Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

Nepal landslide and flood kills 34

Nepal landslide

At least 34 people have been killed and hundreds of others gone missing in Nepal as heavy downpour continued for over three days across the country, triggering landslides and flood in rivers.

At least 11 people have died in Surkhet district, nine in Gorkha, Chitwan, Rukum districts, eight in Lalitpur, Udayapur, Dang and Manang districts, and six in Nawalparasi, Khotang, Sindhuli, Dhanusha, Makawnapur, Dhanusha districts, according to various media reports here.

Thousands of people have been displaced and huge chunks of arable land across the country covered by flood and debris. Hilly areas have witnessed landslips while plains are inundated.

Life in the plains has gone out of gear. Many people have started fleeing to safer places and sought immediate government help.

We're ill-prepared if the iceman cometh

© Eric Lobbecke
What if David Archibald's book The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short turns out to be right? What if the past 50 years of peace, cheap energy, abundant food, global economic growth and population explosion have been due to a temporary climate phenomenon?

What if the warmth the world has enjoyed for the past 50 years is the result of solar activity, not man-made CO2?

In a letter to the editor of Astronomy & Astrophysics, IG Usoskin et al produced the "first fully ­adjustment-free physical reconstruction of solar activity". They found that during the past 3000 years the modern grand maxima, which occurred between 1959 and 2009, was a rare event both in magnitude and duration. This research adds to growing evidence that climate change is determined by the sun, not humans.

Yet during the past 20 years the US alone has poured about $US80 billion into climate change research on the presumption that humans are the primary cause. The effect has been to largely preordain scientific conclusions. It set in train a virtuous cycle where the more scientists pointed to human causes, the more governments funded their research.

Peru's Sabancaya volcano registers explosion, entering new eruptive phase

Experts say that Peru's Sabancaya has entered into a new eruptive stage
© Peru21/Ingemmet
According to Peru21, the explosion took place at around 4:30 on Saturday morning. The phenomenon went on for just under a minute. According to the Arequipa Volcanological Observatory (part of the Peruvian Geophysical Institute), the explosion generated 9,083 megajoules.

The explosion resulted in the emission of ash and gases, which rose into a column three kilometers in height. Peru21 reports that the smoke-like substance seen rising from the volcano is mostly steam, but some blue gases likely composed of sulfur dioxide have also been spotted coming out of Sabancaya.

Peru21 writes that geological authorities believe that the explosion may have been connected to the recent increased seismic activity in the region.

Authorities are warning citizens to take precautions in case another explosion occurs soon. Peru21 reports that geological and civil defense groups will meet soon in order to determine the risk to local populations.

Comment: Sabancaya Volcano in southern Peru becomes active after 15 years of silence


Ferry disabled after being hit by large rogue waves off Scituate, Massachusetts

Boston ferr
A ferry en route to Boston from Provincetown was disabled after being hit by a large wave Wednesday, according to the Coast Guard.

Just before 4 p.m., a ferry was midway through its fourth trip of the day, to and from Provincetown and Boston, when the vessel was hit by a large set of waves that broke two of the seven windows in the pilot house, Bay State Cruise Company officials said in a statement.

The two windows that broke were in the center of the pilot house, which is where the captain navigates from.

Officials said windws in the passengers cabin, which is under the pilot house, were not broken and it appeared as though the waves were at an angle and height that they only struck at the pilot house level, which is about 20 feet above the water.

Comment: Rogue waves blamed for shipping disasters

Cloud Lightning

Sheets of rain: Heavy flooding swamps Babylon, NY and other parts of Long Island

© NY Daily News
A record-setting rainstorm flooded parts of Long Island, NY. August 13th, 2014
Multiple local government agencies on Long Island declared states of emergency Wednesday after a storm dumped nearly an entire summer's worth of rain, causing major flooding in some spots that stranded motorists and snarled the morning commute. From Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning, Islip got more than 13 inches of rain, more than the normal total for June, July and August of 11.75 inches, said Joe Pollina of the National Weather Service. More than 5 inches of it fell in just a one-hour period, from 5 to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Pollina said. Holbrook got nearly 11 inches.

A state of emergency was declared in Suffolk County, where county Executive Steve Bellone called the weather Wednesday morning a "storm of historic proportions. It was unprecedented and unpredicted - the size, the extent, the scale," Bellone said at a news conference Wednesday, also remarking that "this could be a 500-year storm we just witnessed."

Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci said the storm brought "a historic amount of rain in a short amount of time." The Town of Brookhaven within in Suffolk County also declared a state of emergency. Officials warned that the ground was saturated and could cause sinkholes, collapsing cesspools, and the uprooting of trees. As 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten reported, some Suffolk County homes were still sitting on lakefront property on Wednesday night, as water was having trouble receding even with the help of municipal pumps.

"Had about 12 inches of water in the basement and 4 or 5 inches in the car" one West Islip resident said. While the storms had long since moved on by Wednesday night, standing water prompted officers to stand guard, and more problems were expected for the Thursday morning commute.

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Life Preserver

Southeast Michigan declares state of emergency due to flooding

michigan flooding
© Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security surveyed flooding in Metro Detroit following storms on Aug. 11, 2014
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has declared parts of southeast Michigan a "disaster area" after this week's widespread flooding.

Gov. Snyder declared an official state of emergency for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties on Wednesday following calls for help from the flooded counties, Michigan Radio reported.

"The flooding that continues to impact Southeastern Michigan is a disaster in every sense of the word. As local and state authorities work around the clock to deal with this situation, it is clear that the significant personal property and infrastructure damage, coupled with ongoing threats to public safety, warrants this state declaration," Snyder said in a statement Wednesday. "By taking this action, the state can fully coordinate and maximize efforts to support its local partners."
Cow Skull

Sao Paulo, Brazil's biggest city, faces water rationing amid drought

Brazil's biggest city is running out of water and options. The worst drought to hit the Sao Paulo region in 84 years is forcing local authorities for the second time in a year to put water pumps below the gates of the main reservoir, where the level has dropped sharply, so water can flow to the city's 9 million people.

