Earth ChangesS


Inquirygate: Official British Climategate E-Mail Review Falling Apart

© Unknown
The so-called 'Independent Climate Change Email Inquiry' is unraveling faster than the man made global warming myth itself.

Within just a few days of its launch, this travesty has already been exposed as a sham. At least three of the five original panel members were found to be in cahoots with the warmist lobby on a rudderless ship skippered by hapless former University of Glasgow principal, Sir Muir Russell.

At the time of publishing this article two of the original crew members have jumped ship - last Thursday it was Dr Philip Campbell, this weekend rumour has it Professor Geoffrey Boulton. Who else will bail out?


Snow whitens ground in 49 US states

Forget red and blue -- color America white.

There was snow on the ground in 49 states yesterday, with Hawaii the lone holdout.

It was the United States of Snow, thanks to an unusual combination of weather patterns that dusted the country, including the skyscrapers of Dallas, the peach trees of Atlanta and the Florida Panhandle.

More than two-thirds of the nation had snow on the ground when the day dawned, and then it snowed ever so slightly in Florida to make it 49 states out of 50.


Airlines cancel flights as winter storm hits South

© Associated Press / Eric GayTravelers wait and search for their luggage at Love Field, Friday, Feb. 12, 2010 in Dallas. Up to 5 iches of snow in the Dallas area affected air traffic causing delays and cancelations for the second day.
Atlanta -- Airlines canceled nearly 1,900 flights Friday as snow pounded parts of the South and dumped several inches of white on Atlanta, home to the world's busiest airport.

Light to moderate snow fell steadily throughout the afternoon in Atlanta and its northern suburbs. It wasn't expected to taper off until late evening. There was a chance of more snow for the area on Monday, a federal holiday when many workers will have the day off.

Snow totals weren't expected to be big by mid-Atlantic and Northeast standards, but for a region of the country that rarely gets snow and doesn't budget snow and ice removal the way other parts of the country do, airlines weren't taking any chances.

That left thousands of passengers looking for other travel options.


Rare snowfall in Rome as cold snap grips Italy

© Associated Press / Angelo CarconiPeople walk outside Rome's ancient Colosseum during a snow fall, on Friday, Feb. 12, 2010. A rare snow is coating Rome, dusting church domes but making slick cobblestones treacherous. Rome was last dusted with snow in 2005. The last significant accumulation came in February 1986, when some 20 centimeters (8 inches) piled up, paralyzing the city.
Tourists took rare pictures of snow falling on the Colosseum and the Trevi fountain on Friday, and the Pope reportedly appeared at a Vatican window to watch Rome's heaviest snowfall in nearly a quarter century.

In scenes usually only glimpsed in souvenir "snow domes" Italy's capital was blanketed in white, snarling road and air traffic but delighting many Romans who rode scooters with their feet on the ground and snapped pictures with mobile phones.

Rome was last dusted in snow in 2005, but one meteorologist said the steady snowfall through Friday morning was the heaviest seen in the Italian capital in 24 years.

"It's very exciting. I have been taking pictures of my husband in front of the Colosseum because I thought nobody would believe me if I told them it was snowing in Rome today," said Margaret Jones, a tourist from London.

Bizarro Earth

Mongolia: Harsh Winter Weather Wiping Out Livestock

Forzen Landscape
© Andrew CullenA lone man walks in the western Mongolian countryside in the Hovd province. Most of Mongolia is covered by snow this winter and 19 of 21 provinces have been hit by harsh winter conditions.
While international attention has been focused on earthquake-ravaged Haiti, a quiet, prolonged catastrophe is playing out in Mongolia.

Known locally as a "dzud," the unfolding disaster stems from naturally occurring factors that are combining to wipe out livestock. The summer of 2009 was particularly dry, hampering the ability of many herders to gather sufficient supplies of fodder and hay. And this winter is proving to be one of the harshest in living memory, with heavy snowfall, chilling winds, and temperatures averaging minus 35 Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit). Weakened by hunger, many animals -- especially cashmere goats revered for their soft, valuable wool -- are succumbing to the elements.

The fierce weather so far is responsible for the deaths of over 2 million animals since the start of winter, says Rana Flowers, the United Nations' Acting Resident Coordinator. Nomadic herders account for approximately one-third of Mongolia's labor force. Unlike tsunamis or earthquakes, dzuds are not instantaneous disasters. "The dzud is still unfolding. It's very difficult to predict just how severe it will be further down the track. Spring will be the assessment time," said Flowers.

