Earth Changes


Man mauled to death; woman and youth in serious condition after bear attacks, India

A 32-year-old man was mauled to death by a wild bear in Doda District on Wednesday.

The bear attacked Altaf Ahmed while he was working in his field in the Krandi Desa village in the district last evening, a police officer said. "He died even before a rescue operation could be launched," he added.

Meanwhile, in another incident, a 28-year-old lady was attacked by a bear in the same village. "The seriously injured lady, identified as Zulfa, was shifted to the District Hospital in Doda where her condition is stated to be stable," police said.

Modesto, California: Vicious dogs roaming streets, chasing people and trapping them inside homes

A Beware of Dog sign posted from the alley a few houses East of the home where a man died from wounds when mauled by a pack of pit bulls and a woman critically injured, Tuesday night, Oct. 14, 2014.

Vicious dogs roaming the streets, chasing people and trapping them inside their homes is a common complaint from residents in southwest Modesto, according to police.

In response, the department's animal control officers partner with the Stanislaus County Animal Services Center to conduct regular sweeps of the area, as well as the airport neighborhood, which also has a substantial stray dog population.

The sweeps often result in fines, but the issue has the potential to become criminal.

Animal control officers who alternate between the east and west portions of south Modesto have caught upward of 250 dogs since starting the sweeps a year ago, said Modesto police spokeswoman Heather Graves.

The last operation in the airport neighborhood, on Friday, resulted in the apprehension of 25 roaming dogs, and 22 were caught in southwest Modesto the month before. Dozens of people have been cited for offenses ranging from unlicensed or unvaccinated dogs to leash violations.

The problem turned fatal Tuesday night when four pit bulls mauled a man and his mother at their Glenn Avenue home in south Modesto, killing him and leaving her in critical condition.

Pack of pit bull terriers savage elderly couple in Modesto, California

Two people were in critical condition in local hospitals Tuesday night after being mauled by four pit bulls near Bret Harte Elementary School in southwest Modesto.

A 911 call from a juvenile brought deputies to a home in the 800 block of Glenn Avenue at 5:59 p.m., where they found an elderly man in the yard being mauled by four pit bulls, said Sheriff Adam Christianson.

The deputies shot at the dogs, killing two and driving two into another yard.

Officers found an elderly woman inside the home, also with severe injuries from dogs.

Both victims are in critical condition at a local hospital, Christianson said, adding that no one else was injured.

Pit bull attacks 1-year-old baby at Oak Park sitter's home, Illinois

Child undergoes treatment for lacerations, puncture wounds to head

An 80-pound pit bull attacked a 1-year-old boy at his babysitter's home around noon Oct. 7 in the 1100 block of South Highland Avenue, according to Oak Park Police.

The Department of Children and Family Services was notified and the dog was impounded at the Animal Care League for a 10-day rabies hold, said Oak Park Police Commander LaDon Reynolds.

According to police, the dog was "quartered" on the back porch of the residence. The dog was known to the babysitter, although it was not her dog, Reynolds said. When the back door was opened, the dog rushed into the house and attacked the baby, police said.

California drought: US town learns to live without water

Mario Garcia fills buckets with non-potable water from a tank set up in front of the Doyle Colony Fire Station in Porterville, California, on September 4, 2014
In front of the local fire station, Pete Rodriguez stands next to his pick-up truck, filling about a dozen buckets from a vast tank.

He hurries, because another car is waiting behind him.

Rodriquez is one of hundreds of residents and business people in the small town of Porterville, in California's normally verdant Central Valley, who have no running water and are having to re-think how they live.

"I have two buckets near the toilet, one next to the shower," he told AFP.

Porterville, at the heart of what is known as America's food basket, is suffering from one of California's worst droughts in up to a century.

"In Tulare County we have at least 430 homes without running water because their water wells dried out," said Andrew Lockman, head of the county's emergency management center.

"I don't think there is a precedent in the state of California," he added, saying: "These people have no water for bathing, cooking, flushing toilets. It is a big public health issue."

Outside of the big towns, many homes in the region are dependent on water from private wells, which are now running dry after three years of drought which has exhausted underground water supplies, or aquifers.

In the long term the region needs structural change including a centralized water supply system. But that will take years and cost tens of millions of dollars to build.

In the meantime authorities can only offer stop-gap measures.

A footbridge spans a completely dry river bed, in Porterville, California, on September 4, 2014

Comment: The drought in California is getting increasingly severe, with more areas beginning to resemble a Third World country! Wells are drying up , with the drought spreading at an unprecedented rate. Could mass migration be imminent?


Bear attacks 63-year-old man in Ishikawa, Japan

A dog scared off a black bear that attacked an elderly couple while they were walking along a mountain path near their home in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Saturday morning.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 9 a.m. NTV reported that the couple were walking their dog when they were attacked from behind by the bear. The 63-year-old man sustained bites to his head, police said. He was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition.

The man's wife said their dog Shokora jumped up at the bear and barked at it and it fled into the mountains.

Police have stepped up patrols and asked local resident to be on the alert because bears can be dangerous this time of year as they search for mates.

