Earth Changes


Quietest 3 years on record for U.S. twisters

tornado and road
Twister, a vortex on the move.
The U.S. experienced fewer tornadoes in the past three years than any similar span since accurate records began in the 1950s. Yet meteorologists aren't sure exactly why.

As this year comes to a close, about 150 fewer damaging tornadoes than average have hit the U.S., according to data from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). Explanations for the decrease in twisters the past three years range from unusual cold to unusual heat, or just coincidence.

Despite the calmer than average years, deaths due to twisters remain near the average of 60 each year, with 68 killed in 2012, 55 in 2013 and 42 so far this year, according to the SPC. That pales in comparison with the 553 Americans killed by tornadoes in 2011.

So far this year, just 348 EF-1 or stronger tornadoes have touched down across the country, marking the third-lowest number on record. An average year sees about 500 EF-1 or greater tornadoes. A total of 364 EF-1 or stronger tornadoes touched down in 2012 and 404 in 2013.

EF refers to the Enhanced Fujita Scale of tornado intensity, which runs from EF-0 to EF-5. Most twisters that cause damage and deaths are EF-1 or higher, with wind speeds of at least 86 mph.

Harold Brooks, a meteorologist with the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., said there's no consistent reason for the three-year lull - the calmest stretch since a similar quiet period in the late 1980s - because weather patterns have varied significantly from year to year.

Comment: Interesting that the tornado experts won't hazard a guess as to the factors influencing the creation and intensity of the twister phenomena. Consider that the lack of West Coast storms that has magnified the drought conditions in California, and other coastal states, account in part for the decrease in large-scale weather systems that travel across the country. Low temperatures from recent "polar vortexes" has to be a factor (due to the global temperature downturn as we approach ice-age triggering conditions). And, the experts do not address the electrical component (charge rebalancing between the ionosphere and the Earth's surface) of tornadoes coupled with the effects of, and reasons for, the solar minimum (a less positively charged ionosphere causing a reduction in the electric potential differential). Perhaps they need to do some homework and come up with some answers.


Full scale of plastic pollution in the world's oceans revealed for first time

Over five trillion pieces of plastic are floating in our oceans says most comprehensive study to date on plastic pollution around the world

More than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 tonnes, are floating in the world's oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain, new research has found.

Data collected by scientists from the US, France, Chile, Australia and New Zealand suggests a minimum of 5.25tn plastic particles in the oceans, most of them "micro plastics" measuring less than 5mm.

The volume of plastic pieces, largely deriving from products such as food and drink packaging and clothing, was calculated from data taken from 24 expeditions over a six-year period to 2013. The research, published in the journal PLOS One, is the first study to look at plastics of all sizes in the world's oceans.

Large pieces of plastic can strangle animals such as seals, while smaller pieces are ingested by fish and then fed up the food chain, all the way to humans.

Rescued dolphins beach themselves for second time with nine dead in New Zealand

© Glenys Urlich
Up to 20 common dolphins were stuck in shallows off Tokerau Beach until locals hearded them back out to sea.
A pod of dolphins rescued by locals at Tokerau Beach last week is believed to have re-stranded at the Cavalli Islands with deadly results.

The Department of Conservation's Bay of Islands manager, Rolien Elliot, said 14 common dolphins became stranded on Motukawanui Island, the largest of the Cavalli Islands off Matauri Bay, during incoming tide on Friday evening.

Nine carcasses were discovered by officials from DoC and Far North Whale Rescue while the rest were presumed to have made their way back out to sea.

It could have been the same pod of common dolphins that was stranded in Doubtless Bay a few days earlier, but testing would be needed to confirm whether that was the case.

The dead dolphins were due to be buried on the island yesterday.

Comment: There have now been 15 reports of dead cetaceans emanating from Australasia over the last 3 months, see also -

Six sperm whales found dead in rare mass beaching in South Australia

3 stranded sperm whales die on Rototai beach, New Zealand

12th report in 2 months of dead cetaceans Down Under: Carcass of humpback whale found drifting off Perth coast, Australia

Humpback whale carcass found on Gold Coast beach, Australia

36 stranded pilot whales die in New Zealand

Rare beaked whale found dead on Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Rare, record-sized pygmy whale found dead on Victorian beach, Australia

Eight-metre dead whale washes onto rocks in Batemans Bay, Australia

Dead humpback whale found on Kapiti Coast, New Zealand

Rare deep sea dwelling beaked whale washes up on beach near Newcastle, Australia

Denizen of deep water, cuviers beaked whale found dead on Titahi Bay beach, New Zealand

Humpback whale washes up dead at Kalbarri beach, Western Australia

Dead fin whale found on beach in Warrnambool, Australia

Two dead humpback whales wash up on NSW beaches, Australia

Creatures from the deep signal major Earth Changes: Is anyone paying attention?


