Welcome to Sott.net
Mon, 20 Jan 2020
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes
Map

Cloud Precipitation

Flash floods, landslides kill 6 in Brazil after a month's worth of rainfall in 24 hours

floods
Flooding and landslides triggered by torrential rains have claimed six lives in southeast Brazil, firefighters said Saturday.

Footage on social media showed streets in Espirito Santo state turned into rivers and cars being swept away by raging, muddy water.

In one clip, the water almost reaches the roof of a gas station.

The fatalities happened in the towns of Iconha and Alfredo Chaves, with three deaths in each town. In the latter, two of the victims were elderly people who died after a landslide engulfed their home in mud.


Cloud Precipitation

Struth: Flash flooding hits Gold Coast, Brisbane as storms sweep Queensland, Australia

Movie World Carpark flooded, with cars submerged up to the roof PHOTO: Torrential rain left the Movie World car park at Oxenford underwater early on Saturday morning.
© nstagram: mickeylou15
Movie World Carpark flooded, with cars submerged up to the roof PHOTO: Torrential rain left the Movie World car park at Oxenford underwater early on Saturday morning.
Dangerous storms described as a one-in-100-year event have swept through South-East Queensland overnight and into the morning, dumping heavy rain and causing flash flooding in parts of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The SES has responded to more than 100 callouts on the Gold Coast alone, and another 60 between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

Police have reported localised flash flooding in Chelmer, Kenmore Hills, Birkdale and Helensvale.

Emergency services carried out two swift water rescues of people trapped in their cars in floodwaters at Nerang and Oxenford.

A mother and child were also safely rescued after a tree fell on their car at Currumbin Waters, also bringing down power lines.


Bug

Worst locust swarms in East Africa for 25 years posing an unprecedented threat to food security

Locust swarm, Kenya

The insects are devouring crops with Kenya one of the worst affected
The most serious outbreak of locusts in 25 years is spreading across East Africa with a single swarm covering an area one-and-a-half times the size of Greater London.

Unusual climate conditions are partially to blame for the plague, which is posing an unprecedented threat to food security in some of the world's most vulnerable countries.

The insects are devouring crops, with Kenya one of the worst countries to be affected.

One swarm measured 60km (37 miles) by 40km (25 miles) in the country's northeast.

A spokesman for the country's Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said: "A typical desert locust swarm can contain up to 150 million locusts per square kilometre.

"Swarms migrate with the wind and can cover 100 to 150 kilometres in a day.

"An average swarm can destroy as much food crops in a day as is sufficient to feed 2,500 people."


Comment: At least 360 000 ha (890 000 acres) of crops have been affected in Rajasthan, northern India which is currently in the midst of the state's worst locust infestation in 60 years.

Locust outbreaks from last year include:


Snowflake

Jackson Hole resort in Wyoming reports record snowfall - 11 feet in 15 days

It has snowed 11 feet in Jackson Hole in January, with more on the way
© Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
It has snowed 11 feet in Jackson Hole in January, with more on the way
With more than 3.3 metres (over 11 feet) of snow blanketing the Tetons since January 1, 2020 conditions at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming are reported to be some of the snowiest of all time.

340cm (134 inches) of snow fell on the upper mountain in the first fortnight of the new decade and the resort's current base depth of 2.3 metres (91 inches) make this January the deepest ever in the resort's history.

"We're in the flow," stated Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Vice President of Operations Tim Mason. He went on to note, "I'm impressed by the virility and sustained nature of this storm cycle, and how our staff have responded to it. We have worked tirelessly to ensure the parking lots are ploughed, buses are running, and the mountain opens in a timely and safe manner. Not to mention the skiing has been incredible; this is a January for the record books."


Comment: Related: Snoqualmie Pass in Washington buried under 6.7 feet of snow in 6 days - Nearly 10 feet since Jan 1st, 11.8 at Stevens Pass


Cloud Grey

The rumbling methane Enigma

rocks and snow
© Nixette – CC BY-SA 4.0
The northern continental shelves of Russia, inclusive of the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea (ESAS) are some of the least researched yet most controversial subjects in climate science today. It's the one region that has the biggest potential to trigger runaway global warming because of sizeable subsea methane deposits, thereby taking civilization down to its knees. But, that prospect is also extremely controversial within the scientific community.

Scientific opinion runs the gamut: (1) high risk- methane bursts will bury civilization with runaway global warming - a dreadful, deadly risk (2) not to worry, it's low risk because almost all of the massive deposits of undersea methane will stay put (3) not to worry, low risk because any methane seepage via undersea permafrost is oxidized and dissolves within the seawater and not a threat to runaway global warming.

