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Fri, 01 Dec 2023
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Earth Changes


US: Interior Alaska gets hit by early August frost

Fairbanks - An early frost hopscotched across the Tanana Valley destroying unprotected garden produce and flowers wherever it touched down Wednesday morning.

The helter skelter pattern left Linda Dolney at Ann's Greenhouses scratching her head.

"It was really weird," she said. "We had nine flats of marigolds out, and just a few flowers in the middle got it."

The cole crops in Dolney's garden, such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, are OK, she said. "But the tender crops like squash, cucumbers, peppers and eggplants that were not covered were mostly zapped," Dolney said.

Her neighbor wasn't so lucky. The temperature at his place dipped to 28 degrees, and everything in the garden was devastated.

"Even the potato plants were nipped," Dolney said.

Although Wednesday night's forecast was for warmer temps, Dolney wasn't taking any chances and left the protective plant covers on.

Gretchen Kerndt of Basically Basil, off Herried Road, said Wednesday morning's frost is the earliest she has ever seen.


Global Warming ate my data, We've lost the numbers: CRU responds to FOIA requests

The world's source for global temperature record admits it's lost or destroyed all the original data that would allow a third party to construct a global temperature record. The destruction (or loss) of the data comes at a convenient time for the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia - permitting it to snub FoIA requests to see the data.

The CRU has refused to release the raw weather station data and its processing methods for inspection - except to hand-picked academics - for several years. Instead, it releases a processed version, in gridded form. NASA maintains its own (GISSTEMP), but the CRU Global Climate Dataset, is the most cited surface temperature record by the UN IPCC. So any errors in CRU cascade around the world, and become part of "the science".

Professor Phil Jones, the activist-scientist who maintains the data set, has cited various reasons for refusing to release the raw data. Most famously, Jones told an Australian climate scientist in 2004:
Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.


Eric Steig Professes Ignorance

On Feb. 26, I wrote a post on Climate Audit, "Steig 2009's Non-Correction for Serial Correlation", commenting on the Jan. 22 letter in Nature by Eric Steig et al. On Feb. 28, I sent Steig and his 5 co-authors an e-mail alerting them to my post and its content.

On Aug. 6, Steig and co-authors published a Corrigendum in Nature replicating my findings, but without mentioning my prior post. I wrote the editors of Nature a letter complaining that if the Corrigendum was received after Feb. 28, it would constitute plagiarism under Nature's definition as "when an author attempts to pass off someone else's work as his or her own." My letter to Nature, together with my e-mail to Steig and co-authors, is in Comment 60 of the Climate Audit thread on the Steig Corrigendum.

On Aug. 10, Steig wrote Nature Associate Editor Michael White the following letter, with a copy to myself:

Bizarro Earth

Eric Steig and the International Man of Mystery

Real Climate has defended Steig against a plagiarism complaint from Hu McCulloch, covered by Pielke Jr here and Jeff Id here. Hu's original post is here and the most recent Climate Audit discussion here. Hu's complaint is here.

Note: Hu's email to the Steig coauthors is here. Steig was not the only recipient. All Steig authors were copied - Stieg, D Schneider, Rutherford, Mann, Comiso and Shindell.


Eric Steig Corrigendum to Antarctic Warming

US. federal policy defines plagiarism as follows:
Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
Here is a discussion of the topic from Penn State, where Michael Mann of Steig et al has an appointment.

In an entirely unrelated development, Steig et al have issued a corrigendum in which they reproduce (without attribution) results previously reported at Climate Audit by Hu McCulloch (and drawn to Steig's attention by email) - see comments below and Hu McCulloch's post here.

They also make an incomplete report of problems with the Harry station - reporting the incorrect location in their Supplementary Information, but failing to report that the "Harry" data used in Steig et al was a bizarre splice of totally unrelated stations (see When Harry Met Gill). The identification of this problem was of course previously credited by the British Antarctic Survey to Gavin the Mystery Man.

Bizarro Earth

Scars linger from killer Montana earthquake of '59

© AP Photo/Matthew Brown
In this Aug. 13, 2009 photo, Wyatt Carpenter, 19, of Los Angeles, looks at the scar left by a rockslide triggered by the Hebgen Lake Earthquake on Aug. 17, 1959. 28 people died in the disaster, including 19 campers whose bodies are still buried in the rockslide debris.
Gallatin National Forest - Just before midnight under the moon's gray light, the world tilted and tore off a Montana mountainside. Sliding rock buried 19 campers alive, their bodies never found, and 80 million tons of rock and trees tumbled into Madison River Canyon, leaving rubble piled more than 200 feet deep.

