Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
6.4 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.
5.5 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.
5.4 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.
5.0 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.
5.0 earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.
5.0 earthquake hits the Batan Islands in the Philippines.
5.0 earthquake hits Jujuy, Argentina.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Oma), located approximately 282 nm northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking southwestward at 11 knots.
Crete – Four people are missing after floods sweep through Crete. A search operation is currently underway in the area of Mires in Heraklion, Crete, as four people in a car were swept away by flood waters at the passage of Geropotamos.
Zimbabwe – Floods that have affected Chiredzi following heavy rains on Wednesday last week claimed the lives of two schoolchildren at Muhlanguleni Primary School in Chiredzi South, who drowned in a flooded pit latrine.
Massive restoration of world’s forests would cancel out a decade of CO2 emissions
Replenishing the world’s forests on a grand scale would suck enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to cancel out a decade of human emissions, according to an ambitious new study.
Scientists have established there is room for an additional 1.2 trillion trees to grow in parks, woods and abandoned land across the planet.
If such a goal were accomplished, ecologist Dr Thomas Crowther said it would outstrip every other method for tackling climate change – from building wind turbines to vegetarian diets.
Lack of accurate information meant for years experts severely underestimated the number of trees on Earth. Combining data from ground-based surveys and satellites, Dr Crowther and his colleagues arrived at a figure of three trillion – over seven times more than a previous Nasa estimate. Dr Crowther said undervaluing trees means scientists have also been massively underestimating the potential for forests to combat climate change.
Measles – Philippines
In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in the Philippines, the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported a dramatic increase in measles cases and deaths. According to the most recent data from the beginning of the year through Feb. 13, a total of 6,921 cases of measles was reported in 17 regions of the archipelago. In addition, officials report the death toll has increased to 115 nationwide.