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Wed, 01 Dec 2021
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Death-Grip Fungus Made Me Do It

Ants attacked by specialist spores bite low-hanging leaves before dying

Death Grip
© David Hughes
This ant latched on to a leaf before dying from infection by the parasitic fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis.
The line between fungus biology and late-night television just got blurrier.

A fungus that attacks living ants apparently manipulates their behavior for its own benefit, an international research team reports in the September American Naturalist.

When the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus strikes, an infected ant climbs to a leaf not far off the ground (often on the north-northwest side of a tree), bites in and dies with jaws locked in place. Experiments now show that these low-hanging leaves give the fungus prime conditions for growing a spore-bearing spike out of the ant's neck, says study coauthor David Hughes of Harvard University.

Cloud Lightning

Austria hit by more bad weather

Austria flood
© FF Preding
Parts of Salzburg and Upper and Lower Austria were hit by heavy rain, hail and winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour (Mon/Tues).
Parts of Salzburg and Upper and Lower Austria were hit by heavy rain, hail and winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour as more bad weather battered Austria last night (Mon/Tues).

In Lower Austria alone 1,500 firemen were called out.

Rescuers helped an 84-year-old woman in Eggenburg, Lower Austria who had become disoriented in the rain and couldn't find her way back home as well as an Italian family cycling along the Danube River near Wallsee, Lower Austria who had lost their way in the rain.

High wind in Sitzenberg in Tulln district in Lower Austria blew 150 square metres of metal off the framework of a building under construction while lightning in Zwettl district in Lower Austria set two roofs on fire and started a forest fire nearby. It also started a blaze at an apartment in Brand and a set barn on fire in Schöngraben.

A mudslide in Gosau, Upper Austria hit 300 metres of a local highway, carrying some parked cars away and a pregnant woman, 31, was injured when a carriage she was riding in was overturned by a gust of wind in Upper Austria.

Weathermen have said rain will ease off tonight and tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon, Thursday and Friday will be mostly sunny before rain returns over the weekend.

Salzburg's northern Flachgau had already been hit by more heavy thunderstorms on Sunday less than two weeks after massive hail storms had left a trail of destruction in the area.

Evil Rays

Anthropogenic CO2 is too small to be a significant or relevant factor in the global warming

In a paper recently published in the international peer-reviewed journal Energy & Fuels, Dr. Robert H. Essenhigh (2009), Professor of Energy Conversion at The Ohio State University, addresses the residence time (RT) of anthropogenic CO2 in the air. He finds that the RT for bulk atmospheric CO2, the molecule 12CO2, is ~5 years, in good agreement with other cited sources (Segalstad, 1998), while the RT for the trace molecule 14CO2 is ~16 years. Both of these residence times are much shorter than what is claimed by the IPCC. The rising concentration of atmospheric CO2 in the last century is not consistent with supply from anthropogenic sources. Such anthropogenic sources account for less than 5% of the present atmosphere, compared to the major input/output from natural sources (~95%). Hence, anthropogenic CO2 is too small to be a significant or relevant factor in the global warming process, particularly when comparing with the far more potent greenhouse gas water vapor. The rising atmospheric CO2 is the outcome of rising temperature rather than vice versa. Correspondingly, Dr. Essenhigh concludes that the politically driven target of capture and sequestration of carbon from combustion sources would be a major and pointless waste of physical and financial resources.

Cloud Lightning

Dr. Gray's updated hurricane forecast 2009: Good news

hurriane Ike
© NASA
"Ike" as seen from Space Shuttle, September 2008.

Dr. William Gray, a noted expert in long-range hurricane forecasting, issued his revised forecast for the remainder of the 2009 hurricane season, and it is good news: A below-average season, about 85% of the long-term average in terms of activity, is expected. This is primarily due to a developing El Nino, which increases vertical wind shears which are hostile to hurricane growth.

Here is a portion of the text from his report, posted on the Colorado State website August 4, 2009:

Life Preserver

Scientific evidence now points to global cooling, contrary to U.N. alarmism

Opponents of the Waxman-Markey "cap and trade" bill would do well to invoke recent scientific studies that show global surface temperatures have not increased since 1998, contrary to what climate models have predicted.

U.S. policymakers who cite "consensus" on man-made global warming as justification for anti-emission regulations are relying upon outdated and misleading material from the United Nations that deliberately omits the influence of natural forces, according to climate skeptics. In fact, a growing body of evidence now points to the emergence of another cooling cycle that could persist for decades.

Dr. Don Easterbrook, a geologist and professor emeritus at Western Washington University, has presented data that shows a cooler and wetter climate is in order for the next 25 to 30 years. The Pacific Ocean has a warm temperature mode and a cool temperature mode known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO, he said in a recent study.

Bizarro Earth

US: Record Lows Dispel Global Warming Myth

Former Vice President Albert Arnold Gore Jr., the father of the great global warming hoax, is having a serious problem with Mother Nature: She's refusing to cooperate with his campaign to convince the world that our planet is well on the way toward barbecuing itself on a spit fashioned from carbon dioxide (the dreaded CO2).

