Friday, July 8, 2011

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Thousands of Dead Fish in Oklahoma?!

Fishermen in a small community in southern Oklahoma are looking for answers after finding thousands of dead fish on the Red River.

"I've never seen anything like it... they just... for some unknown reason they're just dying," Bob Stewart. Several residents in the Love County community of Courtney... near the Red River... say thousands of fish have turned up dead over the past few days. Lyndal Vanbuskirk and friends have been fishing the river for over 40 years now. But this weekend they saw and smelled the stench from hundreds of fish carcasses out on dry land. "Something's had to cause em to beach theirselves, it's just not normal," said Lyndal Vanbuskirk. Many of the locals tell us they suspect some sort of chemical spill... And they say they're concerned about people who are still eating fish from the river. But biologist Matt Mauck with the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation says it's likely due to the weather. "To ease people's minds around here we have taken water samples from various places in the river we have sent those off to the department of environmental quality and the samples are pending at this time," said Matt Mauck. Mauck says they've recently received calls about dead fish from all over the state. He says the drought could be to blame because lack of rain and extreme heat have made for low river levels and very hot water. "those conditions are difficult on fish especially larger ones and when you compound low dissolved oxygen levels with these it can be fatal for fish," said Mauck. But Vanbuskirk and other local fisherman say they just don't believe that. "I'm not a biologist and I don't know but I would say that that's not the first thought that comes to mind for the simple fact I've seen it hotter and I've seen less water in it." Mauck says it will be a few more days before the test results come back. - KXXI.

EARTH CHANGES: Ocean currents speed melting of Antarctic ice!

Stronger ocean currents beneath West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf are eroding the ice from below, speeding the melting of the glacier as a whole, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience.

A growing cavity beneath the ice shelf has allowed more warm water to melt the ice, the researchers say – a process that feeds back into the ongoing rise in global sea levels. The glacier is currently sliding into the sea at a clip of four kilometers (2.5 miles) a year, while its ice shelf is melting at about 80 cubic kilometers a year – 50% faster than it was in the early 1990s – the paper estimates. "More warm water from the deep ocean is entering the cavity beneath the ice shelf, and it is warmest where the ice is thickest," said study's lead author, Stan Jacobs, an oceanographer at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

In 2009, Jacobs and an international team of scientists sailed to the Amundsen Sea aboard the icebreaking ship Nathaniel B. Palmer to study the region's thinning ice shelves – floating tongues of ice where landbound glaciers meet the sea. One goal was to study oceanic changes near the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, which they had visited in an earlier expedition, in 1994. The researchers found that in 15 years, melting beneath the ice shelf had risen by about 50%. Although regional ocean temperatures had also warmed slightly, by 0.2 °C or so, that was not enough to account for the jump.

The local geology offered one explanation. On the same cruise, a group led by Adrian Jenkins, a researcher at British Antarctic Survey and study co-author, sent a robot submarine beneath the ice shelf, revealing an underwater ridge. The researchers surmised that the ridge had once slowed the glacier like a giant retaining wall. When the receding glacier detached from the ridge, sometime before the 1970s, the warm deep water gained access to deeper parts of the glacier. Over time, the inner cavity grew, more warm deep water flowed in, more melt water flowed out, and the ice thinned. With less friction between the ice shelf and seafloor, the landbound glacier behind it accelerated its slide into the sea. Other glaciers in the Amundsen region have also thinned or widened, including Thwaites Glacier and the much larger Getz Ice Shelf. - Environmental Research Web.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Bees Invasion in Herefordshire?!

This is the incredible moment terrified staff at Thorntons chocolate shop were trapped for nearly three hours after they were literally bee-sieged - by a buzzing swarm.

The sweet store was forced to close for two-and-a-half hours after thousands of bees swarmed around the queen in its doorway. Staff at the shop in Leominster, Herefordshire, said it was like something from a horror film as they watched an angry cloud of black and yellow coming at them. They were forced to hide inside the shop, barricading the door with chocolate boxes, while a beekeeper was called.

