Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

A tsunami warning has been issued for parts of New Zealand, with some residents being told to evacuate, after a strong earthquake struck off the country’s coast on Friday (March 5), according to news reports. The powerful 8.1-magnitude earthquake occurred at 8:28 a.m. local time near New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands, which are part of New Zealand and lie about 500 miles (800 kilometers) northeast of the country’s main North Island. It was the third strong earthquake — higher than a magnitude 7.0 — to strike the region in a span of less than eight hours, and the strongest earthquake to hit globally in two years.

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8.1 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

7.4 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

7.3 earthquake hits east of North Island, New Zealand.

6.2 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

6.1 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

6.1 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

Two 5.9 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

Three 5.8 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

5.7 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

Ten 5.6 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

5.6 earthquake hits Greece.

5.6 earthquake hits east of North Island, New Zealand.

5.6 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.6 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, indonesia.

Four 5.5 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

Four 5.4 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

Six 5.3 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits Greece.

Seven 5.1 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Chagos Archipelago.

5.1 earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

5.1 earthquake hits east of North Island, New Zealand.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit east of North Island, New Zealand.

Five 5.0 earthquakes hit the Kermedec Islands.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit Greece.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 22s (Marian), located approximately 1080 nm west of the Learmonth, Australia, is tracking southward at 07 knots.

Tropical cyclone 23p (Niran), located approximately 584 nm west-northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking east-southeastward at 24 knots.

Tropical cyclone 24s (Habana), located approximately 585 nm south-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking eastward at 10 knots.

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Newsbytes:

Peru Heavy rainfall over the last few days has caused flooding in parts of Piura Region in norther Peru. On 02 March 2021, as a result of intense rainfall, there was damage to roads, homes and public buildings in the districts of Tambogrande, Las Loma, Chulucanas and Canchaque. On 04 March, parts of Máncora and San Miguel de El Faique districts were also affected. Media reported that areas of the city of Piura were also flooded.

Environment

Radioactive Dust

As a huge plume of Saharan dust cast a pall over parts of Spain and France in early March, a leading expert warned that the desert particles can still contain residual radioactivity from the 1960s French nuclear tests in southern Algeria.

Radiation protection expert Pierre Barbey of France’s University of Caen Normandy says he analyzed Saharan dust that fell on his car in the Alps during a recent episode and found it contained minute amounts of cesium-137 created by the blasts. While the radiation is now too weak to harm humans, Barbey says the finding “does say a lot about the persistence of radioactive pollution.”

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First Space Hurricane

Typical hurricanes are easy to spot in satellite imagery: Swirling clouds surround a quiet eye. These storms usually form in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, closer to Earth’s surface, and unleash heavy rain and strong winds.

But according to a recent study, space hurricanes are wholly different beasts.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, describes the first space hurricane ever spotted. Satellites observed it in August 2014 – a swirling mass with a quiet center more than 125 miles above the North Pole.

Whereas regular hurricanes churn air, this space hurricane was an eddy of plasma, a type of super hot, charged gas found throughout the solar system. And instead of rain, this storm brought showers of electrons.

The space hurricane was more than 998 kilometres wide, and high in the sky – it formed in the ionosphere layer. The space hurricane lasted eight hours, swirling in a counter-clockwise direction. It had several spiral arms snaking out from its center, according to the researchers, a bit like a spiral galaxy. Once it had formed, the storm acted like a channel from space into Earth’s atmosphere – funnelling some electrons down past the planet’s armour.

Global Warming

Carbon Emission Red Alert

Leading climate scientists warn that the promised moves to greener technologies to supply the world’s energy needs will not happen fast enough to stave off the climate catastrophes predicted if the world warms more than 2 degrees Celsius.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change says nations must cut their carbon emissions in half within the next 10 years to keep global heating within the 1.5-degree “safe” threshold. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called the warning a red alert for our planet, adding that “it shows governments are nowhere close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change.”

Antarctic Calving

An iceberg more than 20 times the size of Manhattan and nearly 500 feet thick has broken off from Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf. The British Antarctic Survey said it was the largest calving there since 1917 but cannot be directly linked to climate change.

Warning signs of the split began last November when a chasm in the ice appeared and ripped toward another major crack 21 miles away. In January, the chasm began to expand in that direction at about a half-mile a day until the separation occurredrcWhile it is a huge chunk of ice, scientists say it is dwarfed by Iceberg A68a, which broke off from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in 2017 and recently threatened to collide.

Greenhouse gas emissions around the world exceed pre-pandemic lockdown levels

After declining sharply last spring, global emissions of greenhouse gases ended 2020 by exceeding pre-pandemic levels, according to International Energy Agency (IEA).

With a screeching halt of the movement of people last spring, as many countries imposed strict restrictions on travel, socializing and commuting to slow the spread of the coronavirus, emissions in April during the peak period of the lockdown were down 17 percent from a year ago, the report noted.

