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Wed, 07 Jun 2023
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Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Flood Concerns Resurface in Hungary, Poland

After a breather of barely several days, new flood concerns are emerging again in central Europe as many victims of the May flooding haven't yet managed to move back into their damaged homes.

Hungary is expecting five days of rain, thunderstorms and strong winds. Due to heavy rainfall, a village in western Hungary was sealed off by the police and traffic was diverted or stopped on several roads as mud and fallen trees block traffic.

A newly completed section of the M6 highway - connecting the capital city Budapest with the southern city Pecs - caved in as the water washed away the ground under the street.


US: Young Sperm Whale Dies on North Carolina Beach

A young sperm whale has died after it was stranded on a North Carolina beach this week.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., reports the 15-foot whale was seen struggling in the ocean before it was stranded south of Avon Pier on Hatteras Island.

The animal died Monday afternoon.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission specialist Karen Clark says the whale appeared thinner than normal.

The animals are classified as endangered and commonly are seen swimming off the Outer Banks.

The whale was buried on the beach Tuesday.

Bizarro Earth

US: Another Day of Heavy Storms Likely in the Carolinas

It's not a question of "if," forecasters say.

It's a question of where heavy thunderstorms will form today in the Carolinas.

Yet another day of slow-moving storms is expected, with another threat of flash flooding and dangerous lightning strikes.

This is in the wake of Wednesday evening's storms, which pounded southern Mecklenburg and western Union counties, causing flooding and several cases in which houses were struck by lightning.

Earlier in the day, thunderstorms dropped heavy rain on portions of Stanly, Anson, Richmond and Montgomery counties, causing brief flash flooding there.


Physics professor: Oil leak could last for years

Physics professor Michio Kaku has some bad news: oil could gush from the leaking BP deepwater well for years.

After six methods for stopping the leak failed, BP is now trying a seventh method: "cut and cap." Underwater robots are attempting to trim the pipe connected to the blowout preventer -- and depending on how well the cut is made, either a "top hat" or "top cap" will be lowered from the surface which would then transport the spewing oil to a drilling ship.

The "cut and cap" method has several drawbacks. A perfect seal is thought to be almost impossible and some amount of oil will continue to leak into the Gulf. And the cap will have to be completely removed during inclement weather. The Gulf hurricane season began June 1, and it's expected to be the worst year since 2005.


Noctilucent Clouds Photographed over Denmark

Recent data from NASA's AIM spacecraft show that noctilucent clouds (NLCs) are like a great "geophysical light bulb." They turn on every year in late spring, reaching almost full intensity over a period of no more than 5 to 10 days. News flash: The bulb is beginning to glow. Jesper Grønne photographed a bank of NLCs rippling over Silkeborg, Denmark, on June 1st:
© Jesper Grønne

Cloud Lightning

Australia: Surfing Town Hit By Tornado

Lennox Head Tornado 4
© Google
Map showing the location of the Lennox Head twister
Police say it is a miracle no-one was killed when a tornado smashed into the New South Wales north coast town of Lennox Head this morning.

Twelve houses were destroyed and debris was sent flying when the storm, which one witness said hit "like a bomb", careered in off the sea about 7:30am (AEST).

New South Wales Premier Kristina Kenneally said the tornado caused "widespread devastation" and police said more than 30 houses were damaged.

But Inspector Gary Cowan from Richmond Command says only two people have been taken to hospital.

"When we look at the damage it's just a miracle that no-one was seriously injured or killed," he said.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning Injures Nine in Yellowstone National Park

© AP Photo
A lightning bolt struck as people waited to see the Old Faithful geyser erupt
A lightning bolt has struck nine people waiting to see the Old Faithful geyser erupt at Yellowstone National Park in the US state of Wyoming.

All the visitors were on the boardwalk or walkways around the geyser when the single lightning bolt struck.

One of the nine people hurt was taken to hospital in Idaho for treatment.

Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash told the Associated Press news agency that the 57-year-old man was to be discharged from the hospital on Wednesday evening.

It was not clear what injuries he had suffered.

Seven others were treated at Old Faithful Clinic for tingling, numbness and shortness of breath.


Arctic Ice Volume Has Increased 25% Since May, 2008


The submarine USS Annapolis rests in the Arctic Ocean after surfacing through three feet of ice during Ice Exercise 2009
The Navy requires accurate sea ice information for their operations, and has spent a lot of effort over the years studying, measuring, and operating in Arctic ice both above and below, such as they did in the ICEX 2009 exercise.

So, if you are planning on bringing a $900 million Los Angeles class submarine through the ice, as the captain might say to the analyst after receiving an ice report: "you'd better be damn sure of the ice thickness before I risk the boat and the crew".

Below is a blink comparator of U.S. Navy PIPS sea ice forecast data, zoomed to show the primary Arctic ice zone.


BP Bars Photos of Dead Wildlife as Bodies Pile Up


BP is apparently barring cleanup workers from sharing photos of dead animals that have washed ashore. But whether we're seeing them or not, the bodies are starting to add up.

Late last week, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other responders issued a tally of the animals collected as of Friday in oil-impacted regions of Alabama, Florida , Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas - dead and alive. Those stats are shocking: 444 dead birds, 222 dead sea turtles, and 24 mammals (including dolphins). I sent a request to the Unified Command office last week asking for data on wildlife collected over a normal time period, pre-oil-disaster, for comparison. I haven't received a reply.


'Drunk' parrots baffle vets as they fall out of trees in Australia

© unk
A lorikeet
Red collar lorikeets have been falling out of trees in Australia and then staggering around in an apparently inebriated state, alarming wildlife experts and veterinary surgeons.

Birds struck down by the as-yet-unidentified illness in Darwin show classic signs of human drunkenness, apparently losing all coordination before passing out. When they wake up, they cower in cages as they recover from their "hangovers".

The affliction is seasonal, with most lorikeets recovering within a few weeks, only to become ill again at the same time the following year.

"They definitely seem like they're drunk," said Lisa Hansen, a veterinary surgeon at the Ark Animal Hospital in Palmerston, near Darwin.