Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

UK: Thames Valley hit by flash floods

Homes and schools in the Thames Valley have been flooded after heavy rain swept across the area.

Many parts of Oxfordshire and Berkshire were hit by flash flooding on Tuesday and the Met Office has extended its severe weather warning.

It has warned that another 15 to 25mm of rain could fall during the day.


Last flight of the honeybee?

A bee-less world wouldn't just mean the end of honey - Einstein said that if the honeybee became extinct, then so would mankind. Alison Benjamin reports on a very real threat.

Dave Hackenberg's bees have been on the road for four days. To reach the almond orchards of California's Central Valley, they pass through the fertile plains of the Mississippi, huge cattle ranches and oilfields in Texas, and the dusty towns of New Mexico on their 2,600-mile journey from Florida. The bees will have seen little of the dramatic landscape, being cooped up in hives stacked four high on the back of trucks. Each truck carries close to 500 hives, tethered with strong harnesses and covered with black netting to prevent the millions of passengers from escaping. When the drivers pull over to sleep, the bees have a break from the constant movement and wind speed, but there's no opportunity to look around and stretch their wings.

Bizarro Earth

China says 200,000 evacuated because of flood risk

Chinese authorities had evacuated nearly 200,000 people by early Saturday and warned more than 1 million others to be ready to leave quickly as a lake formed by a devastating earthquake threatened to breach its dam.

Hundreds of Chinese troops have been working around the clock to drain Tangjiashan lake in Sichuan province. The lake formed above Beichuan town in the Mianyang region when a hillside plunged into a river valley during the May 12 quake that killed more than 68,000 people.

Cloud Lightning

Flood emergency declared in Italy


Italy declared a flood emergency in the northwest after torrential rainfall caused floods and landslides and killed at least three people.

Guido Bertolaso, the head of Italy's Civil Protection Service told reporters after an emergency meeting in Turin, "We are still in the middle of a crisis and will be so for the next 24 hours". The emergency was called as the river Po reached dangerously high levels.

Cloud Lightning

Trend of deadly tornadoes puzzles experts

2008 is expected to break U.S. record for number of tornadoes in one year

©Associated Press
Clouds descend from a storm that created tornadoes near Marshall, Okla., on Saturday. So far this year, tornadoes have killed 110 people.

Another week, another train of tornadoes that obliterates entire city blocks, smashes homes to their foundations and kills people even as they take shelter in their basements.
The year is not even half done, but 2008 is already the deadliest tornado year in the United States since 1998 and seems on track to break the U.S. record for the number of tornadoes in a year, the National Weather Service said. Also, this year's storms seem to have been unusually powerful.

Meteorologists cannot explain exactly why this is happening.

Comment: They haven't been reading SoTT


Alaska: Strange Weather Hits Fairbanks All Month Long

Fairbanks residents have been experiencing some unusual weather lately. Throughout most of the month of May pellet sized hail has been falling from the skies over Fairbanks, a phenomenon officials said was very strange.

Arrow Up

Death toll in Mongolia storms rises to 52

The death toll in the heavy snow and sand storms that hit Mongolia last week has risen to 52, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Monday.

The storms most severely affected seven provinces in the west and center of the country. Wind speeds reached 40 meters a second in some areas.


Sri Lanka floods kill 13, leave 150,000 displaced

Thirteen people have been killed and another 150,000 left homeless in Sri Lanka following floods triggered by torrential rains, local emergencies services reported on Monday.

Torrential rains have struck a total of eight regions in central and western parts of the country, mainly the Kaluthara district, during the past three days, damaging thousands of houses and roads and ruining crops.


Flashback Swiss government wants to roll over biotech ban

Switzerland's agriculture will stay "GMO-free" until 2013 when the outcome of a National Research Programme (NRP59) on the benefits and risks of genetically modified plants has been concluded and the outcome is known. Programme results are expected by mid 2012.

The research programme was initiated shortly after the adoption of the current national moratorium in 2005. This ban prohibits the cultivation of genetically modified plants and the market placement of transgenic animals for food production. However, unless further action is taken, the moratorium will expire in November 2010.

Cloud Lightning

Bangladesh: Six killed in lightning

Two persons were killed and two others injured by lightning in Narail, C'nawabganj on Saturday.

The victims were identified as Kanika Biswas, 35, wife of Anil Biswas of Ratadanga village under Sadar upazila and Esamul Shaikh, 10, son of Salam Shaikh of Boyra village under Lohagora upazila.

The injured were Kamel Sikder, 12, and Zamela Khatun, 9, of Ratandanga village. They received first aid at local clinics.

Meanwhile, four persons including a house wife were killed by lightning in the district on Saturday afternoon.