Overall, global carbon emissions from energy use dropped 8 percent in 2020. Yale School of the Environment says that’s a decline equal to two-and-a-half years of energy sector emissions.

However, by the end of the year, emissions spiked. This week, the IEA, a Paris-based intergovernmental agency, released a new report that shows emissions from the production and use of oil, gas and coal were 2 percent higher in December 2020 than a year earlier.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 109 degrees Fahrenheit (42.8 degrees Celsius) in Kédougou, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 79.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 61.7 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 countries with the 10 greatest number of Covid-19 cases:

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 24 February 2021 – 2 March 2021

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 22 February-1 March incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible nightly. Three explosions and four non-explosive events generated eruption plumes that rose as high as 2.6 km above the crater rim and ejected bombs 0.6-1.3 km away from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono – Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 23-28 February ash plumes from Dukono rose 100-500 m above the summit and drifted SE and E. Weather conditions prevented visual observations during 1-2 March. 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 19-26 February that sent ash plumes to 3.6 km (11,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE. Ashfall was reported in Severo-Kurilsk on 20 February and a thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images that same day. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Fuego – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that 5-15 explosions were recorded per hour during 23 February-2 March at Fuego, generating ash plumes as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim. Shock waves rattled buildings around the volcano. Block avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages, often reaching vegetated areas. Ashfall was reported on most days in several areas downwind including Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I (8 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), and San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW). Incandescent material was ejected 100-400 m above the summit almost daily. Curtains of old ash deposits remobilized by strong winds were observed during 26-27 February.

Ibu – Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 24 February-2 March gray-and-white ash plumes from Ibu rose 200-800 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. 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.

Kilauea – Hawaiian Islands (USA) : HVO reported that a vent on the inner NW wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater continued to supply the lava lake during 24 February-2 March. The depth of the western part of the lake deepened from 217 to 219 m. Lava effused from a submerged vent and rapidly developed a thin crust as it flowed E towards the main stagnant island. The crust occasionally overturned at “plate” boundaries, and lava rarely overflowed onto the sloped margins of the lake. The E half of the lake remained solidified; the crusted area expanded towards the W. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 700-1,100 tons/day during 25-26 February and 1 March.

Kirishimayama – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA lowered the Alert Level for Kirishimayama to 1 (on a scale of 1-5) on 1 March. The number of volcanic earthquakes had increased in late December 2020 but then began to decline in January 2021 and continued the downward trend through February. No other observation data showed signs of unrest.

Lewotolo – Lomblen Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 24 February-2 March; weather conditions sometimes hindered visual observations. Gray-and-white ash plumes rose 100-700 m above the summit and drifted N, E, SE, and W. 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.

Merapi – Central Java (Indonesia) : BPPTKG reported that the 2021 lava dome just below Merapi’s SW rim and the new lava dome in the summit crater both continued to grow during 19-25 February. The 2021 lava-dome volume was an estimated 618,700 cubic meters on 25 February, with a growth rate of about 13,600 cubic meters per day. A total of three pyroclastic flows traveled 1.9 km down the SW flank. One of the three, recorded at 1652 on 25 February, was followed by minor ashfall in Kali Tengah Lor, Kali Tengah Kidul, Deles, and Tlukan. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public were warned to stay 5 km away from the summit.

Raung – Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that daily gray ash plumes rose 200-1,200 m above Raung’s summit during 24 February-2 March. Ash plumes were sometimes dense and drifted mainly N, E, and 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.

Sangay – Ecuador : IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 24 February-2 March. Seismicity was characterized by 3-254 daily explosions, long-period earthquakes, and signals indicating emissions. Weather clouds often prevented visual observations of the volcano, but the Washington VAAC recorded almost daily ash plumes that rose as high as 1.5 km above the summit and drifted mainly NW, W, and SW. A seismic station possibly recorded a lahar on 25 February.

Santa Maria – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during 23 February-2 March explosions at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the complex. Collapses of blocky lava from the Caliente dome sent avalanches mainly down the SW flank, often reaching the base of the complex. Minor pyroclastic flows were occasionally generated. Ash plumes drifted W and SW, often causing minor ashfall around the volcano.

Semeru – Eastern Java (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that during 24-25 February ash plumes from Semeru rose to 4-4.3 km (13,000-14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE based on satellite images. PVMBG noted that weather conditions prevented visual observations during 24 February-2 March. 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 19-26 February. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Soufriere St. Vincent – St. Vincent : University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) and National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) reported that the lava dome in Soufrière St. Vincent’s main crater continued to grow during 24 February-2 March. The rate of growth was variable, though overall slow. Gas emissions continued to damage vegetation in the summit area as well as on the SW flank. The monitoring teams replaced a camera and continue to improve the seismic and GPS networks. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported intermittent eruptive events at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater during 19-26 February. These events produced ash plumes that rose as high as 1.8 km above the crater rim and ejected bombs 200 m away from the crater. Ashfall was reported in Toshima village (4 km SSW). The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).