Earth Changes

Comet 2

Sott Exclusive: Mysterious 'gas explosions' destroying residential homes, killing people


The devastated house in Derbyshire
Two very recent 'home gas explosions' have added to the growing list of mysterious 'gas' explosions that have destroyed residential homes and other buildings around the world in recent years.

Two days ago an explosion and fire severely damaged a single home in a quiet cul-de-sac in Derbyshire, England. Husband and wife Simon and Shelley Saxton-Cooper were both killed in the blast.


Large tornado '50 metres wide' hits West Sussex, UK

© Andy Coupland
It appeared to touch down near the A283 near Steyning
A large tornado reported to be up to 50 metres in diameter has touched down in West Sussex.

These photos were taken by Andy Coupland who saw it from his home in Poynings six miles away.

He took the photographs just after 11.30am and said the tornado appeared to have touched down on farmland close to the A283.
"The tornado is seen to be at the base of a classic funnel cloud.

Given the range at which these photographs were taken - the diameter of the rotating column would have been huge, possibly greater than 50 metres.

The speed of rotation was quite rapid.

This was one impressive tornado, even from six miles away!"

Andy Coupland

Comment: Other incidents in recent months of these 'rare' UK tornadoes include those in, Northampton, Somerset and Newport.

Bizarro Earth

The silence of the birds: When nature gets quiet, be very afraid

© SF Gate
It's beautiful, it's tranquil, but you really should hear a deep symphony of lush sounds. And it's getting weirdly quiet

Brutal wildfire images too much to bear? Fatigued by non-stop news of extreme weather, record-low snowpack, emaciated polar bears, unprecedented this and fast-receding that, a natural world that appears to be going more or less insane?

Maybe you need some quiet. Get outside, sit yourself down and let nature's innate healing powers soothe your aching heart.

Sounds good, right? Sounds refreshing. Sounds... well, not quite right at all. Not anymore.

Have you heard? Or more accurately, not heard? Vicious fires and vanishing ice floes aside, there's yet another ominous sign that all is not well with the natural world: it's getting quiet out there. Too quiet.

Behold, this bit over in Outside magazine, profiling the sweet, touching life and times of 77-year-old bioacoustician and soundscape artist Bernie Kraus, author of The Great Animal Orchestra (2012), TED talker, ballet scorer, and a "pioneer in the field of soundscape ecology."

Krause, last written about on SFGate back in 2007, is a man whose passion and profession has been making field recordings of the world's "biophony" for going on 45 years, setting up his sensitive equipment in roughly the same places around the world to record nature's (normally) stunningly diverse aural symphony - all the birds, bees, beavers, wolves, babbling streams, fluttering wings, the brush of trees and the rush of rivers - truly, the very pulse and thrum of life itself.

A bird in the hand is very sad indeed

One of his most favorite spots to record? Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, in the Mayacamas Mountains, in Sonoma. It's here he discovered something very disquieting indeed: The wonderfully diverse sounds of nature are no longer changing and evolving as usual. They are actually diminishing. Thinning out. And in many cases, vanishing completely.

This is the chilling news: Bit by bit, bird by bird, species by species, gurgling brook by gushing river, the song of wild nature is, in many places, falling deathly silent. The reasons? You already know: Real estate development, mining, logging, habitat destruction, climate change, drought.
Between 2004 and 2015, the [Mayacamas] site's biophony (totality of sounds produced by living organisms) dropped in level by a factor of five. "It's a true narrative, a story telling us that something is desperately wrong," Krause says.
In short: What once was a rich, varied symphony of sound has become a far more subdued chamber orchestra, with large spaces of eerie silence where there was once a vast natural racket, signifying everything.

It's not just Sonoma. The weird hush is surely spreading, becoming more and more familiar all over the world. It's not hard to figure out why: We've successfully wiped out fully half the world's wildlife, in the just last four decades alone. Songbird populations in particular, for a variety of (mostly terrible, mostly human-caused) reasons, have been decimated all over the world. The skies just aren't as musical as they used to be. Ecosystems are sputtering, shifting violently, dying away completely, as pathways to life are being choked off.

I recently wrote about the week I spent at my family's getaway cabin in northern Idaho ("Everything is on fire and no one cares"), a normally pristine, sublime summertime experience, this year ominously altered by the sheer density and persistence of smoke from all the regional wildfires.

The light was different, the air charred and dry. But perhaps most disquieting of all, was the sound - or rather, the lack of it.

When the wind died down and the smoke really gathered in, the sky would turn a more sickly yellow. The birds seemed to stop singing entirely. The bees fell silent. The normally vibrant background cacophony of the natural world flattened out. It wasn't just eerie, it was psychically disturbing. You could feel the lack of healthy sound vibration in the air.

Of course it's not that way everywhere. Wildlife still teems and flourishes in many parts of the world where humankind's reach hasn't penetrated as fully; in some places, due to the self-same climate change, there is bizarre excess, abnormal surges in animal population, even as overall biodiversity continues to decline. There is perhaps too much sound in some areas, as nature's recoil to our abuses takes different forms - hurricanes, thunder, earthquakes.

