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Ice Age


Stop

Including humans: Scientists say mass extinction may be underway

© www.fredhoogervorst.com
An international team of scientists is warning that Earth may be entering the early stages of another mass extinction event, reports Live Science.

More than 320 land vertebrates have gone extinct since the year 1500 and many of the world's plant and animal species are endangered, says a new study. Up to one-third of all vertebrates are threatened or endangered, the researchers said.

Large land animals, such as elephants, rhinoceroses and polar bears, show the highest rates of decline. They are at particular risk because they tend to have few offspring and low population growth rates. Hunters and poachers also find their fur, meat, tusks or horns to be attractive targets.

Losing a species of large animal can have unexpected effects on the ecosystem and nearby human developments, a process known as defaunation. In an earlier study, researchers isolated patches of land from animals, including zebra, giraffes and elephants. Without the animals, the grass and shrubs grew tall, and the soil became looser. Rodents quickly took over and doubled in numbers, eating the seeds from the plants and living in the patchy soil that was relatively predator-free.

Comment: Mass extinctions have happened before and will happen again soon.

See: Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction! And read Sott's Comets and Catastrophe series here. Something wicked this way comes!

Cloud Precipitation

West Michigan slammed by golf ball sized hail

Several communities in west Michigan are cleaning up after getting slammed by high winds and golf ball sized hail.

The strong thunderstorm cut a path of destruction along the border of Kalamazoo and Allegan Counties.

Neighbors tell us there hasn't been a hail storm like this in decades.

Sunday night, the sky opened up and Mother Nature showed her wrath.

"It sounded like somebody was throwing golf balls at the house," said Kathy Porter of Cooper Township.

WWMT.com and our social media sites were soon flooded with pictures and videos of the huge hail.

"There was hail everywhere on the back porch, about two inches deep. Hail everywhere out there," said Denise Julien of Alamo Township.

Cloud Precipitation

Violent hailstorm causes head injuries in southern Siberia

© www.04.mchs.gov.ru
Temperatures in Moscow may be scorching this week, but in southern Siberia the weather has proven to be a whole lot chillier - and destructive.

At least seven people suffered serious head injuries after walls of hail the size of golf balls rained down on residents in the Altai Republic, the local branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry said Tuesday.

About 3,000 buildings and countless cars were damaged in the downpour, which shattered an estimated 1,600 square meters of glass, the ministry said in a statement.

A video uploaded to YouTube attests to the size of the hail, which fell Monday in the region's Maiminsky and Gorno-Altai districts.


Binoculars

Wrong time, wrong place: Rare plover from the Arctic tundra turns up in Tamworth, UK


Bird-watchers get into a palaver over Pacific Golden Plover
Dozens of dedicated bird watchers have been getting into a flap at a beauty spot near Tamworth after an ultra-rare bird flew in - thousands of miles from where he should be.

Flustered 'twitchers' have descended on the RSPB's Middleton lakes armed with long-lens cameras after a Pacific Golden Plover was spotted in the site's Jubilee Wetlands.


The arrival of the bird, which is spotted gold and black on the crown, back and wings, was quite a surprise.

That's because at this time the year it should be in its breeding ground, thousands of miles away in the Arctic tundra, from northernmost Asia into western Alaska.

Ice Cube

Arctic summer sea ice extent nearing a decade record

You probably haven't heard about this from the mainstream media.

Arctic approaches ten year summer sea ice maximum

Thanks to jbird for this link
"Check it out while there is still time, i.e. before they change the data," says jbird.
Source: ocean.dmi.dk
Windsock

UK freak lightning & hail plunge commuters into 'Zombie Apocalypse'

As is usually the case, Britain has paid for its blast of summery weather with lashings of hail, lightning strikes and flooding.

Storms hit the Hove, Brighton and Worthing areas of Sussex during Monday morning rush hour.

A lightning strike caused electrical supply problems for rail passengers while some commuters were forced to struggle through a hail storm in an experience described by one as a "zombie apocalypse".

uk lightning

Lighting strikes at Hove, Sussex
Ice Cube

Antarctic sea ice extent July 24 2014 - breaks daily record by 240,000 sq km

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is 1,102,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 mean

That smashes the previous daily record by 240,000 sq km. And is also the 126th daily record for the year.
Bizarro Earth

Disturbing NASA study shows water reserves in western US being drained underground

As droughts have ravaged the western US for over a decade, much of the water loss has come from underground resources in the Colorado River Basin, a new study has found. The water loss may pose a greater threat to the West than previously thought.
western US water shortage
© Reuters / David Becker
The study by NASA and the University of California, Irvine found that more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources. It is the first time researchers have quantified the amount that groundwater contributes to the water needs of western states, NASA said.

The research team measured the change in water mass monthly from December 2004 to November 2013, using data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission to track changes in the mass of the Colorado River Basin. Changes in water mass are related to changes in water amount on and below the surface.
Binoculars

Wrong time, wrong place: Rare arctic bird spotted in Florida

© Mark Hedden
Swedish biologist Viktor Nilsson-Ortman came to Florida to collect damselfly eggs for his post doctorate research and left last week with a discovery that turned the birding world all aflutter.

On the shoreline he spotted a red-necked stint, the first time this species has been seen and documented in the Sunshine State.

"What a great find Viktor!" was the salute on limeybirder.wordpress.com.

The red-necked stint is a tiny shorebird in the sandpiper family that breeds in Siberian Asia and parts of western Alaska. It migrates thousands of miles to winter in east India and Taiwan south through Australia and New Zealand. In the continental Untied States, the species has been spotted along the Pacific coast and in New England and New Jersey. And in July 2012, a red-necked stint caused a big stir when one was discovered by a national wildlife refuge biologist in Kansas.

© Wikimedia Commons
The Distribution of the Red-necked Stint
Red Broken Lines = Estimated Range
Green = Breeding Range
Blue = Wintering Range
But never before had one been seen and documented anywhere near Florida. This bird in the Keys may have remained anonymous - perhaps to be seen only by beachgoers who had no idea what type of bird it was or the magnitude of its existence here - if not for the eagle eyes and knowledge of Ortman.
Fish

Cold-water fish of northern latitudes turns up in Irish waters

© Joe O’Shaughnessy
Fishmonger Stefan Griesbach with the Golden Red Fish in Galway. It was served to visitors to the Galway arts festival.
Golden Redfish commonly found off Iceland, Greenland and Norway

A long-living fish which prefers the chillier waters of northern latitudes has been caught by an Irish fishing vessel on the Porcupine Bank.

The golden redfish, or sebastes norvegicus, is prevalent in Iceland, and can be found along the North American coast, south of Greenland and along the Norwegian coast.

The 5.9kg specimen was caught by Aran islander Tomás Conneely of the Ocean Harvester II, a Rossaveal, Co Galway, vessel which fishes for prawns on the Porcupine.
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