Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Floods wreaking havoc across China

© Splash
Bike ride: Alternative transport methods thrive where cars fear to drive
The downpours hitting the country this week have caused chaos, and the economic costs are still going up for many

China has been beaten by unbelievable rainstorms for the last three days - and these flood images show the shocking aftermath of all of that precipitation.

But although there has been destruction and shocking downpours, these images show that people are, for the most part, getting in with real life in the best way they can.

The continuous rainstorms have affected 360,700 people in 14 counties, districts and cities in central China's Hubei province since Wednesday, the provincial civil affairs department said.

In Wuhan, capital of Hubei, more than 10cm fell on Thursday, while outside of the city, as about 36,950 hectares of cropland had been damaged and 145 houses had collapsed.

© Splash
Step by step: People wading through the heavy rain in Wuhan city

Cloud Lightning

6 killed by floods in South China

© Xinhua/Jiang Kehong
Photo taken on July 23, 2015 shows a footbridge full of garbage after flood in Liancheng County, southeast China's Fujian Province. A heavy rain hit Liancheng County on Wednesday early morning. Up to 9 p.m. Wednesday, four people were killed and five people went missing.
Rainstorms continued to wreak havoc in China Thursday, leaving six people dead and four others missing after rain-triggered floods in the eastern Fujian Province.

Continuous downpours that started on Sunday battered the western and central parts of Fujian, affecting 420,000 people and forcing more than 171,000 to evacuate.

Source: New China TV

Ice Cube

Arctic global warming research expedition delayed - too much ice

© Canadian Dept. of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO)
The CCGS Pierre Radisson escorts the oil tanker Havelstern to Iqaluit July 17. Tough ice conditions in area have delayed this summer's annual resupply.
A carefully planned, 115-day scientific expedition on the Canadian icebreaker CCGS Amundsen has been put on hold as the vessel was called to help resupply ships navigate heavy ice on the eastern side of Hudson Bay.

"Obviously it has a large impact on us," says Martin Fortier, executive director of ArcticNet, which coordinates research on the vessel. "It's a frustrating situation."

During the summer, ArcticNet utilizes the Amundsen as a floating research center, running experiments 24 hours a day.

Comment: All of which is more than a little reminiscent of a similar fiasco in the Antarctic last year: Ship of fools: Icebound expeditioners apologise for Antarctic rescue mission

'Stuck in our own experiment': Leader of trapped team insists polar ice is melting against evidence of his own experience

Arrow Down

One thousand evacuated after glacial lake overflows in Almaty, Kazakhstan

© Kazakhstan Ministry of Internal Affairs
Floods and mudflow in Almaty region of Kazakhstan, 23 July 2015.
Around 1,000 people were evacuated from areas around the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan, after floods and mudflow swept through residential streets on 23 July 2015.

According to the committee of emergency situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, high temperatures over the last few days have melted snow and caused a glacial lake to overflow, which in turn forced the Kargalinka River to overflow and sent mud and flood water racing downstream towards Almaty. Local media report that a dam on the Kargalinka River partially stopped the mudslide.

Districts on the outskirts of Almaty city, including Algabas and Alatau, have been worst affected. Authorities say that 1,036 people were evacuated from affected areas and accommodated in local schools. Six people were hospitalized and 78 were given medical assistance, according to the Сommittee for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.


An increase in animal aggression or human stupidity? Fifth recent bison attack at Yellowstone after woman attempts selfie

© Mark Ralston, AFP/Getty Images
American Bison pass by tourists at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park officials are warning tourists to keep their distance after a bison flipped a woman into the air as she posed for a selfie with the massive beast.

The dangerous encounter was the fifth run-in between park-goers and buffalo this year.

Park officials said the 43-year-old Mississippi woman turned her back on the animal to get a photo with it near the Fairy Falls trailhead just outside Old Faithful.

Someone nearby saw the woman and her daughter about 6 yards from the animal and warned they were too close just before it came at them.

They tried to run, but the bison caught the woman and tossed her with its head.

Red Flag

Another shark attack off Reunion Island

© Joli
St. Leu, one of the most beautiful—and, because of sharks, deadly—places to surf in the world.
Details are still a bit vague, but there's been another shark attack on Reunion Island, this time at the fabled lefthander St. Leu.

