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Tue, 21 Sep 2021
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Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snow and frost cause problems in Punta Arenas, Chile

During the day, some traffic accidents with minor damages were reported in different sectors of Punta Arenas, as well as falls of people due to snow and frost.

In the early hours of yesterday, a heavy snow began to fall in Punta Arenas, which covered the main streets of the city in white, and even more so in the western sector.

This created problems for drivers, who found it difficult to walk, also considering that in recent days the flow of vehicles increased considerably.

No Entry

No bridge over troubled waters: Raging flood destroys bridge in Taiwan after typhoon hits coast

No bridge
A bridge in southern Taiwan was destroyed and washed away by raging floods on Saturday.

Large amounts of rain have also hit the east coast as typhoon Lupit turned into a tropical depression, making landfall.

Footage from Kaohsiung City captures the moment a bridge collapses, with muddy floodwater first running through and over the structure, before pulling it away.

Elsewhere in Taoyuan City, locals gathered to watch a reservoir overflow.

Lupit, the ninth typhoon of the year to affect the area, formed on 4 August.

Cloud Precipitation

Flooding in Europe sends price of potatoes soaring

floods Germany Rhineland-Palatinate
© Boris Roessler/picture alliance/Getty Images
Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state was hit the worst.
The UK could experience a shortage of chips as the demand for potatoes grows in Europe.

After heavy flooding last month, the price of spuds has soared on the continent and buyers are targeting Britain, the Daily Star reported.

A "perfect storm" of inflation, labour shortages, environmental disaster, Brexit, rising fuel and distribution costs, has caused the problem.

Comment: Note that some of these factors are entirely avoidable and their impact could be easily mitigated, however. when these natural disasters are combined with these man-made crises, which are affecting more than just potatoes, the effect could be particularly devastating for producers and consumers.

But this has been added to by the continuing impact of Covid, triggering food shortages and spiralling bills, Lynx Purchasing reported.

Comment: Back in 2018 the price of potatoes in Europe rose 900% because of a Europe-wide drought and heatwave; the following year flooding caused the prices to rise; and this years unsettled and cool weather across much of western Europe is likely to take its toll on an already strained supply chain.

For more on the increasing climate upheaval on our planet, check out SOTT's monthly documentary Earth Changes Summary - July 2021: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

Also check out SOTT radio's:


French wine production falls to 'historically low' level after vineyards devastated by severe frost

Frosty grape leaves
© Screenshot
France's agriculture ministry reported on Friday that it has experienced one of the worst years on record for wine production, as a devastating late-spring frost sent output to "historically low" levels not seen since 1977.

The impact of the damaging frosts is expected to result in the nation, which is the second-largest wine producer globally, seeing its output fall to the "historically low" level of 24 to 30% in 2021. This would put it at a level below that of 1991 and 2017, when output was significantly hampered by a similar late-spring frost that destroyed harvests. Agricultural Ministry's statement read:
"For now, it looks like the yield will be comparable to that of 1977 - a year when the vine harvest was reduced by both destructive frost and summer downpours."
Addressing the department's findings, Agricultural Minister Julien Denormandie described the frost's impact as "probably the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century."

The greatest amount of damage occurred back in April, when several nights of cold spells hit the main wine production regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhône Valley with frosts that hadn't been seen in decades.

Comment: Frost damage takes its toll, a harbinger for low production and increasing shortages as agriculture weathers the big chill.

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SOTT Earth Changes Summary - July 2021: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

China's monsoon season has been catastrophic so far, unprecedented heavy floods have taken a heavy toll. The southwest and central regions in the Yangtze river basin witnessed the heaviest rainfall in 1,000 years, and the water continues to pour down with no rest.

Across Henan, rains deluged 1,700 large-scale farms, killing more than a million animals, and whose many small farmers still play a major role in meat production. The floods also caused a major explosion in an aluminum alloy unit in central Henan.

At least 14 people lost their lives in Zhengzhou city when their subway train flooded. More than 500 people were trapped in the subway in one of the worst-affected areas of the city.

China's biggest river, the Yangtze, and several of its tributaries have risen to dangerous levels after days of heavy rain, forcing evacuations of thousands of people and triggering an unprecedented emergency response alert.

A very serious double earthen dam failure sent 46 million cubic meters of water to the Hulunbuir area of Inner Mongolia, causing massive flooding.

The Three Gorges Dam has successfully contained the heavy floods, sighing relief to Chinese authorities, as a collapse could have had an even more catastrophic impact on the area.

Severe flooding caused by historic rainfall wreaked havoc across western Europe taking the lives of 189 people. Tens of thousands were unable to return to their homes and were left without access to power and drinking water. Towns in river valleys and low-lying plains in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Austria were heavily damaged. Most of the affected areas had not experienced that much rainfall in 100 years.

Drought and extreme heat triggered the two largest wildfires in the Western US. The fires have burned land nearly the size of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined.

The Dixie Fire in California scorched 241,000 acres has destroyed more than 60 houses. The widespread fires have forced the evacuation of more than 7,800 residents.

