Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.8 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.6 earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.5 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 26s (Lili), located approximately 235 nm northwest of Darwin, Australia, is tracking westward at 02 knots.


Paraguay – Paraguay declared a state of emergency on Wednesday in a province along the border with Argentina as torrential rains continued to swell rivers and cause floods. About 40,000 Paraguayans have been forced to evacuate their homes in recent weeks due to rising waters. Officials say that more than 11,000 of the evacuees live in the capital Asuncion.


Colorado rejects ban on trapping and trophy hunting of bobcats

Grappling with the increased killing of bobcats for fur pelts to supply coat-makers in Asia, Colorado wildlife commissioners on Thursday rejected a citizen petition to outlaw the trapping and trophy hunting of the animals in the state. The commissioners said science drove their decision — namely a lack of evidence that harvesting bobcats at current levels is harmful to the species.

Scores of residents testified on either side of the proposed ban during a Colorado Parks and Wildlife hearing held in Grand Junction, the latest clash as the West’s booming urban population challenges entrenched values around relations with wildlife.

Trappers told the commissioners how they used money from sold bobcat pelts to support their families and attend college.

Licensed hunters and trappers in Colorado killed 1,978 bobcats last year, nearly three times the 680 killed in 2004, a majority for pelts, according to CPW records reviewed by The Denver Post. Annual U.S. exports of bobcat pelts top 30,000.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have identified robust prices for pelts as the motivation for the increased killing. Bobcat-fur coats made in China and Russia sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

Bobcat snare fur trappers

Australian Cat Cull

Australia has begun dropping poisonous sausages from the air to kill the millions of feral cats that are ravaging native species across the country’s vast landscape.

Officials had been trapping and shooting the felines, which were first brought to Australia by European settlers in the 1700s.

The predators have since ravaged native wildlife, including many species that live nowhere else on Earth. At least 20 mammal species have been driven into extinction with the help of the invasive cats.

The accelerated plan to kill millions of the feral felines by 2020 uses sausages made of kangaroo meat, chicken fat, herbs, spices and poison. The cats are said to die within 15 minutes of eating the mixture.


Nuclear Legacy

Radioactive carbon from nuclear bombs detonated in the atmosphere during the 1950s and 1960s has reached the deepest corners of the world’s oceans, where scientists say the creatures living at those depths are eating it.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou found that carbon-14 has entered the food chain at the bottom of the Mariana, Mussau and New Britain trenches in the western tropical Pacific.

The isotope was carried there by marine life near the surface that had consumed it, died and fallen to the deepest ocean floors.

“Although the oceanic circulation takes hundreds of years to bring water containing bomb [carbon] to the deepest trench, the food chain achieves this much faster,” said lead researcher and geochemist Ning Wang.


Nature – Images

Interesting Images

Ancient tree discovered in North Carolina Swamp (USA)

According to a new study published today (May 9) in the journal Environmental Research Communications, scientists studying tree rings in North Carolina’s Black River swampland have discovered a bald cypress tree (Taxodium distichum) that’s at least 2,624 years old, making it one of the oldest non-clonal, sexually reproducing trees in the world. (Clonal trees, which are vast colonies of genetically identical plants that grow from a single ancestor, can live for tens of thousands of years.)

How old is 2,624 years, really? To borrow an analogy from the Charlotte Observer, that age makes this tree older than Christianity, the Roman Empire and the English language.

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Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.8 degrees Celsius) in Jacobabad, Pakistanl.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 73.3 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.


Measles – Tunisia

From 1 January through 30 April 2019, the Ministry of Health in Tunisia responded to a large measles outbreak in the country. A total of 3 141 suspected cases, of which 909 (28.9%) were laboratory confirmed and 1 236 (39.4 %) epidemiologically linked cases including 30 deaths (case fatality ratio=1.0 %), have been reported in all of the 24 governorates (range 1 – 1 274). The majority of cases were reported from Kasserine (1 274 cases) and Sfax (212 cases) governorates. In April 2019, four additional governorates were particularly affected with 155, 116, 93 and 69 cases reported from Kairouan, Tunis, Sousse and Nabeul respectively.

Thousands of Working Equids Die in Influenza Outbreak

Tens of thousands of working equids in Western Africa have died in a sweeping equine influenza (EI) outbreak. Official disease notification from Senegal and Nigeria to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) indicate more than 40,000 cases have resulted in more than 3,000 equid deaths since mid-December. However, other reports indicate case numbers in other countries, which haven’t submitted official notifications, could be skyrocketing even higher.

“We have received unofficial statistics of 62,000 deaths in Niger alone in donkeys and some horses presenting with symptoms like those we’ve seen in our country, which were confirmed cases of equine influenza,” said Mactar Seck, DVM, program manager at Brooke West Africa, in Dakkar, Senegal. Brooke West Africa is part of Brooke, a U.K.-based international animal welfare charity focusing on improving health and welfare for working horses, donkeys and mules.

