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Wed, 01 Mar 2017
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Earth Changes


Over 4,200 birds dead in Idaho after massive outbreak of avian cholera

Wildlife officials estimate that more than 4,200 birds have died from an avian cholera outbreak that started in early February.

The outbreak has occurred on private land, and the disease has killed mostly duck, but also some geese and other birds.

Currently, Idaho Fish and Game personnel are continuing to find and collect dead waterfowl in the Parma area in western Idaho. The dead birds are being collected by Fish and Game crews and volunteers and buried at the Fort Boise Wildlife Area to prevent and reduce further spread of the disease.

"We're trying to minimize the impact," said Tyler Archibald, Fish and Game habitat biologist at Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area.


WTO report: Heat record set in Antarctica in March 2015 with balmy 63.5° F

© REUTERS/Pauline Askin/Files
Two Adelie penguins stand atop a block of melting ice on a rocky shoreline at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, in East Antarctica in this January 1, 2010 file photo
An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 63.5° Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius), the U.N. weather agency said on Wednesday.

The Experanza base set the high on March 24, 2015, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said after reviewing data around Antarctica to set benchmarks to help track future global warming and natural variations.

"Verification of maximum and minimum temperatures help us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth's final frontiers," said Michael Sparrow, a polar expert with the WMO co-sponsored World Climate Research Programme.

Bizarro Earth

NASA data show California's San Joaquin Valley still sinking

© European Space Agency/NASA-JPL/Caltech/Google Earth
Total subsidence in California's San Joaquin Valley between May 7, 2015 and Sept. 10, 2016, as measured by ESA's Sentinel-1A and processed at JPL. Two large subsidence bowls are evident, centered on Corcoran and southeast of El Nido, with a small, new feature between them, near Tranquility.
Fast Facts:
- For nearly a century, groundwater pumping from Central California wells has caused some land to subside.
- Subsidence is an ongoing issue for state water managers.
- JPL is using radar remote sensing to identify areas that are subsiding fastest.
Groundwater Pumping Causing Subsidence, Damaging Water Infrastructure

Since the 1920s, excessive pumping of groundwater at thousands of wells in California's San Joaquin Valley has caused land in sections of the valley to subside, or sink, by as much as 28 feet (8.5 meters). This subsidence is exacerbated during droughts, when farmers rely heavily on groundwater to sustain one of the most productive agricultural regions in the nation.

Arrow Down

Nearly 70 people killed by avalanches in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Avalanches have claimed the lives of nearly 70 people in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.

At least 54 people were killed in Afghanistan over the past few days. Officials expect the death toll to rise as nearly 170 homes have been destroyed. Over 50 people are injured as 22 Afghan provinces witness freezing weather and heavy snowfall. Officials in neighboring Pakistan have also confirmed the death of over a dozen people in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The region has been blanketed with over a meter of snow that's blocked most roads and led the closure of Chitral Airport. People in worst-hit areas are facing food and medicine shortages.

Arrow Down

12,000 people isolated after 46 avalanches during February in Chitral, Pakistan

Dig that snow man
46 avalanches at different points in the region have caused the only road to Arkari Valley to remain blocked since Feb 5, isolating over 12,000 people in the area.

According to a report, the 12,000 people of the valley are still stranded as the long route to Chitral town was blocked off by huge avalanches. The people of the isolated area complained against the provincial government, for not clearing the sole road to of snow and boulders.

Village Council Chairman Sher Muhammad said, "Around 12,000 people in the valley are facing acute shortage of food, medicines and other essential commodities as there is no hospital. The local administration has reserved only one tractor to clear the road blocked by over 46 avalanches which is not possible."


76-year-old victim of pit pull attack in Los Angeles dies

Valentine Herrera, 76, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after being attacked by two pit bulls in Lincoln Heights on Thursday, Feb. 2.
A 76-year-old victim of a vicious pit pull attack earlier this month has died, according to family members.

Valentine Herrera was critically injured after he and his small dog were mauled by two neighborhood pit bulls in Lincoln Heights.

The man's Pomeranian was killed.

The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. in the 2600 block of Lincoln Park Avenue on Feb. 2.

