Earth ChangesS


Weird dent in Earth's magnetic field is messing with auroras in the Southern Hemisphere

The South Atlantic Anomaly makes a section of the southern aurora weaker and likely dimmer.
Aurora Southern
© Skyimages via Getty ImagesAurora seen above Queenstown, New Zealand. Researchers have discovered a huge dent in Earth's magnetic field weakens the southern lights.
A bizarre dent in Earth's magnetic field above the southern Atlantic Ocean weakens the southern lights, new research finds.

The South Atlantic Anomaly is a large, oval-shaped region over South America and the southern Atlantic Ocean where Earth's magnetic field is weakest. The anomaly is already well known for allowing charged particles from the sun to dip close to Earth's surface, exposing satellites orbiting above to high levels of ionizing radiation, according to NASA.

Now, a study published Feb. 8 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters finds that this weak region also affects the southern aurora, the glowing lights in the upper atmosphere that can be seen at high latitudes. The southern lights occur over and around Antarctica and are the equivalent of the northern lights that dance over the Arctic and Subarctic.

Auroras are caused by solar particles interacting with gas molecules in Earth's atmosphere and are usually considered largely under the control of the sun, said Zhi-Yang Liu, first author of the study and a researcher at the Institute of Space Physics and Applied Technology at Peking University in China. But the new research highlights the two-way nature of the relationship, Liu told Live Science in an email.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rains bring floods to Peru at the end of February

Heavy rains and storms led to streams reaching critical levels that caused flash floods in Piura, northern Peru, on Thursday (Feb 29).


Farmer killed in gaur attack in Tamil Nadu, India

A farmer was killed in an attack by a gaur at the foothills of Yercaud here on Friday.

A forest officer identified the deceased as P Madhayyan, 42, of Thathanur village near Veeranam.

He said the incident occurred in the early hours of Friday, when Madhayyan visited his agricultural farm at the foothills of Yercaud.

"When he cried for help, people in the vicinity rushed to his rescue.

However, Madhayyan succumbed to his severe injuries on the spot." When alerted, police visited the spot and sent his body for postmortem. Forest officers, meanwhile, urged the villagers to exercise caution while visiting their farms at the foothills and forest fringes before dawn and after dusk.


4-year-old dies from dog attack in North Central Illinois

dog attack
A 4-year-old child died on Thursday afternoon following a dog mauling in Ogle County, according to WREX, the NBC affiliate in Rockford.

At around 4:40 p.m. that day, the Ogle County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call regarding a child who had been attacked by a dog in Monroe Center, a village of about 400 residents. Monroe Center is located approximately 19 miles south of Rockford.

The child was rushed to an area hospital and pronounced dead from their injuries. An investigation into the attack remains underway.


2-year-old dead after dog attack in New Hope, Alabama - 2nd such fatality for the state in 5 days

dog attack
A two-year-old child is dead after dogs attacked him on Friday evening.

According to Don Webster with HEMSI, the attack happened just before 5:30 this evening on T.R. Christian Road in New Hope.

Ricky Clark, the owner of the dogs, believes the boy got into his backyard by opening the gate himself.

The gate was latched but not locked. He also says his dogs have never harmed anyone before.

Madison County Sheriff's Office deputies and HEMSI are on the scene.

Comment: Details of the earlier event: Child dies after being bit by dog in north Alabama, authorities say

Cloud Precipitation

Two children drowned after heavy rains in Oman on February 29

Two children have drowned in a wadi in Wilayat of Ibri in Al Dhahirah Governorate, said the Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority (CDAA) on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority said: "Rescue teams from the Civil Defense and Ambulance Department in ⁧‫Al Dhahirah ‬⁩ Governorate responded to the accident of two children drowning in water logged area in Al-Raiba area in ⁧Wilayat of Ibri ‬⁩. The teams were able to recover the bodies of the two children."

‎The Authority calls on everyone to monitor children and keep them away from dangerous places during rain for their safety.


Texas wildfires cause chaos as largest blaze in state history scorches 1.2 million acres - 2 killed

Dozens of wildfires are causing chaos across the Texas Panhandle as the Smokehouse Creek fire - now the largest blaze in state history - grew to more than 1mn acres on Thursday, even as a dusting of snow brought a measure of relief.

At least two people have died, according to officials. The second victim, confirmed by the Texas department of public safety Thursday afternoon, has been identified as Cindy Owens, a 40-year-old woman who was reportedly overtaken by the fire when she got out of her truck in the town of Canadian. The first, 83-year-old grandmother Joyce Blankenship, was killed in her neighborhood of Stinnett, north-east of Amarillo.

Fueled by parched grasses, strong winds and abnormally warm temperatures, the fires have scorched more than 1.2 million acres since last Sunday, according to the Texas A&M forest service, leaving a desolate landscape of charred prairie, dead cattle and burned-out homes in their wake.


1 dead, thousands displaced by floods in Malawi

Malawi Flood Crisis: 1 Dead, Thousands Displaced in Nkhotakota, Karonga Districts
Malawi Flood Crisis: 1 Dead, Thousands Displaced in Nkhotakota, Karonga Districts
In a devastating turn of events, flash floods have wreaked havoc on Nkhotakota and Karonga, two districts in Malawi located along the shores of Lake Malawi. Authorities have confirmed one fatality and the displacement of thousands, highlighting an urgent call for humanitarian assistance.

Unprecedented Flood Damage

The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has reported that more than 7,000 individuals in Nkhotakota have been forced to evacuate to safer grounds, with nine camps set up to shelter the displaced. This crisis follows continuous heavy rainfall that has not only claimed lives but also destroyed homes, businesses, and vital infrastructure.

In Karonga, over 600 households face similar dire circumstances, with their livelihoods disrupted by the loss of crops and property due to the swollen North Rukuru River.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snow kills 9 in Afghanistan as extreme weather blocks key highways

At least nine people have died in Afghanistan and two have suffered injuries after the conflict-battered country was hit by heavy snowfall and storm, the Taliban's caretaker government said on Friday.

The bad weather combined with snow and sub zero temperatures has hit provinces running from northern Afghanistan to southern parts of the country.

"Due to cold weather and rainfall in Kandahar, Helmand, Badghis, Sar-e-Pol, Badakhshan and Jawzjan, nine people have died and two have been injured," said Janan Saiq, the spokesperson for the Taliban-led ministry of state for disaster management, reported Afghan news channel Tolo news.

He added that the extreme weather destroyed residential houses and livestock.

Visuals shared by Afghan journalist in exile Bilal Sarwary showed extreme snowfall in western Afghanistan which led to a local losing his cattle.


Bolivia declares emergency after floods kill dozens

The Bolivian government has declared a disaster in the Amazon region after floods killed 40 people and forced more than 500 families to evacuate the area.