Earth ChangesS


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.

Hourglass

Arctic freeze brings odd birds to Northeast Ohio

Sandpiper
© 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."

Camera

The Iceman Testifies on Ancient Warm Period

The Holocene denying, global warming hysteriacs have not listened carefully to the testimony of the Iceman, that poor soul whose body was found on top of an Italian Mountain Sept. 19, 1991. Otzi, as he has come to be known, clearly tells us that the Alps were clear of ice, or nearly clear when this man met his death high in the Alps. The body was found in a snow-covered depression, sticking out of snow and ice by two hikers. The amazing thing was the body was in near perfect condition, and this says loads about the conditions on that mountain 5000 years ago when Otzi walked the earth.

Why? Because normally when a human or animal body falls into a glacier or is covered with snow that turns into a glacier, the body is ground apart into tiny pieces and spread over a large area. This process can happen very rapidly, and was used as a reason, initially, to doubt that Otzi was as old as he is (dating proves he is about 5000 years old). About 400 years ago, a mercenary fell into the glacier in Theodul Pass. When 400 years later, his body parts began to appear on the surface of the glacier, he became known as the Theodul Pass Mercenary. The discoverers thought they were picking up a coconut only to find it was a human skull with hair still attached. The rest of the body was found over an area of 30 x 225 feet, ground into little pieces by the movement of the ice. In 1988, parts of what became known as the Porchabella glacier sheperdess, began appearing over an area of 20 acres. This is what happens to a body in a glacier.

Sherlock

UN IPCC Scientist Rejects Romm's Claims as 'nonsense on all counts...NASA's predictions of next solar cycle have all been wrong'

The Joe Romm of Climate Progress article is nonsense on all counts.

Firstly, it is plain wrong when it asserts:

"The deniers have been rooting for a Maunder Minimum to stifle global warming."

I know of nobody who has been "rooting" for cooling, but I know of several so-called "deniers" who assert that slight warming (as could be expected if the AGW-hypothesis is right) would provide net benefits.

Secondly, article shows a degree of confidence that cannot be justified when it says;

"The sunspot cycle is about to come out of its depression, if a newly discovered mechanism for predicting solar cycles - a migrating jet stream deep inside the sun - proves accurate."

NASA's predictions of the next solar cycle have all been wrong: e.g. see their predictions of only three years ago at: (Link)

Magnify

U.S. Government's Climate Con-job

Suppose a company doctored data, misrepresented study findings, replaced observations with computer simulations and hired PR flacks to promote its new "wonder drug." News stories, congressional hearings and subpoenas would be in overdrive. Fines and jail sentences would follow. And rightly so.

But the standards change when "climate catastrophe" is involved.

The House of Representatives is preparing to vote on a 942-page bill to tax, regulate and penalize all US hydrocarbon energy use. The Senate promises an August vote. In December, 190 countries will meet in Denmark to discuss slashing carbon dioxide emissions, to "save the planet from global warming disaster."

But average global temperatures peaked in 1998 and since have fallen slightly, even as carbon dioxide levels continue to climb. Antarctic ice shelves show no signs of climate change, a six-year study has determined, while Arctic ice is seasonably normal. Hurricane activity is at a 30-year low.

Thousands of scientists say CO2 has little effect on planetary temperatures, and there is no climate crisis. Few developed countries are ready to commit economic suicide by agreeing to reduce their CO2 emissions by even one-tenth of what Waxman-Markey demands for the United States. Most Americans put global warming dead last in a Pew Research list of 20 concerns.

Climate Armageddonites are trying to counter these inconvenient truths, scare people into clamoring for climate legislation, and enact the job-killing Waxman-Markey bill before more citizens realize they'll be forced to pay $$$$ trillions for a hypothetical 0.1 degree Fahrenheit reduction in global temperatures. What to do?