As of May 2, Senegal, which has a working equid population of about 1 million, had reported 37,000 cases and 2,700 deaths to the OIE, but it has since recognized thousands more cases and the death toll has risen to more than 6,000, Seck said. The first equine influenza case in that country was reported only six weeks ago, on March 26.


Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 1 May – 7 May 2019

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that an event at Agung was recorded by the seismic network at 1859 on 3 May. An ash plume was not visible from the Agung Volcano Observatory in Rendang (about 8 km SW), although the Darwin VAAC report a growing thermal anomaly and possible ash near the summit. About 30 minutes later the VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE; a thermal anomaly continued to be visible. On 6 May at 2255 a gray ash plume rose to around 2 km above the crater rim and drifted W. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) with the exclusion zone set at a 4-km radius.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was occasionally visible at night during 29 April-7 May. Five explosions generated plumes that rose as high as 1.6 km above the crater rim. The Tokyo VAAC noted that plumes drifted E, SE, and SW during 1-2, 4, and 6 May. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 1-7 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.1 km (5,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and ESE. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and visitors were warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 26 April-3 May that sent ash plumes up to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Etna | Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that during 22-28 April ash emissions rose from Etna’s Bocca Nuova Crater, Northeast Crater (NEC), and from the E vent in New Southeast Crater (NSEC). Pulsating incandescence from NSEC’s E vent was recorded at night by webcams. A new vent on the inner wall of Voragine Crater was noted on 30 April. Strombolian activity from the BN-1 crater deep within the Bocca Nuova Crater was visible on 28 April and continued through 5 May; field inspections on 30 April revealed that two vents in BN-1 were active and producing explosions at a rate of one every 2-3 seconds. Bombs and lapilli were ejected above the crater rim but deposits remained mostly within the confines of the crater or near the rim. Strombolian activity was visible at NSEC during 29 April-5 May. On 2 May, beginning at 0131, discontinuous explosions at the E vent produced emissions of fine tephra that rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim and quickly dissipated. During 5-6 May the frequency of explosions increased for brief periods in conjunction with a slight increases in volcanic tremor amplitude.

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 7 May an ash plume from Ibu was visible in satellite data rising to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting ESE. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater, and 3.5 km away on the N side.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Karymsky was visible in satellite images during 27 and 30 April and 1 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kerinci | Indonesia : In a Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) PVMBG noted that local residents reported ashfall from Kerinci in areas 7 km S and NE. According to a news article at least five villages were affected late on 2 May, including Tanjung Bungo, Sangir, Sangir Tengah, Sungai Rumpun, and Bendung Air. A brown ash emission was observed at 1836 on 3 May rising 800 m above the crater rim and drifting ESE. Seismicity was dominated by continuous volcanic tremor and signals indicating gas emissions. The next day at 1708 a brown ash emission rose 300 m and drifted SE. According to the Darwin VAAC an ash emission was observed by a pilot at 0610 on 5 May drifting NE at an altitude of 6.7 km (22,000 ft) a.s.l. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and tourists were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that an event at 0519 on 6 May was recorded by Anak Krakatau’s seismic network, although no emission was visually observed. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 2-km radius hazard zone from the crater.

Merapi | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 22-28 April the lava dome at Merapi continued to grow slowly, with any extruded material channeled into the SE-flank Gendol River drainage. White emissions rose 70 m. Five block-and-ash flows traveled as far as 1.2 km in the Gendol drainage on 24 April. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Nyamuragira | DR Congo : The Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) reported that during early April Nyamuragira’s lava lake, which had returned in April 2018 after almost a year of quiet, continued to be active. Beginning on 12 April seismic and lava-lake activity both declined. MIROVA data showed that the thermal radiative power was at moderate levels the first half of the month then declined to low levels during the second half.

Nyiragongo | DR Congo : The Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) reported that during 1-28 April Nyiragongo’s lava lake continued to be active, extending the episode of ongoing activity to almost 17 years. A secondary cone which had formed on 29 February 2016 was also active, as well as three other vents surrounding it. Sulfur dioxide emissions reached a high of at least 5,000 tonnes per day, greater than March highs of 2,900 tonnes per day, but still below the alert threshold.

Poas | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported a period of continuous emissions from Poás during 30 April-1 May with plumes rising 300 m above the crater rim and drifting SW. Ash emissions were visible for a few hours on 30 April, and incandescence was visible at night.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch’s lava dome was identified daily in satellite images during 26 April-3 May. Plumes of re-suspended ash were visible drifting 200 km SE during 30 April-2 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).