Earth Changes


California firefighters battle out of control wildfire as area withers under triple-digit temperatures

Los Angeles - Hundreds of firefighters spent a second day on Saturday battling a wildfire burning out of control in a national forest southeast of Los Angeles, as the region baked under triple-digit temperatures that prompted authorities to issue a "heat alert."

The so-called Silverado Fire, which broke out in the Cleveland National Forest on Friday morning, had charred some 1,600 acres (647 hectares) by Saturday afternoon as it burned through brush and chaparral left bone dry by California's record drought.

Evacuation orders were issued for more than 200 homes in and around Silverado Canyon as some 740 firefighters worked to gain a measure of control over the flames, assisted by 10 water-dropping helicopters and five fixed-wing aircraft, according to the U.S Forest Service fire-tracking website InciWeb.

The heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring over 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in parts of Southern California on Saturday and was not expected to break until late Sunday. The sweltering heat prompted Los Angeles health officials to issue a "heat alert" for this weekend, urging residents to take special precautions.

"Extreme heat such as this is not just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous and even deadly, but we can protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated," Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the city's interim health director, said in issuing the heat alert.
Ice Cube

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent on September 13 2014 may have set a new all time record (at least for the satellite era, we don't have data prior to that)

Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent With Anomaly
Sunshine hours writes: Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Sept 13 2014 - 1,121,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 mean. Data for Day 255. Data here.
Breaking the record set in 2013 by 48,000 sq km.

Snowflake Cold

Ice age cometh? Record winter blast hits U.S. Northern Plains

weather map sept 12 2014
Massive early cold wave - Nearly an inch of snow at Rapid City. This is the earliest recorded snowfall going back to 1888.

Mount Rushmore from NWS Rapid City Twitter Feed:
mount rushmore sept 12 2014
A television Meteorologist in Sioux Falls, SD had this to say:
Brandon Spinner ‏@wxSpinner89 Sep 11
Way too early for this. Even the Presidents look like they are crying..."
Bizarro Earth

Lava on Hawaii's Big Island creeping up on vacant lots in rural subdivision

© AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey, Tim Orr
This Monday Sept. 8, 2014, aerial photo provided by the USGS
Lava from one of the world's most active volcanos soon could reach three vacant lots in a rural subdivision on Hawaii's Big Island, but officials are hopeful homes will be spared. Based on the lava's movement of about 200 to 300 yards a day, the flow from Kilauea volcano was expected to reach the lots in Kaohe Homesteads in coming days, Hawaii County spokesman Kevin Dayton said.

The large lot closest to the flow is owned by the state, while the other two are privately owned, he said. "The fact that it's veering somewhat to the north as opposed to the east is a hopeful sign," Dayton said.

While no evacuations have been ordered, residents were asked to remain on alert and be prepared for possible changes in the lava's course. The slow-moving molten rock could spread and slow even further in coming days as it moves from a steeper grade to more level land, Dayton said.

The lava was about 3 miles from Pahoa Village Road and 3.5 miles from Highway 130, Dayton said. Highway 130 is a lifeline for the mostly rural Puna district, which would be cut off from the rest of the island if lava crosses the busy two-lane highway.
Bizarro Earth

Indonesia's Mount Lokon and Mount Slamet volcanoes exhibit multiple eruptions causing evacuations

Mount Slamet

Mount Slamet erupts as viewed from Dawuhan village, Brebes, Central Java, Indonesia, on Sept. 11, 2014.
Jakarta, Indonesia: Mount Slamet volcano in Central Java province erupted again on Friday, spewing a column of ash by up to one km high, prompting more than 20,000 villagers living on the slope of the volcano to prepare for evacuation, officials said. Indonesian authorities have put the Mount Slamet volcano on the second-highest alert level after it erupted 38 times on September 11, spewing lava some 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) into the air.
Bizarro Earth

Bárdarbunga eruption pushing sulfur fumes into Norway's airspace

gas emissions Holuhran lava field Bardarbunga volcano

Satellite image shows gas emissions from the Holuhran lava field near the Bardarbunga volcano in early September.
People on Norway's coast have reported a strong smell of sulfur in the air this week, and experts say it's coming from a surprising source: Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano, 800 miles away.

