Wildlife

Birds vs Buildings

A new study finds that hundreds of millions of birds die by crashing into U.S. buildings each year during their migrations.

Songbirds are among the greatest victims at night because they emit chirps that signal other birds to follow and sometimes crash into the structures.

City lights and glass windows that appear as clear air to the birds are also threats. Chicago is said to be the most deadly city for bird crashes, with Houston and Dallas coming in second and third.

Researchers say that since half of migratory birds pass through a particular city during six nights in the spring and seven nights in the fall, cities could cut down on bird deaths by dimming their lights during those brief periods.

Whale Liberation

The Kremlin has intervened to free nearly 100 whales that have been held in small pens in Russia’s Far East following months of pressure from animal rights groups and Hollywood stars.

It is believed the whales were caught last year for sale to Chinese marine parks, which pay millions of dollars for them. Surveillance by Greenpeace and other groups revealed that the whales have suffered from hypothermia, skin lesions and flipper deterioration.

An international group of scientists, including the famed marine expert Jean-Michel Cousteau, announced that the whales will be released in phases under the new agreement with Moscow.

EWCOLOR

Disease

Dengue Fever – Reunion – Update

Health officials in Reunion report an additional 904 dengue fever cases during the last week of March, bringing the total to nearly 5,000 since the beginning of the year.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.7 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.4 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.3 earthquake hits southeast of the Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

5.2 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.1 earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits near the coast of central Peru.

Two 5.0 earthquakes hit New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits the southwest Indian ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits the southern mid-Atlantic ridge.

Global Warming

Climate change made the Arctic greener. Now parts of it are turning brown

The Chugach people of southern Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula have picked berries for generations. Tart blueberries and sweet, raspberry-like salmonberries — an Alaska favorite — are baked into pies and boiled into jams. But in the summer of 2009, the bushes stayed brown and the berries never came. For three more years, harvests failed.

The berry bushes had been ravaged by caterpillars of geometrid moths — the Bruce spanworm (Operophtera bruceata) and the autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata). The insects had laid their eggs in the fall, and as soon as the leaf buds began growing in the spring, the eggs hatched and the inchworms nibbled the stalks bare.

At the peak of the multiyear outbreak, the caterpillars climbed from the berry bushes into trees. The pests munched through foliage from Port Graham, at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula, to Wasilla, north of Anchorage, about 300 kilometers away. In summer, thick brown-gray layers of denuded willows, alders and birches lined the mountainsides above stretches of Sitka spruce.

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For more than 35 years, satellites circling the Arctic have detected a “greening” trend in Earth’s northernmost landscapes. Scientists have attributed this verdant flush to more vigorous plant growth and a longer growing season, propelled by higher temperatures that come with climate change. But recently, satellites have been picking up a decline in tundra greenness in some parts of the Arctic. Those areas appear to be “browning.”

While global warming has propelled widespread trends in tundra greening, extreme winter weather can spur local browning events. In recent years, in some parts of the Arctic, extraordinary warm winter weather, sometimes paired with rainfall, has put tundra vegetation under enormous stress and caused plants to lose freeze resistance, dry up or die — and turn brown.

Wildlife

The Impact of Plastic on Wildlife

A plastic bag or a six pack ring floating by in the ocean would cause someone to cringe. Large pieces of plastics are easy to spot, campaign around and clean up. But who cleans up the nearly invisible pieces of plastic floating around bodies of water – microplastics? The tragic effect of plastic on wildlife is often overlooked.

Bird microplastics

Island Culls

Some scientists are proposing that feral cats and dogs, rodents, pigs and goats should be culled on 169 islands to save critically endangered species.

A study published in the journal PLOS ONE argues that the invasive animals often occupy islands where the entire native population is at risk of extinction.

Most of the invasive animals were inadvertently introduced to the islands by visiting ships or brought there intentionally by humans.

Successful culls have been conducted on islands such as South Georgia, which is now rat-free for the first time in two centuries.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 114 degrees Fahrenheit (45.6 degrees Celsius) in N’Guigmi, Niger.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 96.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 71.1 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, 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

Ebola – DR Congo

Today the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recorded 18 new cases in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri province, the largest single-day jump since the outbreak began last August. The previous record was 16 cases, on Apr 7.

The spike in cases raises the outbreak total to 1,186, which includes 1,120 confirmed and 66 probable infections. Officials also confirmed 10 new deaths, raising the fatality count to 751. Ten of the new deaths occurred in the community, which raises the risk of disease spread.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 3 April – 9 April 2019

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 1331 on 4 April an explosion at Agung ejected incandescent material out of the crater and onto the flanks within a 2-3 km radius, mainly on the S flank. A dense gray ash plume rose 2 km above the crater rim and, based on satellite data, drifted W and S. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including Telungbuana, Badeg, Besakih (7 km SW), Pempatan (8 km W), Teges, and Puregai. Roaring was heard at the observation post in Rendang (12 km NW). The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) with the exclusion zone set at a 4-km radius.

