Friday, November 14, 2014

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: More Signs Of Magnetic Polar Migration - Lightning Strikes Set To Increase By FIFTY PERCENT Across The United States; Scientists Cast Blame On Global Warming?!

A monsoon lightning storm strikes over Las Vegas, Nevada. Rising global temperatures may cause a big jolt in the number of lightning strikes in the United
States over the rest of the 21st century in the latest example of extreme weather spawned by climate change, scientists say.

November 14, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- Lightning strikes in the United States could increase by nearly 50 percent by the end of the century as the world gets warmer and wetter, a new study says.

hose conditions were already known to promote thunderstorms in general, the new work focused on lightning strikes themselves.

Researchers calculated just how much lightning flashes increase as air warms, clouds fill with more energy from water vapor and rainfall intensifies.

They concluded that for every degree Fahrenheit the world warms in the future, lightning strikes will go up nearly 7 percent. 

That's 12 percent for every degree Celsius.


The researchers based their calculation on 2011 weather data from across the U.S.

The key is that warmer air holds more water vapor. 

Water vapor is fuel for thunderstorms, sparking more lightning. 

The energy that storms get from vapor is the biggest driver in increasing lightning strikes in the future, the researchers said.

Because scientists forecast that the world may get about 7 degrees warmer (4 degrees Celsius) by the end of the century, based on current carbon dioxide emission trends, that comes to a 50 percent increase in lightning strikes, said David Romps. 

He's the atmospheric scientist at the University of California Berkeley who led the study.

'When you used to have two lightning strikes, now you'll have three,' Romps said. 'It's a substantial increase.'

The researchers based their calculation on 2011 weather data from across the U.S. They presented their results in a paper released Thursday by the journal Science.

Romps said the key is that warmer air holds more water vapor. Water vapor is fuel for thunderstorms, sparking more lightning. The energy that storms get from vapor is the biggest driver in increasing lightning strikes in the future, Romps said.

The new study shows that at any given level of rainfall intensity, there will be more lightning in the future.

Harold Brooks, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration severe storm meteorologist, said the study makes sense and marks an advance over previous work.

The result is important mostly because it means more natural sparks for dangerous wildfires, which are already forecast to worsen with man-made warming, Romps, Brooks and other meteorologists said.

This graphic shows the intensity of lightning flashes averaged over the year in the lower 48 states during 2011.

Lightning deaths have been falling from about 100 per year in the 1960s and 1970s to 33 per year in the last decade. 

So far this year 25 people have been killed, NOAA data shows.

Lightning strikes north of Macworth Island in Portland, Maine. A new study says flashes of lightning in the US will likely increase
by nearly 50 percent by the end of the century because of global warming.

Brooks said the drop is because of people changing their behavior to be safer in storms and better medical treatment of lightning victims.

The top states for lightning deaths in the past decade are Florida, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina and New Jersey.

WATCH:  Incredible fork of lightning caught on camera in Houston.

About 80 percent of lightning victims are male.

Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University climate scientist, said this study 'is yet another reminder that there are likely some unwelcome surprises in store ... when it comes to the impacts of climate change.' - Daily Mail.

PARADIGM SHIFT: Precursors To The End Of The Eurozone And The Collapse Of The White Supremacy Paradigm – Eurozone Dodges Triple-Dip Recession But Submerges In "Lost Decade," Italian Ex-Minister Warns That "Titanic Europe" Is Heading For A Shipwreck!

A former Italian finance minister said “Titanic Europe” is heading for a shipwreck Photo: ALAMY

November 14, 2014 - EUROPE
- The eurozone has averted a triple-dip recession but remains stuck in a deep structural slump, with too little momentum to create jobs or to stop a relentless rise in debt ratios.

The region eked out growth of 0.2pc in the third quarter, yet Italy’s economy shrank again and has now been in contraction for over three years.

Stefano Fassina, the former deputy Italian finance minister, said “Titanic Europe” is heading for a shipwreck without a radical change of course.

He warned that contractionary policies are destroying the Italian economy and called on the country’s leaders to “bang their fists of the table”. He said they should threaten an “orderly break-up” of the euro unless policies change. His comments have made waves in Rome since he is a respected figure in the ruling Democratic Party of Matteo Renzi.

While France rebounded by 0.3pc, the jump was due to a rise in inventories and a 0.8pc spike in public spending, mostly on health care. The previous quarter was revised down to minus 0.1pc.

“It flatters to deceive,” said Marc Ostwald from Monument Securities. “France was basically horrible. How anybody could celebrate this as a recovery story is beyond me.”

“A close reading of details is sobering. Just about all the drivers of growth are near-dead,” said Denis Ferrand, head of the French research institute Coe-Rexecode.

Michel Sapin, the French finance minister, said the economy remains "too weak" to make a dent on unemployment. France’s brief rebound in employment has already sputtered out. The economy shed 34,000 jobs in the third quarter. This will not be easy to reverse since Paris has pledged to push through a further €50bn of fiscal cuts over three years to meet EU deficit targets.

Maxime Alimi from Axa said France’s public debt is likely to reach 100pc of GDP by 2017, warning that investor patience may not last. He said bond yields could rise in a “non-linear, abrupt fashion” in the next downturn.

Europe is caught in limbo. The data is not weak enough to force a radical change in EMU policy, whether that might be a ‘New Deal’ blitz of investment or full-fledged quantitative easing by the European Central Bank.

The risk is that the currency bloc will drift into another year in near deflationary conditions, without any catalyst for real recovery. The US Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew, warned this week that Europe faces a “lost decade” unless surplus countries such as Germany do more to stimulate demand.

“The eurozone is the epicentre of a global Keynes liquidity trap,” said Lena Komileva from G+Economics.

“For the markets, the previous consensus of a periphery-led recovery has crumbled.”

Germany just scraped by without falling into a technical recession, growing 0.1pc after contracting by 0.1pc in the previous quarter. It is clearly suffering the brunt of Russia’s crisis and wilting demand in China, Brazil, and much of the emerging market nexus.

Jörg Krämer, chief economist at Commerzbank, said there was a surge of pent-up investment by German companies after the EMU debt-crisis subsided in mid-2012. This has faded, causing a “soft patch” that is coming to an end.

“We expect German growth to pick up next year. The depreciation of the euro against the dollar will lift GDP by at least 0.5pc over the next four quarters. On top of that, monetary policy is very loose for German conditions,” he said.

Any German recovery will have a double-edged effect. It will boost intra-EMU trade demand slightly, but it will also engender even more resistance from Berlin for fiscal stimulus or for sovereign bond purchases by the ECB. The net effect might be negative for those parts of southern Europe still trapped in debt-deflation.

Italy is now the country in deepest trouble, stuck in a fixed exchange rate system with a currency overvalued by at least 25pc. Output has fallen by almost 10pc since the peak, reverting to 1999 levels. Industrial output is down 24pc. Official youth unemployment is 42.9pc, but Italy also has the highest level of unreported jobless in the eurozone, according to the European Commission.

This is a deeper slump than during the Great Depression, and is almost certainly the worst episode in peacetime since the creation of the Italian state in 1859. An “internal devaluation” to claw back competitiveness is impossible in near deflationary conditions, since this would aggravate debt dynamics.

