Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Fore! Fault! New balls: Golf-ball and then tennis-ball-sized hail pounds Stanthorpe in Australia


Hail at Stanthorpe
Severe thunderstorms are no longer affecting the Southeast Queensland area (east of Dalby from Rainbow Beach to Stanthorpe).

The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary, the Bureau of Meteorology advised at 8.15pm.

Earlier, BOM reports a dangerous thunderstorm had developed and was headed for suburbs north of Brisbane.

Queensland's storms started to develop about 2pm, affecting first the Granite Belt and Darling Downs

There was golf-ball and even tennis-ball-sized hail smashing Stanthorpe about 4.30pm.
The ferocity of the downpour of hail surprised many weatherwatchers.

Cloud Precipitation

Howzat?! Cricket ball size hail stones fall in New South Wales, Australia

© Russell O'keefe
Hail the size of golf and cricket balls has hit Coraki...twice.
Hail the size of golf balls has fallen in areas such as Rappville, Yamba and now Lismore as the storm hits the Northern Rivers.

Hail approximately 4cm and above has been reported.

In Coraki 55mm of rain fell from two separate storm cells which hit here within 20 mins of each other.

Hail got up to cricket ball size from the first cell, according to resident Russell O'keefe.

"It hailed for around 20 minutes," he said.

"The second cell only had hail the size of 20 cent pieces but there was much more hail for about 15 minutes."


5.2 magnitude earthquake rattles northwest China

A moderate 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit northwest China's Qinghai Province on Monday, Nov23.The earthquake struck the Qilian County of Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai at 5:02 am, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC).

No casualties have been reported. The epicentre was located at the Arik Township. The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers.

Many people living in the county seat of Qilian have stayed outdoors after feeling strong jolt, according to the local publicity department.

So far, no casualties have been reported. The county has sent a team to the epicenter to learn the damage after the quake, state-run a news agency reported.

Cloud Precipitation

Flooding leaves 1 dead and thousands without power in Albania

© LSA/Malton Dibra
Tirana streets flooded after heavy rainfall
Heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding in Albania yesterday, 22 November 2015. Some areas around Tirana saw almost 9 cm (3.5 inches) of rain in 24 hours.

Albania's General Directorate of Civil Emergencies (Drejtoria e Përgjithshme e Emergjencave Civile) say that one man was killed whilst working at a hydro power plant after he was swept away by an overflowing river in Dibër county.

Flooding has been reported in the northern counties of Kukës, Dibër, Durrës, Shkodër, the southern county of Gjirokastër, and also around the capital in Tirana district, in central Albania.

The River Mat overflowed in Dibër county during the evening of 22 November 2015, forcing the evacuation of several families in the village Zenisht.


Huge suspected gas explosion completely destroys house in Buckinghamshire, UK

© Bucks Fire/Twitter
Two people were taken to hospital following the explosion.
Two people were taken to hospital after a suspected gas explosion blew up a house in Buckinghamshire on Sunday.

A man was pulled from the wreckage by firefighters while an injured woman was also found at the scene.

The end-of-terrace property in Woodburn Green suffered major damage following the explosion, which happened at around 5.30pm.

An investigation into the blast is due to start on Monday, but it was initially thought to have been a gas explosion.

Police officers joined fire crews and members of the British Red Cross dealing with the incident.

Buckinghamshire Fire Service sent four crews to the scene, as well as two search and rescue vehicles and an incident command unit.

Comment: Fire officer Adam Burch from High Wycombe Fire Station stated "An explosion of this kind is very rare, and especially to see a whole building collapse the way it has done".

There seems to have been an increase in the number of massive house explosions around the world in recent months, with investigators still attempting to determine the cause in many cases. Could a 'cosmic' source of ignition be responsible for some of these incidents?


Study finds less than 6% of Earth's modern groundwater is renewable within a human lifetime

© Karyn Ho
If all the Earth's modern groundwater was pooled above ground, how deep would it be?
Groundwater: it's one of the planet's most exploited, most precious natural resources. It ranges in age from months to millions of years old. Around the world, there's increasing demand to know how much we have and how long before it's tapped out.