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was occasionally visible during 1-8 April. Two explosions on 7 April generated plumes that rose a maximum of 1.3 km above the crater rim and ejected material as far as 1.7 km. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Copahue | Central Chile-Argentina border : On 5 April OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that seismicity at Copahue increased during 1-31 March, characterized by abundant volcano-tectonic earthquakes and increases in long-period and very-long-period earthquakes. In addition, the level of the lake water in El Agrio crater had dropped compared to previous months. The Alert Level was raised to Yellow (second highest level on a four-colour scale); SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry into a restricted area within 500 m of the crater. ONEMI raised the Alert Level to Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the municipality of Alto Biobío.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 3-9 April ash plumes from Dukono rose as high as 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, SE, and S. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and visitors were 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 29-31 March, 1 April, and 4 April that sent ash plumes up to 3.2 km (10,500 ft) a.s.l. Ash fell in Severo-Kurilsk on 31 March, the same day a thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 28 March multiple ash plumes from Ibu were identified in satellite images drifting SE at an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. 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.

Kadovar | Papua New Guinea : Based on satellite data and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 9 April an ash plume from Kadovar rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 6 April a minor ash emission from Karangetang rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that an ash plume from Karymsky was visible in satellite images on 31 March drifting about 17 km S. Weather clouds obscured views during 1-6 April. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kerinci | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that at 1637 on 3 April a brownish ash plume rose 4.3 km above Kerinci’s crater rim and drifted NE, as noted by a ground-based observer. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and tourists were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that during 1-7 April there were six explosions at Anak Krakatau detected by the seismic network. Foggy weather conditions prevented visual observations. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 5-km radius hazard zone from the crater.

Merapi | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that by 21 March the lava dome at Merapi had grown to an estimated volume of 472,000 cubic meters, based on analyses of drone footage. It remained relatively unchanged during 1-7 April, as most of the extruded lava fell into the upper parts of the SE-flank Gendol River drainage. Two block-and-ash flows traveled as far as 1 km down the Gendol drainage. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : ONEMI and SERNAGEOMIN noted that on 5 April the pulsating, generally white, emissions from Nevados de Chillán’s Nicanor Crater were sometimes gray. Explosions was recorded at 0403 on 8 April and 0457 on 9 April, and were associated with long-period earthquake signals. A video posted on social media from the 9 April event showed incandescent material showering the flanks of the lava dome. The Alert Level remained at Orange, the second highest level on a four-colour scale, and residents were reminded not to approach the crater within 3 km. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the communities of Pinto, Coihueco, and San Fabián.

Rincon de la Vieja | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that continuous emissions at Rincón de la Vieja were visible during 3-4 April rising 200 m above the crater rim. A small eruption was recorded at 1437.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch’s lava dome was identified daily in satellite images during 29 March-6 April. Explosions on 5 April generated ash plumes that rose to 7-7.5 km (23,000-24,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 550 km NW during 5-6 April. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that minor ash emissions rose from Turrialba on 8 April.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

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

5.1 earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Nicobar Islands off India.

5.0 earthquake hits Amazonas, Venezuela.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

USA – A “bomb cyclone” blizzard swept out of the Rockies into the Great Plains on Wednesday, leading the Colorado governor to activate the National Guard and prompting fears of more flooding in areas still recovering from a deluge last month. Warm spring temperatures on Tuesday gave way to heavy snow, gale-force winds and life-threatening conditions on Wednesday across a swath of the central United States running from Colorado to Minnesota, the National Weather Service said.

Space Events

First Ever Image of a Black Hole

Scientists revealed the first-ever glimpse of a super-massive black hole on Wednesday, as the Event Horizon Telescope released the first results of its findings in a ‘groundbreaking’ discovery that opens up questions about conventional physics. The collaboration of scientists reveals what is called the “event horizon”, the boundary at the edge of a black hole where the gravitational pull is so strong that no conventional physical laws apply and nothing can escape. The image released on Wednesday shows the shadow of the hole at the centre of glowing plasma.

Unnamed

Disease

African Swine Fever – South Africa

South Africa has detected an outbreak of African swine fever on a farm in North West province, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday. The outbreak killed 32 out of a herd of 36 pigs on a farm in the Ditsobotla district, with the remaining animals slaughtered, the report said.

MERS Vaccine

A collaborative team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Saudi Arabia and Canada developed a potent and safe vaccine that protects against the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. The findings recently were published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 3 April – 9 April 2019

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that at 1030 on 9 April a small ash plume from Klyuchevskoy was identified in satellite images rising to altitudes of 3-3.5 km (10,000-11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifting 20 km SW. The Aviation colour Code was raised to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-colour scale).

Tengger Caldera | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 0718 on 6 April ash plumes from Tengger Caldera’s Bromo cone rose 900 m above the crater rim and drifted SE. The Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-8 April ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N and E, based on webcam images, satellite data, and ground-based observations. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and visitors were warned to stay outside of a 1-km radius of the crater.

Villarrica | Chile : POVI reported an increase in the frequency of Strombolian explosions at Villarrica, with incandescent material ejected to 50 m above the crater rim during 7-8 April.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.8 earthquake hits Anzoategui, Venezuela.

5.0 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits New Caledonia.

5.0 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 23s (Wallace), located approximately 344 nm north-northwest of Learmonth, Australia, is tracking westward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Brazil – Heavy rains killed at least 10 people and left a trail of destruction in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, raising questions about the city’s preparedness to deal with recurring extreme weather. Torrents of water gushed down streets, sweeping up cars and uprooting trees after rains that began around rush hour Monday evening. Rains slowly weakened by Tuesday evening.

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