LARGEST QUAKES -
This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.
5.7 MINAHASA, SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.4 ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.1 TRISTAN DA CUNHA REGION
5.2 GREENLAND SEA
5.1 GREENLAND SEA
5.3 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
5.2 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.8 PUERTO RICO
5.3 SOUTH OF AFRICA
PUERTO RICO - A moderate earthquake struck Puerto Rico early Sunday, damaging some houses in western and northern towns and causing a rock slide on a highway. No one was reported injured. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-5.8 earthquake struck at 1:16 a.m. (0516 GMT) Sunday about four miles (six kilometers) from the small community of Espino on the western side of the U.S. Caribbean island and 63 miles (101 kilometers) from the capital, San Juan, where it was felt by high-rise dwellers. In Utuado, it shifted a concrete house some four inches from its foundation. Engineers were trying determine if other damaged homes were safe. Local authorities on Sunday were monitoring coastal areas close to the epicenter and evaluating the damage.
TROPICAL STORMS -
No current tropical cyclones.
India's Meteorological Department has officially thrown open the monsoon onset window in the fast-churning Bay of Bengal, which is now home to some of the warmest tropical waters around the globe. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the south-east Bay are in the 31-32 deg Celsius-range, which is most ideal for weather systems (low-pressure areas and depressions) to prosper.
The IMD said on Sunday that conditions are favourable for onset of south-west monsoon over the south Andaman Sea, Nicobar Islands and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal during the next two days. An upper air cyclonic circulation has already formed over southeast Bay of Bengal. An ‘active low-pressure cell' covered the Andaman Sea on Sunday. The Canadian Meteorological Centre and the Global Forecasting System model of the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction have hinted that a ‘low' or depression may be generated from the Bay system and travel to the east coast. While the CMC sees the system to be active until Thursday making a landfall over the north Andhra Pradesh coast, the NCEP has suggested a slightly different trajectory positing the system into the warmer waters adjoining coastal Tamil Nadu to cross the Chennai coast by Saturday. From here, the system might take a north-northwest course and travel all the way into northern Maharashtra and adjoining west Madhya Pradesh. The TMD sees the monsoon making an onset over the southwest coast (Kerala) as early as Sunday (May 23). This was based on the active phase of an ongoing Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) wave in the equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining peninsular seas.
Meanwhile, the US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre has signalled building activity with separate systems in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The Arabian Sea system, though, was brewing far away to the west of the Indian coast, but had a ‘fair' chance of developing into a tropical storm.
As for the Bay system, the JTWC pointed to persisting area of convection, more than 1,000 km south of Kolkata. Satellite pictures revealed a broad unorganised region of convergence, deep convection and cyclonic turning. Maximum sustained surface winds are estimated up to 28 km/hr. But JTWC assessed as ‘poor' the potential for the development of a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours.
The entire Arabian Sea from the far west to the south-east (off Kerala) is shown to be ‘lit up' in the immediately following week (May 24 to June 1). Monsoon onset may happen mid-way through this period, which is earlier than usual. During this period, a ‘rain head' (likely storm) is shown to dig a track north-northeast from central Bay of Bengal and smash into the Thailand-Myanmar region.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Rising temperatures have already driven 12% of Mexico's lizard populations to extinction. Based on this discovery, they conclude that "lizards have already crossed a threshold for extinctions". Climate change could wipe out 20% of the world's lizard species by 2080. Although the grim prediction for 2080 could change if humans are able to slow global climate warming, a sharp decline in their numbers has already begun and would continue for decades.
"We are actually seeing lowland species moving upward in elevation, slowly driving upland species extinct, and if the upland species can't evolve fast enough then they're going to continue to go extinct." Lizards, the researchers say, are far more susceptible to climate-warming extinction than previously thought. Many species live right at the edge of their "thermal limits".