The Bootleg Fire is still raging in southern Oregon, burning 413,000 acres since igniting this month. The fire has torn through more than 400 houses.

Greek firefighters faced dangerous and unprecedented conditions as they battled 154 wildfires through Athens, with one of them threatening Mount Parnitha national park — one of the last remaining substantial forests near the city. Meanwhile, in Turkey, eight people died in the country's worst blaze in decades that raged through swaths of the southern coast.

Hot weather and strong winds fueled multiple wildlife fires in Akkar, Lebanon, consuming the iconic Lebanese pine forests. The flames forced thousands to evacuate.

And on the southern hemisphere, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay reported rare snowstorms and surprisingly cold temperatures this winter.

A magnitude-8.2 earthquake rattled Chignik, Alaska this month, it has been recorded as the most powerful U.S. earthquake in half a century. Several Alaskan coastal communities were evacuated following the quake, but no major damage was reported due to the remote location and depth of the epicenter.

Have you noticed that more and more people, cattle, buildings, and trees are getting struck by lightning? Things are charging up in higher layers of the atmosphere. Keep your eyes open, and prepare accordingly!

All this and more in our SOTT Earth Changes Summary for July 2021:


Dixie Fire becomes largest single wildfire in California history

The Dixie Fire burning in two Northern California counties is now the largest single wildfire in recorded state history, exploding in size overnight as drought-stricken lands continue to fuel the flames.

The fire, which has burned for 23 days and forced mass evacuations, razed the Gold Rush town of Greenville on Thursday, destroying 91 buildings and damaging five others. Smoke from the blaze has blown to lower parts of Northern California, including the state capital of Sacramento where the air quality index on Friday reached "unhealthy" levels.

Comment: Thousands evacuate fast-moving California wildfire, homes burn

Cloud Precipitation

Homes destroyed by flash floods in Coahuila and Durango, Mexico

Flood damage in Torreón, Mexico
© Municipio de Torreón
Flood damage in Torreón, Mexico
Vehicles were flipped on their sides and homes severely damaged as powerful flash floods surged through areas along the border between Coahuila and Durango states in Mexico.

Torrential rain struck in the city of Torreón in Coahuila State overnight 04 to 05 August 2021. Local authorities said western parts of the city saw more than 41 mm of rain in a very short period of time. A stream that passes through several parts of the city broke its banks. Authorities said the situation was worsened by the accumulation of garbage and debris in the stream, as well as illegal construction of houses near the stream.

Flood waters raced through streets, dragging vehicles and buildings. Authorities said at least 42 homes were damaged and 200 people directly affected. Emergency accommodation was made available for affected families.

Bizarro Earth

Major Atlantic ocean current system might be approaching critical threshold

The major Atlantic ocean current, to which also the Gulf stream belongs, may have been losing stability in the course of the last century. This is shown in a new study published in Nature Climate Change. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, transports warm water masses from the tropics northward at the ocean surface and cold water southward at the ocean bottom, which is most relevant for the relatively mild temperatures in Europe. Further, it influences weather systems worldwide. A potential collapse of this ocean current system could therefore have severe consequences.
Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation,
© R.Curry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/Science/USGCRP
"The Atlantic Meridional Overturning really is one of our planet's key circulation systems," says the author of the study, Niklas Boers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Freie Universität Berlin and Exeter University. "We already know from some computer simulations and from data from Earth's past, so-called paleoclimate proxy records, that the AMOC can exhibit - in addition to the currently attained strong mode - an alternative, substantially weaker mode of operation. This bi-stability implies that abrupt transitions between the two circulation modes are in principle possible."


Tornado with a speed of 200 km / h sweeps through village in Slovakia

A picture of a tornado in eastern Slovakia
© iMeteo.sk / Matúš Kokinda
A picture of a tornado in eastern Slovakia
Several houses in the East Slovak village of Petkovce in the Vranov nad Topľou district were damaged by a tornado that hit the area on Thursday evening. Meteorologists estimated the wind speed at 200 km / h. For comparison - the tornado, which raged in southern Moravia in June, had a speed of 219 km / h.

According to the Slovak media, no injuries occurred. There are 20 professional and volunteer firefighters on site, who mainly remove fallen trees and parts of roofs from local roads.

"The wind carried the sheets from the roofs about a hundred meters," the mayor of the village Pavol Hybala told the Korzár server. "You could see the vortex spinning and rising. It passed only the lower part of the village. It took a minute, but it caused a trigger, "he added.

Eye 2

Signs and Portents: Rare double-headed snake born in Germany

Two headed-snake eats two mice simultaneously

Two headed-snake eats two mice simultaneously
A boa constrictor born with two heads is causing a stir in the southwestern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

The snake was born three months ago at the home of reptile breeder Stefan Broghammer in the town of Villingen-Schwenningen.

A snake with two heads is very rare. According to the breeder, the male is healthy and already a YouTube star.

In a video, Broghammer shows how both heads eat as they are each fed a white mouse.

For many people, the two-headed snake is reminiscent of Hydra, a many-headed snake-like monster in Greek mythology.

The boa species originally comes from South America.