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Wed, 10 Feb 2016
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Earth Changes


Nacreous clouds spotted in sky over Ireland

© SparkyScoops
Nacreous cloud
The stunning clouds were pictured by people in a number of places, including Dublin and Belfast

A number of people noticed amazing rainbow coloured clouds in the sky over Ireland this morning.

The stunning clouds were pictured by people in a number of places, including Dublin and Belfast.

They are known as polar stratospheric clouds or nacreous clouds and usually appear during winter at high latitudes like Scandinavia, Iceland, Alaska and Northern Canada.

The clouds are quite rare in Ireland and are mostly visible within two hours after sunset or before dawn.

They appeared as Storm Henry continues to batter the country.

© Emma Elliott
Rainbow clouds this morning over York road/M2 Belfast

Comment: See also these other recent reports: Nacreous cloud seen over Leicester, UK

Glowing 'mother of pearl' clouds color Scotland's skies

'Fire rainbow' photographed over Lecce, Italy

'Fire rainbow' appears in Auckland, New Zealand's skies

Colorful polar stratospheric clouds return to Swedish skies

Colorful 'mother of pearl' cloud appears in Swedish skies

'Fire rainbow' spotted over Saint John, New Brunswick

Giant fire rainbow colors the sky over Bangkok and baffles residents


Nacreous cloud seen over Leicester, UK

© Chris Gordon
The cloud that appeared earlier this evening
People across Leicester were left astounded this afternoon when an unusual cloud formation appeared in the sky.

The formation, which looked like a rainbow around an oval of bright light, appeared at about 5pm in an otherwise murky, grey sky.

Witnesses took photos of the phenomenon and uploaded them to Twitter, many commenting on the "beautiful" appearance.

Leicester Mercury weatherman Dave Mutton said the formation was the result of a cold front moving from the North down to the South.

© Kaz Canning


North Sea sperm whale death toll increases to 23 as another 8 are washed up on German coast

Bleak scene: The creatures are male and about the same age as a number of others who have washed up on the coast of northern Europe over the last few weeks
Eight dead sperm whales have died after they were washed up on a German beach today, taking the total number of dead whales to 23 after a devastating number of beachings during the past month across northern Europe.

The eight whales found near the northern town of Friedrichskoog were young bulls, around the same age as the animals discovered three weeks ago at various North Sea spots.

They were lying close to each other in the mudflats of a restricted area of the Wadden Sea national park, the Schleswig-Holstein regional environmental authority said in a statement.

Since the 1990s, a total of 82 sperm wales have been found stranded in the Wadden Sea in Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany.

The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales, and the largest toothed predator.It can measure up to 20 metres (67 feet) long and weigh over 50 tonnes.

There are various theories why the whales end up in the North Sea rather than the Atlantic - but the nutrient-poor waters can prove catastrophic for them

Shocking: At least 23 whales have been stranded across the coastline of northern Europe and may have come from a single whale pod


Humpback whale, 2 dolphins & porpoise found dead along Oregon and Washington coast

© The Daily Astorian
This dead whale washed up on the beach in Seaside on Sunday.
A 24-foot humpback whale was among four marine mammals that washed ashore last weekend, along a stretch of the Oregon and Washington coastline, according to Keith Chandler, the manager of Seaside Aquarium.

The whale was found on the beach in Seaside on Sunday, a harbor porpoise washed up near Fort Stevens on Saturday and a striped dolphin was found on Cannon Beach on Saturday, Chandler said. Another striped dolphin washed up in Ocean Park, Washington, also on Saturday.

Chandler said the deaths could be in some way connected and all of the mammals were dead before they reached the shore.

"It's quite a wide area, but it's a big ocean," he said. "We had some really heavy surf, so when you see one, you often see more than one."

He explained that the deaths could be disease-related, or another issue. But there were no obvious signs of trauma.


Strong magnitude 6.6 shake near the Kermadec Islands triggered 'ghost quakes' in North Island, New Zealand, but why?

© Massey University
Tuesday's earthquake was centred near the Kermadec's Raoul Island, about 1000km northeast of New Zealand.
The magnitude 6.6 quake that struck off the coast of the North Island on Tuesday was widely felt and triggered false reports of shakes in New Zealand.

It is not uncommon for earthquakes to confuse seismic readings as energy from tremors travels large distances.

These "ghost quakes" register as local earthquakes when the GNS Science system starts to receive data.

