Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Ice Age Now - The Latest Stunning Reports Of Record-Breaking Cold Temperatures And Unprecedented Snowfall, Threatening Our Infrastructure And Food Supply! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

February 25, 2015 - EARTH -  The following constitutes several of the latest reports on record snowfall, record low temperatures and the effects on our infrastructure. With no remarkable evidence of global warming over the last decade, it seems that planet Earth has cross the climate change threshold and is now heading towards a period of extreme global cooling.

Record-breaking cold temperatures threaten harvests in US

Ice and oranges.

Winter's grasp doesn't seem to be letting up, as there are wind chill and freeze warnings throughout the state, says this video.

Freezing temperatures in Florida are threatening orange crops while apples from Washington state are left to rot as dock workers are on strike.

WATCH: Rotting apples and oranges threaten U.S. fruit industry.

- Ice Age Now.

Dangerous Cold Gripping Eastern US This Week to Ease in March

Additional waves of frigid air will continue to flow southward out of Canada and into the central and eastern United States this week, but there are indications the worst of the cold will ease up next week in the East.
More than 175 million people from the Upper Midwest to the interior South and the Northeast will have to endure more extreme cold conditions this week.

Temperatures on one to several nights will dip below zero F from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Michigan to Virginia, New York and Maine.

While the air masses moving through this week are not quite as extreme as that of last week, daily record low temperatures will continue to be challenged. Once again, record lows dating as far back as the late 1800s will be on the table.

As if the air wasn't cold enough, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will spend a considerable time below zero F from the northern Plains to the Northeast. The conditions will raise a new round of threats from frostbite and hypothermia for those spending time outdoors and not properly dressed.

The weather pattern into the weekend will mean more dead car batteries, frozen water lines and water main breaks. Deliveries of coal, fuel oil and propane will keep up a brisk pace as costs from heating homes and businesses take a bigger and bigger bite out of the budget.

With the ongoing or renewed cold for the last week of February, the month may land among the coldest on record from around the Great Lakes to the Northeast.

Multiple locations including Boston, New York City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago are likely to finish the month within the top three coldest Februaries on record. In some cases, such as Buffalo, New York, temperatures for the remainder of the month may deliver the coldest February on record and could rank as the one of the coldest months ever.

With the exception of nuisance episodes of spotty light snow and flurries, much of the northern states will generally be free of major storms through the week.

However, in the South, multiple rounds of snow and ice will affect travel and daily activities over interior locations.

There is a chance that moisture moves close enough to part of the mid-Atlantic to bring a period of snow Thursday or Thursday night.

Extreme Cold to Ease in March

There is finally some good news for the millions of people who have had enough of the cold.

According to Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, "Indications are the pattern will change next week so that the cold is much less severe from the Midwest to the Northeast."

"Temperatures from the Midwest to the Northeast will still average below normal, but they will be much less extreme," Anderson said.

Rather than temperatures averaging 20-30 degrees F below normal, temperatures may average 10 F or less below normal. During March, normal temperatures rise by a degree every few days.

Parts of the South, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Alabama, and Charlotte, North Carolina, may break out into some warm early spring weather next week. Highs may in the 60s on a few occasions.

"The pattern shift will allow frigid air to take aim more at the northern Rockies," Anderson said. As a byproduct of the weather pattern change, a series of storms may track from the Southwest states to the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Valley. The stormy pattern may translate to wintry mix events that transition to rain for the Ohio Valley and Northeast. - AccuWeather.

100+ Year Temperature Records Dropping Like Flies & 10.7cm Flux Down 30%

 In Baltimore, Maryland, a low temperature of 1F broke the record low for coldest morning recorded at the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore Washington-International Airport.

In Louisville, Kentucky, temperatures dropped to -6F, breaking the old record low of 0F. Meanwhile, Richmond Kentucky bottomed out at a frigid -32F.

In North Carolina, a record low temperature was set at Charlotte where the overnight temperature bottomed out at 7F breaking the old record of 13F in 1896. In Asheville, temperatures dropped to just 4F breaking the old record of 10F in 1979. Temperature records for Asheville extend back to 1876.

Several records were also broken in Georgia, Macon set a new record low when the temperature dropped to 18F, beating the previous record of 21F set in 1958. Athens broke a new record low, too dropping to 14F and beating the old record of 18F set in 1958/1928.

On Friday, the city tied a 116-year-old record with a temperature of -28.9 C. The frigid temperature matched a record set back on Feb. 13, 1899.

Yesterday, Feb 20, Buffalo set a new record low maximum of 1°F, breaking the old record low max of 6°F, set in 1950.

So yet again, the sun has fallen absolutely silent, and has been so for three days. This comes at the presumed height of the current solar maximum in April ’14. We can see that the F10.7cm flux – a measure of UV radiation – is down approximately 30% from 3 months ago.

NASA’s own website ( states that the F10.7 flux is “an important indicator of solar activity because it tends to follow the changes in the solar ultraviolet that influence the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere.” Decreasing UV radiation, lower solar winds, allow for more cosmic radiation from interstellar space to interact with the upper atmosphere and leads to greater cloud formation. More clouds means more sunlight refracted before hitting the surface of the planet, which leads to more cooling effects.

So isn’t it interesting that the coldest month on record across a large portion of the eastern CONUS comes at the same time and we may be setting up for a cooler-than-normal spring?

WATCH: Record cold temperatures.

F10.7cm flux (NASA)­lux/daily_flux_values/fluxtable.txt
Frozen spring at Letchworth state park NY
Weather chart
Arctic ice 2007-2015
satellite view of cold
Record Lows USA
Current sun 25th

- Adapt 2030.

29-car pileup stalls I-40 traffic

A major pileup involving more than two dozen vehicles about 10 miles west of Amarillo on eastbound Interstate 40 snarled traffic for hours Monday, but crews finally cleared the massive wreck Monday afternoon, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported.

By about 2 p.m., New Mexico authorities began allowing eastbound I-40 traffic into Texas because crews had nearly cleared the wreck near Arnot Road.

The wreck was reported shortly before noon Monday.

According to the Office of Emergency Management, the DPS and the Potter County Sheriff’s Office worked a major accident at I-40 and Arnot Road in the eastbound lanes of I-40. At least 25 vehicles, including multiple tractor-trailers, were involved, and eastbound I-40 traffic was closed for more than an hour at the New Mexico state line, authorities said.

Trooper Chris Ray said the chain-reaction accident occurred when a few vehicles lost control amid snowy, low-visibility conditions.

“Originally a couple vehicles collided, then it ended up being four vehicles, then it ended up being eight vehicles. And the final tally we ended up with 29 units involved in this, a kind of chain reaction,” Ray said. “Driving too fast and low visibility. That’s what happened.”

Two people were taken to a hospital with what were thought to be minor injuries.

Multiple wrecks were also reported on U.S. Highway 60 in Randall County, though none were considered major, Ray said.

Between midnight Sunday to 4 p.m. Monday, Amarillo police responded to 50 wrecks, but no major serious injuries were reported, Cpl. Jerry Neufeld said.Texas Department of of Transportation spokesman Paul Braun said how highway crews will prepare for another storm expected Thursday depends on the nature of the snow, but he said TxDOT will be ready and will pre-treat potentially hazardous areas if possible. - Amarillo.

Drone film of Niagara Falls frozen over

The ice encasing the Niagara Falls, which has drawn in visitors from all over, isn't expected to melt entirely until May. Drone footage captures this rare and beautiful occurrence.

WATCH: Drone Footage Of Frozen Niagara Falls.

 - NBC News.

Ice-breaking tug boats operating on the Delaware River

Ice-breaker on the Delaware river

The icy weather doesn't just cause trouble for the roads but for the waterways as well.

