Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes- Global

6.1 Earthquake hits Mindoro in the Philippines.

5.1 Earthquake hits Salta, Argentina.

5.0 Earthquake hits southern Alaska.

5.0 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.0 Earthquake hits off the coast of Chiapas, Mexico.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Unimak Island region, Alaska.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm 14w (Fourteen), located approximately 194 nm southeast of Wake Island, is tracking west-northwestward at 10 knots.

NewsBytes:

India – More rain has brought fresh floods to five more districts in Assam, taking the total number of districts affected in the fresh wave of floods to eight. All the rivers in the state were showing a rising trend well above flood levels. The number of people affected by floods increased to 63,323 in 106 villages today from 29,000 people yesterday. The district administrations opened 15 relief camps in Lakhimpur, Chirang, Kokrajhar and Golaghat districts, providing shelter to 1,222 people, including 600 in Charaideo district. Nearly 2,231 hectares of cropland have been affected by the fresh wave of floods in the state.

Global Warming

2016 as hottest year on record

The federal government confirmed 2016 as the planet’s warmest year on record, according to a report released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The combined influence of long-term global warming and a strong El Niño early in the year led to last year’s all-time record heat, NOAA said.

While El Niño is a natural warming of Pacific Ocean water, man-made global warming is caused by greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.

The amount of carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases, in the atmosphere climbed to its highest level in 800,000 years, the report found.

The report also noted other signs of a warming planet in 2016:

Greenhouse gases were the highest on record. Sea-surface temperatures were the highest on record. Global upper ocean heat content near-record high. Global sea level was the highest on record. Antarctic had a record low sea ice extent.

Global warming makes expedition to ice-locked North Pole possible

Two specially-equipped sailboats are attempting a voyage that’s never been done before – a trip to the North Pole. Led by a British explorer, the international crew has moved the boats from their home in Sitka up to Nome, where they’re hoping to launch for their journey to the Pole this weekend. Melting sea ice in the Arctic could make their voyage possible for the first time in history.

Wildlife

Lobster Paradox

The number of baby lobsters in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank regions has dropped to the lowest levels since about the beginning of this century.

Despite the dwindling population of juvenile lobsters, the industry has for years brought in record catches of adults.

Atlantic waters off Maine and Canada have been warming more rapidly in recent years than in most other areas of the world.

The head of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association says that once-plentiful starfish, sea urchins, sea sculpins and rock crabs are no longer being found in traps.

Nocturnal Distractions

The widespread use of artificial light at night is joining climate change, pesticide use and invasive alien species as the latest threat to pollinating insects.

New research published in the journal Nature found that nighttime illumination reduces visits of nocturnal pollinators to flowers by 62 percent.

The moths, beetles and bugs that are the leading pollinators after dark are easily distracted from their duties by the allure of bright lights, according to lead researcher Eva Knop of the University of Bern. She and colleagues made the discovery by comparing insect-plant interactions in naturally dark meadows with those in areas that are illuminated.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 122.0 degrees Fahrenheit (50.0 degrees Celsius) in Al Qaysumah, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 98.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 72.2 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 – New Activity for the week of 2 August – 8 August 2017

Piton de la Fournaise | Reunion Island (France) colour: OVPF reported that the eruption at Piton de la Fournaise that began on 14 July continued through 8 August, though tremor levels and surficial activity slowly declined. Satellite data indicated a minimum flow rate of 1-2 cubic meters per second. Some active lava flows were visible at a distance of 520 m from the cone, though most of the flow activity was confined to lava tubes. There were some breakouts from the lava tube; a substantial breakout on 5 August fed a lava flow that traveled hundreds of meters over several hours. During 7-8 August small amounts of material was ejected from a small vent on the N flank of the eruptive vent.

Sangay | Ecuador : In a special report from 3 August, IG reported that a new eruptive phase at Sangay began on 20 July, after 8 months without major surface activity. The recent activity was characterized by low-energy ash plumes rising no more than 3 km above the crater rim, incandescent rocks rolling as far as 1 km down the ESE flank, and a possible lava flow on the same flank. Minor amounts of ash fell in uninhabited areas to the W. Based on Washington VAAC reports, IG noted two ash plumes on 20 July and one on 2 August that rose 2.3-3 km above the crater and drifted W and NW. Numerous thermal anomalies detected during 2-3 August were aligned on the ESE flank. Based on numerical weather prediction (NWP) models, satellite data, and information from the Guayaquil Meteorological Watch Office (MWO), the Washington VAAC reported that on 6 August an ash plume drifted W.

Sangeang Api | Indonesia : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-8 August minor emissions from Sangeang Api rose 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WSW.

Sinabung | Indonesia : BNPB reported intense activity at Sinabung on 2 August; between 0800 and 1200, pyroclastic flows were generated 17 times and traveled as far as 4.5 km ESE. Ash plumes rose up to 4.2 km above the crater and drifted S, causing ashfall in local areas including Perbaji (4 km SW), Sukatendel, Temberun, Perteguhen (7 km ESE), Kuta Rakyat (5 km NE), Simpang Empat (7 km SE), Tiga Pancur (6 km SSE), Selandi (5 km SSW), Payung (5 km SSW), and Kuta Gugung (5 km N). Significant ashfall was noted in Ndokum Siroga (9 km ESE), Gajah (8 km E), and Naman Teran (5 km NE). BNPB noted that there were 2,038 families (7,214 people) displaced to eight shelters, and an additional 2,863 people living in refugee camps. Based on PVMBG observations, webcam and satellite images, and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 6-7 August multiple ash plumes rose as high as 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ENE, E, and SE. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4), with an exclusion zone of 7 km from the volcano on the SSE sector, and 6 km in the ESE sector, and 4 km in the NNE sector.

Ulawun | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 4-8 August ash plumes from Ulawun rose 2.4-2.7 km (8,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, W, and SW.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Portugal

Wildfires flared across Portugal yesterday following a rise in temperatures and strong winds, with more than 1,500 firefighters deployed to tackle 17 separate blazes in central and northern Portugal. A stretch of Portugal’s main north-south highway, the A1, was closed due to one blaze. Massive clouds of smoke prevented the use of water-dropping planes in some places. No injuries were reported.