Shop assistant Kim Kinsey said: 'I thought they had been attracted to the shop by the sweet smell of the chocolate, but the beekeeper explained they follow the queen.' The bees are believed to have swarmed the shop to protect a queen bee which had been ousted from a nearby nest by a younger female
. - Daily Mail.

WATCH: Bees invades Herefordshire.

CONVERGENCE: Solar System Changes - Astronomers Observes Colossal Record-Breaking Storm Sweeping Across Planet Saturn!

Astronomers have observed a colossal record-breaking storm on planet Saturn, that points dramatic changes across the solar system. Why are all the planets behaving so strangely. What is causing all the weather changes on these planets. Is it possible that our solar system is converging with another system or planetary object?

It began as a bright white dot in Saturn’s northern hemisphere. Within days, the dot grew larger and stormier. Soon the tempest enveloped the ringed planet, triggering lightning flashes thousands of times more intense than on Earth. The international Cassini spacecraft and ground telescopes have been tracking the turbulence since last December, visible from Earth as a type of storm known as a “Great White Spot.” “It’s still going like crazy,” said Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Such planet-wide weather disturbances are rare on Saturn, where the atmosphere is typically hazy and calm. Since 1876, astronomers have observed only five other megastorms on Saturn. “This is a one-of-a-kind storm,” said Andrew Ingersoll, a self-described planetary weatherman at the California Institute of Technology, who was part of the discovery team. Scientists have long studied weather on other planets.

One of the solar system’s most famous landmarks is Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a hurricane-like storm that has been raging for centuries. Landers and rovers to Mars’ surface often carried weather stations, dodged dust storms and sought favorable places to park during the winter. An instrument aboard Cassini, which is orbiting Saturn, first picked up radio outbursts on Dec. 5, 2010 from a lightning storm. Around the same time, amateur astronomers peering through telescopes saw a bright point in Saturn’s northern half. Further observations confirmed it was a brewing storm. The storm system, which occurred during the start of Saturn spring, grew in size and intensity, eventually stretching around the planet. Scientists don’t exactly know what stirs up the storms, but they think it could be linked to the change of seasons. At the height of the storm, Cassini detected 10 lightning strikes per second. Scientists said the electrical activity emitted by the bursts were 10,000 times stronger than lightning on Earth. The findings were described in two papers published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature. The new work represents “some of the most detailed observations so far of such a dramatic event,” Peter Read of the University of Oxford wrote in an accompanying editorial. Saturn’s violent weather differs from Earth and Jupiter in significant ways. Lightning storms on Earth tend to be localized and short-lived, lasting only a few hours. Jupiter storms can last for days and lightning is far more common there than on Saturn. Since entering orbit around Saturn in 2004, Cassini has witnessed 10 storms in a region of the southern hemisphere known as “storm alley” because of the high level of storm activity. The previous storms were much weaker compared with the latest one, the first to be detected in the northern hemisphere.
- CBS Sacramento.

EARTH CHANGES: Dust Storm Covers Phoenix (Eye-Witness Videos)!

In the following videos posted on YouTube, the drivers goes from typical city streets to a hellish scene of pitch black over just a few moments. A brave driver seems to head straight into midnight from the afternoon along a short stretch of road in Phoenix, thanks to the massive dust storm that hit the Arizona city Tuesday evening. Driving straight for the heart of the dusty beast, the sky turns from ashen to completely black, and passing cars can only be glimpsed at the last moment, when their headlights are able to pierce the black a few feet.

WATCH: Arizona "Haboob" in normal speed.

WATCH: Driving into Phoenix Dust Storm.

WATCH: Phoenix Dust Storm Timelapse.

Earth Changes: Thunderstorm Shuts down Nuclear Reactor in Russia!