Every day when ice starts forming, the crew of the Coast Guard icebreaker Capstan casts off the lines and head out into the Delaware River - never knowing what they'll find out there.

"We look forward to the winter every year. This is what the boat is built for, this is what we are out here to do," said US Coast Guard BM1 Matt Bailey.

The Capstan is one of two ice breakers working 140 miles of the Delaware River.

The ice breaker was built in 1961 and can still handle ice up to 18 inches thick.

Ice-breaking boats ply the Delaware River.

"Usually once it gets above two feet we usually call in a bigger boat, such as a 175 footer, but we can handle everything up to about two feet," said SCBM Christopher Stover, US Coast Guard.

On Wednesday, the ice ranged from paper thin to eight inches thick.

If the river freezes over, it can bring shipping commerce to a standstill.

The big tankers and freighters can handle the ice but smaller vessels like flat fronted barges can easily get stuck.

However more important than commerce is safety.

"What we focus on, first and foremost, is search and rescue and coastal security of all the vessels out on the water, then we look into vessels that are in urgent situations that may need our assistance breaking out of the ice,: said SCBM Stover.

A buoy, discovered 165 yards out of position, is an example of a safety issue.

That's because the ice grabbed ahold of it and dragged it with the tide.

A large ship could have gone aground if Capstan hadn't sent out notice of the wayward buoy.

On Wednesday, the Capstan cleared the shipping channel from Philadelphia to Trenton and they'll do it all again on Thursday. - 6ABC.

Quito Hail Deluge & Ship Rescued from Antarctic Summer Ice

Rescue of vessel stuck ice during summer in Antarcia

Friday, 23 January 2015 Blue Algae Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water glimmering off Hong Kong's seashore are magnificent, but disturbing and potentially toxic, marine biologists say. The glow is an indicator of a harmful algal bloom created by something called Noctiluca scintillans, nicknamed Sea Sparkle.

Chandigarh: Wheat crop in various parts of Punjab have been affected because of rains accompanied by hailstorm in the last few days, though the state agriculture department is expecting bumper output this Rabi marketing season. However, the quantum of damage to the winter crop was still to be ascertained, as per latest report prepared by Punjab Agriculture department.

Great Lakes Ship Rescue from Ice

Algae Egg balls 20 September 2014 Green spheres being something from another planet, scientists explained they were a type of sponge-like seaweed that forms egg shapes possibly to protect.themselves from predators. It's the second unusual natural spectacle to hit Sydney's Beaches in a matter of weeks. Last month, the waves at Manly Beach were lit up a fluorescent blue for three nights by 'agitated' phytoplankton, apparently signalling the start of Spring.

WATCH: Quito Hail Deluge & Ship Rescued from Antarctic Summer Ice.

- Adapt 2030.

Disruptive Snow to Slow Travel From Mississippi to Virginia

Cold air from Canada and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will clash to bring a significant winter storm with accumulating snow and an icy mix in a large part of the South.

While much of the Deep South will expect rain into Thursday, a corridor of snow will set up along the northern periphery of the precipitation, reaching from northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas to the Carolinas and Virginia.

As much as 6 inches of snow fell on parts of northeastern Texas during Wednesday.

Travel delays and slippery roads will spread eastward near and north of Interstate-20 affecting Columbus and Greenville, Mississippi; Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama; Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta into Wednesday night.

The biggest impacts will be felt by travelers taking to the roads as snow, sleet and freezing rain are forecast to cause paved surfaces to become slick.

Colder conditions at night can cause wet surfaces to freeze, especially on the back roads, said Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait.

Significant flight delays and cancellations are possible through Thursday morning at the Atlanta International Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the nation.

In part of the South, the snow will be heavy, wet and clinging.

According to Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "The wet snow has the potential to bring down tree limbs and cause power outages as a result."

The greatest amount of snow from the storm will be felt in the southern Appalachian Mountains, across much of North Carolina and southern Virginia through Thursday morning.

The highest accumulations are expected over the mountains, but some spots in North Carolina and southern Virginia could pick up over 6 inches.

According to Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "The snow will come down at the rate of an inch an hour in parts of the south Wednesday night, which can quickly cover roads and catch motorists off guard."

The Thursday commute could be slow and difficult in the wake of the storm across eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia, southern Virginia and the Carolinas due to snow-covered roads.

People from the northern Atlanta suburbs, northward to near Nashville, eastward to Greenville and Anderson, South Carolina; Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh and Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia; will be facing a significant winter storm.

Anyone that has to drive in this area Wednesday night into Thursday morning should allow ample time to reach their destination to account for lower travel speeds, accidents and lane closures.

Intermittent snow will extend into northern Virginia to the Delmarva Peninsula by Thursday morning. A small accumulation of snow is possible from Washington, D.C., to Dover, Delaware, and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Some natural melting of the snow on the roads will occur during Thursday midday and afternoon, which may allow highway travel to improve somewhat, once roads are plowed.

Surfaces that remain wet and slushy into Thursday evening will become icy as temperatures rapidly fall below freezing.

Dry weather will be the theme across the Southeast on Friday with chilly air lingering around in the wake of the storm to close out the week. - AccuWeather.

Lobster boats trapped by ice in New England harbors

The bitter cold weather is taking a toll on New England's lobster industry which is losing a significant amount of money this winter.

Frozen waters in Maine have left lobstermen stuck on the mainland again this week.


Lobster boats stuck in ice.

The boats are sitting frozen and stuck and ice is preventing many lobstermen from leaving the harbor.

Some say it's been at least three weeks since they have been able to get out on the water
and that the deep freeze is really starting to hurt their very livelihoods.  - MYFOXDC.

70-Vehicle Pileup in Snowy Maine Leaves at Least 17 Injured

More than 70 vehicles got tangled up in a series of chain-reaction pileups Wednesday along a snowy stretch of Interstate 95 in Maine, injuring at least 17 people, state police said.

The pileups in Etna, near Bangor, happened at about 7:30 a.m. and involved several cars, a school bus and a tractor-trailer, state police spokesman Steve McCausland said. He said some of the injuries were serious.

Emergency personnel climbed on top of cars to reach motorists stuck in the middle of the jumble of vehicles. McCausland said one veteran trooper described the site as a "giant pile of metal."

State police said the crash was the biggest in Maine in more than 15 years.

Rhonda Kent, an occupational therapist from Saint Albans, said her car was sideswiped amid the pileup, which sent cars and trucks spinning. Kent, who was not injured, said a logging truck came dangerously close to hitting her and spun off into a ditch.

"It was almost surreal, something you see in the movies," Kent said.

Both northbound lanes on a 30-mile stretch of highway were closed for five hours, and drivers were told to take other exits to avoid the area. One northbound lane reopened around 12:30 p.m.; the other opened several hours later.

Two hospitals reported taking in 17 patients, some in serious condition. One person at the scene of the crash had a heart attack and some people suffered broken bones, police said. Two students and two adults on the bus were shaken up but not injured.

Photo: Lori Welch

Photo: Lori Welch

Photo: Lori Welch

Photo: Lori Welch

Police said the main crash involved more than 25 vehicles, and there were a series of other wrecks leading up to the crash site. Some of the crashes involved two or three vehicles, and then other vehicles went off the road to avoid hitting them.

State Police Lt. Sean Hashey said he was "absolutely shocked that we don't have any fatalities."

He said the crashes were likely the result of poor visibility, slippery roads and speed but cautioned that reconstructing exactly how the events unfolded could be impossible.

"We'll never know exactly who hit who," Hashey said. "It was just such a mess of vehicles."

At a travel stop in nearby Newburgh, people involved in the crash gathered to give statements to police and wait to see their wrecked vehicles. Some were keeping warm in a parked school bus. Workers at the truck stop reported seeing more than a dozen ambulances try to access the highway from a nearby ramp.

