Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Kepulauan Kai, Indonesia.

5.4 earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits offshore Tarapaca, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits Salta, Argentina.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Shetland Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (ana), located approximately 44 nm south-southwest of Suva, Fiji, is tracking southward at 07 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 16p (Sixteen), located approximately 431 nm northwest of Suva, Fiji, is tracking eastward at 14 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 17p (Lucas), located approximately 901 nm west-northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking eastward at 09 knots.

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California, USA – A drenching storm that brought California much-needed rain in what had been a dry winter is winding down after washing out Highway 1 near Big Sur and burying the Sierra Nevada in heavy snow. One skier was reported to have died in Mammoth.

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Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 earthquake hits northwest of Australia.

5.6 earthquake hits the Panama-Costa Rica border.

5.4 earthquake hits the Panama-Costa Rica border.

5.3 earthquake hits Seram, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova region, Russia.

5.1 earthquake hits the South Shetland Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

5.0 earthquake hits the Panama-Costa Rica border.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern Uzbekistan.

5.0 earthquake hits the southwestern Atlantic Ocean.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Ana), located approximately 121 nm northwest of Suva, Fiji, is tracking southeastward at 07 knots. (98S, 94P and 99P on the map indicate tropical cyclone formation alerts. These areas of disturbance may or my not develop and strengthen to become tropical cyclones).

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Papua New Guinea – At least 5 people have died in a landslide in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The landslide struck in Mumeng in Bulolo District, early on 27 January 2021. The slide buried a makeshift camp, killing at least 5 people. Search and rescue teams were looking for 3 people still missing.


Wildfires Decline Globally

The dystopian images of wildfires ravaging vast swathes of woodland around the globe belie a rare positive signal for the Earth’s climate — the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by burning forests actually fell in 2020.

That’s the conclusion of atmospheric scientists at the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. They use satellites to take pictures and collect air-quality data from hotspots around the world. Despite this year’s widely-shared images of the raging infernos, which disrupted economies from Australia to the US west coast to Siberia, the amount of land that went up in flames declined. While areas such as the Arctic Circle and western United States suffered wildfires of unprecedented intensity and emissions, 2020 was one of the lowest years for active fires at the global scale.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

No 5.0 magnitude or greater earthquakes have been reported so far today.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Climate Change Puts Hundreds of Coastal Airports at Risk of Flooding

Even a modest sea level rise, triggered by increasing global temperatures, would place 100 airports below mean sea level by 2100, a new study has found. They found that 269 airports are at risk of coastal flooding now. A temperature rise of 2C – consistent with the Paris Agreement – would lead to 100 airports being below mean sea level and 364 airports at risk of flooding. If global mean temperature rise exceeds this then as many as 572 airports will be at risk by 2100, leading to major disruptions without appropriate adaptation.

Global Warming

Alpine plants face extinction

Alpine flowers could go extinct after glaciers disappear as more competitive species colonise terrain higher up the mountain, new research has warned.

Glaciers are retreating at historically unprecedented rates, exposing new land for plants to grow, which benefits delicate alpine species in the short term. However, these early pioneers – some of which are endemic – soon become endangered as more aggressive species take over, driving them out of their remaining habitat and decreasing overall biodiversity.

Up to 22% of species studied on four glaciers in the Italian Alps would disappear from the area once the glaciers have gone, the researchers found. Endemic plants such as mossy saxifrage, purple mountain saxifrage and mignonette-leaved bitter-cress would probably become extinct 150 years after the glaciers disappeared.

Proglacial environments are highly sensitive to global warming, and mountain species are subject to the “escalator to extinction”. They need to move to a higher-altitude habitat as the climate warms, but there is no more space for them to do this.

