Earth Changes

Ice Cube

5 rescued after huge ice jam causes floods near Louisville, Nebraska


Known victims have been rescued, @OPDABLE1 is heading back for fuel & returning to recon for more victims.

8:20 AM - 27 Jan 2015
A one-mile long ice jam is moving down the Platte River in Nebraska has caused flooding near Two Rivers State Park, about 30 miles west of Omaha.

Authorities have rescued five people and pets from the floods and ice. Three of the victims are thought to have been in their vehicle when it became trapped in flood waters. Around 20 residents have evacuated the area.

The National Weather Service in Omaha said:
Ice jam flooding along the Platte River in southwestern Douglas, western Sarpy county, and eastern Saunders counties. Warning in effect.
They predict that jam will move towards the South Bend area, just west of Louisville.

Britain's second earthquake in 48 hours strikes in East Midlands

An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale has struck in the East Midlands.

The UK's second major quake in 48 hours struck in Rutland at around 10:25pm at a depth of around 10 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

According to residents, the tremor shook houses in the village of Cottesmore and the surrounding area. Jonathan Agnew, the BBC cricket correspondent who lives nearby, tweeted: "The earth just moved in the Vale. I mean seriously. Anyone else feel it?"

Others posted photographs of framed pictures hanging on the walls slightly askew to show the aftermath of the earthquake.

Sally Smart wrote: "Earthquake wow that was a biggen!! Thought a truck was coming through the house #adrenalinepumping."

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said: "Just looking into reports of a possible earthquake in the Leics/Rutland area. Watch this space."

Rutland is becoming something of an earthquake hotspot after three tremors were reported in two weeks last April.
Bizarro Earth

Rare megamouth shark washes up in the Philippines

Bulbous head, 50 (yes, 50!) rows of tiny teeth, flabby body ... yep, it's a megamouth shark!
Megamouth Shark
© Manay Ning & Rosalina Sariola/Facebook
The 66th megamouth shark ever seen washed ashore this morning in Marigondon, a port in the Albay province of the Philippines. Initial reports suggest the shark (Megachasma pelagios) was approximately five metres (16 ft.) in length, but until a necropsy can be performed, the finer details about the animal (including the cause of death) will remain a mystery. Sightings like this are rare ... so rare, in fact, that when the first megamouth was spotted in 1976, a new shark family, genus and species had to be created!

These bizarre deep-diving animals are characterised by their bulbous snouts, loose skin, poorly calcified skeletons and (of course) their mega-mouths, which extend upward beyond the eyes. Only two living specimens have ever been studied by researchers, so every find is a big deal for science.

5.7 magnitude earthquake SW of Ferndale, California

A magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck 25 miles southwest of Ferndale, California, on Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake was reported 40 miles southwest of Eureka.

Elephant kills teenage girl in Assam, India

© Yathin S Krishnappa, Wikimedia Commons
An elephant killed a girl at Ballamguri in Chirang district today.

The elephant, which came from the nearby Manas National Park, attacked the teenaged girl injuring her seriously, police officials said.

The girl, identified as Ramisa Khatun, succumbed to her injuries later at the Barpeta Medical College Hospital.

Source: Press Trust of India

Family dogs kill 7-year-old boy in College Springs, Iowa

Killed: Malaki Mildward, seven, was mauled to death by the family's two six-month-old dogs (it is unclear if was the dogs in this photo)
A seven-year-old boy has been mauled to death by his family's two dogs.

Malaki Mildward died after two six-month-old canines attacked him on Thursday afternoon in College Springs, Iowa.

He was pronounced dead 50 minutes later.

Police were notified shortly before 5pm.

By the time they arrived within minutes, Malaki was not breathing, a report said.

North Dakota oil industry trying to preserve cash by changing radioactive waste disposal laws

used radioactive filter sock
© REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
An environmental group employee holds a used filter sock in Bismarck, North Dakota January 27, 2015.
North Dakota's oil industry is pushing to change the state's radioactive waste disposal laws as part of a broad effort to conserve cash as oil prices tumble.

