Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 earthquake hits the Federated States of Micronesia.

5.3 earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits North Island, New Zealand.


Fukushima Aftermath

Wildlife around Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have survived exposure to radiation from the meltdowns of the plant’s three nuclear reactors without serious consequences, according to a new international study.

Massive releases of radioactive material from the March 2011 disaster contaminated the Fukushima landscape and forced the evacuation of over 150,000 residents. But scientists writing in the journal Environment International say DNA and other markers in the region’s wildlife did not show any adverse health effects.

They did find unusually low levels of cortisol, a stress indicator, in some wild animals living in the evacuated Exclusion Zone.

Global Warming

CO2 Surge

On the eve of the COP26 climate conference, established under the Paris Agreement to cope with the climate crisis, scientists say emissions from rich nations have risen sharply in 2021.

The Climate Transparency Report says emissions will rise 4% in the world’s 20 largest economies in 2021 after dropping about 6% last year due to COVID. With the world currently around 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times and with the goal to keep warming to only 1.5 degrees, the report says nations will have to put ambitious policies in place to curb the worst of global heating.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 43.3 degrees Celsius (110 degrees F) at Podor, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 67.2 degrees Celsius (-89 degrees F) 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 Affect Migrating Birds

Four radio-collared Tule geese left their summer breeding grounds near Alaska’s Cook Inlet in the fall of 2020 to head south for the winter. The migration typically takes about four days: The birds fly over the Gulf of Alaska, stay about 100 miles offshore from Canada and skirt Vancouver Island. They stop briefly to float and rest on the Pacific Ocean a handful of times and then gather en masse at Summer Lake in central Oregon before making the final push to California’s Sacramento Valley. Last summer, however, the migrating birds encountered dense wildfire smoke off the coast of British Columbia and over Washington — and that’s when their behavior got weird.

One bird backtracked north almost 80 miles. Two spent nearly four days floating on the ocean before trying to head inland again; they ended up flying directly at the Beachie Creek Fire in Oregon and then climbing almost four times higher than usual to get over the huge plume of smoke. A fourth bird got turned around and headed much farther east than normal, all the way to Idaho. Tule geese typically prefer to overnight at wetlands, but these four stopped in bizarre locations instead, even landing once on the side of Mount Hood.

The birds’ 2020 migration took twice as long as the 2019 migration — nine days versus four — and they flew an additional 470 miles, all to avoid wildfire smoke.


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week 13 October – 19 October 2021

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible at night during 11-18 October. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 800 tons per day on 11 October. A very small eruptive event was recorded on 14 October.

Bagana – Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 14 October an ash plume from Bagana rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE based on satellite and wind model data.

Ebeko – Paramushir Island (Russia) : According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, an explosion on 10 October produced an ash plume that rose as high as 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

Erta Ale – Ethiopia : During 15 September-15 October satellite data showed thermal anomalies of variable intensities in Erta Ale’s S pit crater and occasional thermal anomalies at the N pit. An anomaly was detected in the N, NW, and W parts of the N pit crater on 15 October.

Great Sitkin – Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that lava effusion continued at Great Sitkin during 13-19 October. Seismicity remained elevated and was characterized by small earthquakes consistent with lava effusion, though an outage affected geophysical data streams during 16-18 October. Satellite images acquired on 11 October showed that lava filled more than half of the summit crater, flowing onto the S and W flanks, and had recently reached the N crater rim. Lava traveled 330 m down the S flank, 350 m down the W flank, descended small valleys, and in some areas, advanced over snow and ice. Blocks that had detached from the end of the W flow descended 450 m.

Karymsky – Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : A thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images during 8-9 October. On 19 October KVERT lowered the Aviation Color Code to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale), noting that only gas-and-steam emissions persisted after the last ash explosions were recorded on 25 September. On 20 October explosions generated ash plumes that rose as high as 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 90 km ENE.

Kavachi – Solomon Islands : Satellite data showed discolored water around and to the SW of Kavachi on 12 October. Discolored water was not obviously visible in images from 2, 7, and 17 October.

