Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.3 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.3 earthquake hits offshore Bio-Bio, Chile.

5.3 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits western Xizang, China.

5.0 earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

Three 5.0 earthquakes hit New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the northwest Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm 27w (Nyatoh), located approximately 321 nm north-northwest of Yap, is tracking northwestward at 08 knots.

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 02s (Two), located approximately 366 nm east-northeast of Cocos islands, is tracking southwestward at 06 knots.

Screen Shot 2021 12 01 at 12 45 45 PM

NewsBytes:

Australia – Hundreds of people have evacuated their homes after severe flooding in parts of southern Queensland, Australia. Police reported one person died after a vehicle was dragged by flood waters. This follows an earlier flood-related fatality in Central Queensland last week.

Spain – Heavy rain and flooding has continued to affect northern parts of Spain, in particular Cantabria and Basque regions. Rain has continued, increasing river levels in Cantabria. As of 29 November, the overflowing Saja and Besaya rivers caused flooding in Torrelavega and Barreda. Wide areas of the town of Ampuero were also flooded after the Pas river broke its banks. Cars were swept away by flooding in the streets of Vioño de Piélagos. Two people were rescued from vehicles trapped in flood water in Parbayón in Piélagos municipality. Heavy rain also affected areas of Basque Country. The Cadagua river broke its banks flooding areas of Bilbao where some residents were evacuated. Around 15 vehicles were submerged in flood water and around 5 people rescued.

Vietnam – At least 2 people have died and over 2,500 homes damaged after flooding and landslides struck in central provinces of Vietnam following days of heavy rain. Heavy rain, flooding and landslides have affected the provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Kon Tum. Heavy rain began around 26 November 2021. In a period from 26 to 30 November, areas of Bac Tra My District in Quang Nam Province saw 874 mm of rain, while Ba Le in Quang Ngai Province recorded 834 mm. 2,617 houses were damaged by floods.

Global Warming

Arctic rainfall could dominate snowfall earlier than expected

Rainfall could start replacing snowfall in the Arctic decades sooner than previously thought, a study found on Tuesday, warning the change caused by global warming could have effects beyond the region.

The Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the planet, melting sea ice and adding moisture to the air that is likely to increase precipitation.

Comparing the latest projections to previous climate models, the study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications estimates the switch from snowfall-dominated annual precipitation to one dominated by rain will come about “one or two decades earlier” transitioning around 2070.

But everything depends on the degree of global warming.

At the current rate of warming rain could dominate snow in the Arctic before the end of the century, the study says.

But it says limiting warming to 1.5C – the most ambitious goal in the 2015 Paris climate agreement – could mean the Arctic stays dominated by snow.

Major ocean current is accelerating alongside global warming

A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change has found that the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the only ocean current that circumnavigates the entire planet, is flowing faster due to climate change. By using satellite measurements of sea-surface height, and data collected by Argo, a global network of ocean floats, an international team of researchers managed to detect a previously hidden trend in Southern Ocean upper layer velocity.

The ACC surrounds Antarctica and separates cold water in the south from warmer subtropical water in the north. Recently, this warm part of the Southern Ocean is getting even warmer due to human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Since this ocean warming pattern can influence the climate all over the globe, it is highly important to understand its dynamics.

Wildlife

Australian Birds under Threat

A worrying number of Australia’s birds are nearer to extinction than they were a decade ago due to climate change and bushfires, researchers say.

Habitat loss and feral animals are also pushing the 216 threatened bird types closer to being wiped out, a Charles Darwin University and BirdLife Australia report found.

Birds such as the fernwren and golden bowerbird have been forced towards mountaintops as rising temperatures affect their rainforest habitat in Queensland’s tropics. All told, 96 bird types became more threatened in the past 10 years.

Among the 77 species threatened by the increasing number of bushfires, 26 were made more threatened by the Black Summer blazes in 2019-20. This includes 16 on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, almost half of which was burned by an out-of-control bushfire. The tiny Kangaroo Island southern emu wren is among them.

More than 90 bird species have also been affected by more frequent and severe droughts and heatwaves across the nation in the past decade. That list includes one of Australia’s rarest birds: the mukarrthipi grasswren of central western NSW, a species with only two or three pairs left.

Wildfires

Wildfires are erasing Western forests. Climate change is making it permanent.

The trees were not coming back. In the years following the 2000 Walker Ranch Fire, grass and shrubs were regrowing in the charred foothills, but there were very few rare baby versions of the tall ponderosa pines that had dominated the area before the fire.

Now that the winter has cooled the 2021 fire season, scientists are looking at the big burn scars across the West with the grim understanding that, in some places, the pine and Douglas fir forests will not return.

The driving force here is that the rising global temperature is wiping out seedlings. In many spots around the U.S. West, summer temperatures are already high enough to cook young trees before they can develop thick protective bark. Others have become so dry that seedlings shrivel before their roots can grow deep enough to reach groundwater. Both circumstances can thwart forest regeneration. Mature trees can survive in these areas long after they stop reproducing. But when fires wipe out these forests and seedings can’t get a foothold, they are replaced with grasses and dense brush.

Climate change has already shifted biomes. Intense fires simply clear away the last vestiges of the old regime.

Disease

Covid-19

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

Screen Shot 2021 12 01 at 1 01 47 PM

Hepatitis E – Chad

A Hepatitis E outbreak had been declared by Chadian health authorities in mid-November 2021 in Sategui health area, Lai health district in the Tandjile region. As of November 20, there have been 377 suspected cases and 2 deaths (CFR 0.5%) reported.

Rift Valley Fever – Senegal

An outbreak of Rift Valley fever (RVF) is ongoing in Senegal, which was declared by health authorities after confirmation of the first case on November 10 by the Pasteur Institute of Dakar. As of November 18, a total of 3 cases and zero deaths are reported in the health districts of Gossas and Diofior.