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Sat, 03 Dec 2016
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Earth Changes

Cloud Precipitation

Severe hailstorm leaves the ground white in Killarney, Australia

© Lisa Locke
Killarney blanketed in white.

A Queensland town has been turned into a white wonderland after a severe thunderstorm brought through some heavy hail.

Killarney, southeast of Warwick, looked as if it had been hit by a snowstorm following the battering on Sunday afternoon.

Hail at Killarney. Video: Lisa Locke. #qldweather #7News pic.twitter.com/SNYpo2Pj4e
— 7 News Queensland (@7NewsQueensland) November 27, 2016
Large hailstones, fierce winds and heavy rain has hit parts of the southeast, as two thunderstorms sweep through the area.

One storm was detected on the radar about 3.30pm near Peak Crossing, southwest of Brisbane. It was heading in a northwest direction and was expected to hit Bundamba Lagoon and the area south of Amberley by 4.05pm and Amberley, Rosewood and south of Cunninghams Gap by 4.35pm
Severe storm continues to move north along ranges and towards #Boonah. Storm approaching #Ipswich has completely weakened. pic.twitter.com/d54ehGk0lH
— BOM Queensland (@BOM_Qld) November 27, 2016


Thousands of dead herrings wash ashore in St. Marys Bay, Nova Scotia

© Joan Comeau
Sightings like this on the shores around St. Marys Bay, N.S., have been a common sight since the beginning of last week.
Scores of Atlantic herring are washing up on the shores around St. Marys Bay, N.S., but the reason isn't clear.

Within the last week, the herring have appeared on a 20-kilometre stretch of shoreline running between Marshalltown and Gilberts Cove.

"It seems to be a bit of a unique event in terms of just the sheer numbers that are showing up dead," said Shawn Craik, a biology professor at Université Sainte-Anne.

'Thousands of fish'

On Friday, Craik took some students to the shore at Gilberts Cove. He said that in some spots, there were eight fish washed up in a square-metre block.

"If you extrapolate that over the entire beach, we're talking about thousands of fish," he said.

While there, he spoke with a clam fisherman who said that in his 40 years of clamming on the beach, he had never seen anything like this.

The Digby detachment of Fisheries and Oceans Canada began receiving calls from concerned citizens about the problem on Tuesday, said Gary Hutchins, the detachment's conservation and protection supervisor.


Ocean microplastics - a massive problem

In today's world, plastic is an essential raw material. Since their invention in the 1930's, plastics have become ubiquitous in the manufacture of everyday products. In 2012 the plastics industry accounted for more than 1.4 million jobs in over 62,000 companies across the European Union.1 As useful and versatile as plastics are, however, their unchecked disposal on an unprecedented scale is resulting in significant global impacts on wildlife from marine environment pollution. Microplastics are particularly problematic, and as the life cycle comes full circle, it is feared that they could bring adverse impacts for humans too.

Comment: Plastic is believed to constitute 90 per cent of all rubbish floating in the oceans. The UN Environment Program estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. Marcus Eriksen, a research director of the US-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation, said:
"The slowly rotating mass of rubbish-laden water poses a risk to human health, too. Hundreds of millions of tiny plastic pellets, or nurdles - the raw materials for the plastic industry - are lost or spilled every year, working their way into the sea. These pollutants act as chemical sponges attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT. They then enter the food chain. What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and onto your dinner plate. It's that simple"

Cloud Precipitation

Floods hit 96 villages in East Java, Indonesia

Bojonegoro subdistrict's Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPPD) reported that 96 villages in 15 districts in the area were struck by flood due to overflow of Bengawan Solo river with 14.82 meters of water level (flood warning) on Saturday at round 2 o'clock in the afternoon (26/11).

"The flood from the river does not only inundate rice field areas, but also residential areas with 0.50-1 meter high of water," Bojonegoro's BPPD head Andik Sudjarwo said in Bojonegoro, East Java on Saturday (26/11). Based on BPPD data, the 96 villages are located in districts of Padangan, Trucuk, Malo, Dander, Kota, Balen, Kapas, Kanor, and Baureno.

He further estimates that the water level in Bnegawan Solo will continue to rise up to 15.30 m high due to floods in the upstream areas. Such estimation means that floods will hit 146 villages in 16 districts.

"We are currently still collecting data on the impact of Bengawan Solo overflow," he added.

