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Thu, 02 Jul 2020
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Earth Changes


Strong eruptions at Nishino-shima volcano, Japan - ash plume 8,500 ft above summit

High activities continue at the Nishinoshima volcano

High activity continues at the Nishinoshima volcano
The activity of the volcano continues at elevated levels.

The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) observed strong explosions that generated a dense dark ash plume, which reached approx. 8,500 ft (2,600 m) above the summit. Volcanic ash is extending about 330 km to the northeast of the volcano.

Lava effusions continue to be active on the northeastern slopes of the volcano.

Very high thermal anomaly was observed in satellite images.

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency volcano activity update 25 June 2020

Cloud Precipitation

Flood situation worsens in Assam, India - death toll reaches 16, over 253,000 affected

Flood waters entered 16 districts of Assam on Friday, affecting over 2.53 lakh people, while the death toll due to the deluge rose to 16 after one more person died, officials said.

Dhemaji remains the worst-hit district in the state, followed by Tinsukia, Majuli and Dibrugarh.

The deluge claimed one life in Dibrugarh district, according to the daily flood bulletin of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).

The Brahmaputra river and its tributaries are flowing above the danger level at several places and have flooded Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Udalguri, Darranf, Baksa, Nalbari, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts, the officials said.


Wrong place, wrong time: Short-tailed Shearwater that breeds in Australia found in Ireland - new Western Palearctic record

Short-tailed Shearwater, Tramore Bay, Co Waterford, 22 June 2020
© Arlo Jacques
Short-tailed Shearwater, Tramore Bay, Co Waterford, 22 June 2020
A shearwater washed up on the beach at Tramore Bay, Co Waterford, on Monday 22 June adds to the recent run of stunning seabirds recorded in Europe so far this summer.

The bird was in an extremely poor state when found during Monday's gale and, unfortunately, it has subsequently died while in a rehabilitation centre. At the time, it was recovered by Arlo Jacques and Adrian Allen and rested overnight. Initially, it was expected to be a Manx, but as it dried out and the true colour and pattern of the underparts became obvious, the identification turned towards it being a Balearic Shearwater.

Before being sent on to the experienced rehabilitation facility, some key measurements were taken. The bird was in moult and missing three inner primaries, making very accurate measurements of wing length quite difficult to assess but they exceed and thus rule out any variant of Manx and Balearic Shearwater, while falling well short for Sooty Shearwater. Critically, though the bill measurements are just at the maximum known range, a careful assessment of this character provides adequate evidence that this is in fact a Short-tailed Shearwater.

Comment: For further details to some of the astounding extralimital records of the seabirds mentioned above, see:


Brazil declares crop emergency bracing for a biblical plague of locusts

The invasion of insects has already devastated India, Pakistan, Africa and some parts of the Middle East, causing billions of dollars in damages. In Somalia locusts destroyed 500 acres of cropland and plunged one million people into a food crisis.

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry declared a crop emergency on Thursday as the country braces for a plague of locusts of biblical proportions. The move will help authorities to implement steps to suppress the invasion of voracious insects and take other emergency measures should the locusts reach the fertile southern states Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. However, the ministry noted that such a scenario is unlikely.

The swarm of locusts, which consists of 40 million insects, first hit Paraguay and then travelled to Argentina and is now 100 kilometres from Brazil's border. Argentina and Brazil are some of the largest producers of corn and soy. Officials in Buenos Aires say so far the crop-munching insects have not caused as much damage as they did in Pakistan and India (the latter saw 600,000 hectares of the crops destroyed). Officials say low temperatures prevent insects from moving and reproducing.

Comment: 450 billion locusts have been killed this year, but devastating swarms still ravage Africa, India and the Middle East


Two pit bulls kill 72-year-old owner in Mandeville, Louisiana

A 72-year-old woman was attacked by her two pit bulls on Thursday at her home near Mandeville. She died later from her injuries.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office responded to the call at around 2: 15 p.m. in the 600 block of Chereuil Street.

"This is very sad," Sheriff Randy Smith said. "My thoughts and prayers go out the victim's family and to the neighbor who was injured trying to help her. I also thank the deputies who responded and provided medical care in an effort to try and save this woman's life."

After neighbors reported the attack, police arrived on the scene, where the attack was still happening.

Cloud Precipitation

Summer hailstorm blankets Colorado, creates "hail river"

hail river
A summer hailstorm rolled through Colorado Friday (June 26) causing cars to slide off the road, flooding streets and creating a "river of hail."

A stormy Friday afternoon led to some amazing footage of a road flooding with hail in Castle Rock. The footage, caught by Stan Gilliland and shared by Denver 7 was right outside Gilliland's front door. The intense storm set off national weather alerts, caused damage and sent cars sliding off the road.


Saharan dust cloud cloaks U.S. Gulf Coast in choking haze

What's been called the most significant dust cloud in 50 years has now shrouded the U.S. Gulf Coast in a thick, dusty haze. The dust layer, which originated in the Sahara desert and drifted across the Atlantic, is forecast to continue moving north and east through the weekend, impacting areas from Texas and Florida all the way up to as far north as the Canadian border.

For most people, the dust will merely be a nuisance, but for many who have breathing issues the extra particulates in the atmosphere can cause complications. The timing couldn't be much worse, considering that a recent Harvard study shows that long-term exposure to fine particles of pollution in the air, much like dust, may be linked to higher rates of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.


Boy recovering from shark attack off Homestead, Florida

When 7-year-old Jacob was bitten by what his mother believes was a bull shark, he didn’t shed a tear, despite wounds that required 19 stitches.
When 7-year-old Jacob was bitten by what his mother believes was a bull shark, he didn’t shed a tear, despite wounds that required 19 stitches.
A 7-year-old Florida boy received 19 stitches after he was bitten in the leg by what his mother believes may have been a bull shark on a trip to the beach.

The 7-year-old, only identified as Jacob, sustained three wounds to his leg Monday after he says he went into the water at Homestead Bayfront Park in Homestead, Florida, and an animal bit him.

"All we saw was the blood coming down," said Jacob's mother, only identified as Ethel.

Ethel says when Jacob was attacked, he didn't shed a tear. Lifeguards quickly gave him medical attention, and he was then taken to the hospital, where he got 19 stitches.

"He was cool, calm and collect[ed]. I, on the other hand, was a mess," Ethel said.


Rare Right Whale found dead off New Jersey coast

Federal authorities say the carcass of a critically endangered species of whale was found floating off the coast of New Jersey.

A dead North Atlantic right whale is seen off the coast of Long Island, New York in Sept. 2019.
A dead North Atlantic right whale is seen off the coast of Long Island, New York in Sept. 2019.
The whale was a North Atlantic right whale and it was found on Thursday.

The whales number only about 400, and have suffered high mortality and poor reproduction in recent years.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the whale was found floating off the coast of Elberon, N.J.

The agency and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center are working on performing a necropsy of the animal to determine how it died.

Source: AP


Bearded seal from the Arctic is the Montreal area's latest unusual visitor

A bearded seal is the latest marine mammal to be spotted in the St-Lawrence River

A bearded seal is the latest marine mammal to be spotted in the St-Lawrence River
Just a few weeks after the death of the stray humpback whale who enchanted Montrealers, a bearded seal has made its way to the area.

Originally from the arctic, the mammal was spotted Tuesday at the Bo-Bi-No marina in Laval, the city directly north of Montreal.

"We see them every year in Trois-Rivières but in Montreal, not for this species," said Marie-Ève Muller from the province's marine mammal research group (GREMM). "This is the first time."