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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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Tonga volcano: Footage shows widespread damage at beachside village from eruption, tsunami

damage
Footage by a Tongan politician posted on Thursday showed some of the widespread damage left by a tsunami that hit the island nation in the wake of a massive undersea eruption on Saturday, as a state of emergency was declared and repair efforts underway.


Sun

Australian town records hottest day on record with temperatures over 50C

Australian town records hottest day on record

Australian town records hottest day on record
A remote coastal town in Western Australia, Onslow, registered a temperature of 50.7C, matching its hottest ever recorded temperature. The record was first set in 1960.

While several parts of the globe are battling extremely cold conditions, Australia is recording high temperatures.

Not just Onslow, but other Western Australian sites including Roebourne airport and Mardie also hit 50.5C.

Several other towns in the region are also likely to set temperature records for January or any time of the year. Iron-ore export hub Karratha reached 48.4C as it exceeded its previous high of 48.2C.


Snowflake Cold

Sahara desert receives rare snowfall as temperatures plunge to -2C (fourth time in last 7 years)

Temperatures had plummeted to -2C
© Karim Bouchetta/Bav Media
Temperatures had plummeted to -2C
Stunning images of sand dunes in the Sahara desert covered in snow have been captured by a photographer.

The desert is more commonly known for its hot and dry climate so this incredible sight is very rare occurence.

Temperatures had plummeted to -2C when Karim Bouchetata took the photos on Tuesday near the town of Ain Sefra in northwest Algeria yesterday.

The area has seen snow before due to it being surrounded by the Atlas Mountains and 1,000 metres above sea level.

But the phenomenon is still rare as it has seen snow just five times in the last 24 years - in 1979, 2016, 2018 and 2021.


Bizarro Earth

Bubbles of methane rising from seafloor in Puget Sound

Collecting Data
© University of Washington
Marine technician Sonia Brugger (right) and marine engineer Tor Bjorklund aboard the RV Rachel Carson in December 2020 collecting data near the Alki Point vent field. Alki Point is seen in the distance.
The release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas responsible for almost a quarter of global warming, is being studied around the world, from Arctic wetlands to livestock feedlots. A University of Washington team has discovered a source much closer to home: 349 plumes of methane gas bubbling up from the seafloor in Puget Sound, which holds more water than any other U.S. estuary.

The columns of bubbles are especially pronounced off Alki Point in West Seattle and near the ferry terminal in Kingston, Washington, according to a study in the January issue of Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.

"There's methane plumes all over Puget Sound," said lead author Paul Johnson, a UW professor of oceanography. "Single plumes are all over the place, but the big clusters of plumes are at Kingston and at Alki Point."

Previous UW research had found methane bubbling up from the outer coasts of Washington and Oregon. The bubbles in Puget Sound were first discovered by surprise in 2011, when the UW's global research vessel, the RV Thomas G. Thompson, had kept its sonar beams turned on as it returned to its home port on the UW campus. The underwater images created by the soundwaves showed a distinct, persistent bubble plumes as the vessel rounded the Kingston ferry terminal.

Snowflake Cold

Thousands rescued, more remain stranded on snow-hit Turkish highway - 20 inches of snow overnight

stuck
© AA
It is winter at its worst for Turkey this week as snowfall and blizzards set in, spelling trouble for the population in most of the country's 81 provinces. Traffic disruption and difficulty in accessing remote locations are among the major woes of the public.

Thousands of people were stranded on a highway connecting the country's southern provinces as heavy snowfall and a blizzard hit the region late Tuesday and Wednesday. Some 2,800 people trapped in their cars in motionless traffic were evacuated by crews.

Gaziantep Governor Davut Gül said that the stranded people were motorists and passengers on Tarsus-Adana-Gaziantep Motorway (TAG), which was closed to traffic on Tuesday night. Gül told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they prioritized the sick among the stranded and each of them was taken to the nearest hospitals. Around 186 people in need of medical care were evacuated to hospitals. He said the crews also distributed food to some 7,000 people on the highway where the vehicles could not move to low visibility and thick snow.