Lincolnshire farm worker dies following cow attack

An East Lindsey farm worker has died after being attacked by a cow.

The Health and Safety Executive is investigating the incident, which took place at a Wragby farm on Easter Sunday, April 21.

60-year-old stockman John Turner is said to have been seriously injured in an attack by a cow at Kilmister Farm.

Mr Turner was taken by air ambulance to Hull Royal Infirmary, but later died.

Wragby-based HR Bourn & Sons Ltd, which owns the farm, confirmed that it was co-operating with the HSE investigation into the incident.

A statement from the company said: "John Turner tragically died in hospital after being attacked by a cow at Kilmister Farm in Wragby on April 21.

Cow kills farm worker in Cherryville, Canada

The man killed in a cow attack on a B.C. farm on Canada Day has been identified by the B.C. Coroners Service as 49-year-old Allen Donald Powder.

Powder, who called Yellowknife, N.W.T., home, came to the Okanagan to work every summer. He was working on a farm in Cherryville, B.C., the morning of July 1. Cherryville, which is at the foothills of the Monashee Mountains, is roughly 55 kilometres east of Vernon in B.C.'s North Okanagan.

According to a statement released by the coroner, Powder and another farm worker were moving cattle from one corral to another when the cow attacked. "One of the cows became very agitated and aggressive and they were having trouble controlling the cow," said B.C. Coroners Service spokesperson Barb McLintock.

Lima climate change summit: Troubled climate talks scrabble for exit strategy

peoples climate march
© Unknown
Negotiations on forging a UN pact to fight climate change headed into an unscheduled 13th day on Saturday in a frantic quest to bridge a rift between rich and poor countries.

Ministers and senior officials from 195 states were to examine a compromise for calming a bustup over who bears responsibility for fighting climate change.

The talks in Lima had been scheduled to end at 6:00 pm (2300 GMT) Friday, but ran into the pre-dawn as countries horse-traded over elements of a draft text.

Comment: Climate change is real, but the theory that "gas emissions are responsible" is full of holes.


Farmer attacked and killed by cattle in Northern Ireland

A 71-year-old man has died after he was attacked by cattle in County Fermanagh.

Robert Brown was killed at his farm at Knockmanoul, near Ballinamallard.

It is believed that it happened on Saturday night as he was preparing cows for a routine TB test.

He was found in his cattle yard by a neighbour after a family member could not get in touch with him. The Health and Safety Inspectorate is carrying out an investigation.

Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott knew Mr Brown and said it was an extremely sad day for the community.

Ranch hand hospitalized after cow attack in Cuyama Valley, California

A 65-year-old ranch hand is in the hospital after a cow attacked him during a branding operation at a ranch on Wednesday in the Cuyama Valley.

Shortly after 10 a.m., the cow charged the man and pinned him against a corral causing chest and upper body injuries. Firefighters responded to the ranch near the intersection of Highway 166 and Cottonwood Canyon Road to find the man having difficulty breathing.

Emergency medical personnel then transported the man in a medical helicopter to the trauma unit at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara.
Black Cat

Dog survives cougar attack in Penticton, Canada

© Deborah Pfeiffer
Jazz, a Border Collie cross, survived a cougar attack
A Penticton couple is grateful their dog is on the mend after it was attacked by a cougar outside their home this week.

Jazz, a Border Collie cross, suffered injuries ranging from puncture wounds to his head and scratches following the encounter with the large animal, Wednesday.

"It was a scary experience, and we are just glad the dog is OK," said Marylin Barnay.

According to Barnay, a vineyard owner on Upper Bench Road, her husband let Jazz out around 7:20 a.m. When she went to call him in, she saw him do an about turn and go behind the hedge.

Then, all of a sudden, he was back, with a large animal following him.

"It immediately put its mouth around our dog's head, and I could tell it was a cougar right away," she said. "I started screaming it's a cougar, and it's going to kill our dog. It was awful to see."
Bizarro Earth

Landslides destroy village in Indonesia, killing at least 17 people

landslide indonesia
© REUTERS/Idhad Zakaria/Antara Foto
Indonesian soldiers and rescue team members lift a cattle trapped in the mud after a landslide hit the village of Sampang in Banjarnegara, December 13, 2014
A landslide destroyed a remote village in Indonesia, killing at least 17 people, an official said on Saturday, as rescuers used their bare hands and sticks to search through the mud for scores of missing in the absence of heavy-lifting equipment.

Hundreds have been evacuated from around Jemblung village in the Banjarnegara regency of central Java, about 450 km (280 miles) from the capital, Jakarta, where media pictures showed a flood of orange mud and water cascading down a wooded mountainside after Friday's disaster.

Mudslides are common in Indonesia during the monsoon season, which usually runs from October until April. Large swathes of forest land, power lines and houses were buried.