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Wed, 27 Jul 2016
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes

Christmas Tree

Norway becomes first country in the world to ban deforestation

Did you know? Every year, an estimated 55 billion tons of fossil energy, minerals, metals, and bio mass is extracted from the Earth. As a result, humans are using up 50% more natural resources than the planet can comfortably provide. Scientists even speculate that within 100 years, the world's rain forests could completely vanish.

This spells trouble for future generations, which is why Norway recently banned the practice of deforestation - the first in the world to do so.

Comment: See also: The agroecology alternative to Monsanto and militarism


Sperm whale dies on beach in Perranporth, UK

© Reg Butler
Dead sperm whale on Cornish beach
A female sperm whale stranded on a Cornish beach has died on the shore.

The creature, measuring 40 feet, was discovered on its side in the shallows at Perranporth beach when the tide went out.

Marine specialists said being out of the water for so long would have caused internal injuries and, even if they could refloat her, she would probably not survive.

HM Coastguard were on the scene to manage public safety.

Ice Cube

July snow interrupts summer in three U.S. states

© Idaho Dept. of Transportation
Snow at Lost Trail Pass in Idaho.
A taste of winter weather swept into the northern Rockies Sunday into early Monday where snow was reported in parts of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Monday morning, a light coating of snow could be seen on an Idaho DOT webcam at Lost Trail Pass.

Snow fell at elevations as low as 6,500 feet in the hills around Grangeville, Idaho, on Sunday evening.

Comment: 'It is July, right?': Snow forecast in the northwest U.S. this weekend


Tail-less dead humpback whale found on beach in New Zealand

© Department of Conservation
Observers stand around the 8.9 metre humpback whale, washed up on Ashburton's Wakanui beach.
A humpback whale with missing tail flukes that washed up on Ashburton's Wakanui beach may not have been able to keep up with its pod, experts say.

The 8.9-metre juvenile whale was first spotted in Kaikoura in March.

The whale attracted international media attention earlier this year when it appeared to breach, roll and manoeuvre despite not having an intact tail.

Kaikoura Department of Conservation (DOC) ranger Mike Morrissey said the whale may not have been able to keep up with its pod, although its cause of death was a mystery.

Geraldine DOC biodiversity ranger Steve Harraway said the whale could have died about a week ago before washing ashore.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 2 children and injures 11 in Kenya

Two children were over the weekend struck dead and 11 injured by lightning.

The Saturday afternoon incident that occurred during a heavy downpour also left a grass-thatched house in ashes.

The lightning also killed a calf that had been sheltered in the house. Kapkanyuk village in Lelan ward, West Pokot County, was plunged into mourning by the death of the two children.

Lelan ward MCA Paul Yaraki said the two boys aged 15 and 13 were sheltering in the house together with the 11 people who suffered injuries.

"A calf was also within the kitchen of the house. Immediately the lightning struck, the whole house went up in flames, burning the two boys and the calf. The rest managed to escape but with injuries," said Mr Yaraki.


Shining silver-blue clouds captured over Denmark in night sky photo

© Ruslan Merzlyakov/RMS photography
Electric-blue "night-shining" clouds can be seen swirling over the skyline of Nykøbing Mors in Denmark on July 1, 2016.
Bright blue-white noctilucent clouds danced over the town of Nykøbing Mors in Denmark just before dawn, just when this spectacular photo was taken.

Night sky photographer Ruslan Merzlyakov captured a series of nightscape images in the early morning of July 1, 2016. With electric-blue clouds swirling overhead, the small town is illuminated and the twinkling lights of the quaint skyline are reflected in the calm waters below.

"The whole horizon over Nykøbing Mors from west to east was filled with silver light and it was very bright!" Merzlyakov wrote in an email to Space.com.

Comment: The fact that the author calls noctilucent clouds common and rare in the same paragraph isn't the strangest thing about their article.

Space.com has previously published an article on the actual cause of these clouds which the author ignores, and it's an ominous cause that those of you who read our 'Fire in the Sky' section will be well aware of:

  • Increased meteor smoke: Noctilucent clouds brightening and spreading south


Super typhoon Nepartak: Six dead in China as tens of thousands flee storm

© Zhang Guojun/AP
A man walks over the wreckage of houses hit by super typhoon Nepartak in Putian city in Fujian province on Saturday.

Nearly 2,000 homes destroyed as storm brings chaos to China's south-eastern coast after hitting Taiwan

A tropical storm in China has killed six people, with at least eight more missing, reports said, after super typhoon Nepartak lashed Taiwan.

By late Sunday more than 200,000 residents in 10 mainland cities had been temporarily relocated and 1,900 homes destroyed, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the civil affairs ministry.

Power was cut for hundreds of thousands in the south-eastern province of Fujian, while five airports were closed and hundreds of high-speed train journeys cancelled, the Global Times newspaper reported on Monday.

The economic cost was estimated at 860m yuan ($129m).

Comment: See also:

Bizarro Earth

Two powerful earthquakes strike off Ecuador's coast

A shallow earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 struck Ecuador's north-west coast on Sunday (July 10), said the US Geological Survey.
Two powerful quakes measuring 5.9 and 6.4 struck the coast of Ecuador ten minutes apart, USGS reported.

Both quakes hit an area about 32 kilometers northwest of Rosa Zarate, a town of some 60,000 residents in the Esmeraldas province.

The tremors from the two quakes were felt across a wide area and prompted many people to flee into the streets, according to BNO news. Residents reported power outages in some parts of the province. No reports as to the number of casualties were immediately available.


'The Blob' ocean phenomenon eclipses El Niño

Mike Blake / Reuters
A giant 'blob' of warm ocean water has had a bigger impact on marine ecosystems than El Niño, according to new research.

The previously believed to be dead phenomenon known as 'The Blob' is an estimated 1,000 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep, and lurks off the coast of California.

'The Blob' was first detected in 2013. A mass of water roughly 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than its surrounding water. It was credited with causing adverse weather including drought and of affecting marine biology when it fed a toxic algae bloom in the Pacific.

Comment: Additional information on 'The Blob':

Eye 2

10-foot alligator bites woman in Seminole County, Florida

10-foot gator killed after biting woman in Florida
A woman was hospitalized Friday afternoon after an alligator bit her arm as she waded in the Econlockhatchee River in the Little Big Econ State Forest near Chuluota, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

An alligator measuring nearly 11 feet bit the woman at about 2:30 p.m. as she stood in waist-deep water, wildlife officials said.

Wildlife officials trapped and killed the alligator Friday evening.

The woman, who wasn't publicly identified, is expected to fully recover from her injuries.