Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

Two 5.5 earthquakes hit Vanuatu.

5.1 earthquake hits the Izu Islands off Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.0 earthquake hits the southwestern Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storm systems.

Newsbytes:

USA – At least nine people died in tornadoes that destroyed homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands in the U.S. Southeast, and the death toll in hard-hit central Alabama was expected to rise. The storms on Thursday stretched from Mississippi to Georgia. At least five tornadoes touched down in central Alabama. One of those twisters potentially tracked about 150 miles (241 km) from southwest Selma, Alabama, to the Georgia-Alabama state line

Environment

Positive Environmental Trends in 2023

Finland’s wind power capacity increased by 75 per cent last year, according to the Finnish Wind Energy Association (FWPA). The growth in renewables is also helping Finland achieve its ambitious climate goals. The country hopes to be one of the first in Europe to reach net zero, setting a 2035 target – well ahead of the EU’s 2050 goal.

Scientists have developed a way of transforming plastic waste and greenhouse gases into sustainable fuels using solar power. The system, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could address plastic pollution.

A large solar power plant has been built in Dağbeli, on the outskirts of Antalya, Turkey, to provide free energy to local farmers. Local growers in the fruit and vegetable farming hub say they once refrained from irrigating their crops properly because of the high energy prices. Some 60,000 people now benefit from the support scheme, which gives farmers the means to run irrigation systems and increase crop production.

Single-use plastic items including cutlery and plates will soon be banned in England, the government has announced.Each year, the country uses around 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion items of cutlery, according to government estimates. Only 10 per cent of these are recycled.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as Brazil’s president in January marking a new era for the country’s environmental policies. Lula’s plans for government provide a stark contrast to far-right former leader Jair Bolsonaro, whose four years in office were characterised by backsliding on environmental protections. The new president says he wants to turn Brazil, one of the world’s top food producers, into a green superpower.