Hunters kill bear after it mauls man in Niigata, Japan

Hunters shot and killed a bear on Monday after it attacked a man in Murakami, Niigata Prefecture.

According to police, the 64-year-old man was gathering edible wild plants at around 6:15 a.m. on Monday morning when he was attacked and bitten by the bear. TBS reported that he suffered injuries to his hands and face but managed to walk two kilometers to a shopping area where he sought help.

Police alerted members of a local hunting society who found and shot the white-chested bear on Monday afternoon. It was about 1.47 meters long and weighed 92 kilograms.

Police said there had been four sightings of the bear in the same area since April 18.
Snowflake Cold

Warm Gulf Stream water continued to flow into icy Nordic seas during last Ice Age

The warm Atlantic water continued to flow into the icy Nordic seas during the coldest periods of the last Ice Age.
Fossil foraminifera
Fossil foraminifera measure temperature.
An Ice Age may sound as a stable period of cold weather, but the name can be deceiving. In the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, the period was characterized by considerable climate changes. Cold periods (stadials) switched abruptly to warmer periods (interstadials) and back.

It is considered by many that during cold periods of the last Ice Age the warm Atlantic water had terminated its flow into the Nordic Seas during the glacial period, says Mohamed Ezat, PhD at Centre for Arctic Gas hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway.

The study, published in Geology, documented that bottom water actually grew to a temperature of up to 5⁰C at 1200m depth in the Nordic seas during the cold stadials. Cold bottom water temperatures of 0.5⁰C was detected during the warm interstadials, which is not dissimilar to what we experience today.

How was this possible?

So the air was getting colder, but the deep ocean water was getting warmer during some of the coldest periods of the Ice Age. How is this possible?

Colloquially referred to as the Gulf Stream, the warm North Atlantic Current is partly to blame for our mild North European winters. It flows into the Nordic seas, where it cools down in winter and releases heat into the atmosphere. It becomes denser and sinks to the bottom of the Nordic seas. It creates a significant part of the global circulatory system of ocean currents.

Cold, deep water from the small area of the Nordic seas, less than 1% of the global ocean, travels the entire planet and returns as warm surface water. This has remained a fairly stable process for the last 10,000 years. The events here are significant for the entire ocean system. However, if we go back to the Ice Age things were quite different, says professor Tine Rasmussen from CAGE. The reason is that ice sheets across Scandinavia and North America produced a substantial amount of fresh melt water from icebergs. This means that the surface water could not reach the required density to sink‒ this is a process that relies on salinity. The warm Atlantic water was saltier, and thus heavier and subducted at depth and reached to the bottom, actually heating up beneath a lid of ice and melt water, that prevented the release of heat into the atmosphere.

Warm water was present, but deep under the cold, icy surface. So the climate experience was colder, as the atmospheric records from Greenland ice cores display. But what eventually happened, is that warm water reached a critical point, surged upwards to the surface, and contributed to the abrupt warming of the surface water and atmosphere, says, Ezat.

Methane Hydrate

Methane hydrates belong to a group of substances called clathrates - substances in which one molecule type forms a crystal-like cage structure and encloses another type of molecule. If the cage-forming molecule is water, it is called a hydrate. If the molecule trapped in the water cage is a gas, it is a gas hydrate, in this case methane hydrate.

Methane hydrates can only form under very specific physical, chemical and geological conditions. High water pressures and low temperatures provide the best conditions for methane hydrate formation. Methane hydrates primarily occur on the continental slopes, those areas where the continental plates meet the deep-sea regions. With rising ocean temperatures, methane is increasingly escaping from deep ocean floors. Methane is also 21 more times capable of trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Recent discoveries verify trapped methane is now being released from many areas of the globe, both in oceans and on land, and at a faster rate than anticipated. This is part of a natural earth cycle and a possible contributing precursor to ice age rebound.

See also: Hundreds of methane plumes erupting along U.S. Atlantic coast


Los Angeles: Yellow fever mosquitoes spread fear of deadly viruses

© Image from
Ebola may not be the only cause of fear to arrive in the US recently. Yellow fever mosquitoes ‒ which can transmit dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever itself ‒ have been found in the Los Angeles region, officials announced Wednesday.

These mosquitoes can spread the three deadly tropical viruses to humans through their bites. They were found Oct. 7 and 8 in Commerce and Pico Rivera, respectively, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) and San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District (SGVMVCD).

Dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas, with as many as 400 million people infected yearly, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue (also known as Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever), according to the WHO.

Sea lion throws fisherman across trawler like a rag-doll

‘It’s my ship now!’
You can add sea lions to the top of the list of animals you shouldn't mess with.

One Russian fisherman found out the hard way the sheer strength of an angry sea lion, when he was hurled onto his ship's deck by the creature.

The sea mammal had been caught in the nets and the fishermen were quick to cut it free.

But the moment the sea lion gets its head and neck free it grabs one of the fishermen in its teeth and throws him across the deck.

As the huge creature breaks free the fishermen and a very frightened dog keep their distance.

But the sea lion pounces on the dog as it takes a few tentative steps forward, the canine barking as it tries to break free.