Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits Leyte in the Philippines.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Owen Fracture Zone.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic: Tropical Storm Gaston is located about 820 mi…1325 km ESE of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…65 mph…100 km/h. Present movement…NW or 310 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

Invest 91L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

Invest 99L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Eastern Pacific: Tropical Storm Lester is located about 595 mi…960 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…85 mph…140 km/h. Present movement…W or 280 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h.

Tropical Storm Madeline is located about 1160 mi…1865 km ESE of Hilo Hawaii and about 1185 mi…1905 km ESE of South Point Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…50 mph…85 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 300 degrees at 10 mph…17 km/h.

In the Western Pacific: Typhoon 12w (Lionrock), located approximately 742 nm south-southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, is tracking east-northeastward at 08 knots.

Newsbytes:

Missouri, USA – Footage showing entire parking lots under water is emerging from nearby Kansas City, Missouri, where a flash flood emergency warning from the National Weather Service has been issued. ater levels have been described as going above car doors and emergency crews have been dispatched to assist stranded motorists and pedestrians.

Global Warming

Artic Study Reveals World’s Worst Mass Extinction Due to Global Warming

A new study reveals that the world’s last mass extinction happened because of global warming. This mass extinction, called the Great Dying Event, saw the demise of 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of terrestrial life.

Jochen Knies, a researcher at CAGE who conducted the study in the Arctic, said the cause of this mass extinction is an “explosive event of volcanic eruptions” that happened in Siberia. He also said that amounts of volatiles such as carbon dioxides and methane were emitted by several eruptions that lasted for a million years. This emission made our planet “unbearably hot” during that time, Heritage Daily reports.

The Great Dying Event happened 252 million years ago, and it took nine million years after for life on Earth to recover from the catastrophe. The new study found clues in the Arctic and can now reveal why it took such a long time for recovery.

“What used to be the northwestern continental margin of the super continent Pangaea is now Canadian High Arctic. There we found evidence in geological records for a significant nutrient gap during this period. This means that global oceans were severely poor in nutrients such as nitrogen,” Knies said via Science Daily.

During the Great Dying, the oceans’ temperature (thermoclines) and nutrients (nutricline) suffered greatly because of high temperatures. Oceans are not a single body of water. There are actually layers and boundaries that are based on thermoclines and nutriclines. Both thermoclines and nutriclines deepened, ceasing the upwelling of nutrients from the bottom of the oceans. As a result, marine algae productivity decreased, crumbling down the base of the food chain.

Only around six to seven million years after the extinction did the oceans started cooling off. The boundaries that prevented nutrients from going up to the surface were weakened. This paved way for the nutrients to return to the surface and sustain life again.

The study also proves how global warming can affect marine ecosystems in the long haul. The Great Dying Event or Permian-Triassic mass extinction has reset evolution. After this event, dinosaurs came but they also died out due to another mass extinction. The study notes that it’s possible that humanity is facing another impending mass extinction due to human activity.

Wildfires

Russian pilots put out 17 wildfires endangering Portugal

Seventeen blazes, charring a total area of 2,000 hectares in Portugal, have been extinguished by the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s aircraft over the past two weeks.

Wildfires – USA

Thirty-five large, uncontained wildfires were burning in the West, and firefighters were making initial attacks on another 112 new blazes to prevent them from spreading.

Firefighters in the region mostly faced windy, dry conditions that have fanned flames that destroyed buildings and forced evacuations in California, Washington, Idaho and elsewhere. Here’s a look at the major wildfires in the West:

CALIFORNIA – Authorities say a wildfire that destroyed 45 homes on California’s central coast was not intentionally set but they were still trying to determine the cause. Cal Fire says arson has been ruled out in the 10-day blaze that has charred 64 square miles of dry brush and timber. The fire was 39 percent surrounded and at least 2,400 people were under evacuation orders in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. Additional warnings for people to be ready to flee were issued Wednesday and one arm of Lake Nacimiento was closed to boaters. Cal Fire’s Rich Eagan says flames were more than two miles from Hearst Castle, which remains closed but was no longer at immediate risk.

A fire burning for a month north of Big Sur grew again to 135 square miles. Hundreds of homes remain threatened by the fire in rugged wilderness coast along Highway 1. The blaze was sparked by an illegal campfire. It is 60 percent contained.

IDAHO – A fast-moving rangeland wildfire in eastern Idaho expanded to nearly 70 square miles Wednesday, forcing evacuations, threatening a windfarm and burning habitat needed by sage grouse, a federally protected bird. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office says evacuations are in place, with up to 70 buildings along U.S. Highway 26 threatened.

Officials say the human-caused fire reported Sunday about 7 miles east of Idaho Falls is making wind-driven runs to the north and east.

In central Idaho, a 160-square-mile wildfire in a remote, mountainous area continues to defy containment and burn through timbered slopes that are difficult for firefighters to reach.

MONTANA – Cooler weather has slowed Montana’s largest wildfire, though 45 homes are still evacuated and 130 more are on alert. The fire northeast of Thompson Falls had burned 33 square miles as of Wednesday morning. Fire officials say crews have made progress in securing fire lines and protecting structures. The weather was cooperating again Wednesday with lighter winds and higher relative humidity forecast.

