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Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

Whale stranding death toll rises to 58 in Scotland and Ireland

Posted by feww on September 8, 2018

Submitted by a reader

Why are the whales dying in large numbers? Mercury poisoning?

“More whales have been found dead on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland following several strandings of the animals at the end of last month. Eleven whales were found dead over the course of one week in August.”

Death toll have now risen to at least 58 including 20 in Scotland and 20 in Ireland, Whale and Dolphin Conservation said.

Read more. . .

Japan itching to kill more whales

Despite agreeing to a moratorium on hunting in 1986, the whale-killer nation have been murdering between about 200 and 1,200 whales every year since, including young and pregnant animals. They are now  proposing to end the commercial whaling ban altogether. . .


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‘DORIS DAY’: Intense Storm Turns into a Weather Bomb Hitting Britain

Posted by feww on February 23, 2017

DORIS wreaks havoc across Scotland with 151-km winds

Storm DORIS has rapidly intensified over the last 24 hours as it has undergone what is called Explosive Cyclogenisis turning it into a Weather Bomb, UK Met office reported.

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Storm BARBARA Prompts ‘Amber Warning’ for Scotland

Posted by feww on December 20, 2016

Storm BARBARA forecast to impact Scotland

  • A spell of very strong south to southwesterly winds is expected to develop on Friday [December 24, 2016.] Gusts of 80 mph [~ 130kmph] are likely quite widely, with westerly winds gusting to 90 mph likely across parts of western and northern Scotland later on Friday and overnight into Saturday. Winds will then ease on Saturday morning. —UK Met Office

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Scotland Flooding: Historic Abergeldie Castle Could Collapse into River Dee

Posted by feww on January 4, 2016

High winds and heavy rain hit Scotland, prompting multiple flood warnings

Scotland is being battered by high winds and heavy rain, with dozens of flood warnings in effect across the country.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued at lest three dozen flood warnings, saying that the key “Inverness to Aberdeen railway line was at risk of flooding.”

Major roads in Scotland have also been closed by flooding with others “passable with care.”

‘The historic castle teetering on the brink of disaster’

In Aberdeenshire, the historic Abergeldie Castle is on the brink of collapsing into a swollen River Dee.

The castle’s owners were forced to evacuate the 16th century A-listed tower house on Sunday, after the river swept away about 60ft (18m) of land behind the property, leaving it only a few feet from the water.

“Most rivers have already peaked or will peak during Monday afternoon and evening. However, due to the continued rainfall they will remain high throughout Tuesday,” the agency said, adding that up to 150mm is expected in some areas.

Storm Frank hit Scotland on Wednesday, causing damage to property and infrastructure, as well as disrupting road and rail travel.

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113MPH Winds Leave 79,000 Scotland Homes Without Power

Posted by feww on January 9, 2015

Scotland battered by severe storm, winds gusting to 113mph

The storm has severely disrupted travel across the country, cutting power to more than 79,000 homes.

The UK Met Office has issued Yellow warnings for severe weather across multiple regions.

Regions affected by Yellow warnings:

Central, Tayside & Fife, East Midlands, Grampian, Highlands & Eilean Siar, North East England, North West England, Northern Ireland, Orkney & Shetland, SW Scotland, Lothian Borders, Strathclyde, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber

A total of 67 flood Warnings and Alerts are in force for Scotland, England and Wales, as of posting.

Gusts of 70mph are expected in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Met Office has issued multiple warnings for snow, rain, high wind and ice.

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Tidal Surge Floods Western, Southern Scotland

Posted by feww on January 4, 2014


A massive tidal surge combined with severe gale force winds inundate coastal areas of western and southern Scotland

Homes in the Isle of Whithorn, Portpatrick, Garlieston, Kirkcudbright, Annan, Carsethorn, Powfoot and Port William have been flooded.

Southwest of Scotland is one of the worst-hit areas, having suffered similar flooding earlier in the week, with numerous properties inundated along the coastline of Dumfries and Galloway, reported BBC.

tidal surge
Tidal surge plunges into Scotland. Image credit: PA/ via BBC.

High tides and strong winds have also caused flooding in Wales and western England as officials warn of a continuing threat in the UK coastal areas.

The UK Environment Agency has issued four severe flood warnings, meaning “danger to life” for Gloucestershire and Dorset.

