Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits off the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia,

5.3 earthquake hits Ascension Island.

5.0 earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the D’Entrecasteaux Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Obi, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 08p (Tino), located approximately 178 nm north-northeast of Suva, Fiji, is tracking southeastward at 08 knots.

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Wildlife

Prolific Tortoise

A species of Galapagos giant tortoise once on the brink of extinction has been saved with the help of a half-century of tireless breeding from one of only three surviving males.

Since 1976, “Diego” has fathered 800 of the now 2,000 Chelonoidis hoodensis of Española Island. But since the species is no longer in danger and the successful captive breeding project is ending, the pressure is now off for the approximately 130-year-old Diego.

Experts say the playboy has a “big personality” and is aggressive, active and vocal while mating. Diego will be allowed to live out his golden years in leisure after finally being released back into the wild on his native Española Island, where he was captured by scientists 80 years ago.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 116 degrees Fahrenheit (46.7 degrees Celsius) in Augrabies Falls, South Africa.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 64.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53.3 degrees Celsius) at Delyankir, Siberia.

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

Circumnavigating Smoke

NASA satellite images show the thick pall of smoke from Australia’s firestorms, which reached South America last week, has blown entirely around the Southern Hemisphere, approaching Australia from the west.

Besides choking most of southeastern Australia, the smoke has also created an air pollution crisis downwind in New Zealand and darkened that country’s glaciers after falling on them as soot.

Meanwhile, days of rain are bringing some much-needed relief to Australia’s firefighters, but it won’t be enough to fully alleviate the threat of more than 140 fires that were still burning.

At least 80% of the Blue Mountains world heritage area and more than 50% of the Gondwana world heritage rainforests have burned in Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.

The scale of the disaster is such that it could affect the diversity of eucalypts for which the Blue Mountains world heritage area is recognised.

Disease

Ebola – DR Congo

Fourteen new confirmed cases were reported from 8 to 14 January in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 8 January 2020 – 14 January 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported nighttime crater incandescence at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 6-14 January. Small eruptive events were occasionally recorded by the seismic network. Explosions were recorded during 6, 10, and 12-14 January; ash plumes rose 1.8-2.3 km above the crater rim and material was ejected as far as 1.3 km away from the crater. 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 on 9 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. On 13 January ash plumes rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. 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 3, 5, and 9 January that sent ash plumes up to 2.9 km (9,500 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted NE and SE, and caused ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 8 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 6-12 January lava continued to effuse from Karangetang’s Main Crater (S), traveling as far as 1.8 km down the Nanitu, Pangi, and Sense drainages on the SW and W flanks. Sometimes dense white plumes rose 100-400 m above the summit. Incandescence from both summit craters was visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy was identified in satellite images during 3-10 January. Strombolian activity was visible all week and Vulcanian explosions were noted on 6 January. Ash plumes drifted 55 km ENE. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 8-14 January there were 76-268 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, some of which contained ash (during 8-9 December). An explosion at 0631 on 9 January produced an ash plume that rose 3 km above the crater rim and drifted NE. The event also ejected incandescent material onto the flanks as far away as 1 km from the crater. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-colour scale).

Sabancaya | Peru : Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported that an average of eight daily low- to medium-intensity explosions occurred at Sabancaya during 6-12 January. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 3 km above the summit and drifted NE, E, and SE. There were six thermal anomalies identified in satellite data, originating from the 282-m-diameter lava dome in the summit crater. 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.

Sangay | Ecuador : Based on information from the Guayaquil MWO, satellite and webcam images, and wind model data, the Washington VAAC reported that during 1-11 January ash plumes from Sangay rose to 5.2-6.7 km (17,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. Crater incandescence was identified in satellite images during 9-10 January.

Semisopochnoi | United States : On 9 January AVO lowered the Aviation colour Code for Semisopochnoi to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory, noting that explosions had not been detected since 19 December 2019. In addition, seismic tremor had last been recorded on 29 December 2019; seismicity subsequently declined but remained above background levels.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 3-10 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Shishaldin | Fox Islands (USA) : AVO summarized the 7 January eruptive activity at Shishaldin, characterizing the period of activity during 0500-1200 as the most sustained explosive activity of the eruptive sequence so far. Ash plumes drifted over 200 km ENE, were ash rich during 0900-1200, and caused several flight cancellations and minor ashfall in Cold Bay. Elevated surface temperatures continued to be identified in satellite images during 7-10 January, indicating lava effusion; seismicity decreased but remained above background levels. Satellite images acquired during 10-14 January showed weak surface temperatures, indicated cooling lava; seismicity remained above background levels.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA recorded 13 explosions at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater during 3-10 January. Eruption plumes rose as high as 1.4 km above the crater rim and material was ejected as far as 600 m from the crater. Explosion and rumbling sounds, as well as ashfall, were reported in areas 4 km SSW. Crater incandescence was visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

White Island | North Island (New Zealand) : On 15 January GeoNet reported that White Island remained in an elevated state of unrest. Very hot (440 degrees Celsius) and strong steam and gas emissions continued to rise from the 9 December vents. Three short-lived episodes of tremor recorded during 8-10 January were accompanied by minor explosions at the active vents. Sulfur dioxide emission rates were within normal ranges, suggesting no additional magma movement since just after the December eruption. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 and the Aviation colour Code remained at Yellow.