Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 31 October – 6 November 2018

Sarychev Peak | Matua Island (Russia) : KVERT reported that an ash explosion at Sarychev Peak was last noted on 10 October and a thermal anomaly was last identified on 15 October. The volcano was quiet or obscured by clouds during 16-31 October. KVERT lowered the Aviation Colour Code to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-colour scale).

Kuchinoerabujima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that during 31 October-5 November there were very small events recorded at Kuchinoerabujima’s Shindake Crater. Plumes rose 500-1,200 m above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 earthquake hits off the coast of Aisen, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kuril islands.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 03s (Alcide), located approximately 594 nm north of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking west-southwestward at 07 knots.

NewsBytes:

Australia – Thousands of Victorians were left power after a slow-moving storm caused flash flooding in Melbourne, with half of the city’s November rainfall arriving in just three hours. Flooding has caused chaos along the Kingsway, at the tunnel entrance onto the CityLink, as well as in parts of Southbank, Rowville, Balwyn North, Windsor, Hawthorn, Ashburton and Narre Warren. Cars were left submerged, with some motorists forced to push their cars through the floodwaters.

Kuwait – Heavy rain inundated Kuwait on Monday night and early Tuesday morning causing flooding across several cities in the country. The Education Ministry announced the closure of schools and colleges as a result of the wet weather. The thunderstorms responsible for the flooding have been particularly vicious, with downdraught gusts typically reaching 90 kilometres per hour. On the peninsular east of Kuwait City, Salmiyah, a gust of 115km/h was reported in the early hours. The latest downpour was actually the tail end of a very active system that has covered much of Iraq and Syria. In two or three days, over 100mm of rain has fallen over the Euphrates and Tigris floodplains.

Global Warming

Climate Change to Affect the Gulf Making Life “Impossible”

It has been suggested that the environment in and around the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea will soon “exceed a threshold for human adaptability.”

Life in the Arab Gulf region, Yemen, parts of Iraq and great swaths of Iran, in other words, will no longer be possible. This ominous scenario, posited in one of 6,000 papers referenced in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warrants only a single line and is easily missed.

The Middle East is already more vulnerable to climate change than most regions because of limited water supplies and long summers that are already very hot. Rising temperatures will only reduce the availability of water, stoking tensions already straining relations between neighboring states.

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which once watered the flowering of civilization in ancient Mesopotamia, rise in the Armenian Highlands. Facing the rising threat of desertification, Turkey is increasingly diverting water from these rivers for its own agricultural needs and depriving its southern neighbor, Iraq, of supplies. Downstream in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, lack of fresh water has already led to a public health crisis and violent protests this year, raising the specter of a future blighted by water wars.

The body adapts to increases in environmental temperature through perspiration and subsequent evaporative cooling. As anyone who has waited in vain for a taxi in Abu Dhabi knows, extreme heat plus the proximity of a large body of water – such as the Gulf – equals high humidity, which prevents the body from regulating its internal temperature through evaporation. This is “wet bulb temperature,” or “TW” – a combination of temperature and humidity, or “mugginess.”

In the current summer climate experienced around the Gulf, when the actual temperature is at about 40 degrees, the wet bulb temperature is between 28 and an extremely uncomfortable 30 degrees. It has rarely exceeded 31

In the current summer climate experienced around the Gulf, when the actual temperature is at about 40 degrees, the wet bulb temperature is between 28 and an extremely uncomfortable 30 degrees. It has rarely exceeded 31.

The MIT scientists estimate that the maximum wet bulb temperature, or TWmax, at which even the fittest human being could not survive outdoors for more than six hours before suffering hyperthermia, or fatal overheating, is 35 degrees. If climate change is not checked, say the researchers, between 2071 and 2100 most of the territory bordering the Gulf, Red Sea and Arabian Sea will experience wet-bulb temperatures permanently between 31 and 35 degrees.

