Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits Guam.

5.4 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits Guam.

5.1 earthquake hits Tunisia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kazakhstan – Xinjiang border.

5.0 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 02a (Two), located approximately 655 nm south of Masirah Island, is tracking northward at 05 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Turkey – A mass clean up operation is underway after heavy rainfall caused parts of Ankara to flood. Roads turned into rivers as rain came down on the Turkish capital city. Dramatic footage showed people standing on top of their vehicles waiting for help. The flood waters damaged local shops causing severe damage. Firefighters have been helping the operation to save people stuck in the floods and clean up the city.

Wildlife

Humans just 0.01% of all life but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals – study

Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet.

The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to the study. Yet since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds.

The new work is the first comprehensive estimate of the weight of every class of living creature and overturns some long-held assumptions. Bacteria are indeed a major life form – 13% of everything – but plants overshadow everything, representing 82% of all living matter. All other creatures, from insects to fungi, to fish and animals, make up just 5% of the world’s biomass.

Another surprise is that the teeming life revealed in the oceans by the recent BBC television series Blue Planet II turns out to represent just 1% of all biomass. The vast majority of life is land-based and a large chunk – an eighth – is bacteria buried deep below the surface.

The new work reveals that farmed poultry today makes up 70% of all birds on the planet, with just 30% being wild. The picture is even more stark for mammals – 60% of all mammals on Earth are livestock, mostly cattle and pigs, 36% are human and just 4% are wild animals. A cattle farm in Mato Grosso, Brazil. 60% of all mammals on Earth are livestock.

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The destruction of wild habitat for farming, logging and development has resulted in the start of what many scientists consider the sixth mass extinction of life to occur in the Earth’s four billion year history. About half the Earth’s animals are thought to have been lost in the last 50 years.

But comparison of the new estimates with those for the time before humans became farmers and the industrial revolution began reveal the full extent of the huge decline. Just one-sixth of wild mammals, from mice to elephants, remain, surprising even the scientists. In the oceans, three centuries of whaling has left just a fifth of marine mammals in the oceans.

Environment

Russia’s Floating Nuclear Power Plant

Russia’s got a floating nuclear plant on a barge, and it’s heading for the Bering Strait — just a short hop from Alaska.

The “Akademik Lomonosov,” according to a statement from Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom, docked in the Russian port of Murmansk on Saturday (May 19). There it will receive its supply of nuclear fuel. Tugboats will eventually haul the nuclear plant to the town of Pevek in the Russian Far East — just 53 miles (86 kilometers), as Reuters noted, from the western edge of Alaska, across the Bering Strait.

The St. Petersburg-built power plant will replace a coal plant and an older, landlocked nuclear plant. It will serve a population of about 50,000 people.

Rosatom pitches the Lomonosov as the first in a series of floating plants that will serve remote Russian communities and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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Global Warming

Siberia’s mining potential grows due to global warming

As the Siberian land becomes more accessible because of global warming, it seems that we’ll see a greater influx of mining operations in the region, assumes mining-technology.com. According to Globaldata’s analyst Alok Shukla, there were over 220 operating mines in Siberia in 2017, which was 44% higher than the total number of mines in 2000. ”Siberia has a lot of mining potential,” says the expert. ”There are over 25 mineral deposits currently having a life of over 20 years and 30 deposits having a life of over 30 years; [there are] approximately 10 deposits that can produce for another 40 years and three deposits having a life extending for another 70 years.”

However, the exploration is hindered by some of the harshest conditions in the world. Kupol gold mine in the Chukotka region exploited by Canadian company Kinross is only accessible by air for most of the year. All of the supplies for the year for its 1,000 workers are transported between November and April when a 220-mile ice road is opened. The isolation makes Siberian mines hard places to live and work.

Although Siberia is one of the coldest places on earth, global warming has already begun to affect the northern landscape. Less snow and ice in areas such as Siberia is potentially easing aspects such as transport, extraction and recruitment like it happens in the oil and gas industry, where the melting of Arctic ice has opened areas previously inaccessible or too treacherous for operations.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

Firefighters have extinguished nearly 100 wildfires across Russia on a total area of more than 7,400 hectares over the past 24 hours, the press service of the Aerial Forest Protection Service said on Tuesday.

“As of midnight on May 22, 45 wildfires were raging in the territory of 23,648 ha, and an active firefighting effort has been ongoing,” the statement said.

On Monday, 55 fire hotspots on the area of 20,700 ha were registered in the Russian forests. The largest blazes are raging in the Far Eastern Amur Region, with 13,700 hectares covered by 12 blazes. Large areas engulfed by fires have also been registered in the Khabarovsk Region (960 ha), Primorye (17 ha), Yakutia (2 ha) and the Jewish Autonomous Region (50 ha).

Besides Russia’s Far East, the wildfires have been registered in the Transbaikal Region on the area of more than 8,600 ha, in the Chelyabinsk Region (200 ha), in the Murmansk Region (21 ha), the Republic of Dagestan (16 ha), in the Sverdlovsk, Murmansk, Chelyabinsk, and Tyumen Regions, and also in some areas of the Tyva Republic.

The firefighting effort involves some 2,500 people and more than 550 pieces of equipment. Some 33 aircraft are monitoring the situation.