The phenomenon of mysterious booms is continuing around the world, with the sound of unexplained explosions being reported from locales as diverse as Michigan, Lapland, St Ives, Swansea and Yorkshire.

Booms reported by residents of six counties in Alabama have been investigated by police, NASA, and the Birmingham Alabama National Weather Service, with the latter tweeting on November 14:

"Re: loud boom heard: we do not see anything indicating large fire/smoke on radar or satellite; nothing on USGS indicating an earthquake. We don’t have an answer, and can only hypothesize with you. 1) sonic boom from aircraft; 2) meteorite w/ current Leonid shower?"
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La Niña conditions are currently forming in the Pacific Ocean, however forecasters expect that if these conditions persist through the winter, this will only be a mild episode, compared to La Niña that have occurred in the past.

La Niña, Spanish for "little girl", occurs when sea surface temperatures drop to below normal along a band following the equator in the Eastern Pacific, the counterpart to the phenomenon of above-average sea surface temperatures known as El Niño. These two phenomena are part of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), one of the strongest drivers of climate variation in North America and around the world.
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The infamous hole in Earth’s ozone layer has shrunk down to 7.6 million square miles wide (12,200,000 square kilometers), the smallest the gap has been since 1988. This healing of Earth’s main shield against ultraviolet radiation is due largely to efforts initiated in the mid-1980s, when the use of ozone-harming CFCs was phased out. Not only is this positive news in regards to our atmosphere’s ability to filter out harmful UV radiation, it also stands as an example of how humanity can make a positive, large-scale impact when efforts to reduce ecological harm are required, such as in the case of our need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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