Earth ChangesS


Slash population to save the world: green lobbyist

Australia should consider having a one-child policy to protect the planet, an environmental lobby group says.

Sustainable Population Australia says slashing the world's population is the only way to avoid "environmental suicide".

National president Sandra Kanck wants Australia's population of almost 22 million reduced to seven million to tackle climate change.


The sun's cooling down - so what does that mean for us?

© NASA/Getty ImagesRegion 486 that unleashed a record flare on the sun.
The sun's activity is winding down, triggering fevered debate among scientists about how low it will go, and what it means for Earth's climate. Nasa recorded no sunspots on 266 days in 2008 - a level of inactivity not seen since 1913 - and 2009 looks set to be even quieter. Solar wind pressure is at a 50-year low and our local star is ever so slightly dimmer than it was 10 years ago.

Sunspots are the most visible sign of an active sun - islands of magnetism on the sun's surface where convection is inhibited, making the gas cooler and darker when seen from Earth - and the fact that they're vanishing means we're heading into a period of solar lethargy.

Comment: Recent 'hikes'?

Two years of cooling has destroyed global warming consensus

Bizarro Earth

Flashback Arctic Volcanoes Found Active at Unprecedented Depths

© Photograph by Adam Soule and Claire Willis/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Map courtesy of Martin Jakobsson/Stockholm University, Robert Reves-Sohn and Adam Soule/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the AGAVE science team. Glassy, granular fragments of seafloor basalt (right) are a key piece of evidence that volcanoes along the Arctic Ocean's Gakkel Ridge (left) have exploded violently, and at unprecedented depths, according to a June 2008 study.
Buried under thick ice and frigid water, volcanic explosions are shaking the Arctic Ocean floor at depths previously thought impossible, according to a new study. Using robot-operated submarines, researchers have found deposits of glassy rock - evidence of eruptions - scattered over more than 5 square miles (15 square kilometers) of the seabed.

Explosive volcanic eruptions were not thought to be possible at depths below the critical pressure for steam formation, or 2 miles (3,000 meters). The deposits, however, were found at seafloor depths greater than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers).

"This kind of implosive seismicity is rare anywhere on Earth," said study author Robert Sohn, a geophysicist at the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The study appears today in the Journal Nature.


Flashback Global warming in the Arctic: Doesn't anyone just report the facts anymore?

I posted the other day all about the Volcano Under the North Pole. The story had been out for some time but word started getting spread on June 27. On that same day came the headline "This Summer We May See the First Ice-Free North Pole" from the Associated Press. The story is based on a report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. That report came out on June 3, yet the Associated Press waited to report on it until June 27. Makes you say...hmmmmm. The first sentence in the article quotes a leading scientist with his guess that there is a 50-50 chance that the North Pole becomes ice-free this summer. Later, you find that it says slightly less than 50-50 chance. Let's don't let a little adverb get in the way of a catchy first sentence. Later, you find a leading scientist who puts the odds at 1 in 4. Why wasn't he the first guy mentioned? Why was he buried in the story? Why wasn't that the headline? BTW...the 50-50 stuff isn't found in the NSIDC report either...only the AP story.


Flashback Global Warming in the Arctic - Or Simply Massive Under Sea Volcanoes?

One of the disconnects the Church of Al Gore/IPCC has yet to address regarding so-called Global Warming is why is it the Arctic ice extent is receding (thus all the chicken-little screams) while the Antarctic ice extent is growing at historic rates. Given the fact CO2 levels are ubiquitous across the Earth, if this was really a global climate driver we should see higher temperatures (and less ice) across the globe, adjusted for latitude and the amount of land vs sea surface area. Here is the Northern ice extent plots from NOAA:

And here is the southern ice extent plots:


Mr. Potato

Australia's Environment Minister withdraws claim of 6m rise in sea levels

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has moved to water down his claim that sea levels could rise by 6m as a result of the melting of Antarctic ice. Mr Garrett has also been forced to qualify his suggestion that ice across the whole of the Antarctic continent is melting.

He made the claims while being interviewed by the ABC's Lateline program on April 6 about the reported break-up of parts of the Wilkins ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Weekend Australian reported that while some ice-shelf melting is under way on the peninsula and in other parts of west Antarctica that may be related to global warming, ice shelves in east Antarctica remain intact.

East Antarctica is four times the size of west Antarctica.


Drowned Spiders Come Back From The Dead

© Sonia Dourlot Pictures of the marsh spider, Arctosa fulvolineata during an experiment. In the first image (a) the drowning begins, in (b) the spider becomes nonreactive (see the reduced air storage), in (c) the spider has entered a coma and in (d) it is recovered four hours after the end of submersion.
When Julien Petillon wanted to see how long a salt marsh-dwelling wolf spider could survive underwater, he did the logical thing - he submerged them, and waited until they died.

Spiders are known for their resilience to being underwater, so it was no surprise to him that the dozens of Arctosa Fulvolineata in the experiment took almost 24 hours to grow still. What did surprise him is the dead-still spiders then came back to life.

As they lay drying in Petillion's laboratory at the University of Rennes in France, something odd happened: the 'dead' spiders began to twitch. First one small movement, then another - before long the salt marsh spiders were skittering about as though nothing had happened.


Predators starve as we plunder oceans

Marine giants go hungry as fleets scoop up their prey for our fish suppers.

Starving sea life - from whales to puffins, tuna to seals - is being found all over the world's oceans, as the food on which it depends is being fished out, startling new evidence shows. And much of the depletion, ironically, is caused by raising captive fish - for the table.


Natural Cycle Linked to Past and Present Global Warming Cycles: Earth Now Entering Global Cooling for the Next 180 Years

New global warming research released in the book "Global Warming - Global Cooling, Natural Cause Found," can now be downloaded free. Research illustrated within the book links the Moon's recurring gravitational cycles as the primary driving force causing 2200 global warming events during the past half million years, including the earth's current warming cycle which is now ending. It also links these natural cycles to the 50 percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels seen during the past 8 thousand years, not just the past 150 years. Due to the significance of these findings, Meteorologist and climate researcher David Dilley of Global Weather Oscillations, is now offering the book free to download on the website His book is written in non technical language so everyone from middle school to college professors can understand these important findings concerning the earth's natural cycles.


UK: Warm April set fair for weather record

warm weather in London
© PAJess Vant, 22, and Sky Anderson, 21, enjoy the warm weather in Hyde Park, London
TS Eliot said it was "the cruellest month" but this April is proving rather kind, with forecasters saying it could be the warmest for a decade.

The Met Office has logged temperatures of several degrees above the average so far this week, and its experts predict the good weather is set to stay.

Last Wednesday saw temperatures reach 22 degrees (72F) in East Malling, Kent - the hottest day of the year so far, and in London yesterday it was 21C (70F) with the north and Midlands enjoying 20C (68F).

Temperatures are expected to approach the low-20s in the south east by the end of this week and the next few days should be generally warm and dry, with occasional showers in the west.