Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the Myanmar-India border.

5.1 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits the central east Pacific rise.

Mystery Indian Ocean seismic waves

Mysterious seismic waves in the Indian Ocean that were picked up by monitoring stations from Madagascar to Canada three weeks ago have baffled scientists.

Researchers and earthquake enthusiasts who spotted the signals have narrowed down the origin to a region just off the coast of the island Mayotte.

The slow waves detected on November 11 rumbled for more than 20 minutes, unbeknownst to most people.

They are similar to those typically seen after large earthquakes, which are known to travel great distances – but, no such earthquake took place.

Theories as to what caused the cryptic rumble have ranged from a slow earthquake or underwater volcanic eruption to an undetected meteor strike.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Australia – Torrential rain and gale force winds continued t lash Australia’s biggest city Sydney on Wednesday and Thursday morning causing commuter chaos, flooding streets, railway stations and homes, grounding flights and leaving hundreds of people without electricity.

Global Warming

Global warming increases the risk of an extinction domino effect

The complex network of interdependencies between plants and animals multiplies the species at risk of extinction due to environmental change, according to a JRC study.

In the case of global warming, predictions that fail to take into account this cascading effect might underestimate extinctions by up to 10 times.

As an obvious, direct consequence of climate change, plants and animals living in a given area are driven to extinction when the local environmental conditions become incompatible with their tolerance limits, just like fish in an aquarium with a broken thermostat.

However, there are many elusive drivers of species loss that go beyond the direct effects of environmental change (and human activity) which we still struggle to understand.

In particular, it is becoming clearer that co-extinctions (the disappearance of consumers following the depletion of their resources) could be a major culprit in the ongoing biodiversity crisis.

While the concept of co-extinction is supported by a sound and robust theoretical background, it is often overlooked in empirical research because it’s extremely difficult to assess.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Thousands of people were being evacuated from their homes in northeast Australia late on Wednesday, as bushfires raged across Queensland state amid a scorching heatwave. More than 100 fires continue to burn across the state but favourable conditions overnight allowed firefighters to make some progress on one major fire at Gracemere, near Rockhampton.

About 8,000 people were told to leave the town of Gracemere, south of the central coast area of Rockhampton, as a fast-moving blaze threatened homes.

Early on Thursday, residents of two more communities – Campwin Beach and Sarina Beach, south of Mackay – were woken by police and emergency text messages telling them they must leave.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 21 November – 27 November 2018

Fuego | Guatemala : colourOn 23 November INSIVUMEH reported that during the previous few days moderate explosions at Fuego generated shock waves that vibrated structures within 20 km. Ash plumes from the explosions rose 1.3 km above the cone in the summit crater and drifted 20 km W and SW, causing ashfall in areas downwind including Panimaché (8 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofia (12 km SW), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Palo Verde Estate, and San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW). Incandescent material was ejected 150 m high, causing avalanches, some that traveled long distances in the Las Lajas (SE), Ceniza (SSW), and Seca (W) drainages and reached vegetated areas. During 24-25 November there were 12-15 weak-to-moderate explosions per hour, generating ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km and drifted 20-25 km W and SW. Shock waves continued to vibrate local structures, and ashfall was again reported in Panimaché, El Porvenir, Morelia, Santa Sofia, Sangre de Cristo, Palo Verde Estate, and San Pedro Yepocapa. Moderate-to-strong Vulcanian explosions on 26 November generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1.2 km and drifted N. The explosions were heard, and shock waves felt, mostly within 25 km, though some explosions were audible to residents of Guatemala City (city center is about 40 km ENE). Explosions continued the next day at a rate of 10-15 per hour. Ash plumes rose as high as 1.3 km and drifted 20-25 km W and SW. Incandescent material was ejected 200 m high, and avalanches of material descended multiple drainages. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind.

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 1314 on 25 November an eruption at Karangetang produced an ash plume that rose at least 500 m above the crater rim; weather clouds prevented clear views of the plume. The Aviation colour Code was raised to Orange, though the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Mayon | Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that during 21-26 November white steam plumes periodically emitted from Mayon rose as high as 750 m and drifted WSW and SW. Crater incandescence was visible at night during 24-27 November. Two phreatic explosions were recorded during 0759 and 0805 on 26 November. The events generated grayish ash plumes that rose 300-500 m and drifted SW. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 0-5 scale) and PHIVOLCS reminded residents to stay away from the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone on the SSW and ENE flanks.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that 16 explosions at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater were recorded during 16-22 November. The highest ash plume rose 2 km, and material was ejected 300 m from the crater. Ashfall was reported in an area 4 km SSW on 17 November. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Veniaminof | United States : Ash emissions from the cone in Veniaminof’s ice-filled summit caldera significantly increased overnight during 20-21 November, prompting AVO to raise the Aviation colour Code to Red and the Volcano Alert Level to Warning (the highest levels on four-level scales). Ash emissions rose to below 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted more than 240 km SE. On 21 November observers and webcam views in Perryville (35 km SE) indicated continuous ash emissions through most of the day; ash plumes drifted SE, extending as far as 400 km by around 1445. A short eruptive pulse was recorded during 1526-1726, and then afterwards ash plumes rose to below 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Low-altitude ash emissions on 22 November drifted 100 km S. Minor ashfall was reported in Perryville. AVO lowered the Aviation colour Code and Volcano Alert Level to Orange and Watch, respectively, because of decreased ash emissions. Elevated thermal anomalies were identified in satellite data overnight, and incandescence was visible from a Perryville webcam, suggesting continuing lava effusion which had been obscured by the increased period of ash emissions. Lava effusion was persistent through 27 November.