Italy’s public debt ratio is already rising at a rate of 5pc of GDP each year despite a primary budget surplus of 2.5pc. The debt stock is rising on a base of contracting nominal GDP, a poisonous dynamic known as the denominator effect.

A study by the Brussels think-tank Bruegel concluded that Italy must increase its primary surplus by 1.4pc of GDP for every 1pc drop in the inflation rate just to keep pace, a near impossible task.

“The data for the eurozone are awful,” said Simon Tilford from the Centre for European Reform.

“It is a sign of just how bad things have become that Europe’s leaders will jump on any glimmer of hope to justify policies that they still cling to doggedly. But the fact is that output is still several percent short of where it was in 2008, and massively short of where it should be. Moreover, we have probably passed the cyclical peak already,” he said.

“The electorates in Italy and Spain have been stoical so far, but this is predicated on the belief that things will get better. There is a false sense of complacency about what will happen if this depression goes on for year after year,” he said. - Telegraph.

EXTREME WEATHER: Flood Alert In England - Heavy Rainfall Cause Major Collapse Of M25 Motorway, Resulting In Traffic Hell; Drivers In 15 MILES Of Tailbacks As Weather Turns Nasty! UPDATE: Polar Vortex Warning - Latest Winter Weather Models Show UK Facing MONTHS Of Heavy Snow!

A manhole cover being ripped out of it's hole by the pressure of the water on Skegoneill Avenue

November 14, 2014 - UNITED KINGDOM
- Three lanes of the M25 were closed after a section of the road near Surrey crumpled into slush leaving a massive pothole.

A huge chunk of the UK is also on flood alert with torrential downpours and violent winds threatening chaos until next week.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for half a month’s worth of rain over the next 24 hours and strong gales this morning.

Queues of up to 15 miles left motorists stranded for more than two hours during the morning rush hour period as Highways workers scrambled to clear debris from the anti-clockwise section of the motorway which circles London.

The chaos was caused when a section of roadworks collapsed in the early hours.

Motorists stuck in the tailbacks included those travelling to Gatwick Airport in west Sussex.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: “Concrete repairs being carried out overnight failed to set.

“Maintenance crews had been working overnight to replace three sections of concrete road surface between junctions 9 and 10.“

One of these concrete sections disintegrated and another section was showing signs of distress.

“We have people on the site repairing these sections and we will reopen the closed lanes as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Storm is heading towards the country and will bring 90mph gale force winds

Surrey Police posted an image of the uneven surface on the M25

Witnesses described rows of cars parked up on the hard shoulder while Sussex Police reported several drivers suffered damaged or punctured tyres.

AA president Edmund King described the M25 as “the Road to Hell” calling for an investigation in to the fiasco.

He said: “The M25 is critical to the nation and today’s incident highlights just how dependant we are on it to function 24/7.

“There must be a thorough investigation into this incident. It is disappointing that not only did the road fail but it placed many drivers in danger and also reportedly damaged a number of vehicles.

“If this happened on the railways passengers could claim compensation.

“As it has happened on the roads drivers just have to put up with it.”

Almost 12 hours after the pothole first emerged, the three lanes of the M25 remained closed during this evening's rush hour - meaning more queues and long delays are expected for motorists.

Met Office spokeswoman Laura Young said: “A band of rain is moving through the southwest, Wales, Bristol and Somerset before another frontal system pushes through the region through Friday.

“There will be quite a lot of rain in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset with showers in central areas and London and it is going to stay windy until around Saturday lunchtime.

“Heavy rain sticks around during Friday and there is some very heavy rain about in the morning, over the weekend parts of Scotland will get very heavy showers and that will be a concern as they have had a lot already.”

Met Office chief forecaster Andy Page said: “Following recent wet weather the public should be aware of the continuing risk of flooding from this next batch of heavy rain.”

Gales of 70mph lashed the southwest yesterday while gusts of up to 93mph were recorded in isolated spots in Devon - the strongest since ex-Hurricane Gonzalo struck last month.

Forecasters said remote parts of the country could be in for a repeat performance this morning thanks to a deep low pressure system moving over the country.

Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, said: “We are looking at more damaging and severe gales over the next few days and further gusts of 90mph plus are possible around the south.

“There is more to come at the weekend as we expect a similar picture to that which we have already seen.”

Traffic drives through surface water flooding on the Lewes Road in Brighton

Netweather forecaster Jo Farrow said: “Another area of wet and windy weather is going to move up from the southwest around a low pressure yesterday evening.

“This spreads into southwest England and more of Wales before dawn. There’ll be another bout of strong southeasterly winds.”

The hurricane-force winds also wreaked havoc for commuters in Devon yesterday by causing the closure of a railway station and train disruption.

Dawlish station was shut for an hour while a 30mph speed restriction for trains was put in place as the the winds battered the coast.

The station has since been reopened.

Elsewhere, an elderly man is believed to have been swept off a sea wall by fierce waves in Torquay, Devon.

A search was initiated last night, but was soon called off due to poor weather conditions and strong winds.

A decision of whether to resume the search was due to be reached this morning.

While the weather is currently not being directly linked to the incident, it is believed that the weather conditions at the time were described as "poor".

Northerly gales create huge waves crashing against the sea wall at Seaham HarbourPicture: Paul Kingston/North News & Pictures

Seaburn. Winds could reach 60mph on the east coast.Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA

According to the Met Office’s six to 30-day forecast, more wind and rain is expected next week with unsettled conditions likely to persist through November.

It states: “More showers or longer spells of rain are likely on Tuesday, with no strong indication for where the wettest weather will be.

“Through the rest of the period it is set to remain unsettled with further spells of rain or showers across many parts, but there will be some drier and brighter/clearer conditions.

“The winds will be strong at times with a low risk of gales, especially in the north.

“It is likely that a westerly flow will prevail through the end of November and the beginning of December bringing further unsettled weather to the UK.

“It is possible that rainfall amounts will be little above average for the time of year.”

The Environment Agency has issued 17 flood alerts and warned river levels along the Clyst and Culm in Devon, Avon around Bristol and Tone and Parrett in Somerset are rising.

A spokesman said: “Further heavy rain and showers during Thursday and Friday may lead to some localised flooding over parts of the south-west of Wales, the southwest and the southeast of England.

“Disruption may include localised flooding of individual properties and localised disruption to travel. “In parts of Somerset on Wednesday through to Friday rivers will continue to respond to recent and forecast rainfall.

“There are some further periods of locally heavy rainfall in some parts of England throughout [Thursday] and Friday. 

“On Friday there is a low overall river flood risk, and while some rivers may respond to recent rainfall, the main risk is from surface water flooding.

“The combination of strong winds and large waves may lead to some minimal disruption from spray and wave over topping for South west and north-east coast of England on Friday.”

Leon Brown, forecaster for The Weather Channel UK, said: “On Sunday we can expect more locally heavy showers over the southwest while most other areas stay dry.

“Next week will start damp with some rain swinging southwards on Monday.

“Late next week still looks very unsettled, wet and windy.

“Gales are developing as another large area of low pressure develops and covers the eastern Atlantic.

“It is staying very blustery and windy for next weekend too, with a lot of showers over the north and west.”

The threat of more persistent rain has raised fears of a worryingly similar scenario to last year when Somerset and Devon were devastated by floods.

Hundreds of people in the region were forced from their homes while thousands of others were left without power.

