Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits the Kuril Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Carlsberg ridge.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore northern California.

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Global Warming

Tropical forests absorb far more CO2 than thought

Tropical forests may be absorbing far more carbon dioxide in response to its rising atmospheric levels than many scientists thought, a new NASA-led study says.

Tropical forests absorb 1.4 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide out of a total global absorption of 2.5 billion – more than what is absorbed by forests in Canada, Siberia and other northern regions, called boreal forests.

“This is good news because uptake in boreal forests is already slowing, while tropical forests may continue to take up carbon for many years,” said David Schimel of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Forests and other land vegetation currently remove up to 30 percent of human carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere during photosynthesis.

In case the rate of absorption slows down, the rate of global warming would speed up.

As human-caused emissions add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, forests across the globe are using it to grow faster, reducing the amount that stays airborne.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The year 2014’s hottest temperature was 126.0 degrees Fahrenheit (52.2 degrees Celsius) at Death Valley, California on July 13.

The year 2014’s coldest temperature was minus 113.4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 80.8 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok Antarctic research station on August 20.

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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Up to four houses have been destroyed by a bushfire in the Adelaide Hills that is burning at Humbug Scrub near Kersbrook, north-east of Adelaide.

Water bombers from Victoria and New South Wales have been called in to help fight a second out-of-control fire in a forest in South Australia’s lower south-east. A fire near Tantanoola and Glencoe in the lower south-east has already burnt around 500 hectares.

An out-of-control bushfire has burned 2800ha near a town in the foothills of the Grampians in Victoria’s west.

Firefighters are advising residents near Ararat in Victoria’s west to leave their homes, with a blaze that threatened properties and residents not yet under control.