Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.5 earthquake hits southern Peru.

5.4 earthquake hits Veracruz, Mexico.

5.3 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Queensland – Update – Hundreds of people remain cut off after a deluge pushed far north Queensland’s Daintree River to a record level. Ferry infrastructure was severely damaged and authorities say the crossing could be out for two days. Almost 500mm of rain fell on the river in 24 hours – 300mm of that in just six hours. Residents have been forced to flee to higher ground in far north Queensland after flood waters submerged homes and swept away sheds. Houses were inundated by more than a metre of water after 300mm of rain fell in four hours at Bluewater, near Townsville. A major flood warning remains in force for the Haughton, Ross, Bohle and Black Rivers. The weather bureau has re-issued a flood watch for numerous catchments north of Townsville.

Philippines – Update – A total of 500 families or 2,074 individuals are still staying in 13 evacuation centers in the municipalities Sta. Josefa, Veruela and Trento after having been forced from their homes by flash floods. Social welfare personnel was mobilized to assist the victims of the flash floods that struck the three towns over the weekend.

Global Warming

Climate change is reshaping how heat moves around globe

The Earth’s atmosphere and oceans play important roles in moving heat from one part of the world to another, and new research is illuminating how those patterns are changing in the face of climate change.

The greenhouse effect and carbon dioxide aren’t the only issues to consider as the planet grows warmer – they are just one part of the equation. The way that the atmosphere and oceans move heat around is changing, too, and this could have significant effects on temperatures around the world.

Without heat transfer, the world’s hottest spots would be sizzling and the coolest spots would be even more frigid. Conditions in both hot and cold climates are affected by the movement of heat from the equator toward the poles in the atmosphere and oceans.

The study concludes that warming temperatures are driving increased heat transfer in the atmosphere, which is compensated by a reduced heat transfer in the ocean. Additionally, the excess oceanic heat is trapped in the Southern Ocean around the Antarctic.

For now, that heat is not re-entering the atmosphere, but at some point it may. If that were to happen, changes in heat transfer could contribute to significant shifts in normal temperatures worldwide. For instance, if we didn’t have heat transfer, Ohio would be 20 or 30 degrees colder than we are right now.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Tasmania

More than 520 firefighters are working across Tasmania as more than 40 bushfires continue to burn. At least 3 houses have been lost, communities are under threat and rare plants in the World Heritage Area have been burnt and others are under threat. Some firefighters have been battling the blazes since before Christmas.

Disease

Classical Swine Fever – Japan

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (MAFF) reported the seventh Classical swine fever outbreak since September 2018. The outbreak was confirmed on a pig farm in Kakamigahara City, Gifu Prefecture. The farm has 127 breeding pigs and 1,535 fattening pigs.

Dengue Fever – Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka health officials are reporting 4,825 dengue fever cases through the first four weeks of 2019, according to the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health. At least two dengue-related fatalities have been reported.

Chikungunya – Thailand

The chikungunya outbreak that began last year in southern Thailand continues into the first month of 2019 as country health officials report more than 1,000 cases through Jan. 28. According to the Bureau of Epidemiology, a total of 1075 cases were reported from 14 provinces during the first four weeks. No deaths have been reported.