Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Mýrdalsjökull Ice Cap: Iceland's Katla Volcano is 'due a big eruption'

After and before shot shows how ice cap has changed.
A volcano sitting beneath Iceland's Mýrdalsjökull ice cap is due for a "big" eruption, Nasa has said. Satellite images showing Mýrdalsjökull reveal the ice cap has shrunk dramatically over the last 30 years, and experts believe this is a result of recent volcanic episodes.

Comment: Well, it's nice to see the 'experts' didn't blame the shrinkage on 'global warming'.

The images, from Nasa's Earth Observatory, show before and after photos of the ice cap - the first from September 2014, the second from September 1986.

More than half of Iceland's ice caps and glaciers sit either directly above or near active volcanoes, meaning fire and ice often unite.

Additional images

Impressive Arctic owls return to Plum Island, Massachusetts

© BRYAN EATON/Staff photo
A snowy owl is perched on a utility pole on Beach Road in Salisbury across from the entrance to Salisbury Beach State Reservation last winter.
After a banner season last winter, the snowy owls are back."These animals are constantly moving around and they don't stay around very long," Parker River National Wildlife Refuge visitor services manager Matt Poole said. "You may hear that there is a snowy owl or a pair of snowy owls that have been seen on Plum Island for maybe a week but it is very possible that those are not the same individuals. They come in and they move through, maybe moving further south to where they are finally going to be for the winter. But if they leave, there may be more animals coming in behind them."

The powerful raptors made wildly popular in the Harry Potter novels and films, have already been spotted and photographed at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge this week."It is typically not a resident bird, if you will," Poole said. "They are a very popular winter bird in this area. They are something that all the birders hope will be around. Given the huge number of them last year, contrast that with the year before when as far as I know there was only one sighted the entire winter. It is highly variable."

While exact numbers are not known, snowy owls were spotted in the area regularly from November of last year through May of 2014 and with their return this month, birders are hoping for another big year. But each year is different for the nomadic bird, said Poole.
Ice Cube

Shipping season ends on upper Mississippi as earliest ice on record surrounds locks and dams

shipping mississippi river

The shipping season on the upper Mississippi River will end on Thursday as ice surrounding locks and dams near Minnesota's Twin Cities forced the earliest winter closure on records that date back to 1969
The shipping season on the upper Mississippi River will end on Thursday as ice surrounding locks and dams near Minnesota's Twin Cities forced the earliest winter closure on records that date back to 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

"There's so much ice through the whole system," said Bryan Peterson, navigation manager for the Army Corps' St. Paul district. "They're getting the barges they can out and not risking getting stuck there all winter."

There were two tow boats waiting to pass lock and dam No. 2 near Hastings, Minnesota. Once they moved down river, no more vessels were expected, Peterson said.

The shipping season typically ends around the beginning of December on upper portions of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. In 1989, no more vessels reached the Twin Cities after Nov. 24, Peterson said.

3 rare Arctic rough-legged buzzards turn up in Saddleworth, UK

© Chronicle Online
A rough-legged buzzard, pictured over Dovestone reservoir
Scores of bird watchers are flocking to Saddleworth's Dovestone reservoir to catch sight of rare rough-legged buzzards.

Three birds have taken up residence after flying in from Scandinavia. Their flights have attracted groups of avid twitchers.

Dave O'Hare, RSPB's Dovestone site manager, said: "These are the first rough-legged buzzards to have stayed in the area for many years. It's a real treat for local birdwatchers."

Tim Melling, the RSPB's senior conservation officer, said: "The birds could hang around until March, but are likely to move away to the coast if snow blankets the hills."

Scandinavian birds of prey set to invade Britain

The short-eared owl was battling to reach the Scottish coast
More than 100 miles from land this owl is very much all at sea.

And it is in the vanguard of an invasion which could see hundreds flocking here from Scandinavia.

The short-eared owl battling towards Scotland was one of four spotted at dawn by birdwatcher Andy Williams flying low over the North Sea halfway between Norway and Aberdeen.

Andy, who is working on a survey vessel in the North Sea in the Forties area, said on his pelagicbirder blog: "A couple of days ago I was treated to four short-eared owls flying over the sea and heading WSW. Quite a weird sight seeing these lovely birds on passage over the waves.

"I saw them all in the first hour of daylight so my photos are not the best but they will have to do.

"I saw two single birds then two together and it was interesting to see them occasionally harried and mobbed by the herring and great black backed gulls - as if the owls did not have enough to contend with!

