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Tue, 25 Jul 2017
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Earth Changes


Warning: Earth's sixth mass extinction event now under way

© Shutterstock/Sofiaworld
Researchers talk of 'biological annihilation' as study reveals billions of populations of animals have been lost in recent decades

A "biological annihilation" of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth's history is under way and is more severe than previously feared, according to research.

Scientists analysed both common and rare species and found billions of regional or local populations have been lost. They blame human overpopulation and overconsumption for the crisis and warn that it threatens the survival of human civilisation, with just a short window of time in which to act.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, eschews the normally sober tone of scientific papers and calls the massive loss of wildlife a "biological annihilation" that represents a "frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation".

Prof Gerardo Ceballos, at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who led the work, said:
"The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to use strong language."
Previous studies have shown species are becoming extinct at a significantly faster rate than for millions of years before, but even so extinctions remain relatively rare giving the impression of a gradual loss of biodiversity. The new work instead takes a broader view, assessing many common species which are losing populations all over the world as their ranges shrink, but remain present elsewhere.

Comment: Are the current decreases in wildlife numbers a mass extinction caused by human overpopulation and overconsumption? Maybe those explanations are contributing factors but they are not the big story and certainly do not explain five former extinctions. Solar minimums, and/or the more intense periods of solar hibernation, are trackable periods of change in the TSI output from the sun and are consistently coincident with Earth's worst/strongest earthquakes, increased volcanism, global cooling and ice ages. The dramatically reduced energy output affects the Earth's overall temperature enough to alter weather dynamics and temperature zones, impact plant life and the animal kingdom. The next solar hibernation has, by noted climate change expert/author John L. Casey*, already begun. That the animal kingdom is affected by decreasing numbers is a reflection of these changes. With the sun in control, there's not much we can do about that. Humanity's dependency upon the plant and animal resources forebodes increasing problems in need of forethought and alternatives before they become critical.

*Dark Winter, How the Sun is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell, and Upheaval! Why Catastrophic Earthquakes Will Soon Strike the United States

Cloud Lightning

1 killed, 3 injured by lightning bolt near Mexico city

Authorities say one person was killed and three injured in a lightning strike on a mountainside in central Mexico's highlands.

The civil defence office in the state of Tlaxcala says the lightning bolt struck near a shack and a communication antenna in a rural area on the slopes of the La Malinche volcano east of Mexico City.

Two women and a baby survived the lightning strike with no serious injuries.

Source: The Associated Press

Cloud Lightning

Man killed by lightning at campground in Florida's Panhandle

A man was killed by lightning Monday at a campground in Florida's Panhandle.

Jeremy Harper, 35, was standing under a tree outside his tent during a thunderstorm. Officials believe the tree was struck by lightning and knocked him to the ground, according to the Navarre Newspaper.

Harper lived in Kentucky, but was camping with family in Okaloosa County.

His death is the fifth this year attributed to lightning and the third in Florida.

Florida traditionally leads the nation in lightning deaths.

Since 2007, there have been 51 people killed in the state by lightning. That's more than double the second leading state of Texas, which totaled 21 deaths.

Ice Cube

An iceberg the size of DELAWARE - one of the largest ever recorded - has broken off the West Antarctic ice shelf

After months of anticipation, an enormous iceberg with an area of 2,239 sq miles (5,800 sq km) has finally broken off the Larsen C ice sheet
After months of anticipation, one of the biggest icebergs ever recorded has finally broken off the Larsen C ice sheet in the West Antarctic.

The iceberg weighs a staggering trillion tons and has an area of 2,239 sq miles (5,800 sq km), making roughly the size of Delaware or four times the size of London.

It was found to have split off from the ice sheet after scientists examined the latest satellite data from the area.

The process, known as calving, occurred in the last few days.

The ice shelf has now decreased in size by 10 per cent, leaving the ice front at its most retreated position ever recorded.

If the glaciers held in check by the iceberg now split into the Antarctic Ocean, it could lift the global water mark by about 10 centimetres (4 inches).