For the first time since a back-of-the-envelope calculation of the global volume of groundwater was attempted in the 1970s, an international group of hydrologists has produced the first data-driven estimate of the Earth's total supply of groundwater. The study, led by Dr. Tom Gleeson of the University of Victoria with co-authors at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Calgary and the University of Göttingen, was published today in Nature Geoscience.

The bigger part of the study is the "modern" groundwater story. The report shows that less than six per cent of groundwater in the upper two kilometres of the Earth's landmass is renewable within a human lifetime.

"This has never been known before," says Gleeson. "We already know that water levels in lots of aquifers are dropping. We're using our groundwater resources too fast—faster than they're being renewed."

With the growing global demand for water—especially in light of climate change—this study provides important information to water managers and policy developers as well as scientists from fields such as hydrology, atmospheric science, geochemistry and oceanography to better manage groundwater resources in a sustainable way, he says.

Comment: For more information about groundwater, one of the planet's most exploited yet precious natural resources, see:


5.9 earthquake hits Afghanistan; shakes northern India, Pakistan

Residents rush for open space as tremors shake cities across region
A 5.9-magnitude quake struck northern Afghanistan late Sunday, the US Geological Survey said, jolting the Indian capital and parts of Pakistan according to local reports.

The tremor struck 22 kilometres (14 miles) southwest of Ashkasham, 300 kilometres northeast of the Afghan capital Kabul, at a depth of 92.4 kilometres. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The quake, which occurred at 02:16 am local time (1816 GMT), was felt across northern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan and in the Indian capital Delhi.

In October a 7.5-magnitude quake ripped across Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing almost 400 people and flattening buildings in rugged terrain that impeded relief efforts.

For many in Pakistan, October's quake brought back traumatic memories of a 7.6-magnitude quake that struck in October 2005, killing more than 75,000 people and displacing some 3.5 million.

Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

In Nepal a quake in April and a strong aftershock in May killed more than 8,900 people.

Arrow Down

Nearly a dozen large sinkholes open up in Andhra Pradesh, India

© The Hindu
Kadapa District Collector K.V. Ramana inspecting a large sinkhole formed in Nayanoripalle village in Kadapa District on Sunday.
The revenue and police officials of Kadapa exhorted the villagers of Nayanoripalle in Chintakommadinne mandal in Kadapa District to vacate the village and move over to safer places and large sinkholes formed in the village could endanger lives.

Kadapa District Collector K.V. Ramana and Geological Survey of India officials of Hyderabad visited Nayanoripalle village on Sunday and inspected the multiple sinkholes. Earlier, officials of the mining and groundwater departments conducted a survey on the Collector's directions and detected limestone deposits at a depth of 30 feet.

Heavy rains since a week resulted in dissolving of the limestone and soil sunk to depths of 30 feet, the officials deduced. The villagers were panic-stricken with the formation of sinkholes of a diameter of 25 metres at several places in Nayanoripalle.

Ice Cube

Film captures the moment an enormous glacier collapses sending an avalanche of ice and rock down a mountain in New Zealand


Rocks below the ice began to break free and small pieces tumbled down the mountain for around 30 seconds
This is the breathtaking moment an enormous glacier collapsed just inches from a skier to send thousands of tonnes of rock, snow and ice thundering down a mountain.

Ryan Taylor, 22, who was seconds away from skiing down the slope in Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand, watched as rocks beneath the ice began to break free and fall.

The amateur adventure photographer filmed 30 seconds of tumbling rubble before one large block of ice dislodged, smashing into a thousand pieces and plummeting down the mountain.

The video shows more chunks of ice cascading to the bottom as Ryan watches in amazement at the incredible natural spectacle taking place in front of him.

Later in the clip Ryan points the camera at the thousands of tonnes of rock and ice flowing down the steep decline like a raging river.


Three suns appear over Chelyabinsk, Russia


An eye opened up in the sky over Chelyabinsk on November 19, 2015.
Three suns appeared in the sky of Chelyabinsk on November 19, 2015.

Look at amazing pictures and videos of this awesome sun dog phenomenon.