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Fri, 27 May 2016
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Earth Changes


Mini tornado filmed over Spalding, UK

The small funnel cloud was spotted in Spalding, Lincolnshire
This is the dramatic moment a mini TORNADO was spotted sweeping its way through the British countryside.

The twister, which stretched hundreds of metres in the air, was captured on camera by shocked locals in the sleepy market town of Spalding, Lincs.

Shocking footage shows it moving across fields and roads, sucking up debris as it tore through the countryside on Wednesday.

The unusual weather phenomenon - more commonly spotted in areas of North America - is the latest erratic weather event to be seen in Britain this spring.


Wrong time, wrong place: Starling turns up in the Arctic community of Tuktoyaktuk, Canada

© John Noksana
A European starling showed up in John Noksana's yard in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., on May 11.
A bird that's common in southern Canada but rarely seen in the Arctic showed up in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., last week.

It was May 11 around 9:30 a.m. and John Noksana and his wife were having coffee, about to get ready to go goose hunting, when she pointed the bird out to him.

"It was a black bird, maybe a little bigger than a robin. It had a yellow beak, pretty sharp claws for a small bird, I noticed, and silver wings," he said.

"I'd never seen a bird like that in my life."

It hung around in their yard for three or four minutes — long enough for Noksana to snap four or five photos — then it took off.


Dolphin and calf found dead in Perth, Australia

© PaulGerrard1/Twitter
A dead dolphin has washed up in Elizabeth Quay
A female dolphin named Pirulli and her calf have been found dead in the Swan River, near Elizabeth Quay.

Cottleslow resident Paul Gerrard said it was 'sad to see a dead dolphin in Elizabeth Quay', on a Twitter post attached to a photo of the calf.

It was a dark contrast to pictures posted by Environment Minister Greg Hunt just ten days earlier of dolphins swimming by the Quay as the sun rose.

Researchers believe there are 23-25 dolphins living in the Swan River.

A spokesperson for Murdoch University told MailOnline that Pirulli, who has been monitored since 2009, was more than 30 years old and she had given birth to a calf eight months ago.

'Pirulli was one of 11 breeding females in the river, so that's a bit of a loss, but she's had a good run,' they said.

Arrow Down

Colorado's Lake Mead drops to lowest ever level

The nation's largest reservoir has broken a record, declining to the lowest level since it was filled in the 1930s.

Lake Mead reached the all-time low Wednesday night, slipping below a previous record set in June 2015.

The downward march of the reservoir near Las Vegas reflects enormous strains on the over-allocated Colorado River. Its flows have decreased during 16 years of drought,
and climate change is adding to the stresses on the river.

As the levels of Lake Mead continue to fall, the odds are increasing for the federal government to declare a shortage in 2018, a step that would trigger cutbacks in the amounts flowing from the reservoir to Arizona and Nevada. With that threshold looming, political pressures are building for California, Arizona and Nevada to reach an agreement to share in the cutbacks to avert an even more severe shortage.

© Mark Henle/ The Arizona Republic
A "bathtub ring" on Lake Mead in late 2014 shows how far the water level has fallen.

Arrow Up

Earthquake hits Oban, Scotland - for second time in a week

© British Geological Survey
A MINOR earthquake has shaken up the seaside town of Oban.

Locals reported feeling tremors that made some houses shake and hearing rumbling at 11pm last night.

The British Geological Society confirmed an earthquake measuring 1.9 on the Richter scale hit Oban at that time.

They recorded it at a depth of three kilometres.

It was the second earthquake in the Argyll and Bute town in the last week, with a 1.3 quake occurring on Sunday, 14 May. This was two kilometres below ground.

The earthquakes are not believed to have caused any damage.

Oban councillor Neil MacIntyre said: "It was really, really quite loud. The house rattled.

"I was watching TV at the time and we had grandchildren staying over and I thought one of them, or my wife, had fallen out of bed.

"These quakes are just a natural occurance, but make a great talking point in the town.

"We could maybe market it in tourism, telling people they can visit Oban to feel the earth move.

"Inverness has the monster, we have earthquakes."

Meanwhile, another earthquake measuring magnitude 1.9 hit Loch Goil in Argyll and Bute at around 4pm on Wednesday.

The 1.9 magnitude earthquake struck at a depth of 9km, according to the Edinburgh based Geological Survey, which makes it one of the strongest earthquakes on the British mainland this year.

