A sea of black metal chairs, stacked to the sky outside a popular outdoor dining spot, told the story better than any meteorologist. The weather has been awful as of late.
As of Thursday, precipitation had marred 8 of the last 11 days, the National Weather Service says. For May, the skies opened up on 14 days; in April, it rained 18 days.
No, it's not always like this. In place of picnics, bike rides and long lunch hours under sunny skies, outdoor waiters are missing out on tips, Little Leaguers are losing practice time and school-age kids are trapped inside on their first precious days of summer break.
Chicago's official rainfall is 5.36 inches above normal year-to-date, said Andy Boxell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, and the rainy days continue a pattern that began last year.
Roger Pielke, Jr.Prometheus
Wed, 10 Jun 2009 05:28 UTC
Apparently an AP news article
out today on how we don't know if global warming is making the winds blow with less gusto is not a parody, despite all indications to the contrary. For benefit of readers I have condensed it as below:
Not so windy: Research suggests winds dying down
By SETH BORENSTEIN - 6 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) - The wind, a favorite power source of the green energy movement, seems to be dying down across the United States. And the cause, ironically, may be global warming - the very problem wind power seeks to address.
The idea that winds may be slowing is still a speculative one, and scientists disagree whether that is happening. . .
Still, the study, which will be published in August in the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research, is preliminary. There are enough questions that even the authors say it's too early to know if this is a real trend or not. But it raises a new side effect of global warming that hasn't been looked into before. . .
Washington - The wind, a favorite power source of the green energy movement, seems to be dying down across the United States. And the cause, ironically, may be global warming - the very problem wind power seeks to address.
The idea that winds may be slowing is still a speculative one, and scientists disagree whether that is happening. But a first-of-its-kind study suggests that average and peak wind speeds have been noticeably slowing since 1973, especially in the Midwest and the East.
"It's a very large effect," said study co-author Eugene Takle, a professor of atmospheric science at Iowa State University. In some places in the Midwest, the trend shows a 10 percent drop or more over a decade. That adds up when the average wind speed in the region is about 10 to 12 miles per hour.
There's been a jump in the number of low or no wind days in the Midwest, said the study's lead author, Sara Pryor, an atmospheric scientist at Indiana University.
A freak storm has brought a Welsh town to a standstill this afternoon, with four-feet of water leaving homes and businesses flooded and hundreds of staff "marooned" in their offices.
Firefighters from four fire tenders are currently pumping out flood water from a cloudburst which blocked culverts and flooded the centre of Newtown in Powys.
Main roads in the town centre near the traffic lights are currently blocked, leading to long tailbacks either side of the town, in the direction of Welshpool and Aberystyth.
Owain Betts, marketing communications manager at Finance Wales plc, one of the businesses affected in St David's House, Newtown, said: "A thunderstorm passed directly over the town at about 2pm along with heavy rain and a freak hailstorm.
St. Paul, Minn. (AP) - The Twin Cities are wrapping up an early summer cold snap that hasn't been matched since 1951.
The State Climatology Office says the temperatures in St. Paul and Minneapolis stayed below for 60 for three straight days. That hasn't happened in June since June 1-3, 1951.
The office says the only other years with three days in a row of high temperatures below 60 in June are 1917, 1935, and 1937. There are no such four-day cold snaps on record.
© Ian Plimer
In the following open letter to the President of the Australian Academy of Science, William Kininmonth explains that the science of climate change is 'not settled' and if the scientific community is to get to a position where it can confidently prediction future climate it will be necessary to both understand why and how the climate system has varied in the past, and to have a robust computer construct of the climate system. Given so far we have neither, the recent very public criticisms of Ian Plimer's new book 'Heaven and Earth' are not logical or consistent.
Propaganda, disinformation, nonsense and bare-faced lies continue to pour out of the mouths of the global warming fanatics. They are not even qualified to issue their propaganda.
For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) likes to advertise itself as the representative body of world experts on the subject. It is not so, being largely made up of politicians with, perhaps, as few as 25 climatologists in its ranks.
By contrast, there are many highly qualified and experienced climatologists who get together from time to time and issue reports - reports which argue convincingly against the IPCC, but which generally go unmentioned in the media where the entire global warming fraud has been swallowed whole.
Other distinguished scientists (Professor Syun-Ichi Akasofu, former Director of the Arctic Research Centre, and Dr Willie Soon, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics) have made telling criticisms of the scare stories. Among them was the fact that sea levels are not rising catastrophically, but merely continuing the modest annual increase of 3mm over the past 200 years; the Antarctic ice-sheet is not melting, except in one small corner of that great frozen expanse; and tropical hurricane activity has not, as predicted by the global warmers, increased, but is at its lowest level for 30 years.
Steve Fielding has had a conversion that could blow apart the great global warming scare.
No wonder the Rudd Government is scrambling and the ABC is already sliming the Family First senator.
You see, Fielding has suddenly realised that global warming may not be caused by humans after all.
What has startled him out of merely accepting we're heating the world to hell with our carbon dioxide emissions is one fact in particular.
While our emissions are increasing fast each year, satellite measurements show the world's temperatures have still not risen above the 1998 record, and have actually fallen since 2002.
Of course, all this has been pointed out before. I've asked both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong - to their faces - to explain why the world isn't still warming as it should if their global warming theories are right.
Neither has given me an answer. Nor have they answered similar challenges from the few sceptics in Parliament who have dared to reveal themselves - notably the Nationals' Barnaby Joyce and the Liberals' Dennis Jensen.
But here's why Fielding's conversion is potentially so much more dangerous to the Government than sniping from mere columnists or Coalition MPs.
White lions have returned to the wild for the first time in the Limpopo Province of South Africa
© BarcroftMandla and Zihra
Pictured here, the lions became only the second pride to take their first steps to freedom in the greater Timbavati region of South Africa.
Immediately establishing their territory the five-strong pride delighted conservationists of the Global White Lion Protection Trust who have worked tirelessly to re-establish the rare white lion in a long term scientific reintroduction program over the past seven years.
It may not be the Yeti, but in a remote region of the Russian mountains a previously unknown and entirely unique form of plant root has been discovered. Lead Scientist Professor Hans Cornelissen and his Russian-Dutch team describe this finding today in Ecology Letters.
The root belongs to the small alpine plant Corydalis conorhiza and unlike normal roots, which grow into soil, they extend upward through layers of snow. Given this novel behaviour, the scientists have termed them 'snow roots'.
"This is a completely new discovery," says Cornelissen, an associate professor of ecology at VU University in Amsterdam. "Snow roots are thus far unknown and a spectacular evolutionary phenomenon."
The team made their discovery high up in the Caucasus Mountains, where the ground remains covered in snow for much of the year. As the snow melted at the height of summer the scientists noted that C. conorhiza plants were surrounded by a filigree network of above-ground roots, stretching uphill and to each side for around 50cm. During the spring and perhaps also winter, these roots extend into the surrounding snow and during the summer they die and decompose, which may explain how they had remained undiscovered.