Rose Butts, a hotel housekeeper from Plymouth, said she swerved to miss part of the accident and hit a snow bank. She and a friend were not injured but waited in her car for five hours for help.

"We're thankful that we're both alive and both OK," she said.

Dylan Carroll, a Plymouth auto mechanic, said he swerved and hit a snow bank before a garbage truck spun out, tapped his car and blocked him. He was not injured.

"I thought it was going to be much worse than it was," Carroll said.There was at least an inch of snow on the ground at the time of the crash, according to the National Weather Service. Snow was forecast to fall throughout the day with total accumulations of 5 to 9 inches. - ABC News.

Snow plow truck gets stuck in sinkhole in Youngstown, Ohio

Snow plow in sinkhole.

An intersection on Youngstown' west side was blocked Monday morning until water department crews could fill in a hole caused by water department excavation.

A city plow truck fell into the hole Sunday afternoon while clearing the intersection of N. Glenellen Ave. and Burbank Ave. in Youngstown.

A tow truck had to pull out the snow plow, which had gone straight through the pavement. The hole has since been patched with dry material.

The accident happened at the same place where a water main broke the week of Feb. 15.

Meanwhile in the Desert Kingdom: Saudi Arabia on high alert following snowstorms

Snow in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Health and security officials in Tabuk have been on full alert because of snowstorms in the northwestern part of the Kingdom over the past two days. The affected areas are AlDhaher Alakan Abu AlHanshan Attabaq Tinenar Wadi AlAsmar AlLawz Mountain and AlAniq.

The Saudi Red Crescent has reinforced its teams with extra officials to take care of the large numbers of people who are enjoying the snow. The Civil Defense has issued early warnings to alert people to take care and follow safety measures in such extreme weather conditions.

Khaled AlEnaizi spokesman of the Saudi Red Crescent in Tabuk said 11 teams had been assigned to parks and locations of heavy snowfalls where citizens and residents are out around the clock.

Auda AlAtawi spokesman for the health affairs in Tabuk said they were ready with rescue teams to deal with current weather conditions according to directions from the Civil Defense. He said four mobile units were ready to offer field support at any location.

He said the authorities are coordinating with the Civil Defense and the Red Crescent through the crisis and emergency center which is affiliated with the Health Ministry. Medical support is readily available if needed.

The General Traffic Directorate in Tabuk prepared field teams under the leadership of a number of officers in Alakan AlZaita and the AlLawz Mountain according to Gen. Mohammad AlBugami the traffic director. He said his directorate had implemented a traffic plan to deal with the rain and snowfall and the resulting traffic congestion.

He said the plan included assigning a number of officers and individuals and dividing them into groups to carry out traffic security tasks around the clock. He said that all necessary procedures to guarantee traffic safety for people in these areas are being taken. - Menafn.

Avalanches kill at least 124 people in Afghanistan

An Afghan phone card seller walks during a snowstorm in Kabul on Tuesday.
© Massoud Hossaini/AP
Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow have killed at least 124 people in north-eastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said on Wednesday, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath.

The avalanches buried homes across four north-east provinces, killing those beneath, said Mohammad Aslam Syas, the deputy director of the Afghanistan natural disaster management authority. The province worst hit appeared to be Panjshir province, about 100km (60 miles) north-east of the capital, Kabul, where the avalanches destroyed or damaged around 100 homes, Syas said.

The acting governor of Panjshir, Abdul Rahman Kabiri, said rescuers used their bare hands and shovels in an effort to reach survivors. Rescue teams had been dispatched to the affected areas and casualties were expected to rise, Syas said.

The heavy snowstorms, which began early Tuesday, hampered rescue efforts. Snowfall from the storm was nearly one meter (3ft) deep in places and fallen trees blocked roads in the Panjshir Valley.

General Abdul Aziz Ghirat, the provincial police chief of Panjshir, said the death toll from the avalanches was expected to rise when rescue attempts resumed at sunrise Thursday.

Avalanches in the valley's Dara district affected up to 600 families, according to people trying to reach the area to assist in rescue efforts.

"People there have told me that two of my relatives have been killed and eight others are still under the snow," said an Afghan who goes by the single name Sharafudin. "My son and I are trying to get through to see if we can help find their bodies. But it will take us at least three or four hours to get there because of the snow and the road is very narrow, so we have to walk, the car can't get through."

He spoke at the mouth of the valley, where traffic moved at a crawl.

"We've had no help yet from the authorities, no medicines, no machinery to open the roads so we can get to the buried houses," Sharafudin said.

Another man stuck on the highway trying to reach Dara told the Associated Press that many bodies remained in houses buried beneath feet of snow.

"We are so concerned about our relatives who are just stuck there," said the man named Abu Muslim.

Large parts of Afghanistan have been covered in snow as a major storm interrupted an otherwise mild and dry winter.
Authorities in Parwan province closed the strategic Salang Tunnel, which links the north and south of the country, over avalanche fears. Power cables traversing the tunnel have been damaged, cutting power to much of Kabul since earlier this week.

In a statement, President Ashraf Ghani said he was "saddened by news of the avalanches and flooding across the country". He said he had ordered urgent assessments of the extent of damage and offered his condolences to the families of the dead.

Temperatures have plummeted across the country, though the snow was expected to start melting in the Panjshir Valley and much of the mountainous north-west of the Hindu Kush range in coming days, according to forecasts.

Afghanistan has suffered through some three decades of war since the Soviet invasion in 1979. But natural disasters such as landslides, floods and avalanches have taken a toll on a country with little infrastructure or development outside of its major cities.

In May, a massive landslide killed anywhere from 250 to 2,700 people, authorities said at the time. Another landslide in 2012 killed 71 people. Authorities were not able to recover the vast majority of bodies and ended up declaring the site a massive grave. - The Guardian.

Ancient's Knowledge of Birkeland Currents & Cooling Patterns on Earth

 This video explains on the physical level how our star/sun is powered from an external source originating in Orion. There is no attempt to decode esoteric knowledge of the symbols, other than the physical representation of how these symbols have been saved and revered through antiquity. As our sun is now beginning to decrease its power output we are beginning to enter a new Grand Solar Minimum, the symbols are what on the physical level are repeating cycles of time which were recorded.

I am pointing out that ancient societies knew our solar system goes through waxing and waning of energy, which effects life on this planet. The information was encoded as symbols that depict physical energy connections through space. The mental and spiritual planes of existence are not mentioned as this is not the information that correlates to the Grand Solar Minimum which has already begun.

Lastly, there are many levels within symbols, I only reference the visual, not the intertwined deeper meanings. Physical representations only that relate to energy and pertain to the irradiance to and from our sun.

WATCH: Ancient's Knowledge of Birkeland Currents & Cooling Patterns on Earth.

Danny Wilten's Work

Megalithic structures around the planet (Complexes, structures, cities, pyramids, ziggurats)

Birkeland Currents
Donald Scott: Modeling Birkeland Currents, Part 2 | EU Workshop
Electrical charges through substrate
Star Observer Electric Sun

Thunderbolts Project Electric Universe Bulge and Pinch in plasma currents

- Adapt 2030.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Ukraine Enters Hyperinflation; Currency Trading Halted; "Soon We Will Walk Around With Suitcases For Cash"!

February 25, 2015 - UKRAINE
- Yesterday we summarized the most recent economic, political and social situation in Ukraine as follows:
"A year or so on from the last coup in Ukraine, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Sergey Arbuzov told TASS, with growing popular discontent, "another state coup can’t be ruled out in Ukraine." As the cease-fire deal hangs torn and tattered in the Debaltseve winds, the nation is a mess: a new gas dispute looms as Gazprom demands upfront payments; capital controls have been tightened as the $17.5bn IMF loan may not be enough; and the central bank governor faces prosecution as the economy craters. All of these factors have driven massive outflows from Ukraine and the Hryvnia has crashed to over 33 to the USD - a record high (and 70% devaluation from the last coup)."

