Earth Changes

Ice Cube

Icy jellyfish? No, frozen methane bubbles trapped under a lake that can be ignited with a match

methane bubbles
© Caters News Agency
A photographer has captured amazing images of methane bubbles in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Pictured are some methane gas bubbles underneath Vermillion Lake

These lakes may look like they are full of bizarre floating sea creatures, but they are actually filled with thousands of frozen bubbles.

Snapped across Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, the natural wonders are made of highly flammable gas methane.

The gas - emitted by bacteria after they consume dead organic matter - is fairly harmless, but these bubbles can cause an explosion if lit.

Paul Zizka, 35, tracked down the natural phenomenon, which he photographed at Lake Minnewanka, the Vermillion Lake and Abraham Lake.

Abraham Lake is the most commonly-photographed spot for the spectacular sight.

But adventure-loving Mr Zizka, who loves to explore, revealed Lake Minnewanka offers rival views - but is just a little trickier to get to.

He said: 'All three lakes are ever-changing, cover wide areas and provide endless possibilities for the keen landscape photographer. They are magical places to explore and I find myself returning to them often. The methane bubbles depicted in the photographs have generated a lot of buzz primarily on social media. Many people have never seen the phenomenon before. People marveled at the beauty of them and wondered what they really were.'

Comment: It is looking increasingly likely that electrical discharges may be causing recent strange phenomena, such as these glowing lights over the 'ring of fire' perhaps caused by the ignition of leaking methane which may also be contributing to the discovery of thousands of dead fish which is becoming more common and unusual whale behaviour.

Could increasing electrical interaction with different charge layers of the atmosphere (see Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection) ignite larger plumes of escaping methane in the future? Another manifestation of 'fire in the sky' perhaps?


Sick sea lions wash ashore at alarming rate, California

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center will release a recently nursed-back-to-health sea lion back into the ocean at Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach Tuesday.

The center usually doesn't see any ill sea lions washing ashore this time of the year, but already more than two dozen have needed treatment by the only licensed agency in the county.

At most, two or three might end up on the beach and need a rescue, but the center has taken in 28 this month while 13 sea lion pups washed ashore in December, Executive Director Keith Matassa said.

Further alarming the center's experts is an influx of varying species, Matassa added.

"The difference this year is we're also seeing different species we don't normally see down here," Matassa said.

Comment: See also: 650 emaciated sea lion pups wash up on the California coast over last 2 months

2013 California sea lion unusual mortality event in California

Sea lion strandings pass 1,500 mark

Cloud Precipitation

Hailstorm kills 300 birds in Ivaiporã, Brazil

© Ivan Maldonado
A hailstorm that hit mainly south central Ivaiporã on Sunday night killed about 300 birds, including sparrows and doves.

According to information from the Environmental Secretariat, the hailstorm was located between the Plaza Henry Portelinha, near the Bank Brazil,on Bible Square, close to the bus station and Rio Grande Street South, near the State Barboza Ferraz College.

At first there was a suspicion of environmental crime, which was dismissed by Secretary of Environment Jayme Ayres, moreover, the birds were badly hurt. "We talked with the population living here in this region and they confirmed the hailstorm yesterday (Sunday) at about 23 hours. The dead birds were found only where the hail occurred. "

According to Ayres, just before the hail there was a strong wind that frightened the birds. "Frightened by the wind, they went looking for another shelter. It was when there was a hailstorm which ended up killing the birds, "said Ayres.
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.