Just 11 months later the region is preparing for another helping of misery with some families still unable to return home after the last dose.

The AA has today warned drivers to take extra care in flood water after attending thousands of stranded vehicles during the last winter floods.

Darron Burness, head of the AA flood rescue team, said: “During last winter, which was the wettest on record, we alone attended around 4,400 flood-related call-outs but many were completely avoidable.

“Some people don’t fully appreciate the dangers posed by flood water.”

John Curtin, director of incident management and resilience at the Environment Agency, added: “Too many drivers end up putting themselves in danger – and potentially those who come to their rescue – by taking unnecessary risks during flooding.

“It can be hard to tell what hazards lie beneath flood water, but more often than not there’s a lot of misery and a much longer delay than a well planned detour.

“We need drivers to check the flood risk for their entire route before they travel.”

POLAR VORTEX WARNING: Latest winter weather models show UK faces MONTHS of heavy snow

Britain is facing one of the coldest winters on record

Shocked forecasters warned tonight the latest high-tech weather models point to a CATASTROPHIC big freeze in late 2014 with THREE MONTHS of blizzards and Arctic gales.

They fear a lethal and unprecedented combination of low pressure, above-average rainfall and a freak Polar vortex will come together in a perfect storm of misery for Winter 2014.

Moist air from the Atlantic currently causing the mild, wet and windy weather threatens to collide with bitter Arctic winds.

It means a dramatic plunge in the current mild temperatures will turn torrential rain to blizzards capable of smothering the ENTIRE COUNTRY in feet-deep snowdrifts.

The big chill could arrive as early as this month although some models show the colder flow of air will be held at bay until the New Year.

However when it arrives, it threatens to rival the historic winter of 1947 which saw snow fall EVERY SINGLE DAY between January and March.

Crippling snow drifts of up to FIVE METRES  ground swathes of the country to a standstill while the armed services were drafted in to drop emergency air supplies to stranded communities.

In a terrifying similarity to this year, the killer whiteout of 1947 started with suspiciously mild conditions persisting into early winter.

Britain is facing a strongly negative Arctic oscillation as we head into December

Worried experts have warned Britons not to be lulled into a false sense of security by the current benign conditions.

The very latest weather models show a unique set of circumstances coming together to create an extreme whiteout driven by violent snowstorms.

James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said a strongly negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) this winter are main driving factors.

Both phenomenon are governed by atmospheric sea pressure and when in a negative phase they allow cold air to flow in from the East - the so called blocking effect.

Mr Madden said due to recent warming in the Earth’s stratosphere, both the NAO and AO are “excessively” low pointing towards a severe freeze.

A separate measure derived from air flow patterns in the upper atmosphere called the October Pattern Index (OPI ) also points towards a negative Arctic Oscillation.

The resulting weak jet stream, which usually holds the cold at bay over the North Pole, will give way to a blast of freezing air which will sweep across the UK.

The OPI was devised by scientists Riccardo Valente and Professor Judah Cohen with this year’s readings dangerously similar to those taken during the catastrophic winter of 2009/10 - the coldest in 31 years.

Experts say a crippling big freeze could be as close as the middle of this month and has the potential to last until spring.

Mr Madden said: “The important pieces are now becoming grouped together to form blocking episodes throughout the second half of November and the upcoming winter period.

“This is reflected upon with the obliterated Polar Vortex and the downward trend of the 'excessively abnormal' Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) values, due to recent stratospheric warming and higher than normal pressure across the Arctic region.

“When the AO is in its negative phase, it allows for an easier intrusion of cold Arctic air to lower latitudes such as the UK.

“When the closely related NAO is also in a negative phase, it allows for cold easterly winds and much cold winters to develop.”

He said heavy early snow over Siberia is another indicator that Britain could be in for a mega-freeze.

He said: “The impressive Siberian snow cover for this year also offers a high correlation for a negative AO throughout much of the upcoming winter and into next spring.

“We can therefore expect a significant amount of colder intrusions and prolonged diversions of the jet stream/blocking within this period.

“The majority of weather models are now also starting to support a cold easterly/north-easterly developing for next week, and if we combine this with a number of other factors this is likely to bring a number of potentially widespread snow events and much colder weather at times throughout the second half of November and into early/mid December.

“As we progress throughout this period we are also likely to see widespread frosts and stubborn fog patches becoming more of a frequent feature as blocking becomes more prominent. “A number of frequent and large-scale low pressure systems are also likely to attack our shores throughout the winter period of December to February.

“The air mass is likely to be cold enough across the country for this to fall and accumulate as snow from parts of the far north to parts of the far south.

“January and into February are likely to offer some potentially severe cold spells of weather and significant snow for many parts of the country, and this is when winter will begin to take even more of a stronghold this year.”

Experts have warned elderly and vulnerable people not to be lulled into a false sense of security by the current mild weather.

Latest figures for winter deaths from the Office for National Statistics show there were around 31,100 excess winter deaths in 2012-13 - a 29-per cent increase on the previous year.

Britain could face heavy snow

Malcolm Booth, chief executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, said: “The peculiar weather patterns that we are seeing may lull people into a flaw sense of security and they won’t protect themselves in terms of day to day life and flu jabs.

“The last set of winter death figures showed an increase which is concerning, if this year is particularly harsh they could be even worse, particularly with the increase in the cost of heating.”

A major Arctic freeze would follow what turned out last year to be the wettest and one of the mildest winters since records began in 1910.

However Britain was blighted by storms with 12 major events recorded between mid December and early January, according to the Met Office.

A mean temperature of 5.2C (41F) across the UK was well above normal with the mercury dropping to just -7.7C (18F) in Altnaharra, Sutherland, having fallen lower every year for the previous 50 years.

If temperature records are broken this year as experts suggest, then thermometers could plunge below the -27.7C (-17F) recorded in Braemar, Scotland, on January 10, 1982.

Netweather said there is likely to be a “cold heart” to winter this year with above average snowfall in parts and frequent winter storms.

Its long-range winter forecast states: “A cold heart to the winter with January likely to be colder than average due to an increased likelihood of an SSW (Sudden stratospheric warming) occurring.

“Precipitation close to or slightly above average overall.

“Tendency for storm tracks taking a more southerly route across the UK -therefore potential for a significant wind event affecting the bulk of the UK.

“Above average hill snow for Scotland.”

However as is the nature of weather forecasting not all models agree and the Met Office outlook paints a less chilly picture.

A spokesman said: “Our latest three-month outlook suggests an increased risk of milder and wetter than average conditions for the period November-December-January based on our seasonal forecasts and those from other leading centres around the world.

“However, there are still substantial probabilities that either average or cool/dry conditions may occur.

“This is because there are many competing factors that determine what our weather will be like in the coming months.” - Express.

TERMINATOR NOW: The Rise Of The Machines - Special United Nations Meeting Warns Countries That "Killer Robots" Need To Be Strictly Monitored, Urges Stricter Controls Over Autonomous Weapons Systems!

November 14, 2014 - UNITED NATIONS
- “Killer robots” – autonomous weapons systems that can identify and destroy targets in the absence of human control – should be strictly monitored to prevent violations of international or humanitarian law, nations from around the world demanded on Thursday.

