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Mon, 10 Aug 2020
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Florida ocean current weakest in over a century

florida ocean
© Carol Anne Clayson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The new study uses a method of tracking the strength of near-shore ocean currents from a distance via measurements of coastal sea level.
A key component of the Gulf Stream has markedly slowed over the past century — that's the conclusion of a new research paper in Nature Communications published on August 7. The study develops a method of tracking the strength of near-shore ocean currents using measurements made at the coast, offering the potential to reduce one of the biggest uncertainties related to observations of climate change over the past century.

"In the ocean, almost everything is connected," said Christopher Piecuch, an assistant scientist in the Physical Oceanography Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and author of the study. "We can use those connections to look at things in the past or far from shore, giving us a more complete view of the ocean and how it changes across space and time."

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Flesh-footed Shearwater seabird seen in the Azores - first time in Europe

In the swimming images, the uniform dark brown colour and greyish bill with dark tip are visible, as is the bird's smaller size than Cory's Shearwater.
© Susana Simião
In the swimming images, the uniform dark brown colour and greyish bill with dark tip are visible, as is the bird's smaller size than Cory's Shearwater.
I work as a marine biologist and nature guide for a whale-watching company, Espaço Talassa, which is based at Lajes do Pico, Azores. On one of our whale-watching tours, on 7 August 2020, late in the afternoon, one of our crew members noticed an anomalous-coloured shearwater sitting in the water, in a raft of Cory's Shearwaters. They were close to a group of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins that we were watching, but the birds were not interacting directly with the dolphins.

The dark-coloured shearwaters or petrels that we regularly see in this area are Bulwer's Petrel and Sooty Shearwater. However, the bird was larger than a Bulwer's and showed a completely different bill and leg/foot colour to Sooty.

We approached the birds to try and identify what it was. It would let us approach, while the surrounding Cory's Shearwaters flew away, and we noted how when it flew it landed shortly after taking off, not far away (this being unusual behaviour for Cory's). At first we thought it could be a melanistic Cory's Shearwater, but it was noticeably smaller in size.

Comment: For further details to some of the recent astounding extralimital records of the seabirds mentioned above, see:


Deaths in floods rise to 184 across Bangladesh

10 more people die in floods in ongoing floods while over 33,000 people infected with water borne diseases

Bangladesh on Sunday registered 10 more deaths in floods, taking the fatalities count to 184 as the South Asian country faces one of the worst floods in history.

Over 33,000 people got infected with water borne disease, according to the health emergency operation centre under the Health and Family Welfare Ministry of the country.

Of the total deaths, 155 drowned while 16 died of snakebites and 13 in thunderstorms, it said, adding that around 11,375 people in flood-hit areas are also suffering from diarrhea.

Cloud Precipitation

Five killed as thunderstorms flood Greek island homes

A man makes his way on a flooded street, following flash floods on the island of Evia, Greece, August 9, 2020.
© Sotiris Dimitropoulos/Eurokinissi
A man makes his way on a flooded street, following flash floods on the island of Evia, Greece, August 9, 2020.
At least five people were killed when torrential rain and thunderstorms caused flash flooding on the Greek island of Evia over the weekend, officials said on Sunday.

Most of the victims, including a baby, were found in or near their homes in Evia, northeast of Athens, fire brigade officials said. Rescuers were still searching for two people who were reported missing.

The fire department received hundreds of calls to pump water from homes and vehicles.


5.1 magnitude earthquake hits North Carolina, most powerful in the state since 1916

An intensity map shows the effects of an earthquake in North Carolina
An intensity map shows the effects of an earthquake in North Carolina.
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake was felt on Sunday morning near Sparta, North Carolina, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake, which was reported at 8:07 a.m., according to local reports, is one of the strongest in the state's history.

In 1916, the region experienced another 5.1 magnitude earthquake — the largest reported in the area, according to a U.S. Geological Survey tweet, which now ties Sunday morning's quake in intensity.

The epicenter was approximately 37 miles from Boone, North Carolina, and 46 miles from Lenoir, North Carolina, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Approximately 45,000 people have reported feeling the quake as of just before 10 a.m. ET.

Early reports did not indicate any major injuries or widespread damage, according to NBC News affiliate WCNC.


Monsoon floods kill at least 50 across Pakistan in 3 days

Flooding in Karachi, Pakistan, August 7
Flooding in Karachi, Pakistan, August 7
Three days of heavy monsoon rains triggering flash floods killed at least 50 people in various parts of Pakistan, as troops with boats rushed to a flood-affected district in the country's southern Sindh province Sunday to evacuate people to safer places.

