Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 earthquake hits the Alaska peninsula.

5.3 earthquake hits Kepulauan Batu, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Gulf of Aden.

5.1 earthquake hits near the coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

Global Warming

Glaciers Shrink

A decade of observations from Europe’s Cryosat satellite finds that of the 200,000 or so glaciers on the planet, about 2% of their mass was lost between 2010 and 2020 due to a hotter climate. That amounts to 3 trillion tons of ice melting during the period. Alaska’s glaciers were among the worst affected, with about 5% of the total ice volume in the region melting in 10 years.

In many regions, glaciers are important sources of water for drinking, agriculture and hydropower.

More than 20% of the world’s population relies on the water that flows from the summer melting of glaciers.

European Heat

Forecasters are warning that years of drought across Europe are causing “feedback loops” for the continent’s climate, foreshadowing another dangerously hot and dry summer ahead. Hot, arid conditions in the next few months would mean crop losses and waterways so low that river transport would be snarled and hydroelectric plants would be forced to shut down.

In Spain’s autonomous community of Catalonia, a plague of rabbits starved of fresh grass is also ravaging crops. Officials estimate 250,000 rabbits need to be culled this summer to contain the population. Barcelona faces a water emergency by September if ample rainfall fails to occur from now until the end of summer.

Trump Climate Denial Era Loses Ground to New Normal

A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans say they have recently experienced at least one extreme weather event, with many blaming climate change. The poll conducted in mid-April also finds that about half of the country’s adults became more concerned about the changing climate during the past year even though many remain unsure of their individual role in causing it. Types of severe weather that hit the nation once every 82 days in the 1980s are now occurring slightly more than once every two weeks.


Global Insect Decline

The global decline of insect populations has become increasingly evident in recent years, with not just a decrease in individual insect numbers but also a collapse in insect diversity. A special issue of the journal Biology Letters has been published to provide a comprehensive understanding of the causes and consequences of this alarming trend.

The experts concluded that the primary drivers of the worldwide insect decline are land-use intensification, climate change, and the spread of invasive animal species due to human trade. Ecosystems deteriorated by humans are more susceptible to climate change and so are their insect communities.

Additionally, invasive species can more easily establish themselves in habitats damaged by human activity, displacing native species. As a result, while many insect species decline or become extinct, a few others, including invasive species, thrive and increase. This decreases diversity among insect communities across habitats. Specialized insect species suffer the most from these changes, while more generalized species tend to survive. The consequences of this development are far-reaching and generally detrimental for ecosystems.


Diphtheria – Nigeria

In a follow-up on the diphtheria outbreak in Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) reports from 14 May 2022 to 9 April 2023, 1439 suspected cases have been reported, of which 557 (39%) have been confirmed, including 73 deaths among the confirmed cases (case fatality ratio of 13%).


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.3 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.3 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.3 earthquake hits near the south coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits Mindoro in the Philippines.

5.2 earthquake hits the Sumbawa region, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the Balleney Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits west of Macquarie Island.

5.0 earthquake hits the Nicobar Islands, India.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storm systems.


Arizona, USA – Many residents of Chinle in northeastern Arizona lost their homes when rain and water from snowmelt inundated their community last week. Part of the Navajo Nation, Chinle was suffering from drought when the floodwaters came. Parts of Arizona and the Southwest experienced record snowfall during the winter. For example, the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, which lies west of Chinle, broke its snowfall record after receiving more than 250 inches of snow.


Lassa fever – Nigeria

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice for Nigeria as an ongoing Lassa fever outbreak has been reported in 26 states this year. From the beginning of the year through April 16, Nigeria health officials report 877 confirmed Lassa fever cases, including 152 deaths among the confirmed cases.

Meningitis – Nigeria

The World Health Organization reports: From 1 October 2022 to 16 April 2023, a total of 1686 suspected cases, 532 confirmed cases and 124 deaths (CFR: 7%) have been reported from 81 local government areas (LGAs) in 22 out of 36 administrative states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in Nigeria.

