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Fri, 29 May 2020
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Flowers and fruit crops facing disaster as disease kills off bees

Devastating diseases are killing off vast numbers of bees across the country, threatening major ecological and economic problems. Honeybee colonies have been wiped out this winter at twice the usual rate or worse in some areas.

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Argentina Floods Claim 7 Lives

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Rising rivers in three rain-soaked provinces have forced some 38,000 people to flee their homes and floodwaters have claimed seven lives, authorities said Saturday.


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Abrupt climate change more common than believed

It came on quickly and then lasted nearly two decades, eventually killing more than one million people and affecting 50 million more. All of this makes the Sahel drought, which first struck West Africa in the late 1960s, the most notorious example of an abrupt climatic shift during the last century.

Dramatic as this single event was, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have now uncovered 29 other regions worldwide that endured similarly precipitous climatic changes during the 20th century - far more than scientists previously thought. Their study publishes today (March 30) in the online edition of Geophysical Research Letters.

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Measuring Changes In Arctic Sea Ice

Arctic sea ice is in constant motion. It rides on the ocean, absorbing energy from the circumpolar weather systems.

This movement causes a buildup of stress within the ice. Under enough stress, the ice cracks or buckles in a cataclysmic process that resembles the energy released in earthquakes. These continuous ice quakes result in open leads of water or mountainous ridges of broken, jumbled ice. These deformations, in turn, may have an effect on the thickness and durability of the arctic ice pack in the face of climate change.

University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Jennifer Hutchings hopes that a better understanding of this complex process will help improve climate models and shed light on how sea ice behaved in the past and how it may change in the future.

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Tornadoes are Earth's most violent storms

Tornadoes are the most violent storms on Earth. Winds spiraling into them usually exceed 100 mph and can reach speeds of 300 mph. In the USA, an average of 1,000 tornadoes spin up beneath thunderstorms each year, and these typically kill about 60 people.

Tornadoes and the threat of tornadoes are a key part of the USA's spring weather because spring brings favorable tornado conditions. But tornadoes can occur any time of the year, during the day and at night.

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65 Tornadoes - One As Wide as Two Football Fields - Kills 4 in 3 States



©NOAA Photo Library
An F2 tornado roars near Seymour, Texas, in April 1979. F2 and F3 tornadoes are considered strong, packing winds of 113-206 mph that can cause major to severe damage.

OKLAHOMA CITY - A tornado as wide as two football fields carved a devastating path through an eastern Colorado town as a massive spring storm swept from the Rockies into the Plains, killing at least four people in three states, authorities said Thursday.

Sixty-five tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska on Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

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Strong Storm Brings Tornadoes to Plains

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Residents of the Plains states huddled for cover early Thursday as a major storm system that has killed at least two people moved through the region, bringing heavy snow and tornadoes to some areas.

Severe weather warnings and watches were in effect from South Dakota to Texas, as authorities warned residents to stay alert for tornado warnings.


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Models play important role in understanding extreme weather

Weather is a hot topic here in Interior Alaska and a quick way to get anyone talking. Not a day goes by in winter months without some observations of temperatures, air inversions, or even a mention that the sun budged another degree above the horizon.

When it comes to predicting weather events, however, particularly the extreme events - such as harsh winds, impact from massive wildfires or ash resulting from volcanic eruptions - those who work in the field face many challenges in creating models specific for Alaska's unique environment.

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Scientists find that lightning is good indicator of volcanic activity

Although it's been more than a year since Mount Augustine had its memorable eruption, work continues for University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers. The work of Alaska Volcano Observatory employees from UAF's Geophysical Institute will be appearing in the upcoming issue of the journal Science.

The article, which came out on Feb. 23, documents electrical activity that occurred during the January 2006 eruption of Mount Augustine. While it has long been known that volcanic eruptions can produce vigorous lightning, there are few direct observations of the phenomena, states the article. Following the initial eruptions of Jan. 11 and 13, 2006, two of which produced lightning, two electromagnetic lightning detectors were set up in Homer about 60 miles from Augustine. A couple of days later, the volcano erupted again, with the first of four eruptions producing a "spectacular lightning sequence."

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Two volcanoes emitting lava and gas in Russian Far East

Mount Klyuchevskaya has started emitting lava on the Kamchatka Peninsula and another volcano in Russia's Far East, Shiveluch, spewed out gas and ash, a local geophysics service said Thursday.

Klyuchevskaya, one of the world's highest active volcanoes, rising to a height of 4,750 meters (15,584 feet), is emitting lava at an altitude of 4,200-4,300 meters (about 14,000 feet), the service said.

"The authorities should warn people about a possible danger and take proper security measures," said Alexei Ozerov, a senior seismology researcher, adding that the lava flow would grow more powerful.

Streams of lava with a temperature of about 1,100 C( (2,012 F() are encountering ice caps, producing powerful explosions of vapor. Experts are warning of devastating mudflows that can reach 500 meters (1,640 feet) in width and can descend the volcano's eastern slopes.