Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits Tajikistan.

5.5 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits the Peru-Ecuador border.

5.3 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

Two 5.2 earthquakes hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Two 5.1 earthquakes hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits south of the Mariana Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 19s (Faraji), located approximately 1269 nm east of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking west-southwestward at 06 knots.

Screen Shot 2021 02 13 at 13 45 51

Newsbytes:

Peru – Disaster authorities in Peru report that at least 1 person has died and over 300 homes were damaged after flash floods in Huánuco department. The disaster struck on 10 February after heavy rain caused the flooding of the Huamuco River (a small tributary of the Huallaga River) in Santa Rosa de Alto Yanajanca district, Marañón province. On the same day the Santa Martha river broke its banks flooding areas of La Morada district in Huánuco, damaging 70 houses, 3 public buildings, 4 bridges, as well as crops and roads.

Bolivia – Flooding has affected thousands of people in the departments of Beni and Santa Cruz in Bolivia since late January 2021. Disaster authorities report that over 35,000 families have now been affected by heavy rain and flooding across the country since the start of the year with 9 fatalities having been reported.

Philippines – At least one person has died after flooding in parts of Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. Flooding began after heavy rainfall from 08 February 2021. Borongan City in Eastern Samar Province recorded more than 117mm of rain in 24 hours to 09 February. Schools and offices were closed in Palo, Tolosa, Santa Fe, Alangalang, and San Miguel, as a result of flooding.

Global Warming

How global warming causes Europe’s harsh winter weather

Climate deniers are using a spell of unusually cold weather in Europe to incorrectly argue that CO2 emissions are not warming the planet. Their rather simplistic claim — which has been repeatedly debunked by climate scientists — is that extremely cold weather shows that carbon dioxide emissions are not warming the Earth.

In fact, the effects of global warming may even have favored the extremely cold temperature. The sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfalls are more than just a cold winter. They are made more likely by the collapse of the polar vortex — a huge ring of cold winds raging in the Earth’s stratosphere — at the North Pole.

The polar vortex is closely connected to the jet stream, a band of strong winds about 10 kilometers above the ground. At the polar front, this flows between warm air from the tropics and subtropics, and cold polar air. The pressure extremes that form in this transitional area at lower layers are sometimes referred to in weather reports as the Icelandic low or the Azores high.

The jet stream usually determines the winter weather in Europe: if it is strong and flows from west to east, it brings mild, windy and rainy weather from the Atlantic, and holds the cold air from the Arctic.

But if the jet stream is weak and wavy, the polar vortex also weakens, and sometimes breaks down completely. The cold snap across Europe is the result of a weak jet stream — more precisely a dip — that has caused a strong and long-lasting collapse of the polar vortex.

56261892 7

Wildfires

Logging and Wildfires

Logging of native forests makes them much more flammable and elevates the severity of bushfires when they occur, pushing some species closer to ecological collapse, according to a review of published science by two leading universities. The study found logging increased the severity of forest fires from about 10 years after the trees are extracted with effects lasting more than three decades. Selective logging or thinning can also increase fire risks. It is up to seven times more likely that the canopy in a logged forest will burn compared with an unlogged forest and once the canopy is burnt, it takes a long time for the recovery. The fragmentation of the canopy also results in warmer and drier conditions for the remaining vegetation as litter and the soil desiccate, contributing increased flammability, the paper noted.

Disease

Covid-19

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

Screen Shot 2021 02 13 at 13 48 49

Ebola – DR Congo

Since the declaration by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) of a new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Butembo Area of North Kivu Province, two additional cases have been reported, including one death.