Snowman

Historic Variation in Arctic Ice

Preface Part 1; Arctic Ice through the Ages- The Age of Scientific exploration

Artic historic image
© NOAAImage ID: libr0454, Treasures of the NOAA Library Collection

Northwest Passage Attempt 1821
© unknownNorthwest Passage Attempt 1821

There are many great books about heroic polar explorers, and numerous technical papers by arctic researchers-often rather dry. Few papers with a narrative on the scientific exploration of the arctic during the 19th Century seem to exist as a half way house, accesible to laymen and experts alike, so it is hoped this article may fill a gap.

It was always intended to exist electronically, so links to the relevant information source have been made, rather than citing a printed reference. Whilst generally the narrative can be followed without needing to click on the link, many are interesting in their own right and are often well worth a diversion, (but don't forget to come back.)

Few external 'official 'instrumental records exist for this period-or are sporadic in area or time scale- so observations made at the time and place are important to our understanding as to what happened to arctic ice and temperatures in this era. This article has two converging themes; the search for the North West passage and the scientific explorations of the region by a former whaler.

This is somewhat longer than most blog articles, in fact-in truth- it is a a bit of an epic. So close the curtains, turn off the mobile, feed the dog, grab a drink, and order in the pizza for about an hour. Then sit back as the story begins in 1817 when the Royal Society used the enormous resources at their disposal to investigate the claim that ;

Igloo

Interesting times at the "North Pole"

There is a webcam at the "North Pole" (at least it starts out very near there) that reports via satellite data uplink at regular intervals. They also have a weather station with a once weekly data plot. Note it is still below zero centigrade there.
North Pole temp graph Apr Jun 2009
© NOAA

Latest data (updated approximately weekly)

Readers should note that the station really isn't at the north pole anymore due to significant ice drift.

WUWT reader GlennB called attention to the webcam images today. A couple of weeks ago (5/31/09) it looked like this. You can see the weather station in the distance.
North Pole Weather Station
© NOAA

Now it looks like this:
North Pole Weather Station
© NOAA

It appears either a snow drift and/or pressure ridge has blocked the view of the weather station.

Laptop

Scientists: Obama document is 'scare' tactic

The forecast from a new report by the Obama administration on global warming warns North Carolina's beaches could be swallowed up by the sea, New England's long winters could last two weeks and Chicago? Watch out for deadly heat waves.

But scientists who have evaluated the warnings and forecasts says it is a "scare" report that has little relation to reality.

"This is not a work of science but an embarrassing episode for the authors and NOAA," said meteorologist Joe D'Aleo, the former chairman of the American Meteorological Society's Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting.

The scientist, who publishes the IceCap.US report, said the report "starts out day one being wrong on many of its claims. ... They gave the administration the cover to push the unwise cap-and-tax agenda."

Fish

'Bycatch' Whaling A Growing Threat To Coastal Whales

Image
© Agence France-PresseJapan and South Korea are the only countries that allow the commercial sale of products killed as "incidental bycatch." The sheer number of whales represented by whale-meat products on the market suggests that both countries have an inordinate amount of bycatch.
Scientists are warning that a new form of unregulated whaling has emerged along the coastlines of Japan and South Korea, where the commercial sale of whales killed as fisheries "bycatch" is threatening coastal stocks of minke whales and other protected species.

Scott Baker, associate director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University, says DNA analysis of whale-meat products sold in Japanese markets suggests that the number of whales actually killed through this "bycatch whaling" may be equal to that killed through Japan's scientific whaling program - about 150 annually from each source.

Baker, a cetacean expert, and Vimoksalehi Lukoscheck of the University of California-Irvine presented their findings at the recent scientific meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Portugal. Their study found that nearly 46 percent of the minke whale products they examined in Japanese markets originated from a coastal population, which has distinct genetic characteristics, and is protected by international agreements. It will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Animal Conservation.

Bulb

The Climate Change Climate Change : Skeptics Numbers Increasing Everywhere

Steve Fielding recently asked the Obama administration to reassure him on the science of man-made global warming. When the administration proved unhelpful, Mr. Fielding decided to vote against climate-change legislation.

If you haven't heard of this politician, it's because he's a member of the Australian Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country's carbon-emissions scheme. Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.
Steve Fielding
© Associated PressSteve Fielding
Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as "deniers." The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.

In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country's new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country's weeks-old cap-and-trade program.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)