A powerful thunderstorm forced the shutdown of one of the reactors at the Balakovskaya nuclear power plant (NPP) in central Russia, the NPP's press service said on Friday.

"A thunderstorm on the border of the Saratov and the Samara regions in the late evening of July 7 damaged two power supply lines serving the fourth reactor at the Balakovskaya nuclear power plant, causing an automatic safety shutdown," the plant's press service said in a statement. Radiation levels around the nuclear power plant remain unchanged and the work of the fourth reactor will resume after the repairs on two damaged power lines have been done. The Balakovskaya plant has four modernized VVER-1000 nuclear reactors with power output of 1,000 MWt each. Only two of them are currently operational as the first reactor was shut down for scheduled maintenance on June 8 for 60 days. The recent disaster in Japan has confirmed the vulnerability of plants with even most sophisticated safety features. - RIAN.

EARTH CHANGES: Mass Evacuations from Deer Lake Forest Fires!

Hundreds of residents in the northwestern Ontario community of Deer Lake are being evacuated because of nearby forest fires.

Emergency Management Ontario says 203 residents were flown out of the community on Wednesday night to Greenstone while another 127 boarded a military plane this morning. Officials are evacuating about 480 of the community's 1,100 residents -- mainly babies and the elderly and those with breathing problems or other health issues. Emergency Management Ontario spokesman Brent Ross says another military plane is being brought in today from Winnipeg to help with the evacuations. The blazes, which are burning about 3.5 kilometres away from the community, are sending thick smoke across the area. Ministry of Natural Resources crews are fighting the fires with water bombers. Other remote communities affected by the fires are Sandy Lake, Cat Lake and North Spirit Lake but no evacuations are currently planned for residents in those communities. - CTV.

EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT: 5 out of 8 Tuna Species At Risk?!

Five out of the eight tuna species are at risk of extinction, conservationists warned last night as they called for urgent action to tackle over-fishing.

Three species are threatened with global extinction, while two more will be under threat without action to help them, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Researchers looked at all 'scombrid' fish, which include tuna and mackerel, and billfishes, which include swordfish and marlins, and found that seven of the 61 known species were under threat. Their study said some of the species were heavily over-fished, with little interest in conserving them because of the high commercial value of the catch. There were also difficulties in regulating the multinational fisheries which exploit the stocks. IUCN experts warned that all three bluefin tuna species - southern, Atlantic and Pacific - were susceptible to collapse because of pressure from fishing for the high-value fish. Southern bluefin tuna are already critically endangered, the highest category of risk, and Atlantic bluefin are endangered, the assessment for the IUCN red list of threatened species found
. - Daily Mail.

EARTH CHANGES: Freak Twister Rips Coastal Town of Bognor!

They say lightning never strikes twice but tornadoes seem to have a habit of coming back to one street in Bognor Regis.

Eleven years after the seaside town was struck by a freak mini tornado the exact same area was hit again by a twister. But unlike the destructive tornado of 2000 the latest tornado was over within minutes and for one family it was an unexpected rather than terrifying visitor to their garden. Onlooker Emma Brooks, 40, told how the twister lifted the heavy 15ft trampoline as if it were a 'frisbee' and dumped it in her next door neighbour's garden. She said: 'I have never seen anything like it. We were all looking out of the window because the sky had gone so black. 'Then this white, misty cone-shaped tornado touched down in the garden. I quickly shut the back door and we all watched, transfixed, wondering what it was going to do next. It was pretty scary because it could have come towards the house but we couldn't stop watching. 'It got trapped in the children's play equipment and spun everything out to the edges of the garden. 'Then it seemed to change direction and sucked up the trampoline like it was a frisbee. It was spinning in the air, 15 or 20ft high for about 10 seconds seconds. 'Then it moved across the garden, knocked down the fence and dropped the trampoline next door before taking down a 40ft conifer tree which landed on a shed. It snapped it at the trunk. It must have been incredibly powerful.' - Daily Mail.