Henry David Thoreau
LARGEST QUAKES -
This morning -
5.0 STATE OF YAP, MICRONESIA
5.8 SOUTHERN EAST PACIFIC RISE
5.1 OFFSHORE VALPARAISO, CHILE
5.0 OFFSHORE O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.0 WESTERN MONGOLIA
6.6 KEP. MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA
5.2 HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
5.1 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
6.6 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.1 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
6.1 OFFSHORE BIO-BIO, CHILE
5.3 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.8 LIBERTADOR O'HIGGINS, CHILE
5.0 BATAN ISL REGION, PHILIPPINES
ICELAND - An earthquake measuring more than three points on the Richter scale hit the area below Eyjafjallajökull glacier in south Iceland early Friday morning. A series of smaller earthquakes rattled the region for the past 24 hours. A geologist was on watch to monitor the developments around the glacier and the response group of the Civil Protection Department and employees of the volcanic department of the Icelandic Metrological Office were called in for a meeting. The Civil Protection Department has a response plan in case of an eruption in Eyjafjallajökull. The first part of the plan has already been set in action - increased research and monitoring. However, the department emphasizes that the current unrest won’t necessarily lead to an eruption. Eyjafjallajökull last erupted in 1821-1823 and in 1612 before that. The eruptions have not been disastrous. They start slowly and then increase gradually. In 1994 and 1999 a series of earthquakes were sensed in the area. It is believed that a magma intrusion occurred deep inside the volcano but didn’t reach the surface.
TAIWAN - Government geologists and scientists in research institutes have stepped up monitoring of the Datun volcanoes in northern Taipei following the strike of a strong earthquake in southern Kaohsiung County. Officials said there is no need for people to panic over possible immediate volcanic eruptions. But researchers at the CGS, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications as well as the academic institutions agreed that they cannot rule out new eruptions of volcanoes in the Datun Mountain right in the northern area of Taipei City. The group of dormant volcanoes, which were estimated to have last erupted some 5,000 to 200,000 years ago, have long been a key geothermal source for the hot springs in northern Taipei. But they are presently still defined as “potential live volcanoes” with possibility of new eruptions in view of their relatively young age and the existence of high-temperature lava underground. Except for the locations of geothermal sources and hot springs, the whole area is now covered by thick plants and the mountains show no signs of bulging. These indicate that there is no immediate danger of new eruptions.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS -
TASMANIA - 3/7/10 - A lobster fisherman has drowned off Tasmania's west coast after his boat was hit by a freak wave early today and he was thrown into the sea. The 63-year-old man and a companion had gone to check lobster pots when their boat was hit by the wave near Couta Rocks, south of Arthur River. "One of the men has drowned and the other male was picked up by another vessel in the area some time later".
TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical cyclones.
HEAVY RAINS, SEVERE STORMS, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES -
AUSTRALIA - They've been hit by A ONCE-IN-A-CENTURY FLOOD, but the southwest Queensland town of St George looks to have narrowly averted a potentially ruinous river level peak of 14 metres.
The Balonne River crested at 13.39 metres at 6am (AEST) this morning and then began to recede slowly. The isolated community had been preparing for it to reach 14 metres last night, which would have inundated 80% of the town. But the level was subsequently downgraded to 13.5m - still THE HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE RECORDINGS BEGAN IN 1890. However, the threat of more rain persists with clear skies not expected to return until midweek. Meanwhile, authorities are now turning their attention to the town of Theodore in Central Queensland where flood waters were expected to rise to 13.2m today - levels not seen since the 1983 flood of Dawson Creek.
VICTORIA will batten down for another bout of wild weather today with large hailstones between the size of golf balls and tennis balls expected to fall somewhere in the state. Crews from the NSW State Emergency Service have been drafted in to help their Victorian counterparts clean up the damage caused by the mini-cyclone storm that lashed the city yesterday. The storm cell unleashed itself on Melbourne at 2.40pm (AEDT), dumping 26mm of rain in less than an hour. There is more nasty weather forecast for today, with downpours expected to be up to 100mm in some areas. The mixture of tropical weather and a low pressure system moving in from the west were responsible for Saturday's havoc. Yesterday, wind gusts exceeding 100km/h lashed Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross train station was evacuated as rain tore a hole in its roof and a deluge splashed down on the train platforms.The storm caused severe flooding in suburban streets.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
FLORIDA - Thursday morning saw Vero Beach fall to 33 degrees, BREAKING THE OLD RECORD LOW of 37 set in 1999. It was in the 30s all around the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee and southern Brevard counties just before dawn. Palm Beach International Airport registered 39 degrees, BREAKING THE PREVIOUS RECORD LOW of 40 degrees set in 1971. The record-breaking-cold weather is brought on by a high pressure system to the west that is pulling down colder air. That system is causing high temperatures to run about 10 degrees colder than normal high of the mid 70s.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE -
CANADA has had its WARMEST, DRIEST WINTER ON RECORD.
HAWAII - Big Island areas have reached the most intense drought classification. It marks the first time since the inception of the drought monitor in 1999 that an area in Hawaii has received the D4 designation. South Kohala and leeward North Kohala are the hardest hit. Less severe drought conditions plague other parts of the state, with only Oahu without areas under a drought classification. The weather service attributed the dry weather to ongoing El Nino conditions that are producing dry and stable weather conditions through the heart of Hawaii's normal wet season. "Several gauges indicated the lowest February rainfall totals since 2000, and most were lower than the January 2010 totals." In all, more than 75 percent of Hawaii is under at least a moderate drought classification. Forecasters are predicting below-normal rainfall for Hawaii through spring.
A section of the Arctic Ocean seafloor that holds vast stores of frozen methane is showing signs of instability and widespread venting of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to the findings of an international research team. The permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf COULD TRIGGER ABRUPT CLIMATE WARMING. “The amount of methane currently coming out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is comparable to the amount coming out of the entire world’s oceans." Methane is a greenhouse gas more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Earth’s geological record indicates that atmospheric methane concentrations have varied between about .3 to .4 parts per million during cold periods to .6 to .7 parts per million during warm periods. Current average methane concentrations in the Arctic average about 1.85 parts per million, THE HIGHEST IN 400,000 YEARS. Concentrations above the East Siberian Arctic Shelf are even higher. The methane is not only being dissolved in the water, it is bubbling out into the atmosphere. The East Siberian Arctic Shelf, in addition to holding large stores of frozen methane, is more of a concern because it is so shallow. In deep water, methane gas oxidizes into carbon dioxide before it reaches the surface. In the shallows of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, methane simply doesn’t have enough time to oxidize, which means more of it escapes into the atmosphere. That, combined with the sheer amount of methane in the region, could add a previously uncalculated variable to climate models. “The release to the atmosphere of only one percent of the methane assumed to be stored in shallow hydrate deposits might alter the current atmospheric burden of methane up to 3 to 4 times. The climatic consequences of this are hard to predict.”
SPACE WEATHER -
The most active part of the sun is not visible from Earth. Sunspot complex 1052-1053 continues to spit coronal mass ejections into space from its location behind the sun's western limb. These farside eruptions pose no threat to our planet.
HEALTH THREATS -
WHO says H1N1 continues decline in most areas - The pandemic H1N1 virus continues to circulate in temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere but is at low levels and continuing to decline in most areas. The most active areas include Thailand, Myanmar, Russia, Bulgaria, Armenia, and Moldova. Activity is very low in North America, but Mexico and Peru have seen a slight increase in respiratory disease. Several countries in western Sub-Saharan Africa are reporting H1N1 cases.