Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hits the Fox Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits southern Iran.

5.1 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern Xizang, China.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Sam is located about 380 mi…610 km sse of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…150 mph…240 km/h. Present movement…nnw or 345 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

Tropical Storm Victor is located about 630 mi…1015 km wsw of the Cabo Verde islands with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…nw or 305 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

In the Northwest Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 20w (Mindulle), located approximately 227 nm east of Yokosuka, Japan, is tracking north-northeastward at 20 knots.

Tropical cyclone 03b (Gulab), located approximately 279 nm east of Muscat, Oman, is tracking west-northwestward at 07 knots.

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Newsbytes:

Slovenia – Record rainfall of 94 mm in 1 hour caused flash flooding in Ljubljana, capital city of Slovenia, late on 29 September 2021. Roads and underpasses of the city were flooded and some vehicles were stranded. The Bežigrad measuring station in Ljubljana recorded 63 mm of rain in 30 minutes and 94 mm in 60 minutes, a record for the station and among the highest ever recorded in Slovenia.

Environment

Arboreal Confusion

Extreme weather events brought on by climate change have disrupted the annual fall foliage season, especially in parts of North America.

The leaves of deciduous trees from eastern Canada and New England to the Rockies typically transform into hues of yellow and red at this time of year. But heat waves, drought and leaf-stripping hurricanes have shocked some trees into a state of arboreal confusion.

“Instead of trees doing this gradual change, they get thrown these wacky weather events. They change all of a sudden, or they drop leaves early,” Colorado arborist Michael Sundberg told The Associated Press.

Arctic Minimum

The sea ice surrounding the North Pole reached its lowest coverage of the year on Sept. 17. While not a record low this year, sea ice cover has dropped by about 50% since the 1980s, which scientists say has been a direct result of greenhouse gas emissions. This summer’s more stubborn ice forced Russia to use icebreakers to clear a path through its summertime Northern Sea Route after it remained blocked for the first time since 2008.

Wildlife

‘Cooked’ Mussels

Some of Greece’s hottest summer weather in decades decimated parts of the country’s mussel harvest and the baby mussel seeds that would have grown into next year’s mature population.

Fisherman Stefanos Sougioultzis told Reuters that it was “as if they boiled in their own environment.” The high water temperature in the Thermaic Gulf near Thessaloniki in northern Greece not only caused the mussels to suffer heat stress, but it also encouraged a thick white mass, described as a kind of tube worm, to cling to the mussels and gradually kill them.

Many fishermen feel the gulf will become too warm for the mussels in the hotter summers to come.

New Extinctions

The ivory-billed woodpecker, along with 22 other species of birds, fish, mussels and other wildlife, is set to be declared extinct and removed from the endangered species list, US wildlife officials announced Wednesday.

“For the species proposed for delisting today, the protections of the (Endangered Species Act) came too late, with most either extinct, functionally extinct, or in steep decline at the timing of listing,” the US Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Also slated for delisting are the Bachman’s warbler, two species of freshwater fishes, eight species of Southeastern freshwater mussels and 11 species from Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.

Global Warming

Earth is Dimming due to Climate Change

Warming ocean waters have caused a drop in the brightness of the Earth, according to a new study.

Researchers used decades of measurements of earthshine—the light reflected from Earth that illuminates the surface of the Moon—as well as satellite measurements to find that there has been a significant drop in Earth’s reflectance, or albedo, over the past two decades.

The Earth is now reflecting about half a watt less light per square meter than it was 20 years ago, with most of the drop occurring in the last three years of earthshine data.

Specifically, there has been a reduction of bright, reflective low-lying clouds over the eastern Pacific Ocean in the most recent years. That’s the same area, off the west coasts of North and South America, where increases in sea surface temperatures have been recorded because of the reversal of a climatic condition called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

The dimming of the Earth can also be seen in terms of how much more solar energy is being captured by Earth’s climate system. Once this significant additional solar energy is in Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, it may contribute to global warming, as the extra sunlight is of the same magnitude as the total anthropogenic climate forcing over the last two decades.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 45.5 degrees Celsius at Adrar, Algeria.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 76.1 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.

