Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits off the coast of Jalisco, Mexico.

5.2 earthquake hits south of Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits Tajikistan.

5.0 earthquake hits Tanzania.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Tropical Storm Josephine is located about 680 mi…1090 km ese of the northern Leeward islands with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 300 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression 10e (Ten), located approximately 1359 nm southwest of San Diego, is tracking west-southwestward at 04 knots.

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NewsBytes:

India – As many as 25 people have now died in flooding in the state of Bihar in north eastern India. As of 13 August, 7.7 million people were affected by flooding across 16 districts of the state. Overall, 547,804 people have been evacuated during the floods. As of 13 August, 12,479 people were staying in relief camps.

Sudan – Flooding in Sudan has affected over 180,000 people across 17 states, with over 40 fatalities reported. Recent flooding began in the country after heavy rainfall in late July. Damage was reported in parts of Khartoum and a dam collapsed in Blue Nile state.

Yemen – Ongoing rain and flash floods in Yemen continue to cause casualties and damage. Reports suggest over 130 have died in the flooding since late July, with 35,000 families affected. There are also reports that flooding has moved landmines and other explosive devices into areas not previously contaminated. he recent spate of flooding began in the country after heavy rainfall in late July, damaging infrastructure, destroying homes and shelters and causing death and injuries. Marib, Hajjah, Raymah, Al Mahwit and Al Hudaydah governorates were particularly badly affected.

Europe – After days of high temperatures, heavy rainfall brought by summer storms has caused flooding and landslides in parts of the United Kingdom, France and Italy. In the UK, flash flooding was reported in Scotland after heavy rainfall 11 to 12 August, 2020. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it received more than 1,000 emergency calls due to the severe weather. Authorities in Fife declared a “major incident” after flash floods caused severe damage across the region. Evacuations were carried out after a landslide near Kinghorn. Some of the worst of the flooding was in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where the heavy rain is also thought to have triggered a landslide near which derailed a train. Three people died and 6 were injured in the derailment. Thunderstorms in France caused flooding on 12 August in parts of the northern Normandy Region. Firefighters in the region carried out 464 interventions in the departments of Orne, Calvados and Seine-Maritime. The flooding has disrupted road and rail travel. Meanwhile officials in Italy report that 3 people died and 2 were injured after heavy rain triggered a landslide in Chiareggio, a small village in the Chiesa in Valmalenco municipality, Sondrio Province in the Lombardy Region on 12 August.

Global Warming

Warming Greenland ice sheet passes point of no return

Nearly 40 years of satellite data from Greenland shows that glaciers on the island have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking.

The finding, published today, Aug. 13, in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment, means that Greenland’s glaciers have passed a tipping point of sorts, where the snowfall that replenishes the ice sheet each year cannot keep up with the ice that is flowing into the ocean from glaciers.

Climate change, not hunters, may have killed off woolly rhinos

Rather than getting wiped out by Ice Age hunters, woolly rhinos charged to extinction in Siberia around 14,000 years ago when the climate turned warm and wet, a study of ancient DNA suggests.

Numbers of breeding woolly rhinos stayed relatively constant for tens of thousands of years until at least about 18,500 years ago, more than 13,000 years after people first reached northeastern Siberia, scientists report online August 13 in Current Biology. Yet only a few thousand years later, woolly rhinos died out, probably because temperatures had risen enough to reshape arctic habitats. A shift to warm, rainy conditions, which occurred between roughly 14,600 and 12,800 years ago, likely played a large role in the rapid decline of this cold-adapted species.

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Tropical Soil Leaks CO2

Tropical forest soil warmed in experiments to levels consistent with end-of-century temperature projections released 55 percent more CO2 than control plots, exposing a previously underestimated source of greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported Wednesday.

Before humanity began loading the atmosphere with carbon pollution by burning fossil fuels, the input and outflow of CO2 into soil – one key element in Earth’s complex carbon cycle – remained roughly in balance.

Gases emitted by deadwood and decaying leaves, in other words, were cancelled out by microorganisms that feed on such matter. But climate change has begun to upset that balance, according to a new study, published in Nature.

In experiments, researchers placed heating rods in a one-hectare plot of undisturbed primary forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. They warmed the soil to a depth of just over one metre (three feet) by 4C over a period of two years. The findings shows an increase in in the release of CO2 of 55 per cent above the basal rates.

Environment

Weakening Current

The strength of the Florida Current, which marks the beginning of the Gulf Stream, has weakened in force to the lowest level of the past 110 years, according to new research.

