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Sun, 09 Aug 2020
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Chickens also orientate themselves by the Earth's magnetic field

40 years ago, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiltschko was the first to prove that migrating robins use the Earth's magnetic field to direct themselves during migration. Their magnetic sensor showed them the course of the field lines of the Earth's magnetic field. This produces an inclination compass that reacts to the inclination of the Earth's magnetic field to the surface of the Earth, thus distinguishing between "pole-wards" (the side on which the field lines incline downwards) and "equator-wards" (the side on which they incline upwards). The inbuilt compass is additionally finely tuned to the field strength of the Earth's local magnetic field, but can also be flexibly adapted to other field strengths that the birds encounter in the course of migration. Since that time a compass of this kind has been found in more than 20 species of birds, the majority of them being those songbirds that undertake annual migration. An international working group under the direction of Wolfgang und Roswitha Wiltschko of Frankfurt University has now succeeded in demonstrating the presence of a magnetic sense of direction in domestic chickens as well.

Attention

Typhoon threatens Vietnamese coast - weather agency

A tropical storm in the South Pacific, the first of the year, is closing in on the northern coast of Vietnam, the country's national weather agency said Thursday.

According to Vietnam's Central Meteorological Service, the center of Tropical Storm Toraji at 7 a.m. local time (midnight GMT) was in the northern part of the Gulf of Tonkin, about 125 miles off the Vietnamese coast.

The storm is heading toward the coast at about 10mph, with sustained winds of up to 45mph, and is expected to hit Vietnam Friday if it remains on its current path.

Meteorologists issued a warning of potentially devastating heavy rains, flooding, tornadoes and mudslides.

Life Preserver

Mass sea rescue after squall hits junior regatta off Ireland coast

Coastguards today rescued 110 children who were swept out to sea off the east coast of Ireland during a junior regatta.

A major rescue operation began after a sudden squall capsized 91 boats taking part in the event, off the seaside town of Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin.

Around 20 children were initially feared missing, but the coastguard said all had been plucked from the water less than a mile from shore.

Cloud Lightning

Huge Wave Hits Daytona Beach Fireworks Barge, Cancels Show

A huge wave in Daytona Beach, Fla., crashed over a fireworks barge Wednesday night, forcing officials to cancel the city's annual Fourth of July show.

Officials said the wave hit the barge before 9 p.m. and washed more than half of the pyrotechnics off the vessel and into the water.

Cloud Lightning

60 feared killed as landslide engulfs bus in Mexico

Rescuers pulled more bodies, including children, on Thursday from the wreckage of a bus swallowed by a landslide in Mexico which may have killed up to 60 people, local authorities said.

Life Preserver

One in five houses damaged by floods in Hull, UK

· Evacuated families fill city's hotels and B&Bs
· Prince boards rescue boat to view stricken village


Flood rescue plans for Britain's worst affected city will be announced today when ministers visit Hull, where 30,000 people - three-quarters of the national figure - had to leave their homes at the height of the crisis and an estimated one in every five houses has been damaged.

Only 15 of the city's 105 schools escaped and millions of pounds will be needed to repair day care centres, libraries and leisure complexes swept by 10cm (four inches) of rain, which swamped drains, killing two people.

Cloud Lightning

Savage monsoon rains kill 61 across India

The death toll from rains battering India rose to 61 as the downpour flooded states amid forecasts that the savage monsoon was likely to gain fury this week, officials said Tuesday.

Seventeen more deaths reported from Gujarat and West Bengal took to 294 the number of people killed in rain-related accidents so far this year, they said.

©AFP/Sam Panthaky
This picture taken from inside and Ahmedabad Fire Services rescue vehicle shows vehicles struggling to pass a section of submerged highway at Dhanduka, some 90 Kms from Ahmedabad.

Cloud Lightning

30 dead after heavy rains in central China; Yangtze River dangerously high

Floods and landslides killed 30 people in a central China province, with the rain-swollen Yangtze River that cuts through the province at dangerously high levels, a government Web site and state media said Tuesday.

The flooding in Hubei province also left nine people missing, destroyed 53,400 homes and caused almost 800 million yuan (about US$100 million; €74 million) in losses, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Star

Vegas sizzles under "dangerously hot" conditions

Nevada sizzled on Wednesday as temperatures approached record highs and forecasters warned of even hotter conditions through the end of the week.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for western Nevada and the eastern Sierra, where temperatures were expected to top the century mark through Friday.

Cloud Lightning

"The Day After Tomorrow"? The moment apocalyptic weather swept across London

This is the moment when apocalyptic weather swept across London, darkening the summer skies.

An extraordinary twister-like cloud formation hovers over central London in a terrifying example of the extreme weather conditions nationwide.

©Peter Gray

And just when you thought the weather couldn't get any worse, Britain was bombarded with huge hailstones.