Earth ChangesS

Red Flag

Jellyfish Booms Signal Ecosystems Out of Whack

© unknownJellyfish Swarms Spell Trouble
The dramatic proliferation of jellyfish in oceans around the world, driven by overfishing and climate change, is a sure sign of ecosystems out of kilter, warn experts.

"Jellyfish are an excellent bellwether for the environment," explains Jacqueline Goy, of the Oceanographic Institute of Paris. "The more jellyfish, the stronger the signal that something has changed."


Mass dolphin stranding linked to navy exercises

© Adam Gerrard/SWNS.COMTwenty-six common dolphins became stranded in estuarine waters they are not normally known to frequent.
An investigation into the UK's largest ever mass stranding of common dolphins has identified military activity as the most probable cause - although no single activity can be definitively linked to the stranding.

Twenty-six common dolphins died after becoming stranded in the Fal Estuary in Cornwall, southwest England on 9 June, 2008, while a similar number were refloated by volunteers. An investigation into the cause of their deaths by Paul Jepson at the Zoological Society of London and his colleagues has ruled out a lengthy list of possible causes.

However, documents obtained under the UK Freedom of Information act have provided researchers with unprecedented access to military records of navy activity in the area. While there is no evidence of physical injury to the dolphins caused by sonar, "what we are left with is a mass stranding and a naval exercise - we have ruled out pretty much everything else," Jepson says.

Alarm Clock

US: Water supplies at risk from fires in dead forests

Washington - Water supplies for 33 million people could be endangered if millions of acres of beetle-ravaged forests in the Rocky Mountains catch fire, a U.S. Forest Service official said Tuesday.

Rick Cables, the chief forester for the Rocky Mountain region, told a House panel that the headwaters of the Colorado River, an important water source for residents of 13 states, are in the middle of 2.5 million acres of dead or dying forests in Colorado and southern Wyoming. Severe fires, fueled by these trees, could damage or destroy reservoirs, pipes and other infrastructure that supply water to millions of people in the Rocky Mountain region.

Cloud Lightning

Two 'freak' tornadoes sighted in Ireland

© UnknownA mini tornado is captured on a camera phone in Ennis, Co Clare yesterday
Two mini tornadoes have twisted their way through the skies above Ireland in recent days. Stunned witnesses say that the freak weather has appeared in both counties Clare and Roscommon.

Residents in Ennis were amazed to see an apparent mini twister materialise at around 4.40pm yesterday over the Showgrounds area.

One man managed to capture it on his camera phone, but said it dissipated soon afterwards.

Martin Foudy, from Inagh, Co Clare, said: "I was driving along the Kilrush Road and was turning at a junction when I spotted what I am sure was a tornado or twister in the distance.

"There was no great wind where I was at the time but the funnel could be clearly seen beneath a massive black and grey cloud."

Bizarro Earth

Freak Beijing storm turns day into night

Beijing storm day turns to night
© ABC NewsDay turns to night as a storm sweeps across Beijing in China just before midday on June 16, 2009.

China correspondent Stephen McDonell and ABC cameraman Rob Hill saw day turn into night as a freak storm swept across the capital Beijing today.

"It was pitch black outside and you could see people looking out from the office towers across the road from us," McDonell said.

"In a couple of the photos you can see a clock in the distance showing it was around 11:30 am local time."

The storms were expected to affect western and northern Xinjiang, most part of Inner Mongolia, north-east China and north China.

Today's extreme weather follows yesterday's hail storms across eastern China's Anhui province, which killed 14 people and injured more than 180, AFP reports.


June Winter Wonderland In New Jersey

June 2009 hail in New Jersey
© CBSA man shovels his driveway after a major hail storm pounded Washington Township, N.J. on June 15, 2009.

Hail Storm Pounds Parts Of Garden State With Several Inches; Residents Watch In Amazement As Plows Clear Streets

Washington Township, N.J. - Parts of New Jersey were pummeled by a massive hail storm on Monday afternoon, leaving it looking as if a June blizzard blew through with inches of dime-sized pellets piling up.

Washington Township residents were seen on their driveways breaking out the snow shovels and officials sent out bulldozers to act as snow plows to clear the streets after severe thunderstorms pounded the region. Children were seen forming hailballs.

CBS 2 HD's Christine Sloan was in Washington Township and spoke to stunned residents. This as the snow and ice piled up around them.

It was a day for snow boots and a jacket as several inches fell in what's being looked at as one freak storm.

Plowing snow, ice, whatever you want to call it on a street in Washington Township in June. It wasn't an understatement to say folks in the neighborhood were shocked.

"Never in my lifetime, never," Karen Yates said.

