Earth Changes

Black Cat

Man-eating leopard preys on drunk villagers in the Didihat region, Himalayas

© Getty
Man-eater: The leopard has claimed 13 victims over the past 30 months
Big cat has attacked and killed 13 people and is terrorising around 50 remote villages in the Didihat region of the Himalayas

A man-eating leopard has claimed more than a dozen victims as villagers fear it is targeting drunk men returning home after boozing sessions.

The jungle cat has spread its reign of terror over the past two-and-a-half years, in the Didihat region of the Kumoan hills in Himalayan India.

Repeated attempts have been made to shoot the elusive leopard after the Uttarakhand Forest Department declared it as a man-eater.

The beast began its killing spree in January 2012, attacking a 46-year-old man from the Simar village.

And the spotted killer went on to claim five more victims that year and five in 2013.

So far in 2014, two more victims have perished, the latest one a 44-year-old on August 1.

Villagers have voiced fears that the animal is preying on men stumbling home drunk after dark.

35 feet long humpback whale found dead on Mumbai coast, India

A dead Humpback blue whale on the shores of Mumbai has once again brought to the fore the threat to the aquatic marvel which over time has been facing problematic conditions in the sea. The whale which was found dead is 35 feet long.

Source: NNIS
Bizarro Earth

Is Hawaii's Mauna Loa poised to erupt?

© Hollyn Johnson/Tribune-Herald
Mauna Loa is seen Saturday morning from West Hawaii. -
As Kilauea continues to threaten lower Puna, geologists are also keeping their eyes on the volcano's much larger cousin - Mauna Loa. According to the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on the planet, has been rumbling and showing signs of awakening for more than a year.

An eruption isn't imminent, and no warnings are being issued, but the towering 13,678-foot mountain is going through the same motions that it did before its 1984 and 1975 eruptions, said Wes Thelen, HVO seismologist. The activity includes faint, shallow earthquakes to the west of the summit and "deep long period" temblors 28 to 31 miles below the surface, both of which point to the intrusion of magma.

"All the signs are there that tells us that magma is moving into the shallow system," Thelen said. He said monitoring equipment, much more sophisticated than what was in place in the 1980s, is continually detecting magnitude 0.5 quakes about 4 miles below the surface in the same areas where activity was detected in the years leading up to the last eruptions. Thelen noted he is confident the small earthquakes are a recent development.
Cloud Lightning

Odile becomes powerful Category 4 hurricane off Mexico's Baja

© AP
Satellite image shows Hurricane Odile taken at 5:45 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Rapidly strengthening Hurricane Odile further intensified before dawn Sunday and was swirling over the Pacific as a major storm toward an expected close brush with the southern portion of Mexico's Baja California peninsula by nightfall.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Odile became a powerful Category 4 hurricane before dawn Sunday. Odile's core was predicted to stay out in the Pacific, but it was following a track that was forecast to take the storm's edge very close or even over Baja's southern end by Sunday night and into Monday.

The storm's maximum sustained winds had increased to 135 mph Sunday morning. It was centered about 195 miles west of Manzanillo, Mexico and 310 miles south-southeast of the southern tip of Baja California, Odile was moving to the north-northwest at 15 mph.

Mexican officials posted hurricane warnings northward along the west coast of Baja California to Puerto San Andresito. High winds and dangerous surf were expected along the shore beginning Sunday, and heavy rains were possible for Baja and nearby mainland areas.
Bizarro Earth

It's not just the magma that could be a problem if Iceland's rumbling Bardarbunga erupts

The red-hot fountains of molten lava, glowing like wildfire, are nothing short of spectacular. Yet they could be ominous portents of things to come. For the second time in four nail-biting years, seismologists in the land of fire and ice, Iceland, are bracing for a monumental volcanic eruption that, once again, threatens to disrupt European air traffic.

Back in 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which melted through 200 metres of glacier, sent more than 200 million cubic metres of fine ash billowing almost 10 kilometres into the sky. As a result, several European countries were forced to ground or re-route thousands of flights for several days.
Ice Cube

Professor Bob Carter warns of unpreparedness for imminent global cooling

Eric Worrall writes:

Professor Bob Carter, writing in today's edition of The Australian, a major Aussie daily newspaper, warns that the world is unprepared for imminent global cooling, because of the obsession of policy makers with global warming.