So as the Ukraine government watches its country go down in flames, with the blessings of the US State Department of course, it decided to take action. According to Reuters, with the hryvnia in free fall (see above) the central bank tried to call a halt on Wednesday by banning banks from buying foreign currency on behalf of their clients for the rest of this week.
Although banks could still trade with each other, by mid-morning there were no registered trades at any rate, leaving the currency in limbo. The previous day, the central bank rate based on reported trades had fallen 11 percent against the dollar.
Exchange kiosks on the streets in Kiev were selling limited amounts of dollars for 39 hryvnias, around 20 percent worse than the rates advertised in the windows of commercial banks where dollars were not available. This compares to the official rate of 33 USDUAH posted yesterday, a rate which will continue in freefall, now that the central bank has no more gold left to sell (it's mysteriously gone), and virtually no foreign reserves.

Following the closing of the FX market closing, the central bank has been able to artificially dictate the interbank rate, which it reduced from 32 to 24 hryvnias as of 12:45 p.m. local time. The artificial rate only affects exporters, who are forced to sell 75 percent of their foreign currency revenue to the National Bank at the rate.

Even the Ukraine government is shocked by what is going on: "I learned this morning on the Internet that the National Bank of Ukraine has, as usual on its own without any sort of consultations, made the decision to close the interbank currency market, which will absolutely not add to the stability of the national currency that the national bank is responsible for. This situation has a very complex and negative influence on the country's economy," Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.

The Ukrainian National Bank chairwoman Valeriya Hontareva, however, contradicted the Prime Minister's statement. "We coordinate all administrative measures with the International Monetary Fund first, and only then implement them," Hontareva told reporters.

In short: total chaos, which is indicative of any country's collapse into the hyperinflationary abyss.
It gets better. According to RIA, on Tuesday, Ukrainian television channel Ukraina announced that with the new exchange rate, the minimum wage in Ukraine stands at around $42.90 per month, which according to the channel, is lower than in Ghana or Zambia. There are currently no plans to raise the minimum wage until December.

Behold hyperinflation: "Food prices among producers rose 57.1 percent, with the price for grains and vegetables rising 91 percent from January 2014 to January 2015, while the official inflation rate over the period totaled 28.5 percent. Meanwhile, Ukrainian consumers responded to economic difficulties by cutting their spending in hryvnias by 22.6 percent, which amounts to an almost 40 percent decrease in real consumption."

And the punchline: "A construction worker exchanging dollars at a kiosk in a grocery shop in return for a bag filled with thousands of hryvnia, laughed and told shoppers: "Soon we will have to walk around with suitcases for cash, like in the 1990s.""

Which is ironic, because the central banks of "developed world" nations, most of which are now facing over 300% debt to consolidated GDP, would define Ukraine's imminent hyperinflation with just one word: "success." - Zero Hedge.

OMEN & SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: The Next Solar Eclipse On March 20th Will Plunge The United Kingdom Into Darkness - The Biggest Blackout Since 1999!

Corona time: What the sky will look like in March

February 25, 2015 - UNITED KINGDOM
- Power supplies could drop suddenly next month when the UK is plunged into darkness with an eclipse of the sun.

Energy experts warned there could be possible blackouts in the biggest solar eclipse since 1999.

Nearly 90 per cent of the sun's rays will be blocked out in parts of Europe on March 20.

In London and the South East, 85 per cent of the sun will be obscured by the moon whilst in northern Scotland, more than 95 per cent will be covered.

The National Grid has warned that solar power output in Britain will halve during the event.
It is unlikely to cause problems as so little electricity comes from solar power im the UK but other parts of Europe come be plunged into darkness.

Eclipse map courtesy of Fred Espenak -
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

The European Network Transmission System Operators for Electricity said: "The risk of incident cannot be completely ruled out. Solar eclipses have happened before but with the increase of installed photovoltaic energy generation, the risk of an incident could be serious without appropriate countermeasures."

The organisation said it had been planning for months so that suppliers across Europe provide more energy from other power stations during the hours that solar energy supplies are hit. Patrick Graichen, executive director of Agora Energiewende, a renewable energy think-tank in Berlin, said such events might become problematic in the future as more solar farms are built.

He told the Financial Times: "In a way March 20 is a glimpse into the future of our power systems."

The eclipse will last around two hours from 8.40am. The next one will not be until 2026.

The UK's leading group for beginners to stargazing, the Society for Popular Astronomy, has made a video with practical tips on how to observe the eclipse safely. It is presented by Lucie Green, from the BBC's The Sky at Night. - Telegraph.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Mysterious Lights In The Sky - NASA Claims That The Luminous Red Dawn Blob Seen Over Arizona Was Caused By A Research Rocket?!

February 25, 2015 - ARIZONA, UNITED STATES
- One day after a Chinese rocket disintegrated brightly over the western USA, another set of strange lights appeared over the same region.

This time it was NASA's doing. Before sunrise on Feb. 25th, a Terrier-Black Brant research rocket lifted off from White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, carrying an experiment to Earth's ionosphere.

Vapors released by the rocket created a luminous red blob in the dawn sky, shown in the photo over Mesa, Arizona.

"I got up to put the garbage outside just before sunrise and swore I saw something glowing in the sky," reports photographer Jasper Nance. "I thought I was crazy so I ran inside to grab my camera. Once my eyes were dark adjusted there was no missing the huge red splotch just above where the sun might rise. I watched it for about half an hour until the sunrise was too bright to see it any longer"

Early-rising sky watchers as far away as Utah saw the cloud. Some likened it to the aurora borealis. Most were surprised by the apparition. Nance, however, correctly guessed that it came from White Sands.

The ionosphere is a layer of Earth's upper atmosphere where solar UV radiation knocks electrons off atoms and molecules. Plasma in the ionosphere is crucial to over-the-horizon radio communications, and also affects the quality of GPS navigation and other modern technologies.

According to a White Sands press release, ground stations monitored the cloud to gather data on "natural wave-like structures referred to as traveling ionospheric disturbances."  - Space Weather.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: New Jersey Home "Disintegrated" In A Most Stunning Gas Explosion - 15 People Injured; 75 Homes Evacuated!

February 25, 2015 - NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES
- Police released dashcam video of a gas explosion that leveled an Ocean County, New Jersey, home, injured 15 people, and shook homes in every direction Tuesday morning, including one of a young mother.

"My windows blew out of my house, and I dropped, and I covered my daughter, because she was next to me," said Stafford Township resident Melissa Lewis. "I stood up, and I heard them screaming outside, and there were people being taken to the ambulance."

WATCH: Dash-cam - Gas explosion smashes New Jersey house.

Police received the initial call for an odor inspection in the Cedar Run neighborhood of the township near U.S. Route 9 around 8:55 a.m., about an hour and a half before the blast occurred, according to Stafford Township Police Capt. Tom Dellane.

Officers, firefighters and emergency crews who were dispatched to the neighborhood, quickly confirmed a gas leak, called in the New Jersey Natural Gas Company and evacuated 75 nearby homes.

Gas company employees were working on finding the source of the leak diagonally across from Lewis' home on Oak Ave. when the blast occurred, completely destroying one home and damaging many others. Dashcam video from a Stafford Township police cruiser shows the blast as it happened as workers and firefighters were next to the house.

"The house has been disintegrated," said Stafford Township Mayor John Spodofora.

Seven gas workers were injured in the explosion, said NJ Natural Gas Spokesperson Mike Kinney. One suffered extremely critical injuries and required CPR at the scene. That man and another gas worker were medevaced to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center's Trauma Unit where they remained in critical condition, said Kinney.

