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Phoenix

New study shows how Yellowstone supervolcano eruption would be disastrous for entire US

© Reuters / Jim Urquhart
The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park
If the massive supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park erupted again, scientists believe it would blanket much of the United States in ash and potentially sever communication as well as travel between the country's coasts.

According to a new study published by the US Geological Survey, cities about 300 miles away from the volcano's location in Wyoming would be covered in up to three feet of ash as a result of a supereruption, the largest kind of volcanic eruption possible. More than 240 cubic miles of material would be expelled into the atmosphere, reaching cities like New York and Los Angeles on both sides of the United States.

In fact, the resulting ash cloud, or "umbrella," as scientists called it, would be so strong that it would overpower normal wind patterns in North America, potentially grounding all air travel throughout the entire continent and radically altering the region's climate. Electronic communication between the US' East and West Coasts could also become complicated, if not hopeless.

Comment: An eruption at Yellowstone supervolcano would have such disastrous consequence that it is worth keeping an eye on, no matter how small the probability. And considering the approach of Nemesis, the Sun's companion star that many scientists have speculated on, and the huge impact it would have on planets in the solar system, the probability of an eruption at Yellowstone may not be as small as thought.

Watch: Nemesis - The Sun's Evil Twin Brother for more information about the Sun's companion star

And read Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection for an exposition on how the companion star's approach would impact everything on Earth.

Wolf

Pack of coyotes chases man and dog through Burbank neighborhood, California

© Source: KTLA/CNN
A security camera caught a pack of coyotes running through a California neighborhood.
Nick Mendoza of Burbank, Calif., was chased by a pack of coyotes as he returned home from walking his dog. Mendoza knew that coyotes regularly prowl his neighborhood, but they had never actively stalked him before.

After getting his dog inside safely, Mendoza grabbed a shovel and tried to scare off the pack. He also tried throwing lemons at the coyotes. He was finally able to scare off the pack by driving down the street in his car with the high beams on. The incident was captured on a security camera outside of his home.

Watch the news coverage of the incident and surveillance footage from Mendoza's security camera:

Wolf

Spike in coyote attacks on animal pets in Claremont, California

It seems you can't step outside your front door these days without spotting a coyote running down the street. Lack of food and extreme drought conditions in the Angeles National Forest are forcing wildlife further down the mountain and into town, alarming residents who are unsure of how to protect themselves and their pets.

"The problem is everywhere," says Don Nelson, Warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), of the recent coyote sightings. "Anywhere there is open space, even a small amount of open space where they can find food and somewhere they can get up and under for coolness in the daytime and seclusion from predators."

Two weeks ago, COURIER publisher and owner Peter Weinberger and his wife lost their beloved chihuahua Rudy to a suspected coyote attack. The animals have been seen frequenting their Claremont neighborhood in recent weeks, particularly on trash days, in search of food.
Wolf

Coyote attacks second young girl in Rye, New York


Coyote.
Another young girl was attacked by a coyote in Rye Tuesday evening while playing in her fenced backyard, just days after a 6-year-old girl was attacked by a pair of the wild animals about a mile away.

The news came Tuesday night as Rye Police Commissioner Williams Connors was giving a speech at the Jay Heritage Center about police efforts to ensure public safety after Friday's coyote attack on 6-year-old Emily Hodulik on LaSalle Avenue.

Interrupting the talk, Connors received a call from an officer in the field stating that police were responding to an incident involving a coyote biting another child, this time on North Street in Rye.
Fish

Mexico baffled as 50 tons of fish turn up dead

Nearly 50 tonnes of popoche chub fish are latest incident of dead fish removed from lagoon in disastrous year for species.

© EFE
Mexicans are baffled at the sudden death of thousands of fish in a lake in the centre of the country, a dramatic intensification of a problem that no one has yet been able to explain.

Nearly 50 tonnes of dead popoche chub fish were removed at the weekend from Lake Cajititln, a lagoon in the central state of Jalisco.

Fishermen, firefighters, town hall workers and staff from the state agricultural ministry pulled hundreds of thousands of dead popoche chub fish from the lake and buried them in a pit.

The incident comes after of a series of smaller waves of dead popoche chub in the lake in recent months, including one last week, ensuring that 2014 is already by far the worst year for the species, which has been under attack for the past few years.

The authorities in the lakeside town of Tlajomulco de Ziga, about 25 minutes' drive south of the city of Guadalajara, had previously blamed the deaths on "a cyclical phenomenon caused by temperature variations and the reduction of oxygen".


