Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits Kepulauan Tanimbar, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits Kepulauan Batu, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Tropical Storm Sebastien is located about 600 mi…965 km ne of the northern Leeward islands with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…ene or 65 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm 28w (Fung-Wong), located approximately 208 nm southwest of Kadena AFB, Okinawa, Japan, is tracking north-northeastward at 12 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Zimbabwe – Lightning in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East region of Zimbabwe has claimed lives of three school children. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has issued a flood warning for the country’s southern provinces.

Wildlife

Insect Apocalypse Warning

A new report suggests that half of all insects on the planet have been lost since 1970 from a combination of habitat destruction, climate change and the increased use of pesticides.

Published in the journal Biological Conservation, the report warns that 40% of the 1 million insect species known to science are facing extinction.

But conservationists say many of those insects can be rescued by slashing pesticide use and making areas around our global communities more wildlife friendly.

“If we don’t stop the decline of our insects, there will be profound consequences for all life on Earth [and] for human well-being,” said Dave Goulson of Britain’s University of Sussex.

Amazon Losses – Update

Deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon region soared to its highest level in a decade as agribusiness, miners, loggers and developers felled portions of the world’s largest rainforest.

Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research announced that 3,769 square miles of forest were lost during the 12-month period ending in July, or about a 30% spike from the previous 12 months.

Environmental advocates blame the increase on Brazil’s president, who has slashed the budgets and staff of the agencies in charge of preventing such illegal activities in the Amazon.

Global Warming

Nitrous Greenhouse Threat

A new study finds that emissions of the ozone-eating greenhouse gas nitrous oxide have increased more than expected.

Researchers from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research and other institutions found that the increased use of fertilizers containing nitrogen has been the main driver in the increase.

“We see that the N2O emissions have increased considerably during the past two decades, but especially from 2009 onwards,” said author Rona Thompson.

While fertilizer use has made it possible to grow a lot more food, the researchers say it resulted in destruction of stratospheric ozone and further climate change.

Current Fossil Fuel Plans Will Shatter Paris Climate Limits

The world’s top fossil fuel-producing nations are on track to extract enough oil, gas and coal to send global temperatures soaring past the goals of the Paris climate agreement, according to a United Nations report published Wednesday.

If countries follow through on their current plans, they will produce about 50 percent more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be compatible with the international goal of keeping global warming under 2 degrees Celsius, the report said.

They would blow past the more ambitious target of keeping warming under 1.5°C, the report found, with countries poised to produce twice as much oil, gas and coal by 2030 than would be allowable to meet that goal.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46.1 degrees Celsius) in Mandora, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 55.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.3 degrees Celsius) at Vostok, 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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Hazardous smoke blanketed Sydney on Thursday as wildfires burned across eastern and southern Australia. Thick smog shrouded Australia’s most populous city, leaving its iconic skyline barely visible two days after smoke created serious air quality issues. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service said the smoke from around 50 wildfires burning mainly in northern parts of the state. Air pollution levels were reading nearly 10 times higher than the national standard.

Wildfires have destroyed more than 600 homes in Australia’s most populous state. The annual Australian fire season normally peaks during the Southern Hemisphere summer, but has started early after an unusually warm and dry winter.

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Disease

Ebola – DR Congo

Seven new confirmed cases were reported in the past week (13 to 19 November) in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

Volcanos

Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 13 November – 19 November 2019

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible at night during 11-18 November. There were 27 explosions and 29 non-explosive eruptive events detected by the seismic network. Ash plumes rose as high as 2.5 km above the crater rim and blocks were ejected 600-900 m away. An explosion at 0200 on 13 November generated an ash plume that rose 3.6 km and ejected large blocks that fell 1.7 km away. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Asosan | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that the eruption at Asosan that began on 7 October continued through 18 November. The Tokyo VAAC reported that during 13-18 November ash plumes rose to 1.5-2.4 km (5,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. On 18 November JMA confirmed ashfall in downwind areas.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 6-12 November ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1-2.3 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was 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 11-12 and 14 November that sent ash plumes up to 3 km (10,00 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted E and NE. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 11-17 November lava continued to effuse from Karangetang’s Main Crater (S), traveling as far as 1.8 km down the Nanitu, Pangi, and Sense drainages on the SW and W flanks. Sometimes dense white plumes rose to 400 m above the summit. Incandescence from both summit craters was visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Klyuchevskoy | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy was identified in satellite images during 8 and 10-13 November. Strong crater incandescence was visible at night during 10-11 November. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that sometimes during 11-17 November dense white plumes rose as high as 150 m above Anak Krakatau’s active vent. The seismic network detected one eruptive event; dense gray-to-black plumes rose as high as 300 m above the vent. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km-radius hazard zone from the crater.

Merapi | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that after the eruption at Merapi on 9 November seismicity increased and remained elevated. At 1046 on 17 November an eruption was recorded by the seismic network for two minutes and 35 seconds. An ash plume rose around 1 km above the crater rim and a pyroclastic flow traveled less than 1 km SE down the Gendol drainage. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to stay outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Nevados de Chillan | Chile : ONEMI and SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 12-19 November white-to-gray plumes from Nevados de Chillán’s Nicanor Crater rose 450-900 m above the rim and drifted SE and NE. Occasional explosions ejecting incandescent material onto the flank were visible at night. The volcano Alert Level remained at Orange, the second highest level on a four-colour scale. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-colour scale) for the communities of Pinto, Coihueco, and San Fabián, and stated that the public should stay at least 3 km away from the crater on the SW flank and 5 km away on the ENE flank.

Sabancaya | Peru : Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported that an average of 50 explosions of low-to-medium intensity per day occurred at Sabancaya during 11-17 November. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 2.5 km above the summit and drifted SE and S. There were seven thermal anomalies identified in satellite data. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale) and the public were warned to stay outside of a 12-km radius.

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : The Darwin VAAC reported that during 14-19 November discrete and short-lived ash emissions from Sangeang Api rose to 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and W. Thermal anomalies were recorded at least during 18-19 November. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 8-15 November. An ash plume rose to 9-10 km (29,500-32,800 ft) a.s.l. on 11 November; ash plumes drifted as far as 1,300 km ESE during 11-12 November. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater was visible during 8-15 November. Occasional eruptive events during 13-15 November generated grayish white plumes that rose as high as 1.5 km above the crater rim. Ashfall was reported in Toshima Village (4 km SSW) on 14 November. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).