Earth ChangesS


San Francisco Highway 1 crisis: 1,600 trapped near Big Sur after roadway crumbles

A landslide destroyed part of Highway 1 south of Rocky Creek Bridge on the Big Sur coast.
© Caltrans District 5A landslide destroyed part of Highway 1 south of Rocky Creek Bridge on the Big Sur coast.
A portion of Highway 1 in Monterey County remained closed Sunday after collapsing during Saturday's storm, state transit officials said, stranding 1,600 people on Easter weekend.

Engineers with the California Department of Transportation were assessing the slip-out that forced the closure of Highway 1 south of the Rocky Creek Bridge at Palo Colorado on Saturday, the state agency said Sunday. An estimated 1,600 residents and visitors were stranded after parts of the southbound lane collapsed. The rain was coming down at a rate of 2 inches per hour at one point, according to the National Weather Service.

Comment: See also: Severe flooding in Southern California leaves drivers stranded after 2 inches of rain in 1 hour

Cloud Precipitation

Severe flooding in Southern California leaves drivers stranded after 2 inches of rain in 1 hour

Nearly two inches of rain fell on Southern California in just one hour, causing severe flooding that shut down Highway 101 and left drivers stranded. Orange County roads turned dangerous for drivers, and part of Highway 1 was washed out. NBC News' Jesse Kirsch reports.

Alarm Clock

Climate change has slowed Earth's rotation — and could affect how we keep time

penguins iceberg
© Alessandro Dahan/GettyAs polar ice has melted and moved mass towards the Equator, it has slowed Earth’s rotation.
The effect of melting polar ice could delay the need for a 'leap second' by three years.

Climate change is starting to alter how humans keep time.

An analysis1 published in Nature on 27 March has predicted that melting ice caps are slowing Earth's rotation to such an extent that the next leap second — the mechanism used since 1972 to reconcile official time from atomic clocks with that based on Earth's unstable speed of rotation — will be delayed by three years.

Comment: There seems to be no end to what the radicals will blame on "human-caused climate change". It's a major impediment to science in all its branches. How much further would the science studying the speed of the Earth's rotation be if not for assumptions based on "global warming"?

See also:


Easter storm brings Sahara sand to the Alps and southern France

he Engadin Valley in Switzerland received a lot of Sahara sand in the storm on Easter weekend.
© Engadin Facebookhe Engadin Valley in Switzerland received a lot of Sahara sand in the storm on Easter weekend.
A rather unusual sight was in store for visitors to some ski resorts on the south-side of the Alps, with slopes at Corviglia or Corvatsch, Switzerland, looking like a caramel Fudge Sundae.

Slopes in the southern Alps were covered in Sahara sand carried in by the strong winds that were blowing across the Alps with gusts of up to 100km (62 miles). Warm southerly winds have been bringing large amounts of fine sand from the Sahara to Central and Southeast Europe for days. On Saturday, large parts of Austria, Switzerland, and southern Germany were affected. Instead of a sunny Easter Saturday, it was partly eerily dark in the middle of the day in some areas.

According to calculations by Swiss Meteo, 180,000 metric tons of Sahara dust hung in the air over Switzerland alone on Saturday. While Sahara dust is a regular occurrence, this much is quite unusual. Normally, the wind will carry about half as much sand to Switzerland.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 15 sheep in Swat, Pakistan

Lightning killed more than 15 sheep in Swat distinct of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 24NewsHD TV channel reported Saturday,

According to local police, the lightning struck a house in the Malkidam area of Swat, killing more than 15 sheep.

Heavy rain and hailstorms hit KP areas and the chief minister put the PDMA and Rescue on high alert to cope with the challenge.


Amur region rocked by orange sandstorm in Russia

An unusual sandstorm struck Russia's Amur region from China and Mongolia, giving the air some orangey tints.

Residents will have to endure bizarre conditions for a few more days, while health experts have advised to take care of their eyes amid the sandy winds.


Spring floods trigger evacuation of 10,000 people in Kazakhstan (UPDATE)

© Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan
In accordance with the order of the Kazakh Ministry of Defense, the military personnel of thge Air Defense Forces military units left for Kostanay, Aktobe and West Kazakhstan and Abay regions to assist in evacuation of local people from flood-affected areas, Kazinform News Agency reports.

