Pied flycatchers on video


This April 2019 video is about pied flycatchers in the Veluwe region in the Netherlands.

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Harsh German refugee camps


This 16 April 2019 video says about itself:

Harsh Conditions in German Refugee Camps

In Germany, there’s growing criticism of the so-called ‘holding and processing centres’ where migrants are sent when they first arrive in the country. Migrants say that conditions inside are horrific.

Snow leopards, video


This 5 April 2019 video says about itself:

Snow Leopards 101 | Nat Geo Wild

Snow leopards are one of the world’s most elusive cats. Learn how these “mountain ghosts” are perfectly equipped to thrive in extreme, high-elevation habitats, and how they expertly hunt agile prey.

Alma Tadema drawing discovery on flea market


The newly discovered Alma Tadema drawing, photo Fries Museum

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Drawing by Frisian artist Alma Tadema found at flea market

The Fries Museum in Leeuwarden has bought a drawing by Alma Tadema that has been found at a flea market. It is probably a portrait that the Frisian artist made of his niece Sientsje Tadema.

The work was presented to the museum by a Belgian who found it at the flea market in Brussels. He then contacted the Fries Museum.

Curator Marlies Stoter investigated the work and recognized Alma Tadema by the combination of the fine lines and strong pencil lines in the dark parts of the drawing.

Longing women

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema (1836-1912) is an artist from Dronrijp who emigrated to England after his studies at the art academy in Antwerp. During his studies he regularly made portraits of people from his immediate environment.

In 2016 there was a large exhibition about the artist in the Fries Museum. It mainly showed his images of ancient Roman scenes with longing beautiful women. That was a great success: 158,000 visitors came to it.

The drawing can be seen from April 20 on at the exhibition Collected Work: the rich collection of Friesland, writes regional broadcasting organisation Omrop Fryslân. The museum now has 18 paintings and around 90 works on paper by the artist.

New Dutch fungus species discovery


This video is called Mycoacia nothofagi – fungi kingdom.

In January this year, Jaap van den Berg discovered this species, for the first time ever in the Netherlands, in woodland near Soest in Utrecht province.

Mycoacia nothofagi lives in many countries all over the world; even in Antarctica. So far, it had not been found in the Netherlands. It has not been found in Belgium yet.

Puerto Rico’s climate change Hurricane Maria


This 29 September 2017 video is called Hurricane MARIA Devastates Humacao, Puerto Rico.

From the American Geophysical Union:

Climate change to blame for Hurricane Maria‘s extreme rainfall

April 16, 2019

Hurricane Maria dropped more rain on Puerto Rico than any storm to hit the island since 1956, a feat due mostly to the effects of human-caused climate warming, new research finds.

A new study analyzing Puerto Rico’s hurricane history finds 2017’s Maria had the highest average rainfall of the 129 storms to have struck the island in the past 60 years. A storm of Maria’s magnitude is nearly five times more likely to form now than during the 1950s, an increase due largely to the effects of human-induced warming, according to the study’s authors.

“What we found was that Maria’s magnitude of peak precipitation is much more likely in the climate of 2017 when it happened versus the beginning of the record in 1950,” said David Keellings, a geographer at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and lead author of the new study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Previous studies have attributed Hurricane Harvey‘s record rainfall to climate change, but no one had yet looked in depth at rainfall from Maria, which struck Puerto Rico less than a month after Harvey devastated Houston and the Gulf Coast. Extreme rainfall during both storms caused unprecedented flooding that placed them among the top three costliest hurricanes on record (the other being Hurricane Katrina in 2005).

The new study adds to the growing body of evidence that human-caused warming is making extreme weather events like these more common, according to the authors.

“Some things that are changing over the long-term are associated with climate change — like the atmosphere getting warmer, sea surface temperatures increasing, and more moisture being available in the atmosphere — together they make something like Maria more likely in terms of its magnitude of precipitation,” Keellings said.

Constructing a history of rain

José Javier Hernández Ayala, a climate researcher at Sonoma State University in California and co-author of the new study, is originally from Puerto Rico and his family was directly impacted by Hurricane Maria. After the storm, Hernández Ayala decided to team up with Keellings to see how unusual Maria was compared to previous storms that have struck the island.

The researchers analyzed rainfall from the 129 hurricanes that have struck Puerto Rico since 1956, the earliest year with records they could rely on. They found Hurricane Maria produced the largest maximum daily rainfall of those 129 storms: a whopping 1,029 millimeters (41 inches) of rain. That places Maria among the top 10 wettest hurricanes to ever have hit United States territory.

“Maria is more extreme in its precipitation than anything else that the island has ever seen,” Keellings said. “I just didn’t expect that it was going to be so much more than anything else that’s happened in the last 60 years.”

Keellings and Hernández Ayala also wanted to know whether Maria’s extreme rain was a result of natural climate variability or longer-term trends like human-induced warming. To do so, they analyzed the likelihood of an event like Maria happening in the 1950s versus today.

They found an extreme event like Maria was 4.85 times more likely to happen in the climate of 2017 than in 1956, and that change in all probability can’t be explained by natural climate cycles.

At the beginning of the observational record in the 1950s, a storm like Maria was likely to drop that much rain once every 300 years. But in 2017, that likelihood dropped to about once every 100 years, according to the study.

“Due to anthropogenic climate change it is now much more likely that we get these hurricanes that drop huge amounts of precipitation,” Keellings said.

The findings show human influence on hurricane precipitation has already started to become evident, according to Michael Wehner, a climate scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, who was not connected to the new study. Because so much of Maria’s damage was due to flooding from the extreme amount of rain, it is safe to say that part of those damages were exacerbated by climate change, Wehner said.

“Extreme precipitation during tropical cyclones has been increased by climate change,” he said. “Not all storms have a large amount of inland flooding, of freshwater flooding. But of those that do, the floods are increased to some extent by climate change.”

Giant honey bee colony buzzing in sync


This 16 April 2019 video says about itself:

Massive Bee Colony Buzzing In Sync To Scare Off Predators | BBC Earth

These giant bees buzzing create spectacular waves.

Beekeepers across the United States lost 40.7 percent of their honey bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019, according to preliminary results of the latest annual nationwide survey conducted by the University of Maryland-led nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership. The survey results indicate winter losses of 37.7 percent, which is the highest winter loss reported since the survey began 13 years ago and 8.9 percentage points higher than the survey average: here.