Sun halo in Pattaya, Thailand taken as omen for national lottery

© Pattaya Mail
A rare “sun halo” had Pattaya looking skyward, with gamblers, as usual, taking it as a lottery omen.
A rare "sun halo" had Pattaya looking skyward, with gamblers, as usual, taking it as a lottery omen.

The circular rainbow - caused by pollution mixed with heavy moisture content in the atmosphere - was easily seen and many people took photos and posted it to social media.

Some saw the halo as a good sign given its timing close to the national lottery drawing. They somehow managed to divine numbers from the numberless sky show.

The sun halo phenomenon occurs in the troposphere, the lowest region of the atmosphere. Cirrus clouds in the troposphere form no more than 10 kilometers from the surface and are extremely cold.

Cloud Grey

Enchanting noctilucent clouds filmed over northern Alberta, Canada

© Adrien Mauduit
Photographer and videographer Adrien Mauduit posted this video at EarthSky Facebook this week. He's been working with Project PoSSUM - a research, training and education program supported by NASA - whose goal is the study of noctilucent clouds, also called NLCs or night-shining clouds.

In other words, these clouds are seen at night, shining in the darkness. PoSSUM's 2017 noctilucent cloud airborne campaign recently kicked off, based in the remote town of High Level in northern Alberta, Canada. Mauduit, who is based in Denmark, is also in Alberta, helping the project by acquiring ground imagery.


At least 76 shearwaters found washed ashore on Long Island beachs

Great Shearwater
Unusually high numbers of emaciated great shearwaters, which spend most of their time far out at sea, have been spotted on Long Island beaches in the past week. A member of the Procellaridae family and the largest of the Puffinus genus, shearwaters have distinctive dark-brown caps, white throats and necks, and are between 16 and 20 inches long.

Pauline Rosen, a volunteer at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, reported seeing 48 washed-up shearwaters while walking along Montauk and Napeague beaches. The Wildlife Rescue Center had found 28 dead birds, making 76 in all.

"We alerted the D.E.C. that we were getting calls about the mass numbers of dead birds, but we don't know the cause," Amanda Daley, an assistant at the center said. "They were not coming in with any injuries, they were coming in ill."


Sea level rise projection mapping in jeopardy as new islands increase on Western Atlantic Cape

New article by the Geophysical Research Institute Letters and picked up by Climate Central, talk about how sea levels and sinking land are a huge imminent threat to the east coast of the USA as sea level rise is happening 3x faster than anywhere else. At the same time in the same location new islands are emerging form the sea and these high tide events are actually "King Tides" they conveniently leave that part out. The highest tide of the year, "King Tide" is a yearly event, but is shown as proof of sea level rise for political agenda.



Removal of dead cows and onions overwhelming disposal infrastructure

Butter prices hit all time highs in the UK, they are even warning of a butter shortage by Christmas 2017. Additionally with the heat wave in the western USA, disposing of dead cattle is overwhelming the disposal facilities. As dead cows sit in the heat, methane from internal rot is causing cows to explode. Back in May 2017 disposal facilities were overwhelmed by 100 million tons of rotted onions due to excessive snowfalls and collapsed storage facilities. We as a planet haven't even gotten into low-mid losses, yet the facilities to dispose of infectious ag and cattle pathogens are paralyzed. We need to quickly rethink these "procedures" moving forward into the grand solar minimum. What happens when we experience high losses?


Cloud Precipitation

'Pretty crazy': Hail as big as billiard balls batter Evansburg, Alberta

© Becki Kehler
The community of Evansburg was battered with massive hail Sunday night.
Hail the size of billiard balls fell from the skies over Evansburg Sunday, causing a damaging racket.

Environment Canada had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for a large area west of Edmonton, and shortly before 5:30 p.m. the storm struck — battering homes and vehicles for nearly half an hour.

'It was insanely loud'

Once the storm passed, many residents took to social media to share photographs and video of the hail, which ranged from the size of a chicken egg to baseball-sized pellets.

Becki Kehler was at Camp Evansburg when the wind started howling and hail rained down from black clouds above.

"It was pretty crazy. It was insanely loud. That's what startled me the most was how loud it was," Kehler said.