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Tue, 24 Apr 2018
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Mystery bird deaths at Kamfers dam, South Africa

Experts have warned that there could be a massive wipe-out of birdlife, as well as a serious threat to residents in Kimberley, as avian botulism is being suggested as the most likely cause of the deaths of more than a thousand water birds at Kamfers Dam.

A water analysis expert from the Free State, Doctor Jan Roos, together with the Provincial State Veterinarian, Doctor Mcdonald Gayakaya and Kamfers Dam farm owner, Herbert Booth, inspected the dam and found hundreds of dead or dying geese, ducks and flamingos scattered on the banks or in shallow water.
Image
© Danie Van der Lith
Doctor Jan Roos taking water samples from Kamfers Dam.

Roos was called in to collect water samples by Birdlife South Africa and the Save the Flamingo Association, and to do an analysis of the dam's water quality, while Gayakaya collected some of the dying birds to determine the cause of death.

The dying birds started appearing three weeks ago, according to Booth, who owns the farm on which the dam is situated.

Igloo

Cold snap felt across western half of U.S.

Great Falls, Montana
© Associated Press
A Great Falls, Montana resident clears a car at Malmstrom Air Force base.
A wintry storm pushing through the western half of the country is bringing bitterly cold temperatures that prompted safety warnings for residents in the Rockies and threatened crops as far south as California.

The jet stream is much farther south than normal, allowing the cold air to push in from the Arctic and drop temperatures by 20 to 40 degrees below normal levels, AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines said Tuesday.

Areas of Montana and the Dakotas were forecast to reach lows in the minus-20s, while parts of California could see the thermometer drop to the 20s. The icy arctic blast was expected to be followed by another one later in the week, creating an extended period of cold weather that hasn't been seen since the late 1990s, meteorologists said.

Officials warned residents to protect themselves against frostbite if they are going to be outside for any length of time.

Windsock

Hurricane-force winds wreak havoc in Britain, head to Europe

Image
© REUTERS/Ina Fassbender
A barrier with traffic signs is seen on the North Sea beach near the town of Norddeich, December 5, 2013.
Hurricane-force Storm Xaver blasted towards mainland Europe on Thursday after cutting transport and power in northern Britain and killing three people in what meteorologists warned could be the worst storm to hit the continent in years.

British authorities said the Thames Barrier, designed to protect London from flooding during exceptional tides, would shut on Thursday night and warned of "the most serious coastal tidal surge for over 60 years in England". Prime Minister David Cameron called two emergency meetings to discuss strategy.

Two people were killed in Britain as the nation's weather office measured winds of up to 225 km per hour (140 mph) when the storm slammed Scotland and parts of England.

A lorry driver was killed and four people injured when his vehicle overturned and collided with other vehicles in West Lothian, Scotland, police said, while a second man died near Nottingham in central England when he was hit by a falling tree.

In western Denmark the 72-year-old female passenger of a truck died when the vehicle overturned in high winds.

More than 100,000 homes were left without power across Britain, 80,000 of them in Scotland, according to energy company

Ice Cube

Massive winter storm wallops Texas, much of the U.S. Midwest - possible prolonged power outages

Image
© Amanda Fancher
A large tree toppled due to ice early Friday in a suburb north of Dallas.
Tens of thousands of homes and businesses are without power here after a massive winter storm caked North Texas in a thick coat of freezing rain and sleet.

Motorists are being encouraged to stay off roads, and ice on power lines forced public transportation officials to suspend the region's light rail service.

Dallas' woes are part of a severe cold snap stretching hundreds of miles from Texas to Kentucky.

"Every few years there is a blockbuster ice storm somewhere in the U.S., and these storms are no stranger to the South Central region," said Jesse Ferrell, weather expert and storm chaser for AccuWeather.com, told Reuters.

As of Friday morning, the National Weather Service had issued ice and winter storm warnings for 10 states. Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee already have declared states of emergency. At least two deaths had been reported on roads in Texas and Missouri, according to Reuters.

Government forecasters warned of possible prolonged power outages across portions of the southern Great Plains toward the Lower Ohio Valley.

Cloud Precipitation

9 dead, thousands affected as storm Xaver sweeps east across Europe

Storm Xaver in Helsingborg
© AFP Photo / TT News Agency / Johan Nilsson / Sweden out
The sea hits the flooded Harbour Road in Helsingborg, southern Sweden, on December 6, 2013 as storm Xaver hit southern Sweden on Thursday night
Hundreds of thousands have been left without power or stranded by transportation chaos as the storm Xaver is sweeping across northern Europe. At least nine people have died in the disaster.

Emergency services across the region battled overnight to sandbag sodden dykes, evacuate flooded harbor areas and repair damage from toppled trees that crashed onto houses, roads and power lines.

Atlantic storm Xaver swept into northern Europe late Thursday after disrupting transport and power in northern Britain where two people have died.

The winds of up to 158 kilometers per hour barreled across Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and southern parts of Scandinavia.