Bardarbunga sits about seven miles under the Dyngjujökull glacier, which is more than 800 miles west, and across the Atlantic, from Norway. But as Vibeke Thyness at the Norwegian Medical Institute told Norway's public broadcasting radio station, NRK, weather, along with a very active few weeks at the volcano, have likely combined to push the sulfur into Norway's air space.

"This is quite a large spill," Thyness tells NRK. She explained that high pressure over Scotland, along with wind and only a little rain, has made it possible for the fumes to travel so far. While Thyness said the fumes themselves aren't something that will endanger the public in Norway, the Iceland Review said residents in eastern Iceland have complained about sore throats, stinging eyes and headaches. The news agency said families were told to avoid being outside for long periods of time, particularly children and people with respiratory illnesses.

Comment: See: Bardarbunga erupts with lava fountains up to 50 meters


2 killed in separate wild elephant attacks in India

Elephant breaking a branch after a charge.
Two people were killed in separate elephant attacks on Thursday. A tribal man was trampled to death by a wild elephant near Pasumani Pudur, a village near Palamalai in Coimbatore district on Thursday. He was heading towards his village on foot along with his friend through the reserve forest area when the elephant attacked him. Meanwhile, in Krishnagiri, a tusker trampled a 47-year-old woman when she went to attend nature's call early Thursday morning.

In the first incident, K Pallikoodathan alias Nanjan, 65, a daily wage worker and his friend P Ramasamy, 66, had gone to Kannimar temple located at Tholampalayam near Karamadai on foot on Wednesday evening. They offered their prayers to the goddess and stayed on the temple campus for the night.

On Thursday morning, the duo was heading towards their village by walk through reserve forest area. When they were near Pasumani Pudur, the duo had noticed two wild elephants. A tusker started to chase the duo.

Wild elephant attacks kills two in Sri Lanka

2 persons died following a wild elephant attack in Henayaaya - Ampara and Paladaagama - Thambowa.

58 year old person died after being attacked by a wild elephant in front of his residence in Paladaagama - Thabbowa.

According to Karuwala-gas-wewa Police, the victim who received severe injuries succumbed to his death after he was admitted to Puttalam Base Hospital.

Meanwhile, 51 year old resident of Maha-naaga-pura - Ampara died following a wild elephant attack in Hena-yaaya - Ampara yesterday.

Eight elephants attack town; one person reported dead in Ghana

Library photo

One person is reported dead in an elephant attack at a town in the Garu Tempane District of the Upper East region.

The animals numbering about eight were said to have attacked Nate township Friday morning and destroyed farms in the area.

The Presiding Member of the Garu Tempane District Assembly, Mr Dahamani Alaal confirming the story told Graphic Online that police personnel have been deployed to the town to drive the animals away.

The elephants were said to have strayed into the area and initially did not disturb anyone.

Three tourists escaped with only minor injuries after elephant overturns car in Kruger Park, South Africa

The damaged car after an elephant attacked it in the Kruger National park.
Three tourists escaped with only minor injuries after their vehicle was attacked by an elephant in the Kruger National Park on Thursday.

The incident occurred at about 7.15am on Thursday morning, said Kruger National Park spokesman William Mabasa.

"The tourists, two men and a woman, were on their way to Letaba Rest Camp and stopped the Sable Dam, which overlooks a sleep-over hide and has an abundance of animals that gather to drink," Mabasa said.

The elephant was drinking water from the dam on the opposite bank to the vehicle when it crossed the dam. In the resulting chaos the animal - which averages in weight to more than five tons - gored the small family sedan and turned it onto its roof.