Wiens, found that 47 per cent of nearly 1,000 species had suffered local extinctions linked to climate change with populations absent from areas where they had been found before.

Professor Wiens, who is editor of the Quarterly Review of Biology and a winner of the American Society of Naturalists’ Presidential Award, said the implications for the future were serious because his review showed plants and animals were struggling to deal with the relatively small amount of global warming experienced to date.

So far the world has warmed by about 1C above pre-industrial levels, but it is expected to hit between 2.6 and 4.8C by 2100 if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases.

Another problem facing life on Earth is the election of climate science denier Donald Trump as US president.

Professor Wiens, of Arizona University, described this as a “global disaster” and, when asked what he would say to the President-elect if he met him, he joked grimly: “Kill yourself immediately.”

In his study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, the scientist examined academic papers about 976 different species from all over the world that had been studied at least twice, once about 50 years ago and again within the last 10 years.

“In almost half the species looked at, there have been local extinctions already,” he said.

“What it shows is species cannot change fast enough to keep up with a small change in climate. That’s the big implication – even a small change in temperature and they cannot handle it.”

The study looked at 716 different kinds of animals and 260 plants from Asia, Europe, North and South America, and elsewhere.

Local extinctions were found to have occurred among 47.1 per cent of species at the “warm edge” of their traditional range, as it became too hot for them. There were few areas of the planet that were unaffected.

Wildlife

Mosquitoes Multiply

Mosquito populations have multiplied by as much as 10 times over the last half- century in New York, New Jersey and California, but scientists say it’s not because of changes in climate.

The number of mosquito species in those areas also increased two to four times. Researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz say the resurgence is mainly the result of expanding cities and the waning concentrations of the notorious pesticide DDT, still lingering in the environment nearly 50 years after its widespread use was banned.

“Everyone knew DDT was an extremely effective insecticide, but I was surprised by how long-lasting its effects were,” said lead researcher Marm Kilpatrick.

High Living Plants

The highest-living plants on Earth have been found growing at the lofty elevation of 20,177 feet on a small southwest-facing patch of slope in northern India.

Czech Academy of Sciences botanist Jiri Dolezal found the six species of vascular plants after hiking five days into the thin air of the high Himalayas.

The tiny plants contain a high-sugar “antifreeze” and have features that enable them to survive long and bitter winters in the arid alpine conditions.

Dolezal said the plants appear to be new arrivals, and theorizes their seeds blew in and survived so high because of a warming climate.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 114.0 degrees Fahrenheit (45.6 degrees Celsius) in Kimberley, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 60.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 51.1 degrees Celsius) in Verkhoyansk,Siberia.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Volcanos

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

Bagana | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 3-6 December ash plumes from Bagana rose to altitudes of 2.1-3 km (7,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, W, WSW, and SW.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, VONAs issued by the Dukono Volcano Observatory, and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 30 November-6 December ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.7-3 km (5,500-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, N, NE, and E.

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) : During 30 November-6 December HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise and fall, circulate, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook vent; the lake level rose as high as 7.5 m below the Halema’uma’u floor. A section of the wall of the Overlook Vent collapsed into the lava lake at 0658 on 2 December ejecting spatter onto the Halema’uma’u Crater rim. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu’u ‘O’o Crater and from a vent high on the NE flank of the cone. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu’u ‘O’o Crater’s E flank, continued to enter the ocean near Kamokuna at the easternmost lava delta. Breakouts at the upper part of the lava-tube system sent lava E. Other breakouts occurred at the base of the Pulama pali and on the coastal plain about 1 km inland from ocean.

Nevado del Ruiz | Colombia : Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales reported that during 29 November-5 December seismicity at Nevado del Ruiz was characterized by a decrease in the number and magnitude of earthquakes compared to the previous week. Significant amounts of water vapour and gas rose from the crater. On 2 December a gas, water vapour, and ash plume rose 2 km above the crater rim and drifted between SW and NW directions. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; the second lowest level on a four-colour scale).