Neighbors who found themselves shoveling all Monday afternoon, said the hail started coming down fast and furious at around 2:30 p.m. Yates caputred much of storm on video, including the ice river that ran down the middle of her street.

Cloud Lightning

Many forecasters have one word for this summer: COOL

Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota -

Summer's coming. Grab a sweater.

Sunday and Monday may be in the 80s, but some forecasters say don't be fooled.

Across Minnesota and the Dakotas, temperatures could be below normal through the end of August, according to the federal Climate Prediction Center. The outlook for "meteorological summer" -- June, July and August -- prompted one Accuweather forecaster to predict a "year without summer."

"That's how the dice are loaded," said the Climate Prediction Center's senior meteorologist, Ed O'Lenic.

So far, the trend toward a cool summer has been emphatic, with furnaces blasting through the first days of June across the state. The average daily temperature for the first 11 days of June in the Twin Cities was 7.2 degrees below normal.

As of Friday, lilacs hadn't bloomed yet at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, Minn. They're usually out June 6.

Of course it's all about averages, and the Twin Cities has already seen two days with highs in the 90s, even though they were in May, which isn't summer in anybody's book. The 97-degree reading on May 19 even stands a good chance of remaining the highest temperature of the year.


Claim again: Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Faster Again

In the latest edition of Romm's Fairy Tales on Climate Progress, Joe Romm tries to build a case that sea level rise which has been decelerating in recent years really will be a problem. In the story he warns total sea level rise for the east coast by 2100 could reach 6 feet. He even uses the MIT's silly and widely scorned wheel of misfortune probability forecasts to bolster his case.

The Real Story

The described changes in Greenland are not at all unprecedented nor are they as described. Many peer review papers support interaction with the Atlantic multidecadal cycles and other factors not greenhouse warming are the real drivers.

Changes to temperature and ice happen predictably every 60 years or so and is in fact entirely natural, related to multidecadal ocean cycles. Multidecadal cyclical warming was observed before in the 1800s and middle 1900s long before the industrial revolution. Also there is more recent evidence showing the idea of lubrication by melt water accelerating loss of glacial or icecap ice is not valid.

Most recently a study by van de Waal in Science showed as the New Scientist reported that "Much noise has been made about how water lubricates the base of Greenland's ice sheet, accelerating its slide into the oceans. In a rare "good news" announcement, climatologists now say the ice may not be in such a hurry to throw itself into the water after all. Mother Nature, it seems, has given it brakes.

Better Earth

The Thermostat Hypothesis

earth thermostat
© unknown


The Thermostat Hypothesis is that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at a equilibrium temperature.

Several kinds of evidence are presented to establish and elucidate the Thermostat Hypothesis - historical temperature stability of the Earth, theoretical considerations, satellite photos, and a description of the equilibrium mechanism.

Historical Stability

The stability of the earth's temperature over time has been a long-standing climatological puzzle. The globe has maintained a temperature of ± ~ 3% (including ice ages) for at least the last half a billion years during which we can estimate the temperature. During the Holocene, temperatures have not varied by ±1%. And during the ice ages, the temperature was generally similarly stable as well.

In contrast to Earth's temperature stability, solar physics has long indicated (Gough, 1981; Bahcall et al., 2001) that 4 billion years ago the total solar irradiance was about three quarters of the current value. In early geological times, however, the earth was not correspondingly cooler. Temperature proxies such as deuterium/hydrogen ratios and 16O/18O ratios show no sign of a 30% warming of the earth over this time. Why didn't the earth warm as the sun warmed?

This is called the "Faint Early Sun Paradox" (Sagan and Mullen, 1972), and is usually explained by positing an early atmosphere much richer in greenhouse gases than the current atmosphere.

However, this would imply a gradual decrease in GHG forcing which exactly matched the incremental billion-year increase in solar forcing to the present value. This seems highly unlikely.

A much more likely candidate is some natural mechanism which has regulated the earth's temperature over geological time.

Better Earth

Suggestions of "strong negative cloud feedbacks" in a warmer climate

© ISS NASANatural heat engine - the cumulonimbus cloud, transports heat from the lower to upper levels of the atmosphere.

I thought this post on clouds and climate modeling below from Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit was interesting, because it highlights the dreaded "negative feedbacks" that many climate modelers say don't exist. Dr. Richard Lindzen highlighted the importance of negative feedback in a recent WUWT post.

One of the comments to the CA article shows the simplicity and obviousness of the existence of negative feedback in one of our most common weather events. Willis Eschenbach writes:
Cloud positive feedback is one of the most foolish and anti-common sense claims of the models.

This is particularly true of cumulus and cumulonimbus, which increase with the temperature during the day, move huge amounts of energy from the surface aloft, reflect huge amounts of energy to space, and fade away and disappear at night.