Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

SOTT Focus: Climate Change

If the world is a mirror of those who inhabit it, what can the issue of climate change tell us about ourselves?

Everybody talks about the weather. It is the one safe topic when you meet a stranger or are stuck next to a colleague you don't know very well waiting for a meeting. If you live in a rural area, the weather has a direct affect on people's lives as a year's crops depend upon how much or little rain may fall, an incident of hail that wipes out young fruit, or how early or late a frost may come. If you are in a city, with only your weekends off, then whether or not your free days are rainy or sunny can assume a grand importance.

In short, everyone has something to say about the weather.

There is a lot of talk these days about climate change and global warming. We hear predictions of everything from the melting of the ice caps leading to a rise of the ocean level enough to flood New York City and other low-lying areas, to a sudden change in the Gulf Stream that would usher in a new ice age, to complete silence. Some give timelines of a thousand years' transition. Others tell us it could happen much more rapidly in two to five. Some say it isn't going to happen at all.

The Bush administration continues to insist there is not enough scientific data in hand while the "Peak Oil" apologists use climate change as another argument in favour of massive population reduction and the end to an oil-based economy.


Cold snap takes its frigid toll across Europe

WARSAW, Jan 29, 2006 (AFP) - Frigid weather took its toll across Europe over the weekend, as at least 66 people were killed when a roof collapsed in heavy snow in Poland and snow cut off roads and paralysed transport in France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Portugal.


Recent Earthquakes

A list of recent earthquakes around the world


Hurricanes Shape New Natural Order

OVER THE NORTHERN GULF COAST - Last year's record hurricane season didn't just change life for humans. It changed nature, too.

Everywhere scientists look, they see disrupted patterns in and along the Gulf of Mexico. Coral reefs, flocks of sea birds, crab- and shrimp-filled meadows and dune-crowned beaches were wrapped up in — and altered by — the force of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Dennis.

"Nothing's been like this," said Abby Sallenger, aU.S. Geological Survey oceanographer, during a recent flight over the northern Gulf Coast to study shoreline changes.

For him, the changes are mind-boggling: Some barrier islands are nearly gone; on others, beaches are scattered like bags of dropped flour.


Clinton: Climate change is the world's biggest worry

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton told corporate chieftains and political bigwigs Saturday that climate change was the world's biggest problem - followed by global inequality and the "apparently irreconcilable" religious and cultural differences behind terrorism. [...]

"First, I worry about climate change," Clinton said in an onstage conversation with the founder of the World Economic Forum. "It's the only thing that I believe has the power to fundamentally end the march of civilization as we know it, and make a lot of the other efforts that we're making irrelevant and impossible."


Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him

The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.

Dr. Hansen said he would ignore the restrictions. "They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public," he said.


Phoenix ties record of 101 days without rain

PHOENIX - Today marks the day that we've had 101 days straight without a drop of rain in Phoenix. That ties the current record, which was set back in 1999-2000.

The last time it rained here was Oct. 18, 2005. Tomorrow, we will set a new record of 102 days without rain. And the next day, and the next day, we'll keep adding to that unenviable record until we get some rain.

Better Earth

Scientists Find Frozen Methane Gas Deposit

Scientists have discovered an undersea deposit of frozen methane just off the Southern California coast, but whether it can be harnessed as a potential energy source is unknown.

Comment: The frozen methane is sitting only 15 miles off the coast of California on top of a mud volcano, which is itself perched upon an active fault zone. Let's just hope the methane remains frozen...


Arctic Ocean Ice Surges Onto Alaskan Shore

BARROW, Alaska - Ridges of sea ice packing car-sized chunks of the cold stuff slammed onto a road in this northern Alaskan town in quantities not seen in nearly three decades.

Two ice surges, known to Alaska Natives as ivus, stunned residents who had never seen such large blocks of ice rammed ashore.


Cold snap triggers 'orange' weather alert across France

NANTES – In anticipation of heavy snow and frost, the French national weather-forecasting service has declared a 'level orange' alert through Sunday for 36 departments.

The temperature has dropped precipitously across France this week as a cold front has swept in from eastern Europe.

The weather service, Météo France, expects especially heavy snow Friday night and Saturday along the length of the Rhine valley.