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Sat, 20 Jul 2019
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Earth Changes


2 feet of snow in 3 days for Rainbow Ski Area, New Zealand

"We now really look like winter," says Rainbow Ski Area manager.
After two weekends making do on man-made snow, the Rainbow Ski Area received more than 60 centimetres of the real stuff this week.

The St Arnaud ski field opened its Harry's Way run and the T-bar up to tower eight on Wednesday, and planned to extend the terrain up to tower 12 (the full T bar) with further snowfall.

The go-to ski field for Blenheim and Nelson residents opened on July 6 with the Pomeroy's Beginner area and the Callahan Intermediate slope, relying mainly on their man-made product.

Rainbow Ski Area manager James Lazor said the skifield now looked like a "totally different landscape".


47 pilot whales strand themselves on St. Simon Island, Georgia - 3 die

Beachgoers attempt to push more than 20 beached pilot whales back into the ocean

Beachgoers attempt to push beached pilot whales back into the ocean
Dozens of beachgoers helped rescue as many as 40 beached whales on a Georgia beach Tuesday evening.

The whales came ashore on East Beach in St. Simon Island around 6 p.m. Dr. Quinton White, executive director of the Marine Science Research Institute at Jacksonville University, told First Coast News around 25 pilot whales beached themselves on the Georgia coast.

Cloud Precipitation

Turkey's northwest struggles with flash flood

Submerged vehicles are seen after heavy rain hit Duzce's Akcakoca district, Turkey on July 18, 2019.
© Soner Şen - Anadolu Agency
Submerged vehicles are seen after heavy rain hit Duzce's Akcakoca district, Turkey on July 18, 2019.
Flash flood on July 17 stranded many people in northwestern Turkey after blocking roads and causing heavy damage to the buildings.

Cumayeri, a district of the northwestern Düzce province, was hit by heavy rainfall which triggered landslides and blocked the roads to the villages.

Eight people, who were stuck in a rafting facility, were rescued by a helicopter, which landed in the Sakarya province located near Düzce, due to adverse air condition in the latter.

Two of the rescued people were learned to have fractures in their bodies, while the others survived the floods without injury.


Man attacked by seal in highly rare incident off Devon coast, UK

Attacks by seals on humans are very rare
© Devon Live WS
Attacks by seals on humans are very rare
A swimmer was taken to hospital after being attacked by a seal off the Devon coast yesterday.

The incident prompted immediate warnings for swimmers to keep clear of seals, which may have been trying to protect pups at the time.

Devon Live reported that the swimmer was injured at Shoalstone Pool, near Brixham.

Seals are a familiar sight in the waters off Brixham.

There have been regular encounters in the harbour and at nearby Fishcombe and Churston coves.

Comment: While usually considered rare, attacks by seals on people appear to be on the increase in recent times, as indicated by the following reports for the past 5 years: Woman still in hospital after 100kg fur seal bites her 'to the bone' in Victoria, Australia

Man attacked by seal in Kingswear, UK

Harbour seal climbs aboard kayak, attacks paddler near Chatham Island, British Columbia

Seal bites man in Friday Harbor, Washington

Man attacked by fur seal in New Zealand

Seal attacks 4 surfers at Manly, Australia

Unprovoked seal attack on elderly man in New Zealand

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 23 cattle in Odisha, India

Lightning strike killed as many as 23 bovines including seven cows, 10 bullocks and six calves in Balibahaka village under Nagari panchayat of Pallahara block in Angul district Wednesday.

According to villagers, the cattle were grazing in the field at about 2:00pm when the incident occurred killing them on the spot.

On being informed, sarpanch Pittan Barik and panchayat executive officer Prasanta Kumar Sahoo reached the spot. Later, deputy collector of Pallahara Ajit Kumar Pradhan sent local tehsildar and revenue inspector (RI) to assess the loss.

Necessary steps will be taken after assessing the loss in the incident, Pradhan said.

Source: PNN


Wildfires force evacuation of hundreds of homes in Israel

Fire fighters try to extinguish a forest fire near Moshv Aderet, Israel
© Flash90/Noam Revkin Fenton
Fire fighters try to extinguish a forest fire near Moshv Aderet, July 17, 2019.
Extreme heat caused fires to rage across Israel on Wednesday, as police evacuated residents throughout the country from hundreds of homes, 15 of which caught fire.