Earlier on Friday, residents in parts of Dorset and Aberystwyth were evacuated from their homes before the high tide on Friday night, said the report.

Forecast for the UK

In November 2009,  EDRO/FIRE-EARTH forecast, based on our Models, Climate Change could directly affect about half the population in the UK within 3 to 5  years.

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Thousands Lose Power as Storm Hits UK

Posted by feww on December 19, 2013


Gale-force winds, rain batter western UK, damaging property, felling trees and cutting power to thousands

Thousands of homes in NW England, SW Wales and Northern Ireland were left without electricity as gale-force winds and rain battered western UK.

Gusts of 145km/h (90mph) were reported in exposed areas of western Scotland and the Western Isles, said BBC.

Multiple flood warnings are in effect in Scotland, Wales and south-west England and an amber warning of severe gales has been issued by the UK Met Office.

Highlights from the report:

  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency flood warnings, indicating “flooding is expected, immediate action required”, are in force for a large part of the west and central  Scotland.
  • At least 25 Environment Agency flood warnings are in effect, as authorities urge  homeowners in Wales, south-west England and north-west England to take action.
  • Northern Ireland Electricity said  more damage to power lines during the night is expected.
  • Officials have warned of a possible tidal surge affecting in the west central Lowlands of Scotland.
  • Two South West Trains hit trees on railroads in southern England.

Northern Ireland Electricity said, “we are expecting the winds to peak in the early hours of the morning causing additional disruption to electricity supplies.”

Several injuries have been reported, at least two people are missing.

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – December 5, 2013

Posted by feww on December 5, 2013

Ten beached whales die in Florida Everglades, dozens stranded

At least ten beached whales have died as rescuers tried to save dozens more that were stranded in shallow waters  in Florida’s Everglades National Park, said wildlife officials.

The whales, believed to be short-finned pilot whales, were first spotted on Tuesday pm near the Gulf of Mexico, according to the park officials.

Adult short-finned pilot whales weigh 1,000 to 3,000kg with females and males averaging 12 and 18 feet long receptively. They typically travel in pods of about 30 animals.

Wildlife officials said the rescue efforts to save the whales by pushing them into deeper waters would resume Thursday morning.

Video footage showed at least one carcass reduced to a bare skeleton and large chunks of flesh missing from others, possibly bitten by sharks.

NSA collects and anal-yzes 5 billion cellphone records each day

The US National Security Agency collects and analyzes about 5 billion cellphone records each day indicating location data around the world, according to a new report by Washington Post based on the records leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

FOUR Canadian soldiers commit suicide in one week

At least four Canadian soldiers have committed suicide in just one week, probably overcome by pangs of conscience.

At least three of the soldiers had “served” in Afghanistan, according to Canadian Defense officials.

In the latest incident, a married 46-year-old soldier apparently committed suicide on Monday. His body was found near his base in Quebec. Sylvain Lelievre had served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, according to reports.

Last week, the bodies of three other soldiers were discovered. They were Michael McNeil, William Elliott and Travis Halmrast. They were based in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta respectively.

30,000 Eritreans “abducted to Sinai desert for ransom”

Up to 30,000 Eritreans have been abducted since 2007 and taken to Egypt’s Sinai desert to suffer torture and ransom demands, according to a new research.

Victims are kidnapped in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan and taken to Sinai where they are held captive in the mostly lawless desert.

The abductors have extorted at least $600m  from families in ransom payments, says the study.

“The study, presented to the European parliament, says Eritrean and Sudanese security officers are colluding with the kidnap gangs,” according to a report.

Ferocious storm cuts power to 25,000 homes in Scotland, shuts rail network

>Winds of up to 116 mph  (187 km/h) battered parts of Scottish highlands cutting power to at least 25,000 customers and forcing the authorities to shut down the entire rail network due to debris on the tracks.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency has warned of flooding risks in coastal areas and Traffic Scotland advised drivers to avoid traveling in multiple areas due to “extremely dangerous” conditions, reports said.

Fast-food workers in 100 US cities will walk off the job

The strike is part of a nationwide movement, which began a year ago to increase federal minimum wage, unchanged since 2009, from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour. The workers also want the right to unionize.

“We have people going to work every day and coming home to no utilities or having to make tough decisions on whether to eat or pay rent. But they go to work and work hard every day and they’re good at their jobs and these companies should take care of their employees and do better. We know that they have the profit,” said a worker.