Chikungunya – Paraguay

From the beginning of the chikungunya outbreak in Paraguay in October 2022 to date , 77,790 cases of confirmed and probable chikungunya have been registered in the country. In the last three weeks, 5,836 cases of chikungunya were identified in the country, mostly concentrated in Central (25%), Asunción (23%) and Alto Paraná (10%).


Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 19 April – 25 April 2023

Ahyi – Mariana Islands (USA) : On 26 April both the Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level for Ahyi Seamount were lowered to Unassigned because signs of unrest had decreased, and no indication of submarine volcanic activity had occurred for at least four weeks. Observations of discolored water near the seamount were last identified in satellite images in late March 2023, and underwater activity based on acoustic signals had been negligible since early April 2023.

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported ongoing eruptive activity at Minamidake Crater during 17-24 April, with crater incandescence visible nightly. Two eruptive events on 17 April produced ash plumes that rose 1-1.5 km and drifted S. That same day sulfur dioxide emissions were somewhat high at 1,900 tons per day. Very small eruptive events occasionally occurred during 21-24 April.

Ambae – Vanuatu : Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported that at 0730 on 19 April a plume consisting of steam, sulfur dioxide gas, and ash rose 695 m above Ambae’s summit and drifted E and SE, based on an image from a webcam located 22 km NE on the NE tip of Ambae Island, in Saratamata.

Cotopaxi – Ecuador : IG reported ongoing moderate eruptive activity at Cotopaxi during 18-25 April. Cloudy weather sometimes prevented webcam and satellite views, but daily emissions of steam-and-gas rising as high as 1.5 km were seen in webcam images. Small ash-and-gas emissions were visible during 21-22 April. An ash plume first seen at 0953 on 24 April rose up to 3 km above the summit and drifted NE. Later that afternoon and evening ash-and-gas emissions rose 350 m and drifted N. At 1600 the seismic station recorded a small secondary lahar that descended the Cutzalao/Agualongo drainage on the SW flank.

Ebeko – Paramushir Island (Russia) : KVERT reported that moderate activity at Ebeko was ongoing during 13-20 April and a thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images during 14-15 April. According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island, about 7 km E), and satellite data, explosions during 14-16 April generated ash plumes that rose as high as 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 104 km NE. Weather clouds prevented satellite views on the other days of the week.

Fuego – South-Central Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that 4-12 explosions per hour were recorded at Fuego during 18-25 April, generating daily ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim and drifted as far as 65 km SW, S, SE, and E. Ashfall was recorded each day in areas downwind including Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), La Rochela, Santa Sofía (12 km SW), San Andrés Osuna, Ceilan, Finca La Asunción, Ceylon, El Zapote (10 km S), Aldeas, El Rodeo and other nearby communities. Daily block avalanches descended multiple drainages including the Santa Teresa, Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), Honda, Las Lajas (SE), and El Jute (ESE), and often reached vegetated areas. Daily shock waves rattled structures in communities around the volcano and rumbling was often heard. Explosions ejected incandescent material as high as 350 m above the summit on most days. During 22-23 April the avalanches remobilized ash deposits causing a plume that rose 100 m and drifted S and SE. On 23 April lahars in the Ceniza drainage carried branches, tree trunks, and blocks 30 cm to 1.5 m in diameter.

Great Sitkin – Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that lava continued to slowly erupt at the summit of Great Sitkin during 19-25 April. Weather clouds often obscured satellite and webcam views during most of the week. Seismicity was low, and during 21-22 April only a few small events were detected. Satellite data last acquired on 14 April showed that the thick lava continued to expand towards the E and remained confined to the summit crater.

Karangetang – Sangihe Islands : PVMBG reported that the effusive eruption which began around 1700 on 8 February at Karangetang’s Main Crater (S crater) produced lava flows and lava avalanches that traveled as far as 2 km down the SW and S flanks in drainages leading to the Beha, Batang, Timbelang, Batuawang, and Kahetang rivers. Effusion ended on 1 April and avalanches of material were no longer detected. Seismic signals indicating effusion decreased and by 6 April were no longer being detected. Incandescence at both Main Crater and Crater II (N crater) was visible at night during 1-25 April. White gas plumes were seen rising as high as 200 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions; weather clouds sometimes prevented views.

Katmai – Alaska : AVO reported that during the morning of 23 April, strong NW winds in the vicinity of Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes dispersed unconsolidated ash up to 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. to the SE across Shelikof Strait to Kodiak Island. The ash was originally deposited during the Novarupta-Katmai eruption in 1912.

Lewotolok – Lembata Island : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok was ongoing during 19-25 April. On 19, 21, and 23 April white-and-gray plumes rose 200-700 m and drifted E, NE, N, and NW. White steam-and-gas plumes of variable densities were seen during 20, 22, and 24-25 April rising as high as 500 m above the summit and drifting SW, W, and NW. Crater incandescence was visible in webcam images posted with the reports during 21-22 April.

Merapi – Central Java : BPPTKG reported that the eruption at Merapi (on Java) continued during 19-25 April and seismicity remained at high levels. The SW lava dome produced more than 80 lava avalanches that traveled as far as 2 km down the SW flank (upstream in the Bebeng and Boyong drainages). Morphological changes to the SW lava dome were evident in webcam images due to continuing collapses of material.

Reventador – Ecuador : IG reported that the eruption at Reventador was ongoing during 19-25 April. Seismic activity was not characterized due to technical problems. Steam, gas, and ash plumes were observed in IG webcam images and described in Washington VAAC advisories on most days; weather conditions occasionally prevented views. The plumes rose as high as 1.6 km above the summit and drifted E, SE, W, and SW. Crater incandescence was visible at night during 20-21 April.

Sabancaya – Peru : Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported moderate levels of activity at Sabancaya during 17-23 April with a daily average of 31 explosions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 2.5 km above the summit and drifted NW, W, SW, and S. Six thermal anomalies originating from the lava dome in the summit crater were identified in satellite data.

Santa Maria – Southwestern Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported that the eruption at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex continued during 18-25 April. Effusion from the Caliente dome complex fed lava flows that descended the San Isidro and Zanjón Seco drainages on the W and SW flanks; the main lava flow was 4.3 km long and remained active. Incandescence from the dome and the lava flows was frequently visible at night. Daily avalanches descended multiple flanks of the dome and were also occasionally generated from the lava-flow front and margins. Daily weak or weak-to-moderate explosions recorded by the seismic network generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the complex and drifted mainly S and SW. During 18-19 April ash fall was reported in Finca El Faro (6.7 km S). On 21 April quiet rumbling sounds were barely heard on nearby farms.

Semeru – Eastern Java : PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 18-25 April and frequent Volcano Observatory Notices for Aviation (VONAs) describing ash emissions were issued through the week. On 19 April at 0710 and 0829 dense white-and-gray ash plumes rose 800-1,000 m above the summit and drifted S. On 20 April at 0616, 0619, 0805, and 0902 white-and-gray variable density ash plumes rose 300-1,000 m and drifted N and NW. At 0534 on 21 April a white-to-brown ash plume rose 600 m and drifted NE and at 0640 a dense white-and-gray ash plume rose 700 m and drifted SW. On 23 April at 0448, 0553, 0643, and 0731 gray ash plumes of variable densities rose 400-1,000 m and drifted SE, S, SW, and W. On 25 April at 0519, 0710, and 0756 dense gray ash plumes rose 500-800 m and drifted NW, W, and SW.

Semisopochnoi – Aleutian Islands (USA) : AVO reported that low-level unrest continued at Semisopochnoi during 18-25 April. Daily periods or bursts of tremor and occasional low-frequency earthquakes were detected during the week. Small explosions were detected in seismic and infrasound data during 18-19 and 24-25 April. Cloudy weather prevented webcam and satellite views on most days. Possible recent ash deposits on Mount Young’s crater rim were visible in clear webcam images during 22-23 April, and steam emissions from the active N crater were visible during 22-25 April.

