Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.1 earthquake hits North Island, New Zealand.

5.7 earthquake hits the Drake passage.

5.5 earthquake hits the Drake passage.

5.4 earthquake hits the Ionian Sea.

5.4 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.2 earthquake hits Mindanao in the Philippines.

5.1 earthquake hits the Sunda Strait, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits the central East Pacific rise.

5.0 earthquake hits the Ionian Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits the Panama – Columbia border.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Oscar is located about 470 mi…755 km ese of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…105 mph…165 km/h. Present movement…n or 10 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

In the Western Pacific Ocean: Typhoon (ts) 31w (Yutu), located approximately 144 nm north-northwest of Manila, Philippines, is tracking westward at 15 knots.

NewsBytes:

Venice, Italy – Venice was inundated by an exceptional high tide Monday, putting three-quarters of the famed Italian lagoon city under water as large swathes of the rest of Italy experienced flooding and heavy winds that toppled trees and other objects, killing six people.

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Vietnam – The annual flooding in the Mekong Delta has damaged more than 2,000ha of rice this year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Water Resources. More than 1,270ha of the crop in An Giang Province, 316ha in Kiên Giang and 182ha in Đồng Tháp were totally destroyed while 265ha in Đồng Tháp and 24ha in Long An were damaged. Most of the destroyed and damaged fields are in areas without embankments while the rest were damaged because their embankments were broken or too low. High tides too have been affecting agricultural production in the region, especially in Bến Tre and Sóc Trăng provinces and Cần Thơ City.

Global Warming

Glaciers in Canada’s Yukon territory are retreating faster than expected

Scientists in Canada have warned that massive glaciers in the Yukon territory are shrinking even faster than would be expected from a warming climate – and bringing dramatic changes to the region.

The rate of warming in the north is double that of the average global temperature increase, concluded the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its annual Arctic Report Card, which called the warming “unprecedented”.

In their recent State of the Mountains report published earlier in the summer, the Canadian Alpine Club found that the Saint Elias mountains – which span British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska – are losing ice faster than the rest of the country. Previous research found that between 1957 and 2007, the range lost 22% of its ice cover, enough to raise global seal levels by 1.1 millimetres.

The accelerating melt of the glacier has resulted in major shifts to water sources at lower elevations. In 2016, the meltwaters of the glacier shifted dramatically away from the Slims river, cutting off critical water supplies to Kluane Lake – a Unesco world heritage site. Since the diversion, water levels at the lake have dropped more than 6.6ft – stranding thousands of fish from their natural spawning rivers.

Dust storms have begun to flare up along sections of the well-travelled Alaska Highway – at times halting traffic, the result of a dry river bed covered in glacial silt. The events at Kluane Lake are a precursor of what can be expected elsewhere.

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Wildlife

‘Unprecedented’ Number of Dead Whales Have Washed Up in Scotland and Ireland

A total of 80 deep-water whales have been found dead on the Atlantic coasts of Scotland and Ireland since early August — more than 10 times the usual number over that time in previous years.

Marine mammal scientists say the presence of the washed-up whales suggests an “unusual mortality event,” or UME, that could have killed up to 1,000 Cuvier’sbeaked whales in the North Atlantic Ocean in recent months.

The cause of the whale deaths is unknown, but scientists fear they may be the result of warships using active sonar to hunt for enemy submarines, or naval anti-submarine exercises.

Around 26 of the carcasses were Cuvier’s beaked whales, a species that lives mainly in the deep ocean, while the rest were either Sowerby’s beaked or northern bottlenose whales.

Typically, just two or three dead beaked whales would wash up on the Irish coast each year.

A similar increase in beaked-whale deaths has been reported along the west coast of Scotland.

The sharp increase in the evidence of whale deaths washing up on the coast implied that a much greater number of whales may have been killed in the open ocean.

Scientific research has shown that Cuvier’s beaked whales are sensitive to the very loud sounds caused by anti-submarine sonar, which is used by warships hunting for enemy submarines and during naval anti-submarine exercises.

Scientists suspect the loud sonar sounds cause intense pain to beaked whales diving at extreme depths, so that they surface too quickly and die from decompression sickness.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – South Africa

A spate of wildfires across the Garden Route, which have spread from George to the Karatara area, claimed the lives of at least eight people – including a newborn baby and its mother, two children and a toddler – on Monday, and led to the evacuation of hundreds of people.