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Wed, 21 Aug 2019
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Bug

More than half a billion bees dropped dead in Brazil within 3 months

Honey bees are responsible for pollinating a large percentage of the world's plants, many of which are consumed by humans.
© Getty
Honey bees are responsible for pollinating a large percentage of the world's plants, many of which are consumed by humans.
More than half a billion bees dropped dead in Brazil within just three months, according to Bloomberg. Researchers say the main cause of death is pesticides, which could end up effecting more than the bees.

As some of the most integral pollinators in nature, bees contribute to the reproduction of various plants. About 75% of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports.

FAO has warned about the importance of protecting bees to ensure food security. With 500 million dead in Brazil, the future of food has come into question.

Attention

Rare, deep water-dwelling Hubbs' beaked whale found dead at Point Reyes, California

Rare Hubbs' beaked whale found washed ashore

Rare Hubbs' beaked whale found washed ashore
An extremely rare beaked whale was found washed up on a beach at Point Reyes National Seashore this week, prompting animated excitement among normally self-possessed marine scientists.

The dead 9-foot-long whale was found Monday morning on Drakes Beach by participants in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Beach Watch Program, which surveys beaches along the coast every two weeks.

"I've been doing this for 16 years now, so whenever you find something different like that it's exciting," said Dominique Richard, a retired mathematician, who with his survey partner, Gordon Bennett, found the animal just above the tide line. "It's rare, and it was completely out of the blue. It was totally unexpected."

The decomposing carcass had been scavenged a bit by sharks, so it wasn't immediately clear what species it was. Richard and Bennett measured the whale, which they at first thought was a bottlenose dolphin, and took numerous photographs.

Cloud Precipitation

Northern Italy: Fruit and vegetables devastated by heavy weather in Brescia area

kiwi
After a few days of heavy weather that involved some areas in Northern Italy (the Casalese area in the Lower Piedmont, and the Brescia area for example), the damage count has started.

CIA Alessandria technical consultants have followed the activity of the associated companies that have requested support after bad weather. A critical picture emerges, especially in the areas of the municipalities of Sala, Cellamonte, Treville, Rosignano Monferrato, San Giorgio, Ozzano and part of Valcerrina. The area is limited but the consequences are very heavy.

As for fruit and vegetables, an early fall of hazelnuts not yet ripened, was recorded. The horticultural productions were instead split by hail, where there was no protection with nets. More affected were melons, peppers, tomatoes and aubergines.

Seismograph

Shallow 6.0 magnitude earthquake hits Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge

quake
Magnitude Type: mww

USGS page: M 6.0 - Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge

USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist

Reports from the public: 1 person

6.0 magnitude, 10 km depth
Western Indian Antarctic Ridge

Doberman

Girl mauled to death by 3 pit bulls in Detroit

PIT BULL ATTACK
A 9-year-old girl riding her bike in an alley was mauled to death by three dogs Monday in Detroit as neighbors tried to stop the attack, including throwing bricks and firing shots, police said.

The girl, believed to have lived on the next block, was attacked in an alley near Central and Smart on the west side at about 4 p.m. Monday, said Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood, a spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim as Emma Hernandez. She died of multiple injuries, and her death was an accident.

Within hours of the attack, the owner of the dogs, a 33-year-old man, was arrested Monday night and two dogs were seized after officers obtained a court order, Officer Dan Donakowski said. Another dog involved in the attack had been shot earlier, police said.


Cloud Lightning

Cow fatally struck by lightning caught on camera in Murrayville, Illinois

cow lightning
A video sent to our newsroom is showing just how dangerous lightning can be.

We want to warn you, this video may be disturbing.


Cloud Precipitation

Flash floods in Valencia Region, Spain after 40mm of rain in less than 1 hour

Floods in Benicarló, Castellón, Spain, 20 August 2019.
© Government of Benicarló
Floods in Benicarló, Castellón, Spain, 20 August 2019.
A severe storm hit the Valencia Region of Spain on 20 August, 2019, causing flash flooding in parts of the provinces of Castellón, Alicante and Valencia. Some areas recorded more than 40mm of rain in less than 1 hour.

The worst hit areas were the towns of Peñíscola and Benicarló along the coast, where at least 6 vehicles were left stranded after flash floods inundated roads. Teams of firefighters were called out to rescue stranded passengers and drivers from the trapped vehicles. Benicarló was cut off for some time during the storm. A state of emergency was declared in Peñíscola.


Fire

Apocalyptic scenes in Brazil as smoke from major Amazon wildfires turns cities dark by lunchtime

sao paulo wildfire smoke
© @AndreTheSolo
Brazil's space agency has revealed a record number of fires are burning across the Amazon rainforest as smoke chokes cities across the country.

President Jair Bolsonaro is facing increasing pressure to take action against illegal deforestation fires that have spread across vast areas of the largest rainforest on the planet.

It comes as the city of Sao Paulo was brought to a grinding halt on Monday after choking smoke from fires in the states of Amazonas and Rondonia - almost 3000km away - caused a complete power blackout.




Cloud Precipitation

Microburst filmed bombing Lake Balaton in Hungary

Lake Balaton
© Twitter/severe-weather.EU
Shocking 'Mushroom Cloud' Forms Over Lake Balaton in Hungary (Video)
A giant "atomic bomb" cloud was seen looming over Hungary's Lake Balaton in the village of Alsoors on Friday.

The outstanding phenomenon is called a 'wet microburst'. Part of the cloud over the lake mixed with a strong localised downpour, leading to a stunning rainbow on the surface of the water.

''There were people swimming on the lake at the time. The cloud was spectacular. I have not seen this before,'' filmmaker Alexandra Gregor said, as quoted by the Evening Standard.

Comment: Microbursts and downbursts are on the rise these days:


Snowflake

It's Snowing in August all over the world

snow
Snowfall has been reported where you'd expect it should - Australia, New Zealand and the South American Andes where it's still wintertime; but also in the northern hemisphere's summertime in the Alps, Scandinavia and North America, where snow in August is more of a rarity.

The snow in Australia (including at Perisher, above) is the latest in a series of big snowstorms that have hit the country since late May, giving resorts there some of the deepest bases they've reported for two decades, with several having more than two metres lying.

It's been less of an epic season, until now, in New Zealand, where 30cm+ of snow in the past few days has finally given some deep powder cover.

Comment: Further details of the unseasonal snow in the northern hemisphere: Heavy summer snowfall hits northern British Columbia

Glacier National Park in Montana sees snowfall in August

Fresh snow in the Alps (Yes, it's August)

Additionally, summer snow was filmed falling in the Pyrenees on August 20th: