Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

US: Midwest storms cause flooding, spawn tornadoes

Lightning in Kansas
© Associated Press/Orlin WagnerLightning strikes behind a windmill on a farm near Baldwin City, Kansas, Monday, June 15, 2009
Another round of storms in the Midwest has damaged homes and businesses, flooded streets and knocked out power to thousands.

In Minnesota, an apparent tornado struck the town of Austin on Wednesday, uprooting trees, knocking down power lines. At least one person was reported with minor injuries.

The National Weather Service said the storm sent debris flying, flipped cars on their sides and sent trees through roofs.

Abercrombie, a small town south of Fargo, N.D., has been overwhelmed by almost 8 inches of rain in 24 hours.

In the small Missouri town of Norborne, straight-line winds from a thunderstorm reached more than 74 mph, knocking down the walls of one buildings and damaging roofs and trees.


Canada: Winter still grips 90 per cent of north - migratory birds can't breed

It is the winter that refuses to go away in northern Manitoba and most of the eastern Arctic.

Prolonged cold snowy conditions in the Hudson Bay area are expected to obliterate the breeding season for migratory birds and most other species of wildlife this year.

According to Environment Canada, the spring of 2009 is record-late in the eastern Arctic with virtually 100 per cent snow cover from James Bay north as of June 11.

May temperatures in northern Manitoba were almost four degrees C below the long-term average of -0.7, and in early June, temperatures averaged three degrees below normal.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration images confirm snow and ice blanket all of northern Manitoba, part of northern Ontario and almost all of the eastern Arctic as of June 12. U.S. arieal flight surveys confirm the eastern Arctic has no sign of spring so far.

"I have lived in Churchill since the 1950s, and this the latest spring I have ever seen here," said local resident Pat Penwarden. "The spring of 1962 was almost this bad."

Six-foot snowdrifts blocked Churchill-area roads. A thick blanket of snow, in places three- and four-feet deep, coated 90 per cent of the local taiga in northern Manitoba. Ecotourists, who normally flock to northern Manitoba every June to see birds and other wildlife, cancelled their plans this June "in droves," according to local ecotourist specialists. Snowy conditions are largely to blame.

"It is like a winter landscape," said Ruth Baker, a Michigan tourist who spent June 9 to 12 at Churchill. "I couldn't believe the snowdrifts, like mountains of snow".

Researchers confirm that the lateness of the spring of 2009 dooms local birds to a virtually complete reproductive failure.

Comment: This is a very good article until the last five paragraphs. The worldwide global warming psychological conditioning cannot be threatened by any piece of evidence that may counter the chosen agenda.
Recent late springs in the Hudson Bay area have been more frequent than normal: 2004, 2002, 2000 and 1997.
It should be pointed out that the data shows the planet has been globally cooling for at least 7 years and possibly as much as 10-11 years. (Link), (Link), (Link).

The possibility and even high probability given the data that what lies ahead is more frequent delayed springs in the north due to cooling is not even mentioned.

But, dut da da dah... Global Warming is the cause of course!
According to NOAA scientists, although the Arctic is warming, more frequent annual oscillations in temperature are likely to occur, often resulting in late springs.
Of course. And if there were less snow and earlier springs it would be of course - you got it - global warming. And it would be expected regardless.
"Such major oscillations are part of a bumpy ride toward global warming," said Thomas Karl of the National Climate Center. "For awhile at least this will be the shape of things to come."
If such oscillations increase and spread south and crops fail and there are fuel shortages, it will be because of global warming.
"People often confuse climate with weather, and this spring is a weather phenomenon," said an Environment Canada spokesperson.
This last paragraph is just plain insulting. How are the people to understand anything when the spokes people are so utterly wrong?

We will have to see what the next few years bring us.


The cephalopods can hear you

© NPL Bigfin Reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana).
Do Bigfin reef squid listen out for predatory whales?
Octopus and squid can hear.

The discovery resolves a century-long debate over whether cephalopods, the group of sea creatures that includes octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautiluses, can hear sounds underwater.

Compared to fish, octopus and squid do not appear to hear particularly well.

But the fact they can hear raises the possibility that these intelligent animals may use sound to catch prey, communicate with one another or listen out for predators.

The question of whether cephalopods can perceive sound has been controversial since the early 20th Century. Some experiments suggested that blind octopus seemed able to locate the sounds produced by boats or by tapping on the outside of a tank.

But most cephalopods lack a gas-filled chamber, such as the swim bladders that fish can use to hear. That suggested they could not detect the pressure wave component of sound.

However, sensory physiologist Hong Young Yan of the Taiwan National Academy of Science in Taipei, Taiwan suspected that octopus and squid might use another organ called the statocyst to register sound.

Bizarro Earth

Best of the Web: A Cheshire Cat - Will Sunspots disappear entirely by 2015?