According to Bob Carter;
Heading for ice age

"GRAHAM Lloyd has reported on the Bureau of Meteorology's capitulation to scientific criticism that it should publish an accounting of the corrections it makes to temperature records ("Bureau warms to transparency over adjusted records", 12/9). Corrections which, furthermore, act to reinforce the bureau's dedication to a prognosis of future dangerous global warming, by turning cooling temperature trends into warming ones - a practice also known to occur in the US, Britain and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, we have a report by Sue Neales that the size of our grain harvest remains in doubt following severe frosts in southern NSW killing large areas of early wheat crops and also damaging wheat and canola crops in South Australia and Victoria ("Trifecta of calamities to deplete. crop harvest", 12/9)

Is it unreasonable to be surprised that none of your writers, much less the government, has noticed that leading solar astrophysicists, such as Habibullo Abdussamatov from Pulkovo Observatory in St Petersburg, have for years been commenting on the declining activity of the sun?

These scientists are projecting a significant cooling over the next three decades, and perhaps even the occurrence of another little ice age.

Obsessed as they are with a gentle global warming trend that stopped late last century, should the expected solar cooling eventuate, policy makers will rue the day they failed to heed the advice of independent scientists on climate change issues."
Heading for ice age

California firefighters battle out of control wildfire as area withers under triple-digit temperatures

Los Angeles - Hundreds of firefighters spent a second day on Saturday battling a wildfire burning out of control in a national forest southeast of Los Angeles, as the region baked under triple-digit temperatures that prompted authorities to issue a "heat alert."

The so-called Silverado Fire, which broke out in the Cleveland National Forest on Friday morning, had charred some 1,600 acres (647 hectares) by Saturday afternoon as it burned through brush and chaparral left bone dry by California's record drought.

Evacuation orders were issued for more than 200 homes in and around Silverado Canyon as some 740 firefighters worked to gain a measure of control over the flames, assisted by 10 water-dropping helicopters and five fixed-wing aircraft, according to the U.S Forest Service fire-tracking website InciWeb.

The heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring over 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in parts of Southern California on Saturday and was not expected to break until late Sunday. The sweltering heat prompted Los Angeles health officials to issue a "heat alert" for this weekend, urging residents to take special precautions.

"Extreme heat such as this is not just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous and even deadly, but we can protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated," Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the city's interim health director, said in issuing the heat alert.
Ice Cube

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent on September 13 2014 may have set a new all time record (at least for the satellite era, we don't have data prior to that)

Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent With Anomaly
Sunshine hours writes: Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Sept 13 2014 - 1,121,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 mean. Data for Day 255. Data here.
Breaking the record set in 2013 by 48,000 sq km.

Snowflake Cold

Ice age cometh? Record winter blast hits U.S. Northern Plains

weather map sept 12 2014
Massive early cold wave - Nearly an inch of snow at Rapid City. This is the earliest recorded snowfall going back to 1888.

Mount Rushmore from NWS Rapid City Twitter Feed:
mount rushmore sept 12 2014
A television Meteorologist in Sioux Falls, SD had this to say:
Brandon Spinner ‏@wxSpinner89 Sep 11
Way too early for this. Even the Presidents look like they are crying..."
Bizarro Earth

Lava on Hawaii's Big Island creeping up on vacant lots in rural subdivision

© AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey, Tim Orr
This Monday Sept. 8, 2014, aerial photo provided by the USGS
Lava from one of the world's most active volcanos soon could reach three vacant lots in a rural subdivision on Hawaii's Big Island, but officials are hopeful homes will be spared. Based on the lava's movement of about 200 to 300 yards a day, the flow from Kilauea volcano was expected to reach the lots in Kaohe Homesteads in coming days, Hawaii County spokesman Kevin Dayton said.

The large lot closest to the flow is owned by the state, while the other two are privately owned, he said. "The fact that it's veering somewhat to the north as opposed to the east is a hopeful sign," Dayton said.

While no evacuations have been ordered, residents were asked to remain on alert and be prepared for possible changes in the lava's course. The slow-moving molten rock could spread and slow even further in coming days as it moves from a steeper grade to more level land, Dayton said.

The lava was about 3 miles from Pahoa Village Road and 3.5 miles from Highway 130, Dayton said. Highway 130 is a lifeline for the mostly rural Puna district, which would be cut off from the rest of the island if lava crosses the busy two-lane highway.