Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Timor, Indonesia.

5.3 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.3 earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

5.2 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.0 earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 07s (Claudia), located approximately about 449 nm north-northwest of Learmonth, Australia. Claudia is moving southwestward at 12 knots.

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Pakistan, Afghanistan – Avalanches, flooding and harsh winter weather killed more than 130 people across Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent days, leaving others stranded by heavy snowfall, officials said on Tuesday. At least 93 people died and 76 were injured across Pakistan – with several still missing – while a further 39 were killed in Afghanistan, according to officials in both countries. Forecasts suggest more harsh weather is on the way.

Australia – Heavy rain, flash floods and severe thunderstorms have swept over Melbourne and rain is forecast to hit bushfire-affected parts of New South Wales and Victoria later this week. In just 30 minutes, 44mm of rain fell at Avalon on Wednesday afternoon, and wind gusts reached 110km/h as wild weather hit the state’s south and moved north.

Mississippi, USA – Flooding left roads in Mississippi underwater on Jan. 14. Authorities in Mississippi urged residents to evacuate in the northern part of the state Tuesday after heavy rains spawned a flash-flood emergency and put a dam at “imminent” risk of failing. A flash flood emergency was issued in Oktibbeha County, located in the east-central portion of the state. Oktibbeha County Lake Dam is in imminent danger of failing.

Global Warming

Global Warming – Thinner Clouds – More Heat

A new study suggests global warming effect is underestimated. The most up-to-date computer simulations suggest that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity will leave the planet hotter than previously thought, researchers have found.

A study that combines the outputs of nearly 30 new computer models that simulate the Earth’s climate suggests that, if the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles, then the average global temperature should increase by 3.9 degrees C. This figure is around 0.6 degrees C more than previous simulations predicted.

Reflecting the findings of recent research, newer simulations assume that cold clouds thin out more as the atmosphere becomes warmer. Thinner clouds reflect less of the sun’s energy back to space—meaning more warming on the Earth’s surface. Over the whole planet, this effect could be amplifying global warming. Clouds are Earth’s sunscreen, reflecting away sunlight and keeping the planet cooler than it would otherwise be.