Earth Changes


One person killed in wild elephant attack in Sri Lanka

A 51-year-old person was trampled to death by a wild elephant in Serunuwara area in Trincomalee, last night.

The Wilgamuwa police have identified the deceased as Y. Selvarajan who was a resident of lingipuram, Trincomalee. According to the police, the tragedy occurred while the victim was at his paddy field.

The person according to the police had died instantly after the elephant attack and his body had later been taken to the Trincomalee General hospital.

The autopsy of the deceased will conduct, today.
Eye 2

Farmer finds two-headed snake in Giresun, Turkey

A rare two-headed snake has been found by a farmer in north-eastern Turkey, it's been reported.

It was discovered in the Black Sea province of Giresun and is currently being kept under quarantine at a reptile house in the city of Antalya on Turkey's south-western coast, Turkish daily Radikal reports. Ozgur Ereldi, in charge of caring for the snake, says it needs to be constantly monitored because of its size and shape. "Since the snake has two heads, its neck is thinner than normal," he says. "Snakes swallow their prey in full and then digest it. If you feed the snake a big portion it might choke. Hence we feed this snake in small portions."

More casualties of the upcoming Ice Age: Where have all the wasps gone? Concern that the garden pest-eating insects have 'vanished'

While enjoying a picnic or barbecue this summer, the observant among you may have noticed something was missing.

For the usual buzz of wasps around your sandwiches will probably have been absent.

Conservationists and pest controllers alike have noticed a remarkable lack of wasps this summer - and they are all worried.

Given the baking hot weather we experienced in June and July, and the bumper fruit harvest we are seeing at the moment, they would have expected wasps to be enjoying a glorious year.
© Alamy
Experts believe that the decline in wasps has been caused by the topsy-turvy weather over the last few years
But insect experts have noticed a distinct lack of wasps in our orchards and meadows, where they would be usually gorging on the fruits of early autumn.

None are entirely sure why the insects are having such a bad year - though all are agreed it is something to do with the topsy-turvy weather we have seen over the last few years.
Fireball 2

Thousands of people in California lose power after truck crash and meteor flash

© Unknown
Thousands of people in Glenn County lost power Friday morning after a semi-truck crashed into a pole and knocked down power lines. The crash happened about the same time as dozens of people report seeing a meteor streak across the sky in Northern California.

The crash happened just before 6 a.m. Friday on County Road 27 near County Road M road in Glenn County just south of Orland, east of Interstate 5.

According to a news release from the Willows CHP the driver Heath Newland, 31 of Elk Grove, was southbound on County Road M north of County Road 27 when the accident happened. He told officers he was following another vehicle driven by a coworker. Newland said he looked down to adjust the radio, then looked up and saw his coworker had slowed to make a right turn onto County Road 27.

Newland hit the brakes on the 1996 Kenworth truck, and the rear of the vehicle started to skid to the right, hitting a power pole. The vehicle tipped over onto its right side, blocking the intersection of County Road M and County Road 27.

Brazilian Amazon destruction spikes by almost a third

New data reveal that annual rate of deforestation is up for first time in five years
Stripping the Amazon, piece-by-piece.
The rate of destruction blighting the world's largest rain forest spiked by nearly a third last year, according to new data released by the Brazilian government.

Satellite data showed that 2,315 square miles of forest had been cleared from the Brazilian Amazon in the 12 months through July 2013, up 29 percent from the previous year. It reflects a reversal in the downward trend since 2009.

Despite the increased destruction in 2013, the Brazilian report showed that the area cleared is still the second-lowest annual figure since the government began tracking deforestation in 2004. In that year, almost 11,580 square miles of forest were lost.
Still, an estimated 17 percent of the Amazon has been lost in the last 50 years, mostly because of forest conversion for cattle ranching - a trend that has concerned environmentalists, given that it is home to an estimated quarter of all known land species. The Amazon also serves as a giant carbon sink, helping stabilize the planet's climate.
Aside from agricultural expansion, factors driving the rise in deforestation include illegal logging and the invasion of public lands adjacent to big infrastructure projects, such as roads and hydroelectric dams, according to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

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Destruction on the march.
According to the government report, the states of Pará and Mato Grosso - where most of Brazil's agricultural expansion is taking place - showed the greatest increases in deforestation. More than 390 square miles have been cleared in those states.