Six firefighters also suffered minor injuries, most experiencing concussion-like symptoms. They were transported to Southern Ocean Medical Center. All but one were treated and released, said Stafford Twp. Volunteer Fire Chief Jack Johnson

Two EMTs were also taken to Southern with minor injuries and were released.

As SkyForce10 hovered over the scene, debris could be seen scattered all over the place as some trees in the area burned. Only the home's foundation remained.

"I saw pieces of house floating all over my yard," Lewis said. "The insulation was all over the place and you could see the ambulances and people running around and there were big flames coming from the house."The blast could be felt up to one mile away, said officials.

Gas and electricity to nearly 300 homes were turned off and police urged people to avoid the area.

"We're working on a plan to restore that service, but that plan will take time," said Kinney.

How much time is unknown.

Spodofora urged residents who smelled gas in their homes to open all their windows, report it to police and leave the area immediately.

"The gas is kind of hanging in there," said Spodofora.

The Marlton Area Office of OSHA investigated exactly what caused the blast.

Officials announced NJ Natural Gas Company workers restored gas service to Oak Avenue around midnight but that doesn't mean the gas is back on in each home. Residents must be inside their home in order to get restored.

Stafford Police officers remained in the area throughout the night. - NBC Philadelphia.

SOLAR WATCH: Spectacular Explosion On The Sun - Not Earth-Directed; Minor Geomagnetic Storm Observed At High Latitudes!

February 25, 2015 - SPACE
- Yesterday, Feb. 24th at approximately 11:00 UTC, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a spectacular eruption near the sun's southeastern limb.

The blast was rooted on the backside of the sun, but some of the explosion's debris fell back to the sun on the frontside.

Earth was not in the line of fire. Because of the non Earth facing position, an Earth directed coronal mass ejection (CME) is highly unlikely.

WATCH: Prominence Eruption - February 24, 2015.

Minor Storming Observed

Periods of minor (G1) geomagnetic storming was observed at high latitudes early Tuesday morning due to an enhanced solar wind stream containing periods of southward Bz. Aurora displays were reported across many locations around the Arctic Circle and beyond.

Brian Drourr was out early Tuesday morning and took the nice photo below capturing a green aurora glow from Sand Bar State Park in Northern Vermont, USA.

Lovely aurora image courtesy of Chris Ratzlaff in Alberta, Canada. Captured early Tuesday morning during a period of minor (G1) geomagnetic storming.

Attached is a nice aurora image from last night sent to us by Jacob Frazier who captured this shot from Whidby Island located in Washington State, USA.


Aside from the aforementioned explosion, solar activity during the past 48 hours was at very low levels with the exception of a minor C1 flare detected off the west limb.

Region 2290 showed minor development during the past day, but has so far remained quiet and does not appear to be very threatening at this time.. New sunspot 2292 was numbered after forming in the southeast quadrant and will be monitored.

No Earth directed coronal mass ejections were observed during the past day. Solar wind speeds are currently above 400 km/s. Minor enhancements could trigger elevated geomagnetic activity at higher latitudes.

Coronal Hole

Solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole should reach Earth on March 2-3.

- Space Weather | Solar Ham.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Why Are We Seeing So Many Sungrazing Comets - Daredevil Comet Circles Sun, Surprising Astronomers?!

Image from

February 25, 2015 - SPACE
- NASA has captured the unexpected trajectory of a comet in a 15-second space video as it whizzed around the sun within 2.2 million miles (3.54 million km) of its blazing hot surface.

Discovered by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), Comet 2,875 is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, it is not part of any known family of comets. Most comets seen by SOHO belong to the Kreutz family – a single comet that breaks into smaller comets the closer they moved towards the sun. Secondly, most comets that come close to the sun, called sungrazers, do not survive as they are evaporated by the intense heat. The action of comet 2,875 was caught on February 18–21.

WATCH: SOHO sees its 2,875 comet.

The video shows the comet approaching from the right side of the frame, circling the sun and emerging on the other side. The sun spits out a coronal mass ejection near the end for extra dramatic effect.

"There's a half-decent chance that ground observers might be able to detect it in the coming weeks,"
Karl Battams, a solar scientist at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, DC, said in a released statement.

"But it's also possible that events during its trip around the sun will cause it to die fairly fast."

Comets are icy bodies, regarded as fossils from when the solar system was originating, and they could provide scientists with some of the primordial material. When passing close to the sun, they heat up and begin to outgas, displaying a visible atmosphere or coma, and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet.

WATCH: Why are we seeing so many sungrazing comets.

The space drama was captured as part of NASA’s SOHO project – a collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA. Launched in 1995, the project is designed to study the internal structure of the sun, its outer atmosphere and the origin of solar wind – the ionized gas that blows throughout the solar system. The project has become the number one comet finder, charting over 2500 comets sightings since observations began. - RT.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Southern Japan - No Tsunami Warning! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location

February 25, 2015 - JAPAN
- A 6.2 magnitude earthquake has struck off the southern coast of Japan, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake, with its epicenter around 290km (175 miles) southeast of Hachijo-jima, Izu Islands, struck at a depth of 65km (38 miles).

The event comes just hours after another 4.4 quake took place just off the Kuril Islands, disputed with Russia.

USGS shakemap intensity

The tremors also come a day after another quake struck off the eastern coast, measuring 5.8, with the epicenter about 100km east of the city of Miyako.

An earlier even in mid-February hit 6.9 magnitude, with promise of 1-meter tsunami waves, hitting off the northern coast of Japan, also close to MIyako. It struck in the same region where a devastating 9.0-magnitude quake had in 2011 - the one that caused the tsunami, which led to the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown.

Earthquakes are common in the region. Japan straddles four major tectonic plates, with one of them – the Pacific Plate – subducted beneath the island of Hokkaido, the northeasternmost of Japan’s four main islands. - RT.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Philippine Sea and Vicinity

The Philippine Sea plate is bordered by the larger Pacific and Eurasia plates and the smaller Sunda plate. The Philippine Sea plate is unusual in that its borders are nearly all zones of plate convergence. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, south of Japan, beneath the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs, which extend more than 3,000 km along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This subduction zone is characterized by rapid plate convergence and high-level seismicity extending to depths of over 600 km. In spite of this extensive zone of plate convergence, the plate interface has been associated with few great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) ‘megathrust’ earthquakes. This low seismic energy release is thought to result from weak coupling along the plate interface (Scholz and Campos, 1995). These convergent plate margins are also associated with unusual zones of back-arc extension (along with resulting seismic activity) that decouple the volcanic island arcs from the remainder of the Philippine Sea Plate (Karig et al., 1978; Klaus et al., 1992).

South of the Mariana arc, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath the Yap Islands along the Yap trench. The long zone of Pacific plate subduction at the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea Plate is responsible for the generation of the deep Izu-Bonin, Mariana, and Yap trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of circum-pacific island arcs. Similarly, the northwestern margin of the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasia plate along a convergent zone, extending from southern Honshu to the northeastern coast of Taiwan, manifested by the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) trench. The Ryukyu Subduction Zone is associated with a similar zone of back-arc extension, the Okinawa Trough. At Taiwan, the plate boundary is characterized by a zone of arc-continent collision, whereby the northern end of the Luzon island arc is colliding with the buoyant crust of the Eurasia continental margin offshore China.