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Disappearing Bees

About a quarter of all known bee species haven’t been seen since the 1990s even though efforts by scientists and amateurs to survey them have increased by about 55% since the turn of the century. Eduardo Zattara and Marcelo Aizen of Argentina’s National University of Comahue found that the decline isn’t the same for all bee populations, and the lack of sightings for those missing doesn’t mean the species have gone extinct. The researchers say it just means those bees are now rare enough that people who tend to report bee sightings aren’t coming across them. The destruction of natural habitats, heavy use of pesticides and climate change are likely to be causing the decline, according to Zattara.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 111 degrees Fahrenheit (43.9 degrees Celsius) in Port Augusta, South Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 72.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 57.8 degrees Celsius) at Nyurba, 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.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 20 January 2021 – 26 January 2021

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 18-25 January incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was often visible nightly. The sulfur dioxide emission rate slightly high, reaching 1,500 tons per day on 18 January. Two explosions, on 18 and 20 January, produced eruption plumes that rose 1.3-1.7 km above the crater rim and ejecting bombs 1.3-1.7 km away from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono – Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 0823 on 25 January an ash plume from Dukono rose 300 m and drifted S. 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 on 20 January that sent ash plumes to 3.1 km (10,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE. Ashfall was reported in Severo-Kurilsk that same day. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Fuego – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that 5-11 explosions were recorded per hour during 19-25 January at Fuego, generating ash plumes as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim that drifted no more than 15 km W, SW, and S. Shock waves rattled buildings around the volcano and were felt by residents as far as 12 km away. Block avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), El Jute, Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages, often reaching vegetated areas. Incandescent material was ejected 100-300 m above the summit almost daily. Ashfall was reported on most days in several areas downwind including Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, Santa Sofía (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), and San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW).

Ibu – Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 20-26 January gray-and-white ash plume from Ibu rose 200-800 m above the summit and drifted N, W, and S. 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 a lava dome in Karymsky’s summit crater was visible in satellite images during 14-15 and 20-21 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kilauea – Hawaiian Islands (USA) ; HVO reported that low lava fountains from a vent on a cone on the inner NW wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater fed flows that traveled down a channel into a perched lava lake during 20-26 January. The western half of the lake deepened from 202 to 205 m and was perched ~4 m above the solidified lava crust adjacent to the crater wall. The stagnant E half remained slightly lower, perched ~2 m above the adjacent crust. The islands remained stationary in the E part of the lake; the dimensions of the largest island remained unchanged and was 23 m above the lake’s surface at the highest point. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 2,200 tons/day on 23 January.

Klyuchevskoy – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that Strombolian and sometimes Vulcanian activity at Klyuchevskoy continued during 15-22 January and lava advanced down the Kozyrevsky drainage on the S flank and the Apakhonchich drainage on the SE flank. A large bright thermal anomaly was identified daily in satellite images. Steam-and-gas plumes with some ash rose to 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 200 km in multiple directions. A notable eruptive event on 18 January generated an ash plume that rose as high as 7.5 km (24,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 500 km W. Ashfall (1 cm thick) was reported in Kozyrevsk. On 24 January collapses from the lava flow at about 2,200 elevation sent large amounts of material and pyroclastic flows down the Apakhonchich drainage. KVERT estimated that the ash plumes from the event rose to 8.5 km (27,900 ft) a.s.l. The Tokyo VAAC stated that ash plumes rose as high as 10.4 km (34,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W on the same day. The Aviation colour Code remined at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kuchinoerabujima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA lowered the Alert Level for Kuchinoerabujima to 2 (the second lowest level on a scale of 1-5) on 19 January, noting downward trends in activity data since mid-2020. Specifically, after May 2020 no volcanic earthquakes were detected, inflation slowed to baseline levels, and sulfur dioxide emissions began decreasing though remained slightly high. Additionally, crater incandescence had not been visible after July and no eruptions were recorded after August 2020.

Lewotolo – Lomblen Island (Indonesia) :PVMBG reported that a Strombolian eruption at Lewotolo continued during 19-26 January. Gray-and-white ash plumes rose 200-1,000 m above the summit daily and drifted E, SE, and W. Rumbling sounds were occasionally reported. Strombolian explosions ejected material 100-600 m above the summit, and incandescent material was sometimes ejected as far as 500 m E, SE, and W from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay 4 km away from the summer crater.

