Earth Changes
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Ice Cube

Hudson River freezes over in New York

© Reuters
Ice floes on the Hudson River
These incredible pictures show New York's iconic Hudson river frozen over as a cold snap continues to grip the U.S. east coast.

In some places the 120-mile long river is coated in ice 1.5ft thick, forcing the authorities to deploy icebreakers.

But while these pictures may be beautiful, behind these images is a stark reality.

© Slash News
Hudson river frozen over
The Hudson transports 70 per cent of the home heating oil in the north-east of the country - a concern when large swathes of that area are dealing with sub zero temperatures.

In New York City, 2C was recorded in Central Park today, but wind gusts made it feel like -15.

Ice Cube

50 foot high 'Ice volcano' forms at New York state park

© Rich Robinson/Glen Iris Inn
The arctic conditions have turned a fountain at a state park in western New York into a five-story-tall "ice volcano."

The pressure-fed fountain is in a pond near the Glen Iris Inn at Letchworth State Park, which straddles the Wyoming-Livingston county line 40 miles south of Rochester. Days of subzero temperatures have formed a solid cone of ice several feet thick with water still spouting out of the top.

Park officials tell local media that the formation dubbed an ice volcano is at least 50 feet high.
Bell

M6.1 - 128km ENE of Miyako, Japan

© USGS
Event Time
  1. 2015-02-21 10:13:54 (UTC)
  2. 2015-02-21 05:13:54 (UTC-05:00) in your timezone
  3. Times in other timezones
Nearby Cities
  1. 128km (80mi) ENE of Miyako, Japan
  2. 133km (83mi) ENE of Yamada, Japan
  3. 142km (88mi) ENE of Otsuchi, Japan
  4. 148km (92mi) ENE of Kamaishi, Japan
  5. 567km (352mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan
Question

Strange sound caused worry among UK residents

Strange Sound
© beautiful-sound.mpacula.com
A loud noise heard over South Shields has caused mystery and worry among residents.

The noise heard in Jarrow has been likened to a jet aeroplane flying over head but it is not known what it is or where it is coming from.

Mary Finnigan, of Beverley Court, Jarrow, said lots of people have been talking about the strange sound since it started to be heard from lunchtime on Friday.

Mrs Finnigan said: "It reaches a crescendo and is quite frightening really.

"I've tried to get information from various people but no-one seems to know what it is.

"Many people have been looking to the skies. It sounds as though a plane suddenly flies over.

"It has caused some anxiety."

Mrs Finnigan has contacted Rohm & Haas chemical factory, and Tedco enterprise agency to try and find out what it may be but to no avail.

She added: "I've never experienced this level of noise having lived here for over 30 years."

Do you know what the noise is?
Arrow Up

Great Lakes ice up four times as much since 1995

There is four times as much ice on the Great Lakes as there was 20 years ago. Experts say that global warming is to blame.

The EPA wants to ban fossil fuels, because they are making lake ice disappear in the US

Comment: Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction!

Binoculars

Rare Arctic gyrfalcon located in Ulster County, NY

© D. Bruce Yolton
Gyrfalcon
I went up to Ulster County, NY to see the Gyrfalcon that has around for a few weeks. The bird, which depending on the day has been easy to find or hard to find, was very cooperative today.

In addition to the Gyrfalcon, I was able to photograph a Short-eared Owl. Definitely worth driving for four hours!


Comment: See also:

Rare Arctic gyrfalcon found in Wells Harbor, Maine

Rare Arctic gyrfalcon seen in Madbury, New Hampshire

Binoculars

Wrong place, wrong time: Rare hooded oriole seen in Charlotte, North Carolina

A big part of finding birds is being in the right place at the right time. When the birds show up, you have to be there. Last Friday, local birder John Brammer looked out his window and saw a large yellow bird that he did not recognize. He had the presence of mind to snap off a series of great photos for the next 15 minutes. Then the bird departed.

Local birders pored over online photos of immature male orioles (there are not all that many, by the way), and identified it as a hooded oriole, a bird native to the Southwest and Pacific coast.
Windsock

Cyclone Marcia bears down on Australia


This infrared imagery from NASA shows the severity of tropical Cyclone Marcia as it tears towards the Queensland coast on Friday
Parts of homes on an island off the coast of central Queensland have started breaking off into the ocean and another 10,000 across the state are without power as the full force of Cyclone Marcia sets in.

Dramatic pictures show the ground eroding away on Great Keppel Island, just east of Queensland's coast, causing three entire homes to collapse as the barricades holding up the structures are swept away.

Winds of up to 200km per hour tore roofs and doors off buildings in the coastal town of Yeppoon as the storm continues to tear down the coast.

At least 10,000 homes in Yeppoon have lost power, and while the Bureau of Meteorology downgraded the cyclone's category, they warned of 'very destructive winds still expected near the centre'.

But as of 5pm on Friday, the weather bureau downgraded Cyclone Marcia to a category 2 system and expected to turn to the south-southeast. It will weaken below cyclone strength on Saturday morning.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned the damage could be extremely destructive as she said residents would experience a very 'harrowing and terrifying' couple of hours.

Arrow Down

The mysterious widening sinkhole of General Santos City in the Philippines

© Ronald Velasquez
The quay faces threat of disappearance if the underwater hole continues to eat into the shores
If the hole keeps growing bigger, it could affect more than 1,000 families living in the area

Residents here who have resisted relocation for more than 30 years now are left with no other choice but to leave the shores where many of them practically lived all their lives.

43-year-old Reynante Desidorio said he was born in Purok Tinago, a community of informal settlers in Barangay South Dadiangas, and has not known any other work but to supervise the loading and unloading of copra and other agricultural products from Balut Island in a makeshift wooden jetty near his house.

But even that quay will soon disappear if the underwater hole continues to eat into the shores and gobble their homes.
Arrow Down

Eleven killed and 30 injured when North Korean sinkhole collapses

© AFP
Farmers in a field on North Korea's west coast, April 8, 2012
Eleven people—most of them women—were killed and around 30 injured in North Korea when earth they were plowing collapsed beneath them, according to a source inside the country.

The workers had been mobilized to plow at the October 18 Jonghap Farm in Yanggang province, along the border with China, on Feb. 3 as part of an annual bid by the Kim Jong Un regime to improve acidic soil for farming, an area resident told RFA's Korean Service on condition of anonymity.

Due to low temperatures during the winter, much of the earth had been turned to ice, and the workers—from the Baek-du Youth Team, and the Baek-am Tile Works and Rural Construction Unit—had been ordered to dig until they found unfrozen soil, the source said.

However, a sinkhole had developed beneath the ice and when the workers pierced through the frozen layer of soil, the ground collapsed, burying them alive, according to the source.
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