Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Dead giant squid found by fisherman off Texas coast

Dead Giant Squid
A fisherman caught a 200-pound giant squid off Matagorda, Texas.
About 100 miles off the Texas Gulf Coast city of Matagorda, a young fisherman named Michael Belvin and his friends came upon what they thought was an oversized white plastic trash bag floating in the water.

It turned out that Belvin and pals found not garbage remnants but a giant squid -- a rare sight anywhere, let alone in Gulf Coast waters. The squid measured about 10 feet long and weighed 200 pounds.
Bizarro Earth

Hidden Napa earthquake faults found by NASA radar

Napa Fault Lines
© NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Google Earth
Ground deformation from the Aug. 24 earthquake in Napa, California. Each color fringe corresponds to deformation of 4.7 inches (12 centimeters).
The Aug. 24 Napa earthquake woke several small, previously unrecognized Napa Valley faults, according to the first results from a high-flying NASA radar instrument.

The magnitude-6.0 Napa earthquake, the biggest to shake northern California in 25 years, injured 170 people and killed one woman, who died from brain bleeding caused by a falling television. Some 800 homes were damaged, and 103 have been deemed too dangerous to enter.

Most of the damage was centered on the West Napa Fault. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that the West Napa Fault moved a total of 18 inches (46 centimeters) along a 9.3-mile-long (15 kilometers) length, USGS scientist Dan Ponti said Sept. 4 at a USGS earthquake seminar.
Ice Cube

Calgary goes from 25° C to 0 in one day

Monday's snowfall was a shock to the system for Calgarians, who were basking in balmy weather just hours earlier.

The temperature plummeted from a summery high of 25 C (77 F) Sunday to the freezing point (32 F) Monday, and several centimetres of snow accumulated in many parts of the city and surrounding areas.

snow car
Gwenda Jean Pierre brushes snow off of her car during the first snowfall of the season in Grande Prairie, Alta. on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.
"It's just a shock to the system," Environment Canada meteorologist Bill McMurtry said.

"Many people were out in the sun, enjoying nice warm temperatures (Sunday) and (Monday) people are looking out their windows going, 'It's snowing.'
#snow #Alberta #cbc #yeg #september #global

- Hunter & Olivia (@HunterOlivia) September 8, 2014
"It just shows you how much things can change in 24 hours. The general consensus is it's too early."

The people aren't wrong.

Even from a scientific standpoint, it's strange to have a significant dump of snow this early in the transition to fall.
Black Cat

Cougar killing of dog prompts warning in Nanaimo, Canada

© CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
Regional parks staff posted warnings at the Witchcraft Lake Trail head after a cougar made off with a Nanaimo woman’s dog while she was hiking in Mount Benson Regional Park Wednesday. Conservation officers are warning people cougars normally inhabit the park and hikers should keep dogs leashed or avoid taking their pets into the woods altogether.
A Nanaimo woman is reeling from seeing her dog taken and killed by a cougar.

Serra Stewart was returning from a hike with her father and three dogs on Witchcraft Lake Trail, in Mount Benson Regional Park, Wednesday at about 11 a.m. On a steep section of the trail, about 20 minutes from the parking lot on Wilkinson Road, a cougar appeared, eyed up the dogs that were off-leash and about seven metres away and snatched Charlie, Stewart's eight-year-old female dog.

"It was just there. The dogs didn't bark or anything," Stewart said in a text message. "It looked at all three and grabbed my girl. She screamed, only for about five to 10 seconds, and it was done. I lost it, threw my backpack and ran down the mountain after it. Of course, what's the point? She was gone and no way I can catch a cougar."

Sgt. Ben York, mid-Island region conservation officer supervisor, said in this case the cougar exhibited natural behaviour, given the circumstances.

Wolf attacks on sheep increasing in the Mercantour National Park, France

Provence & Côte d'Azur: Total number of sheep killed in 2014 rises to 1,700
Further attacks by wolves in the Mercantour National Park this week have left dozens of sheep dead and shepherds feeling threatened. The increase in attacks has led to calls from the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, for controls on the wolf population.

