Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 earthquake hits near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.2 earthquake hits Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Two 5.1 earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.0 earthquake hits southern Alaska.

5.0 earthquake hits Carabobo, Venezuela.

5.0 earthquake hits the Komandorskiye Ostrova region, Russia.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Western Pacific: Tropical depression 35w (Thirty-five), located approximately 461 nm east-southeast of Manila, Philippines, is tracking west-northwestward at 04 knots.

NewsBytes:

Midwest USA – There’s a storm system covering much of the U.S. that’s producing severe storms in the south and blizzard-like conditions in parts of the Plains and Midwest and east to New England. More wild weather is forecast for Friday across the nation: an ongoing blizzard in the north-central U.S. and flooding rains in the Southeast. Heavy rains Wednesday night flooded several Texoma highways. Overnight storms left many in deep East Texas with a mess to clean up on Thursday morning. Road closures, trees down, and power outages are just some of the damages left behind.

Israel – Israel was hit by a particularly wintry day Thursday as heavy rain spread from the north to the southern coastal plain. In the Western Galilee, 14 mm of rain dropped in one hour in Kibbutz Ayalon. Heavy rain also hit the Lower Galilee, the northern valleys, and the Sharon and Dan regions in the center. Hailstorms hit Caesarea, Pardes Hanna-Karkur, and other parts of the Sharon region on Thursday morning. In Dan region, the heavy downpours caused flooding in several streets.

Wildlife

Japan to Resume Commercial Whaling

Japan is withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission and will resume commercial whaling next year, a government spokesman has announced.

The move on Wednesday came more than three months after the global body for the conservation of whales rejected a Tokyo-led proposal to lift a 32-year ban on the commercial hunting of the ocean mammals.

“We have decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in order to resume commercial whaling in July next year,” Yoshihide Suga, top spokesperson for the Japanese government, told reporters. Suda said commercial whaling “will be limited to Japan’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zones”.

Global Warming

Dying Ancients

The world’s oldest flowering trees are mysteriously dying after having provided food, water and shelter from the African sun to both humans and animals for thousands of years.

The deaths of four of the continent’s 13 oldest baobab trees, and the withering to near death of five others over the past 12 years, is being blamed by some on climate change.

Towering over Africa’s savannah, the iconic trees can live to be nearly 3,000 years old. One village held a funeral for its dead baobab, calling it the “mother of us all”.

 

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 127 degrees Fahrenheit (45.0 degrees Celsius) in Death Valley, California.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 116.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 48.9 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.

Disease

Typhoid Fever – Pakistan

Pakistan Health Authorities have reported an ongoing outbreak of extensively drug resistant (XDR) typhoid fever that began in the Hyderabad district of Sindh province in November 2016. From 1 November 2016 through 9 December 2018, 5 274 cases of XDR typhoid out of 8 188 typhoid fever cases were reported by the Provincial Disease Surveillance and Response Unit (PDSRU) in Sindh province, Pakistan.

Viral Winds

Scientists determined that astounding numbers of viruses are swept up from Earth’s surface and blown around the world in the planet’s atmospheric circulation.

Researchers believe there are at least 800 million viruses per square yard from just above the surface to the stratosphere.

The global winds are spreading them and bacteria for thousands of miles, possibly from one continent to another.

The scientists say the bacteria and viruses become air- borne after winds pick them up in dust and sea spray.