Curbing deforestation worldwide is an integral part of reducing climate change because deforestation accounts for 15 percent of all annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to WWF.
Globally, forests are depleted by up to 58,000 square miles every year - equivalent to 36 football fields every minute, according to the WWF.
As well as the cost to curbing climate change, deforestation threatens a wide range of plant and animal species.

Comment: Another example of man's perceived needs over the balance of nature, another nail in our collective coffin. Although extinction is a natural and cyclical phenomenon, it occurs at a natural "background" rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we're now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day, in part driven by habitat loss as ecosystems unravel due to natural grand cycles and embellished by the "incentives" of man. Have we passed the tipping point where the blatant disrespect and destruction of Earth's vital resources has signaled the soon and rapid demise of the human virus by its own doing? Have we fouled the process to the point where Nature turns on itself? Many would say yes.


Flood of dead fish along coast at Qatif, Saudi Arabia

© AN photo
MYSTERY: The dead fish along the coast of Qatif.
Thousands of dead fish have appeared along the coast of Qatif amid hide tides, prompting authorities to launch an investigation into the bizarre incident.

"The Presidency of Metrology and Environment (PME) and the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAF) were immediately tasked with investigating the first-of-its-kind situation," said Al-Arqoubi.

"Qatif's municipality sent a team of specialists to find out why the fish had died. The team took samples from the dead fish and the water for examination. Preliminary results from the fish autopsy have not indicated contamination," he added.
Snowflake Cold

Frost to grip Eastern United States this weekend

Following a chilly rain during part of the weekend, the coolest air since the spring will settle over the Northeast Sunday night into Monday morning.

Temperatures are forecast to dip into the 50s from Boston and New York City to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The last time readings were this low was during the first couple of days of June in most cases and in late May in others.

The northern and western suburbs of the Interstate-95 cities will dip well down into the 40s. Cities forecast to drop into the 40s this weekend include Pittsburgh, Buffalo, New York, and Burlington, Vermont.

Some locations from northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northwestern New England will dip into the 30s. Provided skies remain clear and winds diminish, there is a risk of scattered frost for a few hours late Sunday night into Monday morning.

Seven sperm whales strand on Italian beach - three die

Three sperm whales died on Friday while four were saved after washing up on a beach in central Italy, according to media reports.

The seven sperm whales were found stranded on a beach in the Punta Aderci nature reserve at around 7.00am by surfers in the seaside town of Vasto, Tgcom24 reported.

Three of the whales have died and the other four have now been safely assisted back into the sea by rescuers.

Black bear that attacked Virginia man eludes capture

© AP
Steven Krichbaum holds a bloody rock that he used to strike a bear that attacked him while he was out walking with his dog in the George Washington National Forest last week .
A bear that attacked a Virginia man in the George Washington National Forest in West Virginia has eluded attempts to capture it.

Steven Krichbaum, 59, of Staunton, Va., and his dog, Henry, encountered the female bear and her two cubs while walking in the forest in Hardy County, West Virginia. The mother bear attacked Krichbaum after the dog went after the cubs, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said in a statement.

"She charges down the bank and bites my thigh and she has my leg in her mouth chewing on me, and I'm on my back screaming," said Krichbaum.

Woman injured by sixth grizzly bear attack this summer in Alaska

Hungry: Thea Thomas was attacked by the brown bear hiking on Heney Ridge Trail (file picture)
Thea Thomas tried to step off the trail as a brown bear sprinted toward her, chasing a friend's dog that she had brought along for a hike in Cordova on Tuesday afternoon. Yet in an instant, Thomas was flat on the ground, face-to-face with an angry bear that bit her repeatedly during the mauling on Heney Ridge Trail.

"By the end, I was thinking, 'I could die here," Thomas said from an Anchorage hospital Wednesday, where she was medevaced after the attack.

Thomas, a 57-year-old commercial fisherman, has lived in the Southcentral Alaska community of Cordova for 32 years, she said. "I hike those trails all the time."

Heney Ridge Trail is a 4.1-mile trail that follows Hartney Bay before climbing up through spruce-hemlock forest, salmon-spawning streams and a mile of steep incline up above the treeline, according to the U.S. Forest Service website.

The trail "is probably the most common place over the 30 years I've lived there that I've seen bears," she said.