Manam – Papua New Guinea : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 23 January ash plumes from Manam rose to 4.9 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and N.

Pacaya – Guatemala : Strombolian activity and lava effusion continued at Pacaya during 19-26 January. Explosions from the cone in Mackenney Crater ejected material as high as 200 m above the vent. Occasionally ash plumes rose no higher than 200 m above the summit and drifted as far as 10 km W, SW, and S. Moderate-to-strong Strombolian explosions on 22 January generated ash plumes that drifted NW and caused ashfall in the regions of San Francisco de Sales and San Vicente Pacaya. The explosions rattled nearby structures. Lava flows were active on the S and SW flanks; avalanches from the S flow front reached the base on the volcano and the SW lava flow traveled as far as 1.7 km by 25 January.

Reventador – Ecuador : IG reported that a high level of activity continued to be recorded at Reventador during 19-26 January; adverse weather conditions sometimes prevented visual conformation. Seismicity was characterized by 42-106 daily explosions, volcano-tectonic and harmonic tremor events, and long-period earthquakes as well as signals indicating emissions. Gas, steam, and ash plumes, often observed multiple times a day with the webcam or reported by the Washington VAAC, rose as high as 1 km above the summit crater and drifted mainly NW, W, and SW. Crater incandescence and incandescent blocks rolling 600-800 m down the NE and S flanks were observed on some nights. A new lava flow was active on the N flank.

Sangay – Ecuador : IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 16-26 January. Seismicity was characterized by 30-166 daily explosions, occasional harmonic tremor, long-period earthquakes, and signals indicating emissions. Weather clouds often prevented visual observations of the volcano, but the Washington VAAC and IG webcams recorded daily ash plumes that rose as high as 2.1 km above the summit and drifted mainly NW, W, and SW. Ashfall was reported in the provinces of Chimborazo and Guayas on 23 January.

Santa Maria – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 19-25 January explosions at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose 600-900 m above the complex. The extrusion of blocky lava at Caliente dome generated block-and-ash flows that mainly descended the W and SW flanks, often reaching the base of the complex. Ash plumes drifted W and SW during 20-21 January, causing ashfall in Loma Linda (6 km WSW) and San Marcos Palajunoj (8 km SW). On 22 January collapses of material to the E and SE generated pyroclastic flows.

Semeru – Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 19-26 January daily incandescent avalanches of material from the Jonggring Seleko Crater at Semeru traveled 200-1,000 m down the Kobokan drainage on the SE flank. Incandescent material was ejected 50 m above the summit on most days and white-and-gray plumes rose 200-500 m and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 1 km and extensions to 4 km in the SSE sector.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 15-22 January. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Stromboli – Aeolian Islands (Italy) : INGV reported that during 18-24 January activity at Stromboli was characterized by ongoing explosive activity from Area N (North Crater area) and in Area C-S (South-Central Crater area). Explosions from the N1 vent (Area N) ejected lapilli and bombs 80-150 m high, and produced minor ash emissions. Explosions at four N2 vents (Area N) ejected coarse material as high as 250 m. Periods of continuous and sometimes intense spattering was also visible. Explosions from at least two vents in Area C-S occurred at a rate of 10-18 events per hour; one vent ejected coarse material 250 m high and the other produced ash emissions. Lava emerged from the P1 and P2 vents in Area N four times, on 18, 22, and 24 January, and flowed onto the upper Sciara del Fuoco. On 18 January incandescent blocks from activity at the P1 vent rolled a few tens of meters down the upper parts of the Sciara del Fuoco. Later that same day blocks from the P2 vent traveled as far as the central part of the Sciara del Fuoco. Lava from P2 traveled down the Sciara del Fuoco on 22 January and accumulated at the coastline. A fourth lava overflow occurred on 24 January from P2, but had less volume than the third.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.0 earthquake his Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Shetland Islands.