Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Lake Mead water level drops drastically after earthquake

© LakeMeadNRA
Following our exposure of the plunge in Lake Mead water levels post Friday's earthquake, officials were quick to point out that the drop was "due to erroneous meter readings" - which in itself is odd given we have not seen such an aberration before in the measurements. The data today shows a super surge in the Lake Mead water level - which, even more mysteriously, indicates from pre-earthquake to now, the Lake has risen by the most in a 3-day-period in years (as long as we have found history). How was this level 'manufactured' you ask? Simple - discharge flows from the Hoover Dam were curtailed dramatically. We are sure there is a simple explanation for all this...

Yesterday we noted the plunge in Lake Mead water levels...


Bizarro Earth

Tornado rips through northern Mexico border town killing 13 and damaging hundred of homes

Many residents have lost their homes in the tornado
At least 13 people have been killed by a tornado that hit the northern Mexico border city of Ciudad Acuna.

Hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed in the city, in Coahuila state, which is just across the border from Del Rio, Texas.

Images from the scene showed cars upended and leaning against buildings.

Dozens of people have been injured and officials warned that the death toll could rise.

Coahuila Governor Ruben Moreira, on a visit to the stricken area, said 10 adults and three children had died and a baby was missing. Another 150 people had been taken to hospital, he said.

Ice Cube

Sudden onset of ice loss in Antarctica detected

© Jonathan L. Bamber
Research vessel deploying instruments on an Antarctic ice shelf.
A group of scientists, led by a team from the University of Bristol, UK has observed a sudden increase of ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica. The research is published today in Science.

Using measurements of the elevation of the Antarctic ice sheet made by a suite of satellites, the researchers found that the Southern Antarctic Peninsula showed no signs of change up to 2009. Around 2009, multiple glaciers along a vast coastal expanse, measuring some 750km in length, suddenly started to shed ice into the ocean at a nearly constant rate of 60 cubic km, or about 55 trillion litres of water, each year.

This makes the region the second largest contributor to sea level rise in Antarctica and the ice loss shows no sign of waning.

Dr Bert Wouters, a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Bristol, who lead the study said: "To date, the glaciers added roughly 300 cubic km of water to the ocean. That's the equivalent of the volume of nearly 350,000 Empire State Buildings combined."

The changes were observed using the CryoSat-2 satellite, a mission of the European Space Agency dedicated to remote-sensing of ice. From an altitude of about 700km, the satellite sends a radar pulse to Earth, which is reflected by the ice and subsequently received back at the satellite. From the time the pulse takes to travel, the elevation of the ice surface can retrieved with incredible accuracy. By analysing roughly 5 years of the data, the researchers found that the ice surface of some of the glaciers is currently going down by as much as 4m each year.

The ice loss in the region is so large that it causes small changes in the gravity field of the Earth, which can be detected by another satellite mission, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).

"The fact that so many glaciers in such a large region suddenly started to lose ice came as a surprise to us," continued Dr Wouters. "It shows a very fast response of the ice sheet: in just a few years the dynamic regime completely shifted."

Comment: Antarctica, is it melting or not? Man made global warming can't explain this climate paradox


New Zealand hit by the 'biggest storm on Earth'

Snow surrounding the Shotover River in Queenstown.
A storm blasting Antarctic weather over New Zealand is currently the biggest storm on earth according to WeatherWatch.

The low stretches from just south of Fiji to Antarctica's ice shelf, but only 20 per cent of the storm is affecting New Zealand. said the forecast air pressure at its centre over the next 24 hours would be greater than that of Hurricane Katrina when it made landfall in 2005.

Weather expert Philip Duncan said, "It's fairly normal to get a cold snap in late May. We're less than a week away from winter, it's not surprising to get a blast like this."

But he said the low's strength was surprising.

"The depth of this storm south of New Zealand is up there with some of the biggest hurricanes we've seen. It's a really big storm."

However, said only the storm's edges were affecting New Zealand - its centre lay around 1000 to 1500kms to our south east.

Southland, Otago and Banks Peninsula woke this morning to the heaviest dumping of snow so far this year.

Overnight, areas of Central Otago and Southland saw up to 30 cm of snow, according to Metservice.

The North Island didn't escape the cold weather with light snow falls reported in Napier and heavier falls on the Napier-Taupo Rd.

Queenstown Airport was temporarily closed, with heavy snow right down to the township, and snow flurries blanketed Invercargill.

Dunedin was battered by an onslaught of nasty weather, said MetService, hit by snow, showers and offshore thunderstorms.

© Petra Balsillie
Arrowtown blanketed in snow.


Crazed pit bull terrier runs amok and attacks 9 people in Thessaloniki, Greece

A stray pit bull was caught on video by security cameras while savagely attacking people at a gas station in Thessaloniki, northern Greece.