The European Union, France, Spain, Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Croatia, Mexico and Sierra Leone, among other states, lined up at a special UN meeting in Geneva to warn of the potential dangers of this rapidly advancing technology. Several countries spoke of the need for ongoing scrutiny to ensure that the weapons conformed to the Geneva conventions’ rules on proportionality in war.

The Spanish delegation went further, invoking the possibility of a new arms race as developed countries scrambled to get ahead. Ireland, the Netherlands and other countries called for “meaningful human control” of lethal weapons to be enshrined in international law, although the meeting also admitted that the precise definition of that principle had yet to be clarified.

The Geneva meeting was the second major gathering of world powers this year to discuss the looming threat or possibility of fully self-operating lethal weapons. As such, it was an indication of mounting global concern about the technology, as its adoption by military forces gathers apace.

The US, the leader in the field, has already switched most of its aerial surveillance capabilities to unmanned aircraft – though the drones are still controlled by human pilots. It is a natural next step for the US air force to develop systems that can both deliver and then operate missiles and bombs robotically, with only minimal human intervention.

The New York Times reported
this week that Lockheed Martin has developed a long-range anti-ship missile for the US air force and navy that can fly itself, with no human touch, for hundreds of miles, changing its flight-path autonomously to avoid radar detection. Britain, Israel and Norway already carry out attacks on radar installations, tanks and ships using autonomous drones and missiles, the paper said.

A man walks past a graffiti, denouncing strikes by US drones in Yemen, painted on a wall in Sana’a. Photograph: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

At the previous Geneva meeting on killer robots, Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, called for an outright ban. “Machines lack morality and mortality, and as a result should not have life and death powers over humans,” he said.

Human Rights Watch, which is a co-founder of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, told Thursday’s plenary that a ban was the only practical solution. The group lamented the fact that the UN had spent only eight or nine days over the past two years focused on an area that was fast-moving and raised huge legal and ethical issues.

“There is a sense of urgency about how we deal with killer robots. Technology is racing ahead,” it said.

Regulation of autonomous weapons falls under the so-called “convention on certain conventional weapons” or CCW – a part of the Geneva conventions that deals with the impact of the tools of war on civilian populations. Under CCW, weapons that are deemed to affect civilians indiscriminately or to cause inhumane suffering to combatants can be banned or heavily restricted. - The Guardian.

ICE AGE NOW: Coldest November Weather In Decades Infiltrates Wyoming To Texas From The North Pole - Frigid Air Lays Ground Of Snow, Slippery Travel In Eastern States; Cross-Country Snowstorm To Whip Rockies, Drop Rare Early Snow In Central Plains!

November 14, 2014 - NORTH AMERICA
- Temperatures plunged by as much as 60 degrees Fahrenheit across the Rockies and Plains early this week, and the unrelenting cold has remained entrenched across these areas all week.  It has been as much as 30-50 degrees below normal this week from Wyoming and Colorado all the way southward to Texas.

Coldest November Weather in Decades Infiltrates Wyoming to Texas From the North Pole

"This is exceptional cold," Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity said. "It's the coldest air we've seen in decades during November."

The cold air has come straight from the polar region, according to Margusity.

"The remnants of Nuri grew into a record storm over the Bering Sea, and then it sent warmth into the polar region," Margusity said.

The Beartooth Mountains glow in the morning light just after dawn Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, southeast of Billings, Mont. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

As a result, the cold was unleashed southward from the North Pole. Margusity gave the analogy of squeezing a stress ball. Since cold air is denser than warm air, it oozed out of the pole much like how a stress ball will expand when squeezed.

East: Frigid Air Lays Ground for Rounds of Snow, Slippery Travel

Cold air building over the Central states will expand toward the East during the balance of the week and will be accompanied by snow and slippery travel in some locations.

Temperatures will be slashed by 20 to 30 degrees compared to the start of this week from the Ohio and Tennessee valleys to the Appalachians. A similar trend has begun along much of the Atlantic Seaboard.

In much of the Appalachians and many areas on the western slopes of the mountains, high temperatures most days will be no better than the 30s.

High temperatures mainly in the 40s during the later part of this week will replace highs in the 60s in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures will plunge into the 20s and 30s at times during the daylight hours.

However, the temperature drops will not be as extreme in the East as they were over the Central states.

The air will get cold enough at night to bring the first freeze to portions of the South, including Atlanta, and the Interstate-95 corridor.

Unlike chilly air episodes thus far this season, this particular cold outbreak will have staying power and is likely to last well into next week.

Bands of snow and flurries have set up downwind of the Great Lakes.

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "Some areas around the lower Great Lakes that have escaped lake-effect snowfall thus far this season will have their first accumulation."

Abrams expects enough snow to fall on parts of northeastern Ohio, northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York to make roads slippery.

From Cleveland to Erie, Pennsylvania, and Syracuse and Rochester, New York, lie within this swath of heavy snowfall and slippery travel through the weekend.

A developing storm system along a reinforcing push of cold air will cause some wintry trouble in part of the Northeast on Friday morning.

The system will bring a period of snow to eastern parts of New England through Friday morning before it shifts away from the region. A few inches are forecast to fall from interior southwestern New England to southeastern Maine.

During Sunday night into Monday night, another wave of cold air will approach with a larger storm tagging along.

While this storm will bring mostly rain to the mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England, it cold air may return fast enough to bring wet snow to the Appalachians and perhapsa change to wet snow before ending to some of the northern and western suburbs of the I-95 cities.

The amount and extent of that snow will depend on the strength of the storm and the speed of the reinforcing surge of cold air. A very weak storm and fast-moving front may translate to only spotty showers of rain and non-accumulating snow for much of the region.

The storm slated for the Northeast Sunday night and Monday will take a cross-country path through the Rockies and Central states this weekend.

Cross-Country Snowstorm to Whip Rockies, Drop Rare Early Snow in Central Plains

A January-like storm that hit the Northwest Thursday into Friday will aim at part of the Rockies and Central states this weekend and may result in disruptions to travel and daily activities.

A broad area of snow will impact cities from Denver to Chicago and Detroit this weekend. Enough snow could fall at area airports to cause deicing delays at the very least. Some locations within this swath will receive enough snow to shovel and plow.

The expanse of the arctic air will continue to bring much lower temperatures when compared to average, and it will also bring precipitation more common during December and January, as opposed to November.

After producing a zone of heavy snow and ice in portions of interior Oregon and Idaho into Friday, a storm that originated over the Pacific Ocean will blast areas from Wyoming and Colorado to the central High Plains with snow, wind and cold.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Miller, "Blizzard conditions are possible for a time in the mountains of southern Wyoming to central Colorado during the first part of the weekend."

Motorists traveling along through the mountains in this zone should expect slippery and dangerous travel, including on interstates 70, 80 and 25. Cities from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colorado, will receive a few inches from the storm.

A six- to 12-hour period of heavy snow and gusty winds could bring whiteout conditions and cause some of the passes to close temporarily.

Part of the storm will push southward into New Mexico and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles later this weekend. Locally heavy snow is possible on some of the ski resorts in New Mexico. Just enough snow could fall to make for slippery travel along I-27 and I-40 in the region, including at Amarillo, Texas, and Oklahoma City.

As part of the storm heads south Saturday into Sunday, another part will reorganize farther east this weekend over the Plains and Midwest as a reinforcing surge of cold begins to advance.

However, for much of the Central states, the storm will not be as potent as that of the Rockies or the Northwest.