A fire broke out mid afternoon in a parking lot in Jerusalem's Malha neighborhood, setting 10 cars aflame. Within 45 minutes, the Fire and Rescue Services brought the blaze under control, preventing it from spreading to nearby vegetation and buildings.

The Aderet and Roglit settlements close to Jerusalem, and the Shavei Shomron settlement in the West Bank, were evacuated due to fires that reached houses there. Flames were eventually subdued in all three locations.

Five houses caught on fire at the Ramat Pinkas neighborhood in Or Yehuda close to Tel Aviv. Police attempted to evacuate residents while firefighters gained control of the flames. Several residents were rescued and treated for wounds at the scene.

The first massive fire broke out in the Nesher neighborhood of Haifa near the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, forcing police to temporarily close Route 2, as the school's security forces sent an evacuation notice to students on campus. Two men suffered light injuries due to inhaling smoke and were treated by MDA personnel on the scene.

Cloud Precipitation

Thousands displaced in north and west of Myanmar (Burma) as rivers overflow

Flooding from the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar
© MOI Myanmar
Flooding from the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar’s state of Kachin.
Flooding has displaced thousands of people in northern and western Myanmar after a period of heavy rain caused rivers overflow.

Kachin State and Sagaing Region

Over 14,000 people have been displaced by flooding from the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar's northern state of Kachin.

According to reports, the worst hit area is Myitkyina, where 2,000 households have been forced to leave their homes. Over 20 relief camps have been set up to accommodate those displaced.

Snowflake Cold

Intense frost damages citrus production in the province of Entre Ríos, Argentina

Frost in Entre Ríos.

Frost in Entre Ríos.
The Argentine province of Entre Rios was affected by an unusual frost this weekend when the temperature dropped to -5º C. The intense cold affected a large part of the region's mandarin and orange production.

The meteorological phenomenon affected the departments of Concordia and Federacion the most.

Entre Rios is a province known for its citrus production. The intense frost affected the W. Murcott, Murcott, and Encore mandarins varieties, as well as various varieties of summer oranges.

It is still too recent to quantify the damages, but according to estimates, the production suffered a major setback.

Source: news.agrofy.com.ar


Bird attacks on the rise throughout the US and Canada

© Carlos Osorio/AP
Blackbird eats a beetle.
Alfred Hitchcock may have been predicting the future in his movie "The Birds," with bird-against-human attacks apparently becoming more common as people encroach on their natural habitats, according to wildlife experts.

Red-winged blackbirds appear to be a major culprit, reports The Wall Street Journal, with people reporting that the songbirds have been divebombing or slamming in to them as they jog or walk through their neighborhoods.

"You talk to people about being attacked by birds, and they look at you like you're crazy," Stephen Vedder, of Marlborough, Mass., who has been attacked while jogging at a nearby lake.

Comment: While habitat loss due to human encroachment may be a contributing factor, we must bear in mind this is nothing new and only now are we seeing an increase in these attacks. It's notable that animal attacks of all kinds are occurring, and throughout the world, alongside mass mortality events, weather extremes and other changes to their environment:


Rockslide blocks salmon spawning in British Columbia, Canada - Livelihoods and wildlife threatened

© The Canadian Press
A rock slide on the Fraser River near Big Bar, B.C., has created a five-metre waterfall that is blocking the passage of salmon.
A rock slide on the Fraser River near Big Bar, B.C., has created a five-metre waterfall that is blocking the passage of salmon.

A major rock slide in British Columbia's Fraser River has prompted new restrictions to recreational and First Nations fishing of chinook salmon, as officials scramble to prevent long-term devastation of the population.

The slide in a remote area near Big Bar, northwest of Kamloops in the Interior, has created a five-metre waterfall that is blocking all but a small percentage of roughly hundreds of thousands of chinook from migrating upstream to spawn.

The measures announced Friday represent an "unquestionably difficult" decision in terms of the impacts on First Nations communities and on recreational fish harvesters, said Andrew Thomson, a regional director with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Comment: See also: