Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the western Pacific: Tropical depression (td) 03w (Jelawat), located approximately 131 nm southwest of Yap, Fsm, is tracking west-northwestward at 12 knots.

In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 17p (Iris), located approximately 531 nm west-northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, is tracking southward at 10 knots.

Newsbytes:

Australia – Flooding rain from ex-cyclone Nora has sparked more than 100 calls for help in far north Queensland. Low lying parts of Cairns have flooded, and in the tourist town of Port Douglas, water has crept up to the doors of some holiday apartments. Landslides and debris also closed roads in the region, including the Captain Cook Highway north of Cairns. In just a few hours, 130mm of rain fell in some locations, with the wild weather caused by the low pressure system that was Cyclone Nora, hundreds of kilometres to the west.

Malaysia – An unexpected heavy downpour caused flash floods to hit the Sebauh district in northern Sarawak on Sunday morning. The floods, which rose to as high as one metre, inundated SK Ulu Segan and its surrounding villages.

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Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.3 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

6.3 earthquake hits the south-east Indian Ridge.

5.9 earthquake hits Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia.

5.4 earthquake hits Tonga.

5.3 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

5.1 earthquake hits the Philippines.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the western Pacific: Tropical depression (td) 03w (Three), located approximately 227 nm southeast of Yap, Fsm, is tracking west-northwestward at 10 knots.

In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 17p (Iris), located approximately 572 nm west-northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking south-southwestward at 06 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 16p (Nora), located approximately 213 nm west of Cairns, Australia, is tracking southward at 13 knots.

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Disease

Measles – France

Measles is currently affecting several French regions and the rapid increase in the number of cases since the beginning of the year may give rise to fears of another major epidemic throughout the country. Since the last report, the number of measles cases in France has increased by more than 150 cases, bringing the total since early Nov. 2017 to 1,077 cases.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 14s (Eliakim), located approximately 435 nm northwest of St. Denis, La Reunion, is tracking west-southwestward at 02 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15s (Marcus), located approximately 61 nm west-southwest of Darwin, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 12 knots.

Newsbytes:

Kenya – Kenyan officials said Friday that at least 15 people have drowned and scores of families have been displaced across the East African nation during two days of heavy rainfall that caused flooding in urban and rural areas. The deaths happened as flood and river waters swept through Kenyan towns that had experienced drought months earlier. More than 20 residents in Marsabit County were trapped in tree tops after the Lag Balal seasonal river in Maikona breached its banks and flooded their homes.

Uganda – One person is dead and six others are reported missing as floods caused by heavy rain-ravaged Mbarara town.

Wildlife

Winged Contagion

Bird lovers are being warned that their garden feeders could contribute to the spread of serious disease among wild birds unless they are cleaned regularly.

A new British study found that contaminated feeders could be causing rare bird illnesses to become epidemics.

Experts recommend using feed from accredited suppliers and leaving it out in moderation so the feeders are emptied every day or two, allowing them to be cleaned more often.

They also suggest rotating the feeding sites to avoid accumulation of waste food and bird droppings that could carry disease.

Disease

Dengue epidemic – Réunion

Officials with Sante Publique France are reporting a dengue fever epidemic on in the Indian Ocean, according to a recent news release (computer translated). Since the beginning of the year, 193 indigenous dengue cases have been reported, with the number doubling every week since the end of January. The majority of the cases have been reported from Saint Denis.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.5 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.0 earthquake hits offshore Sucre, Venezuela.

5.0 earthquake hits Kepulauan Talud, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the southern hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 14s (Eliakim), located approximately 393 nm northwest of St. Denis, La Reunion, is tracking westward at 07 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15s (Marcus), located approximately 102 nm northeast of Darwin, Australia, is tracking south-southwestward at 06 knots.