Light to moderate snow will fall over the central Plains Saturday. Enough could fall to make roads slippery around Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa, and Wichita, Kansas. Locally in this swath, a few inches of snow can accumulate.

The snow will extend farther east Saturday night into Sunday, reaching Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati. A general coating to an inch of snow can fall, which is still enough to cause slippery roads and sidewalks.

During Sunday night and Monday, the storm will once again reorganize as a new surge of moisture enters from the Gulf of Mexico.

The re-energized storm will bring areas of snow, rain or rain changing to snow in from the middle Mississippi Valley to the Northeast that can be followed by a freeze-up and slippery travel in many areas for the first part of next week.

The air moving in during early next week will be colder than that of this past week from eastern areas of the Plains to parts of the East.

As the waves of cold air continue, bands of lake-effect snow will continue from the Upper Midwest to the central Appalachians this weekend and into next week. However, these bands of snow will tend to shift around from one location to the next as the flow of cold air changes direction from time to time. - AccuWeather.

MASS MAMMAL DIE-OFFS: Disaster Precursors - Riddle Of FOUR CETACEAN Deaths In Just 2 Weeks On Almeria Coast, Spain?!

Marine life volunteers inspecting the dead fin whale that was found offshore near Retamar last week

November 14, 2014 - SPAIN
- The recent deaths of two dolphins and two whales on the Almería coast have raised questions about their possible causes, as they came just days after naval exercises were carried out in the same area.

The first of the strandings was that of a Pilot whale in Balerma, El Ejido, the last week of October, followed by the discovery of a decomposed dolphin washed up on a beach in Cuevas del Almanzora.

The body of a 20-metre long Fin whale was spotted in the waters off Retamar a few days later and then a Striped dolphin was found stranded on a remote beach in Cabo de Gata.

The latter died only moments after the arrival on the scene of members of Equinac, the non-governmental organization responsible for marine animals in the province.

CA news spoke to Alexander Sánchez, biologist with Equinac.

He said naval exercises in the area "have been known to cause harm to cetaceans in the past" in reference to four Cuvier's beaked whales that were washed ashore in 2006 on the beaches of Garrucha, Mojacar and Villaricos.  - Costa Almeria News.

CONTAGION: Third Ebola Patient Headed To Nebraska Medical Center - Dr. Martin Salia Was Infected With The Virus While Treating Victims In Sierra Leone!

Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman who contracted Ebola in West Africa, is put into an ambulance on Oct. 6, 2014, after arriving in Omaha, Neb.
(Photo: James R. Burnett, AP)

November 14, 2014 - NEBRASKA, UNITED STATES
- A surgeon infected with Ebola will be transported from Sierra Leone to The Nebraska Medical Center for treatment, a U.S. government official familiar with the situation said.

The doctor, a Sierra Leone national and legal permanent resident of the United States, is expected to arrive this weekend, most likely Saturday, the official said.

The official said it's not known whether the doctor was working in an Ebola treatment unit or some other type of hospital. The surgeon is married to a U.S. citizen and has children, the official said.

Sierra Leone has seen more than 5,300 cases of Ebola and more than 1,100 deaths in this year's outbreak of the deadly virus, according to figures from the World Health Organization.

The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha is one of four hospitals in the United States that have biocontainment units and years of preparation in handling highly infectious disease such as Ebola.

In a statement Thursday night, a spokesman said the hospital is still awaiting official confirmation about whether it will treat another Ebola patient. First, hospital spokesman Taylor Wilson said, air ambulance crew members will evaluate the patient when they arrive in Sierra Leone.

WATCH: Third Ebola patient headed to Nebraska Medical Center.

"The members of the crew will determine whether the patient is stable enough for transport -- if he is, he would arrive in Omaha sometime Saturday afternoon," Wilson said in a written statement. "We will update you on the status of this patient as more information becomes available."

Doctors at The Nebraska Medical Center have already treated two American Ebola patients. Dr. Rick Sacra was treated at the hospital and released in September. Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman who worked for NBC, was treated there and released last month.

Sacra and Mukpo contracted the virus in Liberia and were later flown to the United States for treatment.
So far, the limited number of Ebola cases treated in the United States have shown a higher survival rate than cases treated in West Africa.

A number of factors could impact the latest patient's treatment, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta told "AC360."

"We don't know how sick he is," Gupta said. "We don't know what stage of the disease he is (in)." - CNN.

Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak

DELUGE: Severe Flood Related Incidents Kills 6 People In Italy Since Mid-October - Two Pensioners Missing In Storms After Landslide Engulfed Their Home!

Flooded streets of Chiavari. Photo: MeteoWeb
November 14, 2014 - ITALY - The death toll for the recent spate of severe weather in Italy has now risen to 3 after a man was killed by a landslide near his home in Crevacuore, Piedmont, earlier today.

6 people have now been killed in flood related incidents in Italy since mid October this year.

Original Report:

Two people, said to be an elderly couple, have died after torrential rain caused floods and landslides in northern Italy on Tuesday 11 November 2014. In a seperate incident, a man was killed by a landslide outside his home in Crevacuore, Piedmont earlier today.

The couple were killed in a landslide near their house in Leivi in the province of Genoa, in the Liguria region of Italy. This is the third time in just a few weeks that Genoa has been struck by severe weather and floods. One man was killed also in Genoa in October after he was swept away by flood water. In 2011 heavy rains and flooding in Genoa killed 6 people.

The Liguria region has seen heavy rainfall over the last 3 days. As much as 75mm or rain fell in Val Petronio, province of Genoa, in just 3 hours during the early morning of 11 November 2014. The towns of Lavagna, Leivi, San Colombano and Chiavari have been some of the worst hit.

Parts of Tuscany have also been flooded. Rivers have overflowed, and roads and railway lines flooded throughout the two regions. Emergency services have been required to carry out evacuations and rescue people trapped in mudslides. Military personnel have been called in to help clear flood debris.

Piedmont was also on alert on Tuesday after Lake d’Orta overflowed and there was concern in Emilia-Romagna region where levels of the river Taro reached flood stage.

Poor Grape Harvest

La Stampa newspaper has reported that the spate of severe weather has resulted in a poor year for Italian wine. In the north, the grape harvest fell by as much as 20 percent. Production is expected to fall 17 percent compared with 2013, potentially making it the worst year since 1950.

Severe weather Expected to Continue

The heavy rain has continued and 130 mm of rain fell in the last 24 hours in Genoa. Thunderstorms and heavy rain are expected across much of Italy today.

Authorities in Liguria have extended flood and landslide warnings until later today (Wednesday 12 November 2014). - Floodlist.

Two pensioners missing in Italy storms after landslide engulfed their home

Ten people in Chiavari, Liguria, were brought to safety in a rubber dinghy as floods hit the town. © Il Meteo

Two pensioners were still missing on Tuesday morning after a landslide engulfed their home in Liguria, prompted by the latest storm to hit north-west Italy.

The two elderly cousins were believed to have been at home when the landslide hit at around midnight in Leivi. Despite rescuers' efforts they have not been found, La Stampa reported.

Earlier in the evening it took the fire brigade two hours to save two women, one pregnant, from their nearby home after it was hit by a landslide.

A further ten people in Chiavari were brought to safety in a rubber dinghy, as torrential rain prompted streams and the River Rupinario to burst their banks.

