Earth Changes
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Snowflake

Record spring snowfall in Saskatoon, Canada

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Snow in Saskatoon.
Residents experience power outages, dig out from 30 centimeters of snow

Power has been restored for most of Saskatoon and city crews were out in force clearing streets following this weekend's record-breaking snowfall.

Saskatoon received 30 centimeters (12 inches) of snow, the most of any region between Outlook and Melfort that saw snow over the weekend. The previous records for April 25 and 26 were 9.4 centimeters in 1954 and 7.6 centimeters in 1945 respectively.


Snowflake Cold

Blizzard brings over 2 meters (7 feet) of snow to Erzurum, Turkey

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7 feet of snow
Ağrı -Iran Transit Road Closed Due to Snowstorm

Lots of snow on the Silk Pass between Ağrı, Doğubayazıt and Diyadin county causing vehicles to be stuck on the road and forcing closure of roads to the Iranian border, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

A rescue operation was launched for stranded vehicles.

Highway 123 Branch Chief Fuat Öztürk, said in a statement to reporters that the snow came suddenly, due to a heavy blizzard and storm. The Silk Gateway road is closed to traffic of trucks that are caught in the spur because he stated that they wear summer tires.

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It took a lot of time and effort to clear the road to the village Tekman, where the electrical power was cut off by a snowstorm (tipi).

Snowflake Cold

Spring snowfall in Aberdeenshire, Scotland as temperatures plummet

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© Kirstie Ross
Proper snow up at Turriff
Snow has hit the North-east today with temperatures in the region dropping below freezing.

The Met Office said Aberdeen will see "flashes" of snow showers throughout tonight.

A yellow warning for ice in Aberdeenshire and Moray was issued this evening and the alert is valid until 7am tomorrow.

And other areas, such as Aboyne, are expected to see the most snowfall.

A Met Office spokesman today said temperatures could drop to as low as -2C (19F) in some parts of rural Aberdeenshire later this evening.
Proper snow up at #Turriff :( this is not fun pic.twitter.com/liAPC4CTde

— Kirstie Ross (@EEkirstie) April 26, 2015

Binoculars

Hoopoe causing a hoopla in Ireland as at least 50 exotic birds are seen

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© Jimmy Murphy
Hoopoe by Jimmy Murphy posted on the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page.
Birdwatchers believe a funnel of air caused them to overshoot France and land in Ireland

If you think you spotted an unusual pink bird with zebra-patterned wings in recent weeks, you are not alone.

The hoopoe, so called because of the sound it makes, has come to these shores in unexpectedly large numbers this year, with at least 50 being spotted, according to Birdwatch Ireland's head of operations, Oran O'Sullivan. It is 50 years since so many hoopoes have been spotted here.

Usually, fewer than 10 are recorded in early spring or late autumn when migrating birds stray off course.

Mr O'Sullivan said the exotic birds, about the size of a starling or thrush, were a Mediterranean species, typically nesting in trees and olive groves.

"They have very big wings and when they take off you see a flash of black and white. When they land they throw up this crest, like an Indian chief's head dress. They are exotic all the way."

He said the birds wintered in Africa and could fly as far as northern France. "Even a few breed in the very far south of England. They come up in good weather and in spring they can overshoot France and hit Wexford."


Bug

Research finds that bees actually want to eat the pesticides that hurt them

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© Jonathan Carruthers
A foraging red-tailed bumblebee, Bombus lapidaries, visiting an oilseed rape flower in a field in the south of England. Bumblebees may be addicted to the very pesticides that are hurting them.
A pair of new studies published Wednesday in Nature are disturbing when taken separately, but so much more chilling when laid out next to each other: The first provides new evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides can have a negative effect on bees, adding weight to the theory that these chemicals could contribute to colony collapse disorder and endanger our food supply. In the second study, another group of researchers found that bees don't avoid these harmful pesticides. They may actually seek them out and get addicted to them.

Recent years have seen bee populations on the decline. That's bad news for us, as Whole Foods recently highlighted by removing every product that relies on healthy pollinators from one of their salad bars.

While the jury is far from out, some researchers point to neonicotinoids, which have been banned in Britain for two years but are still widely used in the United States, as a potential culprit. These nicotine-related insecticides are favored for their relative safety to humans, because they target specific nerve receptors in invertebrates. But while they're safe for humans in the short term, some studies have argued that they're killing off bees on a scale so large that our food security is threatened.