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Environment

The sorry state of Earth’s species, in numbers

As the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) prepares to unveil a thorough diagnosis of the health of Earth’s plant and animal species, this is what we already know:

– Two species of vertebrate, animals with a backbone, have gone extinct every year, on average, for the past century.

– Scientists say Earth is undergoing a “mass extinction event”, the first since the dinosaurs disappeared some 65 million years ago, and only the sixth in the last half-a-billion years.

– About 41% of amphibian species and more than a quarter of mammals are threatened with extinction.

– About half of coral reefs have been lost in the last 30 years.

– The global populations of 3 706 monitored vertebrate species – fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles – declined by nearly 60% from 1970 to 2012.

– 25 821 species of 91 523 assessed for the 2017 “Red List” update were classified as “threatened”.

– Of these, 5 583 were “critically” endangered, 8 455 “endangered”, and 11 783 “vulnerable”.

– African elephant numbers dropped to 415 000 in 2016, down about 111 000 over 10 years.

– There are an estimated 8.7 million plant and animal species on our planet. This means about 86% of land species and 91% of sea species remain undiscovered.

– Of the ones we do know, 1 204 mammal, 1 469 bird, 1 215 reptile, 2 100 amphibian, and 2 386 fish species are considered threatened.

– Also threatened are 1 414 insect, 2 187 mollusc, 732 crustacean, 237 coral, 12 505 plant, 33 mushroom, and six brown algae species.

– Annual economic losses as a result of deforestation and forest degradation alone may be as high as $4.5 trillion.

Wildlife

Migrating Moose

A changing ecological landscape in western Canada is allowing some moose to lumber from their traditional forest and Rocky Mountain habitats into prairie farmland, where they have hardly been seen before in significant numbers.

Declining private homesteads on the prairie in recent decades, and the disappearance of predators such as grizzlies and wolves, appear to be convincing the antlered grazers that it’s safe to scavenge grain spilled during the harvest. The moose even sometimes wander into the suburbs of cities such as Calgary.

“For an animal that is used to eating splintered wood most of the winter, all this spilled grain and canola is … a great banquet for them,” said wildlife biologist and author Chris Fisher.

Global Warming

Greenland Is Literally Cracking Apart and Flooding the World

Visit on the right summer day, and you could see a 12-billion-gallon lake disappear before your very eyes. Glaciologists saw this happen for the first time in 2006, when a lake drained away into nothing in less than 2 hours. Researchers now see such events as a regular part of Greenland’s increasingly hot summer routine; every year.

On a recent expedition, however, researchers saw an alarming new pattern behind Greenland’s mysterious disappearing lakes: They’re starting to drain farther and farther inland. Lakes that drain in one area produce fractures that cause more lakes to drain somewhere elsewhere.

As the draining water surges away from the original lake, it can destabilize other nearby ice beds. Fresh cracks form, new lakes drain and the reaction intensifies day by day. In one incident, the researchers observed 124 lakes drain in just five days. Even lakes that formed hundreds of kilometers inland, which were previously thought to be too far removed from the ice bed to drain into it, proved vulnerable to the chain-drain-reaction as new fissures in the ice formed.

This all amounts to billions of gallons of melted ice plunging below Greenland’s surface every few days. Some of this water remains trapped in the ice sheet; much of it pours into the surrounding ocean.

The ice sheet, which covers 1.7 million square kilometers [650,000 square miles], was relatively stable 25 years ago, but now loses one billion tons [900 million metric tons] of ice every day. This causes one millimeter of global sea level rise per year, a rate which is much faster than what was predicted only a few years ago.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 degrees Celsius) in Matam, Senegal.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 88.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 66.7 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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Kansas, USA

Three fires in Rice County are about 70-percent contained but high winds continue to be a problem for crews fighting the fires.

Between seven and eight thousand acres have burned in the fires. One unoccupied home and several outbuildings were also destroyed. At least four Black Hawk helicopters were used to help gain control of the fire.

While the fire is mostly contained, dangerous conditions continue through Friday.