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Mon, 04 Dec 2023
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Earth Changes

Red Flag

A Plague of Plastic


In the North Pacific Gyre, lost or abandoned fishing nets catch plastic and other debris.

What we do on land affects even the most remote parts of our planet including our oceans. In the North Pacific Gyre, a rotating body of ocean currents roughly 1,000 nautical miles northeast of the Hawaiian Islands, the magnitude of human impact is powerfully clear. Trash, notably plastic waste, is accumulating here and turning our oceans into a synthetic soup. Everything from tiny plastic fragments to fully intact car tires litter the water column.


Herbs 'Can Be Natural Pesticides'


Common herbs and spices could help protect crops against pests
Common herbs and spices show promise as an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional pesticides, scientists have told a major US conference.

They have spent a decade researching the insecticidal properties of rosemary, thyme, clove and mint.

They could become a key weapon against insect pests in organic agriculture, the researchers say, as the industry attempts to satisfy demand.

Bizarro Earth

US: Swarm of 18 earthquakes hits near Borrego Springs, CA

A swarm of 18 small earthquakes hit near Borrego Springs and Desert Shores between 6:47 p.m. and 9:10 p.m. Monday, according to U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The quakes ranged in magnitude from 1.0 to 2.9.

Most of the temblors occurred 8 miles NNW of Borrego Springs.

Between 10:53 p.m. Monday and 6:37 a.m. today, there have been four more quakes near the area, ranging in magnitude from 1.1 to 1.5.

Bizarro Earth

US: 2 earthquakes strike Colorado 1 day apart

Craig - The second earthquake to hit Colorado in two days has rattled the northwest corner of the state, but no damage has been reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.7-magnitude quake struck at 8:50 p.m. on Monday. The epicenter was 11 miles north of Craig and 150 miles west of Denver.

Jeana Weber, a dispatcher for the State Patrol who lives about seven miles northwest of Craig, says she was reading in bed when her house began shaking.

She says her dogs were spooked and pictures on the walls shook.


Journalists Show Bias on Global Warming Issues

Read these quotes:
"As scientific evidence has accumulated that the planet is warming and that humans are behind it, many previous skeptics have been won over. There remains a vocal cadre of critics, however, at least some of whose arguments have shifted over the last several years from outright denial that the earth is warming to insisting it's unrelated to human activity - and even if it is, likely nothing much to worry about."

"Some of the most vocal skeptics have done relatively little recent peer-reviewed scientific research on the topic, and some have had their voices amplified via financial support from industries opposed to any government regulation or taxation of greenhouse gas emissions."

"Others do have training and experience, at least in some aspects of the wide-ranging issue, and are not bankrolled by industry. But overall, their number represents a distinctly minority position in the ongoing and normal colloquy among scientists about the evidence of climate change and its likely impacts."
The paragraphs above are taken from the website of the Society of Environmental Journalists section on "Skeptics and Contrarians."

Their choice of words and the structure of these comments disclose their preference and prejudices of the global warming issues. They also show a remarkable lack of what science is and how it proceeds. These are the self-appointed journalists who view themselves as final arbiters and reporters of what science is. They haven't a clue.


Water Quality Improves After Lawn Fertilizer Ban, Study Shows

Huron River
© University of Michigan
The Huron River. In an effort to keep lakes and streams clean, municipalities around the country are banning or restricting the use of phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizers, which can kill fish and cause smelly algae blooms and other problems when the phosphorus washes out of the soil and into waterways.
In an effort to keep lakes and streams clean, municipalities around the country are banning or restricting the use of phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizers, which can kill fish and cause smelly algae blooms and other problems when the phosphorus washes out of the soil and into waterways.

But do the ordinances really help reduce phosphorus pollution? That's been an open question until now, says John Lehman, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan.

"It's one of those things where political organizations take the action because they believe it's the environmentally conscious thing to do, but there's been no evidence offered in peer-reviewed literature that these ordinances actually have a salutary effect," Lehman said.

