Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

No magnitude 5+ Earthquakes so far today.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Nate is located about 80 mi…130 km NNE of Biloxi Mississippi and about 135 mi…215 km WSW of Montgomery Alabama with maximum sustained winds…70 mph…110 km/h. Present movement…NNE or 25 degrees at 23 mph…37 km/h.

Newsbytes:

Mississippi, USA – Hurricane Nate came ashore along Mississippi’s coast outside Biloxi early Sunday, the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was Nate’s second landfall. Saturday night, the storm came ashore along a sparsely populated area in southeast Louisiana. Nate brought stinging rain to the Gulf Coast and its powerful winds pushed water onto roads. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

Global Warming

Carbon Released by Warming Soils

As soil warms up, it leaks carbon, and a new study suggests higher temperatures could release more carbon than we thought, potentially creating a dangerous feedback loop that would cause the planet to get hotter and hotter.

That’s based on experiments stretching back 26 years in a hardwood forest in Massachusetts, where researchers have been artificially heating certain sections of soil to see the effects.

The team from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of New Hampshire, says rising temperatures cause a two-stage cycle where carbon output increases for several years then levels off – probably due to soil microbes adjusting to the warmer conditions.

After that readjustment, carbon release levels start rising again. The worry is that warmer soil would cause a warmer atmosphere, in turn heating up the ground and perpetuating temperature rise we have no control over.

Every year we pump about 10 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, mostly through burning fossil fuels. About 3,500 billion tonnes are thought to be stored in the world’s soil. Not only does having carbon locked away in soil mean it’s kept out of the atmosphere, it also helps soil stay healthy by holding water and helping plants to grow.

Environment

Ocean meeting raises funds for marine protection

A global conference to better protect marine life has raised more than $7bn and won commitments to protect huge swathes of the Earth’s oceans.

The European Union, which organised the ‘Our Ocean’ conference in the Maltese capital of Valletta, its 28 member states and its EIB investment bank gave almost half those financial commitments, about $3.4bn.

Representatives from businesses, almost 100 countries and others pushed the total up to the unprecedented level.

The conference focused on funding and leading projects as varied as combating plastics pollution to countering illegal fishing and looking at the effects of climate change.

Disease

Bird flu crisis worsens in South Africa

The bird flu crisis continued unabated in South Africa despite intensified efforts to curb the pandemic, authorities said on Friday.

The highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 virus has been confirmed in five provinces, with Johannesburg in Gauteng Province becoming the latest victim, according to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Across South Africa, about 20 percent of all breeding stock has been lost, raising concern about a possible sharp rise in the prices of eggs and poultry.