Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits southwest of Africa.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Bohol in the Philippines.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Western Pacific:

In the western Pacific, Typhoon Krosa is moving away from the Philippines and toward mainland Asia. It’s going to slow down as it approaches the coast and maybe swerve toward the WSW and weaken in the process — that’s what the Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast shows — but it could affect Hainan Island and/or Vietnam.

Typhoon krosa tracking map

In the Eastern Pacific:

The eastern Pacific system is now Tropical Depression Eighteen-E. It is being slow to organise, but the National Hurricane Centre’s wind probability product is indicating about a 60% chance of becoming Tropical Storm Sonia. As noted yesterday, the system will be forced toward Mexico rather than moving out to sea, and mid-upper level moisture from it will flow into the next weather system moving across the U.S. early next week.

Global Warming

Renewables Slowing Record High CO2 Pollution

Carbon dioxide emissions hit a record high in 2012, but could have been even higher, according to a new report. The increase in emissions was only 1.1 percent in 2012, compared to an average 2.9 percent over the past decade. The slowdown in emissions growth suggests renewable energy, efficiency and cleaner fuels are having a beneficial effect.

A report by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre crunched the numbers for 2012′s carbon dioxide emissions.

Pacific Ocean Warming 15 Times Faster Than Before

Although the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere may have hit the “pause” button recently — with little global warming measured over the past few years — that hasn’t been the case with the oceans.

In a study out today in the journal Science, researchers say that the middle depths of a part of the Pacific Ocean have warmed 15 times faster in the past 60 years than they did during the previous 10,000 years.

Most of the heat that humanity has put into the atmosphere since the 1970s from greenhouse gas emissions has likely been absorbed by the oceans, according to the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations-sponsored group of scientists that issues reports every few years about the effects of global warming.

Increases in ocean heat content and temperature are robust indicators of global warming during the past several decades,” according to today’s Science study.

“We’re pumping heat into the ocean at a faster rate over the past 60 years,” said study lead author Yair Rosenthal, a climate scientist at Rutgers University. “We may have underestimated the efficiency of the oceans as a storehouse for heat and energy,” he added. “It may buy us some time — how much time, I don’t really know. But it’s not going to stop climate change.”


Show Monkeys Rescued in Jakarta, Indonesia

The practice of using trained monkeys for shows on the streets of Jakarta, which some people say is cruel and a public health threat, is being eradicated under orders from the head of the Indonesian capital.

Officers have begun fanning across the city to rescue the macaques dressed up for shows that often involve them wearing plastic doll masks on their faces.

Some are outfitted in dresses or cowboy attire, forced to carry umbrellas or ride tiny bicycles.

The monkeys’ teeth are pulled out so they can’t bite, and their owners are accused of torturing them to remain obedient.

Gov. Joko Widodo says the practice will be gone by next year. The monkeys are being purchased from the owners and will be sheltered at a large preserve at Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo.

Those who used to depend on the monkeys for a living are to be given vocational training and helped to find new jobs.

Animal rights groups that have long campaigned against the roadside monkey performances are praising the governor for the crackdown.