Herrera's family said Herrera was in grave condition until earlier this week but passed away Monday afternoon.

A GoFundMe account was set up to raise funds. To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/3fdokt4.


Chicago records no measurable snow in January, February for 1st time in 146 years

© Michael Tercha / Chicago Tribune
Record-breaking temperatures draw Chicagoans outdoors.
For the first time in 146 years, the National Weather Service documented no snow on the ground in Chicago in January and February — a record that put a spring in the step of some but weighed down others worried about climate change.

Because the snow measurement is taken at 6 a.m. at O'Hare International Airport, small amounts of snow that may have fallen later in the day and melted were not recorded, said Amy Seeley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. This occurred Feb. 25 when there was a trace of snow and Jan. 30 when there was 0.1 inch. The weather service has been keeping data on snow on the ground for 146 years.

The record near-snowless start was overshadowed Tuesday by severe storms moving through the state.

The National Weather Service forecast large hail, winds, localized flooding and tornadoes Tuesday evening. A tornado hit Ottowa on Tuesday evening, killing one person, and the weather service said its spotters had reported a number of other tornadoes.

More stormy weather was forecast for the week, including possible snow.

WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling said he believes the 146-year streak in Chicago is part of climate change and emphasized that it does not occur linearly, meaning that there is potential for cold winters in the future.

Comment: Meanwhile other parts of the US such as California and Nevada are experiencing record-breaking snowfalls.

See also: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - January 2017: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Exceptionally warm February weather breaks records across Switzerland

© The Local
Thursday was exceptionally warm in Switzerland with many places across the country seeing temperatures of around 20 degrees, breaking previous records for the month of February.

The unseasonal weather, due to a mass of dry, hot air moving up from Spain, meant it felt more like the end of April than February, with temperatures on the Swiss lowlands some 12 degrees warmer than usual for this time of year, said MeteoNews.

The cities of Nyon, Sion, Aigle and Neuchâtel all broke their previous February records. In Sion, the mercury rose to 21.2 degrees, smashing its previous record of 19.8 set in 1998. Nyon reached 18.4 degrees and Aigle 19.5.

Cities in German-speaking Switzerland were also affected, with Thun, Interlaken and Basel-Binningen all surpassing 20 degrees. Lucerne wasn't far behind with 19.9 degrees, Zurich reached 19.5 and Bern set a new city record for February with 18.5 degrees.


Tornadoes and large hail hit US Midwest leaving at least 2 dead

A tornado watch and severe thunderstorm watch were issued for several parts of Illinois Tuesday night.
Parts of the Midwest were hit with severe weather Tuesday evening, including tornadoes and thunderstorms that are expected to continue into early Wednesday morning. At least two fatalities have been reported.

As of late Tuesday night, a tornado watch was in effect until 4 a.m. for parts of Illinois and Indiana.

Some of the most widespread damage was found in Ottawa, Illinois, southwest of Chicago. The warning for this area described the tornado responsible for the damage as particularly dangerous.

The deputy chief of the Ottawa Fire Department tells ABC News that the city has sustained one fatality.

And according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, an apparent tornado picked up at least 15 cars from a junkyard near I-55, and dumped them on the interstate. One of the junk cars hit an occupied vehicle on the Interstate, killing its occupant, a resident of nearby Perryville.

Comment: First ever February tornado hits Massachusetts


Large sinkhole opens in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

© Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel
Sinhole formed just north of Davie Boulevard along 24th Avenue.
The sinkhole didn't swallow anybody or anything. But it was large enough to easily fit several full-sized adults inside.

The sinkhole that was spotted early Monday along Southwest 24th Avenue's frontage road, just north of Davie Boulevard, happened after a 6-inch water pipe below ground broke, officials said. By Monday afternoon the pipe had been repaired.

Crews from Fort Lauderdale and Florida's Department of Transportation are working to rebuild the concrete structure around the storm drain. It's likely that the travel lane where the sinkhole formed will be closed until Thursday, according to Matt Little, Fort Lauderdale spokesman.

The hole is too large to put a plate over it, Little said.

"We expect fill and pavement to be complete on Thursday depending on weather and delivery of materials," Little said.