WATCH: Floods in Italy.

Lightning during the storm also hit a train line between Chiavari and Zoagli, La Stampa reported.

Although the storm subsided on Tuesday morning, both Liguria and Tuscany remain on high alert. Less severe weather warnings have also been put out across parts of northern and central Italy.

The Chiavari floods come just days after violent storms swept across Italy, leaving parts of the country under water. At least five people were airlifted to safety in Carrara, Tuscany, one of the worst affected areas.

As the storms headed south an Altalia jet was struck by lightning on Thursday night, while schools were shut in Rome and a tornado battered Sicily. - The Local.

DISASTER PRECURSORS: Omen – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Mass Animal Die-Offs, Appearance Of Rare Creatures And Warnings From Mother Nature!

November 14, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Hundreds of dead fish found floating in a canal in Escuintla, Guatemala

LA Gomera, Escuintla - Hundreds of dead fish were found in the Acome and Chiquimulilla Canal River in the village Paredón, La Gomera, Escuintla,
so that neighbors call on the authorities to investigate the cause for which they died.
Photo: Melvin Sandoval.

Sabino Ixquereu, Representative Subsistence Fishermen's Association of that place, said he did not rule out the case of water poisoning, caused by harvest and vinasse in Acome river, "We ask the authorities to take water samples and dead to find those responsible and punish them fish, "said Ixquereu.

The representative of the Association of Fishermen of Subsistence, condemned the killing of fish and said more than 1 000 200 families living from fishing will be affected, for large and small fish died all the species living in the river, also expressed fear that an epidemic occurs because many people are picking fish for sale in local markets, and it urges the authorities to intervene.

"We live on fishing and tourism, we do not know how long it will be contaminated water, as this one red and smells bad, several tourists have left the place because of the problem," said Saul Hernandez, fisherman.

Hernandez added that species are dead snappers, Robalos, Mojarra, Juilin, Tilapia, Mackerel, Old, Crab, Crab, Shrimp, Pupo Black and White, the river flows into the Canal Chiquimulilla, and this is connected with the sea, so it is possible that other species die in the sea.

Residents engaged in fishing in the Canal Chiquimulilla are affected its economy. (Photo Prensa Libre: Melvin Sandoval)

Gather evidence

Francisco Vasquez, mayor of La Gomera, said that by the Municipal Environment Office, testing the water and fish were collected to be analyzed in the laboratory of the University of San Carlos, and know the causes of death, He added that a complaint will in the Public Ministry, that those responsible be punished after tests analyzed.

Ricardo Guillen, General Manager Pantaleon Guatemala, said he should do lab tests to determine the causes, people say that the water is of a reddish color, this red color gives it vinasse, but the company Bioethanol, which Pantaleon manages contracts for vinasse, has not begun work, and wonder why the problem he said Guillen.

Logan Lewis, governor of Escuintla, advised people not to eat fish from there, because they could be contaminated and affect the health of those who consume them, while the causes of death assessed. - Prensa Libre. [Translated]

Carcass of humpback whale found drifting off Perth coast, Australia - 12th report in 2 months of dead cetaceans Down Under

The whale carcass drifting off Perth coast.

A humpback whale carcass is being towed away from the Perth coast after attracting several sharks.

Department of Fisheries spokesman Phil Shaw said sharks were feeding from the dead humpback whale, measuring more than 10 metres in length.

It was first spotted by the crew of a vessel returning from Rottnest just before 10am on Monday when it was five nautical miles off the coast.
The carcass will probably be towed out about 20 miles, depending on swell conditions and available light.

It may break up and drift back towards the coast, Fisheries warned.

Mr Shaw said it was possible the whale carcass would continue to attract sharks.

People are being told to adhere to any beach closures, report shark sightings to Water Police and regularly check the Surf Life Saving Twitter account.

Seven News reporter Geof Parry had earlier tracked the whale remains from a helicopter and said the carcass was headed for Perth.

WATCH: A second whale carcass spotted off the coast of Perth.

"I don't think there's any doubt that it will head to the coast by the way this swell's running," he said.

"It's proving quite a meal for several sharks. We've just seen the arrival of a great white, it's a big great white. I believe the whale is the same as the one from last week, a humpback.

"It's a similar size. But there's no doubt it's floating towards the coast."

The WA government continues to face criticism over its handling of the last whale carcass to wash up in Perth.

A spokeswoman for the City of Stirling confirmed the removal of the whale carcass from Scarborough Beach last week cost ratepayers $170,000.

The operation to remove the whale remains, dubbed 'Operation Free Willy', "was executed with military precision," according to City of Stirling Mayor Giovanni Italiano.

"However, leaving ratepayers with the clean-up bill is not acceptable in my book and we will be seeking cost recovery from the state government as well as insisting they develop an urgent mitigation strategy in consultation with all other involved agencies," Mayor Giovanni Italiano said.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife said towing carcasses out to sea was not the solution.

The City of Stirling spokeswoman said that if the latest carcass also washed up on Scarborough beach "we won't be very happy".

"We're calling on the authorities involved to deal with this issue," the spokesperson said.

"We don't believe allowing a whale carcass to drift out at sea and wash up on the beach is an adequate or safe solution.

The removal of a whale carcass from Scarborough Beach last week was an expensive operation. © Michael Genovese

"It does create danger to beach goers. We also have to consider health issues. If you've got a drifting whale that has a host of sharks hanging off it, it will attract sharks to the beach.

"At this point the beaches are open.

"If the tide brings it in, closure of the beach will need to be considered [for] whichever beach it's closest to."

Natalie Banks, chair of the community group No WA Shark Cull Inc, said drifting whale corpses were part of "a natural occurrence".

"As we see the whale migration ending we are seeing sick and diseased whales that are being followed by the sharks," she said.

"We ask that the community be vigilant in terms of shark activity, especially at this time of year."  - Watoday.

More 'rare' urban coyote attacks on Indiana dogs

A Purdue Animal Hospital veterinarian says fatal coyote attacks on dogs in cities are uncommon but the clinic has recently seen two such cases.

Veterinarian Steve Thompson tells WLFI-TV that two small dogs -- one in Lafayette and another in Frankfort -- were both attacked within a 24-hour period last week. Both pets had been left outside for short periods of time before the coyote attacks.

Thompson says another dog was attacked by a coyote in rural Tippecanoe County two weeks ago. He says such rural attacks will become more common as winter approaches.

Thompson says food left outside for pets can attract coyotes who may later hunt small pets.  - The Indy Channel.

Police hunt for tiger on the loose near Paris theme park

A photo of a tiger roaming free close to Paris was posted to the Facebook page of the nearby town of Ville de Montevrain.

Paris authorities are on high alert after a tiger was spotted roaming the outskirts of France’s capital, close to Europe's No. 1 tourist destination –Disneyland. The experts say the beast weights about 100 kilos.

The tiger was seen in the small town of Montevrain just 37 km from Paris and 9 km from Disneyland, which attracted about 15.65 million people in 2013.

“A young tiger was spotted this morning in the woods behind the tennis courts and soccer field,”
said a statement on Montevrain’s Facebook page.

The city authorities also posted a photo of the beast reportedly taken by one of the town residents and urged “to exercise caution and not to walk around the perimeter.”

