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Tue, 18 Feb 2020
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Ice Age Farmer Report: Plagues of locusts, pestilence, and famine: 2020

locusts
© EPA
Men run through a swarm of desert locusts to chase them away in the bush near Enziu, Kitui County, some 200km east of the capital Nairobi, Kenya.
The worst plague of locusts in a century threatens food security of hundreds of millions of people. They have destroyed 40-50% of Pakistan's crops, prompting a National Emergency declaration.

The media is both promoting AND debunking the "Grand Solar Minimum," sowing confusion.

China's Coronavirus quarantine is eviscerating their agriculture.


Sources

Snowflake Cold

Fierce cold, even record cold, in Kamchatka, Russia

snowing
The weather in Chukotka and Kamchatka has noticeably deteriorated.

Both in the continental regions of Chukotka and in Kamchatka it is now much colder than it should be on the calendar. The temperature anomaly reaches 6-8 degrees.

In Kamchatka, and in the southeast, the cold reached a record. In Nachiki, on the morning of February 4, the air cooled to -43.4°C. The previous record, -42.7 °C, held since 1973.

Not only cold, but also blizzards with a sharp gusty wind (up to 24 m/s) came both to Kamchatka and Chukotka. And this weather will last some more time.


Windsock

Hurricane Petra sweeps across Switzerland with highest winds since 1981

A storm sweeps over Lake Geneva
© FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
A storm sweeps over Lake Geneva (illustration photo).
Hurricane Petra has swept across Switzerland on Monday night and Tuesday morning, causing damage, electricity shortages and road closures.

The hurricane brought with it the highest winds seen in the country since 1981.

Thousands of damage reports flooded in from across the country, with disruptions to the electricity service as well as road closures across the country.

Police said that the major issues were caused by trees falling on roads and houses, while wind also blew barriers from construction sites, portable toilets and trampolines away.

Although there were some reports of car accidents and injuries, so far nobody has been killed in the storm front.

More inclement weather is predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday as temperatures drop across the region, although winds are expect to ease from Tuesday afternoon onwards.


Comment: Record winds were also recorded in Hungary on Tuesday, with 124kph measured on János Hill in Budapest reports Hungary Today.


Snowflake

Violent storm leaves Italy's Mount Etna covered in snow as temperatures drop by 20 degrees C

snow storm
A storm in Catania, near Mount Etna, has covered in snow as temperatures dropped 20 degrees Celsius in just 24 hours.

Filmed on February 5, the footage shows snow blanketing the nearby region combined with winds up to 130kmph.


Seismograph

6.3-magnitude earthquake strikes off Indonesia's Bali, no tsunami alert issued

Graph
A 6.3-magnitude earthquake jolted Bali resort island earlier Thursday, but there was no potential for tsunami, the meteorology and geophysics agency said.

The quake struck at 01: 12 a.m. Jakarta time Thursday (1812 GMT Wednesday) with epicenter at 69 km northeast Bangkalan of East Java province and the depth at 636 km under sea bed, Jerisman Purba, an official in charge of the agency, said.

"The center of the quake is very deep. It did not potentially trigger tsunami, so we did not issue a warning for that," he told Xinhua by phone.

Arrow Down

38 dead in eastern Turkey as second avalanche buries rescuers of people trapped in first avalanche - UPDATE: Death toll increases to 41

The bodies of more than two dozen rescue workers and civilians were discovered in Van province, where they had been helping dig out a minibus buried by a first avalanche late Tuesday

The bodies of more than two dozen rescue workers and civilians were discovered in Van province, where they had been helping dig out a minibus buried by a first avalanche late Tuesday
At least 33 people were killed in eastern Turkey Wednesday by a second avalanche which buried a team of rescuers searching for people hit by the first the day before.

The bodies of 33 rescue workers and civilians were discovered in Van province, where they had been helping dig out a minibus buried by snow late Tuesday, the government's disaster agency AFAD said.

