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Sat, 22 Feb 2020
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes

Snowflake Cold

70 villages in southeastern Turkey buried by up to 6 meters (20 feet) of snow

village in Turkey
A village in Turkey is one of 70 now isolated after 6 metres, or 20 feet, of snow accumulated in parts of the region.

Cloud Precipitation

At least 8 dead after flash flood sweeps away scouts in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Rescue personnel look for missing scouts at a weir in Sembor River, Donokerto village, Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Feb. 22.
© JP/Bambang Muryanto
Rescue personnel look for missing scouts at a weir in Sembor River, Donokerto village, Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Feb. 22.
A joint search and rescue team reported on Saturday that eight students had died during a flash flood that swept away a group of scouts trekking on the banks of the Sembor River in Donokerto village in Sleman, Yogyakarta.

"Rescue team personnel have found eight bodies and are still looking for two more that are still missing," said Yogyakarta Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) head Lalu Wahyu Effendi on Saturday at noon.

The dead and missing students are all girls aged 12 to 15 years old. Meanwhile, 23 students were injured during the incident.


Global crop failures continue: In Australia this is going to be the WORST HARVEST ever recorded

Australia on a globe
Global food production is being hit from seemingly every side. Thanks to absolutely crazy weather patterns, giant locust armies in Africa and the Middle East, and an unprecedented outbreak of African Swine Fever in China, a lot less food is being produced around the world than originally anticipated. Even during the best of years we really struggle to feed everyone on the planet, and so a lot of people are wondering what is going to happen as global food supplies become tighter and tighter. The mainstream media in the United States is so obsessed with politics right now that they haven't been paying much attention to this emerging crisis, but the truth is that this growing nightmare is only going to intensify in the months ahead.

In Australia, conditions have been extremely hot and extremely dry, and that helped to fuel the horrific wildfires that we recently witnessed.

And everyone knew that agricultural production in Australia was going to be disappointing this year, but it turns out that it is actually going to be the worst ever recorded...
Australia's hottest and driest year on record has slashed crop production, with summer output expected to fall to the lowest levels on record, according to official projections released Tuesday.

The country's agriculture department said it expects production of crops like sorghum, cotton and rice to fall 66 percent — the lowest levels since records began in 1980-81.

Comment: See also:


Deadly gases detected at Eldvörp caves in Iceland, tourists warned to stay away

© Ellert Grétarsson
The Icelandic Met Office has issued a warning advising people to stay away from the Eldvörp caves of Reykjanes, on account of high levels of deadly gases which have accumulated therein.

To wit, the warning as is follows:

"We warn about cave excursions in the Eldvörp area on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Deadly gases were measured yesterday of CO2 as well as deadly oxygen levels in a cave close to a parking lot, popular for hikers."

Comment: The warning comes on the heels of a still active Earthquake swarm near the city of Grindavik and swelling at the Volcano Thorbjorn: Possible magma accumulation on Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland

Better Earth

Couple has been buying land near a tiger reserve and letting forest grow back so big cats can roam

Tiger reserve
Some twenty years ago, photographer Aditya Singh resigned from his job in civil services in Delhi and moved to the city of Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan with his wife and artist Poonam so they could be closer to nature. It was there that they started a tourist resort to earn a living.

Over the years, the couple bought about 35 acres bordering the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve on one side. Farmers were selling their land because of predators, including tigers, in the area.

The area, called Bhadlav was barren and had little vegetation but has since been transformed into a lush green forest frequented by wild animals, including tigers.

After settling in Ranthambore, Aditya first visited the Bhadlav area with a BBC filmmaker and became aware that the farmers were selling their land because of the risk of predators searching for prey.

''As a result, farmers were selling their land," Singh told Mongabay India. ''I just bought this and did nothing to it except removing the invasive species. We allowed the land to recover and now after 20 years it has become a lush green patch of forest which is frequently visited by all kind of animals, including tigers, leopards and wild boars.''

