Earth ChangesS

Evil Rays

Satellite Tracks North Pole Wolf

© USGSA spaghetti map for Brutus' movements
A male wolf nicknamed Brutus is wearing a satellite tracking collar to learn how wolves fare during harsh winters near the North Pole.

David Mech, a wolf researcher from the U.S. Geological Survey has studied the wolves of Canada's Ellesmere Island for 24 years. This is the first year he's attached a collar to any of them. The project was announced earlier this month.

"We made a huge technological jump from notebook and pens to satellite collars because we wanted to find out what these arctic wolves do in winter in areas when it is dark 24 hours a day and temperatures can fall to -70 degrees Fahrenheit," Mech said in a release Monday.

Ninety-pound Brutus leads a pack of at least 12 adults and six to 12 pups. Recent satellite readings tracked him about 25 miles north of where his pups had been living to a winter feeding ground rich with musk oxen and arctic hares.


Scientific American's Climate Lies

In December 2009, Scientific American, once a respected popular-science journal and now a pulp science-fiction picture comic, viciously attacked US Senator James Inhofe because he had proclaimed 2009 to be the Year of the Skeptic. By skepticism, he meant "standing up and exposing the science, the costs and the hysteria behind global warming alarmism".

Venomously, Science Fiction American's editorial comment continued: "Within the community of scientists and others concerned about anthropogenic climate change, those whom Inhofe calls skeptics are more commonly termed contrarians, naysayers and denialists." Yah-Boo! This name-calling marks the depth of unscientific desperation to which the proponents of the "global warming" nonsense have now sunk.

Unscientific American pompously continued: "Not everyone who questions climate change science fits that description, of course - some people are genuinely unaware of the facts or honestly disagree about their interpretation. What distinguishes the true naysayers is an unwavering dedication to denying the need for action on the problem, often with weak and long-disproved arguments about supposed weaknesses in the science behind global warming."


Best of the Web: The UK Meteorological Office: slightly less reliable than tea leaves or cock entrails

Nothing to see here, move along please
One of my personal favourite Comedy Moments of 2009 came in the unlikely context of a BBC Radio 5 Live debate on climate change. The female presenter, as we've come to expect of the BBC, was quite shamelessly biased towards the Warmist camp, but this apparently wasn't enough for the show's resident weatherman. When his turn came to read the weather, he instead chose to deliver an impromptu homily on the seriousness of Anthropogenic Global Warming. I forget the exact words but his speech began something like: "Well I work for the Met Office and I'd just like to say...."

Dear, oh dear. The poor chap. I fear the time will soon come - if it hasn't already - when the phrase "I work for the Met Office" will command about as much respect as "I was in charge of the New Orleans levee defences in the run-up to Katrina" or "I'm head of security at Lagos International Airport." The UK Meteorological Office - established in 1854 - is supposed to be Britain's greatest authority on forecasting the weather. So how come these days its predictions are so risibly inaccurate you'd probably be better off consulting tea leaves or cock entrails?

Bizarro Earth

Mexico: Earthquake Magnitude 5.9 - Guadalupe Victoria Felt In Phoenix, AZ

© Unknown
Parts of Arizona were shaken by a moderate earthquake just before the lunch hour Wednesday.

According to the United State Geological Survery, the 5.9 magnitude quake struck at 11:48 a.m. in northwest Mexico, 13 miles away from Guadalupe Victoria.

A group of 15 people at the Imperial Sand Dunes outside Yuma said the quake felt like a big semi-truck passing by.

On Twitter, user duznn wrote, "That earthquake must have been a big one - we just felt it in Phoenix!"

User wmd404 wrote, "Here in downtown Phoenix we just felt the aftershock of another earthquake in Baja ... building swaying back and forth again."

According to the USGS, the first quake was followed by a 4.9 magnitude aftershock at 11:53 a.m.

There was also a 3.4 aftershock at 12:04 p.m. and 4.0 aftershock at 12:07 p.m.


Fidel Castro Blames the US for Copenhagen Collapse

Climate change is already causing enormous damage and hundreds of millions of poor people are enduring the consequences.

The most advanced research centers have claimed that there is little time to avoid an irreversible catastrophe. James Hansen, from the NASA Goddard Institute, has said that a proportion of 350 parts of carbon dioxide by the million is still tolerable; however, the figure today is 390 and growing at a pace of 2 parts by million every year exceeding the levels of 600 thousand years ago...

Each one of the past two decades has been the warmest since the first records were taken while carbon dioxide increased 80 parts by million in the past 150 years.