Five people aboard the vehicle were killed, taking the overall toll to 38. Eight people had been rescued alive from the first avalanche.

Television images showed dozens of people scrambling up the mountains, digging through snow in blizzards to find those trapped under the snow.


Comment: Local media reports the death toll from this double tragedy is up to 41 as of February 6th.


Ladybug

Fireflies are facing extinction due to habitat loss, pesticides and artificial light

A female glow-worm, from the same family as fireflies, will shine for hours to attract her mate but artificial light can disrupt the process.

A female glow-worm, from the same family as fireflies, will shine for hours to attract her mate but artificial light can disrupt the process.
Around the world, fireflies light up the night with their shimmering bodies. But scientists say this magical display is under threat -- with the loss of their natural habitats, pesticide use and artificial light putting some of the 2,000 or so species at risk of extinction.

Habitat loss is leading to the decline of many wildlife species, with some fireflies suffering because they need certain environmental conditions to complete their life cycle, said Sara Lewis, a professor of biology at Tufts University, who led the research published Monday in the journal Bioscience.

For example, she said, one Malaysian firefly (Pteroptyx tener), famous for its synchronized flashing displays, needs mangroves and the plants they contain to breed but across Malaysia mangrove swamps have been converted into palm oil plantations and aquaculture farms.

More surprisingly, the researchers found that the use of artificial light at night, something that has grown exponentially over the past century, was the second most serious threat to the creatures.


Biohazard

New outbreaks of bird flu reported in Saudi Arabia and Vietnam

bird flu
© SPA
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture revealed that a case of highly pathogenic bird flu (H5N8) was recorded at a poultry farm in Riyadh.
Saudi agriculture officials handling a reported case of bird flu at a farm in Riyadh have assured the public that it presents no risk to human health.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture revealed that a case of highly pathogenic bird flu (H5N8) had been recorded at a poultry farm in the capital and authorities had taken necessary measures on site to prevent any spread of the virus.

Ministry spokesman, Dr. Abdullah Aba Al-Khail, said that according to the World Health Organization, H5N8 was a strain that only affected birds and could not be transmitted to humans.

He pointed out that it was first registered in the Kingdom at the end of 2017 but was controlled and did not pose a threat to public health.
Aba Al-Khail added that field emergency teams attended the farm immediately after receiving notification of the case and implemented procedures for dealing with the virus.

Comment: Sputnik reports on the outbreak in Vietnam:
In Vietnam, the outbreak of avian influenza's subtype of H5N6 started on 18 January and infected and killed more than 2,000 birds in the country's north. Additionally, 300 birds were killed and disposed of, the OIE said, citing Dr. Dong Pham Van, the head of the Agriculture Ministry's department of animal health.
And just 4 days ago China culled thousands of chickens following a new outbreak.


Snowflake

Huge snowstorm for 2nd successive week in the Alps with over 7 feet of snowfall

Mayrhofen, Austria

Mayrhofen, Austria

The second big snowstorm in less than a fortnight has been blowing across Western Europe with February so far much snowier than most of January was.

Some ski areas have reported up to 75cm of snow in the past 24 hours; 150cm (five feet) in the past three days and over 2.1 metres (7 feet) of snowfall in the past week.


Comment: A week prior: Up to 43 inches of snow fell on the Alps in 72 hours


Airplane

Over 500 Denver International Airport flights canceled, delayed as snow rolls in

Not leaving on a jet plane
© Chase Woodruff
Not leaving on a jet plane
More than 500 incoming and outgoing flights at Denver International Airport have been delayed or canceled Monday as the first major snowstorm of 2020 moves through Colorado.

RTD bus and light rail service delays could be up to 20 minutes Monday because of the winter storm, according to an RTD tweet.

Eight airlines canceled 144 flights in and out of DIA on Monday, according to the website FlightAware. SkyWest canceled the most flights, a total of 61 by noon Monday, FlightAware said.

"There are delays due to weather," said Alex Renteria, DIA spokeswoman. "Keep an eye on the weather."