Tag Archives | Weather

Scottish Schoolchildren Hit By Rain Of Worms

earth-wormsA bizarre incident in Scotland as a school briefly was trapped beneath deluge of worms falling from the sky. The Scotsman reports:

A PE class had to run for cover as it started raining worms.
Teacher David Crichton was leading a group of pupils playing football at Galashiels Academy when dozens of the invertebrates began plummeting from the sky. The 22 second-year boys had to abandon their lesson.

Mr. Crichton said the children had just completed their warm-up when they began to hear “soft thudding” on the ground. The class then looked to the cloudless sky – and saw worms falling on to them.

The teacher scooped up handfuls of the worms that had fallen from the sky as proof they had landed on his class. Mr. Crichton said he and his colleagues eventually found about 120 worms after checking the artificial football pitch and tennis courts.

Showers of worms falling from the heavens have been reported in the past.

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Scientists Find First Evidence Climate Affects Tectonic Plate Movement

Plate TectonicsVia Discover:

Geologists have known for years that tectonic plates affect climate patterns. Now they say that the opposite is also true, finding that intensifying climate events can move tectonic plates. Using models based on known monsoonal and plate movement patterns, geologists say that the Indian Plate has accelerated by about 20% over the past 10 million years. “The significance of this finding lies in recognising for the first time that long-term climate changes have the potential to act as a force and influence the motion of tectonic plates,” Australian National University researcher Giampiero Iaffaldano told COSMOS.

The researchers plugged information from research on monsoonal patterns and the Indian Plate’s movement into a model, which indicated that the monsoonal erosion that has battered the eastern Himalaya Mountains for the past 10 million years erodes enough material to account for the plate’s counter-clockwise rotation. By gradually shaving off rocks from the eastern flank and decreasing crustal thickness, the monsoonal rains essentially lighten the load on the eastern part of the Indian Plate, causing the plate to actually turn (at geological speed).

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Earth Getting Mysteriously Windier

Occluded Mesocyclone TornadoMason Inman writes on National Geographic:
The world has gotten stormier over the past two decades — and the reason is a mystery, a new study says. In the past 20 years, winds have picked up around 5 percent on average. Extremely strong winds caused by storms have increased even faster, jumping 10 percent over 20 years, according to the new analysis of global satellite data. The study, the first to look at wind speeds across such a large swath of the planet, bolsters some earlier findings, according to study leader Ian Young, of the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. "Some regional studies had found similar results, so we suspected there may be an increasing trend," Young said.
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Japan Nuclear Radiation Likely To Reach California

Radiation warning symbolThe likes of Matt Drudge and Alex Jones have been banging the drum to create fear among U.S. citizens that radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster will reach North America. Now Neil Katz poses the same question for a mainstream outlet, CBS News. The conclusion he posts is:

“As for America, experts say for now we are in the clear. ‘It is true that radiation emanating from Japan is moving across the Pacific and it’s feasible that one could detect those radiation levels in California,’ says [Dr. Cham] Dallas. ‘But it’s certain that it wouldn’t be dangerous.'”

Do any disinformation readers have expertise in radiation safety issues? Can we be so certain that there is no danger as Dr. Dallas suggests? Please post your thoughts in the comments.

Here’s some more of Katz’s story:

As conditions worsen at four nuclear reactors in Japan, many here and abroad are worried about the health risks of radiation.

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Abu Dhabi Now Creating ‘Man-Made Rainstorms’ Regularly

rain_1795776cAbu Dhabi now controls its weather with giant ionizers, the Telegraph reports:

A secret £7 million weather project in Abu Dhabi has resulted in dozens of man-made rainstorms, according to reports.

Scientists employed by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and leader of Abu Dhabi, successfully created more than 50 rainstorms in the state’s Al Ain region last year, mostly in July and August when there is virtually no rain at all. It is believed to be the first time the system has produced rain from clear skies.

They have been using giant ionizers, shaped like giant lampshades, to generate fields of negatively charged particles, which create cloud formation.

In a company video, seen by The Sunday Times, Helmut Fluhrer, the founder of Metro Systems International, the Swiss company in charge of the project, said: “We are currently operating our innovative rainfall enhancement technology, Weathertec, in the region of Al Ain in Abu Dhabid.

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Thunderstorms Generate Antimatter Beams

Antimatter Cloud (NASA)

Antimatter Cloud (NASA)

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but scientists are reporting that they have seen antimatter beams emitted from thunderstorms. Jonathan Palmer has the story at BBC News:

A space telescope has accidentally spotted thunderstorms on Earth producing beams of antimatter.

Such storms have long been known to give rise to fleeting sparks of light called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes. But results from the Fermi telescope show they also give out streams of electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons.

The surprise result was presented by researchers at the American Astronomical Society meeting in the US.

It deepens a mystery about terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, or TGFs — sparks of light that are estimated to occur 500 times a day in thunderstorms on Earth. They are a complex interplay of light and matter whose origin is poorly understood.

Thunderstorms are known to create tremendously high electric fields — evidenced by lightning strikes.

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This Image Is Not a Photoshop Trick

Broken Pole

I can believe it’s real but can’t believe it’s stable. C’mon Russian town, where’s your Dept. of Public Works to take care of this stuff? From English Russia via Gizmodo, Jesus Diaz, writes:

This is not a Photoshop. It’s not an optical trick. And it’s not an illustration. It’s just a simply great photo taken near the Linevo village, in the Volgograd region of Russia. A wild firestorm went through the village and its surroundings, destroying 80 houses. Nobody knows what was the origin, but at least the phone lines are still working.

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Fire Tornado Strikes In Brazil

Last week one of the rarest and more horrifying weather phenomena occurred in Brazil: a "fire tornado." Created by extreme drought conditions, the whirling tower of flames raged outside of the city of Aracatuba, scorching dry earth and bringing traffic to a halt, before disappearing.
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Zeus Strikes Parthenon With Lightning Bolt

OK, the headline’s a little over the top, but what a photo, from the Daily Mail/AP:

It looks like a narrow escape for one of mankind’s most ancient symbols.

parthenon

A bolt of lightning illuminates the sky around the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple, high on the Acropolis during a heavy rainfall in Athens early this morning.

Fortunately, the temple is believed to have escaped any damage.

[story continues in the Daily Mail/AP]

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