The devastation could cause an acceleration of migration from rural areas to urban centers. As it stands already, cities and towns are struggling to provide jobs and services to former herders who have abandoned the traditional nomadic lifestyle. Many Mongolians point to climate change and desertification as the main factors behind the demographic shift.

Bizarro Earth

Wild storms lash Sydney

A massive amount of rain has fallen in Sydney overnight, causing flash flooding in some areas.

More than 700 calls were made to the State Emergency Service due to severe thunderstorms sweeping across New South Wales.

The biggest falls were in Sydney's north, with 88 millimetres of rain falling in Hornsby and 73 millimetres coming down on Mona Vale in just one hour.

Weather forecaster Chris Webb says Sydney experienced one of the highest rainfall events of the last decade.

"For the city we recorded 65 mills of rainfall in the evening, and that's about a one in five - ten year event," he said.

Bizarro Earth

Rare Snowflakes Start Falling from Mississippi to Florida

© AP Photo/The Town Talk, Melinda MartinezGrace Hamilton, left, her brother Robert Hamilton and neighbor Abigail Rivers build a New Orleans Saints snowman in the Rivers front yard in Pineville, Louisiana, Friday morning Feb. 12, 2010.
It took back-to-back blizzards to paralyze the nation's capital, but in the Deep South it only takes a couple inches of snow.

Flakes were falling - or threatened - Friday from Texas to the Florida Panhandle and then up along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, bringing a rare white landscape to spots that haven't seen snow in a decade or longer. The storm crawled out of Texas, where it left the Dallas area with more than a foot of snow, nearly 200 traffic accidents, thousands without power and hundreds of canceled flights.

Children in cities better known for stifling humidity took to throwing snowballs and building snowmen, while snow dusted the kudzu vines so prevalent in warm Southern climates.

Just the anticipation of an inch of snow was enough to close schools in the Florida Panhandle, while classes also were canceled in parts of Alabama and Georgia. Districts in Louisiana and Mississippi, also closed.

Bizarro Earth

Montserrat Volcano Shoots Ash 9 Miles into Sky

© Wayne Fenton / AP file
San Juan, Puerto Rico -- A volcano on Montserrat shot ash some nine miles (15 kilometers) into the sky Thursday, one of its most dramatic events since a devastating 1997 eruption that drove away half the Caribbean island's population.

The partial collapse of the dome in the volcano's crater also unleashed flows of hot gas and rocks, triggering sirens for the evacuation of about 20 people from a nearby village.

Paul Cole, director of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, said it appeared to be the most material ejected by the volcano in about four years. He estimated 10 percent to 15 percent of the hardened lava dome had collapsed.

"When we're looking at the lava dome now, there's a large scoop out of it that's missing," Cole said.

The dome has crumbled several times since the volcano became active in 1995, and Cole said it is possible activity will settle down as the dome builds itself up again. He said there is no immediate cause for concern about more dangerous eruptions.

Bizarro Earth

Mild earthquake rattles Chicago area

© Stacey Wescott/TribuneThis farm field on Plank Road in Elgin near Hampshire was the epicenter of an overnight earthquake in Illinois, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
A mild earthquake shook northern Illinois this morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 3.8-magnitude quake at 3:59:33 a.m. centered in a farm field on Plank Road in Elgin near Hampshire and 3.1 miles underground. Initially, it had reported the magnitude as 4.3 with an epicenter about 5.5 miles east of Sycamore.

The quake was felt over a wide area -- from Wisconsin to Tennessee -- but there were no reports of any damage so far, according to the Kane County and DeKalb County sheriff's departments, which are closest to the epicenter.

"We got hundreds of calls," said DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott. "But we have no reports of damage or injuries."

The magnitude and epicenter were revised after the U.S. Geological Survey studied the "wave forms" from the quake, said Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist with the geological survey in Golden, Colo.


Florida's Wildlife Freezing to Death

© Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation CommissionMore than 200 manatees have washed ashore since January, and carcasses are still turning up.
Manatees, sea turtles and fish in the Sunshine State are dying in record numbers because of the unusually long cold snap.

With temperature in central Florida dipping down again this week, conservationists are bracing for more animal and plant deaths due to unusually long winter cold snaps that have resulted in record wildlife losses.

Manatees have been among the hardest hit, with over 200 killed in January alone, and carcasses continuing to wash ashore. The highest number of manatee deaths for a single calendar year in Florida waters is 429, so local officials are closely monitoring these endangered marine mammals.

"Manatees can experience what is known as cold stress syndrome when they are exposed to water below 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degree Celsius) for long periods," Florida's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute spokesperson Carli Segelson told Discovery News. "This can result in death, or weaken manatees, leaving them more vulnerable to other health issues later."