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Tue, 05 Dec 2023
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Earth Changes


Skies in Mongolia mysteriously turn blood-red

The eerie red skies seen in Mongolia.

The eerie red skies seen in Mongolia.
In an extraordinary celestial display, the skies over Mongolia turned deep, blood-red as the country experienced one of the rarest auroral events on Friday and early Saturday.

The intense colouration is attributed to the initial impact of a significant solar storm that collided with Earth, creating a spectacle that left onlookers in awe.

The phenomenon, known as an aurora, typically occurs closer to the poles and is often green in colour. However, the auroras seen in Mongolia were of a striking crimson hue, a rarity caused by the interaction of solar particles with oxygen at high altitudes — over 241 kilometres above the Earth's surface, where the atmosphere is much thinner.


7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes the Philippine Sea, 5 aftershocks of mag.6 or greater

A major, 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck in the Philippine Sea on Saturday, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The temblor happened at 10:37 p.m. Philippine time, data from the agency shows.

As seismologists review available data, they may revise the earthquake's reported magnitude. Additional information collected about the earthquake may also prompt U.S.G.S. scientists to update the shake-severity map.

Comment: Earthquake Track noted 5 aftershocks of mag.6 or greater, for details see here, here, here, here and here.

Better Earth

Unusually large Southern Hemisphere ozone hole baffles scientists


FILEPHOTO: Ozone hole 2021
The ozone hole over Antarctica keeps intriguing by its unusual pattern this 2023 season. The Southern Hemisphere ozone hole size had a series of rebounds in late November, as shown by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) data, at a period when it usually declines until its closure. This behaviour raises questions about what's behind yet another peculiar ozone hole season.

The Southern Hemisphere ozone hole is unusually large, at a time when it normally reduces until its total closure, generally in December. Instead, since the end of October the ozone hole area has virtually remained unchanged, with a series of rebounds, remaining at a size of some 15 km2, to become the third largest after 30 November.

Comment: Despite decades of propaganda scaring people into believing that everything from hairspray to old fridges were destroying the ozone layer, it has become fairly clear that, despite claims to the contrary, the mechanisms driving the formation of the ozone layer are very poorly understood by mainstream science: Magnetic storms can destroy up to a quarter of the Earth's ozone layer, new study reveals

Also check out SOTT radio's:


More than normal influx of hungry short-eared owls to UK from Scandinavia

Short-eared owls, like this one seen over Kent in October, are proving a hit with bird-watchers in East Yorkshire
© Gareth Fuller
Short-eared owls, like this one seen over Kent in October, are proving a hit with bird-watchers in East Yorkshire
An influx of short-eared owls along England's east coast has sparked interest among bird-watchers across the UK eager to see the visitors.

In recent weeks, large numbers of the owls have been spotted at places such as the banks of the Humber estuary.

Wildlife guide Margaret Boyd, from East Yorkshire, said "so many more than normal" had been spotted in the area.

A "shortage of food" in regions like Scandinavia was thought have left the owls looking further afield, she said.

According to the RSPB, short-eared owls were "of European conservation concern" as their numbers were in moderate decline.


Heavy snowfall shuts down air, rail links in southern Germany

A man crosses a road early in the morning after heavy snowfall in Munich
© Matthias Schrader/AP
A man crosses a road early in the morning after heavy snowfall in Munich
Heavy snowfall overnight has paralysed air and rail connections in the southern German state of Bavaria, leaving thousands of travellers stranded.

All flights were grounded at Munich Airport, a key regional and international hub, until 6am (05:00) GMT on Sunday, the airport said. Air traffic had initially been suspended until noon (11:00 GMT) on Saturday.

"Passengers are strongly advised not to travel to the airport today [Saturday] and to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport tomorrow," airport authorities said.

German airline Lufthansa noted the knock-on effect of the closure of Munich airport, saying that many other airports in Germany, including the one in Frankfurt "are affected with limited flight operations".

The severe weather, which is expected to continue, also disrupted rail services in Bavaria, with the main railway station in the capital, Munich, brought to a virtual standstill.


