Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 21 Mar 2018
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Alps avalanches leave four people dead after heavy snowfalls

Avalanche in St. Moritz
© Giancarlo Cattaneo/EPA
Experts examine the spot where an avalanche began near St Moritz, Switzerland, killing one person.
A series of avalanches in the Alps on Friday left four people dead, including a young Irishman, and several other skiers seriously injured, according to mountain rescue teams.

Off-piste skiers have been warned there may be further avalanches this weekend.

Seven skiers were swept away when avalanches hit the popular resorts of Val-Thorens, Courchevel, La Clusaz and Serre-Chevalier.

One man, reportedly a French mountain worker, aged 50, died in Courchevel as he tried to reach his chalet refuge with his son, when the pair were "surprised by an avalanche", mountain rescue services said. The son was saved, but his father died. In a separate incident at Serre-Chevalier, a second skier, described as between 15 and 20 years of age, died in hospital after being buried in snow after an avalanche reportedly under the ski lifts.

Comment: It would be normal in reporting such an incident that the avalanches were due to very heavy snowfall in the last few days, with some places receiving up to 1.5 meter of snow (5 feet). It is likely due to the fact that the Guardian has betted so heavily on the AGW horse that all information to the contrary is ignored. Here is the snow map for the last 3 days with numbers in centimeters:
snow map for Switzerland
© WSL-Institut für Schnee- und Lawinenforschung SLF
Fresh snow in the last 3 days. Last updated 27.12.2013, 09:31

Bizarro Earth

New eruption may be brewing at El Hierro volcano

El Hierro island
© NASA Earth Observatory
El Hierro island.
Two years after a new underwater volcano appeared offshore of El Hierro in the Canary Islands, earthquake swarms and a sudden change in height suggest a new eruption is brewing near the island's villages, officials announced today (Dec. 27).

After the announcement, one of the largest temblors ever recorded at the volcanic island, a magnitude-5.1 earthquake, struck offshore of El Hierro at 12:46 p.m. ET (5:46 p.m. local time) today, the National Geographic Institute reported. Residents on the island reported strong shaking, and the quake was felt throughout the Canary Islands, according to news reports. The earthquake's epicenter was 9 miles (15 kilometers) deep.

Before the earthquake struck early this afternoon, the island's volcano monitoring agency, Pelvolca, had raised the volcanic eruption risk for El Hierro to "yellow." This warning means that activity is increasing at the volcano, but no eruption is imminent. A similar burst of activity prompted a yellow warning in June 2012, but the volcano soon quieted down.


Why are monarch butterflies disappearing?

Monarch Butterflies
© Wikipedia/Agunther
In recent years, scientists have noticed a disturbing drop in the number of monarchs wintering in Mexico.
Every November, around the same time that Mexico remembers lost loved ones during their Day of the Dead celebration, millions of monarch butterflies descend on Mexico's forests in their annual migration from North America. That's why, in Mexican tradition, monarchs are said to house the souls of the dead returning to earth, PBS reports.

But these days, fewer souls seem to be making the journey.

In recent years, scientists have noticed a disturbing drop in the number of monarchs wintering in Mexico, a trend that could mean that monarchs' remarkable trek may be coming to an end.

Historically, the striking orange butterflies, which are native to the U.S. and Canada, embark on an amazing and somewhat mysterious migration, flying up to 2,800 miles to the forests of central Mexico to hibernate in a 30-by-60 square-foot area that they have never been to before, according to the Washington Post. In the Oyamel fir forests, millions of the stunning butterflies cover the trees in colonies that once spanned nearly 52 acres.

Lincoln Brower, a professor of biology at Sweet Briar College, told the Washington Post that last year, the monarch colonies spanned less than 3 acres, a record low.


Update: Unexplained bald eagle deaths in Utah rises to 20


The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah has been caring for sick bald eagles since the beginning of the month, each of them succumbing to a mystery illness.
The tally of unexplained bald eagle deaths in Utah this month rose to 20 on Thursday as state wildlife officials looked for possible links to diseases suspected in a coinciding die-off of thousands of shore birds around the Great Salt Lake.

Since December 1, state wildlife specialists have documented a growing number of bald eagles of varying ages succumbing to an unexplained ailment that crippled them with leg paralysis and tremors before they died.

The eagle deaths have been concentrated in the northern and central parts of Utah at a time when the federally protected raptors have migrated to their wintering grounds in the Rockies.

Necropsies, the animal equivalent of autopsy examinations, have yet to pinpoint what is killing the eagles, but scientists now believe a disease rather than a toxin is the culprit, said Leslie McFarlane, Utah wildlife disease coordinator.

"It appears to be more disease-related since we're seeing birds with neurological symptoms and enlarged hearts. That doesn't rule out all toxins, but it shortens the list of suspects," she said.

Snowflake Cold

"Exceptional" snowfall in Cortina d' Ampezzo, Italy

"Not only is North America experiencing power outages, so is Cortina d'Ampezzo, famous skiing area in Italy," says reader Mirco Poletto. "Due to snow Cortina has had no electrical power for several hours. Trees are falling and there is avalanche and landslide danger."