Minimal fire activity is also being reported from a fire burning west of Lakeside. About 75 homes and other structures are within a half-mile of the fire’s perimeter. No evacuations have been ordered.

UTAH – Firefighters in northern Utah are working to contain a growing wildfire near a ski resort that’s now crossed the border into southern Idaho. Fire spokeswoman Sierra Hellstrom said Wednesday that wind and high temperatures Tuesday afternoon had pushed the fire to 1.4 square miles. It’s burning about 23 miles northwest of Logan, and about one-fourth of a mile from the Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, which was on pre-evacuation notice this week. Hellstrom says no buildings are imminently threatened at the resort.

WASHINGTON – Favorable weather conditions helped crews make progress Wednesday against a series of wildfires in Eastern Washington that have burned at least 18 homes this week.

A fire burning on the Spokane Indian Reservation was 30 percent contained. That fire covered more than 27 square miles and had destroyed at least 13 homes on the reservation, said Jamie Sijohn, a spokeswoman for the tribe. “The devastating fire jumped the Spokane River from Lincoln County onto the Spokane reservation in three separate locations,” Sijohn said. It roared toward the town of Wellpinit, forcing the evacuation of the entire town on Sunday. But that order has since been lifted, Sijohn said.

Meanwhile, a fire near the town of Davenport in Lincoln County covered 6.5 square miles, and was 20 percent contained.

Another fire south of Spokane, in the Valleyford area, was 50 percent contained. It had burned more than 10 square miles and destroyed at least five homes, officials said. Mandatory evacuations ended on that fire on Tuesday night.

WYOMING – Some tourists heading to Yellowstone National Park during the busy summer season were facing an hourlong detour Wednesday as a wildfire in neighbouring Grand Teton National Park kept a highway closed. Major tourist areas in both parks are open as the National Park Service holds events to celebrate its 100th anniversary this week. A route leading into Yellowstone’s South Entrance was shut down, so visitors coming from the south through Wyoming had to take a detour into Idaho. But firefighters hope cooler weather slows the flames over the next couple of days.

Disease

White-nose Syndrome Research: Grants Awarded

Bat Conservation International (BCI) and the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are pleased to award $100,000 in funding to support critical research in the fight against White-nose Syndrome (WNS). Together, BCI and TNC reviewed and selected three solution-oriented projects that aim to identify and develop tools to improve survival of bats vulnerable to WNS.

White-nose Syndrome is a devastating disease that has killed more than six million bats in North America since its arrival in 2006. The disease is confirmed in seven different species of bats and is in 29 states and five Canadian provinces.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic:

Tropical Storm Gaston is located about 1030 mi…1660 km ENE of the Leeward Islands and about 1195 mi…1925 km ESE of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…65 mph…100 km/h. Present movement…NW or 320 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

Invest 99L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Storm Lester is located about 510 mi…820 km SW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…W or 280 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

Invest 98E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical Storm 12w (Lionrock), located approximately 279 nm southeast of Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan, is tracking eastward at 04 knots.

Newsbytes:

Sudan – Two months of torrential rain have killed more than 110 people in Sudan – and more rain is forecast. More than 160,000 people have been affected and 14,000 houses destroyed.

Ethiopia – The United Nations says more than 600,000 people have been displaced in Ethiopia since March, largely because of flooding. The African country was struggling with its worst drought in decades in 2015, but it ended when spring rains arrived in March. On Wednesday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said nearly 300,000 people were forced to flee their homes between March and June due to flooding. The report further said that others were stranded due to the inter-communal conflict in Ethiopia’s southern Oromia and Somali regions.

Global Warming

Study: Global warming began earlier than previously thought

Man-made global warming may have started a few decades earlier than scientists previously figured, a new study suggests.

Instead of the late 1800s, a slight almost imperceptible warming can now be tracked to around 1850 in North America, Europe and Asia, according to a new study based on coral, microscopic organisms, ice cores, cave samples, tree rings and computer simulations.

And that happened when heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels were tiny compared with now, which means “the speed at which the climate responds to even a small change in greenhouse gases appears to be quite fast,” said study lead author Nerilie Abram, a paleoclimate scientist at the Australian National University. From about 1850 to 1880, Earth probably warmed around a third of a degree Fahrenheit. Still, that pales with about nine-tenths of a degree in the last 30 years or so.

Determining when warming started is more than just a historical question. Early heating could mean either a worse future climate than previously predicted if heat trapping gases aren’t controlled or, more optimistically, faster recovery by Earth if international efforts to cut greenhouse gases succeed.

Wildlife

Monarch Refuge Losses

Storms earlier this year toppled more than a hundred acres of forest in central Mexico, where migrating monarch butterflies spend each winter. Late reports say the severe weather was accompanied by rain, cold and high winds, which killed more than 7 percent of the wintering butterflies. “Never had we observed such a combination of high winds, rain and freezing temperatures,” monarch expert Lincoln Brower said of the storms, which hit Michoacán’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve on March 8 and 9.

