Earth ChangesS


Turtles crawl on runway, delay flights at JFK Airport

A runway at New York City's Kennedy Airport was shut down Wednesday morning after 78 turtles emerged from the bay and crawled onto the tarmac.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says grounds crews rounded up the wayward reptiles in about 35 minutes and deposited them back in the water, further from airport property.

The shutdown disrupted flight schedules, though, with delays climbing to nearly 1 1/2 hours. Pilots reported the first turtle sightings at around 8:30 a.m.


Third Oz Blue Bird

Blue Ibis
© Darrel McKay
Breaking news from Chris at Where Light Meets Dark alerts us to another blue bird in Australia. This time the blue bird is an Australian white ibis, which is ordinarily white. In this case, in addition to the photographs, a blue feather has been recovered.

The other two types of blue birds were a little corellas and one or more house sparrows.

All of these have turned up blue in and around Sydney between June 2008 and June 2009.


Blue House Sparrow in Syndney, Australia

Blue House Sparrow
© Richard Shears/Daily Mail
A blue house sparrow has appeared in Sydney, out of nowhere. Experts are convinced the colour is genuine, but baffled as to the cause.

Richard Shears reports seeing a blue house sparrow in April this year (Passer domesticus) in his garden in Sydney, Australia. At first he thought he was seeing things, but he made no mistake.

On the first day he was unable to photograph it, but it returned again 1 day later and managed to take a few photographs.

The bird was flying with a flock of normally-coloured house sparrows, which are light and dark brown.

Shears began doing some research on the web, looking for references to blue sparrows. After being unable to find anything relevant, he started asking questions with ornithologists and other experts.


Blue House Sparrow of Oz

Blue House Sparrow
© Richard Shears/Daily Mail
No one is claiming they are blue birds of happiness, but there is a compelling mystery here.

A blue house sparrow (Passer domesticus) has appeared in Sydney, Australia, out of nowhere. Experts are convinced the color is genuine, but baffled as to the cause.

This happened last April, but Where Light Meets Dark is bringing this up on July 2nd, 2009, because they have received a report - including photographs - of other blue birds, probably of different species, in New South Wales, Australia.

For more details, see here and here.

Cloud Lightning

El Nino conditions return to affect weather

El Nino is back.

Government scientists said Thursday that the periodic warming of water in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which can affect weather around the world, has returned.

The Pacific had been in what is called a neutral state, but forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the sea surface temperature climbed to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal along a narrow band in the eastern equatorial Pacific in June.

In addition, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said temperatures in other tropical regions are also above normal, with warmer than usual readings as much as 975 feet below the ocean surface.

In general, El Nino conditions are associated with increased rainfall across the east-central and eastern Pacific and with drier than normal conditions over northern Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

A summer El Nino can lead to wetter than normal conditions in the intermountain regions of the United States and over central Chile. In an El Nino year there tend to be more Eastern Pacific hurricanes and fewer Atlantic hurricanes.


California: Brush fire near Getty Center 90% contained; Sepulveda Boulevard closed

Firefighters continued efforts this morning to stamp out a slow-moving brush fire near the Sepulveda Pass that burned 80 acres and forced evacuations from the Getty Center and Mt. St. Mary's College. The fire was 90% contained this morning.

Sepulveda Boulevard remained closed between Mulholland Drive and Sunset Boulevard, said Erik Scott, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. At least two freeway off-ramps -- Getty Center Drive and Skirball Center Drive --on the northbound 405 Freeway also remained closed.


Hysteria is the real threat, not global warming

G8 symbol
© ReutersOn the agenda: World leaders will be debating climate change at the G8 summit in Italy this week
With Tony Blair launching his own plan to save the world (groans), and the G8 leaders also unveiling their thoughts about global warming, this is a big week for environmental fanaticism.

Whatever he or they offer, it will not be enough to quell the warmists' semi-religious fervour.

They are like medieval preachers, proclaiming to baying crowds that the end of the word is nigh.

Well, is it? There are two separate climate issues - the extent of global warming and the role that humanity plays in it.

Some facts help. The famous 1996 report by the International Panel on Climate Change predicted serious global warming and blamed mankind.

But, since then, the world has disobligingly stopped warming. And two years of global cooling erased nearly 30 years of recorded temperature rises.

Comment: A bit of spin, not necessarily for global warming per se, but for diverting attention from the opposite of "regularity and occasional abruptness of global warming", that is a new Ice Age. Nicely done.

The fact is, Earth's climate is in a constant state of flux, of which we can observe only a small part:
"We have analysed the transition from the last glacial till our present warm interglacial period, and the climatic shifts are happening so suddenly as if somebody had pushed a button", says Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Professor at the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen. There are other scientific theories, which try to explain these cooling and warming occurrences on earth including the solar activity model. The simple fact is we do not know enough about what causes changes in our climate to create computer models that can model all of the climate data that is available.
What everyone avoids saying is that the climate can switch back equally fast. Just think about flash-frozen mammoths.


Arctic Ocean's Ice Layer Thins 'Dramatically,' Study Concludes

The layer of ice over the Arctic Ocean has thinned "dramatically" this decade, with its thin seasonal blanket for the first time making up a bigger portion of the total ice than the thicker, older coat, a study said.

Scientists from NASA and the University of Washington in Seattle surveyed the ocean's ice sheet from 2003 through 2008 using observations from the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite, or ICESat, to make the first estimate of its thickness and volume. The study was published in the July 7 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude-5.4 earthquake shakes Pacific coast of Nicaragua

An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale shook on Monday morning the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, with no injuries or property damage reported, official sources said.

The Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER) said at its website that the earthquake occurred at 8:37 a.m. local times (1437 GMT). The INETER said that the earthquake was felt in the Nicaraguan Pacific Litoral, La Boquita and Casares in the department of Carazo, some 46 km south of Managua.

Bizarro Earth

5.2 magnitude earthquake jolts Aceh, Indonesia

An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale jolted Meulaboh in Aceh province Monday night, but no fatalities were reported.

State news agency Antara reported the quake, with an epicenter 327 kilometers southwest of Meulaboh and 10 kilometers deep, struck at 11 p.m. local time. The local office of the Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said that the quake did not trigger a tsunami alarm.

In December 2004, an 8.9-magnitude quake hit Aceh and Nias Island in North Sumatra, triggering a deadly tsunami that devastated the coastal areas and killed around 200,000 people.