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Sat, 11 Jul 2020
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Earth Changes


Endemic locust species observed eating its own males for the first time in Turkey

Bradyporus karabagi
A female Bradyporus karabagi eats a male of her own species alive, near the Karacadağ dormant volcano, Diyarbakır, Turkey, June 1, 2020.
Females of an endemic species of locust, colloquially known as the fat locust, have been observed eating males alive to have more qualified spawn in Turkey's southeastern region.

The Bradyporus karabagi species lives only in southeastern Turkey and has been spotted around the Karacadağ dormant volcano, located between Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa and Mardin provinces. Officials made an application to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2017 to include fat locusts on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Bradyporus karabagi has not been able to spread its habitat to a larger area because it is a wingless species, experts say.

Speaking on the issue, professor Ali Satar of Dicle University told Demirören News Agency (DHA) said that although cannibalism is a common practice among the ensifera suborder of insects, they witnessed this practice for the first time among the Bradyporus karabagi species.


Pit bull attacks, kills owner in Jeffersonville, Indiana

A man died following a pit bull attack in Jeffersonville, WAVE 3 News has learned.

Jeffersonville police officers responded to the 800 block of West Larkspur Drive on a report of a man being bitten by a dog Wednesday morning. Det. Josh Schiller confirmed it happened just after midnight.

The first officer to arrive tried to stop the pit bull attack with pepper spray, but was unsuccessful. The officer then shot the dog to end the attack, according to a statement from the Jeffersonville Police Department.

Officers then tried to render medical aid to the victim, a man in his early 60′s, until EMS arrived. EMS workers arrived and then also tried to render aid, but it was too late. The man died at the scene. He has not been identified.

Det. Schiller confirmed the dog died and that it was owned by the victim.


This year's cold and wet spring sinks US wheat acreage to its lowest levels since USDA records began in 1919 - Corn and potatoes down too

US harvest

Following a disastrous 2019 growing season across the U.S., particularly in the Midwest, the cold and wet spring of 2020 along with "burnt" farmers has resulted in reduced planting of this year's crops, too.

The weather proved so cold and wet in 2019 that many North Dakota farmers' corn harvest lasted more than six months — and a few still haven't finished it, reports thedickinsonpress.com. And now, following last year's challenging conditions, North Dakota's 2020 corn acreage is down more than 30% year on year, with potato planting also drastically reduced.

ND corn acreage this spring is pegged at 2.4 million, 31.5% lower than the 3.5 million planted in 2019, according to the USDA acreage report released Tues, June 30-a report based on surveys of farmers during the first two weeks of June.

The combination of a never-ending 2019 harvest and unfavorable planting conditions this spring likely discouraged many farmers across the Midwest from planting.

Frayne Olson, NDSU Extension marketing specialist, says farmers didn't again want to risk planting beyond the optimal time, and end up with immature corn that they will have to harvest in spring 2021.

"Farmers said 'I got burned last year,'" says Olson.

Nationwide, farmers planted 92 million acres of corn in 2020 — and while that's a fraction more than last year, it took the trade by surprise because, earlier this spring, U.S. farmers had indicated they would plant 97 million acres in 2020-an organized attempt to make up for the Midwest's poor 2019 harvest.


Summer storm Päivö leaves nearly 60,000 homes without power in Finland

Rescue unit works to clear a fallen tree over a road in Miehikkälä, southeastern Finland
© Noora-Liia Rautio
Rescue unit works to clear a fallen tree over a road in Miehikkälä, southeastern Finland.
Almost 60,000 households were left without electricity Wednesday morning after summer storm Päivö brought down power lines across various parts of Finland overnight.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute's (FMI) meteorologist Helena Laakso said that while the storm itself is over, some regions are still due for more rain or thunderstorms which could be severe in some areas.

FMI tweeted around midnight on Tuesday that Päivö's strong winds had shifted from Upper Savonia and Upper Karelia towards eastern Kainuu. The force of the gusts were described as dangerously strong and residents were encouraged to stay indoors until the storm passed.

It could take a few days to restore electricity to households in areas stretching from southern Savo to Kainuu, according to authorities.