‘Mosquitornado’

Hollywood has envisioned the implausible phenomenon of spinning columns of bloodthirsty sharks in recent years, but tornadoes of bloodsucking mosquitoes were actually observed and photographed near Russia’s central Ural Mountains. The photographer who shot a video of several “mosquito tornadoes” in Yekaterinburg on Aug. 13 said each column contained millions of the insects. A single mosquito tornado was photographed in Portugal during the spring of 2014.

Syg7rz10

Nature – Images

Interesting Images

A poor Philippine fisherman found what may be the world’s largest pearl but kept it under his bed for a decade without knowing its worth, local authorities said. The man found the 34-kg pearl inside a giant clam that his boat’s anchor snagged as he waited out a storm at sea.

F pearl a 20160826 870x580

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 117.0 degrees Fahrenheit (47.2 degrees Celsius) in Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus -102.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 74.4 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station.

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.

Disease

Japanese Encephalitis in Myanmar

An outbreak of Japanese encephalitis (JE) has killed 19 people, including four children in Myanmar this year to date prompting health officials to begin a vaccination campaign in the most needed areas.

Due to the cost of the vaccine and limited supplies, the Department of Health announced it would begin the campaign of vaccinating 40,000 from the mosquito borne virus focusing on Rakhine and northern Shan states.

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is the most important cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. About 68,000 clinical cases are reported annually. It usually occurs in rural or agricultural areas, often associated with rice farming.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Klyuchevskoy (Kamchatka): The effusive and sometimes mildly explosive eruption of the volcano continues with little changes. Bright glow at night and strong thermal signals detected on satellite show that the lava flow through the Apakhonchich drainage on the SE flank of the volcano continues to be well fed.

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): After about a week of relative calm, the volcano’s activity – probably strombolian explosions from Ontake crater – has again picked since last night. Bright glow is visible at the main crater from neighbouring islands and Tokyo VAAC reported several low-level ash plumes today.

Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): The volcano’s activity seems to have been very low recently although there are no available direct observations. The heat signal from the volcano has been only intermittent and low and no significant ash emissions have been detected on satellite imagery during the past months (since about Dec 2015). Only a gas plume is visible on clear weather satellite imagery on most days. This indicates that the volcano is no longer producing the violent explosions we used to see during our regular expeditions in past years, usually in November each year as the best time weather-wise.

Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): The volcano has been producing a series of glowing avalanches and pyroclastic flows on the ESE and SE sides during the past 24 hours, reaching lengths of 1500-3500 m. The cause of the current violent phase is likely that the prominent viscous lava lobe that has been spilling over from the summit dome into a steep ravine of the upper flank has now become too unstable and is crumbling apart. During this process, rockfalls can turn into highly mobile and destructive glowing avalanches of disintegrating hot lava rock fragments, gasses released from these and ambient air (so-called pyroclastic density currents / flows).

Fuego (Guatemala): The activity at the volcano has again started to increase – while it continues with intermittent explosions, satellite-based measured heat emission from the summit is becoming more intense, typically a sign that the magma column is rising inside the conduit.  This could herald a new paroxysm in the near future (coming few days?).

Cotopaxi (Ecuador): Yesterday’s ash plume from the volcano was the result of strong winds remobilizing older ash deposits (from the recent eruptive activity during 2015-16), NOT cause by a new eruptive phase. The volcano is currently calm both at the surface and internally (seismic activity, deformation etc) and only emits a steam plume.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits the Flores Sea.

5.7 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Mentawai, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits central Italy.

5.0 Earthquake hits southeast of the loyalty Islands.

More than 240 people have died and at least 368 were injured in yesterday’s 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Italy. Many people are still believed to be buried under rubble and more than 4,300 rescuers are using heavy lifting equipment and bare hands to find them. Before and After Images:

90897926 comp amatrice

90897927 comp pescaradeltronto

90899492 hi034935345

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the North Atlantic: Hurricane Gaston is located about 1225 mi…1970 km E of the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds…75 mph…120 km/h. Present movement…NW or 310 degrees at 17 mph…28 km/h.

Invest 99L is an area of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Eastern Pacific: Tropical Storm Lester is located about 185 mi…295 km SSW of Socorro island and about 475 mi…765 km SSW of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 295 degrees at 12 mph…19 km/h

Invest 98E is an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific that has the potential for further tropical development.

In the Western Pacific: Tropical Storm 12w (Lionrock), located approximately 247 nm southeast of Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan, is tracking west-northwestward at 02 knots.

Newsbytes:

Indiana, USA – At least two confirmed tornadoes ripped through Central Indiana on Wednesday, causing only minor injuries but damaging several homes and leaving more than 30,000 people without power, including 3,400 in Indianapolis. The most damage appeared to occur in Kokomo, where an EF-3 tornado levelled a Starbucks and tore roofs off of apartment buildings, causing city and Howard County officials to declare states of emergency. Wind speeds typically associated with an EF-3 can range anywhere from 136 to 165 mph, according to the National Weather Service.