Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits western Turkey.

5.0 earthquake hits France.

Storms and Floods

As it gets hotter, and these wetlands get drier and saltier, they become less viable for birds raising chicks

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 19s (Savannah), located approximately 972 nm southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking west-southwestward at 03 knots.

Tropical cyclone 20p (Trevor), located approximately 325 nm northwest of Cairns, Australia, is tracking west-northwestward at 02 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 21s (Veronica), located approximately 263 nm west-northwest of Broome, Australia, is tracking west- southwestward at 07 knots.

Screen Shot 2019 03 20 at 1 30 05 PM

Wildlife

Last Glimpse of Long-Tusked ‘Elephant Queen’

Screen Shot 2019 03 20 at 1 12 14 PM

An elephant matriarch in Kenya that recently died of old age was an impressive sight to the very end, thanks to a pair of tusks that were so unusually long that they resembled those of a woolly mammoth. The elephant, known as F_MU1, lived in Kenya’s Tsavo region for more than 60 years.

F_MU1 died of natural causes, but big tuskers usually aren’t so lucky, as their massive tusks make them targets for ivory poachers. In 2017, poachers killed and mutilated a big tusker named Satao II who was nearly 50 years old; one of the creature’s tusks weighed 114 lbs. (51.5 kilograms) and the other weighed 111 lbs. (50.5 kg), The Guardian reported that year.

To date, only about 25 big tuskers remain in the wild.

Climate Change Linked To Declining Bird Populations In Idaho And Across Great Basin

A new study finds habitat for waterbirds has been declining due to climate change. Warmer temperatures and less precipitation are leading to a reduction in habitat which, in turn, has resulted in fewer waterbirds in the Great Basin.

Focusing on waterbirds – including ducks, geese and herons – the researchers looked at their presence along the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory corridor in the Western U.S. The scientists found significantly warmer temperatures and lower amounts of precipitation in the Basin over the last two decades. As it gets hotter, and these wetlands get drier and saltier, they become smaller and less viable for birds raising chicks.

Duck Flying Bird Nature Outdoors

Global Warming

UN global climate report restores hope, lays out roadmap

A new UN report on global climate change isn’t quite as dire as one it issued last October. That special report on warming of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) showed that the effects of climate change could become catastrophic by 2040, at least 10 years earlier than scientists had predicted. Another report in December by private energy consulting group Wood Mackenzie showed that it’s already too late to counter the worst effects of climate change.

The report lays out a roadmap for how to address critical problems, including air and water pollution, land and biodiversity degradation, and even antibiotic resistance.

It notes that water quality is getting worse, and that plastics are now found throughout every depth in all seven of the world’s major oceans.

It warns, however, that “Time is running out to prevent the irreversible and dangerous impacts of climate change.” In previous reports, UN climate scientists have identified 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit as the threshold at which global warming will endanger human and other life, as laid out in the Paris Climate Accord.

The latest report also warns of a “major species extinction event, compromising planetary integrity and Earth’s capacity to meet human needs” and notes that 29 percent of all land areas on the globe are already unsuitable for growing crops, and that deforestation is continuing. It notes progress, however, in the slowing rate of deforestation.

The report lays out plans to continue and expand such progress by involving community groups, scientists, academics, businesses, and authors to build the capacity to magnify change. It breaks down its findings into six major geographic areas, and notes that some regions will be especially hard-hit, including poorer regions of the world.

In North America, the report notes significant progress in energy usage and air quality, but says that high drinking-water quality is backsliding, and concerns of drought are growing. It also says that loss of biodiversity is a significant risk.

It points to stable or declining greenhouse-gas emissions in Europe, but says that higher emissions in Eastern and Southern Europe are offsetting that progress. Air quality is the largest concern in Europe, and the report says that “The region’s resource footprint is unsustainable, owing to its overuse of natural resources and its trading patterns with other regions. Ecological, societal and economic resilience will be negatively affected in coming decades by global megatrends that are largely outside the region’s direct control and influence.”

Disease

Measles – Madagascar – Update

UN health officials reported an update on the measles epidemic in Madagascar recently and it shows that the number of cases has risen to 105,170 since September 3, 2018.

There were 634 reported deaths in health facilities and 567 community deaths including 114 measles-related deaths and 453 non-measles related death assessed by community workers. 70 percent of the deaths are of children.

Diptheria – Update – Venezuela

In Venezuela, the diphtheria outbreak that began in July 2016 remains ongoing. Through February 2019, Venezuela has seen a total of 2,726 suspected cases (1,612 confirmed), including 164 in 2019 to date. A total of 280 deaths were reported (17 in 2016, 103 in 2017, 150 in 2018, and 10 in 2019).