The power cuts could also affect the functionality of mobile networks, including communications to emergency services, according to northern Karelia's rescue unit, which advised residents to head to local fire departments if emergency services calls cannot be made.

The summer storm tore across southern Finland, first eastward then took to the north on Tuesday.

Heart - Black

Hundreds of elephants dead in mysterious mass die-off in Botswana

elephant deaths

Aerial images of some of the elephant carcasses seen in the Okavango Delta
More than 350 elephants have died in northern Botswana in a mysterious mass die-off described by scientists as a "conservation disaster".

A cluster of elephant deaths was first reported in the Okavango Delta in early May, with 169 individuals dead by the end of the month. By mid June, the number had more than doubled, with 70% of the deaths clustered around waterholes, according to local sources who wish to remain anonymous.

"This is a mass die-off on a level that hasn't been seen in a very, very long time. Outside of drought, I don't know of a die-off that has been this significant," said Dr Niall McCann, the director of conservation at UK-based charity National Park Rescue.

Comment: See also: The terrifying phenomenon plummeting species towards extinction

Cloud Precipitation

Flood destroys vast cropland in Bangladesh

Farmers bore the brunt of the first spell of monsoon floods that continued to inundate fresh areas for the fourth consecutive day until Tuesday.

Parts of Rajbari and Tangail districts went under water since Monday night as the River Padma and the tributaries of the River Jamuna crossed their danger marks at three new places.

The five northern districts that emerged as worst hit by the floods already had crops on 13,642 hectares almost completely destroyed, reported New Age correspondent in Lalmonirhat.

A comprehensive picture of the damages caused by the floods to the agriculture sector would take a while to come by as new areas were affected with the deluge moving downstream.


Wrong place, wrong time: Gray-tailed tattler shorebird from Asia never before recorded in Canada found in Kitimat, British Columbia

gray-tailed tattler

Gray-tailed tattler
A bird native to Asia was spotted at Minette Bay recently, bringing in birders from all over B.C.

Birders in Kitimat and across B.C. got a special treat last week when a rare bird native to Asia, the gray-tailed tattler, was spotted at Minette Bay.

The gray-tailed tattler travels to breed in northeast Siberia, then migrates to anywhere from Southeast Asia to Australia.

This is the first time the bird has been recorded in Canada, according to local bird expert Walter Thorne.


Waterspout filmed off the coast of Finland

A waterspout was spotted spinning off the coast of Enskär, Finland, on June 30, amid storms in the area, which caused widespread power outages.


Bomb cyclone lives up to its name, wreaks havoc on Brazilian city

bomb cyclone brazil july 2020
© Twitter/ @MarceloAveiro, Twitter @GeisieleScio
A bomb cyclone tears off roofs in the Brazilian city of Curitiba
At least three people were killed as the southern Brazilian state of Parana was lashed by winds of up to 120kph from a 'bomb' cyclone which wreaked havoc across the area, bombarding the streets with high-speed debris.

The ferocious tempest ripped up trees, tore roofs off buildings and sent locals cowering indoors as shrapnel flew past their very eyes outside on Tuesday. Eyewitness video from Curitiba and elsewhere in Parana showcases the full fury of the bomb cyclone.

Comment: The term "bomb cyclone" can apply to both summer rain, and winter snow storms if they meet the following criteria from The National Ocean Service :
"Bombogenesis, a popular term used by meteorologists, occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure. This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone."
They develop and dissipate rapidly, and therefore are not often named as with tornadoes. An explanation from the UK's Met Office from 2019:


23-month-old child killed by dog in Quinlan, Texas

A 23-month-old child was killed in Hunt County Monday morning after being attacked by a dog, the Hunt County Sheriff's Office said.

Shortly after 11:00 a.m. deputies responded to the 9900 block of Private Road 3820 in the Easy Living addition regarding a dog bite call.

The first deputy on scene found an infant in the roadway "who had suffered major trauma as a result of a dog attack."

The child was rushed by ambulance to Hunt Regional Medical Center in Quinlan, but the child did not survive.

Preliminary information shows the child had gotten out of the enclosed yard without family members realizing it and went down the gravel road.