Federal prosecutors are also demanding that state officials immediately present a plan for water rationing, warning that otherwise the reservoir could go dry. At Jaguari dam, one of the basins of the Cantareira System, cracks are spreading in the mud, scaring longtime residents who say they haven't experienced a water shortage like this in a long time.

"I had never seen the reservoir like this, nor anyone else living here," said Nestor Algario, who lives in Braganca Paulista, north of Sao Paulo.

The region got only a third of the usual rain during Brazil's wet season from December to February. Experts complain about the government's response, saying officials have been more focused on the city's hosting of several World Cup games, and the campaigning by candidates for presidential and gubernatorial elections.

While California has hottest start to the year, the Midwest chills

drought sign LA
Freeway sign in Los Angeles. No end in sight for California drought.
The heat records keep falling for California. The state has had its hottest first seven months of the year, crushing the previous mark. Neighboring states have also baked, though not quite at record levels, helping contribute to both the spread of drought and large wildfires. At the same time, cool weather had a number of Midwest states experiencing July temperatures that were closer to September norms.

On Tuesday, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) released its monthly climate update for the U.S. and it contained more cruel news for California. Precipitation was near average throughout the state, but it had a negligible impact on the state's record-setting drought because summer is its dry season. To reinforce that, NCDC noted that while San Francisco received 800 percent of its usual July rainfall, that equalled only 0.08 inches.
temp map USA
Heat continued to bake the state, fueling a drought that's projected to cost $2 billion by year's end. California had its fifth-warmest July on record, including pockets of record warmth along the northern coast. July's heat kept the state on track for its warmest year in 120 years of recordkeeping. Since January, the state's average temperature has been 4.6°F above the 20th-century average. That smashes the previous record by 1.4°F.

Five other western states had their top 10 warmest Julys as well, which helped to fuel large wildfires. In Washington, which had its fifth-warmest July, the Carlton Complex Fire burned more than 250,000 acres. In Oregon, which had its second-warmest July, the Buzzard Complex Fire charred more than 400,000 acres. Despite those two large fires, the amount of acres burned by wildfires nationwide is at a 10-year low.

While heat was the story in the West, persistent cool weather continues to be the story for the eastern half of the country. The Midwest and Southeast were in the bullseye for a mid-summer's chill with 12 states stretching from Louisiana to Michigan recording one of their 10-coldest Julys. That includes a record cool July for Indiana and Arkansas.

Comment: Climate Central claims it is "a leading authority on climate science that cuts through the hype with a clear-eyed analysis of climate change, delivering just the facts and findings." Its world weather attribution project looks at the role of global warming in extreme weather events and identifies a human fingerprint. This initiative performs extreme "weather autopsies" immediately after an extreme weather event and makes a snap determination for the waiting media. They state four possible outcomes of the attribution analysis: #1) global warming increased the likelihood of the event, #2) global warming did not play a role in the event, #3) global warming reduced the likelihood of the event, and #4) the model was unable to reproduce the event. In example, Climate Central has deemed "manmade climate change significantly increased the odds of the killer European heat wave of 2003 and the Russian heat wave of 2010. Their bottom line is "YES, these events fit a pattern that climate scientists have long expected to appear as the result of increased greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere." A general scientific agreement is that global warming has contributed a trend toward more intense extremes of heat and precipitation around the world, is partly to blame for specific extreme weather events and will continue to influence both in the future."

Sounds like this ultra-scientific, fact-finding, data-digging, leading authority is feeding a pre-determined agenda with pre-determined results. It is doubtful outcomes #2,#3,#4 are ever factors. Those options do not make headlines. Greenhouse gas does.

Cloud Precipitation

Video: Incredible flash floods, storms from Arizona to New England

Interesting place for an unprecedented flood...
Heavy rains that have soaked a large swath of the United States over the last several days have spawned flash floods from Arizona to New England, submerging vehicles in parking lots and trapping drivers in their cars.

Over a foot of rain fell on Long Island in New York on Wednesday, forcing the closure of parts of the Long Island Expressway, Southern State Parkway, Northern State Parkway, Jericho Turnpike and other roads. Dozens of cars were seen submerged on the Southern State Parkway in Islip, Long Island, during morning rush hour.

Baltimore had picked up 6.27 inches of rain, enough to make it "the second-rainiest August day since records began in 1871," according to USA Today. Photos on social media showed cars swamped in a parking lot at BWI airport.

Swedish MP declares "Climate science has gone awry...Resembles a religion...Anything but scientific"!

Josef Fransson
© Scanpix Sweden/Henrik Montgomery/Scanpix
First there was sea level rise expert Nils-Axel Mörner, then top Swedish climatologist Lennart Bengtsson breaking ranks with the IPCC.

Now the Swedish online nyheter24 here has a commentary by Parliamentarian Josef Fransson (photo above) of the Sweden Democrats(SD) party, who fires sharp criticism at IPCC climate science and the policymaking based on it.

First, before looking at his commentary, Wikipedia describes the Fransson's SD party as a "far-right populist and anti-immigration party". But readers need to keep in mind that nowadays in Europe anyone who challenges the IPCC, or expresses the need for governments to clean house of all their entrenched political cronies gets labeled a right-wing extremist...a hater. We see this smearing kind of treatment already with the UKIP party and Germany's AfD. So don't put much stock in Wikipedia's biased political characterizations.

There's just no tolerance for dissent any more.