Earth ChangesS


Cold puts Western Canada crops behind schedule

wheat canada
© Reuters / Shaun BestCanadian wheat grows in a field near Teulon, Manitiba, July 26, 2006.

Winnipeg, Manitoba - Cool weather has pushed growth of Western Canada's wheat and barley crop at least 10 days behind schedule, the Canadian Wheat Board said on Monday.

"You're pushing development into a period with better likelihood of getting a (pre-harvest) frost," said Bruce Burnett, director of weather and market analysis for the Canadian Wheat Board. "It's not particularly what we need at this moment. It's just too cool."

There's little relief in forecasts for the Prairie region. Southern Manitoba, parts of which are still seeding, will have cool, wet weather through Wednesday, according to Environment Canada. Daily low temperatures of just above freezing are also forecast for much of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The Wheat Board, which has a government-granted marketing monopoly on Western Canada's wheat and barley, releases its planting and production estimates on Thursday.

Cloud Lightning

The clouds with no name: Harbingers of a mighty storm

© Ken Prior
Whipped into fantastical shapes, these clouds hang over the darkening landscape like the harbingers of a mighty storm.

But despite their stunning and frequent appearances, the formations have yet to be officially recognised with a name.

They have been seen all over Britain in different forms - from Snowdonia to the Scottish Highlands -and in other parts of the world such as New Zealand, but usually break up without producing a storm.


NASA Study Acknowledges Solar Cycle, Not Man, Responsible for Past Warming

© Wikimedia CommonsPast studies have shown that sunspot numbers correspond to warming or cooling trends. The twentieth century has featured heightened activity, indicating a warming trend.
Some researchers believe that the solar cycle influences global climate changes. They attribute recent warming trends to cyclic variation. Skeptics, though, argue that there's little hard evidence of a solar hand in recent climate changes.

Now, a new research report from a surprising source may help to lay this skepticism to rest. A study from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland looking at climate data over the past century has concluded that solar variation has made a significant impact on the Earth's climate. The report concludes that evidence for climate changes based on solar radiation can be traced back as far as the Industrial Revolution.


The Man Who Cried Doom

NASA's James Hansen is the least-muzzled climate alarmist in America.

It's been more than 20 years since James Hansen first warned America of impending doom. On a hot summer day in June 1988, Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, came to Washington to announce before a Senate committee that "the greenhouse effect has been detected and it is changing our climate now."

The greenhouse effect would have looked obvious enough to anyone watching on television. The senators conducting the hearing, including Al Gore, had turned the committee room into an oven. That day it was a balmy 98 degrees, and as former Colorado senator Timothy Wirth later revealed, the committee members "went in the night before and opened all the windows. And so when the hearing occurred, there was not only bliss, which is television cameras and [high ratings], but it was really hot."

Hansen has been a star ever since. On the 20th anniversary of his testimony to Congress and still serving in the same role at NASA, Hansen was invited back for an encore performance where he warned that time was running out. He also conducted a media tour that included calling for the CEOs of fossil fuel companies, including ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy, to be put on trial for "high crimes against humanity and nature."

If you hear the echo of Nuremberg in those trials, it's because Hansen doesn't shy away from Holocaust metaphors to make his point. In 2007, Hansen testified before the Iowa Utilities Board not in his capacity as a government employee but "as a private citizen, a resident of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, on behalf of the planet, of life on Earth, including all species." Hansen told the board that "if we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains--no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species."


Mittens in Britain but the heat is coming

The current unseasonable cold across northwest Europe is not the only place where the arctic hound is calling as yet another blast of reality gets lobbed into the base camp of agenda driven warmingistas, who of course refuse to see anything that could possibly challenge their false idols. I will not say that the cold that has been occurring is a sign an ice age is on the way, but it is a sign that people world wide had better wake up to the idea that the "science is in" crowd does not want them to see facts.

First of all, cries out of the US government based NOAA of here comes El Nino are 5 months late to a party I starting throwing last winter. They are out of touch on this being a warm year unless of course they get to skew the data worldwide.. The satellites which measure temps without instrument bias have been seeing the cooling. But here we find the private sector saying something 5 months before, the US government mets suddenly seeing it, and issuing a) el nino watches and then b) taken the nonsensical step of saying we will have a hot time because of it. The El Nino is coming while the PDO is cold, and a winter more harsh than last year may be shaping up for Europe.