According to France3, since the turn of the year there have been 450 wolf attacks in the Mercantour National Park, which have left 1,700 sheep dead. An increased number of recent attacks have been during daylight hours which is a worrying trend for breeders. In July, shepherds told Metronews that their flocks with constantly being "harassed" by the wolves.

Fourth grizzly bear attack on humans near Anchorage this summer, fifth in Alaska

An Eagle River man shot and killed a brown bear sow Thursday after the animal mauled him near his home, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The man, who has not been identified, said he was walking with his unleashed dogs on a dirt road off of Hiland Road, an area biologists described as well-known bear territory. His dogs wandered away and when they ran back toward the man, they were trailed by a brown bear sow, said Dave Battle, an assistant area wildlife biologist with Fish and Game.

"This is not in an Anchorage subdivision," Battle said. "This is out in the big woods."

Woman suffers serious injuries after bear attack near Anchorage

© Craig Medred
A sign hangs at the Bird Valley trailhead along Alaska's Turnagain Arm on July 7, 2014, warning people of a recent bear mauling in the area.
The second grizzly bear mauling in less than two months on the outskirts of Alaska's largest city has sent another runner to the hospital with serious injuries. The attack this time came in Bird Valley, just south of Anchorage. It follows on an attack at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in mid-May.

Both attacks involved people surprising grizzly sows with cubs. The JBER attack involved a sow with small cubs of the year. The latest attack was launched by a sow with two nearly grown cubs, probably 2-year-olds.

Grizzly bear attacks 66-year-old man near Slana in Interior Alaska

A medical response official says a grizzly bear mauled a 66-year-old man after he surprised the animal near his Slana cabin Tuesday afternoon.

Slana resident Andre Siegenthaler was flown to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center for what was initially reported as "serious, but non-life threatening injuries," according to a Wednesday dispatch posted online by Alaska State Troopers.

Assistant chief of Tok Area EMS Jack Rutledge said on-scene responders reported Siegenthaler had injuries to his head, left shoulder and arm.
Cloud Grey

Heavy rain in Japan forces about 1million to evacuate

Heavy rain in Hokkaido
© Unknown
A road is covered in mud and fallen trees after heavy rain triggered a mudslide in Tomakomai, Hokkaido on September 11, 2014.
Heavy rain has hit the Island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, forcing officials to order the evacuation of nearly one million people living near rivers.

On Thursday, the torrential rain flooded roads across the prefecture, causing all transport to come to a standstill and grounding flights.

According to Satoshi Ebihara, an official in Japan's Meteorological Agency, at least 100 millimeters of rain per hour poured overnight in some parts of Hokkaido.

He said at a news conference that unstable weather is anticipated to continue throughout Thursday due to low pressure systems.

"It is a situation where landslides, flooding, and serious calamities may occur at any time," Ebihara added, calling on residents in affected areas to follow the local authorities' instructions for safe evacuation.

More than 60 people were killed in western Japan last month after heavy rain and torrential downpours triggered landslides on August 20, which swallowed dozens of homes.

Landslides are common in Japan's populated mountainous areas, where there is frequent rainfall and many of the houses are built on or near steep slopes.

Last October, multiple mudslides killed 35 people, four of whose bodies were never recovered, in the volcanic island of Izu Oshima. The slides followed a typhoon that dumped a record 824 millimeters of rain in a single day.

Comment: The following video shows JR Shinkoiwa station in eastern Tokyo being flooded Wednesday eve due to heavy rain.

Snowflake Cold

Winter is coming: British weather set to become more unsettled

British winters are becoming increasingly volatile due to extreme variations in pressure over the North Atlantic according to scientists from the University of Sheffield.

The new research, published today (9 September 2014) in the International Journal of Climatology, shows that weather patterns over the UK have become distinctly more unstable, resulting in contrasting conditions from very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy.

Winter weather conditions are commonly defined using the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The NAO is a south-north seesaw of barometric pressure variations over the North Atlantic which indicates the strength of westerly winds impinging on the UK shore and resulting weather patterns.

When westerly winds are strong, known as a positive NAO phase, Britain experiences mild, wet and often stormy weather - like last winter. Weaker or reverse airflow, known as negative NAO phase, typically brings cold, snowy weather, which featured prominently in the winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11.