Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands off Japan.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands.

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Environment

Groundwater CO2

Using water from underground aquifers faster than it is being replenished is releasing large amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

While small compared to the burning of fossil fuels, this groundwater depletion in the U.S. alone could be responsible for 1.7 million metric tons of atmospheric CO2 pollution each year, scientists from Michigan State University estimate.

That would rank among the top 20 sources of carbon pollution outlined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“We were somewhat surprised that this hasn’t been accounted for … in the [EPA and IPCC] evaluations,” said study hydrogeologist David Hyndman.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) in Telfer, Western Australia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 55.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.3 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.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of15 November – 21 November 2017

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that an explosion at Minamidake summit crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) detected at 2207 on 13 November, ejected material as far as 1.3 km. The explosion vibrated structures in Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures. Poor weather conditions prevented views of a plume. An explosion at Showa Crater at 0955 on 14 November produced a plume that rose 1.3 km above the crater rim. Another explosion at Minamidake occurred at 2343 on 14 November, generating a plume that rose 1.3 km above the crater rim. Sulfur dioxide flux measured that same day was 1,400 tons per day, up from 400 tons per day on 10 November. Very small events at Minamidake were occasionally detected during 17-20 November. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Bagana | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 15-17 November ash plumes from Bagana rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, SW, SSW, and W.

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that during 15-20 November elevated surface temperatures in Cleveland’s summit crater were sometimes identified in satellite data, consistent with lava at or near the surface; weather clouds sometimes prevented observations. No significant eruptive activity was detected by seismic or infrasound sensors. On 14 November a small explosion occurred from a vent in the middle of the dome. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 15-21 November ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.3 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Based on observations by volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, explosions on 16 November generated ash plumes that rose as high as 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) : During 15-21 November HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu’u ‘O’o Crater and from a small lava pond in a pit on the W side of the crater. Surface lava flows were active above and on the pali, and on the coastal plain. On 17 November a field crew visited the Kamokuna ocean entry and observed only very sluggish, pasty flows in a few random spots and minor to no degassing in the usual places.

Kirishimayama | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 13-20 November activity at Shinmoedake (Shinmoe peak), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, continued to be slightly elevated. White plumes rose 200 m above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Langila | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 15-16 November ash plumes from Langila rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.7 km (6,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S and SW.

Sabancaya | Peru : Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that explosive activity at Sabancaya increased compared to the previous week; there was an average of 82 explosions recorded per day during 13-19 November. Seismicity was dominated by long-period events, with signals indicating emissions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 4 km above the crater rim and drifted 40 km NE, N, and NW. The MIROVA system detected eight thermal anomalies. The sulfur dioxide flux was high, at 3,103 tons per day on 13 November. The report noted that the public should not to approach the crater within a 12-km radius.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images on 11 November; weather clouds prevented observations on the other days during 12-17 November. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Sinabung | Indonesia : Based on observations by PVMBG, satellite and webcam images, and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 15-19 November ash plumes from Sinabung rose 4.3-4.9 km (14,000-16,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, W, and SW. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4).

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Washington, USA – Wednesday carried in Snohomish County’s first round of seasonal flooding, swelling the Stillaguamish River in Arlington and Silvana. Landslides are possible.

Ireland – Heavy rain caused flash flooding and road closures across the country on Wednesday. The heaviest rain fell in the Dublin region, with 47.4mm of rain falling in Dublin airport up to 3pm, 8.4mm of that falling between 7am and 8am. Two housing estates in Mountmellick, Co Laois were evacuated when the Owenass river burst its banks, flooding access roads.

UK – Dozens of roads have been closed and rail services suspended as parts of Britain are battered by torrential rain and 80mph winds. Dozens of people have been rescued from “major flooding” amid warnings for heavy rain, strong winds and snow. Forecasters have also warned “some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport are likely”. Families had to be evacuated in Lancashire after more than 4cm of rain fell in 24 hours. Further north in Cumbria, around half a month’s rain – almost 9cm – was recorded in 36 hours. Flooding forced motorists to abandon their vehicles as roads and schools were closed.

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Environment

The difference between night and day is disappearing

The distinction between day and night is disappearing in the most heavily populated regions of the Earth, a rapid shift with profound consequences for human health and the environment, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

From 2012 to 2016, the artificially lit area of the Earth’s surface grew by 2.2 percent per year. Bright nighttime lighting only started becoming widespread about 100 years ago, meaning we have little idea how humans or other species adapt to it at an evolutionary level. Light has been introduced in places, times and intensities at which it does not naturally occur and [for] many organisms, there is no chance to adapt to this new stressor.

The past few years have seen the rapid adoption of highly efficient LED lights for indoor and outdoor use. The short-wavelength blue light emitted by most LEDs, because our eyes are particularly attuned to this type of light, it’s been implicated in sleep deficiencies and other human health problems. Last year, the American Medical Association issued a warning about health risks associated with this type of light.

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Wildlife

California birds nesting earlier to try to survive global warming

The early bird not only gets the worm, but may stand a better chance of riding out global warming.

A new study finds that birds in California are breeding up to 12 days earlier than they did a century ago, an apparent effort to maintain their optimal nesting temperatures as the planet warms.

The study of 202 species of California birds found that by nesting five to 12 days earlier in the year, birds are breeding at the same temperatures they did 75 to 100 years ago. Although other researchers have noted earlier nesting times, they theorized that birds were making the changes to when food was available — and that with spring coming earlier, insects and seeds were in greater supply earlier.

The study concludes that birds are moving up their nesting schedules to time the births of chicks with the temperatures they need to survive.

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Disease

Kentucky, USA – Hepatitis A

Kentucky has become the latest in an ever growing list of states battling a hepatitis A outbreak–following California, Michigan and Utah. On Tuesday, The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) declared an outbreak of acute hepatitis A with cases in multiple counties in Kentucky. In total, 31 cases of acute (rapid onset with symptoms of illness) Hepatitis A have been reported throughout Kentucky in 2017.

Nigeria monkeypox update

Nigerian health officials have confirmed four additional monkeypox cases since our last report earlier this month, bringing the total cases in the outbreak to 42.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of15 November – 21 November 2017

Agung | Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that a phreatic eruption at Agung began at 1705 on 21 November, following a low-frequency tremor signal. An ash plume rose 700 m above the crater rim and drifted ESE. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the exclusion zones remained intact (at 6 km, and an additional expansion to 7.5 km in the NNE, SE, S, and SW directions).

Oraefajokull | Iceland : The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reported that on 17 November the Aviation colour Code for Öræfajökull was raised to Yellow because satellite images and photos showed that a new ice cauldron had formed within the caldera the previous week. The new cauldron was about 1 km in diameter and 15-20 m deep, and signified a recent increase in geothermal activity. Scientists conducted an overflight on 18 November; in addition, while on the ground, they took water samples, measurements of electrical conductivity, and gas levels at the Kvíárjökull outlet-glacier, a valley glacier on the SE flank of Öræfajökull. There was no obvious sign of flooding in the Kvíá river. A sulfur odor, which had been reported for about a week, was also noted. An increase in the seismic activity was recorded for the last few months (the largest earthquake, an M 3.4, occurred on the 3 October), but was low for the past few days. IMO noted that there were no signs of an imminent volcanic eruption, though there was considerable uncertainty about how the situation will evolve.

Sarychev Peak | Matua Island (Russia) : SVERT reported that weak steam-and-gas emissions from Sarychev Peak were observed on 13 November. Weather clouds prevented observations during 14-20 November. The Aviation colour Code remained at Green.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the central Mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Saudi Arabia – Heavy rain has hit Jeddah, flooding streets and closing schools and universities in the Saudi city, and led to cars being stranded as the water level rose. Air traffic was also affected, as Saudi Airlines announced that several flights were delayed.

Wildfires

15 Years to Restore Italy’s Forests after Wildfires

Italian forests destroyed in wildfires this summer will take at least 15 years to regrow, according to the national farmers’ association.

Some 141,000 hectares of woodland have burned down in 2017 so far, a dramatic increase of 316 percent compared to the average over the past nine years. The destruction is costing Italy not only trees but plants, animals, traditional industries and a means of absorbing some of the carbon dioxide that causes climate change.

A long, rainless summer this year dried out much of Italy and left countryside from Piedmont to Sicily exceptionally vulnerable to wildfires.

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Disease

Philippines – Japanese Encephelitis

Health officials in Nueva Vizcaya, in Cagayan Valley region in Luzon, are reporting eight confirmed cases of the mosquito borne disease, Japanese encephalitis (JE).

China: Human H5N6 avian influenza

Officials with China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission are reporting an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in a Guangxi man.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits the Samoa Islands.

5.3 Earthquake hits the Nias region, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Iran-Iraq border.

5.1 Earthquake hits the western Indian-Antarctic ridge.

5.1 Earthquake hits off the coast of Chiapas, Mexico.

5.0 Earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Kuril islands.