Comment: See also: Casualties of seafloor methane gas release? Hundreds of thousands more fish found dead in Plymouth tidal pool, UK

Millions of dead herring wash up on Isle of Man coast, UK

Hundreds of methane plumes erupting along U.S. Atlantic coast

Permian Mass Extinction: Methane gas oceanic explosion wiped out 95% of life and it can happen again!

Question

Killer whales of Puget Sound are acting strange with population declining fast

© Robert Pittman | NOAA
The killer whale population in the Puget Sound in Washington state has been dropping quickly, worrying environmentalists. Only about 78 orcas now live in the sound, a level not seen since 1985, and the social pods they live in are splintering.
The killer whale population in the Puget Sound, a sound in Washington state whose area includes Seattle, is rapidly declining. No whales have been born since 2012, two years ago. Two whales died this year.

The Center for Whale Research said that the whale population has grown as low as 78, the lowest it's been in the past 20 years, since 1985. The whales are also acting erratically, and seem to be splitting up from their social groups, called pods. There are three pods that make up the population in the Sound, pods J, K, and L.

Ken Balcomb, a researcher who works in Washington, has been studying the orca population in the Puget Sound since 1976. Every year, he does a census of the whales, which he gives to the U.S. government. These "Southern Residents," as they are called by environmental scientists, are under federal protection by the Endangered Species Act.

The three pods that live in the sound usually congregate during the summer, but in the last few years the pods have seemed to be splintering apart. These small groups have been tending to stay away from each other. Balcomb said that two or three members from a pod have been swimming around in their own group, with some members from different pods joining each other. The whales seem to be making a new social order.
Cloud Precipitation

6 dead after widespread flooding in Thailand


Flooding in Chiang Rai, August / September 2014
Thailand's Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) reported on Monday 01 September 2014 that at least 17 provinces have been affected by recent flooding. Six people have been killed and at least 1 person remains missing.

Thai Meteorological Department had warned of the flood threat last week. From 26 August, a low pressure weather system left many areas of the country experiencing heavy rainfall.

DPMD said that the affected provinces are: Mae Hong Son, Lam Pang, Kamphaeng Phet, Kalasin, Buri Ram, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phetchabun, Loei, Phayao, Nan, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai.

By late Monday 01 September the flood situation was thought to be easing in many of the provinces, although severe flooding remained in parts of Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Phichit. The situation there is likely to remain the same for the next 48 hours or more.
Black Cat

Mountain lion 'stalks' woman near Telluride, Colorado

A lone hiker had a frightening encounter with a mountain lion Monday in San Miguel County.

A sheriff's office spokesperson says the feline predator "stalked" the woman in Placerville which is about 16 miles northwest of Telluride in southwestern Colorado.

The woman, 40-year-old Kyra Kopenstonsky of Placerville was on a trail when she spotted the mountain lion in close proximity to her. She told deputies the big cat kept following her and she called a friend for help. That friend called 911 at 4:45 p.m.

Two deputies met the hiker at the trailhead where she eventually emerged "shaken, but uninjured."
Black Cat

Some wild animals are losing fear of humans: Biologist recovering after cougar assault in Grand Prairie, Alberta


Cougar
A biologist with the provincial Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) is recovering in the hospital following a harrowing encounter with a mountain lion. The biologist was performing this labors in the surrounding area of Nose Mountain when she was pummeled by the cougar. Another employee with the ESRD by the name of Jamie Hanlon confirmed that their follow co-worker sustained injuries during the attack. Her co-workers administered first aid to her and until she was transported to the local hospital in Grand Prairie.

At the time of the attack, seven ESRD workers were conducting research for the Fisheries Sustainability Index. Details are sketchy about the types of injuries the woman sustained in the attack, but officers with the Fish and Wildlife are taking it seriously. The cougar has a death sentence declared on it and once it is captured by the Fish and Wildlife, it will be put to sleep.
Wolf

Timber wolves attacking dogs and approaching people in Grand Marais, Minnesota

The Cook County Sheriff's office has issued a wolf warning in Cook County, Minn.

Residents are being warned because at least five dogs, in the last two weeks, are assumed to have been killed by wolves in and around Grand Marais.

A couple of the wolf attacks were witnessed by the dog owners.


"I think if you're a dog owner anywhere in wolf country, northern, especially northeastern, Minnesota, then you should always attend your dog when it's outside - never leave your dog unattended," according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer Darren Fagerman.

Sometimes attacks on dogs can occur because of territorial issues, or the wolves are looking for easy prey while in survival mode.

If a wolf is attacking your dog, you are not allowed to shoot the wolf because discharging a firearm in Grand Marais is illegal.

The sheriff's office says you could make an attempt to scare the wolf away with shouting, banging metal and making any loud sounds, and call authorities.
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