Earth Changes


One person dies and another injured in jumbo attack, India

© Satish Hanumantha Rao
Elephant charging.
One person was killed and another injured in an elephant attack on Tuesday evening near Heggadde in Sakleshpur taluk, in the Kempuhole reserve forest area.

The deceased has been identified as Yuvaraj (45) and the injured as Manjaiah (60). The two persons had gone into the forest in search of their cattle when they were attacked by the elephant. While the latter, who fell unconscious, returned to the village later, the former did not. The villagers, who went in search of him on Wednesday morning, recovered his body.

Deputy Conservator of Forests Ganesh S. Bhat told The Hindu on Wednesday that the officers were waiting for the injured person to recover to know how the incident happened. Mr. Majaiah is being treated at Sakleshpur hospital.

Man injured in wild boar attack in Yamaguchi, Japan

A 71-year-old man was injured by a wild boar while walking near his home in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, police said Monday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 4 p.m. Sunday. TBS reported that the man suffered injuries to his head, arms and legs.

The boar fled into the garden of a nearby house. About 20 hunters and police captured and destroyed it two hours later.

Police said the boar was 1.2 meters long and weighed about 100 kilograms.
Cloud Precipitation

1 dead and 3 missing following flash floods in south-east France: Over 7 inches of rain in 24 hours recorded

A heavy storm triggered flash floods in south east France yesterday, Thursday 27 November 2014.

Later on Thursday the French Interior Ministry confirmed that one woman had died in the floods and 3 were still missing. Three other people have been reported as injured.

The fatality occurred in the village of La Londe, Var department. The woman was believed to have been in her vehicle near a river at the time it was swept away. Her young daughter was also in the vehicle at the time. Emergency services are carrying out searches for the missing child. Two other people are missing after being swept away by a swollen river in the same area.

Flooding also affected the tourist area of St Tropez, where around 30 students were trapped in a school building by flood water in Grimaud. They were eventually rescued late in the evening.


Grey seals kill porpoises and could attack humans, Dutch scientists warn

© Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Grey Seal bulls fight at sunset near the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust's Donna Nook nature reserve in Grimsby
Swimmers have been warned to keep clear of grey seals after scientists discover that they attack and kill porpoises

Grey seals may be a danger to swimmers after scientists discovered they were responsible for the widespread slaughter and mutilation of North Sea porpoises.

Wildlife experts have long been divided over what caused the horrific injuries seen on the bodies of hundreds of beached harbour porpoises. Some blamed boat propellers while others claimed the animals had become entangled in fishing nets and left at the mercy of scavengers.

Now DNA analysis of their injuries has led to an intriguing conclusion. It seems they are regularly attacked and killed by grey seals which tear strips of nutritious blubber from their bodies.

And scientists have warned that the seals could target human swimmers in a similar way.

Stranded long-finned pilot whale died from starvation on Essex coast, UK

The whale was found on a beach with "partial rigor mortis", said cetacean experts
The first long-finned pilot whale to beach in the southern North Sea for 22 years died from starvation, post-mortem tests have found.

The whale, among a 40-strong pod seen along the East Anglian coast, washed up near Goldhanger, Essex, on Thursday afternoon.

Marine experts successfully encouraged most of the whales from the shallow Blackwater Estuary into deeper waters.

But one - a 2.18m female - was found dead.


Record snowfall in Pennsylvania; 11.2 inches recorded

© Review/Eric Hrin
The only thing area motorists could be thankful for Wednesday was safely reaching their destinations.

And for some, that didn't happen.

A pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm made roads a treacherous mess, sending vehicles slipping, sliding and some even overturning. The snow set a record.

As of 7:30 p.m. in Towanda, Wayne Vanderpool, National Weather Service Co-Op Observer, reported that he measured 11.2 inches of snow, "with it still snowing lightly."

He said it was "the most snow ever measured in Towanda on any November day, since records began back in 1895."

Also, Vanderpool said Wednesday's total set a 24-hour snowfall record for Nov. 26. The old record was 2.5 inches, which he said was set back in 1898.

The snow kept emergency responders busy with calls.

"It's all over the county," said Alan Painter, an assistant chief with the Troy Volunteer Fire Department. "The departments are getting called everywhere." Painter said that with all the snow, there was "no traction" on the roads.