Krysuvik-Trolladyngja – Iceland : Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reported that during 18 September-18 October no lava effusion was detected at the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system. The seismic swarm that had begun on 26 September in an area SW of Keilir (about 10 km NE of the fifth vent), at the N end of the dike intrusion, had significantly decreased in mid-October. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) on 18 October. IMO noted that gas emissions were ongoing, though with very low concentrations of eruptive gases. Minor thermal anomalies were detected less often; incandescence from previously emplaced lava flows was occasionally visible at night. IMO also stated that residual heat, gases, and incandescence may continue for weeks to months.

Lewotolok – Lembata Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 13-19 October. White, gray, and black plumes generally rose as high as 1 km above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. Rumbling and banging sounds were reported almost daily. Incandescent material was ejected most days as far as 100 m from the vent and as high as 300 m above the vent.

Merapi – Central Java (Indonesia) : BPPTKG reported minor morphological changes to Merapi’s SW lava dome, located just below the SW rim, and the dome in the summit crater during 8-14 October. The SW dome grew about 2 m taller and had an estimated volume of 1.61 million cubic meters, while the summit lava dome grew about 4 m taller had an estimated volume of 2.93 million cubic meters. As many as 41 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 2 km SW.

Pavlof – United States : AVO reported that the eruption at Pavlof continued during 13-19 October and was focused at a vent on the upper SE flank, near the location of the 2007 vent. Seismicity remained elevated. Two small explosions were recorded in infrasound and seismic data on both 14 and 16 October. A few explosions were recorded during 17-18 October; ash deposits on the flanks were visible in satellite images. Cloudy conditions obscured satellite and webcam images most days.

Rincon de la Vieja – Costa Rica : OVSICORI-UNA reported that at 0750 on 13 October an eruption at Rincón de la Vieja produced a plume that rose 500 m above the crater rim and drifted SW. Fumarolic activity inside the crater was visible during 14-15 October.

Semeru – Eastern Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that gray-and-white emissions rose 200-500 m above Semeru’s summit and drifted SW, W, and N during 12-13 and 15-16 October. Weather clouds often prevented visual observations of the summit.

Semisopochnoi – Aleutian Islands (USA) : AVO reported that eruptive activity at Semisopochnoi’s North Cerberus crater continued during 13-19 October. Seismicity remained elevated and daily minor explosions were detected in infrasound data. Although weather clouds often prevented webcam and satellite views, intermittent, low-level ash emissions were visible rising to altitudes up to 3 km (10,000 ft a.s.l.) and drifting E on 13 October. Ash plumes rose as high as 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. on 18 October.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 8-15 October.

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that 13 explosions at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater produced eruption plumes that rose as high as 2.7 km above the crater rim during 11-18 October. Large volcanic bombs were ejected 500-700 m from the crater. Ashfall was reported in Toshima village (4 km SSW).

Taal – Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in Taal’s crater lake was visible during 13-18 October, and gas-and-steam plumes rose 1.2-3 km above the lake and drifted in multiple directions. Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 6,393-12,611 tonnes/day, though on 15 October the emissions peaked at 23,576 tonnes/day, which was the second highest ever sulfur dioxide gas flux recorded at the volcano. Dense vog spread over the Taal Caldera region was noted on 15 October. Earthquake activity resumed on 11 October after a brief lull that first began on 27 September; 145 events characterized as mostly weak low-frequency earthquakes and volcanic tremor were recorded during 11-15 October. Volcanic tremor persisted through 18 October.

Whakaari/White Island – North Island (New Zealand) : On 18 October GeoNet reported results from a recent overflight of Whakaari/White Island. Gas measurements showed that sulfur dioxide emissions had decreased from 520 tons per day recorded at the end of September to 267 tons per day. Temperatures in the main vent area were as high as 220 degrees Celsius, similar to temperatures measure two weeks prior. Minor ash deposits from intermittent ash emissions were visible in the area close to the active vents. Seismicity was characterized by low levels of volcanic tremor and occasional low-frequency volcanic earthquakes.


A drone image captured the lava flow from Spain’s Cumbre Vieja volcano which destroyed parts of a banana plantation on La Palma and increased the size of the country as it flowed into the sea, creating new land.