Other recent earthquakes around Scotland inlcude:

* A quake 200km east-south-east of Shetland recorded at 2.3 on the Richter scale on 15 May.

* A 1.2 quake at Foyers on 14 May.

* A 1.3 quake at Finnart, Perth and Kinross, on 9 May.

* A 0.9 quake at Lennoxtown, Dunbartonshire, on 9 May.

Alarm Clock

Two shallow 5.3 magnitude earthquakes hit Tibet

© Flickr/ Matt Katzenberger
Two 5.3-magnitude earthquakes hit parts of Tibet on Sunday but no damage was reported so far, Chinese authorities said.

The first quake shook Dinggye County, Xigaze City at 9:48 a.m., the China Earthquake Networks Centre said.

The epicentre was monitored at a depth of 10 km, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Another quake hit the area at 10:05 a.m. in Tingri County.

Its depth was monitored at 6 km.

Both were stated to be shallow quakes as they took place not far from the surface of the earth.

Authorities are awaiting reports of damage from the areas.

Arrow Up

4.4 magnitude earthquake strikes around Bárðabunga volcano, Iceland as unprecedented seismic activity continues

Holuhraun is a new lava field just north of the Vatnajökull glacier, in the North-eastern Region of the Icelandic Highlands. The lava field was created by fissure eruptions from Bárðabunga volcano, they began on August 29th in 2014 and produced a lava field of more than 85 km2 wide, the largest in Iceland since 1783.

The eruption lasted for almost six months, until February last year, with the lava flowing over a wide stretch of land, changing the landscape, including the path and temperature of Jökulsá, a glacier river flowing from underneath the Vantajökull ice cap, resulting in the river partly heating up so that people who ventured up on that part of the highlands were able to bask and bathe in it surrounded by the fresh black lava.

The last earthquake was at 7am this morning and measured 4.4 on the Richter scale, the biggest one measured since the end of the eruption in February. Right now there is considerable seismic activity in Bárðabunga and scientists are keeping a close eye on it, the events up there are unprecedented and so scientists are observing with great alertness. Normally there would not be such strong seismic activity so soon after a caldera subsides.

Cloud Lightning

Hell opens? Costa Rica volcano erupts, spewing ash, column of smoke

© Roko77 / Instagram
Turrialba volcano
Featuring thick clouds of ash and smoke rising into the grey sky, spectacular images of the powerful Costa Rica volcano eruption have flooded social media.

The 3,340-meter Turrialba Volcano is located in Cartago Province of central Costa Rica, only 30 km from the country's capital, San José. The volcanic activity started Wednesday and the first eruptions were recorded Friday, according to local media.


Rare oarfish found dead on beach near Kaikoura, New Zealand

© Tim Wilding
Tim Wilding found the unusual-looking oarfish washed up on a beach south of Kaikoura.
A deep-sea fish rarely seen in New Zealand waters has washed up on a beach near Kaikoura.

Growing up to eight metres long, the oarfish is known to float vertically in the water at depths of up to 300m, and usually only in tropical locations.

One was found in Dunedin last year, but sightings of them in New Zealand were few and far between.

Identifiable by their long flat bodies and red dorsal fin, the oarfish was an edible game fish, but their meat was jelly-like and not regarded as very good eating.

Comment: See also: Rare oarfish: New Zealand sea serpent maybe a harbinger for natural disaster, says scientist

Cloud Precipitation

Cyclone Roanu: Death toll in Sri Lanka rises to 71 after torrential downpours cause landslides and flooding

© Reuters
A woman reacts as she inspects the site of a landslide at Elangipitiya village in Aranayaka
Fresh landslides in Sri Lanka have been reported as rescue workers try to reach residents in the capital stranded by floods. Poor weather conditions have hindered rescue operations with hundreds still missing.

Landslides and flooding caused by torrential downpours have killed at least 71 people as rescuers search for more than a hundred people still missing, Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center (DMC) said on Saturday.

A half a million people have been displaced by a week of heavy rains caused by Cyclone Roanu, which after passing through Sri Lanka continued on a destructive path towards low-lying Bangladesh.

Roanu battered Bangladesh's coastline on Saturday, killing at least 20 people and displacing nearly a half a million. Hundreds of mud and tin homes in the impoverished nation were destroyed.

Comment: See also: