Earth ChangesS


Experts: Cold snap doesn't disprove global warming

surf in snow
© UnknownThere's no Ice Age here... Nothing to see... Perfect surfing conditions
Beijing had its coldest morning in almost 40 years and its biggest snowfall since 1951. Britain is suffering through its longest cold snap since 1981. And freezing weather is gripping the Deep South, including Florida's orange groves and beaches.

Whatever happened to global warming?

Such weather doesn't seem to fit with warnings from scientists that the Earth is warming because of greenhouse gases. But experts say the cold snap doesn't disprove global warming at all, it's just a blip in the long-term heating trend.

"It's part of natural variability," said Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. With global warming, he said, "we'll still have record cold temperatures. We'll just have fewer of them."

Comment: Some 'experts' just can't admit they made wrong predictions:
Britain Freezes Over: 'No end in sight'

U.S. Shivers as Temps Head Lower

Glacial Rebound Here We Go: Britain facing one of the coldest winters in 100 years, experts predict

The UK Meteorological Office: slightly less reliable than tea leaves or cock entrails

Arctic freeze and snow wreak havoc across the planet

The Coming Ice Age

Climate Change: Science Scandal of the Century

UK Snow Chaos: And they still claim it's global warming

Soul-destroying cold and snow brings China to standstill: lowest temperatures in 50 years

Cold weather kills scores in India

Heavy snow, cold temperatures hit many parts of Japan

Climategate: Michael Mann's very unhappy New Year

Scientific American's Climate Lies
Climate Change Is Natural & Cyclical: Time for Discernment

A True Inquiry Into Climate And Weather, Parts 1 & 2

Our Global Climate is Now Actually Cooling, Says Metereologist

Bizarro Earth

Cold Grips Nation as Crash in Snowy Ohio Kills 4

© AP Photo/Nati HarnikVehicles travel in white out conditions caused by blowing snow on Interstate 80 west of Omaha, Neb.
Steadily falling snow blanketed the Midwest on Thursday, part of a vicious cold snap engulfing much of the nation, and a tractor-trailer spun out of control on snow-slick roads in Ohio, killing four people and injuring seven.

The tractor-trailer jackknifed on Interstate 70, crossed the highway median and swerved into oncoming traffic, colliding with a small bus transporting adult disabled passengers, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

The driver of the 17-passenger bus was among those killed, said Sgt. Raymond Durant. One person was in critical condition and six others were injured and taken to hospitals, he said. Six of the injured were on the bus, and the tractor-trailer driver was also injured.

Durant said the bus was carrying 11 people at the time of the crash.

Bizarro Earth

Methane release 'looks stronger'

Methane bubbles
Frozen depositories are giving up methane to the sea
Scientists have uncovered what appears to be a further dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas that is seeping from the Arctic seabed.

Methane is about 20 times more potent than CO2 in trapping solar heat.

The findings come from measurements of carbon fluxes around the north of Russia, led by Igor Semiletov from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.


UK Snow Chaos: And they still claim it's global warming

man clears snow West Lothian
© Daily ExpressA man clears snow from the paths outside his house in Wilkieston in West Lothian
As one of the worst winters in 100 years grips the country, climate experts are still trying to claim the world is growing warmer.

With millions of Britons battling through snow and ice to get to work today, scientists claim that the cold conditions should not be used as evidence against man-made climate change.

Blizzards, ice and sub-zero temperatures that have gripped the UK for almost a month in a record deep freeze are not "robust" indicators of global weather patterns, they say.


Massive octopus kill still a mystery

© William Manning / CorbisDead octopuses have been washing up on shore in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
What is killing the octopus of Vila Nova de Gaia? That question has obsessed the Portuguese city - located just across the Douro River from Porto - since Jan. 2, when 1,100 lb. (500 kg) of dead octopus were found on a 1.8-mile (3 km) stretch of local beach. The following day, another 110 lb. (50 kg) appeared; later there was just one expired creature. "It's very strange that so many should be killed, and in such a confined area," says Nuno Oliveira, director of the Gaia Biological Park, a nature refuge on the outskirts of Vila Nova de Gaia. "There's nothing in the scientific literature for this kind of mass mortality among octopus."