Gore's problem with the climate is . . . well . . . the climate. It simply won't do what he says it should be doing. Instead of raising the planet's thermostat to heat, it's turning on the air conditioning to cooling. In summer!

This is August, midsummer, and it is usually hot and steamy here in the United States. To Gore's discomfort, it's been downright chilly in much of the U.S.

Sun

Sunspots, climate change and the sleepy sun: Some deeper science

sunspotless days
© Spaceweather.com
The year 2009 has moved into 8th place in the rankings of years with the most sunspot-free days since 1900.

The top 10 are shown in the accompanying graph; three of these have been in the past three years.

In fact, 2008, which was the quietest solar year in a century, could be bettered by 2009. If 70% of the remaining days in 2009 are sunspot free, we'll pass 2008, bumping it into 3rd place. The greatest number of sunspot free days since the year 1900 was in 1913, with approx. 320. The math shows that this record at least is safe for another year.

Another measure of solar sleep is the 10-centimeter radio flux streaming out from the nearest star to Earth. This too has been at very low levels in 2009, continuing the trend of the past two years. Much research shows that lower solar "wind" leads to more intergalactic particles reaching the earth's surface, and possibly more cloud formation. Perhaps this is how solar changes relate to Earth temperatures. More particles provide more collection sites for water vapor to condense, hence more clouds.

Some people have said that there is a correlation between this year's stone quiet hurricane season and the persistently slow solar output, but there is no empirical data to support this.

While there is probably some influence on the longer-term ocean temperatures (roughly correlated with the 11-year solar cycle) as related to solar variance, this year's tropical downturn is more likely a result of persistent wind shear over the tropics and slightly cooler than average sea temperatures.

Che Guevara

'Consensus' Takes Another Hit! More than 60 German Scientists Dissent Over Global Warming Claims! Call Climate Fears 'Pseudo 'Religion'; Urge Chancellor to 'reconsider' views

More than 60 prominent German scientists have publicly declared their dissent from man-made global warming fears in an Open Letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The more than 60 signers of the letter include several United Nations IPCC scientists.

The scientists declared that global warming has become a "pseudo religion" and they noted that rising CO2 has "had no measurable effect" on temperatures. The German scientists, also wrote that the "UN IPCC has lost its scientific credibility."

This latest development comes on the heels of a series of inconvenient developments for the promoters of man-made global warming fears, including new peer-reviewed studies, real world data, a growing chorus of scientists dissenting (including more UN IPCC scientists), open revolts in scientific societies and the Earth's failure to warm. In addition, public opinion continues to turn against climate fear promotion. (See "Related Links" at bottom of this article for more inconvenient scientific developments.)

Blackbox

Answering 3 simple questions

Why is it so difficult to get straightforward answers to three simple questions about climate change?

Senator Steve Fielding, an engineer who understands the distinction between facts and fanciful computer models, recently posed three questions regarding climate change to Minister Penny Wong.

The Minister, through her Department of Climate Change, provided answers to those questions based largely on advice from Professor Penny Sackett (Chief Scientist of Australia) and Professor Will Steffen (ANU Climate Research Centre).

The "answers" often evaded the issues raised by Senator Fielding, and mostly discussed peripheral, if related, issues. The answers also shifted the usual goalposts, arguing, for example, that global average atmospheric temperature was not a desirable measure of global warming - despite its consistent use by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for more than 15 years. Rather, the Department now wants to use ocean heat content as their prime measure.

A measured scientific audit of the Minister's replies to the three climate questions was provided later by Senator Fielding's four independent scientific advisers.

Book

Media Spin: New York Times Blames 2009's Record Cold on Natural Factors -- But Blamed Record Warmth in 2000 on Man-Made Global Warming!

The media and climate fear promoters appear to be in overdrive trying to spin recent global cooling and particularly the "year without a summer" in many parts of the U.S. [See: Earth's 'Fever' Breaks! Global temperatures 'have plunged .74°F since Gore's film released and Climate Fear Promoters Try to Spin Record Cold and Snow: 'Global warming made it less cool' ]

The New York Times reports that the record cold of 2009 is due to natural variations and even warned skeptics of man-made global warming not to be "buoyed" by the brutal cold.

The New York Times' remarkable front page article on July 31, 2009 titled "In New York, It's the Summer That Isn't" by reporter Sam Roberts detailed the record breaking cold summer in New York. The article warned "this could be the coolest summer on record" and "this will have been the coolest June and July since either 1903 or 1881."

But the 2009 article explained "this summer's unusually mild temperatures should not buoy global warming skeptics."

Why? The Times has the answer, noting "a persistent high-level jet stream has sent cooler air streaming from the north and northwest."

Ok. Fair enough, "natural variations" caused a record cold breaking summer in 2009, according to the Times. But the question looms, how did the paper explain record warmth nearly a decade ago? Surely, if natural variations in climate can cause a record-breaking cold summer, then it would stand to reason that record breaking warmth would have a natural cause as well?