Earth ChangesS

Question

Strange weather pattern over southwestern Australia

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© Australian Bureau of Meteorology
A contact in Australia just alerted me to what he describes as "very strange weather taking place over the southwest of Australia". He told me to go to the national weather satellite images if I could not open the images he attached (See left). By the time I had discovered the e-mail and checked, the large clearly defined ring had mostly dissipated but still was just visible on a time loop which was spiraling counter clockwise (Low Pressure system).

The image below is what my contact sent which shows a wide band ring covering many hundreds of miles across the south west of Australia with a small dot (presumably cloud) shown just right of center.

Cloud Lightning

Storms keep hammering Northern California

With fresh snow in the Sierra on Tuesday, thunderstorms in the Sacramento Valley and stirring winds causing multiple power outages, Mother Nature is giving Northern California a preview of big weather events to come.

By week's end, a continuing series of storm fronts is expected to dump 5 to 10 feet of snow in the mountains and drench the Valley as winds and wet conditions threaten trees and power lines and challenge freeway commuters.

But with drought-starved reservoirs shallow and local creeks and streams parched by a long drought, regional flood control officials predict little danger for Valley communities that historically have been vulnerable during heavy downpours.

Bizarro Earth

Experts: Haiti at Risk for Another Big Aftershock

New York - Haiti can expect more aftershocks in coming weeks, and while the usual pattern suggests they will become weaker and less frequent, another one as strong as Wednesday's jolt is certainly possible, scientists say.

The battered nation has felt more than 45 significant aftershocks since the Jan. 12 quake. Wednesday's event, originally estimated at magnitude 6.1 but later revised to a 5.9, tied an earlier aftershock as the strongest so far.

These events are a sign the land is adjusting to "the new reality of the rock layers," said Bruce Pressgrave, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Eric Calais of Purdue University, who has studied earthquake potential in the region, said aftershocks could continue for several weeks and that another jolt as strong as Wednesday's would not be surprising.

"They will be less and less frequent, but large ones can still strike," he said. So buildings are still at risk, especially those already weakened, he said.

Comment:
While a 6.1 magnitude earthquake sounds almost as strong as a 7.0 earthquake, the difference of the destructive power between the two is greater than an order of magnitude. Unlike temperature scales, in which units of increase are constant, the method used to measure earthquake magnitudes is logarithmic. What this generally means is that the amount of shaking at ground level caused by a 5.0 earthquake is 10 times less than that caused by a 6.0 earthquake and 100 times less of that caused by a 7.0 earthquake.
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Bizarro Earth

6.5 Magnitude earthquake rocks Mexico-Guatemala border

An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck the border between Mexico and Guatemala. No injuries or deaths have been reported. However, there are conflicting reports about the magnitude of the quake.

Seismologists at Nicaragua's Institute of Territorial Studies have measured an earthquake at 6.5 on the Richter scale on the border between Mexico and Guatemala, according to France 24.

There have been no reports of injuries, deaths or damages.

The United States Geological Survey measured the quake at 4.9 on the Moment Magnitude scale and located the quake 75 miles northwest of Tonala, Mexico, reports AFP.

The earthquake struck at around 3:32 a.m., local time.

This is the second time an earthquake has struck near Guatemala.

Digital Journal reported on Monday that a 6.0 magnitude quake hit the Pacific Coast of Guatemala.

Gear

Climategate: Something's Rotten in Denmark ... and East Anglia, Asheville, and New York City

The familiar phrase was spoken by Marcellus in Shakespeare's Hamlet - first performed around 1600, at the start of the Little Ice Age. "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" is the exact quote. It recognizes that fish rots from the head down, and it means that all is not well at the top of the political hierarchy. Shakespeare proved to be Nostradamus. Four centuries later - at the start of what could be a new Little Ice Age - the rotting fish is Copenhagen.

The smell in the air may be from the leftover caviar at the banquet tables, or perhaps from the exhaust of 140 private jets and 1200 limousines commissioned by the attendees when they discovered there was to be no global warming evident in Copenhagen. (In fact, the cold will deepen and give way to snow before they leave, an extension of the Gore Effect.)

