Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits eastern Honshu, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits north of Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits southern Alaska.

5.0 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Wildlife

Poland plans to kill thousands of boars

Poland’s battle to control highly contagious African swine fever (ASF) is turning into a political problem for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Since Saturday, hunters have been out in force across the country gunning for wild boars — many of which are carriers of the deadly disease that the Polish government wants to stamp out to protect domestic pigs.

It’s the scale of the cull that’s causing the trouble. A total of some 20,000 wild boars will be killed over the next few weekends — bringing this season’s overall cull to about 190,000 — the government estimates the total wild population is about 214,000.

The plan has galvanized a coalition of environmental groups, scientists and the political opposition. Polish Facebook pages are filled with cute pictures of boar piglets while the next few days will see protests in several Polish cities.

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Disease

Anthrax – Tanzania

The consumption of anthrax tainted meat has been linked to an outbreak of suspected Bacillus anthracis infections in Nzoka village, Momba district of the Songwe Region of Tanzania. Four people have died and some 77 people were sickened after eating the suspect meat.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.1 earthquake hits north of Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia.

Disease

African Swine Fever – China

A new outbreak of African swine fever has hit two farms in Jiangsu province in eastern China, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, as the highly contagious disease continues to spread through the world’s largest hog herd.

The outbreak in Siyang county hit two farms with a total of 68,969 pigs, the Xinhua report said, citing a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. A total of 2,452 pigs have been infected and 1,369 killed.

The latest case comes shortly after an outbreak in Heilongjiang province in northeastern China affected a large farm with 73,000 pigs.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Volcanoes Today, 13 Jan 2019

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Tokyo warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 20000 ft (6100 m) altitude or flight level 200. Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Tokyo warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 16000 ft (4900 m) altitude or flight level 160 and is moving at 20 kts in W direction.

Kadovar (Northeast of New Guinea): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Darwin (VAAC) issued the following report: INTERMITTENT DISCRETE EMISSIONS TO FL080 EST VA DTG:13/0100Z

Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Darwin warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 7000 ft (2100 m) altitude or flight level 070 .

Dukono (Halmahera): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Darwin (VAAC) issued the following report: CONTINUOUS VA EMISSIONS TO FL070 EST VA DTG:13/0730Z

Fuego (Guatemala): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: VA DETECTED IN STLT

Sabancaya (Peru): Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Buenos Aires warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 27000 ft (8200 m) altitude or flight level 270 and is moving at 15 kts in W direction.

Planchón-Peteroa (Central Chile and Argentina): Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Buenos Aires (VAAC) issued the following report: continuous ash emissions.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.3 earthquake hits southern Xinjiang, China.

5.2 earthquake hits south of Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits the Sunda Strait, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka.

5.1 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Malawi – Heavy downpours last night that hit Lilongwe have caused damage in various areas in the city. Those greatly affected by the floods are areas such as area 23, 22, Kawale and Mtandile respectively. The majority of the individuals affected by the floods are those that built or are renting housing that are close to the rivers. The heavy rains caused damages to bridges at Chipasula, Kawale and Chidzanja.

Global Warming

Global Warming in a Nutshell – The Carbon Cycle

Using sunlight, plants and microorganisms take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Those plants are then eaten by animals, which then convert the plants to energy and exhale carbon dioxide. Or if the plants don’t get eaten, they die and decay, putting some carbon in the soil and returning some carbon to the atmosphere.

It’s almost a closed loop, though over the course of millions of years, enough decaying plant and animal matter gradually built up in the ground to yield vast reserves of fossil fuels while reducing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere bit by bit.

Humans have breached this cycle by digging up fossil fuels and burning them, leading to carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere faster than natural systems can soak it up. This has led to a net increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, causing the planet to heat up.

The Oceans are Warming Faster than Previously Thought

The planet’s oceans are warming a lot quicker than estimated, highlighting the perils of unchecked climate change, according to a new study.

New data published by the journal Science on Thursday, indicates that ocean temperatures have consistently risen since the 1950s and are rising 40% faster than calculated by scientists in a 2014 U.N. report. According to Lijing Cheng, one of the study’s authors, temperatures down to 2,000 meters rose about 0.1 degree Celsius (0.18F) between 1971-2010, according to Reuters. The fallout could include rising sea levels, destruction of corals, severe weather systems and a decrease in ice sheets and glaciers. According to the study, sea levels could rise by 30cm by the year 2100.

The earth’s oceans have absorbed more than 90% of heat caused by greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere, according to the New York Times, making them a vital regulator for the planet’s thermostat. However, their role was relatively unnoticed because of insufficient and imprecise data. The new study analyzed earlier published information and data compiled by Argo, an international system of nearly 4,000 floats that measures temperature and saline levels in the upper parts of the world’s oceans.

The study is the latest in a number of warnings from the scientific community, urging people to change their ways and address global warming. In October 2018, a report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the planet has only until 2030 to avoid devastating climate change effects. Governments are becoming more aware of their responsibilities, with almost 200 nations pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Wildfires

Wildfires – South Africa

Thirty-one residential properties have been completely destroyed and 28 properties sustained partial to major damage in the raging fires in the Betty’s Bay area, east of Cape Town, the city’s fire chief Theo Lane said on Saturday. It is estimated that more than 12 800 hectares of vegetation was destroyed.

Disease

Foot and Mouth Disease – South Africa

The Department of Agriculture has finally revealed the extent of the foot and mouth outbreak. Officials say it has affected more than 15, 000 cattle in Vhembe district in Limpopo and that the situation is worse than expected. The area has been quarantined and further assessments will be made to determine if cattle need to be culled.

The department has also expressed concerned about the money the country is losing over the halting of meat exports. Zimbabwe has joined Botswana, Eswatini and Namibia in banning the import of livestock products from South Africa.

Measles – Brazil

The Brazil Ministry of Health reported this week on the measles situation in the country. From the beginning of 2018, until January 8 of this year, 10,274 cases were confirmed in Brazil. 12 fatalities have been reported.

Currently, the country faces two outbreaks of measles: in Amazonas with 9,778 confirmed cases and in 355 cases in Roraima. The outbreaks that occurred last year are related to importation, since the genotype of the virus (D8), which is circulating in Brazil, is the same that circulates in Venezuela, a country with a disease outbreak since 2017.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Zambia – Chama District in Muchinga Province has been hit with serious floods resulting in the loss of four lives. The floods that have hit Chama South Constituency as a result of heavy rains being experienced in the area have also, submerged crops destroying infrastructure such such bridges and feeder roads.

Wildlife

Massive Migrations

About 2 billion birds cross the Gulf of Mexico during the spring migration season, according to a new study that combined data from 11 weather radar stations and observations from citizen scientists.

Researcher Kyle Horton of Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology said that before he and his colleagues looked at the data from 1995 to 2015, “we could only guess at the overall numbers from surveys done along small portions of the shoreline.”

Horton says that while climate change has caused the earliest seasonal migrations to begin 1.5 days earlier per decade, the peak has remained at the same period between April 19 and May 7.