Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.2 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 06s (Kenanga), located approximately 808 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking southwestward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

Turkey – The Aegean resort town of Bodrum in southwestern Turkey’s Muğla province was pounded with heavy rains that flooded many houses and businesses and left the town underwater on Dec. 16. Electricity and water grids were also damaged in the town.

Thailand – Floods have ravaged three southern provinces over the past few days, leaving behind widespread damage and one person missing. More rain is forecast. The hard-hit provinces are Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Phatthalung, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department. The department estimated that the floods had disrupted the lives of more than 166,000 people in the three southern provinces since Saturday.

USA – The Eastern and Southern US have been having a wet December with many areas registering floods.

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Wildlife

Global warming, land use hit European mountain bird population

Global warming and land use change are reducing liveable habitats of European mountain birds and in turn their populations, says a study.

The researchers from the University of Helsinki found that population of mountain bird species declined by 7 per cent between 2002 and 2014, which is similar to the declining rate in common birds in Europe. But, the mountain-specialist birds showed a significant reduction — 10 per cent decline in population.

Other than population, the study also found distribution shifts of species towards mountaintops.

The study, which was published in the journal Global Change Biology, examined the population trends of 44 bird species in the mountain and fell regions of Fennoscandia, Great Britain, the Alps and the Iberian Peninsula. As many as 14 of the observed species’ population had decreased, while eight of them had increased.

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