Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.0 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

5.3 earthquake hits off the east coast of Kamchatka.

5.0 earthquake hits southern Iran.

Wildlife

Manatees are dying in record numbers in Florida

A record-breaking number of manatees have died this year in Florida’s waters, mostly due to starvation. Between Jan. 1 and July 2, 841 manatees died near and off the coast of Florida, according to a preliminary mortality report published by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Florida’s previous deadliest year for manatees was 2013, when 830 manatees died, mostly from exposure to toxins from a harmful algal bloom known as red tide.

The main cause of this year’s die-off, however, is starvation. Most of these manatees died during the colder months, when they migrated to and through the Indian River Lagoon, a group of three lagoons located southeast of Orlando, on Florida’s east coast, where most seagrass had died out.

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Global Warming

Desert plant life disappearing due to climate change

The steady decline of plants in Southern California’s portion of the Sonoran Desert — which includes Anza-Borrego Desert State Park — is caused by climate change-driven heat increases, according to a new UC Irvine study.

That area grew hotter by 3 degrees over the study period, 1984 to 2017, with vegetation decreasing an average of about 1% a year in the desert portions of the study area. While fluctuations in rainfall accounted for some of the year-to-year variation, the broader trend resulted overall decrease of 35% of vegetation in desert ecosystems and a 13% decline in the adjacent mountains.

The findings, based on 34 years of NASA satellite images of 5,000 square miles of desert, add to a small but growing body of evidence that manmade climate change is reducing the amount of vegetation in drylands — primarily desert areas — worldwide, with trickle-down effects on animals and, in some cases, humans. About 41% of the Earth’s land mass is drylands, according to the UCI report.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

More than 300,000 acres are burning across six states across the western United States on Sunday as the region battled yet another brutal heat wave that shattered records and strained power grids.

The largest, the so-called Bootleg Fire, burned across 143,607 acres in Oregon and was 0% contained. Officials in neighboring state California asked all residents to reduce power consumption quickly after the fire knocked out interstate power lines, preventing up to 4,000 megawatts of electricity from flowing into the state.

Further south, the equally formidable Beckwourth Complex Fire measured 83,926 acres and was 8% contained in California, edging along the border with Nevada. It’s the largest wildfire of the year in the state.

The fire is composed of the Dotta and Sugar fires. The Dotta Fire is approximately 670 acres and 99% contained. The Sugar Fire is 83,256 acres and 8% contained.

Disease

Covid-19

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

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Anthrax – India

The Forest and Animal Husbandry Department in Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu state, India are reporting the death of a wild elephant from anthrax in Anaikatti. The elephant is a female, age 13-15 years. Blood smears collected from the carcass showed the presence of the bacterium, Bacillus anthracis.

Naegleria fowleri – Pakistan

In a follow-up to the situation in Karachi, Pakistan and the brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, health officials Monday confirmed another amoebic meningitis fatality, the fifth in the city in recent months.