Bizarro Earth

US: Earthquake Magnitude 4.4 - Colorado

© US Geological Survey
Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 02:50:17 UTC

Monday, August 17, 2009 at 08:50:17 PM at epicenter

40.682°N, 107.577°W

5 km (3.1 miles) set by location program

18 km (12 miles) N (353°) from Craig, CO

34 km (21 miles) NW (308°) from Hayden, CO

39 km (24 miles) S (185°) from Dixon, WY

211 km (131 miles) W (275°) from Fort Collins, CO

246 km (153 miles) WNW (296°) from Denver, CO

Cloud Lightning

Claudette weakens, but hurricane forms in Atlantic

Pensacola Beach, Florida - A quick-forming tropical storm blew into the Florida Panhandle on Monday and quickly lost steam while the first hurricane of this year's Atlantic season took shape over the open ocean on a track for Bermuda.

Sustained winds near 35 mph after coming ashore a few hours earlier as the first named storm to hit the U.S. mainland this year. Claudette made landfall near Fort Walton Beach early Monday less than 12 hours after forming over the Gulf.

Claudette was headed across Alabama toward northeastern Mississippi, bringing heavy rains. It was not expected to cause significant flooding or wind damage.

Near Panama City, a man in his mid-20s died after being pulled from the surf on Sunday afternoon. A Panama City Beach police dispatcher could not immediately provide more details Monday. The Panama City News Herald said another person was reported missing at sea after his boat sank off Shell Island.


Longer term Solar Minimum - Dalton or Maunder

Many scientists are believing a Dalton like solar minimum appears a real possibility given the recent solar behavior. Even David Hathaway of NASA has recently conceded that 'possibility' to the New York Times here.

I received this email from Dr. Richard Mackey of Australia, a solar statistician expert and peer-reviewed author on solar climate factors. I thought you might find his comments and insight interesting. In it he discusses the extreme scenario that the current solar cycle, the longest in at least 150 years and with more sunspotless days (689 days as of today - more than double the number in the cycles the last half century) during this transition could be telegraphing.

Astronomer Emeritus Dr. William Livingston and Associate Astronomer Dr Matthew Penn have for many years been measuring the magnetic field strength of the Sun's magnetic fields. See for example this post. WUWT in June this year published a report by them concluding that, broadly speaking, over the last 15 years the magnetic field strengths of sunspots were decreasing with time independently of the sunspot cycle. A simple linear extrapolation of the magnetic data collected by their special observatory (the McMath-Pierce telescope) suggests that sunspots might largely vanish in five years time. In addition, other scientists report that the solar wind (a large proportion of the Sun's output of matter in the plasma form) is in a lower energy state than found since space measurements began nearly 40 years ago.

In answer to the question: Why is a lack of sunspot activity interesting?, Livingston and Penn answer: "During a period from 1645 to 1715 the Sun entered an extended period of low activity known as the Maunder Minimum. For a time equivalent to several sunspot cycles the Sun displayed few sunspots. Models of the Sun's irradiance suggest that the solar energy input to the Earth decreased during that epoch, and that this lull in solar activity may explain the low temperatures recorded in Europe during the Little Ice Age".


Livingston and Penn in EOS: Are Sunspots Different During This Solar Minimum?

Leif Svalgaard writes to inform me that Livingston and Penn have published their article recently in EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union.
EOS Livingston and Penn
© unknown

As WattsUpWithThat readers may recall, we had a preview of that EOS article here.

Livingston & Penn write in the EOS article:

For hundreds of years, humans have observed that the Sun has displayed activity where the number of sunspots increases and then decreases at approximately 11- year intervals. Sunspots are dark regions on the solar disk with magnetic field strengths greater than 1500 gauss (see Figure 1), and the 11- year sunspot cycle is actually a 22- year cycle in the solar magnetic field, with sunspots showing the same hemispheric magnetic polarity on alternate 11- year cycles.

The last solar maximum occurred in 2001, and the magnetically active sunspots at that time produced powerful flares causing large geomagnetic disturbances and disrupting some space- based technology. But something is unusual about the current sunspot cycle. The current solar minimum has been unusually long, and with more than 670 days without sunspots through June 2009, the number of spotless days has not been equaled since 1933 (see here).