Earth Changes


Woman suffers serious injuries after bear attack near Anchorage

© Craig Medred
A sign hangs at the Bird Valley trailhead along Alaska's Turnagain Arm on July 7, 2014, warning people of a recent bear mauling in the area.
The second grizzly bear mauling in less than two months on the outskirts of Alaska's largest city has sent another runner to the hospital with serious injuries. The attack this time came in Bird Valley, just south of Anchorage. It follows on an attack at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in mid-May.

Both attacks involved people surprising grizzly sows with cubs. The JBER attack involved a sow with small cubs of the year. The latest attack was launched by a sow with two nearly grown cubs, probably 2-year-olds.

Grizzly bear attacks 66-year-old man near Slana in Interior Alaska

A medical response official says a grizzly bear mauled a 66-year-old man after he surprised the animal near his Slana cabin Tuesday afternoon.

Slana resident Andre Siegenthaler was flown to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center for what was initially reported as "serious, but non-life threatening injuries," according to a Wednesday dispatch posted online by Alaska State Troopers.

Assistant chief of Tok Area EMS Jack Rutledge said on-scene responders reported Siegenthaler had injuries to his head, left shoulder and arm.
Cloud Grey

Heavy rain in Japan forces about 1million to evacuate

Heavy rain in Hokkaido
© Unknown
A road is covered in mud and fallen trees after heavy rain triggered a mudslide in Tomakomai, Hokkaido on September 11, 2014.
Heavy rain has hit the Island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, forcing officials to order the evacuation of nearly one million people living near rivers.

On Thursday, the torrential rain flooded roads across the prefecture, causing all transport to come to a standstill and grounding flights.

According to Satoshi Ebihara, an official in Japan's Meteorological Agency, at least 100 millimeters of rain per hour poured overnight in some parts of Hokkaido.

He said at a news conference that unstable weather is anticipated to continue throughout Thursday due to low pressure systems.

"It is a situation where landslides, flooding, and serious calamities may occur at any time," Ebihara added, calling on residents in affected areas to follow the local authorities' instructions for safe evacuation.

More than 60 people were killed in western Japan last month after heavy rain and torrential downpours triggered landslides on August 20, which swallowed dozens of homes.

Landslides are common in Japan's populated mountainous areas, where there is frequent rainfall and many of the houses are built on or near steep slopes.

Last October, multiple mudslides killed 35 people, four of whose bodies were never recovered, in the volcanic island of Izu Oshima. The slides followed a typhoon that dumped a record 824 millimeters of rain in a single day.

Comment: The following video shows JR Shinkoiwa station in eastern Tokyo being flooded Wednesday eve due to heavy rain.

Snowflake Cold

Winter is coming: British weather set to become more unsettled

British winters are becoming increasingly volatile due to extreme variations in pressure over the North Atlantic according to scientists from the University of Sheffield.

The new research, published today (9 September 2014) in the International Journal of Climatology, shows that weather patterns over the UK have become distinctly more unstable, resulting in contrasting conditions from very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy.

Winter weather conditions are commonly defined using the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The NAO is a south-north seesaw of barometric pressure variations over the North Atlantic which indicates the strength of westerly winds impinging on the UK shore and resulting weather patterns.

When westerly winds are strong, known as a positive NAO phase, Britain experiences mild, wet and often stormy weather - like last winter. Weaker or reverse airflow, known as negative NAO phase, typically brings cold, snowy weather, which featured prominently in the winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11.



Woman mauled by bear in northern Sweden - second attack within fortnight

© Shutterstock
A brown bear.
A Swedish woman was rushed to hospital on Wednesday after she was attacked by a bear in northern Sweden.

The bear struck in the forests of Västerbotten's Bjurholm, biting the woman on the face and head, reported the Aftonbladet newspaper.

The woman was still conscious after the attack, and contacted emergency services who took her to the Umeå hospital.

Police have sent two professional hunters to the scene of the attack.

It remains unknown what the woman was doing in forest, nor why the bear attacked her.