Disease

Covid-19

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

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Cholera – Nigeria

The number of new suspected cholera cases in Nigeria decreased by 38 percent the week ending September 19 (1,825) compared to the week ending September 12 (2,955), according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The number of suspected cases now stands at 81,413 for 2021 to date, including 2,791 deaths.

Bird Flu – China

Two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported in the China mainland, both cases having had prior exposure to a live poultry market before onset of the symptoms.

West Nile Virus – Arizona, USA

Arizona reports 132 confirmed and 78 probable cases through September 29. Maricopa County, which includes the city of Phoenix, accounts for 84 percent of the confirmed cases with 115, and reports 174 total cases.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 22 September – 28 September 2021

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible on most nights during 20-27 September. The trend of inflation first detected on 13 September had begun to slow down by 21 September. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high at 2,600 tons per day on 22 September. An eruptive event at 0110 on 23 September and two more during 24-27 September produced plumes that rose 1.1 km above the crater rim.

Ebeko – Paramushir Island (Russia) : According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, explosions on 20 September produced ash plumes that rose as high as 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Fuego – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that during the night of 21-22 September a possible lava flow had traveled 400 m down Fuego’s Ceniza drainage on the SSW flank. Ash rose along the flow forming a curtain that extended above the summit; ash fell in communities to the W and SW. Explosions at a rate of 6-11 per hour produced ash plumes that rose as high as 800 m above the summit and drifted W and SW. INSIVUMEH and CONRED reported that activity significantly increased on 23 September. Seismic activity intensified during the early morning and Strombolian activity at the summit was visible. Incandescent material was ejected 100-300 m high. Lava flows traveled 1 km down the Ceniza (SSW) and Trinidad (S) drainages, and sent block-and-ash flows down the Ceniza, Trinidad, Taniluyá, Las Lajas, and Santa Teresa (W) drainages to vegetated areas. Shock waves were detected within a 10 km radius. At 0540 a pyroclastic flow traveled 4-6 km down the Ceniza drainage, reaching the base of the volcano. According to CONRED a pyroclastic flow descended the Ceniza and Trinidad drainages 2-4 km. Explosions generated ash plumes that rose as high as 2.3 km above the summit and drifted 30 km W and SW. The activity began to decline around noon the next day, based on seismicity, acoustic data, and field observations. A few hours later RSAM data suggested that the period of elevated activity had ended after about 32 hours from the onset. Lava flows were no longer active by 25 September. During 24-28 September there were that 6-12 explosions per hour generating ash plumes as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim and shock waves that often rattled buildings within 10 km of the volcano. Ash plumes mostly drifted as far as 15 km W and SW, causing daily ashfall in several areas downwind, including Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, and San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW). Block avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages, often reaching vegetated areas. Explosions ejected incandescent material 100-300 m above the summit on most days.

Great Sitkin – Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that lava effusion continued at Great Sitkin during 22-28 September, though weather clouds sometimes prevented webcam and satellite views. Seismicity remained elevated and was characterized by small earthquakes consistent with lava effusion. By 24 September the dome had overtopped the S and W crater rims and flowed 305 m down the S flank and 195 m down the W flank. The dome was about 25 m thick and had grown to 1,170 m E to W and 925 m N to S in dimension.

Karymsky – Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images during 16-18 and 22 September. Ash plumes rose as high as 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 180 km E during 16, 18-19, and 22 September.

Katmai – United States : AVO reported that beginning at 1730 on 23 September strong winds in the vicinity of Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes blew unconsolidated ash SE towards Kodiak Island at an altitude up to 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. The ash was originally deposited during the Novarupta eruption in 1912.

Klyuchevskoy – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that on 29 September high winds caused unconsolidated ash from Klyuchevskoy’s flanks to form plumes that rose to 3-5 km (9,800-16,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 75 km E.

Langila – New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 24-25 September three ash plumes from Langila rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NW.

