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Mon, 21 Aug 2017
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Sun

California's Death Valley breaks record for hottest month ever in the US

© National Park Service
Death Valley Park Ranger Roberto Mendez stands by Furnace Creek’s unofficial thermometer.
July temperatures in Death Valley have incinerated previous records.

With an average daily high temperature of 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit (41.9 degrees Celsius), July was the valley's hottest month on record, blazing through the former record of 107.2 degrees F (41.8 degrees C) set in 1917, the National Weather Service's Las Vegas Forecast Office (NWS Las Vegas) wrote Aug. 2 in a tweet.

Temperatures in Death Valley in July blazed into the record books not only as the hottest month in the desert valley in eastern California but also as the hottest month ever recorded in the United States, according to NWS Las Vegas.

During July, temperatures were at their lowest at around 5 a.m. local time, averaging about 95 degrees F (35 degrees C), Death Valley National Park representatives wrote in a Facebook post on Aug. 3.

"This is an extreme place to live and visit in the summer, especially this past month," they said.

A photo shared in the post showed a National Park Service (NPS) official posing next to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in the park, leaning against a sign displaying a local temperature of 124 degrees F (51.1 degrees C).

Death Valley's highest temperatures during July were 127 degrees F (52.8 degrees C) on July 7; 126 degrees F (52.2 degrees C) on July 8; and 125 degrees F (51.7 degrees C) on July 31, according to daily temperature reports compiled by the National Weather Service, The Washington Post reported.

Comment: Temperatures are becoming more extreme around the planet. There was a record high temperature in Ahvaz, Iran of 129F (53.7C) this year - the hottest in the country's history. Yet there have also been record cold temperatures in many other places, such as Australia, Slovakia, Russia, Arctic and the US.

See also: Record low temperatures across the planet outweigh record high's by 18:1 ratio


Arrow Down

Polluted river in India turns dogs blue!


Have you ever seen or heard about a blue dog? It might be funny and odd, but the reason behind it makes animal lovers furious.

© Press TV
Photos and videos of blue stray dogs in the Indian town of Navi Mumbai have gone viral this week.
Photos and videos of blue stray dogs in the Indian town of Navi Mumbai have gone viral this week. But what's causing it?
© Press TV

Fire

Scientists perplexed as unusually large wildfire has burned for weeks in icy Greenland

© Getty Images / AFP
This NOAA handout satellite photo taken on August 3, 2017 shows a cloud of smoke from wildfires burning in western Greenland, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Sisimiut.
There's something curious happening in icy Greenland: a wildfire that has been burning for weeks.

The wildfire appears to be historic in both its size and its duration, but no one can say for sure - because Greenland doesn't have longstanding records of fires. Officials haven't had much of a need for them, seeing as nearly 80 percent of the Arctic island is covered in an ice sheet.

"There are wildfires, but it's not a typical wildfire environment, and it's a remote area," said Stef Lhermitte, a remote sensing scientist at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

At about two square miles, this wildfire is relatively small compared to others around the world. But it's the biggest in Greenland since satellite record-keeping began in 2000.

This one was first spotted on satellite on July 31 in western Greenland, about 90 miles northeast of the city of Sisimiut - and it's still burning.

Past wildfires in Greenland have only lasted one to three days, said Dr. Jessica McCarty, an assistant professor of geography at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an expert in satellite data analysis. This one is about 40 miles west of the ice sheet.

Comment: Last year a rare winter wildfire ignited in Alaska, despite a foot of snow on the ground and forest fires broke out in Switzerland (in the dead of winter!)

Last month mysterious plumes of steam were recorded rising from a Greenland glacier which may be another sign of powerful geothermal activity from below. See also:

SOTT Exclusive: The growing threat of underground fires and explosions


Road Cone

'Domino effect': Dozens of vehicles pile up in row after mudflows in Crimea

© Крымский Мир / YouTube
Dozens of cars were swept away and piled up after massive mudflows caused by heavy rainfall rocked a resort town in Crimea, videos on social media show. The chain of wrecked vehicles triggered a 10-km traffic jam on the local highway.

The town of Sudak and surrounding area in eastern Crimea were pounded by heavy rain on Friday evening. The town has around 16,000 residents, but the total number of people is higher in the summer due to the influx of tourists.

The rain triggered flooding in areas near the Suuksu river, and a part of the highway from Sudak to Crimea's capital, Simferopol was heavily eroded.

At least 41 households were flooded, authorities say, adding that dozens, including children, have been evacuated.

