Earth Changes


Rare sunfish washes up on remote beach off Tasmania, Australia


The giant unexpected 1000 kg ocean sunfish washed up on Maria island off the East coast of Tasmania
A rare 1000 kg ocean sunfish measuring nearly three meters has washed up on a remote beach on Maria island off the east coast of Tasmania.

When the rare fish, also known as a Mola Mola, is found, it's always in tropical waters, so when local Ian Johnstone spotted the fish on nature reserve Maria Island over the weekend, he'd never seen anything like it.

Mr Johnstone is the owner of Maria Island Walk, which is an upmarket four day guided walk.

'I suspect potential global warming issues and warmer water is to blame,' Mr Johnstone told Daily Mail Australia about how he believed the dead sunfish ended up there.

The sunfish is the heaviest bony fish species in the world, and its name stems from the fact that they more than often can be seen basking in the sun near the surface.

Comment: Other reports of rare Sunfish for the past year -

Spate of rare deep sea tropical fish found on Norfolk beaches, UK

Rare ocean sunfish weighing 1.5 tons washes ashore at Palu, Indonesia

Rare deep sea Ocean Sunfish found for the first time in Pakistan's waters

Deep ocean sunfish found on beach in North Queensferry, Scotland

"Rare" 300-pound warm-water Mola sunfish washes up on Washington coast

Cloud Lightning

Thunderstorm causes power outages, flooding in Calgary, Canada

© jermc10/Twitter
Streets were flooded in Chestermere, Alta. on Sunday morning after a major thunderstorm tracked eastward from the Calgary area.
People in Calgary woke up with a bang early Sunday morning as a line of thunderstorms hovered over the city, bringing lightning, power outages and overland flooding in communities to the east.

As the storms moved eastward, severe thunderstorm warnings issued by Environment Canada remained in effect for Red Deer, Ponoka, Innisfail and Stettler by 3 p.m. MT. An earlier storm warning for Calgary was cancelled at 9:40 a.m. MT.

"Meteorologists are tracking a dangerous thunderstorm capable of producing up to penny size hail and flooding rain," the agency said on its website.

Thunderstorm watches — the agency's less urgent category of alert — were still in effect for much of the southeastern part of the province by late afternoon.


Pack of dogs injure three in Evansville, Indiana


Pit bull terrier
Evansville police shot and killed two dogs that were part of a larger pack that attacked and bit several people Saturday afternoon.

Terri L. Jackson, 30, was one of the victims.

"I was just walking down the street. There were like five dogs across the street. ... One of the dogs ran up to me and started barking," Jackson said.

She didn't think anything of it and kept walking along South Linwood Avenue around 5 p.m. Saturday.

"Then the dog bit me on the back of my leg," she said.

The dog, an "aggressive" pit bull, tried to bite her again, but a neighbor came at the dog with a large stick as a distraction.

Jackson lay bleeding from the wound as the neighbor fended off the dog.

Cloud Precipitation

Torrential rainfall triggers flash floods in Kentucky

© Christine Nash
Heavy storms overnight Saturday into Sunday morning left cars stranded, homes flooded and streets impassable in Kentucky.

Residents felt the downpour with more than three inches of rain falling over the course of a few hours in Metro Louisville and parts of southern Indiana.

The Weather Channel's Chris Friedman said the flash flooding was triggered by a round of torrential rain.

A flash flood warning was issued for eastern Jefferson County just after 7 a.m., but expired at 10:15 a.m.

NBC station WAVE reported that the ground was already saturated from a wet start to July, leaving no place for the water to go.

Jody Duncan, a spokeswoman with the Louisville Metro Government said the water is beginning to recede but they are already preparing for another big storm expected to hit late Sunday night.


Police warn of possible coyote attacks in Natick, Massachusetts


Natick police are warning residents after two women in town were reportedly attacked by a wild animal, described as a gray fox or coyote.

State Environmental Police were notified around 9:30 p.m. Saturday that Natick law enforcement had received two separate calls that evening "for encounters with what was initially reported to be either a fox or coyote," said Peter Lorenz, the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs communications director.

The attacks occurred in 100 block of East Central Street, police said in a Facebook post. The block is a residential and retail area between large stretches of forested land.

Police said the animal did not appear to be provoked before the incidents and is "aggressive and is quite possibly not healthy," Natick police said in their post.

