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Sun, 18 Mar 2018
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Earth Changes


How a Wayward Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe

The Beaufort Gyre, a key Arctic Ocean current, is acting strangely. Scientists say it may be on the verge of discharging a huge amount of ice and cold freshwater that could kick off a period of lower temperatures in northern Europe.
Beaufort gyre
For millennia, the Beaufort Gyre - a massive wind-driven current in the Arctic Ocean - has been regulating climate and sea ice formation at the top of the world. Like a giant spinning top, the gyre corrals vast amounts of sea ice. Trapped in this clockwise swirl, the ice has historically had more time to thicken than it generally does in other parts of the Arctic Ocean, where currents such as the Trans Polar Drift transport the ice into the warmer north Atlantic more rapidly. In this way, the Beaufort Gyre - located north of Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory - has helped create the abundant layers of sea ice that, until recently, covered large parts of the Arctic Ocean year-round.

Black Cat

Mountain lions are showing up all over the San Francisco Bay Area - and beyond

Mountain lion
They are suspected of making off with a small dog in Pescadero. They're being blamed for mysterious sheep deaths in Sonoma County. And local outdoors writer Tom Stienstra even found one lurking outside the back door of his Northern California house the other day.

They're mountain lions. And lately they seem to be making a ton of cameo appearances all over the Bay Area and up and down the state. Here's a local listing of where the animals have been spotted or at least have been suspected of showing up, sometimes to the alarm of ranchers, wildlife officials and panicked pet owners.

On the Prowl in Pescadero

Residents in and around this sleepy coastal burg have been on edge in recent days as county officials are warning the public there may be an aggressive mountain lion in the area. Over the weekend, a resident in the 5000 block of Pescadero Creek Road let their small pet outside the home around 9 p.m. Saturday. A short time later, the resident reportedly heard the pet yelp and it has not been seen since.

County officials said that while they can't positively confirm that it was a lion that snatched that particular pet there have been reports recently of an aggressive lion in the same area that has killed livestock. Officials cautioned residents to keep a sharp eye on their pets and any livestock in their care, especially late at night and early in the morning.


Ohio: 50 cars pile-up on interstate during snowstorm

car pileup
© jr.javens / Instagram
Up to 50 vehicles, including semi-trailers, were involved in a massive pile-up on an interstate in Ohio amid a powerful snowstorm.

It is believed the storm caused vehicles to slide off the road and crash into one another on Interstate 71 near Morrow County on Tuesday, local media reported. The State Highway Patrol said some people had sustained minor injuries, yet the total number of those hurt is unknown.

The traffic was backed up for hours as a result of the incident. It last until Wednesday morning, when the Ohio Department of Transportation finally reported that all lanes of the interstate were reopened. It warned though, that commuters should expect delays as traffic recovers following the closure.


Woman sent somersaulting high into the air by rampaging bull in Gujarat, India (VIDEO)

An oblivious woman was walking in the city of Bharuch, in India, today when a stray beast scooped her up by the legs with its horns

An oblivious woman was walking in the city of Bharuch, in India, today when a stray beast scooped her up by the legs with its horns and tossed her several feet off the ground
This is the terrifying moment an unsuspecting woman is sent somersaulting in the air after being attacked by a giant bull.

The oblivious victim was walking in the city of Bharuch, in India, today when the stray beast scooped her up by the legs with its horns and tossed her several feet off the ground.

Harrowing footage shows the bull creeping ominously towards its target, ramming a man on a scooter before charging at the lone woman from behind.

Stunned witnesses could only watch in horror as she flipped over in mid-air before crashing into the tarmac.


Thousands without power as blizzard brings heavy snow to north-east US (VIDEOS)

High winds and blowing snow led meteorologists to categorise the storm as a blizzard in parts of New England.

A fierce storm has lashed the north-east in the US, with widespread power outages amid the hurricane-force winds and heavy snow.