Arrow Down

Major landslide in Serendah, Malaysia

At least six cars, two motorcycles and one van were swallowed up by earth in the 1.20am incident.
One person was injured and at least 10 vehicles were buried in a major landslide which struck Taman Idaman, Serendah early this morning.

At least six cars, two motorcycles and one van were swallowed up by earth in the 1.20am incident.

The injured person was identified as Mohd Fareez, 21, was on his motorcycle when the landslide occurred. He was sent to the Selayang Hospital.

Most of the affected vehicles were parked 50 metres from the location where the landslide took place.

Snowflake Cold

Global sea temperatures drop and record snow falls across Europe, Asia and USA

Stockholm had its snowiest November day in 111 years.
The onset of winter in the Northern Hemisphere was lightning fast, sea surface temperatures are dropping globally and snow records drop across Europe, Asia and USA. The Southern hemisphere is far below normal temperatures and Australia loses up to 90% of its wheat crop due to frost and cold throughout 2016.

Comment: See also:

Arrow Up

Outgassing of hydrogen sulfide and other gases off Kaikoura Peninsula, New Zealand

© facebook/kaikoura kayaks
Bubbles have begun pluming out of the sea floor near where the epicenter of the earthquake that hit New Zealand earlier this month.
A Canterbury University lecturer has shed some light on the bubbles found off the Kaikoura Peninsula.

The phenomena was found in Whalers Bay by Matt Foy and Connor Stapley and it is believed they have been caused by the magnitude 7.8 quake.

Dr Matthew Hughes says the bubbles are likely dissolved gases in the sea floor which have become exposed by new cracks in the rock, and are now venting to the surface.

He says its very much like any other geologically active part of New Zealand.

The bubbles are a combination of several different gases, but the strong smell likely comes from hydrogen sulfide.

Comment: Here's a small sample we've collected of other recent natural outgassing related events: It is likely that outgassing of methane, hydrogen sulfide (and other natural gases) is coming up from deep below the earth's surface. See also:

SOTT Exclusive: The growing threat of underground fires and explosions

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rainfall brings flooding to suburbs of Brisbane, Australia

Rivers ran through Jane Robertson's Capalaba property
Heavy rainfall and widespread flooding has battered south-east Queensland.

Stationary storms made their way down the Queensland coastline with bayside suburbs in Brisbane recording almost 100 millimetres of rainfall.

Brisbane Airport copped 97 millimetres of rain, mostly between 6am and 7am while Redcliffe received 87 millimetres on Saturday.

Ransome recorded a 133mm of rain and 117mm of rain fell at Mt Cotton West.

Affected residents took to social media to share their photos and videos of the flooding.

Resident Lyndie Jeffrey, who posted a video of her Capalaba property being flooded as cars drove through stormwaters sawrote: 'Our property in Capalaba, haven't seen it like this in 22 years.'


Shallow 5.1 earthquake hits Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

A "severe" magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit near Wairoa in the Hawke's Bay tonight.

Almost 1000 people reported on GeoNet having felt the earthquake, which followed a magnitude 4.6 jolt that shook Wellington about 3.20am.

GeoNet said the Wairoa earthquake struck at 13km deep at 8.21pm. It was centred 35km north of Wairoa.

Wellington's early-morning aftershock registered at a depth of 17 kilometres and its epicentre was 30 kilometres southwest of the capital, about halfway across Cook Strait.

More than 1500 people on either side of the strait reported feeling the shake on the government's seismic monitoring website, GeoNet.

Ice Cube

Brace yourself, the polar vortex is shifting

Climate change has hit the Arctic worse than ever over the past few years, but that doesn't mean the Northern Hemisphere is going to be experiencing a mild winter this year.

In fact, a new study shows that the polar vortex is shifting, and it's going to make winters on the east coast of the US and parts of Europe even longer, with exceptionally cold temperatures expected during March.

The polar vortex is that lovely zone of cold air that swirls around the Arctic during winter. When parts of the vortex break apart and splinter off, it can cause unseasonably cold conditions in late-winter and early-spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

This happened in early 2014 - as you can see in the satellite image above - and caused an extreme weather event in the northern US and Canada.

But not many people realise there are actually two polar vortices: the stratospheric polar vortex, which is about 19,800 metres (65,000 feet) above the surface of the Earth; and the tropospheric polar vortex around 5,500 to 9,100 metres (18,000 to 30,000 feet) above the surface.

Comment: Se also: