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Doberman

Parents face jail after toddler mauled to death by family dog on second birthday in Ukraine

dog attack
Toddler died after 10 days in hospitalA two-year-old boy has died as a result of his injuries after he was attacked by the family's German Shepherd dog while celebrating his second birthday.

The incident unfolded on 18 September in Selydove, a small town in eastern Ukraine.

The toddler, Yegor, died after 10 days in hospital where he remained in critical condition on a ventilator and kidney dialysis.


Before the incident, the boy had reportedly walked outside while his parents sat with guests.

The dog broke free of its enclosure and attacked the toddler in a courtyard.

Fire

The Glass Fire in California burned 1 acre every five seconds as it tripled in size; reports on multiple fires across the state

Winery fire
© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/Getty
Chateau Boswell Winery, Glass Fire, St. Helena, CA, September 27, 2020.
Thousands of residents have been forced to flee their Northern California homes in recent days as the fast-moving Glass Fire continues to grow.

The fire has tripled in size since it began Sunday, burning 36,236 acres and having 0% containment, Cal Fire Division Chief Ben Nichols said at a Monday evening press conference. The Glass Fire sparked in Napa Valley early Sunday morning around 4 a.m. PT, growing at a rate of around 1 acre every five seconds between Sunday night and Monday morning, according to satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

More than 70,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in Sonoma and Napa counties. At least 21 people have been treated at hospitals for burns, according to local hospitals in the area. A red flag warning remains in effect for the region until 9 pm local time Monday.

Flames tore through vineyards and structures near St. Helena, roaring over hills and jumping across both the Silverado Trail and the Lodi River, despite fire crews efforts to contain it, according to CNN affiliate KPIX.
Fire St. Helena
© Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
Burning building Glass Fire, St. Helena, California

Cloud Precipitation

Severe hailstorm, heavy rain, waterspout and flash flood slam Istanbul, Turkey

hail
Heavy rains accompanied by hailstorms hit Istanbul, a metropolis with a total population of almost 16 million, on Sept. 29, interrupting daily life and paralyzing traffic.

The harsh weather conditions hit Istanbul's Silivri, Büyükçekmece, Çatalca and Arnavutköy districts, as well as some areas of the city's Asian side as of 12:30 p.m. local time.

A waterspout, along with heavy rains, caused flash floods in a marketplace in Arnavutköy.


Boat

Third wave of floods hits 300,000 across the state of Assam, India

floods
More flooding has struck in the state Assam in north eastern India, affecting over 300,000 people in 13 districts.

Millions of people have been affected by monsoon flooding in the state that began in May this year and continued over the following months.

By late July over 2.4 million people were affected across 2,265 villages and localities in 23 of the state's 33 districts. According to India's Disaster Management Division (DMD) 119 people have now died as a result of flooding and 26 have died in landslides during this year's monsoon.

Flooding began to receed in early September. However, after a short respite a second wave of flooding struck in mid September affecting over 100 villages in the 4 districts of Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath and Chirang in the east of the state.


Cloud Precipitation

At least 11 dead after landslides triggered by heavy rainfall in North Kalimantan, Indonesia

Teams from Indonesia Navy Marine Corps have been called in to assist with search hand rescue operations after heavy rain triggered landslides in Tarakan, North Kalimantan
© Indonesia Navy Marine Corps
Teams from Indonesia Navy Marine Corps have been called in to assist with search hand rescue operations after heavy rain triggered landslides in Tarakan, North Kalimantan
Disaster authorities in Indonesia report that at least 11 people have died after heavy rainfall triggered landslides in North Kalimantan Province.

Landslides occurred early on 28 September in the districts of North Tarakan and Central Tarakan.

National Disaster Agency BNPB reports that 7 people died and 3 were injured in North Tarakan District, while 4 people died in landslides in Central Tarakan. A total of 19 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Indonesia's meteorological agency BMKG figures show that the weather station at Juwata Airport in Tarakan City recorded 130.4 mm of rain in 24 hours to 28 September, while Nunukan in North Kalimantan recorded 157 mm.


Better Earth

Arctic dimming causing 'devastating' forest decline

Norilsk forest
© Dr Alexander Kirdyanov
Widescale pollution has caused devastating forest decline east of Norilsk, Russia.

The largest-ever study of tree rings from Norilsk in the Russian Arctic has shown that the direct and indirect effects of industrial pollution in the region and beyond are far worse than previously thought.

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, has combined ring width and wood chemistry measurements from living and dead trees with soil characteristics and computer modeling to show that the damage done by decades of nickel and copper mining has not only devastated local environments, but also affected the global carbon cycle.

The extent of damage done to the boreal forest, the largest land biome on Earth, can be seen in the annual growth rings of trees near Norilsk where die off has spread up to 100 kilometers. The results are reported in the journal Ecology Letters.

Comment: It would appear that part of the problem is that these studies are performed with foregone conclusions, and assumptions science knows more than it does; that human activity is the primary cause of changes on our planet, and that we understand the complexities of plant and soil life better than we really do .

Pierre Lescaudron explicates the more likely drivers of global dimming - some that are not factored into the models mentioned above - and their effect globally - not just in the Arctic - in his book with Laura Knight-Jadczyk Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection:
Global dimming

Global dimming is the reduction in the amount of solar radiation received on Earth's surface during fair weather. One of the main causes of global dimming is atmospheric dust. Numerous scientists have demonstrated that a global dimming trend has been in
process for decades.