Lewotolok – Lembata Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 21-28 September. White-and-gray plumes rose as high as 700 m above the summit and drifted NW, W, and SW. Rumbling sounds were reported almost daily.

Merapi – Central Java (Indonesia) : BPPTKG reported minor morphological changes to Merapi’s SW lava dome, located just below the SW rim and in the summit crater, and no changes to the summit crater dome during 17-23 September. The SW dome had an estimated volume of 1.6 million cubic meters and the summit lava dome had an estimated volume of 2.85 million cubic meters. As many as 141 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 2 km SW.

Pavlof – United States : AVO reported that seismicity at Pavlof remained elevated during 21-28 September. Daily short-lived explosions from a vent on the upper SE flank were detected in seismic and infrasound data. Low-level ash emissions were visible in webcam images rising possibly several hundred meters above the summit during 21-23 September. Steam emissions rose from the vent during 24-25 September.

Ruapehu – North Island (New Zealand) : GeoNet reported that a heating cycle at Ruapehu’s summit Crater Lake had ended. During the previous two months the temperature of the water increased from 20 degrees Celsius to a peak of 39.5 degrees on 4 September, and then decreased to 28 degrees. During the cycle the color of the lake changed from a blue-green color to a darker gray, reflecting the disturbed lake floor sediments suspended in the water from the influx of hot fluids. The key monitoring parameters of water level and temperature, seismic activity, and tremor levels, were all within normal ranges.

Santa Maria – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that almost daily ash plumes from Santa Maria’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex rose 500-900 m and drifted W and SW during 19-27 September, depositing ash on the flanks. Extrusion continued at the summit dome complex, mainly from the W part of the dome. Avalanches produced by the active dome were sometimes incandescent and predominantly descended the W flank, though some also traveled S and SW. The avalanches often reached vegetated areas on the flanks.

Semisopochnoi – Aleutian Islands (USA) : AVO reported that eruptive activity at Semisopochnoi’s North Cerberus crater continued during 22-28 September. Seismicity remained elevated; daily explosions were recorded by seismic and infrasound networks. The frequency and intensity of ash emissions decreased during 21-22 September with occasional discrete ash clouds drifted W at altitudes of 3-4.6 km (10,000-15,000 ft) a.s.l. Sulfur dioxide plumes also drifted W. Occasional low-level ash emissions drifted NW, W, and SE during 22-26 September.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 17-24 September.

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that the number of explosions per day at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater had increased on 16 September and remained elevated through 27 September. A total of 105 explosions were recorded during 20-27 September. Eruption plumes mainly rose as high as 2.9 km above the crater rim and material was ejected as far as 800 m away from the crater. Ashfall was reported in Toshima village (4 km SSW). Notably, an explosion at 2349 on 20 September ejected material as far as 1.2 km SE. At 0711 on 26 September an eruptive event produced a plume that rose 5.4 km; weather clouds prevented confirmation of ejected bombs, but a large amount of ash fell in Toshima village.

Tengger Caldera – Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 21-27 September white gas-and-steam plumes rose as high as 400 m above the rim of Tengger Caldera’s Bromo cone and drifted SW, W, and NW. White-and-gray plumes rose as high as 500 m during 22-23 September. A weak thermal anomaly was visible in Sentinel-2 infrared satellite images on 22 and 27 September.

Whakaari/White Island – North Island (New Zealand) : On 27 September GeoNet reported results from an overflight of Whakaari/White Island the previous week. Gas measurements showed that sulfur dioxide emissions had increased to 680 tons per day from 450 tons per day recorded in mid-August, continuing the trend of an increasing emission rate noted over the past few months. The gas data suggested magma input deeper in the system. Temperatures in the main vent area notably decreased to 189 degrees Celsius from July and August measurements of 650 degrees, possibly indicating cooling caused by groundwater infiltration. Minor ash deposits from recent emissions were visible around the active vents. Seismicity was characterized by low levels of volcanic tremor and occasional low-frequency volcanic earthquakes. Subsidence continued to be measured by satellite.