Nature is party to all our deals and decisions,
and she has more votes, a longer memory,
and a sterner sense of justice than we do.**
No update on Tuesday this week.
LARGEST QUAKES -
Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)
This morning -
5.3 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN.
Continuing aftershocks in Italy
5.2 NORTHERN ITALY
5.2 NORTHERN ITALY
6.1 NORTHERN ITALY
5.2 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.0 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.6 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
6.0 OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
5.1 NEAR N COAST OF NEW GUINEA, PNG.
5.1 EAST OF KURIL ISLANDS
5.3 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
Aftershocks rock Italy earthquake zone - Aftershocks continued to be felt in northern Italy on Sunday after the strong earthquake in the early hours killed six, injured more than 50 and reduced historic churches and castle towers, as well as warehouses and factories, to rubble. The earthquake struck the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna.
Northeast Italy was shaken by it's BIGGEST QUAKE SINCE THE 1300s - The region around Bologna was hit by one of the worst quakes to hit northeast Italy in hundreds of years.
Guatemala - Fuego volcano had it's LARGEST ERUPTION IN 10 YEARS. Fuego volcano had a major eruption on Saturday (19 May). The eruption was one of its largest in recent years since the start of near continuous activity in 2002.
TROPICAL STORMS -
In the Atlantic -
Tropical storm Alberto was located about 85 mi...135 km ENE of St. Augustine, Florida.
In the Pacific -
Tropical Depression Two-E was located about 525 mi...845 km S of Acapulco, Mexico.
Tropical Storm Alberto churned off the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina on Sunday, and heavy rain and dangerous surf were expected even though forecasters said it had lost strength. Tropical Storm Alberto was meandering off the coast of South Carolina, but expected to stay offshore, and forecasters Sunday canceled the tropical storm watch for coastal areas.
Philippines - Flash floods and landslides threatened extreme northern Luzon on Sunday, even as the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration continued to keep track of a weather disturbance off Mindanao.
EXTREME HEAT & DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE -
Scientists have identified thousands of sites in the Arctic where methane that has been stored for many millennia is bubbling into the atmosphere. The methane has been trapped by ice, but is able to escape as the ice melts. Researchers say this ancient gas could have a significant impact on climate change.
Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after CO2 and levels are rising after a few years of stability. There are many sources of the gas around the world, some natural and some man-made, such as landfill waste disposal sites and farm animals. Tracking methane to these various sources is not easy. Using aerial and ground-based surveys, the team identified about 150,000 methane seeps in Alaska and Greenland in lakes along the margins of ice cover.
Local sampling showed that some of these are releasing the ancient methane, perhaps from natural gas or coal deposits underneath the lakes, whereas others are emitting much younger gas, presumably formed through decay of plant material in the lakes. "We observed most of these cryosphere-cap seeps in lakes along the boundaries of permafrost thaw and in moraines and fjords of retreating glaciers."
Warming in the Arctic is releasing this long-stored carbon. "If this relationship holds true for other regions where sedimentary basins are at present capped by permafrost, glaciers and ice sheets, such as northern West Siberia, rich in natural gas and partially underlain by thin permafrost predicted to degrade substantially by 2100, a very strong increase in methane carbon cycling will result, with potential implications for climate warming feedbacks."
The region stores vast quantities of the gas in different places - in and under permafrost on land, on and under the sea bed, and - as evidenced by the latest research - in geological reservoirs. "The Arctic is the fastest warming region on the planet, and has many methane sources that will increase as the temperature rises. This is yet another serious concern: the warming will feed the warming."
How serious and how immediate a threat this feedback mechanism presents is a controversial area, with some scientists believing that the impacts will not be seen for many decades, and others pointing out the possibility of a rapid release that could swiftly accelerate global warming. (photo)