Earth ChangesS

Cloud Lightning

US: California storms move through Arizona: Most of 1 Arizona town underwater

© UnknownWenden, AZ
Wenden - A western Arizona town is underwater Friday morning after the torrential storm the swept through the streets. Scott Jones with the Wenden Fire Department said the Centennial Wash breached its banks and 3/4 of Wenden is underwater.

Some parts of town are reporting 4 to 5 feet of water and others are reporting 6 inches of water. See the slideshow to see photos of the town.


Insect Colonies Operate as 'Superorganisms', New Research Finds

© iStockphoto/Juan Manuel Garcia LopezBy analyzing data from 168 different social insect species including ants, termites, bees and wasps, researchers found that the lifespan, growth rates and rates of reproduction of whole colonies when considered as superorganisms were nearly indistinguishable from individual organisms.
A new team of researchers including scientists from the University of Florida has shown insect colonies follow some of the same biological "rules" as individuals, a finding that suggests insect societies operate like a single "superorganism" in terms of their physiology and life cycle.

For more than a century, biologists have marveled at the highly cooperative nature of ants, bees and other social insects that work together to determine the survival and growth of a colony.

The social interactions are much like cells working together in a single body, hence the term "superorganism" -- an organism comprised of many organisms, according to James Gillooly, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of biology at UF's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Now, researchers from UF, the University of Oklahoma and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have taken the same mathematical models that predict lifespan, growth and reproduction in individual organisms and used them to predict these features in whole colonies.


Ship with 30 Aboard Stuck in Ice Off Russia's Pacific Coast

© Sergei Krasnoukhov/RIA Novosti
A ship with 30 crew on board sent a distress signal on Friday, warning that it could sink after becoming stuck in ice in the Sea of Okhotsk, off Russia's Pacific coast, local emergencies officials said.

"The information that the refrigerator ship had become iced-in was received by the emergencies department of the Sakhalin Region at 07:40 Moscow time," the official said.

All crew members on board the vessel are Russians, he said, adding that bad weather conditions could hamper any rescue operation.


IPCC climate gurus apologize for glacier 'error' after being called on their BS

The U.N.'s leading panel on climate change has apologized for misleading data published in a 2007 report that warned Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said estimates relating to the rate of recession of the Himalayan glaciers in its Fourth Assessment Report were "poorly substantiated" adding that "well-established standards of evidence were not applied properly."

Despite the admission, the IPCC reiterated its concern about the dangers melting glaciers present in a region that is home to more than one-sixth of the world's population.

Cloud Lightning

US: Latest storm brings tornado-like winds, floods roads and causes small mudslides in foothill communities

© UnknownLocal resident Rhonda Keermann views the area where several feet of mud blocked Big Tujunga Canyon Road, preventing her from leaving
The latest winter storm moved through Southern California with a wallop this afternoon, flooding roads, causing tornado-like winds in Ventura and Santa Barbara and causing small mudslides in foothill communities.

The storm brought winds of up to 80 mph and waves recorded at up to 20 feet. The brunt of the storm has moved to the east, but more showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast through Friday.

[Updated 4:16 p.m.: Acting Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today proclaimed a state of emergency in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Francisco and Siskiyou counties due to the series of storms. In a prepared statement, Brown cited the loss of human life, injuries, flooding, heavy snows, loss of power and mudslides as reason for the state of emergency. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is currently in Washington D.C.]

Ventura County fire officials said that they had received reports that a tornado touched down in the eastern end of the city of Ventura near North Bank Drive and Montgomery Avenue, downing power lines and causing damage to cars, outbuildings and agriculture, as well as toppling a tree into a home.

Better Earth

Flashback Organic Farming Could Feed the World

Along with reporting on fertilizers, biotech, ethanol, corporate consolidation and the agrofuels vs food debate comes an increased science reporting of the real world of organic-ecological-diversified agriculture that actually feeds the world.