"Although their buoyant flight was relatively strong one bird almost ditched as it banked sharply to avoid an aerial assault from a herring gull. Hopefully they all made it ashore."

So what happens when all this melts? 'Mother Nature is showing us who's boss' says New York Governor

If "Mother Nature is showing us who's boss," as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said of snowfall that dumped five feet on parts of Buffalo, she's not done with the lesson.

Hard as it may be to believe, the weather in areas of upstate New York socked in by a historic mountain of snow this week will be springlike by early next week - and that means melting, which could, in turn, could cause floods, the National Weather Service warned Wednesday.

Temperatures are forecast to begin warming up on Saturday, and by Monday, they could approach 60 degrees around Buffalo and other communities that are still bracing for as much as two more feet of snow on top of the 5 feet or more that many of them are buried under. It's also expected to rain on Monday - a combination that the weather service said could trigger "major snowmelt" and "significant" flooding in small streams, as well as at least some larger creeks and rivers.
Cloud Precipitation

Severe storms and flash flooding cause chaos in Brisbane

© Adam Smith/News Corp Australia
Flooding caused many residents to abandon their cars.
Video of a man doing backstroke in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall has emerged after the city suffered through one of its most devastating thunderstorms in years. Residents and businesses have been cleaning up today after a severe storm caused flooding and saw houses set on fire in south east Queensland. Damage from the storm and flash flooding includes a four metre sinkhole that opened up on Orchard Rd, Richlands.
© Tara Croser/News Corp Australia
A sinkhole (located behind the dirt) in Richlands.
© Jessy Webber
During the storm yesterday afternoon more than 16,000 lightning strikes were recorded on the GPATs system, according to electricity provider Energex. Footage also emerged of a possible tornado on the outskirts of Brisbane.

While some watched in awe at nature's display from the comfort of their homes, others embraced the downpour, with one man captured doing breaststroke in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall.
Ice Cube

More images and video from the massive "Snow-pocalypse" snowstorm that hit Buffalo, New York

© Twitter/@foxandfriends
NY State Thruway in Buffalo this morning
People who live in the northern states are used to being hit with snowstorms in winter. However, it's not often that a town gets more snow in one day than some cities receive in an entire year.
NY State Thruway in Buffalo this morning! #BuffaloSnow

- FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) November 19, 2014
The relentless snowstorm currently battering the region could eventually total more than seven feet of the fluffy white stuff.

CNN's Jennifer Gray posted this report last night:
Here's what it's like in the middle of the #BuffaloSnow storm: via@JenniferGrayCNN #gothere

- CNN (@CNN) November 19, 2014
The bands of snow were so well formed that they appeared to be a wall.
Buffalo, NY was hit by snow so intense it looked like a wall, leaving up to 60 inches (1.5 meters). #BuffaloSnow

- JRehling (@JRehling) November 19, 2014
© Twitter/@JRehling

Comment: You can check out more images from Buffalo here: Buffalo buried by wall of snow

Ice Cube

The Ice Age begins while warmists blither on

Buffalo snow
© Office of the Governor
NY Thruway near Buffalo.
This is the face of rapid global cooling, which will change life on our planet more quickly than anyone is yet prepared to acknowledge. All 50 states will see freezing temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday with millions of Americans facing another bitter blast of unseasonably cold air.

A ferocious storm dumped massive piles of snow on parts of upstate New York, trapping residents in their homes and stranding motorists on roadways, as temperatures in all 50 states fell to freezing or below. Even hardened Buffalo residents were caught off-guard Tuesday as more than 4 feet fell in parts of the city. Authorities said snow totals by Wednesday afternoon could top 6 feet in the hardest-hit areas south of Buffalo, with another storm expected Thursday. The snow has gotten so bad in Western New York that Gov. Cuomo has called out the troops.

Bone-chilling nights will be followed by frosty cold days with highs struggling to reach the 20-degree mark over the regions on Monday and Tuesday. Some locations in the Central states are forecast to stay below 20 F until Wednesday afternoon.

Wild boar viciously attacks woman walking with dogs in Gordon Valley, California

A wild boar allegedly gored a woman several times as she was walking with her dogs.

The woman is still being treated for her injuries. She was walking her two dogs in the Gordon Valley area last week, when the boar attacked for apparently no reason.

"It come from behind and just knocked her down. And she kinda yelled and screamed,"Linda Bushey, who is neighbors with the woman, said.

After the initial attack, the woman thought the wild animal was leaving and tried to stand up. But the boar came back at her.