For Poonam it was love at first sight when she visited Ranthambore with her husband. "My first sighting was a tigress with three cubs on a hill. It was magical. At the end of the trip, I just asked him if we can move to Ranthambore. He wanted it too and within months we moved. As far as this land is concerned, it was a dream that we both saw an achieved together to have our own area of wilderness," she told Mongabay-India.

Poonam managed the tourist resort with Aditya for twenty years and closed it in 2019.

An aerial photograph of their land shows the stark contrast between their lush green forest and the barren land surrounding them, including the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, with whom they share a boundary.


Huge waterspout caught on camera off the coast of Whakatane, New Zealand

The water spout seen off the coast of Whakatāne this morning.

The water spout seen off the coast of Whakatāne
A large waterspout has been caught on camera off the coast of Whakatane.

The phenomenon was spotted by Kylie Kinghazel who was dropping her children to school.

She posted the incredible footage to Facebook where it has been viewed more than 3000 times.

Off in the distance, the large spout can be seen between Whaakari/ White Island and Moutohora/Whale Island.

"Wow! A water tornado!" one of Kinghazel's children can be heard saying in the background of the video.


Signs and Portents: Two-headed calf born in Tamil Nadu, India

The calf has four eyes and two mouths, but only one pair of ears
© indiaphotoagency/ Jam Press
The calf has four eyes and two mouths, but only one pair of ears
A farmer got the shock of a lifetime when one of his cows gave birth to a calf with two heads.

Farmer Bhaskar was not anticipating any hitches when his cow gave birth at his farm in Paarasalai village in southern India last week.

He was therefore surprised when a calf popped out with conjoined heads.

The unusual cloven-hoved youngster had four eyes and two mouths, but only one pair of ears.

Bhaskar's farm has quickly became a tourist attraction, receiving visitors from neighbouring villages wanting to see the rare calf.


Travel chaos in Norway as landslide closed Oslo to Bergen rail line after heavy snowfall

This maintenance carriage was stuck in the snow attempting to clear the Oslo to Bergen railway
This maintenance carriage was stuck in the snow attempting to clear the Oslo to Bergen railway
The world-famous Oslo to Bergen is finally back open after a landslide caused chaos on the rails. Such was the weight of the snow that fell in the landslide on Monday afternoon, wooden structures built to protect the tracks collapsed and power lines were torn down.

Train driver Kjell Haugerud told TV2 of the experience on the last train before the closure. "We couldn't see our hand in front of us," he said. Haugerud, who has 40 years experience on the Bergen Line, described the need to stop the train every few minutes to clear the front windshield after the blades of the wiper broke under the stress of strong winds and heavy snowfall.


Anchorage, Alaska sets daily record for high temperature and snowfall on same day

Anchorage, Alaska stats
© The Weather Channel (screen capture)
Anchorage, Alaska, set two seemingly opposite records, one for high temperature and one for snowfall, on the same day.

Just the right setup, with a moist and active pattern, allowed a warm temperature record to occur on the same calendar day as heavy snowfall.

Strong southerly flow courtesy of an upper-level high over northwestern Canada brought warmer air and plenty of moisture into southern Alaska late Monday into early Tuesday.

Temperatures briefly rose above 40 degrees in Anchorage early Tuesday as a result of this southerly flow. The high for the day was set during the midnight hour when temperatures rose to 44 degrees. This tied the daily record high for the date.

Above-average temperatures were also observed into northern Alaska. Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow) ended its streak of 25 consecutive days of temperatures below 15 degrees below zero.

However, a cold front then pushed through Anchorage. Temperatures dropped to 32 degrees by 5 a.m. Tuesday, and snow was reported.

Snow continued to fall throughout Tuesday due to this first system and another low that was approaching from the south.

Comment: Anchorage, Alaska breaks snow record for New Year's Day following the warmest Dec 31 on record


Winter storm leaves 50 people stranded at mountain pass in South Norway - cars buried by up to 3 meters of snow

A heavy winter storm has left around 50 people trapped at a mountain pass in Norway.

Cars are buried in 2-3 metres of snow and the road (E134 Haukelifjell) is closed and impassable due to the weather.

The travellers are inside and safe but need to wait for the weather to calm down and the roads to be cleared.