Twelve hundred pounds is a lot of dead cephalopod, especially when no one seems to know for sure what killed them. Local biologists have ruled out pollution or contamination because no other species were affected. And although some suggest that perhaps a boat, illegally fishing the multilegged creatures, threw them overboard in a panicked attempt to avoid detection, that possibility also seems unlikely. "The sea has been very rough," says Oliveira. "No one has been out fishing for days."


Mysterious giant ice balls discovered on Swedish coastline

© Ottenby Fagelstation
Bird watchers walking along the beach on the Baltic island of Öland off Sweden's southeastern coast were puzzled by an unusual natural phenomenon recently when they stumbled across dozens of football-sized balls of ice lying on the shore.

A week before Christmas, Magnus Bladh of the Ottenby bird station, located on Öland's southern cape, was strolling along the beach with a colleague when he saw something he'd never seen before.

"Temperatures were below freezing and there was a light wind, but it was very cold! In the seaweed we noticed at least 200 large ice balls," he said in a report to Swedish meteorological agency SMHI.

"The balls varied in size but the biggest ones were quite large, some larger than a football."


Snow covers Britain from head to toe

© PA/NEODAAS/University of DundeeBritain remains covered from head to toe with snow end in sight...
As if dusted with icing sugar, this satellite image of Britain shows the full extent of the snow coverage affecting the country.

From head to toe there is barely a patch of land not blanketed by the heaviest snowfall in 50 years.

It was taken at 11.15am on Thursday by the NASA satellite Terra and transmitted to the University of Dundee Satellite Receiving Station.

The image gives an impression of just how deep with snow has been across most parts, including the southern belt of England: parts of Hampshire received more than 16 inches in just a few hours earlier this week.

Only the western coastal extremes, such as Dorset's Isle of Purbeck in the south and more surprisingly Jura and Islay in the Inner Hebrides, have escaped widespread coverage.

The picture also demonstrates how little thawing has taken place, as most of the snow lying across lowland parts fell on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cloud Lightning

No end in sight as freeze tightens grip on Ireland

The country will be hit with snow storms for the entire weekend as Met Eireann yesterday warned the cold weather will continue for at least another week.

Up to 5cm of snow fell in Dublin yesterday and, at one point, the capital was hit with a thunder storm.

Met Eireann issued a severe weather warning last night after temperatures were forecast to fall to as low as -8C.

Forecaster Vincent O'Shea said driving conditions would become even more hazardous over the coming days, with no respite in the freezing temperatures expected.


British government using freezing weather to force through rationing: cuts off gas to factories, even though there is sufficient supply

Severe weather and creaking power infrastructure lead to first tangible sign that fears over energy shortages are translating into supply disruption

Factories in the north-west of England and east Midlands are today having their energy supplies cut off for the first time in years as the severe weather and creaking power infrastructure lead to 1970s-style rationing.

In the first tangible sign that fears over energy shortages are translating into supply disruption, the National Grid has withdrawn gas via suppliers such as British Gas from 94 industrial customers who have signed up to interruptible contracts in a bid to safeguard power to domestic homes.

The Grid, which operates the UK transmission networks for both electricity and gas, told that the gas transmission network in certain parts of the country was operating at 96% capacity and it was not possible to go beyond this.


Airport chaos as icy weather grips northern Europe

© Marcus Brandt/EPAHamburg, Germany: Large sheets of ice drift on the Binnenalster
The icy weather gripping northern Europe has disrupted flights at airports in the UK, France, the Irish Republic and the Netherlands.

Many flights were delayed or cancelled at Orly airport in Paris, Dublin airport and Amsterdam-Schiphol, as well as major UK airports.

A Eurostar train was stuck for about two hours in the Channel Tunnel on Thursday. It later reached the UK.

Four other Eurostar trains were cancelled, a company spokesman said.

Last month the Eurostar service was suspended for three days after several trains broke down in the tunnel. Powdery snow getting into the engines was identified as the cause.

In Germany, at least nine homeless men aged between 42 and 62 have frozen to death.

Many parts of Germany saw temperatures fall below -10C on Thursday, the Deutsche Welle news website reports.