Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Thousands of dead fish raise stink at Rio lagoon

Dead Fish
© ReutersDead fish float along the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in Rio de Janeiro.
Thousands of dead fish washed up on the shores of a popular beachside lagoon in Rio over the weekend, offending joggers' olfactory senses and leading the city to fight the stench with disinfectant.

The official state news service Agencia Brasil said about 100 city employees working full-time cleared nearly 80 tons of fish as of Sunday (local time). There was no immediate estimate of how many died, but several species were involved.

Rio's environmental secretary speculated that increased levels of a harmful algae may be the immediate cause of the sudden die-off Friday.

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Climate change rhetoric spiraling out of control

Christopher Booker says that the Government must be absolutely sure that their data on climate change is accurate.

It was another bad week for the "warmists", now more desperate than ever to whip up alarm over an overheating planet. It began last weekend with the BBC leading its bulletins on the news that a "leading climate scientist" in America, Professor Chris Field, had warned that "the severity of global warming over the next century will be much worse than previously believed". Future temperatures "will be beyond anything predicted", he told a Chicago conference. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had "seriously underestimated the size of the problem".

The puzzle as to why the BBC should make this the main news of the day only deepened when it emerged that Prof Field was not a climate scientist at all but an evolutionary biologist. To promote its cause the BBC website even posted a video explaining how warming would be made worse by "negative feedback". This scientific howler provoked much amusement and derision on expert US blogs, such as Anthony Watts's Watts Up With That - since "negative feedback" would lower temperatures rather than raise them. The BBC soon pulled its video.


University 'tried to mislead MPs on climate change e-mails'

The university at the centre of the climate change row over stolen e-mails has been accused of making a misleading statement to Parliament.

The University of East Anglia wrote this week to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee giving the impression that it had been exonerated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). However, the university failed to disclose that the ICO had expressed serious concerns that one of its professors had proposed deleting information to avoid complying with the Freedom of Information Act.


3.9-magnitude earthquake rattles western Quebec, Canada

© Unknown
The earth shuddered closer to home Saturday night when a 3.9-magnitude earthquake hit western Quebec, hours after a devastating quake hit central Chile.

The quake hit at about 10:50 p.m. local time, according to Earthquakes Canada. Its epicentre was 13 kilometres northwest of Lachute, a town of about 12,000 located 75 km northwest of Montreal.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

About 50 km northeast of Lachute, Louise Tremblay was sitting on her couch in Ste. Adele, Que., watching images of destruction from the quake in Chile flash on television when she was startled by a loud and violent noise.


A Perfect Storm is Brewing for the IPCC

The news from sunny Bali that there is to be an international investigation into the conduct of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri would have made front-page headlines a few weeks back. But while Scotland and North America are still swept by blizzards, in their worst winter for decades, there has been something of a lull in the global warming storm - after three months when the IPCC and Dr Pachauri were themselves battered by almost daily blizzards of new scandals and revelations. And one reason for this lull is that the real message of all the scandals has been lost.

The chief defence offered by the warmists to all those revelations centred on the IPCC's last 2007 report is that they were only a few marginal mistakes scattered through a vast, 3,000-page document. OK, they say, it might have been wrong to predict that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035; that global warming was about to destroy 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest and cut African crop yields by 50 per cent; that sea levels were rising dangerously; that hurricanes, droughts and other "extreme weather events" were getting worse. These were a handful of isolated errors in a massive report; behind them the mighty edifice of global warming orthodoxy remains unscathed. The "science is settled", the "consensus" is intact.

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Storm Batters Southern Europe, At Least 51 Dead

storm france
© AFP/Getty ImagesRescuers evacuate a flooded street Sunday using a motor boat in Chatellaillon, western France
Paris, France - A winter storm named "Xynthia" battered the western coast of Europe Sunday, its high winds downing trees and power lines and leaving as many as 51 people dead, authorities said.

Hardest hit was France, where at least 45 people were killed, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon announced.

The extra-tropical cyclone whipped the country's coastal regions and moved inland, bringing sometimes heavy flooding with it.

"It's a national catastrophe," Fillon said in a brief news conference. "Many people drowned, surprised by the rapid rise of the water."

The departments of Vendee and Charente-Maritime, on the French coast west of Paris, had severe flooding flooding when the strong winds whipped up the water at high tide.

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18 killed as storm batters France

At least 18 people have died in a violent storm that swept across France late Saturday and Sunday, France Info radio reported.

Packing winds of up to 160 km per hour, the storm uprooted trees, flooded houses, wreaked havoc with transportation and cut electricity supply to more than one million households, primarily along the Atlantic coastline.

Among the victims was an 88-year old woman who was found drowned in her house on the Isle of Oleron, off the west coast. Another octogenarian woman and a 10-year-old child also died in the region.

In addition, a man was struck by a branch and killed Saturday in the south-western city of Luchon.

Officials fear that the death toll could still rise, since many people have been reported missing and are feared swept away by the floodwaters.

The heavy rains and strong winds made numerous roads impassable and flooded cities along the coast, cutting off many communities from the outside world.

The flooding was exceptional in many areas because the passage of the storm coincided with the annual spring tide. As a result, many dikes were swamped or simply collapsed.

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Aftershocks rattle quake ravaged Chile

© Mario Vilches AlcainoThe death toll stands at 214, but seems certain to rise.
Chileans have spent a night camped outside, fearful of aftershocks as rescuers battle to find survivors of a huge earthquake that shattered roads and airports and triggered a tsunami across the Pacific.

A powerful new 6.1 magnitude aftershock struck just off the coast early on Sunday morning (local time) reinforcing those fears, rattling cities already devastated by Saturday's deadly quake.

The 8.8 magnitude quake, one of the world's most powerful in a century, hammered Chile, killing more than 300 people as it toppled buildings and mangled highways.

The clock is ticking on the search for survivors, with about 100 people feared trapped in just one collapsed apartment block in the city of Concepcion.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Alert for Mexico, California and Alaska

With the effects of the recent 8.8 magnitude quake in Chile still unfolding, it is understandable that thoughts of how this will affect other areas are not high in people's minds.

Hundreds have lost their lives in Chile, and Tsunami alerts have been seen as far away as Japan and Russia. Aftershocks continue to hit Chile, hampering rescue efforts and placing the survivors in constant fear.

The Chile quake occurred in the centre of three tectonic plates (Nazca, South American and Antarctic plates) and almost the same location that produced the largest earthquake the world has ever seen (in 1960).

Tectonic plates move in different ways. Some slide against other plates, while others push or go over or under each other. In some cases, the movement of one plate can affect another, creating new earthquakes in different areas of the planet.

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Chile quake in 'elite class' like 2004 Asian quake

Los Angeles - The huge earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile belongs to an "elite class" of mega earthquakes, experts said, and is similar to the 2004 Indian Ocean temblor that triggered deadly tsunami waves.

The magnitude-8.8 quake was a type called a "megathrust," considered the most powerful earthquake on the planet. Megathrusts occur when one tectonic plate dives beneath another. Saturday's tremor unleashed about 50 gigatons of energy and broke about 250 miles of the fault zone, said U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Caruso.

The quake's epicenter was offshore and occurred about 140 miles north of the largest earthquake ever recorded - a magnitude-9.5 that killed about 1,600 people in Chile and scores of others in the Pacific in 1960.