“Dramatic increases in a starting wage such as those called for in these rallies will challenge that job growth history, increase prices for restaurant meals, especially in the value segments and lead to fewer jobs created,” said the National Restaurant Association.

This post will be updated throughout the day…

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Police Declares Major Incident After Chopper Crashes in Scotland

Posted by feww on November 30, 2013

Police helicopter crashes into Glasgow “pub,” multiple fatalities likely

Scottish authorities have declared a major incident after a police helicopter with a crew of three came down on the roof of a public house with an estimated 120 people inside.

The helicopter fell from the sky “like a stone,” according to eyewitnesses.

“Given an incident of this scale we must all prepare ourselves for the likelihood of fatalities,” said Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond.

The Clutha pub chopper crash scotland
A police insignia could be seen on the wreckage of the helicopter.  Source: Police photo via BBC.

“I was just a few yards away and I arrived on the scene outside the pub a few seconds after the impact. No-one knew what it was but you saw the pandemonium of the people trying to get out of the pub,” Jim Murphy, a  member of parliament told BBC, describing the aftermath as a “horrific scene.”

“It was almost like slow motion. Like other people you just do what you can to help.”

“As you stood there you could see the helicopter embedded in the roof and sticking out the top of the roof and you knew it was something really serious.”

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EU Cod Stocks Facing Collapse

Posted by feww on October 31, 2013

Cod and whiting in the West of Scotland risk  collapse: EU Fisheries Commission

The European Commission has proposed a continued ban in 2014 on landings of cod and whiting off Scotland’s Atlantic coast in an attempt to avert a collapse.

“Cod stocks in the Irish Sea and the Kattegat continue to be in a dire state…  Sole in the Irish Sea is at extremely low levels. Advice for haddock in the Celtic Sea demands a considerable TAC cut … Cod and whiting in the West of Scotland, subject to extremely high rates of discarding, are at a risk of collapse.” EU Fisheries Commission reported.

Cod stocks off most parts of Britain, Ireland and in the Bay of Biscay are also in a dire state, which means quotas should be reduced by up to 30 percent, according to the Greek EU fisheries commissioner.

Cod - Gadus morhua
Cod – gadus morhua. The British fish and chips industry is heavily dependent on cod, the country’s most consumed fish. International disputes over the prized species has so far led to two rounds of naval clashes between Britain and Iceland in the 1950s and 1970s.

“For stocks where data is not good enough to properly estimate their size, the Commission proposal reflects the advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to adapt the TAC up or down by a maximum of 20%. Following a Council decision last year on precautionary reductions, TACS are proposed at the same level as in 2013 for 21 of these stocks,” said the Commission.


  • Total allowable catches (TACs) are catch limits that are set for most significant commercial fish stocks. TACs are proposed by the EU Commission on the basis of scientific advice on the state of the stocks concerned and decided on by the Council of Fisheries Ministers.
  • TACs are set annually for most stocks and every two years for deep sea species.
  • The TACs are shared between EU countries under a system known as ‘relative stability’ which keeps national quotas stable in relation to each other.

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[May 15, 2008] Photo of the Day!

Posted by feww on May 15, 2008

Phytoplankton Bloom in North Sea off Scotland

Photo by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite

The northern and western highlands of Scotland were still winter-brown and even dusted with snow in places, but the waters of the North Sea were blooming with phytoplankton (tiny, plant-like organisms) on May 8, 2008, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the region and captured this image.

Phytoplankton are tiny organisms—many are just a single cell—that use chlorophyll and other pigments to capture light for photosynthesis. Because these pigments absorb sunlight, they change the color of the light reflected from the sea surface back to the satellite (shades of bright blue and green). Scientists have used observations of “ocean color” from satellites for more than 20 years to track worldwide patterns in phytoplankton blooms.

Phytoplankton are important to the Earth system for a host of reasons, including their status as the base of the ocean food web. In the North Sea, they are the base of the food web that supports Scotland’s commercial fisheries, including monkfish and herring. As photosynthesizers, they also play a crucial role in the carbon cycle, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Some oceanographers are concerned that rising ocean temperatures will slow phytoplankton growth rates, harming marine ecosystems and causing carbon dioxide to accumulate more rapidly in the atmosphere.

NASA image by Norman Kuring, Ocean Color Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey (some editing by FEWW).

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