USGS plate tectonics for the region

Along its western margin, the Philippine Sea plate is associated with a zone of oblique convergence with the Sunda Plate. This highly active convergent plate boundary extends along both sides the Philippine Islands, from Luzon in the north to the Celebes Islands in the south. The tectonic setting of the Philippines is unusual in several respects: it is characterized by opposite-facing subduction systems on its east and west sides; the archipelago is cut by a major transform fault, the Philippine Fault; and the arc complex itself is marked by active volcanism, faulting, and high seismic activity. Subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate occurs at the eastern margin of the archipelago along the Philippine Trench and its northern extension, the East Luzon Trough. The East Luzon Trough is thought to be an unusual example of a subduction zone in the process of formation, as the Philippine Trench system gradually extends northward (Hamburger et al., 1983). On the west side of Luzon, the Sunda Plate subducts eastward along a series of trenches, including the Manila Trench in the north, the smaller less well-developed Negros Trench in the central Philippines, and the Sulu and Cotabato trenches in the south (Cardwell et al., 1980). At its northern and southern terminations, subduction at the Manila Trench is interrupted by arc-continent collision, between the northern Philippine arc and the Eurasian continental margin at Taiwan and between the Sulu-Borneo Block and Luzon at the island of Mindoro. The Philippine fault, which extends over 1,200 km within the Philippine arc, is seismically active. The fault has been associated with major historical earthquakes, including the destructive M7.6 Luzon earthquake of 1990 (Yoshida and Abe, 1992). A number of other active intra-arc fault systems are associated with high seismic activity, including the Cotabato Fault and the Verde Passage-Sibuyan Sea Fault (Galgana et al., 2007).

Relative plate motion vectors near the Philippines (about 80 mm/yr) is oblique to the plate boundary along the two plate margins of central Luzon, where it is partitioned into orthogonal plate convergence along the trenches and nearly pure translational motion along the Philippine Fault (Barrier et al., 1991). Profiles B and C reveal evidence of opposing inclined seismic zones at intermediate depths (roughly 70-300 km) and complex tectonics at the surface along the Philippine Fault.

Several relevant tectonic elements, plate boundaries and active volcanoes, provide a context for the seismicity presented on the main map. The plate boundaries are most accurate along the axis of the trenches and more diffuse or speculative in the South China Sea and Lesser Sunda Islands. The active volcanic arcs (Siebert and Simkin, 2002) follow the Izu, Volcano, Mariana, and Ryukyu island chains and the main Philippine islands parallel to the Manila, Negros, Cotabato, and Philippine trenches.

Seismic activity along the boundaries of the Philippine Sea Plate (Allen et al., 2009) has produced 7 great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquakes and 250 large (Magnitude greater than 7) events. Among the most destructive events were the 1923 Kanto, the 1948 Fukui and the 1995 Kobe (Japan) earthquakes (99,000, 5,100, and 6,400 casualties, respectively), the 1935 and the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquakes (3,300 and 2,500 casualties, respectively), and the 1976 M7.6 Moro Gulf and 1990 M7.6 Luzon (Philippines) earthquakes (7,100 and 2,400 casualties, respectively). There have also been a number of tsunami-generating events in the region, including the Moro Gulf earthquake, whose tsunami resulted in more than 5000 deaths.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


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

February 25, 2015 - 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.

Dozens of dead sea lions found on beaches in Malibu, California, United States

Malibu is known for it's beauty and scenic views, but that's changed at some local beaches. A family stumbled upon nearly 10 dead sea lions on a Malibu beach Sunday.


"We just came down the stairs and little sea lions are being washed on to shore dying," Neda Soderqvist says in a video she posted on her Facebook Page after making the discovery with her family at State Dume State Beach.

"It was devastating to see a bunch of sea lions just lyind dead. It wasn't one or two it was six or eight," Soderqvist said to FOX 11's Christine O'Donnell.

The sight was especially difficult for her seven-year-old daughter Isabella Soderqvist. "They came up and just died right in front of us," Isabella said. "I was crying to my mom and I said I was really emotional so i wanted to go."

Earlier in the week, Kristin Thames says stumbled across the same devastating scene. "If you look down at the beach you'll see them, and their pups are looking for their mothers," Thames said. She snapped pictures of women from the California Wildlife Center's rescuing some of the sea lions. They were able to carry three pups away in a crate, but had to leave dozens more.

"They're only allowed to take three sea lion pups because there's not enough space at the rescue centers for more," Thames said, "it's really sad."

WATCH: Dozens of dead sea lions found on Malibu beaches.

While, no one with the California Wildlife Center was available for a comment on Sunday, A recording on the hotline states they're experiencing an "unprecedented year of sea lion strandings."

The recording continues "due to the high number of reported animals we may nog be able to return your call...we may not respond to the animal on the day of report."

NOAA Fisheries says the warmer than average sea surface temperatures may be a factor in the strandings. They say the higher temperatures affect the sea lion's food. - KTTV.

Over 50 dead birds found along the waterways in Kapiti, New Zealand

An avian epidemiology expert is urging the public to dispose of  dead birds and bring sick birds suspected of having avian botulism to a vet.

More than 50 dead birds, including ducks, gulls and a shag, had been collected by Kapiti Coast District Council and SPCA staff, following reports from residents and patrols of waterways.

Massey University veterinary, animal and biomedical sciences associate prof Brett Gartrell said while botulism was possible, it was not the only possible cause for the dead birds.

Cyanobacteria blooms (blue green algae) or deliberate malicious poisoning looked the same.

It was hoped the Ministry of Primary Industries would investigate, he said.

Avian botulism is a toxin caused by a bacteria that lives in rotting vegetation - the same nerve toxin used in botox treatment, he said.

When birds eat the toxin they become aggressively paralysed and die because of respiratory failure. '

'It's not a nice way to die."

Botulism was difficult to prevent and popped up when least expected but tended to be "tend to be short explosive outbreaks "

A botulism outbreak could pass to pets that eat the dead birds but not humans.

"You will not catch the disease by it picking up sick or dead birds. It's best to dispose of dead birds because they will be a threat to other birds."

There was no direct treatment but supported sick birds could survive.

About six live birds showing signs of avian botulism had also been taken in by the Kapiti SPCA. One had been saved by tube feeding fluids to flush its system.

It's the second discovery of dead birds in the region in the last few days. On Friday, two mountain bikers found at least 18 dead birds on a section of trail near the Brooklyn wind turbine.

Avian botulism was common throughout the world and in Northern parts of New Zealand and not Wellington region. It was mostly found in still ponds.

Bacteria require water temperature to be above 15 degrees Celsius to multiply and thrive where there is no oxygen."

When water levels drop the vegetation is exposed and the toxins produced are left behind.

"Dead birds can pose a threat because the maggots that breed will concentrate the toxin. Dogs an cats can be affected if they eat the dead birds."To report dead birds in council parks and public spaces, phone 296 4700 or 0800 486 486. - Stuff.

7 Snowy owls from the Arctic seen in New York City

The owls are native to Canada, Scandinavia and northern Russia.

Humans may be staying inside for the frigid temperatures of the polar vortex, but the gust of arctic weather has brought unexpected guests to New York City.

Seven snowy owls have been spotted this year in the city, which reached a 60-year low of 1F for February 20 on Friday morning.

The birds are generally seen along the water in Brooklyn and Queens, but one was found on Governor's Island off the southern tip of Manhattan, according to DNA Info.

A spokesman for the island said that it is the first time that snowy owls have been seen at the site, which is accepting proposals for what to name the animal.

The arrival of the white-feathered owls, which are native to Canada, Scandinavia and Siberia, comes as air from Russia moved over the North Pole and has pushed south into the US.

Temperatures in Embarrass, Minnesota, slid down to -41F on Thursday.
The cold front, dubbed the Siberian Express, has brought single-digit temperatures as far south as Georgia as well as bringing arctic birds to the US.

Snowy owls are carnivorous and experts advise against approaching the predators, who mostly eat lemmings, rodents and fish, according to National Geographic.

Unlike many other owls, they are active both during the day and at night.

This year's snowy owl sightings follow on dozens of the birds appearing in New York during last year's polar vortex.

