Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits near the west coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.3 earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile.

5.3 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 earthquake hits Luzon in the Philippines.

5.1 earthquake hits the Panama-Costa Rica border.

5.0 earthquake hits western Xizang, China.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

California, USA – Rain drenched portions of Southern California on Thursday, resulting in slick roads and long commutes as well as flash flood warnings and advisories across the region. Communities in southwestern San Bernardino County and northern Riverside and Orange Counties received some of the heaviest rainfall.

Global Warming

Ice Free Arctic

The Arctic may become “ice free” in as few as 15 years due to accelerating global heating, according to a team of U.S. scientists.

While areas of the thickest ice that surround islands near the North Pole are likely to survive until later this century, the region will be considered ice-free when the summer coverage is less than 386,000 square miles.

Writing in the journal Climate, the researchers say statistical models point to the first ice-free summer arriving during the 2030s, with 2034 the most likely year.

”The extent of Arctic ice is important to Arctic peoples, whose lands are being affected by increased coastal erosion,” NOAA said in a statement. “Conversely, the disappearance of ice creates economic opportunities, including the opening of oil fields and new shipping routes.”

Wildlife

Poaching Loss

The world’s last female white giraffe and one of its calves have been killed by armed poachers in Kenya, leaving only one of the slain female’s white offspring still alive.

The mother was first spotted in eastern Kenya’s Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy in 2017.

Their alabaster coats were caused by leucism, which is different from albinism, as dark pigments continue to grow in the animals’ soft tissues, giving them dark eyes.

EWCOLOR

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46.1 degrees Celsius) in Bougouni, Mali.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 83.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 63.9 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, 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.

Disease

COVID-19

The global death toll has surpassed 4,700 with infections exceeding 135,100 cases. China reported 15 new cases, its lowest number since the daily reporting on infections began seven weeks ago.

Italy – The Italy Ministry of Health reported a large number of cases in the past 24 hours. According to health ministry data, 2,651 additional cases were reported in the country, bringing to total to 15,113. Nearly 200 additional fatalities were also reported putting Italy over 1,000 deaths (1,016).

Iran – While most experts believe this number to be much higher, Iranian health officials reported an additional 1075 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the “official” country total to 10,075.

USA – U.S. cases have now topped 1,500 with 39 deaths, according to the New York Times.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 4 March 2020 – 10 March 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 2-9 March incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible nightly. Occasional eruptive events were recorded. An eruption at 0457 on 7 March generated an ash plume that rose 1.3 km above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (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 5-10 March ash plumes from Dukono rose to 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 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 1-2 and 5 March that sent ash plumes up to 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted S and E. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Etna | Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported continuing eruptive activity at Etna’s Voragine Crater (VOR), New Southeast Crater (NSEC), and Northeast Crater (NEC) during 24 February-1 March. Strombolian explosions from the vent at the top of the cone in VOR crater ejected pieces of lava sometimes 150-200 m above the vent. Ash plumes rose from the vent and rapidly dissipated. Strombolian activity from a vent at the base of the N flank of the cone was observed on 29 February. Lava continued to effuse from the vent on top of a building lava mound on the S flank of the cone and flow into the adjacent Bocca Nuova Crater. Activity at NEC was characterized by discontinuous Strombolian activity and periodic emissions of very diffuse ash plumes. During 24-25 February observers noted continuous diffuse ash emissions at NSEC, originating from a cone in the saddle area.

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 10 March multiple discrete ash plumes from Ibu rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE based on satellite images, weather models, and information from PVMBG. 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.

Kerinci | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that at 0710 on 4 March, 1625 on 5 March, and 0655 on 6 March brown ash emissions rose 200-500 m above Kerinci’s summit and drifted NW and NE. 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.

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy was visible during 28 February-6 March, and a bright thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images those same days. A gas-and-steam plume containing some ash drifted 60 km WNW on 2 March. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 28 February-6 March. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Stromboli | Aeolian Islands (Italy) : INGV reported that during 24 February-3 March activity at Stromboli was characterized by ongoing explosive activity mainly from three vents in Area N (north crater area) and at least three vents in Area C-S (south-central crater area). Variable-intensity explosions from Area N occurred at a rate of 7-10 events per hour and ejected lapilli and bombs 80-150 m above the vents. Ejected tephra fell onto the flanks and some blocks rolled down the Sciara del Fuoco to the coast. Explosions from Area C-S occurred at a rate of 2-9 events per hour and ejected coarse material mixed with ash to heights less than 150 m above the vents.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that during 28 February-6 March incandescence from Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater was visible nightly. Occasional eruptive events and two explosions were recorded; ash plumes rose as high as 900 m above the crater rim. Occasional eruption sounds were reported in a village 4 km SSW on 3 March. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Taal | Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that during 4-10 March weak steam plumes rose 50-100 m above Taal’s Volcano Island lake and drifted SW and NE; moderate steam plumes rose 300-500 m and drifted SW during 8-9 March. According to the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) there were a total of 4,212 people in 11 evacuation centers, and an additional 32,631 people were staying at other locations as of 6 March. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5) and PHIVOLCS recommended no entry onto Volcano Island, the area defined as the Permanent Danger Zone.

White Island | North Island (New Zealand) : On 10 March GeoNet reported that data collected during recent flights over White Island showed elevated gas emissions compared to previous measurements, though overall both carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide flux have decreased since the 9 December 2019 eruption. Thermal infrared data indicated that the fumarolic gases and the five lobes of lava in the main vent remained very hot; the hottest temperature was 746 degrees Celsius and was the highest temperature measured to date. Small-scale jetting occurred from the small pond that had formed in the vent area, similar to September-December 2019 activity. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 and the Aviation colour Code remained at Yellow.