Military crews of Mi-171Sh, Mi-17 and Mi-8 transport and combat helicopters are involved in the search and rescue operation.

In Kostanay region, the pilots have evacuated 102 people including 32 children from flood-hit Kyzylzhulduz, Yekidin villages and nearby wintering grounds. The flood victims are being transported to Arkalyk town. Flights are carried out over a distance of 130 - 150 km. The helicopters are flown by colonels Kairat Tugelov, Vladimir Semyonov, lieutenant colonel Mirshat Sagindikov, major Askhat Seilov and senior lieutenant Yerssyn Zhumanov.

Comment: Update March 31 reports:
Nearly 10,000 residents across various regions of Kazakhstan were compelled to evacuate to temporary shelters in the wake of spring floods, the Ministry of Emergency Situations reports. Amidst this emergency, the Kazakh leader, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev firmly criticized local officials for failing to adequately prepare for the seasonal flooding.

Spring floods trigger mass evacuation
© Trend News AgencySpring floods trigger mass evacuation of 10,000 people in Kazakhstan
The ministry mobilized a significant response force, with more than 6,000 personnel, approximately 2,000 pieces of equipment, and 12 aircraft deployed to aid in the rescue operations across the impacted areas.

As per the latest updates from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, extensive flooding in various localities within the Aktobe, Kostanay, West Kazakhstan, Abay, Ulytau, and Akmola regions led to the declaration of local emergencies, triggering extensive rescue and relief measures to address the immediate needs of the affected population.


Town submerged after heavy rain triggers severe flooding in central France

Floodwaters partially submerged a town in the Vienne department of west-central France on Saturday, March 30, after heavy rain caused the river to overflow and trigger severe flooding.

Arrow Down

Snowboarder killed in avalanche at Mount St. Helens, Washington

Mount St. Helens is seen from the Hummocks Trail, on May 18, 2020
© Ted S. WarrenMount St. Helens is seen from the Hummocks Trail, on May 18, 2020
A snowboarder was killed Saturday in an avalanche at the summit of Mount St. Helens, the Northwest Avalanche Center said in a preliminary report.

Standing near the mountain peak, the snowboarder triggered the avalanche on a cornice — an overhang of snow that can form on steep alpine slopes — and fell to his death.

"Our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community," the avalanche center wrote in a post on its website.

Large cornices are more likely to fail during warmer weather, the agency said. According to the website, moderate avalanche danger was forecast this weekend in mountains throughout Washington.

The avalanche center will work with the Skamania County Sheriff's Office and search and rescue to compile a full report.

Bizarro Earth

The extraordinary climate events of 2022-24

Hunga Volcano
© judithcurry.comFigure 1. The Hunga Tonga eruption from space.
The unlikely volcano, the warmest year, and the collapse of the polar vortex.

The climate events of 2022-24 have been were truly extraordinary. From an unlikely undersea volcanic eruption to the warmest year on record to the collapse of the polar vortex after three sudden stratospheric warming events. This rare convergence presents a unique learning opportunity for climatologists and climate aficionados alike, offering insights into a climate event that may not be repeated for hundreds or even thousands of years.

1. January 2022, the unlikely volcano

Never before have we witnessed an undersea volcanic eruption with a plume capable of reaching the stratosphere and depositing a large amount of vaporized water. This extraordinary event occurred in January 2022 when the Hunga Tonga volcano erupted. The conditions for such an event are rare: the volcano must be deep enough to propel enough water with the plume, but not too deep to prevent it from reaching the stratosphere. Most undersea volcanoes do not produce plumes at all, which makes Hunga Tonga's eruption all the more remarkable.

The Hunga Tonga volcano occupied a unique "sweet spot" at a depth of 150 meters the day before the eruption. In addition, the eruption itself must be exceptionally powerful for water vapor to rise into the stratosphere. The January 2022 eruption of Hunga Tonga was the most powerful in 30 years, since the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

Active undersea volcanoes at the appropriate depth are rare, and the likelihood of one erupting with such intensity is relatively low. We may be looking at an event that occurs once every few centuries, or maybe even once every millennium. Undoubtedly, it was an exceptionally rare event.

While the most powerful eruptions, such as Tambora in 1815, can indeed strongly influence hemispheric weather for a few years, our observations of eruptions such as Agung (1963), El Chichón (1982), and Pinatubo (1991) suggest that their effects dissipate within 3-4 years.