“We repeat, avoid walks and travel by vehicle. If you see a tiger, call emergency [services],”
said the statement, adding that police and firefighters armed with tranquilizer guns are hunting the predator.

Jean-Baptiste Berdeaux, who has a supermarket in Montevrain, told AFP that his wife “saw it this morning” but first thought it might be “a lynx.”

"We have been running after it since this morning, police officers are trying to intercept it,"
a police source told AFP, "If it's possible, we'll try and put it to sleep. If it becomes dangerous or aggressive, the order will be given to kill it.”

The experts analyzed the paw prints and confirmed that the tiger weighs about 100 kilos, according to Le Parisien.

A statement from Seine-et-Marne department also warned residents of three neighborhood towns - Montevrain, Chessy and Chalifert – to stay indoors.

The officials refuted the assumption that the tiger might have arrived from a circus that was in the area last week.

“The circus left on Saturday and during the health inspection before the event officials did not notice the presence of a tiger,”
the mayor’s office told Le Parisien. - RT.

Wild boar smashes into German hardware store

Animal ran full 'boar' into glass doors, breaking through and triggering alarm

Police in Germany came face-to-face with a wild boar after responding to a burglary alarm at a hardware store.

"The animal apparently ran at full speed against the entrance door of the large do-it-yourself shop and broke through two glass doors, which triggered the alarm," police spokesman Guido Rehr told NBC News.

Surveillance camera footage captured the animal wandering around the store's aisles.

It escaped "without any loot and apparently unharmed" once officials opened the front doors, police said.

Damages to the store in Dillenburg are estimated at $6,500. - NBC Montana.

Barred owl attacks 6 people, terrorizes others in Jacksonville Beach, Florida

First Coast News reporter, David Williams, spotted the owl neighbors say is attacking people. © David Williams, First Coast News

It is majestic, but it's terrifying. Neighbors in Jacksonville Beach say something is terrorizing the neighborhood from the sky and even attacking people. First Coast News reporter, David Williams, and photographer, Jimmy Marlow, saw the owl first hand.

Jack Weyer, of Jacksonville Beach, said the owl attacked him recently.

"Out of the blue, it just came right down on the back of my head," He said. 'I just felt like, two talons right on the back of my head, grab and kid of pull away."

Eight- year-old, Sophia Forte, said she had an owl ordeal of her own 2 weeks ago.

"It flew down and hit my inside my eye and inside my hair and on my forehead," She said, as she described what she says happened to her.

Her father told us he wound up in the emergency room, but she is OK now. So far neighbors told First Coast News the bird has hurt 5 kids plus Weyer. The bird of prey has people on their toes and it has them freaked out.

WATCH: Neighbors - Owl attack 6 people, terrorizes others.

"They're nervous," Frank Forte said. He told FCN his daughter was attacked. "They're going outside...the kids are going out with helmets on. Umbrellas. Even when I go take the garbage out at night. I got a cardboard box over my head."

Forte said the owls has terrorized their Jacksonville Beach neighborhood for at least two weeks.

"I talked to Beaks on Friday," Frank Forte said. "They said it was probably somebody's pet and it was hand-fed. So, it's really not attacking. It's just looking for somebody to feed it."

Weyer said "I'm just afraid for the kids."

Neither Weyer nor his neighbors want anyone else, or the owl, to get hurt.

"Maybe just taken to a better spot, so it's not dangerous for the kids to be attacked," Weyer suggested.

Neighbors told FCN that Florida Fish and Wildlife and Beaks told them they would try to get someone out the area to catch the bird.

Karen Parker, a spokesperson for Florida Fish and Wildlife told First Coast News that FWC is aware of the owl. The agency has gotten several reports of the owl.

Parker said FWC is trying to contact someone within a falconry group to go out and try to catch the bird. Parker said it may sound silly, but the best things people can do until the situation is solved, is to wear a hard hat or carry an umbrella and pop the umbrella up so the bird does not see you.

FCN is awaiting comment from Beaks about the owl. - FCN.

Mysterious fungal disease proves deadly in wild snakes

This Georgian mud snake died from snake fungal disease.  © Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study

The female mud snake found May 28 in Georgia had cloudy eyes and patches of white, thickened scales. A strange, dark-gray material covered the inside of her mouth, and the skin on the front of her face had peeled away, leaving behind an angry red mess.

In fact, the deadly fungus that caused this snake's injuries is killing snakes across the Midwest and Eastern United States, said Matthew Allender, a clinical assistant professor of zoo and wildlife medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Little is known about the condition, which is called snake fungal disease, but researchers are now investigating how snakes catch it, fight it and can eventually die from it.

Within the next year, researchers may know more about antifungal medications, as well as what temperatures might impede the fungi's growth, Allender said.

Snake fungal disease is thought to be caused by the fungus Ophidiomycesophiodiicola. It only affects snakes, but some researchers have compared it with another lethal fungal disease, white nose syndrome, which is killing bats in the United States, Allender said.

Researchers first saw the snake fungal disease in a captive black rat snake in Sparta, Georgia, in 2006. Since then, snake fungal disease has been reported in snakes in nine states, including Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center.

The disease is likely more widespread than what has been seen so far, and may be in the western United States as well. "My guess is, the states we haven't found it in, it's because we haven't been looking," Allender said.

At first, researchers found infections only in rattlesnakes and other vipers, "which is not good because those snakes tend to be the most endangered already," Allender said. But now the disease has also surfaced in nonvenomous snakes, including snakes that are both solitary and social, which suggests the animals can catch the disease from each other as well as from fungus in the soil.

"The infection can start from multiple different routes," Allender said. "They just have to have contact with the fungus."

Researchers have now confirmed the fungal infection in more than 14 species of snakes, including northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon), eastern racers (Coluber constrictor), rat snakes (Pantherophis obsoletus species complex), timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus), massasaugas snakes (Sistrurus catenatus), pygmy rattlesnakes (Sistrurus miliarius) and milk snakes (Lampropeltis triangulum), the National Wildlife Health Center reported.

Like the Georgian mud snake, which was euthanized, snakes with the fungal disease often have scabs or crusty scales. The outermost layer of their skin may separate from the underlying skin, even when the snake is not molting. They may also show cloudy white eyes and swollen faces.

Some snakes don't show disfigurement. For example, some garter snakes and water snakes only show signs of pneumonia. "When you open them up, you can see the fungus in the lungs," Allender said.

It's unclear how widespread the fungus is, or how many snakes it kills yearly. In one report of 24 cases in massasauga snakes, only one of them survived, he said. What's more, there are only between 100 and 150 massasaugas left in Illinois, and about 15 percent are infected with the fungus, he added.

A 2011 study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, linked the fungus with a 50 percent drop in the timber rattlesnake population in New Hampshire between 2006 and 2007.

"It's frustrating because we don't have a lot of the information that we want," Allender said.

He and his colleagues are looking for clues about the disease's origins. They examined 261 museum snake specimens dating back to 1873. "From 1873 through 1999, there wasn't a single case," Allender said. But in samples dating to 2000 and later, the researchers began to find evidence of the fungus.

The team is also working on a test to identify the fungus at its early stages, which may help the team members treat infected snakes, he said. The researchers presented their data in October at the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians conference in Orlando, Florida.

As the fungus continues to kill snakes, ecosystems are likely to take a hit, said John Jensen, a senior wildlife biologist and herpetologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

"People think that they just eat rats and mice," Jensen said, but snakes also eat fish and frogs. "And obviously there's other animals that depend on snakes for prey."