Every year, many cities in Pakistan struggle to cope with the annual monsoon deluge, drawing criticism about poor planning. The monsoon season runs from July through September, during which swelling rivers cause damage to crops and infrastructure.

According to Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority, 19 people were killed in rain-related incidents in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 12 in southern Sindh province, 8 in Punjab province and 10 in the country's scenic northern Gligit Baltistan region in the past three days.


Saudi Arabia's civil defense rescues hundreds from floods after torrential summer rain

Saudi Arabia’s civil defense called on citizens and residents in areas experiencing torrential rains to take precautions
Saudi Arabia’s civil defense called on citizens and residents in areas experiencing torrential rains to take precautions
Saudi Arabia's civil defense has saved almost 700 people after torrential rain caused flooding in several areas of the Kingdom.

Between July 26 to Aug. 4, 77 people including 11 families, have been rescued in Makkah, Madinah, Asir, Jazan, and Al-Baha, the media center of the General Directorate of Civil Defense said Wednesday.

More than 600 people have been provided with shelter, including three families.


7-month-old boy dies after being attacked by family pit bull in Akron, Ohio

A 7-month-old boy died Friday after the family pit bull attacked him at an Akron home, police said.

The dog attacked both the boy and his 77-year-old grandmother about 3:45 p.m. at the home on South Hawkins Avenue near Bellevue Avenue, police said.

An ambulance took the boy to a Akron Children's Hospital, where he died. His grandmother suffered minor injuries but was not hospitalized, police said.

Comment: Also recently a 15-year-old girl is fighting for her life after being attacked by 2 pit bulls in Barrow County, Georgia:
A 15-year-old Georgia girl was fighting for her life Monday after being mauled by two pit bulls while taking a walk in her neighborhood.

Joslyn Stinchcomb had her scalp torn off, her left ear bit off and her trachea damaged in the vicious attack Friday in Barrow County, local paper Classic City News reported.

The soon-to-be high school sophomore was strolling in her Winder neighborhood when the dogs began chasing her.

A Barrow County Sheriff's deputy arrived at the scene to find the teenager lying face down against a curb, with one dog grabbing her neck and the other gnawing at her head, according to a police report.

The deputy shot and injured one of the pit bulls as it approached him, scaring the other one off. The dogs were found at their owner's house and later euthanized, the News reported.

The owner, 29-year-old Alexandria Torregrossa, was arrested and charged with reckless conduct after she returned home, according to the report.

Joslyn remained in the intensive care unit at an Atlanta hospital on Monday. She initially had to be put on a ventilator because of the condition her trachea was left in.

Doctors were able to reattach her ear, but it's unclear whether she will ever be able to use it again, her aunt, Charity Stinchcomb Montgomery, told the paper.

They "don't know if she will be able to hear out of that ear," Montgomery said.

The girl, a flutist in her school marching band, also lost much of her hair in the attack, and her aunt said there's a chance it never grows back.

So much nerve damage was done that it "may affect her smile, her blinking and other facial expressions," Montgomery said.

"There is still so much that we don't know about her injuries," she added, "but we know that God knows and that can heal her."

Joslyn is scheduled to undergo another surgery on Tuesday, in an attempt to repair nerves on the left side of her face, as well as her vocal cords and airway, family members said.

The family has requested that anyone willing to donate toward medical expenses for Joslyn do so through a PayPal link.

Cloud Precipitation

30,000 displaced by floods in Ethiopia

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that more than 30,000 people have been displaced due to floods in Ethiopia since late July, 2020

Flooding has affected Afar, Gambella, Oromia, and SNNP regions since 20 July.

In Afar region, the overflow of Awash River and flash floods in the first week of August have displaced almost 20,000 people.

Meanwhile, 1,740 people have been displaced in Kefa zone of SNNP region after flooding and landslides.

Cloud Precipitation

Floods leave 19 dead, 50,000 affected in Niger

Floods in Niger, July 2020.
© OCHA Niger
Floods in Niger, July 2020.
Nineteen people have died and over 50,000 have been affected by flooding in Niger since June this year.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that widespread floods triggered by heavy rain affected parts of Niger and neighbouring Mali from late June.

As of 30 July, 9 people had died, 20,174 people affected and 2,244 houses destroyed. The worst hit areas were the regions of Maradi and Tahoua, with respectively 13,667 and 4,173 people affected.

Flooding has continued, in particular after a period of heavy rain in early August. The capital Niamey recorded 67mm of rain in 24 hours to 07 August. As of 08 August, the Niger river in the city stood at 5.8 metres, approaching Orange alert level (level 3 of 4).