Pit bull attack
After the attack at Neo Rysio area in Thessaloniki nine people had to be taken to a local hospital. Among them was a 13-year-old minor, a firefighter and a policeman.

At first only six people were hurt after trying to stop the pit bull, however, they were not successful. Greek police officers were forced to intervene, but the crazed dog could not be stopped.

Finally the dog attacked a police officer, a firefighter and a man who attempted to help them and pry the dog off men.

Eventually a police officer shot the dog at the leg, causing it to run off towards the street where a passing fire department truck hit the pit bull and killed it.


More weather chaos: Record heat in parts of Alaska

© Climate Re-analyzer, University of Maine
Temperature difference from normal May 22, 2015
Since Wednesday, high temperatures (well into the 70s) in Fairbanks, Alaska have outdone the highs (in the 60s to mid-70s) in Washington, D.C.

The Last Frontier is in the midst of an extended streak of record-challenging warmth that will continue through next week.

Alaska's warmest temperatures, with respect to normal, have actually focused north and east of Fairbanks.

Barrow - Alaska's northernmost city, located above the Arctic circle - has logged record highs four of the past five days, including a toasty 47 on Thursday. That's some 18 degrees above normal.

Eagle, Alaska - located about 200 miles east of Fairbanks - has recorded six straight days with highs in the 80s.


Pygmy whale found on Southern Hawke's Bay beach, New Zealand


A 3m pygmy sperm whale found on Porongahau Beach yesterday was blessed by Raina (left) and Doc Ferris.
A whale washed up on Porongahau Beach in Southern Hawke's Bay yesterday.

DoC marine ranger Rod Hansen said the 3m pygmy sperm whale was found dead about 200m from the local campground.

It had likely died of natural causes.

"Whales are a bit like humans, they have a fear of drowning," he said. "Often they come into shallow water so they can rest on the bottom."

He said sickness may have drawn the whale into shore. It was not common to see this species close up.

"We get the odd one every now and then. A few locals said it was the first whale of its kind they'd seen."

The whale's body was blessed by local Iwi and moved by a digger up the beach, where it was buried.

Cow Skull

More mass animal deaths in Kazakhstan: 70 rare dalmatian pelicans found dead in country's west

Dalmatian pelican
70 Dalmatian pelicans have been found dead in Atyrau Oblast in western Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing the press office of Kazakhstan's Agriculture Ministry.

Pelicans were found in the shallow waters of the Kigach river's delta in Kurmangazy district during the spring registration of birds conducted by North Caspian Operating company.

A working group was formed to investigate the cause of the birds' death.

The Dalmatian pelicans are listed in the Red Book of Endangered Species of Kazakhstan. There are approximately 2,000 pairs in Kazakhstan nesting in the water basins of the Ural region, along the Caspian Sea coast and in the Torgai and Naurzum Reserves.

Comment: This comes just days after the mass die-off of antelopes in Kazakhstan reaches 85,000...


Bear bites two campers near Durango, Colorado


Bear tack
Two people were transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center early Saturday morning after being bitten by a bear that wandered into their illegal camp near the Durango Tech Center.

Joe Lewandowski, spokesperson with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the incident happened about 2 a.m. Saturday.

"We don't know what the extent of their injuries are, and we're looking for the bear," he said.

Lewandowski said a wildlife officer spent all night and much of Saturday looking for the animal.

"It's tough to find a bear," he said.

Sgt. Mike Slack with the Durango Police Department said that according to reports, the two men began knocking on homeowner's doors on Ella Vita Court, a residential area near where the men were camped, but residents didn't answer because of the time of night, but they did call authorities.

Officers from the Durango Police Department found the men near Manna Soup Kitchen.


Record numbers of giant jellyfish are swarming off Dorset coast

Tens of thousands of giant jellyfish are swarming off one of Britain's most popular stretch of coastline over the Bank Holiday
Tens of thousands of giant jellyfish are swarming off one of Britain's most popular stretch of coastline this Bank Holiday.

Record numbers of the 5ft long monsters - which weigh five stone each - were spotted off the Dorset coast. The unprecedented invasion of barrel jellyfish may due to over fishing which leaves fewer predators to eat them when they are young and smaller.

The jellyfish, which are more than three feet wide, may also have overwintered in the depths of UK waters.

Their sting is not considered dangerous to humans but is similar to that of a nettle and can cause a rash.

Conservationist Steve Trewhella spotted the swarm from his dive boat off the coast of Kimmeridge in Dorset.

Comment: Thousands of barrel jellyfish were also spotted off the coast of Devon and Cornwall in April:

Billions of barrel jellyfish appear in coastal waters off Cornwall, UK