With spring tantalisingly in their grasp, many residents were left shaking their heads — and wielding shovels they had hoped would not be needed again — after the third major storm in two weeks buried some towns beneath two feet of snow on Tuesday.

"The groundhog was right. Six more weeks of winter, and probably then some," said Paul Knight, of Portland, Maine.

Comment: See related article: At least 2 feet of snow dumped on parts of Maine and New Hampshire


At least 2 feet of snow dumped on parts of Maine and New Hampshire

A man rides an electric wheel chair on Union Street as heavy snow started falling in Bangor Tuesday afternoon.
© Gabor Degre | BDN
A man rides an electric wheel chair on Union Street as heavy snow started falling in Bangor Tuesday afternoon.
The latest nor'easter has dumped at least 2 feet of snow in some areas of Maine and New Hampshire.

Light snow was still falling Wednesday morning, with snow showers expected to continue through the night.

Most places in northern New England could see up to an additional 3 inches, with up to 6 inches in the mountains.

Comment: See additionally: Thousands without power as blizzard brings heavy snow to north-east US (VIDEOS)


US West Coast sardine fishing closed for 4th year - 'alarming' 97% population decline

© Chuck Kirman, AP
Sardine fishing nets will remain empty for a fourth straight year along the West Coast, where biologists are comparing the dramatic decline of the schooling fish to the infamous collapse that led to the downfall of Monterey's once-thriving Cannery Row.

The northern Pacific sardine population, stretching from Mexico to British Columbia, has plummeted 97 percent since 2006, according to an assessment released this week by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The perilously low numbers give regulators no choice but to close fishing,
which had been scheduled to start July 1, from Mexico to the Canadian border.

Cloud Precipitation

Rain and snowmelt cause landslides, flooding in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina (VIDEOS)

Landslide in Hrvatska Kostajnica, Croatia, March 2018.
Landslide in Hrvatska Kostajnica, Croatia, March 2018.

Croatia's State Protection and Rescue Administration (Državna uprava za zaštitu i spašavanje - DUZS) reported on 13 March that a landslide in Hrvatska Kostajnica, Sisak-Moslavina County completely destroyed 6 houses and left several others severely damaged. No fatalities have been reported.

As of 13 March, several rivers were at red level warning stage (highest of five - green, blue, yellow, orange, red) including the Una in the town of Hrvatska Kostajnica near the location of the landslide, where streets and homes have been flooded.

Elsewhere in Croatia, the Korana river in Karlovac was at red level warning stage as of 13 March, standing at 7.81 metres.

Disaster officials said levels of the Sava River were cause for concern, in particular at Jasenovac where levels were at orange warning stage, standing as at 8.54 metres.


Infant killed by dog in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
A 13-month-old girl died at a local hospital after she was bitten by a caregiver's dog Friday on North Hanover Street in Cape Girardeau, police said.

Police said they were dispatched to the residence at 2:12 p.m. Friday in response to the dog attack.

The child later was pronounced dead at a local hospital, police said Monday. The dog was impounded and transported to an animal shelter and is "awaiting disposition to be euthanized," according to a news release.

Police said the case is still under investigation.


Grenada increases alert level for underwater volcano Kick 'Em Jenny

Kick 'Em Jenny volcano
© Wiki
A sonar image of the Kick 'Em Jenny volcano.
The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) Monday said it had raised the alert level for the underwater volcano, Kick 'em Jenny from yellow to orange "due to increased activities".

NaDMA said that it had been working with the Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in monitoring the situation and "with this increase in the alert level, ships and other marine operators are asked to observe the exclusion zone of 5 km/3.1miles".

"NaDMA in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center will continue to monitor the activities of Kick em' Jenny and will update the public as necessary, the statement noted.

In May last year, NaDMA warned Grenadians that they should expect more eruptions of the underwater volcano, noting that volcanic episodes at Kick em' Jenny, since 1939, usually consist of several eruptions lasting over several days before returning to repose.

NaDMA said it would be useful for those in coastal areas to be on the lookout for unusual material that might be ejected from the eruption.