The Aug. 17, 1959 earthquake that caused the slide in southwestern Montana remains the largest ever recorded in the Rocky Mountains.

Five more campers drowned when displaced air whooshed down the canyon and swept them into the Madison River. Survivors reported the wind generated by the slide was so strong it ripped off their clothes.

Ten miles away, 15-year-old Martin Stryker was shaken awake in his tent. Woozy with vertigo, he told his two younger brothers to stay put and then went outside. The first thing he saw was a tree fallen on the family's car.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 6.8 strikes off Japan

A magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit off Japan's southern coast Monday, prompting the Meteorological Agency to issue a tsunami warning.

The quake struck off the coast of Ishigaki island, near Japan's southern island of Okinawa, around 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) south of Tokyo. It struck at a depth of about six miles (10 kilometers), the agency said.

Naoto Ohtake, a police official on Ishigaki, said there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties on the island, a popular resort destination with a population of 40,000.

"Nothing fell off during the quake. Electricity, water and gas are all working," Ohtake said.

Cloud Lightning

1,000 still stranded as Taiwan storm aid arrives

© AP Photo
Family members of the deceased come to the major landslide village of Shiao Lin and call their late family's spirit to rest in peace following Typhoon Morakot hit the area Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009, in Kaohsiung County, southern Taiwan. The first shipments of foreign aid arrived Sunday as Taiwan struggled to reach more than 4,000 people still stranded a week after its deadliest typhoon in half a century.
The first shipments of foreign aid arrived Sunday as Taiwan struggled to reach more than 1,000 people still stranded a week after its deadliest typhoon in half a century.

As plastic sheeting for makeshift housing arrived from the U.S. and water purification tablets came from Australia, taxi drivers in the capital, Taipei, pitched in, driving rice and instant noodles to the island's hard-hit rural south.

President Ma Ying-jeou, who says the death toll from Morakot is likely to exceed 500, offered another apology for his government's response to the disaster after families said more lives could have been saved.

"Sorry we were late," he told people in Pingtung County. "As the president, I will take full responsibility in getting the remaining work done well."

The head of Taiwan's relief operation, Mao Chi-kuo, denied mounting criticism that authorities had failed to evacuate villagers soon enough, blaming the record rainfall instead.

Cloud Lightning

Tropical Storm Claudette threatens Florida Panhandle

© AP
Updates as of 5 p.m. EDT; graphic shows the locations and projected paths of Tropical Storms Ana, Bill and Claudette
Pensacola Beach - Brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Claudette was bringing heavy rain to the Florida Panhandle Sunday, likely becoming the first tropical storm to strike the U.S. mainland this year.

Claudette had winds of at least 50 mph, but was not expected to cause significant flooding or wind damage. Lurking more ominously was Tropical Storm Bill, which was quickly turning into a powerful storm over warm waters in the open Atlantic with sustained winds of 65 mph. Ana, a tropical storm that had also been churning in the Atlantic, had weakened to a depression.

Skies clouded and bands of intermittent heavy rain moved on shore ahead of the storm, but the Panhandle was largely calm.

Condominiums on Pensacola Beach warned residents to bring balcony furniture indoors with winds anticipated to strengthen throughout the evening. A trickle of cars and SUVs with surfboards on top headed east along the Panhandle as surfers hoped to catch waves whipped up by Claudette.


Dry winds, heat fan wildfires across California

© AP Photo/Noah Berger
A firefighter battles the Lockheed Fire as it threatens to jump a road in unincorporated Santa Cruz County, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 14, 2009.
Santa Cruz - Hot, dry winds and high temperatures fanned wildfires across California Sunday, pushing firefighters into rugged terrain to contain the flames and guard against new blazes.

"Things are so dry out there that it doesn't take much for a spark or an ember to quickly develop into a wildfire," said CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

A fire near the Santa Cruz mountain communities of Swanton and Bonny Doon was about 50 percent contained Sunday, after burning 10 square miles since Wednesday and leading to mandatory evacuations of about 2,400 residents. The blaze threatened more than 250 homes and had damaged two outbuildings. More crews were arriving to fight the flames, totaling 2,165 firefighters on Sunday.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Santa Cruz's Lockheed Fire was among 11 burning in the state. A state of emergency was declared in the county, while other blazes forced evacuations and knocked out power in other parts of the state.