Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 01 Apr 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Snow storms and high winds leave 20,000 homes without power across Scotland


A car is pushed in the snow at Denny, Stirlingshire
Twenty thousand homes were left without power today as high winds, snow storms and rain battered Scotland and ice gripped overhead power lines.

Ten lorries were also stranded on the M90 as temperatures plunged below freezing. Police urged drivers to take care on some of the water-swamped roads this evening and forecasters predicted the cold snap would last for another two days.

The 20,000 homes without power are in central and southern Scotland, said ScottishPower.

Ayrshire was worst hit, with 7,000 homes in Largs and Fairlie affected.

A spokesman said some of the 20,000 homes affected throughout today were only without electricity for a few minutes.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 6.6 - Andaman Islands, India Region

Andaman Earthquake
Earthquake Location
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 16:54:48 UTC

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 10:24:48 PM at epicenter

13.616°N, 92.858°E

45.4 km (28.2 miles)

215 km (135 miles) N of Port Blair, Andaman Islands, India

405 km (250 miles) SSW of Pathein (Bassein), Myanmar

825 km (510 miles) W of BANGKOK, Thailand

2310 km (1440 miles) SE of NEW DELHI, Delhi, India

Cloud Lightning

Massachusetts, Rhode Island Declare Rain Emergencies

Massachusetts and Rhode Island declared emergencies and Boston recorded unprecedented rainfall as storms pounded the U.S. Northeast for a second day today.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick mobilized about 1,000 National Guard troops because of the threat of "beach erosion, major flooding and widespread road closures," according to a statement on his Web site yesterday.

"In some cases there has been two months of rain in the matter of a few days," Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc., said in a telephone interview. "When you get that much rain over a few-day period, that spells trouble."

Boston's Charles River is set to break the record crest of 9.24 feet reached in August 1955 after two hurricanes dumped more than 26 inches of rain on the region in less than two weeks, according to the National Weather Service.


The Sun Points Radio-Active Sunspot at Earth

© Discovery News
As the sun continues to ramp up in activity after a long period in the doldrums, solar astronomers have been treated to an up-tick in sunspot numbers, solar prominences and flares.

And now, radio astronomers have joined the fun, listening to the roar of a particularly "noisy" sunspot currently pointing in our direction.

Not all sunspots emit strong radio emissions, but sunspot 1057 certainly isn't shy. As reported by SpaceWeather.com, a radio astronomer in New Mexico received a mix of Type III and Type V radio emissions:
"It was sunspot 1057. All day long it had been producing small radio bursts around 21 MHz. Then, at 1813 UT, it let loose a big one. The burst only lasted a minute, but it saturated the radios." --Thomas Ashcraft, radio astronomer.


Undersea volcano threatens southern Italy

Marsili Volcano
© International Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology
These images of the Marsili volcano show magnetic and gravity anomalies, which researchers say increase chances of a collapse.
Rome - Europe's largest undersea volcano could disintegrate and unleash a tsunami that would engulf southern Italy "at any time", a prominent vulcanologist warned in an interview published Monday.

The Marsili volcano, which is bursting with magma, has "fragile walls" that could collapse, Enzo Boschi told the leading daily Corriere della Sera.

"It could even happen tomorrow," said Boschi, president of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

"Our latest research shows that the volcano is not structurally solid, its walls are fragile, the magma chamber is of sizeable dimensions," he said. "All that tells us that the volcano is active and could begin erupting at any time."

Bizarro Earth

Australia: New South Wales facing huge locust plague

© Brad Markham
Locust eggs discovered on a property near Parkes in September 2009
There're fears NSW could be facing its worst locust plague since 2004.

Heavy rains have triggered a surge in locust activity. The pest has already ravaged early oat crops in the state's south. Some of the biggest clusters of baby locusts ever seen in NSW have been found in the far-west around Tibooburra.

The state's locust coordinator Simon Oliver is urging all landholders to check their paddocks for the pest.

"We've had good rain across NSW over the past three months," he says. "That's led to strong pasture growth and as a result the locusts have reinvigorated themselves. We're now finding large numbers in most parts of western NSW."


The white stuff is back! Snowfall heralds start of British Summer Time

© PA
White wilderness: Snow covers the ground as far as the eye can see at Fintry, Scotland
The arrival of British Summer Time has brought wet and windy weather, with snow already falling in some parts of the country.

Snow this morning in central and northern Scotland and there will be more to come as the cold weather pushes south.

Although shielded from the worst, southern England is likely to see sleet and frigid temperatures by the end of the week.

Brendan Jones, of MeteoGroup said: 'It's a small taste of what will come tonight. In northern Scotland overnight it reached -4c and -5c in some inland areas.

'It will be more significant over the coming evening and night. It will be significant over the hills and mountains but also lower levels will see some snow as well.

'There's rain moving up from the south hitting colder air in Scotland. The southern uplands and Perthshire hills could see 4in to 6in through tonight and into tomorrow.


Plight of Bees Worsens This Winter and Scientists Spot Stew of Pesticides in Pollen, Hives

© AP Photo
Scavenger bees in a dead hive (Merced, California)
The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees' pollen and hives laden with pesticides.

Two federal agencies along with regulators in California and Canada are scrambling to figure out what is behind this relatively recent threat, ordering new research on pesticides used in fields and orchards. Federal courts are even weighing in this month, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overlooked a requirement when allowing a pesticide on the market.

And on Thursday, chemists at a scientific conference in San Francisco will tackle the issue of chemicals and dwindling bees in response to the new study.


Common Toads Can Predict Earthquakes, New Study Finds

Common toads (Bufo bufo) can detect impending seismic activity and alter their behaviour from breeding to evacuation mode, suggests a new study in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) Journal of Zoology.

Researchers from The Open University reported that 96 per cent of male toads in a population abandoned their breeding site five days before the earthquake that struck L'Aquila in Italy in 2009. The breeding site was located 74 km from the earthquake's epicentre.

The number of paired toads at the breeding site also dropped to zero three days before the earthquake. No fresh spawn was found at the site from the date that the earthquake struck to the date of the last significant aftershock (magnitude >4.5).

Breeding sites are male-dominated and the toads would normally remain in situ from the point that breeding activity begins, to the completion of spawning.

Bizarro Earth

US: Grasshopper Invasion Feared This Summer

© Scott Schell/University of Wyoming
Some Western, Plains states could see worst outbreak in 30 years

Newcastle, Wyoming - Grasshopper infestations have taken on mythic tones here on the arid prairie of northeastern Wyoming - they blanket highways, eat T-shirts off clotheslines and devour nearly every scrap of vegetation on ranches and farms.

The myth may come closer to reality this summer than at any time in decades in several states in the West and the Plains.

A federal survey of farm areas taken last fall found high numbers of adult grasshoppers in parts of Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Idaho. Each female lays hundreds of eggs so that high count could turn into costly grasshopper infestations this summer.

Well-timed cool and wet weather to stifle the young grasshoppers when they hatch around May and June.