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Tue, 21 Aug 2018
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Earth Changes


Rare tornado filmed in Inner Mongolia, China

A rare tornado was sighted in a desert in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Sunday.

Five people died in northern China and more than 50 homes were destroyed in a major city in Inner Mongolia, according to state media.

According to data from the local meteorological authority, the tornado occurred at 12:47 and lasted for some 10 minutes before it disappeared.


Rare tornado touches down in north China, ravaging villages

A rare tornado touched down in Jinghai District of north China's Tianjin Municipality Monday afternoon, snapping utility poles in half and causing damage to local residences.

The tornado was formed at around 17:30 and barreled through swathes of crop fields and several villages.

Videos taken by local residents showed the sizable tornado from a distance and the glass roof shaking while the fierce wind carrying debris across.


Magnitude 6.6 earthquake strikes near Tanaga Volcano, Alaska

Earthquake seismograph
The United States Geological Survey reports a preliminary magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck near Tanaga Volcano, Alaska on Wednesday.

The quake hit at 11:56 AM local time at a depth of 20 kilometers.

There was no initial word on damage or injury resulting from the quake. More information on this earthquake is available on the USGS event page.

See the latest USGS quake alerts, report feeling earthquake activity and tour interactive fault maps in the earthquake section.

Comment: Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Are the New Madrid and Alaskan fault zones waking?

Cloud Grey

Mystery in the mesosphere: Noctilucent clouds TRIPLE compared to last August

NLCs on August 14, 2018 @ Hamnoy, Norway
© Paul Knightley
NLCs on August 14, 2018 @ Hamnoy, Norway.
This summer, something strange has been happening in the mesosphere. The mesosphere is a layer of the atmosphere so high that it almost touches space. In the rarefied air 83 km above Earth's surface, summertime wisps of water vapor wrap themselves around specks of meteor smoke. The resulting swarms of ice crystals form noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which can be seen glowing in the night sky at high latitudes.

And, no, that's not the strange thing.

Northern sky watchers have grown accustomed to seeing these clouds in recent years. They form in May, intensify in June, and ultimately fade in July and August. This year, however, something different happened. Instead of fading in late July, the clouds exploded with unusual luminosity. Kairo Kiitsak observed this outburst on July 26th from Simuna, Estonia:

"It was a mind-blowing display," says Kiitsak. "The clouds were visible for much of the night, rippling brightly for at least 3 hours."

Other observers saw similar displays in July and then, in August, the clouds persisted. During the first half of August 2018, reports of NLCs to Spaceweather.com have tripled compared to the same period in 2017. The clouds refuse to go away.

Researchers at the University of Colorado may have figured out why. "There has been an unexpected surge of water vapor in the mesosphere," says Lynn Harvey of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). This plot, which Harvey prepared using data from NASA's satellite-based Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) instrument, shows that the days of late July and August 2018 have been the wettest in the mesosphere for the past 11 years:

Comment: Late-season surge in Noctilucent Clouds produces stunning displays
In 2017 a heat wave in the mesosphere melted those crystals, causing a brief "noctilucent blackout." Could something similar, but opposite, be happening now? Perhaps a cold spell in the mesosphere is extending the season.
In July an English astronomer reported photographing more noctilucent clouds in six weeks than in the last three years. See also: Are noctilucent clouds increasing because of the cooling climate, and the rise of fireball and volcanic activity?

layers of the atmosphere
With the rise in rare and unexplained phenomena in our skies, clearly something is changing in our atmosphere: Also check out SOTTs' monthly documentary: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - July 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Dead humpback whale found at Ocean Shores Beach, Washington

dead whale
The corpse of a humpback whale washed up on Ocean Shores Beach, Washington, on Aug. 11, possibly killed by getting wrapped up in fishing lines.

The whale had been floating offshore for a few days, monitored by scientists from the nonprofit Cascadia Research Center (CRC).

Commercial fishing gear is a deadly hazard for marine mammals. Fishermen leave lines and nets extending across miles of ocean, which whales cannot see. Whales become entangled and can drown, or can get deeply lacerated by the lines as they thrash in an effort to get free.