North America Jet Stream, Recent Pattern is Unusual

June 2009 North America jet stream
© AccuWeather

The weather across large portions of the United States and Canada has been rather strange recently with extremes on both ends of the spectrum.

The main reason for the unusual weather has been the position of the jet stream. The jet stream has been pushed farther to the south than normal due to high pressure blocking in the far northern latitudes. These blocks have forced unseasonably chilly air into the Northern states and parts of the West, while unseasonably warm and dry weather has persisted from parts of Alaska through British Columbia and Washington state.

Cloud Lightning

Recent Upswing in Lightning

Have thunderstorms been more electrified this year?

So far, 2009 has been a deadly year for lightning strikes. Two people were killed on Wednesday, bringing the total number of lightning-related deaths to six, with 50 injuries reported total. A Southwest Airlines plane was struck by lightning in California earlier this week. Is this trend of lightning strikes on people and airplanes abnormal this year?

On average, 60 people are killed and over 350 people are injured by lightning each year, with June, July and August the most common months for deaths. In 2008, 27 people were killed by lightning and 303 injured.

As for aircraft, 66 have reported lightning strikes so far this year. Last year, 55 reported lightning strikes to airplanes occurred through May.

The number of deaths and the number of airplanes hit does not seem out of the ordinary this year. Actually, the number of lightning flashes is considerably less than what was reported this time last year. As of June 3, 2009, there have been 5,589,686 flashes, with 6,517,381 reported by June 3, 2008.

One of the reasons for this could be colder-than-normal weather across the northern tier of the country that has suppressed the number of thunderstorms and has significantly reduced the number of tornadoes this year. The number of reported tornadoes so far this year is 685, just over half of the average annual amount, which is 1,297.


Dickinson North Dakota June snowfall first since 1951

Meanwhile, snow falls across areas of southwestern North Dakota, and did we mention it's June.

It's the first time since 1951that Dickinson residents have seen snow in June and it is the latest snowfall on record for the city.

Here's the white stuff in Richardton this afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service... there were unofficial reports of a couple of inches of snow in several southwestern towns...


Alberta, Saskatchewan get snow in June

snow june 2009 Calgary
© Christina Ryan, Calgary Herald Seamen Keith Scott, Bill Buchanan and Gordon Rowan are caught hiding from the hail during the Military Museums Royal Tea Party for 600 Veterans and supporters on the 65th anniversary of D-Day

Ah June, when the long sunny days bring thoughts of swimming holes, tents and - toboggans?

Yes, snow has fallen in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan this weekend.

Bundled in a long coat and mittens to ward of the cold, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's wife, Laureen, led an annual parade in Diamond Valley, Alta., on Saturday, undeterred by the snowfall around her.

"It's lovely to be home," said Harper, who grew up in the area.

"I love it, no matter what the weather is."

In Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, which straddles the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan, forecasters reported a heavy snowfall.

"We had a report from the park there was 15 centimetres on the ground and still snowing heavily," said Dan Fulton with Environment Canada.

"We will be expecting total snow there of about 20 or maybe even 25 centimetres (Saturday) in the park."


US: Isn't this June? Snow sticking around on Pikes Peak

No, Colorado Springs residents, your calendar isn't deceiving you. It is in fact June.

A glance to the west, in the rare moments this week when the sky has been clear, may suggest otherwise.

Pikes Peak is ensconced in snow, whiter than it was in January and February. A series of snowstorms since Memorial Day weekend has dropped 6 to 12 inches each, said Jack Glavan, manager of the Pikes Peak Highway. Another foot fell above treeline Tuesday, and snow drifts are 7 feet high in places, he said.

While not unheard of, since it can snow all year at 14,115 feet, so much snow is definitely unusual.

"This time of year, yeah, it sure is," said Pat Collrin, who provides visitor information in Colorado Springs for the U.S. Forest Service. "We're getting our winter in spring."