Gül said crews helped 1,780 vehicles stuck on the road but "at least 2,800 more people" were still stranded. Social media was flooded with messages about people waiting for help for hours on Tuesday night and early hours of Wednesday.



Comment: Less than 2 weeks ago: At least 22 dead as heavy snow traps THOUSANDS of vehicles in Pakistan - 4 FEET of snowfall overnight


Ice Cube

Waterfalls freeze as 2 feet of snow piles up in Ontario, Canada

Freezing weather in Canada that brought blizzards to the Great Lakes region has created the spectacle of frozen waterfalls.

Freezing weather in Canada that brought blizzards to the Great Lakes region has created the spectacle of frozen waterfalls.
Social media footage showed waterfalls in the province of Ontario in Canada had turned to ice. A winter storm dumped nearly 60 centimeters of snow on parts of Ontario between January 16 and January 17.


Bizarro Earth

Aerial images show destruction of Tonga's volcanic eruption, tsunami

tonga volcano before after

Aerial images show the Tonga volcanic island split in two after a massive eruption on January 15, 2022
Aerial images taken of Tonga on Tuesday offered the first glimpse of the destruction inflicted by the volcanic eruption and tsunami — as the government revealed all homes on one of its islands were wiped out and at least three people had been killed.

In its first statement since the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted three days ago and triggered 49-foot tsunami waves, the Tongan government said the kingdom of islands had suffered an "unprecedented disaster."

At least three people have been confirmed dead, including British charity worker Angela Glover, 50, and two Tongans — a 65-year-old woman and 49-year-old man — who lived on separate low-lying islands.

Comment: And the most dramatic comparison of all:
tonga volcano comparison
© Copernicus/ESA/Sentinel Hub, PlanetLabs/Maxar



Bizarro Earth

Tonga volcano eruption created puzzling ripples in Earth's atmosphere


Comment: We're through the looking glass here people!


Powerful waves ringing through the atmosphere after the eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai are unlike anything seen before.
Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai
© NOAA
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-West satellite captured the explosive eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai.
Scientists are racing to understand a puzzling series of massive ripples in Earth's atmosphere triggered by the eruption of the Tongan volcano at the weekend. Satellite data shows that the event — which some fear might have devastated the Pacific-island nation — provoked an unusual pattern of atmospheric gravity waves. Previous volcanic eruptions have not produced such a signal, leaving experts stumped.

"It's really unique. We have never seen anything like this in the data before," says Lars Hoffmann, an atmospheric scientist at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre in Germany.

The discovery was made in images collected by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), mounted on Nasa's Aqua satellite, in the hours after the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano on 14 January.

They show dozens of concentric circles, each representing a fast-moving wave in the gases of the atmosphere, stretching for more than 16,000 kilometres. The waves reached from the ocean surface to the ionosphere, and researchers think that they probably passed around the globe several times.

Cloud Precipitation

Madagascar - 10 killed after heavy rains trigger floods and landslides in Antananarivo

flood
Disaster authorities in Madagascar report at least 10 people have lost their lives after heavy rainfall caused floods and landslides in Analamanga Region, including the capital Antananarivo.

According to the national disaster agency, Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC), heavy rain struck during the night of 17 January 2022. Antananarivo recorded over 75mm of rain in 24 hours to 18 January 2022.

BNGRC reported widespread damage in the capital and surrounding areas, including collapsed houses and bridges, damaged infrastructure and inundated farmland.


Seismograph

Twin earthquakes in western Afghanistan kill at least 22

maps
Two earthquakes rattled Afghanistan's western Badghis province along the border with Turkmenistan on Monday afternoon, killing at least 22 people, a local official said.

There were fears the death toll could rise further as the first rescuers reached some of the remote villages struck by the tremors in what is one of Afghanistan's most impoverished and underdeveloped regions.

Chief of the province's culture and information department, said scores of homes were destroyed in the quakes.

The US Geological Survey registered a magnitude 5.3 quake at 2 p.m. and a second, magnitude 4.9 at 4 p.m. local time. They struck 41 kilometers (25 miles) east and 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital.