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Mon, 17 Feb 2020
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Lighting kills 4 mountain gorillas in Uganda

Mgahinga national park
Four mountain gorillas from Volcanoes national park in Rwanda have been found dead inside Uganda's Mgahinga national park in southwestern Uganda, reports The Observer.

According to reports, the gorillas are suspected to have been killed by a lightning strike on February 3. The deceased gorillas include three adult females and a male infant.

The Hirwa family of 17 members crossed to Uganda's Mgahinga national park on August 28, 2019, from Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.


Severe winter weather in central and eastern Europe - at least 3 killed

A snowplow pulls a truck stranded along a snow-covered road in the village of Naklerov, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.

A snowplow pulls a truck stranded along a snow-covered road in the village of Naklerov, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.
A series of winter storms across central and eastern Europe claimed another life on Thursday after an elderly man was found dead in his snow-trapped car in Serbia.

The spate of blizzards and strong winds combined with heavy rain and snow have left at least three people dead across the region.

Serbian police said Thursday they found a man's body while rescuing around 20 people, including five children, from their blocked cars on a road the southwestern part of the country.

Comment: Reports from other countries in the region:


Winter storm drops snow on Haleakala, Big Island summits, Hawaii

Winter storm drops snow on Haleakala

Winter storm drops snow on Haleakala
A deep cold front dropped snow on the summits of Haleakala on Maui, and Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island, resulting in snowcaps on Hawaii's three tallest mountains.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu had those summits under a winter storm warning through noon Friday.

A dusting of snow fell on summit of Haleakala, which tops out at about 10,023 feet. The road to the summit was closed for much of the day Friday because of icy conditions.

Meanwhile, snow accumulations of up to 6 inches is in the forecast for the Big Island summits.

Snowflake Cold

Snowfall, blizzard cause traffic disruptions across Romania

Roads and railways have closed, trains have been canceled and schools have closed across the country after the recent snowfall and blizzard.

The A2 highway, linking Bucharest to Constanța, a city on the Romanian Black Sea coast, closed on the evening of February 5 because of the blizzard, G4media.ro reported.

In Buzău, Brăila, Ialomița and Tulcea counties, all national and county roads were closed between 22:00 and 08:00 for all vehicles, except the intervention ones.

In Harghita and Covasna counties segments of national roads were closed for traffic after trees fell onto the roads, while the blizzard closed national roads in Constanța county (DN 2A Hârșova - Ovidiu and DN22 Ovidiu - Tulcea). In Prahova county, the traffic was blocked on the national road DN1A Ploiești - Cheia because of the trees that had fallen down, while the DN 71 Sinaia - Moroieni was closed because of the blizzard. Similarly, roads were closed in Galati county (DN24 D Galați-Bârlad) and in Călărași county (DN 3 Călărași - Lehliu - Fundulea, DN3A Fetești - Lehliu, DN 31 Oltenița - Călărași, DN 21 Călărași - Slobozia and DN 3B Călărași- Borcea) because of the blizzard.

Snowflake Cold

Earth Could Be About to Enter a 'Mini Ice Age,' Scientist Claims

"The Sun is approaching a hibernation period."
iced electric poles
© Wikimedia Commons
UPDATE: This story has been challenged by Science Feedback and rated false because the "most recent forecast from NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (from December 2019) predicts that the next solar cycle will be similar to the one that is currently ending" and "even if an extended grand solar minimum were to occur, it would not produce marked global cooling."

The Mind Unleashed was not claiming to know professor Valentina Zharkova is correct, so we have revised our title for better accuracy.
(TMU) — A scientist has warned that Earth could be facing a mini ice age due to the Sun radiating less energy and heat toward our planet. According to the expert, this would mean that the planet would be plunged into a period of extreme winter and chilly cold storms during the next 30 years.

According to NASA, the Sun will reach its lowest activity in over two centuries in 2020. As a result of it going into a natural period of hibernation, Earth could see temperatures drop, resulting in food shortages on a global scale. The temperature could also drop by as much as one degree Celsius over a period of roughly 12 months — an incremental yet significant change in climate conditions that could have unpredictable results.

Comment: Astrophysicist- Mini Ice Age is now accelerating

Better Earth

Ocean currents are getting faster

Ocean currents
© NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
Ocean currents visualized using data gathered between 2005 and 2007. New evidence suggests ocean currents are moving faster now than they did two decades ago.
New research, published today (Feb. 6) in the journal Science Advances, finds that this acceleration is occurring around the globe, with the most noticeable effects in the tropical latitudes. The enhanced speed isn't just at the ocean's surface, but is occurring as deep as 6,560 feet (2,000 meters).

"The magnitude and extent of the acceleration in ocean currents we detected throughout the global ocean and to 2000-meter (6,560 foot) depth was quite surprising," study co-author Janet Sprintall, an oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, said in a statement. "While we expected some response to the increased winds over the past two decades, that the acceleration was above and beyond that was an unexpected response that is likely due to global climate change."

Winds over the ocean have been picking up at a rate of 1.9% per decade, the researchers found. This increase in wind speed transfers energy to the ocean's surface, and subsequently, deeper waters. About 76% of the upper 6,560 feet (2,000 m) of the oceans have seen an increase in kinetic energy since the 1990s. Overall, ocean current speeds have crept up about 5% per decade since the early 1990s, the study found.

Comment: In addition, wave heights and winter storms have been on the rise over the last 70 years too. However, despite the claims in the article that this is all because of 'global warming', what researchers have actually discovered is that the depths of the Pacific Ocean are cooling.

It's true that the climate is changing, it just has nothing to do with global warming, nor is it man-made. As reported in a recent study, also by scientists in China, we are entering a period of cooling.

For more, check out SOTT radio's:


Villages without electricity, water due to 2 meters of snowfall in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Due to strong winds and snow, all the villages around Sokolac are without electricity and the city is without water.

Sokolac Mayor Milovan Bjelica told RTRS that snowfall in some villages exceeds two meters.

He said the mechanization was working to maintain the main roads and that private machines for cleaning roads to the villages were also employed.

"The routes to the centers of the local communities are mostly walkable, but the villages are all blocked.
I am in constant contact with the commander of the Police Station and the director of the Forestry Department, whose teams are on the field towards Kalina, where a lot of trees fell on the road and created additional problems," said Bjelica.


7 dead dolphins wash up on the shores of Spain

One of the dolphins found washed up in Spain.
© Oceanogràfic Valencia.
One of the dolphins found washed up in Spain.
A total of seven dolphins have washed up on the coasts of Spain, indicating the sheer devastation caused by Storm Gloria - the worst storm that the country has faced this century.

According to the Oceanogràfic Foundation who work in collaboration with the University of Valencia and the Department of Agriculture, five of the aquatic mammals were found on beaches in Dénia, two in Valencia, one in the Saler and another in Malvarrosa.

On January 20, a calf and adult dolphin washed up in Les Marines de Dénia and the next day two dolphins were found on the same beach. On the 22nd three dolphins were found in Malvarros, Dénia and El Sales, one of which was a bottlenose species.


Big snows: Another snowfall record broken in Revelstoke area in British Columbia

Avalanche control at Three Valley Gap
© Ministry of Transportation
Avalanche control at Three Valley Gap
Three Valley Gap received record breaking snowfalls for January

It's been a record year for snow levels at Three Valley Gap, roughly 20 km west of Revelstoke on Highway 1.

Although the season started below average in November, the Ministry of Transportation noted record breaking snowfalls for both December and January.

Three Valley Gap received 287 cm of snow in December, which is 171 per cent above average and record breaking. It also got 233 cm last month, which is 145 per cent above average and a new record for January.

Arrow Down

The 'great' Green New Deal

Price Increase
It is 792 miles from Paris to Madrid. The trip would cost about $350 and require the battery be recharged at least five times. That is 50 hours of recharge time, meaning the trip would require at least five days.