It marks the second time in recent weeks that a bear has attacked someone in Sweden, after a hunter was mauled in central Sweden in late August.

Hunter mauled by bear in central Sweden

Roles were reversed in a bear hunt on Thursday night, when a Swedish hunter was attacked by his prey, leaving the man in hospital in a serious condition.

A bear hunt between the towns of Ingels and Bingsjö in Dalarna, central Sweden, quickly took a turn for the worse on Thursday. A hunter suffered a rough encounter with a bear, sustaining severe injuries before the bear was brought down.

"It seems to have been a male bear," Stig-Åke Svenson, director of nature conservation in the country, told newspaper Expressen.

The county administrative board has launched an investigation into the attack.

"One of our inspectors has been there and spoken with the leader of the hunting group," said Svensson, who said it's still unclear precisely what happened.

Soldier attacked by grizzly bear in third mauling this summer near Anchorage, Alaska

A National Guard soldier was mauled by a brown bear on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson while participating in a training exercise Sunday morning, officials said. A JBER release said the soldier was mauled by a sow defending her cubs -- the second such attack in just more than two months on the Anchorage base.

The soldier was in stable condition as of Sunday afternoon. His name had not yet been released.

The Alaska Army National Guard soldier was a participant in a daylong "land navigation exercise," said Alaska National Guard spokeswoman Maj. Candis Olmstead. During the exercise, soldiers are given a compass and map and are timed as they navigate alone to hidden locations on the course.

Woman walks over a mile for help after grizzly bear attack in Alaska

A woman mauled by a sow brown bear with two cubs while running late Sunday morning on an unpaved road on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson barely remembers the details of the attack.

The woman, who asked military officials not to identify her, remained at Alaska Native Medical Center in stable condition on Monday, a base spokeswoman said.

Bleeding from slashes on her head and arms, she nonetheless managed to walk a mile or more uphill back to the Davis Highway, where her pickup was parked, according to Mark Sledge, senior conservation officer on the base. A passing driver, a soldier, picked her up and brought her to the base hospital.

"The lady had the wherewithal, the will to survive and work her way back to her truck," Sledge said Monday afternoon.
Cloud Lightning

Russian man drives out of his garage... into a tornado

The intense footage shows as he tries to make a hasty retreat back to the garage - which has blown away

The day started like any other for this Russian driver.

But reversing out of his garage - he never could have anticipated what would happen next.

He had driven straight out into a tornado as this gripping footage from his dashboard camera - an increasingly common instalment in Russian cars to prevent insurance fraud and police corruption - shows.

The terrifying clip plays on and the man tries to return to his garage - only to see it flattened by the sheer force of the tornado before his very eyes.

The incident happened late last month in Bashkiria, Russia and the video uploader hs clarified that while the dash cam date says it was filmed in 2012, it actually happened on August 29.


Wolves kill at least 2 dozen sheep in Stevens County, Washington

© Washington Department of Natural Resources
Remote camera image of pups from another wolf pack, the Diamond Pack in Pend Oreille County, Wash., July 2009
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday it is cautioning other ranchers in Steven County to be vigilant as members of the Huckleberry wolf pack moves about their range.

Stevens County rancher Dave Dashiell, with the help of WDFW, moved his sheep away from the site where wolves killed at least two dozen of the animals in recent weeks, it said.

Working through Labor Day weekend, Dashiell rounded up his flock of 1,800 sheep and herded them to temporary holding pens five miles away, and has begun trucking them to their winter pasture in the Columbia Basin.

"The threat to one rancher's flock has passed, but there are other ranchers and other livestock in that area," Nate Pamplin, director of WDFW's wildlife program, said. "We need to make sure that the owners of those livestock operations - large and small - are aware of the pack's presence and are taking necessary precautions."

Pamplin said WDFW field staff will continue to monitor the movement of the Huckleberry pack and will contact other ranchers in the area to discuss appropriate protective measures, such as maintaining a human presence around their stock, using guard dogs, and removing animal carcasses whenever feasible.