A group of owls is called a parliament. - Daily Mail.

Man killed by family dogs in Coal Hill, Arkansas

The Coal Hill man found dead in the woods near his home earlier this month died from "canine injuries" from a family member's dogs, according to newly-revealed autopsy results.

Fredrick Crutchfield, 63, was found dead Feb. 4 by a family member. Investigators sent his body to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine a cause of death. An autopsy revealed Crutchfield died from loss of blood due to "multiple canine injuries," according to a statement released by the Johnson County Sheriff's Office on Friday (Feb. 20).

Deputies said the dogs involved in the death belonged to a family member. The animals have since been impounded, according to the Sheriff's Office. - 5newsonline.

Locust swarms causing damage to crops in New South Wales, Australia

Locust swarm

Swarm activity of locusts have been reported across 100 kilometres of the central west, with farmers having to hand feed stock due to crop loss.

Central west, senior biosecurity officer, Rhett Robinson said said flying swarms are affecting the feed available to livestock and farmers are having to hand feed.

"There is major potential impact to sowing.

"Low density swarms can wipe out a newly emerging crop within days."

Mr Robinson said over 130 reports of locust activity had been received since January.

"We've had reports in areas such as Gilgandra, Collie, Armatree and Curban.

"Locusts have been reported north in Gulargambone and east in places such as Mendooran."

Mr Robinson said one of the biggest risk factors is medium density swarms can wipe out newly emerging crops.

"They nip off the growing tips."

Medium density swarms are usually 10 adults per square metre, and high density swarms are 50 plus."

Mr Robinson said locusts prefer cereal crops, including oats and wheat.

"There have been reports of crop loss to lucerne, where they strip all the leaves off, doing a lot of damage."

Central west Local Land Services (LLS), Team Leader Invasive Species and Plant Health, Lisa Thomas said land holders must monitor swarms to identify laying and eggbeds so prompt treatment can be undertaken to prevent further damage to emerging crops and pastures.

"The impacts of locust are about to be realised now that we have second generation locust flying with plans to lay eggs locally due to the ideal conditions."

Earlier this year an aerial survey was conducted in areas of Collie, Curban and Tooraweenah, where bands were identified.

"Due to the lush pasture conditions many smaller bands were not identified and not treated so now we have the swarm development across several parts of our region.

"Locust bands will begin to develop again by early March and reports must be made so chemical can be supplied for land holders to treat locusts as this is an obligation of all land holders," Ms Thomas said.

She said LLS biosecurity officers are validating swarm densities, environmental factors and locations to determine if there is sufficient scope to get approval to undertake aerial operations.

"Strict criteria is set by Department of Primary Industries (DPI) for the initiation of plague locust aerial campaigns and this control method must meet the requirements provided within the DPI Policy. Locust bands will begin to develop again by early March and reports must be made so chemical can be supplied for land holders to treat locusts as this is an obligation of all land holders."

She said locust activity will now move into the third generation, as present flying locusts are expected to lay eggs on local soils.

"It is critical that all locust activity is reported so chemical can be applied at the appropriate phases of development when results are best achieved. Flying locust are nearly impossible to control as there are many efficiency factors including environmental constraints and policies that restrict operations within the settled areas, so all efforts must be made to control locust on the ground at banding stages." - Western Magazine.

Pit bull terrier kills two-year-old girl in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Pit Bull terrier
Police say the dog attacked Paylynn Devaugh inside a home in West Mifflin around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

Police say a 2-year-old girl has died after being mauled by a pit bull in a Pittsburgh suburb.

Police say the dog attacked Paylynn Devaugh inside a home in West Mifflin around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

The girl was pronounced dead at Jefferson Memorial Hospital.

Police say Paylynn lived in nearby Forest Hills.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday. The investigation is continuing.

West Mifflin is about 10 miles southeast of downtown Pittsburgh.

According to the website, which tracks "dangerous dog breeds":

* 42 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities occurred in 2014. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 700 U.S. cities, pit bulls contributed to 64% (27) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up about 6% of the total U.S. dog population.2

* Together, pit bulls (27) and rottweilers (4), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 74% of the total recorded deaths in 2014. This same combination also accounted for 74% of all fatal attacks during the 10-year period of 2005 to 2014.

* Annual data from 2014 shows that 48% (20) of the fatality victims were children 13-years and younger, and 52% (22) were adults, 20-years and older. Of the total adults killed by dogs in 2014, 73% (16) were ages 50-years and older.

* In 2014, 19% (8), of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the fatal attack occurred, down from 38% in 2013. Children 6-years and younger accounted for 88% (7) of these deaths. - The Christian Science Monitor.

Rare razorbill from northern latitudes seen in Bermuda

The rare razorbill on the Great Sound.  © Andrew Dobson
The Island's first sighting of a razorbill was reported yesterday.

Audubon Society member Paul Watson spotted the bird on the Great Sound in the morning.

He was soon joined by the group's president, Andrew Dobson, to get photographic evidence of the sighting. He said: "It is the first time this species of bird has been seen in Bermuda.

"It was sitting on the surface of the water and making regular dives in search of fish."

Mr Dobson added: "Razorbills belong to the family of birds known as Alcids, which also includes puffins. This crow-sized seabird is widely distributed through boreal and low-arctic Atlantic waters; the bulk of the world population breeds in Iceland.

"With only about 300 pairs nesting in Maine, the razorbill is among the least numerous of all breeding seabirds in US waters.

"Most razorbills from North American colonies winter south of their breeding range in ice-free, coastal waters, with largest numbers frequenting shoal areas in the outer Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine." - The Royal Gazette.

20 manatees get stuck in Florida storm drain while trying to warm themselves

About 20 Florida manatees were freed by early Tuesday morning from a storm drain near Cape Canaveral, where they were apparently trying to warm themselves, officials and local media said.

Video footage showed a rescuer comforting one manatee floating at the opening of the pipe, which was cut open during the hours-long rescue.

The footage, posted online by Central Florida News 13 and Florida Today newspaper, also showed a manatee being carried in a sling to a nearby canal, where it was released to cheers from onlookers, and two other manatees being petted after being hoisted out of the water by heavy machinery.

WATCH: Over a dozen manatees rescued from Florida drain pipe.

The rescue in Satellite Beach, a town on the Atlantic coast 15 miles (24 km) south of Cape Canaveral, started mid-afternoon on Monday when Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist, Ann Spellman, sounded the alarm, according to Florida Today.

She told the paper that her hunch led city workers to check the 100-150 feet long drain pipe.

Manatees, also known as sea cows, often leave the Indian River Lagoon during cold snaps for warmer waters in the canals and had probably followed each other into the pipe, she said.

The rescue wrapped up at about 2 a.m. local time (0100 ET), Satellite Beach Fire Department Captain Jay Dragon said, with local police working alongside experts from SeaWorld. - Yahoo.

Eurasian hoopoe migrates in the wrong direction and ends up in Kimberley, Australia

A eurasian hoopoe bird caught on camera. 
© Department of Parks and Wildlife

One of Australasia's most camera-shy birds has been snapped in the Kimberley after flying off course.

WA's Department of Parks and Wildlife said it was only the third sighting of the eurasian hoopoe bird in the country and it was "excited" to find it on its cameras.

The sighting of the flamboyant hoopoe, usually native to Eurasia and northwest Africa, is thought to be a result of the birds flying off course during their migration.

A eurasian hoopoe spotted in Broome in 2011.
© Micha Jackson

The cameras, installed on Adolphus Island to monitor cane toad populations, have also revealed the largest range of wildlife in the area.

The 35 cameras have recorded large numbers of native bird species and endangered Northern Quolls.  - Perth Now.

Family dogs attack a 3-year-old girl and her grandmother in Amite, Louisiana

A family dog is on day six of a ten-day bite quarantine hold at the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter.