The current flows between Florida and Cuba before becoming the Gulf Stream near the Bahamas.

While precise measurements of the current go back to only the early 1980s, scientists say they were able to determine its past strength by how it affected coastal sea levels in the region.

The study confirms earlier findings that show the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is slowing down due to climate change. That complex of currents wields a key warming influence across the Atlantic to much of northern Europe.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 121 degrees Fahrenheit (49.4 degrees Celsius) in Death Valley, California.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 108.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 77.8 degrees Celsius) at the South Pole, 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.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 5 August 2020 – 11 August 2020

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that the daily sulfur dioxide emission rate at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was 700 tons/day on 3 August. An explosion at 0538 on 9 August produced an ash plume that rose as high as 5 km above the crater rim; ejected blocks were not visually confirmed due to weather conditions. Ashfall was reported in areas N of the crater including Kagoshima City (about 10 km W), Kirishima City (20 km NE), Yusui Town (40 km N), and parts of the Miyazaki Prefecture and the Kumamoto Prefecture. After the explosion at 0538, smaller eruptions were intermittently detected through 10 August. 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 5, 7, and 9-11 August ash plumes from Dukono rose to 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. 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 volcano, observed explosions on 30 July and during 1-2 and 6 August that sent ash plumes up to 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was identified in satellite images on 6 August; weather clouds obscured views on the other days during 1-7 August. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Etna | Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that during 27 July-9 August activity at Etna was characterized by intra-crater Strombolian activity at Northeast Crater (NEC), sporadic Strombolian activity at Voragine Crater (VOR) with minor ash emissions that quickly dispersed, and both Strombolian activity and diffuse ash emissions at the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) cone. Explosive activity increased on 31 July; an ash cloud rose to 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. On 2 August very minor ashfall was reported in Trecastagni and Acicastello, possibly from a slight increase in explosive activity that was not visually confirmed. During 3-9 August Strombolian activity ejected material above the NSEC cone’s crater rim; the activity was almost continuous during the evening of 6 August and the next morning, and booming was heard several kilometers away. Ash emissions dispersed near the summit. A series of ash emissions were visible in the morning of 9 August.

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that on 5 August an ash plume rose 500 m above Ibu’s summit and drifted N. A few hours later the Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l., or 2.9 km above the summit. 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.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images during 5-6 August; weather clouds prevented views of the volcano on the other days during 1-7 August. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kerinci | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that at 1024 on 7 August a brown ash emission from Kerinci rose 600 m above the summit and drifted NE, E, and SE. At 1140 on 9 August a brown ash plume rose 600 m above the summit and drifted ENE. 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.

Rincon de la Vieja | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that phreatic activity at Rincón de la Vieja had significantly decreased compared to activity during January-May. Events were recorded at 0546 on 5 August and at 1000 on 8 August, but not visually confirmed due to weather conditions. A phreatic explosion at 0035 on 6 August generated a plume that rose 500 m above the crater rim. Small steam plumes were visible on 10 August; one at 0845 was likely produced from a small phreatic event. Another s small phreatic event was detected later that day at 2346.

Sabancaya | Peru : Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported a daily average of 19 explosions at Sabancaya during 3-9 August. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 2.5 km above the summit and drifted SE, S, SW, and NW. There were five thermal anomalies over the crater 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.

Sangay | Ecuador : IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 5-11 August. Weather clouds often prevented visual observations of the volcano; according to Washington VAAC notices and IG webcams ash plumes rose 870-2,000 m above the summit and drifted NW, W, and S almost daily. Heavy rain generated secondary lahars in the Volcán and Upano drainages during 5-7 August.

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 5-11 August, though sometimes foggy conditions prevented visual confirmation. Ash plumes rose 400-500 m above the summit and drifted N on 8 August. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was reminded to stay outside of the general 1-km radius from the summit and 4 km on the SSE flank.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 1-7 August. A moderate explosion produced a small ash plume that rose to 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and E on 2 August according to the Kamchatka Branch of Geophysical Services (KBGS; Russian Academy of Sciences). The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported occasional eruptive events, three explosions, and occasional nighttime incandescence at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater during 31 July-7 August. An explosion at 1553 on 1 August generated an ash plume that rose 1.8 km above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that there were 19 minor ash emissions recorded at Turrialba during 4-5 August, with event durations lasting no longer than three minutes and plumes rising no higher than 200 m above the summit. Four more events were recorded on 5 August, with event durations lasting less than 10 minutes. Plumes again rose no higher than 200 m.