Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 29 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Earthquakes hit West Sumatra and N. Sulawesi

An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale jolted Padang and several neighboring towns in West Sumatra at 3:51 p.m. on Thursday.

The quake caused panic among residents at the affected areas, the local Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said.

It said the quake was recorded around 10 kilometers (km) under the sea off Bungus Teluk Kabung district in Padang.

Earlier in the day, a 5.9 earthquake rocked several parts of North Sulawesi. There were no immediate reports of casualties or material damage.


South Africa: Honey bee disease may be countrywide - survey

Preliminary survey results of bee colonies released on Tuesday point to the unabated spread of a disease, American foulbrood (AFB), throughout the Western Cape and beyond.

AFB is an infectious disease found in honey bees which attacks their larvae and is capable of destroying entire colonies in a year. Early results showed that more than 80 percent of the 45 samples tested came back positive for the disease. Officials are still waiting for more than 450 samples to be tested.

"It's looking increasingly unlikely that eradication and containment will be possible. It's looking increasingly likely that we have a regionwide, even countrywide, problem," said Mike Allsopp, a honeybee researcher with the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) in Stellenbosch.


US: Earthquake shakes up Delaware and New Jersey

Delaware was shaken up by an earthquake Wednesday morning that rattled some homes in New Jersey too!!

The tremor hit at 9:44 a.m. weighing in on the Richter scale at a 2.8 magnitude, according to Associated Press. A quake of that level means people could feel the quake, but did not experience any severe damages from it.

The United States Geological Survey's Web site located the start of the earth quake around two miles from Pennsville, N.J., after reports originally placed its epicenter in Wilmington by the Delaware River.

Its epicenter spread out about three miles deep making it approximately 30 miles away from Philadelphia.


Strong earthquake shakes Greek island of Crete

© Reuters
Island of Crete as seen from space
An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude on the Richter scale, felt as far afield as Cairo, Egypt, has been recorded on the Greek island of Crete, according to www.earthquake.usgs.gov

The exact epicentre has been triangulated at 125 km SSE of Iraklion, Crete, 195 km SE of Hania, Crete, 275 km NNE of Tobruk, Libya and 445 km SSE of Athens.

Conflicting media reports claim that the earthquake was as high as 6.7 in magnitude, whereas the Associated Press has given its strength as 5.9.

Cloud Lightning

US: July makes a thunderous arrival in Rhode Island

Rhode Island rains
© The Providence Journal / Kris Craig
Rushing water flows down Congdon Street in Providence during Wednesday’s heavy rains.
Welcome to the first day of July - - which brought more rain than the entire month of June.

Severe thunderstorms rumbled into Southern New England beginning at daybreak on Wednesday and continuing at 11 a.m. for a second round, clustering together over the southernmost tip of Rhode Island with wave after wave of heavy rain and lightning strikes.

Roads flooded and left motorists stranded in their swamped cars. Lightning struck houses from Westerly to Coventry. Torrential downpours - - at times about an inch an hour - - overwhelmed drainage systems, forcing street and highway closures in parts of South County. The rain gauges used by engineers at the Department of Transportation showed 4 inches of rain fell in just two hours in Charlestown - - approaching levels of a hundred-year storm, said department spokesman Charles St. Martin.

Evil Rays

No climate debate? Yes, there is

In his weekly address on Saturday, President Obama saluted the House of Representatives for passing Waxman-Markey, the gargantuan energy-rationing bill that would amount to the largest tax increase in the nation's history. It would do so by making virtually everything that depends on energy - which is virtually everything - more expensive.

The president doesn't describe the legislation in those terms now, but he made no bones about it last year. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2008, he calmly explained how cap-and-trade - the carbon-dioxide rationing scheme that is at the heart of Waxman-Markey - would work:

"Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket . . . because I'm capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, natural gas, you name it . . . Whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money, and they will pass that [cost] on to consumers.''


Sunspot Minimum Moves to At Least December; June in Northeast like 2008 in UK

solar flux
© Jan Alverstad

Despite an active start to the month and a rather steady stream of cycle 24 microdots, the official sunspot number for June came in at 2.6 below the 3.5 needed to make November 2008 the solar minimum. This means it can't be earlier than December, 2008. It seems unlikely unless the sun goes back into a deep slumber as it did last summer and July stays at or below 0.5 (the value of the month it will replace in the 13 month average), December 2008 won't be the sunspot minimum with a 13 month mean of 1.7. Only three minima since 1750 had official minima below 1.7 (1913 1.5, 1810 0, 1823 0.1). Of course modern measurement technologies are better than older technologies so there is some uncertainty as to whether microdots back then would have been seen.

Bizarro Earth

US: The Irish Potato Famine Fungus Is Attacking Northeast Gardens And Farms Now

© Cornell University
Leaf lesions due to late blight
Home gardeners beware: This year, late blight -- a destructive infectious disease that caused the Irish potato famine in the 1840s -- is killing tomato and potato plants in gardens and on commercial farms in the eastern United States. In addition, basil downy mildew is affecting plants in the Northeast.

"Late blight has never occurred this early and this widespread in the U.S," said Meg McGrath, associate professor of plant pathology and plant-microbe biology.

One of the most visible early symptoms of the disease is brown spots (lesions) on stems. They begin small and firm, then quickly enlarge, with white fungal growth developing under moist conditions that leads to a soft rot collapsing the stem.


Real Climate's Misinformation

Real Climate posted a weblog on June 21 2009 titled "A warning from Copenhagen". They report on a Synthesis Report of the Copenhagen Congress which was handed over to the Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen in Brussels the previous week.

Real Climate writes:
"So what does it say? Our regular readers will hardly be surprised by the key findings from physical climate science, most of which we have already discussed here. Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago - such as rising sea levels, the increase of heat stored in the ocean and the shrinking Arctic sea ice. "The updated estimates of the future global mean sea level rise are about double the IPCC projections from 2007″, says the new report. And it points out that any warming caused will be virtually irreversible for at least a thousand years - because of the long residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere."
First, what is "physical climate science"? How is this different from "climate science". In the past, this terminology has been used when authors ignore the biological components of the climate system.


Next generation questions for global warming

As with all scientific hypotheses, global warming will have to stand up under scrutiny over time. As there is no recognised clearinghouse that presents objections and answers in a structured fashion, this leads to scattergun efforts where multiple objections are raised and only partially addressed in the same forum. Popular websites such as Grist, RealClimate and Skeptical Science have tried to offer responses to some 'skeptical' talking points, but there is no forum for exchanging views and referencing papers outside the rather impenetrable associations of individual specialties, which in any event limit their discussion to issues within the specialty.

Those supporting an activist solution to the threat of anthropogenic global warming complain (sometimes loudly) that they are forced to answer the same 'primitive' objections repeatedly, only to see them resurface shortly thereafter, something that I am sure is frustrating. It's a pity that a central resource can't be agreed on and that an exchange of both views and peer-reviewed papers cannot be established.

There is a new generation of skeptical arguments advanced against the theory of anthropogenic global warming. I hope they win--not because I am on their side, but because I want very much for the Earth not to face a serious threat--we have enough of them already. So far, it appears to me that this new generation of counter claims is not receiving individual attention, but is rather being classed in with earlier skeptical arguments.

So let me try and articulate some of them here and ask for a response.