By the end of the century, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Dhahran and Bandar Abbas will regularly exceed 35 degrees, at which point life in the region will, to all practical intents and purposes, be over.

Yes, air-conditioning – if it can still be afforded and, indeed, be politically justified in the face of impending global climate-change catastrophe – might be able to cope indoors and in cars. But no one would be able to work or even survive outside, which would mean an end to construction and the vital businesses of tourism, ports and airports, while the rate of deaths from heat-related illnesses among the young and the elderly would become intolerable.

Climate change is altering the Bavarian Alps

It’s unseasonably warm on Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze. Thirty years ago, September would have brought freezing temperatures and the first snow flurries. Today, tourists explore the bare, snowless, moon-like rockscape in T-shirts and shorts.

The glaciers have all but disappeared too. The Northern Schneeferner has shrunk to a mere 25 percent of its 1950 volume. On the Southern Schneeferner, it’s even worse as only 6 percent is left.

As temperatures increase, the permafrost — a layer of sediment, rock or soil that remains frozen for more than two consecutive years and that stabilizes the mountain rock — is retreating too. That and increased rainfall, have caused the rocks to lose their stability, leading to more than a thousand rockfalls in the Alps in the past year.

A number of Alpine huts have already begun to subside as the ground beneath them shifts, he said. Anchors for cable cars and other infrastructure will also need to be stabilized. Some traditional climbing routes have been closed for safety reasons too.

Disease

Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease – Britain

A wave of hand, foot and mouth disease is sweeping across Britain, and parents are being urged to lookout for signs. The virus which can lead to painful symptoms, including red sores, for both children and adults. Several Somerset pre-schools have reported an increasing number of cases and other cases have also been reported in the popular Spanish holiday Island Majorca.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits Kepulauan Sangihe, Indonesia.

5.3 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.0 earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits Tarapaca, Chile.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Post-Tropical Cyclone Xavier is located about 145 mi…235 km sw of Cabo Corrientes Mexico with maximum sustained winds…45 mph…75 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 300 degrees at 6 mph…9 km/h.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 03s (Three), located approximately 672 nm north-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking west-southwestward at 08 knots.

Gl sst mm

Global Warming

The Seafloor Is Dissolving Away – And Humans Are to Blame

Climate change reaches all the way to the bottom of the sea.

The same greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the planet’s climate to change are also causing the seafloor to dissolve. And new research has found the ocean bottom is melting away faster in some places than others.

The ocean is what’s known as a carbon sink: It absorbs carbon from the atmosphere. And that carbon acidifies the water. In the deep ocean, where the pressure is high, this acidified seawater reacts with calcium carbonate that comes from dead shelled creatures. The reaction neutralizes the carbon, creating bicarbonate.

Over the millennia, this reaction has been a handy way to store carbon without throwing the ocean’s chemistry wildly out of whack. But as humans have burned fossil fuels, more and more carbon has ended up in the ocean. In fact, according to NASA, about 48 percent of the excess carbon humans have pumped into the atmosphere has been locked away in the oceans.

The researchers found that most areas of the oceans didn’t yet show a dramatic difference in the rate of calcium carbonate dissolution prior to and after the industrial revolution. However, there are multiple hotspots where human-made carbon emissions are making a big difference.

The biggest hotspot was the western North Atlantic, where anthropogenic carbon is responsible for between 40 and 100 percent of dissolving calcium carbonate. There were other small hotspots, in the Indian Ocean and in the Southern Atlantic, where generous carbon deposits and fast bottom currents speed the rate of dissolution.

The western North Atlantic is where the ocean layer without calcium carbonate has risen 980 feet (300 meters). This depth, called the calcite compensation depth, occurs where the rain of calcium carbonate from dead animals is essentially canceled out by ocean acidity. Below this line, there is no accumulation of calcium carbonate.

Ozone Hole Recovering

The ozone layer that shields life from cancer-causing solar rays is recovering at a rate of one to three percent per decade, reversing years of dangerous depletion caused by the release of harmful chemicals, a UN study said on Monday.

