Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquke hits off the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Tanimbar, Indonesia.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic:

Remnants of Dorian were located about 550 mi (890 km) E of the northern Leeward Islands. The last advisory on this system by the National Hurricane Center has been issued.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical storm Flossie is located about 775 mi E of Hilo, Hawaii. A tropical storm watch has been issued for Hawaii and Maui counties. Heavy rainfall may begin as early as Monday morning over Hawaii County and Monday afternoon over Maui County. Tropical storm force winds are expected as early as Monday afternoon. Large surf will impact east facing shores possibly as early as Sunday afternoon with the largest surf expected on Monday

Other News:

Heavy rains for over 10 hours caused another landslide in China, this one in Liaoning Province which claimed the lives of at least six people.

Heavy rains caused floods in Sanaa, Yemen.

Floods and landslides in Gorontalo, Indonesia have claimed the lives of at least four people and left three others missing. Several buildings were damaged and about 600 families were displaced.

Heavy rain Friday night flooded cities in southern Utah, USA overnight, and the storms continued to batter the region Saturday.

Global Warming

Greenhouse Gas Pollution Greening World’s Deserts

Increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels are causing deserts of the world to bloom with new green foliage, according to a new study. Randall Donohue, from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, used satellite observations from the past 30 years and found green foliage increased in arid regions during that period.

Higher levels of CO2 help the leaves during photosynthesis, the process by which green plants convert sunlight into sugar.

The increased greenhouse gas allows the plant to extract more carbon from the air, lose less water to the air or both, according to the study.

“While a CO2 effect on foliage response has long been speculated, until now it has been difficult to demonstrate,” said Donohue.

“Our work was able to tease-out the CO2 fertilization effect by using mathematical modeling together with satellite data adjusted to take out the observed effects of other influences such as precipitation, air temperature, the amount of light and land-use changes,” said Donohue.

The findings were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Satellite data shows the amount that foliage cover has changed around the world from 1982 to 2010.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Two state highways are closed and more than 200 homes are under evacuation orders Saturday as at least three wildfires continue to spread ominously across Central Washington.

Nearly 1,200 fighters are battling the largest of the wildfires, which has grown to about 14 square miles near Goldendale. The fire along the top of Satus Pass is threatening about 180 homes, but none have been damaged.

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Another fire in Chelan County that started Saturday has destroyed two buildings and forced the evacuation of about 60 homes and cabins along the Columbia River near Quincy.

Wildlife

Paralyzed Ravens and Crows in Canada

Ravens and crows in eastern British Columbia are being afflicted by a mysterious paralysis that has left at least dozens dead.

Wildlife rehabilitation expert Leona Green said the first reports of the mysterious avian ailment started coming in from around the Peace Region from Fort St. John to Tumbler Ridge in late May.

“They are all feathered out, there’s no wing damage and they seem quite bright, and if you feed them by hand they will eat,” Green told the Vancouver Sun. “But their legs are completely paralyzed and their claws are clubbed with no feeling from their spines to their legs.”

She added that without the use of their legs, they can’t launch themselves into flight.

It’s feared the birds are suffering from the effects of West Nile virus, of which they are especially susceptible.

University of B.C. professor Patrick Mooney, who specializes in biodiversity and urban birds, said the deaths of such birds can act as an early warning system that the virus — which also affects humans — has arrived.

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Disease

Rabies in Taiwan

In recent weeks, rabies has emerged in Taiwan, around 80 wild Formosan ferret-badgers have been found dead and there has also been a case in which a man was bitten by a rabid Formosan ferret-badger.

These are all signs that rabies, which had been wiped out in Taiwan for more than 50 years, is spreading throughout the country.

Cyclospora Outbreak USA – Update

The multistate Cyclospora outbreak increased by 36 cases since yesterday’s update to a total of 321 cases, according to the Centres for Disease Control.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 124.0 degrees Fahrenheit (51.1 degrees Celsius) at Death Valley, California.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 105.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 76.4 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.