Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits east of North Island, New Zealand.

5.8 earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.7 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.5 earthquake hits Guam.

5.3 earthquake hit the southern mid-Atlantic Ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits Samoa.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

5.0 earthquake hits the loyalty Islands.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 01a (Sagar), located approximately 89 nm southeast of Aden, Yemen, is tracking west-southwestward at 06 knots.

Screen Shot 2018 05 18 at 2 04 36 PM

El Niño Outlook

 

The recent La Niña ocean cooling across the tropical Pacific may be replaced toward the end of this year by an El Niño warming, which could bring its own set of weather disruptions. The U.S. agency NOAA predicts there is a 50 percent chance El Niño will return by the 2018-19 Northern Hemisphere winter. The last El Niño was linked to crop damage, deadly wildfires and flash floods during 2016.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 01a (Sagar), located approximately 89 nm southeast of Aden, Yemen, is tracking west-southwestward at 06 knots.

Screen Shot 2018 05 18 at 2 04 36 PM

El Niño Outlook

 

The recent La Niña ocean cooling across the tropical Pacific may be replaced toward the end of this year by an El Niño warming, which could bring its own set of weather disruptions. The U.S. agency NOAA predicts there is a 50 percent chance El Niño will return by the 2018-19 Northern Hemisphere winter. The last El Niño was linked to crop damage, deadly wildfires and flash floods during 2016.

Global Warming

400th straight warmer-than-average month

It was December 1984, and President Reagan had just been elected to his second term, Dynasty was the top show on TV and Madonna’s Like a Virgin topped the musical charts.

It was also the last time the Earth had a cooler-than-average month.

Last month marked the planet’s 400th consecutive month with above-average temperatures, federal scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday.

The cause for the streak? Unquestionably, it’s climate change, caused by humanity’s burning of fossil fuels.

Environment

Towelette Pollution

Masses of wet wipes accumulating along riverbanks are causing concern that the waste product is altering the ecology and shape of some of the world’s waterways.

The moist towelettes and baby wipes are made with polyester or polypropylene, and are not biodegradable.

British researchers recently found more than 5,000 of them along the River Thames in an area the size of half a tennis court.

“People get confused and don’t realize that you are not supposed to flush wet wipes down the toilet,” environmental advocate Kirsten Downer of Thames 21 told The Guardian.

Wildlife

Dam Good Work

Returning wild beavers to their former habitats can help clean up polluted waterways and restore the natural environment for other wildlife, according to a new study by the University of Exeter.

The British scientists worked with the Devon Wildlife Trust to find that the toothy animals can remove large amounts of sediment, as well as nitrogen and phosphorus pollution created by agriculture, from the water that flows through the ponds they create with their dams.

All that material can create problems for wildlife and, without the beavers, needs to be removed at processing plants before the water can be used by humans.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.8 degrees Celsius) in Newabshah, Pakistan.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 78.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 61.1 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica.

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.

Disease

Dengue Fever – Thailand

In a follow-up report, Thailand health officials recently reported the number of dengue cases has topped 10,000 for 2018. Since the beginning of the year through May 15, a total of 10,446 cases were reported from 77 provinces (morbidity rate was 15.97 / 100,000 population).

Emerging Virus

A new virus that causes acute illness and even death in pigs has shown the ability to be passed on to humans, according to researchers at Ohio State University and Holland’s Utrecht University.

Porcine deltacoronavirus was first identified in 2012 among Chinese pigs. It has since caused sometimes-fatal diarrhea and vomiting in Ohio swine.