On Wednesday night, Painter stood beside a truck that lay on its side, following a crash, with no injuries, that occurred on Route 14 in Troy Township. He said it was caused by the bad road conditions. A man, who was the only person in the truck, refused treatment.

"It's pretty slippery, a slippery snow," Painter said. "It's one of the early ones. People aren't used to it yet."

Comment: Winter is coming - Ice age fever


Pygmy sperm whale found dead on Anglesey beach, Wales

Gwynedd Council worker Rhys Jones found the young pygmy sperm whale at Dinas Dinlle beach, a week after it had been refloated by rescuers.

A whale that was rescued and freed back into the sea last week has died.

The young pygmy sperm whale was spotted washed up on a beach at Dinas Dinlle today, opposite Newborough beach where it was originally found stranded and rescued, last Thursday, November 20.

It was discovered by Gwynedd council worker Rhys Jones.

A post-mortem will be carried out by the government's Marine Environmental Monitoring body to try to find out what caused the animal's death.

Dr Peter Evans, Director of the Seawatch Foundation, said it was not surprising that the whale had died.
Snowflake Cold

Minnesota reports subzero temperatures; coldest Thanksgiving since 1930

Minnesotans woke up to subzero temperatures on Thanksgiving Day, and if the mercury doesn't make it up into the double digits, the day could be one for the record books.

As of 8 a.m., it was 2 below in the Twin Cities, and 20 below in Bemidji, in northern Minnesota.

Meteorologist Matt Brickman is forecasting a high Thursday afternoon of 10 degrees. And if temperatures don't rise higher than that, it will be the coldest Thanksgiving since Herbert Hoover was president, in 1930.

Snow will fall during the night in some areas, followed on Friday by the possibility of freezing rain.

Comment: Think the past winter was bad? Get ready for mini Ice Age

Ice Cube

Surprise! Submarine drone finds Antarctic ice a lot thicker than previously thought

© Still from YouTube video/AntarcticSurvey
A new type of 3D mapping revealed Antarctic sea ice could be much thicker than previously estimated, shows a study done with the help of a yellow robotic submarine named SeaBed.

The new study, published in Nature Geoscience, showed that average ice thickness in Antarctica is between 1.4 meters and 5.5 meters. The maximum thickness recorded was 17 meters.

Also, 76 percent of the mapped ice has been tagged as 'deformed,' the study stated, which means that ice crashed together, forming a thicker layers of ice.

"Our surveys indicate that the floes are much thicker and more deformed than reported by most drilling and ship-based measurements of Antarctic sea ice," states the study. "We suggest that thick ice in the near-coastal and interior pack may be under-represented in existing in situ assessments of Antarctic sea ice and hence, on average, Antarctic sea ice may be thicker than previously thought."

SeaBed robot has been involved in two expeditions in Antarctica with scientists from the UK, the US and Australia. The yellow robot is an autonomous underwater vehicle (or AUV) equipped with upward-looking sonar to measure and map the underwater sea ice.

The two-meter robot moved in a "lawnmower" pattern so as not to miss any areas and bounced sound waves off the under-surface of the ice to make its estimates.

Two expeditions took place in 2010 and 2012 and included regions of Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land.

Comment: A dose of COLD reality: The ironic saga of the eco-campaigners trying to highlight global warming and melting ice caps trapped in the freezing Antarctic


Dog attacks on people triple over a year in Queenstown, New Zealand

© John Kirk-Anderson
DANGEROUS: The number of dog listed as 'menacing' in Queenstown is on the rise.
Roaming dogs, the number of menacing dogs and attacks on people are on the rise in Queenstown.

The number of attacks on people increased from six in the 2012/13 financial year to 19 in the last period.

The number of dogs classed as "menacing" more than doubled from eight to 19, while the number of infringement notices for failing to keep a dog under control leapt from 17 to 37.

Councillors will consider a dog control report during a Queenstown Lakes District Council meeting today.

Council regulatory manager Lee Webster said there was a small increase in the number of dogs registered in the district but the increased number of attacks may also be due to more reporting.

"Over the last year we have seen an increase in the overall number of attacks [on people and animals] from 24 to 46 which has generated significant demand for the animal control service," the report said.