Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova region, Russia.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the west coast of Colombia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the western Pacific: Tropical Storm 30w (Nock-Ten), located approximately 790 kilometres (490 miles) east of Guiuan town in the eastern Philippines is tracking northeastward at 08 knots.

In the South Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 02s (Yvette), located approximately 4365 nm north-northwest of Port Hedland, Australia, is tracking east-southeastward at 09 knots.

Newsbytes:

Indonesia – A 10-year-old boy, resident of Kodo Village, Bima City, West Nusa Tenggara, has been reported missing in floods that hit the city. Bima has been stricken by flash floods in the last couple of days. The flood has caused public facilities, such as bridges to collapse. Houses and private cars have been swept away by floods. Thousands have been displaced.

Global Warming

Ammonia Detected in Earth’s Atmosphere for First Time

In an unexpected first, researchers have discovered ammonia in Earth’s lowest atmospheric layer, a new study said.

The detected ammonia was most concentrated in the upper layer of the troposphere above India and China, countries that have experienced population and economic booms in recent years. The gas (NH3) is most likely coming from livestock farming and fertilization in those countries, the researchers said.

Plants and crops need ammonia to grow, but too much of it can harm the environment and human health. However, the newly detected ammonia may have an unexpected silver lining: The gas is involved in cloud formation, so it may act as a cooling agent and help compensate for the human-caused greenhouse gas effect, the researchers said.

Environment

Oldest Water

Scientists from the University of Toronto say they have found the planet’s oldest water, which is about 2 billion years old, deep in a Canadian mine.

Researchers had earlier found water that was about 500 million years less ancient and not quite as deep in the same Ontario mine.

“It won’t kill you if you drink it, but it would taste absolutely disgusting,” said lead researcher Barbara Sherwood Lollar.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 109.0 degrees Fahrenheit (42.8 degrees Celsius) in Twee Riviere, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 58.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50.0 degrees Celsius) in Topolinoye, 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 14 December-20 December 2016

Bagana | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16-17 December ash plumes from Bagana rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE.

Cayambe | Ecuador : IG reported that a seismic swarm detected at Cayambe on 5 June was characterized by an increase in the number of volcano-tectonic events. The swarm occurred near an active fault system, NE of the volcano. The seismic activity progressively declined to baseline levels during August. A minor increase was again observed in September, with events migrating to locations underneath the volcano, and then became more pronounced in November. Anomalously large-magnitude earthquakes occurred on 14 November (M 3.3) and on 27 November (M 3.6). Another swarm was also detected on 27 November. Seismicity continued above baseline levels through 2 December. In addition, climbers reported an increase in a sulphur odour.

On 13 December IG noted that during the previous week there was an average of 68 earthquakes/day, mainly volcano-tectonic events and some long-period signals. A M3 event located at a depth of 7 km below the summit was recorded on 8 December. Climbers continued to report an increase in a sulfur odor, and also the presence of new cracks in the glacier near the summit.

Cerro Hudson | Chile : Based on an OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN notice, ONEMI reported that seismicity at Cerro Hudson had become more stable during 1-15 December, after an increase in the magnitude of the highest energy events had been detected the previous month. The volcano Alert Level remained at Yellow (second highest level on a four-colour scale), and ONEMI noted that the Alert Level remained at Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the communities of Aysén, Río Ibáñez, and Chile Chico.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 1 January-19 December white-and-gray plumes rose as high as 1.2 km above the rim of Dukono’s Malupang Warirang crater, and were accompanied by roaring heard at the Dukono observation post 11 km away. The eruption plume height generally fluctuated though was higher during periods in May and from late November into December; ashfall increased during the periods of higher plume heights, and was noted in villages within 11 km N, NE, and SW. Seismcity at Dukono remained high. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and tourists were advised not to approach the crater within a radius of 2 km.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): After several days of very bad weather, Etna is again free of clouds. This morning, the “saddle vent” of Etna’s Southeast Crater (between the old and new SE crater) could be seen emitting small ash plumes. Tremor is currently low.