But overall, the tonal shift is undeniable, and deeply unsettling: There is now less birdsong than at any time in human history. Fewer lions' roars, beehive hums, elephant rumbles, frog croakings, simply because we've killed off so many of them, and show no signs of slowing. One by one and species by category, the orchestra's players are exiting the stage. The concert will never be over, but at this rate, it might be a very bleak final movement indeed.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods submerge over 2,000 houses in Kaduna, Nigeria

At least 2,000 houses in some parts of Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria, have been submerged by flood as a result of a heavy rainfall.

The flood was said to have been caused by an unusual heavy downpour that lasted for over 48 hours.

The rainfall which started on Saturday night till Monday morning, caused massive floods at Abubakar Kigo road new extension, Barnawa, Ungwar-Rimi, Gonin-Gora, Karatudu, Kachia, Romi among others.

Cloud Precipitation

Storm triggers floods and landslides in British Columbia

© Kirk Williams/CBC
The Squamish River is swollen and full of mud and debris after the heavy rain.
Pemberton area hardest hit, heavy rains more damaging than normal after a dry, hot summer

Heavy weekend rains, flooding and landslides have emergency responders attending to multiple locations in the Pemberton and Squamish areas.

Ryan Wainwright, Emergency Program Manager for the Squamish Lillooet Regional District, is asking those still affected by the storm to be patient.

"Understand that recovery takes a lot longer than the disaster itself," he said.

Twenty-four people have been stranded in the back country in the upper Squamish Valley, and another 20 are stuck near Pemberton due to the washout of the Lillooet Forest Service Road.

Stock Up

Another! 6.5 quake shakes buildings in Santiago, Chile

A 6.5 magnitude quake hit an area near Santiago, Chile on Monday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The tremor reportedly shook buildings in the capital.

The earthquake occurred some 130 miles (210 kilometers) to the northwest of Santiago, USGS reported on Monday. The epicenter of the quake was at a depth of 15.3 miles (24.7 kilometers), USGS said.

Comment: Since the 8.3 on September 16, Chile has been getting hit hard, with 10 quakes or aftershocks of magnitude 6.0 or greater. See:


California wildfires continue to rage, destroying more than 1,600 structures, killing six

© David Royal / Associated Press
A plane drops fire retardant on a fire along Highway 68 east of Laureles Grade in rural Salinas, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015.
More than 1,600 structures have been destroyed as three deadly wildfires continued to burn through thousands of the acres in Northern California.

As firefighters made progress on the Valley and Butte fires, hundreds of people displaced by the blazes returned over the weekend to find the charred remains of their homes and towns.

The Valley fire, one of the most destructive in the state's history, has burned 75,781 acres, destroyed 1,050 structures and left three dead. It ignited Sept. 12 and traveled 10 miles in 10 hours, expanding to 50,000 acres in the space of a day.

Teams of firefighters were still crisscrossing the burn area Sunday, stamping out remaining hotspots and putting out smoldering stumps. By Monday morning, the fire was 70% contained.

"We're in the mopping-up stages now, just extinguishing smoke and hotspots," said Capt. Richard Cordova, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "You're not going to see any flames."

Comment: According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the 2015 wildfire season in the United States is a record breaker. All over the world we are witnessing extensive wildfires, which in some regions have been described as "unprecedented".

Could some of these wildfires have been fueled from outgassing, then possibly 'sparked' by an increase in atmospheric electric discharge events, such as lightning strikes? See also:

Study: Wildfire seasons are more destructive and lasting longer almost everywhere on Earth

The wildfire outside Los Angeles in July this year that torched vehicles on its way through a major highway


Mysterious multicolored clouds appear over Costa Rica

© Youtube / Jessielou121
A recent colorful cloud formation over Costa Rica left many residents amazed and terrified, prompting them to speculate whether it was an omen.

A very rare cloud formation with multicolored light was reported earlier this week in the sky over San Jose, Parrita, Pavas, Escazu and Hatillo in Costa Rica.


Thousands of jellyfish invade beaches and sting swimmers in Russia

The poisonous jellyfish can sting
In scenes similar to a sci-fi horror flick, the alien-type species swarmed over a coastline as warm weather sparked a peak in the breeding season.

Bathers have been stung by the transparent jellyfish as they grow in numbers and doctors have warned people to wash the stings with cold water, take painkillers and seek urgent medical assistance.

Even elderly locals living in Andreevka village - one of the badly hit areas - say they have never seen so many of the sea monsters.

Marine experts hope colder and wetter weather will disperse the stingers back into the Pacific.


Andreevka village in Khaan disctrict is among the badly hit areas.

Arrow Down

Huge sinkhole opens up on road in Brentwood, UK


The hole that is believed to have appeared yesterday
There have been long delays throughout Brentwood this weekend due to roadworks on Ongar Road - and the worksite has been enlarged by the apparent appearance of a 'sinkhole'.

Anglian Water are undertaking water main repair works at the junction of Ongar Road and Doddinghurst Road and have installed a four-way traffic light system, which has lead to long queues building up all the way up to Wilson's Corner, Ongar Road, Doddinghurst Road and on other approaches such as from Geary Drive.

But today (Sunday), the area of works appears to have been widened, to fence off a huge 'sinkhole' - which appears to have part of a white road marking collapsed into it.

This afternoon, stunned residents could be seen taking photographs of the hole.