Researchers say they have found the virus can readily infect laboratory-cultured cells of humans and other species. No human cases have so far been documented, but scientists say they are concerned about the possibility.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 9 May – 15 May 2018

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 7-11 May there were 12 events, three of which were explosions, at Minamidake crater (at Aira caldera’s Sakurajima volcano). Tephra was ejected as far as 700 m from the crater, and ash plumes rose as high as 2.8 km (9,200 ft) above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Bagana | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 11 May at 0900 an ash plume from Bagana rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. The plume dispersed within six hours.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 9-15 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.5-2 km (4,500-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and S.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions at Ebeko on 4 May and during 6-10 May that sent ash plumes as high as 2.4 km (7,875 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Fuego | Guatemala : Small ash explosions at Fuego on 11 and 12 May rose to 5 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l., or approximately 1 km (3,280 ft) above the summit. The ash dispersed quickly to the southwest and was visible on webcams.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : Based on satellite data, KVERT reported that during 11-14 May explosions at Karymsky generated ash plumes that rose as high as 3.5 km (11,500 ft) and drifted 145 km SW. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kirishimayama | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that at Shinmoedake (Shinmoe peak), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, an eruption occurred between 1444 and 1610 on 14 May. The plume rose to 4.5 km (15,000 ft) above the crater and drifted SE. A pyroclastic flow travelled 2 km down the flank. Volcanic earthquake rates under the crater increased after the eruption. Shallow, low-frequency earthquakes and tremor were also reported. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Langila | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 13 May at 0709 an ash plume from Langila rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. An image acquired around six hours later indicated that the ash from the event had dissipated.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 9-15 May there were 51-137 steam and gas emissions from Popocatépetl as well as ongoing incandescence from the summit. Additionally, three explosions were recorded: at 1834 on 11 May, at 0912 on 11 May, and at 1452 on 14 May. These explosions dispersed ash to the S and SW. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes with magnitudes up to M 2.8 also occurred throughout the time period.

Reventador | Ecuador : During 9-15 May, IG reported ongoing high levels of eruptive activity at Reventador. Steam, gas, and ash emissions continued, with plumes moving to the N and W. On 12 and 13 May, a small lava flow was observed on the E flank 700 m below the summit.

Sabancaya | Peru : Intermittent ash and gas emissions at Sabancaya during 9-15 May were reported by the Buenos Aires VAAC, with plume altitudes reaching 7-9 km (2,300-3,000 ft) a.s.l.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 10-14 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Stromboli | Aeolian Islands (Italy) : INGV reported typical activity at Stromboli from 7 to 13 May, with 2-4 hourly low-intensity explosions to heights of less than 80 m (300 ft) above the crater, in the North crater area. Fine ash as well as lapilli and bombs were ejected. The South Central crater area vents produced between 5-12 hourly, low-intensity explosions, also to heights of less than 80 m above the crater. Continuous degassing was also observed from these vents. On 13 May there was an increased frequency of explosions, with 16 events/hour. No significant variations were reported in seismological, deformation, or geochemical parameters.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : The Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions occurred at Suwanosejima on 15 May, based on information from JMA.

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI reported that there were strong emissions of SO2 from Turrialba, accompanied by vigorous fumarolic activity and jetting noises. An ash plume was reported on 10 May, with ashfall in La Pastora de Santa Cruz de Turrialba and Pacayas. A weak water vapor and gas plume was detected at 0920 on 13 May, rising 300-500 m (1000-1600 ft) above the summit. Seismicity was low, with low-amplitude long-period earthquakes and some low-amplitude tremor. Continuous low-amplitude tremor was report on 13 May.

Kilauea Spews Boulders in 5-Mile-High Eruption

An explosion at Kilauea volcano’s summit spawned chunky boulders and a tremendous volcanic cloud that reached as high as commercial airplanes fly — about 30,000 feet (5.6 miles, or 9.1 kilometers) above sea level — early yesterday morning (May 17) local time.

The explosion began as the volcano spewed out boulders hundreds of feet into the air at 4:15 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The earth-shattering event happened at the Overlook Vent, which holds a lava lake known as Halema’uma’u. On May 10, geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) said that as Halema’uma’u drained further, there was a risk it could intersect with the water table underground, and heat that groundwater. If the crater’s conduit became plugged by infalling boulders, the trapped steam could erupt dramatically, spewing boulders.

The new explosion sent Kilauea into code red, the highest-level warning for the volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.