The meltdown of ice in the Artic Sea and of the huge two-kilometer thick icecap covering Greenland; of the South American glaciers feeding its main fresh water sources and the enormous volume covering the Antarctic; of the remaining icecap on the Kilimanjaro, the ice on the Himalayan and the large frozen area of Siberia are visible. Outstanding scientists fear abrupt quantitative changes in these natural phenomena that bring about the change.


'China is to Blame for Copenhagen Collapse'

© Axel Schmidt/AFPA woman listens to Barack Obama's speech at the Copenhagen climate change conference on 18 December.
As recriminations fly post-Copenhagen, one writer offers a fly-on-the-wall account of how talks failed

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China's strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world's poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was "the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility", said Christian Aid. "Rich countries have bullied developing nations," fumed Friends of the Earth International.

All very predictable, but the complete opposite of the truth. Even George Monbiot, writing in yesterday's Guardian, made the mistake of singly blaming Obama. But I saw Obama fighting desperately to salvage a deal, and the Chinese delegate saying "no", over and over again. Monbiot even approvingly quoted the Sudanese delegate Lumumba Di-Aping, who denounced the Copenhagen accord as "a suicide pact, an incineration pact, in order to maintain the economic dominance of a few countries".


US: Scientists Keep Eye on Rumbling Alaskan Volcano

The Mount Redoubt volcano across Cook Inlet continued to rumble Tuesday, with the alert code remaining yellow.

"It's pretty steady as she goes," said Tina Neal, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. "We're still seeing small earthquakes every three or four minutes."

The volcano, which erupted last spring, grumbled back to life Sunday afternoon with a series of small quakes near the summit, prompting The Alaska Volcano Observatory to upgrade the volcano's alert status from green to yellow.

"In the past we've seen this kind of behavior, and it's ended in explosions or a collapse at some point," Neal said. "But we've also seen it quiet down to nothing. At this point it's hard to say which way she'll go. We're watching for some subtle changes in patterns."

Life Preserver

Joy for whale rescuers in Australia after birth of stranded calf

© Alex Simpson/Project Jonah/AFP/Getty ImagesVolunteers try to refloat stranded pilot whales, mainly cows with calves, at Colville Bay
Hundreds of holidaymakers witnessed the birth of a long-finned pilot whale as they struggled to rescue an entire pod stranded on a treacherous beach in New Zealand.

The mother was among 63 whales, mostly cows with calves, that were beached at Colville Bay near Coromandel township early on Sunday. About two thirds of the animals, measuring up to 12ft (3.6m) long, were saved by residents and holidaymakers who kept them wet in the low tide until they could be refloated in the afternoon.

By yesterday a Department of Conservation boat, which had kept close to the pod to ensure that it did not return, reported that the whales were at least 20 miles out to sea, according to Mike Donaghue, a senior adviser at the department.

Ingrid Visser, of the Orca Research Trust charity, watched the calf being born. "It was an amazing sight to see the calf pop like a cork out of the water. We had only just refloated the calf's mother and once the calf was born the cow took it first to the group of whales nearest her, then to the other two. Within 15 minutes she had headed out to sea with the calf and the others had followed her."


Ireland: Severe weather warning as temperatures to hit record lows

© Independent.ieTwo occupants of this car had a lucky escape after it left the road near Dunlewey, Co Donegal
Householders and motorists have been warned to brace themselves for a new spell of severe freezing weather with temperatures set to plummet to record levels over the coming week.

Warnings to exercise extreme care were issued last night with a severe weather alert being given for a 48-hour period tomorrow.

Arctic winds will now keep Ireland firmly in an icy grip until January 3 and fears are mounting that temperatures in some upland northern areas could sink as low as minus 12 C on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Met Eireann said that, apart from last year, Irish winters have been relatively mild in recent times -- which is making the current cold snap feel even frostier as arctic air sweeps the country.

Arrow Down

LIRR Passengers Reflect on "Ride From Hell"

Riders Tell CBS 2 HD They Sat Stranded With No Warmth, Food Or Working Toilet For 6 Hours And Were Told Nothing

The Long Island Rail Road has apologized to the riders who were stranded on a train at Wyandanch during the snow storm early Sunday morning.

But as CBS 2 HD found out, some of the passengers are still angry over the inconvenience that lasted six hours.

If only the trains were running normally early Sunday morning. Instead, one train was stranded with no power.

"For me it was the cold that was killing me. My jacket was my blanket," passenger Derek Gumin said.

Gumin and his friend Joe Iannello, both 24, experienced the train ride from hell.