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Tue, 27 Oct 2020
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Earth Changes


'This is an environmental disaster': Unexplained tragedy kills 95% of sea-life on bed of Russia's Avacha Bay

dead sea lion(?)
© Sputnik/Alexandr Piragis
Tragedy hits Avacha Bay, Russia
Worries about life in the oceans around Russia's north-eastern Kamchatka region have increased sharply, after scientists discovered that 95 percent of all organisms living on the seabed of the peninsula's Avacha Bay have died.

The alarm was raised last weekend when piles of sea life began washing up on Kamchatka's beaches. Pictures of dead octopi, crabs, and starfish went viral on Russian social media, and local surfers reported that they'd experienced problems with their eyes after being in the water.

Now, the latest revelations seem to have confirmed ecologists' worst fears. After studying the water of the Avacha Bay, researchers discovered that 95 percent of benthos organisms have died. Benthos is the term used for sea life that lives on, in, or near the seabed. "Some large fish, shrimps, and crabs have been preserved, but in very small numbers," said Ivan Usatov, a researcher at the Kronotsky Nature Reserve and the Pacific Institute of Geography.

According to Usatov, water taken from the Nalycheva River had no sign of life, and samples from in Cape Nalycheva were uncharacteristically dark with a "brown foam."


UN says 6 million people affected by flooding in East Africa - heaviest rain in a century for some areas

Floodwater in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, has destroyed people's homes.
© Getty Images
Floodwater in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, has destroyed people's homes.
Nearly six million people have been affected by flooding this year in East Africa.

Data from the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said 1.5 million people have been displaced by the floods.

The number of people affected has increased more than five-fold in four years.

The number has gone up from 1.1 million in 2016 to nearly six million so far this year.

There are fears that the situation will worsen when the short rains peak in November to hit most countries in the region.


Beluga whale from the Arctic, unusual for West Coast, was first spotted in San Diego but now found dead off Baja

A pure white whale was found dead off Laguna
© Domenic Biagini
A pure white whale was found dead off Laguna Ojo de Liebre, Baja on Saturday, Oct. 3. Marine mammal experts and federal officials were stumped when it was first sighted off Mission Bay near San Diego, CA on Friday, June 26, 2020. The animal which is typically found around the North Pole was far off its range.
When a snow-white whale was spotted in June by a whale watching charter boat captain off San Diego, marine mammal experts were stunned.

Beluga typically thrive near the North Pole or along Russia's northern coast and had never been seen along the West Coast before.

On Monday, Oct. 5, news of the whale surfaced again. This time floating dead off Laguna Ojo de Liebre, according to a Facebook post.

The whale was found Friday, Oct. 2 by a Mexican fisherman halfway down the Baja peninsula.

Cloud Precipitation

Hurricane Delta floods Jamaica

Hurricane Delta brought some rains and flooding to Kingston, Jamaica and surrounding areas October 6, as the storm moved west-northwest over the Carribian Sea towards Yukatan Peninsula.

Cloud Precipitation

Town of Ermelo in South Africa left snow white after heavy hailstorm

Hail covers the lawn in Ermelo after hailstorm on 1 October.

Hail covers the lawn in Ermelo after hailstorm on 1 October.
Hail paved the roads in Ermelo snow white on 1 October.

The hail was paired with heavy rain fall and winds that scattered leaves throughout town.

A resident said hail stones bulleted through their chimney and popped out of their fireplace into their living room area.


Temperature extremes: Late snow falls in Victoria, Australia just a day after 37C heatwave

Snow at Snake Gully at Mt Hotham on Monday.
© Hotham Snow Cams
Snow at Snake Gully at Mt Hotham on Monday.
Snow has fallen in Victoria just a day after a spring heatwave saw parts of the state reach almost 40C.

Both Mt Hotham and Falls Creek in the state's northeast ranges saw enough snow on Monday for a blanket to settle on the ground as a cold front crossed the state.

There has also been widespread rain with the city and suburbs recording 13mm up to 9am on Monday.

It comes after a spring scorcher saw some Melburnians flout coronavirus restrictions and flock to bayside beaches over the weekend to try and escape the heat.


Waterspout outbreak over the Great Lakes sets world record of 232 for a 7 day period

Two fishermen watched as a waterspout developed before their eyes over Lake Erie

Two fishermen watched as a waterspout developed before their eyes over Lake Erie
According to the International Centre for Waterspout Research, the highest number of waterspouts/funnels ever recorded took place recently over the Great Lakes during a seven-day period. The ICWR posted the details on Twitter and Facebook.

The outbreak took place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4.

The ICWR says "we have confirmed an unbelievable 232 waterspouts / funnels during this period. This breaks the old record of 88 spouts that took place from August 16-18, 2020."

According to the ICWR the events were reported over every Great Lake with the majority over Lake Erie.

Comment: Related: Dozens of waterspouts spotted over Great Lakes in Ontario this week, with at least 29 on Wednesday alone


Countdown to a Record: Hurricane Delta the 25th storm in 2020 Atlantic hurricane season - 3 shy of all-time mark

the 2020 hurricane season could be record-breaking.

The 2020 hurricane season could be record-breaking.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is nearing an all-time record for the number of storms, boosted by two recent Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico storms.

With the formation of Tropical Storm Gamma and now Hurricane Delta, we've seen 25 named storms so far this season.

Only the 2005 season - with 27 named storms and one unnamed storm - remains above 2020 on the list of seasons with the most storms.

2020 may be three storms behind 2005's total, but it's on a record pace. Through Oct. 5, the 2005 hurricane season generated 20 storms - five fewer than 2020, so far.


Flash floods and storms strike Saudi Arabia

Saudi children play in the Nimar valley.
Saudi children play in the Nimar valley.
Flash floods sparked by torrential rain in Saudi Arabia have killed four people and left 10 missing over the past two days.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 2 fishermen, injures 10 others in Chhattisgarh, India

Two fishermen were killed and 10 others injured after lightning struck them when they had gone fishing in a reservoir in Chhattisgarhs Rajnandgaon district on Tuesday, police said.

The incident took place at around 1,30 pm under Chichola police station area, where 19 fishermen from two villages of Chhuirya had gone to Lal Mati reservoir, said Ajaykant Tiwari, station house officer of Chichola police station.

Owing to heavy rainfall, they were inside their temporary camps erected on the banks of the reservoir where the lightning struck, he said.

While two of them, identified as Rohit Nishad (50) and Bharosa Nishad (55), died on the spot, 10 others sustained minor burn injuries in the incident, he said.