According to CRC researcher John Calambokidis, more than a dozen whales have died by entanglement so far this year.


Waterspout splitting in two filmed off Italian coast

An Italian man filmed an unusual double waterspout off the country's coast -- as well as a yacht that came dangerously close to the whirlwind.

Carlo Profumo captured video Monday showing one waterspout splitting into two twin waterspouts off the coast of Arenzano, near Genoa.

A yacht appears to zoom past the whirlwinds, coming dangerously close to getting swept up.

Profumo said the waterspouts "danced in pairs for a few minutes ... then dissolved into the sea."


Japan prepares to evacuate Kuchinoerabu island as volcano warning level rises

Footage taken from a webcam shows the changing smoke around Kuchinoerabujima
The level four warning issued for Kuchinoerabu - or Kuchinoerabujima - tells residents to prepare to evacuate and is only one step away from mandatory evacuation orders.

Kuchinoerabu is located to the south of Japan roughly 1,000km south-west of Tokyo and has been suffering volcanic earthquakes and increased sulphur emissions at a peak on the island.

The warning had been at level two, which asked residents to avoid approaching the crater.

At present some 100 people live on Kuchinoerabu.

What happened the last time Kuchinoerabu erupted?

Comment: Flashfloods, wildfires, and other restless volcanoes have led to evacuations elsewhere in the world; check out the select few below that have occurred in just the last few months:


Rare mountain tornado touches down near Eagle Nest, New Mexico

New Mexico tornado
© Chris Potts/facebook
Yes, a tornado touched down not only right in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, but also in New Mexico, both locales not known for their twisters.

There's a popular weather myth that tornadoes don't like mountainous terrain, but the reality is that they can form just about anywhere. It's just that ideal conditions for the often terrifying whirlwinds tend to occur more often over the flatlands of tornado alley in the middle of the continent.

As if to prove that they'll go where they please, a swirling spout reached down from storm clouds over northern New Mexico's Moreno Valley Thursday, ripping up the ground near the village of Eagle Nest, which sits at over 8,000 feet in elevation and is surrounded by the high peaks of the Sangre de Cristo range.

Dramatic video captured near Eagle Nest Lake State Park showed the short-lived tornado wreaking havoc on the ground; multiple explosions suggest it may have torn up some parts of the area's electrical grid.

Comment: Last month another rare high-elevation tornado formed near Weston Pass Fire, Colorado.


Hundreds of thousands of dead fish discovered in rivers across New Taipei City, Taiwan

dead fish in the Tamsui River

Dead fish in the Tamsui River
Hundreds of thousands of mullet were reported dead in rivers across New Taipei City Monday, with a preliminary investigation indicating the cause of death was consecutive days of high temperatures rather than water pollution, the city's Water Resources Department said Tuesday.

The dead fish were found in the Tamsui River, Xindian River, Dahan River and Keelung River, officials said, adding that about 100,000 dead fish have so far been removed from the rivers.

The officials said they expected to finish removing the dead fish within three days.


200 troops deployed to help fight 600 wildfires across British Columbia

The Pondosy Bay Wilderness Resort on Eutsuk Lake south of Houston had to be evacuated this weekend because of a wildfire.
© Pondosy Bay Wilderness Resort
The Pondosy Bay Wilderness Resort on Eutsuk Lake south of Houston had to be evacuated this weekend because of a wildfire.
Federal government also pledges aircraft as 600 blazes burn across the province

Ottawa is sending in the Armed Forces as B.C. deals with yet another destructive wildfire season that's forced thousands of people out of their homes.

The provincial government made a formal request for help Monday, and the federal government has already responded with a pledge of 200 troops, as well as aircraft to help move people and supplies.

"We're bringing in the additional resources we need to keep people and communities as safe as possible," B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said in a press release.

"I thank the federal government and the Canadian Armed Forces for their assistance, and also ask British Columbians to do their part by following burning bans to prevent human-caused fires."