Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

4.9 Earthquake Hits Central Chile

An earthquake with magnitude of 4.9 degrees on the Richter scale shook the central Chile Friday, without reports of casualty and damage.

The earthquake occurred at 9:06 a.m. local time (1306 GMT), its epicenter was located 29 km west to Illape, in Coquimbo region, according to the Seismological Service from the University of Chile.

According to the National office of Emergencies (Onemi), the earthquake has a maximum intensity of III grade in Mercalli scale in the cities of Illapel, Canela, Salamanca, Punitaqui, Los Villos and La Ligua.

Bizarro Earth

US: Strange cloud formations over New York City

Mammatus clouds
© UnknownMammatus Cloud Formations over Union Square Park
These very strange cloud formations suddenly appeared in the sky around 8:30 p.m. when the sun was setting in Union Square Park in NYC today.

Moments before their appearance, people were casually sitting on the steps of the park entrance and carrying on as most New Yorkers do. Suddenly, there were sounds of gasps and one by one people held their cell phones up to the sky to photograph this strange occurrence.

These weren't the famed chemtrails, neither the Lenticular clouds that are mistaken for UFO's or the wispy metaphysical Sylphs often spoken about in spiritual circles.

Comment: Here is an article covering the discovery of the "new" cloud formations.

The clouds with no name: Harbingers of a mighty storm


It's only a bloody computer model!

First let us deal with the inevitable question that comes up when one addresses this topic - what makes you think you are qualified to criticise computer models?

Your bending author:
  • Started digital computer modelling in about 1960 on the first digital computer delivered in the UK for academic research, after wasting a year on an analogue computer. The machine was a Ferranti Pegasus, which had considerably less computing power than a modern hand-held device. Indeed, the computer you are using to read this almost certainly has more computing power than the whole world had then.
  • In the subsequent forty years, reviewed hundreds of computer models - in undergraduate reports, PhD theses and, as a consultant, in industrial applications.
  • Formulated the law of computer models long before global warming hit the headlines.
Most computer models are nonsense. This does not include those used by engineers in designing airplanes, bridges etc., which are based on detailed experiments on the systems involved and tested in a variety of real conditions before being used.

No Entry

Here's the forecast: the Met Office will get it wrong, again

It's a beautiful day outside; clear blue sky, scarcely the whisper of a breeze, temperature hovering around a gently cossetting 20C, greenfinch wheezing away nearby. This is good news for me because as soon as I finish this article I intend to spend the rest of the day under the horse chestnut tree with a pitcher of neat alcohol. But it is also good news for Britain and the rest of the world.

Last Thursday we were all frightened out of our wits by a new report from the Met Office about what life in Britain would be like in 2080: scorching African sun, all the crops dying, plagues of locusts and mosquitos. Cows collapsing in the fields because they had not worn enough Factor 30; half of Yorkshire and Norfolk washed away by the sea, middle England flooded by swollen rivers, Essex a lifeless arid desert (no change there, then); impeccably well-mannered middle-class people on their knees sucking the last molecules of moisture from dusty, exhausted standpipes in Notting Hill; famine, pestilence and death flapping its wings over our heads like a big black bat, cackling to itself.


Propaganda: Climate change will make Britain hot, wet and wild, says Met Office

noctilucent clouds
© Mark Humpage/SWNSThe sky near Leicester after midnight. The 'noctilucent' cloud is reflecting light from the Sun over the horizon.

It is August 2084 and in the olive groves of Bedfordshire, the temperature has just topped 41C for the fourth day running.

Luton's silk industry may be thriving, but on the radio, there are reports of wildfires raging across the Yorkshire moors. Hospitals are overflowing with elderly victims of the heat wave, some stricken with tropical diseases.

It may sound far-fetched but it is one possible future as laid out yesterday by the Met Office, where Britain is still recognisable - but only just.

Across the Home Counties, the rolling lawns and herbaceous borders have been edged aside by palms and pistachio trees.

Green Light

Propaganda UK: Climate change will 'transform our lives' says minister

power station near Liverpool
© ReutersCoal fired power station near Liverpool.

The most comprehensive climate change projections ever produced show the UK is facing temperature rises of between 3.6F (2C) and 10.8F (6C) by 2080.

Droughts will become commonplace in the South East by 2040 and there will be less rain in the summer and more in the winter, with more storms leading to widespread flooding, particularly in the North of the country.

