Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.5 earthquake hits south of Australia.

5.3 earthquake hits northern Alaska.

5.1 earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Hurricane Barbara is located about 1255 mi…2020 km wsw of the southern tip of Baja California and about 1925 mi…3095 km e of Hilo Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…145 mph…230 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 295 degrees at 10 mph…17 km/h.

NewsBytes:

India – Heavy monsoon rains are causing wall collapses that have killed 27 people in western India even as bad weather continues to disrupt road, rail and air traffic in the financial capital Mumbai, prompting officials to shut schools and offices.

Siberia – At least 18 people have died and more than a dozen are still missing in the devastating floods that swept southeastern Siberia, Russian authorities said Tuesday. The floods that followed torrential rains affected 55 towns and villages in the Irkutsk region. Over 4,000 houses have been flooded, according to the Emergency Ministry. Officials said that 1,258 people have sought medical assistance and 191 of them have been hospitalized.

Global Warming

Antarctica’s sea ice is mysteriously melting, and fast

After mysteriously expanding for decades, Antarctica’s sea ice cover melted by an area four times greater than France in just a few years and now stands at a record low, according to a study published Monday.

Scientists already knew Antarctica was thawing at an increasing rate, like the Arctic, because of accelerating discharge from glaciers, the rivers of ice that push up slowly against the shore. But between 1979 and 2014, they observed a phenomenon that was both intriguing and reassuring: the sea ice cover was expanding.

From 2014 to 2017, however, “the Antarctic lost almost as much as the Arctic” over almost 40 years, Nasa climatologist Claire Parkinson said, and the trend has continued ever since.

From a peak area of 12.8-million km2, the sea ice cover receded 2-million km2 for reasons that remain unknown. “It went from its 40-year high in 2014, all the way down in 2017 to its 40-year low,” said Parkinson, whose findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land, while Antarctica is a continent surrounded by oceans, where icebergs are less constrained. Unlike the Arctic, Antarctica is not warming and remains the coldest place on Earth, as well as its largest source of freshwater. Its mountains are covered in ice are capable of raising the level of the oceans by 57m, according to a 2013 study.

Wildlife

Wasp “Super Nests”

Yellow jacket wasps in Alabama may be in the midst of a colossal craze; they’re making humongous “super nests” that can house 15,000 worker wasps, according to an entomologist there. That’s three to four times the size of typical wasp nests, which are the size of a volleyball and house about 4,000 to 5,000 workers.

It’s likely because Alabama had a warmer than usual mild winter and there’s plenty of food for these hungry insects, which usually don’t survive the cold winter months.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Germany

Sweeping wildfires forced the evacuation of four villages in eastern Germany, the latest fallout from a Europe-wide heatwave that has raised concerns about climate change.

Discarded bullets and other munitions exploded at an abandoned military firing range as fires covering 600 hectares (1,500 acres) neared the villages of Trebs, Alt Jabel, Volzrade and Jessenitz-Werk about 55 miles southeast of Hamburg. Four military helicopters scooped water out of the nearby Elbe River to douse the flames.

Disease

Dengue Fever – Honduras

The government of Honduras declared a state of emergency in mid-June in 12 or the 18 departments in the country due to the ongoing dengue fever epidemic. Through the first week of June, a total of 11,436 cases had been reported, including more than 4000 severe dengue cases and 63 fatalities.

White-Nose Syndrome in Bats Spreads

A fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS), a deadly disease of hibernating bats but not a direct health risk for humans, has been detected in North Dakota for the first time.

Hepatitis A – Florida, USA

Florida state health officials reported an additional 90 hepatitis A cases during the week ending June 29, bringing the total to 1718 since the beginning of the year and 2266 since the outbreak began in 2018.

Ebola Spreads northwards in DR Congo

South Sudan is facing another potential threat with the first confirmed case of Ebola near its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reported. This is specifically significant as the country’s healthcare system has been weakened by years of civil war, making it vulnerable to the potential spread of the deadly virus.

The case was registered in the DRC town of Ariwara, situated in north-eastern Ituri province and about 70km from the border with South Sudan’s Yei River State. Despite being identified as having been exposed to Ebola and warned not to travel, the 40-year-old woman had travelled nearly 500km to Ariwara from Beni in the DRC’s North Kivu province.