Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 Earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

5.4 Earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Guerrero, Mexico.

Alaska

There have already been about 3,000 Alaska earthquakes this month. A series of significant May earthquakes and their aftershocks are being examined by seismologists, who say Alaska is markedly above its usual rate of earthquakes for the month. With the aftershocks, close to the monthly average have been recorded in just the first 10 days. The catalog of May temblors as of Wednesday included at least three larger than a 6, seven larger than a 5 and 50 larger than a 4 on the Richter scale, according to an overview compiled by the earthquake centre.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.6 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.5 Earthquake hits the Kodiak Islands, Alaska.

Two 5.3 Earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

Two 5.1 Earthquakes hit the South Sandwich Islands.

5.1 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits eastern Turkey.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.2 Earthquake hits the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the coast of southern Peru.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Fox Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits Tonga.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.4 Earthquake hits central Alaska.

5.4 Earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Africa.

5.0 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Pagan Region in the North Mariana Islands.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.6 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Moluccan Sea.

5.3 Earthquake hits Tonga.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Ceram Sea, Indonesia.

5.2 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka.

5.2 Earthquake hits south of the Mariana Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits south of Panama.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Kamchatka.

5.0 Earthquake hits Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Azores Islands, Portugal.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Alaska peninsula.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 Earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia.

5.3 Earthquake hits near the north coast of Colombia.

5.3 Earthquake hits central Alaska.

5.2 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.2 Earthquake hits the Sumbawa region, Indonesia.

5.1 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits offshore Atacama, Chile.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the coast of western Turkey.

5.0 Earthquake hits South Island, New Zealand.

Global Warming

Climate change is wreaking havoc on indigenous people in Alaska

The extreme warmth of 2016 has changed so much for the people of the Arctic that even their language is becoming unmoored from the conditions in which they now live.

The Yupik, an indigenous people of western Alaska, have dozens of words for the vagaries of sea ice, which is not surprising given the crucial role it plays in subsistence hunting and transportation. But researchers have noted that some of these words, such as “tagneghneq” (thick, dark, weathered ice), are becoming obsolete.

After thousands of years of use, words are vanishing as quickly as the ice they describe due to climate change. The native inhabitants are also in peril – there are 31 Alaskan towns and cities at imminent risk from the melting ice and coastal erosion. Many will have to relocate or somehow adapt.

In remote Alaskan communities, the stores sell goods priced to reflect their journey – $20 for a pizza, $15 for a gallon of milk. If you can’t butcher a 1,000-pound walrus because there is no sea ice to support both of you, then you might well be left hungry.

The window of opportunity for hunting continues to shrink. The communities are worried about this because food insecurity is something we are now having to tackle every single day.

St Lawrence island, a far-flung piece of the US that sits just 36 miles from Russia in the Bering Sea. The island is thought to be one of the last exposed fragments of a land bridge that connected North America to Asia during the last ice age.

In 2013, the island’s two main communities managed to catch just a third of the walruses they normally do. Last year, Gambell, the largest settlement, snared just 36 – down from the 600 it could expect just a few years ago.

Sea ice is further out from land than it once was and is becoming treacherously thin for hunters to traverse. Walruses, which require sea ice for resting and giving birth, often have to resort to heaving themselves on to crowded strips of land. These grand tusked beasts can trample each other to death in such conditions.

Frost locked deep in the soils is melting, causing buildings to subside. Communities are seeing their coastlines erode and are increasingly exposed to lashing storms without the protective barrier of sea ice.

Several Alaskan towns and villages are wrestling over whether to fight these changes or retreat to relative safety. Two coastal villages, Shishmaref and Kivalina, have voted to relocate while a third, Newtok, has taken the first tentative steps to do so.

Undefined

Arctic lakes melting earlier each year

Arctic lakes, covered with ice during the winter months, are melting one day earlier each year, according to researchers, including one of Indian origin, who monitored 13,300 lakes using satellite imagery.

Scientists from the University of Southampton in the UK showed that due to warming temperatures ice is breaking earlier each spring, based on a 14-year period between 2000 and 2013.

Researchers discovered that all five study areas in the Arctic — Alaska, Northeast Siberia, Central Siberia, Northeast Canada and Northern Europe – showed significant trends of early ice break-up in the spring, but to varying degrees.

Central Siberia demonstrated the strongest trend, with ice starting to break-up an average of 1.4 days earlier each year.

Northern Europe showed the lowest change of ice break-up at 0.84 days earlier per year. They found a strong relationship between decreasing ice cover and an increasingly early spring temperature rise.

Less ice means a longer season for lake biology, which together with warmer temperatures will affect processes such as Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Methane (CH4) emissions.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.4 Earthquake hits South Island, New Zealand.

5.4 Earthquake hits the Cook Strait, New Zealand.

5.2 Earthquake hits Alaska.

Three 5.1 Earthquakes hit South Island, New Zealand.

5.1 Earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.0 Earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.0 Earthquake hits Unimak Island, Alaska.

New Zealand – In the 12 hours from 6am to 6pm on Tuesday, Geonet, the official monitor, recorded 313 quakes, taking the total since the initial magnitude 7.5 quake to 1,212. The seabed off Kaikoura lifted approximately 1 metre.

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Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.8 Earthquake hits Unimak Island, Alaska.

5.7 Earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.6 Earthquake hits offshore Valparaiso, Chile.

5.1 Earthquake hits near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

5.0 Earthquake hits Unimak Island, Alaska.

5.0 Earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

Wildlife

As Arctic Sea Ice Keeps Melting, Desperate Bears Threaten Alaska

Alaskan villages are seeing an increased presence of polar bears in their communities, according to a Monday report from PBS NewsHour, as the animals move inland to try and find food. The bears have been forced from their former hunting grounds as Arctic sea ice — which reached the second lowest recorded level over the weekend — has receded. Now, instead of finding their dinner in Arctic waters, the bears are poking around the ice boxes of Alaskans.

The altered behavior of the polar bears in Alaska, which are classified as a “vulnerable” species, illustrates the danger of melting Arctic ice for wildlife and communities in the region. Arctic sea ice, which researchers say could be gone sometime between two and 15 years from now, plays an important role in providing a habitat for polar bears and also in reflecting sunlight out of the atmosphere instead of allowing darker ocean water to absorb that heat.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Colorado, Alaska, USA

A fire sparked Monday morning in southern Colorado quickly grew out of control and continues to grow with little to no containment. The so-called Junkins fire has claimed at least 16,312 acres in Custer and Pueblo counties, according to an incident report. The fire grew rapidly due to windy conditions; just north of Custer County, in the town of Florence, winds gusted above 40 mph Monday morning.

Fire officials expect calmer winds to provide a bit of reprieve for firefighters working two Sutton-area wildfires Tuesday. Alaska Division of Forestry spokesperson Tim Mowry said the 328-acre Moose Creek Fire had no “significant activity” overnight. By 8 p.m. the fire, was 46 percent contained. The King Fire, burning just miles away from the Moose Creek Fire, had a small flare up Monday night, but Mowry said it was quickly contained.