Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits the Sea of Okhotsk.

5.2 earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits south of the Kermedec islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Screen Shot 2021 10 27 at 11 44 47 AM

In the Northwest Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm 25w (Malou), located approximately 235 nm south-southwest of Iwo To, is tracking north-northeastward at 07 knots.

Tropical depression 26w (Twenty-six), located approximately 159 nm east-northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has tracked west-northwestward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Vietnam – At least one person has died and thousands have evacuated their homes in central Vietnam after days of heavy rainfall. More severe weather is likely to affect the country as Tropical Depression ‘Twenty-six’ moves eastwards over the South China Sea. 5,373 houses were flooded in Quang Nam Province. 11,038 houses flooded in Quang Ngai Province. Over 7,000 people were evacuated to safety from flooded areas and areas at risk of landslides in Quang Nam (2,535 people) and Quang Ngai (4,541 people).

USA – A convergence of strong Pacific storms – a “bomb cyclone” and an “atmospheric river” – triggered floods, mudflows and wind damage in California on 24 October. The storm also affected parts of Washington state and Oregon. Wind damage caused power outages affecting 400,000 people. Two people were killed when a tree fell on a vehicle near Preston, Washington. Flooding was reported across the San Francisco Bay Area, including in Berkeley and Oakland. Swollen rivers caused flooding in Napa and Sonoma counties. Some homes were evacuated in Santa Rosa, Sonoma county, after several creeks broke their banks. Landslides blocked a stretch of Highway 70 in Butte and Plumas counties after rain fell in areas of the Dixie Fire burn scar. Sections of Highways 16 and 20 were closed in due to mudslides in Colusa and Yolo counties. Evacuation warnings or orders were issued in burn scar areas of parts of Fresno, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties.

Global Warming

Global warming is reshaping Arctic landscapes

Wide tears in the ground, tilted telephone poles and the whiff of rotten eggs in fresh air are warning signs of a carbon “time bomb” as permafrost in Sweden’s thaws. Global warming is happening in these parts three times faster than in the rest of the world.

Permafrost — defined as soil that stays frozen year-round for at least two consecutive years—lies under about a quarter of the land in the Northern Hemisphere. In Abisko, the permafrost beneath the mire can be up to tens of metres thick, dating back thousands of years. In parts of Siberia, it can go down over a kilometre and be hundreds of thousands of years old. With average temperatures rising around the Arctic, the permafrost has started to thaw. As it does so, bacteria in the soil begin to decompose the biomass stored within. The process releases the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

Between carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, permafrost contains some 1,700 billion tonnes of organic carbon, almost twice the amount of carbon already present in the atmosphere. Methane lingers in the atmosphere for only 12 years compared to centuries for CO2 but is about 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas over a 100-year period.

So when will the permafrost reach a tipping point? That is, a temperature threshold beyond which an ecosystem can tip into a new state and risk disturbing the global system. It’s feared, for example, that the Amazon tropical forest could turn into a savannah or that the ice sheets atop Greenland and West Antarctica could melt entirely.

Disease

Covid-19

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

Screen Shot 2021 10 27 at 11 53 56 AM

Meningitis – DR Congo

In a follow-up on the meningitis outbreak in Tshopo Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), health officials now report 2,395 suspected meningitis cases, including 14 confirmed (Neisseria meningitidis serotype W) and 200 deaths (case fatality ratio = 8.4%), in Banalia health district, as of October 23.