By and large, climate scientists dismiss the ESAS and some go so far as to vilify published research. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) dismisses its near-term/intermediate-term risks. The reasons are manifold (more on that later).

Unfortunately, recent events in the high Arctic lean towards option number one as the more likely outcome. In that regard, I recently met with Dr. Peter Wadhams, world-renowned Arctic expert, to discuss the issue (more on that follows).

Comment: Even if our futile attempts at reducing CO2 emissions had any effect (they don't in the larger scheme when compared to natural emissions), the potential threat from methane outgassing or volcanic eruptions is far greater. However even the risk from methane needs more study. According this study, methane may lead to cooling instead of warming. See also:


Seismograph

Shallow M6.0 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia

Earthquake seismograph
A strong 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook Indonesia's easternmost region of Papua on Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said.

There was no tsunami warning accompanying the quake which struck inland 158 kilometres (98 miles) from the provincial capital Jayapura at a shallow depth of almost 34 kilometers, USGS said.

The Southeast Asian archipelago is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth.

In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.

Snowflake

Winter blunderland: Numerous crashes on roads as storm blankets central US with snow, ice

The scene of a crash in the Town of Bovina Jan. 17, 2020.
© Outagamie Co. Sheriff's Office
The scene of a crash in the Town of Bovina Jan. 17, 2020.
Blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings heralded the arrival of icy roads that would plague residents across the central Plains throughout the day on Friday. After a slick blanket of snow and ice latched itself to roadways, travel hazards and mishaps quickly followed.

Snow accumulations reached up to 7 inches in parts of Iowa by Friday night and 1-5 inches in parts of central Nebraska, western Iowa and spots of Missouri. According to the National Weather Service office in Kansas City (Missouri), some roads were rendered 'nearly impassible' by the precipitation Friday morning.

"Tomorrow morning there could be ice on untreated roads as temperatures drop well below freezing around sunrise. Drive safely tomorrow especially when off the beaten path," the office warned Friday night in a tweet.

Friday evening in Iowa, a pickup truck on I-80 in Western Iowa slid off the road and came hurtling toward a delivery truck, a state trooper and the truck driver. A video had been captured of the incident from the inside of the delivery truck.


Cloud Lightning

Two missing, 3,000 in shelters as Cyclone Tino hits Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Tino batters Pacific

Tropical Cyclone Tino batters Pacific
Tropical Cyclone Tino strengthened to a Category Three storm Saturday as it closed in on Tonga after battering Fiji where two people were missing and more than 3,000 fled to emergency shelters.

The Fiji Meteorological Service said the wind gusts from Tino had increased to 180 kilometers per hour and would likely have its biggest impact in the northern areas of Tonga when it hits overnight.

The Pacific kingdom is still recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Gina two years ago which caused widespread devastation, destroying houses and crops.

"The sea is very high and I'm sure beaches are being washed away in the more exposed places and the outer islands," Tupoutu'a Tonutonu told AFP from northern Vava'u.

"It's been bucketing down for about three days, the soil is waterlogged and I'm hearing trees are down in the village."


Attention

New ash cloud sparks fears of Taal volcano eruption in the Philippines

A family evacuates to safer grounds as Taal Volano continues to spew ash in Lemery, Batangas, southern Philippines on Monday Jan. 13, 2020.
© Aaron Favila
A family evacuates to safer grounds as Taal Volano continues to spew ash in Lemery, Batangas, southern Philippines on Monday Jan. 13, 2020.
The Taal volcano near the Philippine capital emitted more ash clouds on Saturday, posing the threat of another eruption.

The ash and steam explosions have gotten weaker after seven days of eruption. But despite the seeming lull, factors such as continuing volcanic quakes, the drying of the crater lake and other signs indicate magma is moving beneath, said Maria Antonia Bornas, an official with the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The volcano in Batangas province, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of the capital, Manila, has remained at alert level 4, the second-highest warning, indicating a hazardous explosive eruption is possible in hours or days.


Cloud Precipitation

At least 6 dead as severe weather triggers floods, landslides and lightning strikes in Bolivia

Floods in Tarija, Bolivia, January 2020.
© Secretary of Environment of Tarija
Floods in Tarija, Bolivia, January 2020.
Severe weather including lightning strikes, heavy rain and hail storms has affected several departments in Bolivia since 11 January 2020, with at least 6 fatalities reported.

Chuquisaca Department

In Chuquisaca Department, a storm and heavy rain caused the Quirpinchaca river to overflow, flooding several districts in Sucre City from around 13 January. Over 60 families were affected. Media reported 1 person died as a result of flooding and 2 others as a result of lightning strike during the storm.