It's a Cane Corso, a large breed not known to show aggression.

But authorities say the dog, and another like it, are responsible for putting a 3-year-old and her grandmother, their owner, in the hospital last week.
Shelter Director Chip Fitz said the child was on a swing outside of her grandmother's home near Amite, with her grandmother watching in the yard, when the animals suddenly attacked.

WATCH: Dogs attack 3-year-old, grandmother in Amite.

"The grandmother actually went out and laid on the little girl to try to protect her and was unsuccessful and ended up having to get a board that she saw there to kind of beat the dogs off," he said. "They even tell me that the dogs attempted still to take the little girl from the grandmother."

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said one dog had to be shot due to its continuous charging of deputies, while the other was taken to the parish animal shelter for the rabies observation.

Authorities say the child suffered substantial wounds on most of her body that required at least two surgeries. She is still hospitalized in stable condition. The grandmother suffered bites to her arm.

Animal experts say this unfortunate incident should be a message to all pet owners that although your pet may be well-behaved, they are, after all, animals.

"It's just something that we have to realize, that they are predators," said Fitz. "As much as we love them and as much as people are truly adapting them into home-environments, we have to pay attention all the time."

Its a scary and surprising situation that authorities are hoping raises awareness about pet safety.

The dog in custody is set to be euthanized Friday. There are no charges expected in the case.  - WWLTV.

12-yr-old boy dies in dog attack, 5th victim in 40 days in Bareilly, India

Stray dogs in India
A pack of stray dogs attacked and killed a 12-year-old boy in Navayal, Bareilly, on Sunday evening, making him the fifth victim in the region in the last 40 days.

According to reports, Ashok, along with his two friends, were attacked by the dogs that also bit the other two when they tried to save him.

Shockingly, the boy is the fifth in just the last month or so to lose his life in vicious attacks by stray dogs in the region. Explaining the reason behind the rising attacks by strays on children, Dr Abhijit Pawde, co-ordinator at the referral veterinary polyclinic, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), said: "Dogs are hungrier in winter compared to the other seasons. They have started attacking children as they probably are not able to feed on their regular meal."

But there is another theory floating around. Some officials as well as experts believe that ever since the clampdown on illegal cattle slaughter, the strays, denied the offal from the cattle, have been going after easy prey, which are mostly young kids.

Reacting to the latest incident, Baheri SDM Rameshwarnath Tiwari said, "It was a tragic case. The boy was the only child of his parents. After attacks on children had stopped for nearly 15 days, teams of forest department and Nagar Palika had slowed down their campaign to catch dogs. We will be more alert and vigilant and our teams will catch the dogs and release them in the nearby forest." He added that local residents are being advised to move in groups and arm themselves with sticks. Villagers have also been asked to kill dogs if they are sighted.

The attacks -- the first victim was a seven-year-old girl in January -- have led to panic in Baheri, with several people not sending their children to school anymore, fearing for their lives.

"District administration officials are making false promises and not taking any action to curb the menace in the villages," a local resident charged. "Action needs to be taken immediately to prevent more fatalities."

Meanwhile, Dheeraj Pathak, rescue chief, People for Animals, said that the stray dogs should be sterilized instead of just being released into the jungles. "This is not a solution as these dogs can come back to human settlements and start attacking children. They should instead catch dogs and keep them after sterilization in big cages and serve normal food to reduce aggression in their behaviour," he said. Dheeraj added 25-30 dogs have become feral in nature.

Pawde said forest teams would have to set a trap to identify the aggressive dogs. "To attract these dogs, teams would have to make a single child or man walk in the affected areas. It is risky but it seems the pack of dogs prefer to attack only when there is a single person."  - The Times of India.

Fish kill occuring off the coast of Pasir Ris, Singapore

Dead groupers washed ashore at Pasir Ris. (Photo: Ria Tan/Facebook)

Amid higher plankton levels, some fish farmers off Pasir Ris have seen their fish die in recent days and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is analysing samples to determine the cause of death.

The AVA said some fish deaths were reported by farmers in the East Johor Straits between Wednesday and Saturday. This came after the authority alerted the coastal fish farmers to elevated plankton levels in the area last Monday and Tuesday for them to take precautions.

Plankton are microorganisms and plankton bloom occurs when one species of the drifting marine organisms predominates over others and multiplies quickly, said the AVA. This can be triggered by unpredictable weather, a higher concentration of nutrients in the seawater and poor water exchange between the high and low tides, a spokesperson said.

The AVA did not provide an indication of the scale of deaths so far, but said it has been visiting the coastal fish farms since the farmers’ reports. The visits are to “ascertain the situation, offer advice to the farmers to mitigate the situation and collect fish samples from the affected farms for analysis on the cause of mortality”.

It will continue to monitor and work closely with the farmers, an AVA spokesperson added.

Blogger and environmentalist Ria Tan reported seeing dead fish, both wild and farmed, at Pasir Ris on Saturday. In a post on her Wild Shores website on Sunday, Ms Tan noted that some algal blooms are harmful and said it was important to find out the exact cause of fish deaths this time.

The latest deaths occurred a year after farmers lost more than 160 tonnes of fish and suffered individual losses of up to several hundred thousand dollars.Last year’s episode was due to plankton bloom and low levels of dissolved oxygen, said the AVA, which offered an assistance package to affected farmers. - Channel News Asia.

Dozens of dead or dying turtles found in the Bellinger River in NSW, Australia

Photo: George's Turtle, Bellinger River Snapping Turtle
(Mark Spencer)
An investigation is underway into the recent discovery of dead and dying turtles upstream from the Bellingen town centre.

On Wednesday February 18, 2015 canoeists on the Bellinger found around a number of distressed and dead turtles upstream from Lavenders Bridge.

They alerted the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The Authority said so far 30 turtles have been recovered by National Parks and Wildlife rangers, the shire council, WIRES volunteers and local residents.

The EPA said three species of freshwater turtles inhabit the Bellinger River but so far it seems only the Georges Turtle, the Elsaya georgesi or Bellinger River Snapping Turtle, appears to have been affected.

The early indications are that disease, not pollution has impacted on the turtles.

The EPA said water and other samples have been sent to laboratories to help narrow the possible causes.

Anyone with information which they think may be useful to the investigation is asked to contact the Environment Line on 131 555.

Confidential reports can also be made.

The EPA said residents who come across dead, sick or injured turtles should contact WIRES.The Authority said people should not handle sick or dead turtles unless they take appropriate precautions, such as wearing rubber gloves. - ABC Australia.

Thousands of dead fish found floating in the Ganges, India

Thousands of dead fish were found floating in Ganga at Dhabka Nullah and Dasheshwar Ghat in Jajmau on Friday. Experts attributed the death of fish to oxygen crisis in river water. However, neither any official from district administration nor from pollution control board visited the spot to take stock of the situation.

In absence of police, locals had a free run carrying away dead fish in baskets. Kids were found carrying away large fish, a few weighing over several kilograms.

A few locals informed the police but no official turned up at the site. Jajmau is the hub of leather tanneries. Recently, power supply to 98 tanneries of the area was snapped and forcibly shut down on the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) for flouting norms and polluting Ganga. The death of fish has once again brought the issue of Ganga's pollution to the forefront.
This is not the first instance of fish dying in Ganga. On several occasions in the past fish have been found dead in the river. In fact, a large number of fish had died in Sher Shah Suri pond in Jajmau too.

Locals who reached the site claimed that a number of small to large sized tanneries located in the area discharge affluents into the river leading to the death of fish. Others claimed that several big and small nullahs release in the river thus reducing the oxygen in water. This forces the fish to die.

A few other rued that they had informed the police about the incident but nobody turned up. - Times of India.