Around 50 cars piled up in a 50-meter-long row on the Sudak-Simferopol highway. The vehicles were partially flooded due to the mudflows and rains. The pile-up caused a 10-km traffic jam on the highway, the town said.

On Saturday, authorities said that the town was in a state of emergency.


Fire

Yosemite fire near famous tree grove forces evacuation of Wawona

© inciweb.nwcg.gov via AP
This photo provided by inciweb.nwcg.gov shows a fire burning near the town of Wawona, Calif., within Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada.
With a growing forest fire and more forecasted thunderstorms, fire officials have ordered the evacuation of this small town just inside the south entrance of Yosemite National Park.

The South Fork Fire, near the South Fork of the Merced River, has burned more than 2,900 acres since Aug. 13 and is only 10 percent contained, a fire official said Saturday. The fire intensified Friday night as a result of thunderstorm downdraft winds and several spot fires from that weather, according to Yosemite officials.

Attention

Sad ending for beached humpback whale near Red Cliff, Australia

© Tegan Smith
Volunteers work in vain to save a humpback that beached itself north of Red Cliff
Despite the best efforts of volunteers, a humpback that beached itself north of Red Cliff over the weekend could not be saved.

It is believed the "severely emaciated" whale washed ashore on the beach north of Brooms Head some time on Friday, and died on Saturday.

Rescue organisation ORCCA co-ordinated a volunteer response with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, using sheets and towels to cover the 13.5m mammal and keep it wet, cool and as comfortable as possible while it was still alive.

But Dolphin Marine Magic's manager of life sciences Aaron Tolley said by the time his team arrived to assess its condition on Saturday, it had drawn its last breath 10 minutes before.

There will now be a discussion between Clarence Valley Council and National Parks and Wildlife about what to do with the body, he said.

Attention

Dead minke whale found on beach in Rye, New Hampshire; second such incident in a month for the state

© Seacoast Science Center Rescue
Officials said they believe the small whale was dead before it came ashore on Foss Beach in Rye. It was discovered Saturday.
A second dead minke whale in less than a month has washed ashore off New Hampshire's seacoast, Fish and Game officials confirmed Saturday.

Officials said they believe the small whale was dead before it came ashore on Foss Beach in Rye.

The whale was spotted Saturday morning and removed from the beach during the early afternoon.

A necropsy will be done to determine the cause of death but officials stress they don't believe the death is suspicious.

Officials with the Seacoast Science Center's Marine Mammal Rescue say the frequency of these dead whales is concerning.

Attention

12-metre-long whale washes up dead on the coast of Iran


Bryde’s whale
A gigantic Bryde's whale weighing nearly 10 tonnes has been found washed ashore on the coasts of Shibkooh in Bandar Lengeh, southern Iran, an environment official announced.

Saman Qassemi, the head of Bandar Lengeh Department of Environment, said the 12-metre-long and 10-tonne Bryde's whale was found stranded on Saturday, August 19.

According to a Farsi report by ISNA, these whales can swim as fast as 25 kilometres per hour and as deep as 300 metres down the sea.

Qassemi says they are usually found worldwide in warm temperate and tropical waters, including the Persian Gulf, and Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans.

They are usually killed after being hit by fishing instruments and vessels, he went on to say.

Cloud Precipitation

Washout Summer in Norway - farmers despair

Rain, rain, rain. Rain on 70 out of 72 days! Large crops are lost.

"Same as start of the great famine of 1315," says reader.

In Western Norway it's been very wet in some places for 70 out of 72 days as the jet stream has increasingly taken a sojourn over Northwestern Europe, says astrophysicist Piers Corbyn.

70 out of 72 days! That's 97 percent!

How do you plant in weather like that? How do you harvest your crops? What will you feed your cattle if you're unable to harvest?

Cloud Lightning

Lightning never strikes twice? 3 killed, 5 injured in double lightning strike in Jharkhand, India

Three persons today were killed and six football lovers seriously injured after lightning struck them at Tetulia under the jurisdiction of Sonardih police station in Dhanbad district, police said.

Tetulia is around 30 km away from Dhanbad and victims were watching a semi-final match of a football tournament at Tetulia Khel Maidan when lightning struck them twice, a police officer said.

The deceased were identified as Gopi Bhuiya (16), Akash Kumar (19) and Ashim Ansari (32), the officer said.

The injured were identified as Sanjay Bhuiya, Pramod Kumar, Shankar kumar, Ritik Kumar and Saurabh Rajwar, he said.