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Thu, 27 Feb 2020
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Ladybug

Fireflies are facing extinction due to habitat loss, pesticides and artificial light

A female glow-worm, from the same family as fireflies, will shine for hours to attract her mate but artificial light can disrupt the process.

A female glow-worm, from the same family as fireflies, will shine for hours to attract her mate but artificial light can disrupt the process.
Around the world, fireflies light up the night with their shimmering bodies. But scientists say this magical display is under threat -- with the loss of their natural habitats, pesticide use and artificial light putting some of the 2,000 or so species at risk of extinction.

Habitat loss is leading to the decline of many wildlife species, with some fireflies suffering because they need certain environmental conditions to complete their life cycle, said Sara Lewis, a professor of biology at Tufts University, who led the research published Monday in the journal Bioscience.

For example, she said, one Malaysian firefly (Pteroptyx tener), famous for its synchronized flashing displays, needs mangroves and the plants they contain to breed but across Malaysia mangrove swamps have been converted into palm oil plantations and aquaculture farms.

More surprisingly, the researchers found that the use of artificial light at night, something that has grown exponentially over the past century, was the second most serious threat to the creatures.


Biohazard

New outbreaks of bird flu reported in Saudi Arabia and Vietnam

bird flu
© SPA
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture revealed that a case of highly pathogenic bird flu (H5N8) was recorded at a poultry farm in Riyadh.
Saudi agriculture officials handling a reported case of bird flu at a farm in Riyadh have assured the public that it presents no risk to human health.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture revealed that a case of highly pathogenic bird flu (H5N8) had been recorded at a poultry farm in the capital and authorities had taken necessary measures on site to prevent any spread of the virus.

Ministry spokesman, Dr. Abdullah Aba Al-Khail, said that according to the World Health Organization, H5N8 was a strain that only affected birds and could not be transmitted to humans.

He pointed out that it was first registered in the Kingdom at the end of 2017 but was controlled and did not pose a threat to public health.
Aba Al-Khail added that field emergency teams attended the farm immediately after receiving notification of the case and implemented procedures for dealing with the virus.

Comment: Sputnik reports on the outbreak in Vietnam:
In Vietnam, the outbreak of avian influenza's subtype of H5N6 started on 18 January and infected and killed more than 2,000 birds in the country's north. Additionally, 300 birds were killed and disposed of, the OIE said, citing Dr. Dong Pham Van, the head of the Agriculture Ministry's department of animal health.
And just 4 days ago China culled thousands of chickens following a new outbreak.


Snowflake

Huge snowstorm for 2nd successive week in the Alps with over 7 feet of snowfall

Mayrhofen, Austria

Mayrhofen, Austria

The second big snowstorm in less than a fortnight has been blowing across Western Europe with February so far much snowier than most of January was.

Some ski areas have reported up to 75cm of snow in the past 24 hours; 150cm (five feet) in the past three days and over 2.1 metres (7 feet) of snowfall in the past week.


Comment: A week prior: Up to 43 inches of snow fell on the Alps in 72 hours


Airplane

Over 500 Denver International Airport flights canceled, delayed as snow rolls in

Not leaving on a jet plane
© Chase Woodruff
Not leaving on a jet plane
More than 500 incoming and outgoing flights at Denver International Airport have been delayed or canceled Monday as the first major snowstorm of 2020 moves through Colorado.

RTD bus and light rail service delays could be up to 20 minutes Monday because of the winter storm, according to an RTD tweet.

Eight airlines canceled 144 flights in and out of DIA on Monday, according to the website FlightAware. SkyWest canceled the most flights, a total of 61 by noon Monday, FlightAware said.

"There are delays due to weather," said Alex Renteria, DIA spokeswoman. "Keep an eye on the weather."

Snowflake

Summer snow on peaks in South Island, New Zealand

snow
A dusting of snow has sprinkled the higher peaks in the lower South Island.

It's part of a wild weather system that has caused widespread flooding in the deep south, leading to mass evacuations in Gore and Mataura and Wyndham.


MetService meteorologist Tahlia Crabtree said there had been reports of snow at The Remarkables in Queenstown, the mountain in the Mt Cook region, and at Ōhau skifield in the foothills of the Southern Alps.

Crabtree said cool air had moved across the South Island on Wednesday morning, lowering the freezing level.

Snowflake

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Mud volcanoes, electrical double speak and spinning winds

Cars have been left stacked upon one another in Campanillas

Cars were left stacked upon one another in Campanillas, Malaga, Spain after freak hail storm and flash floods.
Six mud volcanoes open in Trinidad after the Jamaican offshore quake, feet deep hail buries cars this time in Spain, it was an atmospheric compression hail event. Stop using email to save the climate double speak as 5G is rolled out using a cooling unit for each tower. Another atmospheric river pounds the USA west coast as the Grand Solar Minimum continues to intensify.


Comment: Freak hailstorm and flash floods strike Malaga, Spain


Boat

Rare sea fog shrouds Western Australia's Perth coastline

Container ships at Fremantle Port were shrouded in the heavy fog
© Supplied
Container ships at Fremantle Port were shrouded in the heavy fog.
A rare sea fog has moved over Western Australia's south-west coast, prompting a warning for people on the water to take extra care.

Boaters have been urged to be aware of the conditions as the thick fog moves past Rottnest Island and south off Perth's coast.

"We'll definitely see some fairly reduced visibility over the coastal waters during today, which is potentially quite hazardous for boats out there," Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) duty forecaster Max Strack said.

The fog emerged off the coast of Geraldton last night and gradually developed south.

Ms Strack said the fog was caused by a low pressure trough drawing warm, moist air from the north.

Sea fog is only seen off WA's coast a couple of times a year, with the current conditions likely to last into the afternoon.

Snowflake

Storm slams Northern Utah with 16 inches of snow and 50 mph winds

Utah snow
Blowing snow reduced visibility for drivers traveling through Salt Lake County, Utah, and surrounding areas on Monday, February 3, transportation officials said.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) shared several videos of Monday's snowstorm, documenting snowy roadways, stranded drivers, and snowplows at work.

By Monday morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) recorded as much as 16 inches of snow in northern Utah, with wind gusts surpassing 50 mph in several locations.


Credit: UDOT Cottonwood Canyons via Storyful

Comment: Other videos of the snowstorm in the state:






Snowflake

Red Lodge Mountain in Montana walloped with 26 inches of snow in just 24 hours

red lodge
Red Lodge Mountain is still celebrating the winter with 26 inches of fresh snow in just 24 hours.

Check out this video of the fresh powder from Kelsey Borge, the sales and marketing manager at Red Lodge Mountain.


Borge says February is off to a good start.

"Oh this week is looking awesome. You know with this much snow last night, when I was walking out to the car it was over my knees you know with drifts and spots. We have another storm expected to roll on Wednesday that could bring some significant snowfall, so we love it cause snow is the biz right?" she said.

Attention

Pesticides are killing off the andean condor

Andean condor
© American Bird Conservancy
Andean condor
Livestock owners needlessly fear these massive South American birds—and lure them to their deaths with illegal poisons. Extinction countdown is on.

It starts with the whiff of death.

High above the Argentinian plains, an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) — one of the world's largest flying bird species — catches the distinctive aroma of decaying flesh on the wind. It's quickly joined by other condors, perhaps a dozen or more, who start circling in the familiar pattern of all carrion-loving vultures.

Soon the massive condors spy the source of the delicious smell: a dead sheep or goat lying in a field. The hungry birds quickly angle in for descent, land around the body and begin to feed, tearing into the skin and meat with their sharp beaks.

Then the condors also begin to die.