Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 earthquake hits the southern east Pacific rise.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit the Banda Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 02w (Wutip), located approximately 320 nm west-northwest of Navsta, Guam, is tracking north-northwestward at 05 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 16p (tc) (Pola), located approximately 259 nm east-southeastt of Suva, Fiji, is tracking south-southwestward at 07 knots.

NewsBytes:

USA – The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency reports 14 counties in the state have declared local states of emergency after floods over the weekend. In california the Russian River will crest at 45.9 feet by 10 p.m. Wednesday night. That would be the highest crest since 1997 and the 6th highest crest on record.

Environment

Marine Areas Around The World Where Plastic Is Piling Up

World map showing marine areas where plastic rubbish and microplastics are collected by ocean currents.

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Global Warming

Climate change is revealing, and threatening, thawing relics

Since the scorching hot summer of 2006, almost 3,000 archaeological artifacts have appeared from the melting ice in Oppland, Northern Norway. Among them, an Iron Age tunic, a 1,500-year-old arrow and a 3,400-year-old shoe.

Here, a a glacier archaeology program called Secrets of the Ice is documenting the finds being made on local ice patches — static or slow-moving ice fields that are ideal locations to find objects that were once lost in the snow. Instead of having to dig like traditional archaeologists, Oppland’s archaeologists simply survey areas of the ice, looking out for artifacts that have thawed.

Many of Norway’s glaciers have experienced increased melting this century, caused by warmer temperatures. But whilst the changing climate is presenting archaeologists with exciting finds, it is also threatening to destroy ancient relics before archaeologists ever see them. Once an artifact is exposed to oxygen and sunlight, it will start to degrade.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Tasmania

Australia’s tallest tree ‘Centurion’ has survived Tasmania’s fierce bushfires, with the only damage a scorched, gaping hole at the base of the 100-metre tall Eucalyptus tree.

The tree’s survival is a silver lining to the devastating Riveaux Road fire, which destroyed thousands of hectares in the Huon Valley, in southern Tasmania.

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Disease

Dengue Fever – Brazil

Brazil health officials are warning the public of a big increase in dengue fever in the country during the first month of 2019. Through Feb. 2, there were 54,777 probable cases of the disease. The cases are at 26.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

On 6 February 2019, the National IHR Focal Point of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of an ongoing outbreak of MERS-CoV infection in Wadi Aldwasir city and one of its hospitals. Between 29 January and 13 February 2019, 39 cases of MERS-CoV infection, including four deaths, were reported. At the time of writing, this outbreak remains ongoing.