Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 earthquake hit Taiwan.

5.0 earthquake hits Oaxaca, Mexico.

5.0 earthquake hit off the coast of Aisen, Chile.


Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:


In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 15s (Marcus), located approximately 485 nm north-northwest of Learmonth, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 15 knots.


Kenya – Rains continue to leave a trail of death and destruction across the country. In Kilifi and Tana River counties, some 800 families displaced by floods are in dire need of food, shelter and clothing. The National Environment Management Authority warned residents against consuming water from Lake Victoria due to damage of sewerage system.

Malaysia – Flash floods wreak havoc in Kuala Lumpur. Heavy rain and strong winds uprooted trees in Bangsar today, bringing traffic to a standstill on some roads.


Still No Causes Found for Sea Star Wasting Disease

Beginning in 2013, a mysterious disease crippled sea star populations up and down the U.S. west coast. Over a matter of months, many sea star species died in record-breaking numbers, though Pisaster ochraceus—a keystone species known as the ochre sea star—was among the hardest hit. Now, researchers at UC Santa Cruz have analyzed just how much the populations of this species have declined, but they have not yet determined what factors might be contributing to the epidemic.

Scientists aren’t sure what causes this disease, known as sea star wasting syndrome (SSWS). Some researchers think the culprit could be a viral pathogen, but evidence is inconclusive.

This latest outbreak extended from as far south as Baja California, Mexico, all the way to the southern shores of Alaska.

In a new study published March 20 in PLOS ONE, Miner, Raimondi, and colleagues analyzed marine data collected between 2000 and 2016 from 90 intertidal sites on the North American Pacific coast to determine the impacts of SSWS on ochre sea star populations and try to understand what factors may have contributed to this most recent SSWS outbreak.

The data revealed that, while ochre sea star populations shrank in all coastal areas, sites in southern California and the Channel Islands experienced more severe declines than those farther north. In the south, adult sea stars declined by 99 percent or more at over half of the 39 sites surveyed, whereas only 2 sites in the north experienced similar levels of decline. Miner’s group also noted that juvenile sea star mortality in the period after the initial outbreak of SSWS increased by approximately 90 percent compared to pre-outbreak levels.

Ochre sea stars are keystone predators in intertidal ecosystems—the part of the shore area submerged at high tide and uncovered at low tide—preying on organisms like the California mussel. When ochre stars are removed, mussel beds can expand, leaving less space for other organisms to flourish in those habitats. A decline in ochre sea stars could lead to a change in the make-up of intertidal communities on the west coast, although other factors are also at play, Miner said. The epidemic that started in late 2013 is still ongoing, though the major population crashes noted in 2014 and 2015 have since leveled off.



Monkeypox – Central African Republic

UN health officials reported this week that during the week ending Mar. 4, three cases of monkeypox were reported in Bria town in Haute-Kotto Prefecture, Central African Republic (CAR).

Measles – Serbia

Since the measles outbreak started in Oct. 2017, Serbian health authorities have reported 3,812 cases, including nearly 2,000 cases in just the past two months, of which 1972 were laboratory confirmed at the Torlak Institute, according Serbia’s Institute for Public Health. Of this total, 13 people have died.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:Gl sst mm

In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 14s (Eliakim), located approximately 444 nm south-southwest of St. Denis, La Reunion, is tracking south-southwestward at 15 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15s (Marcus), located approximately 347 nm north-northwest of Port Hedland, Australia, is tracking westward at 17 knots.


Europe, Croatia – Emergency crews in Croatia have struggled to contain a swollen river that reached record levels southeast of Zagreb Monday, while soldiers distributed food and drinking water to a section of Albania that has been flooded for two weeks. To the east, snow and freezing rain delayed dozens of flights and some trains in Romania amid a late cold snap. Snow also hit Germany, Hungary and Britain, among other European nations. Trains running from Bucharest to the Black Sea port of Constanta and the southern city of Craiova were also delayed. In Albania, local authorities reported that about 7,400 acres of land in the country’s northwest were flooded and 225 houses in the countryside were surrounded by water.


Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, dies aged 45

When Sudan was born in 1973 in the wild in Shambe, South Sudan, there were about 700 of his kind left in existence.

At his death, there are only two females remaining alive and the hope that in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques will advance enough to preserve the sub-species.

Sudan, elderly by rhino standards, had been ailing for some time, suffering from age-related infections, according to his keepers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Sudan lived out his final years on a 90,000-acre (36,400-hectare) reserve of savannah and woodlands in central Kenya, along with the two remaining females, under armed guard to protect them from poachers.

Global Warming

Totten Glacier Found to be Largely floating on Warming Ocean

More of one of Antarctica’s largest and most important glaciers is floating on top of the ocean than previously thought, researchers say, which could have a significant impact on the rise of global sea levels.

The new research from the Australian Antarctic Program has found the Totten Glacier, located in the southern continent’s east, could be affected more by warming ocean temperatures because more of the glacier is directly in contact with the ocean, and much less is sitting on rock than originally thought.


Wildfires – Texas, USA

Texas officials reported Sunday that 111 wildfires had burned nearly 25,000 acres (10,000 hectares) across the state in the previous week. State officials reported 19 active wildfires on Monday, with the largest fires concentrated in the state’s panhandle.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, the County Line fire that started in Hartley County on Thursday and spread into Oldham and Moore counties burned 15,682 acres. It is now 100 percent contained. The second largest fire, the Old Muddy Road fire, began Sunday and burned 4,480 acres.


Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.5 earthquake the Kuril Islands.

5.5 earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.4 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 earthquake hits south of Tonga.

5.0 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Bougainville region, Papua and New Guinea.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 14s (Eliakim), located approximately 345 nm west-southwest of St. Denis, La Reunion, is tracking southward at 13 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15s (Marcus), located approximately 146 nm north of Broome, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 08 knots.

Gl sst mm


Wildfires – Australia

Wildfires razed dozens of homes in southeast Australia, cut power to thousands more and killed livestock, but most of the weekend blazes had been contained by Monday. There have been no reports of serious injury, officials said.

The worst-hit town was Tathra on the south coast of New South Wales state where more than 70 homes and businesses had been severely damaged or destroyed by a fire that started in woods around midday on Sunday, Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

In neighboring Victoria state, up to 18 homes had been destroyed over the weekend by three fires and 40,000 homes lost power, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said. Sheep and cattle losses had yet to be assessed.

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