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Tue, 18 Feb 2020
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Bizarro Earth

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Antarctica increasing heat, Arctic increasing ice - Earth's poles behaving strangely

Antarctic ice sheets melting
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Record heat in Antarctica brought on by volcanic activity in the peninsula, and Arctic Sea Ice increases the most in 11 years eclipsing the 2001-2010 average. Sea turns red in Kazakhstan and more snowy peaks in Taiwan.


Cloud Precipitation

Storm Dennis, 2nd-strongest bomb cyclone on record in North Atlantic, causes severe flooding in UK

Submerged cars are swept away by flooding in the town of Hay-on-Wye as Storm Dennis brought heavy rain and winds to the UK
© Sky News
Submerged cars are swept away by flooding in the town of Hay-on-Wye as Storm Dennis brought heavy rain and winds to the UK.
Storm Dennis, the second-strongest nontropical storm on record in the North Atlantic Ocean, caused widespread flooding across parts of the United Kingdom on Sunday, along with winds exceeding hurricane force.

The storm, which is producing waves up to 80 feet tall west of the United Kingdom, dumped more than five inches of rain in South Wales, almost an inch more than the area typically receives for the entire month of February. The resulting flooding has prompted numerous evacuations and even cut off some communities.

The U.K. Met Office, which named the storm, issued its first "red" warning for heavy rainfall since 2015, its highest warning category. The country's Environment Agency issued a record number of flood warnings, 594, for a single day, according to John Curtin, executive director of flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency.


Comment: UK braced for record flooding as Storm Dennis dumps month's worth of rain in 24 hours


Binoculars

India's birds suffering dramatic population declines, warns scientific report

a fiery battle between a short-toed eagle and a spectacled cobra
© Ramamurthy Karthik
A fiery battle between a short-toed eagle and a spectacled cobra
Growing threat from loss of habitat, widespread presence of toxins, hunting and trapping, it says

Over a fifth of India's bird diversity, ranging from the Short-toed Snake Eagle to the Sirkeer Malkoha, has suffered strong long-term declines over a 25-year period, while more recent annual trends point to a drastic 80% loss among several common birds, a new scientific report jointly released by 10 organisations said on Monday.

The State of India's Birds 2020 (SoIB) assessment raises the alarm that several spectacular birds, many of them endemic to the sub-continent, face a growing threat from loss of habitat due to human activity, widespread presence of toxins including pesticides, hunting and trapping for the pet trade. Diminishing population sizes of many birds because of one factor brings them closer to extinction because of the accelerated effects of others, the report warned. For every bird species that was found to be increasing in numbers over the long term, 11 have suffered losses, some catastrophically.

Of 101 species categorised as being of High Conservation Concern — 59 based on range and abundance and the rest included from high-risk birds on the IUCN Red List — endemics such as the Rufous-fronted Prinia, Nilgiri Thrush, Nilgiri Pipit and Indian vulture were confirmed as suffering current decline, and all except 13 had a restricted or highly restricted range, indicating greater vulnerability to man-made threats.

Ice Cube

Ice balls appear on Lake Michigan beach, wash up 'by the thousands'

Thousands of ice balls formed and washed along the shore of Lake Michigan on Friday.
© Holland State Park/Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Thousands of ice balls formed and washed along the shore of Lake Michigan on Friday.
Goodness gracious, great balls of ice!

A bitter blast of Arctic air that brought dangerous wind chills across the Midwest last week also helped create the conditions for a rare phenomenon known as "ice balls" on a Lake Michigan beach.

The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids said Friday that it "took a while" but the conditions needed to form the balls finally got just right.

"These can usually be seen as early as late December and early January when temperatures fall into the teens and single digits," the Weather Service said.


Arrow Down

2 men killed in large avalanche in Colorado

avalanche
Authorities in Eagle County, Colorado, confirmed the deaths of two men Sunday, CBS Denver reported. The pair was killed in an avalanche Saturday on Muddy Pass near Vail. The Eagle County Coroner's Office has identified the deceased as Dillon Block, 28, and Cesar Almanza-Hernandez, 30.

According to law enforcement, three mono-track riders triggered a large avalanche Saturday afternoon. All three males were buried, but one victim had managed to dig out of the slide. The other two never surfaced, officials said.

Some witnesses were approached by the one victim who dug himself out. They all rushed to rescue the other two people.


Black Cat

6-year-old girl attacked by mountain lion while walking trail in Santa Clara County, California

mountain lion
A six-year-old girl was attacked by a mountain lion Sunday in the Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve.

The incident happened around 10 am while the child was walking on a trail about two miles from the main parking lot, park officials said.

"The animal, suspected to be a mountain lion, was scared away by adults who were with the child," they said.

"It came out of the bushes and right about when it grabbed a hold of the girl and an adult pushed the mountain lion and it ran off," said MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District ranger, Brad Pennington.


Attention

Half a million mussels found dead on New Zealand beach

dead mussels
New Zealand resident Brandon Ferguson found over 500,000 dead mussels and shells on the shores of the Maunganui Bluff Beach in the country's North Island.


Ice Cube

Giant ice wall appears on China-Russia border lake, over 20 meters tall

ice wall
A giant ice wall extending more than a dozen kilometers has sprung up on Xingkai Lake, a border lake shared by China and Russia, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

The wall has grown from a mere two-to-three meters high to being over 20 meters tall.

This ice wall has appeared a little bit earlier than usual due to strong winds in the area, which piled up chunks of ice to create the wall. It is expected to get even taller in the coming days.


Snowflake

Six-meter-high snow blankets northwestern Iran

The photo shows a snow blockade on the Mahabad-Bokan road in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, on February 10, 2020.
© IRNA
The photo shows a snow blockade on the Mahabad-Bokan road in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, on February 10, 2020.
Six-meter snow covered the Qarah Bolagh district in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan of Iran, a provincial official said Monday.

The heavy snowfall blocked the Mahabad-Bukan road in the northwestern province for the third day on Monday, Head of Mahabad's Road Maintenance and Transportation Office Mohsen Khademi said, IRNA reported.

The heavy snowfall, which began on Saturday in Iran's western and northwestern provinces, caused some roadblocks in the region.

The snow storm has been unprecedented in the region for the past few years, the official said.


Boat

UK braced for record flooding as Storm Dennis dumps month's worth of rain in 24 hours

A member of the public is rescued after flooding in Nantgarw, Wales, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.

A member of the public is rescued after flooding in Nantgarw, Wales, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.
Storm Dennis is roaring across Britain with high winds and heavy rains, prompting authorities to issue 350 flood warnings, including a "red warning" alert for life-threatening flooding in south Wales. The Met Office, Britain's meteorological service, only issues its highest warning when it thinks the weather will be so bad there's a "danger to life." It's the first time it has issued a red warning since December 2015.

The Met is predicting that up to 140 mm (5 1/2 inches) of rain could fall in south Wales. The River Taff has already burst its banks. Flood warnings are also in place from northern Scotland through to Cornwall in southwest England.

Storm Dennis roared across Britain with high winds and heavy rains Sunday, prompting authorities to issue some 350 flood warnings, including a "red warning" alert for life-threatening flooding in south Wales.

The Met Office, Britain's meteorological service, only issues its highest warning when it thinks the weather will be so bad there's a "danger to life." It's the first time the service has issued such a warning since December 2015. Hours later, the alert level was downgraded to "amber," which still warns of significant impact from flooding.