Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 Earthquake hits the Near Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits Maule, Chile.

5.2 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits east of the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Yunnan, China.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic Ocean: Invest 90L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that may have potential for further tropical development.

In the South Pacific Ocean: Tropical Cyclone Debbie located approximately 295 nm east- southeast of Cairns, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 04 knots.

In the South Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 12s (Caleb), located approximately 200nm south of Cocos Island, is tracking westward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Japan – Eight teenagers from a high school mountaineering club were killed Monday during an avalanche in an area of northeastern Japan that had been blanketed by unusually heavy spring snows, the authorities and the Japanese news media said. The students were climbing in an area in Tochigi Prefecture, about 100 miles north of Tokyo. The weather bureau in Tochigi had issued an avalanche warning on Sunday.

Middle East – Freak weather has caused carnage across the Middle East, after a series of flash floods, dust storms, hail and lightning shocked the region. This week, schools were shut down in Oman, while several accidents were reported when drivers lost control of their vehicles. In the UAE, thunderstorms and lightning lit up the night sky, following flash floods on the roads. Saudi Arabia suffered dust storms, which put several densely-packed cities on alert, and prompted a medical warning for those who venture outside. Earlier, in February, a bizarre blizzard snowstorm blanketed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Global Warming

Climate change is shifting global air currents

Huge jetstreams that circle Earth are being altered by climate change, scientists have warned.

The researchers claim that man-made global warming has slowed down the way that air flows and distributes weather – and the consequences could be severe.

They say the shift will see an increase in extreme weather globally, including more deadly droughts, floods and heatwaves.

Jetstreams are influenced by the difference in temperatures between the equator and the Arctic. These streams circle the Earth and transport heat and moisture from the Arctic to the tropics. But when the planetary waves stall droughts or floods can occur.

Warming caused by greenhouse-gases from fossil fuels stall airstreams, the international team of researchers found.

They found changes that show extreme and persistent shifts in the jet stream that can trigger extreme weather events. Human activity has been suspected of contributing to this pattern before, but the researchers say they have now uncovered a ‘clear fingerprint’ of human activity. ‘If the same weather persists for weeks on end in one region, then sunny days can turn into a serious heat wave and drought, or lasting rains can lead to flooding,’ explains co-author Professor Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany. ‘This occurs under specific conditions that favour what we call a quasi-resonant amplification that makes the north-south undulations of the jet stream grow very large. It also makes theses waves grind to a halt rather than moving from west to east. Identifying the human fingerprint on this process is advanced forensics.’

Since the Arctic is more rapidly warming than other regions, its temperature difference with the equator is decreasing.

Also, land masses are warming more rapidly than the oceans, especially in summer. Both changes have an impact on those global air movements. This includes the giant airstreams that are called planetary waves because they circle Earth’s Northern hemisphere in huge turns between the tropics and the Arctic.

When airstreams stall thanks to man-made temperature rises droughts or floods can occur. This image shows before (2011) and after (2014) photos of the Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville in Butte County, California after recent droughts:

Screen Shot 2017 03 27 at 1 48 31 PMScreen Shot 2017 03 27 at 1 48 42 PM

Disease

Measles in Italy

The number of measles cases recorded in Italy since the beginning of this year has increased considerably, a phenomenon that worries health authorities because of parents’ resistance to the vaccine. According to the Ministry of Health, 700 cases were registered in the first three months of 2017.

India – Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) has affected Karani village on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvallur district. It is feared that all of the village’s 500 cattle may be affected.