Cortina d'Ampezzo (Belluno ) has been without electricity since early morning due to exceptional heavy snowfall that is creating considerable discomfort around the Cadore.

The fresh snow has reached half a meter in height, closing several roads leading to Ampezzo and Cortina, which are currently only accessible from the main road. Mountain passes are closed.

On Falzarego six people were trapped in their cars by the snow and were recovered by rescuers and taken to the shelter Col Gallina.

Even the tourist town of Madesimo (Sondrio ) in high Vallespluga remains isolated from the rest of Lombardy for the entire night because of heavy snowfall .

On the whole alpine it has been snowing copious hours without a break, and is still snowing heavily.

"Exceptional" snowfall in Cortina d' Ampezzo, Italy

Thanks to Dr Mirco Poletto in Italy for this link

Snowflake Cold

'Heavy snowfall may disrupt Sochi Games'

No shortage of snow has been forecast for the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, but potential heavy snowfall may cause real problems, a Russian official said.

"There will be enough snow, that issue doesn't disturb us," head of the Russian Weather Service, Rosgidromet, Alexander Frolov told reporters, reports Xinhua.

On the contrary, he said, there are concerns that heavy snowfall could seriously disrupt the competition in Sochi.

He warned that weather in that subtropical zone is very volatile and snowstorms there, once started, might last for two or three consecutive days .

In December, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry has once issued an avalanche warning in Sochi, anticipating blackouts, disruption of communications, housing services and transportation in the mountainous area.

Source: IANS

Ice Cube

China icebreaker close to trapped Antarctic ship frozen in ice that is supposed to be disappearing according to Global Warmists

A scientific mission ship, trapped in dense pack ice off East Antarctica since Christmas Day, is close to being rescued as a Chinese icebreaker nears.

The crew can see the Snow Dragon icebreaker, which will try to cut a path through the ice allowing the research vessel to reach open water.

The Russian Academic Shokalskiy ship has 74 on board and is being used by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

They are following the route explorer Douglas Mawson travelled a century ago.

One of the leaders of the expedition, Chris Turney, tweeted an image of the Snow Dragon icebreaker on the horizon as it approached the ship.

Eye 2

Security guard crushed to death by 15ft python in front of terrified crowd outside luxury Bali hotel

A security guard was strangled to death by a python in front of terrified onlookers today outside a luxury hotel on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.

Ambar Arianto Mulyo, 59, who worked at a nearby restaurant, had offered to help capture the 15ft-long snake which had been spotted several times near the hotel in Bali's Sanur area.

Mulyo managed to secure the snake's head and tail and put it on his shoulders, according to Agung Bawa, an assistant security manager at the hotel, which is closed for renovations until 2015.


Strangled to death: A security was killed by a 15ft-long python like this one when he tried to capture it outside a luxury hotel on Indonesia's resort island of Bali
But the python wrapped itself around his body and strangled him to death, Bawa said.

People watching the incident were unable to help and called the police, who came but failed to save the man.

The python escaped into nearby bushes and police were still searching for it.

The incident happened at around 3am as the python was crossing a road near the Bali Hyatt hotel.

'It happened so fast,' Bawa said. 'We were sad because we could not do anything to help him.'

Arrow Down

Two-year-old falls into Tennessee sinkhole, saved by pants leg

One West Tennessee family saves their two-year-old child from a being swallowed by a massive sinkhole in Stanton, Thursday.

Haywood County deputies told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News the toddler slipped in and fell into an open sinkhole around 5 o'clock on Circle Drive in Stanton, TN. Family members said the toddler was outside playing with her mother before she fell catching her pant's leg onto the concrete.

"I have a bad heart so you can imagine how I felt. I was crying, I couldn't remember any numbers... we just moved over here about 5 or 6 months ago and we didn't know this hole was here," said grandmother Regina Williamson.

The child's mother told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that she found her daughter half way into the hole, dangling by her pants. Officials said they believe the hole was around 5 to 7 feet deep and 10 feet wide underground.

"She was bringing out her Christmas boxes and stuff and she looked back and half of her was gone and her pants leg was holding her to keep her from falling to the bottom... I was afraid, I thought I had lost her," said Williamson.


High winds and heavy rain lash UK and Ireland again

Authorities warn of difficult conditions in many areas only days after Christmas Eve storm

Heavy rain and gales of more than 100mph have returned to Britain - just days after the last storm caused Christmas misery for tens of thousands of people.

The Met Office issued yellow and amber weather warnings, indicating "severe or hazardous weather" with potential to "cause danger to life or widespread disruption" and urged many people to prepare for flooding.

Police warned drivers to use extreme caution as trees were being blown on to the roads by ferocious winds.

Cheshire police reported "awful driving conditions" and a number of roads had been blocked by fallen trees overnight.

"Many trees down due to strong winds. We would ask all drivers to exercise extreme caution whilst driving tonight," the force tweeted.

About 4,000 customers in Northern Ireland were without electricity on Friday morning after trees fell across power lines and electricity poles were broken. Emergency crews and engineers were assessing the damage and carrying out repairs.

The storm was forecast to spread east across the whole of the UK throughout the morning, with the worst-affected areas expected to be northern England and northern parts of Wales, the Met Office said.