An Environmental Police officer dispatched to Natick gathered additional information and consulted with Natick police. The animal, whose description is most consistent with a gray fox, has not been located, according to Energy and Environmental Affairs officials.

Comment: Se also: Spate of coyote attacks on four children in Irvine, California


Mid-July frost recorded in central Europe

After the European heat wave of last week, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme.

Currently the weather pattern dominating Central Europe is bringing unusually cold air over the continent, and early this morning regions in a number of countries were hit by ground surface frost.

Parts of Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic saw surface frost - even down to the lower elevations (Belgium is hardly a mountainous region).

German site Wetter24 twittered here a map depicting the frosty areas gripping this 10th of July, 2015. Also see map here.

Swiss meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann here writes and supplies a link showing a German video reporting conditions that the German Eifel region woke up to early this morning. At the 1:50 mark the video reports:
We saw fields that were snow-white. That on the tenth of July I have never seen before. My colleague Fabian had also never seen this before. It just looked wonderful. We just thought that indeed we are not in autumn or spring; we are actually in July. These pictures impressed us, and that we found this frost."


Rat attack fears at care home in Stockholm, Sweden

© Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX
A Stockholm care home has been struggling with a rat problem.
Suspected rat attacks have sparked fears at a care home in the Swedish capital after several residents suffered mysterious bite wounds.

Just a month after a woman had to be taken to hospital after a rat attacked her in a Gothenburg care home, it looks as if the hairy beasts have struck again.

The Sofiagården care home in Stockholm has reported itself to Sweden's Health and Social Care Inspectorate after mysterious scratches, bruises and wounds begun appearing on several of the elderly residents last month.

Nobody was able to say how they had got their injuries, but care home bosses believe that rats could be behind them.

"We can't say with certainty that they are definitely scratches or bites by rats, but the suspicion alone means that we have acted on it - we are obliged to do that under the law," head of operations Maj-Lis Johansson told local newspaper Stockholm Direkt on Thursday.


Blue stinging jellyfish invade Norway and Sweden coasts

© Franzi takes photos/Flcikr
Blue jellyfish.
Record numbers of blue stinging jellyfish are thronging the southern coast of Norway, mounting a growing a menace to swimmers.

The jellyfish, which usually found in slightly warmer waters than red jellyfish, can give unpleasant stings.

"I can't remember receiving so many reported sightings ever before," Jan Helge Fosså, a marine biologist at Norway's Institute of Marine Research told Aftenposten.

Fosså said that he expected the jellyfish to follow the currents further north, but was unsure of why numbers had reached such high levels.

Large numbers of blue jellyfish have also been spotted off Sweden's western coast.


Dog attack sends 3 children to hospital in Temecula, California


An example of an American Staffordshire terrier, shown in a 2002 file photo.
Three Temecula children were hospitalized after a family friend's dog attacked them Saturday, July 11 in Temecula, Riverside County sheriff's deputies said.

All three children - ages 4, 14, and 15 - were taken to a local hospital with injuries to their arms. One later was flown to a hospital in San Diego for further treatment. The names and possible relationship of the children were not disclosed.

The extent of their injuries and their conditions were not available.

The dog - an American Staffordshire terrier, a breed of pit bull - was turned over to animal control officers.

The children were attacked just before 5 p.m. Saturday in the 40000 block of Chantemar Way in Temecula, according to a Riverside County Sheriff's Department news release.

"Witnesses stated the dog ... mistook children playing as aggressive actions," the release said.

It attacked one of them, and when two other children tried to help, the dog attacked them as well, the release said.

When deputies arrived, they confined the dog to a bathroom and called animal control.

Arrow Down

Seabird populations have dropped 70 percent since 1950s

© Daniel Donnecke
UBC research shows world's monitored seabird populations have dropped 70 percent since the 1950s, a stark indication that marine ecosystems are not doing well.
UBC research shows world's monitored seabird populations have dropped 70 per cent since the 1950s, a stark indication that marine ecosystems are not doing well.

Michelle Paleczny, a UBC master's student and researcher with the Sea Around Us project, and co-authors compiled information on more than 500 seabird populations from around the world, representing 19 per cent of the global seabird population. They found overall populations had declined by 69.6 per cent, equivalent to a loss of about 230 million birds in 60 years.

"Seabirds are particularly good indicators of the health of marine ecosystems," said Paleczny. "When we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems. It gives us an idea of the overall impact we're having."