Earth Changes


A week after heatwave, Bavaria receives snowfall

Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain.
From 30C to snow in under a week? It's possible in Germany where seven centimetres of the white stuff fell at the top of the Bavarian Alps on Friday.

It might seem like summer was only last week in Germany - and that's because it was.

With blazing sunshine and temperatures topping 30C over the weekend, the onset of winter couldn't have been further from most Germans' minds.

But in the Bavarian Alps, autumn has been skipped out altogether.

At Zugspitze - Germany's highest peak, at 2,962m - seven centimetres of snow have already fallen, reports the Münchner Merkur.


This Indonesian volcano erupts electric-blue streams of molten sulfur

© Reuben Wu
Glowing blue rivers illuminate Java's Blue Fire Crater.

Visitors looking up at Kawah Ijen, a volcano on the Indonesian island of Java, are treated to a sight not often seen in the rest of the world: electric-blue rivers streaming out from underneath the volcano. Although it looks like bright blue lava, the streams are actually molten sulfur, which gives off a neon-like light at night.

"I've never seen this much sulfur flowing at a volcano," U.S. Geological Survey research geologist Cynthia Werner tells Brian Clark Howard for National Geographic.

Bright blue sulfuric flames aren't exactly rare around volcanoes. Sulfur has a relatively low melting point of 239 degrees Fahrenheit and small trickles and blue fires are often found near hot vents and during volcanic eruptions, Howard writes. However, Kawah Ijen is the largest "blue flame" area on earth, with jets of fiery sulfuric acid burning at over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and shooting 16 feet into the air, Christopher Jobson reports for Colossal.


Hungry polar bears surround weather station on Vaygach island in north Russia.


Polar bears
Five polar bears have surrounded a team of three unarmed meteorologists and engineers at Fyodorov weather station located at Vaygach island in north Russia.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Russia, the presence of these bears is preventing the researchers from leaving the weather station building to conduct their daily work, such as measurement of water temperatures in the Arctic Sea.

The team at Fyodorov weather station consists of an engineer and two meteorologists Every day, researchers have to go several hundred meters away from outpost to measure water temperatures in the sea.

A researcher at the station told Viktor Nikiforov, the head of the WWF Polar Bear Patrol project, that hungry bears have settled in the fields outside the building and can be seen fighting with each other. They are aggressive and "recently grappled, fighting near the house."

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill 13 in Uganda

Lightning struck at a football match at Kere Primary School grounds in Kween District last Tuesday evening, killing seven people while six others were injured and are admitted.

Police confirmed that six people of Kere and Kwosir villages in Kwosir Sub-county in Kween District were admitted with serious injuries, and arrangements had been made to transport some of them to Mbale regional hospital by last night.

One of the survivors, Mr Nathan Cherukut, said the incident happened at about 4.50pm at the climax of a football game where people had braved the rains to watch the match between Kwosir and Kere villages.

Mr Yasin Siwa, a witness told Daily Monitor that the deceased were watching the match when the lightning struck.

Comment: See also: Sott Exclusive: Shocking weather! Lightning fatalities across the planet on the increase

Cloud Lightning

Lightning kills 10 as heavy rain destroys over 50 houses in Rwanda

At least ten people have been confirmed dead and over 30 others injured after they were struck by lightning in Western and Northern provinces this evening.

Eight people including five students were killed in Karongi District, one died in Rutsiro District while another victim was reported in Musanze, according to police.

Police said that all that were injured were immediately rushed to hospital.

Inspector of Police Theobald Kanamugire, the western regional police spokesperson, confirmed the deaths of eight people in his jurisdiction but could not give their identities.

Comment: See also: Sott Exclusive: Shocking weather! Lightning fatalities across the planet on the increase


Black bear attack in Nicholas County, West Virginia

© West Virginia Department of Commerce
Black bear
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) has investigated an attack on a man by a black bear in the Mount Nebo area of Nicholas County, West Virginia, according to Colin Carpenter, black bear project leader for the DNR.

On August 26, 2015, a man was knocked down and bitten several times by a female black bear after he had unexpectedly walked up on a cub in the trail. The man fought back aggressively and was able to deter the female bear, according to Carpenter. The man escaped the attack with minor injuries. A lack of physical evidence from the bear and delayed reporting of the attack precluded any attempts to capture the offending animal.

"Bear attacks on humans are rare, but this recent incident should serve to remind people how unpredictable wild animals can be," said Carpenter. "Although this appears to be a defensive attack by a female with young cubs, the fact that the man fought back aggressively most likely prevented more severe injuries."


Mystery of thousands of fish that washed up on Queensland beach then disappeared

HERE ONE DAY: A reader’s photo of the dead fish on the beach at Buddina.
THE mystery surrounding the "thousands" of small fish that beached themselves at Buddina remains just that.

They were gone in less than 24 hours.

The Environment and Heritage Department, the Queensland Museum and an astronomer who knows about tides were all unable to explain it.

Buddina resident Susan Sheard took the photo of the washed up fish when taking a walk along the beach on Wednesday afternoon.

Ms Sheard, who has lived on the Coast for 10 years, had never seen so many fish washed up at the same time.

"It was a super low tide and there were thousands of them," she said.

"Some of them were still alive, flipping around and I threw a few back in the water. But there were too many."


Russian town besieged by hungry bears; one man killed and other locals attacked


Unwelcome guest: This is one of the bears which has surrounded the town of Luchegorsk, in eastern Russia
A Russian town is under siege from at least three dozen ravenous bears, leaving many locals too terrified to open their doors and go outside.

In a month-long blockade, the hungry beasts have attacked residents in Luchegorsk - population 20,000 - and there are reports of one man being killed.

Inhabitants say at least eight Asian black bears have been shot as they stalk the streets and terrorise the town in the country's extreme east, close to the Chinese border.

One woman likened the bear threat to being under siege from an army.

'Hunters say that they looked at the area from a helicopter - there are crowds of these bears, like army units,' she said.

'We are scared to walk outside.

'All doors are shut in kindergartens, there are written warnings everywhere that walking with kids is allowed only in certain areas.'


2 massive waterspouts filmed spinning off the Sussex coast in the UK


Stunning scene: This dramatic picture shows beautiful waterspouts forming in the skies
They don't pack the punch of their close relation the tornado, but these meteorological events are still stunning to watch

The skies over Shoreham have been in the news recently for tragic reasons.

But this dramatic video shows beautiful waterspouts forming in the skies above the English Channel of the coast of the West Sussex town.

Two of the funnels formed and remained in the cloudy sky for some time, showing the cloud reaching down towards the earth.


2 tornadoes strike Ibiza, Spain; sending boats crashing into rocks, uprooting trees and damaging houses


This amazing shot was captured on the coast of Ibiza, showing the tornado stirring up the waters
This shocking video shows the moment a tornado struck the holiday resort of Ibiza as torrential storms swept the island.

Footage, that appears to be shot at a safe distance, shows the swirl of a tornado exiting from a grey sky.

Local news sources reported that there were two tornadoes in Ibiza on Tuesday, one at sea and one inland that hit San Antonio. They appeared during a storm that uprooted trees and damaged power lines and houses.

Harry Russell, who films club nights and weddings in Ibiza during the summer months, was also on hand to capture the phenomenon.

Russell, from Northampton, told MailOnline Travel: 'I was excited when I saw it. My girlfriend and I had a filming job to cover a private villa party then the sunny day turned into a storm in such a short space.

'The weather hasn't been too bad but roughly two weeks ago Ibiza had a massive storm that flooded the town areas.'