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Physical Geography

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California wildfires: What is a firenado? Image copyright Getty Images Amidst the devastation of a huge wildfire in the US state of California, photos have emerged of a rare force of nature.

California wildfires: What is a firenado?

Firenadoes, torrents of wind and flame that burn at extreme temperatures, have been spotted in the hills near San Bernardino, 60 miles (96km) east of Los Angeles. The whirlwinds form when a fire heats air above it and pulls in cool air at its base, creating a self-sustaining vortex. Surface water shifting around the Earth. Image copyright deltares Scientists have used satellite images to study how the water on the Earth's surface has changed over 30 years.

Surface water shifting around the Earth

They found that 115,000 sq km (44,000 sq miles) of land is now covered in water and 173,000 sq km (67,000 sq miles) of water has now become land. Endangered glaciers: Alpine ice begins Antarctic voyage. More than 400 pieces of Alpine ice have been moved to a giant freezer - a first step in their journey to Antarctica.

Endangered glaciers: Alpine ice begins Antarctic voyage

The seemingly strange plan to send ice to the coldest place on Earth is part of a scientific mission to "rescue" some of the world's most endangered glacial ice. Bubbles in old, deep glacial ice are frozen records of our past atmosphere. Scientists say their purpose-built Antarctic ice bunker will keep these safe for future research. Image copyright Victoria Gill. Arctic Ocean shipping routes 'to open for months' Image copyright SPL Shipping routes across the Arctic are going to open up significantly this century even with a best-case reduction in CO2 emissions, a new study suggests.

Arctic Ocean shipping routes 'to open for months'

University of Reading, UK, researchers have investigated how the decline in sea-ice, driven by warmer temperatures, will make the region more accessible. Louisiana floods: One of the worst recent US disasters. Hundreds of flights cancelled as typhoon hits Tokyo. Image copyright EPA A strong typhoon packing heavy rain and wind has struck near Tokyo, grounding hundreds of domestic flights.

Hundreds of flights cancelled as typhoon hits Tokyo

Typhoon Mindulle made landfall at about 12:30pm local time (04:30 GMT) in Tateyama city, some 80km (50 miles) southeast of the capital. Typhoon Lionrock: Nine die in flooded Japan care home. US storm Hermine: Eastern states brace for heavy rain. Image copyright Reuters US east coast states are on alert for Tropical Storm Hermine, which is pushing north-eastward as people take time off for the long holiday weekend.

US storm Hermine: Eastern states brace for heavy rain

The high winds have left a trail of destruction in the south-east of the US. Storm Hermine regains power to threaten US north-east. Image copyright AP Storm Hermine is regaining power as it moves up the US eastern seaboard, threatening the north-east with dangerous coastal surges.

Storm Hermine regains power to threaten US north-east

Hermine is forecast to return to the Category 1 hurricane strength it lost as it pummelled Florida. The storm left a trail of destruction in the south-east, killing two people. Governors have announced emergency plans along the coast as far north as Connecticut, with many Labor Day weekend events cancelled. Hurricane Hermine in picturesThe storms names that were retired - and whyWhat's the difference between hurricanes and typhoons? Mexico on alert as Hurricane Newton heads for Pacific coast. Image copyright AFP A huge storm bearing down on the Pacific coast of Mexico has strengthened to a hurricane just hours before it is due to make landfall.

Mexico on alert as Hurricane Newton heads for Pacific coast

Hurricane Newton is heading north-west towards the southern end of the Baja California peninsula with winds of about 75mph (120 km/h). The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Newton could trigger flash floods. Greece flash floods leave at least three dead. Image copyright Getty Images Three people have been found dead and a woman is missing after torrential rain caused flash flooding in Greece.

Greece flash floods leave at least three dead

The worst casualties were in and around the south-western city of Kalamata, where a disabled woman aged 63 and a man of 80 died in their basement homes. A 90 year-old was also found dead.