Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.9 Earthquake hits the Mauritius-Reunion region.

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

5.3 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.1 Earthquake hits Barbados in the Windward Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific: Tropical Storm Fernanda is located about 1140 mi…1835 km E of Hilo Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 290 degrees at 9 mph…15 km/h.

Tropical Storm Greg is located about 685 mi…1100 km SSW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…W or 270 degrees at 10 mph…17 km/h.

Tropical Depression Eight-E is located about 1045 mi…1685 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…30 mph…45 km/h. Present movement…WSW or 245 degrees at 6 mph…9 km/h.

NewsBytes:

London, England – London was hit by spectacular lightning and torrential downpours throughout Tuesday night. Ruislip Manor station was particularly badly hit, with images showing the turnstiles and ticket office under water. Cars parked under the bridge outside the station were submerged after the thundery downpours began after 10pm.

Global Warming

The Larsen C Iceberg Is Already Cracking Up

The trillion-ton iceberg that broke off Antarctica last week will not go quietly into the night. New satellite imagery reveals that the iceberg, dubbed A68, is already shifting shape along with the remaining Larsen C ice shelf itself.

The iceberg has traveled about 1.5 miles from the ice shelf it was formerly attached to. A piece of ice the size of Delaware moving across the choppy waters of the Weddell Sea was bound to experience an almost unbearable amount of stress. And on Tuesday, the European Space Agency showed the iceberg has begun to crack up.

Satellite images show that the massive iceberg is splintering and a constellation of smaller icebergs are surrounding it. The vagaries of ocean currents and buoyancy of ice will dictate how long the pack of ‘bergs travels together. It’s possible the smaller chunks could be the first drift north toward warmer waters in the South Atlantic where they would meet their likely demise.

LarsenCA68 Frame2

Wildlife

Climate change threatening survival of African wild dogs

Climate change is threatening the survival of African wild dogs.

Rising temperatures have cut the endangered animals’ hunting time‚ and pups’ survival rate is plunging as a result.

The warning‚ by a team of researchers led by Rosie Woodroffe of the Zoological Society of London‚ comes soon after scientists suggested a “biological annihilation” of wildlife means Earth’s sixth mass extinction is under way.

Woodroffe’s paper‚ published in the Journal of Animal Ecology‚ is one of the first to show the impact of global warming on wildlife thought to be well adapted to heat.

Only 6‚600 African wild dogs survive in the wild‚ and the 1‚400 adults leave their pups in dens when they set off on early morning and late evening hunts‚ avoiding the worst heat of the day.

The scientists found rising temperatures in Kenya‚ Zimbabwe and Botswana cut the time the dogs were active‚ reducing the amount of meat they were able to regurgitate into the mouths’ of their young‚ thereby endangering the survival of pups.

In Botswana‚ the average number of pups that reached their first birthday fell by 35% from 5.1 per litter between 1989-2000 to 3.3 between 2001-2012‚ with temperatures rising 1.1C in the same period. Yearlings fell by 31% in Kenya and 14% in Zimbabwe.

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Environment

Humans Have Produced Whopping 9 Billion Tons of Plastic

A new study, which is the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics ever made, finds that since large-scale manufacturing of plastics took off in the 1950s and until 2015, humans have produced approximately 9 billion tons (8.3 billion metric tons) of plastic.

To put that in perspective, all that plastic would be equivalent to 85,567 aircraft “supercarriers” like the USS Gerald R. Ford, which weighs 107,000 tons (97,000 metric tons).

Of those 9 billion tons, half was made in the last 13 years, said Roland Geyer, an associate professor of industrial ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and lead author of the new study, which was published online today (July 19) in the journal Science Advances.

As of 2015, about 7 billion tons (6.3 billion metric tons) of plastic have been disposed of as waste, with only 9 percent of it recycled, 12 percent incinerated, and a whopping 79 percent finding its way into landfills, the researchers report.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – California

A wildfire that has forced thousands of Californians to flee their homes exploded in size on Wednesday, threatening a picturesque gold rush town outside Yosemite National Park as dozens of blazes scorched the U.S. West.

More than 2,000 firefighters have contained just 7 percent of the Detwiler Fire, which is approaching the town of Mariposa and tiny communities in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The blaze has mushroomed to 48,000 acres (19,424 hectares), an increase of about 23,000 acres (9,307 hectares) compared with the day before. The fire has destroyed 29 structures and is threatening some 1,500 more structures. Flames have destroyed eight structures southwest of Yosemite National Park and the fire is threatening power lines to the park, but no one has been injured.

Wildfires – British Columbia, Canada

As forest fires raged Wednesday in western Canada, the provincial government extended a state of emergency and announced aid for tens of thousands of people evacuated because of the disaster.

Around 150 fires were burning in British Columbia on the Pacific coast, and more than half of them remained out of control, firefighting officials said.

The fires have forced at least 46,000 people from their homes.

Nearly 3,000 firefighters aided by 200 water-dumping helicopters and planes are fighting the fires, and reinforcements are on the way.

Disease

Dengue fever – Sri Lanka

From 1 January to 7 July 2017, the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health (MoH) Sri Lanka reported 80 732 dengue fever cases, including 215 deaths.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

On 19 June 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of five additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China. On 24 June 2017, the NHFPC notified WHO of 10 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China. On 30 June 2017, the NHFPC notified WHO of six additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 12 July – 18 July 2017

Bogoslof | Fox Islands (USA) : AVO reported that during 12-18 July no significant activity at Bogoslof was observed in cloudy or mostly cloudy satellite images; weakly elevated surface temperatures were noted on 12 and 16 July. In addition no activity was detected in seismic, infrasound, or lightning data. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Fuego | Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that multiple explosions at Fuego during 13-14 July generated ash plumes that rose as high as 950 m above the crater and drifted 8-10 km NW and W. Incandescent material was ejected 100 m above the crater rim, and caused avalanches of material that traveled down the Ceniza (SSW), Taniluyá (SW), and Trinidad (S) drainages. On 16 July a 30-m-wide, 2-m-deep, hot lahar descended tributaries of the Pantaleón (W) drainage, carrying blocks more than 2 m in diameter, branches, and tree trunks. The lahars again overtook the road between communities on the SW flank, isolating the village of Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW) and the Palo Verde estate. Vulcanian explosions during 17-18 July produced dense ash plumes that rose almost 1 km above the crater rim and drifted 15 km W and NW. Ash fell in Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Santa Sofía (12 km SW).

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : PVMBG reported a small eruption at Sangeang Api at 1154 on 15 July characterized by Strombolian activity, and an ash plume that rose 100-200 m above the crater rim and drifted SW. Prior to the event, thermal anomalies had increased beginning in March, and seismicity had increased starting in April. Based on analyses of satellite imagery, PVMBG observations, and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 16 July an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l., or 200 m above the crater rim, and drifted NW.