Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

Extreme hail storm inundates Florence, Italy with ice

Florence hail storm
A violent hail storm has ravaged parts of Tuscany, Italy on Friday, with significant impacts on the region's capital of Florence.

Videos of the storm show torrential rain and hail coming down, and while the hail stones themselves are not large, the sheer quantity is enough to cause chaos on the city streets. Local media report that the hail storm lasted about ten minutes in the city of Florence. This was plenty of time for hail stones to coat the roads like snow.
Florence hail
Radar shows the storm beginning off the west coast of Tuscany early Friday morning. As the storm crosses into Tuscany, it grows in size and intensity. By 1:30 p.m. local time, the storm is over Florence. Gaping holes in the storm suggest it was so intense that it maxed out on Weather Underground's radar reflectivity scale.


Strange animal behaviour: Muskox repeatedly charged dog despite warning shots in Wales, Alaska - other similar incidents reported

© Helena Oxereok
Helena Oxereok said her mother collected tufts of the musk ox's underfur -- the highly-prized qiviut -- and her father has plans for the bull’s horns.The meat was shared out.
Another close encounter with a musk ox -- this time in the Northwest Alaska community of Wales -- involved an angry bull charging a tethered dog several times before the musk ox was killed.

The attack comes amid a summer of similar threats to dogs -- and people -- in and around Nome, some of which have left dogs dead and resulted in musk ox shot "in defense of life or property," or DLP.

Helena Oxereok was using a four-wheeler to haul water with her sister's boyfriend on Aug. 16 when she saw the shaggy bull come from behind her house in Wales, about 110 miles northwest of Nome. Despite neighbors and family members yelling and revving their four-wheelers to scare the animal away, she said, the bull ignored them until it saw her dog Sam.

"And then it started chasing my dog around its house -- maybe six times my dog had to run away," Oxereok said Thursday in a phone interview.

"At one point, it got to where my dog was being pushed but not really hurt, pushed by the musk ox's head, and I'm glad the chain didn't get caught on his horns, otherwise he would have been in big trouble."

Oxereok said her brother Randy grabbed his SKS rifle and shot several warning shots in the air, but the musk ox was unfazed.
Black Cat

Leopard changing its spots? Big cat attack on human, scooter and 4 by 4 vehicle in India

With the sighting of a leopard roaming in the limits of Shree Mahalingeshwara temple at Atrady, near Manipal over the past three days and a confirmed leopard attack on a man, the local residents are fear-stricken by the predator in their territory and refuse to venture out of their houses after dark.

A person named Dinesh Poojary suffered injuries from the leopard attack that took place three days ago.

On the night of Wednesday, the leopard is said to have attempted to catch some fowl roosting on a tree in the backyard of the house belonging to Dinesh Poojary at around 12 a.m. Later the same night, the leopard made another attempt and made off with two chickens.

Comment: See also: Eight separate leopard attacks on humans across India within 2 months: Leopard attacks 5 people, beaten to death in Assam, India

Leopard attacks teacher in Doon locality, India (Two reports.)

Leopard attacks 8-year-old girl in Amreli, India

Indian woman kills leopard with sickle after half-hour battle

Leopard attacks and mauls six villagers in West Bengal, India

2 farm workers attacked by leopard in India

Man-eating leopard preys on drunk villagers in the Didihat region, Himalayas


Rare Arctic Sabine's gull turns up in Pymatuning State Park, Ohio

© Shawn Collings
Sabine's Gull at Pymatuning.
Visitors to Pymatuning State Park have been greeted in recent weeks by a very rare guest, Sabine's gull. Other rare guests may soon follow.

"Sabine's gull has been attracting birders from all over the area," said Meadville photographer Shawn Collins. "The gull is normally only found out west, Alaska and northern Canada. I was able to capture some photographs near the spillway area."

Collins says he has been a birder for most of his life and in recent years began to learn the skills of a photographer.

"It was just great to be able to photograph this bird right here at Pymatuning."

The Audubon Society in Meadville is aware of the rare bird at Pymatuning.

"It's just a beautiful bird," said Sarah Sargent, of the Audubon Society. "It's a good looking bird in its breeding plumage."
Ice Cube

Growth in Antarctic sea ice sets new record, pierces 20 million square kilometer barrier

Sunshinehours reports that the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent for September 19th, 2014 is 20.11297 million square kilometers, which is 1,535,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 climatological mean.

Another 58,000 sq km. was added since yesterday, making it the 7th All-Time Record in 7 Days.

This new record is 610,000 sq km higher than the previous daily record. The red line represents 2014 data.
Antarctic sea ice expansion
© sunshine Hours
Data for Day 261.
Data source

Comment: With so much focus on the "loss" of Arctic sea ice, not many people are looking southward. The Antarctic has as much affect on climate as the more familiar Arctic. It is also just as sensitive to variations in solar radiation, increased aerosols from volcanic eruptions and other sources, and increased atmospheric loading of cosmic dust. Though the mechanism is not well understood, it seems some of the more dramatic effects of global cooling are becoming evident here first.

Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection


Srinagar: Livestock carcasses float on flooded roads - faces epidemic outbreak

An epidemic threat is looming large over flood hit Srinagar with thousands of carcasses of livestock lying dead in the streets of the summer capital.

In Army's largest dairy farm at Bemina on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway, bodies of hundreds of Jersey cows and buffaloes are lying unattended for the past eight days after the flood hit the city. The farm opposite to the Army's cantonment, Toto Ground, is spread over hundreds of canals of land in the middle of residential area.

Doctors termed the situation as "very threatening" saying if the dead animals were not removed and buried along with decomposing agents, the situation could lead to an epidemic outbreak. "This situation is a breeding ground for deadly diseases like cholera, hepatitis and typhoid," said a known doctor at SMHS hospital.

A young boy who identified himself as Saifullah Gulzar of Al-Shakir colony, Bemina said there were 370 cows and buffaloes in the Army run farm. He said the farm got submerged on Sunday,
September 7. "The main gate of the farm was closed which led to the death of the animals. Only seven cows could be saved while they were being washed away by floods," said Gulzar. While most of the carcasses have got stuck in the mud and flood water in the farm, many of them which were washed away by the flood were lying on the roadside, on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway.

Humpback whale washes up dead at Kalbarri beach, Western Australia

© Picture: Kerby Brown
Imogen Caldwell and the beached dead whale at Red Bluff, Kalbarri.
A 12m humpback whale washed up on a popular Kalbarri beach on Wednesday night, bringing with it a school of sharks and a steady stream of onlookers.

The whale was barely breathing and had horrific injuries, including shark bites, when it washed up on Red Bluff beach about 9pm.

It died soon after it reached the sand, leaving the Shire of Northampton with the mammoth task of trying to remove it.

Contractors, who were called in from Geraldton, yesterday spent hours trying to lift the whale on to a truck so it could be disposed of inland.

Alaska man shoots 9-foot grizzly bear that tried to enter his home

© Jim Landess
Jim Landess with the grizzly bear that he killed after it tried to enter his home in Sterling, Alaska
Jim Landess woke up to loud banging at his home in Sterling, Alaska in the middle of the night, only to find a giant grizzly bear outside the dining room window. He ran outside and fired a few shots to scare the animal away, but it returned three hours later. This time, Landess fired seven rounds into the animal, killing it.

A sleepy Alaskan man had to twice battle an angry bear that attacked his house.

On the second go-round, Jim Landess fired seven rounds from his .45-caliber handgun, killing the rampaging animal.

The ruckus started about 3:30 a.m. on July 7 when Landess was woken up by loud banging on a window and a wall at his Sterling home, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

Downstairs, his 17-year-old son was looking at the face of a 9-foot grizzly bear peering at him outside the dining room window.
Cloud Precipitation

Four die as flash flood sweeps through Southern French campsite

flash flood in Lamalou-les-bains
© Photo: EPA

Rescue workers evacuate a man from his home after it was hit by heavy floods in Lamalou-les-bains

Storms turn peaceful river near camping site in southern France into a raging torrent with people swept away

Four people died when storms turned a peaceful river that bordered their camping site in southern France into a raging torrent that swept them away, local authorities said Thursday.

The site in Lamalou-les-Bains was devastated by the overnight flood as storms that had already killed an elderly lady in the nearby region of Aveyron also left a person missing in another neighbouring district.

Authorities in the Herault district where Lamalou-les-Bains is located had initially said five had perished in the tragedy, but later revised the toll down to four and said two other people were still missing.

In one incident, a man who was trying to save a woman from drowning saw his own wife and daughter swept away in their caravan, the town's mayor told AFP.

"The father, who was around 60, went out and saw a woman who was going to drown," Philippe Tailland said.

"He held her by the hand but unfortunately, he had to let go of this woman.

"When he turned around, he saw his caravan being swept away with his wife and 34-year-old daughter inside," he said.

The caravan was later found stuck under a bridge and the body of his wife discovered inside. His daughter is still missing.

He is "in a catastrophic state," Tailland said.
Black Cat

Wildlife officers shoot and kill cougar in south Calgary, Canada

Calgary Police block the entrance to the South Calgary Health Campus as they search for cougars on Thursday, Sept 18, 2014 in Calgary. Police and wildlife officers are watching two cougars that have wandered into south Calgary. One of the cats is near a hospital and the other is at a nearby construction site.
Wildlife officers shot and killed a cougar Thursday that wandered near a hospital in south Calgary.

Brendan Cox, an Alberta government spokesman, said there were reports of another big cat in the area, but they turned out to be false.

"One cougar has been destroyed by officers," he said.

Cox said the wildlife officers had hoped to tranquilize and trap the cougar that was laying in tall grass.

He said after watching the animal they determined the adult male cat was too riled up.

Cox said cougars can become agitated when they get hit with a tranquilizer dart. He said the cat could have run off into a more populated area, putting people at risk.