Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits northwestern Iran.

5.4 earthquake hits the south Indian Ocean.

5.4 earthquake hits Leyte in the Philippines.

5.4 earthquake hits the central east Pacific rise.

5.2 earthquake hits the Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.0 earthquake hits the southern mid-Atlantic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 24w (Halong), located approximately 293 nm north-northeast of Minami Tori Shima, is tracking northeastward at 24 knots.

Typhoon 25w (Nakri), located approximately 275 nm west-southwest of Manila, Philippines, is tracking west-southwestward 04 knots.

In the Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 23w (Matmo), located approximately 257 nm east of Visakhapatnam, India, is tracking north-northeastward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

Somalia – The death toll from recent flooding in Somalia has risen to 17 people with more than 370,000 people being displaced.

England – Floods have paralyzed parts of north England, with roads and train lines shuttered and people stranded in a shopping mall, unable to leave. As of Thursday evening, the UK Environment Agency had issued 99 flood warnings across the country, with 117 further lower level alerts indicating possible floods in place. Sheffield, a major city in South Yorkshire, was one of the worst hit areas. According to the National Rail, a number of train lines across South Yorkshire were disrupted by the flooding.

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Mega-Lightning Flashes – Two of America’s newest weather satellites have measured the longest lightning discharge ever observed — a 300-mile bolt that flashed across northern Texas, Oklahoma and southwestern Kansas. The announcement of the epic discharge at 1:13 a.m. local time on Oct. 22, 2017, was just published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. But unpublished data from the same lightning mappers on the GOES-16 and GOES-17 satellites shows an even longer “megaflash” streaked 418 miles over Brazil earlier this year. Neither lightning bolt has yet been verified by the World Meteorological Organization.

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Global Warming

Thickest Mountain Glacier Is Melting

Massive and meaty, the Taku Glacier in Alaska’s Juneau Icefield was a poster child for the frozen places holding their own against climate change. As the largest of 20 major glaciers in the region and one of the single thickest glaciers in the world (it measures 4,860 feet, or 1,480 meters, from surface to floor), Taku had been demonstrably gaining mass and spreading farther into the nearby Taku river for nearly half a century, while all of its neighboring glaciers shrank.

In a new pair of satellite photos shared by NASA’s Earth Observatory, the slow decline of Taku Glacier has finally become apparent. Taken in August 2014 and August 2018, the photos show the icy platforms where the glacier meets the river retreating for the first time since scientists began studying Taku, in 1946.

While the shrinkage is subtle for now, the results are nonetheless shocking. According to glaciologist Mauri Pelto, who has studied the Juneau Icefield for three decades, Taku was predicted to continue advancing for the rest of the century. Not only have these signs of retreat arrived about 80 years ahead of schedule, Pelto said, but they also snuff a symbolic flicker of hope in the race to understand climate change. Of 250 mountain (or “alpine”) glaciers that Pelto has studied around the world, Taku was the only one that hadn’t clearly started to retreat.

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Environment

Scientists Study Sea Levels 125,000 Years Ago

Sea levels rose 10 metres above present levels during Earth’s last warm period 125,000 years ago, according to new research that offers a glimpse of what may happen under our current climate change trajectory.

The paper, published today in Nature Communications, shows that melting ice from Antarctica was the main driver of sea level rise in the last interglacial period, which lasted about 10,000 years.

Rising sea levels are one of the biggest challenges to humanity posed by climate change, and sound predictions are crucial if we are to adapt.

This research shows that Antarctica, long thought to be the “sleeping giant” of sea level rise, is actually a key player. Its ice sheets can change quickly, and in ways that could have huge implications for coastal communities and infrastructure in future.

Earth’s cycles consist of both cold glacial periods – or ice ages – when large parts of the world are covered in large ice sheets, and warmer interglacial periods when the ice thaws and sea levels rise.

The Earth is presently in an interglacial period which began about 10,000 years ago. But greenhouse gas emissions over the past 200 years have caused climate changes that are faster and more extreme than experienced during the last interglacial. This means past rates of sea level rise provide only low-end predictions of what might happen in future.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 114 degrees Fahrenheit (45.5 degrees Celsius) in Sikasso, Mali.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 66.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 54.4 degrees Celsius) at Concordia, 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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Australian firefighters warned they were in “uncharted territory” as they struggled to contain dozens of out-of-control bushfires across the east of the country on Friday. Around a hundred blazes pockmarked the New South Wales and Queensland countryside, around 19 of them dangerous and uncontained.