Many snakes are losing their habitat to urbanization. Venomous snakes often reproduce every other year or every third year, making it hard for them to replenish their numbers, especially as more snakes get hit by cars or catch diseases.

"All of those things knock away at the sustainability of a population," Allender said. "Not any one thing would cause it, but when you add it together and you add the catastrophe of an infectious disease, that's when you start to get the possibility of an extinction event."  - Live Science.

Fed up with clapping for fish? Sea World trainer attacked by sea lion, Australia

A sea lion who didn't take kindly to being weighed has attacked an animal trainer at Sea World on the Gold Coast.

The 28-year-old suffered a minor cut to his arm, Sea World said in a statement.

The theme park said the man was trying to carry out a routine weight check on the animal when the incident happened.

"An ambulance was called to attend to the trainer. Following the incident, both the sea lion and trainer are in a good condition," Sea World said.

The sea lions are coming into their breeding season which can lead to them being in an excited state, the park said. - Daily Telegraph.

Brampton woman attacked by coyote, Canada

City of Brampton has put up sign warning residents and placed traps in
the area following a suspected coyote attack after a woman was bitten
in her driveway on Thursday night. © Graeme Frisque
A Brampton woman is undergoing rabies treatment after reporting that she had been bitten by a coyote in front of her home on Mountain Ridge Rd. on Thursday night.

Jasmine Bajaj and her family had just arrived home at around 9 p.m. when she realized that she forgot something in her car.

When she went back out to the driveway, she said a large coyote snuck up behind her and bit her in the leg, leaving two large puncture wounds on her calf.

"I don't know where it came from. I felt something grab hold of my leg and it was really hurting me. When I turned around I saw a big coyote standing right in front of me," said Bajaj.

"When I saw it was a coyote I was shocked and didn't really know what to do."

With no one else around and only a set of keys in hand, she began shaking the keys at the animal which made it back off, but not retreat. Bajaj then says that she slowly backed up towards the safety of her front door while the animal continued follow and stare at her until she got into the house, which is located in the area of located Steeles Ave.and Mississauga Rd.

 "I wouldn't say that he was scared because he just backed off a bit and was looking at me in the eyes the whole time," said Bajaj. "I didn't run because I read that you aren't suppose to.. He followed me to the edge of the grass right by the front steps. I opened the door and yelled for my husband - when he came, the coyote was still standing there."

Puncture wound on the leg Jasmin Bajaj of Brampton following
a suspected coyote attack in her driveway on  November 6
Residents say that this isn't the first time that people have had close encounters with coyotes that are believed to live in a nearby ravine.

Perminder Dhuck, whose house backs onto the ravine, claims to have heard reports in the neighbourhood of an elderly woman being attacked in a similar manner in the summer.

"I usually see the coyotes after 9 p.m. They walk up the street and then make their way to the trail that goes down to the water," said Dhuck. "There are three of them in a pack... Normally I see them almost every other day."

Dhuck said that he was warned when he bought the house that because of the proximity to the ravine, that he and other residents should expect encounters with wildlife.

Bajaj is still undergoing painful rabies treatments as a precautionary measure which include a series of shots. She says that neighbours have been concerned about the coyotes for some time and are passing around a petition, demanding the City of Brampton take action.

Meanwhile, the City has posted signs in the area warning residents to avoid the ravine at dawn and dusk and have also placed traps to capture the offending animal.  - Brampton Guardian.

Man killed by elephant in Shimba Hills, Kenya

Charging Bull Elephant

A 45-year-old man was on Saturday evening attacked by an elephant at Msulwa in Shimba Hills. He was taken to Msambweni hospital where he died.

Locals accused Kenya Wildlife Service officials of failing to respond when such incidents occur. Majimboni location senior assistant chief Matano Nzula said Rafael Mwambi was on his way home from the shops when the jumbo attacked him.

"The elephant was seen during the day and it hid in a nearby bush without locals knowing. It emerged and started destroying crops and that is the time Mwambi was going home and he was attacked," he said.

Nzula said the Tangini area has had no fence for the last one year because it was destroyed when Rural Electrification Authority was supplying power to locals in the area.

"The problem is KWS had been alerted over the issue earlier but you can imagine they arrived there at 5pm and so it was difficult for us to get vehicles to rush the deceased to get treatment," he said.

"KWS response is poor they have vehicles but they don't use them to help locals bordering Shimba hills National park instead they use them for leisure." The chief said KWS must put up a camp at the area to ensure they respond to locals alarms in time to avoid more deaths as results of human wildlife conflicts. - The Star.

20 dead whales wash ashore along the western coast of Ghana

Marine environmental experts, Acorn International, has said 20 dead whales that were washed ashore along the coast of the Western Region was not as a result of oil drilling activities on the Jubilee Field.

Prof Ayaa Kojo Armah, a lecturer in the University of Ghana, Legon and leading marine scientist, said this at a day’s preliminary findings verification workshop on underlying causes and proposed solutions to Ghana’s marine environmental concerns at Half Assini.

He said he suspected that the whales died in the western countries and were carried by the currents of the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Guinea, adding that they were washed in deteriorating state since they kept long in the sea.

Prof. Armah said if the whales had died in Ghanaians waters they would not have been washed ashore decomposed.

According to the professor routine discharges of drills, cuttings, produced water, submarine noise, accidental spillages and other operational discharges causes whale deaths.

It was organized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with Acom International and funded by Kosmos Energy.

About 60 participants made of chief fishermen, fishmongers and some assembly members, chiefs and heads of departments from Jomoro and Ellembele attended.

King Kaku Ackah III of Awiaso and Awulae Annor Adjei III of Beyin attended.  - Vibe Ghana.

Hundreds of thousands of fish die suddenly in fish farms in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia

Fishermen move around the cage in Gajah Mungkur, Solo, Central Java. (Photo: Antara / Herka Yanis Pangaribowo)

Rain twice in two days in the region Gajah Mungkur Solo, Central Java, a catastrophe for farmers fish cages. Hundreds of thousands of fish farming cages died suddenly. Death is due to the supply of oxygen in the water content has not been adequate, and also mixing the water with sand.

Fajri, a floating cage fish farmers Gajah Mungkur told Media Indonesia said it is feared the death of the fish will continue, as the rain is believed to still be carrying mud and sand.
It's given the volume of water in the reservoir has not been adequate.

"Rain will come in the next few days, we still worry about going to increase the number of tilapia and catfish died. Because the volume of reservoir water shrinkage is still outstanding, and far short of expectations. But we have to admit, this is an annual cycle of every change of season or transition, "he said, Wednesday (11/12/2014).

So far, according to Sardi, other cage fish farmers in WGM, there is no alternative solution to anticipate the transition seasons when fish mortality.
And losses arising from the death of catfish and tilapia in floating cages WGM each year, could reach billions of dollars.

What is clear, floating cage fish farming new WGM can be normal again after the elevation of the water reservoirs are in the normal position.
Throughout still shrinkage, and is in a critical condition like this, the number of dead fish every day still achieve one to two tons.

"Farmers fish cages have experienced huge losses due to the impact of this change of seasons in 1995, where the number of dead fish reached 100 tonnes," said Fajri. - Metro TV News.