Wed, 18 Mar 2009 04:57 UTC
Three U.K. explorers bound for the North Pole on a scientific expedition to study global warming said they are close to running out of food after "brutal" weather conditions halted three attempts to fly in supplies.
The support team hopes to decide within hours on when it can send an airplane to land on nearby ice with provisions, Tori Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Catlin Arctic Survey in London, said in an interview today.
"We're hungry, the cold is relentless, our sleeping bags are full of ice," expedition leader Pen Hadow said in a statement e-mailed yesterday by his team. "Waiting is almost the worst part of an expedition as we're in the lap of the weather gods."
The severe weather is jeopardizing a journey aimed at projecting when global warming may melt the entire Arctic Ocean cap, a phenomenon that scientists say might trigger further gains in temperature.
In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on 10 February 2009, Susan Solomon and three coauthors describe a climate modeling exercise that claims to show that "climate change that takes place due to increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop." In the virtual world of computer-run climate models, such may well be so; but that need not be the case in the real world, where researchers still struggle to even understand -- much less model -- the suite of complex interactions that occur among the many physical, chemical and biological phenomena that combine to determine the planet's multi-faceted climatic trajectory in response to a rise in the air's CO2 content. Hence, there is a great need to carefully evaluate Solomon et al.'s claim.
The four scientists begin their analysis by setting forth three important criteria they feel should be met by the modeled climatic parameters they study: "(i) observed changes are already occurring and there is evidence for anthropogenic contributions to these changes, (ii) the phenomen[a] [are] based upon physical principles thought to be well understood, and (iii) projections are available and are broadly robust across models." Consequently, we analyze these criteria to see how well they pertain to the first -- and most basic -- of the climatic phenomena Solomon et al. study, namely, atmospheric warming; for if there is a problem in this regard with respect to this phenomenon, there will be even greater problems with ancillary climatic phenomena that are driven by atmospheric warming.
In today's Guardian
, Al Gore is quoted as saying:
Gore says he has also detected a shift in the view of many business leaders. "They're seeing the writing on every wall they look at. They're seeing the complete disappearance of the polar ice caps right before their eyes in just a few years" .
He also acknowledged something important about his scientific limitations :
Responding to James Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia theory, who said the European trading system for carbon was "disastrous", Gore says: "James Lovelock has forgotten more about science than I will ever learn. "
© unknownAl’s high five on ice caps (gone in five years)
Residents in Del City and southeast Oklahoma City say they felt their houses shake Tuesday afternoon after three earthquakes hit the area. Officials with the Oklahoma Geological Survey say all three originated in Del City and happened within a three-hour period.
The first happened at 12:25 p.m. and registered with a magnitude of 2.7. The second hit at 12:41 p.m. and was a magnitude 2.5 earthquake. The third hit at 2:57 p.m. and was a magnitude 2.2.
© Martin George/QVMAG
Look on the bright side - this luminous new jellyfish species doesn't sting.
Jellyfish expert Lisa Gershwin caught the unnamed species in early March while swimming near a jetty off the Australian island of Tasmania with a "phototank" - a small aquarium that makes it easy to photograph sea life.
The jellyfish does not emit its own light, as bioluminescent creatures do.
Rather, its rainbow glow emanates from light reflecting off the creature's cilia, small hairlike projections that beat simultaneously to move the jellyfish through the water.
An undersea volcano has erupted near the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa, sending plumes of steam and smoke hundreds of metres into the air, officials say.
Tonga's head geologist, Kelepi Mafi, said there was no apparent danger to residents of Nuku'alofa and others living on the main island of Tongatapu.
The eruption, believed to be about 10 to 12 kilometres off the Tongatapu coast, was thought to have started Monday (local time), Mr Mafi said, but it was two days before Nuku'alofa residents first reported seeing the plumes.
Officials said it may be related to a quake with a magnitude of 4.4 which struck last Friday around 35 kilometres from the capital at a depth of nearly 150 kilometres.
An eruption in 2002 in the same area off the western end of Tongatapu, near two small volcanic islands, resulted in an islet appearing for several weeks afterwards.
"This eruption is bigger than in 2002, it seems there are two vents coming out, but that is yet to be confirmed," Mr Mafi said.
A light earthquake struck near Melbourne, Australia, but officials say there have been no reports of injuries or damage.
Geoscience Australia says the 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck 62 miles (100 kilometers) southeast of Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon. It had a depth of 11 miles (18 kilometers).
No tsunami warning was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
It is the second earthquake to hit the region in two weeks. On March 6, a magnitude 4.7 tremor struck about 55 miles (90 kilometers) southeast of Melbourne, rattling buildings in Australia's second-largest city.
How odd that, last Monday, none of our media global warming groupies should have bothered to report what was billed to be "the largest ever demonstration for civil disobedience over climate change". There was talk of hundreds of thousands of protestors converging on Washington to hear Jim Hansen, the scientist who talks of coal-fired power stations as "factories of death", call yet again for all coal plants to be closed. Perhaps the lack of coverage was due to the fact that, before Hansen arrived to address a forlorn group of several hundred hippies, Washington was blanketed in nearly a foot of snow.
It was generally another bad week for the warmists. The Met Office, which has been one of the chief pushers of the global warming scare for 20 years, had to admit that this has been "Britain's coldest winter for 13 years", despite its prediction last September that the winter would be "milder than average". This didn't of course stop it predicting that 2009 will be one of "the top-five warmest years on record".
It has been shown in many contexts and has been the icon of where things have gone wrong with the climate since the pre-industrial times. This is known as the Mann curve or 'hockey stick' curve that shows the development of the Northern Hemisphere surface temperature over the last 600 years. A new Danish study breaking foundation of the curve.
"Hockey stick curve does not," says klimaforsker Bo Christiansen from Denmark's Climate Center and add. "That does not mean that we cancel the anthropogenic greenhouse effect, but the foundation has become more nuanced."
It caused great sensation, as Michael Mann and several others in 1998 published a curve of temperature evolution over the last 600 years in the northern hemisphere. The curve shows a steady, almost constant temperature of the first five centuries, interrupted by a sharp increase after 1900. It can be interpreted as if the natural variations are small compared to the anthropogenic warming. There followed a heated debate both inside and outside professional circles - a debate that will run yet.
Researchers at DMI now shows that the mathematical methods that are used for climate reconstruction, has serious limitations.
Tue, 17 Mar 2009 15:46 UTC
Windhoek - Namibia's president on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in areas hit by what he said could be some of the worst floods in recent memory.
"It is with a heavy heart that I declare an emergency for the north-central and north-eastern parts of Namibia," President Hifikepunye Pohamba told reporters.