Blackouts hit 400,000 homes in Poland and affected 50,000 people in Sweden, while thousands of air passengers were stranded as flights were canceled at Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Gdansk and other airports, AFP reports

Igloo

Hurricane Xaver brings icy tidal surges and flooding across Northwestern Europe

Image
© DPA
Floodwaters in Hamburg early on Friday morning. City officials closed off flooded areas and some people reportedly had trouble reaching work in the morning.
A low-pressure system is bringing the worst flooding in decades to parts of Northern Europe, which is being pummeled by snow, rain and hurricane-force winds. At least three deaths have been reported.

A major storm surge threatened parts of northern Europe on Friday as a low-pressure system dubbed "Xaver" began battering the coasts with chilly hurricane-force winds. The United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia were most heavily affected by the severe storm, but cancelled flights and trains caused problems across Europe. By Thursday night, officials had reported at least three storm-related deaths in the UK and Denmark.

Thousands of residents living in the UK's eastern coastal areas were forced to spend the night in schools or emergency shelters amid warnings of flooding, which the UK's Environment Agency said could be the highest in some 60 years. Late on Thursday, authorities closed the Thames Barrier to protect London from rising waters.

The storm brought rain, hail and snow with the tidal surge, and the German port city of Hamburg has seen its worst flooding in decades, forcing authorities to close off parts of the city center on Thursday night. "We have a tidal surge the likes of which we have rarely seen in the last 10 or 20 years," said a city official on Friday. Water levels were reportedly some 6 meters (20 feet) above sea level early on Friday morning, a level last reached just twice in the early 1990s.

Magic Wand

Crack NOAA forecasters predicted a hot winter for the U.S.

NOAA winter prediction 2013
© NOAA
Data

They are doing great so far.
Temperature anamaly
© Regional Climate Centers

Igloo

Record number of volcano eruptions in 2013 - Is catastrophic global cooling dead ahead?

Vocano Erupting
© The Truth
Have you noticed that this December is unusually cold so far? Could the fact that we have had a record number of volcanoes erupt in 2013 be responsible? Certainly an unusually calm solar cycle is playing a significant role in producing all of this cold weather, but as you will see below the truth is that throughout human history volcanic eruptions have produced some of the coldest winters ever recorded.

In fact, there have been some major eruptions that have actually substantially reduced global temperatures for two to three years. So should we be alarmed that the number of volcano eruptions this year was the highest ever recorded? Could it be possible that we are heading for a period of global cooling as a result?

And if the planet does cool significantly, could that lead to widespread crop failures and mass famine? Don't think that it can't happen. In fact, it has happened before and it is only a matter of time until it happens again.

I knew that we were seeing an unusual amount of volcanic activity around the planet so far this year. In fact, I wrote about it in my recent article entitled "Why Have 10 Major Volcanoes Along The Ring Of Fire Suddenly Roared To Life?" But I had no idea that we were on the verge of a new yearly record.

Compass

Blaming the developed world for the forces of nature

Beaker
© Washington Times/Linas Garsys
Delegates at the recent U.N. climate conference in Warsaw decided that $1 billion a day, the amount currently being spent across the world on "climate finance," is not enough. Far greater funding is needed to save the world from what U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls the "greatest threat facing humanity." That climate science is highly immature and global warming actually stopped 17 years ago was never mentioned.

Here's what our representatives just agreed to:

Starting in 2014, the U.N.'s Green Climate Fund, a plan to divert an additional $100 billion per year from the treasuries of developed countries to those of developing nations to help them "take action on climate change," will commence operation. The heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are scheduled to take part in a launch ceremony for the GCF headquarters in South Korea on Wednesday.

A timetable was accepted to pave the way toward the establishment of a new international treaty in 2015 that will force developed countries to spend untold billions more to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. The fine print in the negotiating text includes an escape clause for developing nations, indicating that carbon-dioxide emission targets their governments agree to will not be enforced. Developed nations do not have this escape clause.

Cloud Lightning

Four planes struck by lightning over Honolulu in just six hours

Image
© artpartner-images via Getty Images
For hundreds of Hawaii residents and visitors, the Thanksgiving holiday ended with a bang - from a lightning strike.

A little after noon on Sunday, Hawaiian Airlines Flight 19 was struck by lightning about 12 miles southwest of Honolulu International Airport as it was arriving from Sacramento.

Four hours later, Hawaiian Airlines Flight 1121 was also hit as it was en route from Hilo to Honolulu.

Hawaiian Airlines Flight 278 took a blow at 5 p.m. while it was flying from Honolulu to Kona. And less than an hour later, Flight 236 was hit as it shuttled passengers from Honolulu to Maui.

Four lightning strikes in a span of six hours is highly unusual, according to aviation experts. And while pilots are trained to avoid storm clouds, the heavy cloud cover and pounding rains on Sunday may have given them little choice but to punch through the turbulence.

"It gives you an indication that there must have been lots of rain that the planes were flying through and an environment for static issues," said Peter Forman, a local aviation historian.