The waste, which becomes slightly radioactive as part of the hydraulic fracturing process that churns up isotopes locked underground, must be trucked out of state. That's because rules prohibit North Dakota landfills from accepting anything but miniscule amounts of radiation.

The most common form of radioactive waste is a filter sock, a mesh tube resembling a sandbag through which fracking water is pumped before it's injected back into the earth. Tank and pipeline sludge are also radioactive.

It's not clear how much of this waste is generated, as North Dakota officials only began requiring tracking last year; final 2014 reports aren't due until next month. Some put the number at 70 tons per day; others say 27 tons.

Comment: The oil industry in North Dakota has been having trouble finding adequate methods of disposing of radioactive waste. The industry has also been plagued by numerous oil spills that industry and state executives attempted to hide from the public. It has been reported that the industry in North Dakota is running wild with little regulatory oversight, and as oil prices plummet and profits dwindle, things don't look promising where safety and health issues are concerned.


Coyotes kill police horse in Lapeer County, Michigan

This photo shows a coyote that was spotted on the same farm where a horse from the Lapeer County Sheriff's Mounted Division was attacked and killed Sunday, Jan. 25 near the Lapeer-Oakland County border.
A Lapeer County Sheriff's Mounted Division Horse was attacked and killed Sunday, Jan. 25, by a pack of coyotes, not far from a home, a lieutenant said.

The attack took place around 3 p.m. on a farm near the area of East Oakwood and Hosner roads along the Lapeer-Oakland County border, said Lt. Bruce Osmon, head of the mounted unit.

Osmon said the horse was feeding around 20 feet from a barn and 70 feet from a home.

"All of a sudden (the owners) heard a commotion," he said.


Monarch butterflies are rebounding in Mexico but numbers are still low

monarch butterflies
Destination reached.
The number of Monarch butterflies that reached wintering grounds in Mexico has rebounded 69 percent from last year's lowest-on-record levels, but their numbers remain very low, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Last year, the Monarchs covered only 1.65 acres (0.67 hectares), the smallest area since record-keeping began in 1993. This year, the butterflies rebounded, to cover 2.79 acres (1.13 hectares), according to a formal census by Mexican environmental authorities and scientists released Tuesday.

The orange-and-black butterflies are suffering from loss of milkweed habitat in the United States, illegal logging in Mexico and climate change. Each year, the butterflies make a migration from Canada to Mexico and find the same pine and fir forests to spend the winter, even though no butterfly lives to make the round trip.

"Of course it is good news that the forest area occupied by Monarchs this season increased," said Omar Vidal, head of the World Wildlife Fund in Mexico. "But let's be crystal clear, 1.13 hectares is very, very low, and it is still the second-smallest forest surface occupied by this butterfly in 22 years of monitoring."

At their peak in 1996, the Monarchs covered more than 44.5 acres (18 hectares) in the mountains west of Mexico City.

Comment: Agricultural fields used to be an important source of milkweed for monarch caterpillars. Milkweed has historically grown alongside crop plants, and provided abundant food for monarch caterpillars. With the introduction of herbicide tolerant crops, management shifted from a till-based approach to the widespread use of herbicides. This practice has diminished much of the milkweed growing in agricultural areas, since milkweed can survive some tilling, but cannot survive herbicides. In addition, chemicals kill monarch larvae so the avoidance of pesticides and herbicides may help restore the monarch populations. What are the chances we can accomplish this "butterfly effect?"

Cloud Precipitation

Flooding hits parts of Massachusetts coast after winter storm Juno

© U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Sgt. Don Veitch, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs
Flooded ares of Scituate, Jan. 27, 2015.
Winter storm Juno hit the eastern US states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine with 75 mph winds and 30 inches of snow. Snowfall amounts, travel bans and power outages and have all been well reported in US media.

The storm also brought flooding to some coastal areas, with the coastal areas of Massachusetts worst hit. Areas along the eastern Massachusetts coast,south of Boston, including north and northeast facing shorelines of Cape Cod and Nantucket faced some of the highest waves and storm surges. NWS warned that floods could reach 3 feet high in places.