The four-yearly review of the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 ban on man-made gases that damage the fragile high-altitude ozone layer, found long-term decreases in the atmospheric abundance of controlled ozone-depleting substances and the ongoing recovery of stratospheric ozone.

“The Antarctic ozone hole is recovering, while continuing to occur every year. As a result of the Montreal Protocol much more severe ozone depletion in the polar regions has been avoided,” the report said.

The Antarctic ozone hole was expected to gradually close, returning to 1980 levels in the 2060s, the report said.

Wildfires

Wildfires – South Africa – Update

It’s been 13 days of raging wildfires from George to Knysna and now threatening Plettenberg Bay with more than 86 000 hectares burned an are more than four times the size of the 2017 Knysna wildfires. The blaze was being fought on several fronts on Tuesday by 323 firefighters‚ 39 vehicles‚ six spotter aircraft‚ five helicopters and three water bombers.

Disease

Ethiopia yellow fever outbreak

An outbreak of yellow fever has been confirmed in the Wolaita Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNP) Region of Ethiopia, located in the south-western part of the country.

Since the index case in late August, 35 suspected yellow fever cases have been reported in two woredas of Wolaita Zone in the SNNP Region. In addition, ten deaths were recorded (case fatality ratio 28.6%), including six in health facilities and four in the community.

African Swine Fever – China – Update

China confirmed a new case of African swine fever on Monday, in southern Hunan province, marking the 50th outbreak of the highly contagious disease in the world’s top pork producer. China’s agriculture ministry said the latest case was on a small farm of 119 pigs in Baojing county, near the border with Chongqing. It follows two cases reported over the weekend, one in Chongqing municipality, close to Baojing.

China linked feeding kitchen waste to pigs to the majority of the early cases of African swine fever in recent months, but it has not given a cause of the other cases. Analysts said the country’s feed sector might have been contaminated, suggesting risks were high that the disease would continue to spread quickly.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Xavier is located about 115 mi…180 km wsw of Manzanillo Mexico with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…nw or 305 degrees at 3 mph…6 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Italy and Sicily – Storm-related floods killed at least 12 people in Sicily, Italian authorities said Sunday, including nine members of two families who were spending a long weekend together when water and mud from a swollen river overran their rented villa. Meanwhile the heavy rain and gales lashing parts of Italy have now killed at least 17 people and razed thousands of hectares of forest, destroying 14 million trees. Areas across the country have been affected by the storms this week, which created landslides in the northern regions of Trentino and Veneto before moving south over the weekend.

Disease

Plague – Madagascar

In an update on the plague situation in Madagascar, an additional case was reported in the district of Tsiroanomandidy in central-western part of the country. This brings the total plague cases to 38 since August 1.

Pneumonia Accounts for 10% of Deaths – Philippines

In the Philippines, authorities have released information indicating that 57,809 pneumonia deaths were reported in 2016, nearly 10 percent of 582,183 registered deaths in 2016. This made pneumonia the 3rd top killer behind ischemic heart disease and cancer.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.3 earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

5.3 earthquake hits southern Xinjiang, China.

5.0 earthquake hits east of North Island, New Zealand.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Western Atlantic Ocean: Tropical Storm Xavier is located about 195 mi…315 km ssw of Manzanillo Mexico with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…n or 5 degrees at 6 mph…9 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Malaysia – Sixty-four families at Kampung Seri Bayas were cut off after a bridge connecting their village with the trunk road was inundated with two metre deep flood water. Heavy rain from yesterday also inundated the trunk road at Kampung Besut towards Bandar Permaisuri, which was submerged under 0.4 metres of water and the road was impassable to light traffic.

Saudi Arabia – Strong floods that hit the Madinah region destroyed a large number of livestock. Flash floods surprised farmers in the region and swept away more than 160 of their goats. Many dead animals new found trapped in tree branches several kilometers away and others buried in the mud.