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Sun, 20 Sep 2020
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The possible effects of bluetongue disease in Britain

Bluetongue is a mysterious disease, with no suitable vaccine, but there are still reasons for optimism for British farmers, despite the case at a Suffolk farm.

If bluetongue were to take hold in Britain it would change the landscape.



©SPL
The virus is of the same type as northern Europe suffers.

Anywhere which has hills dotted with sheep would be devastated. The strain of the disease found at a rare breeds farm in Suffolk has come from northern Europe.

Bizarro Earth

Bluetongue disease forces restrictions on transport of sheep in eastern Montana

A potentially fatal sheep disease spread by gnats has triggered a quarantine in eastern Montana, preventing ranchers from moving their animals at a time of year when lambs are shipped out, often to Colorado feedlots.

State veterinarian Marty Zaluski's order this week prohibits the transportation of sheep from 16 of Montana's 56 counties. The disease, bluetongue, has been confirmed in tests from eight flocks in six counties, said Lisa Schmidt, spokeswoman for the Montana Department of Livestock.

Bizarro Earth

Bluetongue disease claims hundreds of deer, antelope in Eastern Montana

Bluetongue, a disease that causes animals to bleed to death internally, is hitting antelope and white-tailed deer in southeastern Montana.

Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials say the disease, which is spread by a biting gnat, has been found in antelope in the Melstone-Sumatra-Ingomar area and white-tailed deer along the Yellowstone River.

Cloud Lightning

Deluge closes roads in Nevada

The biggest one-day deluge to hit Pahrump in years caused washouts in numerous locations, with a few streets still closed this week.

National Weather Service observer Ren Glover reported 2.7 inches Friday, which is the official total. That brings the yearly rainfall total to 3.15 inches, almost up to the 3.64-inch average annual rainfall for Pahrump through Sept. 30.

©Mark Waite / PVT
The rain apparently caused a significant sinkholes that closed Parkridge Avenue off Hacienda Street.

Cloud Lightning

Tropical Storm Lorenzo to hit Mexico as hurricane

Tropical Storm Lorenzo, forecast to become a hurricane before slamming into Mexico, dumped heavy rain on the country's Gulf coast on Thursday but was unlikely to affect oil production.

Lorenzo will probably make landfall in the early hours of on Friday in the coffee-growing state of Veracruz. It had wind speeds of near 70 mph (110 kph), with higher gusts.

©TSR

Star

Are sunspots prime suspects in global warming?

It's a modern-day climate scuffle William Herschel would recognize. He should. He helped trigger it.

In 1801, the eminent British astron­­omer reported that when sunspots dotted the sun's surface, grain prices fell. When sunspots waned, prices rose.

He suggested that shifts in grain prices were a stand-in for shifts in climate. Large numbers of sunspots led to a warmer sun, he reasoned. With more warmth reaching Earth, crop yields would increase, depressing grain prices.

With that, a 200-year hunt began for links between shifts in the sun's output and changes in climate.

Bomb

Is Earth and the solar system entering a nearby interstellar cloud?

It is suggested that the postulated interstellar cloud should encounter the solar system at some unspecified time in the 'near' future and might have a drastic influence on terrestrial climate in the next 10,000 years.

Bizarro Earth

Massive mountain slip creates new lake in New Zealand

Helicopter pilot Harvey Hutton, who knows Mount Aspiring National Park well, said he was completing a venison recovery operation about 7.30am yesterday when he discovered half a mountainside had collapsed and a lake had formed behind the slip.

"It's the first major one (slip) I've seen and probably the biggest in my lifetime," Hutton said.

He believed the lake was at least 50m deep and would need to be filled a bit more before it overflowed.

©DOC
A massive slip in Mount Aspiring National Park has created a new lake, thought to be about 2km long and at least at least 50m deep.

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Antarctic: The bugs that came in from the cold

Antarctica's Dry Valleys are among the most desolate places on the planet. Here, no plants cling to the slopes, no small mammals scurry among the scree. The freeze-dried landscapes, with their rocks chiselled by the wind, seem utterly lifeless. When Captain Scott first chanced upon their craggy peaks and troughs in 1905, he labelled them the "valleys of the dead".

Now, a little more than a hundred years on from Scott's exhibition, US scientists have discovered that the icy landscapes may not be so barren after all. Microbiologists from New Jersey have chanced upon tiny frozen organisms that have remained alive for millions of years, embedded in some of the oldest ice on the planet.

Cloud Lightning

Five days of torrential rains kill 4 in Brazil

Five days of continuous torrential rains have left four people dead and displaced thousands in Brazil, government and media say.

Rivers overflowed and flooded 58 cities and towns across the far-southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, the state's Civil Defense Agency said in a statement.