Earth ChangesS


Flashback US Congress told 'climate change is not real'

The United States Congress has been told to ignore President Barack Obama's plan to place limits on carbon emissions because climate change does not exist.

"The right response to the non-problem of global warming is to have the courage to do nothing," said British aristocrat Lord Christopher Walter Monckton, a leading proponent of the 'climate change is myth' movement.

The Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley - who was an adviser to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher - argued before the Energy and Environment Subcommittee that for 14 years "there has been no statistically significant global warming."

Bizarro Earth

One Person Killed, 100 Bitten by Bats in Peru's Amazon Region

Lima - About 100 people have been bitten in recent days by bats in an unusual ongoing series of attacks in Peru's Amazon region of Bagua, where a 6-year-old boy has died, apparently after contracting rabies.

The daily Peru 21 on Thursday quoted regional health authorities, who said that they fear there is a rabies outbreak among the bats, which would explain the 300 bat-bite cases registered in the last 12 months.


Slash population to save the world: green lobbyist

Australia should consider having a one-child policy to protect the planet, an environmental lobby group says.

Sustainable Population Australia says slashing the world's population is the only way to avoid "environmental suicide".

National president Sandra Kanck wants Australia's population of almost 22 million reduced to seven million to tackle climate change.


The sun's cooling down - so what does that mean for us?

© NASA/Getty ImagesRegion 486 that unleashed a record flare on the sun.
The sun's activity is winding down, triggering fevered debate among scientists about how low it will go, and what it means for Earth's climate. Nasa recorded no sunspots on 266 days in 2008 - a level of inactivity not seen since 1913 - and 2009 looks set to be even quieter. Solar wind pressure is at a 50-year low and our local star is ever so slightly dimmer than it was 10 years ago.

Sunspots are the most visible sign of an active sun - islands of magnetism on the sun's surface where convection is inhibited, making the gas cooler and darker when seen from Earth - and the fact that they're vanishing means we're heading into a period of solar lethargy.

Comment: Recent 'hikes'?

Two years of cooling has destroyed global warming consensus

Bizarro Earth

Flashback Arctic Volcanoes Found Active at Unprecedented Depths

© Photograph by Adam Soule and Claire Willis/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Map courtesy of Martin Jakobsson/Stockholm University, Robert Reves-Sohn and Adam Soule/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the AGAVE science team. Glassy, granular fragments of seafloor basalt (right) are a key piece of evidence that volcanoes along the Arctic Ocean's Gakkel Ridge (left) have exploded violently, and at unprecedented depths, according to a June 2008 study.
Buried under thick ice and frigid water, volcanic explosions are shaking the Arctic Ocean floor at depths previously thought impossible, according to a new study. Using robot-operated submarines, researchers have found deposits of glassy rock - evidence of eruptions - scattered over more than 5 square miles (15 square kilometers) of the seabed.

Explosive volcanic eruptions were not thought to be possible at depths below the critical pressure for steam formation, or 2 miles (3,000 meters). The deposits, however, were found at seafloor depths greater than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers).

"This kind of implosive seismicity is rare anywhere on Earth," said study author Robert Sohn, a geophysicist at the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The study appears today in the Journal Nature.


Flashback Global warming in the Arctic: Doesn't anyone just report the facts anymore?

I posted the other day all about the Volcano Under the North Pole. The story had been out for some time but word started getting spread on June 27. On that same day came the headline "This Summer We May See the First Ice-Free North Pole" from the Associated Press. The story is based on a report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. That report came out on June 3, yet the Associated Press waited to report on it until June 27. Makes you say...hmmmmm. The first sentence in the article quotes a leading scientist with his guess that there is a 50-50 chance that the North Pole becomes ice-free this summer. Later, you find that it says slightly less than 50-50 chance. Let's don't let a little adverb get in the way of a catchy first sentence. Later, you find a leading scientist who puts the odds at 1 in 4. Why wasn't he the first guy mentioned? Why was he buried in the story? Why wasn't that the headline? BTW...the 50-50 stuff isn't found in the NSIDC report either...only the AP story.


Flashback Global Warming in the Arctic - Or Simply Massive Under Sea Volcanoes?

One of the disconnects the Church of Al Gore/IPCC has yet to address regarding so-called Global Warming is why is it the Arctic ice extent is receding (thus all the chicken-little screams) while the Antarctic ice extent is growing at historic rates. Given the fact CO2 levels are ubiquitous across the Earth, if this was really a global climate driver we should see higher temperatures (and less ice) across the globe, adjusted for latitude and the amount of land vs sea surface area. Here is the Northern ice extent plots from NOAA:

And here is the southern ice extent plots:


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.