Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits western Xizang, China.

5.4 earthquake hits the Beaufort Sea.

5.2 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Mariana Islands.

Global Warming

Humans are throwing Earth’s energy budget off balance

Earth is on a budget – an energy budget. Our planet is constantly trying to balance the flow of energy in and out of Earth’s system. But human activities are throwing that off balance, causing our planet to warm in response.

Radiative energy enters Earth’s system from the sunlight that shines on our planet. Some of this energy reflects off of Earth’s surface or atmosphere back into space. The rest gets absorbed, heats the planet, and is then emitted as thermal radiative energy the same way that black asphalt gets hot and radiates heat on a sunny day.

Eventually this energy also heads toward space, but some of it gets re-absorbed by clouds and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The absorbed energy may also be emitted back toward Earth, where it will warm the surface even more.

Adding more components that absorb radiation – like greenhouse gases – or removing those that reflect it – like aerosols – throws off Earth’s energy balance, and causes more energy to be absorbed by Earth instead of escaping into space. This is called a radiative forcing, and it’s the dominant way human activities are affecting the climate.

Climate modelling predicts that human activities are causing the release of greenhouse gases and aerosols that are affecting Earth’s energy budget. Now, a NASA study has confirmed these predictions with direct observations for the first time: radiative forcings are increasing due to human actions, affecting the planet’s energy balance and ultimately causing climate change. The paper was published online on 25 March 2021, in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Russian Arctic coast has planet’s quickest warming

It was the second warmest year in the Arctic on record, and parts of the vast region saw air temperatures far beyond the traditional freeze. The year 2020 follows the trend of the past decades and its spring months were the absolutely warmest since measurements started more than 100 years ago, a weather report from Russian meteorological service Roshydromet reads.

Parts of the Russian Arctic are now several degrees warmer than just few years ago. The warming is the most significant along parts of the North Siberian coast, and especially around the peninsulas of Taymyr and Yamal. Heat maps show that an area on the coast of Taymyr in 2020 had average temperatures up to 7’C higher than normal.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Utah, USA

Two wildfires burning in eastern Utah have merged, and multiple structures are threatened. The two fires began Monday near the town of Myton, in eastern Duchesne County. Fire officials said the combined fire — later dubbed the “East Myton Complex Fire” — had burned 2,200 acres as of Monday night and was 10 percent contained.

Wildfires – South Dakota, USA

Wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota have forced evacuations of more than 400 homes northwest of Rapid City and shut down Mount Rushmore, authorities said Monday. A fire that started near Schroeder Road in the Nemo area, about 15 miles northwest of Rapid City, had burned as much as 800 acres and was “still moving” on Monday afternoon, according to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. Several outbuildings and possibly two homes have been destroyed, officials said.

The “6” Fire was reported in Jones County, five miles north of Okaton and nine miles northwest of Murdo. The fire is estimated at 5,000 acres but size is unconfirmed.