Windsock

44 killed, nearly 200 injured as "mini- cyclone" lashes NW Pakistan

© AFP
People drive their vehicles during heavy rains in Peshawar.
Forty-four people were killed and nearly 200 injured by a severe storm in northwestern Pakistan, the state-run media said on Monday.

The storm, described by the meteorological department as a "mini- cyclone", lashed Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Radio Pakistan said 44 people were killed and 186 injured. Twenty-nine deaths were recorded in Peshawar alone.

Attention

Nepal: Death toll from Saturday's earthquake rises to over 4,000 (Updated)

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© Google
The earthquake, 7.8 in magnitude hit Nepal on Saturday, April 25th, 2015
At least 3,218 people are now known to have died in a massive earthquake which hit Nepal on Saturday, say officials. Rameshwor Dangal, head of Nepal's disaster management agency, said another 6,500 people had been injured. Dozens of people are also reported to have been killed in neighbouring China and India.


Comment: The death toll has expanded and is now over 4,000 people.


Thousands have spent a second night outside after the 7.8-magnitude quake, which also triggered deadly avalanches on Mount Everest. Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for those displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks continue.

"We don't have a choice, our house is shaky. The rain is seeping in but what can we do?" 34-year-old shopkeeper Rabi Shrestha, who was sleeping by the roadside with his family, told AFP news agency.

Rescue missions and aid have started arriving to help cope with the aftermath of the earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal for more than 80 years.

Comment: Billions of dollars spent on war, each year, and the US sends only $1mil... at least that makes their priorities obvious. Given the recent uptick in earthquakes and other natural disasters, we can assume only more of the same is on the way. Why's all this happening now? What's the root cause? For a good discussion on the matter the interested reader should check out Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection.


Blue Planet

Quake shakes southern Costa Rica

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In the latest seismological event to happen in Costa Rica this week, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck off the country's southern coast at 2:37 p.m. Saturday, the National Seismological Network (RSN) reported.

The quake's epicenter was 29.8 kilometers off the coast of Puerto Jiménez, Puntarenas, along the Cocos Plate. It could be felt across southern Costa Rica and in parts of the capital, San José, according to an intensity map released by RSN.

There were no initial reports of damage.

Saturday's tremor followed a week of renewed volcanic activity at Turrialba Volcano, when several eruptions covered the Central Valley in ash and closed Juan Santamaría International Airport for several hours Thursday.

Earlier in April, two similar earthquakes shook the country on Good Friday with magnitudes of 4.8 and 5.2.

Hourglass

Population of greater sage-grouse breeding males have declined by 56 percent in North America

The number of breeding males in the greater sage-grouse population of the United States and part of Canada has declined by 56 percent in recent years, in a sign of trouble for the ground-dwelling bird, a study released on Friday showed.

The study from the Pew Charitable Trusts comes as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepares to make a decision before the end of September on whether the bird should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced on that a sub-species of the sage-grouse found in California and Nevada did not require protection under the Endangered Species Act. Environmentalists criticized the decision.

The move was a victory for mining, energy and farming companies which fear sage-grouse protections could restrict their livelihoods in the 11 Western states where the bird lives, including Washington state, Colorado and Montana.

Millions of sage-grouse are believed to have once inhabited a broad expanse of the Western United States and Canada. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated in 2010 that between 200,000 and 500,000 birds remain.

Comment: The decline in the populations of numerous species of birds and animals has been accelerating in recent years. Perhaps these are signs that the future of life on planet earth is becoming more precarious?


Arrow Up

Land rising out of the sea in Hokkaido, Japan - Rose 50 feet (over 1,000 feet long) - and that was just overnight

A massive sudden (1 day) rise of land has occurred along the coast of Hokkaido Japan.

Major global earthquake activity is taking place, and serious crustal movement is obviously underway in the region around North Japan.


The new land began rising from the sea yesterday morning (April 24, 2015) with just a 1 meter rise (3 feet), then began rising rapidly, the event is still ongoing as of April 25th into 26th 2015.

The new land mass has now risen over 50 feet above the water (near 1,000 feet long), and near 10 meters wide (30 feet)! Not 'small' by any means, and a very rare occurrence to top it off.

This is being attributed to crustal movement in the area.