Presenting the findings of the UK Climate Projections 09 study, Hilary Benn said the predicted changes would "transform the way we live".

He said that the heatwave that killed 2,000 people in 2003 would become "normal". Infectious diseases in humans and animals are likely to become more widespread because bugs will not be killed off during the winter.

Mr Benn warned that health authorities, councils, developers and farmers would all have to change the way they worked to deal with the problems of climate change. Buildings would have to be made more able to cope with hotter summers and flooding while water metres would have to be installed to help cut use.


Propaganda: UK 'must plan' for warmer future

UK Flood
© Press AssociationSome regions of the UK are likely to see more floods, especially in winter.

Launching the UK Climate Projections 2009 report (UKCP09), Mr Benn told MPs that the UK climate will change even with a global deal on emissions.

By 2080, London will be between 2C and 6C hotter than it is now, he said.

Every part of the UK is likely to be wetter in winter and drier in summer, according to the projections.

Summer rainfall could decrease by about 20% in the south of England and in Yorkshire and Humberside by the middle of the century.

Scotland and the north-west of England could see winter rainfall increase by a similar amount.

The government hopes UKCP09 will allow citizens, local authorities and businesses to plan for future decades.

It uses computer models of the world's climate to make projections of parameters such as temperature, rainfall and wind.


Scientists: Mediterranean Sea "Not Warming"

(via Piero Vietti's Cambi di Stagione. My translation of course)

17 June 2009, From the ongoing OGS conference on Observational Oceanography in Trieste, Italy -

Rome, 17 June (Apcom) - No water warming processes are likely to be undergoing in the Mediterranean. It's one of the preliminary results obtained under MedArgo, the "sister project", coordinated by OGS [the Italian National Institute on Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics].

MedArgo deals specifically with the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding countries and is part of EuroArgo, the European component of the international Argo project.

Argo's objective is an intensive analysis of the seas to see what are the impacts of climate change and global warming on the waters of our planet and, consequently, also on its ecosystems. That is why 60 European scientists are comparing data and knowledge at the Second EuroArgo Conference on Observational Oceanography, being held in Trieste, and organized by OGS.

In order to study the chemical and physical parameters of the waters of the seas, OGS uses special tools called "float profilers" [?], battery-powered cylindrical tubes released into sea currents. Devices last between 3 and 4 years and collect 150-200 profiles before being abandoned.

Bizarro Earth

Rain, cool weather dampen U.S. June retail sales

Rain and cooler-than-usual weather so far in June may have dampened demand for summer items such as sandals, swimwear and beer for retailers already hard put to counter sales declines during the recession.

The effect may be most pronounced in the U.S. Northeast, where June so far has been the coldest in 27 years and is on track to become one of the wettest Junes on record, according to weather research firm Planalytics, which has tracked such data since the 1930s.

June in the Midwest so far is the coldest in six years and has been wetter than normal, but still not close to last year when it was the second wettest in 50 years.

It is the wettest in 4 years in the U.S. Southeast and U.S. Southwest and the coldest in 42 years in the Southwest, the weather tracking firm said.


Arctic freeze brings odd birds to Northeast Ohio

© Jerry TalkingtonThis upland sandpiper was one of at least four found at an airport in Harrison County last week. The sightings marked welcome returns to Ohio for the long-absent species.

What an odd month this has been for bird comings and goings.

Last week, Jerry Talkington found two whimbrels in a field in Fairport Harbor. The sightings were unprecedented for the date in Northeast Ohio, according to "The Birds of the Cleveland Region."

Were they late northbound migrants on the way to their Arctic nesting grounds? Or early fall migrants headed south?

At the same time, upland sandpipers -- a grassland species that had all but abandoned Ohio over the past 30 years -- suddenly appeared at three separate locations in Mansfield, Champaign and Harrison counties.

For the second consecutive year, yellow-crowned night herons are nesting in a neighborhood in Bexley, just east of Columbus.

The hottest birder buzz last week was over several sightings of one or more Mississippi kites in Worthington, just north of Columbus. The reports came a year after the state's first-ever nesting of kites at a golf course in Hocking County.

Then on Saturday morning, I was awakened to a familiar song coming from a hemlock outside my bedroom window. It was a white-crowned sparrow, a common visitor to my yard in April and May, but never before in the middle of June, when the "Birds of the Cleveland Region" tells us that white-crowneds are "occasional" and "not to be expected."