Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

Malawi – A fresh wave of flooding has hit Malawi, which has still not recovered from an earlier spate of devastating floods. Heavy rainfall has caused fresh flooding in Chikwawa and Nsanje, another southern district.

Albania – The floods in Albania are the second worst on record – only a disaster in 1971 was worse. Deforestation and soil erosion has exacerbated flooding in Albania that has forced the evacuation of hundreds of families, the country’s prime minister has said when declaring a state of emergency. Over the last two decades, many Albanian trees close to powerful rivers such as the Vjosa, Osum and Shkumbin have been chopped down by poor villagers desperate for wood, and by entrepreneurs clearing the way for buildings and dams in a construction boom that has largely benefitted foreign firms. The trees had held soil in place for centuries – acting as a sponge during rainfalls – but without them, soil erosion has accelerated flood damage.

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Global Warming

Warming Oceans Bring Big Challenges for Fish

Marine researchers have found that many species of fish around Australia are moving southward or otherwise shifting their ranges and egg-laying patterns in response to warming ocean waters.

Using a network of 62 GPS stations across the volcanic island, lead researcher Kathleen Compton of the University of Arizona found that some sites are rising as much as 1.4 inches per year.

“We found a mixed bag—some positive and some negative,” lead researcher Gretta Pecl told The Guardian. “Some species are shifting south and increasing their range while others are already at their tolerance for temperature, and as it warms, their range will shrink.”

The University of Tasmania scientist said that ocean temperatures off southeastern Australia are warming four times faster than the global average.

Other warming hotspots include the Atlantic off Brazil, parts of the Indian Ocean and the North Sea.

Pecl says species that are highly sensitive to temperature, will see their rate of growth and amount of energy needed for oxygen consumption will be altered by the warming.

Research published in 2013 found that fish species were being pushed towards the poles by warming oceans at a rate of about 4.3 miles every year, chasing climates in which they can survive.

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Wildfires

Smoke From Australian Bushfires Blown Almost to Antarctica

The image above was created using data from the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite instrument, or OMPS, on the Suomi NPP satellite. The big magenta-colored spot to the south of Western Australia shows the highest concentration of aerosols from the wildfire smoke. When you follow the lighter blue plume from there to the south and east, you can see some aerosols just off the coast of Antarctica.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 106.0 degrees Fahrenheit (41.1 degrees Celsius) at Julia Creek, Queensland, Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 67.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 55.0 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Siberian community of Oimyakon.

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

Plague Spreads in Madagascar Following Cyclones

One of the most deadly infectious diseases on the planet has spread across parts of Madagascar in the wake of last month’s cyclones Chedza and Bansi.

Plague has killed at least 57 people out of the 213 known cases after rats that carry the disease emerged from the storm’s flooding and took refuge in populated areas.

The bacterial disease is passed on to humans by fleas that earlier bit an infected rodent.

Once infected, people can die from the bubonic and other forms of plague within 24 hours if not treated.

The Madagascar government says it is organizing a response to the epidemic, including free treatment with antibiotics.

Officials warn that the species of flea that carries the plague across the island nation has developed an immunity to the insecticide used to control it.

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Colima (Western Mexico): After being a bit lower during the past week, activity has picked up again today. The volcano had a series of small to moderate explosions ejecting ash plumes reaching up to 2-3 km above the crater.