Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Two 'freak' tornadoes sighted in Ireland

Image
© 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.

Igloo

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.

Cloud Lightning

Many forecasters have one word for this summer: COOL

Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota -

Summer's coming. Grab a sweater.

Sunday and Monday may be in the 80s, but some forecasters say don't be fooled.

Across Minnesota and the Dakotas, temperatures could be below normal through the end of August, according to the federal Climate Prediction Center. The outlook for "meteorological summer" -- June, July and August -- prompted one Accuweather forecaster to predict a "year without summer."

"That's how the dice are loaded," said the Climate Prediction Center's senior meteorologist, Ed O'Lenic.

So far, the trend toward a cool summer has been emphatic, with furnaces blasting through the first days of June across the state. The average daily temperature for the first 11 days of June in the Twin Cities was 7.2 degrees below normal.

As of Friday, lilacs hadn't bloomed yet at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, Minn. They're usually out June 6.

Of course it's all about averages, and the Twin Cities has already seen two days with highs in the 90s, even though they were in May, which isn't summer in anybody's book. The 97-degree reading on May 19 even stands a good chance of remaining the highest temperature of the year.

Footprints

Claim again: Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Faster Again

In the latest edition of Romm's Fairy Tales on Climate Progress, Joe Romm tries to build a case that sea level rise which has been decelerating in recent years really will be a problem. In the story he warns total sea level rise for the east coast by 2100 could reach 6 feet. He even uses the MIT's silly and widely scorned wheel of misfortune probability forecasts to bolster his case.

The Real Story

The described changes in Greenland are not at all unprecedented nor are they as described. Many peer review papers support interaction with the Atlantic multidecadal cycles and other factors not greenhouse warming are the real drivers.

Changes to temperature and ice happen predictably every 60 years or so and is in fact entirely natural, related to multidecadal ocean cycles. Multidecadal cyclical warming was observed before in the 1800s and middle 1900s long before the industrial revolution. Also there is more recent evidence showing the idea of lubrication by melt water accelerating loss of glacial or icecap ice is not valid.

Most recently a study by van de Waal in Science showed as the New Scientist reported that "Much noise has been made about how water lubricates the base of Greenland's ice sheet, accelerating its slide into the oceans. In a rare "good news" announcement, climatologists now say the ice may not be in such a hurry to throw itself into the water after all. Mother Nature, it seems, has given it brakes.

Better Earth

The Thermostat Hypothesis

earth thermostat
© unknown

Abstract

The Thermostat Hypothesis is that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at a equilibrium temperature.

Several kinds of evidence are presented to establish and elucidate the Thermostat Hypothesis - historical temperature stability of the Earth, theoretical considerations, satellite photos, and a description of the equilibrium mechanism.

Historical Stability

The stability of the earth's temperature over time has been a long-standing climatological puzzle. The globe has maintained a temperature of ± ~ 3% (including ice ages) for at least the last half a billion years during which we can estimate the temperature. During the Holocene, temperatures have not varied by ±1%. And during the ice ages, the temperature was generally similarly stable as well.

In contrast to Earth's temperature stability, solar physics has long indicated (Gough, 1981; Bahcall et al., 2001) that 4 billion years ago the total solar irradiance was about three quarters of the current value. In early geological times, however, the earth was not correspondingly cooler. Temperature proxies such as deuterium/hydrogen ratios and 16O/18O ratios show no sign of a 30% warming of the earth over this time. Why didn't the earth warm as the sun warmed?

This is called the "Faint Early Sun Paradox" (Sagan and Mullen, 1972), and is usually explained by positing an early atmosphere much richer in greenhouse gases than the current atmosphere.

However, this would imply a gradual decrease in GHG forcing which exactly matched the incremental billion-year increase in solar forcing to the present value. This seems highly unlikely.

A much more likely candidate is some natural mechanism which has regulated the earth's temperature over geological time.

Better Earth

Suggestions of "strong negative cloud feedbacks" in a warmer climate

Cumulonumbus
© ISS NASANatural heat engine - the cumulonimbus cloud, transports heat from the lower to upper levels of the atmosphere.

I thought this post on clouds and climate modeling below from Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit was interesting, because it highlights the dreaded "negative feedbacks" that many climate modelers say don't exist. Dr. Richard Lindzen highlighted the importance of negative feedback in a recent WUWT post.

One of the comments to the CA article shows the simplicity and obviousness of the existence of negative feedback in one of our most common weather events. Willis Eschenbach writes:
Cloud positive feedback is one of the most foolish and anti-common sense claims of the models.

This is particularly true of cumulus and cumulonimbus, which increase with the temperature during the day, move huge amounts of energy from the surface aloft, reflect huge amounts of energy to space, and fade away and disappear at night.

Sun

A look at: Solar Wind Flow Pressure - Another Indication of Solar Downtrend?

solar wind
© unknown

I initially wrote this article using data only from David Archibald, but within a couple of minutes I was given some broader data from Leif Svalgaard, so I have rewritten this to include both resources in the interest of seeing the broader perspective. - Anthony

Last September WUWT covered NASA's press conference on the state of the sun. One of the announcements was this:
Sept. 23, 2008: In a briefing today at NASA headquarters, solar physicists announced that the solar wind is losing power.

"The average pressure of the solar wind has dropped more than 20% since the mid-1990s," says Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. "This is the weakest it's been since we began monitoring solar wind almost 50 years ago."
From Wiki:
The solar wind is a stream of charged particles - a plasma - ejected from the upper atmosphere of the sun. It consists mostly of electrons and protons with energies of about 1 keV. The stream of particles varies in temperature and speed with the passage of time. These particles are able to escape the sun's gravity, in part because of the high temperature of the corona, but also because of high kinetic energy that particles gain through a process that is not well-understood.

The solar wind creates the Heliosphere, a vast bubble in the interstellar medium surrounding the solar system. Other phenomena include geomagnetic storms that can knock out power grids on Earth, the aurorae such as the Northern Lights, and the plasma tails of comets that always point away from the sun.

Igloo

Antarctic Ice shelves stable over six years

Antarctic ice shelves are showing no sign of climate change, six years of unique research have shown.

Scientists from Western Australia's Curtin University of Technology are using acoustic sensors developed to support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to listen for the sound of icebergs breaking away from the giant ice sheets of the south pole.

"More than six years of observation has not revealed any significant climatic trends," CUT associate professor Alexander Gavrilov said yesterday.

Professor Gavrilov and PhD student Binghui Li are investigating whether it is possible to detect and monitor significant changes in the disintegration rate of the Antarctic ice shelf by monitoring the noise of ice breaking.

The pair are using two acoustic stations, one 150km off Cape Leeuwin, the southwest tip of WA, and another off the gigantic US military base on Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean.

Bell

First Ever Ice Wine in Brazil

Vineyard
© Vinicola Perico

Our friend at the METSUL, Alexandre Aguiar reports that for the first time ever in Brazil icewine has been produced in this unusually cold June in Southern Brazil. This is a release on the Vinicolo Vineyard website. The following is a rough web based translation from Portuguese to English. The original Portuguese story is here.

With pleasure we inform that the Perico team yesterday registered in its vineyards, located in the farm Boy God, District of the Perico in Joaquin - Santa Catarina, a phenomenon of the nature, the most waited of this time: the ice wine. The temperatures had fallen well below-freezing and the thermometers had marked - 7.5 C. A dream if became reality: the harvest of the grapes congealed for this so wonderful act of the nature.

With this, the Vinicola Perico, will be first ever vineyard in Brazil to produce ICEWINE (Wine of the Ice), a natural licoroso wine, with raised amount of residual sugar of the proper grape.