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Sat, 22 Feb 2020
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Earth Changes


Waterspout filmed swirling on the edge of Welsh coastline during Storm Dennis

This is the dramatic moment a "tornado" was captured swirling on the edge of a Welsh coastline during Storm Dennis.

The footage shows the moment a rare phenomenon formed over the Menai Strait between Anglesey and Gwynedd in north Wales on Sunday as stormy weather brought strong winds.

The waterspout - the name given to tornadoes when they form over water - was formed at around 12pm on Sunday, reports NorthWalesLive.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 5 family members in Zimbabwe

Five family members were struck to death by lightning in the Muzvezve area of Sanyati district.

Tragedy struck when the family, which was tending their maize field, sought refuge under a tree when it started raining yesterday afternoon in Village 6, Muzvezve 1. A lightning bolt hit the tree. The five who died went under one tree while three other family members who survived went under another nearby tree.

Sanyati district civil protection unit Mr Amigo Mhlanga confirmed the development saying the unit has since been activated to offer assistance.

"Five members of the same family have died after being struck by lightning while being sheltered under a tree. The district CPU has been activated and we are going to the area to assess the situation while also looking at how the family can be assisted because of the magnitude of the tragedy," said Mr Mhlanga.

Bizarro Earth

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Antarctica increasing heat, Arctic increasing ice - Earth's poles behaving strangely

Antarctic ice sheets melting
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Record heat in Antarctica brought on by volcanic activity in the peninsula, and Arctic Sea Ice increases the most in 11 years eclipsing the 2001-2010 average. Sea turns red in Kazakhstan and more snowy peaks in Taiwan.

Cloud Precipitation

Storm Dennis, 2nd-strongest bomb cyclone on record in North Atlantic, causes severe flooding in UK

Submerged cars are swept away by flooding in the town of Hay-on-Wye as Storm Dennis brought heavy rain and winds to the UK
© Sky News
Submerged cars are swept away by flooding in the town of Hay-on-Wye as Storm Dennis brought heavy rain and winds to the UK.
Storm Dennis, the second-strongest nontropical storm on record in the North Atlantic Ocean, caused widespread flooding across parts of the United Kingdom on Sunday, along with winds exceeding hurricane force.

The storm, which is producing waves up to 80 feet tall west of the United Kingdom, dumped more than five inches of rain in South Wales, almost an inch more than the area typically receives for the entire month of February. The resulting flooding has prompted numerous evacuations and even cut off some communities.

The U.K. Met Office, which named the storm, issued its first "red" warning for heavy rainfall since 2015, its highest warning category. The country's Environment Agency issued a record number of flood warnings, 594, for a single day, according to John Curtin, executive director of flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency.

Comment: UK braced for record flooding as Storm Dennis dumps month's worth of rain in 24 hours


India's birds suffering dramatic population declines, warns scientific report

a fiery battle between a short-toed eagle and a spectacled cobra
© Ramamurthy Karthik
A fiery battle between a short-toed eagle and a spectacled cobra
Growing threat from loss of habitat, widespread presence of toxins, hunting and trapping, it says

Over a fifth of India's bird diversity, ranging from the Short-toed Snake Eagle to the Sirkeer Malkoha, has suffered strong long-term declines over a 25-year period, while more recent annual trends point to a drastic 80% loss among several common birds, a new scientific report jointly released by 10 organisations said on Monday.

The State of India's Birds 2020 (SoIB) assessment raises the alarm that several spectacular birds, many of them endemic to the sub-continent, face a growing threat from loss of habitat due to human activity, widespread presence of toxins including pesticides, hunting and trapping for the pet trade. Diminishing population sizes of many birds because of one factor brings them closer to extinction because of the accelerated effects of others, the report warned. For every bird species that was found to be increasing in numbers over the long term, 11 have suffered losses, some catastrophically.

Of 101 species categorised as being of High Conservation Concern — 59 based on range and abundance and the rest included from high-risk birds on the IUCN Red List — endemics such as the Rufous-fronted Prinia, Nilgiri Thrush, Nilgiri Pipit and Indian vulture were confirmed as suffering current decline, and all except 13 had a restricted or highly restricted range, indicating greater vulnerability to man-made threats.

Ice Cube

Ice balls appear on Lake Michigan beach, wash up 'by the thousands'

Thousands of ice balls formed and washed along the shore of Lake Michigan on Friday.
© Holland State Park/Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Thousands of ice balls formed and washed along the shore of Lake Michigan on Friday.
Goodness gracious, great balls of ice!

A bitter blast of Arctic air that brought dangerous wind chills across the Midwest last week also helped create the conditions for a rare phenomenon known as "ice balls" on a Lake Michigan beach.

The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids said Friday that it "took a while" but the conditions needed to form the balls finally got just right.

"These can usually be seen as early as late December and early January when temperatures fall into the teens and single digits," the Weather Service said.

Arrow Down

2 men killed in large avalanche in Colorado

Authorities in Eagle County, Colorado, confirmed the deaths of two men Sunday, CBS Denver reported. The pair was killed in an avalanche Saturday on Muddy Pass near Vail. The Eagle County Coroner's Office has identified the deceased as Dillon Block, 28, and Cesar Almanza-Hernandez, 30.

According to law enforcement, three mono-track riders triggered a large avalanche Saturday afternoon. All three males were buried, but one victim had managed to dig out of the slide. The other two never surfaced, officials said.

Some witnesses were approached by the one victim who dug himself out. They all rushed to rescue the other two people.

Black Cat

6-year-old girl attacked by mountain lion while walking trail in Santa Clara County, California

mountain lion
A six-year-old girl was attacked by a mountain lion Sunday in the Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve.

The incident happened around 10 am while the child was walking on a trail about two miles from the main parking lot, park officials said.

"The animal, suspected to be a mountain lion, was scared away by adults who were with the child," they said.

"It came out of the bushes and right about when it grabbed a hold of the girl and an adult pushed the mountain lion and it ran off," said MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District ranger, Brad Pennington.


Half a million mussels found dead on New Zealand beach

dead mussels
New Zealand resident Brandon Ferguson found over 500,000 dead mussels and shells on the shores of the Maunganui Bluff Beach in the country's North Island.

Ice Cube

Giant ice wall appears on China-Russia border lake, over 20 meters tall

ice wall
A giant ice wall extending more than a dozen kilometers has sprung up on Xingkai Lake, a border lake shared by China and Russia, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

The wall has grown from a mere two-to-three meters high to being over 20 meters tall.

This ice wall has appeared a little bit earlier than usual due to strong winds in the area, which piled up chunks of ice to create the wall. It is expected to get even taller in the coming days.