Earth ChangesS

Mr. Potato

Australia's Environment Minister withdraws claim of 6m rise in sea levels

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has moved to water down his claim that sea levels could rise by 6m as a result of the melting of Antarctic ice. Mr Garrett has also been forced to qualify his suggestion that ice across the whole of the Antarctic continent is melting.

He made the claims while being interviewed by the ABC's Lateline program on April 6 about the reported break-up of parts of the Wilkins ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Weekend Australian reported that while some ice-shelf melting is under way on the peninsula and in other parts of west Antarctica that may be related to global warming, ice shelves in east Antarctica remain intact.

East Antarctica is four times the size of west Antarctica.


Drowned Spiders Come Back From The Dead

© Sonia Dourlot Pictures of the marsh spider, Arctosa fulvolineata during an experiment. In the first image (a) the drowning begins, in (b) the spider becomes nonreactive (see the reduced air storage), in (c) the spider has entered a coma and in (d) it is recovered four hours after the end of submersion.
When Julien Petillon wanted to see how long a salt marsh-dwelling wolf spider could survive underwater, he did the logical thing - he submerged them, and waited until they died.

Spiders are known for their resilience to being underwater, so it was no surprise to him that the dozens of Arctosa Fulvolineata in the experiment took almost 24 hours to grow still. What did surprise him is the dead-still spiders then came back to life.

As they lay drying in Petillion's laboratory at the University of Rennes in France, something odd happened: the 'dead' spiders began to twitch. First one small movement, then another - before long the salt marsh spiders were skittering about as though nothing had happened.


Predators starve as we plunder oceans

Marine giants go hungry as fleets scoop up their prey for our fish suppers.

Starving sea life - from whales to puffins, tuna to seals - is being found all over the world's oceans, as the food on which it depends is being fished out, startling new evidence shows. And much of the depletion, ironically, is caused by raising captive fish - for the table.


Natural Cycle Linked to Past and Present Global Warming Cycles: Earth Now Entering Global Cooling for the Next 180 Years

New global warming research released in the book "Global Warming - Global Cooling, Natural Cause Found," can now be downloaded free. Research illustrated within the book links the Moon's recurring gravitational cycles as the primary driving force causing 2200 global warming events during the past half million years, including the earth's current warming cycle which is now ending. It also links these natural cycles to the 50 percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels seen during the past 8 thousand years, not just the past 150 years. Due to the significance of these findings, Meteorologist and climate researcher David Dilley of Global Weather Oscillations, is now offering the book free to download on the website His book is written in non technical language so everyone from middle school to college professors can understand these important findings concerning the earth's natural cycles.


UK: Warm April set fair for weather record

warm weather in London
© PAJess Vant, 22, and Sky Anderson, 21, enjoy the warm weather in Hyde Park, London
TS Eliot said it was "the cruellest month" but this April is proving rather kind, with forecasters saying it could be the warmest for a decade.

The Met Office has logged temperatures of several degrees above the average so far this week, and its experts predict the good weather is set to stay.

Last Wednesday saw temperatures reach 22 degrees (72F) in East Malling, Kent - the hottest day of the year so far, and in London yesterday it was 21C (70F) with the north and Midlands enjoying 20C (68F).

Temperatures are expected to approach the low-20s in the south east by the end of this week and the next few days should be generally warm and dry, with occasional showers in the west.

Bizarro Earth

Satellites Show How Earth Moved During Italy Quake

© IREA-CNRAn Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) interferogram over the L'Aquila area in central Italy showing the deformation pattern caused by the seismic events in early April 2009. This interferogram was generated by Italy's Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell' Ambiente (IREA-CNR) in Naples, Italy just a few hours after Envisat's acquisition on 12 April 2009. It combines that acquisition with a pre-seismic acquisition on 1 February 2009, with an estimated baseline (separation between the two Envisat orbital positions) of about 154 m. The satellite's right-looking angle is 23 degrees. Each fringe of the interferogram, corresponding to a colour cycle, is equivalent to an Earth surface displacement of 2.8 cm along the satellite direction.
Studying satellite radar data from ESA's Envisat and the Italian Space Agency's COSMO-SkyMed, scientists have begun analysing the movement of Earth during and after the 6.3 earthquake that shook the medieval town of L'Aquila in central Italy on 6 April 2009.

Scientists from Italy's Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell' Ambiente (IREA-CNR) and the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) are studying Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from these satellites to map surface deformations after the earthquake and the numerous aftershocks that have followed.

The scientists are using a technique known as SAR Interferometry (InSAR), a sophisticated version of 'spot the difference'. InSAR involves combining two or more radar images of the same ground location in such a way that very precise measurements - down to a scale of a few millimetres - can be made of any ground motion taking place between image acquisitions.


Drought leaves over 160,000 without drinking water in north China

© unknown
A severe drought has left more than 160,000 people in northwest China without drinking water, regional media reported on Wednesday.

Abnormally warm temperatures and strong winds have dried up reservoirs in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, leaving not only local residents without water, but also some 1.2 million head of cattle.

Chinese authorities have sent some 70 million cubic meters of water from surrounding reservoirs to the drought-stricken region.

Most of China's northern territories have not seen any rain for more than 100 days.

Bizarro Earth

US: Earthquake Magnitude 4.2 Island of Hawaii, Hawaii

© US Geological Survey

* Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 02:58:09 UTC
* Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 04:58:09 PM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 19.333°N, 155.115°W

Depth 8.9 km (5.5 miles)



* 16 km (10 miles) S (174°) from Fern Forest, HI

* 18 km (11 miles) S (183°) from Eden Roc, HI

* 18 km (11 miles) SE (136°) from Volcano, HI

* 32 km (20 miles) SW (222°) from Hawaiian Beaches, HI

* 42 km (26 miles) S (184°) from Hilo, HI

* 358 km (222 miles) SE (127°) from Honolulu, HI


The climate sure is changing when doubt gets an airing

Hmm, I could be wrong. Maybe the climate is changing after all.The intellectual climate, I mean. For years it's been a social crime to doubt man is heating the world to hell. But suddenly the ice is cracking - and no, not the ice around Antarctica, which has actually grown.

Take a few signs from last week alone.

Australia's pre-eminent academic geologist, Prof Ian Plimer, published Heaven and Earth, challenging the gospel that the world is warming dangerously and that human-caused gases are to blame. In fact, says Plimer, what warming we saw until a decade ago was not unusual, not dangerous and most likely caused mainly by solar activity. What's more, temperatures now seem to be falling.

Bizarro Earth

US: 3.8 Earthquake Reported Near Alabaster, Alabama

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake has struck near Alabaster today according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake struck around 5:25 a.m. today and could be felt all around Birmingham.

The quake's epicenter was 7 miles north of Centreville near the intersection of highways 5 and 219. The depth was 8.8 miles below the earth's surface.

The earthquake was 25 miles southwest of Alabaster, 30 miles east southeast of Tuscaloosa and 40 miles south southwest of Birmingham.