Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

Strange Storm Shaped by Gravity Wave

On a recent crisp autumn afternoon in Iowa, video cameras captured an unusual and visually dramatic result of two air masses colliding. Clouds split into a series of stripes and swept across the sky.

These so-called undular bores are created by atmospheric conditions that destabilize the air in a particular way.

An undular bore caught by satellite over the Arabian Sea on May 8th, 2007.

In the case of Des Moines, Iowa, they formed on Oct. 3 when a group of thunderstorms approached the city.

"At the time, a layer of cold, stable air was sitting on top of Des Moines," said atmospheric scientist Time Coleman of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Alabama. "The approaching storms disturbed the air, creating a ripple akin to what we see when we toss a stone into a pond."

Bizarro Earth

New Zealand's South Island Struck by Two Earthquakes

New Zealand's South Island was hit by two earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

A magnitude-6 quake struck 95 kilometers (59 miles) west- northwest of Queenstown at 10:28 a.m. local time today at a depth of 39 kilometers, the USGS said. Another quake, of magnitude 6.8, struck about nine hours earlier, 103 kilometers west-northwest of Queenstown. That quake was 25 kilometers deep.

Bizarro Earth

Flood avalanche kills 14 in Costa Rica

Flooding from days of heavy rain left 14 people dead in a mudslide in Costa Rica and sowed chaos in neighboring Panama, displacing scores of people, rescuers said Saturday.

The avalanche struck poor homes in Atenas, west of the Costa Rican capital on Thursday in a torrential downpour, the Red Cross said. Rescuers later found 14 bodies as they picked through the mud, timber and rubble. The mudslide engulfed a complex housing the families of poor farm workers. It was the worst weather disaster in the Central American country for years.


Russia: Heavy snowfall leaves over 40,000 people without power

Over 40,000 people were left without electricity in the Moscow and Smolensk Regions, west Russia, after Sunday's snowstorm damaged power lines, local emergencies said on Monday.

The spokesman also said that power has now been restored in a total of 241 villages.


Arrow Down

22 miners dead, 15 missing in Colombian landslide

BOGOTA - Colombian rescuers used dogs on Sunday to locate bodies buried in a landslide that swamped an open pit gold mine killing at least 22 workers, a Red Cross spokesman said.

The search for 15 missing workers at the small, privately owned Suarez Gold Mine in the southwestern province of Cauca was hindered by the same heavy rains that caused the landslide on Saturday.


Winter storm blows through Colorado

DENVER - A rambling storm dropped as much a foot of snow in the mountains and shed rain at lower elevations Sunday, slowing marathon runners, wetting baseball fans and jump-starting the ski season.

The snow caused some fender-benders but no injuries along Interstate 70 through the mountains, State Patrol Master Trooper Ron Watkins said.


In Georgia Water may be more limited

If Georgia orders watering restrictions in metro Atlanta beyond the current outdoor ban, it will be taking drought-fighting steps that not even arid Southern California or Las Vegas has had to make.

As the state considers restrictions on commercial and industrial users, water experts around the nation say they don't recall any major U.S. metro area being forced into such dire drought measures in about two decades.

"Most large metropolitan areas have systems in place where they try to be better managers of the resource than that," said Don Wilhite, who founded the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has been involved in drought responses for at least three decades.

Cloud Lightning

Storms pound north Texas with heavy rain, wind

Showers and thunderstorms flooded roads, damaged buildings and knocked out power Monday as a strong weather system swept across North Texas. The rainy weather was blamed for at least one death and caused numerous accidents and traffic delays in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Light Saber

Famous meteorologist on Gore's warming warning: "We'll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realise how foolish it was"

One of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works".

Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the earth.

Comment: For more information on what Dr. William Gray is talking about, read Fire and Ice: The Day After Tomorrow.


Flashback Dissidents Against Dogma

We should never be more vigilant than at the moment a new dogma is being installed. The claque endorsing what is now dignified as "the mainstream theory" of global warming stretches all the way from radical greens through Al Gore to George W. Bush, who signed on at the end of May. The left has been swept along, entranced by the allure of weather as revolutionary agent, naïvely conceiving of global warming as a crisis that will force radical social changes on capitalism by the weight of the global emergency. Amid the collapse of genuinely radical politics, they have seen it as the alarm clock prompting a new Great New Spiritual Awakening.

Comment: He says, "As vapor, [water is] a more important greenhouse gas than CO2 by a factor of twenty, yet models have proven incapable of dealing with it." While it is the most important, it simply is untrue that models don't take into account water vapor as a radiative forcing feedback. He's misinformed about this. In terms of radiation feedback effects of water vapor in the atmosphere models take this into account along with precipitation, evaporation and snow and ice cover. However, he may be referring to the cloud feedback mechanism which models do have a hard time dealing with. Whether low clouds or high clouds develop in response to CO2 forcing plays a large role on the effects on climate. Low clouds tend to cool the planet by making a high albedo surface and thus reflecting sunlight whereas high clouds tend to cause a blanket-type warming by reflecting long wave radiation back to the surface. In this, the models may have got it wrong.