But the metaphorical stench comes from the well-financed bad science and bad policy, promulgated by the UN, and the complicity of the so-called world leaders, thinking of themselves as modern-day King Canutes (the Viking king of Denmark, England, and Norway - who ironically ruled during the Medieval Warm Period this very group has tried to deny). His flatterers thought his powers "so great, he could command the tides of the sea to go back."

Arrow Up

Canada's polar bear population has doubled in last decade: 'Becoming a problem,' locals say

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© BBCSo I was in the area...
Polar bears, the lumbering carnivores of the arctic, continue to be the poster bear - er, child - for global warmers everywhere who are convinced the baby seal munchers are being driven to extinction by man's irresponsible release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Next to whales, the cuddly fur balls enjoy a special place on the "Animals to Love" list. Grown-ups adore them (provided it's from a safe distance), and grade-school kids who can't find Greenland or Manitoba on a map raid their penny jars to save them.

But are the denizens of the deep north facing extinction? Are they in desperate need of saving? It depends on who you ask.

Bizarro Earth

Aftershock Rattles Haiti's Capital; Violence Fears Ease

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© Wolfgang Rattay/ReutersTears run down the cheeks of four-year-old Aikta as she waits for treatment at a makeshift hospital run by B-FAST (Belgian First Aid and Support Team) in a suburb of Port-au-Prince.
A new earthquake shook the devastated Haitian capital on Wednesday morning, creating panic among survivors of last week's devastating quake camped out in the streets but apparently causing no new destruction.

The powerful 6.1 magnitude aftershock at daybreak sent shrieking Haitians running away from buildings and walls in the shattered city fearing a repeat of the magnitude 7 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people eight days ago.

"It felt really strong. Each aftershock is frightening. We feel it right here (pointing at his stomach) because after last Tuesday you never know how strong it is going to be," said Lenis Batiste, camped out on some grass with two children.

Bizarro Earth

Another strong earthquake hits Haiti

Port-au-Prince was hit on Wednesday by a strong earthquake measuring 6.1 on the moment magnitude scale, eight days after the Haiti capital was razed by a 7.0 quake.

The quake struck 59km west of the capital Port-au-Prince, according to the US Geological Survey.

It followed the much more powerful quake on January 12 that is thought to have killed 100,000 to 200,000 people.

Residents reported a low vibration followed by a brief but more powerful rumbling shake at 6.03am (2203 AEDT).

AFP reporters in the city said there was no immediate sign of damage or casualties, but a crashing sound could be heard suggested that an already damaged building may have collapsed.

In nearby Petionville AFP staff said the quake was felt for around 10 seconds.

The US Geological Survey initially measured Wednesday's quake at 6.0.
It struck at a depth of 9.9km, it said.

Gear

Pachauri: there's money in them glaciers

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© UnknownSyed Hasnain
Syed Hasnain (pictured), the scientist at the centre of the growing controversy over melting Himalayan glaciers (not), is now working for Dr R K Pachauri's TERI as head of the institute glaciology team, funded by a generous grant from a US charity, researching the effects of the retreat.

Highlighted in The Sunday Times yesterday, Dr Hasnain was the scientist responsible for claiming that the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035. This was picked up by the New Scientist and then by a 2005 WWF report, and subsequently published as a definitive claim in the IPCC's 2007 fourth assessment report, masterminded by Dr R K Pachauri.

But, while Dr Hasnain, who was then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, has admitted that the New Scientist report was based on "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research, he is now a direct beneficiary of that speculation.

Monkey Wrench

Insurance Group Says Stolen E-Mails Show Risk in Accepting Climate Science

A major trade group for the insurance industry is warning that it is "exceedingly risky" for companies to blindly accept scientific conclusions around climate change, given the "serious questions" around the extent to which humans cause atmospheric warming.

The assertion was made in a letter (pdf) to insurance regulators, who will administer the nation's first mandatory climate requirements on corporations in May. Large insurers will have to answer about a dozen questions related to the preparations they are taking to safeguard themselves from climatic hazards.