Etna erupts again, sending hot lava down its snowy slopes

Mount Etna eruption lights up the night sky

Mount Etna eruption lights up the night sky
Mount Etna on the Italian island of Sicily erupted at dawn on Friday, creating a festive spectacle of fire and ice.

At 3,3057 metres, it's Europe's tallest volcano and has been constantly active in the past ten years.

But no one has been injured and no one is in danger.

Volcanologists have described the activity on Etna in recent days as a succession of Strombolian eruptions - which are moderately explosive but short eruptions named after the volcano on the nearby island of Stromboli.

Cardboard Box

UK suffers potato shortage & price rises following 'record autumn rains'

© Andrew Paterson/Alamy
FILE PHOTO: A ruined crop of potatoes. Experts say supermarkets may have to rely on imports from as far afield as Egypt, pushing up environmental impact.
UK farmers are struggling with one of the lowest potato harvests on record after an autumn of heavy rain, raising fears about supplies for this year's Christmas dinners.

Experts are warning that supermarkets could be forced to turn to imports from as far afield as Egypt to fill potential gaps on shelves, pushing up the environmental impact of the festive meal.

Comment: The Guardian journalists are worried about the (relatively inconsequential) Co2 emissions - as world leaders fly to the UAE in their private jets for the COP28 climate summit - meanwhile, as inflation continues to push up prices, tens of millions of people in the West worry about how they're going to be able to afford the Christmas celebrations.

Fred Searle, the magazine editor of the Fresh Produce Journal, said potato planting had reduced significantly and the sector was "looking at the lowest UK crop on record this season", with an estimate that about "4.1m tonnes of potatoes would be harvested, 2m less than five or six years ago".

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


Snow and gusty winds hit inactive volcano summit on Hawaii's Big Island

Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii's Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet.

Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii's Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet.
Snow and gusty winds lashed the summit of an inactive volcano in Hawaii as a 'Kona low' low-pressure system brought stormy weather to the state.


Massive solar storm to hit Earth today (Dec.1) with danger of radio and internet blackouts

Radio, internet and GPS fluctuations are likely in some parts of the world on Friday as a massive solar storm is predicted to hit the Earth, US forecasters say.

The solar storm, or coronal mass ejection (CME), could interfere with the Earth's magnetic field and is likely to impact various forms of communications as well as sparking vibrant auroras, space weather physicist Tamitha Skov said.

"The storm is predicted to hit Earth by midday December 1... If the magnetic field is oriented correctly, expect aurora to reach deep into mid-latitudes. Amateur radio and GPS reception issues are likely, especially on Earth's nightside," Dr Skov posted on X.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other forecasters had already predicted that three solar storms were heading towards the Earth with some of them likely to merge to produce stronger magnetic field disruptions.

Snowflake Cold

Snowstorm causes massive power cuts across Ukraine - at least 10 dead (UPDATE)

Dozens of passengers in Ukraine have had to be rescued from vehicles stuck in heavy snow
Dozens of passengers in Ukraine have had to be rescued from vehicles stuck in heavy snow
Snowstorms and strong winds have left more than 2,000 towns and villages without power across many regions of Ukraine, local officials say.

They say 48 people, including children, have been evacuated from trapped vehicles in the worst-affected Odesa region in the south-west.

At least six people have suffered from hypothermia. Traffic is currently blocked on 14 motorways.

Comment: Update November 28

CNN reports:
At least 10 people have died and thousands remain cut off from the power grid in Ukraine, in three days of stormy weather that has blanketed parts of the country in heavy snow, a senior official said Tuesday.

More than 400 settlements across 11 regions were without electricity, and more than 1,500 responders were trying to reach thousands of people in need of rescue, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko wrote on Telegram, as fresh bouts of snow are expected to continue this week.

Another 23 were injured, including two children, Klymenko said Tuesday, adding the deaths were in Odesa, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Kyiv regions.

Videos showed Ukrainian police battling fierce winds as they pushed and towed cars back onto icy highways after they had slid off-road into ditches.