© John Ristau
Seismic graphs show the earthquake waves at 8am on Tuesday detected by the northernmost seismographs.
Let's dive right in to the world of ghost earthquakes.

What happened on Tuesday?

A large magnitude 6.6 quake centres about 850 kilometres north of Whakatane at a depth of 360km.

The epicentre was near the Kermadec Islands and the Kermadec Trench.


Dog kills woman in Kamloops, Canada

© Facebook
The victim is being reported as TIB elder Kathleen Green (centre), who lived with her grandson in a home on the band’s reserve. Emergency crews were forced to shoot the dog following the attack.
The BC Coroners Service says a Tk'emlups Indian Band elder who died after she was mauled by a dog Saturday night was trying to feed her grandson's dog at the time.

RCMP and paramedics rushed to a property on West Shuswap Road Saturday night after being called by a frantic relative.

78-year-old Kathleen Green was pronounced dead at the scene.

"We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family who have suffered a recent loss. She was a well respected elder in the community," says Chief Fred Seymour, Tk'emlups Indian Band.


Timelapse video captures spectacular explosion of Mexico's Colima volcano

© webcamsdemexico / YouTube
A pillar of ash shot 10,000 feet into the sky in a violent explosion of the Colima volcano in south-central Mexico. The event was captured on a web camera installed by scientists to monitor the active volcano in the Jalisco province.

The awe-inspiring timelapse footage shows the volcano as it burst last Friday. The mountain is still erupting intermittent explosions varying from 3,000ft to 9,800ft in height, according to VolcanoDiscovery.

Bizarro Earth

6.6 magnitude earthquake strikes north of New Zealand

The location of the quake - deep quakes off the coast were often recorded by Geonet's automatic system as multiple quakes.
A 6.6 magnitude earthquake 1100km off the North Island was responsible for the tremors that shook New Zealanders this morning.

Geonet seismologist John Ristau said the tremors felt in Bay of Plenty, Tararua and Canterbury were not official earthquakes.

There had been reports that a 5.3 magnitude quake was recorded 35 km south of Murupara and that 5.0 magnitude quake struck 20 km north west of Pongaroa.

A third quake was said to have hit 15km south-west of Amberley.

The shakes weren't official earthquakes but ripple effects of a 6.6. earthquake near Raoul Island.

Geonet received more than 500 reports of people who had felt shakes, Mr Ristau said.

There would be few aftershocks because the earthquake was so deep, he said.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall disrupts China's pre-holiday travel rush

Citizens walk on the snow-covered bank of the Xiangjiang River in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province, Feb. 1, 2016
Rare heavy snow hit several central and eastern Chinese provinces Sunday, disrupting a pre-holiday travel rush that involves millions of people.

Heavy snow blanketed central China's Hubei Province early Sunday, closing down a pivotal airport in its capital Wuhan, delaying trains and causing standstill on expressways, the local government said.

The Tianhe Airport in Wuhan was closed at midday. Sixteen departing flights were canceled, while 18 incoming flights were forced to land in the neighboring cities of Nanchang or Changsha. At least 2,000 passengers were stranded at the airport.

The railway network was also under heavy pressure, as large crowds of passengers, frustrated by flight cancellations and road blocks, flocked into train stations.

"We put four additional trains in service for passengers traveling within Hubei Province," said an official with the Wuhan Railway Bureau. "But the snowy weather slowed down most trains, causing an average delay of 30 to 50 minutes."


First snowfall in 15 years for Arunachal capital, India

Snow in Arunachal Pradesh
Several districts of Arunachal Pradesh witnessed season's first snowfall. The State capital witnessed the season's first snowfall after a gap of over 15 years.

With the mercury going sub-zero, several districts in Arunachal Pradesh witnessed the season's first snowfall since the last couple of days.

Tawang district bordering China witnessed heavy snowfall while Sela Pass situated an altitude of 13,700 feet on the Bomdila-Tawang road, the lifeline of defence personnel travelling to the frontier, was covered with more than one feet of snow in the last three days, additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Jang Dr D K Chutia said.

Bomdila, the district headquarters of West Kameng received moderate snowfall after a gap of over 12 years.

This year snowfall was also reported from Mechuka in West Siang district, Mayudia in Dibang Valley, Kibithu in Anjaw, Lemiking and Taksing in Upper Subansiri.