There's been some debate as to whether atmospheric dust induces a net warming effect on the planet (because it absorbs more than it reflects radiation), or whether it induces a net cooling effect (because it reflects more than it absorbs radiation). In 2008, atmospheric scientist Richard Hansell tested and measured the net effect of atmospheric dust particles on temperatures and concluded that although atmospheric dust both absorbed and reflected solar radiations, it induced an overall cooling effect:
The analysis showed that over half of dust's cooling effect is compensated for by its warming effect. The finding, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres, could clarify scientists' understanding of how dust influences moisture fluctuations in the atmosphere and surface temperatures around the planet.
As shown in the diagram below, researchers from the Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences found a significant reduction, globally averaged 2.7% per decade, in solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface over the last 50 years.
global dimming
© Stanhill & Cohen
Reduction in solar irradiance over the period 1950-2000.
In the 90's an inversion occurred and our planet experienced a global brightening in some regions. Then, after the year 2000, global dimming restarted in certain areas and became overall more chaotic with different continents experiencing opposite trends.

Now, according to mainstream science, global dimming is man-made, caused by the accumulation of aerosol particles in the atmosphere due to industrialization. The trend inversion noticed in the 90s is attributed to the ban of several types of aerosols and other anti-pollution measures. However, a paper published in 2005 showed that over the period 1986-2000, although a slight dimming was occurring over land, a brightening occurred over the oceans.

global dimming 2
© Pinker et al
Irradiance over the period 1982-2002. Land measurements on the left (global dimming), ocean measurements on the right (global brightening).
If human activity was indeed the cause of global dimming, and the reduction in human aerosol use the cause for the brightening observed in the 1990s, a brightening over land should have been observed and, possibly, a delayed brightening over the oceans (due to air circulation), since most industrial sources are located on continents. But the paper referenced here shows exactly the opposite.

Since 2000, dimming has been observed in numerous places, including China, India and the whole southern hemisphere, despite the relatively lower presence of anthropogenic pollution in this less industrialized hemisphere. We can deduce from this that while human pollution might indeed affect the amount of sunlight reaching the surface, it's obviously not the only cause and its effects are probably negligible in the larger context.

Unlike human pollution, cometary activity could, at least partly, explain both the global dimming observed above the oceans during the 1990s and the dimming since 2000.

Between 40 and 400 tons of extraterrestrial material is estimated to enter the Earth's atmosphere daily 214,215 most of it arriving in the form of cometary dust. These estimates calculated years ago do not, however, take into account the recent surge in cometary activity. If we factor in the 655% increase in confirmed fireballs (see AMS statistics above) over the past eight years, the quantity of cometary dust entering Earth's atmosphere should be at least six times higher than that generally estimated; that is, daily incoming dust measuring between 260 and 2,600 tons.
He later goes onto to explicate how a rise in cosmic rays accelerates cloud formation, global dimming and global cooling, and that, while this appears to be a more recent phenomenon, with an increase of 13% in just 3 years, their impact on further cooling the planet will also likely have an affect on tree growth in the Arctic, a factor also not accounted for in the study above.

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Rainbow

Brilliant pink auroras are dazzling the Arctic Circle amid an ongoing solar storm

The northern lights appear pink over Tromso, Norway, on Saturday night.
© Markus Varik/SpaceWeather.com
The northern lights appear pink over Tromso, Norway, on Saturday night.
The northern lights may even dip into southern Canada

Mesmerizing curtains of colorful lights shimmered across the night skies above the Arctic Circle on Saturday and Sunday, with luminous pillars lighting up the landscape beneath shades of green, purple and pink. Skywatchers fixed their cameras pointing upward, the spectacle witnessed from Scandinavia, Alaska and Canada. It was a display of the northern lights, or aurora borealis.

The ordinarily ephemeral show lasted for hours as a powerful geomagnetic storm transformed bursts of energy from the sun into a palette of pastels. Energy hurtling toward Earth from the sun poured along the magnetosphere, the magnetic field that surrounds the planet. Like a natural sunscreen protecting us from damaging high-energy particles, it transforms protons and cosmic radiation into innocuous visible light.

Eye 2

Signs and Portents: Woman discovers 2-headed snake inside home in Alexander County, North Carolina

An Alexander County woman was surprised this weekend after finding a baby, two-headed snake inside of her home.
© Dave Faherty
An Alexander County woman was surprised this weekend after finding a baby, two-headed snake inside of her home.
An Alexander County woman was surprised this weekend after finding a baby, two-headed snake inside of her home.

Jeannie Wilson nicknamed the snake "Double Trouble" after she discovered it in her sunroom.

She believes the one-foot long snake is a rat snake.


Snowflake

Italy's coldest September in 50 years

September snow falls near Rome

September snow falls near Rome
Temperatures plunge suddenly as Italy battered by torrential rain.

Italy's incessant rain and sudden drop in temperature in recent days have resulted in the country's coldest September for 50 years, reports Italian media.

Over the weekend, temperatures in Italy plunged by between 10 and 15 degrees, leading to snow falls much earlier than usual.

The spell of bad weather, triggered by a belt of cold air from northern Europe, has been particularly intense in Milan and Turin which recorded 5°C and 4°C degrees respectively on the night of Sunday 27 September.

Snowflake

Mount Buller hit by 16 inches of spring snow in Victorian Alps, Australia

Mount Buller resort
© Mount Buller
Mount Buller resort
It's the middle of spring, but Victorian Alps have turned into a wintry wonderland following the cold blast that swept through most of the state at the weekend.

Mount Buller recorded more than 40 centimetres of fresh snow, one of its largest snowfalls of the season.

Mount Buller resort's Rhylla Morgan said it was a real taste of winter.


"It went from spring back to winter very quickly," Ms Morgan said.