Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.3 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits the Rat Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits southwestern Siberia, Russia.

5.0 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 earthquake hits Valparaiso, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits Salta, Argentina.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

7.0 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

6.0 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Four 5.9 earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.8 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Two 5.7 earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

Two 5.6 earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

Five 5.5 earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

Five 5.3 earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits southern Qinghai, China.

5.3 earthquake hits the Philippine Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits southern Iran.

Two 5.2 earthquakes hit the Philippine Islands.

Four 5.2 earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

Ten 5.1 earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Philippine Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the western Indian-Antarctic ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

Eleven 5.0 earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits southwestern Siberia.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Greece

Greece is facing a “natural disaster of unprecedented proportions,” as 586 wildfires burn in “all corners” of the country. The Mediterranean nation is broiling under one of its worst heat waves in decades and firefighters continue to battle blazes across the country. Sixty-three organized evacuations have taken place in the past few days.

Wildfires – Algeria

At least 25 soldiers were killed saving residents from wildfires ravaging mountain forests and villages east of the capital, he said. The civilian death toll from the blazes rose to at least 17.

Wildfire Smoke Reaches North Pole

Smoke from wildfires raging in Russia has reached the North Pole for the first time in recorded history.

Data captured by satellites flying over the region revealed Friday show just how much smoke is being produced from the hundreds of forest fires in the Sakha Republic in Siberia and just how far that smoke is spreading. Smoke blankets the sky for about 2,000 miles from east to west and 2,500 miles north to south, the report noted. Smoke from those fires has even been recorded as having traveled more than 1,864 miles to reach the North Pole — an unprecedented distance.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

Russian authorities started to evacuate two villages in a vast region of Siberia where 155 active forest fires burned Sunday.

A dozen villages in northeastern Siberia’s Sakha-Yakutia republic were threatened by the fires. Local authorities were moving the residents of two villages, Kalvitsa and Kharyyalakh, to other inhabited areas as crews totaling 3,600 people worked to contain about half of the blazes. On Saturday, flames destroyed 31 houses and eight maintenance buildings in another village, Byas-Kuel, and about 400 residents were evacuated, local officials said.

Wildfires – Italy

Italian emergency crews ordered hundreds of residents and tourists to leave their residences as wildfires approached Campomarino, on the Adriatic coast. Officials evacuated more than 400 people from their homes, hotels and campsites in the seaside district on Sunday, according to the fire brigade.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

In California, a growing wildfire south of Lake Tahoe jumped a highway, prompting more evacuation orders and the cancellation of an extreme bike ride through the Sierra Nevada on Saturday. The Tamarack Fire, which was sparked by lightning on July 4, had charred nearly 29 sq miles of dry brush and timber as of Sunday morning.

Wildfires – Siberia

Heavy smoke from raging wildfires covered the Russian city of Yakutsk and 50 other Siberian towns and settlements Sunday, temporarily halting operations at the city’s airport. Local emergency officials said 187 fires raged in the region on Sunday, and the total area engulfed by blazes has grown by 100,000 hectares (about 247,000 acres) in the past 24 hours.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Oregon, USA

The Bootleg Fire, has grown to over 227 000 acres. The fire has drawn firefighters from all corners of the state and has put thousands of Klamath County households under evacuation. While temperatures around Western Oregon and Western Washington have fallen back between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit in most places, southern Oregon is seeing triple-digit temperatures for an extended period.

Wildfires – Siberia

The city of Yakutsk, capital of Russia’s northeastern Yakutia region, has long been known as the coldest city on Earth. In winter, temperatures plummet to -40C, and it’s the only city to be built on permafrost. In July, temperatures are usually around 20C. But this year, record-breaking summer temperatures saw the mercury hit 35C in Yakutsk – in a heatwave that has fuelled wildfires in Siberia’s coniferous taiga forests.

Unlike wildfires that burn at lower latitudes, such as in California, which are often started by humans, Arctic wildfires are mostly started by lightning strikes. They are normally left to burn out unless they threaten human settlements. But Russian army planes have been sent to fight the fires that have raged across 800,000 hectares of forest in recent weeks.

Russia has the biggest area of tree cover in the world – at 882 million hectares. But it lost an area larger than Switzerland each year between 2011 and 2013 – mostly due to fires.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

Russian emergency workers fought wildfires burning Sunday on more than 550 square kilometers (212 square miles) of territory mostly in Siberia and the Far East.

The state agency responsible for fighting forest fires, Avialesookhrana, said the largest blaze was in the far northeast’s Sakha Republic, where 34,000 hectares (74,000 acres) were on fire. The Irkutsk region in Siberia had fires encompassing about 20,000 hectares (49,500 acres), the agency said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or residential damage in the sparsely populated regions.

Wildfires – Canada

Alberta has deployed 81 firefighters to help battle wildfires in northern Ontario. There are 31 active fires in the province’s northwest region, which is where the Alberta firefighters have been deployed, seven of which are not under control. One fire, which has grown to 2,410 hectares, is located just 45 kilometres from the town of Nipigon.

Wildfires

Zombie Wildfires – Siberia

Fires smoldering below the tundra all winter are making their debut early this year. Hundreds of fires are raging across Russia as wildfire season descends on the world’s largest country ahead of schedule.

Some parts of the country have already reported a record number of spring wildfire and smoke plumes from some Siberian forest fires have drifted across half the nation and been spotted over Finland (that’s nearly 2,000 miles, or 3,200 km away). In late April, wildfire smoke blacked out the sky in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk — Russia’s third most populous city — prompting the government to issue a “black sky” health warning.

An intense spring heatwave is partially responsible for this year’s early blazes, News.ru reports, making fires sparked by lightning strikes and human activity more likely. But some of these wildfires may be the rekindled remains from last summer’s fires — also known as “zombie” fires.

Global Warming

Global warming will open up Russia’s Far North to agriculture

The global climate crisis has a silver lining for Russia at least. Over the next two or three decades large swathes of Russia’s frozen northern regions will become warm enough to grow crops, according to the Natural Resources and Environment Minister.

Russia’s permafrost is melting and temperatures in the Far North are rising two and half times faster than elsewhere in the world. That is bad news for the dozen cities located there since Soviet times that focus on extracting raw materials, and will cause hundreds of billions of dollars of damage, according to a series of studies, but it will also raise temperatures for farmers.

As Siberia warms it will be able to produce all the straw cereals – wheat, barley, triticale, rye, etc., but also feed corn, grain corn and even soybeans, by the end of the century. With several harvests per year. Russia’s grain potential could jump from 100-150mn tonnes of grain per year today to 1bn tpy in 2080, according to experts.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

Russian emergency services have reported an abnormally high number of fires in the Omsk oblast of southwest Siberia. On April 22, 2021, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of fires in the region. As of April 28, smoke from the fires was still visible.

Russiafires amo 2021112

Global Warming

Climate Change Influences River Flow

Climate change is affecting the water balance of our planet: depending on the region and the time of year, this can influence the amount of water in rivers potentially resulting in more flooding or drought. River flow is an important indicator of water resources available to humans and the environment. The amount of available water also depends on further factors, such as direct interventions in the water cycle or land use change: if, for example, water is diverted for irrigation or regulated via reservoirs, or forests are cleared and monocultures grown in their place, this can have an impact on river flow.

However, how river flow has changed worldwide in recent years was so far not investigated using direct observations. Similarly, the question whether globally visible changes are attributable to climate change or to water and land management had not been clarified.

Now, an international research team led by ETH Zurich has succeeded in breaking down the influence of these factors, after analysing data from 7,250 measuring stations worldwide. The study, which has been published in the scientific journal Science, demonstrates that river flow changed systematically between 1971 and 2010. Complex patterns were revealed – some regions such as the Mediterranean and north-eastern Brazil had become drier, while elsewhere the volume of water had increased, such as in Scandinavia.

Climate Change in Siberia

Global warming is something of a boon for Russia, where 55% to 65% of the country is covered in permafrost. It is estimated that 60% of the country’s oil and 90% of its natural gas, as well as deposits of nonferrous metals and gold, lie under this thawing part of the planet.

President Vladimir Putin once shrugged off the perils of global warming, saying, “an increase of two or three degrees wouldn’t be so bad for a northern country like Russia. We could spend less on fur coats, and the grain harvest would go up.”

That was at least partially prophetic. According to Russia’s Federal State Statistics Service, grain production in 2020 was up 9.7% from the previous year, the second highest level after 2017. The amount of land under cultivation is also increasing.

But those shrugged-off perils are beginning to overshadow the bumper harvests.

In the Republic of Sakha in far eastern Siberia, the temperature is minus 50 C, yet white smoke rises from the snow-covered ground. In January, local media released an amazing image of a peat fire in the ground under the snow.

Roughly 140,000 sq. km of Russia, about the size of Greece, was lost to fire in 2020. Most of that was in once-frozen areas. When covered with snow in winter, the fires seem to be extinguished. However, the peat in the ground continues to smolder, and in summer it ignites on the surface. They’re being called zombie fires and are believed to be caused by global warming.

In Siberia, plants and other organisms that have been decomposing for more than 10,000 years are trapped in the soil as CO2 and methane gas. These gases are released by fires and other events, further accelerating global warming. The world’s permafrost zones are thought to contain twice the amount of carbon that is in the atmosphere.

In 2016, western Siberia experienced a different kind of crisis, an anthrax outbreak. One boy and over 2,000 reindeer died. The source of the bacterial infections was the melted corpse of a reindeer that had been frozen for more than 75 years. Some scientists have warned of the possibility of more dormant pathogens reactivating.

Although it was supposed to be a global warming “winner,” Russia has become an unexpected climate change victim.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

This year’s vast wildfires in far northeastern Russia were linked to broader changes in a warming Arctic, according to a report Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Wildfires are a natural part of many boreal ecosystems. But the extent of flames during the 2020 fire season was unprecedented in the 2001-2020 satellite record, and is consistent with the predicted effects of climate change.

The recent wildfires were exacerbated by elevated air temperatures and decreased snow cover on the ground in the Arctic region, the report found.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits near the coast of northern Peru.

5.4 earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.3 earthquake hits southwestern Siberia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

5.0 earthquake hits the South Shetland Islands.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

The terror of raging wildfires in northern Russia saw desperate Arctic villagers evacuating by boat to escape 35ft flames and choking smoke. Panicking residents in remote Svatay fled on the Alazeya River when they feared their settlement would be destroyed.

The village is 140 miles above the Arctic Circle and has been encircled by fires for weeks, culminating in the exodus when locals felt their lives in danger. The infernos fuelled by high winds have wiped out ancient trees, and roasted alive wildlife including sables and rare birds.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Portugal

Portugal has issued a fire alert for Monday and Tuesday amid hot conditions, as more than 800 firefighters successfully fought a huge wildfire blazing across central regions of the country. The fire had forced a number of people to evacuate their homes and endangered houses as it approached isolated villages.

Wildfires – Siberia

Wildfires currently burning across Russia have doubled in size over the past week, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday, citing a source in the Federal Forestry Agency. According to Russia’s agency for aerial forest fire management Aviales, a total of 148 forest fires were burning across 67,913 hectares of land as of midnight Monday. At the same time last week, 155 fires were burning across 32,984 hectares of land.