South African expat Davy Stolk, who runs a surf shop in Reunion, told Zig Zag Magazine that it was the first time anybody had surfed St. Leu in a month. The attacked surfer was paddling in through the channel when he was bit on the forearm. The wounds don't appear to have been life threatening. Local surfer Alain Courtois told us that a group of surfers were able to tie a leash around the victim's arm and get him safely to shore. No word yet on the severity of the injury.

It's the 18th attack in the last four years. Seven of those attacks were deadly.

Comment: See also: Third shark attack off Reunion Island this year

Shark kills 15-year-old girl off Reunion island, Indian Ocean


Giant squid tries to steal lunch from Russian fishermen

© AFP Photo
Footage of an impressive giant squid filmed by Russian sailors has emerged online, with the animal attempting to steal the fishermen's catch.

In the video, the squid is trying to eat a large fish, while the sailors prod the animal with a pole to drive it off.

The squid is about five times as big as the huge fish it tries to snatch. The massive creature makes a valiant attempt, but is eventually pushed away by the sailors.

It remains unclear which species of squid this one is. There are two: the giant squid which is long, and the colossal squid which is broader and even larger than its cousin.

Not much is known about the species because only a few specimens have ever been caught or captured on video. Giant and colossal squids are about 12 meters in length.

"Its eyes are supposedly the largest in the animal kingdom, as big as a basketball perhaps. I mean bigger than my head, which is amazing to think about. And that's so they can see in the dark," Leslie Schwerin, who produced a documentary about giant squids, told the Discovery Channel.

Comment: See also:


"Kick 'Em Jenny" undersea volcano rumbles off Grenada

The underwater seat floor typography north of Grenada.
An active underwater volcano off Grenada's northern coast called Kick 'em Jenny was rumbling Thursday and regional disaster authorities were put on alert, though they said it posed no threat of triggering a destructive tsunami.

Since its discovery in the 1930s, Kick 'em Jenny has erupted beneath the surface of the Caribbean Sea at least 12 times, most recently in 2001. The volcano, which rises 1,300 meters (4,265 feet) above the seafloor on a steep slope of the Lesser Antilles ridge, hasn't caused any known deaths or injuries.

The Seismic Research Center at the University of the West Indies said seismic activity had increased in the volcano, which sits 8 kilometers (5 miles) north of Grenada. Recreational divers have reported seeing some "degassing" on the seafloor off Grenada's west coast as gas-rich magma bubbles.

Center researchers put the alert level at "orange," which means an eruption could take place within 24 hours. An eruption would stir up high waves and heat surrounding waters to boiling temperatures. Scientists say the volcano can also shoot hot rocks up through the water column.

Comment: There was also a strong 6.5 magnitude earthquake in nearby Barbados on July 17th:


Dolphin refuses to abandon dead calf off the coast of Ostia, Italy

© Oceanomare Delphis/YouTube
Researchers said the dolphin was most likely the dead calf's mother.
A video showing a dolphin trying to bring a dead calf back to life off the coast of Ostia, near Rome, has melted hearts in Italy.

In the clip, which was filmed two miles off the coast of Ostia by researchers for the dolphin charity Oceanomare Delphis, a dolphin is seen pushing a lifeless calf across the ocean, apparently unable to come to terms with its death.

"In the absence of specific information we presume that the adult individual is the mother," the researchers said.

The researchers said that there was also another dolphin in the vicinity which appeared to be accompanying and supporting the pair.


Stray elephant tramples man to death in Kenya


African elephant straying
A middle aged man died after he was attacked by a stray elephant in Kamburu Village in Tigania West on Tuesday evening.

Paul Mung'athia, 36 was attacked by the jumbo at around 7pm as he walked home from Kibuline Market.

Kibuline Assistant Chief Japhet Rukunga said the elephant had strayed from a herd that has been roaming the area.

Residents have called on the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to increase patrols in the area to control the marauding elephants

"I received information that a body had been spotted in a shamba in Kamburu Village this morning.

"He was walking on a bushy path where he met with the rogue elephant. It threw him about 20 metres from the path and then trampled on him," Mr Rukunga said.

He urged residents to remain vigilant as the KWS officers try to drive the jumbos out of the area.