Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.4 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.3 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.2 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

Environment

Magnetic Mystery

Scientists are struggling to understand new weakening of Earth’s magnetic field in a region that stretches from South America to Africa and is causing technical disturbances in some of the satellites orbiting the planet.

“The new eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has appeared over the last decade and in recent years is developing vigorously,” said Jürgen Matzka, from the German Research Center for Geosciences.

The anomaly is allowing the inner Van Allen radiation belt to dip down to an altitude of about 120 miles, sometimes exposing satellites to several minutes of higher-than-usual radiation.

Astronauts have reported disturbances in their eyesight, known as cosmic ray visual phenomena, when passing through the anomaly.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Arctic

Active wildfires are being detected in the Arctic Circle as an unusually warm and dry spring threatens to bring back infernos that ravaged the region last year, scientists have warned.

Satellites belonging to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) are tracking multiple hotspots, leading to the suspicion that “zombie fires” – smouldering remnants of record blazes in 2019 are reactivating after a period of lull.

The risk of wildfires is significantly enhanced by abnormal arid conditions as seen in Europe during March and April.

Disease

COVID-19

The countries with the 10 greatest number of Covid-19 cases:

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Measles, Dengue Fever – Brazil

While most of the attention on infectious diseases in Brazil is focused on the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, other outbreaks are making their mark in the largest South America country. This include some one million dengue fever cases and by far the most measles cases reported in the western hemisphere. Between 1 January and 20 May 2020, Brazil has reported 3,155 confirmed cases, including four deaths.