The biotech industry used to regard speed as one of the defining characteristics of genetic engineering. To prove the point, it rushed new products to market with little regard for the consequences. Speed, however, is a characteristic of neither good science nor sustainable agriculture. Now the 'slow' reports of scientific findings on nutritious food and sustainable agriculture are beginning to surface. It will be interesting to see how the biotech bullies deal with these. The authors of a new study claim that a switch to organic farming would not reduce the world's food supply but could actually increase food security in developing countries. They claim their findings lay to rest the debate over whether organic farming could sustainably feed the world. The team of researchers has compiled research from 293 different comparisons into a single study to assess the overall efficiency of the two agricultural systems.


Hydraulic Gas Drillers Skirt Law, Put Water Supplies at Risk

A new report on hydraulic gas drilling says that the practice is injecting toxic petroleum distillates into thousands of wells, threatening drinking water supplies from New York to Wyoming. What's more, the Environmental Working Group says that hydraulic gas drillers regularly skirt the law, and that federal regulators look the other way.

The Environmental Working Group report is entitled "Drilling Around the Law." According to the report, distillates from hydraulic drilling include kerosene, mineral spirits and a number of other petroleum products that often contain high levels of benzene, a known human carcinogen that is toxic in water at even minuscule levels. Drillers inject these substances into the earth under extremely high pressure in a process called hydraulic fracturing that energy companies use to extract natural gas and oil from underground formations. The process, known as "fracking," fractures the rock to allow additional gas and oil to flow to the surface.

Comment: For more information about the issue of Hydraulic Drilling read the following article from an editor at SOTT: Water For Oil: The Devil's Bargain For Natural Gas

Cloud Lightning

Snow brings traffic trouble and school closures to the UK again

© Peter Macdiarmid/Getty ImagesSnow has caused renewed problems on the roads in parts of England and Wales.
Met Office issues severe weather warnings for parts of England and Wales while Environment Agency warns of floods

The snow returned to parts of England and Wales today, yet again causing problems on the roads and school closures.

Severe weather warnings were issued by the Met Office for parts of south-west and western England and Wales. About 8cm of snow fell on some high ground and there were flurries as far south as ­Hampshire and as far east as ­Surrey and in the Midlands.

At the same time the Environment Agency warned householders and businesses in the Midlands and the north-east to expect flooding. The risk may grow in coming days as the thaw causes river levels to rise.

Gloucestershire was one of the areas hardest hit by the snow. Schools in the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean were closed. The county council said gritters were back out treating all A and B roads on higher ground but lorries were getting stuck on the steeper hills.


Global Warming propaganda outlet The Guardian says "Get ready for seven-foot sea level rise as climate change melts ice sheets"

© Unknown"The polar bears, won't somebody please think of the polar bears!?"
The IPCC's 2007 report missed out the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets which would be the key drivers in dramatic sea level rises. From Yale Environment 360, part of the Guardian Environment Network

The reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are balanced and comprehensive documents summarizing the impact of global warming on the planet. But they are not without imperfections, and one of the most notable was the analysis of future sea level rise contained in the latest report, issued in 2007.

Comment: 'Not without imperfections'? How about 'completely cooked'?

Cooked! US government's central role in fudging the data behind 'global warming'

Given the complexities of forecasting how much the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets will contribute to increases in global sea level, the IPCC chose not to include these giant ice masses in their calculations, thus ignoring what is likely to be the most important source of sea level rise in the 21st century. Arguing that too little was understood about ice sheet collapse to construct a mathematical model upon which even a rough estimate could be based, the IPCC came up with sea level predictions using thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of mountain glaciers outside the poles. Its results were predictably conservative - a maximum of a two-foot rise this century - and were even a foot lower than an earlier IPCC report that factored in some melting of Greenland's ice sheet.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes two planes near California airport

© Ethan Miller, Getty Images/file
Burbank - Two Southwest Airlines airplanes have been struck by lighting while landing at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport.

Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis says the flights to Burbank from Sacramento and Oakland landed safely Wednesday morning after being struck while approaching the airport amid heavy rains.

She says a flight attendant reported a pain in her arm and was hospitalized. No other injuries were reported.

The two Boeing 737s were taken out of service and passengers with continuing flights were put on other planes.

McInnis says all aircraft are built to withstand lightning strikes, which can occur during flights through stormy weather.