The fact the blazes were spread along a roughly 1,000-kilometre (620-mile) stretch of the seaboard left emergency services struggling to cope, even with the help of around 70 aircraft. In New South Wales, authorities said fires had breached containment lines and forced the closure of the Pacific Highway linking Sydney and Brisbane in two places, although one area has since reopened.

Disease

Dengue Fever Sexually Transmitted – Spain

A young man in Madrid, Spain has been diagnosed with dengue fever contacted via sexual transmission, one of the first cases of sexual transmission of dengue in the world.

Polio – Afghanistan, Pakistan

With the addition of four wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases this past week, the global total has reached 100, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. In Afghanistan, one WPV1 case was reported and in Pakistan, three WPV1 cases were reported.

Ebola – DR Congo

Fifteen confirmed cases were reported in the past week (30 October – 5 November) in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

African Swine Fever 

A quarter of the world’s domestic pigs have died or been put down this year due to outbreaks of African swine fever, with China losing nearly half of its pigs. The virus responsible originated in East Africa and has spread in recent years to as far away as Belgium, the Caucasus nation of Georgia and eastward into Asia. While the disease can be eradicated by killing infected domestic pigs, it persists in wild boar and feral hogs. There is no vaccine, making it hard to prevent.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 30 October – 5 November 2019

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible at night during 28 October-5 November. There were 32 explosions and 16 non-explosive eruptive events detected by the seismic network. Eruption plumes rose as high as 2.8 km above the crater rim and large blocks were ejected as far as 1.3 km away. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 30 October-5 November ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, and SE. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was 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 25-26 and 29-30 October that sent ash plumes up to 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted E and NE. A weak thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images on 29 October. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 1-5 November white-and-gray plumes from Ibu rose 200-800 m above the summit and drifted E and N. 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.

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 1-5 November lava continued to effuse from Karangetang’s Main Crater (S), traveling as far as 1.5 km down the Nanitu, Pangi, and Sense drainages on the SW and W flanks. Sometimes dense white plumes rose to 200 m above the summit. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Kerinci | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that at 0614 on 30 October a brownish-white ash emission from Kerinci rose around 800 m above the summit and drifted NE, E, and SE. Brownish ash emissions rose 800 m and drifted WSW at 1721 on 30 October and to 500 m and drifted ESE at 0543 on 1 November. An eruptive event at 0553 on 2 November generated a brown ash emission that rose 500 m and drifted ESE. During 3-5 November brown ash plumes rose 100-500 m. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Sabancaya | Peru : Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported that an average of 28 low-to-medium intensity explosions per day occurred at Sabancaya during 28 October-3 November. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 2 km above the summit and drifted W, SW, and S. There were nine thermal anomalies identified in satellite data. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale) and the public were warned to stay outside of a 12-km radius.

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : The Darwin VAAC reported that during 30-31 October and 3-4 November discrete and short-lived ash emissions from Sangeang Api rose 2.7-3.5 km (9,000-11,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, W, and SW. Thermal anomalies were visible on 3 and 5 November. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 30 October an ash plume from Semeru rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and S based on satellite images and weather models. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 25 October-1 November. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Stromboli | Aeolian Islands (Italy) : INGV reported that during 30 October-5 November activity at Stromboli was characterized by ongoing Strombolian activity and degassing from multiple vents within the crater terrace. Explosions originated at a rate of 2-13 per hour from vents in Area N (north crater area) and at a rate of 7-16 per hour from vents in Area C-S (south central crater area). Explosions from Area N ejected lapilli and bombs no more than 175 m high, while explosions at Area C-S ejected tephra to heights under 250 m.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that at 1225 on 19 October a very small eruptive event at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater generated a gray plume that rose 300 m above the crater rim. A small amount of ash fell in Toshima, 4 km SW. Very small eruptions during 29-30 October generated grayish-white plumes that rose 800 m. Ashfall was reported in Toshima on 29 October. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Yasur | Vanuatu : On 31 October the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported that recent observations and data from Yasur’s seismic network confirmed ongoing sometimes strong explosions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4). VMGD reminded residents and tourists that hazardous areas were near and around the volcanic crater, within a 395-m-radius permanent exclusion zone, and that volcanic ash and gas could reach areas impacted by trade winds.