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Thu, 27 Feb 2020
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Frog

UK's mild winter disrupting animal hibernation and insect behavior

hedgehogs

FILE PHOTO: Many hedgehogs have not been hibernating after the mild winter
Hedgehogs and other animals have not hibernated this winter, after 'unprecedented' mild weather.

That is according to wildlife rescuer Trevor Weeks, founder of East Sussex WRAS (Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service).

He says the effects and implications of this 'unheard of' phenomenon are yet to be discovered, but we should be worried.

Mr Weeks said, "Even things like toads, amphibians and reptiles hibernate in the winter.

"But we've had reports of frogs and toads still being out in people's gardens.

Comment: Winter isn't over yet, but it's possible, as we've seen with the unprecedented flooding, drought and record breaking cold in recent years, and all over the planet, that erratic weather patterns are significantly affecting the usual behavior of wildlife. One other recent and concerning example would be the excess rainfall that has been reported to be the cause of the plague of locusts decimating crops across Africa and south Asia.

See also: Unusually warm January in southern & eastern US has plants budding 2 months early

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Seismograph

Magnitude 6.2 earthquake strikes Tanimbar, Indonesia and is felt in Darwin, NT

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Tanimbar region in Indonesia sending shockwaves felt across NT

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Tanimbar region in Indonesia sending shockwaves felt across NT
An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 has struck the Tanimbar region in Indonesia, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) says.

The quake on Wednesday was at a depth of 49km, according to EMSC.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there was no tsunami threat to Australia following the earthquake, which was felt in Darwin.

The Indonesia Geophysics Agency also said there was no tsunami potential from the quake.

Indonesia, which sits on the seismically active Pacific 'Ring of Fire', often suffers deadly earthquakes and tsunamis.

Pineapple

Banana, avocado and potato crops in the Canary Islands hit by wind and calima

Banana, avocado and potato crops in the Canary Islands hit by wind

Banana, avocado and potato crops in the Canary Islands hit by wind
Many crops facing a "lost year"

The assessment of the damage caused by the wind and calima in the Canary Islands is already underway. We will still have to wait a few days to know the full extent of the damage, but the first impressions of the agrarian leaders point to a heavy impact on all crops grown in the open ground, especially on bananas and potatoes, which in many cases will be facing "a lost year."

For some fruit crops (those cultivated in the places most affected by the wind), not only may the current harvest have been lost, but the next campaign is also at risk.

In certain parts of the islands, the effects of the storm on the banana plantations resemble those caused by the tropical storm Delta in 2005, says Javier Gutiérrez, general secretary of the Association of Agricultural Producers and Livestock Farmers of the Canary Islands (Asaga Canarias). In Tenerife, this applies to the farms located in the Orotava Valley, although also to those in part of the south, as well as in La Palma. The leader of Asaga reports that many banana plantations will have to be uprooted and sown again (if the companies that supply in vitro plants have sufficient stocks), "with the investment that this entails."

Cloud Precipitation

Emergency evacuation in Ironbridge, UK, as flooding overwhelms River Severn defences

Ironbridge
© PA Media
Police are evacuating residents in Wharfage, Ironbridge
An emergency evacuation is taking place as rising waters on the River Severn "overwhelmed" a town's flood defences.

A kink in the barriers at Ironbridge, Shropshire, meant water seeped underneath, resulting in police evacuating part of the town.

West Mercia Police said the defences "appear to be buckling", adding "virtually everyone" in the Wharfage area had agreed to leave.

Residents were earlier evacuated from their homes in Bewdley, Worcestershire.

A severe flood warning for the River Severn has been issued for Ironbridge following days of heavy rain.

Comment: And more rain is predicted this weekend:




Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rains, flooding pummel Cairo and parts of Egypt

FLOODS
Heavy rains pummeled the Egyptian capital of Cairo and other parts of the country Monday, causing massive traffic jams and flooding on many key roads.

The downpour also forced authorities to suspend classes the following day at schools and universities across the country, from Alexandria in the north to Aswan in the south.

Egyptians shared scenes of the rain and flooding on social media, including submerged cars and snarled traffic. Parts of Cairo were left impassable, and trucks were seen fanning out to drain water from flooded areas of the city, home to some 20 million people.

People also took to social media to criticize the government's lack of preparedness for the downpour. Nearly every year, the capital or other major cities are crippled by flooding from a rainstorm.


Binoculars

Blood-red snow appears at Ukrainian polar station in Antarctic

blood red snow antarctic
© National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine / Andrey Zotov
Ukrainian polar station in the Antarctic has turned into a horror movie set after the snow around it turned a bloody red. But scientists appear unfazed, offering an explanation for the strange phenomenon.

Photos from the Vernadsky research base were posted on Facebook by the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science, which said that the snow had been like this for the past two weeks.

However, the ministry assured its followers that there was no reason for concern over the wellbeing of the station's inhabitants, and mentioned no bad omens either.

Comment: While this appears to be a relatively normal event for the Antarctic in summer, similar life on our planet isn't behaving so predictably:


Question

25 more dead starlings found at another location in North Wales

dead starlings
Tests are being carried out on the latest discovery to found out how they died

A group of dead starlings found on the coastal path are being tested by police.

Nine dead birds were discovered between Porthmadog and Criccieth , with rural crime officers saying their deaths are thought to be a result of a "natural phenomenon".

A tweet by North Wales Police 's rural crime team said: "More dead starlings have been recovered, this time from the Wales Coastal Path near Cricieth.

"Don't be alarmed. We think this is a natural phenomenon. No 5G, no UFOs and hopefully no criminality. They are being recovered for toxicology tests."

It comes after 300 dead starlings were found on Anglesey in December in a case which mystified experts.


Attention

670 cetacean species dead on French coast since start of year - 11,000 dolphins found in 2019

dead dolphins

dead dolphins
Over 600 marine animals have been found dead along French beaches. Animal welfare activists say fishing nets are responsible for their deaths and predict an increase in numbers.

Hundreds of dead dolphins washed up on France's Atlantic coast with many more predicted to come, according to a French monitoring group for marine mammals.

Around 670 dead animals have been found on beaches as of mid-February, according to the conservation group Pelagis. Among the dead were hundreds of protected cetacean species including whales.


Animal welfare activists have said that tightly meshed fishing nets were responsible for their deaths.

Sun

Northern China wakes up to 5 suns in the sky

Five suns in China
© Via Twitter@Beautiful China
People are aware of the natural phenomenon that makes it look like there are three suns in the sky. But people in inner Mongolia, China, woke up to five suns.

A video shared by a page called Beautiful China on Twitter, showing five suns in the sky is going viral.

'What a spectacular wonder! Five suns are seen shining in the sky in N China's Inner Mongolia," the video shared by People's Daily, China was captioned.


Cloud Precipitation

Severe thunderstorm creates havoc in Perth, Australia

Dark clouds loomed over Morley as the storm front moved across Perth's northern suburbs
© Matt Woodcock
Dark clouds loomed over Morley as the storm front moved across Perth's northern suburbs.
A freak storm has caused chaos across Perth, bringing down trees, causing flash flooding and leaving homes without power.

The storm rolled in around 5pm, bringing dark clouds , lightning strikes and heavy rains with it.

It lashed the city and the suburbs, with people taking to social media to capture the chaos.

Winds of 93 km/hr were reported at Ocean Reef, while peak hour traffic ground to a halt as traffic lights went out.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the storm was not unusual for February, but it caught everyone by surprise.

BOM WA issued an alert only an hour before, just after 4pm.