Sun 02/22/2009
© SOHOSpotless Sun 02/22/2009

Physical conditions in the infrared at 1.5 microns, including maximum magnetic field strength and temperature, have been observed spectroscopically in 1391 sunspots 1990 to 2009 (1). We emphasize the quantitative difference between our IR sunspot measurements and the visible light results from most solar magnetographs employed world-wide. The latter are compromised by scattered light and measure flux, not field strength. A lower limit of ~1800 Gauss is required to form spot umbra. The umbral maximum field strength has declined over the above interval, perhaps because spots have on average diminished in size. The present condition of solar activity minimum has more spotless days than since the 1910s (2). The Cheshire Cat behavior is related to magnetic surface fields often appearing without accompanying dark spots.

Red Flag

Jellyfish Booms Signal Ecosystems Out of Whack

© unknownJellyfish Swarms Spell Trouble
The dramatic proliferation of jellyfish in oceans around the world, driven by overfishing and climate change, is a sure sign of ecosystems out of kilter, warn experts.

"Jellyfish are an excellent bellwether for the environment," explains Jacqueline Goy, of the Oceanographic Institute of Paris. "The more jellyfish, the stronger the signal that something has changed."


Mass dolphin stranding linked to navy exercises

© Adam Gerrard/SWNS.COMTwenty-six common dolphins became stranded in estuarine waters they are not normally known to frequent.
An investigation into the UK's largest ever mass stranding of common dolphins has identified military activity as the most probable cause - although no single activity can be definitively linked to the stranding.

Twenty-six common dolphins died after becoming stranded in the Fal Estuary in Cornwall, southwest England on 9 June, 2008, while a similar number were refloated by volunteers. An investigation into the cause of their deaths by Paul Jepson at the Zoological Society of London and his colleagues has ruled out a lengthy list of possible causes.

However, documents obtained under the UK Freedom of Information act have provided researchers with unprecedented access to military records of navy activity in the area. While there is no evidence of physical injury to the dolphins caused by sonar, "what we are left with is a mass stranding and a naval exercise - we have ruled out pretty much everything else," Jepson says.

Alarm Clock

US: Water supplies at risk from fires in dead forests

Washington - Water supplies for 33 million people could be endangered if millions of acres of beetle-ravaged forests in the Rocky Mountains catch fire, a U.S. Forest Service official said Tuesday.

Rick Cables, the chief forester for the Rocky Mountain region, told a House panel that the headwaters of the Colorado River, an important water source for residents of 13 states, are in the middle of 2.5 million acres of dead or dying forests in Colorado and southern Wyoming. Severe fires, fueled by these trees, could damage or destroy reservoirs, pipes and other infrastructure that supply water to millions of people in the Rocky Mountain region.

Cloud Lightning

Two 'freak' tornadoes sighted in Ireland

© UnknownA mini tornado is captured on a camera phone in Ennis, Co Clare yesterday
Two mini tornadoes have twisted their way through the skies above Ireland in recent days. Stunned witnesses say that the freak weather has appeared in both counties Clare and Roscommon.

Residents in Ennis were amazed to see an apparent mini twister materialise at around 4.40pm yesterday over the Showgrounds area.

One man managed to capture it on his camera phone, but said it dissipated soon afterwards.

Martin Foudy, from Inagh, Co Clare, said: "I was driving along the Kilrush Road and was turning at a junction when I spotted what I am sure was a tornado or twister in the distance.

"There was no great wind where I was at the time but the funnel could be clearly seen beneath a massive black and grey cloud."

Bizarro Earth

Freak Beijing storm turns day into night

Beijing storm day turns to night
© ABC NewsDay turns to night as a storm sweeps across Beijing in China just before midday on June 16, 2009.

China correspondent Stephen McDonell and ABC cameraman Rob Hill saw day turn into night as a freak storm swept across the capital Beijing today.

"It was pitch black outside and you could see people looking out from the office towers across the road from us," McDonell said.

"In a couple of the photos you can see a clock in the distance showing it was around 11:30 am local time."

The storms were expected to affect western and northern Xinjiang, most part of Inner Mongolia, north-east China and north China.

Today's extreme weather follows yesterday's hail storms across eastern China's Anhui province, which killed 14 people and injured more than 180, AFP reports.


June Winter Wonderland In New Jersey

June 2009 hail in New Jersey
© CBSA man shovels his driveway after a major hail storm pounded Washington Township, N.J. on June 15, 2009.

Hail Storm Pounds Parts Of Garden State With Several Inches; Residents Watch In Amazement As Plows Clear Streets

Washington Township, N.J. - Parts of New Jersey were pummeled by a massive hail storm on Monday afternoon, leaving it looking as if a June blizzard blew through with inches of dime-sized pellets piling up.

Washington Township residents were seen on their driveways breaking out the snow shovels and officials sent out bulldozers to act as snow plows to clear the streets after severe thunderstorms pounded the region. Children were seen forming hailballs.

CBS 2 HD's Christine Sloan was in Washington Township and spoke to stunned residents. This as the snow and ice piled up around them.

It was a day for snow boots and a jacket as several inches fell in what's being looked at as one freak storm.

Plowing snow, ice, whatever you want to call it on a street in Washington Township in June. It wasn't an understatement to say folks in the neighborhood were shocked.

"Never in my lifetime, never," Karen Yates said.

Neighbors who found themselves shoveling all Monday afternoon, said the hail started coming down fast and furious at around 2:30 p.m. Yates caputred much of storm on video, including the ice river that ran down the middle of her street.