Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.1 earthquake hits the southern east Pacific rise.

5.1 earthquake hits Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

5.0 earthquake hits the southeast Indian ridge.

Global Warming

New Iceberg Calves in Antarctica

An enormous iceberg, a little bigger than the state of Rhode Island (1 700 square miles), has broken off of Antarctica.

The finger-shaped chunk of ice, which is roughly 105 miles (170 kilometers) long and 15 miles (25 kilometers) wide, was spotted by satellites as it calved from the western side of Antarctica’s Ronne Ice Shelf. The berg is now floating freely on the Weddell Sea, a large bay in the western Antarctic where explorer Ernest Shackleton once lost his ship, the Endurance, to pack ice.

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Environment

Darwin’s Arch Collapses

The iconic ‘Darwin’s Arch’ in the Galapagos has crashed into the sea. The arch, located less than 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) off the steep and rocky coast of Darwin Island, collapsed as “a consequence of natural erosion,” on May 17.

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Wildfires

Zombie Wildfires – Siberia

Fires smoldering below the tundra all winter are making their debut early this year. Hundreds of fires are raging across Russia as wildfire season descends on the world’s largest country ahead of schedule.

Some parts of the country have already reported a record number of spring wildfire and smoke plumes from some Siberian forest fires have drifted across half the nation and been spotted over Finland (that’s nearly 2,000 miles, or 3,200 km away). In late April, wildfire smoke blacked out the sky in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk — Russia’s third most populous city — prompting the government to issue a “black sky” health warning.

An intense spring heatwave is partially responsible for this year’s early blazes, News.ru reports, making fires sparked by lightning strikes and human activity more likely. But some of these wildfires may be the rekindled remains from last summer’s fires — also known as “zombie” fires.

Disease

Covid-19

The countries with the 10 greatest number of Covid-19 cases:

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Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the Week 12 May 2021 – 18 May 2021

Great Sitkin – Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that elevated surface temperatures at Great Sitkin had been identified in satellite images since January and had been increasing in frequency during the previous two months. A minor increase in seismicity began to be recorded on 9 May and volcanic gas emissions increased on 10 May. AVO raised the Aviation colour Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory on 12 May.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 7-14 May. A new lava block (named “Dolphin-2”) that extruded from the top of the lava dome was visible in a 15 May photo. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Stromboli – Aeolian Islands (Italy) : INGV reported a collapse event at Stromboli’s Area N (North Crater area) on 19 May. A series of explosions began at 1447, producing a pyroclastic flow that at 1451 descended the Sciara del Fuoco to the coast and traveled 1 km over the sea. The explosions and pyroclastic flow produced large, dense ash clouds that rose above both the summit area and along the entire length of the pyroclastic flow. A series of less intense pyroclastic flows began at 1502 that also reached the sea. Lava flows from Area N also descended the Sciara del Fuoco to the coast.