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that the eruption at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater continued during 17-24 April. No explosions were recorded, but eruptive activity produced periodic ash plumes and ejected blocks as far as 300 m from the vent. On 17 April ash plumes rose 1-1.5 km above the crater rim and drifted E and SE, and on 18 April an ash plume rose 2 km and drifted N. Ashfall was reported in Toshima village (3.5 km SSW) during 17-21 April. On 23 April an ash plume rose 1.1 km and drifted SW.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.3 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.7 earthquake hits near the southern coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.6 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.6 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.5 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.1 earthquake hits Nepal.

5.1 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

5.0 earthquake hits the mid-Indian ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storm systems.


USA – Snowmelt continues to cause floods along the Mississippi and in California. Record winter snowfall across northern Minnesota, which quickly melted in a spell of unprecedented spring heat, is dramatically swelling waterways along the upper Mississippi River basin. Major flood stages, the second highest on record in some spots, stretch from Minnesota and Wisconsin to Iowa and Illinois. In Stillwater, Minn., the water level along the St. Croix River, which feeds the Mississippi, is forecast to be the seventh highest on record as the city endures persistent floodwaters. Meanwhile in California, the National Park Service is closing most of Yosemite Valley, as the Merced River is expected to reach flood levels Thursday night.

Global Warming

Sudden Spike in Ocean Temperatures

The world’s oceans have suddenly spiked much hotter and well above record levels in the last few weeks, with scientists trying to figure out what it means and whether it forecasts a surge in atmospheric warming.

Some researchers think the jump in sea surface temperatures stems from a brewing and possibly strong natural El Nino warming weather condition plus a rebound from three years of a cooling La Nina, all on top of steady global warming that is heating deeper water below. If that’s the case, they said, record-breaking ocean temperatures this month could be the first in many heat records to shatter.

From early March to this week, the global average ocean sea surface temperature jumped nearly two-tenths of a degree Celsius (0.36 degree Fahrenheit), according to the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer, which climate scientists use and trust. That may sound small, but for the average of the world’s oceans — which is 71% of Earth’s area —to rise so much in that short a time, “that’s huge,” said University of Colorado climate scientist Kris Karnauskas. “That’s an incredible departure from what was already a warm state to begin with.”


Plastic Pollution

An algae that commonly grows beneath Arctic sea ice now contains 10 times as many microplastic particles as the seawater it lives in. Researchers from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research made the discovery after collecting samples of the Melosira arctica algae.

They found that because the algae has a slimy, sticky texture, it collects microplastic particles from the atmosphere before it dies and collects into clumps.

The increased weight causes those clumps to sink straight down, “as if in an elevator to the seafloor.” Since the algae is an important food source for many sea creatures, the plastic pollution could eventually contaminate much of the Arctic marine food web.


Fish Rescue

Spain has endured 36-consecutive months of below-average rainfall. The drought led to unusual scenes at the River Onyar yesterday. Fish had to be rescued from a drought-shrivelled river in Spain yesterday as the country bakes under abnormally high temperatures.

In the northeastern city of Girona, officials used small electric shocks to stun native fish in the River Onyar before scooping them into plastic bags. The animals were transferred to the Ter River 10 kilometres away, which has significantly higher water levels.


Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 117.0 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) in Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 95.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 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.


Syphilis – Japan

Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) reports 4,086 syphilis cases through April 19. Tokyo has reported the most cases with 1,072, followed by Osaka with 516 cases and Hokkaido with 269. Japan reported more than 5,000 syphilis cases three years straight and two consecutive years with more than 6,000 cases.

Monkeypox – Japan

Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo reports that the total monkeypox, or mpox cases in the country has topped 100, reporting 102 cases through April 19. The latest case, not included in the national total above, was reported in Kanagawa Prefecture on April 21, the second case for the prefecture.

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever _ Senegal

The Ministry of Health of Senegal has reported a confirmed case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever on 21 April 2023 in a 35-year-old male patient. The patient died.